Thursday, 29 December 2011

Listography - Top 5 things that make Christmas Christmas.

Well here's my maiden voyage into the world of Listography and what better a theme...

1.     A full nest.
All my brood are home, the house is full and noisy.

2.     Food
Never is my fridge as stuffed as it is at Christmas.  The only thing is it stays that way for a week as we painstaking make our way through it all.  I never learn but I don't think i'm on my own.

3.     Seeing family
Christmas is the time the wider family all meet up, exchange summarised stories of what we've done since last Christmas and say the usual 'we mustn't leave it till next Christmas till we see each other again'. Never happens.

4.     Comedians
Santa always brings DVDs and always a comedian for us to watch Christmas day evening.  That moment when you are so full that you think you will either explode or fall asleep, the comedian comes to the rescue. Last year, John Bishop. This year Peter Kaye.

5.     Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve is my favourite day of the year.  It involves a good film, some nibbles and a couple of glasses of sparkly in the evening whilst waiting for the brood to get home.  Then I know I can lock the doors and go to bed knowing that Santa is ok to visit now.

Right if you haven't already, pop over to Kate's and check out the rest...

The Ultimate Christmas Meme

My favourite Christmas song of all...

You can't go wrong with a little bit of Chris Rea and Driving Home for Christmas.....

Hot chocolate, egg nog or mulled wine? 

Well a couple of weeks before Christmas I went to the Manchester Christmas markets with the lovely @Greeny_bird and we tried and tested the mulled wine.  Cherry and Blueberry to be exact.  Here's the proof...

When do you put your decorations up?
Usually a week before Christmas but this year it was 2 weeks and the tree is still looking good.  We always choose a big tree, it's compulsory.

What are you having for Christmas dinner?
We had Nigella's glazed gammon.  Turkey has been off our menu for many years and as I don't eat meat I let the brood choose.  So gammon it was.  We had garlic and chilli sea bass for starters, gammon and all the trimmings and then lemon cheesecake and cream to finish off.  There was also sticky toffee pudding but no one could manage it and it's currently sat in the fridge shouting my name.  I shall resist for now...  Later in the evening when guests came I put together a cheese board.  Sadly I've overdone the cheese buying and there are wedges upon wedges sat with the sticky toffee pudding that have still not been touched.  Does cheese freeze?

What's your favourite Christmas tradition?
Christmas Eve has always been my favourite day.  I like to enjoy it, sit back with a good film and nibbles and let the excitement of what's in store build. 

Have you ever gone Carol singing?
Yes as a child but never since.  My singing sounds pitch perfect in my head but to others, and I quote 'sounds like singing when you've got your hand stuck in the toaster'.  I think that explains things well enough.

When did you discover the truth about Santa?
I can honestly say that as far as I can remember I've known the truth.  Mum says a boy down the road told me when I was little. That's boys for you!

How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
Well when the brood were knee high our tree would be adorned with the fabulously creative decorations they'd made at school.  Now, it's baubles, chains and a little tinsel. The picture doesn't do it justice and the top of the tree isn't in the picture as it's quite tall.  See above, compulsory.

All I want for Christmas is...
A full nest, Lobster and Fiorelli.  All achieved and lots more.  Thanks Santa :-)

Thanks to Kate over at The Five Fs Blog for the blogging push.  Appreciated *nods and winks*.

I'd like to tag two lovely people.  They haven't been asked so I hope they don't mind. 

Firstly my twitter friend Kate at Wit Wit Woo.  Kate took on the role of my blogging big sis recently and was a source of knowledge and inspiration.  Thankyou!

Secondly my lovely far flung friend Amanda @mulledred on twitter. Amanda crocheted her Christmas tree decorations and I still haven't seen a picture.  Maybe she'll blog them...

Feel free to join in and take part too. 

I hope you've all had a fabulous Christmas and here's to a healthy and happy New Year.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Rewind Festival

Last weekend we (me and 6 other girls) trekked off to Henley on Thames for the Rewind Festival (80's music).  Yes I know what you are thinking, my brood have mocked me at regular intervals on how I should try a proper festival.  This is our second year of going and it is brilliant - try it...

