26 February 2013

What are you reading?

I finished Jenny's War in just a few days and thought that although it started off well it all got a bit rushed at the end.
So now I'm reading Winter in Madrid by C J Sansom.  I've read his Tudor (Shardlake series) crime novels and loved every one of them so I'm hoping that this will be just as good.

A popular mystery writer breaks out with this page-turning international bestseller set in post-Civil War Spain 
September 1940: the Spanish Civil War is over, Madrid lies in ruin, while the Germans continue their march through Europe, and General Franco evades Hitler's request that he lead his broken country into yet another war. Into this uncertain world comes a reluctant spy for the British Secret Service, sent to gain the confidence of Sandy Forsyth, an old school friend turned shady Madrid businessman. Meanwhile, an ex-Red Cross nurse is engaged in a secret mission of her own. Through this dangerous game of intrigue, C. J. Sansom's riveting tale conjures a remarkable sense of history unfolding and the profound impact of impossible choices

Hello Monday

I've not got too many Hellos this week.  I've got....

Hello to a gorgeous sunrise today.
Hello to catching up with some scrapping.  I've still got a load of Miss Smith's layouts to do.

Hello to starting my C J Sansom book - Winter in Madrid.  If it's as good as his Tudor books it will be a good read.
Hello to making sure the teenager gets to his asthma clinic appointment on time.
Hello to sorting out some new trousers for said teenager who seems to have out-grown all his jeans in one go and needs a pair for his pals birthday bash at the weekend!!
Hello to John & I having a day out together on Saturday.  Got to make the most of not having kids about :0)

and Hello to you.  I hope you all have a good week.

20 February 2013


I haven't joined in with What's on your work desk Wednesday for a while now so thought I'd give it a go today.

Here we have my Florida journal which I need to write in and a 3rd layout from Miss Smith's Telling Tales class.
I've managed 3 layouts so far this year which approximately 3 more than last year (all year)!!   :0)

19 February 2013

What are you reading?

I've just started Jenny's War by Margaret Dickinson and so far it's quite good.  I'm only a couple of chapters in and Jenny is just being evacuated from London.

Is it possible for a ten-year-old girl to fall in love? Jenny Mercer thought so. Evacuated to Lincolnshire from the East End of London at the outbreak of war, she is frightened of the wide open spaces and the huge skies. At first, she is treated badly by the two spinsters with whom she is billeted. But the kindly Thornton family soon makes her feel welcome. And no one more so than Georgie, the handsome RAF fighter pilot, who is caught up in the battle for Britain's survival. When Georgie is posted missing, presumed killed, Jenny is devastated and there is more heartbreak when her mother demands that she return home to the dangerous city streets now under almost daily attack from enemy bombers. Dot never hides the fact that her daughter's birth was a mistake and kindness and care towards Jenny comes, not from her mother, but from their neighbours across the street, the Hutton family. The only other person to show concern for Jenny is, strangely, Dot's 'fancy man', Arthur Osborne, who moves into the terraced house. But is Arthur only interested in the girl because she can be useful to him? No one will suspect a ten-year-old of being involved with the Black Market. When the law comes a little too close for Arthur's comfort, the family flees in the night under the protection of the blackout, heading north out of the city. But to Jenny's disappointment, it is not back to Lincolnshire but into the hills and dales of Derbyshire where they are always on the move, always on the run. There, Jenny is caught up in a life of deception, obliged to do whatever her mother and Arthur demand of her, when all she really wants is to go back to Lincolnshire. For Jenny has never given up hope that one day, Georgie will come back...

18 February 2013

Hello Monday

This weeks it's

Hello to not being at work this Monday :0)
Hello to a four day working week.
Hello to keeping track with Weight Watchers.  I've kind of let it slide recently.
Hello to making a huge pan of lentil soup.
Hello to saving a few more pennies for our holiday.
Hello to catching up on the prompts of Miss Smith and her Telling Tales class.
Hello to John's Birthday on Thursday.  Decisions needed on what to make for dinner that night.
Hello to going to Aberdeen so the teenager can do his sports training.

Hello to you all.  I hope you're all set for a good week ahead.

17 February 2013

Simply a Moment - February 2013

It's 10.50am on  Sunday 17 February 2013 and I'm sat at the kitchen table with a coffee and a biscuit.   I can hear the ticking of the clocks, the egg timer and John moving about upstairs. One Direction has just finished singing an old Blondie song on Radio 2.
The teenager is up in his room and the dog is in his bed.  It's almost quiet except for the ticking and the radio in the background.
The sun is streaming in through the windows making the kitchen very warm and cosy.  The sky outside is pale blue with a few white clouds and a vapour trail from a plane taking people away on their travels.  I can see out into the garden which has no sunlight at the moment and is looking very sad and forlorn due to lack of TLC.  There is movement in the bushes as a Robin and a Blackbird search about for food.
I have lemon and poppy seed muffins in the oven, the ingredients for Tiffin sitting on the side and veg for hidden tomato sauce waiting to be chopped.
On the windowsill my Christmas Poinsettia is still flowering and the last of the orchid flowers are hanging on till the very end. There is a photo of the teenager when he was 3 smiling back at me. As I look about I can see that the work surfaces all need to be wiped down and the tops of the fridge and freezer are both covered in dust.  The washing machine has just bleeped to tell me the wash is finished and it's time for me to get up and carry on with the days chores.

