Monday, March 30, 2015

Been a 'diverse' sort of week!!!

At the moment I am certainly packing lots of things into a week. Last week ended with our bargain trip to Poland after it started with making some remembrance flowers for a friends Mums funeral. 
No one likes a funeral, its a sad time for everyone involved and I really think that the people who provide services around that end up charging the earth because generally people can't in their grief shop around or make other arrangements. My friend and I have now made several floral tributes and while we don't do them for a profit, it makes you realise just how much the mark up is on funeral flowers!! Because we don't have the whole sale accounts to buy the flowers we are at the whim of whatever is available at the time, so you have to be flexible. At the end when we added up the actual cost it came to around a third of the cost of shop bought ones.

We started with all of the flowers above, fifty roses, pink and White chrysanthemums, purple statice, white spray carnations and some gyp. Several hours later we turned them into these -

We were pleased with the flowers and I know that they were well received!

On Thursday just gone Tom and I flew to Warsaw, a short break that I had booked last September. We got an absolute deal £69 each including flights and bed and breakfast at a 4 star Hampton by Hilton hotel in Warsaw  city centre. We flew from Stansted Airport, after leaving early in the morning we arrived at the airport only to find the queues for bag drop and security were huge. We had planned on grabbing a magazine and a cup of tea but we cleared security with 15 minutes to spare!! So we went straight from there to boarding. Arrival in Warsaw was much easier, it was clearly a two plane sort of airport, we only saw one other plane there as we were getting off, so we sailed through passport control and collected our bags in minutes! I had arranged for a car to collect us as the airport we arrived at (Modlin) was described as Warsaw airport, but like London Luton airport it is quite a long way from Warsaw. So I had a fleeting moment of fame when I saw my name being held by a lady waiting in arrivals. This lovely lady took us to our hotel. 

We struck lucky with the hotel, it was a new one in very nice location. We were given a choice of floors so we took a high floor (12) the view was great!

We set off for the old town for a look around. It was an interesting place, recently designated a site of special interest by UNESCO. It is the newest 'old' town in Europe! During the second world war, the city was bombed out of existence and was rebuilt afterwards in the style of the original town. 

The town square looked very like Town Squares that I am familiar with in Holland, we could have been in Amsterdam or Delph, Pavement cafes and lots of restaurants with some interesting little shops. 
We walked around and headed back to the hotel later in the afternoon, we were tired from the early start and all the walking, my tracker on the phone said we had walked over five miles (which is good for me!!) We put our feet up for a bit. 
Right I am tired now, the loss of an hour for  British Summertime and the travelling is taking its toll!!
Come back for the next thrilling instalment!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Having a busy time!

Last week I was lucky enough to go on a trip to John Lewis, nothing unusual  with that except I'm not really a John Lewis sort of person! They had a beauty evening so I went with my neighbour and we booked ourselves a return trip for a facial and make up. We were 'done' by Estee Lauder. an interesting experience. I had not realised that there were so many steps to ensuring that you have a flawless finish to your face!! It was a good evening and I learned lots!!

If I had bought every thing that I had been used on me that night I don't think I would have any change from £300!! On top of that you have to add a selection of brushes so its not cheap. It was however a good experience and one that we can book up again in the future.
After I had been transformed we headed over to see Madeline and John to celebrate Johns birthday and to have a get together to wish Grace and Carl BonVoyage, they are heading out to Australia soon for a holiday which will involve a trip in a camper van!!

Clearly as they are heading for the colonies, it was only right that the Royal family were there to see them orff!!

As always it was a great evening and NO ONE noticed my immaculate face make up!!!

We didn't make it home until 2am, so I spent the whole weekend feeling tired, I am getting too old for late nights!!

I have an exciting few months ahead with a couple of trips in the offing, we have a trip to Warsaw, I have never been to Poland before so Tom and I will be doing that next month, not long afterwards I will be going back with a friend to Krakow !! So I will be a Poland expert soon. I have of course been unable to resist a quick trip over to Amsterdam, so I have one of those set up soon as well! I am getting good at this travel stuff!
Have a good weekend.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Happy birthday Dad!!

Well how fast this last year has gone? Its hard to believe that we are celebrating Dads 77th birthday!
We decided to take him out for dinner and we ended up at the Chieftain. It was a nice meal finished off with my super cake with a singing candle!!
Its hard to know what to buy the man who has everything, so we had to resort to the standbys of gardening equipment and biscuits!!

I have to say that The Chieftain is good value for money, while its not gourmet food, it has a big two for one menu. Beth and Harry managed to save some room for a 'small' pudding!

Its funny how the small things can upset the applecart! I have been going to my dentist for the past 30 years, I like him because he understands that I'm a bit weird as I like to actually see what he is doing. (its reassuring in an odd kind of way!) He has a mirror that he clips to the light and I can keep an eye on him! Well I phoned to make my check up appointment only to find that he had 'retired' Well I hadn't seen that coming! I have now been transferred to the care of the new dentist and I had the first appointment last week. Well what can I say?? The surgery has gone from comforting with lovely photos on the ceiling to keep me entertained, to the flight deck on the latest jet air plane! The whole room was bright white with turquoise trim, loads of frosted glass and loads of technical machinery. It was a real shock!!! The patients chair was intimidating and for a simple check up I had to wear sunglasses!! Sadly my mirror was no longer in evidence. Its all very unsettling. Considering I was only there for a check up, I was there for 30 minutes, by the end he was suggesting that I needed £48 worth of hygienist treatment which prior to the grand revamp was carried out by the dentist!!! I am not really sure how I feel about all of this. I miss my trusty, slightly rough around the edge dependable dentist :(

Friday we went out to the school Quiz night, its a strange evening, we have been going for a few years with virtually the same team. This year the school hall was packed, there seemed to be far more people there than I have seen before. The thing about this quiz is that we don't really want to win, its a balance between not showing yourself up, but not winning or you will have to do the questions the following year . Half way we were third, but luckily by the end we faded and live to be contestants for another year!

