Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

I’m back, baby!

October 22, 2011

I didn’t forget you, honestly, but I’ve been away on holiday and had another week off after that, followed by a busy work week so no chance to write.

Here are a few highlights from the 3 weeks just gone:

  • We went to Dawlish Warren, taking A’s Mum with us.¬† We all had a good time ūüôā
  • I finally managed to clear the sinus infection while away, which was a relief.
  • Thanks to the antibiotics I took for the sinus infection, I got repeatedly sunburned.¬† In October.¬† Through my clothes.¬† And it wasn’t even that hot.
  • We visited two dog rescue centres in our extra week off, looking for just the right dog to rescue.¬† No luck so far, but we’re still looking.
  • The Gethin-dude stayed over one night, we had a lovely time playing.¬† Did you know that a dinosaur says ‘aaaaahh’?¬† Not roar, or rarrr or any of the usual noises associated with big and scary, but a kind of heavy exhaling noise.¬†¬† That dude is so cute!
  • We went with David, Sam and the Dude to a family christening.¬† It took over 2 hours to drive each way and was very cramped in the back of the car, but was good to see people.
  • We caught up with Morgan after school one day – she brought her homework and sat at the table doing that while I cooked dinner.¬† Morgan is as individual as ever, a trait that I love in her, but it is really difficult for her to fit in at school easily.

Apart from all of that, there has been knitting.  Before we went away I finished my party gloves:

While away I started my winter 2011 gloves, which I have since finished – just in time as the weather has turned cold:

I also started a stole while on holiday, which is coming along nicely.

Next up, Morgan has asked for a pair of handknitted socks for xmas, instead of the gift voucher or cash that the other nieces and nephews will all get.  Despite me stressing that she would not get anything else, just knitted socks, she insists that is what she really wants.  Strange (but lovely) girl!

Also in the planning stage is a cardigan for my Mum.¬† The arthritis in the back of her neck makes her skin so sensitive that she cannot bear anything touching it, so keeping warm is quite difficult.¬† I’m going to custom-make a cardi that has a low neck at the back…using a pattern if I can find one or making it up if I can’t.¬† Should be interesting.

This week coming…we’re planning to fit in time for another dog search, and also a good long walk over the weekend.¬† Then it is¬†work as usual.

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So much to say, I’ve forgotten half of it

August 20, 2011

Sorry for the break, usual service should now be resumed.¬† As predicted, our week off work was absolutely jam packed with events and outings and very short holidays.¬† This week has also been busy, despite (or because of) being back at work.¬† There are photos, but I haven’t found time to transfer them from the camera yet.

A few highlights are:

  • Monty (13 months old)¬†and Dexter’s (6 months old)¬†baptisms.¬† Dexter screamed throughout, which was amusing when the vicar took him to carry him to the font and he screamed directly into her mike, nearly deafening everyone.¬† Poor little guy was really tired and fell asleep within minutes when it was over.
  • Open air theatre at Slimbridge…only we didn’t actually go to the play.¬† There was torrential rain when we looked out of our hotel window, just before the play was due to start, so we had a picnic in our hotel and stayed warm and dry.
  • A day out at Slimbridge, where we saw a spoonbill,¬†and a long walk along the neighbouring canal.
  • I visited the doctor-man with a new symptom, to be told I probably have a hernia!¬† So, off to the hospital yet again.¬† Probably more surgery.¬† Makes me want to scream!¬† But at least it isn’t very painful, most of the time.
  • Tim brought Monty round for a visit, at which point I became the bikkit lady.¬† Bikkit?¬† Duuude!¬† Learning to talk is such a fun age!
  • Speaking of learning to talk, we took Billy round to my brother’s house, knowing we’d be out/away a lot and Gethin did his best to say ‘Billy’.¬† It kind of came out more ‘Mi-Mi’, but he really tried.¬† He also climbed up onto the dining table, so he could sit as close to the cage as possible – little monkey!
  • Mid-week we caught up with lovely Kat and her sister-in-law Carol, who has been working as a teacher in Qatar for the last year.¬† She seems to be really enjoying it, and has just been promoted.¬† Well done Carol!
  • The last few days of our week off were spent in a drizzly but warm¬†North Devon.¬† The hotel we went to was not one I would visit again, it was dire.¬† Our room was way too hot, even with the window wide open and the heating switched off.¬† The bathroom sink had cracks in it, so there’s no way it was clean.¬† And there was no shower, despite the large bathroom and really high water pressure.
  • We did manage to eat out in a couple of our favourite restaurants, and even found a new favourite.¬† It is called Memories, located in Northam, and the food was exceptional.
  • Unfortunately, on the¬†long drive¬†home A was very ill and we had to repeatedly stop in lay-bys and services.¬† Poor baby then slept half-way home.

