Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Autumn Wisley Walk

We headed over to Wisley this morning for a little walk around in the autumn leaves.  I just love the colours this time of year.  

The girls enjoyed collecting different coloured leaves as we walked through the various areas of the gardens.  Where the rose garden is, they collected lots of different coloured rose petals from the ground and carefully put them onto the branches of the little trees all around.  It did look pretty, although clearly as soon as a breeze comes their art will vanish.

It's such a lovely time of year to visit Wisley (well, every time of year is good to be honest) as the myriad of browns, yellows, oranges and greens makes for such great photos.  The girls made their wish at the end throwing a few pennies into the fountain.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Happy & Glorious...

...but not feeling quite so much that way about the journey!
Yes, we went to see Michael McIntyre at Wembley Arena last night. It was a grown up night out for hubby, teen and I.  Our babysitter arrived at 6pm so we set off, planning to get there a bit early, have a walk around the shops and perhaps a drink somewhere and then head in for the first act at 8pm.  The best laid plans huh.
But first, let's do a selfie
It took a bit longer to get to the North Circular than planned at an hour. That's not a great sign but at least the traffic was moving. However, then it all began to go wrong.  Our exit was the Harrow Road but this piece of the North Circular is more of a nightmare than most. You see, before the junction, you have traffic joining the NC and then, right at the top of the slip road, by the traffic lights,  as you're trying to get off, there's another lot of traffic entering from the left to get ON!  What sort of moronic idiot designed that piece of road?  It took us nearly 45 minutes to get OFF.  A few choice words were being said I can tell you. I ended up pulling into the right hand lane, going almost to the top, just past where the second lot of joining traffic was trying to filter in and literally pushing my way in to the single lane going left.  We then crawled (a tortoise could have gone faster) up the Harrow Road and to Wembley.  This stretch took us just over 1 1/2 hours.  We arrived to see the first act finish and the lights come on for the intermission.  Bonkers.
Hey, at least we're here for Mr McIntyre!  We settled down with drinks and ice cream that we'd bought on our way in as the rush happened for intermission goodies.  I'm always beyond miffed at the prices in these places. You *cannot* bring in any of your own drinks so you have to buy something there.  Two bottles of Fanta, one pint or beer and a little bag of popcorn came to....£17!!!!  WTF!!  

Anyway, smug us sitting there with all our nibbles whilst everyone else rushed around to get theirs...until hubby moved to let someone through which resulted in his beer being knocked over. He was not a happy bunny.  He had to then join the very long queue of people getting drinks.
Mr McIntyre came on at 9pm and played a set until 10.30pm.  Bloody brilliant. We were all roaring with laughter and many times hubby and I were nudging each other saying "that's you that is".  Which jokes were best?  Where do you start? We loved the toilet seat, tights, Scottish country house owner and Michael's thighs.  If you get a chance, go see him. He's one funny man.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Birthday (Part 2)

Yesterday was S's official birthday.  Not bad for a 7 year old to have 3 days of birthday is it?  She's even outdone Her Maj!  On Sunday family came round with presents for her which she could open. Lots of lovely drawing books which she lapped up.  The usual Betty Crocker chocolate fudge cake for her birthday cake (that girl has style) which we all enjoyed (yes, even me on a diet - just a tiny piece).



Yesterday she got our presents and others from friends. Artists pens, colouring books, story books, 'how to draw' books, clothes, art items and her favourite present, a  telescope. Who'd have thought it right?  She loves it. She's wanted one for a year and couldn't believe her eyes when she saw it.  Sadly last night was cloudy so not much to see but she did look at a mouldy leaf at the very top of a tree after school which she thought was incredible. Just wait until she can see the craters on the moon!  Teen got her an astronomy book so she can't wait to try star gazing too. She's hoping to see a shooting star.  
Happy birthday S.

Monday, 19 October 2015

10% off at Longacres?

Don't mind if I do, thank you!  My favourite garden centre is having an Open Evening.  I'm delighted that they have put this on Facebook as an event too as it's meant that I can invite friends to it as well.  Not only are Longacres offering an awesome 10% on the night, but it's also a chance to meet up with friends, grab a coffee and piece of cake in the cafe, and have a good old shop (and chat).  The free wine has captured many friends' attention but I'm not making any judgements *grin*  

I went to the open evening last year and it was brilliant.  Raffles, carol singing and lots of great bargains to be had.  This year I'm taking my two youngest girls as well as Santa is going to be there handing out sweets. Of course he's not the real Santa as he's far too busy already, but this has provided me with great ammo in the run up to Christmas. "One of Santa's helpers will be at Longacres and will only be giving sweeties to good boys and girls, so you need to behave right from now as he will be reporting back to the real Santa".  Sneaky mummy.  But it works, so don't knock it right?

