Monday, 9 December 2019


What a lovely weekend. 
Sophie's number 7 on her Countdown to Christmas was a day out in London!
 Sam and I got the train from Castle Cary and then Sophie joined us at Reading

We had no real plans for the morning, other than spending time together. We had a lovely breakfast, mooch around the Christmas department in Selfridge's, then a wander around Carnaby Street, Soho, and Liberty's, before finding somewhere for lunch.

The afternoon was spent at the top of the Walkie Talkie building at the Sky Garden. Sophie and I went for her 18th birthday but Sam had never been. Such a fab 'free' thing to do in London and the bonus being it was a lot quieter than most parts of London on a Saturday afternoon.

What a view!

We didn't have much time left, with trains booked for 5pm but I wanted to see the lights! Not quite dark enough and it was heaving with people but you got the idea and soaked in the London Christmas atmosphere.

Sam doesn't like the crowds or ambling with no purpose but other than that, I think he had a good day. It was just lovely for me to have them both together x

En route to the Sky Garden, we did stop by the Bank of England. A few weeks ago Sophie had an interview there for a Placement Year position. Well she's only gone and been offered the job! AND had to decline it!!! She'd already accepted the ONS post and felt she'd enjoy it there and was more suited to the role. But WOW! What a position to be in!!

Back at home, the Christmas bedding is on!

The wreath is on the door....

....and I'm dripping a little Christmas in, where I can.

The tree doesn't go up until Saturday, when Sophie comes home for Christmas x

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Advent ready!

Pinch and a punch....

....hello December!

We're Advent ready here. The paper Advent Calendar is out, as is the chocolate tin and a smattering of festive bits, just to set the scene.

Sophie has her Christmas countdown to 'coming home for Christmas' ready. She enjoyed last year's, so I was easily persuaded to put together another one for this year. It was also a birthday present, so there are a few treats in there too.

She's actually just sent through this pic of her room looking all festive. 
The tree, mug, robin, all countdown gifts from last year.

 November was a fab month, full of special times. December looks like there will be more of the same, a busy, fun filled month ahead x

 Hope you have a good one x

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Christmas market sandwich!

Well I've been lucky enough to sandwich this week with visits to two lovely Christmas markets. The first, last weekend, with my sister in Exeter. Unfortunately it rained but it was lovely spending some quality time together, just the two of us.

I actually got my Christmas cards written. Had a rare day off in the week with nothing planned, so settled down, plenty of coffee on tap and got them written.

Then yesterday (Friday) I was up and out early to go to the Christmas Markets in Bath. I don't think I went last year, so it was nice this year to visit again, plus they were laid out across the city, so much more appealing. Although I will say, despite my very early start, they were super busy from the go!

This was my fave shed, treated myself to a few of the small metal stars in the front of the pic. Picked up my pud too from another stall. I had one two years ago and it was delicious.

I spent the morning mooching on my own, then met up with Sophie who got the train from Reading, a very lovely addition to my day and she managed to catch an earlier train too x

All the shops were looking super festive (Anthropology)

Heaps of tempting festive treats about....

...I was good and went for the decorative variety.

Christmas tunes on street corners to enjoy!

But look at the crowds!!! This is a pic from the Internet from today, 
absolutely heaving!!!

In the evening we met up with my sister and niece for tea, possibly the only chance now to get together before actual Christmas.

A chance to celebrate Sophie's recent Job news too x

The tree by the Abbey looked wonderful, we said our goodbyes then....

.... Sophie and I headed off to the bottom of town for the real reason we were meeting up to see 
Love Actually with a live orchestra at the Forum in Bath. 
It was fantastic, goosebumps in the first five minutes. The perfect way to end a lovely day and start off the Christmas festivities.

I waited until this morning to take stock of what I'd bought. Had a bonus treat of having Sophie at home until I dropped her back at the station late afternoon, to head back to Reading. She's only 2 weeks left before she's home properly for Christmas, can't wait x

A truly lovely weekend x

Thursday, 21 November 2019

Time to come clean....

Time to come clean......

....I didn't spend my birthday doing anything lovely.
 I spent my birthday driving up to Newport in the pouring rain....

....sitting in bay 4 of a car park, for 2 hours.....

....whilst this one had an interview..... the Office of National Statistics.

