Saturday 31 August 2013

What a Summer

What a Summer!
For once it feels like we have had a proper Summer - whole days of sunshine, periods of 2/3 days of nice weather, even a week or 2! The evenings have been warm and we have pretty much lived out in the garden. 
We also made a pact to be more active. The previous Summers have been so dire, that we really noticed last year how little we did, due to the rubbish weather. It started off as a bribe in the beginning, an attempt to get the children off the computers and out and about in the fresh air but we have all become much more active.

So we have made the most of the local lido - Jeff has swam pretty much 40 lengths every day for the past 13 weeks. Sam too has been nearly every day.

All of us have walked nearly 2 and a 1/2 miles every evening.

Whilst we were on holiday, everyone tried to be a little more active than normal.

So as the summer comes to the end, we have made a pact as a family to continue our good efforts. Every weekend we will swim, cycle or walk - dance in Sophie's case. We will continue with the healthy food choices we have made and hopefully all feel much better for it.

Thursday 29 August 2013

13 weeks!

On Monday my fab hubby starts his new job!

13 weeks, all day - every day with your husband may drive some to divorce but I must say, it has been quite the opposite for Jeff and I. I have really enjoyed his company over the Summer. As you know, he was made redundant and put on 'Gardening Leave' (with full pay) at the end of May, for the final half of the Summer term. We have had the luxury of extra time with him and we have had time to put the whole sorry, horrible redundancy incident behind us. He is truly looking forward to starting his new job next week.

Anyone who sees him comments on how happy and 'well' he looks. For the first time in years, he is genuinely looking forward to the start of the new school term. We will all have to get used to his longer day, commute etc but it is for the best!

So I want to wish him all the best and good luck for Monday.
We are all very proud of you.

Tuesday 27 August 2013


Autumn feels like it's just around the corner with the school's going back next week.
There is a distinct change in the air, particularly in the evenings.

 We are giving our loyal blog followers a 'head's up' to our new tape offer. 
It's available in blue or black - the perfect accompaniment to any parcel or crafty project, in the run up to Halloween. 

Friday 23 August 2013

Where has this week gone?

Having been a teacher and with school age children of my own, the school holidays play a big part in routines and how we organise blocks of time. Whenever we get to the last 2 weeks of the holiday, it always feels like the Summer break is nearly over, when in fact there is still a third of the actual holiday left.

Nevertheless, my mind suddenly turned to uniform shopping and the dreaded school shoe shop and the inevitable sewing in of name labels! So Sam and I headed off to do just that on Monday - successful but bankrupt!

There seems to be an autumnal feel in the air too, especially in the evenings. The sun is lower and no longer in the garden past 6 o'clock and the blackberries are starting to ripen on our evening walks.

My attention is turning to Christmas prep and ordering in the relevant stock .

The web stores need to be re-jigged and ready for the festive season

and our Christmas cards now need to be packed in readiness for orders.

So I am making the most of my lazy starts for the last 2 weeks of the holidays. Relaxed morning coffee in my studio rather than rushing round, making packed lunches before the school run.

And mixed in, the extra bit of family time whilst the sunny, warm weather is with us.
(Shepton Mallet Lido)

Enjoy your Bank Holiday Weekend - fingers crossed the sun shines.

Sunday 18 August 2013

HAIRSPRAY the Musical

 Sophie got given tickets for Hairspray the Musical as a Christmas present
 and at last it was time to use them!

After working out how to get there, we headed over to Bristol for a morning's retail therapy, a nice lunch out followed by the show. I took this picture whilst having a morning treat in Carluccio's and it really struck me just how grown up she is now - in 5 years time she could be going off to university - now that is scary!

We also did a little Gromit hunting - you can read more about the Trail *HERE* 
It's just like the Swan Trail I was involved in last year in Wells.

Finally, it was showtime. It was most definitely worth waiting for. 
If it comes to a theatre near you, GO!
I just don't think you can beat live theatre.

We have tickets booked for Mamma Mia in October for mine and Sophie's  Birthday treat.
Something to look forward to.

Thursday 15 August 2013

A little bit of baking

School holidays are always a juggle of work and family life. Enough work to keep things on an even keel and an extra dollop of time with the family doing things we normally don't have time to do. Always top of Sophie's list is baking! So after a bit of inspiration from Mary Berry she decided on.......

....... cheese scones.

I left her to her own devises, pretty much - just helped with the tidying up!

But I must confess, they are absolutely delicious - warm cheese scones for lunch.
Yummy! I don't bake that much because the end results are always so tempting!

Sam decided he wanted to have a go too, so this afternoon biscuits were his recipe of choice!

And they were delicious too - too much temptation in the house now!

Sunday 11 August 2013

Little jobs!

Remember a few weeks Jeff and I purchased this fab metal star hatch cover, which once belonged to the army. We paid just £35 for it and decided to give it to each other as an early Anniversary gift.

 Well today it found it's new home. 
I do love it when those little jobs get done!

I decided it was time for a change in our dining room and this LOVE print is to be moved elsewhere make room for this!

I LOVE it!

Friday 9 August 2013

A few days away

On Monday evening we headed down to Cornwall for a few days. My parents and Granny live down there so we could be pretty flexible about when we went. We were so lucky with the weather - 3 days of sunshine!!


On Tuesday we headed over to St Ives as the forecast was 'iffy'. As there is always something to do there whatever the weather, it was a good choice but we were lucky and had sunshine all day. We got our spot on the beach - the boys went swimming and the girls paddled! We shopped and found the new Poppy Treffry shop and met the lovely Sarah again. We pigged out on Pasties, fudge, Cornish ice-cream and enjoyed fish and chips out of the paper for tea - the perfect start to our mini break away.



Wednesday was Sam's Birthday - 11 years old!
The Birthday Boy got to decide on what we did and he made a good choice. We headed to Godrevy, a National Trust beach near Hayle. It is one of the most beautiful beaches and again we had a gloriously sunny day. The boys went swimming and the girls looked on, still not brave enough to venture into the English sea! The day ended with a family dinner back at Mum and Dad's and a pile of profiterole's instead of a cake, the perfect pud.


On Thursday we went over to Penzance and spent the day at the Jubilee Pool - a fresh 'sea water' lido. We went for the first time last year and had a great time. Again the boys went swimming and the girls watched (bit of a theme developing there!) They spent the whole day diving in, climbing out, diving in, climbing out.... 
The plan was to enjoy our last evening over in St Ives. We still went but it was slightly wetter than planned.


Today we packed up the car, said our goodbyes and headed over to Truro for the morning. It is about the only place Jeff will actually go shopping! The forecast had been for a mixed bag, so once we had shopped the boys to their limit, we headed home. The traffic was busy but it was to be expected, I guess.

So here we are now back at home - always lovely to go away but always lovely to be home!