Simply a Moment is hosted every month by Alexa at Trimming the Sails

Throwing down the gauntlet

A challenge came my way this week via my sister Ruth.

Here's what the challenge said.

"Here are the basics for your Scrapbook on the Road Project.  Your challenge is to prepare your pages prior to travel to the US.  You may use additional items from your stash.  Once in the US you are required to update it daily, if possible, and to create a full record of your two weeks in Orlando.  You may bring a small scrapbook kit with you ~ glue, pen, scissors etc.  Foundation pages may be blogged prior to travel.
Please advise acceptance of Scrapbook on the Road Project/Challenge."

I of course accepted the challenge at once and started by un-sticking the front cover of the journal I had already started and re-used it on the front of my new journal.  I've taken the binding off for now and replaced it with a few book rings just to make it easier to move things around inside.
I then spent a lovely afternoon yesterday listening to Dermot O'Leary on BBC Radio 2 whilst I made up a few journaling cards & embellishments to go on the pages inside.  I made one for each day we would be away.  There are several blank, lined and graphed pages to fill so there should be enough for all my rambling etc.

I'm also going to make up some Dymo labels for a few places we might visit and I'll have a bag with extra embellishments in it just in case I feel the need to use one or two.

It's all so exciting and we still have 5 months to go :0)

15 February 2013

Obar Dheathain

Today saw us take another trip to the orthodontist in Obar Dheathain or as we like to call it Aberdeen.

A six hour round trip for the sake of a 10 minute appointment.

The teenager now has to pay on the train as he's 16 and classed as an adult.  He has a railcard but it's still an extra £12.30. At 6ft I don't think I can get away with saying he's still 15.
We have another trip back on 1 April.  Roll on the end of the year when the braces come off (fingers crossed). Mind you the last time we were meant to go through in April the trains were cancelled and the road closed due to snow!!

14 February 2013

I had plans

Today is the only day in the year that I'm off work from my school and Samuel is still at his.  I had planned to sit all day and do this whilst catching up on TV programs I've recorded during the week.
What actually happened was this.................................

6.00am ~~ Up early to see John before he goes to work.

6.20am ~~  Cup of tea and catch up with an episode of "Suits" before getting Samuel up for school.

7.20am ~~  Nag Samuel to get up and get in the shower, make sure he has breakfast and all his books for school.

8.00am ~~ first load of washing goes in.

8.30am ~~ Samuel leaves for school and I attack his pig sty bedroom.  He says he's dusted, but the layer I got rid of tells another story.  A good dusting and hoovering later, a quick tidy of school books to behind the bedroom door and the making of his bed and it looks livable once more.
He is really interested in all things WWII hence the D-Day landings items on the wall.

9.30am ~~ Hang up first load and put in second load of washing.  Where does it all come from?

10.00am ~~ Grab a quick shower then start on cleaning the bathroom.  A job I hate but always feel better about when it's clean.

11.00am ~~ a quick trip to the butchers and the Co-op for a few bits and pieces (I was very good and didn't buy chocolate!)

11.30am ~~ tea break time and a quick look at blogland.

12.00pm ~~  next load ready to go in the machine and second lot hung up.

12.20pm ~~ a quick tidy up of the living room.

12.45pm ~~  start making bacon butties as Samuel is coming home at lunchtime.

1.30pm ~~  Samuel goes back to school and I attack the fridge.  How does it get so dirty and why do dog hairs always find their way onto the bottom shelf?

2.15pm ~~  last lot of washing hung up.

2.45pm ~~  Time for a frothy coffee, a catch up of "Death in Paradise" and a bit of crocheting before Samuel gets home from school at 3.25pm.

4pm ~~  Blog time.

I don't know what it is with me but I just can't seem to sit and have a day of "Me Time".  I feel guilty that I'm not working at something other than crafts, which is ridiculous as I spend five days a week at work and two doing housework.  

I'm entitled to sit and do nothing if I want .  Aren't I?  

11 February 2013

Florida Journal

This year we've made the decision to go to Florida/Disney World on holiday.  It's a once only thing for us as before too long The Teenage One won't want to be holidaying with  "The Olds!!"

In true crafter fashion I've started a journal.  I bought a cheap hard back note book in Tesco and recovered it and added a title.

Now to start filling it :0)

10 February 2013

Ta muchly

A HUGE "Ta Very Much" to my sister, Ruth for the parcel of stamps and  goodies she sent me this week.  I've used one already on a new journal.