This week back at work has not¬† been so busy, but has been tiring all the same.¬† It’s always hard getting back into work after time off.

Last night we agreed at short notice to go into town for a quiet drink or two, to say goodbye to Tim, who is flying home to New Zealand very soon now.¬† They are planning to move back over here though, in the very near future, so we’ll hopefully seem them all again soon.¬† Of course a quiet drink or two turned into 4 or 5 and a mini pub crawl.¬† We didn’t get home until gone midnight, and poor A had to be up for work by 5am.¬† I’d be willing to bet we both sleep a large part of this afternoon!

Knitting news…should probably wait for another day, now I’ve written so much!¬† Not much news anyway, and no photos at the moment.

This week coming, hopefully not much going on!

Things we saw on holiday…

April 20, 2011

…originally titled ‘Wildlife we saw on holiday’, I decided to rename it and include one or two of the 100+ photos we took ūüôā

So, amongst the usual list of rabbits, small birds, large birds, coastal birds, (all of which still get us really excited as well) we saw:

  • Ravens
  • Dartford warbler
  • Stoat
  • Dolphins
  • Yes, that’s right, dolphins!¬† Right there from the centre of Westward Ho! town.¬† Dolphins!

I’m sure there was more, but those were the most exciting highlights, things we’ve never seen there before.¬†

Also:

I’m missing it already, after less than two weeks at home.¬† We’ll retire there someday.¬† I swear it!¬†

We seriously did take over 100 photos…if you want to see more of the beautiful Westward Ho!, they are all on Flickr.

Things I’ve learned this week…

April 16, 2011

…these few weeks really:

  • 9 month olds who go to nursery always bring germs with them (yet another cold).
  • if not restrained, A will eat unlimited numbers of Hockings ice-creams.
  • if you sit in direct sunlight for 2 hours at lunchtime, you will get sunburn.¬† Yes, even in early April.
  • the quote for the fence is never right first, or even second, time.¬† It will increase.
  • routers are temperamental and contrary.
  • I quite like my job, when I’m busy.
  • blackbirds and pigeons aren’t easily put off if they know there’s a food source.
  • nothing happens in Facebook-world, even when you don’t log in for 2 weeks.
  • if¬†I buy a cheap and easy puzzle book, I’ll spend every spare moment doing puzzles, and forget about knitting.
  • I get insanely excited about snooker, which probably almost the dullest ‘sport’ in history.¬† The World Championship starts today!¬†
  • when I remember to use my camera at all, I take a lot of pictures.
  • I am so much healthier (colds aside) than I was just six months ago.¬† I’m not in pain any more!¬† We walked miles every day while¬†on holiday and I didn’t suffer for it ūüôā¬† That hysterectomy was clearly the best treatment I could have had.¬†

To follow…things (wildlife) we saw on holiday last week.¬† And finished knitting projects.

So much excitement!

November 16, 2010

It has been a busy week-and-a-half.¬† And yes, I realise that this isn’t Saturday and I missed a post, hence this catch-up on a Tuesday.¬†

Last week, I decided that I’d had enough of sitting around recuperating and that it was time to start getting out and doing stuff (other than knitting).¬† I made good progress, and although I found myself very tired most days after my adventures, I didn’t have big problems with pain or set myself back as I had before.¬†

My adventures included:

  • cooking
  • washing up
  • Knitting at the Library (travelling by bus)
  • an outing to Tesco (walking there, bus back)
  • town and Old Town by bus
  • a trip to Lambourn to put flowers on my grandparents’ memorial stones, by car, with my sister-in-law

Also, and much bigger and even more exciting, A and I went on holiday!  We caught a train down to South Devon on Friday morning, returning yesterday.  We stayed in Dawlish Warren, in a brand new, very nice lodge.  On Saturday we went to Exeter for the day (my birthday), spending an hour or two and a lot of money at a knitting expo there.  I bought lots of yarn!

Well, it was my birthday present ūüôā

After the knit expo we went looking for somewhere to eat.¬† Knowing that there wasn’t much open in Dawlish Warren, we had planned to find something good at lunchtime, and take back a bag of bread/ham/cheese/olives etc for tea.¬† I wanted to eat somewhere a bit different, but hadn’t quite thought we’d find Michael Caines’ restaurant!¬† Michael Caines is a chef who sometimes appears on programmes like Market Kitchen, he has a really good reputation, so when we stumbled across his restaurant we had to eat there.¬† And it was delicious, such good food.¬† I’d recommend it to anyone – and the price was reasonable too.¬†

Sadly, by the time we’d eaten I was exhausted and so we headed back to sleep for an hour or two.¬†

The rest of the weekend was good.¬† I managed to keep up with walking and shopping and eating out and everything A wanted to do, just about.¬† Then the train journey home was smooth and here we are!¬† Last night I got my car back from my brother, so this afternoon I think we’re going out for a drive (probably just to get some shopping).¬† It’s a bit scary, driving after nearly 5 weeks off, but I’m sure I’ll be fine.¬† It’ll be good to get around more easily.¬†

In knitting news, Gethin’s shawl is coming along nicely.¬† The original 192 st per side is now down to 106 st per side.¬† It is really speeding up…although I didn’t take it away at the weekend so it had a short break.¬†

I have two finishes to show off, starting with my bedsocks:

I put them on to take the photo earlier, and am still wearing them!¬† These are going to be a favourite.¬† Last time I wrote, they were in time-out because somehow I’d ended up with too many stitches on the second sock…well I worked out why and had to rip back to before the heel.¬† Somehow I got confused when I started the heel and used a top-down heel flap construction on a toe-up sock which should have had a short-row heel turn instead.¬† D’oh!¬†

Also finished is the Pimpelliese scarf, which A has renamed the Dragon:

 

I haven’t decided whether to keep this or give it away, maybe for christmas.¬† We’ll see.¬†

Since my last post I’ve also been working on the Sagrantino shawl, which I have kind of re-designed.¬† I love the design as it is, but realised I would run out¬†of yarn if I carried on.¬† So, instead of 3 hexagons wide, I’ve made it 2.¬† And instead of starting at one end, I’ve started in the centre and am working outwards on both sides:

I’ve also started a new pair of socks:

So much going on! 

I’m sure I’ve forgotten some of the stuff I meant to write about, but I’ve just heard that my baby bro slipped on ice on his way out to work this morning, and has broken his leg in two places and dislocated his ankle!¬† He was carrying the baby at the time, but luckily Gethin wasn’t hurt.¬† Now everything else has gone from my head…better see if I can do anything to help.

Just quickly…

October 14, 2010

…’cos I don’t have much time to spare.¬† We had a lovely holiday last week:

  • The weather did not live up to its forecast at all and was lovely most of the week;
  • The ice-cream van (mmm…Hockings) turned up every day, so A was happy;
  • We met my Mum and step-dad for lunch mid week and that went well;
  • We took A’s Mum to a Spanish Bistro for tapas, and she enjoyed it;
  • There was knitting.

On the way to North Devon, we stopped in at Coldharbour Mill, who were having a yarn sale.  Ooops! 

The two multi-coloured lovelies are from a dept store in Barnstaple, but the rest were purchased on the way.  There is sock yarn, silk yarn, green alpaca yarn and some merino/silk.  Oh Рand enough of this to make a jumper:

Since holiday we’ve been scrabbling around getting washing done, working and preparing for a trip into hospital.¬† Yes, that time is here…I’m off there today in fact.¬† Am I nervous?¬† No.¬† I think terrified is a better description!

