Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Wednesday 30th June 2021

Amy started her work experience at Tom's school today. She set off with her bag and lunch box and I have to say it felt like going back 10 years. Meanwhile the person who should actually be in school was still in bed snoring. 

Her degree came through yesterday and she got a 2:1. More specifically she got 68.5 marks, just 1.5 marks short of a first. Given the circumstances of the last year I think she's done really well and we're very proud of her. 

We had a lovely visit with Sienna last night apart from one upset when England scored the first goal and the men jumped up and yelled so loudly they made her cry. Poor old Sophie didn't get off lightly either. Matthew was holding a book at the time which he launched in the air and it bounced straight off her head. It was definitely a manic 5 minutes. 3 grown men dancing around the room, Mark holding a flashing fairy wand Sienna had given him, me and Amy sat there laughing, Sophie rubbing her head and Sienna crying. I don't know what we all looked liked. 

I bought some little dolls when I was in Middleton yesterday and decided to crochet sleeping bags for them. I'll donate them to church to go in the shoeboxes. The finishing touch will be some ribbon and a bow which I'll need to go to Bury for. I've not been prior to Covid so I might drive over next week. 

One of our trips out at my sisters was to the garden centre for brunch. It was one of Mum's favourite places to visit when she was down there so it felt only right we should go. It's so much more than a garden centre and after eating we had a mooch around where I spotted these lovely earrings which Amy bought for me. 

And the first harvest of peas has taken place. I kept them all to myself and ate them straight from the pod. 

Hope you've all had a lovely day. xx

Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Tuesday 29th June 2021

Me and Amy had a lovely weekend at my sisters. It was really good to catch up with her and all the family under less stressful circumstances than when Mum wasn't well and they came up for a couple of days to give me a break. The weather wasn't particularly sunny but it was warm and dry and we spent a lot of time outside just chatting and chilling out reading. I don't mind admitting I have serious rose arbour envy.

I have 3 great nephews and one great niece. It's been a while since I've seen them and I found myself taking on the role of a typical Great Aunt and exclaiming "ooh you've grown since I last saw you". I'll share more snippets of what we got up to, but for now here's the cake decorating which went down a storm. We made chickens, pigs in mud and sheep. Sorry, but the youngest nephew is at the age where all body parts are included! 

Tom went back to school last Wednesday. On Thursday, literally as I was putting a pair of trousers in the case before I zipped it up to leave for the station, I got a text. Yep, you've guessed it. He'd been in contact with somebody who'd tested positive so he had to come home again for another 10 days. Testing days for school are Wednesday and Sunday but thinking about it, everybody who'd been off should probably have been told to test on Tuesday before they returned to school. He's not back in until Monday 4th July and with 3 weeks still to go I can see him coming home again. 

The garden finally seems to have come to life while I've been away. The pea pods have filled out and the sweet peas have flowered. 

And the daisies are gorgeous. I've got a few pots of these and they really do brighten the garden up. 

Sienna is 5 today so we're popping over tonight to see her and to watch some of the football with Matthew. 

It's been a while since my last post, I hope you're all keeping well. xx

Friday, 18 June 2021

Friday 18th June 2021

Amy's main placement for teacher training will be at Tom's school and she needed to take some documents in this week so I gave her a lift. While I was waiting for her pupils were streaming out of school, obviously being sent home because of more covid positives. It's definitely got a grip and the new variant really seems to be spreading among the younger generation. I wonder if the 10 day isolation period will be reduced when more people are vaccinated. Speaking from personal experience if it doesn't, I can see Thomas in an endless loop of being in and out of school.

We've started walking on the golf course in the evenings. It's quite busy in one corner and I'm totally oblivious to golf etiquette but thankfully Mark knows what's happening and tells me when to stop and wait. The golfers are very courteous and we always get a thank you for letting them play on. 

The most exciting thing I've done today is colour some desiccated coconut yellow for a baking project. Me and Amy are visiting my sister next week and there'll be an afternoon of cake decorating with my great nephews and niece. It'll be like the GBBO as we'll be outside in a gazebo. 

And the other exciting thing is Amy entered a competition at The Range and won a jar of jelly beans! 

I've put another video up for anybody who wants to have a look. Have a lovely weekend. xx



Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Tuesday 15th June 2021

We had another text from Tom's school today informing us another 13 pupils have tested positive and he's to stay off until next Wednesday. From the tone of the message it seems parents are sending children in with lesser known symptoms of sore throats, headaches and nausea and then finding out afterwards they're covid positive, which means lots of pupils are having to be sent home. 

He's been off twice in a month and the way things are going it wouldn't surprise me if he's only in school for a week or two again before being sent home. While I worry about his education, I try not to think too much about him actually catching the virus and the consequences that could have, not only for him, but for myself and Mark. 

