Friday, 29 November 2013
We caught the train up from Tiverton, which was delayed by 15 minutes, then had to walk the entire length of Paddington Station to get to the taxi rank. The taxi hit majorly bad London traffic, even the taxi driver said it wasn't usually that bad. He was very good and weaving in and out and taking us down side roads however, and we managed to arrive only 30 minutes later than we had planned for. Nevertheless, by the time we got through the doors and up the stairs everyone was heading towards the cinema and we didn't even have time for a drink.
Carl and the girls grabbed some popcorn and we followed the crowds to get a seat to watch the film. Kevin Macdonald gave a speech, then the film started.
Afterwards it was back out to the reception and then we did all get drinks. It was lovely, there were waiters wandering round offering nibbles and plenty of liquid refreshment. There were official looking people with cameras who I can only assume were the press. There was a roped off area with a TV camera and lights. We chatted to a few people; one lady who worked on the production of the film, the lady whose children are undoubtably one of the stars of the film - when the dad comes home from Afganistan - and the Irish couple who are going to bed to sleep on Christmas Eve (he took our photo and poured wine over himself in the process). We didn't get to speak to Kevin Macdonald, which was a shame, cos Caitlin would have liked to, but he was a busy man.
We stayed until just gone 9 o'clock, then had to make our way back to catch the train. It was 2 o'clock before we got back home to bed. But Wow! what an experience!
Sunday, 17 November 2013
Thursday, 14 November 2013
I hope this works! This is the advert for Christmas In A Day. Its a film sponsored by Sainsburys and released to YouTube on 29th November. Everyone should see it!!!! The film and the advert.
We submitted footage and are a very small part of the film (not this advert). Ellie can be seen putting the angel on the top of the tree and there is a tiny clip of us pulling crackers. Ellie is also on the shorter Sainsburys adverts which will be aired in the build up to Christmas. Keep your eyes open.
Thursday, 7 November 2013
Bonfire night was at our house this year, and actually held on 5th November. I've just been a bit busy to post. Mum and Dad came in, and Beth, Andrew and Francis, and Adrienne invited Brodie too, so full house. The rain held off long enough for us to get a good display going. As is right and proper - the girls watched while the boys did the lighting of the fireworks. Caitlin chose to stay in the warm conservatory with Willow, who loves fireworks and was desperate to get out and chase them. I love fireworks too.
Saturday, 26 October 2013
The picture above is our company on the last day, about to cross Derry's Bridge, and before we went to see the Turner Prize exhibition. I liked that. The statue of the naked man was interesting, but my favourite was the paintings by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.
Sunday, 20 October 2013
Can you spot the difference in the birthday cakes? No? I'll give you a clue... on one weekend we had no proper candles and I had to resort to using a tea-light candle. My children are so neglected and deprived.
Saturday, 7 September 2013
Well after a while he came home, still with the needle in his foot. It had gone in between his big toe and the next one, and snapped off. He'd had x-rays, blood tests, and an ECG. No one could decide what to do so he was told to go back the next day.
The above photo was taken on Wednesday, after he'd finally had the operation. He is now hobbling around the house in slippers, the left one having been cut open so it fits over the bandages. The stitches come out in just over a week. That'll teach him to put things away when he's finished with them!
Monday, 2 September 2013
Saturday, 31 August 2013
After breakfast we headed for the Anne Frank house, but the sign half way along the queue said '45 mins from this point' so we decided to come back another day. Instead we found the Van Gogh musuem. A lady told us the queue for that was only 45 mins. She lied. We waited 1 hour and 20 mins; by the time we got in our feet were killing us. The paintings were interesting, but Caitlin thought the Dali museum in Spain last year was better - it was more interactive.
We had a late lunch (Subway) in Dam square, did a bit more sight-seeing, went back to the hotel for a bit then it was dinner time. We found a pizza place which was nothing special. Then we went for a walk around the Red Light District. It wasn't yet dark, but there were plenty of ladies standing in thier windows in thier underwear. Caitlin was faintly amused by the whole thing, Ellie didn't know where to look, and Carl said, 'That wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.'
After that we found a bike rental shop where a very abrupt woman served us. We spent two hours cycling around the city streets. Ellie nearly ran someone over, crashed into some tables and chairs whilst pushing her bike, and nearly gave me concussion trying to get her bike out of the place we chained it up when we stopped for a drink. Cycling around Vondel Park was nice. My legs ached by the time we got back though.
We had to check out of hotel no.1 after that and make our way to hotel no.2, the Dutch Design Artemis Hotel, miles out of town and practically at the end of the tram line. It was nice, but too far out really. We went back into the city for dinner that evening, in an Irish pub. We sat outside under the heaters.
On Saturday it was off to Thorpe Park in the rain. We arrived just as the park was opening despite getting lost because the SatNav refused to plan a route to the park. The weather kept some of the crowds away and Carl and the girls didn't have to wait very long for most of the rides all morning. Saw broke down while they were in the queue, although the staff kept announcing that it was shutting for routine maintenance (they weren't fooling anyone), that was the longest wait. Shortly after that we took an early lunch and were glad we had because we'd just sat down with our food when the heavens opened and most of the rest of the crowds at the park piled in after us. When it looked like it was about to stop we nipped out quick and headed for Swarm where there was only a 20min wait instead of the 50mins it had been all morning. The girls rode twice. The only ride I went on was Loggers Leap, and as we were getting on that it began pelting it down with rain again, so not only did I get wet from the ride (they made me sit in the front) I got wet from the rain too. All the other wet rides I might have gone on had massive queues after that so at about 3 o'clock we decided we'd had enough and headed off for our hotel.
Thursday, 22 August 2013
Friday, 9 August 2013
Saturday, 3 August 2013
Sunday, 14 July 2013
Sunday, 23 June 2013
So here they are, dressed like 1950s film stars and personalities. Caitlin looked gorgeous in her dress. I served up a three course meal and me, Carl and Ellie had pizza in the playroom whilst watching episodes of 'Heroes' (Ellie is working her way through the box set). Judging from the raucous laughter coming from the front room, everyone had a good time, although I gather they found it somewhat confusing to start with. Caitlin was the only one to guess the murderer correctly. I blame too much 'Criminal Minds'.
Monday, 3 June 2013
Wednesday, 22 May 2013
This is just a quick note from the Carribean. I am having a lovely time. We went to school today and had red carpet welcome from the children. We have taken a tour of the island and spent some time on various different beaches. I've tried some different rum drinks - well it would have been impolite not to - some were nice, some were not. It has rained everyday! But the sun comes out in between. There are lots of mosquitos and one foot is now twice the size of the other due to bites. Tomorrow I am going on a boat to one of the other islands - wish me luck!
Thursday, 2 May 2013
Thursday, 25 April 2013
Sunday, 14 April 2013
Sunday, 10 March 2013
Finally, after living in this house for nearly 18 years, I have a properly decorated bedroom. When we first moved in I gave the woodchip walls a quick lick of paint, put in a cheap carpet and hung the curtains from my old living room. It's been like that ever since.
This half-term, with Caitlin ski-ing and Adrienne in uni, it was an ideal time to use the free rooms to clear out mine and do it properly. This is what it looks like now, with none of my clutter anywhere and none of Carl's clothes on top of the units where they normally live because he can't be bothered to put them away properly. It won't last. I'm planning on moving most of my clutter back in later today.
Wednesday, 6 March 2013
Sunday, 20 January 2013
Everyone went to bed on Thursday night hoping for snow. When we woke up on Friday morning the whole of England seemed to be covered in it - apart from us! No nice snow day off school, no white stuff at all. It did snow all around us though, so today we escaped the Barnstaple Bubble and headed for Exmoor. No sooner had we gone 2 miles up the road than we found it. We kept going though and went out to Pinkery on the Devon/Somerset border.
Sunday, 13 January 2013
Ellie was disappointed there were no ice cream vans around. Even the hut at the end of the slipway was missing - not just shut, actually not there any more. She had to walk all the way down just to make sure, she wasn't going to take our word for it. She'll do anything for food.
P.S. The air in my house this evening has been very unsavory. Please don't feed my dog so many sausages next time!