Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Lots of sun, and some sea, but sadly no sand

So once again a very mixed week, the weather was hot, very hot. I don't want to seem as if I am complaining but  if when you walk into your bedroom at night you feel immediately as if you have walked into a thick blanket, and when you lie down the thick blanket seems intent on smothering you, you will understand what I mean. I don't usually sleep with windows open, as I have problems with pollen, but it was so stifling last week that I had to leave them open. I keep an inhaler by the bed anyway.
I slept badly all week. I took the duvet off and put a pure cotton sheet to go over us, with a small cellular blanket we could pull up if necessary. This enabled us to stay a reasonable temperature, even if it didn't allow me to sleep properly.
The odd job man finally called on Monday, looked at the job, gave me a reasonable price and said he would fit me in. Yes I could go ahead and get measured up for a carpet. On Tuesday I drove over to the big garden centre for something husband wanted, arrived just about lunchtime, so went in their cafe and had  a salad. I couldn't find what husband needed, but had to buy a substitute. Then I bought some more verbena, as the few left which I was going to put in the left hand bed were looking the worse for wear. I cut back some grass by that bed and got those in and also some yellow flowers, Gazanias I think.  I also replaced some petunias in my pots as they were getting leggy and almost finished. Gazanias come form South Africa and like the sun.
 On my return from the garden centre, I had difficulty in opening the car door, in fact it wouldn't open, great! I had to clamber over the gear stick and out of the passenger door. I remember this happening a couple of years ago, and I had visions of having to climb out through the window. It wouldn't open from outside either. So I couldn't put it in my garage as the passenger side is too close to the garage wall.
 Next morning, I still couldn't open it from the outside, but went in the passenger side, I did manage to open it from the inside however. I began to wonder if it was the heat. Idrove to Weight watchers where once again I had gained, the leader inspected my food diary pronounced it fine and we had a discussion on why I always hit a plateau, whether this is meant to be my correct weight and should I have it as my goal weight, I said 'No I want to lose at least another stone', which would take me down to the weight I was in 1991, but is still more than when I was a lot younger.
I was excused staying to class, as I had to get my car fixed. I drove it to Ford's, they inspected it and I waited,  I read through three newspapers as I waited, eventually they had fitted a new handle, so I paid up, and drove to the carpet shop to look at their carpets, they had the exact colour I wanted. Then I drove to Sainsbury's to do the weekly shop., When I got back to the car it was baking hot, so I quickly loaded up the shopping, got in, turned the blowers on, and drove home. I couldn't get out of the driver's door again! Aaaaaargh!
 So I managed to get out of the passenger side, took the shopping in, and phoned Ford's. They were baffled, but said bring it straight back. I put the cold stuff away, and went back out to the car, going in through the passenger side and climbing over again. When I got there I warned them that the car was red hot, and the chap said he would move it into the workshop to cool it down. I got the bus home, it was hot and sticky, but at least the heater wasn't on as it is in some.
I tried to get on with some work after unpacking the rest of the shopping, eventually I rang to check on the car, as husband needed it for Thursday.they said they had stripped the door down again, greased it oiled it, and couldn't recreate the non opening situation, so I could go and pick it up. So I missed one bus, which was then delayed by the temporary lights, and I was wondering if I could cheekily go up and knock on his door, when the lights changed, and he was off. I stood there wilting, and the next bus came down at speed, the driver had one eye on the lights which were green, and seemed reluctant to stop for me. The bus was completely empty, and as I got on the lights changed to red. However in town he picked up more passengers, I was only too glad to get off at Ford's, and there was no charge for the car. They did say one or two people who came in after me had complained of difficulty in opening their car doors, and could only think that the heat was drying them out. Thankfully, it has been fine ever since.
So Thursday I picked up Nathaniel in Husband's car, and we came back here. I never seem to be able to catch up on myself during the days when I don't have him, but I try to do odd bits whilst he is eating, or napping. I sleep so badly though, that I often nap when he does, but for not as long.  When we went out I called in at a more local carpet shop, but they didn't have quite the shade of carpet that I was looking for. By the time I had reached Sainsbury's he was fast asleep in the buggy, so I left him asleep in the hall which is probably the coolest part of the house as the sun doesn't come around till afternoon. When he awoke he ate a good lunch, and then got up to his usual mischief. He rediscovered the rockng 'horse' which has mislaid its head and proceeded to stand up in it. I did tell him it wasn't a good idea, so he compromised.
