Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Goodbye 2013


One last post of 2013 and then its gone - goodbye.

Its been one heck of a year - a serious roller coaster ride - some highs and some lows. Looking back at it all now - wow what a year - a dodgy soap script perhaps? All in all its been ok - lovely new house, a gorgeous new nephew, new hobby, new friends, amazing old ones who've really stuck by me and helped more than they'll ever know, that long hot summer, lots of camping, dancing, live music and spending time with my two wonderful boys who have grown up so much this year. In just a few days time - Little Son turns 16 and then 3 weeks later that Big Son of mine will be officially an adult - 18!!

I've taken quite a few photos this past year and I put them neatly into monthly folders on my pc - here's a mosaic of a favourite from each month - there's a strong theme running through I think!!

January - Snow and lots of it
February - Live music - Bellowhead in concert
March - Red Nose Day
April - My first Morris dance out - I was so scared!
May - First Morris festival - no nerves :)
June - Big Son and Little Nephew
July - Me - recovering from surgery in the sun
August - More live music - Jon Boden at Folkeast
September - My boys in Cambridge visiting my little brother
October - Last dance out of the year
November - Doctor Who's 50th celebrations at No6
December - Us 3 on Christmas Day in our Christmas jumpers

I think 3 things that sum up my life rather well - family, music and dancing.

Talking of family - we sort of managed it - 6 cousins in one phone - not all looking the same way and some pulling lovely silly faces as only small boys can;

Here's to much more of that in 2014 - lots is already planned - concerts, festivals, more dancing and family fun and I know I'll be sharing plenty of photos with you.

Thanks all for visiting, commenting and emailing in 2013 - its meant such a lot to me.

See you in 2014 

xxx Vicki xxx

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Almost the end

Good morning

Only just - I managed to sleep in till 10.30 this morning! We're due out at 12 and there's a mad panic going on for breakfast and showers - I'll leave the boys to go first and I'll have a hurried shower once they are finished - oh the joys of being a Mum!!

How was your Christmas? Ours was lovely - time spent with family and friends and the day itself spent happily as a 3 :)

All 3 of us in our Christmas jumpers - it was very hard to get all of in the same photo - it was a selfie style and even with big sons Mr Tickle arms it proved quite a challenge.

We'd been organised and prepared all the lunch the day before - all that needed doing on the day was getting it cooked and everything finished at the same time. Whilst it was cooking, little son took on the task of setting the table - we'd decided that we'd all have our favourite beers/ciders with our meal so he hunted down all the tankards too;

The dining room faces south so it was lovely seeing the sunshine whilst we ate our lunch :)

In the crackers were wind up reindeer's and Santa's - after we'd eaten we raced those for ages - those on my FB or IG feed will have seen the video clip.

The rest of the day was spent doing what we wanted - reading, playing new games, listening to new music or just sitting together watching the Christmas Doctor Who - we are all going to miss Matt Smith - not sure if I will take to this new Doctor.

Boxing Day morning, I was lying in bed thinking about getting up when a text came through from my Mum - did I want to go to Aldeburgh? Yep - so quickly, up and showered and off we went. Firstly to watch the crazy people taking part in a sponsored Boxing Day swim in the north sea;

and afterwards a quick walk around the town a visit to a couple of shops to their sales - it means I can part with a few more bits that no longer fit me to the charity shop - see everyone wins ;)

Right I'd best be off - another day - another get together - today's challenge - getting 6 cousins ranging from Big Son who is almost 18 and Little Nephew who is 9 months old  into the same photo and looking at the camera!!

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas

Good afternoon

Just a few spare minutes to myself so time for one final look at blogland for 2013.

Those that read regularly will know 2013 has been one heck of a roller coaster ride here in the VV household - however on balance despite life seeming like a dodgy soap script at times it hasn't been all bad. There's been a new hobby, new friends, a fantastic new house, a gorgeous squishy new nephew, plenty of fun, that long hot summer, lots of camping, loads of live music and best of all, those wonderful boys of mine have grown up so much are just the best a Mum could ask for.

Here's just a few pics from the last few weeks;

The mantalpiece is becoming more cluttered with Christmas stuff - just how I love it :)

Cards from both boys of course but this one from Big Son made me laugh loudly - I think it rather sums up my new life rather well!!

