Thursday, 30 September 2010


~ The new specs ~
I was able to donate my old pair of specs to the charity Vision Aid Overseas, and by doing that I remembered a LO I'd seen in Creating Keepsakes magazine ... I feel a scrap lift coming on.

Happy Birthday To ...

... my DH. xx

Wednesday, 29 September 2010


~ End of an era ~
DS had his final session this morning at the private nursery he has attended for 3 mornings a week over the last 18 months.  The staff are absolutely wonderful and showed DS such love, care and encouragement.  It took us forever to say goodbye.

Happy Anniversary To ..

My sister & BIL ~ fifteen years.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010


~ A new era begins ~
DS went off for his first unaccompanied session of Nursery this morning.  There are 3 short sessions this week and then full time (3 hours per morning) from next Monday.  I need not have worried that he wouldn't settle ~ he loved it!  He actually ran in through the door and went straight to the colouring desk, without even stopping to take his coat off!  It was exactly the start I was hoping for, but I have to admit to a mummy moment.  I actually felt my heart squeeze as I looked at him happily waving me off. 
And tomorrow sees the end of a particular era.

A Kodak Moment

Look who my FIL discovered when he was on his way to bed.  DS is obviously a chip off the old block, because I can remember trying to read after lights out.  A perfect Kodak moment, wouldn't you say?

Monday, 27 September 2010

The Frog Album

Having a whole day to scrap on Saturday meant that I made a start of the Frog Album for DS.  I settled on 8.5x11, portrait style and am using a selection of co-ordinating papers from Basic Grey.  Each LO will also feature half a frog!
The journaling spot records brief details of the frog moment and each half a frog has been sprayed with Glimmer Mist's Dazzling Diamonds.  And so far, I am loving the overall finished look. 


    ~ New shoes ~
I couldn't believe just how difficult it was to find a new pair of shoes for DS this morning that didn't look like trainers.  The shop assistant said, "But that's what the mums want."  Cue withering glance from me.  "This mum doesn't."

Friday, 24 September 2010

A Scrappy Weekend

Thanks to a kind invitation from my BF, yours truly has blagged herself a weekend off.  Indeed, a weekend that includes a whole day of scrapping!  I.  Am.  So.  Excited!  You can look here, if you'd like to see what will be cropping up during my day of scrapping.
Obviously, I won't have the time to visit you all over the weekend, but, rest assured, I'll be dropping by next week.


~ Waiting patiently ~
There was a queue in the bank this morning and DS caught me by surprise, because he played patiently and quietly while I waited.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

The Passing Of An Unsung Hero

(Jim Townsend on left of photo, my CP friend Grandad P on right)
I learned this evening of the passing of a 95-year-old Chelsea Pensioner.  Jim Townsend was a modest, quiet and unassuming gentleman.  He had a twinkle in his eye and a ready smile.  Jim had been captured by the Japanese after the fall of Singapore in 1941 and sent up to the infamous Railway of Death ~ the railway between Burma and Siam (now Thailand).  He always claimed that he survived because he was 'lucky' enough not to contract Cholera and Malaria at the same time.  As a boy, Jim had wanted to go to Art School, but his father said that it was no place for a man and sent him out to work instead.  Jim didn't paint again until he joined the Royal Hospital; my nephew is the lucky recipient of Jim's painting of Elgin Cathedral.  Jim's story was partially told in the episode 'New Boys' of the BBC's series Once A Soldier.   
Jim Townsend: 1915 ~ 2010
It was an honour and a privilege to know him. 


~ Happy reading ~

Wednesday, 22 September 2010


~ A helping hand ~
As we move towards shorter days and colder weather, I like to give the birds a head start. (I think that it's some sort of Virginia Creeper that is currently busy changing colour.)

Only 100 more days to go ...

Tuesday, 21 September 2010


~ Time for a check-up ~
My prescription has changed only slightly since my last eye test 2 years ago, but I am treating myself to a new set of frames. The pair I am currently wearing are bent out of shape and have toddler-sized teeth marks along the arms ...

Sunday, 19 September 2010


~ Recycle & re-use ~
Donating toys that DS has outgrown. I get a warm & cosy glow from doing a good deed and a children's charity makes money out of it. A fair quid pro quo, in my opinion.

Frogs And Sanctions

Amy in Australia (yes, her, she's getting the blame for quite a few things of late!) has had me thinking about frogs. You know. Frogs. Green, slimy things. Don't look anything like Kermit. Amy quickly clarified her initial post with this one, and that got me thinking about frogs from a scrapping angle.
You see, Mark Twain said, or maybe wrote, eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day. Which, you have to admit, would be a fairly accurate description of your day, if you'd eaten that live frog.
So, I thought, what's the equivalent scrapping angle of eating a live frog daily? And then it came to me. An album (green, naturally) recording unexpected frog moments from DS. Those things that he does that constantly catch me off guard because they come from nowhere ~ such as last weekend when he was watching Dumbo with his daddy. Apparently, after quietly sitting next to DH for 20 minutes or more, he (DS) suddenly launched himself at the remote control, removed the batteries and began to chew them! That kind of frog moment.

