Monday, 24 September 2012

September sunshine and showers

Sorry folks,  haven't really been avoiding you all, it's just that I don't seem to have been able to sit down and write, about nothing much in particular, and now I have 2 weeks of nothing much to report on. I'm still not sleeping well, getting up late some days, and having a slow start, I managed to deliver some stuff to the charity shop, and tried to deliver some of Mum in Laws beans to Daughter , but the first time she was out. I still haven't got around to sorting out the broken  food processor, but, tired of  chopping with a 'hand' chopper, I did discover a small electric chopper, which has helped with the things I need to chop, and does them in no time.
Tomatoes going red

So are the peppers

This year some of my anemones have actually grown!

I walked up to the shops near Daughter's the next day, taking the beans with me. I could see as I approached the house that the car wasn't there, but I did need the use of her bathroom, as the local council helpfully, closed most of the toilets in the local shopping areas. I had a key, and thought she would not mind, so I let myself in, and used the bathroom. I decided to leave the beans, and was looking for some paper to leave a  note, when I heard a little voice. I opened the front door and almost gave Daughter a heart attack, until she realised it was me. I was very apologetic, but she said it was ok, and offered me lunch. I declined and suffered the torture of watching her eat a bacon butty. I'm pleased to report that Nathaniel's eye has healed very well and his bumped head is now smooth and white again. After I'd walked home and had a 'healthy' lunch, I tackled the ironing and did a pile of shirts, my most hated item.
At Weight watchers my weight at stayed the same, which was good really, as I'd been wavering, had several days of not calculating points, but then decided, yes I would carry on, so was extra good for 2 days. At Sainsbury's I bought 2 Covent  garden soups, one of which turend out to be rally hot and spicy. I barely amanaged to finish it before dashing off to Toddler group. It was quite a good session with several new children.
As I was leaving, Daughter rang me, she'd had some difficult news, and so had I, I don't want to go into detail atm, but I did go to her home and we chatted and commiserated, and promised prayer, and played with Nathaniel. Oh to be 2 and have no worries!. Although he did fall out of his 'big boy's' bed the first night he slept in it, so now has something soft to land on at the side. Unfortunately the news we received led to a bout of snacking and comfort eating on my part, so I had to give myself a good talking to.
On the Thursday, the announcer on Classic fm got the time wrong, he gave it an hour later than it was, so I shot out of bed, but when I got downstairs, realised that husband was still there, and hadn't even made my tea. So I was early not late. Later as I walked along the canal bank I heard a strange noise like a cry, it happened a few times, then I realised it was a female swan, somehow she had become separated from her mate, who had somehow managed to get through the lock, and was swimming away further upstream. I had never heard a swan cry before, I hope that they were reunited.
Lonely swan

That was the day when I caught up with my blogging, I decided I would try the other soup for lunch, picked up the carton and shook it, but as I did so realised I'd picked up the half full one, as it sprayed over me and the floor! Fortunately it missed my clothes, so I didn't have to change before Women's hour, which was favourite Psalms. What to choose? In the end I picked Psalm 34. There was quite a variety, and I don't think anyone chose the same.
Did I mention that the Baby alarm had stopped working? The parent unit uses rechargeable batteries,and they had stopped charging, so we had replaced them without any joy.  I managed to locate the online receipt, so took a trip to John Lewis in Watford. They managed to locate a replacement at Peter Jones in London, and as they have been reduced prior to discontinuation, I got a refund of half the price. Don't you just love John Lewis? I had tea in their outside cafe, then nipped into M&S food dept, then drove home.
The weekend was fairly normal, walking into town, bus back, with the shopping, then Sunday, as our Pastor was at his former church celebrating their 350th anniversary, we had a visiting speaker who was very good.
On Monday last week I tackled a horrible job. I took the bed apart, to clean underneath it. the worst bit was getting the mattress off. As we are getting a new bed, I would have died of shame had they delivered it and seen the thick dust. It's not that I am lazy, it's just that space is so tight in our room we cannot move the bed to clean. I also vacuumed all upstairs, and downstairs, quite therapeutic really. Husband helped me with the mattress when he came home.The weather was warm again last week, so it was a chance to cling on to my summer skirts and sandals.
Despite my being good my weight was up again, but I think it may have been a blip as my scales tell a different story. I've been eating such things as ratatouille for lunch, and one day I made a big pan of cauliflower and bacon soup, and felt really stuffed after one and a half bowls. I popped in to see Daughter but she was dashing off  to take a meal to a new Mum. However she did call back here to apologise, and so Grandad saw Nathaniel for a while, he hasn't seen him for a few weeks.
Someone had been at the brownie mixture

