Thursday, May 31, 2012

We're off!!!

We are finally about to leave for our holiday cruise to the Fjords I have been looking forward to this holiday for a while and can't wait to get underway!!! We seem to be super organised, I think it helps not having to worry about the weight limits associated with flying, so you can pack all you need. I think  we have packed what we want and a whole lot more!!!
In preparation Emma and Dan bought over a wet suit for Beth to borrow, the pool on board is not heated at least this way she will be able to go swimming without getting frostbite!!!

The funny thing was that the two of them turned up wearing their wet suits!! It was a very hot evening and they wet melting, I wonder what people would have thought if they had been stopped on the way home!!!

This holiday was booked last year and we are off with Madeline and John. Rod booked a little while after us and managed to keep it a secret from Tina right up until last week!!! We are all just a little excited now. 
So Pringles packed, lemonade packed, passports at the ready, see you all next week !!!

Monday, May 28, 2012


I have finally got around to making things with my beads. Hurrah!!!
I felt inspired by my white spotty beads and made a necklace and a pair of ear rings.
I had trouble photographing them because no where seemed to show them as they are in real life.

In the end I took photos on a mirror, this seemed to be a good idea at the time, but it confused my camera and it refused to focus!! Looking at the top photo the reflections are blurred so I can see how my camera got confused!!

I am very pleased with how it has turned out, so pleased that I have made two more sets tonight using some of my less perfect beads. They don't look too bad if they are mixed in with some sparkly beads!!! 
I am going to attempt to photograph them tomorrow night, watch this space....

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Feeling Hot Hot Hot!!!!!

At last we seem to have some summery weather, It is currently 27 degrees in my back garden and the sky is bright blue. There is a blackbird singing its soul out perched on a nearby tree. Today we have popped over to Madelines to drop off  her Birthday Present and we came back via Matalan and Argos in St Albans (we know how to live!!) I have also packed my clothes for holiday, cleaned out my wardrobe and made a list of things left to pack. Add to that three loads of washing and you can see just what a jet set life I lead. 

Earlier in the week Beth had her friend Chelsea over and although they are both 'mature' teenagers, the lure of freezing cold water and a paddling pool is hard to resist. This time we have the use of a deep birthing pool, so its even better for bigger children.....

This pool also has an inflatable lid, so hours of fun !! It wasn't until we had filled it up that my neighbour reminded me of the hose pipe ban!!!! I never gave it a second though! So now we have coiled the hose back up and hidden it in case the water board fly over and spot it!! Oh the guilt of it all. :0(

Carl is feeling better and is back at work earning some extra for his road trip to USA. I expect the pool will be unbearable hot and sweaty today. Glad I am not there!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hurrah, we have water!!!

At last we have water, hot and in the right place!! Its been a long week without a shower and I am pleased its back and working. We had a false start, the gas fitter went yesterday but when we put the shower on it was red hot (good) but pulsating that meant there was an airlock so it couldn't be used. It was finally fixed this morning. We have all showered in a variety of places this week!!!
On Thursday night Carl went out with his mates for a leaving drink, the last thing I said to him jokingly was 'don't get into any fights' Well he took that advice BUT I still got a call from him in the early hours to say 'don't worry but I'm in the Lister, I had a fall and cut my eye' So I set off wishing that I had filled up the car the night before. When I got there the waiting room was empty, something I had never seen before!! Even the receptionist was missing. So I text Carl and Grant opened the door to the treatment room. There was my poor baby having his face looked at. It seems they had been walking home messing around when Carl jumped on Grants back and they both hit the floor. Carl hit his face and cut under his eye. They were cleaning that in preparation to glue it back together, he looked sorry for himself, but he was being brave, it was quite swollen and must have hurt a fair bit. Finally he was sorted out out and we headed for home. They had been up all night and were tired, I was just recovering from the shock of getting the call. It could have been so much worse,

So what is it with hospitals??? I have thought for a long time that real time doesn't exist once you walk into 
A and E. If the place is heaving or if the place is empty there seems to be an unwritten rule that says 'everyone must wait for the longest possible time so that they can fully appreciate the ambiance of the department'. I know that they do a brilliant job but why does everything take so long?? You are booked in, seen by the triage nurse, seen by a Doctor who orders an Xray. Wait two hours for Xray and result. Doctor confirms nothing broken, but stitches are required, wait another two hours while someone manufactures the things required for the procedure. Eventually start to fix the wound and discharge the patient. Its time gone mad!!!!

Mean while we are having a glorious spell of sunny weather, its perfect, bright sunshine and a lovely breeze, it reminds me of summer beach weather. I am looking forward to my cruise next week soooooo much!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Indoor Water Feature....

Yesterday Beth said, 'I can hear dripping' so we stopped and listened and sure enough we could hear dripping, we were in the living room and there really shouldn't be the sound of dripping in there!!! So we looked around and finally tracked it down to the central heating system. More precisely the water heating part of it. There was a huge puddle in the bottom of the system and water was starting to run out onto the kitchen floor. So we called the man who services it and he came out and said we needed a new part. He switched off the gas but we still had a tank of hot water so he said he would leave the water on so we could use it . So last night we set up a bit of a Heath Robinson device to drain the water away, involving corrugated plastic and a bread bin!!!!
This morning the bin was full, I had a shower with the last of the hot water and now we are waiting for the bloke to come back and switch it off until the new part arrives.  More expense!!! 

I had a very productive weekend, finished scrapping all my photos of the bulb fields and I had a successful burn up with my beads. I made a set of beads and I am happy with how I am getting better, I can see me making something with them !!

