Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Well Done Beth!!

This afternoon Beth had an interview and aptitude tests at the local college to see if she could get a place on a childcare and young persons level two course. She prepared well and had a folder full of evidence and references to show them. We arrived in plenty of time and waited with a crowd of people all there to do a variety of interviews!
We were eventually collected and taken to the Childcare Department, a bit of a slog for those of us with dodgy hips, it was on the third floor and because they all moved off so fast we got there last and were not offered the use of the lift, which made us even later, once in the room we had a presentation and Beth went for her interview and to take the basic skills tests. 
She did very well top marks for the tests and a good interview resulting in a conditional offer of a place for September, so now all she has to do is get her predicted grades at GCSE and she is ready to go. Well done Beth !!!!

These are the lovely flowers I received on my Birthday. Orange Tulips from Madeline.

Orange roses from Laura.

Pink and White Carnations from Tom.

A beautiful display from Debbie and co.

Lily-of-the-valley from Karen, they smell glorious and I am trying very very hard not to kill them s I have had no luck with them previously. 

A floral card from Mum and Dad. 
They all seem to be lasting well its nice to have pretty flowers to cheer things up when the weather is so miserable. I am looking forward to the spring and summer and to going on holiday roll on longer days and warm lighter evenings!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Another year older...

February the 19th Prince Andrew and I celebrated our Birthdays!! In fact sharing a birthday with him is my claim to fame, when I was born (several years ago) we received £100 in Premium Bonds. This was a great honour and £100 fifty odd years ago was a lot of money. I was judged to have been born closest in time to Prince Andrew, so we made the papers and received the gift from the Queen. We still have the bonds and have never won a penny on them!!

This year I received some lovely presents, Beth organised the picture in the photo above. I love the idea its made up of words special to me and is now hanging in our bedroom. 

She also arranged for a beautiful cake!!
Check out the cakes from Cupcakes and Sprinkles!!

I had visits from some of my favourite people!! 

And one little devil!!

Carl and Laura came over with gifts ! (a voucher for some new clothes from Carl and a lovely ornate candle lamp from Laura) Tom got me  an antique mirror that I had lusted over for a while!!

The cake looked fantastic all lit up with candles and the Kath Kidston Cup and Saucer was perfect!

Beth also got me some balloons!!
As I say I was very lucky with gifts, I now have a magnetic notepad, crochet books, a lemon reed fragrancer, a sparkly make up bag, a pot of Lily of the Valley (which I love and have no luck growing, ever!!) Plus lots of beautiful flowers (including orange roses and orange tulips!) the girls at work bought me a Hobby craft voucher and a Finesse loyalty card, which reduces the cost every time I go swimming !

In the evening I went out with the 'old girls' We are really turning into a bunch of crocks, Madeline has as duff knee, Sue has hurt her knee and is limping, I have a dodgy hip its only Sandra who seems to be able to keep it together at the moment!! We went to the Crooked Chimney a place we used to go to regularly, but it started to be a bit hit and miss, mainly because every visit so much was off the menu!! We were hopeful that this visit would be better, but it wasn't to be, they had run out of the most basic of things including fish and peas!!! Still they were well stocked with Rose wine, so not all was lost!!!

All in all I had a great day. Thank you 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Back from Liverpool.

I have just got back from a few days away in Liverpool, I was attending the UNISON Women's conference which was being held in the BT Conference centre near to Albert Docks. 
We stayed in a lovely Novotel, which was in a good position, close to the new Liverpool 1 shopping centre and not too far from the venue. On the way up we travelled by train and the weather was terrible, heavy snow and very chilly, I was glad that we had decided to take the train and I didn't have to drive on bad roads!!

The closer we got to Liverpool, the heavier the snow got, I really thought that we were going to be in for a few rough days weather wise. By the time we got off the train it had turned to heavy rain so we got a taxi to the hotel.

I have been on a flying visit to Liverpool once before when we took a ferry trip across the Mersey, but that was all we had time to do. This time we had a few spare hours to look around the shopping centre and the Docks. Liverpool also has a big  wheel, so we had a go on that as well!!!

There are loads of new buildings and they have renovated the old dock buildings the whole area is quite up market!!!

We took a walk around the docks in the photo above you can see the Cunard building and the Liver building in the background. 

Just to prove that we were there on business, we were photographed in the conference with our colleagues from Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.
In the evenings we ate out at a variety of places, but the best find was a pub not too far from the hotel, run by a bloke who was the life and soul of the party. He seemed to do everything, bar man, cleaner and DJ. The drinks were very good value and the atmosphere was great. One evening he single handedly run the 60's 70's and 80's disco and karaoke evening. He even laid on free buffet for everyone in the pub!!
The journey home was busy, I thought that being a weekend we would have the train to ourselves, but I had forgotten that there would be people travelling to football matches!!
Next week is half term, Carl is spending a few days in Amsterdam and I have taken a few days off of work.
This afternoon we popped over to St Albans and Tom bought me an antique mirror that I have had my eye on for a while, an early birthday present!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Heading to the frozen north!

Over the weekend we have been subjected to more snow, it was great the first time, but its not so funny anymore. There is still a load of snow lying around and tomorrow I am heading off for a conference in Liverpool, where the forecast is more snow!!! Luckily we are travelling by train so at least I won't have to worry about driving. We will be staying in a Novotel, they are usually nice and this one seems to be attached to a huge shopping centre. We are planning on going to visit the Beatles museum which is near the port and the BT centre where the conference is. So my bag is packed and I just have my handbag to sort out with my packed lunch in the morning. 

