Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Hickerly pickerly

Everyday that we worked at the Nursery last year (and the year before) was bad weather. Mainly rainy but sometimes snowy. That just happened to fall on a Tuesday. So far it seems to be the same this year. Obviously we don't work there in the depths of winter. We normally start in February and work through to October. Once again, today, it rained all day. Jan and I worked in the vegetable garden planting peas, lettuce and violas. Huffle's favourite lettuce is called Flashy Troutback, a lovely tasty speckly lettuce. Jeff sewed extra seeds so Huffle could have some and today I got to bring some home for him, plus a few other varieties. We got soaked but it was good to be in the garden and planting lettuce made me feel that Summer was on its way.

Lovely hoots from the Nursery garden today
Flashy Troutback Lettuce

I had to get home earlier than normal so I could fit my lunch in with Huffle before I drove to school, picked up Smallest and two other boys and took them to their Basketball Tournament. They had two games and Smallest was played in the last five minutes of both games. Whether the teacher played him and the other younger ones to make a point, I don't know but Smallest was happy he had played. I'm not sure the other boys Mums were particularly happy with the amount of time their kids played though. They lost both games but certainly did not disgrace themselves! When we came out to collect the boys to take them back home or school, the teacher made a comment about me going in to speak to the Principal about parent responsibity. He took the kids back to school whose parents couldn't be contacted and I took the ones home that were to be dropped at home. At least my talk has had some impact.

Small came home (I had Smallest with me). Small and I made pizza for dinner. I make the pizza dough in the bread machine which I dropped on my foot. Luckily my foot wasn't damaged but I think I did damage the machine slightly. However, it made the dough okay. We ate pizza whilst watching Robot Wars.

We watched a bit more of Harry Potter but I kept falling asleep (I didn't sleep well last night) so we turned it off, messed about a bit and then the boys went to bed.

Huffle and I watched The Bake Off Creme de la Creme and were entertained by Bodgit Scarper and No Thumb. How did they get they even get through to the next round?



Monday, 24 April 2017

Fickle Fans and half a gaggle

Oh it was another struggle getting up this morning. I could hardly open my eyes. Poor Smallest really couldn't open his eyes properly due to his tree pollen allergies. I dosed him up on eye drops, nose spray and antihistamines. He said his eyes were running but overall it helped. I also gave him a second dose before he went to bed. I had itchy runny eyes too but I forgot to take anything so I suppose that's my fault.

The boys went to school. Huffle worked and in his breaks cut down some of the trees between us and Otto and planted the soaked peas in the vegetable garden. I went to DiDi's house and did a crochet lesson. Just three of us today as one of the ladies was enjoying a week in the Capital. Today we made a bootie, looked at picot edging and talked a lot. I also gave some gardening advice. I am on a mission to get everyone bulbing and planting.

I wasn't home long before I had to go out again for my exercise class where it is just me. We worked extremely hard with weights and ab work. No legs as we concentrate on those on Wednesday. I lost my phone and it was in my car all the time but I spent a considerable amount of time looking for ExerciseNic walking her dog so by the time I got home, I only had just under an hour before the kids came home. I took full advantage and sat on the porch, had a tiny late lunch and watched Line of Duty. It was another beautiful day. Sunshiny and warm and perfect for sitting on the porch.

The boys came home and we played basketball until MrsPiano came for their lessons. Old tunes were played and new tunes learned. We also agreed a date for the piano recital.

After dinner, we took the boys to Cubs. Small should have been doing an evening hike in the forest but he chose not to go as he doesn't like the other Scouts (all much younger than him and quite silly) and he has no respect for the Leaders (can't say I blame him really). Instead he chose to help out with the Cubs as they were talking about their upcoming camp and Small is going along with them to help.

Huffle and I walked long and hard for an hour. I clocked up over 16,000 steps today. It was a good walk and the perfect temperature. Not too warm and not too cool!

The road we travelled
Half a geese formation
Local dinosaur



Sunday, 23 April 2017

Badminton, Bulbs and Bangers

The boys were happy about their evening in HomeAlone. Thy watched Britains Got Talent and then Smallest went to bed 8:30ish and Small went up to his room and watched tv until 10pm. We got home at 10:30pm and they were both fast asleep. They didn't mind being home at all. We paid Small for babysitting as Smallest asked that Small be in charge.

What a stunningly beautiful day. With temperatures in the sunroom hitting 30* before we even had breakfast. Outside the temperature was 21* with bright, hot sunshine all day.

