Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Apologies and Best Wishes

Hi All,
I'm sooooo sorry that I have not had time to blog recently. The last few weeks have been rather full with Christmas preparation and also my number three child. Unfortunately my daughter has had a few issues with her pregnancy and given us all cause for concern. We were not sure whether she was going to be admitted to hospital on Christmas Eve. Anyway all is well and she was allowed home and has been able to come to Leicester to spend time with the rest of her family. It's looking as if the child she is carrying is not going to be small and is growing at rather a fast rate.  So no tiny baby clothes will be needed! The baby is due 22nd January and could end up weighing 11lb!

But now it is time for me to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a great new year.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Christmas Chaos

Every year I say I must not get to December and have everything to do. But it still happens and I don't know what changes in December but everyday seems just that bit shorter and the job list never ending. Trouble is I do not particularly like doing Christmas things in November, for me it has to be a December activity, Now in theory I like Christmas but I just wish I had more time to enjoy Christmas and the preparation of it. But slowly I am getting there. The cards have at long last been written and posted. The decorations went up at the beginning of December. Just when I think I have finished buying presents another one appears on the list that I somehow forgot about. I have started to prepare and freeze meals for the festive week. Menus planned and this weekend sees a big spring clean or should  say winter clean before the family arrive.

So jobs to do: couple more presies to buy, cake to marzipan and ice, more food prep, big clean and finally bedrooms sorted and beds made read for the family.

As I get older I like the way traditions are being set and one of the more recent ones has been a meal that my dad organises for my sister and family along side with Mr P and myself. Last Saturday we all met up at his home in order to travel together to his local village pub.

Oh golly I am going to have to apologise for no pictures. My laptop is driving me mad. It has been playing me up and just after some kind person spent ages getting it sorted it still decides to do its own thing. It decided to reject moxilla firefox as my browser. Refused to let me use my pictures without having to do each individual one in a very long winded way.  So I gave up and used internet explorer. Then a few days ago the laptop refused to let me do anything until I installed windows 8.1. Managed to get used to all the new settings and set up the sites I use often. Today it has just done an update, gave me NO browser until I opted for one and then totally changed internet explorer. Aaaaaaargh - I do not need this now!

Oh well I'm giving up. No pictures to show you our lovely meal and time together. I think I'd better get on with getting ready for work and stop trying to understand my laptop. Hope your week is going to plan and your Christmas prep is going well. Thinking about it the first Christmas had problems too! Mary being 9 months pregnant and having to make a long journey and then when she arrives no where to stay! Perhaps things haven't changed much.

Friday, 12 December 2014


Life is just full of surprises some good and some not so good.

Last Sunday I had my first surprise. As I was driving along the London Road I looked in my rear mirror, like you are supposed to do, and I found myself having to look several times. As what I saw was this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Don't worry I didn't take this picture whilst driving, my daughter was with me! I think he must have come from the Santa fun run for charity.

Don't think I had any  surprises on Monday. Tuesday was the works meal, at lunch time. Now the food was nothing to get excited about. In fact I doubt whether there was any genuine fresh food on the plate! Supposed to have been a Christmas dinner but I think it was a chemical mix of food that look like a turkey dinner! Went outside to collect my bike to go to my next clinic and had a nasty surprise! Arghhhhhhhhhh! Someone had stolen my saddle! Now that would have been very painful to try and ride. Fortunately my very kind manager did some amazing tricks with her car seats and got my bike and belongings in before I had managed to finish a call to the bike shop. She chauffeured me to the bike shop to get a replacement - at an ouch price of £46! Then she took me to my clinic. I amazingly managed to arrive just a few minutes late.

Tuesday evening's surprise was from one of my daughter's to say she's not well. Also that the baby she's carrying is getting a move on and is measuring a few weeks bigger. So it's a good job I've ordered the wool to crochet a blanket. Baby is due 24th January but maybe sooner. I'd better get a move on!

