Thursday, 31 October 2013

Favourite Corners of My Home

Happy Halloween, I hope you've had a fun day whatever you may think of celebrating Halloween - it's not everyone's cup of tea I know.
I thought I'd do a bit of a "filling in time" post as I don't have much time just now. And favourite corners of my home was a series of posts I used to love when I first started to follow a few blogs, a long time before I had my own, they appeal to my nosy streak! I haven't seen any of these posts in ages, maybe I'm just missing them!
Thank you for all the supportive comments about work, I very much appreciated your kind words.. Last week was horrific, I think I've turned into my Grandma (the builder always said I would) as I try very hard to find things to worry about! I made so many mistakes last week and the implications were not great but I think by Tuesday this week they were all put right, at least I hope they were! I took half the week off as I hadn't spent any time at home or with the kids, I'd also panicked so much I became very disorganised and therefore by Friday the amount of oven chips we'd had for tea was becoming ridiculous!
So I'm taking myself on a little trip tomorrow, to spend a few days with Gran in Exeter, you may remember my very sprightly 94 year old Gran from a previous post. She's still very lively but not up to flying to Norwich any more to visit us, it's tricky finding the time to go to Devon as it's probably going to be a 6 hour drive so I have to stay over. I'm thinking I'll drive home Monday, having spent Saturday & Sunday with her - chatting until I lose my voice in all probability!
Anyway back to the corners of my home - it was fun taking the photo's and made me realise, despite all my moaning to the builder, there are bits of my home I quite like! Don't tell him I said that though 'cos I'm hoping we finish building it sometime soon - it's taken 20 years up to now and we've not finished it yet!

Three wicker hearts, a small heart made of cranberries and a tiny heart given to me by a friend which says " we deserve the best of everything, and then a little extra". And just seen on the left are the sugar flowers which were on the top of our wedding cake!
 
A sign which hangs near the back door, just to remind us!




A picture I brought back from Austria when I was about 14, again just to remind us!

A small group of some of my unusual bottles dug up from the garden, and a sign saying our home is full  of hopes and dreams. Obviously we didn't dig up the full beer bottles, shame!


A cartoon painting bought from a fair many years ago, of a cricketer.
I love these photos of the kids taken on the beach in winter a couple of years ago,
 I framed them for the Builder for his birthday.

A poster advertising our house for sale in 1874, luckily it came with its own faggot shed!!
A pretty corner of Little Miss's room, although she now hates all things pink!




And finally a bucket of balls, all manner of balls and cricket equipment. Collected from all around the house (number 2 son's bed quite often) and garden, and yes I'm the only one who gathers them together in the bucket!
On a completely different note, I've been nominated for a Sunshine Award by
 lovely Tammy at My Journey. The first thing I've ever been nominated for and it's quite exciting!
 I will give her questions some thought and think up some of my own and then post them,
it may be a little while!
Hope you've had a good week and have a great weekend.
xx


Saturday, 26 October 2013

Recapturing My Youth

Just to clarify, the title of this post is Recapturing MY Youth, not Capturing A Youth
 as a friend on facebook first thought!
 
I'm struggling to post anything and haven't managed to keep track of anyone else's blogs just lately, I've had a hellish couple of weeks at work and am completely done in. I was asked to train for a slightly different job a few weeks back to help out the lady who does this particular job in my office. Not a job I had any clue how to do but thought that, now the kids are getting older, I should work a bit more and hopefully earn a bit more.
Up to then I was doing very few hours a week and getting paid roughly 3 peanuts for it!
 
So I agreed to take on 2 little clients under the guidance of the existing lady.... only to find after a couple of weeks she needed to go on sick leave for a couple of months and her whole job was divided between me, a manager and another trainee! Added to that the following week my boss bought out a small local business and gained me 10 new clients. I still have no clue what I'm doing and have made more cock-up's than I dare admit to! I'm waking up in the night with near panic attacks wondering if I "ticked that box" or was the answer "5 or 7". Anyway the upshot is I feel so incompetent right now I can barely think straight; not helped by the fact that the other trainee lady seems to grasp it all after only 2 weeks of doing the job! I'd like to say it's an age thing but we're the same age!
 
