Saturday, 19 January 2019

A working week in January!

Not much to report here this week, just a regular working week in January. It's been my Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday week and I swapped in 2x 7am starts on Wednesday and Thursday, so enjoyed a much needed lie in on my day off on Friday, after 2x 6am alarm calls. I've nothing in the diary really for the next few weeks, just a case of head down and get through January, my least favourite month.

My hyacinths are now over, will keep the green in for as long as it looks half decent. So happy to see my £1 bunch of daffs are back in the shops now to replace them. 

The cheeriest £1 you will ever spend x

Have a good week

Friday, 11 January 2019

5 weeks and counting!

So yesterday was the day, the day Sophie returned to Reading!
We drove back, car full again! Stopped off a huge Sainsbury's, the far side of Reading to do a food shop, unloaded the car, defrosted her freezer the best I could! Reorganised her freezer shelf, fridge shelf, food cupboard etc then had lunch, before heading home.

It was so much easier to say goodbye x
I now know she's happy, got good friends, feels settled, so it was so much easier to leave this time and it is only 5 weeks until our half term/her reading week, when we'll either visit for the day or she'll come home for a couple of days. I will miss her terribly, it's been lovely having her around again but as long as I know she's okay, I can deal with her being away and we do chat often, which helps.

As always, I've been filling January with bulbs, they've smelt heavenly. The first daffs were sold last week, so once these pass their best, my £1 a bunch favourites, will be taking their place.

Even outside, they're making a head for the light. 
I really do hope we have a reasonable spell of weather now, get through the next 5 weeks as best we can, bit of a tick off affair. I do find Winter tends to linger longer than I'd like but as Sam and I were saying the other day, it's got a little lighter in the evening's, he is now walking back from the bus in daylight!

Saturday, 5 January 2019


HOW is it already a week into January? Where does the time go? I know it's said 'that the older you get, the quicker time flies by' but it's so true. I worked all week, my Monday through to Thursday week, glad I'd taken all the decorations down before New Year, although am leaving the stars up, until they feel like they should come down!

Day off on Friday and Sophie and I grabbed our final chance to go to Bath for the day, meet up with my sister and niece for lunch, before it's back to school for them and Uni for Sophie. It was lovely but blumin chilly!

Would have loved a lie in this morning but got up with the alarm and went over to Slimming World. I help set it up and then weigh all the members. I bought a 12 week countdown, I'm realistic about my weekly losses but was pretty chuffed to come in with a 3.5lb loss this morning and only 13lbs to get to target! I'd like to be there by the end of March, Sam reckons it'll be more like the end of May - he of very little faith!

I'm pretty focused at the moment but will honestly be happy with a weekly loss, even if it's just half a pound, as long as it's coming off and going in the right direction, I don't mind.

It's not a chore when you can still eat delicious food like this......

....although my willpower is often tested, baking this for everyone else!

Hope your January is starting off positively x

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Hello 2019!

Pinch and a punch.......

.....hello 2019!

We welcomed in the New Year together. 
Sam's plans changed, so we spent the evening having a family meal, playing Cluedo, Sophie and I watched Mamma Mia and then we saw in the Bongs of Big Ben and the fireworks together.

This morning I'm the only one up and awake. I'm off to work in a bit!
As always you chat about your hopes and dreams, plans and wishes for the year ahead. Jeff will be turning 50, so would like to enjoy his big year, injury free (well he is getting old!!) I'd like to be a little selfish and give myself a little time and attention - nothing major but I would like to get back to Target this year, get back to being as healthy as I was a year ago or is it two now!?! Sam will start to learn to drive this year!!! And Sophie? When asked she said "nothing really, stay as I am, happy" What a great way to start the new year x 

Here's hoping 2019 is a happy and healthy year for us all.

Monday, 31 December 2018

Diet Update!

I'm actually ending 2018 2lbs lighter than when I started the year!