Being brave

July 24, 2010

I’ve had a slight issue lately, which I think largely arises from feeling better.¬† Who’d have thought that feeling better would come with problems of its own?!¬† I have an itch to do stuff.¬† Any stuff.¬† I used to be satisfied with, to crave even, time in front of the television just knitting or stitching and not thinking too much.¬† While on the painkillers especially, that was enough for me.¬†

Just lately though, I want out.¬† I want adventure and excitement and…okay that’s not true, but I’m feeling smothered and constrained and wonder why it is we never do anything or go anywhere.¬†

Largely, it’s because I don’t like to…I find small details to worry about and so end up cancelling any plans we do make.¬†

Am I explaining this clearly?¬† It’s a dilemma, and it’s all of my own making.¬†

Last night I was trying to explain this to A yet again (he tries, but just doesn’t get it), when he pointed out that I do stuff all the time.¬† In fact I go to Bristol twice a week, completely on my own.¬† Lightbulb moment!¬† So this morning I have already been into town, and bought all the shopping we’ll need for the week.¬† So the rest of the weekend is our own, to do what we want with.¬† Of course now I’ve scratched the ‘going out’ itch, I’ll probably be content to just sit around and watch the telly-box!¬†

While I was in town earlier, I splashed out and bought some new work shoes.¬† They’re hardly exciting, but I like them:

new_shoes_2

I already have two identical pairs, one in red suede (very old and heading for the bin very soon) and one in red leather, so I know they are really comfortable and practical for walking the distances I do in my commute. 

The rest of the week has been okay.¬† I took Mum to the hospital on Tuesday, where the consultant took some tests.¬† She has to go back on Tuesday this week for results, so fingers crossed for good news and not the ‘something sinister’ possibility.¬† I also have an appointment on Tuesday, with the private gynae consultant.¬† He’ll be reviewing my current medication and I predict will leave it alone for another 3 months.¬† After that, who knows.¬† On Tuesday afternoon, A and I went shopping and bought a new fridge-freezer.¬† It should be delivered this coming Friday.¬† We also bought an unplanned printer – oops!¬†

In knitting/cross-stitch news, I’m still knitting away at the elephant for Gethin.¬† I had almost finished last night, then noticed that his ears were different sizes and shapes!¬† There will be a lot of sewing up necessary once all the pieces are done, which is a shame.¬† The cross-stitch picture I’m making for Holly is coming along nicely.¬† It just needs 3 sides of the border finishing, then it’s done.¬†

This coming week, apart from the hospital appointments and the fridge-freezer delivery…not much really.¬† Let’s hope it stays that way!¬†

For this week’s cruise story, I’ll list some of the wildlife we spotted.¬† Some of this was seen on route, some in ports/harbours/ashore.

  • Puffins
  • Dolphins (!)
  • Black Guillemots
  • Eider Ducks

That’s just the unusual stuff.¬† Eider ducks are cool.¬† We’d seen them a few weeks before, at Slimbridge, where we couldn’t help laughing at the way they say ‘ooo-oo-ooo’, like an old lady when you’re telling a story she doesn’t really understand but wants to show an interest in.¬† When a few of them start doing it together it is really comical.¬†

Black Guillemots were everywhere.¬† We noticed them a couple of times, but couldn’t identify them, then one day we saw them swimming around in a harbour (Greenock?) while we were walking along the esplanade.¬† We produced binoculars and bird book and soon pinpointed what they were, especially once we realised that they were nesting in holes in the harbour wall.¬†

We didn’t see Puffins until fairly late in the cruise, but having spotted them once, we saw them repeatedly for a couple of days.¬† They are so funny looking, flying like clockwork toys over the surface of the¬†water, then diving straight in.¬†

The most exciting though were the dolphins.  It was just a few short seconds when they were swimming alongside the ship, jumping above the waves, right in front of us.  We just happened to be in the right place at the right time.  So cool.

Normal service is resumed…

July 17, 2010

…whatever ‘normal’ means!¬† In this case I think it means sitting down on a Saturday morning, on my own while A is at work, having time to think about what I want to write and actually making the effort to write it.¬† You wouldn’t believe how many posts I’ve written in my head but not got round to¬†typing/publishing, usually thought up on occasions such as on the train, in the car, or in bed whilst trying to get to sleep.¬†

Anyway, here’s one that made it!¬†

I’ve got lots of stories¬†to tell about my wonderful cruise, which I’ve kind of grouped into 5 very loose categories.¬† I’ll attempt to write up one group per week, alongside all the other news, but don’t consider that a promise.¬†

