Friday, December 26, 2008

Boxing day swim 2008

It was freezing!!! The temperature was much lower today, and nasty biting easterly wind got up! Plus it was high tide and a bit rough! But we braved the elements, and went in. We all had to stand behind a red tape, and count down from 30seconds before 11am. It was a fabulous atmosphere! We just ran in, and the waves broke over us, and then we ran out again! it was all over so quickly I didn't have time to feel cold. Some kind person near us had bottles of hot water which he tipped over Lucy and my brother. You should have heard the squeals of delight! We all had a hot coffee and wrapped ourselves in towels and dressing gowns afterwards. it was great! Thank you so much for sposoring me, between myself, Lucy and my brother and his girls we think we have raised about £400!! Fantastic!

This is the sea that we went into!
Nicholas, Mum, Lucy and myself just arriving, BRRR!
We had t shirts printed with dad's name
Thant's me with the santa hat!

off we go! That's me with the santa hat in the middle
Just come out, you can see that I ma wet up to my middle!
Lucy enjoying a hot water shower!
Lucy, me, my brother and his 2 girls

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Boxing day swim

OMG I must be mad! I am doing the Boxing day swim again this year. I did it 2 years ago, and thought I would never do it again, but I have volunteered this year in memory of my Dad! The annual boxing day swim is a fabulous fun event that takes place at Splash Point in Worthing, come rain, shine, wind, frost etc! It is in aid of the CT scanner appeal for Worthing Hospital. My Dad had fabulous treatment there throughout his 11 years of cancer. So this is a small way of saying THANK YOU to the hospital.

To sponsor me please visit:


Thursday, December 04, 2008

December diary days 2 - 4

OOpps! Having said I will do a December diary I have forgotten to do days 2 -4! But I have doen 2 and 3 in my real life book. I'll take some photos tomorrow and upload them.

Day 2 was Tuesday, and I took Mum shopping to brighton. Managed to buy some seriously BIG pressies (Shhhhh secret!) so I am dead chuffed! Mum bought part of my present - a rotary cutter. Just need a ruler and a cutting mat now.

Day 3 was Wednesday, and I spent a while finishing off the prep of my December diary as per Ali Edwards. The idea is to have the pages made so you just have to add photos and journaling each day. I then spent the evening wrapping advent presensts for the kids. I have taken part in the UKScrappers advent swap this year and decided to include the kids! So they each have a present to open each day up until 24th. It's instead of buying lots of little presents at Christmas. Kind of spreads it out! Me and Lucy have loved opening presents together each day! I posted days 1 - 12 to Nicholas so he can open them at university. I still need to buy a couple more - must try and do that early next week. Also want to get cards sent soon.

Day 4 is Thursday - today. I have been rushing around a bit today so not done very much towards Christmas except sew angels at my quilting group this morning. My idea is to give friends an angel this year to hang on their trees!

Monday, December 01, 2008

December diary - day 1

It's Christmas Journal time again! This year I am going to do a combination of Shimelle's class and Ali Edwards December diary. I need to make my book today, so I can just write, stick in photos and embellies!

Here's my 'don't forget' page from last year. I haqve been ppretty good. I admit I am not particularly organised with presents, but have made a start. I don't need to think too hard about food this year cos I'm not cooking Christmas dinner! (yipee!) I WILL sort out the decorations and throw out those we don't use anymore. I have made plenty of simple cards, and am pleased with them, but have had to supplement with bought ones. I must buy a new Christmas CD though!

Here's the manifesto from Shimelle's class.

Starting today, December first, I will keep a Christmas journal. In it, I will write
something every day to reflect on the holidays of my past, enjoy the holidays of
the present and dream about the holidays of the future. To some, this would be a
stack of papers and trivial scribbles, but not to me. I am taking back my Christmas, I am letting it be something I relish and most importantly I am giving at least fifteen minutes to myself, every day, no matter how crazy this season becomes. This Christmas I will make something with my own hands, my own words and my own memories.
My first entry is going to be what I have already done in preparation for Christmas. Actually it's quite a bit!
Made over 40 cards
bought Michelle and Izzy's presents
bought wrapping paper (cheap from Asda and expensive from M&S)
organised delivery date for Christmas tree (nice man from the pet shop called to book a date!)
organised what Mum will do on Christmas day
advent swap on Ukscrappers (what fun!)
started to buy and wrapped presents fro Nicholas and Lucy for the month of December (needs completing!)
ordered presnts for Maurice
ordered BG wassail papers! (for my Dec diary)
taken and ordered photos for Brighton and Hove crop to do Christmas LOs
made 2 Christmas cakes

Thanksgiving last day

This is my last post on this topic! Yesterday I was thankful for Lucy and her boyfriend Tom, who together cooked us the most yummiest roast dinner! We had Mum over so I cleared the dining room and we ate at the proper dining room table. It was really lovely!

