Thursday, 2 July 2015

Keeping cool

As the nation swelters in a heatwave here, I am fascinated to see that in Australia, members of the Winwickmum Sockalong group are rather chilly - and if I am honest, perhaps I would prefer to pop over there for a spell!  I have long been someone who prefers cooler weather, based on the premise that I find it easier to get warmer than I do to cool bottles and warm rugs hold far more appeal to me.

However, we shouldn't moan when the sun is shining, and that it is here this morning again.  I don't think the thermometers are going to hit the heights that they did yesterday today, and the forecast is indicating a few drops of rain this afternoon - that will freshen things up nicely.  The garden is loving the warmth, and I am watering everything regularly, so the tomatoes are growing like triffids in the greenhouse, and the lettuces will be ready any day now.  We have a cucumber ready to be plucked, and there are more courgettes getting longer and filling out beautifully!  UJ gave me six tomato plants which are in the greenhouse, but there are six more in a trough by the verandah - he potted them up from the veg bed where they had self-seeded from last year's plants.  We have no idea what will happen: they may have been "real seeds" so they might come true - they were tiny little tomatoes there last year, so I have my fingers crossed that we get more of those this year and not some weird throwback tomatoes!

I'll have to take some photos of the garden to share this week.

In other news, we are off to the hospital this afternoon to see the Orthopaedic team about the YFG's sore wrist - so I am really hoping that they can actually track down the source of her pain and do something specific to help her as she has been taking painkillers and wearing a support for long enough.  She's only 15 and it isn't good to be laying on your bed crying with the pain.

Financially, the updates from the end of June show that the savings are doing well, as we are still being ultra-cautious with all spending, but I know that this month is an expensive one coming up: there was an advisory on the MOT on the Skoda last year for corrosion on the rear silencer, and I need to get my garage here to check that that is either still OK [just] or deteriorated to the level at which it needs replacing before the MOT.  I also have to have the MOT done by the end of the month, pay the annual line rental on the phone to BT to get that discount, and pay my NI.  We have a weekend away booked next weekend, so there will need to be some pennies available for ice creams and fish and chip treats, as well as a little extra diesel to get us there!  And the tax credits forms still need to be done.......

Hope you have a lovely sunny day, wherever you are - keep cool if it is warm, and if you are somewhere chilly, stay warm!!

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Back in the swing

I've got good intentions of getting back into the habit of popping in here each day for a chat with you, but some days it just won't happen between now and the end of term........there are so many dilemmas to resolve with the girls and their plans, to start with!

Choosing a sixth form college has got so many challenges that I think that the YFG would almost rather someone took the decision out of her hands, but no way!  She has to make her own plans, and this is as good a place to start as any.

She had a fantastic prom last Friday night - she looked lovely, and had a trip in a limo all the way to the venue [shame about coming home in a beat up old Skoda but I joked that the carriage had turned into a pumpkin!] and had a great time with her friends......we did NOT go down the route of spending a fortune, though, as you know us better than that.  The dress was a £50 long affair from the Asos website - she ordered three, one after the other, and we sent each one back until she fell in love with the one she wore.  She bought some high heels in nude, and a gold clutch bag, which will be useful to use again for another event - and I hope she gets more wear out of the dress too, for that matter.  One of her friends spent approaching £500 on her dress and I was shocked!  This was a Year 11 prom, for goodness' sake, not a wedding........sanity and reason and proportion seem to have gone out of the window for some people.  And that dress definitely was not ten times better than the YFG's although it did have more sequins.

I am waiting to hear whether I have been shortlisted for interview for the church job: closing date was today so I have got my fingers crossed.  Will let you know if I hear anything - the interviews will be next Thursday, so I hope I get the chance to go!

