Monday, 24 April 2017

Friday Night Coffee

For the past couple of years there has been an awful lot of building work going on near to where we live.
The former ship building site of Vosper Thorneycroft is now a new housing development. 
Our local library is has recently been located to here and as of a weekend or two ago it a coffee shop has opened.
There are 2 other branches of this coffee shop in the centre of town but it is a locally owned business, not part of a big chain.
After dropping S off at dance G and I decided we would go and see what it was like.
No photos of the inside as 1. I got distracted by seeing someone from work and 2. We decided to sit outside once we had ordered our drinks as it was still warm enough to do so.


It was a lovely way to unwind and something I hope we'll do again on a Friday evening.

After we had finished our drinks we took a wander around the housing development.
We liked the way the buildings had been named after ships which had been built locally.


There is a huge curvy sculpture in the middle of the site which was difficult to get a good photo of, but by following this link you get to see it in all it's glory and there is a description about it's inspiration from the artist too.
We liked the buildings at the top, especially the Tudor House museum


and the various sea going vessels all with their own history attached to Southampton.


The plants in this living wall very looking healthy and provided a splash of vibrant green lushness in an otherwise very man made environment.


It's touches like this I like to see, a ship's propeller incorporated into the fencing. A little nod to the site's former existence.


There is a wonderful sweepingly wide communal space down by the water and I really hope that it gets used to it's full potential. All sorts of community events could be held there.
We saw there are also two restaurants due to open soon, one a pizza and pasta place and the other burgers and beers. Who knows we may try those out too one Friday evening.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

A Rubbish Challenge

I'm taking part in a challenge set by Alison over at Brocante Home.
The idea is to throw out one thing a day for 90 days.
Always looking for ways which will spur me into being tidier and more organised I thought I'd give it a go.
I decided to start with the chest of drawers in my bedroom.
One drawer a day would just about get me through the first week.
In the first drawer I found a blister pack containing 2 anti-biotics.
Oops I'd obviously missed taking the last day when I had a tooth infection last year, these will be disposed of at the local pharmacy.
Next day I inspected my sock drawer and found one pair which had definitely seen better days and so they went the way of the recycling.
Today two old photo frames which haven't been used for a couple of years and I've been keeping 'just in case' are now sat in a bag ready for the charity shop.
A good start.
Three things found very easily and three drawers looking tidier.
I wonder if I'll manage something for each of the 90 days.
Come back mid July and I'll let you know.


Monday, 17 April 2017

Easter

                         What a lovely Easter weekend we've just had.
Starting back on Good Friday me, G and S took ourselves off into town. For ages now we've been wanting to go and have a round of mini golf on the course in one of the parks and Friday proved to be the day we finally got to do it. We were the first group to arrive and had it all to ourselves for the first ten minutes. This gave us a good head start on the people who followed and meant we could just take our time and enjoy each hole and not feel like we were holding anyone up.


S managed to get a hole in one on her very first go but unfortunately things didn't carry on in the same vein for her!
We all had a really good laugh and it was lovely to spend time together.


A Festival of Colour was advertised as being held at the shopping centre so we wandered on over.



Loved what they had done to the steps.


The colour was continued in people dressed as exotic flowers


and the traditional fairground attractions of the helter skelter


and these gallopers.


A couple of weeks back G and I watched High Society. I love everything about this movie but G had never seen it before. I'm please to say he liked very much.
After watching it I commented that I have never seen The Philadelphia Society, the movie on which this musical version is based.
A few days later a copy arrived in the post, G had been online and ordered a copy and we watched this Friday evening.
I'm glad to have seen it (Cary Grant is in it!) but we both agreed High Society will always be our favourite.
We've now passed it on to G's mum to watch.



G had to work on Saturday and as S was busy with a friend I went to Winchester with him. We went a couple of hours before he needed to start work so we could pop along to the Angie Lewin exhibition at the Discovery Centre.
G was in and out within 5 minutes, he said it didn't so anything for him so he went into the library to see if he could find a book he was after.



