Thursday, 29 September 2011

Macmillan World Coffee Morning


On Friday it is the Macmillan Cancer Support World's Biggest Coffee Morning. It's a great way for them to be raising funds for this wonderful charity. There are several ways to go about it, you can pop along to your local Marks and Spencer store and have a cup of coffee, and a cake too if you like, some of the proceeds will go directly to the Macmillan trust. Or you can host a coffee morning yourself, or go to a friends one, the host will pass along the money raised. There are other public coffee mornings being held round the country, go the the website to find your local one. Or just subscribe anyway, as all money is welcomed.

These nurses do such a wonderful job and help some of the most vulnerable people, this service must continue and they need our help.

I'm going along to a coffee morning. Well, not so much going along to one as staying home, switching on my laptop and having a coffee. Much the same as any other day? Not exactly, you see I'm going to a virtual coffee morning, with my online colleagues. They are holding a real live one in London and we can pop along or if we live too far away can connect via skype, which is what I'll be doing, and having a chat that way. Oh, and it won't be a coffee morning but a coffee afternoon, oh and not Friday but Thursday. Hmm. At least it'll leave Friday morning free to go to Marks and Sparks, have another coffee so donating again, and do a spot of shopping there at the same time - what other excuse do I need!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Digging for Treasure

Well, the real reason wasn't really digging for treasure but for storage space. The Chauffeur and daughter#2 spent a few days digging up the ground from under the floor next to our front door. They lifted the mat, removed some wooden slats and got to it.

Daughter#2 loves this kind of thing and got stuck in, well, it involves mess and dirt.

A surprising, though it shouldn't have been surprising, part of this was finding more than just earth and stones. We are used to finding bits of old pottery and things from our garden, assuming they used it as filler to go under the soil, and also from the time the bathroom was added on to the house, it being very late Victorian and not having been built with one (we have no idea where their 'waste water' went, I've used quotation marks there so you know what I mean, lol) and the builders just threw all the broken bricks down into the garden space as well as lots of other bits.

These things include bits of pottery, the ends of clay pipes, broken bottles which the chauffeur believes were used for medicine, and the one item which daughter#2 is the most creeped out by, a child's shoe.

Now, it could be a doll's shoe, though it would have been a fairly large doll, and we don't know where the other one is, adding to the mystery and also creepyness. I wondered if it was a ritual thing, a left over Pagan idea to show this is a home and to keep out danger, a bit like horseshoes being attached to doors. I'm sure I've heard of shoe's being thought to show the family heath or home, somewhere.

We'll never know. in the meantime we have to keep the shoe out of sight of daughter#2 as it really does disturb her, and to be honest the chauffeur and I too.

Here's another photo showing daughter#2 having a good old dig around with a trowel. It's finished now and is being used for some of the Chauffeur's bits of diy stuff, such as paint pots, varnish sandpaper - you get the idea. Very useful as it was in the bathroom before, taking up space.

                              The type of soil there was under there, not soil so much as rubble really.

                               A piece of pottery, don't know what it was but it must have been nice. 

The broken bottle which may have come from an Apothecary shop.

A collection of some of the items which were found inluding That Shoe!


Saturday, 24 September 2011

The Gallery: Guilty Pleasures

I lately came across the Sticky Fingers blog and have been enjoying it for a while. It made me want to join in with the linky which Tara, whose blog it is, holds called The Gallery, as it seems like a fun thing to do. This involves using a photo to represent a prompt she gives out. To understand more and to see Tara's and other blogger's contributions click on the The Gallery button at the bottom of this post.

The latest prompt is the words 'Guilty Pleasures', how could I resist that one, so this is the one I've started with. My representation of my guilty pleasure is below.

You may be wondering what it means, although I think it's clear enough. A pile of books waiting to be read with the housework hiding behind. My guilty pleasure is sitting and reading, often with more than one book on the go at a time, and just leaving the cleaning till later. It's nice to have all the housework done so it doesn't play on my mind whilst reading, but if you become engrossed enough you can forget any mess around you. I can then quickly sort out the basics of the housework just before anyone returns from school or work, and pretend I've been hard at it all day to the rest of the family. It does get finished off once I started.

