Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Happy Birthday to me

I reached the grand old age of 55 today and for about the next six weeks will be two years older than Bruce, a fact he delights in. It has been strange being over 50 really and I don't think most of us think it will ever happen to us, I certainly don't feel my age though I do remember a time when I had two babies and a teenager when I felt more like 90.
Thank you, thank you, thank you Bruce. Even though we are in debt because of a new kitchen, the purchase of the lens used to take this and of course having four kids, Bruce bought me this wonderful lens to capture the once in a lifetime event of my eldest daughters wedding. It made such a difference to the shots I could get and is still making a great difference to my enjoyment of photography. Also thanks to my sister Nuala for the loan of a nikon speedlight which allowed me to capture the evening as well, this is next on my wishlist, I loved it!!

And here is some more of my birthday booty. Thanks Siobhan, Beth and I love the shower gel and the chocolates, I have restricted her to 1 capfull though and one chocolate. lol Thanks again Bruce I love the cd, (Joni Mitchell, Shine, short but sweet and a return to her old style) And thanks Jo and Nick for the beautiful shell and necklace, they have kept me occupied for most of the day and congratulations on getting them here on time all the way from New Zealand and despite the postal strike. Thanks Mum for the money in my account, Amazon here I come. And thank you Hilary and Conal for the beautiful lily, what a wonderful surprise to get such a huge box delivered to my door.

Thank you to Will for a lovely painting of dragons (my request).

I spent most of the day taking and processing photographs, totally overfocusing and loving it. Sorry kids for the total neglect. Here are some of the results.

These shells handpicked from a beach in New Zealand, came in the parcel from Jo and Nick.

And my flower do look beautiful.

And because Jo wasn't here to cook my traditional birthday meal (don't feel guilty I am really glad that you are where you are as you know) I was taken out for a meal. It took us a while to decide where to eat. I wanted indian but it makes Jamie ill, then I wanted Mexican but Will doesn't like that. Surprisingly I turned down Beth's suggestion of pizza and we ended up in a Thai restaurant, by this time the kids were a bit grumpy but the great food soon cheered them up.

And home for a glass (or two) of sparkling chardonay and a gorgeous piece of brownie cake made by Will and Beth.

All in all a very satisfactory day!

Monday, 22 October 2007

Help with the housework

My kids are not keen on housework, in a big way, having said that they have emptied and filled the dishwasher for years but it took years of fighting to make it routine and they will still forget it or any part of it if we are not on their backs. Now the middle two are reaching young adulthood and have begun asserting that they intend never to cook, do not value a tidy house and will continue to avoid any kind of effort to improve or maintain their environment it has been on my mind that perhaps I have not been doing my job properly.

I have been a subscriber to Flylady for years, with minimum noticeable effect unfortunately, and we have been having 'house blessings' (everybody working to clean/tidy the house) on the occasional weekend and these make a big difference even if we only work for half an hour. However I have learnt not to use the words blessing or flylady as this can produce total mutiny from the older ones.

This half term (my middle two are still in school) I decided that they had to help or I would go under and drag their dad with me so I have been thinking hard about the best way to get their help. Should I tell them I need their help for a certain time each day, no, too much information, they are cleverer than me and would find a way to undo my plans. Should I appeal to their better nature, better not, could be disappointed, don't want to find out they don't have one. So I decided to take each day as it comes and to ask them for a little help as if I had not asked them before, no warning, take them by surprise.

The first day was great and we transformed the hall between us and got a few other things done, I even got Will to put a wash on (by stealth, he did not know what he was doing until he had done it, babysteps!)

Yesterday I decided we had to work on the living room. This room is small for five people and heavily used but it had to be transformed into a suitable setting for my birthday bouquet. Will and Jamie were allocated the task of sorting out the sofas. This did not quite go quite to plan and a hilarious hour ensued where the cushions were anywhere but where they were supposed to be. Oh well it was an improvement in the end and the flowers look gorgeous.

