Yes, we have come home again from Scotland......we collapsed into our beds last night, glad to be home in a way - it's nice to go away, but it's better to come home again, as the FH says! The train journeys yesterday were a bit challenging - some of them were OK but some were a nightmare! Lots to tell, but tonight is time to get the girls organised for school again, so I've got ironing to do. I'll be back with photos and the notes I made during the week.
Yesterday was a busy one so here is just a quick round up!
9am Harvest Assembly #2 with KS1 children - fabulous! Lots of signed songs as well as some lovely action rhymes from Reception - and a wonderful Harvest Rock and Roll song which the kids loved to sing. 10am Church Council meeting - all is well there too and lots of events in the pipeline for the year ahead. 2.30pm Book fair at a school in the north of the county - sold off a load of books at slightly discounted prices to make some space in the garage - good take up of interest and sold about £130. 7pm Cooking competition in the chapel - hilarious fun - truly enjoyable evening and people said that they really loved the idea (thank goodness) so we raised £120 to split between Macmillan and the chapel and hopefully the Pampered Chef lady got some publicity out of it too. 11pm went to bed quite tired!!
Today is going to be all hustle and bustle as well. We will be going to a chapel coffee morning shortly, then we have to get the house ready for the off tomorrow, pack the bags too, and still go to gym this afternoon. Unfortunately, the FH has got one of his terrible foot problems come on overnight and can't put his foot to the floor this morning and is in a lot of pain. Quite how we are going to manage the journey tomorrow with him on crutches, I don't know, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it!
Off to get on. Will be back tonight or early tomorrow morning and then there will be silence in the Fens for a week........
I attended the KS2 Harvest assembly at the village school this morning and it was lovely. The children sang songs and Christian worship songs, read out prayers and made up a little quiz describing fruits and vegetables so we could guess what they were talking about. Our minister from the chapel was there as well, to conclude with some prayers and thanks. All in all it lasted about half an hour and it was followed by an invitation to the parents to go through to the class rooms so that they could look at the children's work. I really enjoyed it, and it sort of made up for missing the Harvest celebration at chapel which was the same day as the Autumn show. The KS1 Harvest assembly is on Thursday, so I may pop into that if I have time to see what they have been doing, too.
The FH is outside, planting broad bean seeds. I have completed the cleaning out of the hen houses this morning so that they are all in good order for UJ to oversee next week. I have washed everything in sight and there is just one more load of ironing to do and then that might be it. (I still have to unearth UJ's bedroom, but just whisper that bit.....I'm going to do some of that now....)
The preacher yesterday talked about keeping focussed and avoiding distractions, and in that spirit, I have today been editing! I have thinned out the list of blogs in my sidebar and just kept those I really admire, those whose authors I love, and those I find really interesting. The others have gone for now. I have also been through my "friends" on Facebook - so many of them were not really friends but acquaintances, and people whose incessant chatter was beginning to annoy me. They are gone too. It does feel good - liberating - so less really can be more. Wish I had done it before now.....
The girls are packing their cases already in anticipation of the holiday - we are off next Saturday! I am worrying about everything I have to do Before We Go, and trying to get the washing up to date. What with having to buy a new washing machine last Monday and then all the wet weather we had, and me feeling unwell, there is rather a heap to get washed...the girls are being thoughtful, though, and keeping the clothes that they want for the holiday to one side.
We have been to gym today, and then this afternoon, I sat and read the paper for a while before I began to do some work outside. I made a lovely beef stew for tea, and there is plenty left for tomorrow so I am pleased about that - it was very tasty, and less work for tomorrow. I have a list for tomorrow to begin when we get home from church, so I am looking forward to ploughing through that!
