Thursday, 25 February 2010

Seeds galore

What do you do when its 2 hours to go before you take Littleun out to meet his friends and he is bored? Plant seeds of course. We planted three lots of seeds, a cress caterpillar, mixed salad beans and indoor tomatoes. Littleun really enjoyed making his caterpillar out of empty egg boxes, though the cotton wool was a bit annoying when wet as he kept trying to decorate the ceiling with it, a trick I thought he wouldn’t learn until the science classes at senior school! If you would like to try the cress caterpillar you will need:

Empty egg box
Cotton wool
Cress seeds
Googly eyes
Green pipe cleaner

Cut egg box into sections, glue each part together in a wiggly line. Glue the eyes on and make two slits for the pipe cleaner. Dampen the cotton wool and put a bit in each section, sprinkle the seeds on top. Keep damp over the time and put near sunshine. Easy and fun.

The tomato set we got from our supermarket, they have started a pocket money range to encourage children into gardening. Well that was the thought but Littleun wanted so many sets that I ended up paying and the pocket money was spent elsewhere!

The lilies that we planted at Imbolc are doing well too. Three have come through out of the five though two are stronger.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

I am back

Sorry for hiatus, been a manic week and haven’t been about that much. Last week was half term and we had a strange set of weather, every other day was brilliant sunshine whilst the other extreme of gales & rain came in on the remainder! Still we managed to bake, make and visit all week.

The beginning of the week saw us having a big family get together for my grandpas 91st birthday. Cake and balloons all around. Our family are originally from the EastEnd of London and we seem to have spread about a bit so it’s nice when we manage to get at least half of them together.

The best day otherwise has to have been on Wednesday. With some friends we headed off to a steam train and had a journey on it taking us to a lovely castle where the boys could play and pretend as much as they liked. It was so cold there was ice on the moat. Watching the ducks trying to land on it was very funny.

Littleun has also been interested in lots to do with plants this year and one of the local supermarkets have run a pocket-money scheme where you can buy a kit to grow windowsill plants like mini sunflowers, tomatoes and beans so we have been doing that. He has managed to spend all of the next months pocket money in advance and the kitchen is looking a little messy but he is carefully watering them and checking on them all the time.

Now he is back to nursery and i’m back to work so hopefully posting will resume to normal. Ttfn and hope you are all well.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday

Ok so I’m not Christian and therefore have no religious excuse such as Lent to make pancakes, we just love them. You can make savoury or sweet pancakes with fillings such as spinach and feta or lemon and sugar/jam or my favourite, nutella chocolate spread.
To make a basic pancake mixture you will need;

100g plain flour
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
300ml of milk
Oil for frying

Put the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Crack the eggs into the middle then pour some of the milk in to make a smooth paste. Once you have the paste whisk in the remaining milk until you have a batter that is slightly thicker than single cream. Wipe out a non stick frying pan with a little oil and heat until hot. Ladle in some batter tilting the pan for a thin and even layer. Cook until bottom is golden brown and then turn over (if like me you’re bonkers and brave trying tossing but be warned floors will get their unfair share till you get the hang of it!). Spread your filling inside and continue this until you have eaten your fill!
Random pancake facts:

The tradition of eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday is nearly 1000 years old.
The first recorded pancake race was in Olney, Buckinghamshire in 1445.
The largest number of pancakes tossed in the shortest amount of time in the UK is 349 tosses in
2 minutes (Dean Gould, Felixstowe, 14 Jan 1995).
The longest race in the quickest time was held in Melbourne, Australia. Jan Stickland covered 384m in 59.5 seconds on 19 February 1985.
The largest pancake ever made and flipped measured 15.01m wide, 2.5cm deep and weighed 3 tonnes (Rochdale, Greater Manchester, August 1994).
It is customary in France to touch the handle of the frying pan and make a wish while the pancake is turned, holding a coin in one hand.
Maple Syrup was originally a sweet drink, discovered by the Algonquin Indians who collected sap from Canadian sugar maple trees and then boiled it to produce 1 litre of pure Maple Syrup from 40 litres of sap

Half Term is Here

Hello, so once again its another school holiday, and as such I'll not be posting much during the week but will show you what we have been doing at the end of it. Today we are heading for crazy golf and seafront fun. Think that the weather must of heard as it has just started chucking it down with rain :o(

crazy golf batman style last summer

Have a good week all and we'll be back soon.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

My new Greenman!!