Beth decided as she mostly does to clean the upstairs bathroom but this time with a twist, she dressed for the role. This isn't a great picture but she has on her bridesmaid high heels, a little white frilly apron, long yellow gloves and a DRESS! She has been dressing almost entirely as a boy for a year (why is another school related story) and it is great to see her relaxing and playing at being a girl again.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Early Pressies

It is my birthday on Wednesday, 55 (arrrrgggg) , so we went today to buy one of my pressies and I had to have it early as it needed planting. It is a Hamamelis Orange Beauty and it is full of flower bud. I have wanted one for a long time as our winter garden is quite dull and am really pleased with this.

I planted it just by the conservatory where I will be able to enjoy it's colour through the winter.

I also got a surprise early present of my favourite flowers, Lilys, they are quite tight in bud and should be perfect by Wednesday, thanks Bruce.

And I am being taken out for a meal which is a real treat in these post kitchen renovation straightened days!

Saturday, 20 October 2007

How not to spend Thursday evening

Beth fell off the sofa on Monday night and has been complaining of a headache and of feeling awful ever since. On Thursday I took her to the walk in centre as she still had the headache and was still feeling grotty. There a rather arrogant SENIOR (his emphasis) male nurse told us she was perfectly well and although theoretically we should see a doctor for a head injury he was pretty sure there was no good reason to. He did examine her carefully and seemed experienced but was not at all open to questioning or explaining which left me feeling more troubled than before.

So we left suitably chastened and the moment she walked through the front door she vomited. Put her to bed but on the third episode of vomiting thought I ought to read the card he had given me and one of the things that you should see a doctor for was persistent vomiting. So ring NHS direct and am told to go to the A and E, what else can they say!

So off we went to Leicester at about 7.00 pm, B and me and Beth and a sick bowl. Wait hours and hours. Eventually we see a doctor, have another thorough exam, we need to see a PSA??? After another long wait suggestions are made of observation leaving me panicking at the thought of being stuck in hospital. Eventually the doctor manages to speak to the Registrar (is that the same as a PSA?) and says Beth seems quite well and that they only worry about vomiting in first 12 to 24 hours so can go home. Why do they say to see a doctor on the card then! We walk out of the building and into another and Beth vomits again.

We went home anyway and got back at midnight thoroughly exhausted. I suppost we are glad that she hasn't got concussion but what a waste of time!

A walk in Bluebell woods

At the beginning of October Beth and I took a walk in bluebell woods. This is owned by Loughborough University and open to the public.

It is one of Beth's favourite places and is exeptionally pretty at this time of year and in spring when it is a mass of bluebells.

Beth especially loves this tree which has been blown down at some time and created a number of extra trunks vertical to it's original one.

Beth is still standing on the original trunk of this tree

Beth took this photo of me, I was a bit cross with her at the time and I think it shows!

Great fun was had climbing and jumping

We found the homes of rabbits, foxes, badgers or maybe pixies and faeries

And bowers

It was a really lovely day with the leaves just beginning to turn.

I am afraid this is a bit simple and I would love to add links such as one to the woods but it is taking ages to load pictures and I am just going to have to learn bit by bit how to do this.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Beginning on a Sunday

Hello, I am completely new to blogging but have had a flickr account for about 3 years. When posting recently I have felt the need to tell more of a story and with help from my husband Bruce have set this blog up. I also home educate my youngest, Beth and hope this will be a record of the work/play that we do and reasure us when we wonder where the time has gone. My eldest Jo and new husband Nick are also having an extended honeymoon, travelling through New Zealand, Australia and Singapore amongst other places and this is a great way of keeping them up to date with news from home. I have four children Jo (30), Will (17), Jamie (15) and Beth(9), they have five cats and Beth has fish and a snake called Jake.

I am starting with a lovely sunny sunday when Bruce, Beth and I went for a walk into Loughborough, an attempt to get fitter (for the adults) and appreciate the autumn colours. I am a real Summer person and suffer from SAD in winter but rather than sinking into the gloom and despair of the dark days I have been trying to appreciate the better points of my least favourite seasons. Its not too hard on a sunny day like this.

the Carillion Tower

The new updated Leisure Centre!

Of course refreshments had to be had.

And we met Jamie on his way home from Parkour training

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