Monday, 24 September 2018

Family Fun

Well I've been AWOL again but spending time with family so all good.

My son and his wife and of course Grandson Noah arrived from Nottingham on Friday so we also had our other son, wife and Grandson Rory here for dinner.  We couldn't get a hat trick because Nathan goes swimming on Friday afternoons and later dinners don't work so well for him now that he's that bit older.

Naturally I spent most of Friday getting things ready, changing beds etc etc - yeah you know the boring housekeeping sort of stuff that hubby thinks happens by magic.  And I baked.  Well sort of.
I made this:
Chocolate Chip Cheesecake with Brownie Crust begins with a fudge brownie and then tops off with a simple, delicious no-bake cheesecake with lots of chocolate chips.

Well my version of it.  And the base gets baked.  I forgot (as usual) to take a picture so I got this from the Bake of Break website where the recipe came from.  The link to the recipe is here.

My American DIL made it when we were away with all the family recently and everyone loved it so much we were all asking for the recipe.  She was a bit embarrassed to admit it's make with a brownie mix for the base and the topping is really simple too.  Who cares?  It's delicious.  Even with half the recommended amount of sugar.

Anyway Friday passed in a blur so I didn't get to do my regular Friday posts and then on Saturday, after a lazy morning we all travelled south of the river to the home of our niece Natalie.  Natalie and her partner were hosting a party for her Mum, hubby's sister who will be 60 next month.

Now I realise for my mostly American followers that quoting south of the river might seem confusing.  London is divided by the river Thames.  It meanders from west to east right across London and then eventually meets the North Sea.  It is quite a physical divider and although many south Londoners may travel north, particularly for work, north londoners are less likely to travel south.  This is partly due to crossing points often being very busy and not always conveniently sited.  In central London there are a lot of bridges crossing the river but as you come further east we only have two tunnels fairly nearby and then a bridge and tunnel crossing a bit further out.  Transport links have improved but they're still not great.  Especially coming home late at night.

Anyway we ventured south and the journey was fine.  And it was a lovely gathering although it was raining all day so we were confined to the house and a hastily bought and erected Gazebo on the patio.  It was such a shame as we have had a lovely long hot summer and this was one of just a few weekends where the weather was horrible.  It didn't spoil our enjoyment though and it was lovely to have all our 3 grandsons there plus most of the other siblings' grandchildren.  The girls were very outnumbered.  There were 2 girls and 8 boys from our extended family and then 4 more boys from Natalie's inlaws. 

It was a little bit hectic at times but the kids were well behaved considering they were a bit penned in.  We might not want them looking at screens all the time but sometimes they come in handy!

Sunday was just spent lazily at home enjoying spending time with Noah.  They didn't leave until after lunch today so we had a nice long time with them.  We're now looking forward to next month when they're planning on coming down for a week.  They change so quickly when they're babies that it's good to see them as often as possible despite the distance.

We didn't get a picture of our 3 together but we did get this one of the 2 younger ones which is lovely.

Noah on the left, Rory on the right.
And for those who remember me talking about Natalie's little girl Poppy who was very poorly until they diagnosed and started treating her genetic condition, here she is fascinated with Noah.  She has just started nursery now and is quite the chatterbox.
 Tomorrow we're with Nathan all day as usual.  I just love family time.

Monday, 17 September 2018

I'm a blogger who blogs.

I noticed this title come up in my reading feed today:
Are you a blogger who writes or a writer who blogs?

I think I'm a blogger who blogs.  Of course I know by blogging I'm writing but I have no real ambition to become an acknowledged as in published writer.  I write here for various reasons, mainly because I enjoy it and it provides a sort of journal but also because I love the interaction with other bloggers.

I also have fits and starts.  Some months, particularly like April where I'm following a challenge, I'll blog most days.  Then there are quiet spells when I'm either too busy to get on the laptop and blog or I just don't feel there's anything worth blogging about.

I'm having a better spell at the moment but that was mostly facilitated by having a bad leg and not being able to get out.  That's changing.  The leg is improving, slowly, and today I managed to drive the car without it being too painful so I no longer feel housebound.  Yesterday hubby and I also managed to successfully babysit Nathan and will do so again tomorrow, one of my regular days.  I'm not doing Thursday this week though as I don't think I could get him upstairs yet on my own.  Stairs are still proving a bit of a challenge.  Today in particular as I probably overdid it a bit yesterday.  Two steps forward one back!

That also happened with new meals.  I made a lovely mushroom and ricotta filo tart at the weekend.  I've never used filo pastry before and yes I confess, it was shop bought not homemade.  Why would you make your own?  Have you seen how difficult it is?  I looked up a recipe that gave the instructions but more or less told you not to bother and wished you good luck at the end!

Anyway the tart was delicious and I remembered (in time) to take a photo.