Well we arrived early (we were excited...) and joined all the other early birds in a field waiting for the car park (another field) to open.  We then formed a queue, a very orderly and civilised queue as we all pitched our chairs and cracked open the wine and nibbles.  This is arguably the best queue I have ever been part of.

Best queue ever....
We then pitched our tents and adorned them with bunting and fairy lights and celebrated this fact with another wine, chocolate and crisps (you may notice a theme to the weekend).

There was the Silent Disco, wiggage and more 80's band than you could shake a rubiks cube at.  There were so many artists, too many to mention but UB40 were amazing, I wasn't particularly looking forward to this but what a session - absolutely brilliant.  We saw Bananarama who were great but I so hoped they would be wearing highwaisted jeans and sporting very big hair - alas they came out looking lovely but very 2011.  Toyah on the other hand came out in an amazing outfit, Billy Ocean was brilliant and looks amazing with his white hair and beard.  Holly Johnson was entertaining and the award for the band who still look youthful goes to Brother Beyond!



 We only got rained on for a short spell and then the sun shone.  We had a fly by (which was amazing) and wore wigs and glow bands and danced until dark.

Now here's to starting the plans for next year....

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Glorious... Goodwood

Although I've been to the races beofre I've never been a big fan, never got the buzz that other people seem to enjoy.  So when my lovely friend from my college days (yes we've been friends a few years) asked me to go and visit her to experience Glorious Goodwood and to bring my boys with me I jumped at the chance. 

Well we enjoyed every minute of our 2 days in the Richmond Enclosure (members only).  As you can imagine, dresses, shoes etc were on my mind for several weeks before.  Having not been into the 'posh' bit of the races before I was unsure as to what to expect and how far to go with my outfits but eventually decided on a couple of outfits though I think I would be more adventurous next year.  My boys were suited and booted and looked absolutely gorgeous.

Sara was filmed on her way in looking gorgeous in this red dress. We were filmed and crews asked whether we would be choosing Frankel or Canford Cliffs, alas we did not make the cut however we saw several people being filmed who did either for their (more strategic, scientific or accurate) reviews or for their fabulously gorgeous or elegant outfits.  Next year you'll find me in a big hat or red dress.  That's all I'm saying...

We had a table on the edge of the course, fabulous spot.  We drank champagne and Pimms, ate seafood platters and were surrounded by gorgeous dresses and amazingly elegant hats for the ladies and linen suits teamed with panama hats for the chaps. 

Here I am at the edge of the Richmond enclosure, the weather was fabulous.
Here is a pic my sons took, the racing - yes we went for the racing...
We had a brilliant time and Sara has already invited us down for Glorious Goodwood next year.  I have to say, I can't wait... Now then, I need a big hat....

Monday, 27 June 2011

How does it work..?

My youngest son declared he would like a record player for his birthday.  Yes a real record player - not a cd player or an ipod but a record player.  So off I went to various shops to check out what they had in the way of 'record players'.  I faced a few 'no sorry' responses along with one assistant who talked to me like I shouldn't be allowed out alone and chose a very condescending tone... 'is it for your hi-fi love'!  I quickly replied 'no it's for my very hip and cool son's birthday, he's 20'.  It suddenly dawned on me that neither 'hip' nor 'cool' are adjectives that will ever sound out loud as good as they do in my head. I left!

The birthday came and the stereo I'd (eventually) found complete with cd drawer (is it called a drawer?), usb and ipod thingies (you know - thingies) was much appreciated but I had failed to buy any records to play.  So we dug out my Grease double LP from a few *coughs* years ago as it was the only one in the house and I gave it to him to put it on - reminding him of it's sentimental value.  It was hard to hand John Travolta over but it was my duty as a mother. I'm still in therapy.

My son looked at the record and then the stereo and then the record again - I was surprised that he may not know how to work this machine that was so familiar to me and despite my intense desire to take over and give demonstrations, I just threw a few prompts in here and there and let him play with his new toy.  The record was soon playing.  Later his older brother appeared and was duly given an overview by the birthday boy, both sat kneeling on the floor looking at the record rotating enabling Frankie Valli to join us and we are now very sure that Grease is the word, is the word is the word.  Friends popped in and questions arose such as 'how to you know which song is which, what button do you press to get it to move on to the next song, how do you get that scratchy sound (gasp - should I rescue JT now?), what's this 45-33 button for - ohhh, I see....'. 