(Frog die found on Sizzix website; £3.94 in the sale)
And that leads me to my next point. What sanctions do you use when your child/children behave/s appallingly? In this house, just now, there are 3 that seem to be in constant use: DS being sent to his room (and then having to tidy it up before being allowed to leave it), loss of TV and DVDs for a set amount of time (not that he gets that much, as this is something I am fairly strict about) and loss of bedtime stories (which he absolutely hates).
Any tips for surviving these frog moments would be extremely gratefully received!

Slowcooked Beef Adobo

This is a great recipe for Autumn days. It's really easy to do, but you do need to be organised because of the cooking time. I was frying onions and garlic at 7.30am this morning. I wasn't sure what adobo meant, but I am reliably informed by wikipedia that it is Spanish for marinade. (That same page on wikipedia also taught me what chipotles were ~ smoked jalapeno peppers; Deb had mentioned them in her Fish Taco recipe earlier this week and I was totally flummoxed as to what they might be. The best I came up with was something akin to a chipolata, which is a cocktail sausage!)

Preparation time: 25 minutes, cooking temperature: low, cooking time: 8-10 hours, serves: 4.


1 tablespoon sunflower oil

750g braising beef, cubed and any fat discarded

1 large onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tablespoons plain flour

450 ml beef stock

4 tablespoons soy sauce (I used the light version)

4 tablespoons wine vinegar

1 tablespoon caster sugar (very fine sugar)

2 bay leaves

juice of 1 lime

salt & pepper to season


Preheat slow cooker if necessary. Heat the oil in a large frying pan & add the beef a few pieces at a time until all the meat has been added. Fry over a high heat, turning until evenly browned, lift out of the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate. Add the onion to the pan and fry for 5 minutes or until it is just beginning to brown. Mix in the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the flour, then gradually mix in the stock. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, bay leaves and salt & pepper and bring to the boil, stirring. Transfer the beef to the slow cooker, pour over the onion & stock mixture, cover with the lid and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Stir in the lime juice and garnish with carrot sticks, sliced spring onions and coriander leaves (I leave those out: they are the devil's own herb!). Serve with boiled or steamed rice.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Thursday, 16 September 2010


~ Badly infected sinuses ~
So, here's the thing ... when your cold, which you caught from your DS and or DH, is still hanging around after 10 days, consider going to the doctor. Do not keep telling all and sundry that "it's just a cold". Do not dismiss the obvious signs of an infection up your nose, Nature gives out clues for a reason. It is not normal to have a nose constantly full of green yuck, to suffer frequent, but slight, nosebleeds and it is absolutely not normal for it to hurt like hell when you blow your nose.
And the biggest thing? It is not okay to wait 5 weeks before seeing that lovely GP of yours, only for him to tell you that there is indeed a raging infection up your nose and you will now need 4 (yep, FOUR) lots of meds to get rid of it. And that the UK's leading High Street chemist will then charge you the grand total of £28.80 for providing those meds.
(On the plus side, this post will come in handy for the All About Me class, which began today over at BPS ...)

Wednesday, 15 September 2010


~ Remembering The Few ~
Today is officially Battle of Britain Day and I am remembering and giving thanks for those brave young men who, when Great Britain stood alone in 1940, defended the skies above our Island Nation from the threat of invasion.
"The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the World War by their prowess and their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."
~ Winston Churchill
Per Ardua ad Astra
Check out this post here on my brother's blog, if you'd like to read more about The Few.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Damned With Faint Praise

Imagine the conversation ...
Mummy: Would you like a piece of cake, DS? It's called yoghurt cake and mummy made it this afternoon.
DS: Anyone can cook.(This conversation is more amusing if you are familiar with the film Ratatouille.) Thanks to Mel for the recipe. I don't have a light touch when it comes to making sponge and I'm not sure that it was that successful. However, DS ate his piece and DH has eaten two. The yoghurts were on offer this morning, so there are still three that will need using up ~ Raspberry & Cranberry. I'm having coffee with a friend on Thursday; I'm sure she won't mind being a guinea pig!


~ I think it's a conspiracy ~
Yesterday's chocolate Santas were seen in the supermarket. These cards are on sale in M&S, and have been for about a week. What are earth are the retailers up to? DH reckons that it makes good business sense when times are hard ~ Christmas is the biggest occasion for retailers, so why not start as early as possible? Not in my world, please!

Sunday, 12 September 2010


~ Loving late Summer sunshine ~
A short break in the middle of my marathon housework session ...

Saturday, 11 September 2010


~ My FIL & my pooch ~
My FIL didn't know I was taking his photo ~ I've caught the poor man mid-chomp of a mini pork pie!

Strictly Is Back!

Yay, Series 8 of Strictly Come Dancing is back on our screens on BBC1 from the beginning of October. You can enter the ballot to be in the audience here.

Remembering September 11th

Friday, 10 September 2010


The Postie just dropped off a parcel for me. A surprise JBP from DH, aren't I a lucky girl?