Pancakes for breakfast, followed by sitting out on the patio finishing my coffee while Smallest attempted to find the badminton net and we dragged out the swingball set which Small filled with water to keep it stable. By the time he found the net, it was tied up in knots. Huffle and I managed to untangle it, put it up and then we all had a long doubles game. It was almost perfect as the wind was very slight but I do think we might need to invest in a new net. The boys continued with football while I planted my everbearing strawberry plants and chatted with J next door. Huffle joined me and the boys disappeared inside for some tablet time.

We planted some more plants that we bought yesterday and then came in for lunch which we ended up taking outside. I think our Winter has been too long and we spent as much time outside today as possible, mainly under the parasol but still nice to be outside.

More plants were planted, more football, a bit of basketball and then Smallest and Huffle went off to football practice and Small and I played Fish and StripJackNaked on the patio and BUMP Basketball which I started off easily winning but Small soon overtook me. We peeled potatoes for dinner and I sewed (machine sewed) a pocketrod on one of the blinds and sewed (seedy sewed) some spinach.

Huffle and Smallest had been shopping on the way home and got some wood for the blinds which the shop messed up by cutting wrong and also got some sausages for tea.

This evening we watched a bit of Harry Potter (no6 can't remember what it's called). Boys went to bed and Huffle and I watched The Durrell. Lovely Sunday night entertainment. Later we looked at bathrooms as we need to choose our floor, tiles, bath and taps plus a colour for the walls!


Saturday, 22 April 2017

The fox weed on my football*

A nice lie-in and a dream from me about Uncle Tuc and YoungTom playing in an indoor water park that was somehow attached to the sea. It was a great place though it made no real sense. I also bumped into MrsRumbleskins who was drawing really quickly while we were in a waiting room. She drew some fabulous pictures in no time at all. It was nice to see them all. Shame it wasn't real.

We all had breakfast and the all the boys watched the Stoke game while I pottered around, tidying the kitchen, sorting clothes and attempting to sew (I had the wrong thread so abondoned it).

At midday, Huffle and I left the boys playing Pokemon battle and gadgeting and went out to get some plants in the Spring sale, pick up an allergy prescription for Smallest, get the kids their school Springfest basket gift and some thread. We did really well and got home about 90 minutes later. The boys were fine and had a good time playing and not arguing. We went out for calzone mid afternoon ad played a game of Top Trumps whilst there. Dinner was lovely as usual and as the weather was equally lovely, we decided to have a quick walk by the lake. Small wasn't too keen but we promised him it would be a very short walk due to the fact that I didn't have sufficient shoes.

Next to the lake there were swarms of tiny annoying flies that you just couldn't get away from so our walk was cut even shorter than originally anticipated. We got to walk along the beach a bit though and find some interesting bits of wood.

Bit big but would lovely in our garden

On the way home we popped to the supermarket for some essentials and ice cream bars which we ate on the porch when we got home. What a super day. There are so many daffodils out at the moment and our urns on the porch are looking spectacular.

Beautiful Scilla that Grandad procured for us
Spring urns

All the boys played football together while I enjoyed the peace and quiet and had a visit from MissMoll, LittleFin and ClownRose. LittleFin now talks about us all constantly and can say Huffle's name. He still calls Small and Smallest Addie which is funny as he mixes up both their names into one. *MissMoll came over to tell us the fox had wee'd on her new football that we bought her for her birthday. She was quite upset about it but I told her it made it even more special. We saw the fox go past not long after. It looked quite pleased with itself.

This evening Huffle and I went out again by ourselves for an evening of Jazz at the local church. So nice and close but still the first time we have left the kids in the evening. We asked them if they wanted a babysitter but they said no. I asked them if they wanted to have joint responsibility but Smallest asked that Small be in charge. Small was happy with that and spent the day telling Smallest that he would have to go to bed earlier every time he said or did something he wasn't happy with. They are a funny pair. I also let ClownRose know they were home alone and gave Small her phone number just in case. When we got home at 10:30, they were both fast asleep. I'm sure we will hear all about it tomorrow. I'm pleased they didn't need to call us or ClownRose and I'm pleased they got to sleep. I'm very panicky when I'm in the house by myself and I wouldn't be able to sleep or do much at all. Glad they don't have my silliness.

