Monday, 19 June 2017

Monday and Me

Old habits die hard.  I'm so used to joining in with Sian's Monday posts that I automatically head for the computer on a Monday, even though she isn't hosting her normal Monday groups for the summer.

My husband should have know that once I had decided to join in with the Scavenger Hunt being organised by Mary-Lou , walks out were likely to be punctuated by random comments being shouted out as I noticed something that needed to be ticked off the list.

Last week, for instance, while walking past the play equipment at our local park, I suddenly shouted out 'Web!'.  I had thought that at this time of year it may be hard to photograph a web, as my plan to take a picture of a large web which had formed on the swing chair in the garden was thwarted, you couldn't actually see it through the lens of a camera unless there was dew or raindrops on it.  Typical.  Just when you need rain, the UK is sweltering in 'hottest day of the year' temperatures!  So I was thrilled to notice that the climbing wall in the park was actually designed around a spider's web.  Another one ticked off the list!

Likewise, a dog walk around nearby farmland resulted in me shouting 'something crafted from wood'!  My husband looked around at all the trees and thought I was perhaps choosing something a bit too obvious.  And then saw me sprinting through the farmer's garden to take a picture of this amazing wood sculpture.

So, thank goodness I have the Scavenger Hunt to take my mind off the fact that it is now less than four weeks to the wedding 😳  Rachel is now back from her hen weekend and there really is nothing to stop her tackling that 'still to do' list.  Which is one and a half A4 pages long apparently.  So much for her saying 'don't stress Mum.  It's all under control'. Clearly it isn't!  I wonder how many things on that list have my name by the side of them ...

Monday, 12 June 2017

It's all in the timing

In an effort to distract us from the chaos that is taking place in our country at the moment, let me share what has to be the luckiest timed photo I have ever taken.  

It was our first night in Croatia and we chose to eat at a seafront restaurant as we thought it would be lovely to see the sun set over the sea.  All the tables along the seafront wall were taken and we had to have a table one row back.  We had noticed that the seagulls were lying in wait along the wall and I mentioned to my husband that maybe we'd had a lucky break as I didn't fancy eating my dinner under the beady eye of a huge seagull.  Add to this, a local cat catching the last few rays of the sun.  This particular bird had been getting closer and closer to the cat and I thought it would make an amusing photo of the two of them staring at the table, both hoping for scraps.  As I held up my phone to take the picture, the gull swooped across the table, grabbed a chunk of fish from a plate and flew off.  In that split second, I took the photo and here he is, greedy gull!

What are the chances of getting the shutter to close just at that moment?  What a lucky shot!

On a different photographic theme, let me share another of my pictures for the Scavenger Hunt being organised by Mary-Lou .  I do hope that you will be joining in too!

Number 23 Something powered by wind

I wish that I could feel that sense of calm relaxation at the moment.  Now we're home I've realised that it's now just 5 weeks to the wedding and there are still things that haven't been done.  As I sit here typing this, my practice largest tier of the wedding cake is baking in the oven and I'm just hoping that the recipe I've found works for this size tin because I don't have much time for more experimenting!  Although the people at work are enjoying being my taste testers every Tuesday, because if I want to fit in my dress, I can't keeping having 'just one more slice' !

Friday, 9 June 2017

Photo hunting resumes!

For the past few years now I have enjoyed joining in with Rinda's Summertime Scavenger Hunt, but it seems that it isn't going to happen this year.  So I was thrilled when I saw the post from Mary-Lou to say that she was organising something this year with Lady Ella.

I was on holiday in Croatia when I saw it on the first day - June 1st and immediately started looking around for things that fell into the catergories.  I do love a photo scavenger hut!  The first one that I set my mind to was Something Yellow .  After my last Monday post, you could probably guess that this one caught my fancy!

Now this was fairly easy as there was a Yellow Submarine boat trip that left the harbour in Porec every day.  They also run a taxi service to the nearby islands and guess what?  The awning and seats are yellow!  But I didn't want to just use photos from Croatia in my collection and looking around the garden today I noticed that the yellow poppies have come into flower in the week that we have been gone.  My friend gave me some seeds a few years ago when I admired them in her garden and she handed them over with the warning that I may be cursing her in years to come as they multiply and appear in the most random places.  We haven't yet reached that point!

I'm not planning on taking more than one photo for each category but it's good to have a choice for when you get to the end and decide which one will make the final cut.

I should warn you that you may see a few Croatian photos in my finds - we had a fabulous week and would recommend it if you fancy trying something different.  We stayed in Porec which has a UNESCO World Heritage site.  So much character.  We have a special place in our hearts for anywhere Italian, and Porec is so close, there is much Italian influence there.

