Wednesday, 31 July 2013

On the move!

Good evening

Just the best news this morning - contracts were exchanged and the boys & I are on the move next Wednesday :) Not going far - just across town to a lovely old Edwardian house which when I can show you pictures you will see why I fell in love instantly.

Lots to do over the weekend - things to take down and some stuff to pack. Luckily we are having professional packers/movers this time so I've not got to pack lots of boxes.

We've been through almost every cupboard in the house over the past few months and have recycled/sold loads. We've got rid of excess furniture that wouldn't fit into either new homes.

I'll leave you with a couple of snaps of me from last week (cropped from larger pictures - hence the quality) - happy dance time!!

See you before I move - we are having 'holiday at home' week and there have been plenty of photo worthy moments!

xxx Vicki xxx

Monday, 29 July 2013

And still the sun shone!

Good morning

Oh what a weekend :)

It started Friday evening - firstly a barbecue with the boys in the garden. Such a simple pleasure but one we are enjoying on a regular basis now. We've even got the lighting of said bbq down to a fine art - little son squirts the coals with bbq lighting liquid and I do the match thing!!

Of course every bbq has to end with toasting marshmallows. Big son has decided the combination of toasted marshmallow and reggae-reggae sauce works well - I am not so sure!

After we'd tidied up, I headed out with my parents to a beer/music festival in a pub a few miles away. We spent a lovely evening sitting in the sunshine with friends, listening to a fab local band and I was happily testing some excellent local cider too!

I headed back to the same event on Saturday afternoon, this time with our Morris side. We were due to dance late afternoon and decided an overnight camp was a good idea.  The weather was very hot not a breeze at all. We managed to change our dance time till early evening and instead started to investigate the beer tent!!

Its somewhat of a miracle that some of us managed to dance at all and even more of a miracle that no big stick injuries happened!! Here we all are afterwards - this is taken by a friend. Such a happy and colourful bunch;

The dancing continued into the evening - firstly to another band but when rain stopped play there, we moved into the beer tent and our Morris musicians started playing and soon more mad, drunken dancing was happening. I was sensible enough to realise that dancing in sandals on damp ground wasn't a good idea with my history so a quick trip back to the tent and putting my dancing boots on probably saved me a trip to A&E!

What a weekend - just brilliant fun.

One final word to sum it all up - when asked how our Morris Squire was feeling very late Saturday night/early Sunday morning, he replied 'Frunk'!!

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Thursday, 25 July 2013

We've been on a giraffe hunt!

Good evening

Well what a fab day out the boys & I have had today. We've left Suffolk and headed over the border into Essex to Colchester. We arranged to meet friends at the station - had to laugh we came out of the exit and there was no sign of them! We called and they told us they were are the exit! Took a moment or two to realise there are two exits!! Anyhow we got that sorted and were soon on our way into the town centre.

The reason for the visit - Giraffes! To celebrate the 50th birthday of Colchester Zoo - 30 large painted giraffes are dotted about the town and nearby area - and another 100 or so are there too. The large ones were painted by artists and the small ones by local schools/community groups.

My friend had spent many hours earlier this year painting hers and we wanted to see it for real.

 Just for once Big Son wasn't the tallest thing around!!

 Giraffes in all sorts of designs - smart, evening wear.

 This reminded me a bit of the Rolling Stones lips logo (excuse the teenager photo bombing in the background).

The other side without a teenager lurking!!

 A Masai inspired one.

This artist works often with glass and the tiles that made the necklaces were all individual small glass tiles - just stunning.

This one was based on the nursery rhyme - Twinkle, twinkle little star - which was written by a Colchester resident!

 Another nursery rhyme one.

 Inside a rather modern and snazzy arts centre in town.

 One of the smaller school decorated ones - loved her spotted shorts.

 A patchwork one.

 This one is called Womb with a view - if you look closely you can see part of the body is just the internal parts - including a baby giraffe in the womb!!

  The last one I snapped - it was decorated with Colchester land marks.

We stopped for lunch in the gardens of the Castle - just opposite a family of pandas!!

