Saturday, 31 July 2010


Yesterday was Martin's funeral. It was very emotional and extremely moving, he was loved by so many people and the crematorium was packed. Martin did one last thing, he brought all his siblings back together again. It's the first time in a long time they've all been in one place at the same time and it was good to see everyone; I just wish it could have been under happier circumstances. And because we never know when the next time they'll all be together again will be, I was asked to take a couple of photos.
L-R: Penny, Nick, Harry (Martin's grandson), Simon, Deb, Jerry, Adrian, Frank (Dad), Mike and Jon
And one of the siblings and Harry - same positions ;).

Friday, 30 July 2010

Working from home

Yesterday Jon got to work from home. As he says, not many people get to have their office out in the garden from time to time. Nothing he likes better - he doesn't have to do the commute and gets to sit in the sunshine.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

They still hide from the camera ;)

I asked Emily if I could take a photo of her for my tag book post for today and this is the best I got! Getting her to just look up above Mac's head was difficult enough - I took what I could get and left it at that :) Sorry Amy, they don't necessarily get any more co-operative as they get older ;)

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Chocolate and Banana Cake

Today has been fairly productive as well as laid back ;). I've taken photos throughout the day and am hoping to make layout (one of these days) showing a day in my life (like Mel at I Speak Melsh)
One of the things I did was make Banana and Chocolate Loaf because we had some bananas which were very ripe!

Chocolate and Banana Cake

Makes 1 loaf (about 12 slices)

From Rachel Allen’s “Rachel’s Favourite Food for Friends”

75g/3 oz


110g/4 oz

Soft butter

125g/4.5 oz

Castor Sugar



125g/4.5 oz

Self Raising Flour

1 level tsp

Baking Powder

1 rounded Tbsp


2 medium

Bananas, peeled & mashed


· Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line a 900g/2lb loaf tin with baking parchment.

· Melt the chocolate in a microwave or in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water.

· With a wooden spoon, cream the butter, add the sugar and beat well.

· Add the eggs one at a time, beating all the time.

· Add the sieved flour, baking powder and cocoa, followed by the melted chocolate and mashed bananas.

· Stir to bring together.

· Pour into the prepared loaf tin and place in the preheated oven. Cook for 50 – 55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

· Cool in the tin for about 5 minutes before removing.

Needless to say, I had to try a slice with my mug of tea this afternoon :)

Monday, 26 July 2010

First day of the holidays :)

Today is Emily's first day of the summer holidays and life is slowing down already ;). I got up 3/4 hour later than I normally would (6.45am instead of 6am). The morning was more relaxed as there were no lunches to be made :) (I make Jon's the night before because he leaves early in the mornings). I then sat and had a quick look at emails and blogs before making my breakfast - which I had to eat in a hurry because I hadn't realised what the time was and I had to take Claire to work and pick up Mum for our weekly shop. Oh well, can't win them all ;) This afternoon I made curries for dinner (yes, two! A Dupiaza for Hugh, Sarah and myself and a Madras for Jon), cooked the rice and tidied up the kitchen and stacked the dishwasher. All good because after that I could relax a bit - I decided the ironing can wait till tomorrow morning :) - I'm in that holiday mood!
I said in my last post that I'd have to take some more photos of the little fat giraffe Claire bought when we went shopping last week. He is the cutest little toy - seeing him up close now, I'm sure you'll agree! Dad, these photos are for you. I have never seen sunflowers like this before but they are stunning. If the petals continue to open I can only think they'll end up looking like pom-poms ;) They still remind me of Dahlias rather than sunflowers but seeing as the stalks and leaves are sunflowers I guess the flower head must be too! Does anyone else have sunflowers like this or know what type they are?

