Sunday, 31 December 2017

Can positive be negative?..........

Normal life throws all sorts at each of us, hopefully a fair mix of good and bad stuff. For so many of these things we don't have control as to what happens but we often have choices for how we deal with them.

This seems especially true for medical issues and I've always tried to be educated and informed about whatever effects me personally but definitely choose not to worry about what may or may not happen as I feel it is wasting my "enjoyment of life now time" because I'm worrying about something that may happen in the future.

Not sure if I've explained that clearly enough. As some of you may know I was diagnosed with cancer for the second time in August with surgery not happening till mid-November with no other treatment in between. Everyone kept saying how brave I was being for carrying on as normal, I didn't feel brave. I didn't mind talking about it but certainly didn't want it to be the main conversation or people making a fuss when there was nothing happening to make a fuss about. I did hate the thought of surgery and the painful recovery but there was nothing I could do about it, I needed the tumour removed so "grin and bear it" as they say.

Surgery went well, with all medical staff repeatedly telling me that it was a really major procedure and I would be in a lot of pain for a long recovery. I chose to focus on the fact that now retired it didn't matter how long it took, and how very lucky I am to have the best hubby/carer/domestic goddess by my side.

I've really appreciated all the support from family and friends. Being swamped with flowers, cards and gifts, constant messages and feeling so loved. It's very humbling. I'm a very lucky lady indeed.

Six weeks on now and I had the post-op followup at the hospital. The registrar's first words were "you are looking so well" and he was really pleased with the scar and my recovery. Histology report was that it was definitely a cancerous tumour and they confirmed that it was removed in full yaay! I'll be referred back to Ipswich Hospital for ongoing monitoring, so nobody wants to see me till my next CT Scan in six months time.

Obviously I've spread the news to family and friends and the replies back were all on the lines of......amazing can now really have a happy new year.......what a relief.......that's excellent news.......I expect you are both over the moon.......I'm so relieved you must be too......I'm so pleased, you must all feel so's been such a worrying time for you must think ahead without that hanging over you!

In fact one friend wrote "you have borne this so bravely, a real strong woman, I'm very proud of you"! Certainly don't feel brave as there was no other way for me to deal with this. Thankfully Hubby and our children act the same, or at least they do around me.

So now I'm actually feeling a little cheated. To feel great relief implies I've felt great worry, which I haven't. I didn't allow it to be hanging over me when we holidayed in Spain in September and Crete in October. It was good going into hospital relaxed and tanned, just a shame the surgeons got to see the white bits hahaha.

Actually I'm not even sure why I've felt the need to write this down at all. Yes I'm really pleased the uninvited guest is gone and we can all get back to normal (whatever normal is) and maybe it's just the end of another year that's made me publicly acknowledge how lucky I am.

Wishing good health and happiness to you all for the year ahead.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Theatre: The Elves and the Shoemaker......

The Red Rose Chain Theatre Company
Our Christmas Show!
adapted by Joanna Carrick
This Christmas get ready to slip on your fanciest footwear, tighten your laces and hop on over to see The Elves!
It’s the 1st of December. The countdown to Christmas is on in Elvedon, everyone’s scrambling to find the perfect gift, and all the shops are heaving…well almost all of them. Lovelace’s Boots & Shoes hasn’t seen much action lately…but Elvira is hopeful…there’s still a few weeks left, right? Everyone needs shoes…and they’re the only shoe shop in town.
Elvira has bucket-loads of talent, her shoe designs are legendary, just ask her best buddy Frank. It’s just a shame her boyfriend Englebert doesn’t appreciate her, er, we mean her shoes…But he’s a catch, everyone says so! And then there’s Elvira’s father – Norbert – who has owned the shop all his life, and knows exactly what people want…better than the customers know themselves! Who wants fancy green Wheezies when you could have sensible grey boots?
Elvira is determined to change their fate, and dreams of the perfect Christmas…and making an honest man out of Englebert, but it’s going to take some serious help from two very special visitors to turn things around! Together, can Elvira, Frank and the Elves work their magic to save the shop, overcome the odds and make all of Elvira’s wedding dreams come true…All before Christmas Day?
You’ve heard the story of The Elves & The Shoemaker, now prepare to be wowed as we sprinkle lots of Red Rose Chain magic all over this timeless Brothers Grimm tale. Expect a feel-good love story full of shoes, shenanigans and something for everyone!