It has brought many a smile as I watched them fascinated and inquisitve and it reminded of when they were little boys again opening presents full of interest and excitement.  It wasn't my birthday but it made my day (and then some). 

It also reminded me of the record player that we used to have when I was young.  I found this (for display only) item in the window of the YMCA charity shop in Preston town centre and texted it to the birthday boy who wanted me to go in and negotiate it's purchase!! For those of you who remember having one will rejoice in the delight of stacking it with lots of records and sitting back to enjoy. Here it is - isn't it lovely!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Well it's been an 'interesting' week

It's sciatica Doctor said, it's DVT hospital said
The swollen leg, the terrible limping
The pain, the tiredness
The feeling of not being ill enough for hospital, not well enough to walk out

My son is home now but back to the hospital for daily blood tests.  He can just about get about on his crutches but the stairs are still a challenge.

How quickly one's world can be turned upside down...

We don't like it, please put it all back. And now.


Sunday, 3 April 2011

21st - already...?

The question to Looby was 'what would you like to do to celebrate your 21st' and Paris was her answer.... Just the two of us went and we had a fabulous time.  Here is a tiny snippet which we hope you will enjoy.

We arrived at Liverpool airport with plenty of time with a plan of browsing the shops and having a pre-flight drink to calm our (my) nerves.  We did arrive early, browsed, drank and even ate sushi (thank you Loobs) and chatted about how in the past we have both experienced hearing our names shouted for our flights.  Then we heard our names on the loud speaker - run!!  Good job we had some little bottles of pink sparkly on the plane to restore calm.

On arriving in Paris we chose a taxi driver mainly because she was female. In the words of Vivienne, big mistake - huge!  She was the most bad tempered and 'shouty' lady I've ever met. After checking in we went out to find a local wine bar for a holiday vin.  We found a bar a few doors away which became a regular drop in point over our three days. 

The next day we metro'd our way to the Eiffel Tower and picked up the hop on hop off Paris bus tour.

The bus ticket was valid for 48 hours and seemed like a great way to see and visit the sites we had planned to take in as well as be our then 'free' mode of travel for most of our stay.  The tour took us around all of the major sites whilst we were plugged in to our headphones listening to the history and background of each one.  Great, we'd seen all the important places but the day was grey and the 2.5 hour journey seemed a little longer on the top floor of the open topped bus.  I'm sure it's lovely when the sun is cracking the flags but a little chilly on the day of our trip.

That evening we we headed to the Moulin Rouge and ate a restaurant nearby before heading over to the windmilled theatre.  As soon as we entered the theatre the difference to our British theatres soon became apparent.  We love our theatres because actors have walked the boards and earned some of their 'stripes' there. We accept that they are a little bit old in character and that the theatre has a slight old fustiness about it.  They are our theatres, that's how they are.  Well imagine our surprise at entering the small theatre front which opened up to a large room with massive chandeliers, plush walls and chairs and lights guiding every contour of the ceiling. It was gorgeous and opulent and we were sat in the middle of it. We had seen the movie at the cinema (much advised) and were so looking forward to what the show held.  We weren't disappointed, it was 2 hours of pure brilliance.  The routines, the costumes, the water pool that rose up so that one dancer could dive in and dance/swim with the snakes, the acts at intervals and the dancers - especially the dancers were amazing.  Sorry but we weren't allowed to take pictures inside so you will just have to trust me on this but it is definitely something we will go back to do again. 

The next day we decided to back to Notre Damn via the metro (we were quickly becoming metro experts) and spent much more time than we had bargained for inside the church.  It is beautiful and pictures of the stained glass windows do it no justice at all. Looby bought some rosary beads and managed to seek out the priest to bless them.  By the time we made our way outside the building to go up to the bell tower we were too late, the gate had closed.  Another thing to add to our list for next time. 

