Some leave time has been really welcome. A great start was Fiona and Chris coming over on Good Friday. Obviously I ate a chocolate egg on Easter Sunday but a long walk might have helped negate it’s effects! I gave Hector some nice beers instead of choccies!
On Tuesday I went over to see Sis and we visited Mum. It was pretty chilly and lots of snow was newly fallen on the hills. I didn’t feel much like walking or gardening because both my hip and my right thumb were pretty damn painful. Mum looked well and seemed really happy to see Rosie.
On Wednesday I had another lovely long walk, but there was heavy rain later.
I got this shot of the – what we are now calling the ‘terrace’ and like the result.
I put some pots out onto the terrace and with a rug on the chair to sit on it was a lovely place to spend a couple of hours.
I saw some neighbours and got some things done Thursday and Friday and also had another lovely long walk with Rosie (just 3 miles) and dropped in on Jane in the village on the way back.
The blossom on the trees in the garden and churchyard are wonderful at the moment and I have loved having plenty of time to get the garden ready for late Spring and early Summer; transplanting self-seeded aquilegia and mints.
On Saturday Frank and Kate dropped by and Kate and I went into town so I could place my first ever bookies bet on the Grand National. Now that I see that 2 horses died during it I won’t be doing it again. One of the ones that died was one I had backed which hasn’t made me feel to good.
Later a nice girl, another Kate, I’ve met a couple of times at networking and marketing events came over. She’s a wonderful portrait photographer and we planned to share techniques by spending some time in the church for portraits and then later to Castlerigg Stone Circle where we shared my landscape inspirations. Kate’s first baby is due really soon so we didn’t walk far at all! After learning some of her skills I think I’ve taken the best portraits I have taken to date… and I hope I can improve some more.
Castlerigg was freezing but we stayed a while and I loved sharing the photography with her. I look forward to seeing her shots.
I love this shot – very incongruously dressed Janapese tourists….
On my last day off we were meant to be going to watch some rugby with Chris and Fiona but the match was called off. We gardened and Hector tidied up the garage instead. I had found two one-gallon Greek Olive Oil tins at the recycling area and brought them home. He took the tops off and drilled drainage holes in the bases, and when I’d cleaned them I planted some strawberry plants in them.
Beaten – did the pub quiz with Adele and Ray. Lots of fun and as ever a really good time with them. We didn’t win – but it doesn’t matter.
Busy – village magazine to finish and get to printers.
Blonde – dyed my hair. I’m happier blonde. Took quite well I think. I like it.
Business – very hectic at work. Had a trip down to the Midlands to visit our big 2 day Conference venue – that I found and booked – and it went well. 300 delegates will attend 2 nights and 2 days in the Autumn with en-suite accommodation, workshops, seminars, master classes, dinner, quiz, keynotes, speakers and multi trade stands. Its a real feat of organisation and I LOVE doing it.
Boggy – weather damp and mild. Not much by the way of a walk with Rosie. Hope for fine weekend weather and some nice mini expeditions.
Birthday – Clare’s birthday this week and she and Jane both came to visit me at the office. Glad to show them where I work and to give Clare her pressie.
Best - We went to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. It was delicious!!!! The perfect feel good film. I want to be Judy Dench sitting side saddle on a little scooter nipping around Jaipur streets my arm around a diffident Bill Nighy.
Another weekend. Another festival.
I was reviewing the Friday evening only at Maryport Blues festival. H stayed at home and I went with Pete and Sarah It was great to have them along. Sarah is doing SO well after her redical surgery only 2 weeks ago. What an inspiration.
First band up were Laura and the Tears. Not bad at all. The main event though was Jethro Tull. Talk about a trip down memory lane. I loved it! They did ‘Aqualung’, ‘Heavy Horses’ and ‘Thick as a Brick’ amongst others and as there were even folks there wearing patchouli perfume it was like being back in 1973. Sigh…..!
The last band were King King and then we ambled home under a starlit sky and in the comfort of the car.
