Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Happy St Benedict's Day

Dave and Pip usually share Morning prayers together and whilst I was having a quiet cup of tea, Pip declared that it was a feast day today.  That can only mean one thing ... cake for afternoon tea :-)

As you will see from the photos the kids worked together as a team and the cake from start to finish was their creation.

My absence here has been due to a major downturn in my health, so much so it forced me to visit the GP surgery on Friday.  I have been struggling this past month  with all out crippling fatigue that usually puts me in bed several times throughout the day.  However just over a week ago I developed some weird neurological symptoms of numbness and pins and needles in both my arms, hands, legs and feet.  I have had blood tests done this morning and a further GP review is booked for Friday morning.  

Although the tingling is still present it is currently manageable and does not dominate every waking moment of my day.  Last week was horrendous with the nerve pain :-(  Here's hoping it is something that will fade quickly in due course.

Despite being unwell I have still just about managed to keep up with my job and so the links for the last two posts are below:

Saturday, 24 June 2017

A Fairy Day on St John's Day

There was no bonfire today since it was raining ... good old British summertime!  Still, this did not deter our plans for Pip's yearly Fairy Day. 

In true "Fairy Sparkle" style a gift bag and a card greeted Pip when she awoke this morning.  Sparkle had left a cute writing set and a yarn cake of fairy pinks and purples, dotted with fairy dust in between.  How did she know I wonder that Pip had been desperate for a pair of mum's hand knit socks?! 

After mid morning mass, Claire, Beth and Hannah arrived and the girls set to with their craft activities; they made heart shaped bags and fairy bracelets.  For our lunch we had hot dog sausages, veggie crisps, mini muffins and chocolate krispie cakes.  It was a lovely relaxed affair and Pip kept saying over and over that "this is the best day ever!"

Working on their bags.

 Hot dog sausages filled with genuine Coney Island mustard, or so it says on the squeezy bottle!

 Dave's half eaten muffin and krispie cake before he realised that he needed a photo for posterity!!  There is a hilarious video entitled "Instagram husband" definitely worth a watch!

 I have abandoned my sock knitting on the floor for the fairy dust fairy feet :-)

 Happy St John's Day :-)

Saturday, 17 June 2017


This is my new word of the year and aptly describes the current state of play at this end!  In between two horrendous terrorist attacks and a totally bonkers General Election, Benedict and I had our birthdays.  Mine was the significant half a century, *sniff* can I really be that old?!!  In my head I am a mere slip of a girl but the grey hairs and forgetfulness regale a  different story :-)  

I had all sorts of plans for my 50th, some forged two years ago but life issues got in the way and so in the event we had a quiet day at home. The children managed to get through a whole day without arguing and so peace truly reigned at "chez 22" and it was bliss.

   Some of the birthday bouquets.

Two weeks later Benedict turned fourteen on the 11th June: 

 A rather bleary eyed "Benedict Bear" being told to open his cards by Little Miss Organised :-)

Lemon Drizzle Cake for Breakfast.

Once we had washed and tidied round it was time to visit family at the newly refurbished Swan Hotel: 

 Benedict is super happy with his present from Sara and Tom.  Another Nerf Blaster to add to the collection!

 Grandma and MG colouring in some sheets whilst waiting for lunch.  Looks like "butter wouldn't melt" but that "little tinker" led me a merry dance during the course of the meal!  One great thing about grandkids is that you can hand them back at the end of the day, LOL!

My brother ( see the photo below) had us in stitches with a very funny jibe at my dad and his unwillingness to part with money, especially when it comes to purchasing a broadband deal!  My poor mum reads the blog from his smart phone and it is a challenge for sure!

He is seven years younger than me and for his "sins" is head of department for Maths, in an inner city secondary school an hour from our home. He has a cunning plan and hopes for  early retirement at some point!

 Sadly both my mum and dad were unable to make the meal due to ill health and so mum in particular has been waiting for this blog post since last week!  Sorry Mum!

Although the hotel has a five star rating I was very disappointed with my meal and for the third time in my life I actually refused to pay for my meal.  The prices were overrated and the food was not outstanding so I don't think we will be dining their anytime soon.

We have also celebrated another Little Flower's First Holy Communion, which was held at Ladywell Shrine:

 Four little flowers standing in a row.
  Pip is the last to make this sacrament which we have arranged to take place during our visit to Walsingham in August.

 Despite the grey skies on Monday we packed a picnic and visited a local park for a lunch break:

 Pip and Ben eating their lunch on the zip wire platform.  They pretty much had the park to themselves and then later in the visit Pip found a friend.

In amongst the attempts at home schooling, household tasks and coping with ongoing health issues, I have remained faithful to my work hours.  My latest blog post for the website can be found when you click on the red below:

Hoping you are having a blessed weekend x

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Is Your Blackout Really Black ..."

... and have you drawn the curtains? 

