Sunday, 23 August 2015



Gosh, the weather has been warm here in the Midlands of England, but I am not complaining. 
It's so nice to walk out of the house on seemingly endless days and not have to think
 "Do I need a cardigan?" or even more likely "Do I need a raincoat?"

As the title suggests, my post this week is all about progress - 
I feel there has been a definite theme developing in my life over the last few days. 

It doesn't happen very often so please bear with me and indulge me in my glorification
 of recent progresses! Sometimes they are few and far between!

So here goes (but I do apologise for the quality of some of these photos) 
and also for the mundane subject matter of some of them too.

Number 1: Boy, oh boy - when I bought this cute cross stitch kit I didn't realise quite 
how much sky (and snow!) there was to stitch, but I now feel I am making 
measurable inroads into that sky. Only 5 more rows to go!

Number 2: Mr. Gissing, you are a talented writer, constructing complicated sentences and using a
challenging vocabulary which I love to read, but after a day at work I struggle
to read more than a few pages before my eyes close.

 I have been reading this book for what seems an eternity, but I am now over half way! 

I started to read this book several months ago and downloaded it onto my kindle to continue 
reading it while I was on holiday, but it wasn't until I was actually away that I realised the
 kindle version was an abridged version, and no way did I want to read it!  

(OK, diversion here from my progress. My daughter spent the weekend in Oakham and I
picked her up Sunday, while I waited for her I wandered into the town, found a bench 
(and a coffee) and sat to read a few more pages of my book. I then had a short wander 
round. Oakham is a very pretty town. The Butter Cross below first appeared on a map in 1611.)

 (Note the five holes in the stocks! Why? How? The mind boggles!)

(Back to progress)
Number 3: Once home from Oakham I tackled that dreadful chore - ironing. 
Here is just some of the items I de-creased!

 Number 4: Saturday, and a dirty job that has been waiting several years, 
yes I cleared out the garage! 
There is still more stuff to sort out but it is much tidier and cleaner - yay!
We even got one of the bikes fixed on Saturday afternoon. 
Sometime elder son had said he would fix a problem with a back tyre - but 
said tyre and inner tube had languished for months on the garage floor. 
But every cloud has a silver lining, as husband and I we sat outside drinking 
coffee at the cafe next door to the bike shop while the tyre, and a new inner tube, were
 reunited with the bicycle frame!
What more could we ask!

Number 5: Crochet blanket - there had been little crochet on this blanket for many
 months, but some longer car journeys of late has meant that I have added 
several limestone and candy pink rows. 
I ordered more crochet cotton tonight too, desperately hoping that 
it arrives before we leave for a long weekend away in Yorkshire on Friday. 

Number 6: And finally - I am having a bit of a clear out at home. 
We have a stack of jigsaws in the loft and I decided it was time some found a 
new home. But of course I have to check that there are no pieces missing 
before I take them to the charity shop
 (Ok, it's also a grand excuse to do each puzzle one more time.) 
This jigsaw has 1500 pieces - and I like to make it harder by
 not looking at the picture on the box.   

So, there it is. 
Sometimes when life feels a bit busy it is good to feel progress is being made,
 even if in very small ways. 
Thank you for indulging me!

Have a great week.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

When it rains


Living in the Midlands has some drawbacks - a major one is that we are a minimum 
of a 2 hour drive from the coast. And every so often I have a yearning to 
see the sea, eat fish and chips and waste a few pounds (and a couple of hours) 
in the amusements. 

So Last Friday I booked a night for us all at Whitby Youth Hostel. 
We set off at 9.30 on Friday morning, a bit later than planned but it is 
the summer holidays and have you tried getting 3 teenagers/young 20 somethings 
up early when there is no pressing need?

 The weather forecast wasn't good but I live by the motto that 
"the weather is never as bad as they forecast". 
I think on Friday my motto let me down. 
As we headed north the skies brightened, 
my natural optimism grew but as we turned off the A1 and skirted the 
North Yorkshire Moors, visibility dropped to about 20 metres.

  The clouds were low and the rain was heavy. 
We headed for Staithes and sat in the car to ear our lunch. 

Once the rain eased, we headed down into Staithes, dodging the heavy rain showers 
in tea shops. 
It was flipping chilly too, I ended up wearing son's jumper to keep warm!