I did actually lose nearly a stone and a half, got to one pound away from target but as the graph beautifully illustrates, I put it all back on! Just the bit I lost, no more! And that's why I keep going to Slimming World, to keep me on the straight and narrow, to keep me focused and accountable.

I lost all my weight in 2014/15 and really kept it off well in 2015/16 but latterly it's been hard, harder than before. So by going to group I'm keeping my weight a priority. It's my therapy!

As you know I have PCOS which isn't an excuse but does make weight a much bigger deal and much harder to lose. Sophie too was diagnosed earlier this year, so the pair of us need to be extra careful.

The boy just thinks I'm a failure "TARGET" is his catch phrase or lack of it! He's set me a challenge - He'll start up his swimming again, once I get to target! Now I really want him to swim, so I'm going to work really hard at getting back to target as soon as possible, so he can start swimming. He thinks I'll fail (again) and as a result, will get away with not having to swim but I'm determined to get back to target this year and stay there. I've not a huge amount to lose, just 1st 2.5lbs but with the added PCOS it'll be a challenge!

All my meals are good, I eat well, it's the picky bits in between and the old habits that don't lurk too far away that are my trouble. The urge to enjoy bread and the cake are sometimes too great to resist!

But as the above phrase says "ain't nothing to it, but to do it" and I did just that! 
I faced the scales on Saturday, drew my line and feel ready and energised for this next mini journey 


I got tickets for my sister and I to go and see Dr Michael Mosley talk in February. I've been a fan of his for a good few years now, he talks a lot of sense and I'm very interested to hear more about the role fasting plays, particularly good for PCOS I believe. 

Anyway, that's where I'm at, that's what I plan to do, target here I come (again!)

Sunday, 30 December 2018


2018 was a busy year - always tricky how to capture it's 'moments'. 
So for this year, I've done little collections of moments for each of us,

First up Sam!
Quite a major year for Sam.The first half of the year was probably his worst ever - revising, then exams but by the Summer he'd done his last school run with Sophie, wore his last school uniform and was done with school. He had a good summer, starting with the last school Celebration Assembly, Prom, then holidayed in Majorca. He then pretty much enjoyed his summer off, with friends. He turned 16, PASSED all his GCSE's, even French, got a Sunday job! and started the Blue School Sixth Form, studying A'Level Maths, Physics and Chemistry. Amazingly he's got into a 6:30 alarm, out the door by 7:20 to get the bus, routine in the morning, without too much complaining. Hope it lasts!

Now Sophie.
I guess this was Sophie's year!
Like Sam, pretty much the first half of the year was spent revising. Once exams were done, school was over, she went to Cornwall with friends for a few day, in our car!!! Came home to the Summer Ball, then we flew out to Majorca. She pretty much spent the whole of August working, whilst waiting for the dreaded results day. But she did it! She got an A and 2 B's, the offer grades needed and accepted her place at Reading University to study Economics with a placement year. Couldn't have been prouder! Of course that meant her leaving home in late September but she's loving life. What more can you want for your child 

Jeff is enjoying his last year of his 40's, seems to have more energy now than he did in his 30's. He's still running, spinning, swimming, playing football and refereeing! He spent a good chunk of the first half of the year revising too, with Sophie and Sam. They're both very lucky to have his help and support. Once exams were done, he enjoyed his summer watching the World Cup, gardening and holidaying in Cornwall and Majorca, where he met up with an old friend and colleague Tappers! He got presented with an Award, in recognition for all his hard work and his contribution to football at Millfield, as he's stepping down (a bit) to take on a new role as Assistant Head of Year 10, always busy in term time. We enjoyed a few concerts together but will share more on that in a bit and have a few more booked in for next year. 