Firstly, this week has been fairly routine.¬† I missed a couple of days at work due to IBS problems, but still managed 2 days at home and 1 in Bristol.¬† Health-wise I’m struggling a bit, trying to get back into routine, trying to settle the IBS back down after all the food excess on the boat.¬† The 2nd dose of hormone treatment started to wear off, which didn’t help, but I’ve just had the 3rd dose so that should improve.¬† In about 10 days I’ll go to see the consultant again, to find out what happens next.¬†

This coming week will be a bit disrupted, as I have to go to Bristol on Monday (when I would usually work at home) for a briefing.¬† Then on Tuesday (usually a Bristol day) I have booked a day’s leave to take my Mum to the hospital.¬† She has an urgent appointment at the breast cancer clinic and is really worried about it so I promised to take her.¬†

So, back to the boat!  This first category should be about the boat itself, I think, and a few of its occupants. 

The boat is enormous.¬† I cannot stress that enough!¬† As we arrived at Southampton docks by taxi, the car turned a corner and we found ourselves looking at what appeared to be a big, shiny office building.¬† It seemed like an odd place for an office block.¬† Then we caught on – it wasn’t a building, it was our boat!¬† It’s very difficult to get a photo of the boat, showing its scale, because it is so big, but this one of A holding our new nephew Gethin (Yay!¬† New nephew!¬† More later) gives some idea:

Here’s another, taken from the coastal cliff path on Guernsey:

That’s a castle in the foreground!¬†

Anyway, aside from the size of it, the boat was lovely and luxurious.  It was very easy to get lost though.  There were 3 main restaurants, as well as the 24 hour buffet and countless smaller food areas.  There was a large theatre, a conference centre and many, many bars, most of which included various kinds of entertainment at different times of day/night. 

There was a cinema, on the open deck by one of the many pools.¬† The ‘Movies Under the Stars’ screen showed a variety of films through the day and evening, as well as the World Cup football matches.¬† We went to see films the first 3 nights running, as they were all films we had wanted to see for a while but never got around to.¬† It got a bit cold outside at night, so heated blankets were provided, and free popcorn.¬†

One of our favourite entertainments was watching the boat leave port, especially seeing the people who remove the ropes from the dockside and throw them into the water for the boat to suck back in.¬† We called them the boat rope dudes, and always waved to them as the boat departed.¬† They were infinitely interesting and varied – in several ports the boat was longer than the dock, so ropes were tied up on platforms.¬† The boat rope dudes piled into a small boat, which took them, all kitted out in safety helmets and¬†orange overalls, to the platforms.¬† The dudes ran up ladders to the tops of the platforms, waited for the ropes to slacken, unhooked them, then moved back over the edge of the platform while the ropes were pulled in by the boat.¬† Eventually, when all the ropes had been done, the small boat would pick the dudes back up again and they’d return to the dock.¬† It was (bizarrely) so entertaining to watch.¬† Even the dudes who just had to walk along the docks to their ropes were cool.¬†

Our cabin was lovely – we had been upgraded by several floors, to almost the highest cabin deck, and the room was much bigger than we expected.¬† We didn’t have a window, but apart from first thing in the morning, when deciding what to wear, we didn’t miss it.¬† We weren’t so happy, however, to discover that our immediate neighbours appeared to be 2 or 3 ‘children’.¬† We didn’t quite establish how many of them were staying next door, or quite how old they were.¬† At first we thought they were early teens, because of their behaviour, but later we saw the girl playing in the casino, for which she should have been at least 18.¬† She was the worst of them – she’d run up the corridor (like an elephant), burst through their door squealing, then there’d start an awful row of banging, crashing, shouting, screaming, high-pitched giggling.¬† A while later, she’d burst back out of the door and stomp off up the corridor again.¬†

This went on day and night, at all hours.¬† One night, after 1am, A lost patience and went out into the corridor to ask them to be quiet.¬† As he fumbled to unlock our door, they heard him coming and all ran away, hiding just round the corner and laughing at him.¬† The next afternoon, when we heard them in the corridor, A went out again, quietly this time, and gave them a proper ‘Dad’ lecture ūüôā¬† It was comical, but I doubt if they’d ever been spoken to like that in their lives before.¬† All they said was ‘Ummm, okay’, and went back in their room.¬† After that they were much less disruptive, although still painful.¬†

