Saturday 16 September 2023

Friday's Fave Five - 16/9/23

Yes I know it's Saturday but better late than never to look back on the past week and find my five favourite blessings.

1)  The weather has been cooler since the beginning of this week.  Still quite warm but not the oppressive heat that we had last week.

2)  Nathan is better.  He returned to school on Tuesday much to the relief of his Mummies I'm sure lol.

3)  A family orientated weekend.  We babysat Rory and Vinny on Saturday afternoon and also had a visit from Ella.  Then Rory and Vinny stayed here and my son and DIL also came back from being out with US friends to sleep.  On Sunday there was a Picnic in the Park event but it was still really hot so we took the kids to the park for a short while before they headed off home.  I stayed on as I'd signed up to volunteer as a marshall.  Fortunately my duties weren't too onerous - I was stopping cars from entering one of the entrance roads to the park unless they were residents for a while and then as part of the clearing up process I went and took all the various signs down.  It was a nice event but it should have also included a dog show but that was cancelled due to the heat.  People still seemed to enjoy themselves though - there were lots of stalls plus live entertainment.

4)  On Monday evening I was able to play a small part in the rescue of one of the cygnets currently on the lake.  On my usual evening walk I noticed a few people looking over the small bridge at the bottom end of the lake behind the boathouse used by local Scouts.  One of the cygnets had crash landed between the boat house and the metal fencing around it.  It had then managed to get itself wedged under the fence and was stuck.  

We're lucky to have local volunteers that operate a rescue service for swans in particular but also ducks, geese etc.  Someone had already alerted the rescue team and they were on their way but we needed to get the access gate unlocked.  Fortunately I had the number of a local man who is the Chairman of the Highams Park Planning Group and who seems to know everyone.  Predictably he had contact details for the Scouts and was able to get someone to come down with keys.  They arrived just after the Swan rescue team and the cygnet was safely removed.  

It was taken to the Swan sanctuary where it was found to have some injuries to its back from the fence but it will be cared for until it heals before being released back into the wild.  I took an early walk on Tuesday morning to confirm it was from our lake which it was.  Our swan parents are very territorial!

Swans and the remaining 4 cygnets.

5)  I managed to adjust my daughter's Pelaton bike yesterday so that I can use it - also worked out how to get the shoes on and off - harder than they make it look!  It still needs a bit of adjustment but having watched some YouTube videos I've now got a better idea of what needs doing.  I'm not sure I'm ready for any online classes yet - I did 15 minutes on it this evening and my legs felt like jelly at the end lol.  But I thought it could be an alternative exercise for me if the weather isn't suitable for walking.  It might also encourage my daughter to use it too.

And a bonus - Strictly Come Dancing started again this evening!  I do love watching that.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Wednesday 13 September 2023

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 13/9/23

Thanks to Joyce for the Hodgepodge questions.  To join in or find out more go here.

1. Did you watch any coverage of the 9/11 services on Monday? How do you feel on this day some 22 years after the events occurred? Share more if you want to share more. 

I didn't watch anything this year but I can still remember the day it happened - I was at work initially and someone set up a TV in the school staffroom.  I continued watching when I got home.  It just seemed so unreal that it was a while before the actual horror of it began to sink in.  I still find it hard to fathom how 2 such huge buildings could be reduced to rubble in the way they were and the terrible loss of lives.

2. September 13th is National Peanut you like peanuts? Your favourite dish that contains peanuts? 

I do not like peanuts - I don't like the texture of them but I will "suffer" smooth peanut butter and I do like certain dishes with a peanut flavour but it's definitely not a fave.

3. Something you're currently 'nuts' about? 

I'm not sure I'm nuts about anything right now.

4. Your favourite Peanuts character? There are several quizzes online if you're curious...I took two and got the same character for both so I'm sure it's accurate lol. (Click here for the link)

Well I was never an avid Peanuts fan but according to the quiz I'm Marcie.

5. Tell us about a job you worked 'for peanuts'? 

I worked on a catering stand at a football ground a few times before I was really old enough to get a paid job.  It definitely wasn't well paid and it was hard work.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

We've returned to normal temperatures this week.  Leading up to the weekend it was really hot here and I don't cope with that very well.  Good to be retired and able to ignore anything that needed doing and just try and keep cool.

Friday 8 September 2023

Friday's Fave Five - 8/9/23

It's Friday again so time to pause and look back on the week and then share our posts over at Susanne's site here.

1)  Well I've posted an autumn picture above but it's been like mid summer here the last few days - we've hit temps around 30 degrees C and I am so glad that a)  we have fans and b) that there is usually a part of the house that keeps cool.  I've also made use of the hand held fans that I bought earlier in the summer.  It hasn't made sleeping easy though.

