Friday, July 31, 2009

Here comes the weekend..

Its been a long week, what with work and school holidays its seems to have gone on forever. Carl has been at scout camp and Tom has been getting over his chest infection, with me working poor Beth has been a bit abandoned. She has filled her time well, she has systematically cleared out her bedroom, several bags of rubbish plus a few bits for eBay and the charity shop. She has worked miracles. She still has a little bit to do, but it looks a hundred times better already. She has plans for the rest and I really feel she may well achieve them this time!!
Tom has started the thank less task of stripping off the cladding and chipping off the tiles from the bathroom walls. Another soul destroying job which seems never ending. We have been gradually taking the rubbish to the dump. That in itself is a mission as you now have to separate everything out into its different bits,there is a place for unpainted wood, painted wood, metal, paper, cardboard, green stuff, glass plastic. So we were opening bags and having to sort on the hoof, I'll know for next time!!
This evening we decided to go to Ikea, primarily to look for bits to put in the bathroom, its a trip up to North London against the rush hour traffic and I was quite excited by it all. When we got there we realised that it must have been a few years since we were last there as everything had changed. We had a look around and I was quite disappointed, it was a mess of empty shelves, screwed up things and broken stuff, it felt like a jumble sale. We had a nice meatball dinner, but left spending virtually nothing, which is amazing!! Perhaps I have outgrown Ikea.
Now I am on my third load of washing and the house smells of wood smoke and wet grass, I can't ever see me getting enough time to pack for my holiday!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

One for Sue.

This post is for my friend Sue, who reads my blog and tell me things about myself I have long forgotten. Last night we went out for a meal, something we do regularly. The strange thing is that 4 of us meet up and its usually spaced so that its someones birthday, so its usually a case of making sure you have presents for the right person. Last night was not any ones birthday so it felt odd arriving with nothing .
Anyway we went to The East, Chinese food, it was very nice and although I hadn't eaten since lunch time it was filling and we didn't manage to finish it all, I still feel stuffed this morning.
There is so much going on in my life at the moment that I don't seem to have time to sort anything out. Our holiday is looming (in a nice way) but I don't seem to have thought about any of the things I need to do for that. The dog needs her second injection a couple of says before we go. I need to shop, check all the documents,(which I know are OK, but you have to check)
Tom is going to start 'decladding' the bathroom today and then remove the tiles beneath, just a bit at a time. I can't wait to see my new bathroom - should that now be shower room as there won't be a bath in sight!!!
Have a good day.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Beautiful Garden, Wonderful Gardener!!

This year has not been the easiest for us, there have been lots of issues, which have led to cancelation of plans, hospital stays, change of residence with operations on the horizon, it doesn't seem to get any easier. Throughout all of this you can't really put life on hold, you have to carry on and do the things that you enjoy, life isn't a rehearsal for something bigger!!
Dad loves his garden and every year he makes us and the neighbours hanging baskets. They are stunning. Occasionally we get strange additions in them, like the year we all had cannabis plants!! (from bird seed so he tells us!!!) There has been the odd tomato plant snuck in as well. So you just never know what you might get.
Today I took some shots in the garden and I was spoilt for choice.

I love this plant, I think its called an Agapanthus, its a delicate shade of blue, lavender and just looks so elegant. When he divides it in the autumn, I have put my hand up for a cutting!

The smell of tomatoes in the green house is a smell that takes me straight back to my childhood, to a time when I used to go into my grandads green house and pick all the tiny ripe tomatoes, heavenly!!

Fuchsias are so beautiful, dad looks after his and cares for them over winter, they are bought back into to bud in the spring and he grows loads of plants from their cuttings.

They always look like ballerinas to me!

This is a shot looking through the rose arch, down the rest of the small but packed garden.

Last year he saw this plant in a garden centre, saw a seed pod, which he picked up and dried in the green house. He planted the seed and now has around a dozen Chili plants, They are just starting to change colour, they will eventually turn bright red, and be very hot!!!
It takes time to make a garden like this and although I am envious of it, I simply don't have the time to devote to all the work that it needs to make it look so good, for the time being I'll stick to my sunflowers and dahlias, big and stunning plants, with very little effort !!!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

lazy like a Sunday morning.