Time to upload camera photos and sort through our pictures to find more to share with you next time.  Thanks, Mary Lou for picking up the Scavenger Hunt baton - it's going to be fun!

Monday, 22 May 2017

Memos, Mail and me

It's happening again folks.  I'm being 'taken over' by a colour.  It's subtle, it happens gradually, it lies in wait and sneaks up on you.  Before you know what is happening, you've 'accidentally' bought three new things in a 'totally different colour to normal' only to find out that you may be hatching a new 'normal'.  

Exhibit A

A new top, a new long sleeved t shirt and new dress.  All of which seem to have tones of the same gold/yellow in them.  How long have I liked yellow for goodness sake?  It's really not my kind of colour at all.  

And yet ...

Exhibit B
A quilt I made a couple of years ago which has been on the grey sofa in the lounge.

And then ...

Exhibit C

Where on earth did that dog find a gold cushion for 'her' armchair in the conservatory?  

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago how while tidying out my wardrobe I realised that I could date clothes by the colour tones in them and how I obviously have favourite colours every year.  I'm guessing this is my golden year then!


So, let's move on to things that arrived in the post this week.  Well.  I was lucky enough to be a randomly chosen winner of a pack of postcards from Kat Sloma following the Liberate Your Art project and a beautifully stamped envelope arrived this week containing all these beautiful pieces of artwork.  Definitely great inspiration for when I'm trying to find photos to use for next year's 'Liberation'.

There's half term looming - and a trip overseas planned.  Possibly the chance to get some photos to use for LYA2018?  Somewhere we've never been before, but somewhere that people say is beautiful.  Somewhere with Italian influence but not in Europe.  So I'll be AWOL next week for Sian's Memos, Mail and Me but that doesn't mean that I won't be checking up on the rest of you if I find internet connection.    

Monday, 15 May 2017

Memos, mail and me

My posts for Sian's Memos, mail and me theme seem to sometimes mimic those 'What am I?' puzzles in  magazines.  Here's this week's offering:

There is a lot of silvered glass appearing in our house.  (and someone in the house is muttering about 'where is this all going after the wedding?') This week - tea light holders.  To go either side of 10 small silvered glass mason jars which will have flowers in to form a row of prettiness along the top table at the wedding.  They don't look too attractive from this perspective but when they are out of the box they catch the light beautifully.  I think I have now officially ordered all the 'bits' that we need for the reception, now to start pulling it all together!  

I did actually order something totally non wedding related this week too and it's not often that my husband takes much interest in what I buy 7 year old relatives for their birthdays but as a keen nature lover, he thoroughly approved of this present.

It's such a good idea whilst helping children learn in a fun way and increase the butterfly population.  You send away for a cup of caterpillars and watch them go from caterpillars to chrysalises to butterflies in a little pot, then you move them into the pop up 'garden' to mature and when they are ready you release them into the garden. Now it's met with adult approval, I hope that my great niece finds it as interesting as we all think she will!

Hoping everyone had a good weekend - don't they go by quickly?  My Sunday started with being woken up by someone sticking her thumb in my eye.  Followed by drumming their fingers on my nose and finally pulling my hair.  This was a first for me to report back on for the Monday project.  

Leo came to stay overnight - without his mum and dad.  

I think we were all a little apprehensive!  His parents had been invited out for a birthday celebration night in London, their first 'proper' nightclub evening in the city since he was born, and originally I was going to babysit at their house.  But it was going to be a late night and I didn't fancy driving back from theirs in the early hours so at the last minute we changed our plans and he came to us.  We don't have a cot so we pushed a bed up against the wall so he couldn't fall out that side and then I slept beside him.  I'm not going to lie, it wasn't the most relaxing, refreshing night's sleep I've ever had, I kept waking and being aware of him being there and a couple of times he cried in his sleep as he changed position but he didn't actually properly wake up until 5.10.  Which sounds really early but apparently, he's never slept through from 8pm to then before so we all marked it down as a success! 

Now, I believe that Sian is super busy learning exciting photography related things on a course and won't be hosting us today but let's all put our alarms on early to check her blog out first thing on Tuesday.  Or, if you don't like waking to an alarm clock, can I suggest borrowing someone's 8 month old child for the night? 

Monday, 8 May 2017

Memos, mail and me

We lead a very glamorous life over here in Deb's World.  I mean, how many other people can join in with Sian's Memos, Mail and Me posts by recording two bags of diamonds being delivered?  Oh yes, diamonds, dozens of them.  Real ones?  Sadly not but hopefully they'll look pretty scattered on the wedding tables.

Talking of wedding tables, I'm now up to 60 paper flowers - the end is in sight!

