Sunday, 18 February 2018

Seven words I never expected to hear myself say

I just watched a brilliant curling competition.

Not a sentence I would ever have expected to utter.  And certainly not the one my husband expected me to say when he came downstairs this morning.  You see, this virus has reared its ugly head again and I'd woken early - unable to breathe and with such a dry mouth that I gave up on getting back to sleep in bed and went downstairs.  Did that good old British thing that is guaranteed to make you feel better (made a cup of tea), snuggled under a quilt on the sofa, and switched the tv on.  There's not much on tv early on a Sunday normally but it's Winter Olympics time and it's on one channel or another at any time of day.  I'm not a huge Olympics fan but when you're under the weather you find yourself watching all kinds of stuff you wouldn't normally watch - often because you simply don't have the energy to find the remote control to change channels.  

Well the women's curling competition was on and it was England v Sweden.  It was so close and it was all down to the last throw for each country.  Eve Muirhead took up her position, slid with the stone to the 'hogline' ... let go ... the stone started to travel along the ice ... and a red light shone to indicate a false throw.  Was it a malfunction in the stone?  Had she accidentally touched the handle after she'd let go?  Everyone looked shocked.  The official checked the stone over, walked to the start and slid it over the hogline.  Green lights.  Stone deemed to be functioning perfectly.  A no throw was decided, Sweden took their place and went on to win the last point. What a way to lose.  So sad.  When they showed the throw in slow motion, it seemed to flash green and then red, which may have meant a malfunction but we'll never know.  See what you think here.

Are you watching any of the Olympics?  I'm in total awe of what those skiers are able to achieve.  I've never been on a pair of skis in my life - even though we did have an artificial ski slope in the town in which I grew up - but I just know I wouldn't be very good at keeping upright.  And don't even get me started on the skeleton event.  Who on earth first decided it would be a good idea to launch themselves on a thin sledge and hurtle down an ice tunnel face down at 80 miles an hour?  How scary must that be?  

Well, time for another paracetamol, and time to return to being an armchair athlete again!

⛷ 🎿 ⛷

Sunday, 11 February 2018

February - a sentence a day

Lesley has shared a post on her blog here, detailing her month in the form of one sentence a day.  I have every good intention of joining in, but may have to break it down into smaller groups rather than 28 sentences at the end!  It makes me realise how much I waffle on, it's hard to get the day down in just one sentence.  Here's my February in sentences so far:


Day 1:Local social media is saturated by tales of traffic jams and the town being gridlocked - a quick look on the council's roadwork website may explain why.

Day 2: You know you're not looking your best when your daughter turns up unexpectedly with her hairdressing kit and offers to give you a cut and colour.

Day 3: Woke up with a sore throat and the chills which gives me the perfect excuse to have a day sewing and binge watching my box set of season 13 Greys Anatomy.
Day4:  Daughter and her family came for the afternoon so my husband (Tottenham supporter) and son in law (Liverpool supporter) could watch the Tottenham v Liverpool game together; a 2:2 result meant there were no awkward silences when the final whistle blew.

Day 5:  I discovered {what I probably knew already} that it is impossible to go to Hobbycraft and only come home with the one item I went in for.  πŸ˜

Day 6: One of my workmates has written a play which was being performed at our local theatre so we had a 'works outing' in the evening to support her. πŸ‘

Day 7: Dinner out with some ex-workmates - amazing I got there really as the pub was in a tiny remote village with no street lights and I have no sense of direction (or satnav)!

Day 8:  I try to kid myself I'm reasonably fit but three dances in at my Fitsteps class, I realise I'm not.  

Day 9:  Four friends sharing a bottle or two of wine - next thing you know we've booked a weekend away to Bologna!

Day 10: I always have intentions to try something new when we go to our favourite local Turkish restaurant but as soon as the waitress comes to take our order I hear myself ordering what I always order - sigara borek to start and chicken shish for main - Yum!

Friday, 9 February 2018

She did it!

My friend's daughter is going to be representing the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon!

Well done SuRie!

Monday, 5 February 2018

Famous friends

Those who know me in 'real life' will know that whilst I don't live in a huge town, I live in an area which produces some pretty successful singers.  I'm sure even those who only know me through my blog will have heard of our most famous one - Sam Smith.

So I would like to introduce you today to someone who I have known since the day she was born; I have been friends with her mum since we met at NCT classes after the birth of our first children.  This young lady has been tipped for success since she was very young.  She has a true passion for music and dance, was the star pupil at the local dance school, and the lead voice in local choirs.  At the age of 16 she performed as Fantine in the London production of Les Miserables.  

Since graduating from the Royal Academy of Music, she's been singing, performing and writing her own music but this year she has a new challenge in mind.  She's one of the potential contestants for Britain in Eurovision.  Now I'm not a huge Eurovision fan but I shall certainly be watching the BBC show on Wednesday where voting will begin for the public to choose our representative.  I think you can probably guess who will be getting my vote!  

