Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Rest of June Round Up

My last post was just over a fortnight ago.
That wasn't part of my plan for June.
Then again when do things go to plan?
Everyone's ok but I'd be fibbing if I were to say that the last two weeks chez Jumble and Jelly have been plain sailing!
Enough of all that though, let's take a peek at some other news.

After a little discussion me, G and S have booked to go away to Amsterdam for 4 nights in early August.
You bet.
Amsterdam has been on my wish list for ages.
I went to the library and took out some books.
One is on self guided walks around the city and also for places such as Delft and Haarlem. We're not quite sure yet where else we will visit but Haarlem is definitely high on the list.
We need to go places and do things of interest to all 3 of us.

Last week I took S to Cambridge for her annual eye check up. The day was a hot, long one made all the more tolerable for S for our stop off at Five Guys so she could have one of their milkshakes.
The check up showed a minuscule cataract in S's left eye. It's something which can happen at an early age because of the condition she has, but it's nothing to worry about and is not likely to grow or require surgery for years and years.

My 90 day chuck out challenge failed after I reached 30 days. It started well enough when I had a really good clear out from our bedroom drawers and then went through the kitchen cupboards. I'm not too bothered as I regularly send items off to the charity shop. We may get a little cluttered at times but I'm not a hoarder.

A few weeks ago one of my school friends posted details on Facebook of an open evening at our old secondary school.
The reason for this special event is our school will soon be no more.
It's going to be demolished, it needed too much money to maintain the poor state it was in and so it was cheaper to construct a new one, which has been built on the school sports field.
The site the current school is standing on will then be converted into a sports area. 
The thing was the event was being held between 4 and 6.
How disappointing, many wanted to go but those hours are when lots are at work or travelling home from work.
Then just a few days beforehand they extended it by an hour until 7pm.
I didn't want to pass up the opportunity of one last wander down those corridors and luckily neither did R, so he and I went together.
This is the door to my English classroom.
Our teacher used to have the girls and boys line up separately along here before going into class.
So many memories from just this one spot.
I left in 1984 and as you would expect during that time things have changed, but not as much as you may think.
Words can not describe how familiar it felt to once again be walking down the staircase (in what was known back then as the 'new block') as if I had just finished my maths lesson.
I will never forget that feeling.
Somewhere I hadn't set foot for over 30 years and yet it felt like I'd been there only yesterday.
We saw half a dozen others from our year group, the last time we had seen each other was the reunion last September.
We reminisced some more, took more photos and marveled over the fact our former headteacher was also visiting that evening and looking extremely sprightly at 86.

We had an entertaining afternoon out one Saturday in Eastleigh at their annual arts day.
The group of four acrobatic dancers showed such controlled strength as they threw themselves around this cage during their performance.
I loved watching the group of women all dressed in grey perform together. They are called Ceyda Tanc Dance and you can read about them and watch videos here. It was so inclusive, women of all ages and physical ability joined together in one rhythmic gathering, it was entrancing to watch.
Our favourite was definitely the couple on the left from Glasshouse dance who performed a classic boy meets girl tale with a twist or two along the way.
At the end they encouraged the audience to join them and dance along to Love Train. 
Some resolutely refused to get up and dance, I have to say that when the female performer approached me I jumped up and was happy to bop away with them. It seemed like the polite thing to do seeing they had entertained us so well.

I'm still settling into being at work for four days.
I have been trying to get a better handle on shopping and meal planning.
When the children were little it was so much easier.
Now with T sometimes being in for meal times and sometimes not, which can mean an hour before dishing up he'll say 'yes I'll be here to eat with you' and then suddenly his plans have changed, or saying he won't be in and then turning up, it seems I need to have an unending supply of meals which can instantly be adapted to suit.
And do you know what, I don't a limitless supply of food, time, money or patience to cater for each scenario and I've been finding it quite frustrating.
I am cooking from scratch so much less these days and I don't like that either as I have always tried to provide my family with a variety of foods. Then again I suppose this is just another change that our family is going through as the children are growing and doing more outside the home.