Wednesday I had a phone call from the police. Number four surprise   and perhaps number five surprise. Firstly that they even bothered to call me back after reporting the theft. Secondly was the content of the conversation which went like this. "How have you been getting on with your investigations?" My response was something like "urgh?" "Well we don't want to be duplicating the work!" Apparently the police thought I might have been to the pub where the theft had happened and watched the ctv footage. Was I supposed to go and find the thieves and arrest them?

Thursday's surprise was watching the chickens. With their new house comes a door that opens and shuts automatically according to how light or dark it is. Well this morning I watched them barge out whilst the door was trying to open - just like small children, inpatient to wait for it to fully open! It was so funny to watch.

Lets see what the weekend has to offer?

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Shrewsbury Madness

It's that wonderful time of year when my two daughters and myself meet up at my sister's home outside Shrewsbury for a stay overnight before the big shop. My sister and brother-in-law are very generous and put us all up for the night. They then feed us a wonderful three course meal, supply us with wine and followed by a lovely laze on their most comfortable settee in front of an open fire. Such a special time to catch up on all our news and have some special time with my sister and her family. This was the 4th time of doing this and it is becoming a precious tradition.

The next morning we are fed breakfast and then sent on our merry way to Shrewsbury. This year is slightly different as my one daughters is pregnant with her second child and having some health issues which affects her ability to walk far. So I managed to hire a wheelchair from the red cross for her. Now I nor my other daughter have had experience of pushing a wheelchair far or around shops. It certainly is an eye opener. Most people are kind and help as much as they can but there were a few who grumbled and treated us as people not entitled to be out shopping. Discovered it was fine to be around the large shopping malls and easy to push the wheelchair but getting around the cute individual shops outside the malls were a nightmare. Most of them had steps to negotiate and small doors. Then inside the shops there were displays that meant it was rather difficult to squeeze by without sending things flying. We eventually came up with the idea that we pushed my daughter to the shop door, she then got out and climbed the step inside the shop, and then we half folded the wheelchair and left it somewhere inside the shop not blocking peoples way. We gave up trying to push her around the inside of the shops. Needless to say we did not buy so much this year but we did have lots of fun trying to push the chair up and down the hills. Lunch was had at the indoor market at the Birds Nest Café. This is a fantastic café doing all home cooked food. Absolutely yummy.

The indoor market is great, full of life and diversity. I noticed that there was also a fish restaurant which looked divine and a Chinese restaurant as well as all the wonderful stalls.

If you are ever in this area then do visit this market - I think it's the best I've ever seen in the UK. Shrewsbury is a lovely old town and the shops have lots of character and looked so festive.

After lunch we decided it was time to head to THE dress shop. This is somewhere that sells clothes from lots of different stores at reasonable prices. Tara Clothing - they only seem to have a facebook page.

Well us three girlies had such fun trying on the clothes. The assistants were so helpful saying what looked good and bad. Also quite a few of the clothes were these new fashion one size fits all so we could try each others clothes on. We all came away with some new clothes. Then onto the last shop as time was running out - Listers. They sell lots of lovely things for your home and the aisles were wide enough for the wheelchair. We bought a few more gifts from here(could have spent lots more money) and then headed back UP HILL, with all the bags, to the car park.

 Our two cars were virtually the only ones left! I did check what time the car park closed but I guess by 6.15pm most people had gone home! We had a great day and I was so pleased that we had the wheelchair as it meant my daughter could share the day with us. Thanks to my sister and family for their hospitality and thanks to the Britsh Red Cross Society for enabling us to have a wheelchair and have this special girlie day.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014


I just love robins. I'm not sure why? Maybe it is to do with their lovely red breast, or maybe it's the way they just pop up and look so pretty and cute! Sorry I'm being rather silly but I do like robins. Yesterday I was on the phone to a friend when I saw a robin in the garden. Somehow an old empty ice cream tub had blown into the garden and had filled up with rain water. This robin decided to make the most of this opportunity by taking a bath. It was such fun to watch. My friend suggested I took some pictures and here they are. Note I was still talking on the phone whilst taking the photographs! Amazing how women can multi task!

