Thursday, 31 July 2014

B is for beach

Life wouldn't be nearly as good if we didn't live close to the beach. It's such a brilliant day out for the kids and the dog,

Quite often I've been so cold at the beach that my hands have gone numb, but not today. It was proper sun tan weather with a rough sea. That's the kiddies favourite, waves to dive over and jump through. Sherlock is still a little bit unsure about going out of his depth and ends up whimpering on the water's edge because he wants to play in the surf with the children.

Searching for treasure is a cure for most ailments. Josie had a headache and felt grumpy before she started her hunt. Charlie's bloodied finger and scraped knee were soon forgotten and then there's always chips for lunch. 

B is for beach 

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

A is for adventure

The best place to start in an a -z of the summer holidays is adventures. It wouldn't be the summer without adventures; heading off into the unknown with no real expectations of what may or may not happen. Yesterday a friend and I took our boys to London with  a loose plan of going to Hyde Park followed by the Natural History Museum.

It was however to far too glorious a day to be inside. It is very rare that I find shade inviting but the sun was relentlessly blazing.

It was so lovely not to even care that the boy fell in the pond as his clothes dried whilst we ate our picnic lunch. 

A summer adventure can only get better, if it involves water and even more adorable if your boys are still excited by a ride on a boat. 

Not too old to steer the boat either

And a bit more water in the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain as well as feeding the ducks, geese and swans.

Hyde Park is filled with happy memories for me: running around as a child, trips with my Grandparents on New Years Day with sandwiches and a flask of soup, walking the dog, sun bathing and relaxing. It's the place for good old fashioned adventures.

Theses trips should seem never ending and stretch on as long as a summer's day. So after a double cone with a flake for these small boys with large appetites, we caught a bus and a tube (in order to take advantage of all transport options available) to the South Bank where chance happenings spill out from every corner.

And what opportunities do you think these little angels wanted to take advantage of? A Victorian Style Freak Show with sword swallowing, chainsaw juggling and fire eating.

I can't tell you of the monstrous delights that thrilled our little explorers but just google the Space Cowboy or Ariel Manx 
if you dare.

A is for adventure

Friday, 25 July 2014

Flowers on Friday

Although I've been at work today making up for the time I took off to see the kiddos end of year thises and thats, there is always time to go out in the garden and see my flowers. This week there are some new kids on the block. I do love flowers so, they totally brighten my day.






And number one favourite this week....
My orange gladioli, the queen of outrageous blousiness


Sunday, 20 July 2014

A day in the life of a seven year old boy

There are three more days until the summer holidays and Charlie's last day of infant school. The summer before he started school we had a special mummy and Charlie day where we did all our favourite things together. With the others away this weekend, it was just Charlie, Sherlock and I so we spent the weekend seven year old style.

This involved a large amount of playing ball in the river with the dog which was a bit of a surprise from the child who is usually permenantly plugged into an electronic device. However to be fair, since we got Sherlock from Dogs Trust in the spring, there has been a lot more outdoor play.


There's something special about the relationship between a kid and their dog. It's like having a trusted friend who won't let you down, run off and play with someone else and never tires of playing your complex games with rules that no-one else understands, especially if they involve a ball and jumping in a river.

We picked loads of berries from the allotment to make very berry jam as a thank you gift for his teachers and in typical boy style, the harvest was collected whilst a debate insued about his bloodied knee. "Didn't you bring a first kit?" he asked in surprise as if I usually carried one around with me.

He's an early riser still, anywhere between 5.30am and 7am, so I was quite pleased that it wasn't until just before 7am that I heard his little voice reminding me that I said he could go in the river again this morning, under the black bridge.

We arrived home shortly before 8.30am and Charlie put on the lead and harness as my longed for second dog, Watson. Sherlock was a bit put out when Watson made a play for his breakfast.

Back in the river after sausages, rice and green beans from the garden for lunch, this game involves me throwing the ball to each in turn. Mostly it was Charlie's turn because I threw too wide, Sherlock got the ball or Charlie threw it to him.

When they weren't in the river, Charlie was making rainbow loom bands and watching Bear Grylls. I have limited patience for both. Charlie seems to find the most complicated How on YouTube and then insist I do the hooking part of the loom band making. As for Bear Grylls, I totally admire that he is chief scout; a role model to my own little beaver and cub, but he doesn't need to dangle over the edge of a ravine, eat raw zebra or utilise his own urine. He bangs on so much about the risk to his life every second, that Josie (now returned from a camping party) wanted to know what would happen if he died live on screen. And his name is Edward! Please don't encourage my children to think that in order to be cool, you need to change your name from someone perfectly reasonable to something totally ridiculous.


Don't worry kids you don't have to drink your own urine boiled on a fire made from dried elephant dung, you can suck the rain drops off the dahlia buds in the garden or turn the tap on in the kitchen.


Friday, 18 July 2014

Flowers on Friday

It's all about the dahlias today. I live them with their vibrant colours as bold and as strong as the sun.


And it's nearly time for the sunflowers.



Have a great weekend.


Friday, 11 July 2014

Pink Ladies WI Garden Party

Yay, the great British summer!

Two out of the three parties I have organised over the past year have been rained on. The sole victor against those ominous dark clouds was in a November, so its impossible to get one over on the weather gods.


As the rain poured down outside, we took the garden inside, with our tissue paper and recycled newspaper pom poms, thanks to the knit and stitching ladies and these two lovely girls below. (Well you've got to make the most of strike days and the girls made several for themselves to decorate their bedrooms).

It's super simple to make the pom poms so if you'd like to have go, I got the info from here.

They are so light weight that I could hang them from the light fittings.

And they totally compliment the crepe paper rainbow.


The weather had a negative effect on our attendance and the ability barbecue but not our "for home and country" spirit. We are a resilient bunch, us Pink Ladies, but that is after what the Womens Institute is all about.

Thank you to all the ladies who managed to make it last night and for all the delicious goodies that were grown, harvested, baked, cooked, thrown together, lovingly and very thoughtfully purchased.


Friday, 4 July 2014

Flowers on Friday

Everyday new flowers appears in the garden and very soon it will be time for the daily task of picking sweet peas.

I have a little work to do with the nasturtiums in my house. In our previous garden, where we had been for 8 years, I had spread them everywhere. They grew in abundance and we could pick handfuls without it being noticeable. However I have some and possibly enough to pick a small jam jar full.

I'm aiming to have foxgloves in bloom all summer, seeing as I grew so many from collected seed last year. I've sewn some more today. That's the best thing about foxgloves, they are millions of seeds.

You can never have too many dahlia.

This fab old ladies lipstick coloured begonia was a gift from a student.

Beautiful geranium that moved house with us.

The delightfully scented rose that was already here.


And as my mum is coming today, I have picked several vases full to make Josie's room Nana-ish.