This picture makes me smile, I was highlighting Beth's hair, she looks happy here, but minutes before she has been tearful, the cap was tight and having to hook through her long wavy hair with a crochet hook was not too comfortable. She was very good and I did try really hard to be as gentle as possible. It turned out fine in the end, although we were both a bit horrified when we initially took the cap off and she looked like a tiger with very pronounced stripes!!! Once it dried it became more subtle.
Before Carl went to camp he received a letter from the RLSS (Royal Life Saving Society) inviting us all to a national presentation at the London Guildhall. Carl has been awarded a certificate of Thanks and a certificate of Merit in recognition of the work he carries out on behalf of the society. But best of all he was nominated for and has won 'Young Lifesaver of the year' for 2008!!!!
So I must buy a posh frock and get ready for the awards ceremony in October.
Why are weekends so short???

Saturday, July 25, 2009

It Does You Good.

Sometimes its nice to go out for an evening with people who you don't always see a lot of. Last night I went out with some of the mums from Beth's old school. Our children had been in the same class for most of their primary school age, but until last July we had never suggested a mums night out. Not bad considering I had seen most of these people on virtually a daily basis for the previous 7 years. Well an evening was organised, down the local pub and we decided to do it again. We have managed a couple of trips during the year, each time with a mix of people and last night we did the same again. We were lucky as my friends husband dropped us off and collected us, so we could devote our evening to Jacques cider and Vodka and coke!! with it being a local watering hole, there were loads of people that I knew. Its strange with the mix of ages that I was chatting to a girl who was in Laura's class at school.

When I got home the wrong side of several pints of cider, around midnight, Carl asked me to dye his hair for him. Today he is at scout camp (as it seems is half of Hertfordshire) and the leaders decided to hit the dye for a 'joke' so there was I dying and swaying and breathing in peroxide fumes at 1am. It came out ok, quite a brassy shade, but ok. This morning Beth wanted highlights in her hair, so I had to do them as well. They look fine as well. She is now at a birthday party so we have a bit of peace until this evening.

So with a quiet house I am going to catch up on scrapping, continue my battle with myself to talk myself out of wanting to make lamp work beads for a living and look forward to a nice meal of steak and home made chips Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Today I received my holiday tickets, always a reason to rejoice and start to think that the holidays are getting closer and two weeks off is just around the corner, phew!! We have travelled with Canvas Holidays for the past 25 years and every year they send the tickets in a 'nice' document wallet, usually blue and orange in colour with a pen, GB sticker, maps, tickets etc. Some years they have been radical and have changed the colour, one year it was grey, and one year it was an awful clear plastic job which cracked and was plain cheap. Well this year they have moved away from wallets and have sent a whopping big shopping bag 'thingy'. The bag will be fine for the beach but its too big to store tickets safely. I will have to dig out one of my 15 or so previous wallets!! Getting excited now!!!!

While we are on holiday we are having a new bathroom fitted, I am so pleased that its happening while we are away, hopefully it will be beautiful by the time we come home and I won't have to live through it all.

Tonight I have been busy helping Carl prepare for Cub and Scout camp starting on Friday. He has decided to have a jungle theme and re enact 'I'm a Celebrity' . So I have spent time laminating leaf shapes, making score boards, badges, stars etc. I hope the weather stays fine for them they deserve a break!!

I love to read but this week I have started on a set of books by Charlie Owen all about policing in the 70's, its just like Ashes to Ashes and its based on a local town, its one of those books where I have found myself laughing out loud, people must think I'm a head case. I can't wait to read the next two books.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

New baby Card - Di Hickman Blog

I have made this card using the very versatile Crafters Companion CD Roms. These cd's have loads of printable card elements in lots of different colourways, they are simple to use and look very effective! So the gingham paper and the buttons paper is from a cd. the blossom is a stray found on my desk as is the button. I have used Studio G letter stamps and a black zig marker to do the doodles.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Phew Close Shave!!!!