Also for me robins remind me of Christmas. I like to think they only appear at this time of year!

Allo Allo and The Messiah

Last week started the Christmas season off for Mr P and myself. We both love going to local amateur theatre productions and our favourite is one in the village of Kibworth. Kibworth Theatre Company were performing Kibworth Allo Allo. Now it maybe you've never heard of this play - well it was a wonderful tv series. There were actually 85 episodes of Allo Allo.

Here is Renee the owner of the café in the play. Apparently he grew a moustache for the performance.

Here he is complete with moustache and with his wife Edith.

The seating area for the audience was set out as if we were customers in Renee's café.

It was a great evening, so funny and a great start to the Christmas celebrations.

Saturday was the day of the performance of Handels Messiah by the Leicester Bach Choir, whom I sing with. The afternoon was the rehearsal with the orchestra and soloists Katie Trethewey, Cathy Bell, Julian Forbes and James Oldfield.

Our conductor is Richard Laing and he is just so talented. I have no idea how he begins to conduct the choir, orchestra and soloists at the same time. The Bach Choir is very fortunate to have him. The Messiah is a long piece of music and by the time we finished the performance I was absolutely exhausted, but very happy - it had been a magical experience. It was great when the audience stood up for the Hallelujah Chorus. In fact the church was completely full - it had been a sell out. Wonderful, wonderful evening. If you like singing then I can really recommend joining a choir.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Friends and Fountains Abbey

Apologies started this blog some days ago, but then had a problem with my laptop - probably doesn't flow too well! Try better next time!

OK I cannot believe I find myself heading north on the M1, on a Friday afternoon, in the pouring rain! Yes it's an absolute guarantee the journey is going to take an eternity to get anywhere. I started out with the sat nav saying I'd arrive at 6pm and I finally arrived at 7.20pm! Grrrrrrrrrrrrr! I HATE the M1!

OK moaning over and done with and now why I find myself heading north: it was to visit with some friends from Leeds. The date was booked months ago to meet up as four couples to share an early Christmas celebration. The home was lovely and warm with the wonderful aroma of dinner cooking, beautiful lit candles glimmering and then and nearly best of all a good glass of red wine. Just what I needed. I actually found myself shaking on the doorstep. I think it was the concentration needed to arrive safely. Now poor Mr P he was travelling down from Northumberland, on the motorbike, in all the rain. I arrived after him but apparently it took some time for him to warm up, as he arrived dripping! Now I was going to show you some lovely photographs of the meal - but I was sooooo hungry and sooooo enjoying meeting up with friends who we have not seen for some time that I forgot to get the camera out! Even though I only drank two glasses of wine I was rather on a high. I guess after a week of not seeing Mr P, being deprived of a telephone, the long journey seeing old friends sent me very loud and giggly. Also I had been listening to Radio 2 and they had people phoning in saying where they were heading too and it kinda got me really into the socialising spirit. Sorry I'm rabbitting on and maybe no one out there understands what I'm talking about! But this is me with my poor and limited vocabulary!

The next day Mr and Mrs J had organised a picnic and we headed out to Fountains Abbey. Now I thought we'd visited this place when we lived in Leeds but I think we must have only seen it from a distance. It was truly amazing. We started off with a walk around the grounds outside the estate. After all the previous days rain everywhere was rather gray but I was just excited to be out and about in wonderful Yorkshire countryside.

Ooooops gap in time - computer had a breakdown and had to go for major surgery to another Mr P. Thank you sooooooooooo much Mr P no 2. I am so grateful for all your help in fixing my laptop.

I enjoy living in Leicester but I do miss so much being out in the hills, rivers and valleys. I guess it makes me appreciate the countryside when I get the chance to go.

The deer was out but too far away for me to get a good view. I think after all the rain from the previous night there was this haze, but somehow it made everywhere look rather magical/mystical.

The abbey was absolutely stunning. Unfortunately I begin to notice that my camera is displaying a warning sign that the battery is very low. I was so cross with myself for leaving the spare battery back in Leeds.

