Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hello Niamh

And yes, that is my soft focus filter!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Congratulations to the Sharman's

Helen finally gave birth at 5:45 this morning to baby Niamh Eleanor Sharman who weighed 8lbs 1. Mother and baby are doing very well and I'll get some photos as soon as I meet her.

She was only a week overdue this time and I know Helen especially will be pleased to finally have her here.

I took Ethan to his swimming lesson yesterday as Helen wasn't able to in her over pregnant state and she didn't want him to miss out. We both has loads of fun in the water and ended up both very very worn out!


Christmas has come to our house. We thought as we were off work and needed to put some stuff in the attic we would put the decorations up early this year.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

New Light

When we went to do our Christmas shopping last week we popped into Ikea as we needed a new light for the living room.

The old one didn't really go and the halogen bulbs didn't last very long and were very expensive. So we have replaced it with this which takes energy saving bulbs.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I started knitting Billy a jumper in January. I finished it a couple of weeks ago. There are a few errors in it and the sleeves are far too long, but he is happy with it, especially as it has now turned cold and is snowing this morning.

Although now he does want a blue jumper to go with his trousers! And a woolly hat!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Granddad's birthday

We invited everyone over for dinner for Granddad's birthday.

I was just mopping the floor when Laura and Wayne turned up in a panic because they thought they were late but they were in fact an hour early because they had forgotten to turn the clocks back!

I think everyone enjoyed their roast lamb and birthday cake.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Halloween Party

Every year Carole and Ian have a fancy dress party for Halloween. Each year our costumes have mainly consisted of whatever we could find in the bargain bin in Sainsbury's. But as this year was Ian's 60th we thought we'd better make a bit more of an effort.

I was a fallen fairy and Ollie was death / Uncle Fester. The extra effort by Ollie of having his head shaved and being smothered in white face paint was worth it as he won best costume. Ollie, Marc, Gem and me also won the wrap a team mate in toilet paper game and our team won the balloon under the chin game too.

The pinata proved to be a bit tricky this year, we had one that you bash instead of the one that you pull the strings until it falls apart. It took about 10 minutes of heavy bashing with a Halloween axe before it caitulated. Although once it had there were enough sweeties in it to last until next Halloween, even with 4 kiddies eating them!

We let off some fireworks and had some sparklers once we had all found some gloves to wear.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Meet Zak

Congratulations to Gemma, Marc, Sebastian, Harvey and Dylan to the new addition of their family.

Gemma gave birth last week to Zak, we went to visit them in the hospital.

Holiday - Thursday

Thursday morning we dragged ourselves out of bed really early and went to play tennis.

It was a close fought game, with me coming back from 3 games to nil to win the game 7 games to 5! Ollie did manage to loose a tennis ball in the first 10 minutes by hitting it over the top of the fence and past the kiddies play area! He blamed his racquet saying it was too violent and he was hardly hitting the ball hard!

After that we had booked the Fan Descender. This was basically where you stepped off a platform 9 metres high attached to a rope and a mini fan attached to the other end of the rope to stop you breaking your leg when you fall.

After a quick lunch we were back at the activity center for climbing. They had a very high wall which was a lot tougher than either of us thought it was going to be.

After all that we definitely deserved to have a pancake in the pancake house. Ollie had a traditional one with lemon and ice cream and I had a chocolate pancake with chocolate ice cream and a flake!

Thursday night we had booked a table in the gastro pub. The food was wonderful, but the service was absolutely shocking. The waitress had no excuse as she's been there for more than 6 months, but she brought us the wrong colour wine after we had waited for ages!

Holiday - pictures

Wednesday afternoon I went out to take some photos of the forest.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Holiday - Wednesday

It was not so rainy on the Wednesday of our holiday. We did the Zip line first thing in the morning. For this we were all harnessed up and then we had to climb high up in the trees and walk across a tightrope and a rope bridge. Then you are tied to the zip line and have to walk off the platform. I didn't think it was as high as I expected it to be, but it was still lots of fun.