Oh the main reason for visiting - this fella in the food hall of M&S - he greets everyone who comes to the shop;

The whole thing is decorated with African patterns - really wonderful.

We saw many more - especially of the small ones but these weren't always easy to photograph as they are in shops and other public buildings.

At the end of the summer all the giraffes are being auctioned - sadly I won't be able to bid - Helen's already has a 4 figure reserve on it!!!

If anyone is near Colchester over the summer hols - I would recommend getting a leaflet and doing some of the trail - it really is good.

Right - time for a soak in the bath and hopefully a good nights sleep.

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Festival Fun in the sun

Good afternoon

Oh what a day - I've spent it at the local hospital (26 miles away) in a department I'd never heard of and which took me ages to find this morning despite having a map! I've been injected with a bit of radioactive stuff and something else which the Doctor referred to as the drug of doom! Oh was he right - I got all the side effects and still feel like I've been on the cider!! Back tomorrow for more radioactive stuff and another scan - no drug of doom fortunately - I wouldn't wish that on my worse enemy! Luckily the effects are now wearing off and I don't think it will stop me from dancing tonight!! and yes it is at a pub!!

Anyhow, back to Sunday - a very warm and sometimes sunny day spent 20 minutes up the road at the now increasing popular Latitude Festival. I've been before - 5 years on the trot but missed last summer for a number of reasons. This year I went just for the day with my mate Dawn and it was utterly fab.

We had a lovely easy drive there - no big queues for the car parks and even the wristband exchange was speedy once it opened. Left home at 10am and by just before 11am we were sitting with coffee (her) and noodles (me) in the Comedy tent waiting for Marcus Briggstock and friends to put the world to rights.

We watched loads and wandered miles - the site was bone dry and very dusty - of if meant cider was needed - not to much but a pint at lunchtime was very welcome.

I didn't take too many pictures - I kept forgetting!! 

We did have a wander around the lake to see the sheep - something of a tradition for us;

 I love seeing these - especially in the weeks after the festival when they return to their normal grazing - must make people who don't know about the festival wonder why Suffolk sheep are orange, pink and green!!

When I've been to the festival with little son (he was just 8 on his first visit), he loved the children's area. Well this year it was even better - I bet some parents spent many hours in here - I was tempted to borrow a small child so I could join in too!

 Sandcastle sculptures

 Giant bees

Large colourful flowers - straight out of Tellytubby land!!

Oh I did wear my new dress but stupidly forgot to take a photo!

I am ever so hopeful that next year, Dawn & I might decide to go for the weekend together - if either of us win the lottery we would definitely go for the glamping option - we both rather fell in love with the Yurts and Bell Tents!! Failing that, I think I'd be happy in my little tent.

See you soon - I'm off on a giraffe hunt on Thursday with the boys and friends - must remember to not only take my camera but use it!!

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Friday, 19 July 2013

Mother & Child


Hurrah - we've reached that point in the year again - last day of school :)

6 weeks of summer hols with my boys - rather a lot (should) be happening plus if this gorgeous weather could continue we'd be very grateful - rather enjoying eating outside and having lots of barbecues. Oh and the upside of everything in my life being 'complicated' this year means I've lost weight and am loving not hiding under layers - whilst I'm no supermodel its rather nice to feel the sunshine on my skin and not feel like I am going to melt!!

Anyhow - just one picture today - quickly snapped yesterday morning. A green woodpecker and their baby - these are very skittish and you have to be quick & quiet or else they'd fly off ;

This was taken from an upstairs window on my little camera with max zoom so not perfect quality but nevertheless (I think) a lovely snap.

For those with school age children - I hope you enjoy your summer hols. I know my two can't wait - no timetables, for little son no uniform and for me - no pack ups and alarm clock!!

See you soon with I am sure one or two photos from Latitude!

xxx Vicki xxx

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Chasing butterflies

Good afternoon

Wow - can't believe this weather - another sunny day - and it looks like it will continue into the weekend :)

Have been pottering about lots this week - steadily but getting more and more done. Making the most of the weather and emptying my laundry bin and getting those other washing tasks like sofa covers and throws sorted too.

