Thursday, September 29, 2011

A year ago today I said a final goodnight to my darling pony and best friend of nearly 20 has been a weird day for me today, I miss Dusty immensely and so much of me wants to take all that I am living with and just feel sorry for myself, and to crawl up and cry. But, that is not me. I had a good day at work today and achieved all that I set out to and then went over to the pub with my Mummy friends and had a very fun evening lamenting with them and drinking bloody good Sauvignon, was perfect and very fun. I raised a glass to my beautiful friend though, as I miss her every day. She was amazing and has left a hole in my heart. The 29th of September, the birth date of one of the first loves of my life and the date that I lost another. Happy birthday Fred, and goodnight Dusty xxx

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I am very happy to inform you that it is only 88 days 'till Christmas my good people :) woohoo, I am ridiculously excited about that, as I always am around this time of year, summer over, nights drawing in, heatwaves.. WTF is that all about?! I actually sat in our Pub garden with my colleagues today, and it is the end of September - total madness, but rather pleasant.. Anyway back to Xmas, I have started my shopping already and am feeling very happy about that, I need to keep the costs right down this year as far as gifts go - let's face it we all have far too much already so I am going to be inventive and shrewd, well that is the plan anyway. Best news is that my sister and Andrew and her husband Andrea are all coming home this year, we missed them so much last year. It will be magical, I am trying to restrain myself from too much planning but I am happy at the thought.

Operation Hen Night is going swimmingly, have found a beautiful cottage for us in the Cotswolds for the first weekend in January - all 20 of us! Should be great, only trouble is trying to get some of them to reply...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Brr, anyone else feeling a tad chilly now? I have the 13.5 tog duvet back on the bed and we have the fire on most evenings too - am still too tight to put the heating on mind you, am going to hold out until October at the earliest.. stocked up on new PJ's for us all at the weekend, Primark do the best bargain kids' traditional wyncyette PJ's, £4 a pair and they last/wash really well. On the subject of autumn wear I found these biker boots from Next (no Jimmy Choo for me this year, boo) and I am really pleased with them, they are comfy and the leather is good, they look much more expensive than the £60 that they were. I have worn them practically every day since they arrived. What is it with Next and their huge shoe sizes though?? I had to get a 38 and I am a 6-6.5 so pretty much a standard 39, bizarre. Now I am just trying to decide on what should be my priority A/W purchase, I am trying to be good as I bought quite a bit at the end of last season that I haven't worn yet (bargain Twenty8Twelve jeans from The Outnet for example) and I am determined not to buy and cheap and cheerful clothing that won't last - so if I buy anything it will be quality and I will have to love it, well that is the plan anyway! I am loving the Isabella Oliver collection this year, and lots from Hush too, but the prices of everything have just shot up, again, I am not loving that.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Yesterday afternoon over 300 people packed in to our village church to say farewell to Trevor Cobley. Trevor lost his fight with cancer on the 31st August, his 37th wedding anniversary, just 2 months after his diagnosis. He was only 64. It was an amazing service though, really emotional but so very well done. I was truly astounded by his wife Catherine, she was so composed throughout the whole service and spoke beautifully about her darling Trevor. As the pallbearers carried the coffin to the graveside the strong autumn sunshine broke through, Trevor would have been very happy.

I had only known Trevor for just over a year, he was one of my fellow governors and a really lovely man with great presence and immense passion for everything he undertook. He loved our school, and all his friends, and was so welcoming and fun to be around.

So, today I have been thinking about life's small details that give great pleasure;

  • Freshly cut grass - I know it is an old one but I love the sight and smell of the grass when it has been freshly cut

  • Hearing my children laugh

  • Cuddling up in front of an open fire with my kids all clean and warm from the bath and all in our pj's.

  • The greetings that I receive from my dogs and horses, they don't speak but they show so much love

  • Sharing a catch up and bottle of wine at a friend's kitchen table

  • Brand new towels

  • Clean bedding

  • New lipgloss

  • Phone calls with my sister

  • Long lunches with all of my Family

  • Seeing photos of my friends' children as they grow up

  • Laughing with my friends

Please share your favourite simple pleasures!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Thank goodness the wind has died down - it was crazy yesterday and we weren't even in a badly affected area. Dogs and horses were going crazy in it so I can't imagine what it must have been like in some places. Zach and I took a walk down to the local toddler group yesterday morning, something that despite being a parent for nearly 8 years, I have never done! It is just NOT my scene drinking cups of tea and chattering to badly dressed, unmade up, harassed women about bowel movements and breastfeeding, so I have always avoided those places like the plague. *disclaimer I know that not all women who go to toddler groups fit my description, but that was always my perception ;) I have never done an ante natal/ NCT class either - but actually it was OK, Zach enjoyed playing with the toys and I got talking to Suzanna, who has a little boy of 18 months and I am happy to say that she was quite fun and normal - we were talking about male strippers at hen nights after 20 minutes, and she wasn't wholly whinging about the trials of motherhood, so quite a result all round. Zach doesn't start at his new nursery until November so I think it will be nice for him to socialise with more children than just our friends, and it is only once a week, oh and it is FREE!

Toothless is doing really well, on the last of her antibiotics now and vet very happy with her. Fingers crossed that there is no more trauma with her. Cal settling in brilliantly too - we took him to school yesterday to meet all of Teya's friends, 45 minutes was how long it took to get us through the playground and out! He was impeccable though, I was very proud.

