Thursday, 2 December 2010

Pretty Guineas

I know I've been neglecting this blog for a while, so here's a little something for us to look at.

                   A few pictures of A's guinea pigs looking pretty

                                                 And here is the pretty owner A

                                                             Another of her

                 And one of her Dad, just for fun - doesn't he look macho?

Sunday, 14 November 2010

A few of 'A's Favourite Things

After an absence due to a very worrying week where we haven't felt up to updating this blog on account of health reasons of a close and much loved relative here we are back again.

Here are, as title says, some of  A's favourite things, photographed in her bedroom.

A poster of her beloved Totti, given by good friends of her grandparents, hanging on her wall.

The Tardis of Dr Who, which she enjoys watching on TV, with one of her many money boxes next to it. A Scouts badge is in front.

  Some of her football trophys, with football medallions in the picture below - she loves playing in her team

The Roma scarf, also from the friends of her grandparents. This is the team she supports. A few stars and planets below it.

The luminous planets hanging from her ceiling - these ensure her room never gets dark, no matter how dark the night might be. A moon which, with the flick of a switch, lights up and changes with the phases of the monthly moon cycles

A cap and badges from the German police given by her aunty who is in this occupation. This is the job A is looking forward to doing when she's old enough. She's put a pair of dark glasses next to them... wonder if this is to look 'cooler' while wearing the cap... more the style of the Italian police, really!

A very rare shot of A, herself, actually cleaning her room, taken surreptitiously, of course, the chauffeur supervising to the side of the pic. Do you like the very fashionable two colour socks?

Saturday, 6 November 2010


Guy Fawkes Night, more commonly known as Bonfire Night or Firework Night, these days, was last night. 

Everywhere were bangs, and the smell of smoke and gunpowder was in the air.
We went to a friend's house for his annual firework display and party, we go every year. There were about 50 - 60 people there, and lots of kids for the girls to mess about with of all ages. Hide and seek, tag and goodness know what else they got up to. My girls love going to this party catching up with people they haven't seen in a while very often. This year an old school friend of A's was there from primary, so that was fun for her and I was able to catch up with the mum.

The display itself went on for about an hour, longer than usual because of the rain which went on throughout, we were all pretty sopping by the end, carefully dressed hair all rumpled from being wet or wearing beanie hats.

Here are some of the fireworks

                                        Some of the crowd chatting in between

Inside was lovely and warm with a nice woodburner with hot mulled wine to drink warming on top

Some food donated by everyone who comes (many of the fireworks are donated too)

In the kitchen food has been prepared and left heating on the stove all night. One pot of meat curry, one veg curry, one chilli con carne, one veg chilli and a soup, with an enormous pot of rice.

Afterwards the bonfire is lit, But missed a pic of the Guy burning. The party host plans this party months in advance every year, this time he's even put in new flooring in the garden leaving a gap in the middle just for the bonfire - now that's dedication! Incidentally just to the side of the photo below was the paving laid by my brother last year.

The short ones to the left are some of the kids, not sure if either is E or A, though.

Loads of fun and we left to walk home at 12 with another friend who stayed the night at ours (this night too, actually). The girls were up super late this morning!!

Friday, 5 November 2010


The colours of Autumn are so beautiful, all those golds, reds and russets. I love this time of year, chilly enough to curl up with a book in front of the fire with a steaming mug of hot chocolate ( a big favourite of A actually, she loves to me us some) and when outdoors those crisp days full of colour. 

Of course in this country it really only lasts a day or two before the drizzle sets in and the days, rather than being crisp are just damp and dismal. But if you can get out and take a walk somewhere to see the trees in that window of proper Autumn it is so worth it.

I've cheated here with these photos as they actually come form Germany, a country which knows how to do proper cold.

Here are a few pics of the girls and their cousin playing in the leaves, kicking them up as high as they can and over each other if possible, unfortunately my photos were't up to catching that as well as I'd hoped. The girls pretend to be too grown up to be children these days, but now and again we get a glimpse of their real playfulness. If this were a video you'd have heard all the giggling and calling out to each other going on.

