Friday, 28 December 2012


Hot on the heels of dogs learning to drive in New Zealand, Huxley has taken up reading!!

Wednesday, 26 December 2012


Well its pretty much all over and what a lovely time we have all had....

started with a christmas eve drinks with friends , followed by Midnight mass which was packed and quite a long slog but very nice and managed to have all 4 children there, don't think we have all been to Mass for a long time.
 managed to get to bed about 2am and was woken by a thunder clap and lightening and 7!! dont think I have EVER been woken by thunder on Christmas morn, thought it would wake Joseph but he managed until 9 ish. Then we had the usual dogs and kids on the bed with our stockings but this year we had a stocking too courtesy of the offspring! A success this year as Joseph didn't cry for the 1st time in a few years. He had a notice on the fridge promising not to cry this year.

Then we had the usual drinks and carols which was lovely though we missed John banging out Slade songs so we were just civilised with carols. People stayed till 3 so we had a late pressie opening sess. That was SOOOOO nice , we all gave out a pressie one at a time and watched as each one opened. the kids had all bought decent pressies for everyone so they were understanding the joy of giving as well as receiving . I got some lovely things, Joseph has made a head and shoulders of himself which was a pressie for me, its great and Sam did a photo of Ian and i and then got us to write a few words for each other which he then created some funky letters to say it, that was so sweet and really lovely words that we both said!

The main event....... The meal turned out gorgeous , turkey was cooked to perfection, bread sauce was delish, gravy superb , and the veg divine so we all ate till we could eat no more untill it went down a bit and then we had lemon tart that Becca had made. Finishing with an hilarious game of ARTICULATE  and Charlie and I narrowly scraped through as winners!!

All in all one of the best!!

Friday, 21 December 2012


A flurry of socialness....
A lovely christmas dinner party with 8 of us, all old friends, have been friends for ages and this has been a tradition we have done for a while.We had a secret santa, boys buy for the girls and girls for the boys. I got a tea bag saucer and a little tea book , we all got good fun presents. a success all round!

Swiftly followed by a Christmas breakfast

Not too many arrived which was actually good as I was struggling with the coffee machine and it was really nice and relaxed and Christmassy. I think we will do it every year now.


So far so good....... just a few hours to go! someone suggested it was the end of one era and beginning  of another which I like more and so it feels like a fresh start!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012


Finished work today for a couple of weeks, God i LOVE my term time contract!!

Started off well as was supposed to be doing the breast feeding workshop but not many turned up so I didn't need to attend....HORAAAH!! Had 3 post natal visits to do and 2 out of 3 doing well. Last lady was struggling with milk supply and the baby was hungry, just 3 days old but milk slow in coming in. Chatted to her about giving some formula as I was worried about the baby getting dehydrated. Don't like doing that as i feel it affects the mothers confidence and can be downhill all the way to formula feeding . we decided to wait another day to see if milk would come in next few hours, fingers crossed.


Poor old Joseph has been poorly for several days with a fever. He always throws off a MASSIVE temp for quite a few days before a cold comes out. He has done that since he was a teeny baby, not so scary now but so pleased that he seems to be thru it tho he is shattered from it. Tried to go for a sleep over this evening but was home again 2 hrs later.... Hope thats the end of it though.


A small surge of social stuff, dinner party here tomorrow, gonna do smoked haddock lasagne. we do a secret santa which is always a bit of a larf , I have got a mankini for the boy who picks mine!! then a cocktail party no less for one of Becca's friends on friday night and almost forgot the Christmas breakfast here on friday morn. Then Ian's birthday on Sunday. think we will all go to see "life of Pi" and a meal out at Fujiama's in Brixton!!

Friday, 14 December 2012


I have always had a big problem with pastry and have pfaffed about with it being too dry or too wet, falling to pieces burning etc. Well last night I had a revelation.....

I had planned a quiche for tea but had no ready made pastry in the fridge. I REALLY didn't want to go to Sainsburys to get some so... I made it myself in the food processor. It took about 2 mins and came out so beautiful, soft and stretchy, easy to roll. I even managed to blind bake it so it didn't have a soggy bottom and Joe, Becca's b/f said it was the BEST quiche he had ever had!!!
I am a converted woman and plan to start on some mince pies next though I think sweet crust is a bit more tricky... I will let you know!!

Just to show off a bit more here is a picture of the chicken pie I made the other night.... shop bought puff pastry I have to admit

please  note the festive decoration.....


We have lost our lovely cold crisp bright frosty days and returned to dark, grey cloudy wet and windy. Its not so cold, in fact very mild but I prefer the frosty days, it makes me feel christmassy!!

Sam on way home from Glasgow tonight.... YIPEEE. Please God everyone home again tonight!!