A much anticipated weekend with Chrissie, Chris, Lollykin and Rae in Lincolnshire. We had an ‘expotition’ to the Deep in Hull. It is an amazing place. So many fascinating and beautiful marine creatures. Me, Hector, Chrissie and Lollykin went – not forgetting Bernard Bear (who belongs to the children in Lolly’s class and who is taken for lots of outings and photographed) who was photographed a lot. I liked the translucent jellyfish who were lit by ultraviolet lights, Hector liked the Green Sawfish, but we called him Chainsaw Shark. The little Nemo-type fishes were lovely. A splendid and fun afternoon.
A surprise was a in store for me. Its my birthday this week and a most un-subtle cake was brought out after dinner. Then, surprise, surprise, I fell asleep in front ofthe fire while the others watched TV. No change there then….
On Sunday Lol, Chrissie and I went to Lincoln and later Rae gave me a pedicure with parafin hot wax. The peeling off of the hot wax almost had poor Lolly in a faint and her Mum Chrissie hiding behind a cushion. Hector could only look on in masculine bemusement.
On Sunday evening we went with Lol to stay in her lovely new house. Its a Victorian place just a few miles from her Mum that is gorgeous and she has done a fantastic job making it so welcoming and superbly decorated and furnished. By the look of it though, most of her shoes must still be at her Mums!
Ross has been with us a few days – great to see him. He couldn’t be persuaded to join us at the Halloween quiz at the Spa, but we paired up with Sue and Sammy and came second – chiefly because our team name of Stoned Philosphers won the team name and thence extra points.
We braved Carlisle on a Saturday evening and saw the new Bond film Quantum of Solace – BRILLIANT!
fun:friends Fi | 25 Aug 2008
fun:friends Fi | 24 Aug 2008
Both of us had a lot on at work. Hector’s hectic week meant he had to be away for most of it, which we don’t like, but my week at work was a hectic one too and I got a lot done at home as well.
Lolly arrived Friday evening and we had a couple of relaxing hours at the Spa and came home via the chippy (undoing all the spa good) and roof down on the car as we ate the chips from the bag. When H got home from his travels we all spent a few hours at the pub (no surprise there!)
Saturday after Lol left H’s brother Kev arrived – his first visit to us. Great to see him. Sat about in the garden and then had dinner at the pub (yum). A really nice evening.
Sunday – late breakfast with Kev before he heads off and Chris and Fiona M arrive shortly after. There is SOME sun so we do nothing except laze in the garden and natter. After dinner it turned cool enough to necessitate lighting the first fire of the ‘autumn’ even though its still August. I think we can give up on summer for 2008!
WHAT a weekend. Excellent!
Friday eve and a quiz at the Health Spa. We joined up with one other person (Andy) and – like the pub quiz we do – we only flippin’ won! Very enjoyable and some tough questions.
Our answer sheet….. yes, a tad of a gloat.
Saturday was a drive over to Lincolnshire for a good friends’ surprise 50th birthday party. Chris (aka Crusty) was completely unaware of the planned massive party in his honour.
On the way down we saw a super-cool guy in a vintage car – wearing the most excellent leather gauntlets and all leather old-fashioned gear.
Then we visited some of my family en-route.
Later, to kill some time, (we didn’t want to arrive at the party before the birthday boy knew – our arrival would have given the game away) we stopped off for a quick drink at a pub which I knew had an historical family link. We discovered that my Great Grandfather had been the publican of it the 1890′s and 1900′s. We found it for sure when I spotted an old photo on the wall and after enlarging it on my camera saw that the man in the picture posing on the front step of the pub was my Great Grandfather – his name emblazoned on the pub sign-age. WOW! What a thrill.
The evening was magic. The party was superb and hosted by a good friend of the birthday boy. A superb live band (Sean et al), a bouncy castle (for kids and childlike grown-ups!), great food and copious drink. A very special evening. Loads of tents pitched in the gardens and more fun than should be allowed.
Chrissy and her birthday boy…. Sean of the band….. Adam and Sarah…. Bouncing….
fun:friends Fi | 28 Jul 2008
Sunday 27th July.