I have so enjoyed doing this thread! Thank you for reading it! It has made me feel much more positive and happy, and I hope it has done the same to all of you even though some of you are going through very tough times. In fact, I was watching The One Show last week, and they were doing a little article about stress, and got this rather depressed, pessimistic man to complete a 'happiness diary'. He had to think of 3 good things each day and write them down. He had terrible trouble at first, but got better at it over the month and found his outlook on life really changed!!! I think I might do that in january, which can be a rather depressing month.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksguvung day 29

Today I am thankful for M&S custoner service! I bought 3 rolls of expensive wrapping paper last Friday, and left them there! Yesterday I went in on the offchance, and the assistant found them straight away, there waiting for me! And we watched the lovely girls in the cafe dealing with a poor old lady who was very confused and frail! They were so gentle with her. Toot toot for M&S!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving day 28

Today I am grateful for my 'real life' friends. I have loads of 'cyber' friends that I talk to every day more of less, but these are my real life friends that I drink coffee and eat lunch with! This morning I am off to Angela's for coffee with her and Sarah. I met Angela at a mother and baby group shortly after Nicholas was born, so that's nearly 20 years ago! We were only at the m&b group until the babies were 8 months, so met at each others houses, on a Friday afternoon. That changed to a Friday morning once the children were at nursery school, so we could actually talk! The group diminished over the years as people moved away etc, and Sarah joined us as she and Angela were already friends through theur husbands. We don't meet every week now. Maybe once every 2 or 3 weeks on average, usually at one of our houses, but occasionally out for lunch or coffee. We have been through each others ups and downs and provide each other with enormous love and support.

Later on I am going to meet another set of friends for lunch. These friends also date back to when Nicholas was a baby. We used to meet as a postnatal NCT group. We all lived locally and met once a week at one of our houses, ably organised by Denise. WE didn't see much of each ohter for while when the children were at middle school, but we now meet up once a month for lunch at Tides restaurant in Goring. We've also been through everyone's ups and downs, including 'empty nest' syndrome, now our children are going off to university!

I love the fact that I have such a diverse set of friends. I don't have a particular 'best-mate', but do have lots of people I can talk to and go out with. Not only do I have the friends I made when I first had Nicholas, but new friends I am making now through my crafting, both scrapbooking and sewing.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Today is thanksgiving day in USA. Later on today I might do another entry here about the origins and traditions of it, but just now, I want to do my big thankyou that I have been saving until today. Today I am grateful for my close family, Maurice and the kids! What would I be without them?

Here's the latest photo of Nicholas that I took at Bath a couple of weeks ago. Am I proud of him??? He has settled into university life so well, and is joining in with so many things, many more than we had hoped! He has a fabulous social life with lots of different groups of friends, and is really happy! I don't think the work has been particularly challenging this term, but maybe that's a good thing- he has had time ot settle in nicely. (That's Maurice and my Mum in the picture at the Roman baths. My mum is really small, so M and N are bending their knees LOL) I am really looking forward to meeting Nicholas in London on saturday. We're going to have lunch at the science museum, then onto a AIFHS meeting at Andy's office.

I think this is the latest one of Lucy that I have taken. This is where Lucy can often be found when she's at home! She has purloined the family laptop, and it is more of less permanently in her bedroom! I am so proud of Lucy, she has settled into 6th form college really well, has made new friends, and is enjoying the new subjects (pyschology and sociology) I am really proud of her achievements in volleyball, England u16 champions, and although she is not England standard, I love that she has a really good attitude to winning or losing, and will continue to play socially. I am proud of her relationship with her boyfriend. They seem to be really good friends, and never argue. She is coming through the teenage years and really blossoming!

And here we are as a family! We don't have many shots like this, maybe I will take another one this year. I think we took this about 3 years ago for a Christmas card! I am so looking forward to spending some time all together over the Christmas period!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving day 26

Radio2! I love listening to radio 2, so today am grateful for the DJs, my faves are Terry Wogan in the morning, love his quirky sense of humour, especially the Janet and John thing! (JUst ordered a CD for Children in Need - also Bandaged!) I quite like Jeremy Vine at dinner time, I do enhoy the phone ins and hearing all different opinions about the news topics of the day and other less serious topics. I love the popmaster quiz on Ken Bruce's show . I also love Chris Evans - drivetime- love his upbeat excitement! Fave bit is where the children ring in to say what they've done for the first time today! But my absolute favourite are Stewart McConie and Mark Radcliffe in the evenings. Love em! Especially the music they play, so cool! I can often be found in my craft room listening to them while I craft! Consequently I don't watch much telly anymore! I am very choosy about what I watch - recently I have enjoyed Stephen Fry's trip round America where he visited every state, and found some really quirky people! Also anything with Charley Boorman, YUM!

