Saturday, 28 June 2014

Granddaughter diary, last days......

Yesterday was a definite show of home sickness for R, with a total lack of enthusiasm. After the morning's quite forceful cajoling into the bathroom for some personal grooming it was pretty much on the sofa with minecraft and skype. Although her head came up a couple of times saying "I really fancy doing something" but after my very long list of suggestions her shoulders shrugged and her head went down again.

We had to leave home at 4pm to pop R home to change into her dance stuff (she'd packed her shoes but not black leggings etc). M opened the door and immediately apologised for the mess (and it truly was), he's moving the bedrooms around and it's not going exactly as planned. R needed help to even get to her clothes!  R agreed with M to come home for the weekend even though she may not have anywhere to sleep!

Then off we went to her dance class. It's a very odd bunch of people that sit and wait for their children (not watching at all), I was one of the first there so took a chair off the stack and put it on the left (where I'd sat once before when the chairs had already been set out) then as others arrived they sat on the right of the hall, which I'm guessing is where they always sit but did make me feel awkward. Well there were only about five together, three mums the dance teacher's sister who had finished giving her private lesson and wasn't involved in the main group class,  and the teacher's mum who sets out chairs and takes the money....and they got sooo noisy and distracting for the class, their own children kept calling across too when they should have been dancing! And then one of them went into the kitchen and yelled through the hatch right behind me "do you want tea Linda?" and came out with three mugs without any acknowledgement I was there. The dance teacher did come over for a chat though which was lovely. So home around 7pm and dinner out of the freezer for just the two of us as Hubby had met old work friends for lunch and was out all evening at a stag do!

R did get quite animated though about 9:30pm when she noticed the hedgehog out in the garden again so went out to investigate like she did the night before. Eventually she went up to bed.

Today is her drama group morning then I'll take her home after gathering up all her belongings that have spread out around the house. Gonna miss having her here!

Friday, 27 June 2014

Granddaughter diary, day 11.....

I did this (amongst lots of other things)...

Hubby did this (which took him nearly all day)...

And R did this and only this....

Then R and Hubby went out for a curry!

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Granddaughter diary, day 10.....

Was an at home day, and R stayed in bed reading till nearly lunchtime then managed to flit about us while we were doing various jobs not really helping. Hubby is installing some big gates and R had a go at drilling out tarmac and concrete for a post to go in, but she only managed a minute or two.

We shopped for her choice dinner of nachos as that's what she would have had if she was going bowling with Granddad but we had arranged with a friend of mine to go to the cinema.

R cooked the chilli and grated the cheese but left me to assemble and grill yummy!

Then off to the cinema picking friendH up on the way but forgetting to pick up the 3D glasses I'd left on the hall shelf ready so we had to buy more there (friendH's fault as she was texting to say where are you thinking we'd arranged half hour earlier than we had so I ended up rushing out the door).

We all really enjoyed this Sleeping Beauty story told in a totally different way, the special effects were amazing and some fantastic creatures and characters were created, although both R and I agreed that they didn't make any special efforts towards 3D effects which was a shame for friendH as this was her first 3D experience but she really enjoyed it anyway.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Granddaughter diary, days 8 and 9....

So R spent the weekend at home with M and D and I gather it was mostly on computer games. Hubby picked her up after lunch. Dinner was my choice this time of fish pie.

There's been a mixture of computer and inactivity together with activities, like our art gallery visit where we saw life size people made with transparent sellotape, we did this a long time ago when E needed an underwater helmet for a fancy dress costume and just that big bowl shape was tricky so I was really impressed by the whole people shapes.

R has had a drumming lesson and drama group rehearsals for a performance next week.

We've done a bit of shopping for clothes and books.

Shorts for if it's hotter and rain coat for if it's wetter.....
can you tell I was a boy scout, be prepared and all that lol. 

She had a read in bed last night and is in bed reading now (10:30am) and will no doubt finish the whole book today, lucky we bought two. Then I think she has three more to complete the series (think we'll order on Amazon as Smith's is far more expensive but she couldn't wait.

There's also been a little of this....

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Granddaughter diary, day 5 .....

Friday been and gone already, this week is flying by!
No photos as no activity...for R that is as Hubby and I have done stuff but couldn't get her to muster any enthusiasm for anything, guess that's too many late nights. She did have her computer on and "mincrafted", "skyped" and "everybody edits" interactively with friends. But sleeping and eating are often difficult for R and at least here she's been eating well.

Son came over in the evening for a belated father's day pint out with his dad.
He also brought some gifts back from his recent holiday and gave R four sticks of rock for the four children and she ate hers within about an hour.

