Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Taking it easy

Thoroughly enjoying the holidays so far, quieter starts to the day, don't have to get up at 6am but trying to get up by 7 - 7.30am. Took the dogs for a walk first and then had breakfast sitting in the garden. Spent the rest of the morning doing things that needed to be done in the house ie. washing, ironing, tidying. Fun!! ;o) This afternoon the girls and I went into town - Claire and Emily wanted more books from Waterstones (who had a 3 for 2 offer starting today), Jon needed a new watch battery and we wanted to pick up a couple of DVDs to watch tonight (Emily and I have The Young Victoria and Inkheart - not so sure about the latter). We've finished watching Series One of House and now need to start on Series Two. I do like Hugh Laurie's character in House! Since we got back from town we've been reading :o). I finished one of the books I got out from the Library yesterday and will have to decide which one I start on next. And, because I like to have photos on a post, a couple from Sunday - when Claire was making bacon for breakfast and how Sunday morning was spent by Claire and Craig - on the computer Finally, a photo of one of the yellow roses opening in our garden at the moment. This photo was taken yesterday and I've taken another one today because they are so pretty - I just wish you could smell it too, it has the most beautiful scent. Makes me happy!

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Sunday morning

When my computer goes on to screen save it starts showing photos from my Pictures folder in random order. You will often find one of us standing in front of the computer watching the slideshow and it brings back all sorts of memories. Last night while I was watching, a photo of my sister Norma came up - it was taken last April when she was over on holiday from South Africa. It made me think about how she just fits in with our family when she comes over. We love having her here and have really missed her this year. I decided to do a layout, started thinking about it last night and finished it off this morning. Here it is If you click on the image I think it'll enlarge it so you can read the journaling if you want.
This photo of Jon was also taken yesterday. We couldn't decide what to have for dinner and then when the sun came out it seemed like the ideal opportunity to have another braai (bbq). We have to make the most of the weather when it's nice ;o)
Another photo taken yesterday. Emily will have to learn during the holidays that it's easier to just let me take her photo occassionally otherwise she's going to end up with photos like this on my blog - I know, mean Mum! She was playing her DS and tried to move it quickly to cover her face so I wouldn't get a shot but wasn't quite quick enough!
And finally, on a trip to the library the other day I picked up a load of brochures to give me some idea of where we can go for day trips. As we are having a "staycation" this year I thought it would be good to go to some places we haven't been to before. Now that I have my SatNav it makes things a whole lot easier. Hopefully you'll soon see photos from some of these destinations.
Enjoy your Sunday

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Random post

As the title says, this is a fairly random post but I want to try and blog more regularly during the holiday and still need to start taking more photos. First up, I would like to wish our nephew, Henry, a very happy 13th birthday. I don't have any recent photos of him, as he lives in Chicago, so he's going to have to put up with me being an embarrassing aunt ;o)
This first photo is of Emily and Henry and was taken when we went to Chicago on holiday in 2001. We have always tended to go around the time of Henry's birthday - and wish we could have been with him this year too :o( Henry was born 9 weeks before Emily and in 2001 they would have been 5. How cute were they both! Henry again, in 2001
This 3rd photo was taken on our last trip to Chicago in 2006 when we were there for Henry's 10th birthday. I think this photo was actually taken on his birthday when we went out for dinner.
Hope you have a fantastic birthday Henry, we're thinking of you and wishing we could have been there to go to Bob Chins with you. Enjoy!!
My next topic is one I don't think I've really posted about before but was brought to mind by some mail we received today. Before I met Jon he was in the British Army, as were his brothers. His Dad, Hugh, was in the Bristish Army during the Second World War and later, in the Australian Army. His Mum, Dorothy, was in the ATS during the Second World War. As the conflict continues in Afghanistan and Iran we thought we would like to show our support in some small way. That's where the mail comes in - today we received our Help for Heroes wristbands. I realise this may not make a huge difference but it shows our support for all the men and women fighting for our Country. If any of you would like to get your own wristbands and show your support, they can be ordered from the Help for Heroes website.
Finally, we are certainly getting into Summer in our house :o). Yesterday, while Mum and I went into Crawley, Claire and Emily caught up on their 90210 viewing. I've got the washing and ironing up to date for now and Emily and I have been watching House. My friend, Sarah, has let us borrow the first series and to date we've watched the first 12 episodes. Thanks Sarah, we are certainly getting into it and love being able to just watch one episode after the other.
Don't know what we'll watch once we've finished this box set ;o) - I've been thinking perhaps Private Practice could be next - only problem being that we've missed the first series. Anyone reading this watched it already? Is it worth buying the first series? Look forward to hearing your comments.
For now though, I guess I'd better go and think about what we're going to have for dinner.
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

