Friday 28 May 2021

Friday's Fave Five - 28/5/21


Susanne at Living to tell the Story reminds us every Friday to look back on the blessings of the week.  

Well I didn't get here last week as I'd been busy preparing for a very special event.  My eldest son and his family arrived here late on Friday and they've been here all week, going home on Sunday.

We hadn't seem them since last October and that was the only time we had seen Grandson Miles.

This week has been all about family and I am so thankful for:

1)  All our family being together for the first time since January 2020!

Our 3 kids are sitting on the sofa with their children and then our 3 DILs are sitting in front of them.  We didn't manage to get Nick and I in a photo with them - it would have been just too hard to set up.

2)  We celebrated Noah's birthday a little belatedly and Rory's birthday a little early.

 They will both be 3 as of next Tuesday.

3)  The most recent grandbabies got to meet for the first time.

Ella, Miles and Vinny.

4)  I've loved catching up with Noah, going on walks to the library and the lake and seeing the joy on his face when jumping in puddles.

5)  And I have loved being able to cuddle this one in person.  Who could resist that smile?

And for a bonus, all my kids and partners have either had, or have appointments for, their first vaccines!

It's going to seem very quiet in our house on Monday.

Have a good weekend all.


21 in 21 - Weekly photo #21 - w/c 24/5/21

This week has been all about family.  It's the first time we've all been together since January 2020.

We didn't manage a photo with the grandparents in too, it was tricky enough getting all the little ones and their parents together.  Setting up a camera on a timer would probably have proved impossible.

21 in 21 - Weekly Photo #20 - w/c 17/5/21

The joys of baby led weaning!  Vinny seemed to enjoy playing with his carrots more than eating them!

Sunday 16 May 2021

Book Review - The House of New Beginnings - Lucy Diamond

The House of New BeginningsThe House of New Beginnings by Lucy Diamond
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Number 11, Dukes Square, looks just like the other houses on the Brighton seafront: a Regency terrace with elegant sash windows, a winding staircase, and post piled up in the hall for its tenants. It might be part of the city's history, but it's also a place of brand new beginnings.

Georgie has followed her childhood sweetheart to Brighton but is determined to carve out a career for herself in journalism. Throwing herself into the city's delights is fun and exciting, but before she knows it, she's sliding into all kinds of trouble . . .

Charlotte's in the city for a new start, hoping to keep her head down and somehow get over the heartbreaking loss she's suffered in the past. But Margot, the stylish old lady on the top floor, has other ideas. Like it or not, Charlotte must confront the outside world, and the possibilities it still holds.

A terrible revelation sent Rosa running from London to start again as a sous chef. The work is gruelling and thankless but it's a distraction at least . . . until she comes up against the stroppy teenager next door who challenges her on her lifestyle choices. What if Rosa's passion for food could lead her to more interesting places?

As the three tenants find each other, it's as if a whole new chapter of their lives has begun. 

If you want a feel good book you can't go far wrong with this one. Set in Brighton, the House of New Beginnings features a house divided into flats and its various tenants. Most of them are there for a new start, even if they're not ready for it. Then there is the elegant Margot who lives on the top floor. It's an easy read following the various characters and their lives which gradually intertwine more and more. Reading this was enjoyable on a wet weekend!

View all my reviews

21 in 21 - Weekly Photo #19 - w/c 10/5/21

On your marks, get set, go!


Nathan is usually the winner lol.

He loves his Grandpa.


Friday 14 May 2021

Friday's Fave Five - 14/5/21


Thanks as always to our host Susanne over at Living to tell the Story for reminding us on Fridays to take time to find the good things from the week.

Here are mine:

1)  New windows.  We had all our rear windows replaced this week.  They were quite old and several of them the seals had gone and there was condensation between the double glazing.  They also were a less secure design.  Now we have lovely new ones and that's one big job done.

It was a bit chilly after the old ones were removed and the new ones weren't in!

2)  Online shopping!  Although restrictions are easing I'm still not rushing out to the shops so this week I've done quite a lot of shopping online - we've gained a cot and a toddler bed ready for when our son comes to stay so I needed bedding for those.  We also need to replace our main shower so that arrived today and the plumber is booked for next Tuesday.  I also bought a cheap buggy to use with the grandkids.

3)  Curtains in our bedroom.  I bought them a while ago but hadn't got around to gathering the tops and hanging them.  Well now they are done and they make the room so much darker at night which helps with sleeping.

4)  Celebrating our daughter's birthday yesterday.  We joined them for a Thai takeaway which we all enjoyed.  We hadn't had Thai food for ages - pre-Covid!

And there was cake!

5)  We also got to do bedtime with Nathan.