2)  Being able to cope with sick grandchildren.  Yesterday we were scheduled to babysit Nathan and Ella while my daughter and DIL went out for a meal and to the theatre.  We collected Nathan from school and went back to their house and he didn't seem very well but we put it down to the heat.  He was really hot so DIL gave him some medicine to hopefully bring down his temp.  Anyway DIL left to meet up with our daughter and no sooner had she gone than he was really sick.  Thankfully we've spent so much time with Nathan we were able to cope with him not being well and get Ella to bed and although there were lots of messages between us and their parents during the evening I'm glad that they were able to get to see the play and it didn't totally spoil their evening.  Theatre tickets in London are so expensive it would have been a shame for them not to be able to go.  

3)  I've been glad I'm retired this week with the heat.  I wouldn't have wanted to be working and I've also been able to take it easy and not worry about doing too many chores.

4)  A busy day at the Foodbank yesterday.  We had lots of people turn up and although we had plenty of food for them we didn't have lots of fresh provisions left at the end of the session.  Sometimes fresh food has to be thrown away because it won't keep until the next Tuesday when the foodbank is open again.  

5)  I spent most of my time at the foodbank putting away a delivery from the council and sorting out the storage room, moving a few things around and just a bit of organising.  I also had to keep checking on frozen foods - we put a selection of items out for about 15 minutes but then they have to be returned to the freezers and another selection put out.  One of the longer serving helpers made a point of complimenting me on my organisational skills.  Sometimes it's the little things like that which make your day!

Well time is getting on and, despite the heat, I've still managed to walk a little bit each day so I need a shower before going to bed.  We have a busy weekend ahead so I need my sleep.

Have a good weekend all.

Wednesday 6 September 2023

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 6/9/23

It's been a while since I participated in the Hodgepodge hosted by Joyce here, but apparently today is National Read a Book Day and as an avid reader it seemed appropriate to join in.

1. It's National Read A Book Day...whatcha' reading? What's a book you want to read? 

I'm currently reading Murder in the Family by Cara Hunter.  I picked this up in the supermarket having read some of her other books.  This one is presented in a very different format though - the story is of a fictional cold case murder being revisited by a TV true life crime programme.  The layout in the book follows the series with details of each episode as they are screened plus e-mail exchanges, chat room messages etc so very up to date with IT/Social media.  If I'd glanced at the interior of the book I probably wouldn't have bought it but actually I'm quite enjoying it.

I have so many books I want to read:

Books on the BBC list I'm working through very slowly.  Details here.
Books I have out on loan from the library (currently 2 unread plus 2 more reserved)
Books on my TBR pile in my bedroom
Books on my TBR shelf in the garden room
Books I've not read on my Kindle app

I probably won't live long enough to read them all lol

2. Which is better...having high expectations or low expectations? Explain why. 

Oh I think I'm going with low expectations here then anything above a target for example is a bonus!  Although I do often have high expectations of myself.

3. Serenity is:  Being at peace with myself

4. What's  the most interesting thing in your purse or pocket right now? 

Well there is nothing in my pockets.

My purse (wallet to my US friends) contains my National Trust membership card which give me admission to lots of interesting places although it hasn't had much use recently.

My handbag (purse)  contains nothing of interest but a particularly daft item for this week where we have sweltering heat - an umbrella.  I suppose it could serve as a sunshade but of course English weather always requires an umbrella to be at hand.

5. What helps you calm down?   A cup of tea.  Peace and quiet or going for a walk listening to music.

6. Insert your own random thought here.   It really is hot here in London this week - good excuse for not doing too many chores and catching up with blogging.

Saturday 2 September 2023

Friday's Fave Five - 1/9/23

Yes I know it's Saturday but it's been a busy week!  Thanks to Susanne as always for prompting us to look back at the week and find the blessings.  Her site is here.

1)  Firstly I'm grateful for lots of family time this week - not only our immediate family but also hubby's extended family.  We spent the past week in Kent as we usually do and as always it was lovely to catch up with people we haven't seen for a while and to see how the younger generation have grown over the year.

Little ones helping prepare dessert

Making cup cakes

Probably the best of the grandkids

Our family

The best game - sleeping lions

More "helping"


Feeding time

We had a great week despite the weather being a bit hit and miss - we had several downpours and it was a lot cooler than it had been but the swimming pool still got a lot of use and we were able to sit outside quite a bit.

The Venue

2)  Having been away for a week I'm grateful for my appliances - washing machine and tumble dryer to get the washing done and online shopping to restock the fridge and cupboards.  I also took advantage of the fridge being almost empty to give it a thorough clean.

3)  Books, books and more books!  I've done a reading challenge over June and July and managed to read 8 books from my TBR pile.

The Michael Palin book (with the cross) is still a work in progress - it's about his travels through Europe so a different genre to my usual reading.

I also have a few out from the library and I did buy a couple of new ones recently.

4)  Of course we ate really well while we were away but I've managed to not gain any weight over the week so I was pleased about that and now I'm trying to get back into the swing of eating healthily and walking again.

5)  Good neighbours.  Our alarm was triggered on Thursday - not sure how but possibly a bird flying into the bathroom window.  Anyway our neighbour has a key and fob for the alarm so he was able to check all was ok and reset the alarm for us.  We have good neighbours either side of us and the ones across the road from us are friendly too.

Hope you're all having a good weekend - mine's a bit lazy!