I'm typing this and she's still asleep (8:40am) but I need to wake her soon as she has drama class this morning and then is going home for the weekend as D is there with his dad so I'm assuming they will be on computers most of the time and miss all the lovely  weather that has been forecast. Actually I've a huge pile of ironing to catch up with but maybe I'll find garden things to do instead.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Granddaughter diary, day 4 .....

The highlight of today was cleaning the carpet. R had shopped with Granddad when he bought the Vanish carpet powder and was desperate to do it, so today she did, and a very good job she did too.

Of course we needed Hubby to move the heavy furniture. And I did help a lot too, you may think not as I'm never in the photos but I've got the camera. We think the result is an improvement although the worst areas just in front of the sofas will benefit from doing again.

Dinner request was chinese takeaway :-)
Then I left them to the football and went out to my art group evening. After art we go onto the Orwell Crossing truck stop for live music and we were looking forward to seeing one of our favourite bands, but arrgghhh we got there and the football had taken over on the big screen and the band had been paid off and sent home!!!! So silly silly person who made that decision as most lorry drivers don't drink lots and don't stay up late so the bar must have lost considerable takings when the football finished and everyone left, except us of course ;-)

Hubby was on call but he never gets called out really late so I said take the car (he's usually on the liveried motor bike) and take R with......well that was tempting fate really and he did get called out to be at Bury St Edmunds for midnight to collect blood and plasma for Ipswich Hospital. They got home about 12:45am and R said it was a bit interesting to see what happens but a bit boring just sitting in the car and she was also a bit hungry, so a few crackers with chocolate spread then bed.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Granddaughter diary, day 3....

Another reasonable bedtime turned into a read-fest till I went up just before 1am and took the book away and turned off the light, at least she slept for the next 9 hours.

So eventually we got out as we'd planned a bit of beach combing for shells and stones.

She was collecting and paddling 
and getting totally soaked :-)
Perfect weather for it.
Washing and drying.
Brush out all loose stuff and 
coat with a diluted pva wash.
We used a render repair cement.

Our project is to pretty up the patio brick wall that has been affected by frost and some of the bricks have lost their facings. R made a very good job of decorating two bricks and we'll see how they dry out before doing any more.

In the evening she went bowling with Granddad but just as a spectator as it's a league night. 

R's conversations often start with an awkward question that it's really difficult to answer because some things we just accept and mostly it's personal opinion, but good to stop and think eh? 
" ...and another thing, I know manners like not eating with your mouth open is necessary because that's just disgusting, but why is it rude to have your elbows on the table? "
"...and another thing, I can understand saying thank you is good but why do we need please if we've asked for something nicely is just an extra word?"
Today's was...
" ...and another thing, why are old people always embarrassed about their age? "

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Granddaughter diary, day 2....

It was 12:40am when I went to bed and had to persuade R to put her book down and get some sleep! Then today started for her about 8:30am and she was remarkably awake. I thought teenagers had to spend half their day in bed so R needs to start practising soon.

Hubby needed to take my car off to get something fixed on the tow bar electrics so we decided to go out tomorrow and stay home today. R wanted to get back to gardening so we got out the stuff and made a start then she moved onto baking and made some great cheese scones (naming the leftover ring a sconut) and a batch of jam tarts.

More help in the kitchen with us making tonight's Shepherds Pie together, getting it all ready so we could eat straight after R's drama class. Conversation over dinner was mostly about acting as a career. Then us girls picked up our laptops while Hubby watched football.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Granddaughter diary, day 1....

Hubby covered a lot of miles this weekend, Friday evening he went with Daughter, E and O to Kentwell in my car, helping them to set up the camper and empty the car then bringing my car home. Thankfully he was home before me so was there to pick me up when I caught my shoe on the front door step and came crashing in and landing on the hall carpet.....ouch on my knee and elbow but mostly my big toe, ouch ouch ouch wouldn't be surprised if it was a bit broken but I'll never know as there is no point checking as there's nothing they can do for toes so rest elevated and paracetamol!

Saturday morning he collected R from home (she doesn't do Kentwell) and took her to her drama class then when he picked her up afterwards he drove her straight to meet her dad. Sunday evening he got her back from her dad (he'd been out with friends at Stansted airport from lunchtime), then after nearly 500 miles in three days they were both finally here about 8:30pm and R is staying for the next two weeks.

So today has been day 1. Lazy start and late breakfast. Her choice for dinner was cauliflower cheese so off she went for a shopping trip with granddad. She was supposed to go to an archery group this afternoon but said she really found it boring and wasn't sure why her mum had booked it. I said she didn't have to go as I couldn't justify spending the fuel and time for us to all be there for something she didn't enjoy but granddad did say she should keep some of her own money aside to pay her mum back for the wasted booking. I felt bad that I had no contact numbers to let anyone know she wasn't coming.

R's mood noticeably lifted and enthusiastically joined me for gardening. We were planting my souvenir plant and trimming back the grapevines but rain stopped play after a short while. When the short shower passed R was out again gathering blooms and foliage and creating lovely flower arrangements. 