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Claire's baby shopping

As promised yesterday, here is the photo of Claire's shopping from Thursday :). Pumpkin Patch is going to be a dangerous place to go to once baby is here, they have the cutest clothes. They also had a brilliant sale on Thursday which did make us feel slightly better ;). And how could anyone resist the fat giraffe from Mothercare! (I'll have to take a better photo of it for another day) ;)

Friday, 23 July 2010

A little late

Claire's photo on the 20th is a little late this month though it was actually taken on the 20th, I just haven't got round to posting it until today. As you can see, baby is getting bigger and there's not really much doubt that Claire's pregnant now ;). Lots of movement from baby and lots of shopping from Mummy at the moment. I'll have to post a photo of latest baby buys soon. And to end off, just a few photos from our garden. The one above was taken late one evening, I liked the way the glow from the kitchen windows helped to light the flowers. And a couple more shots of our sunflowers. They are opening slowly but surely and are beautiful. These remind me of dahlias with all their petals but I'm sure one we can see the sunflower seeds that'll change :) Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your families.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

RIP Martin

At 06:00 this morning, Jon's younger brother Martin passed away after suffering a heart attack. He was only 51. Martin was kind, loving and generous - offering to help where needed. He loved his family and spending time with his grandchildren.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Lorraine, Mark, Joanne and all the family at this sad time.
RIP Martin.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Catch up

Wow, it feels like a long time since I've just done a general chit chat blog post. I have to admit, I'm loving the fact that I finished the quilt and got it posted and also that I've finished editing Michelle & Matthew's photos. The pressure is off and I'm feeling a lot more relaxed so I thought I'd do a quick catch up post of the past few days.
Friday was Emily's sports day at school. Unfortunately, like me, Emily isn't that keen on sports - she's got better at doing PE and does try her best. For sports day her teacher put her in the long jump (better than running!) but when she got home from school, her foot was bandaged up and she was limping a bit :( She had twisted her ankle when she landed and they'd had to call the medical lady over to strap it up. She's been told not to do sport for the next week but this week is their curriculum enhancement week and Emily was supposed to be doing sporting team building exercises. Although I sent her in with a letter this morning, she was still encouraged to take part in the various sports but with someone else doing her running for her. Her ankle is quite sore tonight so I may be writing another note to the teachers for tomorrow. On Saturday I was woken up with the phone ringing at 6.15am. I could hear Jon answer it but realised he hadn't realised it was Argos letting him know that Claire and Craig's new bed would be delivered in the next hour, so I got up. There was a lot of tidying and clearing to be done, the double bed to be built and the room to be reorganised. They did really well and although the bed takes up a lot of the room, because the desk and bookcase have been taken out, the room almost feels bigger. Craig has been painting a little wardrobe that my friend, Ali, gave them. It's going to be ideal for the baby's things and once the final coat of paint is on, Claire can start putting baby things in it. There should even be room in the room for a Moses basket or cot ;) This one is a "just because" photo. You haven't seen Bellatrix and Mac for a little while so I thought I'd add this one - just because! They don't often lie together any more so when I saw them like this the other day I had to take a photo. Next up are our sunflowers. Dad gave us a few quite a while ago and we are finally starting to see the flowers appearing. Can't wait to see them fully opened up :) That brings us to tonight! Today turned out to be really warm - probably up to about 28C (yes, that's really warm for us ;) ) and we decided to have a braai/bbq for dinner tonight as we hadn't had one for a while. When Jon got home from work he changed into shorts and a t-shirt and got the fire going. I made a salad and some fried rice and we had some bread to go with it. Nothing fancy - in this weather I don't feel like eating too much anyway. We thoroughly enjoyed it and empty plates with clean bones is always a good sign. Cloud wasn't quite as impressed with that, I think she would have liked a few left overs ;) She is still in her t-shirt and cone but I'm glad to say that she does seem to be starting to get better. The dog parlour I take her to recommended that I try her on some new food they're stocking. It was recommended by doggy dermatologists for a couple of other dogs they groom and they felt they could see an improvement. I'm happy to try anything that might help and after nearly 4 weeks on the new food, I think we may be getting somewhere. I really hope so! And finally, my newest orchid! Dad gave me three White Egret Orchid tubers and kept three for himself to see if we could grow them ourselves. To begin with mine didn't seem to be doing much but then I got some leaves through. All three have survived but one is way ahead of the others and tonight as I was loading the dishwasher I saw that the first flower has opened :) It's tiny - probably only about three quarters of an inch to an inch in size. It's so dainty and looking at this photo you can see why it's called a White Egret - it looks just like a little bird. I love it!! Thank you, Dad!

