Monday, 29 September 2014

A year and a centenary.....

Hard to believe that my op was a year ago! I've just had another full body CT Scan and I'll get the results when I see the consultant on 7th October. Can't help feeling a bit nervous till then but so pleased that they are still keeping a close eye on me.

Daughter and E are Tudors again for a few days, it's Michaelmas at Kentwell Hall, and the other three children are staying at home with M so hubby is doing the taxi service for R to and from her drama group.

Saturday evening we joined our neighbours at a local quiz night/social evening and we won the quiz yaay! There was a huge buffet, a chap singing most of the evening and a couple of entertainment interludes. All good fun. 

Unfortunately I had stomach pains and very little sleep that night. I hope it wasn't anything on the buffet or others might have suffered too. 

Anyway not wanting to let down bilA we went ahead with our Sunday as planned.  

We drove to Newbury Park and collected bilA at about 11am (ish) then drove right into London as there is no congestion charge at the weekend, and parked at a multi-story right near Tower Hill station which is only £2 for the whole day! And just across the road from the car park is the Tower Of London, the most beautiful, powerful, historic site in the whole of London in my opinion. I grew up and went to school near here and we often chose the Tower as a meeting place for friends (it was mostly free then).

But today we came to see the poppies, displayed in memory of World War 1, one hundred years ago...
Sorry for the poor photos, the sun was right in front of me :o(
There are still lots of volunteers adding to the display which will keep growing until remembrance day on 11th November when they will be sent out to the millions of people that have bought one. 
The weather was really hot, see so many people in t-shirts, and it's nearly the end of September!
Of course we had a 'Costa' stop then a walk around and stopped again outside a tapas bar on St Catherine's Dock where the men had beers and a light lunch and I had a glass of water!
Unfortunately, not feeling my best, I asked if we could cut the day shorter than we hoped it would be, so drove back to bilA's where Hubby had another cuppa then off home.
I did just manage half a cup of tea and one slice of toast then had a really early night and had a late(ish) morning and felt a whole lot better.
In case there is any confusion I had posted this once and two comments had been added then blogger lost it......then I found a half saved draft version!!! I think I've remembered roughly what I put the first time. So with fingers crossed I'll post this again.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Testing the memory.....

Seems ages since I've written, probably because I still can't get blogger to work on my playbook and the phone is just a tad too small to make it I've given in and now on the pc at a desk rather than curled up on the sofa! Hopefully I can remember back to what's been happening!

Hubby has had a lot of on-call nights for the blood running volunteering he does for SERV Suffolk and Cambridge, he's done a few late night call-outs but mostly it's just on standby. He's also had another full training day with them which I think happens yearly.

Hubby has also continued with the "getting our trees into good order" project. If you look carefully you can see two men up very high into our beech tree (top monkey is hubby). This tree is under preservation order so lopping has to be done discretely (*wink*)! 

On the third Thursday of every month my neighbour holds a crafters gathering. This time I took along the baby ugg-style-boots and ball I'm making for my friend's first grandchild due imminently.

That night was also our art night and I'm attempting to paint some tshirts with products I used to sell but are now about 30 years old....amazed they hadn't dried up completely! The painted designs will hopefully cover up the greasy marks that won't wash out, so if the painting works I've upcycled some tshirts if it doesn't I haven't lost anything as they'd have hit the bin anyway. So if you never see a finished photo on here you'll know why ;o)

FriendsA&K made a flying visit as K had an appointment at my local hospital and live an hour's drive away. So I made them lunch which was nothing compared to what they had brought with as my belated birthday present.....a huge sponge cake and two large foil trays, one with Dauphinoise Potato and the other with Jugged Hare. Hubby and I had half that night for dinner and froze the rest for another night. Neither of us had eaten jugged hare before and it was delicious, probably due to the amount of red wine it was cooked in!

