Thursday, 24 April 2014

Bank Holiday Blues, or Greens

It’s that time of year, when Bank holidays loom – like buses they’ll arrive one hot on the tail of the other until we reach early summer.  So far this year we’ve only had a glimpse of what summer could be like in terms of weather, the rain feels like it’s hardly stopped since Christmas, so it would be good to see some sun, wouldn’t it?  Sometime soon, hopefully?
So what are you planning for the Bank Holidays? Time in the garden? Have you had a chance to do a big spring garden clear up yet? Or has the frequent rain prevented you from running the lawnmower over the grass? Ours is still pretty muddy (where it isn’t jungle like), you’d need wellies at least, maybe waders, to get to some of the less accessible bits at the top of the garden. At least wellies are funky these days, all colourful and bright. Waders? A good look? Not so sure….

So, where to start? I’m no Charlie Dimmock. I need help with gardening. Maybe not real, actual help (though it is tempting to get people in to dig over the veg patch at the top…maybe attractive young men, and I can have one of those diet drink moments from the excellent vantage of my sun lounger) but help knowing what to do. Despite pottering out there from year to year I’ve never managed to become any expert of any sort – I just about manage to know my Perlagoniums from my Alstroemerias (that’s geraniums and Peruvian lilies to the even more florally challenged than me). I need to know which shrubs to cut back, where and when. When to plant seeds, bedding plants and veg. And where. What needs light and what likes shade. What will be destroyed by frost if I put it out too early. How often to water, and when. It feels like a minefield for a novice gardener. We’re all time poor these days, aren’t we, and gardens, more than some ‘hobbies’ came suck time away, but in a good way. And in a good exercise way too, if you put more effort in than is required when burying seeds half an inch below the surface of the soil with the sun warming your back….

So I seek advice, and there’s plenty out there, like these excellent tips from Thompson and Morgan seeds. I plant and fix and dig and clean, because, eventually I want to step back and enjoy the fruits (and vegetables and flowers) of my labour. 

I’d like my beds to flourish with colourful annuals, my perennials to protrude from pots (having hopefully survived the winter) and for the birds, which of course I welcome to the garden, to leave the ripening strawberries well alone. Please. And, in true British spring and summer style, I want to barbeque with my family and friends.  

So, back to the weather. We have to hope, with four bank holidays coming soon, that the clouds pass by, and we can get out into the garden. That it warms up a bit too. And that the scent of chargrilling will pervade the atmosphere. Because, in my humble opinion, there’s nothing better than a lazy afternoon spent under the budding apple tree with fish, meat and veg cooking on the barbie, surrounded by friends and family. A couple of Easters ago the weather was fine enough for us to get the paddling pool out, slap on the suncream and hats and let the kids run riot in the water.

Despite Easter being relatively late this years, it’s not looking like its going to be a scorcher, although there are hopeful predictions for the summer being a good one. We can only hope, and keep our fingers crossed!

So, Easter egg hunts are looking good this year, but maybe not barbeques.  Except for the brave and those prepared to wear a fleece or two.  But the time off is still a great opportunity for family and friends to get together.
And if the weather doesn’t pick up, then we’ll have to find something else to do on those few days of spring freedom. Off we trot down to the DIY store.

Decorating party, anyone? Grab yourself a brush.

And if you do organise a gathering of any sort over the forthcoming bank holidays, check out our fabulous selection of decorative tableware, which will enhance home or garden celebrations, from the deliciously dotty to the fabulously floral at Party Things 2 Go....

Guest post

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Easter #TheGallery

After rolling our hard boiled eggs down a really big hill at the park, the kids found a swing tied to a branch.

Wee Z was first on it.

He had to give himself a few push-offs from the tree but once he got swinging, he was having a great time.

All that swinging helped burn off the chocolate he had eaten for lunch!

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

So That Was Easter

The school holidays are over.

It's time to get back to routine.

Early rises.

School runs.


But we had an excellent Easter holiday.

Spending time together has been fantastic. I was off work for the second week of the holidays but, because I was on late shift, I got to spend the first week with the kids too. I was leaving for work just as they were going to bed. Husband had 4 days off over Easter weekend and it was great to have him at home too.