I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed it. I didn't doubt I would. I love her work.
It wasn't until I was nearly leaving that I realised what I had chosen to wear that day by pure co-incidence, wasn't a million miles away from what I had been looking at.

We had time afterwards to sit by the Cathedral and have a drink and a bite to eat before G had to go on into work.


I then had an hour until my train and spent most it it in a shop called Molly's Den. There are several of these locally. Each one a treasure trove of collectables, antiques and all manner of goodies.
I came home with a new handmade brooch


and some of my money which my mum gave me at Christmas was spent on this cute mini desk calendar. 


Easter Sunday was a strange day. G had to work the late shift again and T and S were both at home all day. That hasn't happened in a while. I busied myself with household chores and in between those S helped me to prepare some games, presents and nests for our family day on Monday.
I cheated and bought the meringue nests to which we added a good dollop of melted chocolate and some mini eggs.


We had invited some of G's and my family over to us for lunch today which is when most those meringue nests were eaten.
Everyone was given a chocolate rabbit. Each rabbit sported a tag handmade by S which read 'You're Some Bunny Special'.


Plus there were some games. We had a round of bunny bingo, an Easter bunny left and right game, a guess what's in the golden egg competition and then we rounded it all off with a messy 'make your partner look like a spring lamb' game.
This involved one person in the team wearing a shower cap which was then covered in shaving foam. As shown here by T.


The shower capped team members lined up on one side and the other team members stood in a line opposite. They were given a bag of cotton wool balls which they had to throw at the shaving foam. They had one minute to get as many balls to stick as possible. As shown here by my sister C, my sister's partner A and by G. 




It was incredibly messy, incredibly sticky and incredibly funny. The winning team managed 34.
S was G's partner and she only managed 6!
I would thoroughly recommend this game, but make sure you have plenty of towels handy for the clean-up afterwards and a black sack for throwing everything away in. 

Thursday, 13 April 2017

9 Years and One Week Later

Some weeks just fly by.
When you look back you're not exactly sure what you did or why the time has flown by the way, it just has.
It's been a week like that around here.
Mind you where have the last 9 years gone?
See that serious little girl on the see saw.
That's a photo taken of a 3 year old S during our introduction week with her.
It was 9 years ago last Friday that the four of us travelled home together from her foster parents.
The serious look stayed for some time!
We did have a little treat planned but things didn't quite pan out so hopefully we'll be doing it soon instead.


Saturday morning G and I wandered along to a book sale at a local church, we didn't stay long as there wasn't much on offer


and so we made our way to a cafe for ice cream. Caramel fudge clotted cream ice cream in fact. And yes it was delicious.


We went to our first car boot of the year Sunday morning, lots of finds which I'll put together in a post at the end of the month.
Our weekend was rounded off with a wonderful evening going to see Sara Pascoe. It's the first time we've seen her live and we would definitely go again, Sara had us chortling away the whole time.

Monday was my second trip to the dentist for the rest of the root canal treatment.
The dentist was pleased with how things looked.
There has been a small amount of discomfort this week which is only to be expected. Just hoping it all settles and that's the end of it.  

Tuesday was a late start at work after dropping S of at a day of dance.
6 teachers were coming in for the day to teach 6 new styles of dance. 
Vogueing, Krumping and Afrobeats were among those on offer. I'd only heard of one of those and am still none the wiser about what some of they actually are, but S enjoyed it which is what it's all about.

               (loving the lobster shoes featured in the new CK catalogue I received this week)

S has been out and about each day of the school hols this week.
As well as her dance day she has seen different friends each day which I'm pleased about. T has had two driving lessons, worked an extra shift and spent time with friends.


Little things always make me happy, like wearing my bunny ear ear-rings a couple of times this week, aren't they cute.