We bought a couple of cheap (£3) DVDs today so that we can take them on holiday. I really don't care what we get up to as long as we have a change from the usual and have a rest! It is not that I want to get away from life, but I would really like a week off and that is what I hope I am getting!! A week away from chickens, neighbours, gym, school, computers, phones, etc - in a way, I feel like I want to retreat from the world!! Just to be the four of us, having some fun and relaxation - the EFG's biggest fear is how she will charge up her Ipod without a computer as it uses the USB port to charge - so I told her to have a week off, but no, she said she will download music onto her phone and use that instead as that has a normal charger. "They DO have electricity up there, don't they?" was one question earlier this week (sorry, Susan!!) which I laughed at - I think that the girls think we are going to the back of beyond - they should know better as where we live now is almost there already!! My biggest temptation will be to stay away from the estate agent's/solicitor's windows whilst we are up there - very tempting indeed.
I've been feeling a little bit queer these past few days - odd things like my jaw being stiff and then my throat got sore and my nose has been bunged - cue the first cold of the season.....then it didn't help Tuesday morning when I hit my head on a wooden box in the garage - I felt very strange indeed!! I didn't do an awful lot for the rest of the day, but I went to gym to help set up the equipment; that was really too much for me and I came home before the first class began, having arranged for someone else to bring the girls home. I slept for a couple of hours then, then several more hours during the day yesterday - and I am just beginning to feel more normal. I still don't feel right, but I feel less wrong! I'm going to tidy up the kitchen now and then I am off to bed with a good book, and hopefully a little extra sleep will help some more.
If I had had spare cash and enough room here, these are the little beauties I would have brought home - Partridge Wyandottes - their markings are beautiful and so clear!
Here's a better picture of the cockerel - just gorgeous!
There were some absolutely wonderful displays of autumn flowers and I just fell in love with this picture of cyclamen - just had to take the photo to preserve the image!
Lots of other autumn colours in the chrysanthemums as well.
A very interesting stand at the show, manned by people from a Self-sufficiency group - all about making your own/growing your own - they had bread, cakes, jams, pickles, sheep, goats, veg, beehives, homemade this, that and the other - we were very interested in this! They had displays like this one for alternative ways to grow veg and there were even cabbage plants growing in a tonne bag from a builders' merchants!
The majestic Shire Horses were there as well - we watched one class being judged.
We loved this stall in the shopping area - BAGS!
These jute duffel bags are just gorgeous! I looked, went away and thought hard, then came back and bought 6!! They are just perfect for all the girls we want to give Christmas gifts to, and at just £3.50 each, an absolute bargain!And they look so much more expensive too! The lady doesn't have a website yet, but I have her email address, so anyone who is interested in these fab bags can email me or contact me through the comments and I will be glad to share it.
One of the girls took this picture as they both loved this display of hand-painted canvas shoes - they were fantastic and must have taken hours of work. Not entirely practical to wear, I would have thought, but very beautiful to look at!
Peterborough Horticultural Society put on an amazing display each year, so we were delighted to be able to get a picture of just a small segment of it. It was impossible to take a shot of the whole thing as there were just too many people standing in front of it all the time!
A little sign that gave us a big chuckle!
Quite a few stews' worth of onions here!! The Giant Vegetable show is amazing.
Today has been the kind of day I love - bright sunshine but fresh with gorgeous blue skies! We made it to the showground by 8am, and then had to find out what to do next, it being our first time at this show. A helpful steward was very patient explaining what to do and we penned all the birds successfully.
We wandered around the show together, nipping back to the car periodically for refreshments, and occasionally checking the pens to see if any of the birds had been sold. By lunchtime, both pens of young Gold Partridge Orpingtons had been sold, but the Sebrights had to be knocked down to sell right at the end (but I really didn't want to bring them home!) and the Silver-laced Wyandotte did have to come home, even though I also discounted them.
We took loads of photos (which I will share when I can get them off the camera) and enjoyed a brief cup of tea at the FH's cousin's house before coming home. Luckily, I had prepared some mince for shepherd's pie last night, so I was able to make a quick meal when we got home! The girls are finishing some homework now, and I have to iron the uniforms for tomorrow - and then my feet need a rest!!
Just popping in to say that the gymnastics competition was a success - the YFG has brought home four medals - golds for floor and vault, silver on beam and bronze on bars, which qualify her to go to the regional final next month! All our girls are through on at least two pieces of apparatus, and three of them are through on all four pieces - so we have to keep practising the moves for a while longer!!