From the Garden

Another week has gone by and time for another post. I do hope to post more regularly but will have to see how the summer pans out. Emily broke up for the summer holidays yesterday and we are looking forward to six more relaxing weeks and not having to get up at 6am. Yesterday afternoon Emily and I went in to East Grinstead, after she got home from school, to look for a couple of bits and ended up in Nero's having a celebratory end of term hot chocolate with lots of cream for her and capaccino for me. This morning I woke up at 6am as normal but went back to sleep until 7am when I got up for my shower. I took the dogs for a walk at 8am and then took Claire in to work for 9am. I stayed in town and bought some fruit and vegetables from the Fruit and Veg stall that sets up in the town on a Thursday and Saturday. He goes up to Covent Garden in London every morning and his produce is delicious, always very fresh, good quality and reasonably priced. I then met up with my Thursday morning coffee group (at Nero's) for a later coffee today. It was nice to be able to sit and chat without worrying about time. I got home at 12 and then Emily and I went to Prezzo's for end of school lunch. Just the two of us, the food was excellent (as always) and I didn't have to worry about cooking for us tonight (even better!). Emily met up with her friend Davina when we got back and spent the rest of the afternoon/evening with her. I love that she has a friend near by now (Davina lives just behind us) and will be able to spend time with her during the holiday. So, this afternoon, Jon and I were having a look at all the plants in the garden when a butterfly landed on the buddleah (sp?). We watched it for a while and it didn't seem to be in a hurry to fly off so I went to get my camera. I honestly thought it would have gone by the time I got back but it hadn't and seemed quite happy for me to take some photos. These are the ones I liked most.
I then carried on taking some photos of the irises .....
the fuschias ......
the garden ......
our window box :)
and the tomatoes (which we're looking forward to eating!)
Now, I know those weren't very exciting photos (well done to those who scrolled all the way through) but I am hoping that we'll be going out and about a bit during the holidays and I promise to try and remember to take my camera with me. So, please come back again soon and see if I've updated ;)

Thursday, 16 July 2009


Just a quick post today to show the layout that I made using the multi photo grid I spoke about yesterday. These photos are of Jon's daughter Michelle and his grandson, Joshua and were taken when they came to spend a few days with us in the May half term. Joshua is 7 and enjoyed his time chatting to Jon outside and helping with the gardening. I think he also really enjoyed the braais (bbqs) we had while they were here and Michelle told me after they'd been here he was telling his grandma that it was a braai rather than a barbeque ;o)
As for Emily's trip yesterday, it seems that they had a great time but the ferry was delayed slightly on the way home so she didn't get back until about 10.45pm. We then sat chatting about what they'd done and she showed me the photos she'd taken before finally getting to bed around 11.45pm. Needless to say, this moring she was quite tired and would have liked a day at home but she's gone off to school. I think an earlier night will be in order this evening.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

I'm back again :)

Time for another quick update. This morning Emily left, with her year group, on a day trip to France. She had to be at school by 7am and they were hoping to leave by 7.15am. They were taking the ferry over to Calais and then spending the day in and around Calais before coming back this evening. Emily was up by 5.10am and by the time I got downstairs, at around 6am, she was dressed and her bag was packed. The photo below was taken as she was making last minute arrangements with her friend.
Emily and Davina walking towards the school gates and you can see a couple of the coaches arriving.
As most of you know, Emily is my baby and it feels really strange knowing that she's overseas without me :o( . The weather was a bit unsettled this morning but has cleared up as the day's gone on so I'm hoping they've had a lovely time and am looking forward to hearing about it when she gets back tonight. I know she was a bit nervous before she left but I'm sure once she was with all her friends the nerves would have calmed down.
Rather than sitting at home wondering how she was getting on, I phoned Mum and asked if she fancied a morning out. We went to The Craft Barn in Lingfield where it was lovely to see Sarah, who used to work for another craft shop we used to go to. Such a surprise and great to catch up. We spent an hour or so wandering around looking at the new papers and products and I can't believe I walked out the door again not having bought a single thing!!!!
We headed round the corner for a coffee before coming back into East Grinstead where I had a couple of things to do. Mum took me out to lunch, which was most enjoyable, and it was around 2pm before we came home again. A lovely morning out, thank you Mum!
Since coming home I have been going through Cathy Zielske's tutorial on Ali Edward's blog. It is showing you how to create multi photo grids that can be printed on a single sheet of paper. I've never worked this one out but now that I've gone through the tutorial, it works!! Yippee!!! This is the grid of photos I created using photos from the last time Michelle and Josh were visiting us. I've already started assembling a scrapbook page and will post a photo once it's finished. Anyone interested in having a go should go over and watch the video tutorial. Thanks Cathy!!
And finally, more garden photos (mum, you can look away now). These photos aren't my normal ones of flowers and plants but rather of the big, fat slugs that Jon has been finding recently. I can only presume that they've been having a feast in our garden because they were REALLY big!! I don't know whether the photos do them justice but I'm glad they are no longer in our garden!
In this photo, taken from a big of a distance, you can see the orange coloured one in the bottom right corner and the brown one in the top left corner.
Brown one
Orange one
Not terribly pretty are they!!
And lastly, some of you know that I have started job hunting and had been on an interview last week. Unfortunately, I didn't get the job so the hunt continues. On the plus side, this will probably mean that I get to spend some of the summer holidays (at least) with Emily, for which I am very grateful.
I will let you know, in due course, how the French trip went and see if Emily has any photos I can share here.
Until then, take care and enjoy the (slightly) warmer weather.

Monday, 6 July 2009

What happened today??

When I say, "what happened today?" I'm actually talking about the weather. After the beautiful sunshine we've been getting used to, today turned out to be a fair bit cooler and, in our neck of the woods, rather blustery. So blustery in fact that it blew our acer in it's big pot right off the patio! We couldn't believe it - Hugh told me as he was walking through the kitchen and when I went to have a look this was the sight ....
When the acer blew over it also took down a fairly large rose which is also in a pot. I know some people may be thinking, what's the big deal? but we've never considered that the acer was in any danger of blowing over - guess we've been proved wrong!
As you can see from this photo, it's a fairly good size.
Seeing Wallace and Cloud sitting in front of the pot will give you an idea of how big the pot is. Anyway, it's back up again and now has a rock behind it which will, hopefully, prevent it from being blown over again.
After the fun and games I took a walk round the garden to see how things are growing. It's looking good! Our hydrangia is starting to flower
The tomatoes have started to appear and I wonder what these ones will taste like.
I'm not sure what this one is going to be like but we'll soon find out.
And finally, the buddleia bush - which is supposed to be one that the butterflies like. The flowers are coming out nicely but we aren't seeing many butterflies yet, hopefully they'll still appear.
Looking closely at the bush it's fascinating to see the hundreds of little flowers that make up one of the flower heads. Each little flower so perfect and all alike.
Now we just need the rain to stop again and the sun to come back out so we can enjoy the garden once more.
Have a lovely week

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Scattering the Ashes

This post is mainly for Jon's family who were unable to be with us today when we scattered the ashes of Jon's Mum, Dorothy and his Aunt, Barbara. The post is extremely photo heavy but I hope it will let everyone get an idea of what a beautiful place Barham Crematorium is and where the ashes have been scattered. We left home around 9.30am for the hour and a half journey to Barham. We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day - brilliant sunshine and very few clouds in the sky. We arrived at the Crematorium slightly early but were soon joined by the other family members.

Part of the grounds at the Crematorium.
Jon, Jerry, Mike, Morris, Debbie and Emily outside the crematorium building.
Looking out to the gardens from the patio.
Deb and Dave admiring the flowers in the garden while we wait for everything to be sorted out.
Leading the way to the rose garden where the plaque for Dorothy and Barbara was placed under a rose bush.
Moving on to the area where the ashes were to be scattered.
The scattering of the ashes took place under these beautiful trees in the cool of the shade.
Jon scattering his Mum's ashes
Forming the shape of a cross
Morris then scattered Aunt Bar's ashes in the same place as Dorothy's.
This was then followed with a brief reading and prayer by Father Shackelton. The poem he read out was beautiful and I'd like to share it with you here.
Death is Nothing at all
Death is nothing at all, I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I, and you are you; whatever we were to each other, that, we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way which you always used, put no difference in your tone, wear no forced air of sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we shared together.
Let my name ever be the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.
There is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere near, just around the corner.
All is well.
(Thank you Morris for typing out the words for each of us to have)
An orthodox prayer
The cross of the ashes
Chatting after the service
and a quick photo before we move on.
From the Crematorium we went to the Ramada Hotel in Whitfield for a buffet lunch, which had been organised by Morris, Barbara's husband. Father Shackelton joined us and we spent a very pleasant couple of hours chatting together.
Jerry, Father Shackelton and Jon.
Dave and Mike waiting to get drinks for everyone, from the bar.
Deb, Dave and Morris
Frances and Jon
After texting family who were unable to make it for the service, to advise them of the time of the toast, Jon made a short speech followed by the toast for Dorothy and Barbara (drunk with Russian vodka!).
I love the following sequence of photos, by this stage I had moved slightly back from the group and was able to take photos without Emily being aware. Jerry had been making us laugh through lunch and I think at times Emily wasn't 100% sure how to take him or whether he was being serious or not. It was fun to watch her interacting with family.
Thank you for taking the time to scroll through all the photos, I hope they have helped give you an idea of Dorothy and Barbara's resting place.
Love to all