Monday, 18 August 2014

Me on Monday ~ 11

We had a fake birthday weekend here this weekend. Our daughter's birthday is next weekend, but she's going away for the weekend with her boyfriend. So we had unofficial birthday celebrations which included a day out at the beach.
We love Frinton.  It's about an hour and a half from home, and it's a proper old fashioned British seaside resort.  No amusement arcades or shops selling novelties by the beach.  Just lots of colourful beach huts by the sand.  You have to go into the little town for buckets and spades and ice creams.  We always went there for days out when the kids were young, and it's lovely to know that those happy memories of picnics on the green before going down to the beach for a paddle mean that they still want to go there even when they're grown up.  When Rachel said she wanted to have a nice day out for her unofficial birthday, it was lovely to hear that her first choice of destination was dear old Frinton.
Some of us sat in the sand and sunbathed
And ate ice cream
And you definitely can't have an unofficial birthday without an unofficial birthday cake
So it was a paddle in the sea, play games on the beach, picnic on the green, Mr Whippy 99 ice cream with a flake, watching a couple more episodes of Breaking Bad, Pizza Express Sunday lunch (with complimentary birthday Prosecco), chocoholic birthday cake kind of weekend. 
And today, this is Me on Monday.  You aren't allowed your presents on an unofficial birthday weekend; you have to wait for the proper day.  So today I am on my hands and knees on the spare bedroom floor, wrapping up presents ready for the official day. 
Me on Monday - the brainchild of Sian.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Half way

I honestly cannot believe that I am half way through the summer holidays; where has the time gone?  At the beginning, almost six weeks sounds tantalisingly long.  Then you realise it's actually 5 weeks and 2 days.  Then you spend a week getting ready for your holiday.  Then you have a week away.  Then you spend a week getting back in the old routines and the next thing you know, someone says 'let's meet for lunch' and you realise you don't have many free days left.  I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but , six weeks?   Really?  Not quite long enough.
So have I spent my time productively?  Well, I think I have.  My project for the holidays was to finish my quilt and I am very nearly there.  I had a moment of madness while stitching top and batting to backing and decided to have a go at free machine quilting.  It seemed a good idea at the time.  It has been met with varying degrees of success.  You know that moment when you think 'I'm not sure this was such a good idea'?  There were a few of those.  Interspersed with 'This is not so bad after all', swiftly followed by 'I wish I hadn't started this, I think I'm ruining it'.  Fortunately I decided to only do one narrow 'feature' strip at each end rather than a whole quilt!
I do quite like it but am certainly not brave enough to go over the whole quilt with it.  So I'm now at the stage where I am hand sewing the binding.  Two sides done and two to go. 
Life is going to be changing again over here in Deb's World at the end of the month.  Our son's two year stint in Edinburgh is almost over and it is time for the wanderer to return.  It's going to seem very strange to have him home again.  I wonder where we will store all the 'stuff' he's accumulated?  Actually, I think that tidying up and going through the garage to make space was on my original 'to do' list for the holidays.  Hmmm, decisions, decisions.  Keep sewing or brave the spiders and the cobwebs of the garage to make space...

Monday, 11 August 2014

Me on Monday ~ 10

It was a relaxing weekend. A fabric buying, quilt sashing, uploading holiday photos, photobook making, Breaking Bad episode watching, drinks with friends, storm watching kind of time.

Now that the quilt is almost in one piece, this is me on Monday ...

Me - wanting to get it ready for the next stage. Coco - testing it for comfort.

Me on Monday - brought to you via Sian.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

One Photo & Twenty Words

Seen in a shop in Verona.  Sometimes you don't have to be fluent in a language to understand the message.

*I'm a blogger, not a saint*

Linking up with Abi's idea to match one photo with twenty words on the 9th of each month.  Are you joining in too?

