The missing months

It’s been a little while but I needed to take a bit of a step back from everything and take care of me for a while. The last 12 months caught up a bit plus the lack of routine and a couple of awful jobs knocked me sideways. After a chat with the GP, support of family, a couple of good friends and finding a new job things have improved.

So lets catch-up, first the new job. It arrived just at the right time, it’s close to home, the hours are perfect and the most important thing, the staff are lovely. I actually look forward to going to work, it’s busy but not stressful and we have a giggle. I have routine back again.

At the end of May I went to Belfast for a weekend, a quick surprise visit. I’ve never been before but will return. It was a lovely place, friendly people and tons of history. Too much to see in a weekend. Another tick for 50 things

A few weeks of work and school finished, the end of primary school and the start of a new adventure awaits.

We’ve had a birthday and a week away in London, plus several get-together’s with friends has made it a happy summer.

 

 

Our day out

Oscar went away with school for a week so mum and I decided to have a day of sightseeing in London. Train tickets booked and a few ideas of things we would like to see and off we went.

We left Liverpool, in warm sunshine and arrived in a cold, windy London a little over two hours later.

Our first port of call was the British museum for a brief stop and look at the Egyptian collection and the Rosetta stone.

What an amazing shaped building too. I will be returning to explore more inside here.

Next was the National portrait gallery, a favourite place with stunning art work.

Simply beautiful, then a quick stop for coffee in the crypt at St Martins in the field church. A walk down through Covent Garden and the theatre district, then on to Chinatown for some Dim sum.

Then it was time to start making our way back towards the train station, with tired legs but it was a fun, busy day.

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Behind the scenes at Dunham Massey

Sometimes misreading a calendar has it’s advantages, and this was one of them. Dunham Massey is somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for a while, so whilst looking through the national trust book I ‘thought’ it said the house reopened to the public from February.

Off we set, a grey day with drizzly rain which got heavier and heavier the closer we got. Thankfully it was well signposted and easy to find as I forgot the trusty sat-nag (she drives me bonkers and causes more road-rage than any driver ever could)

So we arrived and made a quick dash inside, unfortunately the house wasn’t fully open but they had guided tours for certain areas. I was a little disappointed (at my mistake) but my mind was soon changed as we had a great time.

The first tour was all ‘below stairs’ the guide was beautifully dressed, very informative and hilarious. He told us all about what jobs we would be expected to do, conditions and even had the children getting involved. One boy (aged about 6) was perfectly dressed for his new role as a tiger in his orange and black coat. A tiger was a small stable boy who held the reins of a horse to keep it from moving around. Oscar and another boy were too young to be household boys, so they could have been scarecrows, running up and down the fields shouting to keep the birds away. At 12 they would/could have moved inside of the house for other duties. The first being silver polishing, which they both did very well.

Then we went into the kitchens and laundry rooms, time for us to get wet. The children had a go at washing using a tub and dolly, it lead to lots of splashing and laughing. They all agreed that washing machines made life a lot easier now. It was interesting to discover that gin was used for washing silk, I wonder at what point they decided to have a taste?

The next tour was the art of the house and the two tour guides made this tour something special, they were like a comedy double act. Even Oscar, who wasn’t looking forward to this one because it sounded boring, loved it. The half hour tour took 90 minutes and I’ve never laughed or enjoyed a ‘serious’ tour so much.

I learnt a lot from both of these tours and we are both looking forward to going back again to see the rest of the house and explore the beautiful grounds, weather permitting.

Getting home was an adventure in itself as following road signs for the motorway lead us round in a circle back to where we started ! At least we know for future reference which signs to follow and how to get home.

a day in my life …. photo diary

A busy but productive mother/daughter day …..

Last Month

December came and went so fast, I realised whilst updating the list that I didn’t tell you any of the fun we had before, during or after Christmas.

My birthday is in December so for a treat, Oscar and I, went to Liverpool for the day. We went ice skating and then had 3 goes on the ice slide, which was hilarious, and yet again I fell over, I need to start drinking alcohol ! Afterwards we had a lovely meal.

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We had a visit to craft fair at Birkenhead Priory, not somewhere I’ve ever visited before but we will return for a proper look around as it was beautiful, if a little cold and Oscar was spooked by the darkness inside, I bought some lovely handmade presents. Maybe a summer visit next time.