Only a couple of days left in June now but just enough so I can finish my posts for the month. If things go to plan of course.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Summer Lovin'

.... had me a blast
Summer Loving happened so fast
I met a girl crazy for me
Met a boy cute as can be
Summer days drifting away to oh oh the summer nights.......

*****I love the movie Grease*****

That song was going round and round my head for ages after I had wrapped up this birthday gift for a friend recently.
The photos don't have anything to do with the words on this post, but they are all so bright and cheery I had to use them.

So what is this post about then if not love and lollies?
It's one of those I need to do every so often in order to record a couple of things which have happened and affect our family.
First up is a change to my work pattern. A month or so ago I increased the number of days I work from 3 to 4. It may not sound like a big deal but I spent ages wondering whether or not I should, we had a change 2 months ago in G's job when he began working shifts once again and as someone who likes structure and routine I wasn't sure about another change so soon.

It was the Easter holidays which had set me off thinking. 
It really came home to me how much more independent S has become and although over the past couple of school holidays I haven't been needed so much this one really showed me how much less.
All this happened to coincide with my place of work looking to recruit a new member of staff and so I asked, if it fitted in with their requirements, would they consider giving me an extra day.
Although in an ideal world I would have liked to have started working that extra day after the school summer break when they agreed to my request I considered myself lucky that I had been given the opportunity more or less as I needed it.
One day less at home means I need to try and be more organised with all the things I do at home and extras like when to do the shopping, especially as like I've already said, G is on a new shift pattern and that's got to be taken into consideration too.

As a consequence I have been feeling a bit more tired by the end of each week. Would you believe the first week I did the extra hours I overslept on the Saturday morning and missed an appointment at my hairdressers.
I was so embarrassed!

Then last week something happened with S which was emotionally tiring.
I don't mean to sound deliberately cryptic.
She is absolutely fine. We are all fine.
It's just a personal matter, an issue around adoption and as such it's not something suitable for discussion here.
As I've said before, this blog is my on-line diary and so I need to use it to record all the things which happen to us as a family.

We had a fairly quiet weekend.
T worked and was in and out in between, S had a sleepover and on Saturday evening we had friends over for wine and pizza. Sometimes low key, moochy weekends are exactly what's needed.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Songs in Southsea

Sunday afternoon found us in Southsea, bathed in sunshine by the bandstand 

we listened to songs sung by The Three Belles. The trio sing in the style of The Andrews Sisters and certainly look the part too.

As the first few bars of music started people got up to dance and they carried on right until the end of the girl's performance.

Not only did they lindy hop and stroll superbly but they looked fantastic too in their capri pants and full skirted dresses.

You couldn't help but smile as you listened to the music and watched people doing something they enjoy. 

Friday, 2 June 2017

Sparrow's Breakfast

I love our two cats, Melvin and Malcolm.
They each have their own lovable personality, they provide us with lots of entertainment as we watch them madly dash around the house when they play chase with each other and it's probably because of them we don't often have birds in our garden.
Which is why when on Sunday morning and we saw some sparrows repeatedly flying in and out of our garden I got very excited.
It was this rambling honeysuckle they were attracted to.

I went inside and grabbed my camera, moved the garden chair closer to where they were going and sat and waited. It wasn't long before they flew back.

They were nibbling away at the cuckoo spit (at least I think that's what it's called) which had formed behind the heads of the honeysuckle flowers. They were flitting around so quickly it was hard to catch them at it and this was the closest I got.

Not quite as easy on the eye as the birds but this snail seemed content enough to explore G's hand.
 I'm sure he was much happier than the one I found next to him on the grass which I managed to stand on as I was pegging out the washing!

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

May: Bought, Read, Watched

Let's start off with the things I bought for 30p each at the jumble sale earlier this month.
I've worn this skirt to work once already.
 It's lovely and light and summery.