Anyway last night was a much needed night off as I had 2 tickets for a concert. I love live music (the builder not so much) but have huge regrets of not seeing many bands when I was a teenager. Lots of reasons for that, I wasn't usually allowed to go although I had a very inconsistent Mum so there was a period of a few months when I saw lots of bands at the local university. I also never had any money and no like minded friends to go with, crippling shyness meant I wouldn't go alone.
As I've got older I've tried to make a point of seeing as many concerts as I can, of the bands I like - old and new. I've travelled a few miles occasionally - like seeing The Scissor Sisters in Brighton (where else) and U2 in Dublin (a highlight).
Last year I noticed a new band I really like had a gig nearby, an outdoor venue in the forest. I knew number 1 son liked them so the conversation went like this -

"Number 1 you like band A, don't you?"
"Yes I do Mum, very much"
"They're playing nearby, in the Summer"
"Oh that's great, I'd love to see them"
"I'm booking tickets, would you like one?"
"Yes please Mum, who's going?"
"Me and possibly Dad, do you want to come?"
"NO!"

It was a fab evening and The Builder did come with me although we weren't always together as I squeezed to the front and he hung around at the back. It prompted a classic text from me to Number 1 son saying simply "Mum's in the mosh pit!" to which the reply came
"How can that even be possible?"
 
I've tried to see some of the bands I missed the first time around, if they're still together and still alive! They always look so old (unlike myself!) and the audience provide endless entertainment too, slightly elderly men trying to create a Mohican with a lot less hair than they used to have!
 
But last night The Builder and I had tickets to relive our youth, just for one evening. It took a bit of juggling as the boys were at indoor cricket and we had no babysitter for Little Miss, but after using 2 cars, driving several miles and various drop offs we managed to get to the university in time to see The Boomtown Rats! Oh such a great evening, I really relaxed and shouted, and jumped around, legs not quite managing to pogo but I bounced a little!
And Bob Geldof did an excellent job despite looking like Mick Jagger's elderly Grandad in his (fake) snakeskin suit! And I for one thought I was 18 again, just for a moment when they played Rat Trap.
 
It was fun though, and it's surprising how many words I can remember from the late 1970's. Apparently they last gigged there 30 years ago - that's the gig I missed!
 
So after such a good start I'm hoping for a weekend filled with a bit less panic about work, I will endeavour to catch up on reading blogs as soon as possible.
 Have a great weekend!
 
 

Monday, 14 October 2013

What a difference a week makes!

Well I think Autumn has definitely arrived this week, what's it been like for you? On the East coast of England we've taken a bit of a battering this week. And the fires have been lit and blankets tucked around knees in the evening.

Last weekend however it was Summer again. Little Miss had her Big Show at the theatre and we had to deliver her to the stage door at 10am and collect her at 9.30pm; a really long day especially for the little dancers - some were as young as 3.

We'd agreed that Little Miss and I would be dropped off in Norwich for 10am and then I'd hang around the city (read that as grab several coffees and a newspaper) while the others went home for a few hours.

I'm always envious when I see that friends have enjoyed a lazy day drinking coffee and generally watching the world go by in a beautiful city like Cambridge, Bath or Chester. I'd love to spend a day in any of those places but sometimes we just don't have time to appreciate the place we live in. And I have to say after living here for around 35 years I had never really realised what a beautiful city Norwich is. I did notice a few new (to me) places when we did our gorilla hunt in the Summer.








Sorry to repeat some of the photos but I took so much more notice of the city as
we strolled around that day. All the photos above are in the city centre.

 And I always knew the Norwich Cathedrals (there are 2 in the city centre) were very picturesque however I never realised what a relaxed and happening place it could be.

After I dropped Little Miss off I considered doing some Christmas shopping but soon realised I was likely to be carrying the bags for several hours, so instead decided to enjoy a coffee and breakfast pastry. I watched the city come to life as the shoppers arrived, the pavement cafes filled up with people enjoying the sunshine, the Sunday papers and good coffee. I read my book (this months reading group choice - not enjoying it and about to give up on it!), drank 3 coffees and enjoyed the view, unfortunately I had great ideas of taking some artistic photos but
a) I'm not at all artistic and b) I forgot!
Theatre Royal, Norwich

City Hall

These are all I managed but it was a beautiful day to enjoy a quiet coffee outside knowing I didn't have to dash of anywhere, in fact I couldn't dash off anywhere!
It really is a vibrant city and had quite a different feel on a Sunday when people were enjoying the sun and not running in and out of shops in their lunchbreak.
Although we had tickets for the evening performance of the show I bought a cheap matinee ticket just for myself, and watched the 2.30pm show from upstairs in my "restricted view" seat. I was in awe of anyone daring to get up on that stage!