I'm looking forward to the Christmas Tree Masterclass as well as I often look at the trees decorated in Longacres and occasionally wish mine had that lovely symmetry.  Having said that, mine is decorated by a 16, 7 and 4 year old which is fantastic. But it's still great to see the tips and tricks.  No doubt the girls will be taking advantage of my Christmas spirit by getting some more decorations for the tree. We've decided to go pink and white this year.  I've already bought some nice small baubles and a pack of big ones, along with an enormous looking string-of-pearls-you-wrap-around-your-tree thingy, and some very cute little angels with the girls' names on as their special tree decoration for this year.  I suspect I may need a trolley on the night, not a basket (wonder if they'll still be after one of those huge balls?).

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Birthday (Part 1)

It's S's birthday on Monday so it's a bit of a busy weekend with having people round and going out.  Today was her 'party' where she took her best friend, M, with us to TGI Fridays.  The girls love going here and had their usual chicken, chips and beans, followed by ice cream and chocolate sauce of course.

The staff at TGIs did a lovely balloon crown for her and sang a song and gave her a piece of cake with a candle.  She was so surprised as you can see from the picture (and maybe just a tiny bit shy of all the attention).

Before we went to TGI, we popped down to Next as it was only when S tried on her party shoes that I realised they were far too small for her now.  School shoes (smart, patent ones) came into play but they are simply not party shoes are they. Emergency averted with these wonderfully sparkly shoes that we found.

M came back for a play date afterwards for a few hours which the three girls really enjoyed.  Tomorrow is a family day. Sadly hubby is working this weekend but at least he's off Monday (even if S has to go to school for her birthday).

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Planes, Trains and Geocaches

My bestie and I met up today to have a good old catch up and, naturally, do a bit of geocaching.  Maidenhead was the venue as it was a bit of a busy day today but I didn't want to miss my chance to chat and cache so a bit of a shorter route than planned.  Rucksacks packed with our lunches and away we went to walk (or talk) a nice ring around the area (photos in no particular order).

Flab 1 was our first of the day.  Now I know we're both doing Slimming World but this was not a ring for overweight cachers. It stands for Footpaths, Lanes and Bridleways you'll be pleased to know.  A nice easy find to set us off.  As always, anywhere near a car park means dog-poo everywhere. I wish dog owners would pick up as we had to slalom down the path avoiding it all...eugh, disgusting!  

Chatting away we headed to Flab 2 which certainly required tweezers for the retrieve of the log!  Unfortunately I'd borrowed hubby's Swiss army knife and couldn't find the darn tweezers so we made do with mini pliers. Hey, almost the same right?

A quick hunt and we had Flab 3 in hand.  Took a moment to settle our respective GPS's down but we got there in the end.

Flab 4 gave us some wonderful 'treasure'. My little girls would have loved this if they had been out with us.  Sparkling in the sunshine.  Very princess like.  Glad we were tall to reach this one.

Flab 5 gave us more jewels.  However, I opened this one upside down so they all fell out which resulted in a scramble around on the floor to pick them up again.  Flab 6 was a quick find.  I used to live around here and G worked here for years but we never explored these paths and this area.  Enjoying this walk a lot.

Flab 7 took us a minute to find despite the hint.  Muggles were approaching so we stood around watching the kites (birds not things on strings).  Finally made the grab and signed the log. 

Flab 8 gave us even more jewels - yes we dropped them again!  Noise from the aircraft at White Waltham Airfield dying away.  Guess all the 'Saturday Flyers' have now taken off. Great to see little biplanes overhead.
Flab 9 gave us a chance to watch two motorcyclists going up and down the road. Think one was teaching the other some riding techniques.  We stopped just a little way down from this to eat our lunch, sat on a couple of breeze-blocks near where someone had been fly tipping.  Living the dream! ;)

Flab 10 made us laugh out loud.  Fun find.  Do you need a pen to sign this one?  The security guard by the gates a bit further along didn't seem to take much notice of us as he was busy chatting on his phone.