The weather is lovely here today. A little breezy but it's warm. I made several attempts to video a bee who's taken a liking to my honeysuckle but it was impossible. He was far too busy buzzing back and forth for me to catch him. I'm on a mission though and every time I go out I take my camera with me just in case he's there and I can get a sneaky shot.

Amy bought a bottle of white wine at the weekend so I made myself a refreshing spritzer and sat out for a while enjoying the sun. 

Hats have gone away now and project of the week are comfort/lovey blankets. I'm doing the granny squares first then I'll top them with rabbit and teddy faces. I made dolls a few years ago (the photo is dated Oct 2016 - where did those 5 years go!) but the hair and ribbons were fiddly and I don't have as much patience as I used to, so I'm sticking to something simpler this time. 

We started watching Jeremy Clarkson's Farm series last night. I'm not a huge fan of him but I was hooked as soon as Kaleb Cooper, a 21 year old farmer made an appearance. He's a star. And the grand opening of the Diddly Squat farm shop with the home made H&S notices and only potatoes to sell had me and Mark rolling around laughing. Mind you, we're easily entertained haha. 

Hope you've all had a lovely day. xx 

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Sunday 13th June 2021

I'd just got back from church when a text message came through from Tom's school. Once again he's been in contact with somebody who's tested positive, so he's back in isolation. Frustrating because he's just had 10 days off in May. Even more frustrating because not all his classes will be in isolation. Because of their GCSE options some find themselves at home, others find themselves in school. Booster classes were also starting this week to make up for time lost so he'll miss out on those as well. 

I found these in a box yesterday. Little dresses for the shoebox dolls. I'd forgotten I'd made them but as soon as I saw them  remembered I knitted them when I moved in with Mum before Christmas. It was something to do in the evenings when she'd gone to bed. A quick count revealed I'd made 15 but I hadn't sewn any of them up, the worst part of any knitting or crochet project for me, so I took the bull by the horns and spent last night sewing while watching TV. I need to add beads to a few of them as a finishing touch and then they're done. The sparkly edging is my favourite bit. 

The garden seems to be taking ages to properly come to life this year so it's nice to see the honeysuckle starting to blossom and flowers on the tomatoes. 

Amy came home on Friday for the weekend. Her visits are generally because she's made arrangements to go out with friends and this time it was to celebrate a 21st, so we've not seen much of her. I'm not complaining though. In 10 days she'll be moving back home for at least a year while she does her teacher training. 

Apart from that things are just ticking over here. Hope you've all had a good weekend. xx



Thursday, 10 June 2021

Thursday 10th June 2021

It's Mark's birthday today. We had a quiet celebration at home with cards, gifts and cake and my bonus gift to him was not planning a day out because he wanted to go flying with Ken instead. That was fine by me, we spend loads of time together and they have to fly when the weather and conditions are good, which they were today, so it worked out well. We won't dwell too much on the fact he crashed his plane!  

The new books have gone in the charity pile. I don't mind a murder but I don't enjoy graphic descriptions of violence. A simple 'the victim had been shot/stabbed/strangled' is more than enough detail for me. I shall reimburse my birthday money so I don't feel I've wasted what I was given and start looking for something else to read.

I've been making little notebooks today as a filler for the shoeboxes. I had some sparkly card so these will be for the girls and I'll find something for the boys next time I go shopping.

And look what I spied this morning. A pea pod. Feeling very pleased with myself about this. 

Hope you've all had a lovely day. xx

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Wednesday 9th June 2021

We went for a walk in Heaton Park yesterday. We started out with a jaunty stride but it was warm and on the way back the pace had definitely slowed to a gentle meander. I had a little chat with the donkeys and although they were quite happy for me to stroke them, became camera shy just at that critical moment. Never mind, I've got a small video of them that I'll put up at some point. 

Amy had her teacher training interview and has been offered a placement. She'll work in 2 schools for 3 terms (a school year), and at the end of the placement will be a qualified teacher. She found the online interview strange because she felt she couldn't make a proper connection, but she must have come across well as their feedback was "a good presence, lovely mannerisms, we can definitely see you in front of a class teaching". The big bonus for her is she'll get her PGCE certificate. She's keen to teach abroad in the future and it seems this is the most recognised qualification. 


I've been tidying out my jewellery box. I don't have much but I do have a sapphire and diamond bracelet, necklace and earrings that I bought after Dad passed away. I used to wear these regularly back in the day when we we always gadding about somewhere or other, but over the years I stopped wearing jewellery and these days we rarely go anywhere where I'd consider putting the full set on. But I've decided to start wearing the bracelet again. I suppose I'm thinking along the lines of why wait for that special occasion when I could be enjoying it every day. 