This past week has been interesting, plenty going on as per usual, and plenty of things left to sort out before we go on holiday. The weather has been very mixed some nice sunny bits, but some torrential rain with thunder and lightening thrown in. Its nice after the storm when the air is clear and it saves watering the garden!!
On Friday school finished, amazing where that year has gone. Carl came home from his holiday, arriving here at 7am on Saturday morning. He had a miserable flight with a sore throat and blocked ears, streaming nose. Once he got up I took him to the emergency doctors. (You have to phone up, advise them what it is, they give you an appointment and then you turn up) We went in and sat in the waiting room, the Doc was running 50 minutes late, so we were in there that long just waiting. eventually she came out and called him in gloved up wearing a face mask! Well that put the wind up other people in the waiting room and poor Carl was embarrassed. If he had of been contagious he had been in the room for 50 minutes, a bit late for a face mask at this stage.(I was convinced that he had tonsillitis, he gets its regularly so I had already had a look at his throat and it looked like that) I felt sorry for a mum in there with her two children she must have been mortified thinking she had taken her children into a place where they could catch swine flu.
Anyway it turned out to be tonsillitis so Carl came out and said loudly 'you're all OK its tonsillitis'!!! The Doc said it had got a fair hold and has given him a hefty dose of antibiotics a weeks supply 500mg four times a day, kill or cure !
Anyway hopefully he will be on the road to recovery now.

This week I have been taking more photos in the garden, the sunflowers are coming on leaps and bounds, I swear you can just about see them growing. Last week the biggest ones were just below the height of the fence, this week they are 30Cm's taller than the fence. Some of them are going to stay small and one has even flowered, head pointing into our garden!! The ones that go above the fence always look into the neighbours garden!

We have had some of those strange plants flower again, I must go back and search my blog to find out what they are called. They are really pretty.

Here is another shot of the little cherries on the tree near mum and dads, yesterday I decided to try one, they are tiny and as bitter as can be. I expect if I was dedicated I could pick enough to make jam!! (I am not)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Schools Out For Summer!!!

Today was the last day of the summer term, the last day in year 7 for Beth and year 13 for Carl. Amazing. Year seven was a big step for Beth and here we are at the start of the summer holidays . Everything has shot by at a rate of knots. Before you know it, we'll be buying new uniform for next term.
Carl is coming back from Tenerife tonight, he should land at Gatwick at 4.15am, he thinks that he will be in the house by 6am, I think he will be disappointed!! Its likely he will still be waiting for his luggage at 5am and its a good 90 minutes home from the airport (on a good run) It'll be good to see him back safe!!
I am really wrestling with myself over whether I should do go for it on the bead making front. I am trying to justify spending the required money on the equipment or taking further lessons to learn new skills, thus using up any money that I might be able to use on buying the equipment. Its all so difficult. I really need a fairy Godmother who will take the decision out of my hands!!!
I have managed to do some scrapping and made some cards this week, so I have been productive. I am trying really hard to get off of the computer more as I seem to waste a load of time on here. I would like to get back to swimming, just needs a bit of effort on my part. I am going to have a busy weekend again. Roll on summer holiday!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A bad start to the day ......

Every morning I set my radio alarm clock to wake me at 6.50am, I like to listen to the breakfast show on Hertbeat FM. Anyway today I was eventually woken by this strange static buzz. After around 15 minutes of it I realised it was a noise coming from my radio where Hertbeat used to be. Now I was running 15 minutes late.
I had a fiddle with it, nothing, I could get Chiltern, Heart and Capital, but no Hertbeat, so it wasn't my radio at fault. So already running late I headed for the shower. We got into the car (late) and again no hertbeat, just a static buzz taunting us. I had to listen to capital and put up with all the road news from no where near me.
By the time I got back to work it was silent, no Hertbeat there either. So I checked out the website and there is no mention of it, so I am wondering of WGC has been cut off ? Perhaps they can't afford to continue funding transmission to all the local towns and it was our turn to be switched off. I am now worried that tomorrow will bring more of the same.

I want to wish my friend and neighbour well, she has got a dose of swine flu, I am tempted to go and put red crosses on her doors and windows!!! Get well soon Karen x x

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Card For Di Hickmans Blog

This week I have made a card that covers those awkward times when you want to acknowledge that something has happened to someone but you don't know what to say.
The back ground paper is from Papermill, the yellow is from Paper adventures (ancient now) and the buttons are from gcs international - available in a selection of poundshops!!!! The greeting is from K and Co.
Take a look at the other cards over on Di Hickmans blog!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Very proud Mum (and Dad) Moment!!

