Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Adding some colour

Since we moved into this house just over a year ago, I have disliked the little flower bed around the tree outside our front window. The white stones you can see in the photo below were a thick layer around the tree, until I got stuck in yesterday and pulled out the heather that was there and lifted most of the stones. This morning, having decided it was time to do something with the flowerbed, I went out to the garden centre with Mum and Dad. I bought another roll of edging (seen in the photo above) to replace the section that had broken/rotted away. I also bought some pansies and violas. Lovely splashes of colour!! I couldn't wait to get started.
Dad came round after lunch and did the hard work for me (thank you Dad!). He put in the new edging and then I could add a couple of bags of compost.
We stamped it down and in the photo above Dad was leveling off the compost before we set about placing the plants around the base of the tree until we were happy with the positions.
This is what it looks like now. I'm so looking foward to seeing these grow and having a lovely splash of colour outside our window.
So much nicer than white stones! I'm happy!!

Monday, 30 March 2009


Over the weekend my brother in law, Simon, sent us photos of their Spring weather in Chicago. He tells us they'd had temps of around 16 degrees C the day before and then woke up to this the next morning!
So, we decided to let him see what our weather was like this weekend ;P
There are often times when I wish we could live nearer to them in Chicago - this weekend wasn't one of those times :) We love you all lots but you can keep that sort of weather, I'll keep the UK Spring sunshine!

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Wickendens on a Saturday

Like the title says, today is Saturday. Every Saturday we have this little tradition where we go to Wickenden's, our local sweet shop, and buy sweets for everyone to have that night. We probably started this a couple of years ago but it's become more traditional since Emily has been old enough to know what day it is and what it means :) These photos weren't all taken today but I've been wanting to post them because we think our little sweet shop is the best!
The outside of the shopDad standing next to the front display window. All those little jars hold different sweets.
And when you go inside there are shelves full of bigger jars with all the different sweets. You decide which ones you want and how much you want. My favourites at the moment are the mini jelly babies (I think they're made by Haribo). Claire bought me a little jar full of them for Mother's Day as part of my present. Needless to say, the little jar was empty by today so I bought more to fill it up again. And a close up of all my jelly babies (below)
When Emily comes with me, Geoff Wickenden (the proprietor) waits for her to do her mental arithmatic and add up everything that we're buying and give him the total. I'm pleased to say she always seems to be right! ;D There has been talk of the shop closing when Geoff decides to retire and that would be a very sad day indeed. We're hoping that won't be for a very long time.
After our wonderful weather last week, this week has been very disappointing. Today we seem to have nearly all seasons in one day. Above is a little hail stone on our garden table from this afternoon. There were more hail stones but they didn't lie for long, hence the photo of the lone one!
Taken at the same time however, is this photo of our wall flowers coming into bloom. I still find it reassuring to see signs of spring and the weather forecasters are predicting better weather again next week. I hope they're right!
Only one more week until Emily goes on holiday for Easter. I'm hoping we might get a chance to do a few day trips (now that I have SatNav for my car) and that the weather will be kind to us then also.
Hope you have a lovely weekend.

Friday, 27 March 2009

It's Friday

I am so glad it's Friday, it's felt like a long week and I'm ready for it to be over! The shopping in Tunbridge Wells went well and I got the Bobbi Brown eyeshadow I needed. Claire also ended up buying some BB makeup and mum used her gift voucher from Iain on some BB eyeshadow as well. We wandered around the shops (with Claire having to stop at Jane Norman twice ;o) ) and had a lovely lunch at The Nutmeg Tree. It always gets so busy at lunch time and the last couple of times we've been we've not been able to get in because there have been queues waiting outside. On Wednesday we went just before mid day and were able to get a table. After lunch we popped into Marks and Spencers and picked up some of their breaded chicken for dinner (yum!)
On Wednesday afternoon it poured and I was looking out the window when I saw this rainbow. I grabbed my camera and managed to get a few shots before it disappeared.
If you look in the top right corner you can actually see there was another rainbow above it though the second one wasn't as clear. Another shot where you can see the second rainbow a bit clearer.
Yesterday was my morning for meeting up with friends for coffee at Caffe Nero. We meet once a fortnight and tend to spend the whole morning catching up and chatting. Always a fun morning and yesterday was no exception.
Last night Jon and I went to Sackville for Emily's parents evening. We saw most of her teachers and they all think she is lovely and her work is outstanding. I love parents evening like that, you leave feeling really good! Well done Emily and keep up the good work! We love you loads!
This morning I popped down to Sainsbury's to do Mike's shopping for him. They are still trying to get his medication dose sorted out and his leg is still sore so I offered to get his shopping. He is back at the Doctor's this morning because he's also had a pain under his armpit since yesterday and had thought it was from the way he was lying but it was still sore today and they suggested he go in again.
I am now going to do what ironing I have to do so that I can relax this afternoon. Looking forward to a peaceful weekend.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Things happen