When it is hot he loves to have the fan on, but hasn't learnt the word yet, just points at it, although the vocabulary improves every day. He ate a good dinner too, he seems to like cottage pie. I took him home, Daughter was home early, she is counting the days to maternity leave!
On Friday the chap from the carpet shop was coming to measure up, so I moved the travel cot again. I thought that Nat had fallen asleep on our walk, but he kept on jerking awake. I took him out of the buggy when we got home, and he cried and wanted to get back in. The terrible twos are fast approaching, and he is having little tantrums, or paddywacks as we used to say. I took him up for a nap, he refused to stay, so when the carpet fitter came, Nat was ensconced on the sofa engrossed in' In the night garden', so I could nip up and show the fitter which room it was, then I hovered between living room and hall.  The fitter said if I called in at the shop later that day the estimate would be there. Nat picked at his lunch, and I took him for a nap which dipleased him. I concentrated on some ironing, and gathering stuff together for packing. When I got him up he also objected, but I said we were going out and he calmed down after a nice drink, and let me put his reins on.  I drove over to the shopping area, then let him walk a bit, as I had a card to post. The chap holding fort in the shop told me the estimate, and  I said what I wanted, he said he would pass the message on. back home and time for Nat's dinner. Daughter was collecting him, to give me more time, husband came home early, and after a while went upstairs for a snooze.
Daughter stayed longer than she had planned, and I had to excuse myself to do some tidying in the kitchen  I went upstairs to pack after she had gone, that didn't take long, and husband woke up and started his packing. Unfortunately we didn't leave as early as I had planned, the traffic was a bit slow on parts of the M25, and we didn't reach the services till 9.45, which meant we had a rush to get served with food and coffee before everywhere but Burger King closed. I tried to sit in the Costa area, but was ushered into the main area as they were closing. There was a TV blaring, but I was sitting facing away from it. I was dismayed to hear that a fair part of the opening ceremony involved pop music, the lowest common denominator, including the Sex Pistols! Pop music has nothing to do with Britain being great. Why does it dominate everything? I also got an 'ear worm' from one of the tunes played.
We didn't stay long, and hit the road again arriving at Mum in Laws at about 11.20 pm or so. She had the TV blaring, it made me worry that she is losing her hearing as well as her sight. The boom boom of the music accompanying the flag procession was giving me a thumping head. I commented that I found the parade a bit tedious, so Mum in law switched the TV off. Husband had already gone to bed worn out after driving 100 miles on top of a day's work
Just after we went to bed there was a terrific downpour, we were so glad that it had held off whilst we drove. Husband was soon snoring, but as usual I lay trying to get to sleep. Suddenly there was another terrific downpour, so long and loud that I thought that the bungalow might float away!
Saturday morning was slow, I didn't wake till after 8.00am, after breakfast we ran Father in Law's computer, which only gets used when family go there now. Husband deserved to recover form his drive, so I didn't nag, consequently it was lunchtime before we drove off to Mum In law's favourite garden centre, she had some vouchers to spend.
We also found some stuff we needed. There is now a small cafe at the garden centre, so we had lunch there. then drove to our usual parking street in Eastbourne. Mum in Law was glad to be able to get things that she needed, we didn'y buy very much, but she hardly goes out these days as she is afraid of falling again.
We bought tea, as she still had the tea Father in Law was using before he died 3 years ago. It always tasted of  liquorice to me, I think that it had taken on the flavour of another tea stored in the cupboard.
Back to the bungalow, and I browsed the papers, and used the computer.  We didn't eat very early, watched the 10 o'clock news, and were glad that it was cooler for going to bed.
On the Sunday Morning Mum in Law decide she wouldn't go to church, she has had neck problems since her fall as well as shoulder problems. I was relieved to read her letter form the consultant about the possibility of a shoulder op. They are proposing to do the same as I had, not the one which would leave her in a sling for 6 weeks. We are just praying that the injections calm things down.
We went to the church where we usually go whilst down there and were pleased to see that there is a new family there. It's always difficult to know who is local and who visiting.
Mum in Law did duck for lunch. only about the third time I have ever eaten it, and I tried not to think of the ducks which waddle around our town centre, sometimes stopping the traffic. I tried to nap, but wasn't too successful, so set off for a walk, it was sunny, but windy, so I wore a fleece. It's about a mile to the sea front and I had decided to walk for 20 minutes, then turn around and go back. I made it to the beach which is all pebbles, then hot footed back.
village centre

