Sunday, November 19, 2017

NaBloPoMo 19

Happy autumn socks day everyone! Tom and I have ritually given each other socks. Toadstool covered ones for him and dayglo argyle compression socks for me in a bid to beat pregnancy swollen feet. I have so enjoyed the pictures of my godchildren coming in showing off their socks from the fairy sock parents.

Very restful day with the parents, including a trip to B&Q to look at kitchen paint colours and a cinema trip. We want a share of cream and I am always amazed at how many versions of nothing coloured paint there are.

Sadly Paddington 2 was sold out, but mum and dad were happy to rewatch Murder on the Orient Express again. I very much enjoyed the film, especially the setting and costumes. I now want to take a trip on the Orient Express, without the murder, as I love the glamour, the magical interiors of the compartments and so on.

A little bit of tea at the parents and we were off home for an early night.

Here's some pics from yesterday.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

NaBloPoMo 18

Woke up today in a leisurely fashion and had breakfast and a good natter with my mum. When Dad came downstairs we sang happy birthday to him, and Tom appeared as he was opening his presents. I love my dad's childlike glee at birthdays. I'd come downstairs to find my mum icing my dad's cake. I'm very impressed by her tiny icing Scalectrix cars.

We'd bought Dad a new desk as he was turning the small bedroom into a study, and I'd also brought home some Tayto cheese and onion crisps and a bottle of Cidona fizzy apple drink from a recent work trip to Northern Ireland. They had to be a 6 pack of crisps and a small bottle of drink as I was travelling with hand luggage only, and was buying the drink after security, but Dad was suitably pleased with the taste of his childhood.

For the rest of the day, Tom helped Dad move furniture around and build new flat pack for the little study. Mum and I had a brief trip to Wicked so I could buy flooring trim for our kitchen, and then I did a bit of work and knitted whilst watching Gilmore Girls which was lovely and peaceful.

In the evening we went for a meal at the Three Horseshoes in Chapmanslade. The pub has been renovated extensively in the ten years since I last visited. We had some excellent food, and Tom and the French waiter had some good craic over wine choices. We wish cooked up a plan to see

Afterward, we came home to sing happy birthday over cake and candles, though we were too full to eat any. We drowsed in front of Strictly on catch up and now I'm in bed, trying to sleep and decide whether the baby is moving or I've got indigestion.

Oh and for good measure, here's a pic of 3 or 4 year old me decorating my parents living room when we first moved to Westbury. Always loved painting!

Friday, November 17, 2017

NaBloPoMo 17

Off up to London today to support a colleague in a meeting, and had some good phone calls too. Really pleased that some work that I did for a national team as a favour went down well.

Everything had come out of the new dishwasher looking gorgeous, and in my excitement at emptying it I completely forgot my lunch. D'oh!

It was a beautiful crisp late autumn or early winter day in London. I love cities, and especially London at this time of year. Lots of leaves everywhere, and a snap to the air.

On the way home, I read Private Eye and worked out what to pack for our weekend away as we're seeing my parents for my dad's birthday.

By the time we'd packed, had the compulsory compulsive check of kitchen progress and thought about the tiles, it was late enough that we should probably eat before we left rather than enroute as we had originally planned.

So a quick phone call to Laura who had been interested in going out that evening led to a tasty dinner at Pho Vietnam in Portswood, and some great chat. Though Ben and Laura, I do apologise for the great detail we went into over cooker and dishwasher settings. We couldn't contain ourselves, and I swear your eyes were glazing over.

We left Southampton around 8.00pm, and made it to Westbury for 9.30pm ish, and Sat chatting with Mum and Dad. Mum and I managed to stay up very late indeed putting the world to rights. Whoops!

Here's the kitchen updates:

Thursday, November 16, 2017

NaBloPoMo 16

Ran what felt like a successful team meeting today. Then back via a supermarket to pick up pudding and drinks for dinner at the Snooks. Was excellent to see them and the boys, and eat tasty curry.

