Bit Of Me Time

Searching for more time …

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My hot date

Last Saturday, Husband and I went out to celebrate his birthday to a local “gastro-pub”, which is well known for great food.  A couple of years ago, there was an very bad fire which closed it for almost a year. Now it is refurbished and has regained it’s reputation very successfully.

We arrived early and naively thought we’d have a drink sitting in the bar, but were not quick enough to get one of the few bar stools.  All the tables were taken with those dining, so we stood for a bit, and then decided to find our table.  The first waiter looked at the bookings and said “I need to talk to the manager”, the second one implied our table was taken by another couple. and the head-honcho eventually re-directed us to another table.  Our young and very tall waiter arrived with the menus and wine list and asked what we would like to drink, so Husband looked through the food menu to decide what he was going to eat, and therefore drink.  This seemed to confuse the perhaps less than experienced waiter, who said that he was only taking drinks orders!  Husband clarified his reasoning, and all was well.  The waiter came back with some bread, because there were a couple of large orders in the kitchen and it was very busy.  This was fine with us, we were happy to make the most of an evening together and without the little ones getting restless.

Our starter arrived and the waiter asked who was having the consume, which confused us because it was not what we had ordered, nor indeed what he was holding.  Husband would take the carpaccio, which he did happen to be holding, at which point the waiter realised his mistake, was very apologetic and scuttled off.  Our food was delicious, but we were a little surprised when, a short time after clearing our starters, the waiter asked if we would like desserts or coffee.  We said we would be quite keen for our main course first! A bit later, he offered us bread, and then realising that we had already had some, disappeared with another apology.

For my main course, I had ordered the veal, which was a replacement for the pork belly that had sold out.   It was not until the order arrived, and I was given sausages, that it became clear it was “veal sausages” on offer.  This was not really what I wanted for a special meal.  However, it was so busy, that I knew if I tried to change it, Husband would have finished his food, long before my replacement appeared.  I will, however, email them about this point, because it was a disappointment and I would have acted there and then, if it had not been quite so chaotic.  We declined deserts and headed home for coffee.

It was a very funny evening, and a bit of a white hall farce.  Our waiter was charming, and managed our expectations very well concerning the timings and delays, however he was clearly very new to the job and on a Saturday he definitely had to “swim, not sink”.  With all the table swapping and shuffling around, it seemed clear to us that they had overbooked the restaurant.  I am sure we will return again another time, however, I might think about other places first …..


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Routine returns

I find myself sitting quietly tapping, whilst the children chomp away on their “picnic-style” supper in front of Film Night.  The start of any term is busy, but the start of the academic year is busy busy!  Added to that was our mad dash to East Sussex for a BBQ last weekend (loved it), followed by watching Andy Murray win the US Open (very late night), friends to supper the next night, next was our hockey/swimming evening, and finally a girlie night out for me.  At last, I get to stop….. for one evening only… as we have my “outlaws” coming tomorrow.  So in the morning there’ll be food to prepare, floors to be found and cleaned, and very tired children entertained!

Without sounding rude, soon after the Grandparents arrive, I’ll be off to take Son to a Goblin Treasure Hunt Pantomime party.  He’s doing well for parties so far, the last one was “ponies and pizza” at the Army Saddle Club!  His sister is getting quite jealous.

Sunday may bring some swimming, and then Husband’s “outlaws” are coming for tea.  I will add at this point, that we do get on with our inlaws very well, and we use the term “outlaws” in jest.  The children are fond of all their grandparents, so it is always great to get together.  From there it’ll be back to sorting out uniform, book bags and myself for another working week.

Now, I shall sign off and make the most of my quiet evening. Bye.

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Why blog?

It’s back to work, but I’m determined to make time to witter on Wednesdays with Sarah Miles at Hello Wall.

I was thinking about why I blog?  First and foremost I enjoy putting my stories and thoughts down, rather than leaving them to whizz around my head.  For me it is about writing when things strike me, or if nothing does, then I write about what’s been happening in our little world.  With friends overseas and others scattered far and wide, and not near enough for a regular coffee (Costa, of course), it’s a great way to stay in touch.  This site may not get lots of “hits”, but equally I don’t send out updates on twitter and facebook.  That said, I don’t mind.  I’m not a writer and I don’t pretend to be.  This is my blog, for me and it gives me a “Bit of Me Time”.

