Saturday, September 30, 2006

*a fantabulous day!*

Oh, I have had SO much fun today; went down to Crafty Pastimes in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire for Kirsty's and Emily's workshops - both were totally, totally awesome, to coin a phrase!! I'm afraid this post is going to be unusually photo-heavy, since I snapped away, and insisted on having my unphotogenic self in various shots with other, far more gorgeous scrappers!! I had the pleasure of sitting next to the adorable Katie Shanahan-Jones - what a peach she is! Anyway, for your viewing pleasure, here is a small selection of photies...

The lovely Ms Shanahan-Jones...

The adorable Ms Wiseman...

The gorgeous Ms Falconbridge...

Gorgeous Rena made some of her world-famous cupcakes, which were delish - the icing was scrummy and creamy!


Kirsty's passion for Jaffa Cakes is well-documented, and so it will come as no surprise to members of the scrapping community that she was well-supplied with Jaffas today:


I was the fool who made the mistake of bringing the heinous blackcurrant variety...

I haven't got photos of my projects from today to post, as yet, as I haven't really finished either of them; Kirsty's is completed but not embellished, and Emily's is nowhere near finished, but I've made a good start!! It was a fantastic day, ladies - thank you, and to Linz for arranging the hall and letting us all come and splurge in the shop! A big "mwah" to my lovely mate Ali (Alibri), who was a teeny bit late arriving, but got there in the end - great to see you, darling! And it was really lovely to meet Beth, all-too-briefly - would have liked to have chatted for longer, hun! xx

And finally...

As promised, a photo of 'the cake' - remember, it is ages, and I mean ages since I last baked a cake, and this was an unfamiliar recipe, so I hope it tastes OK - I think it looks pretty edible, though??!!


Night, night all! xx

Friday, September 29, 2006

*my first apron*

Here, as promised, are pictures of the apron I've made for mum as part of her birthday present; it was SO easy to do, no pattern needed, I will definitely be making some more! Really enjoyed doing it, it only took an evening, and I'm really pleased with the finished article! It's two-sided and can be worn both sides, so the girls modelled a side each...

apron freya

apron anja


Not great pictures, but you get the general gist!

The walnut and coffee cake is made, and looks AND smells lovely, but of course the proof of the pudding will be in the eating; what do I do, break into it to check it's OK, eat that one and make a fresh one tomorrow night, or take a chance on it tasting OK and not worry about it??!!!

Have got all my stuff ready for the workshop tomorrow; very excited and really looking forward to it. Just checked the route finder, and it should only take me about 40 minutes to get to Linz's tomorrow - should be a breeze at that time in the morning. Will be taking my camera with me, so should have some fab photos to show tomorrow night.

Happy Weekend, everyone!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

*just a quickie*

Busy day - honestly, this working lark is playing havoc with my blogging!!!

Haven't photographed the apron yet; will do that tomorrow.

Will also take up the tag(s) tomorrow - I think I've now been tagged by Jakey as well!!

Not working tomorrow - hoorah! Getting ready for the weekend - am going to Kirsty's and Emily's workshops at Crafty Pastimes on Saturday. I am going to be a real scrap groupie and ask Ms Falconbridge to sign my 'Designing With...' books!! Really looking forward to it - going to be catching up with some of my lovely scrapping buds, and meeting some new people into the bargain.

Also making final preparations for mum's birthday on Sunday; the jewellery from Jaq arrived today, and it is absolutely beautiful; I am SO thrilled, it's simply gorgeous. I'm making a coffee and walnut cake tomorrow - it is yonks since I last made a sponge cake, so wish me luck...if it turns out OK, I'll share a pic. Actually, if it's a disaster, I'll probably share a pic, too!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

*normal service resumes*

No post yesterday; I fell on the way down to school to collect the children (how much of a plonker did I feel??!!) and although I thought I was OK at the time, my left ankle swelled up like a balloon yesterday evening, and I was confined to bed with an ice-pack and some paracetamol!! It's heavily strapped today, and I can at least walk on it, which I was unable to do last night.