The show itself was themed on famous musicals and we saw the dancers performing to songs from Cabaret, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Moulin Rouge, 101 Dalmatians and Shrek to name just a few. Performing at The Theatre Royal is a big deal as far as I'm concerned but the little dancers were just perfect and it was a stunning show! The group who got the biggest cheer (and the biggest aaahhhh!) were the tiny dalmatians, all aged around 3, wagging their tails and trooping onto the stage one behind the other.
Little Miss performed in 2 dances both from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, I was so proud as she led her troop on and cartwheeled across the stage. She only attends a local ballet school in the village church hall but so much work went into this production I'm overwhelmed and very grateful she had the opportunity.

Taking their bow, in an outfit I'd give my eye teeth to wear
grabbing a pizza between performances, in full make up, as you do!

We finished last weekend very tired but on a high; sadly this weekend looked more like winter! Gale force wind did this to the garden...
Windfall apples everywhere!

 The trampoline has been up for nearly 10 years but it seems a big gust took it up in the air, the legs fell off (surprising as I thought they were fixed together with rust!) and it landed back down - luckily undamaged - still several more years in it yet.
The guinea pig house was flattened too although luckily they had been decamped to their indoor accommodation the night before.

The view from indoors all weekend was like this...
 Not a very good photo but it was dark and wet all day, really miserable! And to think last Sunday I was enjoying the sunshine at a pavement cafĂ©!

I hope you're all snuggled up away from the cold, I think most of the country has had a wet and windy weekend.
And thank you to everyone for the advice on my little talk to the Rotary Club, it's tonight! Apparently only about 12 people (I'm such a wimp!) With the aid of a teenage boy I have a small powerpoint presentation of photos to take, I hope someone knows what to do with the memory stick when I get there! (no suggestions please!)
Have a great week wherever you are.
Jay
x

Friday, 4 October 2013

Predictions......

This is just a quick post as we have lots going on but no time to jot it down! Little Miss has been rehearsing almost daily for a dance show at The Theatre Royal in Norwich on Sunday so once that's over we'll breathe a little sigh of relief! She's also practising for a gymnastics competition later in October so for once all the emphasis is on her, that makes a change!
 
I'm also planning our annual Charity Christmas Craft fair and have to give a talk about our fundraising for children in Gambia to the local Rotary Club - if I can over come my shyness and nerves!
 
But I thought I'd repeat a little conversation we had with number 2 son recently, it amused us anyway! You remember number 2 son don't you, he can be rather a handful (only at home) which I summed up here.
 
At the start of the new school year, as he's now a year 10 and will be working towards his GCSE's his school provide predictions of possible results. His school are very keen on self promotion and love to predict the future for their students, we take it with a pinch of salt. Neither of the other 2 children have been or will go to this particular school (we like to say he's "special" but actually he's there for the cricket) so it's all new territory for us.
 
Anyway he came home during the first week of term and over the dinner table he happened to mention that he had his predictions for the GCSE exams. "Oh really, what have you got then?" we said. Bearing in mind that this child is sports mad and very good at maths, science and IT type subjects and really wanted to drop those useless subjects like Music, Art and English!
 
"Well" he said " it's A* for Maths, A* for Biology, A* for Chemistry, A* for Physics, A* for PE, etc etc, "Wow" we said "that's amazing, oh wait hang on did you say "A* for everything including English"?" "Yes" he said "I'm predicting A* in every subject"
 
For a minute we were all over him with congratulations, then oh wait a minute!
"What did you just say?"
 
"Did I hear you correctly?" "Was it I've been predicted or I'm predicting?"
 
Yes we did hear right, in fact he's predicting an A* in everything, the teachers however are not!
 
Oh if only I had an ounce of his self belief; especially for this talk to the Rotary Club, I've only done something like that once before and it was to a group of beavers (little children in uniform not small furry animals) and that time I just about cr****d my pants!