Sunday, March 29, 2009

New challenges

Now I am 50, I have decided I need new challenges.
I was thinking about a change of job. (I always intended to be a career girl, not a SAHM!) But it is hard to find anything right now with the economic slow down, and the job at the moment fits in very well with family and dog! I would need a part time job near home so that I could get home easily for Merlin. But I knew that when we decided to have Merlin, so I am not complaining. I will get a bit more challenge with my voluntary work at the Family Centre as the volunteer coordinator. I can probably do more than I am doing! (And this may lead to something else later on) I do quite like the cleaning, I like the fact I am finished work for the day by 9.30am, and that I am my own boss, and that I don't have to bring my job home with me!
So then I thought about a physical challenge. I quite fancy swimming. Trouble is, our local swimming pool is ancient and horrible! There are a couple of gymns locally with lovely pools but they are expensive! I would like to challenge myself to swim 50 lengths of our local pool by the end of the year. All I need to do is to find a quiet time in the pool once a week.
My main hobby is crafting, and I continue to challenge myself with new projects, always several on the go at once! I have recently completed several projects (our wedding album, 2008 album, and almost finished Scrap Your Day). I have a new CJ, and one half way through. I ought to look for a new challenge CJ, maybe a fabric one.
I love photography, and have signed up for another of Cheryl's online classes - this time people! I have a bit a mental block about taking pics of people. I feel embarrassed asking if I can take someone's photo. So that class will definately be challenging! Also I have just started 'Take a Photo a Day'. I am going to do that for the whole of the year I am 50. I think it will be achallenge to remember to do this, and then upload the photos! They are on my photo blog.
My newest challenge is to take my advanced driving test! Maurice is very keen that I do this. I am doing it in part because of him. There's been lots of talk about driving here over the last few months because of Lucy taking her test, and it has made me think about my driving. Sitting next to Lucy I realised that I anticipate alot more than I thought I did. But equally, I often drive out to Ferring in the mornings for a dog walk, and find myself somewhere completely different! I have driven on automatic pilot! So this will be a massive challenge - I don't overtake ever! So I have to learn how to do that. I have to learn to rectify my bad habits (not looking in the mirror enough), and to put up with Maurice's comments! (He has already comendeered my Advanced Driving book!)
Wish me luck!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

OMG I am 50!

Yesterday was my birthday and now I am 50! OMG I cannot believe it! half a century!
I have had an amazing lot of presents and the most gorgeous birthday cards! Thank you so much everyone!
We had a fab day. After opening presents in bed, Maurice made me a bacon and egg breakfast, then we took Merlin for a quick walk. I had a new macro lens for my camera so you will see lots of close ups from now on!LOL We then went to Mum's (she gave me a gorgeous sewing box), and we went to Nyman's garden for lunch mmmm! I took loads of photos with my new lens! Then back here, Lucy went to fetch Tom, and Andrew and Lynda came round for a drink and to give me a presnet (gorgeous earrings!). Then Lucy and TOm went to fetch an Indian takeaway YUM! I spent the evening watching tv, lying on the sofa, my favourite decadent waste of time!
Today I am having a quiet day looking at all my presents and cards, and want to sort out my sewing stuff later!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More Birthday celebrations!

Here's some more photos from my fabulous birthday celebration!

Here's Andrew, my bro, with his wife Lynda.

Andrew and Sarah. Sarah is one of my 'Friday morning' friends. We met when the children were babies, some 20 years ago! Unfortunately, my other 'Friday morning' friend Angela couldn't make it. Angela and Sarah's husbands were best friends at school.

Stewart and Sue. Stewart is a 'biking' friend of Maurice's so I have known them both since I met Maurice (32 years!) Stewart was Maurice's best man. We didn't see them very much sfter our children were born, but are seeing them regularly for a Staurday night out now.

Sarah and David. Sarah was my best friend at school! So I have known her for 35 years!!! They have lived abroad for David's working life, but are now living back in the UK, not far, so we do meet for coffee, lunch and the occasional evening.

Nick and Claire. Nick worked with Maurice on the Y2K project at American Express. So we have known them for about 10 years. Their children are just getting old enough not to need a babysitter, so we have started meeting for a drink on some Friday nights!