We went for a cuppa and came out to see the sun had managed to break through all the mist to give this fine view - BUT only for about 30 minutes and then came back the haze.

You can just see the haze starting to swell.

Such a wonderful experience and all too soon the light fades and we need to head back home.

Mr P and I decided that we must visit here again and spend more time with the camera. Can really recommend anyone to visit here.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Conspiracy Theory

Yesterday was one of those days when I should have never got up and just stayed in bed. It started off with the alarm clock and the bed working against me. Just as I roll over to continue sleeping and get even snugger under the quilt - the alarm clock rings! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH! I am sure the bed and clock are working together. They must be as it happens quite often! Surely it must be true. It's a conspiracy.

Ok so I get up and then I go downstairs to hear something ringing every 30 seconds. I hunt around for where the noise is coming from and eventually track it down inside a cupboard. The burglar alarm panel is bleeping and a warning sign being displayed. Oh no what do I do? I try to reset it but this sets the alarm off. Fortunately I remember the number to get rid of the hideous noise. I've turned the alarm off but the bleeping is still continuing. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH. I hunt for a phone number to call the company but there is not one on display, go outside to look at the box but still no number. You may be asking where was Mr P was he still asleep - no he's up in Northumberland. So I decide I need to give him a call in order to get the alarm company's number.  Pick up the mainline phone and it has finally decided to stop working and just give off a whole load of crackles and no dialling tone. The phone had been playing up on Sunday but come Monday it did not seem too bad. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH.  Surely this is another conspiracy alarm and phone ganging up. Oh whilst all the drama has been unfurling the bleeping decides to stop and I breathe a sigh of relief.

Now this is when I go stupid and I go to Argos - oh after having got dressed to buy another phone. By the time I arrive there Mr P has finally woken up to answer my call from my mobile. He then says - "well how do you know it's the phone that's not working rather than the BT line?" Oh how thick am I? I never thought about BT. So after some deliberation I bought a phone - knowing that later on I would be working near Argos and could always return the phone. Well the next AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH happened. I went to the booth to place my order and pay but the receipt never came out! I had to go hunting for an assistant and they seem to know you are coming as they all run away! Eventually I manage to net one when they weren't looking. You can guess what the next AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH is can't you? It wasn't the phone - it was the connection!

Mr P arranged for a BT engineer to come next Monday after we ran through some checks. I then went on my merry way to work to be greeted with a receptionist telling me they have not got a room for me and the spare rooms were full. It was at this stage when I wanted to burst into tears but managed to control myself and a room amazingly got sorted. Phew! After work took the new phone back to Argos who were kind and understanding:)

Arrive back home to hear the bleeping again. But this time I now have the number to call and a kind engineer managed to help me through the panel with some of their magic passwords and get it temporarily sorted till next Monday when they too will becoming to fix the alarm.

By this stage I actually felt afraid to touch or do anything. I went for a swim, afraid I might have an accident. I know that sounds ridiculous but that's how I really felt. No - I swam, felt much better. Cooked myself a mild curry, did some crafting, watched masterchef and a nice murder and toddled off to bed to wake up to a much much better undisastrous(new word!), non conspiracy day!

Monday, 17 November 2014

Newark Trip

Now a few weeks ago, one of the blogs I read, Bunny Mummy, made a trip to Newark. This inspired me to make a visit there too. Newark is somewhere as a child I used to pass through on the train. My grandma lived in Lincoln and by the time the train from Birmingham arrived at Newark I knew my journey did not have too long to go. More recently it is somewhere that the A46 bypasses on the way to the A1, as I head north for Northumberland. So I have found myself at various times in my life been very close and yet never actually seen Newark for myself. I believe my mum used to travel as a teenager to Newark to visit boyfriends!

