Saturday, 28 October 2017

Bit of a long one......

....well lots of pics

Yesterday Sophie and and I awoke to the 6 o'clock alarm, drove over to Castle Cary train station and caught the7:27 to London Paddington. An early 18th birthday treat day, as I wanted her to have something to remember. (Actual birthday isn't until Nov the 4th)

We started off with something on my wish list, a visit to one of Deliciously Ella's Deli's. Sadly it didn't live up to all my expectations but it was good to scratch the itch, so to speak but we won't be going back.

We left and hit Oxford Street, primarily to see the Christmas decorations up and ready and visit the Christmas departments in John Lewis and....


They really never disappoint, gorgeous lights, displays and decorations.

We then got the tube to Spitalfields and had a mooch,

some lunch and planned our next move.

A short tube ride to St Paul's Cathedral...

a walk past the Bank of England....

to the Walkie-Talkie Building and home to....

to the Sky Garden.

This was the highlight of the day. - you have to book tickets in advance but they are free and you get to spend an hour, 35 floors up, at the top of this building, in the most incredible space.

The views across the whole of the city are just breathtaking and we were so blessed with the weather. It wasn't too busy either, in that you could easily get a space to view.

This was the outside viewing deck from the one side....

...overlooking the Shard.

St Paul's, the BT Tower and Wembley in the top right corner.

Looking out towards Canary Wharf in this one, a place Sophie would love to work in, one day. 

It was fantastic, certainly a place to return to and maybe enjoy a cocktail next time, 
when she is officially 18!

We then walked about 4 miles, all the way from the Sky Garden, over London Bridge, all along the South side of the river Thames,

past the London Eye....

....with great views of Big Ben (complete with scaffolding) and the House of Parliament, where we crossed over the river, past Westminster, 

along Birdcage Walk, with every intention of going to Buckingham Palace but we were just too tired, so got the tube from St James Park back to Paddington.

We had the best day, fantastic weather, and definitely a day we will both remember. I don't think I fully appreciated her ambitions and dreams to live and work in London one day, until today and I loved listening to all her aspirations, dreams and wishes for the future. Who knows, and there is absolutely no reason why not, that some of the those hopes and dreams will become a reality one day xx

Sunday, 22 October 2017


....forgot to post this last night!

The last of the pickings I think now, going to cut everything back over half term week. The garden was a little late to the party but produced well mid August onwards.

I've been busy baking in prep for half term. I'm working Monday to Thursday and out with Sophie on Friday, so need plenty of supplies to keep them all fed!

Jeff and I enjoyed a very rare lunch date on Thursday, as he broke up a little earlier than the kids. GBK (Gourmet Burger Kitchen) is always a winner and now we have one just down the road, even better. Hope you all have a great half term week - lots of revision happening here (I hope) for Sam, so a week at home, later starts and lots of rest and relaxation in the mix too.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Halfway through October.....


Some months seem to come and go by so quickly and October is no exception - October and November are big birthday months here. My mum, my sister, my niece and it would have been Jeff's Mum's birthday too, all fall in October, swiftly followed by Sophie and I in November - a busy and expensive time.

Sophie has had a busy few weeks but she finalised and sent off her UCAS application this week, now all we can do is sit and wait and cross our fingers that she receives a few offers. She cracked open the Christmas chocolates to celebrate and as with tradition here, we sort out all the chocs into piles, then bag up mixed selections to replenish the tin with, over the festive season. All the chocs we don't like are then ready to give out to any trick or treater's who might knock on the door on Halloween.

Everyone has been really busy, Jeff took on a new role this term so has extra reports to do, Sophie seems to be constantly working and as I mentioned above, has now completed her UCAS application and Sam? well he has his mocks straight after half term and has accepted that an hour a night of focused work is now expected of him, so the kitchen table on an evening is now a hub of activity.

I had a lovely day off on Friday and treated myself to a day out in Bath, although ended up shopping for a certain someones 18th coming up very soon. It was good to have a change of scenery though.

I worked overtime yesterday but put a whole chicken in the slow cooker before I left and enjoyed picking probably the last of our homegrown from the garden. The beans have been very generous, as have the wild strawberries, a few raspberries and one self seeded tomato!

We didn't have the best Summer weather wise and no Indian Summer to enjoy either but the skies recently, both morning and evening have been truly spoiling us. Sunrise at the back of the house....

....and sunset at the front.

I'm off to work now - I do every other Sunday, so not too bad and if it's busy, the time flies by. 
Have a lovely Sunday and just one more week until half term. I am working this year but have a couple of treat days planned x

Saturday, 7 October 2017

A quiet week

Not much has happened this week, other than the normal routines of work, school etc. Sophie came back from her Geography field trip on Tuesday feeling poorly, so has nursed herself through until Friday which was an INSET day and we have a quiet weekend ahead.

There has been some lovely warm sunshine during the week and of course it's dull, damp and grey today, now it's the weekend. The downside of working set hours, you miss out on the nice weather!

We have had some gorgeous evening skies and a beautiful harvest moon to end the days. Next week is looking more of the same - work, overtime but I may try and do something on my day off on Friday, see what the weather is like.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

University Open Day Tour done!

So our University Open Day tour is complete!
We started off with Exeter University back at the end of May half term and followed with trips to Birmingham, Surrey, Cardiff, Southampton and Reading yesterday. We did two visits to Cardiff and Southampton, so we could visit the centre's too and an overnight stay in Birmingham, to get a feel for the 'place'. Sophie has visited Portsmouth with a friend and is there for the next 3 days on a Geography field trip - it's very much the insurance, insurance choice, which we hope we won't need!

It's been great seeing all these places and meeting all these young, enthusiastic students on our travels but the best bit about this whole process has been spending quality time with Sophie. You can do a lot of talking in a 2/3 hour car/train ride and it's been lovely seeing her excited and so focused about her future. Of course it's all down to hard work and the final grades that will determine where she goes but I honestly think she'll be happy at any of the places we have visited and shortlisted!

Birmingham is still very much top choice but with the entry requirement at 3 A's, it's a big ask but who knows what hard work and determination will bring.

Reading jumped up into her 'insurance place' number 2 spot after our visit yesterday. It was a lovely campus, actual Reading was nice and everyone seemed very friendly, so a job well done. 

The personal statement has been written, teacher's references and predicted grades collated and her final tutor reference now needed and her UCAS application will be complete. Just the wait then for offers and for her to make her final two choices, followed of course, by a good few months of hard work before the exams! So glad I'm not a teenager any more but I wish her all the luck in the world, for all the exciting opportunities that lie ahead of her.