Friday, 31 July 2015

Month in Numbers | July

With August is on the horizon,
here's a look at what July held:
 20: the number of times I went out with the dog/dogs.
2: the number of visits to the cinema.  Both were kids' films: 
Minions and Inside Out.
16: the number of Happy Mail sent by me.
5: the number of meals out.
16: the number of layouts created by me. 
8: the number of invitations sent out for Afternoon Tea.
35: the number of people coming to Afternoon Tea if everyone of the RSVPs
as 'yes'.  It will be a bit of a squeeze!
7: the number of items found on this year's Scavenger Hunt List.
303: the number of minutes spent blissfully watching A Town Like Alice.
 10: the number of days we looked after our friends' dog.
1: the number of toy bears he chewed.
490, 763: the number of times he barked!
32: the temperature on Wednesday, 1 July. 

Month in Numbers is the brainchild of Julie 
and you'll always find a warm welcome over at her place. 
 Not to mention entertaining posts about a varied list of topics.
Go on over, stop by and say hello. 

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Dress Code {with a difference}

We are going to a family wedding soon.
The bride and groom haven't stated any preference 
in regard to a dress code.
The venue has.
Heel guards must be worn if wearing stiletto heels.
 The venue came into being in 1861.
No wonder they are looking to protect their wooden floors.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Catching Up with Cachirulo

~ My heart ~
Cachirulo is now five months old and adorable.
I had no idea just how much I would love being 
a great auntie.
Grantie Ruth, that's me. 

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Date Night {with a difference}

Meet me at Embankment, he said.
So I did.
A pootle down the river and before I knew it,
 we were clinking glasses on the 35th floor
of the Heron Tower in the City of London.

He's the friend-who's-like-my-brother.
He likes to surprise.
After a life-long friendship, I should be used to it.

Monday, 27 July 2015

The Skygarden | Photo Heavy

We took a family trip to the Skygarden, which is at the top of 20, Fenchurch Street
in the City of London.  Londoners know the building as the Walkie-Talkie.
 ~ as seen on the walk from Bank station ~

~ looking directly up ~
Hidden away on the 35th floor is a mini oasis.
With a viewing gallery and spectacular views.
 ~ my hair indicates just how windy it was ~
 ~ Telecom Tower and Wembley Stadium ~ 
 ~ Tower Bridge ~
 ~ a well thought out space ~

~ The Boy Child is a fan ~ 
This was the second visit for The Boy Child and me.
This is what it looked like when we visited with friends at the start of the Summer holidays:  
The facts: you need to book online to visit.  There is no charge.
  Dates are released about a week in advance, so you will have to keep an eye on the website
 if you want a specific date and time. 
 Groups are limited to six in number.
  Adults will need photo ID.  
Be prepared for airport style security.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Autism and the Everyday #2

There are some things about autism that are hard to live with.
  It's all relative because, let's be honest, autism is hard to live with.
Full stop. 
Let's talk sleep.
When The Boy Child was a tiny(ish) baby his sleep pattern was text book. 
It's fair to say that he slept like a baby. 
 At eighteen months old, he went onto one nap a day and kept hold of that nap 
right up until the summer before he started at Nursery School. 
 That's when the fun started with sleeping at night. 
 I first wrote about his sleeping in May 2013: 
 For the last few years, The Boy Child has not slept well.  
There's many a night that he can be up out of bed in the middle of the night. 
There's many a night that he can be up out of bed two or three times in the middle of the night.
The pattern is the same.
99% of the time, he trots into our bedroom and fusses
until he can get in with us or one of us gets out of bed and takes him back to his own bed.
1% of the time, he goes into the bathroom, puts the light on,
 sits on the loo (seat down) and reads out loud.
Until one of us gets out of bed and takes him back to his own bed.
And we haven't even touched on the early morning starts.  
The Boy Child considers any time from 5.30 am a good time to begin his day. 

We pushed his bedtime back half an hour to 8 pm in the hope he would sleep later.  
He doesn't.
Today, I took out the single bed from his room and put in the double from the spare bedroom.   
As we moved through 2014 and into 2015, this was the standard night time ritual. 
 I would go to bed with The Brainy One and wake up with The Boy Child.  
In June of this year we realised that he had spent a whole night in his own bed,
 then two nights, then a week. 
 We seemed to have turned a corner.  
We were so hopeful.  And continue to be so. 
It's no laughing matter when you realise that neither of us
 has slept through the night for more than four years. 
The dark rings under my eyes would defeat the hardiest of make-up artists.  
Now there's just the small matter of the time he wants to begin his day...      

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Scrap Happy

I've spent a very happy few hours
playing with photos, paper and glue.
 It doesn't take much to make me happy.
 These are all pages for The Boy Child's album ...
... with too much personal info on them for general viewing.
Now I'm set for a cuppa and a few chapters of A Town Like Alice.
A rock 'n' roll Saturday night, I tell you, rock 'n' roll. 

Friday, 24 July 2015

Friday FeetUp

It is, as the Scots like to say, dreich outside.
With The Brainy One away for the weekend with The Boy Child, 
there's only me and two pooches home.
An ideal opportunity for hot tea, a Danish, cosy socks 
Fancy joining me?