It was a lovely day, we'd been to see an old Schloss, then had a rest here for a while so the baby could get a feed, then onto the next part where we saw lots of birds of prey and owls. A specially liked going up to find out the names of the birds, she found some of them highly amusing, such as Igor and Helga, and couldn't stop laughing. One had the same name as the Chauffeur's sister so we spent some time talking with a worker who just happened to be passing who was very happy to tell us how this big ugly bird liked ripping it's prey to shreds and how it used to go for bears - quite unlike it's namesake our SIL.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

We're Back

We're back! Well, we've been back for a little while but have been busy busy busy since returning. At first we were busy being tired, then busy getting back into the routine of up early and off to school/work. Now just busy doing life.

Because of time difference we lost an hour going to Germany, coming back we regained it for a day then lost it again because of the time change, or something - I get confused.

We all had a lovely time out there, meeting up with the Chauffeur's family, and seeing his new niece, only 5 months old and very sweet. Although they live only 10 minutes by car outside a town they are actually in the country so we had a few walks in beautiful countryside. Have a look at where they live, in the ground floor

This is outside - quite rural and fairly secluded although there are other houses around. It's a bit too lonely for my SIL, she'd like a few more neighbours around to chat to. The vehicle is their 9 seater van which they sometimes use for travelling around in and converting into a bed at the back! E and A and the chauffeur are standing around

                                                 Still outside...

Here we are going for a walk in the beautiful countryside just by their home, the colours are gorgeous at this time of year.

You can't see clearly but the chauffeur, BIL and A are flying kites - quite successfully too, there was a wind but not a nasty one, fresh, in fact the weather while we were there was great, cold enough for jackets but not scarves and gloves, sunny and very bright as you can see. Altogether we were 9 of us as SIL's mother had come up with a 1 1/2 hr drive to see us and spent a few hours, one of which was spent on this lovely kite flying, football playing and general messing about walk

I'm sure over the next few weeks I'll post up more pictures of our Germany visit but for now -bye bye.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Going Away

It's half term and we're off to Germany to visit C's family in an hour. I thought I'd just pop on to say I'll be away for a few days. Looking forward to seeing the new baby born since our last visit to C's sister.

Apparently it's cold out there so we've packed lots of  woollies, hats and gloves. We're only allowed 3 cases between us but as we're only out there a few days we managed to get all our bulky winter clothing in alright. Hope all the rules and regulations aren't going to bother any of our packing, there are so many now and don't they keep changing?!

The girls are sad at saying goodbye to their pets but they'll be in good hands as a friend will be coming every day to feed and water them.

Here are the suitcases, all packed and ready to go, C and A are sharing, C is the closed tidy half, and A is the muddled half, of course.


                                                            E has her own.

                                                        All finished and ready to go

Ok, all packed -check
House tidied and cleaned - check
Everyone hair tidy and travel clothes on - check
That's it - we're off!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Firemen in the House

Lucky us! We had a fire check last evening which meant a couple of burly firemen came in and had a little check around to see if we have the right safety measures in case of fire. They were impressed with our extinguisher by the front door, the fire blanket in a kitchen cupboard and two smoke alarms exactly where they should be. They asked when we last checked them, to which we were able to say frequently, meaning every time I burn the toast.

As our house is on a corner it got used as a meeting point so we had several more burly firemen squeezed into our narrow corridor discussing their evening so far. Lovely!!

They left us (far too soon in my opinion) with a booklet, and some new alarms to replace ours when the batteries run out with new ones which should last us 10 years, or possibly a lot less with my record of toast burning.

I didn't get a chance to photograph them as their visit was all too short (for me), so I leave you with a couple of pics of the firemen from the St Marks Rd fair the other week

                                                             A fire engine, taken by A

Monday, 18 October 2010

An Old Fashioned Evening

Last night we had a slide evening, yes you read it right, we looked at slides - with a projector, slide screen and all. C had brought back from his mother's, not only a table to decoupage and the grandmother clock but his mother's slides, screen and the projector from the 1970's.

