Sunday, 9 May 2021

A Special Birthday And Helping Memory With Photos

 Scarlett had a lovely 4th birthday yesterday. Eldest daughter and her partner had taken her to Drusillas Park in East Sussex the day before which is a small zoo and park for young children which she loved. Yesterday we went to my Dads for a small get together in the garden but the weather was so miserable we had to sit in the conservatory with the doors open. Not that it bothered Scarlett though she was so excited and it was the first time she could remember going in the conservatory because of all the lockdown restrictions. Youngest daughter had to go with her to search out my Dad's cat Millie who she always talks about and she had to use Great Grandad's binoculars that he keeps by the window to watch the foxes to check everything out.

I was just so thrilled to be having some family time again. It was only a small group of us but it feels as if we are getting back to some sort of normality and so importantly making memories for Scarlett. Youngest daughter filmed a few lovely videos of her around the house including one of her watching the Grandfather clock chiming and her face is a picture. 

I thought how wonderful it would have been to have the same of my Grandparents houses. I can remember being inside them but have such sketchy memories of what their houses looked like. I was probably about Scarlett's age when I was last in my Mum's, parents house. A lovely terraced house overlooking a green in Netherton just outside Liverpool. I can remember standing in the kitchen watching my Nana cooking, wearing her apron, she looked so in control I can remember! I can also remember being in the garden with my Grandad, that beautiful garden with flowers and a greenhouse. My memories of my Grandparents are much clearer over the next few years, after they moved to my Auntie's house as they got older but I would love to have clearer memories of their own house. Imagine if I had photos or even videos of the inside, it would be such a wonderful thing. Scarlett is lucky to have these memory prompts for later in her life.

We have had a long conversation on Facebook recently about a day out we had when we were at school.  A large group of us, my sister and some of her friends and me and some of my friends went to see David Cassidy at White City in London together in 1974. It was such a special day that for lots of reasons I'll always remember, but for the life of us we can't remember all of the people who went. We have all remembered and forgotten different things. My sister has found some photo booth photos she and her friends took at Waterloo station on the way there and I can't believe I didn't do the same but have no recollection. It's worrying how we have all forgotten so much. Of course we just didn't take photos in those days, if it was now it would be all over Facebook to remind us who went and what we did for ever. Maybe we were lucky not to have reminders forever of our teenage years or will teenagers today never have problems with their memories in later life as it is all there to look back at. Only time will tell.

I do have one little reminder of when I went to see David Cassidy at Wembley in 1973. One little photo before we set off and it reminds me so much of the day. 

It's much brighter today and we're planning a nice long walk with the dogs, although I think we may be dodging showers. I hope everyone has a really lovely Sunday what ever you are doing. xx

Saturday, 8 May 2021

Vegetable Steamers And A Special Day

 We decided yesterday morning we would go back to the garden centre and try and find a little round table to put with our two chairs by the aviary, and use the last of the money on my Christmas garden centre voucher. I had planned to buy a little folding garden table we could put our cups of tea on while we have a sandwich at lunchtimes like my Dad has in his garden. Although my Dad always has a wine cooler and a bottle of wine on his! I was shocked when we saw the prices though, you could only buy them in sets and they were over £200! We did buy a cute little solar bee. It looks enormous in the photo, like something from War Of The Worlds descending on our garden but it's actually only a couple of inches long. I'll take another photo when it's in place. I think I'm going a bit bee crazy! 

We decided we would drive to the charity salesroom and see if we could find a small round table I could paint. Sadly nothing was suitable but I still found an old 1950s steamer. I have been looking for one for a long time but these old ones have always been too expensive. I was so pleased as this was only £3.

Another item I just couldn't resist was this Snowman ceramic money box. I thought it would be lovely to use as a Christmas decoration. He's so sweet I think I will leave him out until Christmas, Scarlett will love him. He was only 50p! I also managed to buy another Ladybird book for my collection of old matt covered books. 

I used my steamer last night and we had sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli with our salmon, accompanied by the  second bottle of wine our youngest son bought us after our disastrous evening the other day. It was lovely and I'm already planning all the other meals I can have now with my new steamer. 

Today is a really special day. It's Scarlett's 4th birthday and we are meeting up at my Dad's later. We are hoping to be in the garden but Tom and I are going a bit earlier to get my Dad's conservatory ready so we can sit with the doors open if we need to dodge the showers. I hope everyone has a lovely day and you manage to enjoy some nice weather after this rain stops. xx

Friday, 7 May 2021

Voting Day

 Scarlett was so excited to go and vote yesterday. She even forgot about going to the bakers she talked about it so much. Mid morning Tom, youngest daughter who was off work because the school she works at was closed and being used as a polling station, Scarlett and I set off for the walk to vote. We took our pencils with us as we had been told to do, to stop the risk of virus spreading. It was only when we were half way there and Scarlett asked "Where is the boat?" we realised quite why she was so excited! Disappointment over, and a boat trip promised this summer, she brightened up as for some reason, us just all going somewhere and taking pencils with us seemed exciting enough. After we had all hand sanitised, that's exciting for Scarlett too, we queued to vote. I'm pretty up on politics and follow it all closely, but even I get a bit bewildered by these London Mayoral elections we were voting for and for some reason everything seems harder when your wearing a mask! The man seated passes your three ballot forms and explained from behind a mask and a screen, so it's hard to hear, about first and second choices, London assembly and something else I missed but because I was hanging on to Scarlett, didn't bother to ask again. There was a whole page of candidates listed from the most obscure parties you could imagine. You have to be so careful when you are distracted not to accidentally vote for Count Binface (yes really) , that actor I used to like in Lewis on the TV but don't at all now he has shown his true colours as a politician or even the YouTube star. There are all these new parties The Let London Live party, the London Real Party, it's all starting to remind me of a Monty Python sketch. I put my crosses in the boxes I wanted posted the ballot paper in the box and hoped for the best. When we got outside, after carefully following the one way system. I asked youngest daughter who she voted for as her second choice  "The Animal Welfare Party" she answered. I didn't even notice them! 

Eldest daughter and her partner were going to look at some houses for sale after they had finished work in the evening so we had Scarlett with us for her dinner too. After we had eaten we were all sitting talking about how we had voted with youngest son. He is the most political out of all of us, yet had refused to vote. He said he was sick and tired of voting for people who are just lying to get the vote. They are all the same and are only ever thinking about their own benefits. They never deliver on what they say and get away with it year in year out. Oh dear! I think he is probably right. Maybe I should have voted for Count Binface after all! He may have turned out to be more trustworthy.

Tom is off today and we have lots to catch up on. We have shopping to do but I still don't have a new debit card which is annoying so we must try and get most done today while Tom is off. The two men putting up the fence are still struggling with fence posts but I will have to tackle the garden at some point regardless as it looks so messy after all the wind we have had. I hope everyone has a lovely day what ever your plans. xx

Thursday, 6 May 2021

A Day Of Disappointments

  I was all set to go out into the garden to do some work when there was a knock on the door from a young man telling me he was taking down the fence between my neighbours and I to replace it so they would be working in our garden during the day. I didn't really feel like being out gardening with two men standing in the flower bed all day so I had a rethink and decided to do some housework then work on the curtains for the caravan. I popped down to the sewing and knitting shop to buy some cotton I needed that I hadn't been able to find in Wilkinson's the other day. I hemmed one of the curtains but only tacked it as I'm worried to finish them off without trying them out first. 

After Tom got in, we were saying how nice it was was he has four days off now so I said I would go down to the Co-op to get some wine and we would have a nice meal to begin his days off. I was half way down when the heavens opened and I found myself in a hailstorm! I wanted to check the bank balance as I had drawn some cash out to pay for the cotton as the sewing shop doesn't accept card payments for small amounts. I had my mask on and hood up as I checked my balance in the pouring rain, I was rushing to say the least. When I went to the counter in the Co-op to pay for the bottle of wine I realised I didn't have my card, I rushed out to the machine but too late it must have been sucked in. I doubt it was stolen as there was not another soul around in the downpour.

I walked home in the rain, as miserable as could be. When I got in Tom said "Don't worry I'll go back down and buy it." I was standing in the kitchen telling the sad sorry tale to youngest son, when Tom got back with the wine. "Oh well all's well that ends well" he said as Tom put the wine on the work surface. We all watched in horror as Cleo jumped up and neatly head butted it straight off to the floor accompanied by a large smashing sound. "Don't be upset Mum" said my wonderful youngest son. I'll clear it up and go down and buy another one. As I looked around to the carnage in the kitchen, I saw Tess our Border Collie happily lapping up all the wine! So there we were last night with a border collie sound asleep and snoring after drinking excessive amounts of wine and me cancelling my bank card, I thought to myself this day hasn't gone according to plan at all. I did laugh though when youngest son returned from the Co-op with two bottles of wine "To make up for all the disappointment!" He is so kind, I do love him but I wonder what the staff in the Co-op make of it all. Here is a mugshot of the guilty party! We have forgiven her, just.

. Scarlett is coming round today and as Tom is off we are going to catch up with a few things we need to do and take her with us. It's also voting day so she can come with us for that too. I hope everyone has a lovely day what ever you are doing.

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Windy Days And Pink Hair

 It remained blustery and quite cold yesterday. When the sun came out it was warm but out of the sun it was freezing. I kept my greenhouse closed all day as I didn't want a big gust of wind suddenly blowing all my plants over. When I was travelling over to my Dads there was blossom blowing off the trees everywhere, it is very sad.  He has a beautiful ornamental cherry tree in his back garden and the poor thing has been so battered by the wind, his lawn was covered in blossom. I'm really glad I took this photo of it the other day when it as looking so beautiful.