I was still not too well, but determined to enjoy a long-planned trip to the Sunderland Airshow. LOVELY weather and a nice drive up there. HUGE traffic jams to get to the Park & Ride and when we got there – along with literally hundreds of thousands of others – there was a sea fret which meant that there could be no air display at all. We had a wander around the packed site and Fairground, all the RAF stuff, some planes and a good deal of people watching. I even had candyfloss. A nice hour or so and a picnic. Later on we joined the longest bus queue in the world for the bus back to the car park and an even more pleasant drive home, via Durham and the Tees Valley villages. Low setting sun and a stop off at a nice pub in Cotherstone for a drinky. A perfect last day together before I had to go back to work after my 2 weeks holiday.
A few of the pics from our day….
My fave pic of the day… Well… they shouldn’t have sat under that sign should they? I HAD to take the pic.
Plus, just part of the massive fair site, and some pics of Hector (VERY Top Gun!), and a plane or two.
fun:friends Fi | 24 Jul 2008
Another great use of a holiday day… Sally and I had a treat this morning. A trip to the Spa for a swim, steam, sauna and whirlpool followed by a pedicure. Oh my goodness – we’re turning into Ladies that Lunch! IT WAS BLISS!
The only downer is that I’m fighting a bad chest again, my voice has gone, my chest is sore and tight. We don’t want a repeat of last winters really bad episode and the resultant week in bed.
fun:friends Fi | 23 Jul 2008
fun:friends Fi | 22 Jul 2008
FINALLY a sunny and warm day! I am still on holiday from work so after doing some unpacking of camping gear I snoozed in the garden before we went over to Sallys for a BBQ with them and lots of friends and fellow Brampton Live folks. A really enjoyable evening. I’d have some pics more than this – IF my camera battery had not failed.
fun:friends Fi | 13 Jul 2008
fun:friends Fi | 01 Jul 2008
It was a day for their family and friends to celebrate the first birthday of Hector’s brother Vinny and his wife Janine’s daughter Jody. We really enjoyed seeing everyone and the weather was good enough by the time we got there for everyone to be outside in their lovely garden. We had got stuck in a 2.5 hour stationary traffic jam on the A1M and were late arriving. Despite that and another disappointing tarnishing event it was a lovely afternoon.
Jody and her Mum…
He and his Mum, He likes beer and Jodys lovely big sister….
fun:friends Fi | 29 Jun 2008
While He was working away this week I took the chance to have an evening with Sally and a LOVELY dinner together before a walk in the field behind their house and some time with their daughter Jessica, and fun on the trampoline at the top of the garden. A very special evening.
Tree in the field and view from Sally’s house….
Mid-summer on Saturday and we’re planning to see the sun rise at Long Meg Stone Circle. OBVIOUSLY it depends on the weather! So, its up at 3.30 am! MAD!
Using up a free night in a nice hotel we headed south to Bristol and Bath. We had a wander around Bath but it was full of Japanese tourists and throngs of people so we didn’t stay too long. We did though take a wander up to see the Royal Crescent and watch some people in whites playing Crown Green Bowling; resulting in a firm decision to play the game ourselves when we are older! The sun was shining and the climate 300 miles south is SO much more advanced towards proper spring. There were even road side stalls selling strawberries. WOW!
Hector took me out to dinner in a good beer pub near the Severn Bridge and I ate WAY too much. Calves livers and then Creme Brulee. Lovely. Slept badly coz my tummy hurt! Serves me right.
Before driving home we went to see the bridges at the Severn and the sun shone again. We paid our toll to drive over one and then drove up along the Severn towards Gloucester and then north and home.
When we got back it was to find that all 4 of Tootsie’s Tots have opened their eyes. Awwww.
fun:friends Fi | 03 Apr 2008
Sunday 30th March. Chris and Fiona came over, more simmering down at the Spa and back in time to go to the pub for a drink before the quiz started. Its always good to get the old grey matter exercised. We decided on a team name of So Cozy with Sarkozy. At least two other really good teams were in – and we made a so-so start – especially when we made lte changes to some answers replacing correct ones with wrong ones. But, the end result was we were first, embarrassingly yet again, with a score of 135.5 out of 150. The team in 2nd place scored 119.5. Pub landlord Donald told us we were banned! Many a true word spoken in jest!