A helped set it all up with her dad, getting the height right and the projector facing correctly, remember all that?? Once all set up we settled down to watch, 'Look how long that skirt is' cried the girls at the maxi skirts on view, 'Look at your collar, Dad, they're so long' they laughed, 'And your haircut' 'and your shorts are so short'. C and I marvelled 'Where are the cars?' at the almost empty roads.

We looked at Vienna, Versailles, views from the Eiffel Tower, Amsterdam, a little cottage in on the border between Holland and Germany where in the grounds one foot was in the the one country and the other in, well, the other. Neat and tidy public gardens in Bath in the UK with regimented flowers, mountainsides with sheer drops, caves full of stalactites and boats floating beneath, an Austrian friend of C's mother wearing a traditional cap replete with feather, restaurants in the air- so many wonders.

                                                  Here's us watching

                                                             One of the slides

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Grandmother Clock

If you remember C was away the other night. The reason being he went to buy a new old clock. This time and for the first time, a huge one, not as huge as a Grandfather clock but next best, a Grandmother Clock. And here it is posing alongside it's new owner, C himself.

It was made in 1760, the face isn't inside yet as it needs a bit of tweaking to bring it up to perfection, though it's been well looked after by it's most recent owner, a nice old lady from the small town of Ottery St Mary - hence C staying away at his mother's the night who lives close by.

It's slightly unusual being highly carved, but we love it. Only trouble is - where do we put it?? Any suggestions please post in the comments box.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Strictly Come Dancing

My two favourite dances from last week were the terrific Ann Widdicome - love her! And she has created a first, a smile from that nasty judge, (Craig Revellhord - is that his name? A says that's what it sounds like). Here she is

The other from the bloke from Eastenders, who knew he had a dance rhythm (and cute wiggle!)? Here he is

A is watching it with me now while E gets on with her science assignment on the laptop, wish my homework had been so much fun, I might have actually done it then! The fires lit, lamp on, cosy here and lovely dancing and pretty dresses to watch, aah.

Here's Strictly. By the way, do you like our new bit of Ikea under the TV? We've stained in an attempt to posh it up a bit

                                                    And here's the fire

Friday, 15 October 2010

Quiet Evening

Just E and myself in tonight, A is having tea at my friends to keep her son company and C has chauffeured himself off to Devizes, a town around an hour from here to visit his friend and his girlfriend in their new cottage. He'll most likely stay the night as they'll probably go for a pint (or 3) and meet up with lots of people he's not seen in a while.

A is lovely to be going to tea and spending time with my friends son. Sadly being autistic and children his own age not quite knowing how to be with him, he doesn't have any other friends and regards A as his favourite. He's so exited she's coming over this evening.

The types of activities they'll get up to may involve going out for a while with one of his teachers on bikes or scooters, then back home to eat, afterwards making jigsaws, followed by the boy's favourite activity of computer games - just like most other kids, including A, so she'll be happy. Then winding down with some unsuitable film from what H tells me, her husband R let her start to watch it last time she went for tea and she didn't get to see it all. I'm not sure it's something she should see but R loves to indulge my girls, hmm.

What'll I do with E tonight? Perhaps I could get her to help me organise some cupboards in my room, something I hate and she adores. Sorting out my jewellery, necklaces here, bracelets there, all neat and tidy and easy for me to find when I want it. Or clothes - 'Can I have this Mum?' 'You can't wear that, Mum!' 'This is so old fashioned, Mum!' Most of it will be gone by the end. That'll solve my space problem. And then we'll have a nice bung-in-the-oven ready meal for our tea, easy.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Images of Italy

Here are a few images of Italy I like

Fiat 500
Got to have a classic fiat here

Cafe at Nemi
Cafe at Nemi

Recognise this?

And this?