Fish and chips were eaten in Whitby. 

Entertainment for me in the Youth Hostel was browsing through some old copies of a
 magazine we used to read as children "Essex Countryside" - yes, at heart I am an
 Essex girl! The date on this one is 1969!

I loved the adverts - look at that Capri, 3 litre was pretty impressive!

And look at these adverts for TVs. In the advert above it promotes colour transmission
 as starting in November 1969! And the telephone numbers are so short.

Saturday dawned a much brighter prospect....ahhh! 
This is the Whitby that I had in mind when I booked our one night away!

Even at 10am the harbour was busy - 
everyone eager to escape outside after the wet and cool day before. 

The sun shone brightly - it can't fail to lift the spirits.  

After a walk round Whitby we headed south to Filey, one of my favourite seaside resorts, 
and a place we often stayed in for a week when the children were little. 

It has happy memories for us - how can we forget the time when our younger son
 aged just 3 months managed to roll out of bed and fall in the open suitcase 
by the bed - that was a bit of luck wasn't it!

Or the week when I very nearly came home early from holiday because same son, 
a couple of years older, would not sleep except from 10pm to 6am - 
not the most considerate times for parents, ready for a holiday and hoping for a relaxing week!

Said son is now 19 and sleeps 11pm to 11am (if we let him!)

Ahh... Filey Bay...

fluorescent ice creams...

and an incoming tide!

Then far too soon, it was time to say goodbye once more to the sea!
Until next time Filey!

Hope you all had a good weekend!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Popping by... say "hello" and catch up.

I have been very quiet lately on my blog, only because of that usual issue: life got a bit busy.  

In brief, the boys are back from university, school is out, daughter awaits GCSE results, 
we had a fantastic family holiday and work continues.


Holiday for us was a train trip across Europe. Starting from our town we got a train to
St Pancras, and then took the Eurostar to Bonn, and travelled onward by train to
Stuttgart, Munich, Prague and Krakow.


My husband and I have always enjoyed adventurous holidays and now the children are,
well not really children any more, we have started venturing off again.
And train travel is my favourite way to travel.

Europe had a heatwave while we were away - it was extremely hot some
days, up to 36 degrees C.

And thankfully the young people enjoy this type of holiday as much
as we do. There is no opportunity to get bored!
(Mercedes Benz Museum, Stuttgart)

Here are just a selection of photos from our holiday. 

(Englisher Beer Garten, Munich on a Sunday afternoon, 
listening to a brass band playing in the pavilion)

In between family and work life, I have been trying to make the most of the summer - 
I've spent time with my friend who lives in Malaysia and comes back for the summer. We spent a day in the Peak District and walked along Stanage Edge,
once we had consumed 2 coffees and a cream tea!


I spent a weekend with my friend in Kent. 
We saw "The Elephant Man" at the Theatre Royal Haymarket starring 
Bradley Cooper - it was fantastic.
I couldn't stop yawning all weekend - I was just SOOO relaxed.

(Prague station, waiting for the overnight sleeper train to Krakow) 

I have read your blogs, but I'm sorry that I haven't always had chance to respond. 

(Auschwitz - daughter met an Auschwitz survivor this year as part of her history lessons)

As you can see, our holiday had a bit of World War II theme - this wasn't planned but we have
done much reading and watching of documentaries and films about WWII since our return
 - it was certainly an educational trip!

(Oskar Schindler's factory, Krakow)

This weekend we have a night away planned at Whitby YHA. 
We live a long way from the sea and I am desperately in need of seeing the sea. 
We are planning to head for Staithes and possibly Robin Hood's Bay on Friday.

(Square inside Jewish ghetto, Krakow. The bronze chairs represent 
furniture abandoned by Jews when the ghetto was liquidated)

It is a very long time since the children/young people of the family visited
Staithes and Robin Hood's Bay. 
Saturday we have planned to visit our old favourite Filey. 
Sadly, the weather forecast for the weekend is awful, but hey, we can sit in the car
and drink tea from a thermos!

(Main Square, Krakow)

Until next time...I hope you are enjoying the summer and continue to do so!
Best wishes

And "thank you" to everyone who left comments on my Tuc post- very thoughtful and kind!