This lightweight knit top is actually more of a peacock blue than the photo shows and has a shimmery thread to it which you can just about make out.
Again this was bought with work in mind has already been worn there once.

Next up is a dress from the car boot.
This was 50p.
Yet another purchase intended for work and again being cotton it's light and with the slightly drop waist really comfy.

This cardi isn't as skew-whiff as it looks hanging from the front of my wardrobe!
It's a lovely deep green and a very welcome addition to my ever expanding cardigan collection.
This was a purchase from my local branch of Barnardo's where everything cost £1.99.

As the price tag shows, this star patterned shirt also came to me via Barnardo's.
And as photo shows it was brand new, still having it's original price tag attached.

I hope it's a while before I get to wear this grey jumper. It's long and baggy and has some pretty buttons along the neck line. Originally from M&S, it was mine for 50p from the car boot.

Only two books read this month.#First up was The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets.
A quick and easy read set in London and the Wiltshire area in the 1950s and featuring some interesting characters.
Johnnie Ray is mentioned quite a lot which led me to listening to his songs on youtube for an entertaining half hour.

I can't remember where G bought this for me. It was a while ago and it was in a charity shop is all I can dredge up from my memory.
It reads like an autobiography and over 150 pages it charts the years of WW2 as experienced by a young girl and her family.

It's been a month of action movies for us.
G has been working his way through the Jack Reacher books written by Lee Child and so we have watched the two adaptations starring Tom Cruise.
To follow that we watched the first three Jason Bourne movies with Matt Damon in the lead role.
Both were chock full of car chases and fist fights, the JB ones slightly more frantic and often filmed in a way which made it harder to follow exactly what was happening.
I reckon we're due something a bit calmer for June!

Monday, 22 May 2017


An exhibition entitled Port Out Southampton Home has been running at the Sea City museum for the past year and is due to come to an end in a couple of weeks.
With G being off with me today we thought a little jaunt into town for lunch and then a wander around the exhibition would be just the thing to make sure we caught it before it closed.
I love the old advertising posters. They are so brightly coloured and 

some are just so stylish too. The exhibition told the history of the liners from their beginnings in the 1890's through to the modern day and was really very interesting. 

I must admit the section covering the 1920s and 1930s was a bit of a draw for me as everyone and everything looked so very glamorous. 
Not sure G would blend in with the in crowd with his Alterbridge t-shirt and jeans!
We did have a game of deck quoits and I'm pleased to report I won.

My dad was in the Merchant Navy and worked with Tommy Steele. He said when he wasn't working he constantly played his guitar and sang, Dad said it drove him mad!

A large and fascinating section of the exhibition was about the food provided on board. On display were a dozen or so menus from different ships across different decades. 
There was so much choice.
Had I been a passenger on R.M.S Berengaria on April 18th 1935 I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have been choosing the fried calf's feet for dinner.

I can never resist the lure of trying on dressing up clothes when they are provided, in amongst all the reading I think it's fun when there are some parts which are a bit more interactive.
I think G looks quite good in this cap.

Where as I look fairly ridiculous in my posing!
All jolly good fun though..

On the way back to the car we had to walk past the shopping centre and discovered a new temporary art installation. Huge plastic snails. They reminded me of counters in a child's board game made super-sized. 
We need to go back for another look before they go in June.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Beaulieu Road

Only four photos but they sum up an incredibly relaxing day out on Saturday.
One of the nurses where I work is retiring and she had invited everyone to join her in the New Forest for a picnic and a walk.
We haven't been out for a walk for the longest time and it's been even longer since we've been out to the Forest.
Thankfully the venue was right next door to a Beaulieu Road train station so it was very easy for us to get to.

