Friday, September 23, 2011

Thank You Mr Tesco!!!!

This week seems to have flown by, last night we took a trip to Ikea in Enfield/Tottenham to measure up some furniture for Beth's soon to be newly decorated bedroom. It was the first time we have visited Ikea in Enfield and we were surprised at how close it was. We were there in 45 minutes on the way up and going home only took 30 minutes. Beth has been working hard to empty her bedroom of all her bits that she has grown out of so that we can start again with new furniture.

Next year the Olympics come to Britain so I was expecting problems getting time off of work. I was sure that we wouldn't get time off with our friends as they were likely to have problems getting time off as well, so I decided to see if I could book a holiday using some of my Tesco vouchers which were due to expire. So after looking around the web site I managed to book us two weeks in Ireland. The best thing is I was able to use my vouchers !! I ended up paying £140 deposit, leaving me the grand total of £60 to pay 10 weeks before the  holiday next June. BARGAIN the vouchers covered the whole cost of rental for two cottages and the return ferry trip. I am looking forward to exploring Ireland. THANK YOU MR TESCO!!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

After a rocky couple of weeks......

Things are starting to look up!!
Mum has now been out of hospital for a while but two weeks ago she hit a really sticky patch, a combination of the pain she was in plus a Doc who prescribed her drugs that were far too strong for the situation and that resulted in a dreadful down turn in her ability to do anything. In fact it was quite shocking to witness her decline.

Mums leg had been giving her some pain and the Doctor visited and prescribed an extra morphine patch plus a four hourly dose of oramorph. The more she took the less she could do, she was slurring her words and was incapable of getting out of her chair and getting on the the stair lift. I really thought she was behaving like she had had a stroke. So I called the GP back and luckily got another one from the practice who suggested that she went to hospital via ambulance for them to check her out. Once in the hospital they xrayed her leg and that was found to be in order so the addressed the drugs issue. They quite rightly identified that she was drugged to the eyeballs and had no idea what was going on. They talked to her and found out that the pain was only on standing and not the rest of the time, so heavy duty narcotics were not the answer. They took away the oramorph and swapped it for codeine that works well and she is now acting and sounding like the 'old' mum.

Today she has even managed to get out of the house and into the car, which is absolutely amazing !!! That is a huge step forward. I know that there is a place for oramorph, but it doesn't do mum any good and I hope that she comes to realise that.

Its been ages since I have been able to make anything bead wise, I did manage to snatch an evening last week, I am still practicing and now have a fair few boxes full of beads. I am experimenting with shapes and the interactions between the different colour glasses. I must try and make sure I can bead at least once a week so that I can build my skill and not have to start from scratch every time!!!

On Sunday we did a Car boot sale Beth is trying to get rid of some of her old toys and raise money to make some changes to her bedroom. We had a bad start at a sale that didn't attract many seller or buyers, so we had to move onto Birchwood where we set up again and sold well for a couple of hours before the rain stopped play!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Watch the Birdie!!!

While away on holiday in The Netherlands we go close to lots and lots of birds. There were the usual suspects at the beach - seagulls. They were bold birds coming right up to you and looking for food. The one above stood next to me for ages, not in the slightest put off by the bloke in the below picture!!!!

There seemed to be a constant show of bare bums on the beach and not just the usual little kids trying to change out of wet costumes!! This bloke hopped around for ages trying to get his pants on!!!

At the camp-site there were Jackdaws, seemingly by the hundred, they were also very bold coming right up to the door of the caravan for tit bits!

But the most unusual birds were not the native ones, First of all we became aware of some squawking that sounded suspiciously like our budgies at home. So we watched and eventually spotted some green parakeets in the top of the nearby trees. There seemed to be a fair few of them .

I have looked them up and they are described as feral parakeets, they are almost impossible to spot as they are the same colour as the trees!

Since we have come back we have finished off our back garden, planted up the borders and reseeded the bald lawn.  I have ordered a hopefully beautiful orange hybrid tea rose which is presently growing in the Orkney Islands. 

I love orange roses, my all time favourite rose colour. I decided to do a bit of research and see if I could combine the colour with a lovely fragrance . The rose that has it all, disease resistance, bright blooms and a strong fragrance the winner for me was the above rose called 'Simply The Best' I hope it is the best!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Couple of Days Away.

On Friday Laura and I headed up to York for team building weekend. The good part was that it was Laura's team building and I was only there in a support capacity, so I could have a wander by myself .
We had dinner at Ask on Friday evening which was lovely, the restaurant was spectacular huge dining room, with glass chandeliers in a previous life it must have been a grand meeting room.

After breakfast on Saturday morning the team builders met up and started on a treasure hunt around the town. I went out for a morning shopping. I kept bumping into the 'team builders' all over the place!! They had to be back at the hotel by 12.30. I took a walk down The Shambles billed as one of the oldest roads in Britain, lots of lovely wonky houses and gift shops. I came across a market that sold lots of craft bits and I asked if I could take some photos, one stall in particular was lovely lots of hearts and wooden bits and pieces. 

One stall in particular I could have bought the lot!! It was a family run business, Dad cut out the wooden hearts, mum painted them and daughter did the finishing bits and pieces. It was lovely. 

I love Kath Kidston style bags and goodies, but they are very expensive. My friend Madeline has bought me a lovely stone rose patterned bag which is the perfect size for transporting my craft stuff on cruises and car holidays!! I would love some more particularly a handbag sized one and a holdall sized one, while looking around the market I came across a stall that had some 'Kath Kidston' look alike bags. So what was I to do??? I bought a couple and I am very pleased with them too. 