I have been lucky for Mothers Day, I have had some flowers and some sweets, a bottle of Port and a bottle of wine. It was nice to see Laura who popped over this morning. Carl called in this afternoon and Beth has been here all the time!!! It has also been a sad day thinking about Mum not being with us anymore. We popped down to the Grave yard and left some pink rose for her there.

This weekend I have been able to catch up with some scrap booking. I still like to scrapbook, and I like to do it in time order, so it gets a bit daunting when you realise that you are only as far as last years summer holiday!. So I have ordered some more photos for my next session.

So here we are at the start of another week of slog, Still looking forward to a few weekends away!

Sunday, March 08, 2015

A nice kind of weekend !

The weekend takes an age to arrive and then its gone in a flash!! We were however lucky to have a glorious weather day on Saturday which really lifts your spirits and makes you dare to believe that summer is just around the corner.
I just want to say thank you to everyone who has given me their old sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases, I have had a great time ripping them up this weekend to turn into my giant crocheted mats!! So thanks to Carol, Tina and Emma for enabling me to cover the whole of my house with an inch of dust!!

There is something satisfying about producing these huge balls of yarn!!They will keep me going for some time AND I still have half a black sack full.

On Saturday afternoon I went out for a walk with my mate Jane. We headed off for Panshanger park, we took her dog, Hunny is not very fond of any cars, so she missed out!!

We took a walk through the woods and ended up near the water. It was lovely to see the birds and the countryside alive under the warm sun.

We of course got the coat situation wrong. I have been wearing my duffle coat all winter, I also had a polo neck jumper and another jumper, as the afternoon went on it became a little warm, even for me as a generally cold person!!

We were pleased to spot some red kites flying over head. There seem to be a fair few of them around this year

Once we arrived back home, we were sat chatting in the car when we spotted this blackbird having a wash in the pond. It seems to be oblivious to us and had a good wash!! it was there for several minutes.

I think it was a confused blackbird, because last night around midnight there was a lone blackbird belting out its song! It was really noticeable in the quiet of the night, so perhaps it was this bird celebrating it being warm enough to have a bit of a spring clean!!

Today we called in on Bobbies birthday party. Its hard to believe that she will be six tomorrow! She chose to have an Alice in Wonderland party!

It was nice to see them all enjoying themselves, Dans costume was brilliant he made a great mad hatter.

Oh well back to the daily slog, I have just depressed myself by looking up on line when I can draw my pension, its at least a million years away and when I get there is not going to be worth very much :( That has made my night !!!
I hope you all have a good week.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Been doing a bit of Upcycling!!

Its funny how the winter some how saps your energy and you creative juices. It gets dark early and it just doesn't seem right to get the paint out and start on a project. All I have wanted to do is sit and watch the telly!! At the end of last years Car Boot season, my friend Jane and I popped out and bought some upcyclable bits to play with. Well we are finally starting to convert them. This week I have converted an old bread bin into a storage box!
It was one of those orange pine boxes which I paid £1 for I have painted it and added a panel of paper on the front. I have finished the box with a sparkly knob. I am really pleased with it and it already is storing some of my craft bits!

I also bought a foot stool for £1.00 It was a bit old fashioned and horrible, so I had a bash at that as well. 

I liked the stool shape but it was a typical 70's old lady style!!So I stripped it back and got my paintbrush out again!

Here it is with the cover off and its legs in the air!!

I decided not to buy any fabric, but to use something from my stash. I am rather fond of this rose pattern which has a lovely dark green background (green is my favourite colour!!)

I finished it off with some matching ribbon. I am very happy with the new upcycled stool!

I also like to do a bit of sewing, another hobby that I do but again lack inspiration at times! My friends daughter asked me to make her a laundry bag to hang on the back of her bedroom door. She provided me with the material , which just happened to be in fantastic taste, being the same as my table cloth!!

I started by cutting out a circle.

I then had to neaten the opening with bias binding, I think the last time I used bias binding was when I was at school! I decided to do French seams so that it would be strong and take the weight of any washing.

I then added ties to the top and gave it a press (the iron only come out for craft and the occasional shirt!!)

The finished article!
I got Tom to drop it around to her mum and was very pleased to learn that she had given birth to a baby daughter, two deliveries in one day!!!

This week I have spent three days in London on various meetings, last night I stayed over in a Premier Inn. Its good to be able to join my colleagues with the after meeting chats! Its quite amazing that the hotel is on a very busy main road through London and the sound proofing is so good I didn't hear anything!! 
I have future meeting with this same group of people which culminates in a stay in Glasgow in June. As we come from all over the country they have decided it would be nice to bring along some local food speciality. Some of them have it easy with things such as Welshcakes, Bakewell Tart, Eccles cakes, What does Herts have?? Does anyone have any good ideas?? All suggestions gratefully accepted!

Finally I can hardly believe that these roses that I got for my birthday two weeks ago are still going strong, they have out lasted everything. They are very beautiful!
So thank goodness tomorrow is Friday, its been a long week! Have fun !!