Monday, 10 December 2012


Should really be hibernating now so haven't got the enthusiasm  to write loads... Also sleeping badly, my mind is too busy so after I wake to go to the loo I really struggle to get to sleep again, most annoying.
We had a major dinner party on Sat for 12 and i ended up going to bed at 2.30 and waking at 7 and then not being able to sleep after that. Was very sleepy on Sun and marginally hungover so was rather grumpy. Slept better last night. One of the problems is I don't like going to bed, would rather stay up and knit until well after midnight and then read as well.


this is my Christmas present for my 3yr old God son.....  I hope they fit, I think I may have made them a bit small, I can't remember how little a 3 yr old hands are....

Anyhow I have now finished my Christmas knitting and am crocheting a blanket with a various selection of wool I bought ages ago.

Saturday, 8 December 2012


Just had a new wood burner fitted in our cosy back room and Huxley is LOVING it!!

Friday, 30 November 2012



Woke up to beautiful sunny morning with quite a good frost. took the dogs out for the first time in ages when its wasn't knee deep in mud....

Not a bad start to the day.... Kept Joseph off school and we went Christmas shopping which was successful and fun, then lunch at friends and now shooting off to Tate modern to see a photo exhibition and a meal at Nando's with Joseph.
A good day....!!!


Just in case anyone is interested here is my wish list for this coming Christmas

mum's christmas  list........

toasty slippers from ugg
small tray for our evening cuppa ( tk maxx)
pestle and mortar (tk maxx)
blackcurrant leaf candle or jo malone candle
more wool
cheap dangly earrings
funky clock for the kitchen (??tk maxx)
any nice stuff from anthropoligie
ottelenghi new cookbook( if there is such a thing)
interesting book on bread making or knitting

Sunday, 25 November 2012


just realised that I haven't shown you my tattoo.....
The shiny one is just not long after I had had it done and the one with the shoe is a couple of weeks later when it has settled in...
I am still LOVING it


Where is time going at the moment .. one minute it was the beginning of the new school year , now its nearly the end of term and ONE month to Christmas .


This is why I havent been able to write so much this week as I have been soooo busy getting ready for my little Christmas Sale. I had about 5 other stalls , selling various bits and pieces here at home . It was a FOUL day and sadly not so many people came through the door. That was a shame and I felt some degree of responsibility though it is up to everyone to make it a success  I did very well  actually, selling quite a bit of knitting but more food, chilli jam and granola was a BIG hit. It was a lovely friendly atmosphere so hopefully more folk will come next year if we do it again....
Also raised some money for a charity called Voices of Experience, supporting women and children affected by domestic violence. 

DODGY LODGER                                                                                
Started yesterday in quite an alarming way, A knock on the door at 6am from our lodger who then started asking where everyone was...?? Clearly completely confused. We were quite freaked out and after some more weird chat with him we had to ask him to leave then and there. It was all very unfortunate. Luckily he had a cousin who could take him in and in fact she texted later in the day to say he had been admitted to hospital  with severe dehydration which probably explained his behaviour but at the time he appeared to be going bonkers. He had also gone into our other lodgers room asking the same thing and turning the light on!!                                                                                            

Its still very mild here but it has been very very windy and lots of rain. great fun taking the dogs for a walk, really muddy and wet and handily I am looking after an extra dog this week and a very hairy shaggy one at that,,,!!! Last night we forgot to lock the sidegate and at 3am it started BANGING  A LOT, poor Ian had to go out in the cold, dark and wet to lock it, avoiding the dog poo there as well.. a great nights sleep!!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012


what is shocking is how bad I am at keeping this up to date!!

Here is another confession from my dreadful dogs.... Last night I made a beautiful banana loaf of which one slice was eaten. This morning the dogs managed to get it from the work surface and polish it off.... no breakfast for them!!

So what has been happening???


My sister and I went down to stay with my mum this weekend in Stroud, in the Cotswolds. It was beautiful weather with the trees all changing and lovely little villages in Cotswold stone. We always do the same thing every visit, first a visit to the LOVELY farmers market with loads of great food and pottery and soaps and creams etc etc. Then on to Nailsworth , another lovely village and a visit to Emmaus charity shop where I come away with armfuls of bits and pieces, tea and cake in a coffee shop and then an evening in front of the fire with our knitting and some games thrown in... all very relaxing and fun. I shared a BIG double bed with my sister and we spent a good amount of time nattering into the night!!
I had the strangest journey home on Sunday... The trains were being repaired so there was a bus service some of the way.. When I first got on there was a man at the back of the bus talking rather loudly to someone on the phone. It soon became obvious that it was someone he hadn't met before and they were going to meet up later. My imagination was running wild and I think it was a lady he had met on the internet.. He was going into huge detail about his life, his various children (6) , one who dies and another he wasn't speaking too, clearly from several different women. then he began asking her if she was Jewish and then very loudly and clearly explained to the rest of the now filling bus that even though he was RC that he was circumcised and so was one of his sons...... the conversation continued but I had my fingers in my ears....