We enjoyed trips to the park, meeting up with friends, play dates, shopping trips, watching films, playing outside, Karate Camp and eating lots of chocolate.

These are the days we remember forever. I have such fond memories of the holidays I spent with my family and friends. I hope Wee Z and Miss C will be able to look back in years to come and feel the same.

Music credit U2 Beautiful Day

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Me & You #4

So it isn't the best photo we've ever taken, but here is Husband and I taking a "selfie" on my phone. We're both knackered after our day out together. I had wanted to get a photo of us in the city centre beside some of the gorgeous monuments but we were just so busy, going from shop to shop and enjoying the sunshine.

It's very rare that we get days for just us, so when we do, we take full advantage and head out somewhere together. The kids were off to their Gran's farm to go on an Easter Egg hunt. They were very excited. Husband and I decided to go to the city centre to get their birthday presents and enjoy a spot of lunch together. We got the train so we could have a few drinks too.

It was lovely walking along, hand in hand, enjoying the sunshine. We didn't have to worry about holding on to a small hand or making sure the kids weren't touching things they shouldn't be touching in shops. We didn't have to rush around or make quick dashes to the toilet. We enjoyed lunch being able to talk to each other without having to make sure a small person was eating their food and not spilling their drink.

It was just a day for Husband and I to enjoy being just us. Of course we missed the kids but we all need a break from each other now and again and it makes a big difference when it's during the day instead of at night, once the kids are in bed.

dear beautiful

The Week That Was #15

Last Sunday, despite a late night the night before, I was up at 8:30 and getting on with the cleaning whilst everyone else was snoring away! I took Miss C to horse riding and she had a brilliant lesson. After horse riding, we had lunch and had a lazy afternoon at home. We watched Britain's Got Talent! I took the kids for their swimming lessons and then we came home to chicken curry for tea.

On Monday, it was day one of Wee Z's Karate Camp. He was very excited although, he did think they were actually going camping at first. Karate Camp is a week of extra Karate lessons but with some games and there are limited numbers, so it isn't as busy as a normal class. Wee Z had a great time. Miss C and I went to the park and bought some pizza for lunch. The sun finally arrived so the kids played outside for most of the afternoon and after dinner.

On Tuesday, Husband was off work to sit his bike test. He took Wee Z to Karate Camp which meant I didn't have to rush about to get ready. Miss C spent the morning playing with her Playmobil. After lunch and after Husband got home from passing his test, we went to the park. It was a lovely day and quite warm when the wind wasn't there. The kids had a great time. We went out for Chinese for dinner and the kids were zonked by 8pm.

On Wednesday, we dropped Wee Z off at Karate Camp, ran some errands and then came home to hang out the washing. Miss C decided she wanted to draw and ended up designing her very own Superhero Lottie Doll. After lunch we went outside to tidy up the garden and then cuddled up on the couch to watch some TV. Wee Z had been to a friend's house after Karate Camp and came home at 5pm. He had a great time.

On Thursday, we dropped Wee Z at Karate Camp for his last day. We came home and Miss C played with her Playmobil swimming pool. We picked Wee Z up and came home for lunch. It wasn't a very nice day so we stayed in and watched Walking with Dinosaurs. It's such a great film!

On Friday, my MIL picked the kids up and took them to her farm for the day. She had planned an Easter Egg hunt for them. Husband and I took advantage of our child-free day by going in to the city. We took the train incase we wanted to get some drinks with our lunch. We picked up some stuff for the kids for their birthdays. Sadly, Disney Store was all out of Frozen stuff! We were knackered by the time we got home, as were the kids.

On Saturday, after working in the morning, I came home and we had lunch. It was a lovely day so we headed out in to the garden. I washed my car whilst the kids played Harry Potter Lego game and looked at insects with their magnifying glass. They found a ladybird. Only Wee Z was brave enough to hold it. After dinner, we watched Walking with Dinosaurs again as Daddy hadn't seen it.

Silent Sunday #16

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Project 365 2014 Days 103 - 109

Day 103 - Spot the real ones amongst the teddies
Day 104 - Fun at the park
Day 105 - More fun at the park
Day 106 - Making pancakes
Day 107 - "You look faraway Mummy!"
Day 108 - Mummy and Daddy day out
Day 109 - Felix is looking for Wally
TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky 

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