I felt happily tired on Saturday evening. Lots of fresh air, lovely countryside, good company, a gentle walk, all combined to make a great day out.
Now we know it's there we hope to go back for more.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Starting with a Fete, Ending with a Rake

S volunteered to help at her school fete on Saturday.
We were up bright and early to prepare her two contributions, cinnamon sugar popcorn and these marshmallow and white chocolate skewers which sold very well.
When S left with her goodies I toddled off round the corner to the church hall for a jumble sale.

I picked up a few items of clothing for me and my mum and a couple of bits and bobs for my sister's birthday present.
DVD's were being sold at three for £1.00 and I had no problem finding some I thought we would enjoy.
I have never read or seen an adaptation of Macbeth and so I thought I would give the version with Michael Fassbender a go.
I remember seeing a trailer for The Dressmaker featuring a very stylish Kate Winslet when it first came out, I hope it lives up to expectations.
The last one I chose was A Long Way Down, the film adapation of a Nick Hornby book which G had read recently and thoroughly enjoyed.
Something certainly a bit different it's about four people from very different backgrounds who find themselves on the top of a very tall building on New Year's Eve, each wanting to end their life. I suspect this was very much the case of the book being better than the movie. 

Sunday morning G and I headed out to the car boot. It was cold and overcast and it seemed like every other person was selling baby clothes and toys and I got a bit fed up half way round. G always scoots on ahead and so was happy to leave once I'd had enough. My best purchase was for my sister. 20p on this robin sweater which I know she's going to love.

How different the weather was in the afternoon to how it had been all morning. Out came the sun and the temperature shot up. G and I pottered about in the garden and got a few things sorted. 
Our next door neighbour has a garage at the bottom of their garden which makes a great border with ours. Until recently this area was where we had the children's trampoline, but they had decided the time had come for it to go. We hope, in time, to make a little seating area down there of some sort.
Anyway we have various bits and bobs we wanted to hang on the plain brick wall, mostly inspired by things I have seen on Pinterest and Sunday afternoon was the time to get out the drill and get them up. 
We have had the old garden sieve for ages and when our rake fell apart last year I knew exactly what I was going to keep that for. I picked up the ladles for pennies at car boot sales and now these are going to become tea light holders for when we get those warm summer evenings. That's the plan anyway.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Slow Work

In our house there is an itsy bitsy space between the kitchen and the bathroom that we refer to grandly as our utility room.
Walking into it, from the aforementioned kitchen, you will find on your right our freezer and some shelving as shown below.
For a few years the whole space has been painted this sagey green.
Well some of it is still that colour but now most of it is Dulux Jasmine White.

Opposite the wall shown above is the back door and to the left of that is a wall mounted shoe rack. 
I can't seem to find the post I did at the time but a while back I took an old blue polka dot tablecloth and stuck it to the wall behind the shoe rack to stop it getting covered in dirty marks from both the rack and the shoes. This served it's purpose well but it was starting to look a bit tired and I wanted a lighter feel to the space. 
Plus I had seen this glittery PVC cloth and decided it needed to be used somewhere in our home.
It's really difficult to get a good photo of but I hope you can get the idea from this one below.

This little alcove was originally a window before we had our bathroom extension built on. I used some of the paint we had left over from decorating S's bedroom a few years ago and am really pleased with how it looks.

See that blue tray on the left. It originally looked like this. One Sunday at the car boot I bought a tray of cherries and kept the tray because I thought 'oh I'm sure it'll come in handy at some point.' 
And now it has.

It's now home to my bottles of laundry stain remover and soda crystals. My, how glamourous!

I lined the shelf with a small strip of the glitter PVC to stop the paintwork from becoming scuffed, you may be able to make out the glitter from this photo.

It's taken a good few weeks to get this far, which let's face it isn't that far, but I'm not in any hurry and I'm enjoying the little extras I can faff over as I go. There is a key box which needs a makeover and I need to decide whether or not I'm going to line the shelves. 
Nothing mind blowing but it keeps me busy and makes me happy.