Last weekend we took advantage of the surprisingly warm-for-September weather and joined Daughter and children for a walk by the River Orwell. Unfortunately the walk started badly when O knocked himself on the car and hurt his tummy and then ended abruptly when it started raining, but it was lovely to get out even for a short while and the cars were parked at the Suffolk Food Hall so O got a quick bounce on their outside giant inflatable pillow and then all inside to choose nice things to take home for lunch.

(O holding his waistband away from his sore tummy but he soon forgot about it)

On Monday BFriendM and I enjoyed a spa day, we had bought it months ago when it was on special offer but found it really hard to fit in a day we could both do, so this was finally the day. We spent the whole time there in our swimsuits covered by towelling robes and made good use of the pool, sauna, steam room(too hot for me), jacuzzi, aromatherapy room(neither of us could feel the point of this one) and sun loungers, add to that the luxury of a facial each, teas and coffees and a lunch. Felt really spoilt and both agreed we must look out for future offers. Sadly Hubby didn't have the same sort of day as he had a funeral to attend of someone he had known for a long time at bowling.

Tuesday evening BFriendM and I ate out again, this time at the Mexican Chiquito as I had a £10 voucher. Should have been three of us but FriendH couldn't make it. And Wednesday night I ate out with BFriendM yet again with our usual Wednesday gang at our usual table in our usual pub in Felixstowe.

Wednesday afternoon we had O here while the girls went sailing for the first time, he has a cold and he's too young for the sailing so would have to hang around a lot and he was definitely not in the mood. He spent lots of time making drinks for himself and tea for us, I'm only allowed to pour the boiling water and he has to do the rest himself.

Thursday Daughter popped over so that Hubby could fix E's laptop which was misbehaving which he did by just giving it evil looks I think. So E spent the rest of the time on her laptop! When R arrived she was a few pages into a new book that she needs to read for a book club they are about to join. She snuggled down into her Granddad's side and read, we hardly got a word out of her, she read, and left here with just a few pages left to read less than three hours after she'd started! O wanted to do any science in a jar, so Daughter popped out to buy cream (and cakes for afternoon tea) then showed O how to make butter in a jar (she had to do most of the shaking) and I showed him how to make a tornado in a jar. And last night I went to the theatre as previously blogged.

Phew, think that's about it and a busy few days ahead so must get back here more often!

Theatre: Midsummer Songs......

Excellent performance last night that the three of us all enjoyed. Well done Wolsey!

Book and Lyrics by / Peter Rowe
Music by / Ben Goddard

“Wherever we are in 25 years, we'll come back and create the B side”

Twenty-five years ago a group of friends celebrated the end of their university careers with a wild week in a barn half-way up a mountain in West Wales. A week of madness, mayhem and music, recorded on a C90 cassette and buried in a biscuit tin at the top of a hill with a pledge – “Wherever we are in twenty-five years’ time we’ll come back here on Midsummer’s Eve and create the B side”.

And now we see those old friends return, a little rounder, a bit more rueful but with their passion for life, love and music still smouldering inside.

As the biscuit tin gives up its secrets, old passions catch fire, past resentments return and the songs begin to fly. Will this reunion change their lives? Will the album ever be finished? And what on earth can they play that cassette on?

This brand new musical is a celebration of friendship, survival and the power of song, written especially for a company of multi-skilled actor-musicians in the New Wolsey house style; with music like the ballads of Joni Mitchell and the summer feel good fun of Mumford and Sons.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Technology terrors again.....

Just one silly miss click and everything screws up!

I had an amusing little comment to make on someone's blog and typed it in, then clicked on the "send me follow ups to my email" box...then instead of clicking "publish" I mistakenly clicked on the "sign out" button grrrrrr. Annoying but no big deal I thought I'll just sign in again which worked fine for Google, Google+, my calender and my stored photos, documents, etc BUT on my playbook it won't open Blogger anymore! So I'm typing this on my little phone and having to keep scrolling around (so I'm not shut out completely).

