Friday, 18 January 2013


Well its true to say that we have had more than a little bit of the white stuff today!  Yippee!!  We have had so much fun today.  Snow balls, attempted snowman (failed as the snow was too dry), hot chocolate, DVD's and playing with toys.

Mini Man is totally transfixed by icicles.  He really is resisting every effort that I'm making in explaining that ice melts.  Poor chap has his heart broken on an almost hourly basis. 

So pretty.  The long suffering rose bush in my garden.  Clearly planted by a tenant many moons ago and been left to fun riot ever since.  I must make an effort to tame it this year.  Its over 9ft tall!

Oh how very appropriate!!!  Its a bit of snow.  The world is not ending.  Be sensible, take your time and you'll be fine and dandy.
My Moo dog.  Its the heaviest snow that she's known in her little life.  I've never seen her happier.

The view from my upstairs window.  There is a village over there somewhere!

Injection of colour very much required today.  Working on a cover for my new hot water bottle.

Brew stop!  Such a busy day, needed a break.

I have the best recipe for using up bananas that are past their best.  Search for the BBC Banana Muffin recipe.  Super yummy.  My trusty phone doubling up as my cook book!  Please note the scales, a very romantic christmas gift from my hubby!

Amaryllis as promised.  Growing at a rapid rate of knots.

Must absolutely always have flowers in the house.  The place feels very sterile without them.  I have very few actual vases but a wonderful collection of jam jars bedecked with ribbons and crochet collars.

Banana muffins, the end result!  Very yummy as breakfast or a pudding when warmed up and smothered in custard.

Finally, mini man presents me with treasure!!  Such a shame, I was growing that one.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013


So the count down to the husband coming home with a kit bag full of washing has begun.  I should be running round like a mad loon possessed getting the house ready but the boring truth is that I've been that organised that its pretty much up together.  I did think about having a hot date with the ironing pile tonight but I'm honestly pooped so I plumped for an evening on the sofa with a G&T and a bag of revels.  Yummy.

Super cold here at the moment (by UK standards).  Last night was due to get down to -9 degrees C.  Which I accept in Russian is positively balmy.  In the UK its enough to send us mad!  We instantly run about bulk buying bread and milk, roads become impassable and schools close at an alarming rate.  My thoughts immediately turned to my lovely piggies.  Thats just too cold for any pet.  Action stations!!  Box located and a new home was found in the downstairs loo of all places.  Heres the thing, my husband is actually a very clever chap.  There he is 7500miles away and still being helpful.  "Use the fire guard lover", he said.  God bless the Army, providing us with such items even though its been in the cupboard for 6 months.  Voila..........................

Perfect emergency piggy home for Jeff and Bungle.  Safely in our storage cupboard, nice and snug but not to warm, peaceful and not likely to cause death by freezing.

Crafty news!!!  I decided that I must have a new set of russian dolls in my life but that these should be crocheted.  I can report that the crochet has now been completed and that I'm now on to the felt work.

I also treated myself to a new Hyacinth and Amaryllis.  I promise to take some photos of them tomorrow.  They are delightful and they haven't even flowered yet.  Such a heart lifting moment when these plants start hitting the shops.  It means that spring is on its way!!!!  It signifies the end of the short dark days.  Don't get me wrong, I love the short dark days that allow us to snuggle and wrap up warm but there does come a time when the excitement of new life and the promise of new colour and vibrance is very much the order of the day.

Looking forward to the promise of 10cm of snow on friday.  I can say that I'm looking forward to it as its my day off from the kitchen and I don't have to travel anywhere.  If you don't have to travel in the up coming weather, DONT.  If you do have to travel make sure you have a fully charged phone, blankets,  a flask of a warm drink, shovel, warning triangle and old carpets pieces to increase traction beneath your tyres.  Yes I know thats all very grown up advice but the district nurse in me is issuing a lecture to my staff.  I have dusted the sledge off, got the wellies ready and will be moving my car off of the road to prevent those who have no idea what so ever, sliding all over the place and parking in the side of my car.

Have fun and brace for photos!

Saturday, 5 January 2013

cabin fever

So we've gone from being back to normal to cabin fever in a matter of days.  Deepest joy.  The weather hasn't helped at all.  Its neither rainy nor sunny but it has been grey and generally miserable.  We've spent so much time at the park this week that I've taken up squatters rights.  I actually took a flask of tea with me yesterday.  To say that the hours are being counted until Monday would be an understatement. The children are desperate to get back to school and nursery and I cannot wait to return to my work kitchen, to switch on my radio and to create many little meals for many smiley faces.