The original versions cost £69 each and these were two for £24!! They are not pretending to be made by Kath Kidston but they are in that style. I love them!!
I came across a church where they had a table top sale, I bought three books for a pound, one on growing vegetables for Beth, All about Clematis for Tom and a book of roses for me!!

I ended the day at York Minster a beautiful place with some great stained glass windows. I took some time to sit down and take in the atmosphere , it was calm and serene inside.

The last thing I found out about York was that the very famous Guy Fawkes was born there, in fact there was a pub purporting to be the place of his birth.

I never got around to walking the wall around the city, I just took a peek up there!
Its a compact city and there is still a lot to see!

Friday, September 09, 2011

Kilimanjaro - The evidence!!

Carl has been back from his adventure in Africa for a while now and up until now I have not had the time to blog about it, so here goes!! He carried out the climb in August and we are all very proud of him. 

He has said it was one of the hardest things that he has ever done and that it is unlikely to be something that he will repeat !! He said it was an eye opening experience a country of many contrasts but the enduring memory he has is of the poverty in some parts and the fantastic scenery from the top of the mountain.

View from the top!!!

Here he is at the top with his Scout Scarf!!!

At the top with his climb companion Grant who was climbing for his local hospice. Not all of the money is in yet as people have pledged a donation on completion of the task.

Monday, September 05, 2011

To the Beach for a 'SPECTACULAR' Firework display!!

One evening we all headed for the local beach, the talk of the camp was the spectacular firework display planned to start at 9.45pm. The couriers told us that we would have a good view from the local beach. So we trotted off down there to witness this spectacular. The sunset that night was outstanding.....

It seemed to take ages to get dark, by the time it had we had been nibbled by the midges and were full of anticipation. As it happens the display may well have been spectacular .....

Had we have been about 9 miles closer to them!!!! The picture above was taken on full telephoto lens and it is barely visible!!! So all in all a huge disappointment and the car park operators made themselves a fast buck by staying open until the 'display' started and then scarpered with all the excess dosh they made from the mugs who turned out!!! You live and learn.

Finally we collected Carl from the airport after we had been there a few days. He arrived late as he had been climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for Charity. (Thank you everyone who sponsored him!!!) On the way back from the airport we got took this photo, it disconcerting to see the air plane over the road , the bridge doesn't seem very high and the plane feels like its on the road!!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Back to work

I really can't believe that three weeks off of work have flown by and tomorrow I am back into the fray, I think its going take a while to catch up on everything I am sure by lunchtime I will have forgotten my holiday!!!

We took a few trips into a nearby town called Leiden, as always it was raining so we took a look around and then found the main street for a spot of retail therapy. Even though there was rain it was also very muggy so it was very unpleasant continually taking coats on and off. We found a shop that we had been to a few years ago, a junk come antique shop, loads of hidden treasures in there. Laura picked up a couple of brand new t shirts still in their bags for a Euro each - Bargain!! I found a lovely really old enamel strainer/steamer in a mottled shade of blue and grey. I now have that cleaned up and hanging in the kitchen, there is something special about 'old' kitchen equipment, always makes me wonder who has used it before and what they did.

To prove that we were in Holland, a photo of a windmill with Laura and Beth, please note the ever present puddles, in this rare photo it wasn't actually raining , so that was an improvement!!!

On one of the fine mornings we headed to try out another beach, Malcolm suggested a beach just outside The Hague, called Scheveningen. We were happy to take a look at a different place and after all it wasn't raining so the best time to head to the beach. Tom even pushed the boat out and took our little tiny stunt kite with us and gave that a go. (The truth is it doesn't matter how big a stunt kite is, it instantly becomes useless in the hands of our family, we simply can't get any of them to fly!!) So while wandering down to the beach we became aware of loads and loads of people, planes in formation flying overhead and loads of bright TV lights and vans. It appears that we had 'accidentally' walked into the first day of the Women's International Beach Volleyball tournament. Tom and Malc wanted to stop and learn the rules to this instantly fascinating sport. Deb and I couldn't see the attraction.....

More from the wet holiday tomorrow!!!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Its hotter here!!!

Since getting back the weather has been brilliant, once the washing was done we got out in the garden and started to get that into shape. Carl and Tom worked really hard putting in a border of bricks, digging up some roots that were left over and generally doing manual work. I helped by giving clear and concise directions and supplying the occasional glass of water!! I am very please with the result and I have started to plant it up with bulbs from our Dutch trip and plants (being sold off in Morrison's for bargain prices!!)

So back to the holiday, here we have Beth on day two looking cool on the beach playing Frisbee with Sam.
This next shot is the one that I took after my precious camera was hit by the said Frisbee!!!
It was a nice day on the beach, breezy and warm. So hot in fact that Tom managed to burn both of his knees and his left calf !!! a fact that troubled him for the rest of the holiday. (Not that he had to make any effort to keep his burnt knees out of the sun following this very brief exposure to it)
We booked with Canvas Holidays, we have been customers for the past 25 years so we know the ropes. They will never promise to put people travelling together in neighbouring caravans in case there  is a last minute change of plan so this year Beth and I wrote begging letters to them and offered to supply the couriers with food items they were missing from home. Turns out our couriers were missing bacon, so I supplied the bacon and they provided caravans next to each other!!!
More to report over the coming days......