I had an appointment on Thursday to have my crown fitted. I'd had a few twinges whilst eating, and so he xrayed the tooth, he also gave me an injection. This meant that I couldn't eat for 2 hours, till the 'cement' was dry, which coincided withe time of Women's hour, my tongue was so numb I could hardly speak, so I rang up and made apologies over Women's hour,as it was a prayer meeting, and I don't think anyone would have understood my prayer.
On Friday  I did a  pile of ironing then after lunch my sister phoned. So I was late leaving  for my trip to the Christian Bookshop in Dunstable. The other sister is in need of a new bible, but has no bookshop nearby. However as I reached the A5 at Redbourn, I discovered it was closed, due to a major accident, The traffic was backed up on the slip road from the M1, so I went round the roundabout and onto the Nortbound M!, hoping I could find the bookshop from Junction11.
 The motorway was busy, so was the road into Dunstable. I began to wonder just why I had chosen a Friday afternoon. The chap in the bookshop was very helpful, and although he didn't have what I wanted said he could order it for me. I also enquired about a leather backed bible, but changed my mind when I heard the price. My Leather bound one is peeling, and I don't like the feel of the leatherette ones. Much against my principles, I also bought some Christmas cards, I just hope I remember I've got them later on. As I left Dunstable, I came home over the Downs to avoid the A5/M1,  It began to rain, and soon it was torrential. Oh no! my towels, my only hope was that over our town the sky still looked quite light, I just hoped that the rain was moving South slowly. I dashed in through the back gate, and rescued the towels, which were just beginning to get wet. Thank you Lord, I had envisaged having to bung them in the tumble dryer. Then I nipped up to Daughter's as I had something to ask her about. We had a cuppa, and Nathaniel kept saying 'train, oh dear', so I had to help him put his wooden train back together, knowing that as soon as I did he would take it apart again.
Saturday and Sunday were pretty normal, except that Daughter came around for a bath, as her husband had resealed theirs, and it couldn't be used t ill it dried. On Sunday I dressed for autumn, warmer skirt, tights, long sleeved top, and full shoes, except that the only pair I could find, apart from heels, were some I'd had since just before Daughter went to uni. It was good to have our pastor back. Later, just before we went out to the evening service, I complained there were a lot of black bits on the carpet, husband examined them and said they looked like broken plastic. No time to wield the Dyson, and when we came home, there were even more. I examined them, and suddenly had a lightbulb moment! I checked my shoe heels, except that there weren't any, just holes! the black plasticky heels had just perished! A trip to the shoe repairers methinks, when he gets back from Majorca. Now it's definitely Autumn, the rain and grey skies are back, the summer skirts are disappearing into storage, but I will keep some short sleeved Ts out just in case of an Indian Summer.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