Telling Tales 2

Another weekend, another layout from Telling Tales by Kirsty at Curiouser & Curiouser.   This time it was "Hidden Jouranlling".  I'm not really a lover of hidden journalling to be honest but I did enjoy this one.

I've written about our day at  Chelsea Hospital and how Samuel got on having lunch in the Great Hall.  The hidden bit is behind the title.  It's inside a brown envelope I got in a kit a million years ago.  Came in handy this week though  :0)

Apologies for the naff photo.  Too much glare on the picture.

5 February 2013

Telling Tales

Kirsty over at Curiouser & Curiouser is hosting a brilliant class called Telling Tales and although I'm not keeping up with all the prompts I am at least giving it a go.

Here is my first layout using blocks.  I had great fun with this.

  I even managed to get my sewing machine out!!
I've got another 3 layouts to do but I hope to get cracking with those at the weekend.

Hello Monday

This week I'm not saying Hello to a great deal!!

There's .............................

Hello to staying out of the way of any snow that might come our way.

The neighbours 2010

Hello to helping Samuel choose his courses for the next two years.  It seems he can't take Biology and Maths as they clash on the timetable!!

Hello to sorting that out.

Hello to not having to take public transport but to car sharing :0)

Hello to hopes of a quieter week at work.  It's been manic and it's only Tuesday!

I hope you all have a good week ahead.

3 February 2013

Story Telling Sunday - Feb 13

Hello and welcome to Story Telling Sunday. This month I'm joining in with Sian's Pick Your Precious

Pick Your Precious is about celebrating the little things you love: those souvenirs, bits and pieces, things from your past you can't bear to throw out. You know, the special little something you have tucked away in a drawer or up on a shelf? Or the thing you  love most in a room? Or the object you would save if you knew you had to leave the country? Your favourite things.    

This is Maud and Wilfred                        
They belonged to my Nana when she was a child in the early 1900s and I have no idea who made them.  One day, possibly in the late 1970s, they came to live me and my sister Ruth.  Maud lived on Ruth's bed and Wilfred lived on mine.  I don't think we ever played with them, probably because we were told they were very old.
When I left home in 1983 Wilfred came with me and travelled far and wide with the Royal Air Force (he really enjoyed himself, although he tells me he would have liked to have seen the Falkland Islands instead of having to stay home in Scotland to keep an eye on things).  Over the next 13 years he sat in my room either in the WRAF block or in my house.
One day he said he was lonely and would like to see Maud again and miraculously she came to live with him.  Now Ruth may say she was kidnapped but I like the think that she was pining for Wilfred and was only too happy to be reunited.  So there they were, together again at last, happy to just sit all day in a comfy chair.
Over the years they became a bit threadbare and bits dropped off (I know how they feel!!) but still they sat together on the chair.
 But disaster was to strike when we moved house.  They disappeared!!  No-one knew where they were and for 6 years they were lost. Lost that was, until a recent tidy up of the loft discovered them. Together, wrapped in a plastic bag, in a box at the back of the attic.  They were so happy to be free at last that they rushed downstairs and sat on the bed.  Unfortunately they can't stay there as John doesn't like them (what does he know) so they are going to take up residence on the chair instead.  Just like old times ♥♥♥

And as for their names..............well that too was a mystery until Ruth discovered on the 1911 census that Nana had a brother called Wilfred Ernest who died from measles when he was two.  As for Maud?  Well she will always have to remain a "Woman of Mystery"

You can find more Precious stories over at High in the Sky.  Pop over and take a look.

2 February 2013

A little me time

Following on from my last post I had a little "Me Time" this afternoon and manged to make a whole layout.  It may have  taken all afternoon but that doesn't matter as it's hopefully the start of many more layouts this year.

Armed with a few After Eight mints I found lurking at the back of the fridge and a frothy coffee I set forth..  I had a great time making tags and embellishments out of leftovers.  I think I'd forgotten how nice it was to play with bits of pretty paper.

The finished layout will be up here tomorrow when I have better light to take the photo in.

One Little Word

One Little Word (OLW) is the idea of Ali Edwards over at Big Picture Classes and you can find out more here.  This years blog hop is being hosted by Lee from The Linear Studio where you can see a list of all the other participants taking part.  I'm hoping to be able to add a list to my next post as for some reason it won't let me do it this time.  Any help would be appreciated :0)

I'm not actually taking Ali's class but I thought I'd play along with the blog hop.  My sister Ruth played along last year so I thought I'd join her in 2013.

When asked to think of a word the first thing that came into my head was "TIME".

I don't know about you but I seem to have spent the last 12 months wondering "where the time has gone".  It seems like 5 minutes since Christmas 2011 yet ages since our summer 2012 holiday.

This year I though I'd like to keep an eye on time and see what exactly it is I do with it.

Time spent at work
Time spent keeping the house straight
Time just for me!

It shouldn't be all about going to work and doing the housework.  It should be about time for me and my family.

I hope you'll join me, my sister and a whole host of other ladies on our journey through 2013.