We did archery in the afternoon. I wasn't brilliant, but I managed to get most of my arrows in the target and even 1 in the yellow!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Holiday Tuesday - My Birthday

Tuesday was my birthday. I got loads of cards and Ollie got me a Spurs shirt, Cruel Intentions on Blu Ray and the book of Treasure Island.

We had a squirrel that came to visit us every day and drank the water off our patio furniture. He also jumped up and down on our roof all night above our bed and kept us awake.

In the Morning I went horse riding. Although I got the laziest horse ever, I really enjoyed myself.

Unfortunately my belly dancing class was cancelled. But we did have the Seriel Mud treatment in the afternoon after lunch at the pancake house. We were a bit sceptical about the savory pancakes but my new potato, spring onion, garlic and mayo pancake was very yummy, if a bit filling. Ollie also enjoyed his bacon and cheese with maple syrup.

The mud treatment was quite good. You got your own private steam room with bowls of mud in - one type for your body and another type for your face. You have to put the mud on, wait 10 minutes, turn the steam on and then wait another 15 minutes before washing it off. Ollie and I did use some of our spare mud to have a mud fight! I don't think we quite lasted the whole 15 minutes in the steam as it was very hot. But it did make our skin nice and soft.

That evening we went to the quiz. We didn't do very well, we only got 19 out of 30.

Holiday! Monday

We left here about 9 o'clock on Monday morning heading off to Nottingham Center Parcs.

After one stop on the way there we arrived about 12.30. We picked up our bikes and headed over to our hut. It was ok; quite cosy.

Monday afternoon was spent in the spa. It's like a Turkish bath place, sauna and spas with a pool. Very relaxing after a long drive. We then went to the Swimming Pool. It was exactly the same as it was when I went last time!

We had a take away curry from the Center Parcs take-away shop.

Monday, August 25, 2008

New floor

Today we fitted the new floor.

First we had to take the old washing machine to the tip and stop off at Helen's to pick up the laminate fitting kit that Alan was lending us.

Whoever said laying laminate is easy obviously has never tried to do our kitchen! Nothing is straight, EVERY single piece had to be cut to size and we had a pattern that had to be lined up! Still including underlay we had it done in 5 hours.

We also put up smart hangers for our tea towels, but I had to sew the ribbon on them to make them easier to hang.

In answer to mum's question, we have finished the painting and the tiles aren't going up that high. The rails were put up for the extra storage so we can put stuff away and have more room!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Some Scrapping

I did some scrapping today!

I had to do it in the lounge as I can hardly get into the spare room for all the DIY stuff! It's probably the last chance I'll get in a while what with the kitchen and the fact that I start my college course next Saturday for my next lot of ACCA exams.

It's a scraplift from a sketch I made from Anso's blog.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

More work in the kitchen

This afternoon we put my hanging racks up in the kitchen.

We are hoping to get some clear jars from Ikea that match to put the spices in so they look a bit smarter.
I love having the knives so accessible.

We also got these smart dispensers for the washing up liquid and hand wash from Homebase.

Ps - family - we washed up!

Oh no broken!

Last week we got a free Playstation 3 with Ollie's phone contract. The idea was that it will replace our DVD player as we have the X-Box for gaming. "Fantastic we will be able to watch Blu Rays in HD", I thought. Turns out it's not so simple. Firstly the HDMI socket in the TV is directly underneath the bracket holding it to the wall. So we will have to hack the bracket to plug it in.

We had also thought that if we were faffing with electrics we may as well take the plunge and get Sky HD as they have a half price offer on. However, our TV only has 1 HDMI port. So Ollie sent me off to Richer Sounds to see what cables they recommend and also what boxes that allow you to plug 2 things into 1 box.

The man in Richer was quite blunt - for the money we would spend on all this, we would be better off buying a new TV with 2 HDMI ports.

Well, we thought, if we are buying a new TV we might as well upgrade to Full HD. This was starting to sound expensive! We have some stuff we were going to put on Ebay and were going to have it as a very Christmas present to each other.

Then Ollie uttered the immortal words "Let's wait to buy the TV and stuff until we've raised all the money because if we don't and we buy a TV this week, the washing machine will break next week"

Low and behold, this morning the washing machine broke!!!! So we had to buy a new one today from Sainsbury's electricals. The good news is that it's smaller than the old one so it won't stick out into the kitchen as much and it's silver and the same make as the oven so it will match a lot better.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Our kitchen

This is what the kitchen looked like at the beginning of the weekend. As you can see I have painted the walls so they are the same colour as the dining room.

We moved the fridge along and built another unit so that we could extend the work top. It took some sawing and screwing screws is quite difficult when both the electric screwdriver and the drill needed charging and the hammer drill was far too powerful.

We then had to cut the worktop to size both longways and widthways. That's a lot of cutting! Plus an unbelieveable amount of sawdust. There were more screws to hold it to the units and then I had to glue the end to the bit by the fridge.

Ta da! I now have an extra 66cm of worktop which makes a huge amount of difference. We are having Helen and Alan over for dinner on Friday to test it out!

Ikea do wicker baskets that will fit perfectly (we know - we got some for Gemma last time we went and she didn't collect them until after we had tested them out in our kitchen!)

A big HELLO to my grandad

I've had a request to say a big hello to my grandad who reads my blog so he knows what I'm up to as I don't visit him often enough.

I just wanted to say that I love him very much, and he's welcome to pop in for a cup of tea whenever he likes. Ollie was expecting him last weekend and he never came because he thought we were busy. I am never too busy for my grandad!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Exam passes!

I was up super early this morning as my exam results were released today. Modern technology is brilliant, there was no waiting for the postman, just log into the website and it's there in front of you. I also signed up for the email results service just in case the website crashed but I've not got that yet!

Anyway, I passed both exams. The pass mark is 50% and I got 64% in law and 74% in Performance management. I'm really pleased with this as the performance management exam had the lowest pass rate in the history of the ACCA in the December exam sitting and they had pledged that they were not going to make the exam easier.

We've been super busy in the kitchen this weekend, so I will give a full update with pictures later.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

What a storm!

What a storm we had last night. Ollie slept right through it of course! But it kept me awake for ages. I have never heard thunder so loud. It sounded like the house was falling down around my ears.

I did get up to see if our silly cats were ok and if they were inside safe and not scared of the storm. Brian was asleep in his new spot on top of the underlay for the laminate for the kitchen and Abby was on the poof. Both sound asleep and were more bothered by me turning the light on than the storm!

When the thunder and lightning eventually started to move away and I thought I may go back to sleep, it obviously moved into the estuary as we were then invaded by a flock of very noisy seagulls who obviously felt dry land was a better place to be!

So I'm a bit sleepy today!

Other news is that I have a new shiny mobile! And that we had our shopping delivered by Sainsbury's To You last night as our car is poorly in the garage. The car just had an engine coil go which sent the engine management system up the wall and put it in limp home at 1 mile an hour mode! It's all fixed now and Ollie's picking it up tonight.

I am very impressed by Sainsbury's and I think we will be repeating the exercise. All the veg were of a good quality and the dates on the meat were long enough that it won't go out of date before we can eat it.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Happy Birthday Ethan, Brian and Abby

Ethan, Brian and Abby were all 2 today!

Ethan had a party for his grown up friends tonight and one for his little friends tomorrow. In the rush to get home from work get changed and round to Helen and Alan's I forgot the camera! Still we have arranged a swap with Helen and Pip as Helen doesn't have any photos of his first birthday so watch this space!

We had a great time playing in the garden, although at one point I wasn't allowed to get up off the floor! And I did end up with several bruises!

After the little man had gone to bed we played Empire, where you all have to think of a person/cartoon character/etc etc and then the referee reads them all out and you have to guess which person playing was which name. I wasn't too bad at that, although I did have trouble remembering all of the names!!!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Very Busy

The rest of our holiday just flew by!

I drove all the way to Birmingham on my own to meet Ollie after his course for work. Having heard the end of a news report of an overturned lorry on the M25 southbound, I went North and got caught up in a huge queue of people trying to get onto the M1. I had already decided I would not face the M1 road works and would go on the M40. I was very glad I did as Ollie called me when I'd got to Warwick to say that the M6 was closed between the M1 and Birmingham so goodness knows where I would have gone! The sat nav was very useful and managed to find Ollie ok. Unfortunately I had only written down the postcode of the Travelodge we were staying in as the full instuctions page and map wouldn't load on their website. The satnav was locked in the car at the time and so I didn't check it was ok before I left and our 3 year old map couldn't find the postcode.

Luckily with some nifty phone internet searching Ollie got the address and we found it ok. What we hadn't realised when we booked that it was right underneath the flight path for Birmingham airpost (and I mean see the bottom of the plane wheels out and everything right underneath!)

Still the windows were double glazed and when shut you couldn't really hear the planes. That night we went to Solihull for Nandos and the cinema to see the Happening (it was rubbish!). We did have a walk around Solihull which was quite nice and had some upmarket shops (and ridiculous house prices). By the time we got back to the hotel I had a really bad headache from all the driving and fell straight into bed!

The next day we stopped off for a Sainsbury's breakfast (which sat nav found with no problems!) and Cadbury world. We had got the tickets with our Tesco vouchers but when you take into consideration the petrol to get there and back and a Travelodge I don't think it was worth the £156! We got a free Curly Wirly, a pack of buttons, a dairy milk and a pot of molten chocolate and that was pretty much it. The only interesting part was seeing the dairy milk being wrapped and boxed.

So Monday I started my new job. Everyone is really nice and it seems to be quite laid back and relaxed here. I do think I'm going to like it! Tonight is their summer party which I am going to so I should get to meet some more people. This morning we went outside to see the unveiling of the new Lloyd's memorial for the 2 World Wars which was good and quite moving, but my view was blocked by a gang of Beefeaters which silly fuzzy hats!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Eniskillen Northern Ireland

After the garden Ollie's dad wanted to go and look at ride on lawn mowers as his seeded lawn is just abut ready to be mowed. As he is loosing so much money on the exchange rates to Euro and things tend to be more expensive in Ireland it made sense to make the trip to Northern Ireland where he could buy in pounds.

We were dropped off at the shopping center so I could go in Next to spend my vouchers as I had been most disgusted to find they had closed the duty free one at Gatwick while they do a big refurb.

I didn't find anything in Next but I did get 2 tops and a magazine in Asda!!!

As we went back to meet Paul and Anna the heavens opened again and we ended up getting soaked.

That night was a trip out to a traditional Irish pub. I had the lamb shank which came with mash with spring onions in it and vegetables complete with traditional Irish red cabbage. Unfortunately I didn't get a Guinness as we I had agreed to have wine and I thought it might be rude to ask for Guinness as well!!

Ollie had steak with Garlic butter which was absolutely gorgeous. My lamb was very good. Huge (you could feed a family of 4 with it!) but I'm not sure it was as good as the one we had at the George at Newnham.

Anna and I had rhubarb crumble and the guys had Toblerone cheesecake both of which were very nice.

After that and coffees it was home to bed as it had been a very long day out in the car. The one problem with Ireland was that it didn't seem to get dark! Well it did at about 11:30pm (when there were no clouds) and it was light well before we were ready to wake up!

A little bit of rain

Tuesday Anna has a course at the Organic garden. Her and a group of ladies are in charge of growing some veg and learning all about organic gardening at the same time.

So Ollie's dad took us out to see some of the sights and then meet up with Anna afterwards.

We went via a pretty village and we did visit a few lookout points but it was raining too hard to get out the car. We had another picnic lunch in the car but again it was raining too much to get out!
Luckily when we met up with Anna it stopped raining for a bit and we were able to explore the gardens