NO BETTER BERRY.

20140527-181059.jpgMmmm…first, home grown strawberry of the season! Such a tasty treat, especially as this one came from a hanging basket that was left over from last year that I have basically ignored!

I felt quite naughty really. I was on my way to collect the children when I spotted it and…erm…to save them from the argument about who should have it, I ate it and thoroughly enjoyed it’s super sweet, juicy, yumminess all to myself!

And what is this glorious variety called that appears to need no love or attention? Well it is Fragaria (which I think is Italian for strawberry!) ‘Tristan F1’ which is a trailing variety ideal for hanging baskets. I got mine at an event organised by the PTA of my children’s school, Grange Primary PTA, to raise funds for the school where our local green grocer, Krunchy Karrot, came into the school with a selection of flowers and vegetables for sale. This was a win win situation, as we got great products, a local business was supported and the PTA was given a donation by Krunchy Karrot!

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So, not only did my lovely strawberry taste great, I felt great (ignoring that I’ve deprived my children if this glorious first fruit experience!) as I supported causes close to my heart! Hurrah!

In an effort to redeem myself for stealing the first fruit of the season from my children (I do feel bad…honest!) I shall end with a quote from William Allen Butler

“Doubtless God could have made a better berry (than the strawberry), but doubtless God never did.”
William Allen Butler

RITE OF PASSAGE

Well, that was fun! This evening I had the, erm, pleasure(?) of watching the sex education video that my ten year old will soon be seeing.

Immediately, I’m showing my age as I think of it as a video when it is in fact a DVD. To add to this, the cartoons and somewhat cheesy 1970 footage of Mr and Mrs X making whoopie have been replaced by CGI images that where far more detailed than I had anticipated, making me feel somewhat prudish! All this, whilst sitting in the school hall surrounded by fellow parents and teachers…why did no one warn me of this?!

I obviously knew that, at some point, I would have to have the talk with my children but in none of the practice runs of this most awkward of chats that I’ve played through my mind did I anticipate a practically 3D image of boys and girls bits would be a visual backdrop to our conversation!!

Equally, although I obviously knew there was a video DVD, I hadn’t anticipated that I would be viewing it with people who I’ve seen twice a day, every week day for 36 weeks of the year for the last five years!! All in all, I think we all did very well, considering!

Unfortunately, we also got to see part two of the DVD which will be shown to them next year. In this section we not only get to see, thanks to more CGI, a simulation from penetration to conception but the footage of an actual birth of a baby – head crowning, delivery, the lot!

Needless to say, after such an enlightening yet somewhat traumatic rite of passage, I think a large one is most definitely deserved!!

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WHAT A DAY!

Yesterday, despite the grotty weather, started off on a high for me – I could eat again! I had just completed my first three day cleanse with Squeeze, which you will be able to read more about soon, and I felt fab! Instead of sitting on the edge of my bed feeling like an ancient, creaky, achy woman, I felt renewed, refreshed and relaxed.
I started the day with a hot water and lemon and a bowl of sliced banana with blueberries in one of my lovely, new Jamie at Home Rimple bowls. I just love the way it sits in my hand – not too heavy, not too big and the little ripples ensure the perfect grip. I know…it’s a bowl! However, it makes me happy.

Breakfast Love

After dropping the children off at school, I skipped off to town to do a few errands and while wandering around the Co-op in a blissful state, I heard the assistant request the owner of the car with my licence plate number to go to the help desk. On the negative side, a mature lady and her companion had shown that there are lots of horrible people in the world. On the positive side, two young girls had shown that there are still good people in the world.

So, what had happened? The two girls had heard a loud bang as they were getting into their car and turned to see that a car had reversed into my little purple car. The passenger, the afore mentioned mature lady, got out and inspected the damage and then promptly got back into the car and drove off! My poor Johnny Cab!

It might not look like much, but there are two cracks in the bumper which means a new bumper is required.

It might not look like much, but there are two cracks in the bumper which means a new bumper is required.

Needless to say, my lovely day went down hill rather fast. To add to it all, I only had twenty four hours to physically go into a police station to report the incident and to make an official statement. So, thanks to the Wickford Police Station being no more, I headed off to Billericay – in a hail storm – to be greeted by an initially very frosty lady on the desk who managed to make me feel like a criminal despite being the victim.

For your information, when reporting a similar crime, you will need to take both parts of your driving licence, your MOT certificate and your insurance documents. It really helps if you know this before travelling to the next town but worry not, if you don’t know or forget then the frosty lady will smile while she gives you a ticket requiring you to present said documents within seven days!