The Jazz was fabulous. It was the Mike Murley Trio who we saw last year but this time there was a special guest Guido Basso. Apparently some huge Montreal star. He played the trumpet and was really good. The whole group was good but he was just something else. They have all played together and toured 20 years ago in Mexico. We walked down there and had a glass of wine each, Veggie crisps and mini eggs stashed in my bag. We also walked home unlike half of the village that had been drinking but still drove. Naughty!!!! Great evening. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Nice to spend an evening with my Huffle too.

When we came home we checked on the sleeping kids, had some toast and tea and watched The Blue Jays.


Friday, 21 April 2017

Buck buck chickens initiation

Smallest finished painting his Mouth of Truth last night and took in to school this morning. He was very proud of it and so he should be. He's worked hard. Boys went to school. Huffle worked in the loft and I went off to knitting.

Today we had a full table and half of the table were crocheting. I sat and sewed in all my ends of my latest socks and continued crocheting a chicken. Later in the evening I finished the chicken and Smallest ran away with it, called it chicken and it joined his 'gang'.

Everyone at knitting went out for lunch at the new Bistro (that used to be shookeeperEl's wool shop). It was very nice and I had a warm Goats Cheese Salad. It took ages and we didn't have time for shopping as Suffolk wanted to come back to help me with the rod pocket for the blind. Once again, we measured and pinned and held them at the window and finally decided where the folds were going to be. She left me with the task of sewing them but unfortunately I didn't have any cream thread so I couldn't do any. I've left everything out so it makes me do it at the weekend once I buy some! I'm hoping the first blind is going to be up at the window very soon.

The boys came home and played football. Tonight I made Butter Chicken and Lentil Dahl and because my sewing machine and material is all over the table, we ate in front of the TV. We watched a robot wars episode and then finished the film Sing, before the boys had showers and went to bed.

Huffle and I settled down and watched Gardeners World with a cuppa after hearing that the U.K. was in for a cold spell and possibly snow. Oh dear!


Thursday, 20 April 2017

Kettles day off

Grandma and Grandad arrived home safely. Neither slept on the plane though they had plenty of room.

The dishwasher was emptied this morning and sat all day until about 9pm before it went on again. Poor old thing. It had a nice rest after being on constantly for the last three weeks. The other implement that got a well needed rest today was the kettle.

I had a very busy day. I did four loads of washing and drying and folding. Suffolk came round early morning and we sat and measured and pinned and unpinned and measured and pinned and measured for about an hour and a half. She left me with instructions on what to do next for Blind No1 and rushed off to take Miss12 to an orthodontist appointment. Instead of settling down to sew, I drove to school to take the Tuba and music stand back for Small, not that he noticed it was there. It was pouring with rain when I arrived so didn't want to drag the Tuba in on its wheels, instead I carried it and it is really heavy! While I was at the school I popped in to see the Principal to talk to her about Parent Volunteer Drivers and other parents not being around to collect their kids. She was appalled and promised to do something about it, she also apologised about the basketball thing where Smallest didn't get to play. I was there for ages.

When I got back I pinned again and sewed the bottom and then pinned the top, added the Velcro, pinned that and sewed it to the top. This actually took me all day to do bearing in mind I didn't get back from school until 12 and Huffle and I had lunch at 1pm and I FaceTimed Moo and Suffolk. Anyway it is done now and I am happy. Huffle and I held it up to the window and it fits! Wahoooo. Suffolk is coming here tomorrow afternoon to help me pin the rod pockets so I can sew them at the weekend. Ummmmm that's what she thinks!

Before the boys came home I ran to the bus where it drops MissMoll off so I could deliver her birthday present. We bought her a pink football and a skipping rope so she can bring them over when I look after her and her brother. She was very pleased and gave Huffle and I a cup cake. The boys had theirs on the bus on the way home.

The boys did some piano practice, put their clothes away, helped with dinner (to be fair that was just Smallest who also painted the end of his mouth of truth) ad played on their tablets until dinner. Tonight dinner was Meatballs. They have missed it as we haven't had it since GG were here. Small said it was because we had Roast Dinner every night. That's a bit of an exaggeration but I guess as it's his least favourit meal, it seemed to him like we had it a lot.

Afer dinner all the boys played on the XBox and I crocheted and got my knitting stuff ready for tomorrow.

Huffle has been busy most of the day up in the loft working but he did carry my sewing machine up and down the stairs, put away the washing and help me check that the blind fit at the window.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Is that soup hot hot?

I did not want to wake up this morning and was just dreaming about nonsense when Smallest came in to get me up.

Today was rainy, dull, a bit sunshiney, but mainly dull and overcast. I went to aerobics and worked extremely hard. We started with doing ten of each exercise (planks, squats, push ups, mountain climber and many more) and then nine, then eight, right down to one. It sounds easy but it was hard and hot and sweaty. When I got back I had promised to take Grandma and Grandad out but I had to have a shower first.

We went to the charity shop which was rubbish and nothing at all to buy today. We continued to Winners where I bought a lovely little yellow teapot to go with the sugar bowl and milk jug Grandma bought us. (This morning I broke our beloved Brown Betty Teapot). We carried on to Walmart where I found a bigger brown teapot and bought that too plus a birthday present.

We decided to go out for lunch (Huffle was too busy to join us today) and went to a place we went to on their last visit where we had a not so good experience. We decided to give them a second chance. Wish we hadn't! Grandma wanted a soup and I asked if 'hot soup' meant spicy or just warm hot. She said it definitely wasn't spicy. When Grandma got it it WAS spicy and we told the waitress who argued with us saying it wasn't. They didn't take it off the bill so I filled in the comment form and said we weren't happy. I did give a tip but not much. Wish I hadn't bothered on Grandads behalf. We popped in to the local farmers bakery and picked up a treat each which we had at home with a cup of tea from the new pot.

Grandma, Grandad and I watched an episode of Broadchurch and watched the woodpecker feed from Smallest's new bird feeder. The boys came home, messed about with Grandad, played on their tablets and had dinner early. Tonight Smallest had to forgo his football so we could take Small to the High School for Bandstravaganza.

Bandstravaganza was excellent. I am so proud of my big Small who plays his huge Tuba so well and looks so handsome in his ironed white shirt (though wish he didn't wear white socks with his black shoes and black trousers). He was so well behaved, unlike others in the band and despite the Tuba being as big a him, I could hear him play and I know he works so hard. All the bands did well and they came together at the end and played three tunes as one whole band. Considering they only had one rehearsal today, they were excellent. I am equally proud of my small Smallest who was an excellent companion to me during the performance, he didn't run off with his friends and play tag as they were doing. He didn't need an iPad or phone to keep him amused and he sat and watched and listened to his brother play. They are both very special boys and I am a lucky Mum. Two people spoke to me about Smallest at the end, both with good comments. Nice. Well done boys.

Huffle drove Grandma and Grandad to the airport for their 9:50pm flight.

Bye bye Grandma and Grandad. (Grandma informed me today that when they come back it will be less than six months. Phew, really? That quickly? Have we got time to recover?

Wishing you a safe flight. Let us know when you are home. X




Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Tell me about your lazy Chips

Back to routine, up early, make lunches, speed boys up and get them out for the bus on time. I went to work and left everyone else at home. Huffle went back to work and Grandad worked in the garden, mainly on compost corner.

There was no list of what to do at work and all main people were absent so Jan and I manually cut down some huge grasses. Coffee break was some lovely chocolate Shortbread and the rest of our time we cleared the sedum from the car park and wandered. Next week we should be in the vegetable garden. I came home with some Spring flowering bulbs, lots of sedum and a tiny 'ickle tree. Huffle and I planted them up and we all had lunch.

Today I had a dentist appointment. Never been my favourite place but today all was well even though I had a small filling. It was at the front so the injection made my nose numb too. It was all over in 40 minutes though I went back to get some bits smoothed becuase they felt weird! I don't normally volunteer to go back in. Our dentist is very good and despite me having huge trouble in the UK with injections not working properly, he seems to get my mouth numb in no time, plus it wears off a lot quicker too. Must be different somehow. In the U.K. I used to get really weepy and tired afterwards but not here, just a little sore where they worked!

Back home Grandad was watching the Leicester game on the TV so I sat and watched with him with a cup of tea. Shame we lost. The boys came home, played basketball and football, did a chore and played on their tablets. Small says I'm so unfair to make him do chores after all the work he did over the Easter weekend. And I told him about all the things we have to do for him like driving him to various places, keeping him fed and watered and cosy and warm and housed. Poor teenager!

I helped Grandma with the end of the dinner where tonight she used up considerable amounts of the Easter Beef and made a pie. I had a mushroom one.

The boys played football and I fell over and hurt my knee. Smallest fell ver and hurt his ankle and play was suspended. TV! Bed.