Mum has brought me a really lovely gift. I have been moaning for a while now that what I needed to finish off the decorating in the front room was a decent sized Greenman to hang on the chimney breast. Only trouble was finding one either big enough or in my price-range. Well ten mins ago she phoned and said "I got something for you, come downstairs" and look this is what it is:

Its made of a marble reconstitute and is nearly 2' from tip to bottom and looks sooo good hanging with the green painted background. Thanks Mum!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Watch out, here we come!

We've got hidden treasure, worth a bucket load of sweets, drinks, crisps and in one instance a dog! Yep you've guessed it we have a sledge and the above items are just a few of the things we were offered by teenagers on the way to our park so that we would sell them it. No chance, not on our life was Littleun going to give it up. The grasp he had was even stronger than the day I foolishly thought it would be clever to try and wash his blanket whilst he was still at home. We were on our way to meet a friend and test the sledge and nothing was going to stop us. Well after some hours eventually the cold and wet did, but what fun it was!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Snow, Again

For those friends of mine who kindly read this and know exactly where I am and remember those infamous words where I said it never snows here well guess what, It's snowing again!!

The view outside my window (I'm standing in the warm to take this, I'm not mad)!

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

2009, what a laugh

I was feeling a little fed up last night so thought I'd look through the photos of last years fun. The following are a few which make me smile.

The weird looking contraptions are actually entries into the carnivals pram race. An event that happens mid carnival week, the local drinkers of each pub make a pram and then with a team of roughly 4 they proceed to do an elaborate pub-crawl. The Batmobile won which made us all rather chuffed as it was my cousins team.

The Disney photos are from our visit for littleuns birthday. He loves Toy Story and the look on his face when he saw Buzz, Woody et al is one I will never forget. The parade had to be stopped as in his excitement he jumped up and tried to run to them "for a cuddle mum!". The same look was there, together with a bit of awe when he finally after queuing for an hour got to cuddle Mickey. A brilliant couple of days.

The last photo is from an excellent activity site we visited in Brittany last summer. It is actually a water mill of sorts, the children have to work together in order to lift the water and aim accurately to the water jar to collect it. Rather big for littleun to do some very nice french children came over to help him. Barrier of language didn't stop them and they all had a laugh, difficult bit was stopping him so that others could have a go, he was so fascinated by it. Always has been a bit of a water babe.

Smiling now....

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Virtual Moots, useful or not?

Do you go to moots/meets and if so why? Is it the contact you like or the information you can learn by meeting people and if so can a virtual moot be just as good as or better than one where you have to perhaps drive for ages before getting to the venue only to find that most folk haven’t managed to get there for the night?

Well where I am there aren’t many who actually want to meet up frequently and therefore the nearest regular moots seem to be at least 20 miles away. So I was quite pleased by the idea of the county group organising a virtual moot. I wasn’t too sure what to expect. I thought that maybe because we all had an interest in common it would be easy to break the ice. But no, I was wrong. I found it much harder. No facial expressions to read, in-house arguments spilling over onto the board and although a brief welcome to newbie’s they seemed to forget that we wouldn’t know what they were referring to when they mentioned activities they had done but you couldn’t possibly have got to.

Nice people though they are it seems that the combination of the Internet and slight anonymity of some allows for a type of laziness in response. Well I persevered and tried again at a second meet. This time I thought go with topics in mind and possible conversations and see what happens. After all they also know nothing about me as I know nothing about them. And for a while it worked. But without the lubrication of either a good pint of cider or a hot beverage it seemed to dry up. So what to do? I don’t want to give up. I feel that these are people who having been on their various paths for longer than I have will be able to help guide me, whether that be in the form of simply suggesting reading matter or where to find information, through to in-depth explanations of subjects. Any ideas anyone?

Friday, 5 February 2010

Doctors, so depressing aren't they!

I had my weekly check up at the doctors and once again they aren't happy. My bp is still ridiculously high and they don't know why. So I'm back up to the hospital for more checks. I had started this week off so cheerfully and now feel really a bit naff. They have this way of talking to you that makes you feel small, ignorant and generally not really worth the effort! Despite their own scales showing them how much weight I have lost, they don't say "well done", just "you need to loose more".
Still it reminded me of a time when I went with my mum. The receptionist was worse, much worse. Here's the diary entry I wrote at the time...

Battle of the wills:

Today I decided to see my Mum and go with her to the doctors. A momentous occasion as getting her anywhere near a surgery is harder than getting the Cat into a carry cage and to the vet’s (I’m still baring the scars from that last attempt).

Turns out that the Doctor in their infinite knowledge haven’t got a clue what’s wrong and proceed to send my Mum packing with a long list of tests that she needs to make appointments for.

Enter the dreaded Receptionist. You know the type, dragons barely in disguise. This one is Queen, you can tell, she has the pencil on a string round her neck.

Mum hands over her list and clearly explains that due to work commitments she can only have the tests on Thursdays, any Thursday, any time. Immediately the Dragon tells her that her first appointment will be on a Wednesday, o-oh you know this is going to be a battle of the wills. Mum is not known for her patience, so she repeats her mantra, “I can only do Thursdays” to which she adds that stare. Stand off time.

Eventually Dragon books her appointments over three Thursdays, each time my mum confirming which test is when. They seem to agree, hurray. Only little old me who has been so good and quiet for the last 15 mins (yes it really did take that long) decides to pipe up “But haven’t you forgotten that the phlebotomist can’t do the ECG and therefore you need to book that with the Nurse” BAD idea, should have kept quiet.

“SSSH” my Mum joining in, I’m mean really you’d have thought I was 3 not over 30.

Before they both realise I was right.

Now normally this would be a good time to score a point, go “ner ner ner na” or something equally childish, but hey I don’t have a death wish and as such slope off to the car….

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Beltane Jacket finished!

Yes yes I know, still ages off but I just wanted to show you the finished article. Beltane is the biggest festival here for us as the nearest town goes bonkers and takes over the May bank holiday weekend. We have joined in over the last few years but on the edge kind of watching more. This year we are meeting up with friends and hoping to be part of the parade so I have been making suitable clothing for Littleun.

Please ignore the wine in the background (hick!)
Last years Jack in The Green

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Imbolc, Another turn, Another change

So the wheel turns once again and we welcome in Imbolc, Spring. The change here is straight away noticeable. Yesterday it was cold and crisp, beautiful ice and frost covering every corner stretching the pretty patterns over all it could touch. Today the temperature is up and the rain is down! But that's what we want. Let nature appear. We went for a walk yesterday to see how many new flowers we could find and surprisingly it wasn't many. Normally at this time of year the snowdrops are starting to peak in the flowerbed under the window and the deep purple crocus' are raring to go from under our bay trees.

So what does this new time bring to us. Well in my case an extra effort in things. To be happier when something is irritating but beyond my ability to change it, to declutter as I put my items back into the front room, to increase my exercise to shift these pounds (have slackened with the diet) and the start of preparations for our veg and fruit growing.

Seeds are in for some crops, ground will be broken this weekend for the new life to take hold and the planner updated so I can make most use of the area. We planted some bulbs as part of our Imbolc ritual. Lovely indoor Iris' that Littleun could do. Hopefully they will grow but they will apparently take 14ish weeks in the dark to do so.

Our feast went well, though I've got a scorch mark from the crepe Suzette's (bit too much flambe) and the non alcoholic mead passed into deep red wine. Littleun is starting to recognise the reasons behind things and has added his own items to the celebrations.

The altar is a small affair in comparison to other times, partly because of our current space restrictions but also to allow it to grow. We didn't pick any flowers as I'm not keen on doing things like that, so we made our flowers to go on the crown instead.

Hope you all have had a good Imbolc.

Monday, 1 February 2010

He tries well

Littleun snuck downstairs today. Something he does quite often but normally it wakes me up so I know he’s done it. It’s quite funny to watch, imagine a 1950’s cartoon of a bank robber, high on the tiptoes carrying swag over the shoulder which in this case is actually his toys bundled up inside his blanket, taking exaggerated paces trying to avoid all the creaking floorboards before giving up and jumping the last few stairs into the front room. He has learnt that the tv makes a loud noise when he turns it on (I deliberately leave the volume setting high) and so he has managed to find out how to mute it as soon as possible.

Now before you wonder why I have a problem with this I’ll just remind you that the house is still in areas a hardhat building site.

Today though was different, he didn’t wake me up. The first I knew about him getting there was when I was poked in the arm, quite hard I might add, and a whisper in the ear telling me to “wake up mummy”. Turns out he thought he would make me breakfast. This is his first time unattended at doing so and he wanted to explain what it was he had done: “toast mummy, but not cooked”, “jam” already sampled judging by his face, “Orange juice” in the special “don’t touch ever mummy, Toy Story cup”, “cereal” otherwise known as cats biscuits think he might have got the two jars mixed up, “yucky yoghurt” prune flavour been stuck in the fridge for weeks as I keep forgetting about it, “nana’s, one for you and two for me” and lastly “crisps”.
Not too bad I think, might point him towards the laundry and see if he fancies doing that whilst I sleep....