Tonight we have Jay and Jude coming round for dinner, fresh from a week in Spain the lucky beasts! I am making a lamb buhna from Madhur Jaffrey's Ultimate Curry bible, not done it for a while so hoping it be OK, I love that the slow cooking of the lamb makes it so tender - have sent husband off to the halal butchers for the meat this morning (our local Halal butcher is amazing for value if cooking in bulk, 500g of chicken breast is approx £3, fabulous!) very much looking forward to catching up with them, it has been ages!

I didn't end up doing the MJ recipe as my book has disappeared?! But I found this James Martin one, which was brilliant and easy! I left out the coconut milk, yogurt and pomegranate and added 1/2 tbsp of cumin and 2 potatoes, it was delish but needed an extra hour cooking time (and the potatoes!) to thicken up the sauce.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

So, my Bells shall from now on be known as toothless! Poor darling had to have 16 teeth extracted yesterday, looks as though she got something (most likely broken tooth) stuck in her gum which made way for food etc to get in a fester. Bless her, it happened so quickly, the infection was very nasty but thank god I took her in, it could have led to blood poisoning and potential kidney/ heart failure :( but we did catch it quickly and she is now recovering well, she is 100% happier already love her.

Off to take Cal out on his first walk this morning, yay!

Have a great weekend everyone xx

Friday, September 09, 2011

Happy Friday everyone! This morning my little Bella is going in for an operation on her mouth, she is so tiny I feel very nervous about her going under general anaesthetic. When we got back from holiday I noticed that her breath was beyond offensive, tried to look in her mouth and she visibly recoiled in pain, not good. Took her to the vet and she has contracted some horrendous infection, she has been on antibiotics for the past 3 days and they are going to look at her mouth this morning and check that all is healing as it should, they are concerned that she might have broken a tooth! Fingers crossed for a smooth op and quick healing for my little lady.

Cal slept in his crate last night for the first time, shut in that is. I got up at 6 to let him out and he was brilliant! Straight in to the garden and then back in for his breakfast, no fuss, no mess WHOOP! V chuffed. Off to take him to meet the horses and Janet's Poppy this morning, should be very exciting for the pup.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

I have fallen in love with a wallpaper! I really need to get the fireplace in my snug sorted and I have been thinking of papering part of some of the other walls, to compliment the F&B Rectory Red that my chimney breast is painted currently. This is the paper; I know it won't be to everyone's taste but to me it is exactly what I am after
It is fab, but sadly £57 a roll, so it will have to remain on my wish list for now..

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Ah back to school for my little lady today, in the thrashing rain! I cannot believe that she is in Year 3, first rung on the Key Stage 2 ladder, seems very grown up. Indeed she looked grown up skipping off this morning in her new school shoes (NOT Lelli Kelly ones I add, that was one battle I refused to back down on) in to her new classroom. Any moment she will be home and I cannot wait to hear all about her day, although I fully expect to be shrugged off.

So the new man in my life is doing very well, little Cal born 27th June 2011 came home to live with us last Friday. He is a black lab with big ears and gorgeous eyes and we are all smitten (in spite of his rather dodgy belly for the first 24 hours!) Even Bella seems pretty accepting of him so far, which is great - long may that continue. He is a right wind bag though, jolly stinky, I hope he grows out of that, mind you, my husband hasn't! We live in such a fab place for dogs, great walks on our doorstep and of course we have the horses, so I am sure he will be very happy. I know that I am looking forward to autumn walks (not so much to those in the freezing rain and wind) and watching him grow up with our children. Mind you that is IT now, family definitely complete, not so much as another goldfish, I am done..

Thursday, September 01, 2011

I am back! Hi all, after a lovely few days in Italy with my darling friends and family I am back to a bloody cold Pirbright and for the first time ever I genuinely wasn't ready to come home. It was amazing being back at Casella, although we did miss the absentees - we forgive Damon and Kitty though as Baby Reggie was born only 2 weeks previously *melt* huge congrats to them. Whilst away we relaxed by the pools, wandered in the countryside, drank prosecco in the piazza, ambled around beautiful Orvieto, crashed an Italian wedding by the Duormo (in more ways than one) swam in lake Bolsena, went to Corini wine tasting and danced fully clothed in the waterfall pool at midnight! One thing that was so special was that the 3 toddler boys were absolutely fantastic. Yes, each of them had their moments (hell they are all under 3!!) but overall they were just so so good, so content and no trouble at all - I was so proud of them all.

Teya and Andrew playing in the volcanic sand at Bolsena

My darling Droo has been diagnosed with ASD, it is still in the early stages of the diagnosis, and there is a long road ahead, but it is great that he is now going to get some extra help to enable him to flourish, and that I know he will. One thing about my poor Sis having a broken leg, it has meant that Andrew has bonded so much with Kevin and I and our friends too - he is just so delightful and he has done brilliantly well at forming new relationships, and I am immensely humbled and proud of him, he has been wonderful in the past 3 weeks of being with us all, I am quite bereft that I have had to leave them behind, I miss them all so much it aches. Love, wow it is one powerful emotion.

Anyway, here is where we stay every year for those who are interested - the place is amazing, staff lovely, food and wine amazing and it is all self sufficient, truly escapism. From the moment you reach the end of the 6 kilometer drive you relax, you have to, and that is all you really need from a holiday!