Yesterday while doing his shopping one thing I realised now is the roads are so much busier. I've almost got used to them being quieter but now everywhere seems almost busier than before and the narrow pavements were packed with people and children. It felt ever so strange and although I've been looking forward to this it's going to take some getting used to. When we got back we had a cup of tea and some of the delicious home made cake that one of his neighbours made for his birthday. All his cakes are lined up in the kitchen even though he's given us some wrapped up in tin foil to take home, he's still going to be eating cake all week!

I spent yesterday evening dying youngest daughter's hair pink. She loves to change the colour all the time and thinks spring is the time to go pink. She looks after children with autism and they are all eagerly awaiting the new colour today. She has warned them it's going to happen but not the colour so they have been trying to guess. One of the little boys apparently said to her "I hope it's not pink, I hate pink!" Oh dear.

The weather looks better today, brighter and less windy but it is still quite chilly. I think I better try and tidy up the garden today as it's looking a bit messy after all those gales. One thing I am very pleased about is sickly tomato plant. I cut off the dead leaves and new ones are really growing now. All the keeping it warm and talking to it seems to have worked. I hope everyone has a lovely day and the sun shines on you for some of it. xx

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Organising Photos And Forgotten Weddings

 It was not a very nice day weather wise yesterday but the promised storm didn't arrive until the early evening. I sorted through some of my collection of old photos, I have thousands! I'm trying to work out how best to store them so they are safe for the future. I have rescued all these photos from car boot sales, auctions, ebay and charity shops so I feel it is important to keep them safe but also make them available, as well as any information I have with them, for other people to view. What I don't want is someone contacting me and saying "How marvellous that is my Great Granny!" and then I have to say I can't find the photo! At the moment this would be a distinct possibility! It's how to organise them in the best way. Probably albums but that isn't cheap and then it is storing them. I have photos dating back to the 1860s and one of my favourite group of photos to collect are wedding photos. It is so sad they have become separated from the family. These are a few of my favourites. 

It isn't just the photos I have "rescued" it's family photos too. It's very hard to find the best way to organise and store the photos after they have been scanned. I'd love to hear people's ideas how they tackle this problem. When I was first married and when eldest son and daughter were little I carefully put  all our photos in albums but you can see over the years how I ran out of time and later photos when youngest son and daughter were little are all stored in boxes. Interestingly I found a box of reject photos that hadn't made it to albums, I can't remember the reason why, I didn't like the way I looked probably. I think I look fine now when I look back, in fact we really laughed at some how funny they were and I wish I could add them into the albums. I did hear once that in history there is no such thing as a bad photo so it seems a shame that today what we consider bad photos just get deleted.

I managed to get the first curtain cut and pinned for the awning. There is so much fabric in the old curtains I bought, I think they must have been for French doors, it was a difficult job. At least I feel as if I am getting under way now though. 

It was a terribly windy stormy night last night and the garden is looking the worse for wear today. My little crab apple tree in a pot is leaning in a worrying way. There is no point in sorting it all out yet as I think there is more wind on the way today. I'm going to my Dad's today to do his shopping with my sister. We've been told we have to help him get through all the cakes he has been given by neighbours over the weekend. It's a hard job but someone has to do it! I hope everyone has a lovely day what ever you are doing. xx

Monday, 3 May 2021

A Very Big Birthday

 We had such a wonderful day yesterday. By the time my sister, youngest daughter and I arrived before lunch Dad had already had a succession of visitors including Scarlett who had been so excited and people dropping off cards, flowers and cakes. All his neighbours and even dog walkers who just know him from walking by the house and put cards through. After we had lunch together we went down to local garden centre and he chose lots of plants for the garden from us all. When we got back we had tea and birthday cake and youngest daughter played old music like Nat King Cole and Glenn Miller and Dad told her tales of how he used to play the trumpet as he loved the Glen Miller Orchestra so much. He even had lessons and was quite good. I had completely forgotten that and we all decided they don't make good music like that anymore!

Eldest son came which was lovely as I haven't spent any time with him for ages because of lockdown and Millie showed off at all the attention. By the time we went home Dad was tired but said he had, had a lovely day. Thank you for everyone's kind messages, I told him that so many people were sending best wishes and he was thrilled. All my old school friends remember him really well and sent their best wishes too. As one of the men who's family was particularly friendly with ours years ago said about him  "A true gentleman" and we are very proud. 

The weather forecast is dreadful today so I think we were very lucky yesterday. Tom is working and I think it will have to be a day for making curtains. I hope everyone has a lovely Bank Holiday Monday what ever your plans. xx
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