And the weather!  "Scorchio" seems to be the new word for describing this heat wave weather we are having here.  I think that the mercury got up to 27C here today - probably a bit higher but I didn't spend long enough in the car to check and that is the only place I see the temperature!  The YFG has turned down a planned trip to Lincoln uni tomorrow with the school as she didn't fancy 4 hours in a tin box [coach] sweating, for about four hours walking around the university, sweating, in the sun.  I took the EFG to Lincoln to an open day and have agreed that I will take the YFG it it turns out to be somewhere she would like to consider - but not tomorrow.  They apparently don't do an anthropology course, so she may not be that interested in the place anyway.

L-o-v-e-l-y to hear from all of you, and  I shall sort out the knitting pattern for the one who asked very soon - I didn't publish your comment as I didn't want to put your email address out there!

Monday, 29 June 2015

Morning, all!

I'm back: the job application is handed in, the final trial service is done, the prom is over and the quarterly Bible study group met on Saturday.  There are still tax forms to be done, but we can get those done very soon!

I've had a breather, but not much of a rest, and, sad to say, no knitting has been done!

My dad was here for lunch on Father's Day, and the FH's son is out of prison, so he came over to visit yesterday afternoon - bit of a surprise and I may have pushed a couple of speed limits to the maximum to get back from the north of the county when I heard he was here, as I knew he would have to be getting home for the curfew.  It was lovely to see him - and he did not stop talking for just over an hour!

The garden is looking good - full of food - we have lettuce aplenty and I had my first tiny courgette of the season in a risotto for my tea last night!  Strawberries and raspberries are being eaten straight from the plants, warm in the sun, and there are cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes growing well in the greenhouse.

Would love to linger and chat longer, but I have to join a panel interviewing for new Teaching Assistants this morning, so I had better get a move on - lots to share so will be back soon!  Thanks for your patience these past two weeks xxx

Friday, 19 June 2015

Voucher news

Just popping in to say that I have just been told that there is a £5 voucher in the Sun today which is valid when you spend £40 in Lidl - and it is valid for 5 days.  Hope that helps someone!

Monday, 15 June 2015

Toodle pip!

I am signing out for a while - there is too much going on in real life at the moment, and I don't want to post meaningless twaddle, so I hope you will bear with me if I have a little time off.

Tomorrow is the YFG's last GCSE exam so I want to spend a little time with her, celebrating......I've got Tax returns and tax credits forms to fill in, a very important job application to fill in, and some house work and decorating to get done before our EF students move in at the end of August.  I need to take a breath and just catch up with myself here a little.

I will keep reading your blogs, and hopefully I will only be away a week or two.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

We've had visitors!

We've had some lovely doggy visitors - and their owners are pretty lovely too!

Here we have Belle on the left, her dad George in the middle and mummy Tilly on the right.  Tilly is the leader of the pack, but somehow George seems to have got out in front on this occasion.
George is a Bichon Frise, Tilly is a Westie, and so they call Belle a Wee-chon!

We have had a relaxing weekend, with late nights and lie-ins, lots of chatting and endless cups of tea, just like old times.

The girls loved the dogs and took them out for walks each morning - and now I am getting lots of beseeching looks, asking whether we can get a dog!

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Just one day

But it has felt like three, I think!

The EF exchange girls we are hosting this September found out today that we are their host family and the YFG has been talking to them both via Facebook and Skype, answering their questions and telling them more about where we live.

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One is from Austria and one from Denmark.  

And, excitement - the application form was released with the job description for the church job that I want to apply for!  It has been S-O long coming, and now I am really apprehensive about filling the forms in and making sure I "sell" myself to the panel....

I've done four hours on the phone, been to a governor training session, and am about to go to bed!  Visitors coming tomorrow for the weekend - so pleased that they are coming, and excited, but the girls are finding it hard to get motivated to be excited because they can't remember the folks, because they were so young when we left Cupar, and we haven't seen these friends in the flesh for 15 years - some serious catching up is to be done this weekend!

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Preston Lodge, one of the oldest buildings in Cupar - and I used to clean the communal stairwell and hall here when I did cleaning for a local agency!

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Hopetoun monument was our "homecoming" land mark for Cupar - as soon as we could see that tower on the hill in the distance, we knew we were nearly home.