So on a cold damp miserable Saturday I headed out. Now Newark seemed to be further than I thought. I guess usually when I pass it I'm thinking of being in the car for a 4 1/2 hour journey but the 40 minute trip just seemed longer - doesn't make much sense, but then I probably never do! Having left Leicester in milder temperature I was rather taken aback as I got out the car to a cold chill. I was wearing a coat but hadn't bothered with a cardigan. I decided to leave the walk around by the river till later on when hopefully the sun would come out and head to the shops instead, to get warm.

There were some lovely traditional buildings.

Then I could not believe my eyes - Wimpy Bar! 
I didn't think they still existed, just been reading they first started 1954!

Newark seemed to have lots of small alleys to choose to venture. Then I came across the market.

Having explored the shops I then decided I had warmed up enough to head down to the river and to see the castle.

I believe you can book to have a tour through some of the remaining castle.

This was one of the views I could see from the castle.

I decided to see the castle from the riverside - think you'll agree a lovely view.

As I look towards the town centre I decide that the hope of seeing some sun is a non starter. The church spire is gradually disappearing! I opt for going home to a nice warm house. I hope to come back another day and explore the river and castle further.

Sorry I love boats and loved the smell of the smoke - sad I know.

Kind of felt that the weather made the river very atmospheric. Back home for a lovely warming mug of tea and some wonderful buttered toast - soooo comforting. After a bit of crafting I then headed to one of my local shops. It looked so pretty that I just had to take a picture.

They have some wonderful original gifts.

Mr P was busy working at church and so I decided that in order to spend some time together I would prepare the ingredients for a raclette. It was a lovely way to end the day.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

YouTube Fame

It is time to blow a trumpet - ta dah! It is not my own trumpet but my youngest son.

 Do you remember me telling you at the end of his wedding we all had a surprise? After a year of practising my son was able to film himself playing Pachabel Canon in D major on the electric guitar. After the wedding had finished instead of having an organ playing Widor's Tocatta he had this film played on a big screen. At first I thought he was just pretending to play the music but as the film went on I began to realise to my utter amazement that it was truly my son playing and not pretending.

Well now he has released the video clip onto YouTube.

So click here for "Canon Rock"

One very proud mother - must stop crying every time I see this! Please have a listen.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014


Oh boy what an amazing five days. All three grandchildren have been to stay - with their mummies and daddies. But before they came I had to prepare the home.

The tea trolley had to be put into the downstairs bathroom as little fingers think it great fun to try banging the mugs together!

We decided now that the twins are crawling and Rowan is walking we needed to invest in a stair gate so that had to be put up.

 Travel cot erected in the craft / study room for Rowan.

Managed to borrow two more cots from the neighbours. So Mr P was busy deciphering how these were made as they didn't come with instructions - but he did an excellent job.

Beds for the mummies and daddies had to be made.

Oh and I managed to buy three new toys for the munchkins to play with.

Rowan loves balls and I couldn't resist this toy for £2.

Below I bought two bags of balls for £4 and a slide for £5. Bargains from a baby charity shop.

They were all a success. Then the moment arrived when they came and suddenly the house was transformed into a nursery. Nappy bags, clothes, buggies, high chairs, bottles, feeding cups etc etc. It never ceases to amaze me how three small beings can take up soooo much space!

 The girls remind me of octopuses - they appear to have legs that go everywhere!

Saturday - weather wise it was miserable and wet. So we headed out to a local vintage fayre. We didn't get very far before they all stopped for coffee and cake! Trouble is we took up nearly all the chairs!

I spotted this dress - I actually wore this dress some years ago! Fashion really does come around again!.

Loved the fabric on this dress.

Now I thought I would have lots of pictures to show you of all the babies but I think it was just sooo busy that I did not have time to take any! The twins were ill and consequently demanded a lot of attention - also they did not sleep much during the night. Also their mummy was not very well too. And so the 5 days went by in  a blur. I know for sure now why God created women to have babies whilst they are young! When I went to work yesterday I really felt my age and had one client ask me what the matter was as she never seen me look so tired! I didn't think I looked that bad. Oh well. It was lovely having special moments with all three of them, seeing them interact with each other was great - roll on Christmas.