Friday, 20 October 2017

Friday's Fave Five 20/10/17

Fridays are a time to look back on the week and share our blessings.
If you want to join in or check out the other participants pop over to our host Suzanne's blog at Living to Tell the Story

1)  A meal out with hubby.  We went to an Italian Trattoria in the Queen Elizabeth Park (Olympic park).  The kids were out and it was a spur of the moment decision.  We got the bus into Stratford and then walked through the park to the restaurant.  For once I remembered to take some photos although not until we were half way through our shared starter:
Pizzetta with mozzarella, broccoletti & sausage
These were our main courses:
Potato gnocchi with radicchio, Naples sausage and white truffle oil

The lasagne tasted much better than it looked in that picture.  I forgot to take pics of the desserts but Nick had Espresso Affogato (Ice cream with coffee) and I had Tiramisu.  It was a nice meal and there are several bars and eating places at that end of the park.  However we did feel we were a bit old!  It was a nice evening and people were sitting outside but they were mainly a lot younger than us!

2)  The generosity of spirit people have.  As we walked back to the station after our meal we passed hundreds of people who were doing a night walk in aid of Dementia sufferers.  There have been a number of memory walks organised by the UK's Alzheimer's Society.  Of course this is a cause close to my heart as both my Mum and her sister succumbed to this awful disease in recent years.  Support for these, and many other charitable events is amazing, especially when everyone is starting to feel the effects of our Government's austerity measures.  I didn't get any pics of the walkers but I did snap this poor quality pic of the London stadium and The Orbit.
3)  A good report on my brother's health status.  He has been undergoing treatment for myeloma which has been successful and he's been told they will now go ahead with a stem cell transplant.  This will give him a better chance of staying in remission for longer.  Thank goodness for our NHS.

4)  Lunch with my former work colleagues on Monday.  It's been a while since our previous lunch so it was good to catch up.

5) A quiet week overall - managed to get quite a bit of reading done!

Have a good weekend.


Thursday, 19 October 2017

Review: The Trouble with Goats and Sheep

The Trouble with Goats and Sheep The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Loved it. Set in the summer of 1976 and switching back to events in 1967 it was so evocative of that very hot summer which was just before my final year at school so I was on holiday for most of it. The characters and events ring true and it was definitely quirky at times. Not a great ending but it didn't spoil my enjoyment.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

A non-Hodgepodge Wednesday post - 18/10/17

No Hodgepodge today as Joyce (of From this Side of the Pond) is taking a well earned break.  Just reading about her schedule often makes me feel tired!

But it's Wednesday and I usually blog today so a post is called for.

It's been quite a miserable day here today after some dry weather.  I actually managed to get my grass cut on Sunday.  It had grown quite long due to the alternating spells of sunny days followed by rain.  Each time I planned to cut it the rain came.  On Sunday we'd had a few dry days so I finally managed to get it done.  It took me ages but I'm relieved it's looking neat and tidy again.  Especially as the weather changed again on Monday.  We didn't get rain and London was fortunately not within the path of storm Ophelia which had devastating effects on Ireland but we did have an eerie afternoon.  The sky suddenly went really dark with an almost red  glow to it which was later explained as being due to sand from the Sahara being drawn over the country due to the storm!

This storm came 25 years after The Great Storm of 1987.  A BBC weather presenter, Michael Fish, said during a forecast on the day: "Earlier on today, apparently, a woman rang the BBC and said she heard there was a hurricane on the way... well, if you're watching, don't worry, there isn't!".  The storm went on to claim 19 lives.  It took down the a tree in our garden.  But although it seems that Michael Fish believed the caller was referring to Hurricane Floyd which was approaching Florida at the time, he has never been allowed to forget what was seen as a major gaffe.

Being a wet day today I spent it at home catching up on chores but also finding time for some reading.  My current read is "The Trouble with Goats and Sheep" by Joanna Cannon which I'm enjoying.  It's set in the summer of 1976 which I remember well.  The summer was incredibly hot and we seemed to go ages without any rain and the drought was beginning to be a real problem before the hot spell broke.  I was about to start my final year at school so was at home for most of it.

Hmm looking back over this post it's easy to see why Brits have a reputation for always talking about the weather!

I could talk about Nathan but I haven't seen him since last Wednesday and won't see him until Saturday this week.  Thank goodness for Whatsapp and Lifecake.  Although it's very easy to get caught up looking at all the photos and videos and then realising that dinner plans will need to be changed as there's not enough time left to prepare the meal you'd planned!  Quick cook chicken and bacon with pasta tonight, marinaded pork chops tomorrow.

Unless I get hooked on this little man again

Friday, 13 October 2017

Friday's Fave Five - 13/10/17

Fridays are a time to look back on the week and share our blessings.
If you want to join in or check out the other participants pop over to our host Suzanne's blog at Living to Tell the Story

Autumn is definitely here - we've even had to resort to putting the heating on a few times recently but the leaves are turning and soon I will be moaning about having to sweep them all up.  But for now I'm thankful for:

1)  My Friday Pilates class.  I'm enjoying the torture lol  although it's a "gentle" class so it's not supposed to be too difficult.  I'm still struggling to identify all my different muscles and get them to work but I come home feeling a sense of satisfaction.  It's an hour of "me" time that doesn't feel a guilty pleasure and it gets me up and out early with the rest of the day still ahead of me.

2)  Visas granted for Australia!  This is just an easy online application for a tourist visa but hubby has a couple few minor driving fines from years ago that he decided he needed to declare.  My application was processed almost immediately with a positive response.  His application disappeared into the ether and we waited.  Until the next day!  But all was fine.  Phew! (We've watched the TV shows on Australia's border controls.  They are fussy about who they let in!)

3)  A house with room.  Now that Son & DIL are progressing towards their own home they are starting to accept any offers of furniture from other family members.  I currently have an extra single bed in what is supposed to be my sewing room plus a chest of drawers in the lounge.  I've decided that all works on my house are now on hold until they move out and take all their stuff with them.  Seriously it's not a problem for us (yet) and I'm just so pleased for them that so far things are going well.

4)  Nathan time - I was there on Wednesday again this week.  He still seems to be showing the symptoms of teething but I think it might be a while before any teeth make an appearance.  I got to babysit him while my daughter went to get her hair cut.

5)  Ticking off the to do list!  I haven't made lots of progress this week but the things I have done had been causing me sleepless nights.  Like the visa applications, renewing our travel insurance and sorting out the medical cover and booking in hubby's CPAP machine with the airlines.  Little things but very necessary things.  Oh and our leaking fridge got replaced!  And I ordered Christmas cards.  Thinking about Christmas this early is unheard of for me but I need to be ahead of myself as we won't be back in the UK until mid December from our trip.  Now I'll just have to find time to write them lol.

Hope you enjoy your weekend.  We were at a family gathering for our Godson's 21st birthday last Saturday.  Very busy.  This weekend looks like being quieter.