Friday, 28 November 2014

Time for one last cup of tea

As we get together for the last cup of tea in Abi's idea to get together over a cuppa once a month, I thought I'd get the best china out and have a 'proper' cup of tea. 
It's been such fun to go round the world via cups, mugs and wine glasses, catching up on news, sharing ideas and admiring crafty work.  But as the saying goes 'all good things must come to an end' and I think we can all agree that Abi has more than enough on her plate in her final year of university! 
Today we seem to be experiencing the madness that has come over here from the US that goes under the name of 'Black Friday'.  While I was at work this morning, I received over 20 emails on my phone all from companies inviting me to take advantage of savings if I buy before midnight tonight.  I can't think of anything I desperately need so I am quietly deleting them so that I am not tempted to buy something that I don't need just because it's got a good discount! 
I am still of the feeling that Christmas shouldn't start before December 1st; what do you think?  Our tree doesn't go up until the weekend after my husband's birthday - 12 December.  I can't imagine having it in the lounge for over a month, 2 weeks is about right for me! 
As I pour another cup (one cup is never enough when you normally have tea in a mug!)we would sit with our feet curled beneath us, a quilt over our lap and an optimistic dog close by hoping for a crumb or two from a biscuit.  I would ask if you could help me in a search.  I am making a quilt for my daughter, one that can cover the seat on a sofa once she moves into a new home.  One that Coco can curl up on without ruining the furniture.  I've found two pieces of fabric, one black with white paw prints on it and one white with black bones on it - yes, there is a dog theme!  She only wants it in black, white and grey and I am now struggling to find a couple of other fabrics that have a dog related design on it.  Do any of you sewing ladies have ideas of where I might find some?  Mr Google is not helping much at the moment!
You see, this is what is lovely about sharing a cup of tea; likeminded people sharing news, views and ideas.  Abi's idea has been brilliant and I've loved getting to know more about everyone.  I'm a firm believer that as one chapter closes, another begins and I am sure that 2015 will bring other memes that we can all join in with.  Ideas anyone?!

Monday, 24 November 2014

Me on Monday

Much of this weekend was spent with me brushing up my domestic goddess skills. I seemed to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. A special request for another cherry ring cake was made, honestly you'd have thought they'd have had enough of them by now but apparently not. I also practised a recipe we learnt at this month's cookery club, chicken satay as a little starter before dinner. So simple, so delicious. Fancy having a go? Poach a chicken breast in stock for about 10-15 mins. Let it cool then cut into small cubes to add to a cocktails stick. Mix equal quantities of crunchy peanut butter with sweet chilli dipping sauce. Add a sprinkle of coriander and then thin it down with boiled water. I did 2tbs PB/ chilli sauce and about 3tbs water. Pour over chicken and leave to marinate.
More domestic duties this Monday, always made better by multi tasking and catching up on programmes you've recorded while standing behind a hot ironing board.

That's the view from my ironing board, dog resting (it's hard work protecting the house all day) and Lewis on the TV.
The skies opened this weekend, it was a welly wearing, raincoat wearing, starting the Christmas present buying, bathing a muddy dog 3 times in 2 days, turning up the central heating, watching a huge puddle develop on the patio, staying indoors as much as possible kind of weekend. Wintery weather has officially arrived!
So that's me on this chilly Monday, giving up a big wave to Sian and hoping she soon feels better.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Me on Monday

These Monday's are coming around quickly aren't they? 
Here is a snap of what I was doing first thing this morning
Remember the Dress a Girl around the World project I mentioned a while back? Well I made the body of the dress ages ago and it was just waiting for the pocket to be added and as we all know, it's the finishing off bits that get left behind until someone finds your UFO (unfinished object) and says "are you ever going to send that off?" So here I am, when my finished dress, ready to put it in a bag to hand over to the teacher in charge of the project - finally!
So, it was a busy old weekend here. Pockets were made, and sewn on, threads were snipped, rugby was watched, as was football, Indian take aways were eaten with friends, a few Christmas presents were bought, a new living room floor lamp was ordered, a moving around of furniture in the lounge was discussed, and hours of Internet searching took place to find a new chair to put in the space that the reshuffle would make, and finally much relief was felt when the voting on Strictly Come Dancing was announced. 
Giving up a big wave to Sian whose idea it was to share our photos on Mondays.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Catching two birds with one stone

Catching up with Abi's idea of One photo and Twenty words:
My son's quirky t-shirts make the hated job of ironing more bearable  The Queen wearing a moustache? Must be Movember!

Which also ticks the box for Me on Monday. Half day working, then catching up on chores.  Oh but I dislike ironing.  You spend hours doing it, then a few days later there's another batch waiting.  
Nothing very exciting on the agenda here this weekend. It was a Tesco shopping, big Sunday lunch cooking, book reading, buying a top in the Joules 25% off sale, turning the central hearing up a notch on Saturday, then switching it back down again on Sunday,dog walking over the park followed by dog bathing as soon as she was home and everyone running for cover before she shakes the water off kind of weekend. 

The younger members of the families are nursing sore throats and earaches, so I am keeping my distance before they share the germs around. Hope everyone is well in your household. Now let's all pop over and give a big wave to Sian while we find out why she spent the weekend in protective clothing!

