half term catch up

The week off school is flying by. Homework. Shopping. More homework. Autumn Watch on TV. Lots to do. So far it has been a great week.

Yesterday we celebrated hubby’s 50th birthday. He doesn’t look old enough to be 50! Not that I’m complaining about that. After months of deliberation I finally found a gift I was fairly confident would be special enough for the big 50 and something he would like. I went for the Up at the O2  Experience – you get to walk across the top of the the O2 dome – and he was thrilled! Glad I didn’t book it for the day itself as the weather here was dreadful yesterday.  We spent a family day at Rainham Marshes, an RSPB Nature reserve followed by lunch at a local restaurant. Rainham Marshes was cloaked in autumnal dampness but very beautiful all the same. We saw a stoat or a weasel – can’t quite figure out which one. They are always portrayed as the baddies in children’s story books! Very exciting to see one for real running about in front of the hide. The weather turned from light drizzle to proper ‘you are going to get soaked through’ rain so we headed to the cafe and admired the views through the huge windows. Such a great place.

Halloween is on the way. We don’t celebrate Halloween but my daughter really wants to carve a pumpkin. What to do? I was reading an interview with one of the stars of Downton Abbey, Elizabeth McGovern in Prima Magazine and she is promoting World Visions ‘A Night of Hope’. The idea is that you carve your pumpkin with a heart and give money to aid the children of Syria who are living in real fear each night. You can take a photo of your pumpkin and send them to World Vision who will use them in a large mosaic to show Syrian refugee children in Lebanon that they have not be forgotten. So my dilemma is solved – I can carve a pumpkin with my daughter with the added bonus that we can do one very small thing to help someone else.


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Birthday cake making – lots of smarties were eaten in the making of this cake!



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Some holiday crochet. Lovely colours. Large blanket on the hook!



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Mr Pumpkin – all ready and waiting for some hearts.


Couldn’t resist

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I went shopping on Monday. I had some vouchers for John Lewis (best shop ever!) and what to do? Head for the haberdashery. I had some trouble reaching the wool on the top shelf but a set of knitting needles close by were the perfect tool for encouraging the bright pink wool down into my basket. The assistant was already busy helping another customer and to be truthful she didn’t look tall enough to reach the top shelf either.

So a large granny square has begun. One of the best things about this is that there will be no crocheting granny squares together. It will just grow and grow …

The wool purchased – Sirdar Country Style Wool Blend DK. It’s very nice to be using something with a wool content. It feels just right for Autumn crochet.


My little black book



Addresses of handsome suitors? Well sort of. Handsome suitors for the new garden! This is my garden ideas/dreams book.

We had our last garden for almost twenty years and there are lots of photos of it scattered around this blog. But it belongs to someone else now.

We will have a new garden. I am so excited about that. When we viewed houses we had to concentrate on the location, interior and sort of hold back from just falling for something with outside space. In one way this was difficult. In a another the decision to refuse anything that was all decking, all concrete and no privacy or potential made some choices easy to make.

Some things from my old garden have come along in pots. I will never grow an American pillar rose again as I learnt the hard way that mildew is a fighter I don’t wish to do battle with.

I am looking forward to this new garden telling me what it needs, what works, what will happily grow. Gardens have a way of letting you know how they want to go. No plans to impose something in the first few weeks by spending a fortune on fully grown plants. This new garden will never be ‘done’. It will always be changing, growing, developing and as we nurture it, it will nurture us in return.

But while I wait I thought I had to do something to channel my excitement – and so the black book. Filling up with ideas. Dreams.



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When I see a rainbow it always lifts my spirits – even when I have to stand in the pouring rain to get a photo. They are a kind of magic.

We have a few more days before the teenagers have a week off school. They are tired. Tests and more tests have been the theme of the last couple of weeks. Teenage son has run four cross country races doing well in all of them. He was one of those eighteen month old babies who never attempted to toddle. All the baby books said he should have been on his feet but he was in no hurry at all. I was worried. It always makes me smile when I remember that now. He was placed seventh in his last race – about 45plus youngsters took part.

Our rented home continues to be a fab place to live. Two minutes to the tube. So convenient for everything.

We have found a new permanent home and are going through the process of buying. No hurry. But so want it all to go smoothly (who doesn’t?). I am making plans for having a new garden. It is already very lovely and fairly large – but there are so many plans buzzing around in my head. It’s a strange time – don’t want to get too excited just in case – but every now and then just can’t help but look forward.

Thank you for the likes and comments on the last post – big thank you.


Sort it..

By all means skip reading this post – it is a little on the miserable side. Just a few thoughts I need to sort.

On 29 October my hubby will be 50. This has been a bother to me. Why? Well my dad died at 51. Now I know it’s a year off but it’s a decade that spelled sadness for me as a child. I am not fond of it.

How to explain? I don’t know that I really can. These memories come and creep up and catch you out. Thoughts nag away.

Now I know they are two different people. I know that my hubby is healthy and that my father died from Marfan’s Syndrome back in 1975 when there was very little that could be done. (Loads can be done now). But still I need to put this down here and then put it behind me.

I need to be grateful I have this lovely man in my life. Count my blessings. Separate these two periods of time. One is in the past. One is now.

I plan to celebrate. I am determined to enjoy 29 October 2014. My dad would have wanted that. I want it too.


baby blanket – done!

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Finished! I loved making this blanket (except for stitching the squares together). The baby I made this for is due in two weeks so it’s even ready on time which has amazed me.

The border was begun using an idea from this blog In the sidebar there is a tutorial on ‘How to make a flat border for a granny square blanket.’ which was superb. The final trim is also from this blog.

I often look at bunnymummy because the photos are often of familiar places in the East Midlands which is still ‘home’ to me in many ways. I would love to leave a comment thanking Jaquie but blogger won’t let me comment using wordpress – just tells me my URL is invalid! Oh well.


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Summer on the phone

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Kensington Gardens – Italianate garden and lunch outside St Paul’s





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My phone memory was full so I have finally got around to posting some of the photos taken over the summer.

At London Zoo

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The V&A Museum

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A walk through Kensington Gardens



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And several visits to my favourite coffee shop with my teenagers. We don’t have fizzy drinks at home (except for birthdays and Christmas) so a Coke is still a treat.