Claire and Jacquie. These two are my NCT friends. Claire was a breastfeeding counsellor, and Jacquie trained to be an antenatal teacher with me. Our children are all similar ages.
Unfortunately, Jacquie's husband Andrew couldn't make it tonight.

Claire and Andy moved down here from Sheffield when the children were little, so we have known them for about 16 years. Our children are the same age and we have taken it in turns to host dinner parties over the years.

Michelle and Izzy, my 2 nieces. Thsi phot really captures their personalities! Michelle is the older and looks poised, Izzy has that cheeky smile!

Jacquie and Maurice. Nice photo this one!

Have you noticed something? There were 21 people there for dinner which included 3 Andrews, 2 Lindas (well a Linda and a Lynda!), 2 Sarahs, 2 Claires, and 2 Nicholas's!! (There would have been 3 Nicholas's if Anglea and Nick had been there!)
None of our friends know each other (except Claire and Jacquie), but you wouldn't have known that on the evening! They all got on very well. There turned out to be quite a few connections, for example, Sue worked with sarah briefly 30 years ago! Andrew S knew Sarah L's Dad, cos they played cricket together, adn Sarah L's Dad worked with Sue!!!
What a great night! So glad we did it!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Let the birthday celebrations begin!

It's not my birthday until Wednesday, but we had a big celebratory dinner on Saturday evening at the Black Horse pub in Findon. I invited close family and friends, 21 of us in total!

Here's a few photos:
Here I am with Nicholas and Mum.

Me with Mum and my brother Andrew

Me with Lucy and Tom

Lucy bought this balloon and drove up to the pub on Sat afternoon with it and a birthday cake that her and Tom had made as a suprise!

Here I am at the end of the evening with Maurice!
Lots more photos to come - will upload again tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Lucy passed her driving test yesterday! First time and only 3 months of lessons! Clever girl! Here she is ripping the L plates off - we won't see her for dust now.....

She treated me and Tom to lunch at 'Food' restaurant - mmm lovely. They do a very nice excellent value lunch for £5. I think I will take Angela and Sarah there next week.

Then at 5pm, Lucy came with me to have coffee and cakes with the girls from work. We went to a little Lebanese cafe called The Levant near work. Gorgeous cakes, and we had non-alcoholic cocktails, mmmmmm! Very refreshing! They bought me a helium balloon, and a gorgeous necklace.

After tea, we went to the Black Horse to give in the menu for Saturday, and have a celebratory drink. What a fabulous day!

This is why I went back for my camera this morning! The weather is so gorgeous at the moment, and the blossom is well and truly out! These blossoms are in neighbours gardens, and make a really gorgeous scent as you walk along.

Another attempt at a daffodil! Quite pleased with this one. I took pains not to get another one too close. And I focussed on the middle.

Fianlly, this is what it was like down the beach this morning. Look at that blue sky!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Foggy to sunny

First of all, here's a better picture of a daffodil called Jetfire. I have a little clump of them in my front garden. I love the darker yellow centre!

When I went to work at 6am this morning it was really light (hurrah!) and no fog, but I could see a grey line in the distance. After about half an hour a really thick blanket of fog came down! I guess it's because it is a bit warmer these last few days. The fog was burning off as I walked the dog, but I tried to take a few photos.

Yesterday was the most glorious day! Gorgeous sunshine and quite warm too! We had a lovely walk along the beach. I do love these little wavelets at low tide. And here's Merlin trying to find a stone in the pool at the end of the breakwater! He loves these pools and always goes in, sometimes they are quite deep, and catch him out!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Spring has sprung!

First of all, my lovely bunch of daffoldils. I would so love to take a really good photo of a daffodil, but I find it really hard to get the focussing right! I shall practice again this year! They are soooo cheerful though aren't they? I love having a big bunch like this in the kitchen.

We went for a short dog walk on the downs at the back of Sompting on Sunday morning with MUm. Look at all the little baby lambs! They were very young and very gorgeous! We had to keep Merlin strictly on the lead.

Finally a couple of photos from my garden. I love this heelebore - just look at the markings! And the polyanthus are in a pot just outside the back door.