Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Daybook for Tuesday 26th February

FOR TODAY

Outside my window... it is cold and grey. I'm hoping we don't get any rain, though.

I am thinking... about an old friend of my husband's - I know him too, but not as well - who's been struggling with cancer for almost a year now.  He's currently in a local hospice and may well not come home.  I think Greg's hoping to visit him this evening or tomorrow, so I'm praying about that.

I am thankful... for the polyanthus coming up in the garden.  They look so lovely and cheerful, they always make me smile.

In the kitchen... I have all the bits and pieces ready to make up a bottle of milk for the baby I'm looking after when she awakes.

I am wearing... denim skirt and pale blue twinset.

I am creating... I've been working on a white baby cardigan for the past week or so.  I finally got round to sewing up the blue one on Sunday, so the gifts box now contains two baby cardigans, one pink and one blue - I've got a friend due to give birth this weekend, and I'm ready for whatever the baby turns out to be.

I am going... to go for a walk this afternoon after we've enjoyed some tea and cake.

I am wondering... how much longer the baby will sleep.  I suspect I've got about ten minutes left before she wakes up for her milk, and then some lunch.

I am reading... At Home in Thrush Green, by Miss Read.

I am hoping... for a quiet morning tomorrow - it's the only break in the activity for several days.

I am looking forward to... I've got a friend coming round in a couple of hours to share some of the cake I made at the weekend.
Around the house... this morning's cleaning didn't get done because I had to go into the office to do some payroll stuff.  I don't think it looks too bad, yet, and hopefully it won't look too dreadful by the time the nine-month-old visitor has eaten lunch and played with toys all afternoon.

I am pondering... whether or not I should plan a Sunday school lesson for this week.  Officially I'm not on duty, but the lady who is has been ill for over a week now, and hasn't responded to my email asking if she'd like me to take over from her yet.  I suspect I should just plan it and hope she's not offended.

A favorite quote for today... "Kindle in our hearts, O God, the flame of that love which never ceases, that it may burn in us, giving light to others."  This was quoted (from Columba) in our daily Bible reading notes this morning.

One of my favorite things... daffodils.  I have a lovely sunshiny bunch on the kitchen windowledge at the moment, a thank you gift from last week, and I love looking at them while I wash the dishes.

A few plans for the rest of the week: School tomorrow afternoon, homegroup tomorrow evening, hearing aid maintenance course starts on Thursday, and I've also got craft group on Thursday and babysitting in the evening, and on Friday it's the cafe for the old folks and youth group as well.  On Saturday we're off to our camp reunion with a couple of the youngsters.

A peek into my day...
Mocha marble cake with white chocolate ganache icing - scrummy!  I made this at the weekend.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Daybook for Monday 11th February

Outside my window... it's been bitterly cold today.  In fact, it was snowing when I set out this morning for the chapel, and even with thick cycling gloves my fingers were practically numb before I got there.  Thankfully, the snow neither continued for long nor settled, and despite the cold there are lots of signs of spring - snowdrops, aconites, daffodils poking their shoots up through the earth....

I am thinking... about kitchens.  I'm trying to decide whether it would be possible to fit more storage cabinets into our tiny kitchen, though I suspect the upheaval of doing it would be more than it warranted.  I spent Friday at IKEA with my mother looking at kitchens and it was fascinating.

I am thankful... that the meeting Greg was supposed to be going to today has been cancelled.  It's so lovely to be home together in the evening.  He's sitting across from me at the moment, listening to some music and reading a guidebook to the Botanic Gardens. 

In the kitchen... tea this evening was chicken wrapped in proscuitto, jacket potatoes, cabbage with garlic and chilli, followed by pancakes with lemon and sugar.

I am wearing... jeans and a pink cardigan.

I am creating... another baby cardigan, white this time, for the gifts box which I started knitting last night.  I'm also making a small family of knitted chicks that cover creme eggs, which I think it will be fun to have out in a basket come Easter time..

I am going... to see Les Miserables tomorrow evening with some friends from church.

I am reading... I'm sort of between books at the moment.  I'm reading a very uninspiring volume about teaching children to read, but it's not really appropriate to the limited involvement I have at hte school.

I am hoping... to get through enough chores to go swimming tomorrow morning, as I'm not sure when else I'll have an opporutnity this week.

I am looking forward to... my corner plant stand arriving in a few weeks.  I've had my eye on it in the Coopers catalogue for a while, and have finally given in.  I think it'll look lovely outside the front door, and it will be fun buying lots of bedding plants to adorn it with.

Around the house... the dining table is rather wet after I had to wash it.  Lemon and sugar pancakes are messy things to eat....

One of my favorite things... going on cycle rides.  I do some of my best thinking when cycling or swimming.

A few plans for the rest of the week: another toddler group tomorrow morning, then babysitting ofr the afternoon.  Cinema trip Tuesday evening.  On Wednesday I've got to go into the office again to do a bit of computer training for the boss, and we've got a curry evening planned at a friends house.  Thursday it's craft group day, and on Friday I've got my quilting group in the morning and the elderly ladies' cafe in the afternoon.  We're seeing at least one set of friends on Tuesday for a meal at the Orchard in Grantchester..