Thursday, 23 July 2015

The Most Wonderful Gift

A friend unexpectedly dropped by yesterday.
We haven't seen each other in almost 10 years.
She lives in New Zealand and even though I knew 
she was coming to the UK, we didn't seem able 
to work out a date to get together that suited both of us.  
She took matters into her own hands 
and called round on the off chance.
 She bought me the most wonderful gift.
My favourite book of all time is Nevil Shute's A Town Like Alice.
I read my mum's copy when I was a teenager and even selected a passage to read aloud
 in Miss Mitchell's 4th Form English class during my 'O' Levels.
... Darkness was closing down in my London sitting-room, 
the early darkness of a stormy afternoon.  The rain still beat upon the window.  
The girl sat staring into the fire, immersed in her sad memories.
"They crucified him, "she said quietly.  
"They took us all down to Kuantan and they nailed his hands to a tree
 and beat him to death.  They kept us there and made us look on while they did it."...
Mum's copy was so old, and read by me so many times, that it sadly fell apart.
I currently own five copies of A Town Like Alice.
Including one that spent part of its life in Kuala Lumpur.
A black and white film-of-the-book starring Virginia McKenna and Peter Finch
 was made in 1956.
It was {is} truly appalling.
All strangulated vowels and a storyline nothing like the book.
However, in 1981, the dear old BBC produced a mini-series 
starring the delicious Bryan Brown and Helen Morse.  
It was briefly released on video.
We didn't own a video player.
{My lifelong Australian friend still has her mum's boxset.}
I even bid a ludicrous amount of money on a well known auction site
 a number of years ago so that I could have the BBC version on video.
Someone else bid an even more ridiculous amount of money.
But I digress.
What wonderful gift did my friend give me yesterday?
Only the BBC version on DVD. 
I actually swooned in delight.
What's the best unexpected gift you've ever received?

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Summer Sculpture 2015 | Photo Heavy

The Brainy One and I went into the City of London today
for our third annual look at 
Sculpture in the City.
Thirteen pieces to find, discuss and dismiss.
#1: Ghost by Adam Chodzko in Leadenhall Market
 #2: Old DNA by Folkert de Jong on Lime Street.
 #3: Rays (London) by Xavier Veilhan on Fenchurch Avenue. 
#4: Days of Judgement - Cats 1 & 2 by Laura Ford
outside 159 Leadenhall Street 
#5: O My Friends, There Are No Friends by Sigalit Landau
in St. Helen's Square.
 #6: Red Atlas by Ekkehard Altenburger at 30 St. Mary Axe.
 #7: Carson, Emma, Takashi, Zezi, Nia by Tomoaki Suzuki
also at 30 St. Mary Axe.
 #8: Organisms of Control #8 by Keita Miyazaki
at Bury Court.
 #9: Charity by Damien Hirst on Undershaft.
#10: Breakout II by Bruce Beasley on Undershaft.
#11: Broken Pillar #12 by Shan Hur in St. Helen's Bishopsgate Churchyard.
#12: Bells II by Kris Martin outside 99 Bishopsgate.
#13: Altar by Kris Martin in St. Botolph-without-Bishopsgate Gardens.
You can see Sculpture in the City 2014 here.
You can see Sculpture in the City 2013 here.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Right Now ...

Right now, things are quiet around here.
The Boy Child is spending a week with Granny.
The Brainy One and I are spending time outside
 with our four-legged friends.
 The Brainy One and I are visiting the local pub for dinner and drinks.
I have been hanging new kitchen curtains.
I am scrapbooking.
How is right now looking for you?

Monday, 20 July 2015

My Life in Postcards

Mum has been having a clear out 
and The Brainy One returned this afternoon 
from dropping off The Boy Child at Granny's
 with a carrier bag full of postcards. 
Postcards that I have sent to my parents over the last thirty years.
 A random dip into the pile produced a combination 
of amusement and blank looks.
Sometime in 1988: {near Christmas, I think, 
by virtue of the stamp featuring an image of Santa.}   
I wrote lampshades and teeth marks.  
That's it.  Just those four words.
Who knows?
Postmarked 13 April 1987: I went on a day trip 
to Jersey in the Channel Islands.
Memorable because I flew there on an RAF Hercules aircraft. 
First class postage was 18p. 
 Postmarked 8 June 1988: I'd just arrived in Germany 
at the beginning of what was to become a 4 years 3 months posting.
I'd also timed my arrival to coincide with a four day station stand-down.
My new room mate was nowhere to be seen for those four days
 and the camp was deserted because it was the same weekend 
I remember it being a very lonely start to what turned out
to be the best 4+ years of my life.    
Three things I noticed about this potted history of my life:
My handwriting has improved considerably from when I was a twenty year old.
I went through a stage of not signing my name on postcards, because I assumed {naively/arrogantly}
that the recipient would know it was from me.   
I used to drink far too much alcohol, particularly when I lived in Germany.

What would a potted history of postcards say about you?
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