Monday, 25 April 2011

Busy Busy Busy School Term for Jamie

The new year got incredibly busy for Jamie very quickly with a few extra activities in his schedule from school.  Jamie has his SATS in May of this year so school are working very hard with many pupils to help them improve and get the results they should be achieving, which resulted in Jamie being very busy for a lot of the week.

He had also been lucky enough to be selected to attend a programme that was being run at the MKDons Stadium in their education centre, so Mondays he didn't get home until 6pm but was full of stories of the ground, what goes on there and who he had met.  Tuesday was Able Writers group and Wednesday Maths group so he wasn't getting home until after 4.30pm on those days too. 

Wednesdays was a quick turn around as we had to be back at school for 5pm for Karate, then another quick change and Scouts at 6.30pm - a very busy evening.

Thursday is a trip to his Guitar Ensemble and Friday is our library evening - so it is a very busy week indeed.  Saturday morning music and drama and rugby on Sundays but it keeps him busy, his brain occupied and his body active.  I always make sure I have a book or magazine in the car to keep my brain occupied whilst I'm waiting for him!!

So in the midst of all of this trying to get his hair cut was a challenge, especially as he had designs on growing it long - I don't think so!  He was allowed to keep it long and moptopesque over Christmas but as soon as we were back into our routine he was off to the hairdressers for a neat boys cut and he looked much better for it too.

Ciao
Sue
XX

Reading challenge 15/16 - currently reading Learn To Be An Optimist by Lucy MacDonald

Church Flowers

There had been a little gap in the church flower rota for J and myself, I hadn't been able to go to the Christmas decoration and arrangements date, but this date was a good date to be in and around Church as I had only recently heard the news of the death of someone of whom I was a huge fan.

When we arrive at Church our first job is to clear up all of the arrangements from the previous weeks and as far as possible re-use anything that can be used, if it fits in with the colour scheme of the week, if not those flowers may be re-used in another part of the church not around the font and altar areas.  We always want to get as much value out of the flowers that we use as possible.

I did the font and the outside pedestal and J the inside pedestal and poor box - I wasn't happy with the font arrangement but it got some lovely feedback so I guess it did the trick.  The feedback we get is always very good so we are making the parishioners happy and that is what we are after.

The Entrance Pedestal - Reusing a lot of the previous week's flowers









Ciao
Sue
XX

Reading challenge 15/16 - currently reading Learn To Be An Optimist by Lucy MacDonald

Flower Club Annual Dinner

One of the first events of the year now is Flower Club Annual Dinner, which is the opportunity for members of the Club and their partners  to all get together for a relaxed evening with some lovely food.  This year the venue for the dinner was The Golf Club on Two Mile Ash, so not too far from home for us and even closer for J and S. 

Whilst we had a lovely time last year at a different venue, the room this time was perfect and so well lit, last time it was a little dark.  We were also sat at several round tables which always helps the conversation flow.  The meal was lovely and just about every bit of it was well cooked and tasty.  Mike and I both started with Chicken terrine which was very nice and the soup got the thumbs up from others who had that on our table.  Mike had beef which was  super, I had herb crusted lamb which was lovely if a little fatty.  Dessert was fantastic, chocolate mousse, the other choices of crumble or fruit salad also looked lovely, in fact the crumble was huge and looked as though it would easily serve at least two.

As always our gang walked away with a raffle prize, this time Mike who won a flower arrangement (strange that) which was in a fantastic container, an integral candle holder and space around it for plants or an arrangement, that is going into my flower container collection for future use!

A lovely evening, pleasant surroundings, great food and fantastic friends.

Ciao
Sue
XX

Reading challenge 15/16 - currently reading Learn To Be An Optimist by Lucy MacDonald

A Christmas Carol at The Stables

As part of our Christmas tradition we always try to get to The Stables and this year was no exception we saw an amazing production of A Christmas Carol with actors and puppets and the most amazing music you would ever hear.

The Strangeface Theatre Company are a mixture of actors and puppets and they work together in a wonderful and enchanting way to tell Dickens Christmas story.  The puppets reflect the grotesqueness of the story with the actors themselves wearing masks too.  The set was clever and used to its maximum effect to tell the whole story with 4 actors and 1 musician.  As always a wonderful magical event - The Stables never seems to let us down with its choice of Christmas productions.

Ciao
Sue
XX

Reading challenge 15/16 - currently reading Learn To Be An Optimist by Lucy MacDonald

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Happy New Year!

So I have finally made it into the New Year - hooray - so belatedly I would like to wish one and all a very Happy New Year and I hope the year brings a lot of what you need and a little of what you want.