A few tentative plans have been made this sky pink evening for the Easter weekend.
G will be working on Saturday and Sunday and off Friday and  Monday so we need to make the most of the time off together.
I'll let you know how we get on.
Happy Easter to you all. xx


Thursday, 6 April 2017

Easter Decorating

Although I could quite easily have cat napped on Monday after my dental appointment I decided to do something which I knew would cheer me up.
First off I hung up my new Easter wreath. I made this a couple of weeks ago.
Last year I made a bunny wreath for the front door.
This year I fancied something different.
I bought a metre of dress netting which was cut into strips which were then wrapped around a polystrene wreath.
A bag of 99p mini glitter eggs were then stuck onto pins and pushed into the wreath.


Then it was onto changing the mantelpiece in the dining room.


Bunnies, candles,




chicks and eggs will now be on display until the end of April. Let's hope there's some chocolate as well before too long.



We have a new addition in the front room.
T bought me this Easter Egg Hunt sign.
He said he saw it and thought 'mum likes things like that' and decided he would buy it for me as a surprise gift.
Such a thoughtful thing to do and very much appreciated.


Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Weekend round up

Back at the tail end of January S began going to street and hip hop dance lessons with her friend A.
A has been doing this for many years and has won lots of competitions and has many trophies. Another competition was held this last weekend and S asked a few weeks ago if she could go along to cheer on her friend.
She then decided that actually she would quite like to enter the competition herself.
As it was a late decision she had to enter as 'a solo' which of course meant she would be dancing on her own.
We were so proud of S, not only did she feel confident enough after a few short weeks of going to dance to want to take part in the competition she was also confident enough to do it on her own.
She could wear whatever she wanted and seeing it was her first competition we took her into town on Saturday morning to choose something new to wear.
I don't have any pictures to show as S didn't want us to go and watch, she said it would make her feel more nervous!
Although she wasn't placed S did have a tremendous time with her friends and she enjoyed the whole experience. 

After S had chosen her new trousers and top she and A hopped on a bus back home to practice some more whilst G and I stayed out as we had other things to do.
First off we grabbed some lunch and headed to the park to eat.
Absolutely loved the choice of plants and colour combination on display in this flower bed.


From there we made our way towards a part of town called Northam. G wanted to check out a vinyl record shop as this was en route to our next destination. Whilst he was inside I stayed out in the sun and watched the light glinting on Shoal, a huge metal fish sculpture by Tom Grimsey. 
It was sad to see only a handful of shops occupied in this part of town, it was once full of junk/antique/second hand book/shops. I know councils are strapped for cash but this part of town could be so much more vibrant.


G was extremely pleased to find a Yes LP to add to his collection.
We took the footpath over the train track which leads to St Mary's football stadium, home of the Saints. Saturday's match was being shown on TV and although kick off was still a few hours away it was already a busy place with people getting prepared, constantly in and out of huge outside broadcasting vehicles.


From there it was just a hop, skip and a jump to our final destination of Shamrock Quay. This was the venue for a Hampshire farmers market event. Live music and classic cars were also on offer but I failed miserably on the photo front and didn't manage to take any at all. Too busy sat in the sun enjoying the atmosphere and a cup of tea.



Sunday was a quiet one.
S was out dancing, T was out socialising and G was out working. 
I stayed in and did a lot of the housework jobs I normally do on a Monday as this Monday held something different.
I wish I could say it was something interesting.
Last year I had root canal treatment on one of my canine teeth.
Unfortunately it didn't work. It seems that this tooth has two canals, something which I have since learned is very unusual in a canine.
So a specialist was needed.
I did some research and found one in Salisbury and that's where I went Monday morning.


I had to walk past a branch of Debenhams and as I did I spied these enormous paper roses on display in the window, aren't they gorgeous.


Step one of the treatment was undertaken and I now need to go back next Monday for it be completed. I was in that dentist chair for about 75 minutes and I have to admit that when I returned home I could quite easily have snuggled down and joined Malcolm for a cat nap. I think the concern over the procedure and the accompanying nervousness made me feel tired once it was all over and I was home again.
Keep your fingers crossed for me next week!