The majority of the passengers on the boat were American, and we used our usual anti-social approach of not talking to anyone, so I can’t really comment on them.¬† We did overhear a few comical speeches…one was from our neighbours, when the girl did her usual trick of thumping up the corridor and bursting into the room, followed by an explosion of ‘Bitch!¬† She hit me!¬† She laid her hands on me!’.¬† Imagine it said in an American drawl…we couldn’t stop laughing – what an expression!¬† From then on we constantly pushed each other just so we could say ‘You laid your hand on me’!¬† Another favourite was the man at dinner patiently explaining to his table companions that the ‘Liver’ (mis-pronounced Livver) birds on the Royal Liver (correctly pronounced Ly-ver) are nothing special, why they’re only a few inches tall!¬† The damn things are something like 18 feet high!¬† They do look small, but for goodness sake, they’re on the top of a very tall building!¬†

The formal nights were mildly disappointing.  When we went on Sea Princess, two years ago, the formal were really formal Рballgowns and all.  This time, not so many people made that much effort.  One guy turned up to the dining room in a cream linen suit Рhardly a tux!  A lot of the women wore black trousers with shiny/sequin blouses/jackets.  We opted for the most formal approach though:

My dress was lovely, and apart from the shiny white cleavage I was happy with it.  I tried to avoid a partial suntan, but just spend too much time outdoors! 

A looked pretty, and loved making the effort. 

It was pretty strange going back to Liverpool, after an absence of at least 9 years.¬† The dockside has been totally re-developed, and looked really good.¬† We didn’t stray any further than that, opting for a peaceful afternoon on the boat instead.¬† A cursed his luck though – he persuaded me to get in a swimming pool, for the first time in 20 years.¬† Just as we went to get in the pool, me with Tshirt and shorts over costume, about to strip off and hurry in, a photographer appeared!¬† What are the chances?!¬† He was taking pictures for the next Princess brochures in the UK and wanted the Liverpool skyline, with the 3 Graces on the waterfront, with the back of the boat showing in front of them.¬† He really wanted some life in the pictures, but the boat was deserted – would we mind getting in the pool and being in the photos?¬†

The answer, simply put was ‘Yes, I mind’!¬† In the end we compromised, I sat on¬†the pools edge with my Tshirt still on (no bikini shots, thanks), while A splashed around in the pool.¬† So we’ll be looking out for any future brochures, just to see if we turn up in them.¬†

But seriously, I’m so self-conscious I haven’t been in a pool for 20 years, and the day I do a photographer turns up?¬† I could get paranoid!¬†

Anyway, this is now a monster of a post, so I’ll finish off here for now.¬† There’s¬†a¬†lot more to say, but it’ll keep.¬† The more I write, the more I think of to write!¬†

One last story – my baby brother’s baby arrived while we were away.¬† We are now proud Uncles to Gethin Adam, whose first ever outing was to fetch us home from Southampton.¬† He was all of 4 days old, but my bro just¬†couldn’t wait to show him off:

Been on Holiday

July 10, 2010

We’ve been back a few days now, but I haven’t found the time to write about it as yet.¬† Here’s a photo though, just a taster…

There’s lots¬†more to follow, I promise.

Magnetised?

May 22, 2010

This week my weirdo magnet has been on full strength.¬† It has been a few years (5 at least) since it worked this strongly, although it used to be my normal state.¬† I’m blaming last week’s MRI scan!¬† And I’m refusing to wear the shiny new name badge I’ve been given at work, as it has a magnet on the back instead of a pin!¬†

In fact, this week hasn’t just been weirdos…it’s been weird generally!¬† Here are a few highlights.¬†

On Tuesday, as I left work to walk back to the train station, I passed a man in the street who half smiled at me.¬† I scanned my brain and couldn’t find any memory of him, so I kept walking.¬† A few seconds later he ran up behind me, shouting ‘Hey’!¬† I stopped and turned to face him…he had run the length of the street just to tell me how cute I am, and try to persuade me to stop and talk to him for a while.¬† Now that’s an experience I haven’t had for a very long time!¬† It took me a minute or so to persuade him that I really had to dash…couldn’t miss my train…husband on his way to meet me…and in the end I walked away.¬† The really weird thing was that this guy was younger than me and not bad looking.¬†

I got on the train, sat down, and breathed a sigh of relief that no-one sat next to me.¬† Then the train manager started the usual announcement.¬† “Safety information cards blah blah blah…luggage and security blah blah blah…buffet car open blah blah blah…well it has been a lovely day hasn’t it?¬† Beautiful sunshine, nice and warm.¬† It’s a bit cloudy now, but I’ve checked the forecast and we’re in for a fantastic couple of weeks, so that’ll be nice.¬† Next station stop will be blah blah blah…”.¬† WTF?!¬†

Wednesday wasn’t much less weird, with seagulls flying right at my windscreen, cyclists riding right in front of me, and one confused old man desperately trying to park his car straight, by lining it up against my very wonky, badly parked car!¬†

Those are just a few highlights…you get the picture.¬†

Speaking of pictures, I have finished Dinosaur Island:

I’ve now just got one project on the go – my travel socks.¬† Which are almost finished.¬† I’m itching to start something new, but cannot decide what.¬† Time for some ravelling I think.¬†

This week was a good one for wildlife in our garden.¬† In fact, our garden has become quite a busy place over the last few months.¬† We now have at least 3 regular blackbird visitors – an adult male, an adult female and a juvenile.¬† They love the mealworms we put on the gravel, and have been seen using my Nan’s birdbath for both drinking and bathing.¬† It’s so exciting!¬† We still have frequent visits from a number of wood pigeons, who prefer peanuts but will eat almost anything we put on the feeder.¬† And on Tuesday morning, while getting ready for work, I saw a blue tit flitting around the cherry tree!¬† It’s the first time we’ve seen a blue tit in the garden, and it made my day.¬† Perhaps the weirdo magnet works on birds too?!¬†

This afternoon I hope we’ll see more wildlife, as we’re off for a guided walk of the Thames Water lagoons.¬† The lagoons are tucked away behind the River Ray Parkway, where we often walk at the weekend, but they aren’t open to the public.¬† This afternoon there are a series of exciting events going on, for International Biodiversity Day.¬† I’m really looking forward to it.¬†

We would have liked to go to the bat walk this evening too, but we’d already promised our niece, Morgan, that she can stay over tonight.¬† It’s her birthday present and we hate letting her down.¬† We’ll take her shopping to choose something nice for dinner, then after eating she’ll pick out a DVD from our limited collection and we’ll chill out for the evening.¬† Morgan is being picked on at school for being clever, so her Mum has asked me to chat to her about it, as I went through something similar.¬† I don’t know what to say to make her feel better, but hopefully it will help to know she’s not the only one and it is possible to get through it.¬†

In health news I had the first of 3 zoladex implants done yesterday, as suggested by the consultant I saw a couple of weeks ago.¬† I have to take HRT as well, to counteract some of the worst side-effects.¬† I’m hoping for an improvement, fingers crossed.¬† Especially if it helps in time for our cruise.¬† It would be lovely not to have to calculate exactly what and how much I can eat today, if I want to be able to go ashore for a long walk tomorrow.¬† Or if I go ashore today, how will I cope with formal night tonight.¬†

Speaking of formal nights…I bought my new dress yesterday :).¬† It’s so pretty!

While looking for the formal dresses in Debenhams, I also spotted another pretty dress, which I fell in love with.¬† But I can’t find a picture of that one.¬†

I also got talked into buying a pair of swim shorts.¬† I have some issues with swimwear…mainly about it being so revealing.¬† I do not like to expose that much of my upper thighs or my top.¬† As a consequence, no-one ever gets me near a swimming pool or jacuzzi or anything else which requires swimwear.¬† A loves that stuff though, and self-consciously goes by himself rather than miss out.¬† It makes me feel bad for letting him down, and there’s also a sneaking suspicion that I’m missing out myself.¬† So, I have swim shorts, which cover the worst of my backside and upper legs.¬† If I can now find a top or costume that covers enough, I may just be talked into the pool.¬† We’ll see!¬†

Anyway, this coming week…apart from walking this afternoon and Morgan this evening…tomorrow we need to do some garden stuff.¬† On Monday we both have check-ups at the dentist.¬† Work is suddenly really busy, with two major deadlines at the end of the week, so our entire team will be hard pushed to get everything done.¬† I may even have to go in to Bristol an extra day or more!