Monday, 17 April 2017

Last of the Summer Beer

It was a very cold start to the day but still Grandad sneaked out to put the corner brick in on the M4, add the concrete leaf to the 'dry river..........' and screwed in the mouth on the tree (it's upside down but we won't mention that!). I loaded my car with my Summer tyres and drove to the garage to get them changed over and get my oil changed. I walked home needing a hat and gloves. How silly that yesterday was so warm too! After breakfast Huffle loaded his tyres and also drove to the garage for his tyre change and then also walked home.

A field of blue scillas

Small did some homework on the computer, not something that needed to be done but something to get him ahead for school tomorrow. Smallest and I painted his 'Mouth of Truth' for his Ancient Rome project. It is looking very good. Then we played Mancala and taught Huffle how to play. The boys went on their tablets and Huffle and I helped Grandad with the 'dry river bed that's not dry anymore because it's wet' before dragging him back inside to play games with us all.

Smallest's version so far
The real one

We played Wizard (Small won easily) and Five Crowns (I was winning but we abondoned it due to lack of patience). Grandad sneaked out again to move some woodchips around the garden. Huffle and I walked to get our cars and walked a bit more when they weren't quite ready. Once we got them back we put our Snow Tyres back in the barn for next Winter and made a decision to go out for dinner.

Once we got everyone ready we went out for mod afternoon fish and Chips. The roads were horrendous. We have never seen so much traffic. At one point (I was following Huffle's car) there were two lanes that went into one and there were many cars trying to jib in. A huge lorry came to the side of Huffle's and my car and bullied his way in. Very dangerous. Lots of beeping and Huffle took his licence plate and reported him to the drivers company. I wonder if anything will come of that!

After dinner, we visited Quiche at his work. Grandad hasn't been in contact with him this visit due to his phone being broken. We stayed for a chat and a tour of his workshop and then went on and drove to the beach nearby. We had a blustery walk along the boardwalk to the lighthouse and then back again along the boardwalk, along the beach and to the park.

The boys had a silly old time on the park equipment while we sat and watched them (well they were out of sight but we knew they were there). Grandad filled his pockets with rocks we selected from the beach for the 'dry river bed that's not dry anymore because it's wet'. All blown away from the wind but with enough fresh air to make us happier, we came home.

Grandad placing his precious rocks

A cup of tea for the grown ups, showers for the boys and a game of Top Trumps by Grandad and Smallest. Then Grandad and I left everyone else at home while we went to the Garden Club for a talk on 'how to plant a spectacular fall garden' which was given by MrsM.

It was a fabulous talk and I took lots of notes of things to buy to make a really nice autumnal garden. When I showed MrsM and GrandsonD they said I should just dig them out of their garden. Oh okay then I'll see what I can find. We sampled some lemon cake, welsh cake and amazing raspberry, gooseberry and red currant jam. I shall have to make that one.



Sunday, 16 April 2017

Got spoons in many puddings*


After breakfast today, Grandad slipped out of the house and into the garden. He was then seen to be wheeling barrows of woodchips to the side of the barn. Huffle and I finished folding washing before also joining him outside to add to the wheelbarrows of woodchips. Not only was the bit from the veggie patch to the barn done but we also did around the fruit bushes and the comfrey. It is looking very smart. We had a lot of help again from the two boys.

I hid lots of eggs around the house and garden and the kids found them all with their little baskets. They didn't want clues this year. At the end we put them all in one dish and helped ourselves. Grandma made a start on dinner which was not intended for midday but more like mid afternoon. We finished our work in the garden as the dark clouds started to descend.

The storm never came though we had quite humid conditions at times plus some huge rain spots that didn't really come to anything until the evening when it bucketed it down. All the boys played basketball and then we came in. The kids played on their tablets. Huffle helped with dinner and I made a filo tart for Small and I. We had a lovely dinnner. Far too much food but worth the wait. However we have enough Beef for the rest of the week and maybe some of next! Grandma said we could have Treacle Pudding but not until 6pm.

There was also a game of football

MrsRoyal came for a quick visit as we were clearing up. Grandma did make the Treacle Pudding which was just delicious and we ate it just before 6pm.

Everyone played Newmarket. Smallest won. It was funny. We always use the coins from Huffle's bag of foreign money. In this bag there is a gold coloured signature ring and two big coins commemorating Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding. These are much wanted items and we always want to win them.


A Grandma comment made about MrMoonPig who "has spoons in many puddings!"