Anyhoo. Yesterday's mail brought a lovely parcel from America, the fruits of the international tea cup swap I'd taken part in on Swap Bot - I received the most beautiful, delicate Limoges tea cup and saucer, and a canister of pomegranate green tea, which is delish.


Do you like the black raincoat backdrop??!! Must get some black material...

Yesterday's mishap meant that I haven't made my daily visit to any of my favourite blogs, and I will catch up on all my blog stalking tomorrow!!

I've spent the evening making an apron for mum for her 60th birthday, this coming Sunday. With some help from my lovely friend Ali, I think we've made something she'll absolutely love. I'll take some photos in a good light tomorrow, and post tomorrow evening. My lovely scrapping mate Jaq over at A String Of Beads has made a beautiful set of a necklace, bracelet and some earrings for mum, and they are absolutely gorgeous. I'm thrilled, and I know mum will be. Thanks, Jaq :) Will post a pic after Sunday!

Oh! And Happy Birthday, Richie - love ya, darl xxx

P.S. I've been tagged by Rena and Roz; ladies, I will take up the tags (!!) but not 'til tomorrow!! Will have to rack my brains, though, I don't think there's anything weird about me...

Monday, September 25, 2006

*leaving it 'til the last minute*

Why do I do this??! I have spent the evening cobbling together the Minutes of a meeting (a sub-committee of the Governing Body at school) held on July 10th. I wrote copious notes, so remembering what we discussed isn't a problem, but it would have been SO much easier had I done it the same evening, or next day. I've then had to do a report from that committee to the rest of the GB for a meeting of the full GB which is being held tomorrow. Again, had I done the Minutes in a more timely fashion, this report wouldn't have weighed as heavy on my mind as it has over the past fortnight, when I've been aware that I needed to get it done, but just haven't had the will to do it! Anyway, they're both done now, and have been sent out into hyperspace for the edification of my fellow committee members prior to tomorrow's meeting. I don't know why I join these things; I think it is my strong sense of public duty kicking in, but I wish, just once in a while, I'd have the courage to say "no" when someone asks me to join up!!

Anyhoo. Work was absolutely fine and dandy today - thank you all for your good wishes. I am acutely aware of the fact that it is extremely bratty of me to complain about doing four mornings' work, and actually, I really enjoyed it today, but I wouldn't want to be there every day, no sireee. I made the right decision, giving up my substantive post in May. No regrets.

And no photos today *gasp* - I know, I hate a photo-less post, but I haven't taken any today, and nothing in the archive bears any relevance to the above post. Sorry, just dribble and drivel today!!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

*make-up, wellies, cheesy grins*

I was trying to think of a witty and uplifting post title for a Sunday evening, but my brain appears to be working at about 2 miles an hour, somewhat slower than is usual, and therefore this is the best I can come up with (up with which I can come, if you're being pedantic!!) It does exactly what it says on the tin, certainly insofar as the photographs I'm about to post are concerned.

The girls were experimenting with a fairly revolting make-up set given to Freya for her birthday - everything in it is bright pink and impossible to remove, other than with a wire brush. I'm kidding, of course, but it did take a good old scrub with a flannel at bath time, and had been applied early this morning. Now, I know the application is pretty haphazard, but is it me, or does this child look way older than just 6??!!

freya make-up

In the second instalment of what may yet become a series, Anja and I are pleased to bring you this, a slight departure from an earlier theme, since the wellies are this time on the right feet:

anja wellies

Can you see how well her "girls" are doing in their blue pots??!!

And just because I love the expression on her fizzog, another photo from today, which again was spent mostly in the garden.

anja garden

I am feeling ever-so-slightly 'Sunday evening', because I'm working four mornings this week, shock horror. I'm filling in at the Register Office, whilst my successor is on holiday, and since it's over two months since I last registered a birth or death, I'm feeling a teeny bit nervous. I'm sure I'll be fine once I'm there, but I'm beginning to wonder whether I should give it up altogether, because I don't want to make a mistake, and I think that becomes increasingly likely, the longer the gaps between registrations. I'll see how I feel at the end of this week.

Hope everyone out there has had a good/productive/enjoyable/stress-free* *you choose weekend, and wishing you all a great week ahead.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

*a snail called george*

Much excitement today as Anja found a new pet; alas, he was only with us for a short while, before being lost in the undergrowth where, it has to be said, he was probably much happier. She was distraught for about 30 seconds and then moved on to the next thing!! I managed to capture these few moments; George was tiny - Anja has small hands, even for a four year-old, so you can see how little our friendly mollusc was!

anja snail

snail george

snail george 2

Note also that Anja is wedded to her Chelsea has been washed!!

We had promised the girls early on in the day that if they were good and gave us a bit of help in the garden, they would be able to have their bouncy castle out early evening. Freya weeded the drive for me - quite happily - and Anja sorted some rocks and stones, and gave them all a good wash! A little bit of slave labour does them no harm. The bouncy castle came out at 6, and they expended what little energy they had left - I don't know where they get it all from. They are sound asleep, and I doubt we will hear a peep from either of them until 8 o'clock tomorrow morning.

girls bouncy castle

It's been a beautiful day here - I think it's going to break tomorrow, and I'm glad we spent the whole day outside today. It has been lovely.

Friday, September 22, 2006

*friday, friday...*

As not sung by the Mamas and the Papas!!

We are glad it's Friday in this house; I have two little girls who are extremely tired, as illustrated beautifully by these snaps taken this afternoon:

freya thumb

anja thumb

I have nothing prophetic, insightful or inspiring to say this evening; just to wish you all a very happy weekend - I will be moving onwards and upwards with my house clearing/garden maintenance!!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

*brave little soldier...*

Anja had her 'pre'-school boosters today - not sure why they're so called, since she's at school already, but they're the ones they have when they're 4 - MMR in one arm, and polio/tetanus/meningitis C/whooping cough in the other arm. She didn't even flinch! I was SO impressed. The nurse gave her a sweet and chatted to Anja about her footballing ambitions. As soon as we were home, she changed into her new Chelsea strip, very kindly donated by my friend Sue. She is in seventh heaven with this:

anja chelsea babe

I am on a mission to find her a football team, but it seems that most of our local ones won't take them 'til they're 5. She's very keen to practice, and I'm afraid I just don't cut the mustard for a kick around in the back garden. She wants to play with "real footballers"...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

*not a lot doing…*

First official day of ‘freedom’ – I write it in inverted commas, as it feels an odd sort of liberty at the moment. It will take me a while to get used to the fact that I am leaving them both at school at 8.40am and not collecting either of them until 3pm. Very strange. I have used my time relatively productively today; managed to clear the decks in the dining room, and have surreptitiously binned some of the broken toys. I have to do this when the girls aren’t here, otherwise I get a chorus of “we still play with that…” or “that’s my favourite toy…” – if I do it in their absence, they don’t even notice that something has gone. I’ve yet to be caught out, but there’s always a first time!!

When the girls got home from school, the first thing they did was go straight back outside to play in the garden, and there they stayed until tea-time at 6. They had their kites out again, and had a couple of successful launches from the top of the slide; before too much longer I think Ed and I had better take them up the Malvern Hills so that they can have a proper kite flying experience!!

Not many pictures from today, but I took some snaps from upstairs whilst they were fooling around on the swings:


On a more sombre note, I have heard this evening that one of my fave television presenters has been critically injured in a crash, driving a jet-powered car. Get well soon, Richard Hammond - it just wouldn’t be the same without you.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

*on the 'ice'*

Had a really, really lovely day today with Kathryn and Jasmine. Anja and Jasmine had their first taste of ice-skating, although it wasn't real ice, but the plastic stuff which actually I found really difficult to skate on. Anja loved it; she was concentrating so hard on not falling over, so she had a serious expression on her little face the whole time. Love this one:

anja skating 1

After the skating, we went to Pizza Hut for lunch, which was lovely right up until the point when I found a dead fly in my cappuccino - is this karma for not paying for my coffee last week??!! I nearly saw my lunch a second time round - still feel sick at the thought of it. The waitresses thought it was disgusting, too, and the manageress is sending it to their Head Office with my name and address. She reckoned it must have been in a vacuum packed bag of coffee... Anyhoo...

We had a bit of time to kill after lunch, so we took the girls to the countryside centre for a run-around - they were hyper after their sweet-covered ice-cream desserts. This is my favourite shot from this afternoon:

anja countryside centre

Back at home, the girls were eager to try out the kites Anja and I had purchased at Toy City (home of the ice rink!) £2.99 each - very reasonable, I thought. Here's Freya about to launch hers from the top of the slide:

freya kite

I am now a free woman; Anja is full-time at school from tomorrow. The declutter resumes in earnest, and there is an empty skip to be filled. If you see me loitering at my PC, tell me to get back to work!!!

Monday, September 18, 2006

*first full day*

Anja's first full day went like a dream, by all accounts, although she was shattered when she came out at 3pm. I ended up having to carry her part of the way home, something I wouldn't normally do, but she was clinging, limpet-like to my leg, and to be honest it was easier to pick her up. Really don't want to make a habit of it, though.

Well, our feathered friend remained on my windowsill all night long; when I awoke at 6.30 this morning, she was still there, asleep, and looking quite comfortable, and by the time I got out of the shower at 7, she was awake and looking around. As I rolled back the blind from its half-open position, she flew away without a backwards glance!!! Predictably, she left a nice pile of poo on the sill, which I've yet to clean off - just can't quite stomach it. Perhaps I'll leave it for the window cleaner!!! Kidding...

Not a lot else happening today; operation clean-up/declutter started in earnest this morning, and then sort of petered out around lunch time!! I am trying to go through the rooms one at a time, but the novelty of having the whole house to myself this morning was a bit overwhelming. I have a day off from it tomorrow, though, as it's Anja's last day of no school (even though she was in all day today), so she and I are meeting my friend Kath and her daughter Jasmine, at the 'fun palace' at Toy City...there is a temporary ice rink there as well, so Kath and I will be able to show off our skating skills to the little girls, ha ha ha!! I will take my camera in the hope of getting some good shots, but I might spend all my time on my bottom...

No photos from today, and I do so hate a photo-less post; since it's school photo time again soon, I'll leave you with this from May 2004 - the girls' first 'official' portrait!


Sunday, September 17, 2006

*a visitor*

I was sitting on my bed this evening, minding my own business drying Freya's hair, when this delightful creature landed on my windowsill:


Now, I don't mind birds, inasmuch as I don't have a phobia of them, but this one is SO tame - note the tags - and s/he has been staring in to my bedroom for nearly an hour. Ed opened the window to take this photo (whilst I was getting increasingly hysterical in the background at the thought that s/he might fly in at any moment) and s/he looked on interestedly, but wasn't unduly worried. S/he now has some water and food in little bowls stuck with double-sided tape to the sill. Ed has looked on the 'net for some advice, and it's more than likely that s/he has just stopped to have a rest...

I have been tagged by the lovely Debra, and have to detail 10 things that have scared me, so here goes:

1. Friends’ erratic/dangerous driving, when we were all 17 and first learning to drive. I can remember piling 9 people into my mum’s Triumph Acclaim – this wasn’t scary so much as stupid (and illegal) – the scary part was the thought of being stopped by the police…

2. My elder daughter having a bump to the back of the head when she was just 2, and losing consciousness, albeit only for about 10 seconds; I think my heart missed several beats…she was fine within minutes, and very much enjoyed the ambulance ride to A&E…

3. My 89 year-old grandmother collapsing and losing consciousness in front of me; I am rubbish in a crisis – luckily my gorgeous sister was on hand to take charge and accompany granny to the hospital. Granny will be 95 on October 9th…

4. My elder daughter being too weak to stand having been unable to eat or drink for nearly a fortnight, and having my fears that the antibiotics were not working ignored for too long, then spending 6 days in hospital with her watching her being injected and having lines put in and bloods taken…

5.My elder daughter running out in to the road…

6. My younger daughter’s fearlessness…

7. Bungy jumping off the Kawarau Bridge, Queenstown, New Zealand…

8. Having absolutely no control over a cantering horse, and being 100% at its mercy…I had a very sore bottom the following day…

9. Not feeling in control of a situation…

10. The thought of losing either of my children…

I am going to tag Miss Sugar and Spice!

*a new week*
I am very much looking forward to the coming week; Ed is going back to work after a fortnight at home; it has been SO lovely having him at home, and we have done tons of stuff in the garden, but I now *need* to have the house to myself for a little while as the place (indoors) looks like a pigsty. Anja is doing full days at school, every day except Tuesday, when she and I are having a day out with some friends. So from Wednesday, she'll be properly at school. YAY!!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

*indian summer party*

Our invitation to Jase and Beck's 'indian summer' party arrived ages ago, and I have been looking forward to it all summer! Anyway, the day finally arrived today, and we set off for deepest Wiltshire on an afternoon that promised to be distinctly unsummery, but the weather turned out to be an irrelevance, as the company and the food were so delightful that the weather didn't matter. And it didn't rain, which, in September in the UK, is about as much as you can ask for! Thank you, Beck and Jase, very much - we all had a fantastic afternoon and evening.

food garden party

food 3 garden party

food 2 garden party

My food photography is still in its infancy, so please bear with me!!

freya garden party

Dolly daydream enjoying the party...

anja garden party

Anja investigating the beautifully prepared children's lunch and surprise bags...

As for me, I am SO tired!! Just about to get in to bed and read the paper...

Friday, September 15, 2006

*proud mama moment*

Indulge me for just a minute, please. I have written previously about my concerns over Freya settling in to school this year, and also about the enormous pressures that are placed on the children at school at such a young age. At Freya's school, they hold a celebration assembly on a Friday morning to which parents and friends are invited; I toddled along this morning, as I usually do, to join in the singing and to share in the applause for any children being rewarded for whatever reason this week. The '*name of school* pig' is awarded in celebration assembly to one child, only if a teacher has put forward a special nomination to the headmistress - some weeks the pig stays at school because there are no nominations. The recipient of the first pig of this school year is...*drum roll, please*...FREYA!!

freya with pig

She gets to wear the piggy badge until next Friday, and the wooden pig that she's cradling in the photo sits on her desk for the week. If there is an award next Friday, Freya has to hand it on to the next person in assembly, otherwise it goes back to the head's office. Her teacher said that she'd been "working her socks off" since the start of term, and that she'd "settled really well" - such a relief.

In other news, Anja, Ed and I have been hard at work in the garden again today, after the rain scuppered any chance we had of getting out there yesterday. I got ten winter pansies free at the garden centre this morning, because I'd spent over £10, so Anja claimed these as her own, and planted them in my blue pots; she has taken to referring to them as "my girls" and has been talking to them, and encouraging them to grow!

anja pots

Do you garden in pink sparkly shoes worn on the wrong feet?

anja feet

We've just about finished the patch at the end of the drive; the grasses are in, and I'm really pleased with how it looks. They should all spread a little to fill in some of the gaps, and hopefully this patch will now require very little in the way of maintenance, just the odd bit of trimming back from time to time, and perhaps some removal of weeds. Because it's a long, thin patch, it's difficult to get a decent photo, but this gives the general idea:


I've also planted up six pots with a variety of daffodil, tulip and crocus bulbs for some colour in the late winter/early spring months; I've never planted bulbs before (I am a hopeless gardener) so I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed that I've done it properly, and wait to see what happens in February/March!!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

*oh, the shame...*


Mother and I are losing our marbles. No question. We set off this morning for a leisurely run to the nursery, not five minutes in the car from home, to look for some grasses to plant in amongst the gravel that Ed shovelled and spread yesterday. It was pouring with rain, and because my 'waterproof' coat was definitely leaking - I could feel big drips of rain running down my back - we decided that our hearts weren't in it, and left to go another five minutes down the road to a little coffee shop, which is attached to a farm shop. Waitress service, so we duly ordered a cappuccino (for mum) and a decaff cappuccino (for me); the waitress left our bill with the coffees, which we gratefully drank, watching the rain continue to pour down outside, then gradually ease as the sky brightened and the grey clouds receded. "Ready?" I asked, once we'd both drained our cups and smacked our lips appreciatively. "Yes!" exclaimed mother, so off we went. Merrily on our way, stroll back to the car, drive car ten minutes back to my house. Mother comes in (briefly) to say hello to Anja, before getting ready to leave for home, to cook dad's lunch. Mother just about to get into her car, when I say "Oh, SH*T!!!! Did you pay the bill at Hiller's?" A look of abject horror comes over mum's face, as she says "NO! I didn't..." "Don't worry!" I say, "I will phone them, and take the money straight over!" "Will you?" says Mum. "Here's £5 - my treat!!" And off she sped, back wheels spinning in the gravel as she did so. So, off I went, and straight away phoned the coffee shop, beginning "Hello, this is extremely embarrassing, but..." and I got no further before the (very nice) woman at the other end said, "Yes, we know, two cappuccinos!" She was so nice, saying not to worry about it, drop it in the next time you're passing, that as soon as I came off the phone I dissolved into floods of tears at the huge relief of not being thought of as a crook and a Ed took pity on me, and took the money himself.

Thanks, hun.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

*little miss fix it!*

Anja is far happier playing outside and being busy than stuck in in front of the television, so whilst Ed and I were slaving over garage doors and giant bags of gravel, she helped herself to grandad's very old tool box, and set about 'fixing' her bike, chatting away to herself all the while. Do you like the pirate trousers - she dressed herself this morning...

anja, bike, tools 1

anja, bike, tools 2

The latest Letterbox catalogue plopped through our letterbox this morning, and Anja has spied her perfect gift - she is absolutely beside herself at the thought of one day possibly owning such a beauty as this:

tool box

Anja's idea of paradise in a box!!!

I had seen this very same tool set before last Christmas, but the age guide says "3+ though more suited to 6+" - Anja will be 5 in February, but I think that under careful supervision she'd be quite safe with this. I think it might well be going on Father Christmas's list - apologies for mentioning the man with the big white beard this early in September...

Ed and I have made brill progress in the garden today, so mum and I are going plant shopping tomorrow morning to get some grasses to put in amongst the gravel; I think it is going to look great, but I'll hold off posting any photos until it's finished.

Freya has had to write about herself for her first piece of homework in year 2; we were told that, across the week, the children should spend no more than 20 minutes on homework, so with that in mind, I was determined to let her go at her own pace, and not to write it for her. This is what she wrote: "My name is Freya. I am 6. I have a sosig dog and she is called Rudi. I have blond her and blowe eyes. I have a sister called Anja. She is 4. I have two cusuns and they are called Jacob and Caleb." I can't ask for much more than that, can I??!!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

*ruby tuesday*

Ho hum. Today wasn't a particularly 'ruby' day, but in the absence of a better, more witty title, it'll have to suffice.

