Red nose fundraising – and a bit of good news

We had a bad taste dress down at work today to raise funds for Comic Relief. It was hilarious; people turned up in some hideous outfits! We also donated raffle prizes and baked cakes. I bought some as I had no time to make any, but I didn’t eat any cake as I am still not eating sugar. 

We were pleasantly surprised yesterday when my dad was sent home from hospital. He had a good night last night but we are all keeping a close eye. I will pop round tomorrow with some groceries and to water his plants. I don’t want him straining his staples trying to do this.

So nice to see them back home together, even if they are the walking wounded!

Are any of you fundraising for Comic Relief?

The Waiting Game

Yesterday was the longest day! We were initially told dad would be going to theatre at 10. My sister went to sit with him until then and was advised to come back at three, which she duly did. He didn’t appear and the nurses seemed unable or unwilling to find anything out so she waited and waited. At 5.30 the hospital called mum at home at my dad’s request to say he was fine and in recovery, so she waited again thinking he would be back any moment. My other sister joined her after work and they waited and waited….we were all on tenterhooks wondering what on earth was going on, when he finally arrived back at his bed at 8 pm!

It seems he hadn’t had his op until the afternoon in the end,  although why no one could tell the family this is beyond me. We wouldn’t have known anything at all if dad hadn’t made the nurse ring mum. Let’s hope their medical skills are better than their communication skills anyway. 

I did an hour’s yoga and drank a large G&T as my own form of recovery. It is stressful this hospital lark and I wasn’t even there!

We are off to see him after work today so hope to see him rallying. Have a good day. 

Feeling grateful

I went to see my parents again today, partly to check on my mum and partly to see my dad before he goes in for his op tomorrow. My mum is doing really well with her new hip. Tough as old boots, that one. Her younger sister is staying with them to help out whilst my dad is in hospital. We could have done without both their operations coming within 10 days of each other, but what can you do? All the family is pulling together to support them, which is exactly what families should do. I am so grateful to have such lovely relatives!

My parents have always been so supportive so all of us so now it is pay back time 😀. 

I made a quick mushroom quiche and took it round for lunch, with new potatoes and salad. I don’t know why I don’t make pastry more often. It’s easy peasy really. We had some lovely strawberries from Lidl for dessert. I would have bought some of their gorgeous pastries to take but I am still off the sugar.

I have been catching up with myself all afternoon but now is time to curl up with Mr S and a glass of G&T. We are wild on a Saturday night! Whatever you are doing, have a good one!

It’s all going on!

I was so tired last night I slept for 9 and a half hours solid. This is almost unheard of. I generally limp along on about 7, which isn’t enough! So this is what normal people feel like? Alert and full of energy. I must try it more often😀.

I blame the clocks going back. That always messes up my body clock. The problem is that if I go to bed at 9pm every night I would never get anything done. I will aim for 10.30.

We had a fun day at work on Monday for Halloween. The thing I like most about working where I do is the people. We all really went for it with our monthly dress down/up day. I transformed myself into a zombie by ripping up an old t shirt and covering it in fake blood and some cheap make up from B&M. Some commented I looked better than usual 😀.

We don’t mind visits from the littlies in our street so always put a pumpkin out. I had a big tin of sweets from Aldi but I had so many small vampires, princesses and ghouls they were gone in half an hour so I had to bring the pumpkin in and hide! 😜

Still waiting on news regarding my dad. He has two potentially fatal illnesses unfortunately and will need an operation and some kind of cancer treatment but we don’t know exactly what is required yet. Hopefully all will be ok but it’s a bit worrying. 

Mr S’s mum is also still in hospital and will be for some weeks whilst she mends. She will need a lot of physio to regain her independence.

All we can do is knuckle down and carry on and hope the NHS does a good job on them both. Fingers crossed!

Locked out and lessons learned

Bit of a nightmare end to our day today. We all rushed out this morning inadvertently leaving my keys in the door on the inside, so when Mr S tried to open it to let us all back in he couldn’t get the keys in! 

Because we are quite security conscious the only open window was the bathroom and we are all too big to squeeze in there. Panic!!

Having said that we have now realised it is so easy to break into this house if you leave the windows locked just a tiny bit open. Mr S got up a ladder and used a screwdriver to push the handles up and finally climb in. What a relief.

Two lessons learned. Do not rush out of the door without the keys and shut the windows properly and lock them!

We actually had a nice afternoon visiting my parents for lunch, where we did a bit of blackberrying. I love foraging. We got another big potful to put in the freezer. Food for free is my favourite type 😊.

My parents’ cute garden

My mum also picked up a great steamer for me at the boot sale. This is a good way to cook your veg. Cheaper, as you only use one ring, and the vegetables retain more vitamins when steamed.

DD3 has had a good week. She got very decent A level results and a new job on the same day. She starts tomorrow and has a few months to decide whether this is actually a gap year before university or whether to become a full time career girl. This has to be her choice but I am hoping she will go to uni. We shall see. 

I hope your day wasn’t quite so interesting. Decorating starts tomorrow so I will do some before, during and after shots as we go. Wish us luck!

The best things in life are free

Fabulous weather in Essex today! I had my parents over for lunch and we were out in the garden all day, first enjoying the sun and then moving around  looking for some cooling shade as it heated up. We looked like the Ministry of Funny Hats at points as I had to find as many as I could and we were swapping them about. I used sun cream but still got a little pink.

Our free bench and charity shop table and chairs proved their worth today. Now we need to look out for a parasol for hot days like this. The story of the bench is here.

We had red dragon pie, which everyone seemed to enjoy. The hardest thing about this recipe is finding the aduki beans! I tried three different supermarkets and in the end my daughter bought canned ones in a health food shop. 

I used Sarah Brown’s recipe from a very old and well used cookbook, Vegetarian Kitchen, so worth buying if you are ever lucky enough to find a copy. I mentioned a link to this the other day but here it is again. It makes a change from shepherd’s pie and even a can of aduki beans only cost 75p. Dried beans would be even cheaper.

Darling daughter no 2 graduates from university this week so we got her some champagne. Such a clever girl, if I say so myself 😀😀.

It’s so good to spend time with the family. Aside from the champagne it cost almost nothing. The best things in life really are free 😀.

School’s out – forever!

Wow! Another busy week! Frustratingly though I don’t appear to have achieved much 😀.

Our new French student arrived on Sunday. He has proved really friendly and easy to host. He doesn’t eat breakfast, insists on helping me when he is here (the other night he mopped the floor!), goes out most nights and will be away in London the whole weekend.  He has also hit it off with my middle daughter, who has just finished university so has been home a lot. She has given him a list of the less obvious bits of London to visit and he, in return, has given her a contact at Vogue Magazine – she is desperate to get into fashion journalism so if that comes to anything it will be amazing.


Last day of school forever!

My other daughter is up to her eyes in A level revision so is stressed and tired. She officially left school yesterday, although will be in and out still for the next month for the exams. She works really hard and deserves to do well. It is tough for these youngsters though – so much competition for decent university places and good jobs.

Thankfully my eldest daughter is past all that and seems to be enjoying her job. She also moved into a new flat at the weekend. It isn’t very big but it has all she needs and is right in town. She was living with her dad but needed her own space.

So my children are all now adults and school is over! It is a weird feeling after so many years!

 We spent the morning on Sunday planting out the runner beans and brassica on the veggie patch and the tomatoes in the greenhouse. There is still lots to do so we will doubtless be out there again this weekend at some point. Not on Saturday though as there is a flower show locally so I have booked tickets. We will have lunch there and are meeting friends for a take away in the evening since its Mr Shoestring’s birthday.

There is always so much to do it seems. I started painting our reclaimed bench the week before last but still haven’t found time for the last coat. I will do that on Sunday too! Day of rest? Don’t think so 😀.

A year of celebrations

This week it was my youngest daughter’s 18th birthday.  All my children are now adults! I guess that makes me officially old. 😀

Tonight, to celebrate, she is having a dozen girlfriends over for dinner. I   am head chef, of course. I am doing a  of dips and crudités, olives, feta cheese and tortilla crisps, followed by spaghetti bolognese, with a dessert of birthday cake and fruit salad. Now that they are all 18 they can wash it down with some cava!

  The birthday cake is a deep dish of delicious chocolatey-ness made by my work colleague, Claire. When you open the box you are hit by the aroma of sugar and cocoa and it is making my mouth water as I type. Claire, being a baking genius, has surrounded it with the thinnest sheets of chocolate sprayed with edible gold. My daughter’s photo has been converted to sugar icing too. It is a masterpiece!

I know I will have a house full of shrieking and squiffy teenage girls, but I would rather that than they launch themselves on a nightclub in town. 

This year will be one of celebrations for my family, so I have a feeling I will be asking Claire to make another cake or two. I have my parents’ diamond wedding, my second daughter’s 21st, my nephew’s 21st (born within two weeks of each other) and another nephew’s 30th. 

We are a large family, busy and scattered, so it’s great to have these occasions that bring us all together.

Wish me luck – I have a busy day ahead!