Saturday, October 25, 2014

Been to see the Poppies.

This past week I was finally able to make the trip to the Tower of London to see the stunning display of ceramic poppies. There had been a lot on the news about them, but in the flesh they were quite outstanding!

We left HQ at 5pm and drove through the heavy traffic and pouring rain to get into London around 6.30pm. When we arrived they were reading the roll of honour, it had stopped raining but it was very windy and quite hard to get a decent photo in the low light. 

As far as you could see there were thousands of bright red ceramic poppies. They are part of an art installation, by Tom Piper,  commemorating the soldiers who lost their lives in the first world war. The Poppies were on sale for £25 with the money supporting the British Legion and Help for Heroes. I had fully intended to buy one, but the day we visited they had sold out. Each one of the 888,246 poppies had been claimed and will be posted out to their new owners after Armistice day 11th of November 2014 100 years since the start of World War 1.

Looking our of the Tower of London towards Tower Bridge.

The reason we were visiting was to see the ceremony of the keys. The Yeoman Warders are responsible for locking the Tower every night at 10pm. The ceremony has been carried out every night for the last 740 years. We were lucky to have been invited into the Officers mess for dinner. So we had a short tour of the Tower followed by dinner and then the ceremony. It was a very good evening, the rain held off for the most part and I was pleased to have been able to see the Poppies. 

I missed out on the Poppies, but I was able to get a commemorative coin, I think that the coin will be a whole lot easier to keep. 

The weather today has been beautiful, a lovely autumn day. So we went for a walk in the woods, we have worn out Hunny, who had a good old sniff around ! I took my camera and was surprised at how many different fungi there were all over the place! I need to try and work out what they all are!!

I love these little ones, they are tiny less than 2 Cm's tall!

I love the texture on this one!

These were growing on a very old and decayed log, there were hundreds of them. 

The last of the summer ladybirds.

Hunny enjoyed the walk!
I hope you all have a good week and I hope the weather holds we still haven't had to switch on the heating, which is a bit of a record seeing how we are heading into November!!


Monday, October 20, 2014

Happy Birthday Laura.

October, my expensive month, this week it was Laura's birthday, so more cakes, more presents and more celebrating!!

I ordered some cupcakes with a cat theme, for the confirmed cat lover, the cakes were lovely with her name on some along with paw prints, a ball of wool and some sweet Kittie faces.

I love to take a photo of the three of them on birthdays on Carl's birthday they were not all there, so I had to encourage them to let me take their photo for Laura's birthday. Its great to look back at the changes over the years!

Hunny wanted part of the action and posed for me, I suspect it was because she thought I had some Birthday cake that she was longing for!!!

Its not a birthday without a selfie or two!!!

Yesterday was spent battening down the hatches, there was reports of strong winds heading our way so we needed to repair the lock on the side gate as that bangs around in the lightest of winds! We also have a fence post broken so we put a metal post in nearby and tied the post to that, its wobbling but still upright, we'll have to get that fixed before the winter is out.

I spotted these tiny toadstools at the side of my lawn. They are all no bigger than 1cm tall, they are growing out of the side of a moss covered brick. I love this time of year for all the different fungi!!

Last week I was away at Conference in Southport. I really enjoyed the conference but it was a pain getting there and back. It took three trains in either direction, five hours plus. At least I was able to pass the time with my crochet. Its funny the life that you see while watching what people get on and off of the trains. On the way back we were swamped by a hen party, the volume of noise in the carriage went through the roof, I had never seen so much fake tan and false eyelashes in one place!! There must have been thirty of them in their mega high heels heading into Manchester for a night on the town. I am sure they will have had a great time!

I am on the Standing Orders Committee, which I love. We look at the running of the conference and decide what can and can't be heard, its a great job!!

This year there was lots of talk about pay, everyone is suffering pay wise and its a matter of deciding how we deal with it. We have come away with lots of ideas. 