I've now resorted to making them while watching episodes of Grey's Anatomy from a DVD box set season 12.  I can make 3 per episode so only 5 more episodes to go!

A few other purchases have made their way into the house this week too.  Only three weeks until our holiday and I thought it was time I reviewed my summer clothes.  Some of those dresses have been in the wardrobe for far too long and are looking slightly dated and 'well worn'.  So I've been through everything, donated a fair few things to a charity shop and replaced a couple of bits.  It feels like you can date my clothes by their colours, I seem to have favourite colours each year, do you do that? I've just removed several pieces from my 'mauve' years, and I think that the next ones to go will be from the 'blue' stage!  So I am trying hard to buy things unlike anything else in my wardrobe for a bit of variety.

A new stage in our life is starting this week - the interim 'looking after Leo stage'.  R's maternity leave is coming to an end this month and she definitely didn't want to go back to commuting into London every day.  So she gave her CV to a company who got her the last local job she had and was sent the following day for an interview for a part time local PA job - and was offered it there and then.  Too good to be true, a reasonable salary, flexible hours, some working from home and 10 mins drive max to the office.  Only he needed someone to start now, and she hadn't got childcare set up, thinking she had time to arrange.

So for the next three weeks we are going to be doing a bit extra babysitting while she gets her childminder in place and negotiates the working from home day.  It's going to be different and I'm sure it's going to be tiring because he's a little bundle of mischief.  

So by the time you are reading this, I'll probably be on my hands and knees chasing him around the lounge and trying to keep him out of trouble - Wish me luck! 

Monday, 1 May 2017

Memos, mail and me

There's definitely no excuse for not joining in with Sian's 'Memos Mail and Me' club this week.  In fact, a certain husband of mine stood at the front door with a pile of packages all addressed to me on Saturday and said the immortal words:

Have you been browsing eBay again?


Maybe ...

Because a wedding is rapidly approaching and when you're trying to do as much as you can yourself, 'things' have to be bought.  Lots of things.  And things that need to be crafted together in some way mean you need more than one thing in order to make the final thing.  I've lost you haven't I?

So, in order to answer his question, I have to admit that maybe it was a little bit more than just browsing ...

May I share Exhibit A.  Organza bags - will eventually hold wedding favours.  And have little tags attached to them with the bride and groom's names printed on them.  
Exhibit B - candy striped sweet bags.  To go on the sweet trolley.  See those empty jars behind them?  They won't be empty forever.  Just wait until my husband discovers large boxes of sweets being delivered to him due to the fact that I accidentally ordered them from his Amazon account and not mine.  Oops!
Exhibit C - Confetti.   To go in the confetti cones that Denise is very kindly making for me.
Exhibit D - can you guess what these are?  That sounds a bit like a competition in a magazine doesn't it?  Little silver table number holders.

And so we take a step closer to the big day.  I now have a complete outfit, hat and all.  Flowers are ordered, suits have been bought, photographer booked.  I'm just wondering how foolish it was of me to offer to make the cake ...

Monday, 24 April 2017

Memos, Mail and Me

Joining in again with Sian and the Monday Memo Makers where we share our mail, our Mondays and anything new we have learned.  

This little beauty arrived with my mail this weekend which is the perfect cue to put the kettle on, brew up a cup of tea, dive into the cake tin for a rock cake and sit in the sun having a good relaxing read.  
It's such a lovely magazine, and about the only magazine I've subscribed to that I have found my husband looking at from time to time!  

So after a half an hour reading and relaxing it was with a relaxed sense of calm that I opened the other mail, that envelope that we'd both not bothered to open as it was simply addressed to 'the occupier'.  To discover that a house just around the corner has put in a planning application to change it from a mock Tudor red brick and timber frontage (in line with all the other houses in the road) to an ultra modern, white rendered, grey tiled property.  I think they've been watching Grand Designs.  We have no issue with them demolishing all internal walls, extending out the back, moving rooms around, and adding a huge glass verandah to run the whole width of the back of the house - after all, what happens indoors, stays indoors - but changing completely the whole style of the exterior?  It would look so out of place and completely at odds with the rest of the street, and so, for the first time ever, we will be objecting to a planning permission!  The design they've chosen is very modern, and would look lovely in the right location, but that location isn't in the middle of a row of traditionally styled houses.  Watch this space ...

Anything else new?  Well I've now made 30 flowers - yes I know that the number hasn't increased dramatically, let's skip over that.  However ... there is something new to report

I have finally got to grips with that hot glue gun ...

I can see me getting quite carried away with this new toy piece of crafting equipment.  So all 12 wicker hearts now have three little rose buds on them and look very pretty, and I am currently trying to think of what other projects I can come up with that may involve a bit of hot glue gun action. 