Clever and funny and fast paced with lots of audience interaction that kept everyone entertained, especially the front rows of children that loved getting chosen to help.

Hard to believe there were only three actors. Elvira was the lead character all the way through, however the two men covered eleven characters between them sometimes achieving leaving the stage one way and appearing somewhere else within seconds including a costume change!

I went with Daughter and O, meeting other friends there. O loved it. Meanwhile R was working front of house some of the time and backstage during the performance, in fact she is so permanently part of the theatre volunteer staff that it was the first time I'd seen her in more than a month. Theatre is very much part of who she is now.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Scarred for life.......

Thankfully I'm here to write "scarred for life", it could so easily have been different!

Although I've never really been content with my shape (perhaps one day I'll grow to 7ft 10in and be the ideal weight) I do try to see the permanent marks as signs of my body blog I guess.

You'll be relieved to know there's no photos hahaha.

I'm not sure if I was pre-school age or infants but remember being quite small when out with my sisters I ran straight into a lamppost, they all laughed as apparently I just sat back stunned like a clown while blood poured down my face. It was nothing serious but I do still have a small scar on my forehead. I must have chipped the bone because in later years I grew a bit of a lump which I was told was bone that had been over enthusiastic when repairing itself. It's high and on the side so always covered by my fringe. Now had it been in the middle I'd have shown it off, unicorns are magical right?

There's a scar across my right knee, barely visible now really.  When I was still in junior school we were playing the game where one person turns round and round while we all run to catch their hand and the next runner latched onto number two, next to three etc, well I was never a fast runner so often joined the line when it was already long so having to run very fast or be dragged round. This day I slipped and was dragged and ended up with lots of gravel in my knee and remember the sight of a doctor with long forceps poking around to get the bits out. Ouch!

No outside scar from having my tonsils and adenoids removed when I was 10, but just before that hospital stay and in that same year my appendix burst and an urgent removal caused a scar but saved me from being poisoned to death.

Our two beautiful babies were both born by Caesarean Section when I was 26 and 28. One scar over the other that will actually twinge even now if my children are hurting in any way!

On the back of my left hand I've a couple of hot glue gun scars when going back to work part time at a factory to fit in with school hours. I was early 30s.

I seem to easily develop lumps after nasty insect bites have gone, they are scar tissue. There are three on my legs that I can mostly ignore, however there was a large lump on the back of my left upper arm which always looked red and angry so it was removed by my GP in the surgery and (as warned) it has left a reasonable size scar but it's also stopped me worrying about it. Very rarely I don't seem to have kept my own record of this so can't tell you how old I was.

Around my 60th birthday a very large tumour was discovered having taken up residence in my right kidney. Thankfully it was completely contained and removal of the tumour wrapped in my kidney was enough to cure me of cancer. A major op done by keyhole surgery so I'm left with three puncture and one small incision scars.

Now at 64 I've just removed the dressing a week after yet another major surgical procedure, this time to remove a small tumour from my lonely left kidney. The surgeon couldn't do this keyhole as open surgery meant they could be quicker and more accurately remove the whole tumour while leaving me with as much live kidney as possible. So another five inch scar. Hopefully I'll feel fully recovered soon.

So yes I'm proud to be able to write about them all, because the alternative could have given you very little to read about.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Theatre: Wait Until Dark.....