I've tried clearing the cache and the cookies and the history, I've rebooted more than once, deleted the bookmark and tried typing in the url, and downloaded the BlackBerry Blogger app, and tried getting there the long way via Google+ having of course to reset all passwords on everything because of clearing the cache and cookies......No luck at all :-)

So I defrosted the freezer

Then made plum and onion chutney

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Burnt sugar is smelly.....

O came over to use my bath and asked to stay while Daughter did some taxi-ing. He also asked to pop corn and cover it in toffee. I had the toffee recipe I used to make for toffee apples so I know it works but I halved the quantities and O wouldn't let me put vinegar in and I think I was nervous of boiling sugar with a five year old.....and it caught on the bottom of the pan just a little. We poured it over the popcorn anyway, I ate some, Daughter ate some, we bagged some for him to take home for his sisters, but O was not impressed. That was yesterday afternoon and 24 hours later the house still smells of burnt sugar :-(  I didn't bother taking a photo. 

On a more successful note, I've been gardening. Needing gloves over gloves I've cleared away a very spikey berberis and just as spikey rose bush suckers. I've also bought new and planted a dozen plants adding a bit of late summer colour, all inspired by our trip to Bressingham.

There's also been quite a bit of procrastination, especially when watching this beautiful spider work so hard creating this huge web for the second time.

Add to the successful list lots of ironing, bread making, having relatives over, meeting up with old friends, playing lots of scrabble online, and completing some crafts which I can't post a photo of or describe in case a certain person reads this before they receive it.

So now I think I'd better go look for another toffee/caramel recipe, maybe a foolproof one :-)

Friday, 5 September 2014

Bressingham "All by myself".....

Hubby and I went with Daughter and O to Bressingham Steam Museum as part of a group booking with a Home Ed group. The girls are with their dad this week so O took full advantage of controlling the day his way.

Now old enough to ride the Carousel by himself he immediately used the first of the two rides his entrance tickets gives him and he wanted to be in this dragon seat all by himself. We then had a little meltdown when a mum and small child sat in with him so Daughter helped him move to the other identical seat, so he was then cross that he'd had help and not done it all by himself.....but after a few rounds of us smiling and waving each time he passed made him cheer up.

Then onto the train and again he was insisting on sitting alone, however the driver said he wouldn't start the train unless O had an adult with him (kept saying she and her tho).
So more tears and Daughter had to physically hold him in while we were moving and talk him round so we survived, but O insisted he wasn't going on that horrid train again. We all thought it would be a real struggle of a day!

O insisted on going up into the signal box alone and we were told where to stand until we were called. Of course he can't read so just watched the short video then called us in. Just as I climbed the stairs towards him I quietly said "You know we can't spend all day just waiting for you to call us, we are getting really bored" he said "OK" and then let Granddad show him how the signals work.

Then O used his second carousel ride. During the day he also used the two rides on each of our tickets :-)

We had a good wander round the lovely gardens and stopped for a picnic lunch, with Daughter and O on the blanket on the grass and us oldies on a bench. Then more investigation of the rest of the gardens.

O loved finding the hydrangea that had blooms as big as his head.

So many great photos to take that O pinched his mum's camera for quite a while too.

Even asking me to take a photo of him taking a photo of me :-)

We ended the day at the cafe (of course) with the rest of the group, us drinking tea while O was on the carousel,  and as one friend was leaving she asked if anyone wanted her tickets as the carousel rides hadn't been used, O jumped up immediately and accepted them with a thank you and a big grin....he rode 10 times in all, so we left with a happy boy.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Just a quick trim......

Gardens need constant attention, and this time of year Hubby's attention turns to getting our trees back to manageable sizes.

The cherry and the plum now look neat and tidy.

The one on the right is an ornamental flowering cherry and I'm assured it will come back after such drastic pruning! The beech on the left is yet to feel the chainsaw and a little more subtlety is needed as that's under a tree preservation order.