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Book Club – Chapter 6

After a break over the summer we met in the pub to discuss our last book which meant that no one had to host.  It was, as ever, a very good book/wine club and great to catch up with everyone.  We did raise our glasses to “absent friends”, as one of the original members now lives in Kuala Lumpur.  Unfortunately the time difference will mean that she can’t join us on skype very easily, but we might try one time to see how it works.  We cycled to the pub, and whilst we were quite abstemious on the whole, the journey home was still a little wobbly and noisy.

The book we have just read is “Unaccustomed Earth” by Jhumpa Lahiri is a series of 8 short stories.  It was a great read with all stories slightly entwined, and nothing like the fast page turners we had previously read.  I would definitely recommend it.

Our next book is Amanda Jennings debut book called “Sworn Secret” and recommended by a friend who said, she cooked the kid’s tea with one hand and read with another, it was too good to put down.  I’m looking forward to this one as I hear it is a page turner, with a plot that twists and turns…

BOOKS SO FAR:  “One Day” by David Nicholls; “Before I Go To Sleep” by S J Watson; “Ship of Brides” by Jojo Moyes; “Vanishing Point” by Danielle Ramsay and “50 Shades of Grey” by E L James and “Unaccustomed Earth” by Jhumpa Lahiri.

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A last dash for freedom…..

So the wonderful summer holiday has disappeared and we’re all back.  Daughter now in Year 2, Son in Reception, Husband working a 6 day week and me trying to keep up!  The term starts at a very fast pace.  On Monday all the staff returned for meetings and insets, and our nice quiet office (in the holidays) became a buzz of activity and lots of chatting and catching up with folks.  By Wednesday as the children returned and the sun shone and the working day went on and on, as we ensured that all the parents were happy, children settled and nothing forgotten.

Thursday morning is the start of term for the little ones, and it is much of the same, but on a smaller scale.  Daughter relished going into Year 2, but Son was a little reserved about Reception and clung to me until he was “unpeeled”.  This week was I also worked on Saturday morning, which luckily I only have to do a few times a term.  At least we have had some sunshine, and that has made the whole return to school much easier.

As if to make the most of our last bit of freedom before the term takes over Husband’s time, when we received a text “fancy a BBQ – we still miss you” from friends who now live over 2.5 hours away in Sussex, we thought “why not” and accepted.  Friend’s response was total amazement and she was certainly flabbergasted  I should add, also delighted!  We left within half an hour and arrived there at 7pm, having beaten the sat nav timings (well driven Husband – I mean Stig!)  We had a great evening and a slow start before heading back to a few chores and an early night for the kids, and probably us.  So thank you, our lovely friends, we miss you too. and look forward to another mad dash soon!

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The first visit of the Tooth Fairy

Well, tonight is the night that the Tooth Fairy will be visiting us for the first time. Daughter has drawn a little picture and I know she will take her time to drift off to sleep!

For me, it’s an exciting time as my “little girl” gets more grown up.  I am also slightly reeling that the going rate for a tooth is £1, more than I was expecting.  I know one friend who left 50p for her daughter, and the daughter was very upset that the Tooth Fairy did not think her tooth was worth more. Tricky.

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Back to the 80s?

As I settle down to witter on a Wednesday, courtesy of Hello Wall, I see that a friend on Facebook tells me that Dallas has returned to our screens, with the same Bobby, same JR and same Sue Ellen (all looking rather older and stretched).

So, in only five minutes Bobby has been told he has cancer, his son, Christopher is now the “energy tycoon” who has been discovered making out in the tennis locker room with his fiance by an older neighbour, then of course there is friction between JR Jnr and Bobby Jnr – so it really will be the same old thing, just a generation younger; and I’m sure they are going to fight over the same girl.  However I’ll not bore you with a blow by blow account.

My plea to the writers is that they come up with new story lines – they’ve done the one when one of the character wakes up after a bad dream, in which he had died (which was basically wiping out the whole of the last series); I can’t imagine there will be the hype of “who shot JR” (either junior or senior); and can the family stay together without “Mama” at the helm.  Only will time will tell.

I am left wondering which other telly series from the 80s that might be revived – Dynasty, Howard’s Way, Cagney and Lacey, Blankety Blank, Blind Date, Fame, Cheers, Miami Vice, Dukes of Hazard.  Personally, I’m not convinced about any of these, in my opinion they have had their day.  Although there are a couple of programmes that have survived the years – Countdown and Only Fools and Horses.

Whether I remember to watch Dallas next week remains to be seen.  I am sure that I will be tuning into The Accused, Masterchef, Miranda, and (soon) Strictly Come Dancing – to name a few.