A late heatwave and a trip to the seaside

Last week was the week when the sun returned in all its glory for a while, I think I forgot to mention that on the Friday of the previous week I'd had my hair cut. Because Nathaniel hadn't been too good  at sitting still in the buggy, I had been going earlier in the week, but last week I was able to go child free, and it was the lady who used to cut my hair, so she did it a bit shorter than the other one. She too has become a Grandma in the last couple of years, so we have something in common. I was a bit concerned that she might have left my ears showing, I hate my ears showing, it makes me look like a pixie, and these days it's more like a fat pixie!
 Our friends from church, who also love St Ives were down there, so we were keeping an eye on the webcams to see what weather they were having.  I don't recall much of Monday, but we did watch Celebrity Antiques Road trip, and I watched an episode of The Midwives, which daughter has been glued to. Not sure that that is wise!
Tuesday likewise was unremarkable, I called in on Daughter, was pleased to see Nat's gash healing, although there was still evidence of the shiner. In the evening we watched New tricks on iplayer. On Wednesday I decided to give Weightwatchers a miss. I was feeling low, overtired, and have been stuck at a plateau for so long I felt I really couldn't go on. I did the usual Sainsbury's trip, then after lunch had to got to see the dentist for preparation for my crown. It was a long uncomfortable experience, and when my eldest sister rang later, my mouth was still frozen and I had a bit of difficulty speaking to her. I decided that having put the kitchen cupboard up some weeks ago, it was time I fitted the door. I asked husband for his drill, but as usual it needed charging. That's the problem with power tools, if they are rechargeable they are never charged when you need to use them.
 I decided to give myself a few days off  Weightwatchers, and eat what I felt like eating.  I had been for my usual walk when on the way home, I met the lady who used to run the sub post office in our Road. I haven't seen her for a while, but she talks more than I do. Both of her girls are Doctors, and she gave me an update on them, she asked me about our church going habits, was surprised that we went every week, she is Hindu and told me she prays for 3 minutes every evening, but never goes to the temple. I began to wonder what one can say in 3 minutes, when my own prayers, although spasmodic, can involve a lot of pleading for a whole host of folk.
I eventually managed to get away without being rude, as I was in a hurry. Women's hour was due to start, and having missed so many due to Nat's naps, I really wanted to start the new session well. After a hasty lunch, I managed to arrive during the first hymn. The speaker was the former Pastor's wife, who has been a widow for about 9 years. She was very good.
On the way home I went to Daughter's again as I was in need of a natter. Nat played happily in the garden, although he did manage to trip in bare feet and open up a cut he had on his toe, much crying and shouting of  'Toe, toe', and more crying when we cleaned it up and put plaster on. He dislikes plasters, I can sympathise, it was always horrible having one taken off as a child as it sometimes hurt more the the injury.
I had terrible trouble getting into my account on Milk and More, every time they sent me a new password the site rejected it. However, later I managed to fit the cupboard door, but not the handle, Rome wasn't built in a day was it?  Husband was resigned as I watched another episode of The Midwives.
Friday was spent catching up on the ironing, and general housework and trying to tidy up.  I made my Cousin a birthday card and posted it. I had more problems with the Milk and More site, eventually ringing them to cancel a delivery. I was given yet another password, which didn't work. Eventually I got around to packing for the weekend, husband came home early had a doze, then we loaded up the car again and set off for Mum in law's home.
We arrived at the services earlier than last time, but Costa were closing up again, so we went into the M&S for food. Husband got me a hot chocolate to drink, but it tasted odd. The machine had a notice on which proclaimed 'Galaxy', but there seemed to be a distinct flavour of artificial sweetener. Maybe it doesn't contain it, but they certainly used to sell Highlights, which did.
There were little pockets of mist on the road which passes Brighton, but nothing too bad. we eventually arrived at the bungalow just before 11. We didn't stay up late as were both tired, but as usual I struggled to sleep well.
The next day I wandered around Mum in laws garden in the morning