Don't worry, I don't behave this way all the time, but it is a guilty pleasure when I do.

The books in the pile consist of books I've already read and loved, and a couple still waiting and tempting me. The latest was a fun romp, Jump by Jilly Cooper; The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenstein which was a bit more cerebral but not too heavy; The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, about looking for Dracula, the Chauffeur and I went to see the abbey featured in this book, of which I will probably blog about at a later date, what a day THAT was. Also in the pile is a Shakespeare, I was looking for The Tempest as daughter#1 enjoyed this one and it's one I've not read yet, but couldn't find it, it may be in her room; and the The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, I adored his Shadow of the Wind.

Books - tempting, tantalizing things. I realise I'll have to keep the rest of the family from seeing this blog or they'll find out the truth, now.


Friday, 23 September 2011

Filling in Forms and Paying Out Cheques - Money Glitter Graphics

Yesterday there were a lot of forms to be read, processed and filled, with several cheques of our hard earned money thrown in. None for the Chauffeur or myself but all for the girls.

We had first, one for a Night Hike for scouting daughter#2, no money involved
Then one to read only, for permission to allow a vaccine to be administered for daughter#2 
Large cheque for Paris Trip for same daughter
Money given for Scout Subs too

For daughter#1 form for permission to do Work Experience next year
Also form to fill in for allowing her to go on Biology Trip also next year, which involved another large cheque

Their school diaries needed looking through and signing, this is to make sure they are keeping up with their homework. I had pens, cheque books and forms all over the place trying to keep up with them all.

Next week we need to pay the piano teacher for daughter#1, and she tells us the piano needs servicing again, so another large cheque.

Do they appreciate it? Well, would they be true teens if they did?

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Kitchen Ideas

Ok, I've finally decided what type of kitchen I want. I have ummed and ahhed long enough between styles and have at long last come to a decision. Nothing out of the ordinary so don't get excited now.

It'll have painted cupboards, a white glossy marble tiled floor and painted walls. The ceiling, as we knew from the beginning, will be part window, but we're not sure if it'll be possible to have it in one whole sheet right across or several smaller ones with frames, and also whether it can come part way down the wall. As for the layout we made up our minds about that right at the beginning too, units under the window running round, leaving space for a large table the other side of the room.

As soon as planning permission has gone through we'll be able to go to a kitchen specialist who will be able to advise on the best style and placing of cupboard units etc. They'll be also able to tell us of the latest techniques, and gadgets.

I cannot wait! We first decided on having a new kitchen three years ago, and asked a friend of ours to take on the work. He's good and won't charge as much as some might. Unfortunately he's so good we had to wait two years, then, when they were up he asked us to wait another year! He can't start till next April or so. He's very much in demand, all via word of mouth. Well, at least it's given us time to save, and it's going to cost a lot!

I'm having painted cupboards as opposed to the glossy ones I thought I'd made my mind up about because this way, when I change my mind about the colour as I inevitably will, it can be easily changed, the walls too. Not sure about the colour yet, maybe a nice shade of plum.

Here's a picture of the colour of kitchen daughter#1 would prefer, black, of course. To go with the black bedroom she'd also like...

As things come together I'll post on the blog. I'm always on the lookout for gadgets, ideas and furniture for the ideal kitchen and I'm sure it'll all be posted on here. Next to make up my mind on is the type of table to buy, a big black oak one, scrubbed pine or something else altogether? Hmmm.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Happy Monday

Monday Graphics
Glitter Graphics Tumblr Backgrounds

No, I'm not talking about the group, though they are definitely worth talking about - controversial as they were, what with Shaun Ryder's excesses and Baz's amazingly crazy dancing. One day I will watch '24 Hour Party People' the film made about their time in Manchester.

No no, this post was just a way of hoping everyone is having a happy Monday. Monday's are often thought of as the worst day of the week, coming after the week-end where many people have rested and played, in various different amounts, then having to get up early again, back to work and back to the grindstone. I do hope you don't think of your work as a grindstone, I was only using it as a continuation of the old saying 'nose to the grindstone'. Only 4 more days till it the week-end again, guys.

