Saturday, November 21, 2015

Monday, November 16, 2015

NaBloPoMo 14+15+16

On Friday, I started to write, but Blogger ate my post. I was mainly feeling happy because we had a fantastic dinner at Toddy and Adams. All from a 1930s cookbook about eating the months. We enjoyed watercress soup, pork and beef meatloaf basted in sourcream with chestnut croquettes, followed by raspberry cream and cheese and biscuits.


This weekend, we went to stay with my parents, as it is my dad's birthday this week. My sisters and my brother in law were also around, so it was a lovely weekend of being all familial.

I even got to sing with Ellie after cafe church, borrowing the church hall piano.

Then it was off to lunch with Tessa, one of mum's friends, who had her birthday on the Sunday for a nice big birthday lunch with all us girls and partners, and Tessa and her friends.

Today I been off to head office to shadow their social media team as part of my personal development. Tom is out on standby, so I have the house to myself. I've made halloumi pitas for tea, and I'm just pondering some knitting.

I could be useful I suppose and wrap Tom's presents whilst he's out.

I was taken with a book called Listography that my parents were filling out for fun. I took a pic of this page for future reference. Wonder if we could all club together to send them to Edinburgh to see pandas for their 40th wedding anniversary in 8 years time.,..


Friday, November 13, 2015

NaBloPoMo 13

Today I have marvelled at my newly decorated hall - pics to follow. Thank you to the lovely Claire of Brushed Up and her team. Such a treat for it all to be done so quickly.

I have also done lots of tech support, and popped into the church office to help them with some tech support too.

This evening, Toddy and Adam had us round for dinner. We had watercress soup, a sourcream basted meatloaf and chestnut croquettes, raspberry cream and cheese and biscuits. Delicious. I may have eaten too much cheese.

The prompt for today is "Describe your perfect day off"

I like days off when it's raining. To be woken by the sound of rain and to know I don't have to go out in it, and I can stay curled up in my duvet listening to the gentle drumming on the glass.

Days off when I can have a bit of a lie in but I still get up early enough to enjoy lots of the day.

Once that start with pleasant solitary pursuits like sewing or knitting with a favourite film in the background, and a mooch about town. But end with evenings with friends round for dinner or in the pub.

I like days off midweek when most people are at work and you feel an illict thrill like being out of school when everyone else is in.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

NaBloPoMo 12

Today I scurried into London to talk website with London managers. I managed to get the perfect birthday necklace for my colleague Michelle on my way into the office - so overall an excellent working day.

I didn't make it back home till 8:30pm, so treated myself to frozen leftovers and a glass wine before settling down to finish altering the dress for Jo. Hopefully it will fit as it's all done now. I've done it by hand so it should be easy to make any alterations needed.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

NaBloPoMo 11 - home

Oh I am tired.

Had my marketing conference today - all very interesting. On a very very cramped and packed train home now. Very grateful for my prebooked seat.

The new Birmingham New Street is lovely. I had a good mooch around John Lewis with Claire, as she wanted to get spangly earrings for her up coming party. Then we had a lovely glass of fizzy wine from the Fizz bar - my kind of station catering.

The journey home is slow and arduous - but I'm enjoying reading David Mitchell's The Bone Clocks - one of my birthday presents. One of those books you stay up all night reading!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

NaBloPoMo 10 - Brum

So here I am in my preferred Travelodge in Brum. It's the new one round the back of the Bullring near Chinatown. I'm off to a conference tomorrow. Exciting.

I've had a quick look at the Rag Market, and been out for chinese food with some colleagues. And killed my email backlog on the train. Overall a success.

Especially after missing my first train earlier.

Let the decorators in this morning - left them doing a mist coat on the bare plaster when I left.

Looking forward to seeing progress when I get back.


One of the delightful things about blogging on and off over ten years, and being able to read back over NaBloPoMos past is seeing how things have changed.

Four years ago in November I taught Laura to knit - now she is one of my biggest knitting fan friends.

I write less now as I rarely use a laptop at home and writing long posts on a blog is hard on a phone.