The Original Theatre Company in association with Eastbourne Theatres present

     From the hand of Frederick Knott, author of Dial M Murder, and the producers behind Night Must Fall and Birdsong, comes a major revival of the classic, edge of your seat, thriller Wait Until Dark.
     Set amidst the social turbulence of 60’s London the play follows the story of Suzy, a blind woman who left alone in her apartment becomes embroiled with a group of conmen hatching an elaborate scam. As the tension notches up, Suzy is left to fend for herself but with the phone line cut dead and the house plunged into darkness, can Suzy outwit the murderous visitors?
     Wait Until Dark, made into a film starring Audrey Hepburn in 1967, is often ranked as one of the top 100 scariest films of all time and this exciting new production reclaims it for the stage.


Not sure how I should review this. 

It wasn't awful like my theatre companions vehemently complained but it wasn't good either. It's a classic thriller but done badly. Even in the theatre advert above it says "phone line cut dead" which it wasn't so misleading. It also says the film was "often ranked as one of the top 100 scariest" however what should have been the scariest bits were done so badly they were almost laugh-out-loud worthy.

The set had a long strip of neon light around the living room ceiling which kept coming on for no apparent reason. I can only assume it was meant to be so bright that it would temporarily dazzle the audience so the lights-out sequences would seem even darker.....but that didn't really work either! 

But just to balance this out I have to say...
Karina Jones played the blind Suzy and is actually the first blind actress to play a blind lead character, and she was very good.
Shannon Rewcroft also played her stroppy young girl Gloria really well. 

So not one I'd necessarily recommend.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Theatre: Oxy and the Morons.....

A Brand New Punk Musical
By Paul Sirett, Mike Peters & Steve Allan Jones 

When a routine check-up leads to a startling diagnosis, Andy decides it’s time to put the band back together, to crank up the amps, and party like its 1978! Why not re-form the legendary Oxy & the Morons, who burned fiercely before exploding in a riot of rivalry, jealousy and bitter betrayal? Andy’s mission involves twisting arms, healing wounds and putting his family and friendships back together. But can that punk spirit of DIY defiance be rekindled over thirty years later? Can you still pogo when your knees go? Will they play their trademark punk take of It’s Not Unusual as an encore?

This brand new musical is fast, furious and very funny. Written by Paul Sirett (Reasons to be Cheerful, Mods and Rox), Mike Peters (The Alarm) and Steve Allan Jones, with a machine gun playlist of original songs, this affectionate look back at the days of teen spirit suggest we could all do with some of that garage band power right now.


I didn't mind a little bit of punk back-in-the-day but was very unsure how I would manage a whole punk musical. Wow it was amazing! The first half told the current story by the band members 30+ years on and how they had moved on in good and bad ways, punctuated by flashbacks to the young band belting out the lyrics. In the second half the oldies perform their comeback gig punctuated by flashbacks to the young band members and what happened with their relationships with each other good and bad. 
Thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Friday, 20 October 2017

Have they been there all along?.......

We've lived in this house 34 years and over time we have changed the garden around a bit in some places and a lot in other places and even had a gardener for some of those years. Even though I don't actually do a lot of the gardening I do mostly know what's in the garden and where.

At one far end of the garden where my view of it is restricted by a shed there are bushes against the fence. One of the very spiky bushes had had some sparse little fruit that looked knarled and spotty and I'd assumed they were inedible and mostly forgot they were even there.

This year I happened to be near them with Daughter and we both took a closer look and a good sniff, they smelt lovely, and cutting one in half for Internet identification we were convinced they were quince.

I forgot to take a photo of the few I picked (carefully) off the spiky bush and didn't bother with those that had already fallen under the bush. Below is an Internet photo and mine were all like the little yellow ones and not as many.

First I just placed them in a bowl on the table and they made the dining room smell really nice.

Of course I then Googled for recipes and had a go at quince jelly.

It was really easy to make, didn't take too long, and is delicious even though I tweeked the recipe so I'd get a reasonable quantity from so few fruit and reduced the sugar a lot because I don't like really sweet jam.

Maybe the bush hadn't been there all along, maybe a bird dropped seeds and it grew or maybe I'm just daft enough to have not noticed them in 34 years!