Talking of weddings, a new pair of shoes has joined my wardrobe.  Grey suede, rather gorgeous, and hopefully part of the MOTB wedding outfit.  I just need to have the bride give her opinion on them.  But they're staying whether I wear them to the wedding or not, because they fit beautifully and I absolutely love them.

So that's what is new in my world, I'm just of to Sian's to see what's happening with everyone else.  Happy Monday everyone!

Monday, 17 April 2017

Memos, Mail and Me

The very best of good intentions is my theme for my Monday post, linking in with Sian and the other Monday memo makers. Which has nothing at all to do with any intention to restrain myself from eating chocolate for breakfast yesterday.  But if that had been my intention, it is only fair to be honest and say I failed miserably.  No, this is an intention to dust off the sewing machine ...

"Let's completely refurbish the conservatory" said my husband, so we did.  New roof, new windows, new window sills. 

"As it looks so lovely and new again, let's replace the furniture too" he said, so we did.  

"That quilt that Coco likes to sit on when she's enjoying the sun on the sofa out there is looking old and faded" I said, "I'm going to order some new fabric to make a new quilt to pick out the colours of the buttons on the new sofa", so I did. 

"I'm going to make a start on that new quilt as soon as the fabric arrives" I said, but I didn't.  

Before I give you my excuses as to why I haven't even cut out so much as a square of fabric, let me first take your mind off the fact that I've not started what I promised by sharing with you a picture of the fabric that I bought.

I think it will look nice.  
When I get round to cutting it out and sewing it together.  
Which may not be any time soon.  

Because no matter how good my intentions are to get going on that project,  my other mail this week included the ingredients needed to make these ...

We're going to hang a little decorated wicker heart on the end chair of each alternate row along the aisle of the room where Rachel is getting married.  Which means we need 12. I thought I could get away with just winding the stem of each flower into the wicker but I don't think that it's going to be sturdy enough.  So it means that I need to get to grips with a hot glue gun.  Which I have never done before; wish me luck!

I also received the paper to make these ...

My dear friend Denise very kindly cut out the petals for me, and I 'just' have to curl and cut and stick them together to make flowers which will eventually be stuck onto ribbon (more hot glue gun action) to wind round serviettes on the dinner tables at the reception.  Since taking this photo I've done a few more and it total I now have 26 finished roses.   

I need 80.

You see my dilemma - there is no time constraint on making a quilt but I have a deadline for the flowers!  I know it seems like I have a long time but you have no idea how long it takes me to do each flower.

So that's me for this Monday, sitting amid a crumpled heap of metallic foil which once decorated an Easter egg, and trying to get rid of the crumbs of chocolate from the keyboard of the computer.  Let's hide the evidence eh?  

Friday, 14 April 2017

Liberate Your Art 2017

I'm not sure what made me decide to join in with Liberate Your Art for the first time last year.  One of those spur of the moment things I guess, because there is no way on earth that I consider myself an 'artist'.  I have trouble drawing a straight line with a ruler, so there is no paint related artist blood running through my veins!  So when I read through the sign up post I realised that art takes many forms, not just the initial idea of paint on canvas.  I've always been keen to create - whether it be by sewing, knitting or sticking bits of paper onto other bits of paper and creating scrapbook pages - so as a 'newbie' to LYA I photographed things that I had made as examples of my 'art'.

When the LYA mail started arriving last year I discovered that out of the postcards I received, some of my favourites were photographs and I realised that you don't actually have to physically make something for it to be art, that you can make art through the lens of a camera.  I filed that idea away for the coming year's project!

Enough of my history with LYA - let me share some very special mail that has arrived on my door mat within the last couple of weeks.

Aren't they fabulous?

From street life observations, finding art in a close up view of a vintage object, collage, and original art. 

And along the way I've discovered new blogs to check out and new Instagram accounts to follow.  None of which would have happened if I hadn't been brave enough to put my insecurities aside and sign up and join in.  My postcards came from many different states in America and one from Europe.  Yes, one postcard had a very long round trip from Slovenia to America and then America to England!  Now I'm thinking, we need to advertise this more in countries this side of the Atlantic - so please consider joining in next year.  It's always good to receive Happy Mail, be inspired by others and forge new acquaintanceships.

For my postcards this year I didn't photograph 'things' that I had made, but when I was on holiday last year I kept an eye out for things that I thought may be suitable for making into a postcard.   Inspiration came in many ways!  While on holiday in Portugal I found some very clever street art painted onto old crumbling cement walls.  Then while laying on a sunlounger and staring up at the sky I noticed how striking the opening petals of a lily growing on the patio looked against the blue, and on an early morning walk, the blossom on the tree looked pretty with the sun gently shining through the branches.  A trip to the English coastline gave me inspiration for my final card.  I love beach huts, and we are lucky to live in an area which is well known for its colourful huts along the sea front.  These were taken while walking between Frinton on Sea and Walton on the Naze on the Essex coast.  So these were the five postcards that I sent out.

 Please do visit Kat's blog to see the kind of mail which has been travelling between the participants of this year's project. Click here for more information.  Ready for some facts and figures? 

876 pieces of art were sent around the world
146 people took part, and those people came from ...
12 different countries

But even better than that, join in next year!  It really is a great project and Kat makes it so easy to participate in even if you live outside of the US. I promise to let you know when the sign up starts for 2018, so start thinking about what you can make into a postcard now!

Monday, 10 April 2017

Memos, Mail and Me

When you look at the work calendar and you see that you have two weeks away from the office for the Easter break, it brings a smile to your face and puts a spring in your step.  Two whole weeks.  Oh the things you can do with two whole weeks to do what you want.  Then a short while later you look at the calendar again and realise that you've already had one of those weeks and have very little to show for it apart from getting up when you want to, having lunch when you want to and having as many tea/coffee/biscuit breaks as you want to.  How can I possibly have frittered away half my holiday on not doing very much at all?  Or maybe that is part of the holiday experience, not having to do very much?  One thing's for sure though, my postman has been busy giving me ample exhibits for joining in with sharing mail.

Liberate Your Art postcards are flooding in!
The idea is that you will receive 5 cards from fellow participants and one from Kat, who organised the whole thing.  In addition to this some people do 'side swaps' so it's lovely to receive more than the minimum amount.  I love checking out new blogs and hearing about the inspiration behind the postcard, or a quote written on the back.  This year, I even have one which travelled to me from Slovenia via Kat in the US.  The majority of people taking part are American, so I think it's time to spread the word this side of the Atlantic!  Check out the project here - so you can join in next year!

One thing the postman should have been delivering, but didn't, was my fabric for my new patchwork project - I received an email to say the layer cake pack of ten coordinating fabrics I ordered was out of stock, so instead I've chosen some of the individual fabrics and fingers crossed, they will be here in time for next week's Mail, Memos and Me post.

Other news this week

Our long term houseguests have gone home!

My daughter, her fiancé and baby have been having a lot of work done on their house and asked if they could move in here 'for a couple of weeks' so they didn't have to live with all the dust, dirt and disturbance of the builders.  Now multiply that by three, and that's how long they've been here!  In some ways it has been lovely; we've seen Leo grow two teeth, be weaned onto real food and learn to crawl.  But it makes you realise how much you forget about the demands of a baby, and how they gradually take over every room in the house!  As I type this up, the quietness of the house seems weird, and everywhere looks a little bit empty as all his paraphernalia has been taken back to his proper home. 

But I had better get the bed linen changed and room aired quickly as our son is coming home for the whole Easter break - instead of early retirement next year, maybe we should consider opening a Bed and Breakfast :-)

A long weekend for everyone next week - I wonder how many Easter eggs we'll have consumed in time for next Monday's check in? 

Joining in with the Monday crew inspired by Sian,

Monday, 3 April 2017

Memos, Mail and Me

Oh my goodness, April - you're here already.   I mean, obviously I knew you were on your way, but the time has just flown.  I see you've brought the sunshine with you so you are very welcome in this corner of the country.  You're just in time to join in with Sian's Mondayers. 

Postcard 2 of the Liberate Your Art project arrived this week

Just look at the texture on those bowling pins.  What a clever photograph.  Big thanks to Paula Bogdan of  Quite apart from loving getting artistic cards through the post, I love how this project introduces you to blogs you would never otherwise have come across.  Pop over to Paula's blog, and be prepared to be very impressed by the creative work that she produces.  I have particular sewing envy of the little squares she has on her blog post.

The conservatory project is 95% finished

Before and after shots, taken 4 days apart.  I hadn't realised just how grey the tint was on the old polycarbonate roof we had, changing it for plain glass has made such a difference.  We've also changed the windows so that instead of having a small opening window at the top of each panel we only have 2 on each side like that so the eye line isn't broken up so much and it really does make the whole room feel bigger.  New armchairs arrived this week, and a new sofa is on order - watch this space ...

New furniture and a dog who likes to sun herself out there means that a new throw needs to be made.  A perfect excuse to get the sewing machine out, buy some new fabric and get back into patchwork mode.  Add a sprinkling of sunny spring weather and I think my Easter school break is sorted!

I hope the sun is shining on your Monday, wherever you are, why not join in with the rest of the Monday brigade and share any mail related or Monday memos?

Monday, 27 March 2017

Memos, Mail and Me

Very special mail for me to share today as part of Sian's Memos, mail and me

Leo made me a card!

I think he may have had a little bit of help from his mummy!  What a lovely idea though.  It also explains why his feet were a little bit red when he took his socks off the other day after he'd been to 'Discovery Tots'.
Those little feet learnt how to stand up for themselves this weekend.

Watching Granddad mow the lawn.  He was totally engrossed, then Coco came bounding across the grass to the patio and stared at him, eye to eye, through the window and the shock made him sit down.  Won't be long until he's out there 'helping' ...

Some more artistic mail arrived through the post this morning

My first 'Liberate Your Art' postcard arrived 

I love receiving post like this, to think how many miles it has travelled to get to me, and to connect with people that I would never
meet in any other way.  This card started life in Chicago, which made me smile as that is where my penfriend who I have been writing to for almost 50 years originally came from, and it's the city in which my future daughter in law's father grew up.  Seems like me and Chicago are destined to be together!
Better finish this post off now, it's much later than I normally post my Monday memo, but my husband and I had some important shopping to do first thing this morning.  Important wedding shopping.  The Father of the Bride suit has been bought.  Now if only the Mother of the Bride could get her act together ...

Monday, 20 March 2017

Memos, mail and me

The postman was kept very busy this week ...

It was my birthday on Tuesday

My last year of being in my 50s.  That sounds very scary.  I thought that it was very unfair of the school to make me go into work on my birthday but apparently you aren't allowed the day off so I had to turn up as normal.  I've decided that I'm definitely going to stop working when I'm 60 and it seems very strange to now be beginning a year of 'lasts' in the office.  Last time I'll have to co ordinate the Easter revision sessions, last time I'll have to organise Awards Evening, last time I'll have to pay over the odds to go on holiday because I can't go away outside of the school holidays ... I'm not convinced that my line manager believes me that I'm going but she can't say that I haven't given her enough warning!
It wasn't only small envelopes that got delivered here this week though.  Some flat pack furniture arrived.
Phase One of Operation 'Update the Conservatory' begins ...

We had our conservatory built about 15 years ago and it's looking a little 'tired'.  So we are about to have the windows and roof replaced in a more modern style.  I shall have to take some before and after photos.  It should be quite a bit more energy efficient and will, I think, just have a more modern feel to it.  We currently have traditional wicker furniture and a chunky pine coffee table.  In order to get it looking a bit more contemporary we've replaced the one big table with three smaller ones.  My next mission is to find a new sofa and chairs.  Fabric swatches have already been ordered - watch this space!

Wedding(s) update

I met my son's future Mother in Law for lunch on Friday and she showed me the dresses she's bought for their registry office ceremony and the big marquee wedding celebration the following week, so now I have an idea of what she's wearing, I feel like it will be easier to find something for me to wear.  I didn't want to be too over the top or too understated in comparison to her.  The things us 'Mothers of the ...' have to think about!

My daughter and I are meeting with the lady who is doing her flowers later this afternoon, it's going to be fun choosing bouquets and buttonholes!

Joining in with Sian's idea to share our mail on Mondays. 

Monday, 13 March 2017

Memos, mail and me

I have something very pretty to share as part of Sian's idea to share our mail on Mondays.
Another thing to tick of the 'to do' list for the wedding.  Although as you can see, as they arrived through the post, a bit of careful ironing of the bodice top is in order!  Things are gradually falling into place.  The overall colour scheme is emerging, creams, pale pistachio green and pink in a vintage kind of style.  Table numbers and place cards are here, ribbons to go round table napkins are ordered and my lovely friend Denise has kindly offered to show me how to make some rather gorgeous flowers to add to the ribbons.  Mother of the Bride outfit?  Ask me again next month ... (memo to self, must start to seriously get out to the shops)

It's been a week of getting out the 'not quite summer, but lighter weight than winter' clothes.  Long sleeved t shirts rather than jumpers and cotton chinos rather than jeans.  The lawn was mowed for the first time this year and I have aches and pains to prove it.  Husband rather conveniently pulled a muscle in his back playing badminton last week so was only able to offer encouragement from a comfortable seat in the conservatory whilst having a cup of tea.  Thankfully we were out to friends for dinner in the evening and a couple of glasses of prosecco soon took a little of the discomfort away. 

My last day of being 58 today, I'm pretty sure I'm far too young to be this old!  See you all next week, same time, same place ...

Monday, 6 March 2017

Memos, mail and me

Monday - again! 

Joining in again with Sian's idea of sharing our Mondays.  Last week's postal deliveries are definitely an indication of how little 'snail mail' I get sent.  Nearly every piece of post was like this:
An invitation to treat myself.  Those marketing rascals nearly got me last week.  20% off everything . Hmm I thought, that's a good offer ... and then I thought, well there was no way I was thinking of buying something until their voucher came through the post, and 20% off is still more than the nothing I would have been spending if I had not received the offer.  Be warned, marketing managers, I know what your game is.  Until the weather changes and I realise I don't have a thing that I like in my wardrobe for the spring season!

(oops, wrote this post on Friday in advance, then 'accidentally' bought something in the Phase Eight discount day on Saturday.  My willpower is obviously not as good as it should be!)

A lot of post went out of our household last week.  Wedding invitations are finally in the post.  Well, the ones for the day guests anyway, the evening only invitations are still to be done.  It reminds me a bit of trying to entice Rachel into writing her Thank You notes after Christmas when she was a child, she sees no urgency in the job!

This weekend I did try something new.
Now I know that no one will believe me if I say that this is my first taste of gin and tonic - no, the new thing here is where I drank it.  A new restaurant in town which - as the name will give a clue - cooks Turkish food.  I've never been to Turkey, and I've never eaten Turkish food before so it was definitely something a bit different - and I loved it!  Wow.  So tasty.  I will definitely be returning! 
The sun is shining here today, it's warm and very spring like.  I hope Monday is looking good where you are too!

Monday, 27 February 2017

Memos, mail and me

Hello Monday!  I've woken with a spring in my step and a smile on my face as I can definitely join in with Sian's plan to share Mondays and Mail.  No scratching around trying to find random pieces of mail that fell onto my doorstep this week, oh no.  This week has seen a few delivery men stopping at my door with exciting packages.  Because the end of February brings with it the promise that March is not far away and with March comes ...


This package?  Destined to go to my great-nephew on his fifth birthday at the end of the week.  It's great being five isn't it?  So much energy, so much mischief.  He wanted a slinky.  Not a plastic one from the pocket money section of the local newsagent, a big, shiny, metal one.  One that you can leave on the stairs for your sister to fall over on.  One that will scare the living daylights out of the dog as it comes thundering down the steps.  Naturally, while browsing on the gadgets and gifts website I could not resist also buying him a torch projector that will show large dinosaurs on your walls, because let's face it, a five year old boy can never have enough dinosaur paraphernalia.

He's not the only one having a birthday at the end of this week either.  My son has cleverly arranged for his birthday to be on a Sunday so can, with a bit of careful planning, start celebrating in advance on Friday evening, and continue on all weekend.  His wardrobe is in need of a bit of a revamp so a browse through ASOS will hopefully mean that he'll have a few new things to wear very soon.  It still seems odd to not having him home for his birthday but I am sure we will make up for it in the next few weeks.  
Incoming mail doesn't just have to come through the post though does it?  I met up with my friend who is an author last Monday lunchtime and she had been to a book launch at her publishers where they were given a 'doggy bag' of new books that weren't in the shops yet.  She had far too many to read herself (after all, she is supposed to be busy writing her next novel!) and generously gifted some to me.  The one on the top of the pile here is already captivating me.  A little bit dark, and a little bit mysterious and will apparently ends up a thriller.  I already see a backlog of housework in the offing.  Ironing v a few chapters of a book?  No competition.

And there's not just incoming mail.  Oh no, there is outgoing mail waiting to be dealt with.

The wedding invitations have arrived.

We still have to organise the evening reception ones but we do actually seem to have made progress.  Now all we need is for Rachel and James to get the envelopes addressed ... 

Well.  That's it for me.  I feel as happy as a Year 9 student who has, for once, handed in her homework on time, and is relatively happy with its content.   Happy Monday everyone! 

Monday, 20 February 2017

Memos, Mail and Me

She's back!


I hope that Sian doesn't mind me slightly amending the Monday Meme, but the best bit of 'post' I received this week didn't come through the letter box, it was hanging from the rear view mirror of my beautifully repaired car!

She looks exactly as she should do, shiny and unblemished. It felt so good to get in the driving seat again and I can assure you that on Tuesday night, when P's friends come round for him for badminton, she will be safely locked away in the garage, out of harms way.  When the guy dropped her off, he asked how the accident had happened and his exact words were 'what an idiot'.  That was the moment at which we bonded, with that mutual agreement that technology is fine, but if you have a pair of eyes in your head and three mirrors in and around your car to see where you're reversing, don't wait for a 'beep' to become a continuous note. 
So, half term has been and gone and I need to seriously review the amount of cake and sweet stuff I have got into the habit of eating.  Although, I don't work on Mondays and have plans to go out for lunch with friends today - ok, good intentions will have to start tomorrow. 