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Christmas eve we went bowling, and even though I got 3 strikes Oscar still won, I’m sure the machine was broken ! The usual excitement and nerves kicked in waiting for Santa to arrive. Thankfully he did.

Followed by a quiet few days whist Oscar was away with his dad, which gave me some reading and sewing time.

New years eve he was home, just the two of us so it was a quiet one. We made his 3d jigsaw (thankfully all the pieces are numbered), played games and did some reading whilst waiting for midnight and the fireworks. A lovely end to a not so pleasant year.

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The Christmas tag

I saw the Christmas tag as on Bookfandom1001 blog and thought I’d join in.

  • When do you put our Christmas tree up ? Take it down ?

We put it all up yesterday, 4th but it can be as late as a week before, and usually take it down around the 2/3rd of January.

  • What is your tree topper ?

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She looks a little scary but she’s a good angel, she belonged to my nan and has celebrated more Christmas’ than I have.

  • Is your tree real or synthetic ?

We have had real tree’s in the past but for the last 10 (or so) years we’ve had artificial ones as they are easier and although the initial cost is expensive, they’ve saved money in the long term.

  • Favourite Christmas scent ?

I love the cinnamon spice and mince pie smells of Christmas. A warm mince pie at any time of year reminds me of Christmas.

  • Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer ?

Dasher, Dancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Rudolph, I’ve missed one but can’t remember it !

  • When did you stop believing ?

I don’t remember stopping but since becoming a parent the magic is still there.

  • White or Coloured lights ?

We have white lights on most of the trees, but Oscar has coloured lights on the tree in his bedroom.

  • When do you open presents ?

Christmas day morning, when everyone is awake and downstairs.

  • Have you ever had a white Christmas ?

Yes, the best one was a Christmas day at my Aunties house in Yorkshire, tons of snow and a power cut. We cooked chops on a grill rack over the open fire.

  • Are your wrapping skills Pintrest worthy or ‘Lets use a gift bag’ worthy ?

I’m a pretty good wrapper as long as I have time and allowed to get on with it without interference. I don’t go overboard though and I’m not into ‘trendy’ expensive paper, kids don’t care what the paper looks like, and it all ends up in shreds in the bin.

  • All time favourite Christmas song ?

Christmas songs should all be banned before the 1st December, my favourite is Fairytale of New York, The Pogues and Kirsty McColl.

  • Have you ever made a snowman ?

Yes, many times. The last one was a few years ago now though. I’m not sure it’ll get cold enough for snow this year.

I’m not going to tag anyone, as everyone is busy at this time of year, but feel free to participate if you wish.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to you all.

 

 

Life and things …

Things have been a bit crazy for the last few weeks, obviously we had the wedding, then the shock of a job offer at the start of the half term holidays. Thankfully it helped take some of the pressure off and lifted everyone’s spirits.

Half term was a mixture of homework and fun days.

We started with a cinema day on Monday, 2 films, once again a freebie from Odeon, and lovely comfortable seats too. A lovely mum and son day.

Tuesday was another interview day for me, Oscar had an easy day, Wednesday we caught up on homework and had a minecraft building session.

Thursday we changed our plans a few times, we were supposed to be bowling but I forgot to book the lane and when we got there it was full of pensioners. We didn’t fancy hanging around for an hour so went to Spaceport at Seacombe ferry. We haven’t been here for a long time, although not much has changed, it was very interesting and the planetarium/space dome theatre was really good.

Friday we spent the day in Liverpool, first stop was the world museum to see the animal mummies exhibition. A quick bite to eat then a walk down to the Albert dock and Tate Liverpool to make our own piece of art and see the famous Tracey Emin ‘bed’, Oscar said ‘she’s very unhealthy because she drinks too much alcohol and smokes’ To be fair it was a pretty fair statement from what we could see.

The weekend was tidying bedrooms, sorting clothes and uniform, kits and generally getting ready for school and work !!

Monday was my first day, only a few hours but so much to do and learn. It went very quickly, everyone was lovely but I don’t think I’ll ever learn all the names or the computer system.

Today seemed quiet still waiting for all my required authorisations to come through but I think tomorrow I might be let lose on real people and the computers, thankfully with a shadow and lots of support.

I can honestly say I am enjoying being back doing something useful, even if it’s only a few short hours a week, fingers crossed the hours increase in the near future.