I am having a little sale at my house next weekend with a few friends just selling our crafty hobbies. I have got shed loads of knitting and will make granola and some pickles. There is jewellery and food and all sorts, so I am knitting like a nutter at the moment, ( one reason why I have not done this for a while)


We have finally done it... we have had a tattoo each, I can't get the photos to send so i will have to load them later. i have a little gecko on my left foot and Ian has the Hindu elephant god on his upper arm.  Its quite sore I can tell you.. i put some numbing cream on so at first it wasn't too bad but it got sorer and sorer as time went by, it took about 40 mins. I love it!!!
Still can't get pics to send so will have to leave it for another time....

Saturday, 3 November 2012


Well, its been a while again and now lots to catch up on......


Spent a few very lovely days there with the family together again after a couple of months. The weather was mixed but had a few glorious sunny days. We all went out to supper on Sat evening to celebrate our 25th anniversary and had a great evening, very relaxed and fun, playing cards and eating delicious food. I had pigeon breast, it was YUMMY!! The other highlight was clay pigeon shooting, I didn't do  it but everyone else did and on the whole was pretty good. Sam just got it and pretty much hit everything, Becca was also brilliant and managed to hit a double shot. Joseph also managed to hit one in the air which was quite a relief as he was in a bit of a strop!!
The house we stayed in was a bit sparse and chilly to say the least so we had to put in a HUGE list of complaints the next morning and so was much better since then!! Our bed was soooo uncomfortable we were both waking up complaining of pain in our hips, back, neck... Was blissful to get back to our own comfy one!!
The last couple of days it was just Sam ,jo and us so very peaceful. I had some intensive sketching coaching from Sam and did not improve one jot!! so I am retiring from that I think!!


Had a day to ourselves today so after our compulsory row with Charlie we sent off to Borough Market by London Bridge. It is great there, really busy and buzzing and loads of great looking food. I was still feeling full from our celebratory meal at the Bluebird Restaurant so just had a wheatgrass zinger which is yum and also feels very healthy and good for you. There are amazing bread stalls with the most fantastic looking loaves that I aspire too. Lots of tasters and samples too.


 have been seeing a few movies this week..... First saw "Ruby Sparks" which we gave 6.5/10, quite amusing and an interesting idea. On the IoW saw "Skyfall", James Bond,Daniel Craig is very sexy and the film was actually very well done and exciting, a definite 8/10. Just home now from "Beasts of the Southern Wild".... what was that about.... we just didn't get it at all. Good acting esp from the 6 yr old star but I have no idea what the meaning of it was!!

Not really movies but we have been watching a TV documentary on the BBC about Icebergs. All very beautiful and interesting scenery but the most ridiculous investigations which presumably cost the license payer quite a few million. One of the unknown facts they discovered after diving around the base of the iceberg was that the water there was"salty and cold". That was something I just hadn't realised, that the sea in the Arctic Ocean was salty and cold... Good old BBC!!


One last thing.... At last the weather has got cold enough for me to wear my NEW COAT..... its soooo lovely and warm and cosy and toasty... so here it is


Saw a very funny e mail going around about the disgusting things dogs do so thought I would put my dogs in the spotlight.....

Friday, 26 October 2012


Half term starts today and all getting excited about heading off to the Isle of Wight. The long lost children from university are coming home so we will all be together again. Seems like a long time since that last happened. The weather is looking bright and sunny on Sat so BBQ on the beach I think, though a strong cold wind will be blowing so need plenty of woolies to keep warm!

Also we will celebrate our silver wedding anniversary......... Hard to believe really. Just before we got married there was the HUGE hurricane  with trees down everywhere. Sussex was badly affected and for a while it looked lke we might not be able to go ahead with the wedding as there was no power for days running up to the big day.....  Luckily all turned out alright on the night though!!


Sid chillin' and listening to some beats....!!!

Huxley and Sid ruining my fluffy cushions!!

Right then... off to start the day... visiting some teeny, teeny twins at home, both not even 2 kgs!! hope they have put on some weight and then packing and fiddling about.
Cooking a chicken pie for my boy when he gets back from Glasgow.... he said he can't wait for some decent food.......

Sunday, 21 October 2012


What do you think of Sunday evenings in term time...????
This week is not so bad as half term starts on Friday and we are off to the LOVELY Isle of Wight, but Sunday evening always feels quite hard work... I do my ironing, now its only 4 of us there is hardly any and then an evening of reading the paper and knitting and Downton Abbey, so not all bad. But then........ before I know it the alarm is going off and its back to the slog!!