So that was a step forward although I won't be making it too often as it has a lot of butter and Hubby needs to get his bad cholesterol level down so we're working on that.

Today I attempted another new recipe, a prawn curry.  Well that was a step back, in fact a giant step back.  It was edible, just, but not one I will be repeating.  Not sure what went wrong but definitely needed a stronger curry powder as even I thought it was bland! (I used mild as I don't like things too spicy.) I also overcooked it so the prawns were too chewy.  In fact it was just a disaster so I've binned the photographic evidence.  Actually it didn't even merit a photo being taken.

But today wasn't a total write off.  We managed to drop off and collect Hubby's CPAP machine for its annual service at the hospital.  We (ha as in the royal "we" as Hubby did both trips for this) also got the car through its annual safety check.  We thought we might have to get at least one new tyre but they all passed and we got the garage to replace one of the brake lights we knew wasn't working.  We were going to attempt that ourselves but they're a bit tricky to get to and neither of us are that hands on.  

We also secured a new window cleaner.  Hopefully she will turn out to be more reliable than the last one who just stopped coming.

I mentioned a few weeks back about securing some label holders for drawers online well today I actually got 2 of the 3 sets of drawers kitted out with the holders:
I'll get things organised even if it does leave a blister on my hand from tightening the screws!

Tomorrow we're back on Nathan duty so I think I should get an early night plus I've done enough waffling (writing?) on this post!

Friday, 14 September 2018

Five Minute Friday - 14/9/18 - Crowd

If you want the full details of how this works click here

The main idea though as you've probably guessed is just to write for 5 minutes on the prompt which today is CROWD  (and if you want to check out other posts click here)

This is my attempt: 

I am not good in crowds.  I definitely don't like feeling out of control and in my experience that's what I am when in a crowd.

I distinctly remember one New Year's Eve (probably about 1981 or 82) when a group of friends decided to celebrate in central London in Trafalgar Square.  I'm not sure how I was persuaded to go but I did.  It was extrememly busy and crowded but it was bearable until just after midnight when everyone began to disperse.

There was a sudden surge in the crowd and you just had to go with the movement or risk being trampled.  Our group was separated and it was definitely scary.  Especially give that I don't remember mobile phones being common at the time.

Eventually some of us were able to get together and make our way home but since then I've never felt the need to celebrate New Year anywhere other than at home or at a friend's or family member's house.

I'm not a lover of fireworks so I'm just as happy to watch it all on TV, raise a glass of fizz, wish hubby a Happy New Year and retire to bed. 

Well that was my five minutes but I did spend some time checking some things such as when mobile phones really became popular and also the year - it must have been 1981 because the following year 2 people were actually trampled to death when crowds got out of control.  If I had been wary of going before, that would definitely have made me more sure of my decision to stay home.

Friday's Fave Five - 14/8/18


It's Friday again so time to look back on the week and count our blessings.  This bloghop is hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story.  Pop over there to join in or read other contributions. 

This hasn't been the best of weeks (still struggling with the injuries from my recent fall and now a rotten cold) but that's when it's good to find the positive things and I am thankful for these:

1)  A meet up with friends.  One of my friends hosted a coffee morning in aid of Motor Neurone Disease on Saturday and there were several other friends of mine there.  Plus lots of yummy cakes.

2)  Visits from Nathan and Rory at the weekend.  Both quite brief but it's always good to see them.

3)  No fracture to my tibia!  This was such a relief on Monday.  My knee is still sore (as is the elbow if I overdo it) but I can now get up the stairs reasonable well.  Still working on getting down  more that one step at a time but in my house it's easy to get lots of exercise in.  Thanks to everyone for your good wishes and prayers.

4)  Technology.  Had a couple of video calls with Nathan this week.  He always seems so excited to see me and of course I love seeing him, especially when I haven't been able to get over to look after him.  He's not talking yet of course but he does manage bye bye!  Often when he probably means hello lol.  A couple of videos were shared too that were lovely.  Rory was having a lovely chat with my brother-in-law (don't you love it when young babies first start to make noises?) and Nathan was jigging away in his highchair to (another annoying song) Gummy Bears.  The song is one of those that gets in your head and sticks but he was so funny the way he was moving to the music.  Let's just say he's got a good shoulder shrug going lol.  Plus there are always loads of photos of Noah to oo and ahh over.  His Mummy and Daddy are excellent at taking lots of photos and sharing them.

Facetime with Nathan


Rory - I could hug and kiss him all day

5)  That the UK doesn't really suffer from major weather events well at least not to the extent that other countries do.  Hurricane Florence looks pretty devastating.  They should give them more dangerous sounding names.  Florence is too nice for a storm that is going to wreak havoc and probably claim lives.  If you're reading this I hope it means you're safe.

Have a good weekend all.