A few facts about Monday:

Monday, nowadays is usually the first day of the week, gone are the days if it being Sunday,

The word itself comes from moon's day,

Daughter#2 was born on a Monday (I know - not really a fact about Monday, but it's still a fact as it happened),

The children's rhyme for it is Monday's child is fair of face,

Monday is the most popular day to commit suicide, call in sick, and surf the web in the Netherlands (that was whipped from Wiki).

I shall leave you with one of my very favourite songs which is by the aforementioned Happy Mondays, just highlight, right click then left click in the box, or just copy and paste:

Saturday, 10 September 2011


People say this is an event where you always remember where you were when you heard it had happened. It was such an enormous thing if you were old enough how could you forget? There are other dates which are the same, the day JFK was assassinated, the day Diana died, and there are a few others.

This is my remembrance of hearing about 9/11:

My sister-in-law and I had dropped our children off at infant school on their 4th day of starting in the infants, her son and my daughter who are only one month apart in age, and were walking back to her house when one of her neighbours passed us and told us to put the news on when we got back as one of the twin towers in America had been hit by an aeroplane and was on fire. We didn't really know what the twin towers were at that time and just thought 'Oh how awful', but didn't put the tv on as we were busy talking about our children and other things. I didn't see what had happened till the afternoon when I got back to my house after picking up my daughter at lunchtime, by then the second tower had been hit, too. I remember being gobsmacked when I realised what a huge thing it was that had happened and couldn't stop watching things unfold for hours. I felt as though it had put a sort of blight on her first week of starting school as it was something that would always be associated with it.

Another thing about it is not just remembering where you were when it happened but that everyone, even here in the UK, seemed to know someone who was in one of the towers at the time, or had been within a few months, or knew someone who knew someone, so it kind of touched us all. For instance a close friend's brother had been in one of the towers 2 weeks previously, and we heard many other people who knew of friends, family or acquaintances who had been there recently and were so relieved they were safe.

Many believe the world lost something that day which changed everything. Today is a sad day for all.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Friday Hunk

So, after yesterdays pictures of female lovelies I felt we girls needed something to feast our eyes on. I figured a nice picture of a hunk would do it, but when I googled hunk all the pictures came up of shirtless six packs and I backed off at that as my mother reads this blog.

Then I thought, well, there's no-one hunkier than Captain Jack Sparrow is there? No, it isn't Johnny Depp but his character I've posted here. Jack Sparrow is a hunk in my eyes, albeit an effeminate one, or is that a contradiction in terms?

So, girls, feast your eyes. Maybe next time I'll post a shirtless beefcake, but for now enjoy the eyelinered one.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Bit of Chat

Sorry to do another rainy weather post but that's pretty much all that's been happening around here. We're still wet and cold, right now it's persistently drizzling outside and I'm sat indoors with a jumper on. I do know it's so baking hot in Italy some people are really suffering, they're meant to have had it broken by now but it's not happened yet - stay strong, it will change soon.

 Other things round here, well the girls have started back at school. Daughter#1 is now doing her options, one subject she's never had before was psychology but as they're still getting into the swing of school there's nothing much to report on what she thinks of it yet as they are getting used to the new teacher and are just discussing what they'll be studying still.

  Daughter#2 is excited to be back and getting to know new teachers also, today going on a cross country run outside the school (glad I'm all out of that side of things, bad enough running let alone in this rain, sport was never my thing) and is pleased with her football team win at the weekend. We're finding it amusing that she's been invited to a birthday party with an Oscars theme. She trying to find an actress or singer who doesn't get glammed up to copy. There was a couple of days where she was teaming up with one friend to go as Luigi from the Mario brothers and would have needed blue dungarees and and a green top and baseball cap, now she's thinking of the Spice Girls, unfortunately Sporty has been taken, can't see her as Posh!!

 Talking of glamming up daughter#1 has been choosing her prom dress - it's only 2 yrs away so we'd better get cracking, haha. Here's a couple of the dresses she likes, she wants long skirts

Here's one I go for, assuming I looked like the model wearing the dress that is, the bigger and flouncier the better, lol

That's all there is today in this post, I need to post something as my poor blog was feeling a little neglected and was trying to get my attention. I've given her something to keep her occupied for a while, hope she's satisfied, (capricious little thing she can be). Speak soon, bye all.