A lovely sociable weekend, meeting friends at Strada in Wimbledon on Friday, a lovely evening but felt quite ripped off by the restaurant, an average meal costing quite a bit with very mean portion sizes. Not sure if we will go there again....
Saturday evening was a dinner party at ours...10 including us. It was great fun, lots of laughs and good chat. I had developed a terrible cold and couldn't taste the food as I was cooking it, it tasted rather average to me but seemed to go down well with everyone else! Starters were warm chicken liver salad with homemade bread, followed by seafood lasange, then chocolate torte. I was sniffing and blowing my nose and Antonia was completely hoarse and couldn't speak at all. She normally has quite a bit to say so it was quite amusing to see her relatively silenced!!!

Joseph's friend was here this morning, having to make a film for his homework. It was very amusing... The Terrible Assassin  who kept failing in his mission. Joseph hadn't charged his camera so we had to stop every 2 mins to charge to camera, we managed though. Then we watched some old films the children had made which had me crying with laughter.. the Life of Alan Sugar was the highlight!!


I can't stop eating chocolate today... had some left over ginger chocolate and spiced chilli dark chocolate from last night and I have pretty much eaten half a bar of dark chocolate and am now feeling quite sick.... fast day tomorrow!!!

All in all a great weekend.... Oooh, forgot to say... had a lovely dog walk in Nunhead cemetery , really beautiful and overgrown Victorian cemetery . It was a typical Autumn day, mild but damp and windy, with the trees changing now.. beautiful!!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


I love this time of the week.... Every Wednesday I teach a breastfeeding class to pregnant women, I have done it for 18 years, pretty much every weds so that's quite a lot of talking and teaching. Its not that i dislike the class, I love trying to inspire women to breast feed there babies... its just I have done it so often that I am getting a bit fed up with it sometimes. Actually lately it has felt ok but some weeks it feels like I am speaking to a class of cardboard cutouts, no-one responds to me. That hasn't happened for a while , but it is so demoralising. The other thing that knocks me a bit is when women fall asleep..... I know often they are sleeping poorly at 38 wks pregnant but none the less it is quite off putting to see someone having a snooze when you are giving your all trying to make the class interesting and lively!!
Anyway at this time of day I have done it till next Weds and I have got my piano  lesson to look forward to.....

Sunday, 14 October 2012


Well, what can I excuses really, I just haven't got around to sitting at the computer and writing, so many other things to do instead!

So what has been happening.....


Highlight of the year on Friday... the knitting Show at Ali Pali, north London. It is like walking into heaven when you arrive.... A HUGE hall full of stalls with wool, patterns , needles etc, Also sewing and fabrics and lots of crafty things too. It took all of 5 mins of arriving before I made my 1st purchase and then plenty more to follow.... A delight, now I just have to knit it all. There are just not enough hours in a day, I have always thought a 26hr day would be better......??? One of the patterns I got was for a boot topper, looks quick and easy, I think they will make good pressies! I am planning on a little Christmas sale when I can sell some of my handiwork so I will have to get busy with those clacky needles.....


A few days ago after much swearing and practise I finally managed to crack a funny little rhythm on the piano, Its a little toon from Amelie and I am SOOOO thrillled to be able to play it. I am still loving my piano lessons and really feel that I am making some progress now. i am still fairly rubbish but it is getting better. I can play an Einaudi piece quite well which I feel is quite an achievement for me. If I can put the practise time in it really shows...


Its been quite hard to get to the gym 4 times a week so after 2 or 3 wks of that it has dropped back to once or twice. I have , however, started a new diet when you pretty much "fast" for 2 days a week, just eating 600 cals for 2 days. Its not as bad as it seems as you always know that tomorrow you can eat that biscuit or whatever, when I stood on the scales this morning I had lost a couple of pounds , so I was pretty pleased. I think I probably eat more than 600 cals but its not much. I don't feel as hungry as I thought I would.


Have just finished a great book.... The Snow Child, almost a fairy tale. I shed a tear this morning, something I haven't done for a while when reading. Just before I have read the Song of Achilles, which I didn't like so much. And the one before that was GREAT.. the Memory Thief . Now I'am lost, i haven't got a new one lined up, will have to hunt through the book shelves.

Will try harder this week to write more regularly......

Friday, 21 September 2012



This is the photo that had Sam in stitches as  we skyped him.......
I have to admit we do look rather comical and old!! and very pleased with ourselves for sorting out all this modern technology!!

FLYING THE NEST                  

Everyone is leaving... the house is getting quieter and quieter.

Becca left today to go back for her final year at Leeds. Because of the fiasco with the cars her friends Amy and Rosie took her up! it was quite a challenge fitting all her room and 3 girls into quite a small car... she had to leave a box of food behind so my store cupboard is now bulging!!