But don't take my word for how beautiful her voice is, check it out in the following link:

And if you like what you hear, please vote for SuRie on Wednesday!

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Countdown has begun

I did something on Monday that I haven't done for 26 years.  Hmm, whatever could that be?

Before you start reaching your own conclusions I'll tell you.  But if you are my line manager at work, please look away now.  

I booked a holiday - in term time.  Which means that now I have to resign! 😱. Because they give us 11 weeks holiday a year it means the school absolutely refuses to let you have any time off during term.  No swapping one week of the summer holidays for another one in the term.  The rules are there and there is no room for compromise.  Obviously when Rachel  and Jon started primary school we were restricted to school holidays and then I went to work at a school and even when both 'kids' were grown up, I was the reason why we couldn't book anything when it was cheaper and less crowded.  

So, I now have a deadline - we go at the beginning of July so I have to resign by beginning of June at the latest.  Eek!  It's all becoming more real.  We will be going to Lake Garda in Italy and whilst we have been there before and I have a belief that you shouldn't return to the same place twice, we are going to the other side of the lake to where we went last time.  We will be staying at Desenzano del Garda.  It looks lovely and gives Paul ample opportunity for practising that Italian again.  It will also give me ample opportunity to remember how lovely it is to drink prosecco with every meal, (yes, they even offer it at breakfast) and eat my own body weight in pasta.  Which means my body weight will probably have doubled by the time we get home.

After such a happy start to the week, it ended at a dreadful low point.  We had some tragically sad news about one of our students and whilst it was not unexpected, it still shook the whole school community to the core.  I think all staff went home and hugged their children a little tighter than normal that night.  I know it sounds trite but it really does make you realise that nothing can be taken for granted and we really should not put off anything that we want to do.  So here's even more reasons for resigning and having time to go places and do things I've been talking about for ages.  I just need to get the courage up to start that conversation with my line manager ... 

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Here comes the weekend

One huge bonus of having friends over on a Friday night is that the house is all clean and tidy for the weekend.  We totally blitzed the housework when I got back from work at lunchtime so we have no chores to do all weekend - yay!  Our friends were originally coming over for drinks but a wave of laziness swept over me and I asked them if they would prefer to come over earlier and we'd get a takeaway instead.

No hesitation whatsoever - I guess they didn't fancy cooking either.  We are spoilt for choice with good takeaways here - we're not the only ones - one of our local restaurants is always posting Instagram pictures of when Rod Stewart goes in there.  So I suppose him and Penny don't always feel like cooking on a Friday night either.  Celebrities are no different from us ordinary folk!

The random quilt is taking shape

Since this photo was taken I've actually sewn the 5 squares for each row together so today I'm planning to sew the rows together and then I can decide on fabrics for the edging, backing and binding.  I sense a little time spent browsing fabric websites over the next day or two.

We'll be browsing travel websites too, as last night we planned a long weekend away with our friends - after a bottle or two of wine, we've decided on Bologna in Italy.  Watch this space!  Time for my husband to put his Italian lessons into practice.

I need to do some meal planning for the next few days - we have no visitors at all this weekend so we can have what we want - I'm planning on trying a dessert recipe that a workmate gave me for Raspberry and Almond Torte - it was delicious when she made it, I'm hoping I can match her high standards ... remind me again, was it me who said she had to eat more healthily in the New Year?  Oops!

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Random thoughts

But actually, it would seem that I'm not so good at 'random' as I thought.  

I've been given the incentive to get the creative mojo back as the Art department at the school in which I work have introduced a Thursday afternoon 'Arty Party' for staff after the students have gone home at 3.40pm.  You can go along and do anything creative that you want, use their equipment and make things.  Anything you want.  So I've got to grips with my 'Tipsy Tumbler' quilt and used my time to square up the few blocks that I'd made.

This afternoon I threaded up my sewing machine and got to work making some more blocks so that I could start laying out the rows. 

In a random pattern.  Random.  Should be easy - right?  No pattern to follow, just lay them down.  

So why do I want to find a way of having one of each base colour in each row.  A straight one in the middle of one pointing to the left and one to the right.  It's taking everything I've got to not worry if I have two of the same colour next to each other.  (That's not going to happen, I know that for sure). I didn't realise that I was so bothered about things being equal.  But it's a good way to spend a dreary afternoon, I think it's going to be a very quick dog walk today, not that she cares if it's raining or not!

We have no plans for tonight which is kind of nice.  I feel like just cooking a nice meal, opening a bottle of wine and seeing if there's a film we can watch on the tv.  We went to the cinema on Thursday and saw 'Three billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri'.  I'd read great reviews about it but it wasn't as great as I was expecting - it reminded me of 'Fargo'.  I think I'd set my expectations too high!  However, we did see the trailer for the new Tom Hanks film with Meryl Streep - The Post and both agreed that we'd like to see that next time.

Have a good weekend!