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Wedding Photos

I have finally finished editing Michelle and Matthew's wedding photos :). Thank you for being so patient Michelle and Matthew, I hope you'll like them.
The photo gallery can be found here.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Baby Quilt

This morning I put the final touches to the latest baby quilt. With all that's been going on lately it's taken a little longer than I would have liked so it felt good to finish it. It was boxed up and posted this afternoon, on it's way to it's new home. My only wish for the quilts I make is that they are used often and worn in and well loved. I'm hoping that will be the case with this one too.
Folded up
The front
The back
The little label in the bottom left hand corner gives the baby's name, date and time of birth and birth weight.
Next quilt/s to be made will be for Alice Rose :) (Thinking I might need to make a doll size one for the Moses basket and then a cot size one.)
Tomorrow I continue with the editing of the wedding photos as I'm hoping to get some up on a website this weekend so that they can be viewed.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

George William

Hugh's friend and his fiancé brought their son, George William, round for a visit last week. I love this photo of him :) He was 2 weeks old and such a good baby. He was happy to let us all have a hold and I got to feed him :)
Can't wait for November ;)

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Hoping to be back soon

Norma left yesterday afternoon and I heard from my nephew, Kyle, a short while ago that she is home safe and sound. Our house is really quiet at the moment and we're missing having her around. I can't believe how quickly the month went by but we loved having her here and will have to start planning for the next visit :)
As you may have noticed, blogging has not been high on my list of priorities while Norma was here and although I'm hoping to be back blogging soon, I still have an awful lot of wedding photos to go through and edit as well as a quilt to complete and post. I'm feeling a bit behind at the moment but, hopefully, I'll be back on track again soon. To keep you going, here are a few photos taken recently.
My great niece, Alyssa, is always a lovely subject ;) I got some beautiful flowers from Ann, Michelle's mum, thanking me for taking the photos at the wedding. Thank you Ann, they were such a surprise and I really appreciate the thought x And finally, Norma and I went to Tesco the other day and these found their way into my shopping trolley :)
Hope you've all had a lovely weekend, I can't get over the weather we're having at the moment and long may it last :)

Monday, 5 July 2010

20 week scan

My granddaughter - Alice Rose :)

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Michelle and Matthew's Wedding

Today we were in Poole for Jon's daughter, Michelle's wedding to Matthew. The weather was very kind to us (although I would have liked a little more cloud cover ;) ) and it's been a wonderful day. The service was lovely and at times emotional but certainly a very happy occasion. I have edited a few photos as a taster because I know Michelle will be waiting to see how they've turned out. I hope you like them Michelle :)
Matthew, Michelle and Jon
Matthew taking the ring from Josh
Matthew places the ring on Michelle's finger
Michelle placing the ring on Matthew's finger
Mr & Mrs
The happy couple
Matthew's family
Matthew's parents, Mary and John, held the reception in their garden and had arranged a wonderful spread. Many thanks to you both for a lovely day.
Matthew and Michelle with Matthew's siblings and their partners
Michelle with Hugh, Claire and Emily
Emily, Hugh, Sarah, Matthew, Michelle, Claire and Craig
Matthew and Michelle with Michelle's Mum's side of the family
Emily, Claire, me, Matthew, Michelle, Jon and Hugh
Cutting the cake
I'm leaving it at that for tonight as it's been a long day. I'm sure there will be more to follow shortly.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Come November

I'm going to have a little Granddaughter :)
We've just got back from Claire's 20 week scan and after a couple of attempts we found out that she's having a little girl. Her name will be Alice Rose :) Very exciting and can't wait to meet her.
We're now finishing packing and will be on our way to Bournemouth for Jon's daughter, Michelle's wedding tomorrow morning. Looking forward to her special day and I'll be back with photos next week.