I have spent the day looking more and more like the incredible hulk as the day has progressed, and no, I don't have any photos to prove it. The garage doors I'm sanding are green, and with each downward, then upward motion with the sandpaper, I have been releasing the tiniest particles of bright green dust into the air, and onto my hair, under my fingernails, all over my arms, and my face (unwittingly transferred from my hands). If I hadn't been wearing a well-sealed face mask, I can only imagine what colour my snot would have been this evening. Too much information? I apologise. I am finding it tediously boring in the extreme, inspite of the fact that I've been listening to my iPod whilst sanding. Next time, I will definitely pay someone to do this job; I thought it would be worth the satisfaction of doing it myself - I was wrong...

Ah well, it should be finished tomorrow, and no doubt by the time my next post rolls around, I'll be rejoicing!!

I haven't taken any photos today, so I'm debating whether or not I should leave this post photo-less, which I hate doing, as I much prefer to see a photo in posts on other people's blogs, or whether you are due another dose of 'Children of the 70's', which is a too-easy way of fulfilling the requirement for a photo!! Just off to have a trawl, and see whether there are any gems in the archive...

*one lazy trawl later*

Slightly later vintage than the first instalment; these are circa 1976/77, and this time feature matching outfits (and haircuts) which, by now, had become the norm.

red dresses

red umbrellas

Giggle away...!!!

*quick postscript*

Thank you, darling Siani, for your card, posted in Sydney on Friday, and delivered to me first thing this morning; it would hardly have arrived sooner if you'd brought it yourself. Was just what I needed - love you!

Monday, September 11, 2006

*i can see a rainbow...*

...and here she is!! Yes, today was Freya's first day at Rainbows - a new pack has been founded in the village, and she was at the inaugural meeting this afternoon, resplendent in her bright red baseball cap and funky polo shirt. I am having to bite my tongue and resist the urge to ask her for a large fries and flame-grilled Whopper...

rainbow freya

She had a fantastic time, came home brimming with enthusiasm, and looking forward to their next meet a week today.

Anja had her second morning in school, this time unaccompanied, and she, too, had a smashing time - she didn't really want to come home at lunchtime, but she was shattered so I think it's probably a good thing that she only did half a day. She's in again on Thursday morning, and then full days next week, every day except Tuesday.

I spent part of the afternoon sanding down the garage doors in preparation for painting them; have chosen a rich burgundy colour to replace the faded green, currently the tattiest doors in the vicinity, but not for much longer, oh NO! Ed and I went to B&Q and Jewsons this morning, and have bought membrane, log roll etc. to spruce up the front, and are taking delivery of a BIG bag of gravel on Wednesday. I can't wait to get it finished - Ed has borrowed his mum's rotivator to get all of the tree roots and weeds out of the patch we're working on. What fun we will have tomorrow, and no distractions either, as we've had notice that our electricity is going to be off between 9am and 4pm - I didn't think they could do that, but evidently they can...wish us luck!!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

*more blackberries, and a pogo stick*

Freya had a sort of little person's version of a pogo stick for her birthday, with a big yellow ball on the bottom to bounce on, so she has been out in the garden today, desperately trying to achieve more than a couple of bounces before falling off. It comes complete with a variety of irritating melodious tunes and blooper-type noises to accompany said practice, a veritable cacophony to entertain and, no doubt, amuse the neighbours on a peaceful Sunday afternoon. I thought the best way to show her how to do it would be to get on myself, but, in the words of my darling husband, "you'll definitely break it if you get on, definitely..." so I left her to it, and in a surprisingly short space of time she had it mastered:


We've also been blackberry picking in the sunshine this afternoon:



It was great fun!! The blackberries were plump and ripe, and very easy to pick. Anja was going to save hers to have with her breakfast tomorrow morning, but ended up mashing them in the bag and eating the resulting coulis with a spoon - taking great delight in doing so.


This was my paltry collection; I was too busy keeping an eye on three children and remembering to take photos to pick very many - they were sweet and delicious, nonetheless:


I didn't eat the acorns...

Saturday, September 09, 2006

*it's not all work, work, work...*

*sigh* - another six weddings today, three registering, three conducting - and it has started to feel a bit like a conveyor belt. Our marriages were at 11.00, 11.30, 12.00, 13.00, 14.00 and 15.00, the first three at the office, and the next three at three different venues, here, here, and here. They all went very smoothly, but it was such a rush hopping from one to the next that I couldn't honestly say I enjoyed the day, although it did go very quickly. Anyway, I don't have any more weddings in September, just a few mornings at the end of the month registering births and deaths in the office.

We have taken delivery of a skip, and our mission over the next 7 days before Ed goes back to work is to 'landscape' the front and back gardens, and get rid of some more of the clutter that we seem, yet again, to have amassed. I say landscape - Ed and I are doing it ourselves, and I have a vision of how I want it to look, which takes in tall grasses and neat gravel, but whether the end result will bear any resemblance to the vision, only time will tell. I will take some before shots tomorrow, and hopefully by the end of the week it will all be beautifully tidy, easily manageable, and I will cease to feel embarrassed about the state of our gardens! Our near neighbours keep their gardens meticulously weed-free and well-kept, and to be honest with you, I wouldn't want to live next door to us at the moment!!! I don't know where our respective mothers' green finger genes went, but they weren't passed on to either Ed or I. I think we will probably end up painting the garage doors in a further bid to spruce up the front of the house.

I stopped by Toya's blog today, and in her latest post she has taken up a challenge to post photos of some of her earliest layouts, and it got me to thinking about some of my 'beauties' from the early days when I first discovered scrapping, two and-a-half years ago. Non-Bazzill cardstock (I will freely admit to being a Bazzill snob!!), stickers, teddy bear die cuts, the works. When I'm feeling a bit braver, I'll post a couple - maybe later this week!! I hope I've come a long way since then, but it's such a subjective thing, I suppose.

Au sujet de, I am *this* close to embarking upon some proper scrapping; I haven't done a layout for months, and I'm not really sure why. It's got to the point now where I'm almost afraid to commit patterned paper to Bazzill for fear of making a complete hash of it...what if I can't 'do' it any more??!! I've now taken delivery of my large photo order from Snapfish, so I really have no excuse not to do it. Wish me luck, ladies...

*a postscript to today...*

Thelma and Louise, anyone?


Friday, September 08, 2006

*dog, blackberries, children...*

Yay! Thank [insert appropriate expletive here] it's Friday! End of the first week back at school, we've all survived it just about intact. Freya had a much better day, and came home full of tales of drawing flowers, specifically lilies, and labelling them for a display. She seemed much happier today.

As many of you will already know, I am better known in some UK scrapping circles as Rudishoes; when I first joined UK Scrappers two and-a-half years ago, I think I wanted to retain a little anonymity, so I chose Rudishoes as my user name...after my faithful pooch, the original Rudi(shoes)!! Anyway, since I don't think I've blogged about her yet, I thought it was high time she got a look-in. She'll be 11 in December, and is growing old very gracefully. This is her this morning, playing with her chew toys in the sun, in the back garden:


As is customary in the *blossom trail* household, today was treat day, and after school daddy walked the girls to the village shop to choose their treat. Today was also my deadline for posting some postcards for a swap I'd signed up to on Swap-Bot, so the girls very obligingly agreed to pop my 5 cards in the post box for me on the way to the shop:



Anja wasn't able to reach, so Freya did the honours. Anja has decided this week that she is "too tired to walk" on a number of occasions, and whilst I am a cruel mother, and insist that she walks (or I leave her behind, wailing in the street...), daddy is thoroughly indulgent, and takes the pushchair with him. I call this piece 'Lady Muck':


The title promised blackberries; here are some slightly sad-looking specimens found in the back garden this morning:


We would have had a much bigger crop than the one we've ended up with, but the farmer radically chopped our back hedge a couple of weeks ago, and most of the blackberry brambles went then.

Am off for a walk around the village this evening in an effort to kick-start my exercise regime; am absolutely shattered, but my friend Sue is making me go!! Working tomorrow - 6 weddings in all, 3 at the Register Office, and 3 at hotels.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!