Bit Of Me Time

Searching for more time …

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Book Club – Chapter 4

Well, last week was book club and it was chez Adams.  I am not a great cook, so in my “wisdom”!  I decided to “treat” the girls to recipes I had never cooked before.  Thankfully Nigella came to the rescue, and we all survived.

It was a lovely girly chatty evening, accompanied by much wine.  It was tinged with sadness, as one of the original team is off to Kuala Lumpur – so sad.  So we will be squeezing in another book club before mid-August.  A quick read will be needed.

We had been reading Vanishing Point by Danielle Ramsay, which is a crime thriller, a bit gorey, but not a challenging read.  Two of us managed to fit in the second book “Broken Silence”.   As with previous books clubs, the wine flowed (maybe over-flowed) and when choosing our next book I have to say that the wine took charge at this point, and we are going for some ‘Mummy Porn’ – “50 Shades of Grey” by E L James.  I have since learned that one of the girls has bought all three books!

I will let you know how I get on, as I’ve not started it just yet.  Maybe the next one had better be more like ‘Bleak House’, or something similar!


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Le Tour

Prompted by “The 1970’s Diet” blog , I thought I would add my views on the “Le Tour”, and I have to agree with 197o’s Diet – it’s great.

I did not know much about it until Husband introduced me to it –  the individuals, the teams, the domestiques, the scandals.  I now love it.  In 2004 we followed the tour in a Honda Accord Estate, which thankfully had a great sat nav. There were three main highlights, the Alps d’Huez time trial, Col de Madeleine and the finish.

The Alpe d’Huez has 21 z-bends (hairpin bends) on it and, as a time trial, the cyclists would be cycling individually.  The general rule with Le Tour, is that the Dutch arrive days ahead in their huge caravans, with satellite TV and write all over the road, and often turn everything orange.  The Germans are next, with the French, then rest of the world, and finally the Brits.  So it was that we were almost last, and found last spot on the mountain-side to park up.  We had wine and time, and sat back watching the club cyclists take around one hour 30 mins to get from the bottom to the top (as they told us when they stopped for  a mug of vino on the way down).  However, when the pros went through the next day, Lance Armstrong and Jan Ullrich, only took a mere 38 mins or so!  There was not much in the way of “facilities”, but the atmosphere was electric and the experience was worth the occasional hardship.

From there, another great place was the lower slopes of the Col de Madeleine.  Picture a beautiful alpine hillside with a few Z-bends in amongst pastureland.  The riders were cycling up the hill, so all we had to do was to sit back and wait, until we could see them coming.  After many days of traveling (and finding showers that were only for men!) we found the Col de Madeleine.  We parked up, opened up the boot, and made ourselves eggy bread and coffee – pure luxury.  We had many an envious look from others (including the French) and sat back, read a book and waited for Le Tour.

And so to Paris.  We treated ourselves to a hotel for a couple of nights, after sleeping in the car and camping for a week, we’d earned it.  On the final day of Le Tour we headed to the Champs-Élysées and found a small piece of concrete to sit on.  Seven hours later we headed to a cafe for a beer – a very expensive beer.  That said, it was amazing.  Lance Armstrong won for the 6th time and we happened to be next to a loud Texan with a flag, so when the teams were doing their lap of honour, the noisy Texan got Lance’s attention, and we got this photo….

In essence, these boys are mad, they spends hours, days, months cycling and getting fit, when not competing.  During Le Tour alone, they spend three weeks, with two rest days, cycling an average of 120 miles a day.  Why – I have no idea.  From my armchair it’s amazing, impressive and an element of madness.  It is not something I could ever achieve.  If you want to know more, from a novice point of view, I suggest “French Revolution” by Tim Moore – an ordinary bloke who decides to cycle the tour.

This year we’ll be shouting “come on Sky” which is a predominantly British team, including Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish.

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Quote of the week….

“I’m not daft, I’m a hedge”!

I’m not sure I can add much to this, although I would be fascinated by what a psychologist might make of this, hopefully not much as it came from a 4 year old.  We’re not sure what he meant, why he said it, or what is coming next, but it was definitely made us smile!

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Long lost brother

I’m really excited because my big brother is coming home this week for a mini hols.  He has lived overseas for many years, on cruise ships and more recently on mega yachts, working for the filthy rich and being at their beck and call.  He’s worked his way up from Deckhand to First Mate, and has done his Skipper Exams.  We’ve never seen much of him once he took to the seas, but it’s a life he’s loved.

