Sunday, August 21, 2011

Finished Lounge

We finally got round to putting the new blinds up in the lounge. Unfortunately when we opened the box with the big rail we were missing all of the component parts. Luckily I called on Monday morning and the new bits were delivered Tuesday with no argument about the fact that it had been 4 months since they were delivered.

It looks so much nicer with clean blinds rather than the old manky ones.

I also have my new fish tank all set up and ready. Ollie got it for me for my birthday. It's growing fish friendly bacteria at the moment, but it will definitely be ready for some fish before my birthday.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

What's wrong with these people?

Watching the news last night with all the rioting in Croydon along with the awful fires was bad enough. We had also been following twitter to keep up with all the scaremongering, attempting to incite people as well as updates on where had been hit (there is only so much the BBC and Sky News helicopters can cover)

Our area kept being mentioned, but as they had suspended all transport in and out the area it seemed unlikely to materialise. Unfortunately we were wrong and at just gone 3am this morning the thugs managed to set fire to the co-op in our parade of shops. (There was also reports of the Lidl being hit but that looked fine). The chicken place had their shutters ripped off and the glass panel in the door kicked out. The good news is that this seems to be the extent of the damage - our local independent stores seem to be ok. Martin's the newsagents is alright which is good as they only just replaced the whole of the front of their shop after a ram raid at the beginning of the year.

When Ollie headed off to work just after 5:30 this morning he came face to face with 6 fire engines including one from Northolt some 27 miles away. All the trams were suspended (the track and overhead lines caught fire at Reeves corner where the furniture shop burnt down in the town centre anyway so I doubt they would have been running a normal service anyway)

There were a LOT of angry people out when I had a wonder down for some fresh air and to see if I had any hope of getting a gift voucher for Sebastian's birthday tomorrow (I am off sick with Gastritus, never have I been so glad to be sick so I didn't have to worry about fighting my way into work). These angry people included a lot of angry young people who don't want to be associated with the trouble makers and a worrying large quantity of people with very scary looking dogs! I'm worried that if it kicks off tonight there will be an angry mob waiting to 'sort 'em aauut' as I overheard one particularly scary looking bunch claim. I can't say that I blame them and yes, we should stand up to these people but I can only see this making the police's job even harder and leading to more casualties, more problems for A&E and less access for the fire brigade when the fires are started.

Anyway, here are the ugly scenes - the flats above ARE residential and they are occupied. I sincerely hope that everyone made it out ok.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Camping with the Keebles

The weekend before last saw us packing up our camping gear and heading off to sunny Folkestone for a weekend away with Gemma, Marc, the boys at the site where Ian and Carole have a static caravan. We had added several pieces to our camping gear to make us more self sufficient including a camping stove, kettle, table and funky new moon chairs.

The weekend didn't get off to the best start as I was almost taken out on the M20 by a foreign lorry and unfortunately the postcode for the campsite doesn't actually take you to the location of the campsite when you plug it into your satnav. After a couple of phone calls to Gemma and several wrong turnings I finally arrived! Ollie caught the high speed train after work and me and Gemma picked him up from the station after a trip to Sainsburys for essentials. (Chocolate buttons and cake!)

The site was lovely. Nothing like I was expecting. When Ollie told me that the campsite was halfway up a cliff I was really worried. We've done camping by the sea with no protection from the wind and it wasn't fun! But this was completely different. The site was broken up into tiny areas on loads of different levels, all protected by trees and shrubs and felt very private. The views were amazing.

Friday night we pitched our tent and had a very nice BBQ. Unfortunately the guys pitched just above us also had a very nice BBQ and a few bevvies and were making noise until gone 3am! Then the boys got up at just after 5 so all in all very little sleep was had.

We were still determined to make the most of the day though and packed up our picnic and headed off to the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch railway. I hadn't been since I was small and there were lots that I hadn't seen.