Today Tom has had his cataract removed, he had been preparing himself for the past month for this day. I was worried for him!! Its just the thought of having someone poking around in your eye while you are awake that makes me squirm. I dropped him off at Moorfields clinic at 7am and had him home for lunchtime. The improvement has been immediate! He is wearing a clear eye guard but he can see so much better with the new lens fitted. The operation took around 20 minutes and he said it was uncomfortable rather than painful. We are now into the eye drops regime for the next month until they are happy that all has healed well. The only real problem he has so far is that he feels a bit battered (paracetamol has helped) and he can see so well out of the new eye that his glasses are useless!!  Once things have settled down he'll have to get new glasses!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Happy Birthday Carl!!

October has arrived and we head into my busy birthday season. Both Laura and Carl have October birthdays and Beth is in November. So its an expensive time. There are also lots of friends who have inconsiderately arranged to have their birthdays in October and November as well!! 

Carl like peanut butter, so he had a dozen peanut butter cupcakes. They were very nice!!
It was a strange birthday as I was away with Laura for a few nights so missed the actual day! 

We stayed at Tortworth Hall Hotel in Tortworth in the Cotswolds. It was an old manor house a very nice hotel. The countryside was beautiful.
Back to work tomorrow, can't wait!!!

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Where did that week go???

Well the week got off to a very good start with a trip to see the Osmonds at The Gordon Craig in Stevenage. Karen and I started early and had a nice dinner and a cocktail at Chiquitos. We were chatting and hadn't realised just how fast the time was flying by! We arrived at the venue with hoards of other middle aged women keen to rediscover the idols of their youth!!!

Now there are only three of them left, Merrill, Jay and Jimmy. Donny and Marie are performing in Las Vegas. Having seen lots of their shows, I can honestly say they are brilliant entertainers!!

Karen managed to get us some very good seats fairly close to the front, we were on the end of the row so we were able to get up to 'rush' the stage if we had the desire to do so!!!

Well the show started and we decided to do that, we headed for the front and were able to see them up close!! It was quite amusing because we both felt like 15 year old groupies again!!

The venue had decided to try and protect the performers by putting one bouncer at the front of the stage, he was swamped and totally unable to stop the crowd from doing anything! In the end he was trapped right at the front and was very obvious as the only male in a sea of women!! They sung all their old hits its was 1974 again!!!

This week has seen me suffer a sad loss, my trusty Woolworths own brand hot glue gun has died. I have had it for fifteen years and as is usual I had just bought a new supply of glue sticks when it gave up the ghost. I had to get up this morning and buy a new one. I am in the middle of making some paper roses and urgently needed my glue gun!!

I have made a fair few of these roses and plan to pop them in a pot. I have a friend who wanted me to make them for her. They are easy to make but seem to take an age!!

We are very hopeful that in the next two weeks we will be able to finally scatter Mums ashes. The arrangements have not been without issues. The Council have been re arranging the cemetery as they had run out of room. We had ordered a plaque with her photo and details to be placed on the kerb stone around the rose garden. Once that is in place we can hold the service to scatter the ashes. I filled in the form and double checked it but when they produced the plaque they had spelled mums name wrong! So it went back and they produced another this time the name was right the dates were wrong. So third time lucky they assure me that they have the whole thing correct this time. So we need to finalise a date with Father Norbert and we will be able to close this final part of Mums life.

This week has also had some very good news. This time for Beth. Beth has completed a year at college on an early years course, she hasn't really enjoyed it, she loves the practical placement experience but is not as keen on the academic part. She had been thinking of ways into employment into a job that she is interested in, so decided to apply for an apprenticeship, in fact she applied for two apprenticeships and a job as a teaching assistant. We sat down and filled out application forms and Beth decided to send a speculative email to a specialist school in town asking if they did apprenticeships. Well as is always the case, she went from nothing to three offers in the space of a week!! She has decided to accept the apprenticeship at the special needs school and she starts next week!! She has to swap college course but will be able to use some of the work she has already completed. The college course is one day a week meaning she will be paid for four days work each week. We are so pleased that she has secured a place and proud that she went out and got it herself!!!