A peek into my day...

 
This is my bicycle that my parents bought me for my 30th birthday last year.  I love riding it!  And I really love the fact that I can stuff all my random shopping in the box and the basket (in the picture I've got a swimming bag in the box and a small shrub for the garden in the basket).

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Saturday in London

On Saturday we had arranged to go into London to meet up with some of Greg's university friends to celebrate a 40th birthday, so we decided to make a day of it.  If we're going to fork out for a train fare, we might as well get our money's worth from it.  Of course, it being January, most of the interesting houses in the area are still shut for the winter, and there weren't any exhibitions on at the galleries and museums that took our fancy, so we went out to Morden Hall Park, near Wimbledon, instead.

The snow and was just starting to melt when we left home in the morning, and although I think there had been more in London, there was very little left when we got there, just lots of slush and mud.  Morden Hall Park was a lovely place to walk around and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
 
We even got to see a few of the parakeets (ring-necked, I think) that live wild in London, as there were several in the park.  I heard of them, but never seen them before, so that was fun!  They escaped from captivity many moons ago and now breed and live successfully in the wild.
 

Morden Hall Park stretches over the tramline and has a "City Farm" in it at the perimeter, which we enjoyed visiting.  There were chickens and turkeys, goats, alpacas, ponies, ducks, rabbits and ferrets and even a tame owl living there, and it was all free to look around.  The only downside was the slush mixed with the mud alongside the stream seemed to have attracted dozens of midges, and I've been scratching bite marks on my neck ever since Sunday morning....


Then, as it got dark, we headed back into London and walked around until it was time to meet our friends for dinner.  This is a picture of Shakepeare's Globe Theatre lit up in the twilight.  One day I'd love to look round it and maybe even see a play, but it's a bit pricy and not something we'd do on the spur of the moment.

 And, of course, Tower Bridge lit up at night is quite a marvellous sight!

 
We had a good day and evening, but weren't home until about midnight, which is rather late to my way of thinking.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Daybook for Monday 28th January

 
Outside my window... there is no sign of any snow or ice!  I can get my bicycle out again and not be frightened to leave the front door.

I am thankful... for all the activity of the weekend.  I'm starting the week exhausted, but it was fun.  We went to London on Saturday and had dinner with some of Greg's college friends, and yesterday evening we went to a classical concert in Cambridge. 

In the kitchen... I made a rhubard, orange and ginger loaf yesterday afternoon, which is yummy.  I'm planning to make pizza with pepperoni, pepper, mushrooms and onions for tea, followed by semolina pudding and stewed apricots.

I am wearing... brown trousers and a pink cardigan.

I am creating... a blue stripy baby cardigan for my box of gifts to have ready for new babies.  Three sets of our friends are expecting babies in the next few months.

I am going... to Little Hopper and then to the school to listen to year 1 children reading.

I am wondering... what the best order of tasks for the rest of the day should be.  Should I try and get the bins emptied before I go out (which will be a terrible rush) or will there be time after I get back which the pizza dough rises?

I am reading... Out to Canaan by Jan Karon

I am hoping... for another good afternoon with the baby I look after on Thursday afternoons.  She's about eight months old, and I've had her an afternoon a week for about three months now, and she's got terrible separation anxiety and screams when she's dropped off.  I haven't been able to put her down at all the whole afternoon until the last couple of weeks, but last week was fantastic.  She sat playing on the floor and I sat next to her with my knitting, we looked at books and played with the mirror and she even consented to eat her lunch and not strew it round the kitchen in distress.  I really hope we've turned a corner at last.

I am looking forward to... having dinner with my mother on Thursday evenings, when both Greg and my dad will be out.

Around the house...
I still need to sort out and get rid of the Christmas card checklist that's been hanging around for over a month now....

One of my favorite things... doing random word puzzles.  I've been enjoying doing the puzzles on this website over the past week.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Toddler groups today and tomorrow, school today and Wednesday, going into the office tomorrow afternoon, babysitting Thursday afternoon, and an old ladies tea party on Friday.

A peek into my day...

Greg bought me these flowers at the weekend, and I love having them on the dining table.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Snow

It's been a long time since I felt like blogging, and I've no idea why, or why I feel like it today.

This is this year's Christmas jigsaw puzzle, which we finished putting together on Sunday afternoon while the real snow fell.  I like the puzzle, but I'm not enamoured of the real thing at all.  (Of course, if anyone is reading this from a place where they actually get real snow, they'll be laughing their heads off at this point....)  We've had about two/three inches of snow, which is thankfully beginning to melt now, but it's all compacted and icy.  I fell over three times going to and from Messy Play yesterday morning, ending us shaking and in tears by the time I got home.  I can see why old ladies refuse to leave their homes for weeks on end in the snow.

In other news:
  • I bought a couple of board games from a charity shop last Thursday and Greg and I played Word Yahtzee together on Sunday evening.  It's fun, I don't know why we haven't played games together before. 
  • I'm restocking my supplies of baby cardigans to give as gifts; I finished a pink one at the weekend and started a blue stripy one yesterday evening, while watching the beginning of series 2 of Call the Midwife.

  • Yesterday morning I saw I fieldfare cowering under a shrub at the bottom of the garden, which was lovely.  I don't think we've ever had them in the garden before.  There are lots of normal birds, though: blue tits and great tits, blackbirds and starlings, thrushes and sparrows and dunnocks.
  • I bought a lovely random cookery book from the Leprosy Mission for £1 when I was buying cheap Christmas cards to save for next year, and it arrived last weekend.  It's basically a printing of all the recipes someone collected over her lifetime, and most of them are named after the friends who gave the recipes to her.  I'm really looking forward to trying some of them out, probably starting with the prune cake if I can borrow a ring-shaped tin from my Mum.
I think that's about all I've got to say right now, so I'd better go and get dressed if I'm going to get anything done this morning before I go off to the school after lunch.  I'm listening to readers from year 2 this afternoon, and then it's Bible Club with years 4 and 5 after school.  I'm really enjoying all the things I can do now I'm not working, but I'm not finding I have any more spare time.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Daybook for 10th September 2012

 
FOR TODAY

Outside my window... it was lovely sunny, so I hung the washing out.  Then it started to drizzle, so I brought it in.  Looks like one of those days.

I am thinking... about one of my friends who is going up before a matching panel regarding a future adoption today.  Praying for her and her family.

I am thankful... for the glorious weather and days out we enjoyed over the weekend.

In the kitchen... at the moment, nothing.  But I shall cook a courgette crumble for tea.

I am wearing... black skirt and a green t-shirt.

I am creating... still knitting on my sock.  Would really like to get round to some quilting this week.

I am going... to the mum's and toddlers group at church shortly, and then hopefully to a local farm shop to get some apples.

I am wondering... whether I'll actually get everything done I want to get done today.

I am reading... The Camel Bookmobile,  by a name I can't remember. I'm not sure whether I like it or not, but I need to return it to the library on Wednesday.

I am hoping... I can manage the cycle ride to the chapel this morning, as my legs are still shaking after the long ride yesterday.

I am looking forward to... seeing some old friends for dinner on Saturday evening, and their little girl who is over a year old now and we haven't seen in nearly six months.

Around the house... I need to do the weekly housecleaning when I get back at lunchtime.  The floor is covered in crumbs.

I am pondering... my Sunday school lesson plan for next week - we're doing the story of the passover and I'd love to try and act it out with the children, as they tend to remember those sorts of lessons better.

One of my favorite things... eating supper outside on the patio together.  We managed both Saturday and Sunday this weekend, but suspect that may be it for the year.

A few plans for the rest of the week: not so much on this week.  I'm going to the office and to a quilters meeting on Wednesday, and we've got a friend coming for supper on Thursday.

A peek into my day...


Our dining table with the yellow roses I bought from the supermarket last week.

Adventures on my Bicycle

The buses from where we live into the middle of Cambridge are really good, but they're not that brilliant if you want to go anywhere else.  Such as, for example, the village where our chapel is.  So I've dug out my little-used bicycle and have been trying to use it more since stopping full-time work.

I've discovered that on the bike it takes only 10-15 minutes to get to the chapel (rather than 25-30 on foot), and that I can make it to one of the local swimming pools in about half an hour (no quicker than getting the bus to the other pool, but this pool is quieter and I think I prefer it). 

Following on from a couple of weeks using the bike in such utilitarian ways, this weekend I tried it out for longer recreational journeys. On Saturday Greg was participating with some colleagues in the Cambridge Dragon Boat Festival, so I cycled out to Fen Ditton Meadows with my mum to watch. It was a gloriously sunny day and the atmosphere there was really good. There were 48 teams (each with 10-12 people there), as well as a sizeable number of spectators, and there were gazebos littering the banks of the river with people barbecuing dinner for themselves. There were also a few food vans there, so those of us (like me and my mum) who'd forgotten to bring any sandwiches could buy some lunch (though I don't think the van selling pie mash and mushy peas did much business as it was such a sunny day). Greg's team was in three heats, and they didn't go through to the semi-finals but we weren't really expecting them to. 
Greg's first race with the crowds onshore behind

Greg's team's second race - they're in the middle of the cluster here

There were various bizarre Chinese-themed entertainments on during the day as well - a traditional "lion dance" and some generic Chinese dancing, so I watched them although I didn't really understand them.
Lion Dance
Chinese dancing
Then, on Sunday morning over breakfast we were discussing the dahlias at Anglesey Abbey and what we should do next Saturday, which seems to be unexpectedly free, when we realised that the sunny weather of the weekend may not hold, and decided to go after the morning worship service.  It's a good forty-five minutes cycle to get there (and longer coming back as the incline is against us).  We had time for a couple of hours there before we had to leave and enjoyed wandering around the grounds.  The dahlias were spectacular as usual, but the wildflower meadow and the various avenues of trees were also lovely to walk around and sit in.




I'm now trying to work out whethere there is anywhere else we could get to by bicycle.  There's a country park the other side of town that might be manageable - there used to be a bus we could get but it no longer runs so we haven't been in a while.  But I really want to get a basket for the bike so I can carry stuff without weighing my back down with the rucksack.