Monday, 13 February 2017

Memos, Mail and Me

The mail fairies are trying to tell me something, I know they are.  And it's not just so that I can join in with Sian's idea of sharing what arrives in the post on a Monday.  Clearly, retail therapy is needed and I need to have temptation sent through the mail.
Now, I've never ordered anything from Seasalt and it makes me wonder how much of our information is shared from company to company.  Although, if they didn't share, I might miss out on some goodies ...
But with two weddings in the family this year, I think I should try to ignore that 15% discount and free gift that White Stuff are trying to entice me with and be saving my pennies for mother of the bride/groom outfits as a trip to Cambridge on Monday confirmed what I had suspected, this is not going to be cheap!  I decided to do some background research in John Lewis, Hobbs, Coast and LK Bennett and whilst I didn't see any dresses that were suitable - I was very, very tempted by a rather gorgeous pair of shoes.  However, my friend pointed out that it will be much easier to match a pair of shoes to an outfit, rather than start with the shoes and then try and find an outfit that went with them.  I reluctantly had to agree (although they were lovely, perfect wedding outfit shoes and oh so comfortable) don't you hate it when someone talks you out of something by giving perfectly sensible good advice? ;-)
There's a new car on my drive
Yes, my poor little Mini was collected on Thursday to the intensive care unit of a nearby bodywork repairers.  Fortunately I was at work so didn't witness the sad sight of it being loaded onto a truck and taken away by strangers.  In its place I have a brand new (only 350 miles on the clock) black sports edition Corsa so I am still mobile.  It is nice to drive, the only slight 'oops' moment came when I was driving home from work, went to go from 5th gear to 6th and realised there was no 6th gear!  I saw the guy who reversed into mine earlier in the week and he was again very apologetic and told me that it was the beginning of a series of bad things that happened to him that week, culminating with cracking a tooth and losing a filling while eating his dinner one night.  I tried to sound sympathetic but part of me was thinking that it was his 'just desserts' - literally!
Wedding 'props' have begun to be bought

There's more to a wedding than just the venue and clothes and it's high time we started to think about all the little extras that are needed.  Everyone seems to have a personal wedding hashtag to use so that people can upload pictures to instagram and twitter and you can see what your guests were up to, so we are starting to gather together some photo props that people can use.

The bad planning of not looking at what was behind me when I took this photo means that we have the added bonus of seeing what I would look like if I wear a fancy fascinator instead of a hat for the ceremony.

 And of course every wedding has to have a sweet trolley doesn't it?  So we have the glass jars, now all we need to do is think of things to fill them with.   The colour scheme will be vintage pastels so we bought a big tub on flying saucers and some bags of marshmallows - any ideas as to what else we can get?  I have had to hide the sweets we bought as I cannot be trusted not to open the packs and have a little sample when no one else is looking.

So that's a little of me this cold Monday - first day of the half term holidays - which means I'm home all day and those sweets are definitely at risk of  being opened.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Memos, Mail and Me

 Today I have good news, and I have bad news.  There's been plenty of post here this week for me to join in with Sian's Memo's Mail and Me.  So that's the good news

and the bad news?

Someone reversed into the side of my car. 

Three dents and a scratch of paintwork gone.  Which is horrible.  But the worse thing is, it was done by a friend of my husband.  So while I want to weep and wail and scream about the injustice of it all, I know he feels bad and I know it was an accident.  But even so.  HE'S CRASHED INTO MY CAR. 😢  While my husband was a passenger in the back seat.  There's irony for you.   And whilst I know that I wasn't in the car at the time, it was parked, so no one was hurt and whilst he admitted total liability for it, I wasted the best part of the morning of my day off dealing with insurance companies, repair companies and rental car companies, phone calls, on line documents, printing things off - through no fault of my own.  And I have the inconvenience of having to have a hire car and wait in for that to be delivered and my car taken away.  All because someone took no notice of the reverse beeping alarm going off as he got ever closer to my lovely, not even one year old yet, Mini. 

And I looked in Julie's book for wise words and  to see if she had something appropriate to say.  Of course she did.

Wine, that's what I needed.  Well said, Julie. I knew I could rely on you.

But Mr Postman knew I needed something pretty to look at, and look what else arrived

A Boden catalogue

I do like to look at the catalogue and whilst I have a few Boden bits in my wardrobe, I've never paid full price for them!  My neighbour has Boden parties from time to time and it's nearly always at least 30% off and with a free gift so I look and make notes and then hope what I like is still in stock by the time of her party.

Another pretty thing arrived too 

Pink glittery heart stickers to go on the back of wedding invitation envelopes

Now that is enough to make anyone with a slightly bashed up Mini smile again isn't it!