I made a set of white beads with green blue and purple spots, nine in total I am pleased with the colour, shape and the speed with which I was able to make them. Its made such a difference having a graphite bead roller, it helps me keep everything roughly the same size!!! That has made me think that perhaps I could investigate some other shapes, I get on better with the roller than with the brass presses. 

Over the weekend we had a birthday party, the Twins were 28!! I can't believe they are that old, it makes me feel very old when I think back to looking after them as little tiny babies. Where does the time go????

Lots to look forward to, the removal of the internal water feature and our cruise. I can't wait until we are aboard the Opera heading for the Norwegian Fjords. We went last year and it was brilliant, this year we will be with our friends Madeline and John so it will be twice as good!! 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Beads!!

I was able to get some time at my torch over the weekend, I was fresh from my tuition at Mango beads in Devon and raring to go. I had some lessons on controlling the heat and placing dots. Its a bit like patting your head and rubbing your tummy. Not too hot, not too big !! I think I have found that spot that allows me to make use of my new found skills. I am still drawn to bright colours so I love these orange and white spotty ones, I might just stick with making spotty ones for ever!!!

I have tried to practice dot layering. If you put on a dot melt it in, then put another on top the first dot spreads. Glass doesn't really mix together so there should be clear lines between the colours. The bead on the left (above) is quite reasonable and you can see the yellow dot has been turned into a heart. The next bead was fine until I used ivory in the middle, that tends to spread too much and the spots are not defined. The third bead has the base colour bleeding over the top of the heart. Last bead is better but the colour is not very inspiring.

The lot above are the ones that I made at the weekend. The one on the far right is a demo bead made by Manda at Mango beads, its what I aspire to make!!!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A few Days Away

I have just come back from a few days in Devon on a Welfare Conference. We drove down on Wednesday  in the driving rain. I took Tom's car as the fuel consumption is much better. In the end the whole round trip was 570 miles.We stayed at Croyde bay holiday village. It was a great mix of vintage holiday chalets and brand spanking new hotel. I ended up in a modern chalet which was nice and comfortable. I loved the look of these old fashioned fifties chalets. Inside they had some photographs from the original holiday camp and you could see the chalets above in their original glory.

The premises backed onto the beach at Croyde bay, it was an easy five minute walk over the dunes to the beach. The down side was the weather, so I ended up just taking the one quick walk to take a look and calling it a day!!

The beach is quite spectacular, the water goes out a long way and comes in a long way quickly!!
We had been there quite a few years ago when I was expecting Beth once I got back in the area it all came flooding back to me. In the summer its just about impossible to drive down there as the congestion is so bad, we didn't have that to contend with this time. 
The conference kept us very busy with workshops and presentations. Each day started after breakfast at 9.30 and went on until 6 - 6.30pm. All meals were included and the catering was very good with a huge variety of food. Last night finished with a Gala dinner. It was nice to be able meet people from other areas and exchange ideas. We headed back today and were lucky not to hit any hold ups on the roads. Its still a long journey and took us over four hours to get back.

Take a look here

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Its nice to have something to look forward to!!!

Every year before Christmas I go away with my friends, I call them 'the girls' but as I am the youngest we are not very 'girl' in age!!! Over the past few years we have been to New York, Ypres, Dunkirk and Amsterdam.When the kids were little we stayed closer to home at Centre Parcs.

Last year we had a great time in Amsterdam so this year we thought we would try and experience a real German Christmas market. After a bit of research we decided that the best bet would be to book a place that we could fly to from Luton. So I have booked us a long weekend in Hamburg!!

Hamburg looks great there are loads of markets open until 9 and 10pm!! Its in the north of the country which increases the chance of it snowing and making it even more Christmassy!! Its fairly close to the airport so its perfect. Take a look HERE for the low down. I nearly made a terrible mistake last night when booking it, I checked out the flights to Hamburg and then found a lovely hotel in Frankfurt!!! I knew it was a food related name, just got the wrong one, thank goodness I checked it on the map before pushing the button it could have been a disaster!!

Mean while we are looking forward to our cruise later this month, this year will be even better as we are going with friends. I can't wait to go back to Amsterdam which is the first stop on the journey. They have a great shops, one called Blokker and another called Xenos, I now know exactly where they are, so I will be able to go straight there and check out their bargains!!!

Friday, May 04, 2012

Happy Bank Holidays!!!

I have decided that I love three day weekends!! This weekend is one of those Whoopee. Sadly I think the weather forecast is going to ruin any plans for outdoor activities. They are forecasting freezing temperatures overnight and torrential rain during the day, perfect holiday weather. 

I think I will catch up with some of my scrap booking (I have all the pretty tulip photos to do) I also will take some time to make some jewellery. I have plenty of beads, just no inclination to turn them into anything. In fact I have three kilner jars full of mixed beads, I just need to get my finger out!!!

Tom has taken Beth out to the cinema, they were both going stir crazy. Tom has had a really heavy cold and cough, just as he was getting over that Beth came down with the same so she has had a couple of days off of school, Beth has had a bad run at school due to her knee injury and this is not helping . I hope she gets back soon and catches up with her school work!!

On the way out the other evening I was driving along the A414 when I noticed the sun setting. It was really pretty with lots of wispy clouds moving fast across the foreground, it doesn't really show up so well on the photo but it had real depth and a lovely pink colour.
I you all have a lovely weekend off (if you are off) and get the time to play with all the things you want to play with!!!