Last week I bought myself a couple of pots of bulbs, I love spring bulbs, they are cheerful and make me long for warmer times . They have started to flower. Spring in a pot!!

The best thing was the price, a pound a pot!! The pots are pretty once the flowers are finished. 

I think I must be the last person in Welwyn Garden City to visit Sainsburys. Its been open for a fair while, but I have never been anywhere near. So today after work I decided to take a look, it has a nice selection of moving walkways, wide aisles and some helium balloons spelling out C.O.K ??? I have no idea what that is supposed to mean, I am sure it must be something very deep!! On the plus side I took a look through their sale rail and found a nice cream coloured  cardigan for £7, best of all it was only size 16!! That was very satisfying!!!

Wish me luck with my visit to the land of the Liverpudlians!!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cold weather, more snow and CHOCOLATE CAKE!!!

Its been an odd week. its been really busy and before I could think it was the weekend. Then of course the next thing is that the weekend has gone and I am headlong into another week.
All week they have been promising us more snow and the east coast of America really took a pounding with several feet of snow cutting them off. Well tonight it started here, luckily not the same as in America, just a couple of centimetres of soft slushy stuff, but I expect that will be enough to wreck the roads in the morning :(

I have spent the day catching up on some of my scrap booking, its nice reliving some of the events of last summer, the torch relay, Carl's Graduation and the Olympics. I made real headway and I am now about to start the summer holiday ones!!

While scrapping I checked into face book and found that Stuart and Bobbie had been busy making cakes, so the right thing to do was to return the resuscitation aid to them on the off chance that we might be able to assist them consuming the cakes. (in the interests of giving them positive feedback on their efforts)

So we helped by trying this cake and it was very nice!!

They refused to let us try these ones, but I will be holding that against them in the future. (photo credits to Stuart Reeves!)

I have been thinking about things that I would like to do that I have never had the chance to do so far. Being smaller in size has meant that there are more opportunities open to me. The main thing holding me back at the moment is my dodgy hip, I will have to go back to the Doctors and get things moving there. So back to the list. I have things like parachute jump, riding on a carousel horse, fitting into the Harry Potter ride at Universal Studios, being able to swim with dolphins. (actually I have heard that they aspire to swim with me, so I will oblige them one day!!) I have always wanted to have a go at diving as in an underwater cylinders on your back type, not in 'splash' style from the high boards!!! So I asked my dear God daughter if she could assist me? Emma, Dan and Rod are into diving in a big way,  I don't really fancy diving in dirty cold water a nice warm safe swimming pool would be wonderful, so Emma and Dan are going to give me a lesson!!!

Tonight after testing the chocolate cake, I tried on 'something' that I will need to wear to enable me to carry a cylinder on my back, I was surprised to learn it was medium in size, (a first for me, I am never considered a medium!) It fit !! although it did rather make a prominent feature of my upper chest ;)    Anyway I am set for a try out session with photos in Hatfield swimming pool in a few weeks time!!! Result!!

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Feeling Creative.

I have really been 'getting into' crochet at the moment. For years I thought is was really hard to do so I have not even attempted it. Well late last Year my friend Barb got me started and the rest is history. I expect one day soon I will want to make something other than squares, but for the moment its satisfying my need to be doing something with my hands while watching the TV!!

My latest enterprise is this black white and grey blanket which Beth has commissioned me to make!! Her bedroom is decorated in those colours and she said she was only thinking of me when she requested it!! Luckily the wool was on buy two get one free at Hobbycraft so I bought some and started. The good thing is it grows so quickly I have already made 9 squares and have decided to crochet  them together as I go rather than facing a whole load of making up at the end. I am pretty pleased with it so far. 

Today we went out for dinner, weekends seem to go by in a blur of trying to catch up with things missed during the week. Sometimes I feel like I am captive in the house, so today I made the decision to have lunch out, we went to the Chieftain in WGC and I had a lovely roast beef lunch. It was huge so I ended up palming some of it off on Beth and Tom.

There should have been carrots and broccoli as well but I hate both of those. The Yorkshire was massive!! There was a load of beef hiding underneath it and it was melt in the mouth tender. Best of all because they do 2-4-1 the whole bill including drinks for the three of us only came to £22. 

I have started to think about celebrating our 30th (pearl) Wedding Anniversary in June this year. Our Silver wedding anniversary was lovely, we had an afternoon tea at the golf club. Check out the photos HERE!
For this anniversary I would like to have a weekend away with my dearly beloved, without any of the children, which will be the first time in around 28 years!! All I need to do now is settle on a location. I have in my mind that I would like to visit Rome, so I have been doing a load of research and the more I do the worse it gets. I think there must be around two million hotels in Rome, its so difficult to settle on one that is a reasonable price,not one of the international chains, within reasonable distance of the centre and the Vatican, ideally I would like a balcony or roof garden to relax on. Add to that a reasonable review or two, which is where every possibility seems to fall down!!! The flights don't seem to be too much of a problem, but I am totally stumped with the choice of hotels. Has anyone been or got any suggestions??

Weekend has nearly gone again, back to the slog.