I still always want to tell you all about food.

Monday, November 09, 2015

NaBloPoMo 9

Today was the launch of our new website which was exciting, so I spent most of the day answering tech support queries from my clients.

In the evening we had a delightful dinner with Robin and Olivia. Tom and Robin spent the evening talking DIY and electricity, and Olivia and I crafted. It was lovely.

Nothing much else to say today, so here's an amusing picture of my book collection waiting down Sandy's new windowsill in the bathroom. I will they could stay there as they look so cool, but they'd only get damp.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

NaBloPoMo 8 sewing

The string held, and I got some lovely compliments - ace.

I just about managed to rush off to church this morning. Sold a few more tickets for the mexican evening later this month, which was my reason for going this morning. Spicy pulled pork,  mild veggie chilli, wraps, chips, dips and salad for 30. Still we managed it when we did the curry night. A bargain at £3.50 a head.

Then it was off home again. Tom and Sandy were out when I got back, having gone to relieve Jon and Hannah of our stuff that had been clogging up their garage since we moved in March. Thanks for looking after it guys.

As it was still raining lots I didn't fancy painting the woodwork for the middle bedroom, so I finished pinning the second curtain, and made lunch. We had a cabbage, kale, leek, onion and parsley gratin, and a pork and cumin stew. The lads seemed to like it, so I'm pleased.

I managed to finish sewing the curtains today, and started making the tie backs - result!

We had a walk up to Portswood to pay in a cheque, and to post some letters. Nice to get some fresh air. After that we waved off Sando back to Sheffield, and I baked some chocolate fairy cakes for Tom's lunch box this week.

Sewing takes bloody ages. That saw me through to dinner time, after which Tom and I watched Dr. Who. I'm sat trying to finish the hand sewing I'm doing to adjust a evening dress for a friend. Sewing invisible zips in is yucky. Still, nearly there.

Right, I must go and look up where I am working tomorrow. See you on the other side!

Saturday, November 07, 2015

NaBloPoMo 7 boats

I've had an excellent day today.

We had a lazy fry up before the mother in law headed home. I love a sociable breakfast. All the chatting and tea and relaxing.

Next we were off to the Mary Rose museum in Portsmouth. I'd been before with work, but Tom and Sandy hadn't. We enjoyed Boathouse 4 and its exhibit on small naval boats. A ship can carry boats but a boat can't carry ships!

The Mary Rose museum laid out brilliantly. The galleries at either end of each floor explain the smaller finds through the life of the characters thought to have owned the items, like the cook, or the master carpenter. Then you walk through long galleries the length of the ship, with the drying ship visible on one side, and the larger finds for each deck displayed as they might have been on the other.

I cannot fathom a conservation project going on longer than my lifetime, and it's all so excellently done. The little things got to me. The design of shoes, bellows, wood planes and baskets hasn't changed in 500 years. That bodies can deform based on our employment, with archer's shoulder blades and the compressed spines of gunners lifting heavy weights coming to mind.

We had a very late lunch at Azzuros at Gunwharf Quays, and once we got back, I trundled off to church to arrange this year's remembrance flowers. I hope the string holds!

The evening saw beer with Ben and Jon in the Butcher's Hook, games and knitting. And late night ice cream. Wonderful.

Friday, November 06, 2015

NaBloPoMo 6

I had another day off today. And today I Christmas shopped, and pressure washed my life threateningly slippery decking.

I love the pressure washer. It comes with lots of attachments. I started with the spray bottle that let me cover the decking with foam.

Then I blasted it with the normal attachments. Finally came a go over with the patio brush. This has two nozzles on a rotating arm inside a single circular row of brush bristles. And it changed the colour of the decking completely. Much quicker than the usual nozzles.

The rest of the afternoon was housework before dinner with Sandy and the mother in law who were both staying with us. Lovely.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

NaBloPoMo 5 - Life lessons

We learn a lot of lessons as children. Good and bad.

I learnt that people don't like it if you're different. That charm oils the wheels of the world and gets you far. No one likes a smart alec.

But I also learnt that kindness and love are the most important things. That it often costs nothing to be kind. To give people the benefit of the doubt. 

I remember my mum making an amazingly fun game of running round the garden to pick flowers to fill a pretty tea cup to give my teacher at the end of term. 

I remember the waking up early on Mother's Day and all of us mucking in making posies of flowers to give out at church.

Making cakes for people's birthdays. Helping people make fancy dress costumes.

And the joy it brought. The help, the thank yous, the fun.

That's probably the one lesson that's sunk in the deepest. If you can help someone, help them. It will bring joy.

I hope I manage it.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

NaBloPoMo 4

Today I attended a team meeting at work, then tried to catch up with my email after my day off.

Tom is on call again tonight, so I had to make my own dinner, the horror. My stroganoff came out ok though.

This evening I started hemming the curtains but the size was getting me down and I gave up.  I also tried adjusting the dress I bought for my friend's party, but the bodice is just too small round my rib cage. Once I've fixed the shoulders again, I will take it to the charity shop. So annoying.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

NaBloPoMo 3 jobs

Today I had a much needed day off. I spent nearly the whole day scraping old paint off old wood work from the middle bedroom. In between I reinstalled Ubuntu on the computer that lives behind the telly so it would pick up the wireless dongle again.

Tom and I went on a long walk around the local area before dinner. I love looking at domestic architecture and worrying about the lives people love in these little houses.

This evening I've had a long chat on the phone with my mum, and made masses of apple crumble for the freezer using apples from my friend Nicky.

Today's prompt is about jobs you thought looked cool when you were a kid. I never had one job I dreamed of. I wanted to be a ballet dancer, to work with indian street children, to be a painter, a nun, and much much more. Normally influenced by what I'd been reading or watching that week. The homstead lifestyle from Little House in the Big Woods has stuck with me, a little Barbara Good, building a self sufficient life.

Monday, November 02, 2015

NaBloPoMo 2 Toys

Today I drove to Saunderton to help run some training. Driving through the thick fog was hard. It's so tiring, and I was so tired, it was a struggle to stop nodding off. Made it there and back safely thank goodness.

Tom had made swordfish and roasted veg in a butter and lemon sauce. Absolutely delicious. I am so spoiled.

1 curtain hemmed tonight. Working up the nerve to take down the big curtains AGAIN to hem them. Such hard work. Might change the sheets instead.

The prompt for today is about the coveted toys of friends from childhood. I can't think of anything obvious. I wanted one of those Girls World heads you could do the hair and makeup on. Love doing other people's hair. Need to decide on a style for the big party I'm going to in a few weeks. I quite liked this one from James Bond night.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

NaBloPoMo 1 - Here we are again

Hello team,

Back to a month of posting everyday. Let's see how I do this year.

Today I slept in and missed church - that's the problem with a 9am service when you have a sleep debt. Tom and I had a leisurely breakfast of scrambled eggs and sausages and then cracked on with housework and DIY.

First it was off into town to get more curtain interlining and plumbing supplies.The living room curtains are now done bar hemming, and the first of the new radiators are in.

Tom also worked on moving some pipes in the middle bedroom.

Here's how we're doing with the rest of the house. The hall has had the wallpaper stripped, and a skim of new plaster, and the bathroom is all done bar a window sill. The middle bedroom has been taken back to the brick and had new plasterboard and skim, and is now part way through the decorating. We've got a couple of days off this week where I'll try and finish the wood work and reinstall it.

Newly skimmed hall.

Finished bathroom

Choosing the colours for the hall - we're going for Dulux Rope Swing 

Look no wallpaper!

Our carpet choice for the landing and stairs.

Partially decorated middle bedroom

When the middle bedroom had no plaster at all!

Books glorious books...

Help there's a spare room in my bedroom

James Bond evening

When you've done something twice it's tradition right? 3 years later we're dressed up again and this time enjoying Jamaican food with our martinis and poker. Always fun going to the cinema in your evening best