This afternoon I went to school prize giving for year 7. I can hardly believe that Beth has been at Nicky B for nearly a full school year where has that time gone??
Anyway we have been to a few of these for Carl's presentations in the past, so we had an idea what is coming. I was keeping my fingers crossed that they didn't play earth song by Michael Jackson, because the whole presentation was beginning to feel a bit emotionally charged. (They didn't, thank goodness)
Beth has had a fantastic form teacher, Mr Keily. This teacher was a pupil at the school, went away to Uni to become a teacher and then returned. (he is very young!!) He has been so enthusiastic and caring and has really inspired his class. Beth has flourished and grown in all sorts of ways, a lot of it attributable to him.
The classes are a competitive lot, with lots of inter form competitions, unfortunately Beth's form came consistently second in every event, losing every time to a different form!
Mr Keily was finding it all a bit emotional as well, as he is staying with year 7 and taking on one of the new classes. He wasn't keen to lose his present class.
Towards the end of the afternoon, the children were awarded sports colours and Beth was thrilled to be awarded the year 7 'Outstanding Contribution to Sports' award.
This left just one thing left on the table, a silver cup, the only cup to be presented. (the rest were certificates) Miss Price started her speech describing how the winner was an all round performer, who had grown in confidence throughout the year, who always gave her best and went the extra mile to help. The winner was outstanding at a recent course at Watford football Club and had been graded as outstanding in all areas of her schooling, the winner of the 'Patricia Jenkins Trophy for 'Outstanding Contribution to School Life'........Bethany!!!!!!
Well we were stunned, Beth was stunned, her form teacher was blinking a lot, How proud were we????
So unprepared was I that I didn't even have my camera with me, I have had to snap a few shots on my iPhone. The cup has stayed at school for the time being as she will be officially presented with it at main school prize giving in September, along with Carl's A level results!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Welcome to the Jamboree!!

Yesterday we went to the school Jamboree. It was a bit miserable on the weather front, over cast and raining on and off, it was still very warm though. There were all the traditional stalls, but because the school has a thriving livestock farm there were a few 'extras' you don't see at a normal school fair!! So we stocked up on beeswax polish and beeswax lip potion made by the resident bees and children. Laura had a go at guess the weight of the chicken, I was not too keen on picking her up, but she was calm and extremely heavy!! There were 'school' produced mutton and sausages on sale and they were taking orders for Christmas Turkeys!

The art teacher was doing 30 minute portraits, so Laura had hers done. We were all impressed with the result. I think that her eyes are particularly good. It wasn't until later when we got back in the car and looked at it again that we realised that while he had been rubbing bits out getting the glasses right, that he had forgotten to sketch in her right eyebrow! So I got my sketching stuff out and put one in.
There were loads of teachers there, the kids paid to throw wet sponges at them. Beth was deadly accurate and managed to get 3 sopping wet sponges directly on target (Her RE teacher!)
She also had a go at the sumo wrestlers with another of the teachers. It was great fun, but his height advantage got the better of Beth. Thinking back to my time at school, I am sure none of my teachers would have got involved like that!

Beth has got up with a sore throat again today, its been around 10 days now and if this is a virus as the Doctor thinks, its hanging around for ages. If it still plays up tomorrow, it'll be back down the doctors.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Been a Long Week

With one thing and another this week has been a bit of an up and downer. There is so much going on that I can't see anything the other side of it at the moment. There seems to be a million things to do before we go on holiday next month. I had promised myself that I would be more organised and take with me more in the way of supplies so that we had the basics for making meals, but I don't seem to have time to go shopping here, so can't see that happening!!

Yesterday Carl flew off to Tenerife, all on his own to meet up with friends already there. We took him to St Albans railway station to start his trip to Gatwick. We were just about to leave the drop off when he cam out and asked us for £20. Seems that they don't accept his kind of debit card and he though he had picked up two twenties when he had in fact picked up a ten and a 5. The fare was £18. So I am still feeling 'done over' for twenty quid!!!! He finally got under way arrived at Gatwick with plenty of time and text me to say that he had checked in and was waiting for the off.