Edited to say that the Bandaged CD arrived, and that Ken Bruce DWYT is incredibly funny! maurice loved it too! It's probably the only track we will listen to LOL!

It is Thanksgiving Day tomorrow, so I think I will write an extra special thankyou. Watch this space!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving day 25

Gosh! Less than 1 week to go now.

Not sure if I've said thanks for my dog yet LOL!!! Here he is - I think a few cute pics will say all I want

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving day 23 and 24

OK I'm taking 2 days to be thankful for this! I am so grateful to Shimelle, who ran 'Everyone has a story' workshop yesterday in Gosport. I have always been inspired in my scrapbooking by Shimelle, both in magazines, books and online, so to have the opportunity to got to a workshop and meet her in real life was just amazing! (Bit star struck really!!!)

We had a fabulous day. Thanks to Sue from Gosport who organised it, fabulous venue, so spacious and light. And thanks to my new pal Helen, with whom I car shared. We didn't stop talking all day long, and I hope to meet up with her in the new year to continue with the project together.

I have loads of inspiration to take away from the workshop! I will use different size photos in my scrapbooking from now on, and will do more journaling!

Look at all this lovely food! We had to take a dish that meant something in our lives, and the stories were really interesting! There was literally tons of gorgeous foods, soup (YUM) sausage rolls, nibbles, salads, quiches, gateaux, cakes, cream etc. Thanks to everyone for providing!

Here's Shimelle in full flow! I think she was explaining about writing down that you intend to carry on with this project at this point.

And here I am 'starstruck'!!! LOL Seriously though, Shimelle really is a very nice person, and a fabby teacher.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thanksgiving day 22

Last night we went to a glitzy awards dinner for Sussex Sports partnership. So today I am grateful for the superb way it was organised! It really was good - not too boring (LOL) as all the speakers kept to time! So lovely and so important to recognise all those volunteers who run the little sports clubs that are everywhere!

It was a lovely venue, beautifully decorated, and the food and wine were good too! The only tiny downside was that Lucy's team didn't win and that the music for the disco was too loud! Why do they have such loud music that you can't talk? Maurice and Andrew knew one of the orgaisers as they used to work with her. A great job they can be proud of!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thanksgiving day 21

Today I am thankful for Fridays!!! WOOHOO no work today! I work Thursday evening so I cna have Friday off, so a bit of a lie in and plenty of time to myself!!

I have just this week changed my hours a little bit. I am now cleaning Mon-Wed 6.15-9.15, then a quick clean Wed evening, don't go in Thursday morning, but do 5-8pm Thursday evening. U changed becayse it's dirtiest on Thursdays and I was just doing a quick clean then, and I am doing a little volunteering course on Thursday lunchtimes.

The course is being run for ex-users of the family centre who would like to be involved as a volunteer, and I am participating in this one, with a view to runnning it myself later on! So far, so good, there's 4 of us atm, so a nice little group.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thanksgiving day 20

Today I am grateful for my wonderful box of organic vegetables that is delivered right to my door every Wednesday! Maurice and I eat them nearly all between us, and it's a box for 4 people!! Think how healthy we must be now.
We are eating more and more veg and fruit. I am sure that our diet is getting better as we get older. Even Nicholas who isn't a great veg lover is having veg every night with his tea, unlike some of his fellow students! Lucy and Tom don't eat enough veg though. Tom is quite fussy really.
This should help with losing weight! I am about 7lbs over my goal weight which I attained this time last year. Not bad really, but I am really struggling to get the motivation to lose that small amount of weight!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thanksgiving day 19

Today I am thankful for Durrington High School, and especially the head teacher, Mrs Sue Marooney! We were at the presentation evening last night, and I am pleased to say that Lucy got the attainment awards for PE and Food Tech! Well done Lucy! Sue M has really turned the school around over the last 5 years. I was a govenor there for a couple of years, and was involved at a very exciting time of change, a huge management shake-up in fact! Here's a WOOHOO for Sue and her excellent management team for such a great school, let's see it go from improving to outstanding in the next OFSTED!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Today I am thankful for my Crawley crop! It's a real joy - we laugh so much - all the way up in the car with Burn, then when we get there! And we made a fabby little Jacob's ladder last night courtesy of Burn!! WOOHOO Zoe if you're reading this!!

Going backwards:

Yesterday I was thankful for the big M&S store over at Shoreham! I had a bit of a spend-up, and bought a fabby lbd for Lucy's award dinner on Friday, beautiful Per Una shoes, another pair of shoes, slippers, 2 prs brown trousers and a top I can wear on Chrsitmas day. The racks were jammed packed full of clothes in all the sizes.

Sunday I was thankful for a quiet day in! Spent more time sorting and printing photos for Shimelle's class next Sunday.

Saturday I was thankful that Nicholas has gone to uni in such a beautiful city - Bath! We had a fabulous day with him, and went round the Roman Baths, awesome! It's amazing to think they are over 2000 years old, and that the main pool's lead lining is still the original, and that the water in there fell as rain over 10,000 years ago!!!

Off to a quilting course to make Christmas bits, bbl!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thanksgiving day 14

Today I am thankful for all the time saving gadgets we have in the house! Particularly the dishwasher and washing machine. Both were on this morning as I left the house to go out for coffee with Claire. Having the tumble dryer break down recently makes me realise just how lucky we are these days to have these gadgets. And boy do we take them for granted!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thanksgiving day 13

Today I am thankful for Lucy's volleyball teacher. She is extremely hardworking, and is always driving them to volleyball matches plus all the training out of school hours! She has now put the team forward for the Sussex young sports team of the year award, and we are all going for a posh evening at the Hotel Metropole in Brighton next Friday! WOOOHOOO!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thanksgiving day 12

I am thankful for the lovely sunshine today! Which means my lovely neighbour who is a tree surgeon is here shaping my big tree and cutting down a rather poorly misshapen cherry tree! Trouble is Merlin is desperate to get outside to see them, and the side gate is open, so I can't let him out!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thanksgiving day 10 and 11

oops! Forgot again yesterday! But I am really enhoying this month of gratefulness! Some forum friends are joining in and it does lift our spirits!

Yesterday I was thankful for my wet weather gear! It poured with rain all day long. But on my dog walk I felt snug and dry in my anorak, leggings and wellies!

Today I am thankful for the fact that I didn't get distracted by the computer this morning, but instead had a very productive time!

went to work for 3 hours

walked the dog - fave walk along Ferring greensward

got 1 load of washing out on the line (t dryer has packed up)

made leek and potato soup (enough for today and tomorrow lunch)

vacuumed all through - not so many dog hairs this week, he must have finished moulting

mopped kitchen floor (it was FILTHY!!)

Now I can spend all afternoon sorting my photos and maybe printing some for Shimelle's class which I am going to soon!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Thanksgiving- day 8 and 9

Yesterday I was thankful for my not-so-early morning cup of tea bought to me in bed by maurice! All through our married life he has bought me a cup of tea in bed, except just lately when I have been working the 'early-shift'! I now get up before him. I am also thankful for the lovely tea he cooked for me (not weaiting for me when I got in from my crop which would have been perfect, but I can't have everything can I?). Pork chop with lashings of vegetables, YUM!

Today I am thankful for coffee! I love my morning mugs of coffee. One of the ladies at work makes me a cup every morning about 8.45am, when she comes in, and then I have my second mug after my dog walk. Maurice makes a mean mug of coffee after dog walk/run at the weekends. My favourite atm is Kwonggi Mountain from Waitrose.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Thansgiving day 7

I can't decide today whether to be grateful for my Friday lie-in or that we live so close to the beach!
I work Mon-Thurs 6-9am, and clean on Thursday nights so i can have Friday off. I hust love the feeling after work on Thursday, hay, I don't have to clean this place again until Monday morning! I can have a glass of wine and go to bed later! I have a lovely 3 day weekend.
We live about 10mins walk from the beach, and I just love to go down there with Merlin on a mild calm morning like this one! This pic was taken a few weeks ago, but that's just how it was this morning! I often take my camera with me, and i have about 1000 photos of Worthing beach!!! And that's just digital!!!! The morning walk really sets me up for the day, especially if Merlin has had a good run about (what joy!) and I can come home, have a cup of coffee (but I'll be thankful for that another day!!) and get on with routine.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Thanksgiving day 6

Gosh, 6 days and I am still going!
Today I am thankful for the ladies at my quilting class. Well, I say ladies, cos we are all of a certain age, and do LOOK like ladies, but I am afraid we don't always act like them! The sense of humour is often very blue, and my do we laugh! It is the greatest tonic, and would cheer anyone up! Today, it was Jean, probably in her late 60s, who we misheard, when she said someone (on TV) was a silly prigg! We thought she said silly Prick!! My did we laugh!!!
I nearly didn't go today. When I got home from work at 9.30am, all i wanted to do was sit in the lounge and watch daytime TV. I'm glad I made myself go, as I am back onto my lap quilt, whioch I am now quilting. I'll show you when it's finished, but for now you can see my table runner which I have just completed.
Thanks to Zoe for 'tagging' me, and hi to any new visitors to my blog! It's not very crafty atm, but I will put some crafty stuff up soon, I promise! You may want to scroll down to 'Album for Sue' which was my last scrapbooking project.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Thanksgiving day 5

Today I am thankful for my Mum! Here she is at Wakeshurst Place last Friday. We had a really lovely day together, we like nothing better than to walk round a garden, discussing all the plants!
I am so grateful that she is fit and healthy and so young at heart! She is generous with her time and money (she has just decide to share out the proceeds from dad's car between the grandchildren for them to spend on driving lessons or a car!).
There may be the odd moment when she exasperates or worries me, but that is because we are so much alike! But all in all she is a fabulous Mum!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Thanksgiving day 4

Today I am grateful for time! Time to do my hobbies. I have many very time consuming hobbies: scrapbooking, altering, cardmaking, sewing, reading, gardening, photography, family history, computer, etc etc!

I guess I have my dad to thank for encouraging me to be interested - and to get involved. He loved to paint, and belonged to Lancing Art Club. His major hobby though was making thing! He loved to make things out of wood, and made furniture (I have a bookcase, and a bench seat (shaker style) ), and toys. He made a full size rocking horse for my brothers children when they were little, it is gorgeous!

I have Maurice to thank for me not having to work! I do my cleaning job to fund my'habits' as the other girls at work say!LOL. It is really nice to be able to buy what I want to without feeling guilty. My major spend is on scrapbooking stash, but I expect to be buying more and more fabric as my sewing habit gets the better of me!

The only problem is that I can be a bit selfish with my time! I don't like to be interupted, eg to take Lucy somewhere, or to cook tea, or to answer the phone! I do try to be patient though and not show my irritation!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Thanksgiving day 3

Today i am grateful for my MP3 player! I listen to it at work, while I am cleaning the Family centre. I get to work about 6.15am, and it is dark and cold, and I am the only one there until about 8.30am, so it keeps me sane!!!

I listen to the local radio station, Splash FM usually, but the DJ does get on my nerves a bit! But today I did decide that he is always cheerful if a bit cheesy, and gets his words muddled alot! I can't get my beloved radio2 at work! I love listening to Ken Bruce later on, while I am walking the dog. I quite like Jeremy Vine, but the kids really take the mickey out of me for listening to him. They can't understand why anyone would want to phone in to him to voice thier opinion! I quite often listen to it on the computer during the day. But my very favourite radio 2 show is Stuart McConie and Mark Radcliffe in the evenings. I often listen to them while I am in my craft room.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Thanksgiving day 2

Today I am going all soppy! I am soooo thankful for 30 years of very happy marriage to Maurice, my best friend, soul mate, lover etc etc etc! We have been so lucky that we have had such a long happy marriage. We are lucky to have not had anything too difficult to deal with - as I look around me I see friends who have disabled children, death and illness to contend with. I hope that we would have had the strength to deal with a diffucult situation together. Here we are celebrating last week in Venice, and on our wedding day 21st October 1978. 30 years of very happy memories. In the words of the song, 'It just keeps getting better'.

Saturday, November 01, 2008


I am really interested in the American Thanksgiving day, what a great idea ! Wish we did something like it here. I was reading Creative Keepsakes, and someone had done a LO of a photo a day in November, each one of something they feel thankful for. So I am going to try and post here every day in November - something I am thankful for. I am hoping it will help to cheer us all up in this doom and gloom. If I can I will put a photo on my blog each day - but I can't promise that! Do please join in !

1st November I am thankful for my computer! it keeps me in touch with a whole host of forum friends, gives me inspiration and challenges for my scrapbooking hobby, is somewhere to look up directions, prices, information. When you think about it, it is wonderful!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Venice - part 2

I will be back later to add more......

This is my favourite shot look at the colours! These little bridges are so pretty.

St Mark's square by night.

View along the Grand canal.

Bit of architecture from one of Venice's many churches.

Grand Canal

Looking back onto St mark's square from the bell tower on San Giorgio.

Bell tower in St Mark's square.

These paintings were all over the place. I am always attracted to these paintings when away, but don't buy because where would I put it?

These little stalls with mask souvenirs were everywhere!