James introduced us to 'Dinner for One' a 1963 comedy sketch about a butler humouring his mistress, and played on German TV every New Year's Eve. It's also apparently played in a number of other countries too every year, making it the most repeated TV program ever.

Home to find doors on the kitchen cupboards and tried using the new dishwasher too. Getting older has definitely added to the list of things I find exciting. Here's some pics, and one of bump.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

NaBloPoMo 15

Yesterday evening we had a lovely dinner at Jenny and Dave's house. Jenny had kindly made Tom's favourite pudding, and they were happy to wait till Tom could get away from being on call for us all to eat together. What lovely friends we have.

Today I was in the office all day, and then it was back home for a quick dinner before home group. We christened our new ovens! They'd been wired in today, and it was very exciting to press all the buttons.

I also think I felt my first proper kick from bump today. I was sitting back during the meeting and after a cold drink of water I felt an odd thudding sensation at the top of my stomach, then lower down to one side. My placenta is at the front, so I've not felt much movement. This was a really different feeling to anything I've felt before, almost like when a shoulder or a hip pops.

Here's some pics of how the kitchen is getting on:

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

NaBloPoMo 14: Temporary

Been to the chiropractor and the optician today, and then worked from the church office as home was noisy with the kitchen fitters and the roofers who are looking at our chimneys as well this week. At lunch time, I helped our new church lay reader get her church email set up, and had a very tasty bacon sandwich from the cafe.

Off to dinner at Jenny and Dave's tonight, hope Tom isn't called out where he's on standby, she's making his favourite pudding to spoil him. We are lucky to have such accommodating friends.

Not much else to report lifewise, so here's some thoughts based on a prompt.

Temporary: something you appreciate despite - or even because of - its short shelf life.

When I mull this one over, the first things that spring to mind could not be more disparate. I leapt first to Instagram Stories, the good digital marketer that I am. I enjoy their fleeting nature, the way they're not polished, and the way you feel you're getting an instant peek into someone's life for a moment. I'm not big at posting my own, but I do enjoy consuming others' work. I follow people who live all around the world, so it's fascinating to look at what is culturally different and the same.

The second thing that I appreciate in all their short lived glory are cut fresh flowers. I know they're resource heavy to grow, and that you're spending money on something that's going to die. But I love them. I love how they have to be real ones, and fake ones just don't cut the mustard. I love the smell of them, the way the change over time. I love the way they can look just as glorious as they die - especially tulips that keep growing, and blow and then petals that fall. Roll on doing up the garden so I can have my own cutting patch of flowers to enjoy - but that's next year's job.

Monday, November 13, 2017

NaBloPoMo 13

Up and down the motorway for a meeting today, then pregnancy yoga.

Kitchen has cabinet bases in it today, and lots of plumbing has been sorted. Very exciting!

Tom and I had a nice chat this evening trying to work out what to put in each of the cupboards.

I've also been researching vintage drinks cabinets or trolleys for our drawing room. We're planning to turn the current dining room into a family living room with table and chairs down one end and some comfy chair and a telly down the other, and leave the current living room as the grown up drawing room. And that makes me think it needs a bar.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

NaBloPoMo 12

Off to church this morning, where Tom was reading Psalm 21 as the Old Testament reading, and I was leading the intercessions. I'd found some good prayers in Times and Seasons for Remembrance Sunday that seemed to strike a good balance of remembering service personnel and those who died in war alongside praying for future peace.

Then it was off home for a spot of tidying whilst Tom went to help Laura with putting up a shed and fitting a sink.

Around 1:30pm I drove off to Wickham to meet some former colleagues for an afternoon tea at Lilley's, a lovely little tea shop. We had an excellent natter and catch up, and the tea was so generous that I took home cake for Tom.

Once I got home again around 5pm, the Ben tiger taxi came to pick me up and take me to Ben and Laura's house to meet Tom. This helpfully avoided us having to take two cars to our dinner engagement. I sat and knit and meant learnt about American Football whilst Tom, Jon and Laura worked on DIY, and Ben and Hannah played games.