At the start of the year I set my resolutions.  I don't smoke so I don't need to give that up.  I'm not a sadist so theres no way on earth that I'm giving up my Gin or Chocolate!  From my years of writing care plans I have learned that you keep your goals achievable and measurable so this year I decided to teach myself some more skills that may not be useful but that will be extremely fun.  So far I've taught myself to make balloon animals!!!!  Loads of fun and of no practical use at all unless in find myself trapped in a room of children with nothing but a bag of balloons.  Or indeed my two at the back end of the Christmas holidays.

Check this out...........

Not at all bad for my first attempt.  I would take a photo of the elephant, dog and giraffe but I cant get them off the kids and I'm not posting their angelic little faces.  Leave it with me and I'll try and get them off them in their sleep.  I'm mortified to say that the pink panther blew up as I was attempting to finish his head, so sad.

Gloop also made an appearance today.  So simple to mix corn flower and water together but it quite literally had my two entranced for an hour.  Nice bit of home science for my eldest.  Hopefully I can break his brain in for his teacher to give her a head start.

So the side effects of todays fun are a kitchen covered in a substance that goes solid every time I get near it and a right index finger that has sustained serious balloon tieing injuries that have rendered it almost useless.

What time is bed time???

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Back to normal :-)

I cannot tell you just how happy I am to be back to normal.  This year has been extremely difficult as my lovely husband has been playing in the sand pit.  We're extremely lucky as its been a very short tour but its taken its toll none the less.  Fortunately, whatever I felt or however many trips to a room alone for a bit of a sob had no effect on the boys and they had a great time.  Mission accomplished!!  My family have been amazing and have supported in ways that they'll never know.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

The tree came down yesterday and after very nearly breaking my neck on several occasions and going horse with asking, I packed the boys new toys into their room.  I kid you not, 4 sacks between them!!!  Thats from all of the family mind you, we are very strict that they don't get spoilt.  Its too easy to throw money at children at christmas and especially when one of the parents is away.  The upside of all of this is that my house is yet again spotless, we can see where everything is and I can relax with a candle and my mountain of ironing, the joy!

We've had a great week actually.  We've recently found out that we've been posted so its given us the impetus to get on and do all of the things we wanted to whilst we lived in the Winchester  area.  Yesterday was Winchester cathedral.  Such a wonderfully serene and delicately beautiful building despite its vast dimensions and gravity defying arches.  In the crypt was a very unexpected but completely enchanting sight........

This is Antony Gormley's "Sound 2".  The contemplative lone figure stood silently in the flooded crypt.  This has struck me in ways that an art instillation never has.  I think I may be a new groupie.  I must find more!!!

So many other beautiful objects have help me welcome in the new and very exciting year.  I've been busy and lucky in equal measure.  I have to admit to still needing to finish several christmas presents, partly down to poor organisation and partly down to being Mum and Dad all through the craziness of Christmas with a dash of working again.  Fortunately I have very forgiving and understanding family.

Firstly let me apologise for the pictures being so dark but I couldn't wait for a bright day, I may never have posted another photo again!

This wise little chap was a gift for my lovely Mum.  Owls were a favourite of my late Granny so he has special significance.

My love of all things spotty is well known, it seems that Santa knows of it too!

My little treat to myself for surviving the first half of hubby's "holiday".   I might have also accidentally purchased some Uggs too.  The way I look at it is that I have all angles covered, very happy toes and a massive smile on my face!
My mini man had a slight addiction to removing the knobs from my coffee table and other matching doors so I decided to wait it out and replace when I could.  Today was the day.  Not often you get to tell a chap that he has an impressive array of knobs!
So cute! I'm so in love with this coin purse I cant tell you.  Goodness only knows what I'm going to do with it but I know that I love it.  Thank you Santa.
I'm a massive fan of Lucy at Attic24.  She's always waxing lyrical about the joy bought from a simple cup of coffee.  I agree but for me its more about the vessel that contains it.  This simple mug can lift my heart and make me smile like a post box!
Gift from the hubby.  Nice try love but the thinking step works much more effectively!!
I'm really not a materialist person which may be contrary to my posts.  I'm normally just as happy to be out in the fields with the kids or watching the sunrise but these simple objects have bought such joy that I just wanted to share.