I fully intended on posting on Mother's Day but, in the end, didn't get round to it. My children spoilt me with some lovely presents and then we had a very enjoyable afternoon when family came round for tea and cake. Unusually for me, I didn't take many photos other than one of the cakes before everyone tucked in ;) For those who were wondering, I had made a pecan pie, key lime pie, Death by Chocolate cake and lemon drizzle traybake. All were delicious but I now need the little that was left over out of our house so that I don't eat any more.
This was the card I made for Mum
In other news, Jon's brother Mike had had a sore leg since Friday and on Sunday one of the members of his church told him they thought he ought to go to the hospital to get it checked. They took him up to our local hospital who said they suspected it was a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) and that he needed to go to East Surrey Hospital to be checked out properly and have a scan to confirm it. Jon took Mike on Sunday afternoon but they were unable to give him a scan that day. They gave him an injection and told him he'd be contacted the next day and told when to come back for the scan. Long story short, I took Mike back on Monday and we spent about 5 hours there, going from one department to the next. It was confirmed he does have a DVT but by the time everything had been confirmed/completed the pharmacy was closed so they gave him tablets for that day and we had to go back again yesterday to pick up his prescription and get his blood checked again. Fortunately Mike seems in good spirits and from now most of his appointments will be with the local GP, where they will monitor his blood levels and change his dosage as required. One thing about having a larger family is that there always seems to be something going on ;)
Today, Claire has the day off work and I think we're going to head off to Tunbridge Wells with Mum so that I can get some more eyeshadow and for a wander around the shops.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Busy morning

Tomorrow is Mother's Day in the UK and I've invited the family round for tea and cake in the afternoon. This morning, after dropping Claire off at work, I headed into Sainsbury's to get what I needed and then came home and spent the rest of the morning baking. Thank goodness for modern appliances which make some of the process so much quicker :) One of Jon's friends was going up to Twickenham to watch the rugby this afternoon and asked if we would babysit their 6 month old Jack Russell called Oscar. He's been quite good but has reminded me very clearly how much work a puppy can be! I certainly wouldn't be in a hurry to get another puppy and am grateful that our dogs are basically well behaved and not as demanding.
And just for a bit of colour on the blog, I went to the garden centre with Mum and Dad on Friday and they had some really colourful displays. These flowers are a prime example.
Hope you are all having a good weekend, I am about to go outside and make the most of what's left of the sunshine. Someone told me we may be back to snow by Wednesday, I'm really hoping they were wrong!

Thursday, 19 March 2009


I've been enjoyed the sunshine we've had recently and at the weekend we even managed to get our first braai/barbeque in. The garden is looking better as the plants start growing again - I had hoped you might be able to see our daffodils in this photo but you have to look very carefully for the little yellow blobs ;) Jon has cut the grass a few times and is starting to patch up the areas where the grass had died off over winter. I love this time of year with the promise of Summer to come. I thought I'd show you what my little craft area is looking like now. The wall unit, red boxes and red drawers are what I got at Ikea. What a difference they've made! Jon turned the table round and the room now looks like it has a purpose - before it looked like a junk room. I still haven't got round to organising everything properly but it's just so nice to have most of it in one place.
I have also decided that, with Spring here and Summer on it's way I need to try harder to lose weight. I long to be able to wear skirts/dresses in Summer and know that I'm the only one who can do anything about it. So, this week I've started walking into town with Claire when she goes to work. She goes down the road to work and I carry on round on the circuit I've chosen. It takes me about half an hour and has a few hills to go up/down. My legs are still giving me problems but I'm determined to keep going and hopefully as I get more used to it the pain will ease off. It's frightening how unfit I am! I have also stopped eating between meals; haven't had chocolate since Monday (which is good for me ;) and the longer I keep it up the less I miss it!) and am making the effort to eat more fruit. I decided against saying I'm going to do the Weight Watchers plan because as soon as I say that it seems to make things go downhill fast, instead I'm just watching what I eat and trying to do more exercise. Hopefully, I'll be able to give positive report backs as I continue.
Having said all that, Emily and I went out to Prezzo for lunch today. Emily hadn't been able to come when we took Mum out for her birthday because she was at school but today she had an inset day and I had promised we would go out. I tried not to do too much damage by having olives for starter and prawns with spinach in a tomato sauce with my pasta. Emily had garlic bread and Margarita pizza. Really delicious.
Now, time for me to think about what to feed Jon and Claire (Hugh's on a late shift). Emily and I have decided we won't want much for dinner as we're still quite full :) and then I have a couple of job applications to get ready to post.
Sorry the paragraphs all seem to run into one another, I try and leave spaces but Blogger just takes them out again. Frustrating!

Monday, 16 March 2009

Taking time

I've been taking time to: a) make the Ikea storage units we bought last week b) try and turn the dog room into a joint craft room of sorts c) consider what project I feel like starting next d) enjoy the sunshine we're having at the moment (should be top of the list!!) e) listen to the little blue tits singing in the trees outside f) read a book g) think about doing some more ironing :( h) enjoy life!!! Next time, hopefully, I'll have a few more photos xx

Tuesday, 10 March 2009


As I mentioned before, Claire has a week's holiday this week. We decided to take a trip up to Ikea today as Jon was going to be at home and we could take his car (it's bigger!). We picked Mum up on the way and were there shortly after they opened. As you can see in the above photo, the clouds had gathered by the time we arrived and it was threatening rain.
Claire and Mum
It was also quite chilly but we had decided not to take jackets in with us - brrrrr!!! We spent a couple of hours walking round the displays before stopping for some lunch and then going on to the Market Place and to collect our larger items. I've been wanting an Expedit bookcase to put some of my scrapbooking supplies in and today, finally got it. Also picked up a few of the CD towers for Hugh and Emily. Fortunately, we managed to get it all in the back of the car (seats down and through the middle of the seats).
Now it's all sitting in the room in boxes, waiting for me to assemble ;) I didn't have the energy to do it tonight. I believe Dad has built Mum's little cabinet and has offered to give me a hand tomorrow if I need it - Jon will be back at work (much to his relief! hehe) And a bit of storage never goes wrong.
Off to relax for a while before heading up to bed.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Happy Birthday, Mum!

WARNING: Lots of photos in this post so I'll try and keep the writing to a minimum ;) Today is my Mum's **th birthday, and she looks jolly good for her age! Yesterday she had family round for tea and cakes in celebration. As always, she put on a lovely spread which was enjoyed by everyone. Jon did the honours, lighting the candles. I did notice that Mum kept the number of candles down to make it easier blowing them out - what a spoil sport ;)
Tyler enjoyed watching her doing the deed regardless of how many candles there were!
Emily and Claire with their cousin, Faith.
My sister, Kay.
My brother, Iain.
Iain's wife Louise and son, Max, in the background.
Emily and Faith getting some food.
Tyler and I had great fun playing with his digger :)
Today Mum and I went and did our weekly grocery shopping in the morning as usual but at lunch time, Claire and I took Mum and Dad to Prezzo's for lunch. Prezzo's is a local Italian restaurant that we love going to and today was no different.
Mum and Claire
In other news, I finally finished the quilt. Once I'd finished sewing on the binding, I decided the border was a bit plain so I did a bit more quilting. Fortunately, once I'd finished that I was happy with the end result.
And last night it was put to good use!