beautiful hydrangeas on a bank

wild flowers

hydrangeas grow well here

Daisies on a bank

golf course

Beachy Head in the distance

a wind surfer in rough seas

Too rough to swim

Beach hotel

Personally I prefer sandy beaches
When I got back we packed and loaded the car. We set off at about 5.35pm, stopped at the services, and had a reasonable run, with only a bit of congestion. We arrived home at about 8.50 pm. there was evidence of rain here, and some plants seemed to have revived a bit. Unfortunately I had flare up of IBS, and at 2 am, I took an imodium. Still didn't sleep too well. Maybe tomorrow?

Monday, 23 July 2012

Meeting a flight and giving myself a fright

So on the Sunday morning  I was up bright and early, rushing round  so that I could leave for the airport at 8.30am. I lit the oven, then turned it low so that the chicken would cook slowly. Their flight was due at about 10.00 at Stansted, not sure why, as they had gone from Luton. Husband was tracking the flight online.
I had a pretty good run over there and was at Mountfitchet services by 9.30 am. I went to the ladies' room, then decide as I had plenty of time, I'd have coffee, a standard coffee is huge, so I needed the ladies' room again, as I left I got a text to say they had landed.
I made for the 15 minute waiting area, but decided I was too early , so drove to a nearby village and rang them. They were still waiting for baggage, but would phone me when they had it. The call came and I set off, but when I got there couldn't see them. I suddenly spotted someone who looked like Son, and rang him, I was waving and said 'turn around and you will see me', this guy turned around in the opposite direction! I asked Son what he was wearing and soon ascertained that I had been waving at a complete stranger, and the fact that he had turned at that precise moment was coincidence! ( should have gone to specsavers)
Eventually I managed to direct them to where I was waiting, they dumped their luggage in the boot, and we headed off. I hadn't worked out the payments system, but Son produced his debit card for the machine, and soon we were heading for the M11. We had a pretty good run on the way back, they said they wouldn't stay for lunch as they wanted to be in plenty of time to pick Tom up at the kennels before 4. When we arrived home, my Fiesta was still sitting there. 'Oh I said, Dad hasn't gone to church, just go in whilst I put the Focus away'. When I reached the garden, they had been unable to get in the house,  I quickly discovered that husband had in fact walked to church, I also discovered that the oven had gone out and a very pink, cold, naked uncooked chicken was sitting in my oven. A good thing they weren't staying for lunch. So I put the oven on high, then checked my phone; there was a message to pick husband up from church, so I zoomed off, leaving Son with the garage keys to retrieve their car.
They left after chatting to husband for a while, and the chicken cooked in about an hour. We had our usual afternoon nap, then went to the evening service, followed by my Sunday evening call to Mum in law.
Monday was spent doing boring things such as housework and ironing,  afterwards I still had a mountain of shirts and some bed linen.  The fitted sheets seem to slide around with the mattress topper, so I'd bought an extra deep one, and ordered another online. That took a while to arrive, and when I followed it up, got a less than polite e-mail blaming lazy postmen. The nice young boy next door eventually brought it round, it must have been left with them when we were out. Sad to say it still slides around.
I was also getting the front bedroom ready for a handy man to look at as the floor needs repair where we had the boiler  chimney removed when the boiler was replaced, so I was sorting junk, moving junk, moved the travel cot etc.The third handyman I rang promised to come,  the other 2 were too busy.
At Weightwatchers I had regained the pound I lost last week. I have been struggling to lose for a while. this tends to happen, and I sometimes get fed up and leave WW. then it gradually all goes back on. Off to Sainsbury's where I seemed to spend a fortune again. They had no vacuum packs of beef which are cheaper and some have added fat which makes the beef taste horrible, so I bought Taste the Difference, but I make it last 3 days, it ends up as cottage pie.The mountain of shirts and bedlinen were bundled up for the ironers, along with some trousers of mine. The nice man said they would be ready Friday afternoon.
Daughter was complaining she couldn't find her phone when I picked Nat up on Thursday. I rang it for her but it went straight to the answering machine. Nat fell asleep in the buggy on our walk, he'd been up pretty early, so I left him in the buggy in the hall, he looked too peaceful to disturb.

The sleeper
He had a slightly later lunch but was soon up to his usual tricks having fun, he managed to pinch the mouse ball again, fortunately we have a spare, till I could find out where he had put it. Husband came home slightly earlier and came up with me to Daughter's, where we sat and chatted. when her husband came home the phone search continued, at one point I was crawling round their bedroom floor, and felt a little hand on my rear, someone decided I needed a push obviously. Daughter's husband even took the manhole cover off to check that a certain little person hadn't flushed the phone away.
 On Friday I had a very senior moment, I had collected Nathaniel and was in the kitchen opening the cupboard reaching for my fish oil capsules, my mind was elsewhere and I suddenly realised I had in fact picked up the thyroxine, and swallowed one, oh no! I had already taken my thyroxine for the day. I was envisaging horrible palpitations, tremor etc, and remembered the Doctor who first put me on them saying ' if you take too much you can drop dead from a heart attack'. I tried to make myself sick, but that didn't work, so I rang the Dr for advice. The receptionist said she would get him to ring me back. I then rang husband and said 'I wouldn't worry as much, but I have Nat to look after'. He volunteered to come and work from home.
The Dr rang, and reassured me that I would be fine, I would only be affected if I continued to take too much every day. I tried to contact husband and couldn't  so he arrived home, when I told him the tale he said, 'It's not worth going back to work', and settled down with his work laptop. Belatedly I set off for the Pilgrim Homes coffee morning in Dunstable. It is run by old friends of ours. Nat fell asleep in the car, I transferred him to the buggy, and parked him in the hall, but people kept coming and ringing the bell, so he woke.
I took him and my coffee outside, we discovered that the boy he had played with last week was there. The owner of the house had built a garden railway, ostensibly for his son, but it's always an attraction on those coffee mornings when it doesn't rain. So the children had a wonderful time exploring in complete safety.
getting steam up

It must be nice to have a big garden


Something caught his eye

having a lovely time

I bought some home made jam and a tea loaf, which looked low fat, and then we set off for home. It began to rain, but wasn't too heavy. I realised there was too much for Nat to grab at in the back bedroom, so shifted the cot again for his nap. When I took him home, he was playing with an old CD player, and he insisted Daughter and I danced to ''I'm a believer' (Monkees,) whilst he jumped and jumped. Wish I had his energy.
Saturday was quite normal, I overslept, we walked to town, got the bus back up, and then did a bit in the garden. I made the chilli in the pressure cooker, so much quicker. For once it didn't rain. Wonder how long this 'Summer' we are predicted will last? Daughter found her phone, in a drawer where she had put it out of Nat's reach. The handy man had also phoned and arranged a time to inspect the job.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

A lunch, a tea and some heavy metal.

Things changed around a bit again last week, Daughter had to go on a health and safety course, which was being held on Wednesday, so she decided to work Wednesday and Thursday. So I had to collect Nathaniel and bring home back here before going off to Weightwatchers, I didn't have much hope had been overtired and snacking, mindless eating really, but had cut down drastically to my daily points for 2 days and had in fact lost one pound, so that's three more to go to get back to pre holiday weight. Nat got bored sitting in the buggy, and kept pulling one shoe off, in the end I took it away  from him, and he then pulled the sock off from that foot with his teeth, (wish I was that flexible)and proceeded to stick his sweaty foot on the leg of the lady sitting the other side of the buggy. I told him off, but she was very forgiving, it's amazing how many people say what a cheeky little face he has. I let him walk back to the car, then when we parked at Sainsbury's  I let him walk for a while holding on to the trolley, to try and use up some energy. However he began to mess about, so I started to lift him into the trolley, A young South African lady came to help and said to him 'Stop giving your Granny grief', he was soon flirting with her and giggling, he could charm the ducks off the pond. Once he was in the trolley I had to watch I didn't go too near things like jars of mayo, as a little hand kept reaching out to grab.
Back home I quickly unpacked the car, then brought him in, put away the cold stuff, and started on his lunch. he was quite happy to go for a nap, and I managed a doze too. Time passed so quickly after I got him up, and husband came home as I was getting him ready for home, so he helped me get him in the car and came up with me. We admired Daughter's latest purchase for him, a tent. It could be a circus tent, but I think it's a mediaeval pavilion.
 I made shepherds pie out of leftover lamb, but it didn't seem to brown very quickly in the top oven, I must buy an oven thermometer. to check the temperatures. We were both tired and spent the evening relaxing. My food processor isn't working properly, and I'm not sure what to do, Braun have an office in the UK, so I may contact them, the actual processor came from Germany.
On Thursday  I took Nathaniel for a longer walk in the buggy going via Dunelm Mill, as I had found out that my baking trays do not fit the new oven. It was the day of the Women's hour lunch, and whilst I hadn't been for weeks as Nat had been napping, I was feeling desperate for some fellowship. I suddenly discovered that Nat was asleep, maybe if he stayed asleep he would sleep in the car too, so hope began to dawn.
We got home and I left him to sleep in the buggy, whilst I prepared a wrap for me and some small rolls for him. I gathered stuff together, including his booster seat, and put them in the car, then lifted him from the buggy, carried him to the sofa, and he slumbered on. I got the buggy into the car, but as I transferred  Nat he woke up. I hoped he might doze off again, but he didn't, just gazed out of the car window.
When we arrived he was very clingy and wouldn't even look at the pastor's wife. He clung tightly to my neck, for a while, then N arrived, they used to play together when I was able to get to Women's hour. Then L came with her Mum and baby sister. L is about year older than Nat, and N about 6 months.
As he heard them talking, he gradually looked around, then when they opened the french doors and went outside, that was too much for him. He wriggled down from my lap and decided to follow them. So I got some fellowship, and he had a wonderful time exploring A's garden learning how to walk on a stepping stone path, jumping, shouting, dabbling in the bird bath and getting soaked. I sat where I could see him after lunch. A provides soup, then we have what we brought with us, then A provides dessert, and at 3 pm cake, It was a lovely sunny day, and  we both enjoyed it. Nat was eyeing the cake on various people's plates, so I had to distract him and give him some of mine.
When we got home I put his booster seat down just inside the back door and he decided to sit in it and fasten himself in.
The only problem being that he cannot then unfasten it. Many times I have gone to put him in the seat only to have to put him down whilst I unfasten it.
I took him home, and chatted to daughter for a while, then home to cook pork steaks. The top oven is definitely not as hot as my old one.
On Friday, a day off from child care,  I checked to see if my old cooker was there at 8.00 am, I was told that the men started at 6.30. It had gone. I thought, that's efficient, then at 9.45 the doorbell rang, it was 2 men from the Council to collect the cooker! We know exactly the time it went and who took it, thanks to the CCTV. He dragged it up the steps alone. I suppose he is a scrap metal dealer. I must ring the council to see if they can return the fee which I paid. Instead of knuckling down to housework, I rang our old friends C&C, and went to see them, they are always grateful for a visit, and the husband tends to pop out to the shops whilst I am there, the wife has very bad health problems and is almost blind, she is frustrated because the Doctors don't have an answer to what makes her feel so ill, but it could be side effects of the 13 tablets she takes every day.
I came home for lunch, did a bit of tidying, then had to go out as I had booked  a haircut. I feel so much better when it is done, it gets so untidy when it is longer and I don't have time to use a hairdryer, when my shoulder was bad I couldn't cope with it anyway. Friday evening was spent making a summer pudding, only the blackcurrants came from our garden; then we watched a DVD.
I awoke with a start on Saturday morning, thinking, 'Oh help, I have to be at the airport', but then realised, no, that was Sunday, I hadn't really missed a day. We did the shopping at Sainsbury's then went to buy a new shower head, ours get so blocked as we live in a chalky area. I had already replaced the connector tube the previous week Then home, and jacket potatoes for lunch, whilst they cooked made salmon rolls, then off to church for the church anniversary. We were still getting wet weather interspersed with the odd sunny day. It was so cold on Saturday that the church heating was on!
The visiting speaker was good, then teatime, the salmon rolls all went, so did the Summer pudding. I had a small portion, then a tiny bit of pavlova that was left on the serving dish. At the 6pm meeting he spoke about the Great Ejection, it is 350years since that happened, and some evangelical churches are celebrating 350 years of existence this year.
Well time to go, husband will be home soon and I need to vacuum.

Monday, 16 July 2012

The gasman cometh

On that Saturday evening our Son and his wife arrived wanting to leave their car here, they were going to stay overnight at Daughter's  and get a taxi in the very early hours to Luton airport. I let them park in my garage, so that I wasn't going to be bombarded with questions from neighbours who don't even use their own garages as to whom the car belonged and why was it there, and how long would it be there for. It meant that my car was out in the garage parking area all week, so it was very handy, and husband decided he would use it all week, leaving me the Focus to use. Son had a bit of difficulty fitting the car in, but succeeded in the end,  stubborn or determined, I'm not sure which. The roof box which is stored at the back had to be placed on his car roof before he succeeded. One good thing is that a neighbour's son has moved out to live with his girlfriend, so that is 1 car that is no longer parked in the garage area, but their other 3 still are!
We gave son and wife a lift up to Daughter's house and apparently when son knocked at the door, little Nathaniel, ready for bed perked up and said 'Nanna'! so he had to be brought down to see us. I'm sure people other than me sometimes knock on their door!
As many of you probably know, we have no interest whatsoever in the Olympics, when you are not good at sport, and are bullied and called names at school because of it, it does rather take away any interest in sport. Having said that we do enjoy walking, swimming, and occasional cycling when possible, so are not couch potatoes. Our Son has actually got Olympic tickets, he thought it was a 'once in a lifetime experience'. However there was no interest in seeing the 'torch' which is actually one of several hundred, pass through our town.
We'd had dire warnings about delays springing up over town in the last couple of weeks, so set off early for church morning and evening, and duly arrived early for both services although the road in which the church is located was congested with people who were trying to rush away after seeing the torch as they had been soaked by a downpour whilst waiting. We were teased about being early twice in one day.
Oh Monday I had my 6 monthly visit to my osteopath. He works on the area where I have the disc problem, and seemed to think that it was doing ok. He has a penchant for corny jokes and was telling one about Bastille day tickets which cost 50 euros a head, which I didn't get at first. My brain is slow some days I blame it on constant tiredness. I had managed to walk to get the newspapers that morning. so did get some exercise. I seem to be sleeping a bit better, not waking during the night so much, but still need to get to bed earlier.
The rest of the day was spent tidying my kitchen, and moving stuff around to make it easy for the men to deliver my new cooker. On the previous Friday, I had received a phone call 'Mrs Y, the men are on their way to deliver your cooker' 'What? this is the first I have heard, it wasn't supposed to be being delivered till 17th-19th, I have no one lined up to disconnect and reconnect, I cannot take it today', 'Well you had better tell that to the drivers, who will be phoning you shortly, they will still try to get you to accept it'.
When the delivery men rang I was adamant, I had Nathaniel here too, they were surprised that no one had contacted me before, but said that I would get a call to rearrange delivery. Phew!
So I got a message from the delivery organisers, then rang them back to arrange delivery for the Tuesday.
I had to remove a shoerack from the hall, which was heavy, and as we tend to put things for recycling on the shoerack, I found a heap of stuff which has slipped down behind it. then I had to take a pile of stuff off the top of a bookcase, and move the bookcase in front of the understairs cupboard door, so they could manoeuvre the cooker through the doors and into the kitchen area. This also was good, because it made me sort through stuff piled amongst books on top of the bookcase. I had a minor incident with the shredder when I tried to put something through which was too thick, but managed to disconnect it, take it apart and clear the blockage. It still worked, phew again. I also contacted my 'gas safe' man, who said if I rang him after delivery he would come round and do the necessary..
Tuesday I was up bright and early, showered and dressed as deliveries start at 8.00am. They arrived at about 8.35, having phoned me about 15 minutes beforehand. All that was left to do was to drop the drop leaf of the table to give them more room. As I did this husband's mug crashed to the floor. He was quite forgiving, saying it had been chipped anyway. Then I went out for a walk before I phoned the gas fitter, who promised to come in the afternoon.  I unpacked the cooker, then separated the packing into recyclable and non, and later took a trip to the dump.
 It didn't take long, then I rang the Council to arrange collection of the old cooker, then wrestled the old cooker through the door, into the hall, and over the threshold which is raised, onto the flagstones outside. It's a good thing my osteopath couldn't see me.The old cooker was as tall as me, as it had an eye level grill. Job done, I read through the cooker manual to see how it worked, then started replacing everything that had been moved.
When husband came home I tried to light the grill to do sausages, but the grill wouldn't light, so I cooked them in the top oven, they seemed to take ages. My old top oven was very hot. There were horrible smells  coming from the cooker, but this is because they have special coatings which have to burn off. Later that evening I tried to light the grill again and it worked, obviously the coating had burned off that too. The grill is in the top oven.
Well, I guess I'll have to break this post up into more than one.

Monday, 9 July 2012

The babysitter

Last week was very different for me, we rushed out of church before communion and came home as we were expecting visitors, however they didn't rush, and we were having lunch when they arrived. Daughter carefully carried a  peacefully sleeping Nathaniel up to our front bedroom, and placed him in the travel cot, then came down and chatted to us for a while, before leaving for a 2 day break. Sunday was their 6th wedding anniversary, and as they are not having a holiday this year, had booked a hotel in Shrewsbury for 2 nights; it would be their last opportunity for a child free break before no 2 arrives, DV in October.
The Happy couple
After about half an hour there was cry from upstairs, I went up and found that he was fully clothed and they had put a heavy blanket over him. That is the warmest room in the house, so I removed the blanket and his shoes and he went back down quite happily.
Later he woke and we brought him down  for his dinner. He didn't eat a lot of it seemd more interested in the gravy than the meat, but was very keen on the strawberries,saying 'more' when he had finished what we had given him. Soon he was trotting around playing asking us to read books, and we let him explore the garden
Grandad reads to him

Nathaniel loves books, which is a good thing. After his bath we dressed him in his sleepsuit, and as he trotted round in that the legs stretched out behind him. We did his bible reading and prayer, brushed his teeth, and put him in his sleeping bag which clips over his shoulders, and switched on the baby alarm. 
I had stayed home from the evening service as I had to care for Nat, husband wanted to stay at home too, as he doesn't see as much of his Grandson as he would like, due to that annoying stuff called work. When we went up later, Nat had stripped down to his nappy, the baby alarm was registering 26c, so I thought he had been too hot, and just covered him with a cellular blanket. Then I went to bed, but had a bad night, was I worrying about Nat?  I don't know but I was certainly getting niggling back and hip pains and couldn't get comfy.
 I was awoken by a cry, oof! Don't respond to the first cry; another cry, open one eye and check clock, 5.15 am Uurgh, at the 3rd cry I got up. He was wide awake and standing up, had obviously wriggled out from under the blanket and got cold.  Husband was already up. Nat not prepared to go back down, so I put something warmer on him and took him downstairs.  I had my shower early whilst husband kept an eye on him. We let him watch some stuff on iplayer as it was so early, and he pottered around quite happily afterwards. He waved husband off to work, then I gave him breakfast and had mine. Later I took him  to Watford in the car as I wanted to look for something in Watford. He fell asleep in the car, and was still asleep as I lowered him into the buggy. I did find one thing I wanted and picked up some lunch in M&S.
As I walked through the Harlequin centre, he woke up, only an hour's nap! He ate a good lunch, but wasn't too keen on the tropical flavour juice. I went in Lakeland and bought some stuff. When I went to a cash machine he signalled that he would quite like to get out of the buggy, as he had reins on I got him out, but he refused to walk, and wanted to be carried. I was firm and put him back in the buggy. I decided enough was enough, so we went back to the car and I strapped him in. As I drove along I realised one door wasn't quite shut, the courtesy light was still on. As I was planning to go to Sainsbury's on the way back, I diverted to the Watford store and decide to let him walk, on reins in the store. He was quite happy, laughing shouting, running and jumping, till I stopped to put something in the basket, then he went on all fours, lay down and refused to budge, uurgh toddlers!  I picked him up, and went through  a self service checkout as quickly as I could manage. This time the car door was firmly shut, and we reached home without further incident. I was feeling the effects of my early start and tried sitting with the paper, but he poked the paper, so I gave up, and played with him although when grabbed by the finger and pulled up to jump with him, I wished I was snoozing. Actually my eyes were closing as he played quite close to me, but I was aware of what he was up to. Again he was bit picky with his dinner, but thoroughly enjoyed his yoghurt
Grandad came home and we bathed Nat and got him ready for bed. Grandad read the bible story, I had dressed him in a new pair of short and t shirts style pyjamas, reckoning if he got too hot and stripped off the t shirt would help keep him warm. In view if the previous night's pains and lack of sleep I took a co-codamol as 'insurance'.  I slept till 4am, when I hard the first cry, after the second, which woke husband I lay muttering 'I can't get up at 4', but on the 4th cry, staggered into the front room, where I stroked his back and said 'Ssshhh baby, it's ok, go back to sleep'. He obliged and I staggered back to bed ant fell back to sleep. I was awoken at 7.20 am by more crying. husband was downstairs so I had to go in. Again he had stripped off his sleeping bag, his pyjama shorts, and this time his nappy, and he had done something unmentionable in the cot. I got him out, cleaned him up, hopefully sat him on the pot, and cleaned up the cot and took the sheet down to wash. He was just in time to say 'Bye' to Grandad. or 'dadadad', as Nat calls him.
we did a round trip to Sainsbury's, and his parents came to pick him up.early afternoon, they were refreshed having taken advantage of the hotel spa, and having a relaxing massage each.
Nat was delighted to see them, and seemed happy for a while, but later he became overwhelmed and had a tantrum,oh dear, here come the 'terrible twos', I waved bye bye, and sat down for a rest with the paper and a possible doze.
Wednesday was Weightwatchers, Sainsbury's, then parent and toddler's, which felt a bit like a busman's holiday for me.  We had a lot of children this time, and although it was noisy, the time passed relatively quickly. Home again to finish unpacking the shopping, and a quiet evening.
Thursday and Friday I was looking after Nathaniel again, on Thursday afternoon, as on Wednesday afternoon, the sun was shining, and I got washing dried outside, and Nat and I spent some time in the garden. On Friday I'd had my damage deposit back from the holiday company and wanted to go into town to bank it, It was pouring with rain again, I'd been unable to find his wellies, but decided to take him in the car to town, taking the buggy. He had his puddle suit on, but as we approached the car he walked straight into the deep puddle out at the back and just stood there. Great! One toddler with very wet feet! I must confess I did yell at him a bit 'I told you not to go in that puddle',
 I yanked him out and into the car, and when we got to town, I went into Mothercare, bought dry socks and a pair of  cheap trainers in a size too large, then dried his feet with a tissue. At least he now had dry feet. He fell asleep in the buggy again, and slept back in the car, then I carried him up, took his trainers and puddle suit off and he slept some more in the cot.
On Saturday we took the car into town, as we needed to go to the garden centre. We'd had the cheque back at last for the non moving of the gas meter, I needed new nose cushions on the glasses which Nat had shoved down the sofa,and I'd bagged up some small change to  deposit in another bank. As I was preparing to leave that bank, there was a downpour! Needing the ladies' room I decided to make a dash for it, wearing my folding waterproof. Of course the  water just poured off it onto my trousers,and soaked them. I thought, I can't go to the garden centre in soggy trousers,  I'll be wearing them for at least an hour,so after my comfort stop headed for M&S, where I bought dry trousers, into which I changed. The others were probably in need of replacement anyway.
Again we ate our sandwiches on the garden centre car park. then went and bought the required compost. there weren't many people there, there was a lot of grey cloud about. We also bought a copper Osteospermum, husband chose yet another fuchsia, and a plant for work. Oh yes, and he found a ceanothus, as the dwarf one didn't do very well, and he plans to replace it. Once we had got home and unloaded the car, we both crashed out for a couple of hours.
New fuchsia

all this rain has been good for my Christmas tree
Will sign off for now as am quite busy, have a good week

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Back to the Fuchsia

So what of last week, back home, holiday blues? Not too bad actually, we eased ourselves back into our pastor's preaching style, then home to a lunch of roast beef, I had defrosted some from the freezer. I didn't make Yorkshires however, as I felt it was too much faff.  I had brought some clotted cream back with me, for us, for Daughter, and for the Pastor and his wife, who spent 21 years in St Ives, so I had bought some scones which we had after church.
Monday was spent doing things like washing, although I had done a few loads whilst away, there is a drying area in the courtyard at Primrose Court, there was still bed linen to do and towels which we had taken with us. I had freshened the towels up with a wash at the end of the first week, and they had dried in the sun. I also did a bit of weeding, cut back some of the honeysuckle which was now over, and tried to retie the fruit canes. I also dead headed our paeonies, which had flowered whilst we were away, and as we had missed their beauty, I bought some from Sainsbury's to put in a vase, they were beautiful, although our garden ones are red.

what a beauty

On Monday I also took in a form for repeat prescription for my asthma inhalers. I thought I had taken 2 brown ones away with me, but couldn't find one of them. However, the other one lasted out, and when I got home I found the second one which I had thought I had packed in the over night bag. As I couldn't tell how much was in this second one, and the other decided to give out, I thought better safe than sorry.
Tuesday was spent sorting out things to be paid which had come through the post, getting a gas meter reading, bundling some things up to take to the ironers, oh and posting pictures on Facebook, and updating my blog. I also strimmed the lawn one evening, so that the lawn looked less like a meadow.
Wednesday was the dreaded weigh in, 4lb on ! still it could have been much worse if I hadn''t  done so much walking. The off to Sainsbury's to restock, then I was on duty at parent and toddlers, doing refreshments, we only had 4 children as apparently it was sports day for many children and some of our todds have older siblings. The lady with the twins had had all 4 of hers down with chickenpox.
I arrived home feeling shattered,some nights I still don't sleep. That day I bought a new WW pedometer, and have been surprise how many steps I take in a normal day.

Thursday I was back to childminding Nathaniel, he was interested in things in the garden,and was quite good, but doesn't always eat his meals. Why are toddlers so fussy? He got a longer buggy ride than usual, as I had forgotten to pick up my prescription.. The pharmacist wanted to chat to me about my medication, but I used having to look after Nat as an excuse not to.
Before we went away, I mislaid a pair of my glasses. I remembered slipping them into my coat pocket as husband and I left here to take Nat up to Daughter's home. Despite hunting high and low, checking the front seats of the car, daughter checking her sofa, me checking the undergrowth in the garden etc, I was totally unable to find them. I hate going away with only one pair, so in Truro I bought a cheapish pair of magnifiers for the occasions when I put my other pair down and couldn't find them. As I fastened Nat into his rear facing seat to take him home, I caught sight of something purple behind and partly under the driver's seat. I quickly checked, and yes! there were my glasses, they had been all the way to Cornwall, but not visible because of the folded down back seat., and the piles of stuff placed thereon. I don't know why  I didn't spot them whilst we were there, probably because I sit in the front. I'd been praying that I would find them so Thank you Lord!
Whilst I was at Daughter's home, Nat was having fun playing with my bag, and taking things out. The next day, I took Nathaniel into town as I had some banking business to do, and suddenly realised that whilst I had one pair of glasses back, the other pair had disappeared, Aaaaaaargh! I felt as if I was going mad. Husband helped me to take Nat home that evening, but I forgot to mention the missing glasses. We also tried to post a card at the new sorting office, as their last posting time used to be 7.30 .It was that annoying Polish woman again, who informed me that last posting was now 6.30, and when I asked why it had changed she blamed it on the people who had bought the land on which the old sorting office stood ???? I groaned and gave up!
I eventually rang Son In law and asked him to look for my glasses 'Sorry'came the reply 'they are not here'. How depressing, to lose one pair is unfortunate, to lose 2 looks like carelessness, sorry Lady Bracknell!
On Saturday I was raring to go, as I had forgotten to pick up the ironing. When I got back, Son in Law rang to say he had found my glasses stuffed down the back of the sofa, now I wonder who was responsible for that??!!
They were going out to the park, so I said I would collect them later. We eventually left to go into town, get our week's shopping, then briefly returned home to refrigerate some stuff before heading off  to the big garden centre.We had lunch there, we both had jacket potatoes, with a different filling and I had a small cheesecake, bad move! We bought 4 fuchsias, 3 were to replace some that had died. I also chose some verbena, a few petunias, and some heliotrope, which smells gorgeous. I was excited when we came home from holiday to discover that last year's Winston Churchill fuchsia had new growth on it. It's not a fully hardy plant, the bubble wrap round the pot, and the fleece over the top must have worked. There is also growth on a fuchsia which was in a hanging basket, so I may have to transplant that too. We also bought wire to use for training the fruit as the string keeps on breaking.

new one in a pot at the back

A Tom Thumb, fitted into acorner

All in all the front garden is looking pretty good


I think I will break off for now and continue later

Monday, 2 July 2012

One of those 'Oops!' moments

Not had much time lately to blog after last week's blogfest, however I realised I had forgotten to mention something that happened before we went away. I saw a neighbour in our garage area, he and his wife have a Westie, which has had some health problems over recent years.
The conversation went something like this, 'Hi J how are you?', 'Hi P OK,really, and you?' 'not bad' J, how is your dog I haven't seen him for ages?' 'Oh he passed away last week' Me, 'Oh I'm sorry to hear that,  although he had been unwell for a while hadn't he?' J: 'oh yes for a few years now'. Me: 'was he put to sleep in the end?' J with a guarded look, 'well he was on morphine for a while'. Me 'Oh dear but he was a good age wasn't he?'. Well he was about 80' me thinking 'In dog years?', then as J said he had been retired for over 20, bells rang. 'Oh J,' I said 'you are talking about your Dad. I'm so sorry to hear about that, but I was actually asking about the dog'. Doh! Fortunately he saw the funny side of it updated me on the health of the dog who is still alive. Obviously his Dad was on his mind, as he'd had to arrange the funeral.
 I saw his wife a few days later, and she too was amused by it. Good thing as we've been friends for ages.