Soon it was time for us to depart and make our way over to Olivia and Robin's house for dinner. We had a fab time, including some very thought provoking conversations about the future sex education of our children. Dinner was tasty too! Thanks for having us guys!

Work and yoga tomorrow, so it will be the first evening we've had to eat at home since the kitchen project started.

Here's how the kitchen is looking with the drying plaster.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

NaBloPoMo 11

We had a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, and after checking out, stopped in Abingdon to pick up supplies for later whilst on the way home.

I bought some rope for today's remembrance flower arranging. Regular readers will remember that I like to do something unusual. We've rearranged the front of the worship space of late, and that's changed the area I have to work within as I can't block the area used by the projector.

Making a long 6m swag like this, then lugging it up the organ loft stairs with bump might have been a mistake. I was knackered after.

I had a sit down and a snack in lieu of lunch when I got in, whilst Tom watched Star Trek:the Next Generation.

Then it was off to my sister and brother-in-laws for dinner. We had such a lovely evening chatting that we were there till 11pm!

Surprise flowers for the win. Thanks @catherine.p.j.harris 😘

via Instagram

Friday, November 10, 2017

NaBloPoMo 10 Formal

After getting into the office early so an engineer could retrieve my hard drive, I rushed home to pack.

We'd kindly been invited by our friend Adam to formal dinner at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, where he is currently studying.

It was lovely to see where he's studying. LMH was a female only college until the 1970s, and was was the first college to admit women at Oxford. Whilst the mixture of men and women is about 50/50 now, it was delightful to walk through halls with paintings of eminent women, and see lots of female names over doors. Tom said he found it delightfully and worryingly subversive. Which I suppose shows how ingrained the norm of seeing men and male names in academia?

We had a tasty dinner of spring rolls and noodle salad, salmon with herby cream sauce, and then a trio of mini desserts. I was sat next to a woman who was studying the neuroscience of speech.

After a brief trip to ogle the library and the chapel, and baby's first trip to a college bar, we toddler off, and we're currently tucked up in bed at a hotel feeling all cosy. Thanks for a great evening Adam!

I hope my epitaph is as gorgeous as this:

Thursday, November 09, 2017

NaBloPoMo 9 Huddle

My employer is a client of Mindshare, a media agency.

According to their website they: "exploit the space where data, content and technology collide to create memorable experiences for people and brands"

They run an annual Huddle event where their staff, suppliers and clients get together for talks, workshops and more for a festival of ideas themed around a topic. This year was the post human world.

I went to talks about remembering we're human when looking at data, AI and parenting, the future of food, what if the TV show Westworld was real, the ethics of AI, and how we can use voice search to connect with users.

It was fascinating and totally allowed me to geek out. I shall enjoy writing up my notes tomorrow.

Horribly busy trains due to strikes today.

Went to new pizza joint in Portswood with friends tonight. Very tasty, and amazing space renovated from a bank.

Bayswater pastoral

via Instagram

It might be grey out but the light on my hotel is amazing today

via Instagram

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

#NaBloPoMo 8 November poppies by the river.

via Instagram

NaBloPoMo 8

Work began on the kitchen today. We have a completely missing kitchen now, with new sockets and a gas pipe that's been taken outside and brought back in so that it's no longer on the wall.

Kitchen team were super friendly, and answered all our questions.

When I popped out to get some parcels earlier, I was taken by the November poppies by the river. Very appropriate for this time of year.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

#nablopomo 7: today's inspiration from @bbcradio4. Link in bio

via Instagram

NaBloPoMo 7

I was in the office again today, and managed to get one of my long out standing tasks finished which was nice.

There was really bad traffic trying to get into Southampton on the way home, most surprising, and I couldn't when out why.

We then went off Salisbury to dine with Tom's mum and step dad. We often meet there as it's a good half way point between Southampton and their home in Dorset. We were eating at the Giggling Squid, a Thai restaurant just of the market place. I had a jungle curry, one made without coconut milk. Very tasty.

Today I was inspiredby listening to this edition of Desert Island Discs - Edna Adan Ismail - @bbcradio4

When trying to concieve wasn't going very well, I would often feel very despondent about what the point of me was when I couldn't perform the basic reproductive tasks assigned to my body parts.

I found Edna's drive to help and create a good hospital and midwifery service very moving. Whilst her own biological children weren't part of her journey, she'd had 22,000 born at the hospital she'd set up.

Life may not always go the way you expect it to, but you always have a chance to make a difference.

Monday, November 06, 2017

NaBloPoMo 6

Today I managed to get up at a reasonable time, did some email from home, then got into the office for 10am to avoid the traffic.

It was a day of emails, tech support, website stats and conference calls. And ringing IT because an engineer hadn't turned up.

Then I drove home, changed my clothes and got a lift from Tom down to my pregnancy yoga class, with a stop for cash on the the way, as it was time to pay for another 4 classes.

We had a returning mum sharing her birth story tonight, and then the usual mix of breathing and stretching. I find it very soothing, and normally fall asleep during the relaxation part at the end.

A brisk, or as brisk as I can manage these days, walk over the bridge home before dinner, then helping unload flat pack bought for my dad's birthday and making packed lunches for tomorrow.

In bed now, enjoying typing on my phone and living in the future whilst what I think is the baby makes my stomach bubble.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

NaBloPoMo 5


So tired today after all that moving of things. Off we went to church for the monthly reflective service where lectio divina replaces the sermon. Very peaceful, but I miss singing hymns as we tend to listen to music instead on this service. Lots of the congregation came up to congratulate us on the baby post service which was nice. I had a quick look in the flower vestry as I'm planning my remembrance Sunday flowers, but the stands I thought we had are gone, so I had to come up with an alternative.

After an early lunch at home we went into town, tried lifting a few prams in the relevant shops. With my weak back and arms, most of the travel systems were out. The Quinny range looked good. Then we rushed up the road to the Sea City museum where we were meeting Ben, Laura and Jon to visit the new temporary exhibition on board games.

It's a travelling one from the V&A, and it takes you through the history of board games. I'm not much one for board games thanks to my competitive dad never letting us win as kids, and these days finding Tom and his mates taking them too seriously. But I love a museum, it had a great mix of history and sociology and, the whole thing could be treated as a giant game, with spinners on the wall to tell you how many places to move, and sending you back to the start snakes and ladders style.

We also played on the old slot machines in the museum, went for a mooch in the park and stopped for a drink and a snack at Mettricks. Once we went our separate ways, Tom and I had a brief look in some shops for ideas of what to put on his Christmas list before coming home.

This evening had been very relaxing where I'd caught up with some outstanding work whilst watching Strictly, but then the washing machine stopped working. Tom's been out there taking a look for a while, and it looks like it's the socket rather than the washing machine, so that's sort of a blessing.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

NaBloPoMo 4: friends, fireworks, food

Hello! Well it's been a busy one today. We woke up a bit late, and I trundled off down the road to get some dairy free milk. We needed it to cook with today as some of the helpers coming to help empty our kitchen don't tolerate lactose. Tom and I cracked on with cooking before the helpers arrived about 10am.

Our kitchen project starts next week, and so the Nichols, Laura and Charley came to help us empty cupboards into boxes. They were absolute superstars, and everything was done by lunch time. Ned and Kendra helped by making up boxes and playing with Frieda, the littlest Nichols, and the grown ups packed and carried and sorted. Then we sat down to a tasty lunch of chicken and leek lasagne made to the mother-in-law's recipe.

After the Nichols had returned home to work on their own ongoing DIY project, we fortified ourselves with tea and chocolates and chatter before working up the energy to go for a stroll and an ice cream at the Songbird Cafe. Today's special was the gingerbread and clotted cream - delicious!

Charley left us around 5pm to see another friend, and we returned home for another rest and some online banking. Around 6:30 we drove into town for Ikea tea and to watch the Mayflower Park fireworks display from the Ikea car park because we are cheapskates and we didn't think about fireworks till today. Lots of people had the same idea, and so the Ikea cafe was rammed. Unfortunately, we'd picked the queue where only one staff member was serving hot food, and so everything moved very slowly. We gulped down our dinner, and made it outside just after the display had started. Notes for next year - come early, and park one level down from the top where you can still see, and might get a better view of the lower fireworks.

The display was very good, and I was particularly taken with the ones with lots of colours, and the smiley faces. We mooched on back to car and then went to the Humphries house for a drink and a biscuit whilst we said hello to Ben. Such a lovely chilled out day. I enjoyed all the spontaneous fun that came from many hands making light work of the kitchen packing. It's so nice to get half a day back that you weren't expecting to have.

Friday, November 03, 2017

NaBloPoMo 3 driving and dinner

I irritatingly spent today mainly on the M3 trying to get to and from my meeting. That went well though which is good.

I had a free sub from Subway for lunch as part of their World Sandwich Day promotion which was a nice treat. I know they're not the healthiest of things, but something about them just does it for me.

Then it was back to emails at home before going out to dinner at the home of one of Tom's deanery synod pastoral committee colleagues. We had an excellent time, and he'd generously provided all three courses. There was even a real fire. Another pastoral committee colleague and their partner were there, and everyone did really well in keeping to the 5 mins of talking shop rule.

Tom had surprised me with some non-alcoholic gin, which we took along. It was surprisingly tasty.

Home now, in bed with my knitting, chilling before sleepy time.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

NaBloPoMo 2: tours, pubs, haircuts and sewing.

Hello blog!

A fun day today. I started the day having a nice chat with Tom in bed before we got up. We've been so busy recently, and it was only a chat about life admin stuff, but it was nice to catch up and make sure we were on the same page.

This morning, I had the utter privilege of visiting Clandon Park again, and having a tour with the project manager and my team. Alongside the usual visitor route through the fire damaged building we got to go up the scaffolding and in the basement. Looking down through what would have been the roof through all the floors was quite something. It was so interesting to hear about their plans for the future.

After our tour, my team had lunch at the Onslow Arms in Clandon, as we had a lot of team birthdays to celebrate. One of my colleagues is approaching his 30th Birthday, so I'd put together a special hamper of Car Wine - which is a running joke between us and another couple of colleagues. He had a little tray, a half bottle of wine, some napkins, a corkscrew, some glass tumblers, oh and a small bunch of flowers, as everyone in our team gets flowers on their birthday. I love putting hampers together. Everything looks better wrapped in cellophane.

Lunch was super tasty, and the staff were very accommodating of our large group and birthday cakes!

Once I got home, I went through my emails, then started prepping dinner and rang our roofer about the repairs we need to our chimneys. They either need re pointing or rebuilding, and we'd like to get one lined for use with a multi-fuel stove in the fullness of time too.

Whilst dinner was cooking, I cut Tom's hair. Then he was called out whilst we were eating dinner as he's on standby tonight. So I bimbled around doing housework, including changing the sheets, and decided my pregnancy pillow needed another pillow case whilst one was in the wash. It came out a bit small, but it will do whilst the wash is on!

So now, I've had a shower, and I'm watching a little bit of telly before bed, with my feet up.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

NaBloPoMo 1

Hello blog. It's the time of year where I try and blog everyday. Let's see how it goes this year. As ever, questions very welcome.

Today I worked from home in the morning, then went and ran a training session in the afternoon.

Then this evening, I made cauliflower cheese, and tried to work out how to sit 10 around our dinner table as it was the monthly home group dinner. People don't always tell me if they're coming or not, so I have to guess how many places to lay. It was bring and share tonight, and people are so generous with the food, we always end up with too much! Will have to go back to asking for volunteers for a specific thing. Was a pleasant evening chatting away, and Tom managed to make it home to eat between deanery meeting and going back out to work.

Have chilled out this evening after doing some of the tidying up post meal and arranging flowers for colleagues' birthdays tomorrow. Actually did some knitting whilst watching TV, which happens very rarely these days. Think I'm about a quarter through the centre of the baby blanket I'm making.

Bump a bit achy today, no discernable movements.