It's amazing how we notice spider's webs more in Autumn

Later we went into Eastbourne, and as it was still such a lovely day, decided to buy sandwiches and eat them on the promenade. As we approached the prom we saw that there was continental market going on. Husband muttered that perhaps we should have waited to buy food, but I'm not sure the food would have been to Mum in law's taste. We sat watching the world go by, the boats,and a few  intrepid swimmers. husband and I bought an ice cream, and then as we watched, a sea mist came bowling in really fast, the Coastguard arrived a few minutes later, there were concerns about folk in a rowing boat which hadn't had time to get back in to shore before the mist came.
We had tour of some shops in Eastbourne, including an antiques shop. Sadly Mum in Law cannot walk as fast as me these days, so the strolling makes my hip hurt. I rang husband, and said we were on our way back to the car, and we joined him at a 'collector's centre', near where the car was parked. Back at the bungalow we read papers, used the internet,and dozed . Husband watched Dr Who, which seems to get weirder and weirder.
Sunday again dawned bright and sunny, we went to our usual church then whilst I was waiting for lunch decided to sit in the sun. Mum in Law had some small garden chairs but one had cracked arm. She expressed concern that the  canvas might give on them as she wasn't sure how old they were, but I decided to risk one. As I gingerly lowered myself into it, the plastic on the arm cracked. As the arm was attached to the back, the back gave way and I made an undignified incomplete backwards roll, which was bit painful. Praying that no one had seen my involuntary flash of underwear, I went back indoors, told Mum In law that she was half right, but it was the plastic that had gone. I found husband and told him he'd missed an opportunity for 'You've been framed'.  I took a more solid garden chair out to nurse my wounded pride, and top up my vitamin D.
After roast pork I didn't doze,  I replaced the garden chair, but as I approached it found this,
I'm sure he was posing for me

Later I went for a longer walk, taking the route past the beach hotel past all the fabulous houses,and then crunching back across the pebbly beach.
Another luxury house with a sea view?

these birds were all congregating on one roof

beach huts

garages on the beach? they must be for boats

people having fun
a seagull goes to church!
As I came back up the road husband was just beginning to pack the car
We gathered our things together, loaded up the car, Mum in Law gave us some beans to bring home, and we left at about 5.30 pm. As we drove away, the first few drops of rain were beginning to fall. We had a slow journey, many people had been to the coast because of the good weather, and we also came across dozens of bikers, as it had been Brighton Burn Up. We stopped at the services for a drink, and there were more bikers; we had stopped for petrol and there were bikers. We eventually reached home about 9.30, the journey slowed by sheer congestion. Hopefully on our next trip down there the traffic will be better, as it will be later in the year.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Bank holiday, beds, bumps and bruises

Well the Bank holiday wasn't very good weather wise, it didn't matter too much  as we had no exciting plans. We didn't do much in the morning, a bit of gardening and stuff, but in the afternoon we started on the job we had been dreading.
replanted pots dong well

We cleared everything out of the understairs cupboard. Husband wanted to run a cable through the cupboard, so needed access. We filled some black bin bags with rubbish, another bag full of stuff for the charity shop, and I gathered together 5 carrier bags full of plastic carrier bags to dispose of. I still have plenty of plastic carriers left. Husband also took down the ceiling in there, as when we had the stair carpet fitted, I was quite concerned to see some of the nails holding one of the risers to a step  were not fully knocked in. Husband managed to reduce the gap a bit, and the stairs felt a bit more secure, that step feels less springy. Husband, however wants me to get a builder to check that the stairs are safe.
you can see the carpet through the gap!

