Bit Of Me Time

Searching for more time …

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Book Club – Chapter 11

Well, it was my turn this time and it’s taken me quite a while to choose a book – there are so many good ones out there.  I reduced the list to 7 and almost made the final choice by closing my eyes and picking one.  However, I did manage to make a grown up decision, and our next book will be “Jasmine Nights” by Julia Gregson.


We have also persuaded someone to join our club to “replace” the friend who moved to KL last year.  I’m not sure if she has had a chance to read the book, but it was great fun to get her round the table for a few glasses and a giggle.  Again I used my friends as “guinea pigs” and tried out “Vodka Pasta” by Nigella Lawson and an easy pudding of Eton Mess.  All yummy, even though I say it myself.  The other issue I had to deal with, was a great idea started by “long lost friend” that when you host the Book Club you also have to write a poem, read it out and email it to her.  It’s still on my “to do” list.

This post seems to be backwards, as I’ve started with the new book, then the meal and poem and am only now getting round to discussing the book we were reading – “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes.  I loved it.  It is about a young girl who gets a job looking after a young man in a wheelchair, after an accident, for which she has no experience.  I thought the way she described how he felt about his disability, the frustration, the loss of his old life, the lack of decisions that he was left to make, and all the other emotions was amazing.  I felt her frustrations too, of trying to chivvy him on and get him to do something.   I have no personal experience of knowing anyone in a wheelchair, and these are just my ramblings, but it has certainly made me think about the bigger picture.  It was a wonderful read and we all ended with tears falling down our cheeks.  This is our second book by Jojo Moyes and I’ll be back for more soon.


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It’s the summer party season

We have quite a few colleagues leaving or retiring this year and so there are loads of farewell parties.

This weekend we are going to the pub on Friday, and on we’re off to friends on Saturday,.  Two weeks after this we have a big party for three leavers and a hen night on the Saturday (yes, I’ll be going to both);  followed by a long Sunday lunch to say another fond farewell.  One week on again and it’s the end of term party, followed the next day by a HUGE “house cooling”.  Our children will be shipped off to Granny for the last weekend, and the previous “long” Sunday!  I then have a week to recover, before going on holiday with great friends, when I’m sure my poor old liver will be put to the test again…

summer party

Loving the social life – I’ve missed you!

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Country Bumpkins visiting the the Big Smoke

Recently, very good friends of ours asked if we would like to borrow their flat in London for the weekend.  How could we refuse?  As a family we have never been to London, apart from one visit to see “The Tiger Who Came To Tea”, which was great.  So we hopped on the train on Friday morning and settled down to a picnic lunch.  Both children were incredibly excited, even thought we’d said very little about what we were going to do.

The journey went smoothly and Husband jumped off at Clapham Junction to get the key to the flat.  Kids and I carried onto Waterloo and then onto Arsenal to visit cousins.  We had a great time and found a playground for the children and took a couple of photos of Daughter outside Arsenal football ground to be sent to her Godfather who is an avid fan.  From there we headed to Piccadilly with the intention of eating at The Rainforest Cafe. The children’s eyes were on stalks as we walked in, but as we waited for our table Son thought it was too noisy and Daughter didn’t want to wait. The reviews we had heard were mixed, so we headed off to find an alternative.

The following day  starred with breakfast in a cafe, a must for Daughter who thought it was a great way to start the day.  Son needed food and we had to manage a bit of a tantrum until he got outside a couple of croissants.  We then headed off to The Science Museum.  The most exciting part of London it seems were the “moving stairs” in the Underground. At the Science Museum we barely touched the surface, but did watch a 3D IMAX, which was all about landing on the moon.  The film was an animation and included three boy flies who wanted to land on the moon, their parents, who watched in horror on television and the real astronauts.  The 3D was certainly impressive with rockets and flies whizzing past our shoulders (or so it seemed), the only bad part was when a spider climbed down it’s web about 2 feet to our right.  Son screamed and visibly shook, Daughter removed her 3D glasses and Husband did a brilliant job of calming Son down.  Afterwards we headed for lunch and then spent a bit of time at The Natural History Museum – again barely scraping the surface.

Back to the flat for a break, and then out to supper. We jumped on a bus (disappointment that there were no moving stairs) and to Covent Garden.  We were a little concerned to see so many Police outside Parliament and even more around Trafalgar Square, until we spotted the Miner’s  Union Flag and realised it was a protest again Margaret Thatcher, whose funeral was the following Wednesday.  I lived in London for a few years, including during the Poll Tax Riots (that ages me), I was a little on edge, however it seemed to be a mostly peaceful protest and did not spoil our evening.

The weather so far had not been brilliant, but we woke on Sunday to glorious sunshine and were very excited to be meeting up with Daughter’s godmother, who was joining us on the Duck Tour.  I would recommend this tour, particularly if you manage a sunny day.  It’s different, it’s fun and (yes) it’s touristy!!  Be prepared to quacking, cheering and laughing.  You spend most of the time going by road, seeing lots of sights and then go onto the River Thames, by the M16 building, down to the Houses and Parliament and back.  The children absolutely loved it, as did the adults.

duck tour

We then headed to Tower Bridge to Strada, with quite a view for lunch!

Afterwards it was back to the flat, on the river taxi, cleared up the flat and to the train station.  Unfortunately SouthWest trains were not at their best and the six carriage train was only three.  There was literally nowhere else to stand and we were extremely grateful to the mother who squashed up with her four year old, so that our two could squeeze next to her and sit down.

When I ask the children what was the “best bit” – it was easy – “the moving stairs in the Underground, Mummy”!

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Farewell my old uncomfortable friend….

In rare moments of peace and quiet, I look around the house and hope for inspiration and enthusiasm for decorating.  We have the most uncomfortable sofa which is on it’s way out, so I have my chance to decorate (if I can make a decision!).  The sofa was my Dad’s before he got married in 1966, and although it has been re-covered, cushions have been re-stuffed etc, it is 47 years old and leaves my with a sore, stiff back most evenings!  It’s done well.  It has survived me and my brothers childhood, and more impressive than that, is that it hass survived Son and Daughters (and friends) bouncing, and playing on it.  Cushions have been stepping stones, it’s made a great den and has entertained them on wet days endlessly. It should be proud of it’s innings and it should be going to the scrapheap with it’s “head held high” (if it could).sofa

Without much of a second glance we’ve found replacements!  We will be getting two smaller sofas from friends who are moving overseas.  This gives us the great opportunity of thinking about plastering over the artex ceiling, cleaning the carpet (after a puppy and babies) and repainting.  The whole house is yellow, with door frames in a “mucky yellow”.  Four years on it’s time to make our mark and de-yellow the house.

My first task with me clearing out all the unused toys – don’t tell Daughter and Son, as these will suddenly become favourtes if they see them!  This will make space in the playroom for the sitting room furniture whilst we overhaul the room.  I love de-cluttering and always wonder why it takes me so long to get started. So now I’m off the dump…..

This is a late entry for The Monday Club