Basically since September, Sophie has been applying for Placement Year jobs, in preparation for a Year in Industry in her third year. Her dream placement was to apply to the GES (Government Economic Service) and be placed at the ONS (Office of National Statistics) Firstly it's really hard to get through the application process and secondly to go through to the interview stage. So just by getting through the door was a huge achievement, as they place you where they think you best fit. Her friend had an interview at the Foreign Office, as she's doing a BA Economics degree. 

Then on Wednesday she had an interview with the Bank of England, again wow! what an achievement to get an interview and get inside the building!!! Just to get that far, she'd had to apply, get through to psychometric testing, then do a video interview, followed by the offer of a physical interview after completing a 90 min maths test.

I wrote this blog post 2 years ago, when we went to London on her 18th birthday. Dreams really can come true. Now she won't hear from the Bank of England for 3 weeks, as she was in the first round of interviews and they interview 100 students for 25 jobs but that is now irrelevant as.....

....she got offered a job at the ONS today!!!!!!

Soooooo very proud.
She has worked really hard juggling her Year 2 studies, whilst applying for placement positions. We are so proud and happy for her. We chose Reading University for the Placement Year opportunities and the invaluable support they give the students and I can't thank them enough for all the advice, mock interviews, CV critique, tips etc they have given her. This Placement Year will give her so many opportunities and invaluable experiences to help her get a job once she completes her degree. 

What a day!

And her friend got offered the job at the Foreign Office too!
I hope they'll both be out celebrating together tonight, they deserve it x

Saturday, 16 November 2019

Another year older....

Another year older...... the last of my forties!!

And keeping up with tradition, a celebratory mince pie. 
Always the first of the year, on my birthday, instead of cake, as know one makes me a cake and I try and put off starting to eat mince pies any earlier.

Not many gifts as you can see but I no longer want/need things! I'd rather spend our money on going places, live music, travelling together. That said Jeff did find the larger 'spotty bottle' we saw on holiday, that's us sorted now for Christmas and Sophie had obviously noted my liking for the bowl and platter I'd seen in Vinegar Hill, gifted both by her and Sam. My Mum and Dad sent flowers and money and Jeff's sister popped round with a bunch of flowers too, so thoroughly spoilt. My sister included a Lonely Planet guide to Florence in her gifts, so I can start planning our little adventure. 

As you can see our 'travel, go see things, live music, travel' is in full swing. We've already got tickets to see McFLY, supported by Scouting for Girls at the Bath Festival in May. Then my sister and I have our few days away in Florence. The boys are off to Glastonbury Festival, Sam to the whole thing, Jeff just on the Sunday. Our family holiday is booked, a week in sunny Pollensa to look forward to. Sophie and I are off to see Heathers when it tours in August and Jeff got tickets for us to see Deacon Blue on my actual 50th birthday in Plymouth, for November next year. Big birthdays next year - Sam's 18th, Sophie's 21st and my 50th, so a few potential trips away in the mix there too. 2020 is shaping up to be a good year, best get doing lots of overtime to pay for it all!!

It's all worth in though. Last Friday Jeff and I went to see OMD at the Bath Pavilion. They were celebrating their 40th Anniversary tour and they were brilliant, so much energy and track after track of nostalgia and brilliance, worth every penny x

Growing old with this one isn't so bad xx
We've lots to look forward to x

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Bonus time x

Pinch and a punch...... (bit late!!)

What a whirlwind of a week and busy start to the month of November! No sooner had we got back from Girona, I was at the station picking up Sophie from the train station. 

It's 'reading week' so unlike last year, where she stayed in Reading, this year she decided to come home, which meant we got to celebrate her birthday with her too.

Never too old for cake but how is she 20!!!!?
Where have those years gone?

We spent her actual birthday at home (I'd taken a couple of days off work), popping into town for lunch and a mooch around the shops but then spent Tuesday in Exeter, our first visit and we were pleasantly surprised.

Bonus treat lunch in the HUB, it is part of the same small chain, as the one we go to in St Ives.

Sophie got new shoes ready for interviews and a birthday pair of boots! We had a lovely look around and noticed the Christmas market sheds going up, so I will definitely be returning for that, as it's just an hour down the motorway and super easy to park. 

We had a good look around John Lewis and I found my Christmas wrap additions for this year, plus a few other christmassy bits. 

I've also found this years Christmas jumper, the top candy cane one was actually from TU at Sainsbury's and the grey spotty one is from NEXT (it has a tinsel trim around the neck, cuffs and spots!). As soon as Halloween is over, I like to start getting organised, then once my birthday has come and gone mid November, I'm in full on Christmas mode x