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Caccia al tesoro (aka Scavenger Hunt in Italian)

Buongiorno! We returned from Lake Garda yesterday and the suitcases are unpacked, the washing machine is on its third batch of washing, the first lot is dry and the second is on the washing line drying.  I've been to Waitrose to fill up the fridge and have planned what I'll be cooking for dinner tonight.  The holiday is well and truly over!
I'm a little late to the party in linking up to this month's Scavenger Hunt update but am pleased to say that I ticked a few more off my list, and found duplicates that I may prefer to a few of the ones I had already found closer to home.
Without further ado ... I knew finding a group of tourists would be easy and here they are disembarking the ferry at Bardalino, the next resort along from Garda.
The rural landscape in Italy is so pretty, just look at these vineyards
The lamp posts are pretty too
The waterfall that we found in an area where the river runs through the town to the lake wasn't as dramatic as the one we found in Edinburgh though.
The painted bus was almost identical to the one we found in Edinburgh.  I'm wondering if you can find them all over the world!
Of course, a rack of postcards was never going to be a problem in a tourist destination

And you should have seen the delights inside this bakery

A double instruction on this sign

What little bird wouldn't want to live in this birdhouse (just in case I don't find that parade I'm searching for!)
But the one I least expected to find in Italy and the one I was most excited to find, was this little fellow (with his own little waterfall) inside the courtyard of a restaurant.
 I've still got a few to go.  I need to wait until sunrise is a little later in the morning and I'm not sure when  photobomber is going to appear, but I'm keeping my eyes peeled!

Monday, 28 July 2014

Me on Monday ~ 9

It's driving the dog mad to see me doing this on this particular Monday
Suitcase.  check.  Flip Flops. check. Luggage label.  check ... Uh oh, they're leaving me.  Little does she know that her Mummy is taking a few days off work to be at home with her and there are plans afoot for Coco to have her very first visit to a beach if the weather permits.  But as far as she is concerned suitcases being packed are never a good sign.
Well Monday has been going on for quite some time for me this week.  There was a horrendous thunderstorm right overhead at about 4am which woke me up, scared the living daylights out of me and led to me rescuing a frightened pup from her bedroom (aka the kitchen)and bringing her upstairs to be with us.  It went on for ages and a house not far from us was struck by lightening.  They heard a loud bang, went to turn on the lights to find they had no electricity, and when they found a torch they discovered a hole in the ceiling of one of their bedrooms.  This is why I hate thunderstorms!
Did you have a good weekend?  We spent a lot of ours picking up our 'children' from airports, train stations, and hen nights.  It was a 'good to have Jon home for a few hours, watching a couple more episodes of Season 3 Breaking Bad, long dog walks in the sunshine, eating Mary Berry's slow cooked Asian style pork belly for Sunday lunch, mowing the lawn, eating all meals outside, checking the weather forecast for Lake Garda, looking round properties with a house hunting daughter, and another trip to the airport for Jon's return flight' kind of weekend. The kind of weekend that you need a holiday to get over it.  Funny you should say that ... 

Let's sit and have a cup of tea in July

...and not just any old tea, let's try the cute little tea bag that Beverley sent me with my quilt 

I think that to get the true American experience and have one of the little Peach Buds she sent me too. They're so tasty and refreshing aren't they?  As you can see from the fact that there aren't too many left, I've already been trying these.  Isn't it lovely to try something different to what you can get in the local shops?

Excuse the piles of clothes waiting to be ironed.  It's just been so hot that I keep putting that chore off.  But I need to get all up to date before our holiday.  You'll notice that Coco is giving that empty suitcase on the landing the evil eye.  She knows that means that someone is going away, and she does not like any change to her routine.
Have you enjoyed this hot weather?  I keep wondering how long it will last.  All daytime dog walks are off limits until it cools down in the evenings.  School's broken up now and I am looking forward to a long break.  Although I know that by the time the end of August is here I will be moaning about it having flown by and how I wasted my long stretch of days off.  Apart from my forthcoming holiday to Lake Garda, we don't have anything else planned.  I quite like to have a whole day to fill as I please and I intend to really crack on with my next quilt.  I've done all of the 16 log cabin blocks I need and when I get back from Italy I can get on with the sashing.  What projects do you have on the go at the moment? 

Ah, that text message I've just received is from Jon telling me that he is on the train back from London.  He came back from Edinburgh for the weekend as he'd been shortlisted to take part in a mentoring scheme for aspiring authors.  I was excited to think he was home for the weekend but actually he's spent most of his time in London and not at home.  It's been lovely to share some time with you before I have to start cooking dinner for a family meal; we don't have long before he heads back to the airport - this was literally a flying visit - and I hope you'll be able to pop back again next month.

I'll see you later round at Abi's - who is hosting this monthly blog tea party.