On our last day we took in some more of the sites but spent most of our day at The Louvre.  I had no idea it was so huge.  We walked the length and breadth of it, admiring most of what we saw and pondering about the rest - the Mona Lisa painting is surprisingly small and the many statues are so big.   

On our way back to the airport we saw (but sadly were not quick enough to picture) a group of French policemen on roller blades making amazingly quick progress down the road.  That was something I never thought I'd see and sometimes I do wonder whether I actually did. 

Well our trip had been a great, we'd had a great time on our little excursion and Looby had got to see Paris as she had wanted.  Our journey home (apart from the bomb scare at the airport) all went to plan and we arrived in good time to wander and relax.  Despite this fact, it ended as it had started by us being shouted over the loud speaker for our flight.. run!!

Friday, 11 March 2011

Fill in the blanks...

Well a newbie blogger like me surely shouldn't be pushed too hard.  I'm as fresh as a newly laid egg and as green as the grass on the hills where blogging is concerned.  When I was invited to take part in a fill in the blanks I was at a complete loss.  Me - do that ..? Well thanks to Kate at The Five Fs who clearly knew I needed a gentle shove and a push here it is...

I am first and foremost a Mum to 3 big peeps who are doing an amazing job of furrowing their way through life but this did leave me somewhat thumb twiddling.  In light of this I found twitter (where have you been all my life), I started this blog (we're still getting acquainted) and I've returned to uni (I've missed you so!).  I'm ESTJ (for anyone who is as fascinated with Myers Briggs as I am) and if you've not stopped reading at that point I'm also a novice baker (and I'm not even being modest when I say that).  I joke that I am Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way - well a girl has to have a dream doesn't she.

The bravest thing I've ever done is to ride Dragon Khan with my three at PortAventura some years ago.  It was scary and I really thought we were all going to die (ok ok, so I'm a bit of a scaredy cat...).   I also have a fear of flying - surely that much metal shouldn't be in the sky?  How - come on, how?  I usually rely on a visit from the wine fairy to take my mind off the impending doom that surely awaits me... us.  Why is everyone else not scared? 

I feel prettiest when I get dressed up to go out.  I love the actresses of the silver screen, they always looked so gorgeous and nothing less than spectacular. I wish I could look half as good as them.

Something that keeps me awake at night is waiting for the sound of the front door and counting in my children - oh and pretending to be asleep.  Even though they are big peeps, it's a relief to know they are home safe and sound.  The other thing that keeps me awake is the bird that sits on the tree outside my bedroom window and has the loudest chirp in the world. Fact!  Ducks are just so much more respectful!

My favourite meal is anything from egg and chips with bread and butter (no frilly skirts on the egg please) right through to any vegetarian Thai dishes.  Rumble tums...!

The way to my heart is... to intrigue, inspire and amuse me. 

I would like to be a Charlies Angel!  This has been my lifelong ambition (well since I was about 7) and I fear it is something I'll still be striving for should I be lucky enough to grow old and grey.  I'd like to a better blogger or maybe a writer. Oh yes and an actor or what about a songwriter.... Or maybe a model, or a singer - ok sublime to the ridiculous I know.... I'll just stick with a Charlie's Angel.

Now as part of the task of writing this blog post, I need to pass it on to others so that they might replicate it on their blogs and link it back.  My selected few are....


If you'd like to join in then go on go on go on..

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Well here I am..

Who am I...? Well here's a picutre of me that my daughter drew whilst entertaining my friend's 3 year old..

I have lopsided hair and high shoes both of which were correct (at the time).  The round body and interesting number of fingers is questionable...

I'm a Mum to 3 big peeps but no I'm longer needed to do the Mumsy things.  The things they used to need me for are all gone such as sorting out school trips, sleepovers, lunchboxes, mending holes in school trousers, painlessly unknotting long hair, standing on the sidelines in the rain and snow, removal of splinters, answering those 'uncomfortable' questions and maker better when the germs come to roost. 

It went too quick!  I'd like to go back and do it all again right now please.  Thank you

P.S. My daughter is 20, I'm planning revenge as we speak