Ciao
Sue
XX

Reading challenge 15/16 - currently reading Learn To Be An Optimist by Lucy MacDonald

Pantomime Time

Dick Whittington at Milton Keynes Theatre - Christmas Eve
It is our tradition now that we go to the Christmas Eve pantomime and despite the snow, this year would be no exception.  We hadn't got tickets for Mike as he was due to be working - but had been sent home from work ill that morning (they wanted him well for Christmas morning) - so it was to be just Jamie and I.  I knew my friend J was going to be there with children and grandchildren and thought I would keep an eye out for them but wouldn't have been suprised if I missed them.  We saw them which was lovely, lots of hugs and kisses and lovely to meet her grandchildren. 
They were sat in a similar part of the theatre to us it turned out but J and S headed in, Jamie and I followed a couple of minutes later only to spot a couple of spare seats near where J and her family were sat.  What a coincidence we were sat next to them- couldn't quite believe it!! but jolly lovely it was too.
The panto was Dick Whittington which was a change for MK so I was eagerly looking forward to sharing a whole new experience with Jamie.  It was good in all of its aspects - costumes, staging, lighting, etc all worked well but there was something missing - it just seemed to lack that extra little bit of  pazzazz that the panto has had for some time here in MK (we were lucky to have Bradley Walsh for 2 or 3 years on the trot who was brilliant).
There were some stars past and present - Dirk Benedict - Face from the A Team, Joanna Page from Gavin and Stacey, Shona Lindsay who appeared to have been in most of the famous musicals doing the rounds, Graham Hoadly as the Dame, Tucker was Dick and Stavros Flately.  Dirk Benedict tried hard but just didn't quite pull it off as the baddie - he was too nice, Joanna Page and Tucker were no more than average and Shona Lindsay good but not outstanding.  Graham Hoadly was good as the Dame but then its difficult to get a panto dame wrong and perhaps the biggest cheer of the night went to Stavros Flately (making hay whilst the sun shines and who can blame them).

There was nothing wrong with the show, but there was something missing too.  The real highlights were the 3D section which brought a new dynamic to panto and Stavros Flately who were genuinely funny.  Hope next years is more up to MK standards.


Ciao
Sue
XX
Reading challenge 15/16 - currently reading Learn to Be An Optimist by Lucy MacDonald

Christmas Flower Arranging

It was time for another visit to 'The Monday Club' I'll call it from now on, to do some Christmas arrangements and this was going to be lots of fun, the members of the group really could let their hair down and use lots of Christmassy embellishments such as candles, baubles, cranberries, cones and tons of ribbon.  And they did, they all seemed to have a really great time and made some pretty arrangements to take home.
It's a busy session but lots of fun, especially with dogs there too, the cake was again amazing and overall it was a very enjoyable afternoon.


Ciao
Sue
XX

Reading challenge 15/16 - Learn to Be An Optimist by Lucy MacDonald

Christmas

So Christmas arrived and for the first time we had a family Christmas with the three of us and we had a lovely day.  Mike had to work for the early part of the day, so Jamie and I got up and got ourselves ready and whilst he readied himself to open what Santa had left I continued with preparations for our meal. 
Jamie with his Santa Sack
I have to say that Jamie was a total star because he waited until his Daddy was home before ransacking his sack from Santa and that takes some doing as he did not get chance to open his presents until about 2pm so well done Jamie.
Mike getting ready for filming - Christmas and Birthdays never to be missed
Once he began opening his presents he found that Santa had been very generous, he had brought him lots of games for his X-box and he also brought him a Kinnect for the xbox too.  He got a skateboard, a rugby ball, some clothes, lots of books and several other things too as well as lots of money from aunties and uncles.
Present for Mike and I (a smartphone or 3 up there as soon as we saw how cool the one Jamie wanted was we got another two - one for Mike and one for me!!)
Dinner was a joy, totally scrumptious and we all sat back full of food and wine to enjoy the Christmas Day Doctor Who, which was a little lacklustre in my opinion.  We pottered about with our presents and bits for the rest of the evening and then as the Ashes were on tuned in for the start of the Boxing Day Test Match from the MCG - Melbourne Cricket Ground - and me well I was counting the time until I get the chance to watch a Boxing Day Test Match there for real!!
Jamie was enjoying his day


Ciao
Sue
XX

Reading challenge 15/16 - currently reading Learn to be an Optimist by Lucy MacDonald

Friday, 22 April 2011

Flower Club - December - Christmas Spectacular


Christmas flower club came around and we moved venue to the bigger Catholic Church Hall and the demonstrator was a very funny lady called Glenis Smith and these are her wonderful Christmas designs, each one representing an aspect of Christmas past or present and all equally stunning in their individual ways.



Her roses were stunning and the above arrangement mixed fresh and dried, some sprayed too.

This arrangement was to represent the Christmas fruit bowl, overflowing with lots of Christmas goodies.


Ciao
Sue
XX
Reading challenge 15/16 -Learn to be an Optimist by Lucy MacDonald

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Christmas Scrapbooking Crop

The Christmas scrapbooking crop is always good fun as we have an extra special meeting with extra special treats.  We had all agreed what we would bring to the crop at the last one and I was due to make and bring a quiche, there were some other lovely treats too, all yummy and all very bad for you too.

M brought some chipboard coasters and asked if everyone there would scrap one for her on a Christmas theme so she could make it into a book so here are my efforts which I was actually quite pleased with.  As always it is fascinating to see how everyone comes up with such different and wonderful interpretations upon a theme.  The papers I used were from a HOTP pad and worked lovely on the small scale of a coaster.

I didn't really get too much else done, too much talking and too much nibbling to be very prolific this month.  We also had a secret Santa and I got a calendar to scrap and some embellishments to go with which were blue, which is a colour I favour as I do so many layouts about Jamie.  A really enjoyable crop.


Ciao
Sue
XX
Reading challenge 15/16 - currently reading Learn to be an Optimist by Lucy MacDonald

Monday, 18 April 2011

SNOW!

So the snow caught us out again!!  This year the snow gave us all some excitement leading up to Christmas, thankfully we were all organised with the exception of a handful of Christmas cards (which luckily were the ones which we hand deliver) and a couple of bits from the shop.  Jamie and then Mike both had bugs leading into Christmas - Jamie quickly recovered from his but Mike was laid low for a good few days.  When the snow came down he was still unwell so Jamie and I got ourselves wrapped  and booted up and headed off to the local shop, delivering the last few Christmas cards en route.

video
We stopped and had a good chat with one set of friends on the way to the shop, as we had lots to catch up on due to quite a shocking event for us all with one of their family, an event which has left everyone shocked, saddened and hoping that it will all resolve itself in the future.  Jamie and I stocked up on bread, milk and powered milk in case the milk man didn't get round to us before Christmas, we had taken a rucksack with us to help us carry it home and then we knew we had all the provisions we needed for Christmas itself.

On the way back we caught up with another set of friends, had a good chat and then it was home, to lock ourselves away in the warmth and hope that Mike could shake off his bug before Christmas Day itself.

Ciao
Sue
XX

Reading challenge 15/16 - currently reading Learn to be an Optimist by Lucy MacDonald

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Doug Aldrich .......

I rarely post anything quite as quickly as this but tonight (14th April, 2011) a dream of mine came true.  I got to meet Doug Aldrich.  I have been a long time fan of Whitesnake - some 30 years  and have loved their music and have for a long time carried a torch for David Coverdale.  But some 5 years ago I saw Whitesnake, at the Summer Pops in Liverpool and saw their amazing guitarist - Doug Aldrich and fell head over heels - he became my pin up and DC oh well - he's just the singer. 

So why the post tonight - because tonight I met Doug, I got the opportunity to see him doing one of his Marshall PA's here in MK - literally 5 minutes down the road.  I asked him a question during the QandA and got my photo taken, got a hug and a kiss - a dream come true.  Love you Doug - XXX.

Ciao

Sue
XX

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Mike's Christmas Decorations

And so we reached the time in the Christmas preparations when Mike put up his Christmas decorations.  Our deal is that he can do whatever he wants outside as long as inside he leaves well alone, and leaves all the internal Christmas decor to me.  Why is that I hear you ask, well Mike likes all of the outside decorations, you know the ones the light up, flash, bling and if he could get away with it ring and play Christmas carols too!!  For Mike the bigger, the brighter, the more it flashes the better!!

I have over the years got a little more used to and more tolerant of them, I suppose so here are some pictures of this year's display.  Sadly Mike lost a couple due to the extreme weather conditions of Christmas 2009/2010 and he also lost a couple this year too, so his stash was somewhat depleted when he put it away!!  But they do look bright and welcoming!!








Ciao
Sue
Reading challenge 15/16 - currently reading Twilight by Stephanie Meyer (not off my reading challenge)

Christmas Flower Arranging Demonstration at Earls Barton, Northants

Despite the bad weather leading up to Christmas and plenty of germs doing the rounds in the house, I headed over to Earls Barton with some other flower arranging ladies for a Christmas demonstration by two Nafas National Demonstrators and another Nafas demonstrator, it was called 'Aspects of Christmas - Three Wise Men' as all the demonstrators were men - Lee Berrill, John Chennel and ?? (sorry).  The arrangements were all stunning, of course and there was a lovely tea provided for us afterwards too.  So onto the important bit the photos .....












Ciao
Sue
Reading challenge 15/16 - currently reading Twilight by Stephanie Meyer (not off my reading challenge)
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