As young adults, I was the one travelling to many far flung places, at every possible opportunity, and he was at home working.  Somewhere in the last “however many” years, we’ve swapped and he’s been the one whizzing around the world, well across the oceans, and I’ve been the stay-at-home, married, mortgage and bringing up a family.  It still amuses me how we have changed.  However, he’s now hung up his sailing boots and lives in Nice, and works in Monaco – not so bad, particularly when his last facebook page said something about it being too hot to sunbathe!

I miss him and I can’t wait to see him.  Roll on Thursday evening!


It’s just not funny

I am beginning to realise that telling jokes is not something that comes naturally to little children and humour is learned over the next few years, as their grasp of language and the play on words increases.

Telling jokes in our house is funny, but not always for the right reasons.  Daughter and Son learn one or two jokes by heart, and are then very keen to know more, so make them up.  An example is Q: “why did the zebra cross the road?” Ans: “he wanted to cross the road”.  Or they get the words a little muddled, such as Q: “what did the eggs talk about” Ans: “let’s get cracking”.

At the moment I certainly find it quite amusing, and try to suggest words when it’s not quite right, such as Q: “what did one egg say to the other egg?” Ans: “let’s get cracking”.

At some point we will have to admit that actually, it’s just not funny.  However, we will continue to laugh at the right time and make subtle suggestions at other times, for the time being.  Maybe we need to invest in a couple of jokes books, once they are both reading – not long now.

As I am not someone who remembers loads of jokes, and we have not bought the joke books yet, here’s a simple one from me – Q”What did the 8 (eight) say to the 0 (zero)”?  Ans: “nice belt”.

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A quiet weekend – really?

Well, we made plans to do nothing this weekend, but a couple of fun things have managed to appear on the calendar.  After busy weekend of Jubilee celebrations, it was a good intention, even though it did not last.  We have relatives coming on Friday evening for film night and staying over, and we’ll start Saturday with pancakes for breakfast (any excuse).  In the afternoon we’re off to have cream tea with friends, a Godmother, a teacher and a catch up.  We have been promised clotted cream and all the trimmings (couldn’t possibly turn it down).

Sunday morning swimming is cancelled because we are off for an “official birthday” party.  Lighting McQueen presents have been purchased and a card written and decorated.  The birthday is close to Christmas, and I think the party may well be indoors, December being drier than June!  It will be great fun and a mixture of Godparents, kids’ friends and adult’s friends.

So our two tired children will be really shattered by the end of it all, but hopefully Daughter will get a rest before her party-fest next Saturday – when she has one party at 11am-1pm and the next one at 3pm-5pm!!!  I’ve heard parents say that their children have a better social life than them, and I am certainly living proof.

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Jubilee and beyond

Hello blog, it’s been a while since I was here.  I’ve missed my blog and that’s due to a lack of “me time”, not even a little “bit of me time”.  I should mention the Jubilee – we loved it, and although did not see much “live”, the highlights have proved useful.  We were lucky enough to go away for the Jubilee weekend, and here’s our tale..

Life in our house gets very busy just before half terms and school holidays, and last week was no exception.  Husband is busier, with lighting and sound for plays, reports to write and other schooly bits.  Unfortunately my job gets busier and busier at a very similar time.

It was quite “fun” (aka stressful) just getting to half term.  We were due to leave as soon as we could after work, but soon realised, as day after day whizzed by, that we were not going to leave as early as planned, supper time in Wales, was not possible.  So we decided to feed little ones before we set off, and arrived with enough time for them have a look around, bounce on the trampoline and get into bed. The best bit was that we knew, once little ones were in bed, we could jump into jacuzzi with a cool beer or glass white wine – or two.

It was quite a gathering of 7 adults, a 14 year old and our two smaller ones, all going to a beautiful house in Wales complete with outdoor swimming pool, jacuzzi, tennis court and trampoline.  Plenty of games of hide and seek, squashed sardines and quite a bit of Jubilee watching on telly.  It all culminated in a BBQ with all the Jubilee paraphernalia and loads of food.

Now back home, it’s straight into work for me, a “Daddy day” with Daughter and Son, and then back to it from Thursday onwards.  Roll on summer holidays ………….