Add to that the lunch and dinner and tv and minecraft and YouTube collections of cute animals to music and lots and lots of chat :-)

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Theatre: You Can Always Hand Them Back....

Home from my holiday in plenty of time to go to the theatre (as booked and paid for) with friends Trish and Pat.....and we got to ride in Trish's new car :-)

With music from Peter Skellern (You’re a Lady, Stop The Week), You Can Always Hand Them Back is a heart-warming, funny and charming celebration of the heroes of any family – the grandparents.
Kath and Maurice are settling into comfortable retirement. If only Maurice can defeat the remote control, nothing stands between him and wall-to-wall golf. For Kath there’s just one fly in the ointment – she wishes they heard more from the kids. Well that’s all about to change with the arrival of four nappy-wearing terrors, suddenly people can’t get enough of grandma and grandpa!
You thought the days of burping, bathing and babysitting were over, but it’s all come round again and this time the Bank of Grandma and Grandpa is well and truly open too!
Join us as Maurice dances the Twice-A-Night Tinkle Tango, Kath negotiates who is coming Home For Christmas and then it’s bath time – Don’t Let The Little B*****d Get Away!
Grandparents – this is your chance to show the kids what it’s really like, through the ups and downs. Parents – take a look at what they’ve been going through! Kids… kids? Which remote control works the TV?

No grandparent will want to miss it, and no would-be grandparent should.

Not really sure what to say about this....there was a guy playing the piano and bursting into song every now and then, there were just two actors (the grandparents) who burst into song a lot and sometimes did daft dance steps at the same time. The rest of the family were coming and going but all imaginary to us.The concept was quite a good representation of life, the script was a bit amusing and sometimes a bit depressing, their voices were quite good as was the acting but overall I found it quite nauseating.

Pit Stop holiday....

June 6th to 13th, and Pit Stop was the name of our self-catering house for the week. We shared this holiday with our lovely friendsN&T who we have known for about 37ish years and holidayed with them before, although the last time was a Eurocamp in France when our children were all little, so definitely about time we did it again!

The website said...
Less than 10 minutes stroll to the unspoilt shingle and sandy beach, shops, restaurants, wine bar and caf├ęs, this delightful terraced property with Art Deco inspirations forms part of the renovated Grade II listed 1930’s petrol station, making this a tastefully styled holiday home. East Preston is a charming, friendly village and an ideal touring base. The South Downs are nearby and within easy reach are NT homes, the cathedral city of Chichester, Goodwood Races, Arundel Castle and Brighton. Shop, pub and restaurant ¼ mile.

...and it's not wrong.

The owners had thought of everything we could possibly need so a lovely relaxed holiday for us.

None of us had been to much of Sussex before so we had fun exploring and the weather was perfect, really sunny and very warm most of the time with just a couple of showers.

We were lucky to get there for the last weekend of their festival, looked like bunting had been put up everywhere just for us :-) We made sure we had a good position (outside the pub) to watch the carnival procession while having lunch. Then onto the funfair.

The local beach was just a short walk away, mostly stones but when we went for a long walk we found lots of pretty shells, oodles of cuttlefish and crab shells and N found a couple of good hag stones to make into pendants.

We ate locally too lots of the time as the pubs and cafes were really good, even used the Chinese and chip shop takeaways. One of the cafes by day turns to an Italian restaurant for a couple of evenings which of course we had to try and it was lovely. The local pub quiz night got our "Pit Stoppers" team too (we didn't win, nor did we disgrace ourselves either).

Plenty to do during each day, although we were not rushing around, we fitted in a trip into Littlehampton, lunch at the Lifeboat restaurant on the river Arun,

A quick look round the local china and antique fair (overpriced tat), a lovely train ride on the Bluebell Steam Railway from Sheffield Park Station to East Grinstead Station and we discovered that Princess Anne was going to be there to unveil a statue of a leading plastic surgeon so of course we had to be in the right place at the right time.


After our brush with royalty we just had to treat ourselves to a cream tea in the Bluebell Railway carriage cafe (well us girls did). We had a whole day at Arundel Castle and gardens, it's so interesting made more so by N buying the childrens activity guide which definitely made us look more carefully on our way round.

Another day was a trip to a butterfly/birds/small animals farm where N bought two Lantana plants that butterflies love and gave one to me so we both have a holiday souvenir (hope I don't kill it).

And for the times we were at the house not relaxing outside with tea and not quite ready for bed we played games, scrabble had been packed specially but there were also lots of games already there and we also managed a game of Kubb on the lawn out front getting lots of funny (interested) looks from the passers by :-)

Then all too soon it was time to come home. Lets hope it's not another 30 years before we do it again!