While the frosty lady was filling in the form, I looked out the window and my spirits lifted a little as I spied Cook! I promised myself that if I got out of the police station in time, I would pop in. I love Cook – such a brilliant concept.

So, it was with a renewed bounce that I left Billericay Police Station with a ticket in my pocket and my taste buds tingling with anticipation of the delights I was sure to find in store. I was met by a lovely lady (hooray, faith in humanity restored again) who welcomed me to the store, checked if I needed any help, told me about their Valentine’s offer and offered me a taster that sounded yummy but unfortunately had prawns in, so I couldn’t partake (fear not fellow veggies, they have a great range of vegetarian meals).

Fifteen minutes later I left with a bag full of yummy, yet slightly restrained delights for Mr F and I to enjoy for Valentine’s Dinner (my Squeeze cleanse was still at the front of my mind!) along with a some tasty treats for my lunches next week.

Cook bag stuffed full Cook Valentines Dinner Cook lunches

To add to my joy, the sun came out!

Sunshine at last

I nipped home to put my Cook goodies in the freezer and then rushed to my daughter’s school to fulfil my PTA duties and help supervise film night. I had good company during the film, Despicable Me 2, and it was really lovely at the end when lots of the littlies got up and boogied to Happy. I know it is a bit of a love it or hate it song, but I am definitely in the love camp! So, for your enjoyment, here it is

My day was nearly over but I had one last thing to do – a mission in the name of LOVE! Many of you have read about Mr F, my other half, but what you may not know is that I have a Craft-wife-to-be as well! As a symbol of my love and dedication to her and the craft, I tiptoed out in the cold and the dark to put up the latest mini yarn bomb in our street!

Birch Green Valentine Yarn Bomb 1

It doesn’t look that fab in the dark, so will try and get some photos of it in the sunshine. However, as an added treat for my love, I have added a bit of magic!

Birch Green Valentine Yarn Bomb 2

My day was finally over!

– UPDATE – UPDATE – UPDATE – UPDATE – UPDATE – UPDATE –

My wonderful Craft-wife-to-be has not only taken a photo in day light of my gift to her but she has returned the favour and added her own to it – isn’t it beautiful?!

Love

SHHHHH! DON’T TELL MY HUSBAND BUT…

Since becoming a ‘lady of leisure’ in September when my youngest went to school, I may have (very occasionally) found myself with a cuppa in front of the dreaded day time TV!

Now, I don’t go in for the Jeremy Kyle/Loose Women type of viewing but tend to stick with the good old BBC where I can find some easy viewing with an informative edge, think Homes Under the Hammer, Escape to the Country and Bargain Hunt.

Last week I found myself watching Flog It! If you haven’t yet experienced this programme, it is a little like the Antiques Roadshow but instead of the members of the public responding to the experts valuations of Granny’s antique brooch or Great Granddad’s collection of glass eyeballs with a “It will never be sold!” this show’s participants are refreshingly honest in their response of ‘I never liked it!’ and ‘Lovely, that’ll go towards our new extension!’ Another common response is ‘I’m getting on now, so need to have a clear out.’ This response keeps on popping back into my head; it really made me pause for thought. 

We seem to spend our working lives trying to accumulate ‘things’ – things for the house, things for the family, things just because, things.  We surround ourselves with belongings that are both necessary for everyday life and those which are not necessary but help us to be taken back to a happy occasion,   to think of loved ones or to bring a sense of joy with just a glance around a room – a shell from that fabulous beach holiday, a family photo in a lovingly decorated frame, a collection of jars filled with buttons!

Family Photo  Pebble Photo

Button Photo

However, it seems that in the autumn of our days, all these things become somewhat of a burden – if not to their owner then to the family and friends left behind when a person has passed away.  I wonder, should we strive for so many things when in the end they are just given away? Isn’t this a huge waste of time, effort and, in these environmentally conscious days, precious resources? Or are the actions which result in the accumulation of things – interacting with others, enjoying time with family, relishing the beauty around us – the whole meaning and purpose of life itself?

I don’t know the answer.  What I do know is, regardless of the ribbing I get from Mr F, I will continue to watch the odd bit of day time TV because, it really does make you think!

A NEW CHAPTER…

Today, 09 September 2013, marks the beginning of a new and exciting chapter in our family life! It is B’s first day of school! To honour this momentous occasion, I thought I would share some other milestones in his young life, I hope you enjoy seeing him grow.

Benjamin 019  Benjamin 025   Benjamin 040

Feb10 Bs Bday 048   Feb10 Bs Bday 053

Jan Feb 2011 004    first day at nursery

 

Jan Feb 2011 364

Nurse

B and C holding hands

0312 192

Bs 4th birthday

Our beautiful, big boy!

Our beautiful, big boy!