Having watched some episodes of 'Cowboy trap' on iplayer, I know that I need to pick the builder carefully, I reckon that the last builder we used must have retired by now. There was a lot of plaster and plaster dust to clear up and bag for the dump.
No prize for guessing where I went on Tuesday morning. I took 4 bags of rubbish, some odds and ends,and the plastic bags. The cricket sets, plastic racquets, boules and frisbee went back in the cupboard, as one day we will hopefully have older grandchildren who might like to play. Husband was reunited with some things he had forgotten he had, (maybe I should have dumped those before he saw them!)  I think that we now know what is under the stairs. It is possible to put one's feet in the cupboard now.
I finally decided I'd had enough of the foam mattress topper, it made us so hot, and I was sick of trying to recover migrating sheets, so we had to get used to sleeping on our aging mattress again, but at least the sheet stays in place. On Tuesday afternoon I drove over to Watford to have a look at beds, and to ask advice on whether it was better to buy a new bed or just replace a mattress. I didn't stay too long, the Harlequin centre seemed to be full of parents doing their shopping for shoes, uniform, stationery etc for the new term.
I also called in at the music shop to enquire whether they still bought and sold trumpets,as I had found Son's old trumpet, which he hasn't played for years and no longer wants. If the shop don't want it  I may contact the school, as there are always new starters who decide they would like to learn an instrument.
When I was weighed on Wednesday  had actually lost two and a half pounds. I think that this is because I cut the carbs. I wasn't able to do that so much this week, so who knows? After a good week the previous week, I didn't manage to keep my Sainsbury's spending down.  I bought a lamb joint, and it's so expensive.
On Thursday, it was my first 'free' Thursday for ages, so when I had done some chores,  I decided I'd quite like to visit Aylesbury. So I drove over there, and had a look around. I had managed to spoil a t shirt by getting bleach on it. They didn't have the exact shade, I think it was from last year, in M&S,  but I bought one similar. I was pleasantly surprise to find it was reduced to £2. I also picked up some cake bars which I hadn't been able to get locally.
On Monday, whilst trying to wring out a mop, I had managed to knock husband's glass teapot over, and it had smashed, so I drove over to Berkhamsted as there is a Waitrose there.  I browsed the lovely arts and crafts shop, then an antiques/curio shop, bumped into friends in Temptation, where I wasn't tempted, then spent a small fortune in Waitrose, which is the only place now where I can buy my favourite yoghurts. On the way home I called in on Daughter. Nathaniel showed me the rest of his Birthday presents, then was busy jumping and running around the garden. He was sporting a bruise on his head, he had been bouncing on his Mum's bed, fallen off, and despite duvet and pillows to break his fall, had hit the corner of the bedside chest. I reminded him of the song from parent and toddler group, 'no more monkeys jumping on the bed!'
On Friday I walked into town,and had left salad prepared for my lunch. However, having had a light breakfast,  I suddenly felt as if my blood sugar was dropping, so rushed into Boots and bought a wrap.   I felt better after eating it, so when I got back home I just ate the salad with a bit of balsamic dressing. I couldn't believe that it was going to be September the first on Saturday, the year has flown by, probably because of my childminding I suppose. We drove to Watford in search of a new bed for us. It was so difficult making a choice, husband could sleep anywhere, but I can't sleep on firm beds. We lay on bed after bed, and eventually chose a sprung base, with a dunlopillo mattress. I do hope we have made the right choice. Then we separated and visited other shops. I went into John Lewis, where I tried a Tempur mattress called Cloud. Believe me it was, like sinking into a cloud. Oh no! I thought, have I done the wrong thing? but then I thought of the cost of Tempur mattresses, and with the ease that I had sunk into it, would I have had trouble turning over?
I bought my fruit and veg in M&S, didn't need a lot, then shopping began to pall, so I headed for the market,which still is suffering, rang husband and he came to meet me. We'd had news that morning that poor Nathaniel had had another accident, his Dad had taken him to something called 'who let the Dads out',at their church, and Nat had run into the corner of a table and gashed the side of his eye. So he had spent part of the morning at St Albans minor injuries unit, where the gash had been glued. We called round to see how he was, and he was full of beans,playing in the garden, but developing a beautiful shiner. He is a typical boy, takes life head on. When our Son was young we spent a few hours in the local A&E.
I'd been getting to bed late, and not sleeping too well, so really crashed out after my Sunday Lunch. When I eventually awoke I decided I needed a walk to blow away the cobwebs, so that I didn't fall asleep in the evening service. The preaching was excellent as usual. Then we came home and I phoned Mum in Law,who seemed reasonably bright, although she is still getting problems which are being blamed on the fall which she had some months ago.
Didn't have a tripod to hand

We had that phenomenon known as a 'ring around the moon last week, I attempted to capture it.