I've started another hat. This one is for a boy. The wool was working up too flimsy so I'm working with 2 balls to make it thicker. The pattern is a simple single crochet into the back of every stitch to give a ribbed effect and to make it stretchy. I fancied a change yesterday and got the knitting needles out but after half an hour I stopped and reverted back to my hook. Knitting just doesn't grow quickly enough for me compared to crochet.

I've been in a snacking mood today and one of the many things I've picked at were crackers, brie and pears. Delicious. 

Hope you've all had a lovely day. xx


Monday, 7 June 2021

Monday 7th June 2021

Thomas was back at school today. He doesn't moan about going and just gets on with it, but he wasn't really that keen to return. He's at that age where he's had enough of education and I get it. He's 16 in November, and at an age where I consider him to be a young adult. The thought of having to sit in a classroom for at least another 3 years must be soul destroying for some of them. I'm not quite an advocate of the days when the leaving age was14 but I certainly think a lot of them are ready to move on to something else by the end of Year 11. At least him being at school meant I could give his bedroom a good clean. 

I had a lovely time out with my friends on Friday. It was December 2019 when we last got together but we just picked up right where we left off. The weather was gorgeous so we sat outside. It was busy but rather than feeling wary of being around so many people, I felt absolutely fine and enjoyed the atmosphere of normality and people having a good time. We 'logged in', sat down and for the next 5 hours didn't come up for air. The service was excellent, no hanging around waiting for drinks or food and no time limit on having the table either. The only time we had to put our masks on was to go inside to use the facilities which are by the entrance, so there was no need to step more than a few feet into the pub.

I had a little wander around the garden this morning. The plants are coming along nicely and the peas are flowering.

I've stopped working on the blanket for now because it's too warm to sit with it on my lap and I've started crocheting hats instead. I'll either send them to a charity or keep them for the shoeboxes later in the year. Not sure if the spiral pattern is really appropriate for a boy but I definitely like it for the girls. 

My mission of working through the wool has been achieved and I'm now down to just 3 or 4 balls but of course I need more for the hats, so I picked some up when I popped into Middleton.

Talking of shoeboxes I also bought these dolls. I like to put one in the 5-9 and 10-14 girl's boxes. They've not had any in the shop since before Christmas so I grabbed a set when I saw them. 

And I also treated myself to a new jigsaw and books with some birthday money I had. 

The titles are on the dark side but I enjoyed the Rachel Lynch series, plus there are 6 in the series so they should keep me going for a while. 

Hope you've all had a good day. xx



Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Wednesday 2nd June 2021

 It's very quiet here today. Mark is out. Tom is still in bed. Wendy is lay next to me snoring. 

Like a lot of people, my days are full of routine so there's not always much to talk about and I rarely do anything out of the ordinary, so maybe the video below will be more interesting to watch than me waffling on about nothing very much. 

Hope you're all enjoying the weather. There's a light breeze here today which is nice. xx

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Tuesday 1st June 2021

Mark informed me this morning that in 3 weeks the days will begin to get shorter again. What a cheerful start to the day that was! Hopefully, there are still plenty of warm and sunny days to come no matter how long or short they are. 

Tom went to work with Matthew for a few hours today. He's got a couple of big jobs on and the blokes on one of them needed some help, so he went labouring for them. No doubt it broke all sorts of rules and regulations as he's only 15, but he was really keen and he enjoyed it. People moan about the younger generation but these days there are all sorts of obstacles in their way for being able to earn money and gain experience. If he wants to join the police any contact with Joe Public is going to be good for him, especially builders who are far too busy to molly coddle him and watch their P's & Q's when he's around. I'll admit I spent most of the day fretting he'd have an accident, get sunburnt or drop down on the spot through sheer exhaustion lol. I'm happy to say he survived and is going again on Thursday.

Amy rang to say on her way to the supermarket this morning she came across a lady who'd collapsed in the street so she called 999. She asked for an ambulance but within a few minutes the police had arrived and after leaving her details, she was able to go on her way.


I've done a little bit of pottering around the house but I've not doing anything too strenuous. It's too hot and I need to acclimatise to the change in weather. This happens every summer and winter so it's nothing to worry about but the shortness of breath and tightness in my chest is uncomfortable. It'll wear off in a few days.

There was a custard left over from yesterday's birthday tea so I made a cup of tea and took my book out into the garden. I lasted about 10 minutes. I'm so hard to please weather wise. I don't like the cold but I don't particularly like the heat either. 

I'm going to watch an episode or two of The Pact now. We started to watch it last night and we're really enjoying it. I much prefer to watch a series over 2 or 3 days rather than wait a week between each episode because by then I've forgotten what the storyline is.

Hope you've all had a lovely day. xx