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Crete holiday with family.....

I haven't blogged for ages so went into this to maybe start a new post and to have a little browse at what had gone recently.......when I noticed it, in draft, an unfinished unpublished post, not an unimportant waffle but a lovely holiday memory.

I'm now assuming it was my impending surgery and all that related to that before it that was the priority and distraction from this.

Now more than three months later I can't do it justice with details, nor can I have no record at all of a really lovely holiday for Hubby and me with sisterS and bilK. So as a compromise here are the notes I'd left for myself, added to a bit, followed by some of the photos.


Thursday 5th October
Dinner out and sleep over here with sisterS and bilK so we get a very early start to the airport in one car to save car park costs. 

Friday 6th
4am start and Hubby is doing all the driving from now till we are home again. Uneventful travel thankfully.

At Gatwick airport we had a Lebanese breakfast because all the main eating places were really crowded and this one was the furthest away and had plenty of vacant seating. We only ordered normal breakfast stuff but it was nicely cooked and very good service so we were more than happy.

Kokkino Chorio was the name of the small village we were staying in. The villa we had rented from a friend of sisterS who also included use of their car. We were told that it's not usually rented out so fully stocked for family use. The owner said to feel free to use anything already there (food, beer, toiletries, etc) but replace them before we leave ready for their next visit.

When we arrived there was no power! We had been warned about Greek electricity supply being a bit irregular and told all about the consumer unit upstairs, unable to get anything to work we had to knock next door where neighbours Margaret and Allen were very helpful.

Made use of their car into the next village Plaka for the supermarket and noticed lots of places there to eat. So back to Plaka in the evening to one of the many taverna's for dinner. We all loved traditional Greek food and it also seems traditional here for the taverna to charge for the bread and oils/dips they bring out first without asking but not to charge at the end when they bring a repeat of your drinks orders and cake or fruit and Raki. I actually don't do well out of this as I don't drink alcohol so only on water and the fruit arrived in Greek yoghurt which I also don't eat but the others made the most of it all.

This is the villa, cloudy when we arrived but that didn't last long. Only two villas within a gated area and sharing the pool.

Beautiful views, so breakfast outside every day. Only got the sunbeds out by the pool once as it was a bit too hot for me to just lie there for long. BilK was the only one to use the pool and he only did that once as the water was freezing.

Saturday 7th
Outside having breakfast that bilK cooked when we heard an enormous crash so Hubby went to investigate and discovered a very large picture had fallen off the wall and glass was all down the marble stair case! Hubby spent ages clearing it all up. Knew it wasn't our fault but still not the best start to the day.

Heading out in the car and unfortunately Hubby caught the back of a delivery lorry which scratched the car badly when it took the door mirror off! The lorry was fine of course and the driver waved us on but we all felt really bad, especially Hubby.

Trying to find a picture to replace the one that smashed, but all these were so expensive.

Another taverna in Plaka - more free stuff

Sunday 8th
Hellenistic and Roman ruins and baths and amphitheatre in Aptera
Mishap of the day was Hubby banging his head on a very low ceiling
Lunch in Aptera where we just wanted a small snack. S&K ordered what looked to be starters off the board and Hubby and I asked for small Greek salad and with the complimentary loaf of bread etc filled the table. We were brought complimentary plate of grapes and asked if we wanted Raki, but even K can't do that stuff lunchtime! We thought it was called Tabepna but discovered that was just another word for Taverna.
Our two men in the front using two different satnav and the driving around these roads is always eventful and taking twice as long  as it should because of missed turns and roads too narrow to drive through. Apparently we were only about seven kilometres from home and it took nearly 25 minutes hahaha.
K is walking ahead to see if we can fit through, we couldn't and had to reverse.

Evening meal back into Plaka

Monday 9th
First thing to do today was send a happy birthday message to our son.
We took a drive into Chania and had a good walk around the market. Hubby had said he wanted a day not driving so we bought provisions for lunch for tomorrow, the cheese stall holder gave us lots to taste before we bought.
Lovely lady at a clothes stall pulled me in to say, only in Greek, she had tops in my size and showed me one after another after another until actually there was one I really did like enough to buy.

We walked back to the car to put our purchases in the boot then off in the opposite direction to find the old town and the old Venetian harbour.

It was beautiful and stopped for lunch looking at the posh boats docked there. According to my phone app we've walked nearly 10km.

Tuesday 10th 
Lazy stay at home day

Wednesday 11th

Thursday 12th

Can't remember much more now unfortunately and couldn't understand why I hadn't done more while we were there, which I would normally do, often writing up the day before while I'm waiting for everyone to get ready in the mornings. But now I remember getting frustrated when I'd typed up loads and the flaky WiFi didn't save it.

As another afterwards note we'd obviously told the owners about the broken car and picture and they were really good about it. No problem about the picture they were just glad we hadn't been hurt by broken glass. They said they would take care of the car when they arrive the day after we leave and let us know the cost as we insisted on paying of course.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Spain Holiday with friends.......

Sunday 24 September started oh so early with the alarm going off at 3:30am. Think I'd had about four hours sleep.
     We were on the road at 4am allowing a bit extra time as the main road to Stansted has had road works over night for months and months....... actually it was all open so we got to the airport early.
     We'd already arranged between us for each couple to go through formalities as we arrived then all meet up in Wetherspoons for breakfast, which was a good idea saving any of us hanging around. Hubby and I weren't the first there as my case was selected for extra security which took another 20mins. We weren't the last either so when six of us were all together we had breakfast.
     After my bacon butty and cuppa we took the long walk to gate 48 and they were already boarding so straight on. Unfortunately the hand luggage quota had been met so four of our bags were put in the hold. Slight delay on the runway then a really easy flight and we were met by the booked taxi at Malaga airport.
     Always so lovely being in bfriendM's apartment and as six close friends we are going to have a great holiday.

The days between were a mixture of relaxed and busy and always quite hot, even the one rainy morning was grey but still hot. We were out every day, either local walking to the beach or supermarket or the fascinating Chinese hardware shop or getting the bus to Fuengorola for the market and a failed attempt to see the castle which was closed, and the market at La Cala.
     Late afternoons were siesta for all but me (makes me feel dreadful sleeping in the day). There was also some use of the pool in the community garden (that was without me too). And there was the afternoon beers and pre-evening drinks (also excluding me,  I'm sounding like a bit of a party pooper!). While they snoozed I read and when they woke it was lots of conversations and laughter. 
     Eating out every evening is delicious as bfriendM's local knowledge takes us to all the best places. On the beach for paella, Argentinean Steakhouse, Mama Nostra's Italian, La Plaza which is a bit classier and this week had a Rod Stewart tribute act who was very good and got us all up dancing.
     The men rounded off most evenings playing pool and made friends with a group from Norway who we saw various times, very friendly and very funny. Meanwhile we sat outside and both girls chatted to Jimmy's and the Asian lady who are regular sellers of bags and novelty items, yes they both bought stuff too. When we made it back to the apartment it was more drink and snacks out on the balcony with bedtime always after 1am, even on the last night when the plan was an early night.....I knew that wasn't going to happen hahaha

Friday 29 September and we are packed up and picked up by the booked taxi at 9am. Very crowded airport was the usual queuing and waiting around and was really busy, but it does the job of getting us from there to here so can't complain. Big goodbyes as we headed off to different car parks, but we'll see each other on our usual Wednesday night out. 

Great fun and great memories, so probably a good point to add photos.......

So now just seven days to unpack and process all the laundry and repack then off to Crete. 

Friday, 15 September 2017

Ipswich Heritage Open Days.....

Spur of the moment decision to join Daughter for a trip round Ipswich on the second day of their Heritage Open Days weekend and we were so lucky weather wise it was perfect for a good meander through town.

I do find it hard to believe that I've lived here for 34 years and been into the town centre more times than I could calculate but there are so many very historic buildings I hadn't even noticed existed. Tut tut!

Tooley's Court
Our first stop was into these alms houses which are still very much lived in as sheltered housing. Lovely greeting at the gate and a really knowledgeable gardener next, then into the building and down to their communal lounge/dining room and a cup of tea. They were all keen to look after us as we were their first visitors. We also met John, a resident, who showed us around a couple of empty bedsits and his own one bed flat.

Reading from the leaflet they gave us it was essential for very wealthy merchants of the 16th century to prepare for their end of life journey by possibly setting up a fund to pay the clergy to pray for their well being after they'd gone, a Chantry (we have housing nearby called Chantry estate which must be connected to that). An alternative way to ensure entry to heaven was to leave a substantial sum as an endowment to some charitable cause. This was Henry Tooley Portman's legacy, in his will be left a proportion of his estate for the erecting of alms houses for the well being of the poor souls within. William Smart was also a successful merchant and his will provided for additional endowments to the property. They were built in 1551 and rebuilt in 1846 in the same style to a much higher standard. More had been added at various times since.  As Daughter said "Amazing that a legacy from 1551 is still funding accommodation for the elderly today", residents pay a relatively small rent which is subsidised by the interest on the original investment! Wish my savings did that well.

3-5 Silent Street
Grade 2 listed late medieval beautiful building which spent many many years as the specialist second hand book shop. Now empty so you can clearly see all the beams and interesting architectural bits.
The ruins of this Dominican Friary were shown to us by a local geologist pointing out, amongst other things, the marine worm borings in the stone showing that it was brought inland from the coast.

Pykenham's Gatehouse

This is recorded as one of the earliest domestic buildings in Ipswich. It has been home to more than 20 generations. It's tiny inside so must have been a struggle for the gatekeeper's wife if they had children too.
Willis Towers Watson

The Ipswich building is one of the group's largest and most established locations for a company that's in more than 120 countries. Opened in 1975 by Harold MacMillan. The outside is totally black glass. The half acre roof top garden, just outside the rooftop staff restaurant, is lawned to provide insulation and has plenty of benches and tables to give a pleasant change from the office space for lunch in the sun.
The lime green and bright yellow is the colour scheme throughout. Guess that was to put you off turning up for work with a hangover hahaha

This building design has won several awards and in 1991 became the first modern design to receive Grade 1 listing, meaning nothing that can be seen from outside can be changed and nothing structural or decorative inside will change either. Looked to me like desks, chairs and cabinets etc have all been updated.

Daughter and I joined the swimming pool tour. I had heard the building had its own pool but was also led to believe it was only a rumour. Well the ground floor was actually built with an indoor pool along side the gym and creche. Seems the 1970s office workers weren't really into daytime exercise and they were infrequently used so following a full survey of staff it was decided the maintenance costs couldn't be justified so the gym and pool were closed. Because the building is listed the pool remains under the ground floor office space so it could be reinstated if it ever needed to. The creche was never used and I'm assuming that must have been because fewer mums would have worked full time back then.

We had lunch in the staff restaurant and a quick walk round the rooftop garden giving us a great view over the town centre and a nosey down into the little town house gardens.

Then it was home as we'd run out of time,  so maybe next year we'll have to try and visit some of the other 31 places in the Heritage list we didn't see this time.
Really enjoyed all we did see and always lovely having mother/daughter time.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Theatre: The Ladykillers.....

Back to theatre season after having the summer off, and a great one to start with!

The New Wolsey Theatre, Salisbury Playhouse and Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch by arrangement with Fiery Angel Limited, London presents

The Classic Ealing Comedy on a new Regional Tour.

When Mrs Wilberforce puts a sign in her newsagent’s window advertising ‘A Room to Let’, she’s delighted when the mysterious Professor Marcus proclaims it perfect for rehearsing his unorthodox string quintet. She soon discovers that she is not making tea for a motley band of musicians, but harbouring a hardened gang of criminals and conmen planning the great Kings Cross Train Robbery!

Graham Linehan (Father Ted, The IT Crowd) has adapted this much-loved film for the stage, mixing madcap comedy and criminal capers to hilarious effect. As his masterplan goes off the rails, and the bodies drop onto them, it begins to dawn on the Professor that, in Mrs Wilberforce and General Gordon, her extraordinary featherless parrot, he may have finally met his match.

From the motion picture screenplay by William Rose by special arrangement with Studiocanal and with Fiery Angel Ltd, London


Have to say it was a brilliant set which impressed us even before we'd taken our seats.
This completely rotated to show the inside with kitchen that had boiler trouble, staircase and doors to rooms and understairs cupboard.  The stage had been made bigger to accommodate it and as lots of the action happened in the upstairs bedroom I found myself with a bit of a stiff neck as we were in the very front row, but that really is my only gripe. 

The actors are all well known professionals, many I recognised from tv (although one I was convinced was someone else but that could have been the angle of my neck hahaha). The script was fast and funny and brilliantly delivered, quite close to how I remember the film. The lovely Ann Penfold created an adorable Mrs Wilberforce. 
All four of us thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Monday, 28 August 2017

All a matter of time......

Time is such a relative thing!

For Daughter and E it was Tudor time and as usual R moved in with us. For the first time O really really didn't want to go back in time as all his techy interests are very much in the here and now, so he moved in with us too. He's only done one or two nights sleepovers before so fingers crossed for 10 days!

I thought I would bring some craft stuff down so I could be near and handy when needed but not bored and idle when O spends lots of time on ipad/laptop/atari/etc. I'm playing with plastic bottles to upcycle into a garden.
After a whole week I'd achieved very little as time is never your own when there are children in the house. 

There were games to play. This one was a super-mega-noughts-and-crosses that O invented.

We managed a trip out to the beach. This summer's national trend is painting rocks/stones to hide and find. So we joined in although limited on time.
These were our finds that we rehid after our icecream/tea break.
These were the ones we painted (I'd taken sharpie pens) during our icecream/tea break and hid these too. When we got home O and I posted these photos on the "Felixstowe Finds" facebook page like everyone else does.
Hilarious at the time, the tide was right in, O took off his trainers and had shorts on so he was fine, R didn't! Unfortunately she mistimed the waves more than once and was soaking wet up to her knees. Clean dry trousers at home but no other shoes! Got back in time to plonk a dinner in front of her while I spent the whole time with kitchen roll and the hairdryer. I didn't succeed so managed to find her a pair of my black boots to wear that night. 

Apart from her brief beach trip one day and a hospital visit the next day (D was taken back into hospital)  R's time was spent in bed, or trying to eat two meals in less than four hours and spending a minimum of seven hours each day in the forest. Saturdays have a matinee too so over ten hours, 12 hours on the day they ended with the wrap party! I did a couple of runs but Hubby was her taxi service most of the time. 

O and I found a new recipe for bubble mix that worked really well in his machine, they were stable enough to rest on the grass for a while before popping. 

O said my pancakes have definitely improved since he gave me cooking tips!

D was discharged from hospital Friday but will still need a bit of time to recover. He went home with his mum, so M was free for a while in the afternoon and O was thrilled to go home for a few hours to show his dad what he'd been making (stop frame animation, remix music, his own recordings mixed too) and to collect a bit more kit. 

The apple tree was more than ready to be relieved of a good crop, then O helped me for a while chopping for the freezer and an apple crumble. This was Saturday and as M had no other commitments from 2pm for the rest of the weekend O decided to go home, so we boxed up crumble mix and stewed apple for them to cook at home. 

O also had to quickly finish programming his game on Atari Logo to show his dad too. He had been an absolute pleasure to have here and good company.

R goes home after dinner today and Daughter and E will be back in 2017 and home tonight too. So love spending time with my wonderful grandchildren, precious time they may be too busy for in the near future. Probably take me some time to get the house back to normal though!