Monday, 3 November 2014

Hey ho, hey ho

It's off to work we go ... So with that image of 7 dwarfs on their way to work in the mines, little old me went back to work after half term.  It seemed like I had been away a long time and spent all morning just dealing with emails.  Back in the old routine! 
How's your Monday?  I'm trying to stop myself from doing this ...
... too often.  We only had one batch of trick or treaters round on Friday and we had a surplus of sweets.  I don't seem to be able to resist taking something out of the bowl every time I walk past it!
The weekend was literally a 'game of two halves' here.  Saturday was glorious and Sunday was cold, wet and miserable.  Once again we extended the weekend by starting it on Friday with a lovely day in sunny Cambridge, receiving another friendship quilt block, amusing the postman by receiving a package for my son labelled 'To the Master of Everything and Fool to no one' and then it was a weekend of trying out a new Italian restaurant in town, drinks at friends to christen their new conservatory, trying to decide on paint colours for redecorating the dining room, eating left over halloween sweets, cooking a full on roast beef Sunday lunch with all the trimmings, snoozing in the armchair after dinner while the men of the family watched the football (Spurs won, so happy faces in our household), being relieved that the right person got voted off Strictly Come Dancing, reading books and mentally preparing myself for returning to work after 10 days off.
So that's Me on Monday.  An idea from Sian.  Pop over to see her and try and work out why someone who's the same height as me is going shopping for extra long jeans!

Monday, 27 October 2014

Me on Monday

What's the worst way to start a half term holiday?  With a 9.15am dentist appointment.  What was I thinking?  I don't like dentists and that dislike goes back a long way.  In fact the first time I ever remember really getting told off related to the dentist. 
When I was little, the local dentist operated out of an old house near to where we lived.  The ground floor was a surgery and he lived upstairs.  It was old and it was cold and it was creepy.  He had an assistant called 'Miss Lawrence'.  She wore a long white lab coat and had crepe soled sensible shoes that squeaked on the linoleum as she walked down the hallway to take you from the waiting room to the surgery.  You sat there in the silent waiting room and you heard the squeak, squeak, squeak of her approaching.  The door would open and you would hear 'Deborah ...'  She was Scottish and she pronounced it 'Dee Bore Ah' it still gives me the creeps!  The dentist, Mr Holdsworth, was (in a small girl's eyes) ancient and scary.  He didn't really speak to you and just called things out to Miss Lawrence as he poked around in your mouth with a very sharp instrument.  His policy towards teeth was 'if in doubt - fill it' and therefore all the local children ended up with a lot of fillings!  It wasn't until I got married and moved out of town that I discovered that most other dentists gave injections to numb your mouth when they did treatments - we had to 'grin and bear it' at our surgery.  
So how did I get into trouble?  Well, my mum used to have a small wallhanging in the kitchen that you could write on and then wipe off and she used to use it as a memo board/shopping list.  I can still see it, there was a Mabel Lucy Attwell picture and a short poem:
When you're going shopping
You really should insist
That when you're running short of things
They're put down on this list.
'Twill save a lot of time in town
If everything is jotted down.
Well, one day I saw something awful written on that board.  Can't remember the date but it was something like 3 April - Dentist.  Now I knew that I would NOT want to spend the 3rd of April at the dentist so I changed it.  I added a '1' to the front so it said 13 April - Dentist.  So when Miss Lawrence rang Mum on the 4th of April to find out why we hadn't turned up, my little freckled face glowed bright red as I had to admit what I'd done.  Oh boy was I in trouble! REAL trouble because not only had I embarrassed my mum, she said I would have to apologise in person to Mr Holdsworth myself.  Talk to that scary man?  That big man with the deep scary voice and the pointy sharp things?  I was so scared.  Fortunately Miss Lawrence saw the funny side of it but I learnt a valuable lesson that day, no matter how scared you are of the dentist, you do HAVE to go! Anyhow, I've escaped unscathed from my appointment and don't have to go through that stress for another 6 months so all is good.  But talking of scary things ...

It's halloween this week and the lady who runs my Fitsteps class has decided we should dress up for a spooky exercise class - so I've been thinking about what I'm going to wear and my Me on Monday photo looks like this  
Not sure how long the hat will stay on but it's a start!
We managed to extend our weekend again by starting on Friday night with a family gathering with my sister and brother in law so it was a homemade curry night, sorting out who's going where for Christmas, quilt sewing, Strictly Come Dancing watching, extra hour in bed as we left British Summer Time for Greenwich Mean Time, delicious Sunday lunch at a friend's house, sorting out problems with the TV and saying goodbye to our neighbours opposite as they prepared to move out today. 
Me on Monday - a brilliant idea from Sian

Monday, 20 October 2014

Me on Monday

It was a homes and gardens projects weekend here. A plan to cut the lawn for the last time this year was scuppered when the lawn mower decided that it had had enough, fizzled and died. A plan to redecorate the downstairs toilet (2 years after the first 'shall we redo the loo' thought was voiced) ended up with a couple of trips to the local Homebase store. It was a wallpaper ordering, paint purchasing,  lawnmower buying, wallpaper stripping, tile removing, patchwork quilt squares cutting, dog walking, slow roast shoulder of pork cooking, panettone bread and butter pudding baking kind of weekend. 

So I've done my half day at work, and have to go back again later for 'safeguarding' training (which always upsets me when we have to discuss true case studies of at risk children) and just to make this Monday even less enjoyable, I have an afternoon with this ...

Because I cannot put off the evil task of clearing the ironing pile any longer. Unless I look to see if there's a puppy that's in need of a walk ... 

How's your Monday shaping up? I think that instead of just waving to Sian who organised the Me on Monday idea, I'm going to pop round and visit to see if any of her secret recipe fudge/tablet is left.