I finished this stocking for my new nephew rather quickly - had completely forgotten I'd made them for the others when they were small - I expect come Christmas morning it will be full of parcels for his first Christmas.

Christmas jumper wearing - we've all got them - just need to get a photo of the 3 of us together.

 Little Son off to play in his bands Christmas concert - I went with a friend and we had a good evening singing along :)

Big Son off to the 6th forms charity dress up day - they raised over £500 in local towns for 2 charities.

Straining this years Sloe Gin - such an awful task ;)

Sampling time - with a shop bought mince pie - I know shocking!! I will get some made it just life is all rather hectic at the moment. Looking forward to closing the door on Christmas Eve after the carol service and sitting down with another glass of sloe gin.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

2 weeks to go!!

Good morning

Ok so in 2 weeks time it will be Christmas morning, Santa will hopefully have been and its likely that my teenagers who can sleep for England will be awake early and sitting on my bed opening their stockings!

Where has 2013 gone? Even the last month has just whizzed past. Well there's 5 minutes now and time to quickly update my little online diary.

This post will run back to front - so newest pics first - why not - convention is boring ;)

The boys and I put up our Christmas tree at the weekend. Firstly there was problem with the lights - Big Son spent an hour untangling them and at the last knot the cable broke and we rushed into town to buy a replacement set. Then there was a hunt for a box of decs - after all when we moved in the summer we didn't think about remembering where Christmas was stored!!

We've decorated other bits of the house too - rather like the fireplace - once the stockings are added on Christmas Eve and a drink and mince pie for Father Christmas it will look even more festive;

 Still not convinced that there are enough things hanging from there - I keep looking at a box of spotty baubles - I may just add a few of them!!

Saturday morning I went to watch Little Son play carols at an event in town;

He's a few more engagements before a well earned rest from playing for a few weeks.

Last Thursday (told you I was going backwards) we awoke to the most amazing skies - red skies forewarning of the dreadful weather and flooding that followed. Luckily our litle town is ok - no tidal rivers. But many nearby places I know and love have been flooded and homes/businesses damaged.

I've said before how much I enjoy live music. Last weekend I went out with friends to a fab concert and danced all night. The weekend before I went to a local pub with a friend so see a local group - The Broadside Boys. I really love these two - fab music and a wicked sense of humour;

Nearly there - just two more pics to go.

Did anyone else watch the 50th Doctor Who celebrations? Well here at No6 we are big Doctor Who fans. We decided to watch in style - we cleared the coffee table and Little Son hunted out lots of monsters and Doctors and set them up around a big bowl of jelly babies (Whovians will understand why);

We loved the episode - complete silence here. No talking, no texting and no facebooking!! I don't think any of us even moved for the whole episode!!

Lastly for now - its been rather hectic here. Getting the house sorted for Christmas, the shopping and the keeping up with who is here at any one time. Those boys of mine have hectic social lives now and coupled with mine it take some remembering at to who is suppose to be where and when!!

My new favourite way to unwind - candlelit bath, bubbles and beer!!

Right time to make some packed lunches and make sure those boys leave for school on time!! Roll on the end of term!!

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Monday, 2 December 2013

And now for some good news :)

Good morning

I know, I know - another long gap between blog posts. The usual life getting in the way of photo taking and actually sitting down at PC to write a post.

I think part of the problem is 'other things on my mind'.

One of the big 'other things' has been the ongoing worries about my health and backwards and forwards trips to hospitals to be prodded, poked and have needles stuck into me.

The last trip was the day of the storm and I've been waiting nearly a month for either a call or letter to let me know how I'd got on and what happens next.

Last Wednesday I got in from work and there on my desk was a brown envelope - having received many of these this year I knew who it would be from - but what would it contain?

A letter from my cardiologist saying that the tests at Papworth showed that my heart was mostly normal and within the expected range. So putting these results with the other data, they have decided to discharge me from the Cardiology clinic and I need no more follow up appointments :)

Yippee 5 months to the day from when day surgery started a whole new chain of events, it was all over.

I am surprised that my yelps didn't attract more attention - however the boys came rushing to see what was happening and to see me leap several feet into the air !

So no more nagging worries about heart giving out - so time to get life back on track and have some serious fun. 

2013 has been one heck of an emotional roller-coaster ride - its now looking like it will end a whole lot better than it began!!

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Whizz, bang, ooooh & aaahhh


Oh yes love it or hate it, yesterday was Guy Fawkes / Bonfire night here in the UK - though the displays have been going since last weekend and probably won't be over till next!!

The boys & I decided to head across town and go to a big organised display at a local sports club. We were joined by Big Sons girlfriend - nice for me to have some female company ;)
The pair of them braved a scary looking fairground ride - I did get a video clip but can't work out how to share that on here - but its on my IG account;
As well as a few fair rides there were stalls selling Bonfire Night food - so glad now I've no gallbladder I can enjoy this stuff as a treat. There were also plenty of glowing things for sale too. Love this 'evil' pic of Little Son with his glow stick;

The fireworks were fab - loud and colourful :) I tried taking pics on my camera - using the fireworks setting for the first time - I think I need practise in hitting the button at the right moment!!

Right time to hound teenagers to school and get myself sorted for the day.

Back soon - I've got a book I'm reading to review and share with you.

xxx Vicki xxx

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Happy Stuff for November (so far)

Good morning

Well I was doing the 52 weeks of happy posts but I got side-tracked sometime in early summer - mostly connected with being ill and the house move - its not that I've not been happy, its just the whole photo taking/blog writing thing just stopped happening. I must blame Instagram too - instant blogging and so easy to do from my phone or Ipad - never worked out how to blog directly from there. So whilst I can't remember what week it is, I can share some happy pictures - here's some from the first few days of November;

 My sisters little puppy is growing up too fast - he is now big enough to walk across town to visit me and he made his first visit at the weekend. He's utterly adorable and so well behaved. He loved investigating somewhere new and after a run around in the garden with Little Son, he was tired out and snuggled up on my new rug for a long doze;

Yesterday (Monday) was gorgeous here - blue skies and sunshine. I decided to ignore the Doctors advice and take a gentle cycle ride over to the next village to visit a friend. On the journey home I stopped and loaded up a tub with sloes - so many this year;

All washed along with some elderberries - these got frozen and then when I buy gin later they will popped into a big jar with sugar, stirred occasionally and then strained just before Christmas. After all I can't go to the Christmas Eve carols without a hip flask full of the stuff ;)
 One last thing for today - an early Christmas pressie for me from me - new boots. I've loved these biker style ones for ages but never could wear them when (1) my ankle was still not flexible and (2) my calves were too 'wide' - well due to dancing etc etc both these barriers have gone so I treated myself to a pair in the most gorgeous green !!

Right its no good - I must go and get dressed and brave the outside world - there's gin to buy and a Grandma to visit. Plus later there's soup to make and firework displays to go and watch - all happy ;)

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Shake, rattle and roll

Good morning

I hope everyone has recovered from the storms? I think we were very lucky here at No6 - lots of leaves in the garden and some low flying apples but otherwise ok. Fences secure and the few bits of debris in the garden have been cleared up by the boys.

I had an interesting journey to make yesterday but more on that later.

Have you heard of the Oxjam music events or even been to one? Last weekend there was an event in Bury St Edmunds and I was lucky enough to spend the whole weekend there thanks to friends who invited me to stay. They were doing the sound for the event so we went over to the venue Friday evening to lay what seemed like miles of cables and connect these all together. Obviously this all needed testing and one of the event organisers also plays/sings in one of my favourite groups so we were treated to a wonderful sound check :)

A very late night was followed by an early morning - rest of the venue needed setting up and the artists needed sound checks. Then the main event - loads of bands - some I'd heard before and others that were new to me.
 Not just music but Morris dancers too. Our side were dancing on the Sunday but of course I was outside on the Saturday to watch the others;

Am hoping someone has pictures of us dancing on the Sunday.

Sunday was much the same - more music, my turn to dance and of course more cider - well all the proceeds went to Oxjam so it would have been rude not to partake ;) I had a wonderful weekend - listened to lots of new music, met some lovely new people, boosted my CD collection and generally had a good time.

I went home after the music finished on Sunday - I needed an early night as I needed to be up early on Monday. The reason - Papworth appointment day. We were heading east to west as the storm headed west to east - we met at one point and it was pretty hairy - swirling leaves and bits of tree flying about and trying to hit my Dad's car. Luckily he is always calm and cool in a crisis and we made it one piece and only took one wrong turning!!

The appointment went well - the radiographer was lovely and put my mind at ease and explained everything that was happening and the likely side effects of the cocktails of drugs I was given.

When I got changed into my gown, I couldn't resist a quick picture;

Such a first world problem - I don't think the gown goes with my boots!!

Right its half term here - and there are plans for some decorating to happen this week. Today I need to don my old clothes and fill holes and start painting what will become a wardrobe in Little Son's room - am sure there will be pictures to follow!

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Lifes little twists and turns - down the snakes but up the ladders

Good evening

Again apologises for my blogging absence - no real excuses - lots happening but I am not good at remembering to take photos and even worse at remembering to sit down and blog!!

Regular readers will know that 15 weeks ago a routine trip to hospital turned into a bit of a nightmare and I ended up spending almost a week in hospital and then was allowed home and told to rest and wait for a series of follow up tests and appointments.

I spent many hours at the hospital being prodded, poked and scanned. The other week I went back to see the Cardiologist and was expecting to be signed off and sent on my merry way.

Instead he told me that one of the tests had shown there is potentially a problem with the flow of blood to my heart. Therefore instead of being signed off, I was being referred to Papworth for another type of scan. However they though it unlikely I'd hear from them before December.

Today I had an appointment with the Surgical team at Ipswich - they needed to check I'd healed ok and sign me off. They were lovely - I saw the surgeon and room full of med students - my case is now part of their teaching as it was very rare. They will be copied in on the heart results eventually too. I am happy to say they have signed me off - no more appointments with them :)

When we got back home the postie was just walking down the garden path and my Dad joked he'd probably just delivered another appointment for me. I laughed. Well when I got in - there was a letter from Papworth and I am very lucky - the appointment is in a few weeks time - on a convenient day which doesn't clash with anything else! It's supposed to be a 2 hour visit but I am taking no chances and will packing an overnight bag!

Earlier in the summer I pinched the following picture from a friends facebook feed;

 Apart from a brief period at the beginning of the year when I was on the downward spiral and I have spent most of it on the upward spiral - despite the best efforts of life and whoever is sticking the pins into the Vicki voodoo doll! Every single one of the negative things that have happened this year have been eventually balanced out by a positive. 

Becoming single meant I forced myself to take up a new hobby - Morris dancing and that in turn lead to a wonderfully positive summer - time spent outside with friends and having fun.

Having to sell the family home and move - well that's a huge positive. The boys and I love our new house - more central to town and it means that our social lives have improved greatly.

My gallbladder going manic and making me ill meant I lost my liking for the wrong sorts of foods and that in turn has lead to the positive of me finally losing weight and dropping nearly 3 dress sizes.

This selfie (I know how teenage is that) was snapped the other weekend before the boys & I headed out to a wedding reception. Proof that I can do grown up clothing occasionally;

Oh dear that almost reads like a sermon !!

Thanks for reading.

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Friday, 4 October 2013

All creatures great and small

Good afternoon

Not sure I could love all creatures - especially this one that decided to hide under my pillow the other night! I'd been away for the weekend and left the boys in charge - they'd been good and got washing in and I guess this must have smuggled itself into the house in the washing basket;

I might have squealed like a girl when I spotted it but then I calmly deployed my insect catching kit (junk mail and a plastic Latitude cup) and put him downstairs to deal with in the morning!

I said I'd been away - I stayed with friends and we went to an birthday party on the Saturday night - it was 80's themed - and I knew what I wanted to wear - the jacket & accessories date from my mid teens in the mid 80's and the t-shirt was a treat to myself;

Obviously back in the mid 80's it wouldn't have been a pint of cider ;)

The party was for one of our dancers and we were asked to dance just once for everyone - such a lucky girl that I am, I finally got to dance with Adam Ant ;)

After a very late night and not a very restful sleep - I managed to fall out of bed!! Perhaps the 4th pint wasn't such a good idea!! The next dance we headed to a gig in a pub garden - us lot dancing for half an hour and the rest of the afternoon spent sitting in the sunshine, listening to music, chatting and maybe drinking some more cider!!

This week has been busy - even though the boys had one day off school due to the strikes. This morning was quiet and in order to put off hoovering for a while, I bashed some more picture pins in the wall and added to my wall of family photos;

I can now see there are some family members missing and I've been asking for copies of photos to add to this collection.

This afternoon has been spent with two wonderful creatures both very small and both very new. One of my sisters has recently got a puppy and kitten - they arrived within days of each other and and slowly getting the hang of each other. The kitten gives as good as it gets and has the advantage of speed and being able to hide under the sofa when the attentions of his 'brother' get too much!!

Meet - Foggy the border collie puppy;

and Douglas the kitten;

Both adorable and crazy and I could have happily brought them both home with me!!

Right I'd best be off - having a girls night with my sisters tonight to celebrate a birthday and draw names for our Not-so-Secret-Santa we do every year.

See you soon

xxx Vicki xx

Sunday, 22 September 2013

A fab day out

Good morning

Excuse my absence again from blogland but real life is all rather busy at the moment. I am working more as my boss is off work ill and then with the house, family and a rather fab newly discovered social life, blogging is rather losing out!!

Yesterday the boys & I were up rather early for a Saturday - we needed to leave the house at 7.30 as we were heading out of Suffolk to visit my little brother in Cambridge. We nearly had a problem when the train from Ipswich to Cambridge broke down in the station but another was found and we were soon on our way running just 10 minutes late. We were met by my little brother at the station and we headed into the city centre;

 I love the old college buildings.

 3 of my favourite menfolk - the boys & my brother :)

We walked around the shops, the market and of course past many of the old college buildings. We stopped for a lovely lunch and afternoon coffee too. The boys were happy to shop - their pocket money and wages were soon being spent. Big son bought the most amazing pair of Converse - I must remember to get a photo sometime - they are almost a work of art!

I wasn't planning on buying any shoes for me but when we were in the shop I spotted a pair that I fell in love with - not buying them straight away but thinking about it for a few hours and then returning and hoping they had them in my size - they did, they fitted and I love them;

Obviously not normally to be worn with flowery pj bottoms !!

Whilst the boys wandered around the market buying dvds - I spent just 5 minutes in the Cath Kidston shop - I must confess the current stuff is rather lovely but I really don't need anymore mugs, tins or teatowels! I did treat myself to a couple of little things;

A brooch and bracelet for me and a keyring to stop us from losing the back door key!!

We are already planning on going back to Cambridge next spring and hopefully finding somewhere inexpensive so we can stay the whole weekend as its rather a tiring journey to do in one day - as this photo shows;

See you soon - can't promise when as there's more work this week and next weekend is looking rather fab - can't tell you what yet but I promise there will be photos!!

xxx Vicki xxx

PS - just realised I missed this blogs 4th birthday last week!! and today is the Autumn Equinox - where is the year going!!

PPS - Spell check not working !!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

3 is a magic number

Good morning

Just a quick post before another busy day happens - work, nephews birthday and dance practise. Does seem life is rather busy as the moment - lots of lovely things to look forward to mixed with some domestic stuff and more house alterations.

The week started relatively quietly - time on Tuesday afternoon to go and get a new tattoo done - I've wanted a 3rd one for a while but couldn't decide what. However doodling with henna over the summer I kept doing the same thing - 3 hearts - one for me and one for each boy. I took my doodle into the shop and explained what I wanted and here's what I went for;

Its on the inside of my wrist and I love it - I know these aren't everyones cup of tea but heck the world would be a boring place if we all liked the same things or didn't do something because others might disapprove!! No it didn't hurt - odd as I am normally a complete wuss with pain/needles.

The weekend saw a very sudden switch between seasons - summer on Sunday morning so plans for lunch in the garden were made. Just as we finished eating the seasons switched from summer to autumn and we hurried indoors from the rain!!

Am thinking at the current rate, we'll be having a roast this summer rather than a lovely picky buffet lunch!

Monday saw Big Son go back to school for his final year of school. Unlike his smaller brother he was happy to have his photo taken - even reminding me it needed doing. Thinking one day of finding all the back to school pics and making a collage of them;

We are taking this giant boy on his first Uni visit this weekend - it means an early start but the course is so very him that the 4.30am start will be worth it. More visits are being planned to others places. Not sure how I will feel next year when he leaves home - he's so useful to have around - so often saving me having to get a ladder out!!

Right time for work - hoping for less nutters than yesterday!

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx