Monday, 25 July 2011

Photo Scavenger Hunt - July

Good evening

Well here's something that never happened during my school days - I'm handing my homework in early! Due to impending hols, here's my efforts for this months scavenger hunt;

 Celebration - a pile of certificates and reports that the boys received at the end of term. Certificates celebrating achievements and reports that are both worth celebrating :)

Fields - normally holding sheep but for one month a year, this field is part of the Latitude Festival site - even on a very wet Saturday afternoon there are still plenty of hardy festival goers about waiting for the next act on stage.

 Flag - one of many around the main stage at the festival.

Flip flops - mine - abandoned in the garden on a sunny afternoon.

Something that makes me happy (not a person or animal) - these pebbles represent the seaside. I've lived near the coast since the age of 8 and I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. I love the sea breezes we get when the weather is warm, walking along the beach on a blustery winters day and that special salty seaside smell.

Ice cream - a MrWhippy 99 - my favourite - eaten on the Prom at Southwold on a hot sunny day - bliss

A kite - not an easy one to capture on film. Taken at Aldeburgh on a less sunny day last weekend.

 Red, white & blue - one of my dresses (made by a friend). This was commented on when I posted about Latitude. Its not actually patchwork but fabric printed to look like it.  

 A seashell - Maggi Hamblings Scallop - on the beach between Aldeburgh & Thorpeness. It was a busy day and it took a while to get a shot without children in the way - can you see them hiding??

 A star - on my right wrist - a birthday pressie from my sisters a few years ago and No it didn't hurt.

 Strawberries - taken right at the beginning of the month at the PYO farm.

Stripes - MrVV's t-shirts hanging on the clothes horse awaiting ironing!!

Thank you Kathy for keeping my eyes open for another month. 

See you again later in the week.

xxx Vicki xxx

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Parcels and Parties

Good evening

I hope everyone has had a good weekend? Its been a pretty full on one here but in a nice way.

The boys made it to the end of term and despite minor blip on little sons theme park trip (someone who isn't a good traveller should never have gone on a ride called Wipeout - it did ;) - his teacher will have a lovely lasting memory of him!) it ended well.

Big son arrived home from school mid-afternoon after a final footie game with his friends and the treat of buying junk for his lunch! He needed to get sorted as he was off to an Explorer end of term party and sleepover. It sounds rather fun and I've seen some of the photos. Am sure the boys who well enrolled on the beach at 2am will remember that for a while and the drunk they disturbed really will think there are aliens about!!

My special Friday thing was a parcel - from Miss Magpie part of the Guilt Free Shopping swap organised by Lakota at Faith, Hope and Charity Shopping;

Pretty parcels in chicken paper - see those pink flowers on 2 of the parcels? Well they are hairclips and are utterly gorgeous and something I have meant to buy for a while!
 Inside - lots of pretties - someone has definately been reading my blog :) I can see bears, a Stanley, pretty china and lots of flowers :)

In slightly more detail;

 A pretty floral trinket dish - now keeping my everyday jewellery safe at night :)

 A silky, pink & flowery scarf - very glam :)

A Stanley heart and a teddy bear tissue holder with a hint of Cath inside.

 Some flowery coasters and those pretty pink clips

Part of the swap brief was a piece of jewellery and this 3 strand beaded necklace is perfect :)

If you pop over to Miss Magpie's blog - you can see what I sent to her.

Yesterday evening we went out as a family of 4! A bbq and camp-over at a brass banding friends house. Armed with a bootful of camping gear and also some beer/cider that MrVV had brewed for the occasion we set off deep into the Suffolk countryside.  First job whilst it was still light was to put the tents up - one for the boys and one for MrVV & I. We managed to get 2 tents up in the time it took other friends to build their little one! It was a wonderful evening - great company, great food and plenty of laughs - no photos from me - our friends homemade wine put paid to that! I think things would have very much been out of focus ;)

What a lovely camping spot we had - surrounds by flowers, veggies and chickens!!

 That rather handsome fella at the back did briefly wake me at 4am but I'm made of tougher stuff and was soon back to sleep!

The swing was very popular with the children last night - some loud giggly games were being played. Great to see them all getting on so well - big age range too - from 4 to 21!
 The garden was gorgeous - a proper cottage one with so many lovely plants and also places to sit and watch the wildlife and to enjoy a mug or two of coffee this morning.

BTW I bet I'm the only person who enjoyed their breakfast accompanied by a cowboy singing folk songs accompanied by a blind blues guitarist??

See you soon - I need to hand my Scavenger Hunt efforts in early this month - another camping trip, this time  to the West Country is looming next weekend!

xxx Vicki xxx

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Almost the end........

Hello again :)

In less than 24 hours we will come to the end of an era in the VV household.

Four years ago I sent this little boy off to Middle School (Yrs 5-8) - he was very nervous and rather daunted by the prospect of leaving the comfort of his Primary School;

Well today that little cheeky chappie had his Leavers Assembly - my goodness some of those children are now enormous! Many of them were given certificates for various achievements and for the voluntary work some have done around the school in the past year. Many were wearing the special leavers t-shirts - bright white and clean this morning - they looked more like this at the end of the day (ignore the bandage - a roller skating accident during the activity week!);

 Crude measuring shows that he's grown 10 inches in the past 4 years - and I can hear those bones creaking again as he starts his annual summer hols growth spurt!

Tomorrow for their final day, the year group is off to a nearby theme park to make themselves dizzy and generally have lots of fun :)

Big son has just a half day at school tomorrow - a debrief session from the work experience his year group have been doing for the past fortnight. He has been at the Power Station and has been working with the maintenance section - he's been taking things apart and repairing them - all of course under very strict supervision. He's loved every part of this time and was quite sad to say goodbye to his workmates today. For the first few days, he left the house looking quite smart - he then reverted back to jeans/t-shirts when he discovered he'd spend most of his time in overalls, safety boots and a hard hat!

Roll on 4.30 tomorrow afternoon - term will be over - worn out uniform can be recycled and six weeks of holidays can begin :)

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Monday, 18 July 2011

Fun in the mud!

Good evening :)

Well what a weekend - festival fun in the mud! 

This was the 5th time I've been to Latitude and the first time in really bad weather. However it was the first time I've been lucky enough to stay in a caravan too. So there was always somewhere warm and dry to sleep and a wonderful cooked breakfast (by my friend) each morning :)

We arrived mid morning on Friday and soon found a space to pitch up. Between the 4 of us, we soon had the caravan and awning sorted and the Pimms opened! After a quick lunch we headed off to the Arena - stopping at so many stalls/stands on the way. It seemed rude to say No to the nice man who was offering free shots of spirits at one of the bars!

We split into 2 groups - my friend & I headed over to a tiny stage to watch a set by Camille O'Sullivan - just 50 people and the most personal set I've ever watched. She was amazing :)

I've watched so many acts over the weekend - both stuff from my younger years - Adam Ant, OMD, Echo & the Bunnymen to more recent stuff - Bellowhead, Eels & Paloma Faith. I've surprised myself by actually enjoying a dance music act too - though the 2 pints of Pimms and smuggled into the Arena cider might have helped ;)

We walked miles - from our part of the campsite to the main stage was about 2 miles through thick mud - my legs today really ache but its been so worth it. I love the feeling you get when you see the Arena for the first time and of course the colourful sheep and flowery sign;

The Arena at night is stunning too - lots of coloured lights and just a fab atmosphere;

One downside - I now will never want to camp in a tent at a festival ever again - why would you after spending the weekend in a colourful, vintage caravan;

 Trust me - this way tidy! Amazing what you find when you tidy up - that's where the box of pizza went!!

I won't be late to bed tonight - once the boys are home I shall be snuggling up and catching up on my sleep. The day started rather early as we needed to be home so children could be taken to school. Up at 5am - off the site by 5.30 and home having breakfast by 7am!

See you soon

x x x Vicki x x x

Thursday, 14 July 2011

A Happy Goodbye!

Evening from soggy Suffolk

I keep seeing pictures on other blogs of sunshine and blue skies - we've had none of that today. It was raining when I woke up and I think it finally stopped about 3.30pm.  Big son had sensibly arranged a lift to his placement today - apparently car pooling is an essential work skill ;)

I've been packing today - I'm off to the Latitude Festival tomorrow - if I was camping like normal I'd be in a panic about the rain and mud but fortunately I'm going with a friend in her caravan so we should have somewhere dry & warm to sleep at night. I've dusted down my wellies and they will probably spend most of this weekend on my feet.

 A first glimpse of the site for 2011 courtesy of the Latitude Festival website.

Tonight we've been to little son's school to their awards evening. It was lovely to see little son and so many of his friends get their awards and to hear what the teachers have to say about them. There were plenty of proud parents in the audience tonight. It was also the last time his school brass band will play together in its current format as the older boys are leaving to go to High School and  two of the teachers are moving schools as well. Quite sad really as they've really gelled as a group and are all great mates.

Little son was thrilled to get the Key Stage 3 award for Science and he's already planning which books to spend his prize voucher on. Here he is with his cup - needed to take a pic so one can be delivered to Great Grandma over the weekend - it can join the one she has from a few years ago of big son with a cup he won.

Right I'd best go and check my packing and perhaps spend time trying to find a weather forecast that isn't all doom and gloom for the weekend!

See you next week 

xxx Vicki xxx

Monday, 11 July 2011

A crafty catch-up

Good evening

Sort of back to normal here now - no phone calls at strange times and deliveries of programmes/draw tickets. Almost a normal day for the boys too - little son is now in his last fortnight of middle school and big son had the first day of a 2 week work experience placement. Band practise still tonight which is now focusing on a forthcoming wedding.

I've been busy ticking things off my to-do before Latitude list. One of those was make a dress - I spent a few hours upstairs yesterday and after a little bit of finishing this morning, here's the final result;

Its turned out how I hope and went together with minimal cursing of my sewing machine ;)

.Here's the back view - note the cute little heart shaped buttons which help hold the ties on;

Yesterday I also managed a little bit of crochet - I've now finished the first 10 squares of my first blanket stripe - just a matter of sewing some ends in and sewing those 10 squares together;

Last week at S&B I started another square and was chatting away to a friend when I realised I'd not followed the colour sequence I planned. So I've decided to alternate each row rather pull it out.

I managed a couple of CS visits last week and was lucky to find a couple of bits;

Another Ladybird book for my collection - managed to spot this on a shelf after another seasoned CS shopper had missed it AND it was only 20p!

I couldn't resist this pair of kitsch eggcups - no idea what I'll do with them - perhaps fill them with mini eggs come next Easter?

Thanks for all the comments on yesterdays post - it was such a fab day - hard work but something very worthwhile and I was stopped many times in town today by people who were there and had had a great afternoon. BTW there was one shower at the end of the afternoon but our audience were a hardy and well prepared bunch and most of them stuck it out and after 10 minutes the shower was over the sun came out.

Right an evening of end sewing in is calling - oh joy!

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Happy 125th Birthday!

Good evening

What a busy few days we've had here in the VV household. There's been High School visits for little son (3 tier system here they move at the end of Y8), a music exam (again for little son) and preparations for work experience (big son is doing that for the next 2 weeks). But the main event has been preparing to celebrate a 125th birthday! No, not MrVV but the brass band he plays in. 

Its taken many months of planning, loads of meetings, phone calls and emails but eventually the day finally arrived. It started early for some - there were tents to build, signs to put up and so many things that needed doing. There had been mild panic when the weather on Friday was more suitable to ark building than stage building but Saturday dawned bright and sunny (ish).

The plan was a parade with the band leading followed by some British Legion Standards, local councillors, air cadets, scouts/cubs/beavers and some brownies too!  All kicked off on time and my first glimpse was as the band came down the main road - amazing. I'd not seen it leave - my role was programme selling (and later taking photos and being a general dogsbody).

The parade had to halt as it came into the school playground - as the access gate was narrower than the band!!

There was a huge crowd waiting for the bands to perform. Not just MrVV's band but the training/school one little son also plays with, another local band and then the finale - a massed bands concert which involved about 60 musicians and 3 conductors.

 Little sons school/training band - many of the players in this also play with the main band too.

 Brass fans - actually my Mum and littlest sister

 Big son (who been on car parking duty) and one of my nieces.

 Even though he's Band Chairman it didn't mean MrVV was excused from burger flipping duty!!

 My MIL and a friend enjoying themselves in the sunshine.

 Little son (he's the Euphonium player with glasses AND hair - the rest of section are follicley challenged!!)

MrVV (now I can see where all the drinks were hiding!!)

 The massed bands concert - love this pic of three trombonists from the different bands - shows how joined together everyone was.
 The afternoon ended with a short Sunset service and a final parade of standards.

As yesterday ended rather late, today started very late for some - little son didn't surface till almost 11.30am. There was some final sorting out to do that kept MrVV out for a while but this afternoon has been a quiet one. I've even managed some sewing - I've almost finished my new dress :)

See you soon for a post full of crafting and CS finds - life gets slightly more normal this week for a few days!

xxx Vicki xxx