Have I mentioned that I love having Grandkids?!

Have a good weekend all.


Sunday 9 May 2021

21 in 21 - Weekly Photo #18 - w/c 3/5/21

Broccoli!  Weaning babies is sooo messy lol.  Most of the floret of broccoli seemed to end up everywhere but in his mouth.  The pasta on the other hand went down a treat.

Friday 7 May 2021

Friday's Fave Five - 7/5/21


Friday's Fave Five is hosted by Susanne at Living to the the Story and it's a chance each week to step back and think about our blessings for the week and share them with others.  Here's the link.

Well this has been a quiet week so I had to think hard but here goes:

1)  Our vaccine programme and lockdown seem to be working - our Covid numbers are really low, despite some restrictions having been eased and we're now looking forward to the next easing on May 17th.  We will be able to meet people indoors providing there are no blips in numbers or other factors they are monitoring. 

2)  A new toaster!  A few years ago my son & DIL had bought us a 4 slice toaster and it really made a difference when we had people staying. Up till then we'd only had a 2 slice toaster.  Well after we moved here one side of our toaster packed up so it became a 2 slice toaster which was fine because for most of the past year or so there have only been 2 of us here but more recently we've had our daughter and family here more and our DIL and 2 grandsons here each Wednesday so I decided it was time we replaced the toaster.   I also got a new kettle as the filter in ours had disintegrated and I couldn't find a replacement anywhere.  We live in an area where the water is really hard so I decided it was time for a new kettle too.

3) Reading time.  I made more time for reading this week.  Including with Rory:

4)  Both Nathan & Ella seem to be recovering after being unwell this week.  Nathan had a bout of croup last weekend and ended up at the hospital needed steroids and inhalers and Ella has had what seems to have been just a cold but of course babies can't blow their noses so end up being snuffly and not great.  I think it's been a hard week for my daughter and DIL.

5)  More walking.  I've been trying to get out for a walk each day and increase my step count.  I managed 6 days out of 7 for the last few weeks.  I even managed to dodge all the rain showers we've had this week!

Have a good weekend all!

Thursday 6 May 2021

A-Z Challenge 2021 - Reflections

Reflections 2021 #atozchallenge

Well so much for the challenge getting me back into blogging every day - this is only my 3rd post since completing the challenge.

Firstly I would like to say a big thank you to the team behind the challenge.  They all do a great job and this year they really tried to add variety into the challenge.  I'm afraid I didn't really "double down" by doing any of the additional suggestions/challenges apart from the "No E? No problem!" which was to write a blog post without using the letter E.  This one appealed to me so you can find my post here.

I am glad to say that I completed the challenge and only one of my posts was slightly late although I was almost burning the midnight oil on several days.  This is the 7th time I've done this challenge and every year I tell myself to be prepared i.e. have all my posts done and scheduled to post before 1st April.  I've never managed that yet but I did get some of this year's posts done in advance.  Some, not many.

Having a theme also helps and this year mine was Living in Lockdown.  It feels like we've been in lockdown forever here in London but things are easing now and I've had both my jabs so I'm feeling more relaxed about mixing, especially with people I know.

I won't be wearing a challenge T-shirt though, not even sure they ship to the UK but I'm not particularly public about my blog.  Of course it is in the public domain but I don't have it linked to Facebook or Instagram which I use.  I don't use Twitter or much else in the way of social media so I'm definitely not one for self promotion.  Hence my lack of participation in some of the challenges.

Lockdown has given us all many challenges but I think it's also stifled some of us.  Reading and blogging, two of my favourite things became difficult, almost a chore.  There definitely wasn't the same enjoyment there.  It was interesting to see that I wasn't alone in feeling like that and there were lots of explanations out there as to why this was. (Check out my U post for one of them.)

Despite having so much time on our hands I seemed to get less done.

Overall I'm happy with the way my challenge worked out and I'll definitely be back next year.

One thing I was disappointed with was not visiting many other blogs.  I definitely tried to respond to people who visited my blog but I was very bad at checking out new blogs by working through the master list.  But this is something I find myself saying every year.  I'm going to sign up for the Road Trip and set myself a daily target of blogs to visit to rectify this.  So apologies if I didn't get to visit you yet, but I'm on my way! 

For ease of reference all my A-Z posts can be found here.

Sunday 2 May 2021

21 in 21 - Weekly Photo #17 - w/c 26/4/21

It's Bluebell time!

 Not the greatest of pictures and not the masses of bluebells like we had in Chalet Wood near our old house, but these pictures were taken in the forest near Highams Park Lake this week.

Most of my 21 in 21 challenges are suffering due to Covid but at least I'm keeping up with the weekly photo.