It's been a long day, and tomorrow will be as long as we need to leave here by 7am, in order to have the chickens penned at the show by a decent time. I'm off to have a bath now - hope everyone is having a good weekend - it isn't raining, so it should be good!
Tomorrow morning we have to go to gym as normal, then dash off to Huntingdon Olympic Gym Club to take part in a competition there with 5 of our girls, including the YFG. Sunday we have to be in Peterborough for the Autumn Show where we are selling some chickens - and the secretary of the sale wants the birds penned by 9am - the earlier the better after 7am were his instructions! I can't even have a sleep-in on Monday as I have a school meeting at 9.45am.....Wish us luck with the competition and with the sale, please!!
Yes, I'm still here, if a little quiet - planning the work and working the plan. It's quite a busy week for me, and I am trying to do some deep cleaning (far too late in the year to dare to call it spring cleaning, but it is the same idea!!) as we are going away at the end of the month and UJ is coming to move in to look after everything - so I don't want to leave him a lot of dust and muddle in which to live. I also have to unearth his bedroom - confession time - I put a lot of stuff up there last Christmas when the lounge was decorated, and it has been breeding since so it is not actually possible to see any floor at all.........the shame........I have two weeks - you may not hear much from me.
I have asked the Superintendent of our Methodist circuit here for information about becoming a Local Preacher. I am already a Worship Leader in our chapel but this is going a step further. Well, I got a surprise this morning because I received an email with an attachment which is my Note to Preach - my permission to begin helping another LP take services in the circuit. I have to go to a meeting in December to be paired up with a suitable LP, so there is no great rush with it all, but I am very excited to have got this whole thing moving - it has only taken about 14 years.........
My great-grandfather was a LP in a different circuit, so I think that my dad will be quite pleased to hear this when he gets home from his latest cruise (ports towards Yalta and Odessa) at the end of the month.
I have wanted to be able to make samplers like the lovely Sue at The Quince Tree - but couldn't work out how the heck to do it. The EFG has helped me to make this one, and then we struggled to get it onto blogger - but she did it for me tonight - hurray!!! Thanks!
Today has been a fine day, until about 7pm, so I can't complain, but the ground underfoot is seriously soggy. My chickens have very muddy feet, however much straw I put down in their yards, and I squelch from one yard to another to clean their water pots out and put their food in.
Tonight the FH and the YFG have taken three ladies from chapel to a brass band concert in a nearby town - it is free, but I suspect that they will be buying tea and biccies at half time. The ladies were all pleased to be asked to go yesterday when I saw them - it was rather short notice as I didn't see the advert until yesterday. I hope that they are having a good evening. There is a solo trombonist from the Royal Opera House and a trombone quartet from Trinity Music College, so I hoped that it would inspire the FH who is trying to master the trombone himself!!
Yesterday's trip to Cambridge was frustrating, as I explained in a comment yesterday to Susan - there were just three minutes spent with the dentist, to approve the YFG's suitability for treatment. We have to return on 5/11 for "records" to be taken, and then go back again on 20/12 to have the braces fitted. I so wish that they could have allowed time to take the records yesterday once he had checked her over.
The EFG and I have moved some chickens around tonight: the Light Sussex and GPO hens are sharing a nunnery to give them a break from their husbands for a month or two - until January - and I have freed up some space for the chicks hatched this year to have a couple of pens in the shed. The chicks are all growing well now and I am pleased with them. The empty pens can be cleaned out tomorrow and then the chicks can be moved tomorrow evening - it's always best to move chickens at night so that a) they can't see so they are more easily handled and b) they recognise the new house as their home and return to it at night.
The YFG and I are off to Cambridge this morning. It will take us just over an hour to get there for the orthodontist appointment at 10.30am so the YFG has had a little lie-in and is just getting up now. She won't be going to school until after the appointment. The YFG has a "fang" - one of her teeth hasn't got room to come down properly and has emerged above the other teeth in her gum, at the side of her mouth. Our dentist says that her mouth isn't big enough!! Enough noise comes out of it.......
Today is also Jeans for Genes day so that is a £2 charge for me to pay so that the girls can wear jeans to school.