253/365 & I Know What It Is

~ A bored Beagle puppy ~
I know it looks as though DS is poking her in the eye, but that wasn't the case. Poor camera positioning, is all. We met her again about an hour later on the Common and DS had a lovely time running around with her and our pooch. Her owners are Russian and have moved here because of the husband's job. The wife, Irina, seemed very nice, so I do hope that I've made a new friend.
And as for yesterday's shot ~ it's a huge event for the Muslim festival of Eid, which I think occurs at the end of Ramadam. There were thousands of people on the Common by 10:30am this morning (and most of them scared of the dog). From what I could see, I think the largest marquee is a form of temporary mosque. You can imagine what a nightmare parking is around the local roads ~ dog walking residents that I met this morning are none too happy.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

In The Space Of Twenty Minutes ...

Last post live at 17:27, this photo at 17:49. And he's still asleep ... without his tea, his bedtime milk, his bath, his teeth cleaned ...

Change Is In The Air

Last weekend I had a conversation about being a parent. Nothing specific, just generalities (hmmm, is that even a word?). The person I was talking to is a grandmother and fairly direct in her approach, albeit in a very kind and pleasant way. The upshot was that I have made changes this week to how we parent DS. You know, maybe I have been keeping DS a 'baby' in my mind because he still isn't speaking as clearly as he should be for his age.
So, gone is the gate in the doorway of his room ~ cue DS having adventures up and down the stairs after bedtime. Gone is the buggy for transport to and from nursery ~ cue DS running up driveways and knocking on doors. And in response, DS has gone cold turkey and given up his afternoon nap (boo!); and having done so, he is struggling with being awake all day and my beautiful boy has turned into a spitting and hissing obnoxious nightmare. Where has my beautiful boy gone and when will he return? My normal response to a parental crisis of confidence is "this is a phase, it too will pass"... I'm finding it tough going this week.

Scrap Weekly 2010 Challenge #36: LO

So. The challenge was to use a self-portrait, and for this I can thank DS. If he hadn't made his comment associating mummy with dinosaurs, I never would have photographed myself with 2 large plastic pre-historic beasties.


~Something big is coming ~
There are no clues as to what is due to arrive on the Common shortly, but it requires almost 2/3rds of the 27 acres available, and a whole row of Porta Loos.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010


~ Me and a couple of friends ~

DS to Mummy: "Mummy, are you sure that you're not a dinosaur?" So said DS this afternoon, quite out of the blue. Cue a self-portrait, with the camera focus on my dinosaur friends. And I now have a photo that qualifies for this week's Scrap Weekly 2010 challenge!
(Blimey, I look tired. I obviously need a holiday!)

Pass The Book

Sian, over at From High in the Sky, has launched her second round of Pass The Book today. Why not pop over to see what she's up to, leave a comment and hopefully be chosen to play along?

Monday, 6 September 2010


~ Something of a result ~
You may recall that, back in the middle of July, I sent off to the States for information about specific applications for Social Security Numbers. The longed for reply arrived today. I now know that my great uncle applied for his SS# in 1943, his wife applied in 1936, where they were living and who they were working for. More importantly, her application provided a maiden name and from there it was only a short step to the 1930 American Census. Today I am loving the power of the Internet ~ thank you, Sir Tim Berners-Lee!

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Scrap Weekly 2010: Challenge #36

Jo has posted this week's challenge over on the Scrap Weekly 2010 blog, and it's one that most of us dread ~ scrap using a self-portrait. You can see Jo's example here. I'm afraid that the challenges due on the last 2 Sundays failed to appear and the blog owner is not replying to my emails. Ho, hum.


~ Restocking of essential supplies ~

Saturday, 4 September 2010


~ I am tiger: hear me roar ~
The son of my BF, after a spot of excellent face painting. We've had a brilliant day at BF's DH's Company Families Day ... there were lots of 'extended' families present, by all accounts!

Friday, 3 September 2010

Channeling Amy

I've taken a leaf out of Amy's Scrapbook today ~ I'm frequently impressed with how she scraps in the moment, in the here and now. A fantastic photo of her child/children or the current lamentable state of her veranda and, wham, before you can say Waltzing Matilda, she has it recorded for posterity on a terrific page. Amy also scraps in a style similar to mine, although I do think that she is better at it. DS totally ruined our walking the dog this morning by his constant refrain of, "I want ..."; he was none too happy when Mummy told him a very firm "no" after his umpteenth refrain of, "I want a snack", bearing in mind that he had already eaten breakfast (2 bowls of cereal and 2 yoghurts), munched his way through his daily fruit box and scoffed the daily mini-snack box of bread sticks, rice cakes and raisins. It was still only 10am. On returning home, he was sent to his room (for the heinous act of spitting at me (right up there at the top of my that's-very-naughty-and-I-will-not-have-it-list)) and I had a large mug of tea and a huge piece of chocolate. I find tea and chocolate are the perfect remedy for when your child has pushed you to the limit and throttling them is not an option ...
The journaling reads: It's an ongoing process to have you learn that you can't always have what you want. A tantrum from you resulted in a shortened walk for the dog and bad temper for Mummy. ~ 3 September 2010.


~ Having a 'moment' ~
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