I checked on line and his flight got off 10 minutes late. He text from the plane to say that he was sitting next to a chatty lady and a nervous flyer!! Got another text around midnight to say he was there and getting on the bus. I can't believe that he has gone off all by himself, he is only a baby.

Today is Nicky B's Jamboree, so its bound to pour with rain. None the less we will go and support it and end up spending money to win something that someone else has thrown away!!!

Have a good weekend - Especially you Eunice, who ignored me in Hatfield yesterday too busy talking to Harry to notice me sitting in the car next to you!!!!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Hurrah !! A Card for Di Hickmans Blog.

Its been ages since I made a card for Di's blog. She has recently had a break and prior to that I had a busy month and was unable to join in, so its nice to be back.
This card is again made from odds and ends I had lying around, the paper is by Paper Adventures and the chocolate drops and greeting are by craft work cards. Its a simple card which is masculine in feel.
Pop over to Di Hickmans blog and take a look at the the other cards.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Water Fights.

Today we were lucky enough to have another day of beautiful weather. We had the first Barbie of the season and Beth had Meg over and they had great fun playing with water!

Surprisingly they got quite cold and had to come in for hot showers after around an hour. It was still really hot out there for the rest of us!!

After her shower Beth decided to make it an Hawaiian afternoon, she made drinks of Pineapple and lemonade, complete with a lemon slice, she wore a grass skirt and a flower in her hair!!
I hope this summer goes on and on.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

OMG DON'T install IE 8 !!!!!

Yesterday my PC 'automatically' updated itself from Microsoft's automatic updates site. Up until now I have agreed with all the updates and they have generally updated with little or no obvious change. So without me noticing it downloads and installs IE8.
That is where my problems began, to start with it kept closing down all blogger sites citing a 'terminal error' then when I went to my favourites, they had gone. but the single most annoying thing was that a button I use 500 times a day didn't work anymore. (its the top left called recent pages, saves you having to go back and then back some more through individual pages) It seems Microsoft have decided that recent pages is disposable, that one button alone saves loads of time if you are browsing trying to find something.
There were some other annoying glitches as well, it has interfered with Outlook and if you try and click a link in a page it will not take you there. So all in all a real improvement - NOT!!!!
This morning after trawling the Microsoft support pages it became obvious that I was not the only one having issues, so I have followed their instructions and uninstalled it.
So beware if you are on automatic updates the nightmare that is IE8 could be with you sometime soon!!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Thank You - For Saturday!!!

I can make no excuse for the simplicity of these cards, I needed something quick and easy. Carl announced he needed some thank you cards in 10 minutes flat so I had to get on with it!!! They are simple but they actually look quite effective, the mirror card looks better in 'real life' but they will serve his purposes!

I have used a crafters companion CD to print the papers and the greeting is a Hero Arts stamp.
So here we are at the weekend, I have loads to do, we are going to pop over and see Laura and then try and get Beth a few bits for her summer holiday. I would rather be making beads !!!
Looks like another nice day weather wise.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Tower of London.

Today Beth was on day Three of activities week, a trip to look around the Tower of London and a trip on the river Thames. It was another hum dinger of a day with the temperatures in the 30's again. So off she went armed with loads of drinks and bottle of ice. It seems some of her friends weren't so well prepared so she sold some of her drinks to them!!!!
Last night she decided that she wanted to take a camera with her, I discovered my very first ever digital camera, a Fuji fine pix 1300. The original point and shoot, low resolution and no zoom (Beth text me to ask where the zoom button was!!) It was perfect for a school trip and Beth made the most of it and took 200 shots! (mainly of her friends and the back of strangers heads, she'll learn!)Here are a couple of her better ones, I hope she takes up photography,

These poor guys must have been at melting point.

Beth looks exhausted in this photo.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Steaming hot.

Its official, we are in the grip of a heat wave ten pm and its still showing 22 degrees on my thermometer. This weather is perfectly fine if you have nothing to do. I am lucky that we have air con in my office at work but its just a shame that I have had so many meetings that are not in my office.
Beth has been on activities week, so she has had sports day, a trip to Whipsnade and tomorrow they go to the Tower of London.I have stocked up on cold drinks and I have frozen a couple to keep her cool tomorrow. To help myself to stay cool I have put a nice bottle of Jacques Cider in the fridge purely to help cool me down!!
Time for bed....