Yes, we are following the events of the Second World War with particular emphasis on The Home Front.   In addition to our small store of books in the home we will be supplementing from the local library.  We have also been watching a really great school's programme that aired when I was a child, " How we used to live 1936 - 1953."  The programme brought back fond memories for me and Pip was riveted ;-)

Pip learned how to mend a pair of trousers and she wrote a step by step guide outlining what she had learned.  Nowadays we are enthusiastic about recycling or even upcycling but there is still a case to be had for mending an item.  When we mend we are giving that garment a second chance ;-)

 A patch for Dad' jeans.
(note from DH, the first resolution of these pictures for some Blogger reason is poor,
but if you click on them, they become much better)

After having watched a few episodes of " How we used to live," we took our learning into the kitchen and made an eggless ginger cake.  There was even a chance to learn some  science and watch the  bicarbonate of soda and vinegar, mimicking the raising agent of an egg.  Needless to say the cake was also gluten free and dairy free.  We found the recipe over on THE 1940'S EXPERIMENT

 Weighing and Measuring.

 Arial View.

 Rubbing the fat into the flour.

 Yummy served with dairy free custard. 

Monday, 15 May 2017

Fun Friday

We had a very unusual Friday full of surprises and fun. 

 First up I had an Instagram message from a blogging friend who happened to be in the area.  We met at a lovely tea room in Beetham, not far from the garden centre of our first meeting!

 Beautiful Celtic Cross.

A cottage that was festooned with foliage and flowers of all shapes and sizes.

 I would have loved to look inside the church but sadly it was closed.

 Outside the tea rooms.

 Inside the tea rooms view one ...

... and two.

 Having fun with the selfie mode on the flip screen, Gerry and Me :-)  Those tearooms are well worth a visit and they offer an excellent gluten free range. Due to its popularity it is advisable to book first!

The blue skies soon gave way to a steady stream of rain and in a last minute decision we hopped in the car and visited my mum for her birthday.  Tesco saved the day regarding the food and we were able to tuck into a decent selection of gluten free fayre. 

A lovely mum, nanna and great-nanna x 

Our third stop was a visit to Kathryn and Mary Grace for tea.  It was good to see them both but the visit was marred slightly by Benedict's blood sugars suddenly becoming quite unstable. As a result we left in haste and I was glad that we did because he had a horrendous hypo attack in the car and was quite unwell.  It really was a relief to be home. 

  Jorgen, a mighty eating machine bones, dog food, cuddly toys and wallpaper!  In short a tiny tearaway :-)  Good job, Kath and Mary love him!

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Gloucester Part Three :: Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway :: Highfield Garden Centre :: Holiday Knitting and Reading

On our last full day before returning home we split into two groups and went to two different places.  Dave, Pip and Uncle Mike travelled on the steam railway:

 Studying the tea room menu

 Dave's lunch chicken mayo wrap, tortilla chips and side salad.

 Dave messing with the art filter on my camera :-)

 One for the family album and yearly calendar.

 Another art fiter shot using the old style grain effect "film."

 Bye, Bye Train!

Whilst they were at the steam railway, Benedict and I pottered around at the cottage and then visited "Highfield Garden Centre" five minutes down the road:

 It was the first time I had actually eaten a proper meal since the day we travelled!

Once home I sat outside with my holiday knitting:

 I bought this Opal sock yarn from an independent knitting shop in the heart of Gloucester.  I had been knitting on some hand dyed yarn but had forgotten to bring an extra skein and so shock horror, no knitting!!  I was grateful for that trip into town on the Tuesday and by the following day I had made good progress :-)

 By the time the evening had drawn in I had already turned the heel and was working on shaping the foot gusset.

  I had also bought three books from the garden centre, two novels and one very helpful diabetes cook book based on insulin adjustment and low carb paleo cooking for type one diabetes.  The recipes are really tasty but a bit of a challenge since they rely heavily on dairy and eggs, two of the things that Pip and I cannot tolerate on a daily basis.  So we are switching up with some non dairy paleo foods from various sources across the web ;-)

I finished "Pedigree Mum" it was an OK read and I guess you would place it in the chick lit category.  I have read another book by Laurie King and it was a really good adaptation of Sherlock Holmes as a married man to a much younger woman, an Oxford graduate and his sleuthing protege.  Needless to say I am looking forward to reading this one and when I have finished it I will be passing it on to my friend Kezzie, who loves a good murder mystery!

Since returning home I have been unwell with the ususal hassles but I think I am slowly turning a corner.  There never seem to be enough hours in the day and although I am relieved that I have this online work it is also very stressful and time consuming.  Trying to write a blog post for the website is a marathon event of keywords, meta descriptions and the website net nanny checking every word and phrase for readability and search engine optimisation!!  Still it forces me to hone my writing skills and I have even become a little more confident with alterating the exisiting email newsletter format via Mail Chimp!  If you would like to read my recent post on The Mindfulness for Christians Blog it can be found HERE

Hope you have had a good weekend and managed to enjoy some sunshine wherever you may be x