Well I had a good 2018. Always cheer leading from the sidelines, they'd say 'nagging', 
  I'd rather say 'encouraging' and 'supporting' Sophie and Sam through the stresses or not! of revision and exams. All their hard work paid off, both with fabulous results and they looked handsome and beautiful in equal measures at their subsequent Prom and Summer Ball. Sam turned 16 in August and Sophie celebrated her 19th, her first birthday away from home! 
Other highlights for me were the allium's we planted last Autumn, such a beautiful display. A robin nested by the back door, sadly the fledglings vanished under a cloak of mystery one night but it was fun whilst it lasted. We enjoyed the most fabulous Summer with the 'heat wave' and had two lovely holidays - a few days in Cornwall and a week away in sunny Majorca, could be the last altogether, will have to wait and see! Although I did encounter my second jellyfish sting and still have the scars now to prove it! Jeff and I enjoyed a few good outings together, will share more later but the one night I will remember, Jeff wasn't there!! Nick Heyward was!! Nick Heyward was the lead singer of the 80's band Haircut 100. Their album was the first I ever bought and Jo got us tickets to see Nick in Bath together and I only got to actually meet him 35 years on!! 
But the biggest thing for me this year, by far, was adjusting to Sophie leaving home and going off to University. I miss her but she is settled, she is happy, she has good friends, she's doing well with her course work and is loving life - nothing to worry about!!

 It's been a year for seeing 'stuff'. In February we all went to Birmingham to see Imagine Dragons, first proper concert for Sophie and Sam and it was amazing, brilliant American band! I dragged Jeff to come and see The Band, Musical with me in Bristol - he secretly really enjoyed it, written by Gary Barlow, his love affair with Take That grows! In the summer we went to Pub in the Park and saw The Riffles, Squeeze and for us the best bit, Scouting for Girls. I then saw Nick Heyward with Jo in Bath and Sophie and I squeezed in Mamma Mia 2 at the cinema, the day it was released, the day before we went on holiday. And finally, a few weeks ago, Jeff and I went to Portsmouth to see Deacon Blue, who were brilliant, although frighteningly, it was their 30th Anniversary tour! Feel old!!

We have more to look forward to  in 2019 - The Specials in April, Jeff's choice for his birthday. Take That with Rick Astley as the bonus support guest. Jo and I are off to see Matilda when it tours in Bristol, then a few days later we're off to see Sophie Ellis Bextor with a full Orchestra. Later in the year Jeff has booked us tickets to see Lisa Stansfield and Jo and I are going to see Dr Michael Mosley speak in February. Lots to look forward to and it's rumoured Scouting for Girls will tour, so keeping an eye out for tickets. 

The Tor and it's ever changing view delights me daily - here are the best pics

and the sky has been stunning, both sunset and sunrise in equal measures.

The garden has been abundant in fruit, veg and flowers 
- my favourite space in the sunshine! 

A few of my favourite pics of the year -
 Us at Imagine Dragons : Snowball fights : first apple blossom : Sam up at the Tor 
 Me & Nick! :  taking Sam to his Prom : Sam prom ready : Sophie waltzing down to the Ball 
 The Pepper Pot at Portreath : Cala Boquer, Majorca : Granny's 95th : The first fig 
 Saying goodbye : In Reading together again! : Face Time : Jeff and I freezing on the Somerset Levels watching the Murmurations. 

And finally my Favourite Family Four x

I hope you've had a fabulous 2018 and wishing you all, an equally fabulous 2019. 

Saturday, 29 December 2018

And it's over....

... for another year!

Christmas got packed away today!

I love Christmas but I equally enjoy packing it all away for another year. I always used to do this on New Years Day but since moving here, I've packed it all away in readiness to welcome in the new year, with a clean and clutter free house.

The dresser is ready to add on the spring bulbs tomorrow, once I retrieve them from the shed!

I've sorted, appreciated and put away all my gifts.

And I think I did something right!
Sam loved his 'Pick You Own' Quality Street tin. A tin full of chocolate blocks and green triangles just for him and him only! Chocolate heaven x