I've also been watching the wildlife - the butterflies and bees have been loving the huge Hebe's in the front garden - some even stayed still long enough for photos;

I mentioned that on Sunday I'd headed with a sister to the big local car boot sale - here's what came home with me minus the strawberries that soon disappeared into those hungry boys of mine;

Both the books were favourites when I was younger - I used to read Mr Pink Whistle whenever I slept over at a friends house - I was always awake first and seemed this book was nearest to hand each time!

I also mentioned about heading to Latitude this weekend - well I decided that a new frock was in order - the fabric came from my friends little shop and once I'd unearthed my packed away sewing stuff it didn't take too long for a frock to appear - even if I had to sew standing up at the breakfast bar (more comfortable than I thought it would be);

I went dancing last night - just one dance as its the only one without having to have someone put their arm around me as part of it - too sore still for the others. However it went well and it felt good to be doing it again. Hopefully next week I might manage a couple more - I've been to the doctors (again) this morning and the pesky dissolving (but not actually doing it) stitches in 2 wound sites are finally gone - hurrah. 

Right off to the washing machine again - another load is finished!

Long may the sunshine continue :)

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Happiness is.........the weekend

Good afternoon

Phew what a scorcher!! I am just loving this weather - makes everything so much better. I am still on a happy high from last weekends trip away. Yes there have been a few tricky bits this week but they are being far outnumbered by good things and happy times - long may this sunshine continue.

Here's my weekend in recycled Instagram pictures - just seems so easy to take them that way!!

The weekend started with tea and biscuits in the garden with a good friend - I decided that mugs just weren't right so I hunted down a pair of gorgeous vintage cups and saucers instead;

Friday evening saw the end of a busy week for the boys and I thought we deserved a treat - the shopping got delivered with a little extra in there for us all;

 Saturday morning was spent on domestic stuff - little son got the hoovering to do and big son the grass cutting - both things that I find hurt my ribs and scars at the moment. I got the tasks to tidying up - oh job - perhaps when we've a smaller house we will be tidier????

We decided a bbq tea was in order - luckily the Doctor had agreed on Friday that light cycling was ok for me to do so once jobs were done I popped into town for supplies. As an extra treat I bought marshmallows for toasting over the coals once the other cooking was done;

Honestly they were happy - the photo doesn't suggest this though does it!!

This morning I went to the boot sale with a sister - a punnet of strawberries, a bunch of sweet williams and 2 vintage Enid Blyton books were my haul - just £4 spent.

This afternoon this has been my view;

Just following medical advice and taking it easy!!! 

Lounging around with a book and my ipad - what a tough afternoon!!

Oh and I couldn't resist a selfie!!

Back indoors now as there are jobs to do - need to everything sorted so I can enjoy the White Queen later - am really loving this series.

Hope you've all had a good weekend and have had a chance to get outside in the sunshine. Really hoping this good weather continues as I'm off somewhere exciting next Sunday with Dawn - we've booked day tickets for Latitude Festival and I think Friday night we were both more excited than a class of 5 year olds on Christmas Eve!! Goodness what we will be like by next weekend!!!

On the health side, I am doing really well. Allowed to cycle and dance but only gently. I have lots of hospital appointments over the summer to check that there are no lasting problems - the general opinion is there aren't but they are being very thorough.

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Busy doing nothing

Good morning

On doctors orders I have been taking it easy this week - yeah right!! I have been trying to take it easy but as a single Mum who has two teenagers, a house which can't clean itself and no means of transport I've tried hard to go at a slower pace - not easy especially if you factor in the need for 3 doctors appointments the other side of town and the mountain of tasks to do with my impending house move too!

This has been the view at times though;

I repainted the picnic bench a few weeks ago and then added the vinyl flowers to 'Vicki' it up! Add in a new parasol from an outlet shop and its gone from unloved to much used :)

The inside of the house has been pretty at times thanks to lovely friends and lots of flowers - including some homegrown sweet peas from my mate, Dawn.

As I thought more photos from my fab Morris weekend have appeared - this time including ones of me - whilst its fine if I don't know the pic is being taken, if I see the camera I still end up pulling a silly face as these next two show - oh well I was having fun!!