We went in the model railway at New Romney and then hopped on the train to Dungeness.

We thoroughly upset some miserable old bid by getting in a carriage with her and she huffed about it all the way to Dungeness before trying to get out before the train had stopped, managing to shut her head in the door as she did so!

We stayed on the train back to New Romney to eat our picnic in the play park.

It was then back on the train towards Hythe. We decided that we didn't want to spend the extra 40 minutes on the train for 20 minutes watching the turntable so got off at Dymchurch leaving Ian, Carole and Zach on the train. We spent a fun 45 minutes putting 2ps in the machines in the amusement arcade. Harvey managed to win the phone charm I had been working on.

Then it was off to the beach. We hadn't got any beach gear so we sat and had a drink and a snack and the boys went off with Marc and Ollie to play long jump across the breakwater. I had to have a go as well but managed to loose my sunnies on my first jump and stamped on them while trying to avoid them. Luckily the sand was soft and they just sunk, no damage done.

Donkeys on the beach

Once we had meet Ian, Carole and Zach it was time to hop back on the train and go home for our fish and chips for tea. We walked off our fish and chip supper by a climb to the top of the cliff. It was quite hard going as it is quite steep in places, but the views from the top were amazing.

It's a long way up!

While we were out some Eastern Europeans had moved into the pitch next door and we were a bit worried about all the coolers full of beer and the giant fire pit. However, there was nothing to worry about as they went to bed quite early and as the owners of the site had a quiet word in the ear of the noisy lads it was a very peaceful night all round.

Sunday we had decided to go and get some exercise, so after we had packed up our pitch we headed off to the tennis courts. Marc and I won the first set and the second set was called a draw after we were tied on games and the last game kept going from advantage to deuce and back again. Ollie, Gem and I left the others to go for a round of golf while we headed to Sainsburys for more picnic supplies.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Baby Finley

Baby Finley was born at 8pm on Friday 15th July after a long labour. Weighing in at 7lbs 3 he's a little cutie. His feet don't even reach the end of his baby grow bless him.

We had to wait a week before we could visit as Paul was visiting from Ireland and had the car but it was well worth the wait.

He seemed to like cuddles with his auntie Kelly (he cried a bit when I had to hand him back to Grandma so I could drink my tea)

Laura assures me that he loves the elephant that I made for him. The elephant will have to wait for a name as I've said that Finley has to name it when he is big enough. Plus they have to keep it well away from Bailey dog in case he thinks it belongs to him!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Ice Cream on the Common

Ian kindly arranged tickets for the Ben and Jerry's Sundae on the Common festival at Clapham Common.

Luckily it coincided with Nigel's leave from the ship and was a great opportunity for us all to get together and celebrate his recent engagement to Sarah. Congratulations guys!

We got there just as the doors opened at 12, but decided not we wouldn't risk the festival food and headed to the pub for lunch instead. I think we might have been better off with the festival food as Sarah had paella a bit later on as she didn't fancy the pub food and it looked much better than the overpriced sandwiches we had in the pub.

We helped ourselves to free ice cream when we went in for our desert as the queues weren't too long. They had lots of ice cream tents with different flavours so one of the first jobs was to scout out which flavours were in what locations!

We then sat down on Nigel's picnic rug to listen to the music. We weren't too sure about the African music at the start or even Steve Craddock. But Ash and Ocean Colour Scene were excellent and we even saw James Buckley (Jay from the Inbetweeners) play with Steve Craddock and OCS.

Nigel had a nap and as nobody had a sharpie handy for a fake 'tash and we made him a Madonna bra out of ice cream wrappers!

The queues for ice cream got longer and longer and we had to queue for over half an hour for the cookie dough ice cream! I did manage to get 7 while I was there though (1 for everybody, not 7 just for me!) by telling the ice cream server that I had left the kids outside the tent!!!

The day was rounded off nicely by a trip to gourmet burger which I must say was one of the best we've had.