Flab 11 was by a very odd trench to nowhere.  As G said, it would be a bit dangerous for an evening caching adventure. The trench was dug the opposite side of the gate.  How odd.  Man let huge labrador come up to us and try to jump up - NO!! Please people, keep your dogs under control as not everyone wants your slobbing dog trying to jump up on them (or indeed, likes dogs).  We just shoo'd it away as his whistling and calling was doing absolutely nothing.  Away across the fields we go.

Flab 12 was illuminating (not not).  What a good idea.  Another random ditch the other side of the field by the gate.  Away we went to Flab 13.  Fortunately G made a quick discovery which meant we didn't have to rummage through ivy.

Flab 14 we went the wrong way at first then spotted as we approached. Have a favourite for that one.  Nice change in hiding spot.  Flab 15 - yep, we dropped the jewels AGAIN!  I know, you'd think we'd learn by now right? No, clearly not.  Aircraft buzzing overhead again.
Flab 16 we had to tie our shoelaces.  We're clever like that. Muggle-city here but who knew we were logging a cache?  We were just two ladies texting.

Flab 17 was a bit wet but another ingenious container.  Still managed to sign the log though.  So, that was our loop done.  It seemed a shame to finish on 17 caches. 20 seems like a nice, round number so we headed off into White Waltham to pick up a couple more.  Well, it would be rude not to right?
LQ: Berkshire White Waltham was our first here.  Fabulous traditional container. There is always something special about finding these ones.  We had to have a photo opportunity here.

Chalkpit Bridge was next.  Bit of an exotic name for a rather dull bridge.  Got a picture of the trains though.  G in first but couldn't find it. I went in next and spotted an old plastic bag on the ground.  Turned out that was the cache.  Did manage to retrieve but it's clearly in the wrong place and needs some attention to make sure it stays where it should be so left a maintenance log for owner.  Glad to get it though.

Cross Roads was a very quick, easy find.  Train Spotters Paradise we had to wait for some muggles to pass before G made the find.  Definitely a good place to watch the trains.

A nice walk back to the car from here.  Not bad for a quick meet up. Our next adventure together is in December and we have all day so we're going for a 50. Watch this space!

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Proud Mummy Moments

N got Rosie the Red Squirrel yesterday for doing great reading and spelling in word time at school. She was proud as punch to receive this little toy to keep overnight and share some adventures with.  She even wrote her own story of what they did together in Rosie's book.

She headed in to school this morning with no tears (we still get some at the door to her class at the moment), eager to share the fun she had with Rosie with her classmates. It's moments like this that mean so much and that I treasure so.  

Saturday, 3 October 2015

The switch-around

We are having a switch-aroo around the house at the moment. I bought a lovely solid wood bookshelf from eBay recently for the dining room for all my academic books and our photo albums.  Today, I picked up another bookshelf in pine which didn't really fit in our lounge (yes, a slightly impulse eBay purchase) so I was going to just sell it straight on. Hubby then said it would be better in the dining room for my books and the big one that was there, put in the lounge.  Wow!  What genius. I actually hadn't thought about switching things around which must mean I'm over tired from too much studying.

So we did the old switch-aroo today and boy, does it look great. You know when sometimes you just visualise something but you can't see how much difference it makes really and then when you do it, it's such an amazing transformation?  Yep, that! 
I now need to buy another Abacus bookcase to match the one we have in the lounge. They are still available from John Lewis but, of course, they are a tad *cough* more expensive than the £20 I paid for my one.  However, I have to say that the bookcase is one of the best and sturdiest I've ever had.  You do get what you pay for (even when you grab an absolute bargain!).  Would definitely be worth investing in one though to get a nice matching pair.  

Friday, 2 October 2015

Tooth Fairy

The tooth fairy came to visit my 6 year old last night.  She had so carefully put her front tooth into the little purple bag that she has for them, and popped it under her pillow.  But alongside the tooth was the sweetest little letter ever.  It read:
" Too the tooth fairy. Please may I have sum pixie dust. I don't mind if you don't give me any.  Love from S.  - What is your name?"
The picture is just adorable.  She's done such a cute picture of the tooth fairy with her wand.
She wasn't in the least bit upset that there was no fairy dust left (in fact she thought it was sprinkled into a book about the tooth fairy) and was just so pleased the tooth fairy took her picture.
I just love children's imagination.  Long may the believing continue.