 You can just glimpse a cheeky pic of my fab new bloomers here - perfect on the beach when it was windy!!

This week for the boys has been a not normal school week. Big Son has been volunteering at school decorating classrooms - he seems to be enjoying this and some paint has made it onto the walls - however he comes home with white freckles most days too!

Little Son has been doing work experience at a local primary school. He has wanted to be a primary teacher since the age of 6 when he had the most wonderful male teacher. He's been having a great time and loving his week. Today he made an extra effort and as you can see he is really looking rather grown up these days!

Lastly for the past 18 hours I have been wired up to a mobile ECG monitor - roll on this afternoon when it comes off - the wires and sticky pads are annoying and I hate missing my bedtime bath and morning shower!! It is just a precaution after my little blip - would be interesting to see what happens to my ticker when I am hounding teenagers out of bed in the morning!!

Right time to hang washing out and get on with another day of pottering/resting and hopefully some crochet in the sunshine later too! (Sunshine is currently hiding!!)

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Going Potty In Sheringham

Good evening

Thank you for all the comments on my last post :)

Well I said I was going away this weekend and I managed it. I was very wary of heading off camping for the weekend but decided it was something that I wanted to do and I very badly needed some relaxing time and some serious fun.

I didn't pack my dancing boots instead I packed extra camera batteries and suncream!

The Morris side headed up the coast over the border and into Norfolk. The Potty Festival in Sheringham was our destination along with about another 30 Morris sides.

 We drove up on Friday night and arrived on the campsite about 7pm. I was so looked after - not allowed to carry anything heavier than a pillow! Two dancer put my little tent up for me whilst the others helped me get sorted. Once we'd all arrived and camp set up then it was time to open bottles and cans. I was very good - just one cider but a very welcome one.

We were up early on Saturday morning - bacon butties were eaten and then costumes put on. Whilst I hadn't packed my whole outfit I had added my twirly skirt and some fab new bloomers which you will get to see another time I am sure! We caught the shuttle bus into town and the side formed up for the parade - as this involves dancing a long route - I was walking with some of the children along side them and stopping when they did to take photos.

Once we'd got into the town we headed to our first dance spot - the sky was blue and it was getting hot.

 First dance over it was time to crack open the drinks!! Of course it would have been rude to turn down a can of Adnams!!

As you can see even my handbag matched!!

Everywhere you looked there were Morris dancers;

The pubs and food places were very busy! We of course stopped for ice-creams and chips - was a bit wary at first of having these but it soon became apparent that my tummy approved! Well worth having that op the other week!!

At lunchtime we took our chips down to the beach - sitting as a side on the rocks and then heading down to the sea for a paddle;

The beach at Sheringham is lovely and sandy - the tide was out and the decision was taken to dance on the beach. I was a bit sad not to be able to do this but I was happily snapping away and another dancer has videoed it all and its on Youtube (Pretty Grim at Sheringham).

At the end of the day we all eventually made it back to the campsite - the shuttle bus service didn't happen and I thought I'd have to walk back up the hill in the heat. However my parents had chosen the same weekend to be on their hols in Sheringham and they wandered passed me queueing. Dad went and got his car and took me and some of the others (and the bbq food) back to the campsite!!

This morning I was first awake in our camp - probably something to do with having far less booze than everyone else!! It was warm in the tent so I sat in the porch crocheting and watching the world wake up;

I started this in hospital and it is growing slowly - when it is done it will be a Granny Chic string bag!!

Here's my little home for the weekend;

Today it was decided not to dance - we opted for a beach trip as a group - buckets and spades were found/bought and we wandered down to the beach. Another perfect day - blue skies, a gentle breeze on the beach and maybe another ice cream and chips were had!!

Happy feet on the beach - yes I know those legs are a bit pink - I forgot about them when I was putting suncream on this morning!!

We got home late afternoon - just in time for me to watch closing sets of the Men's Singles Finals with the boys - just great to finally see a British winner - there was much cheering from our sofa!!!

Right time to email some photos to friends, have a long soak in the bath and then settle down to watch The White Queen.

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx