Showing posts from 2021

Arrivals and Departures

It was my Dad's birthday in July, or at least it would have been if he was alive. I knew it was coming up, as I have done every year since he died, just without consciously thinking about it. I guess having had the date celebrated for so many years that somehow it is built into my psyche. This year the day sort of snuck up on me. I'd been thinking about my Dad a lot in the week leading up to his birthday without realising why and then when I woke up on the Saturday my first thought was that it would be my Dad's birthday. It was the first year that it really hurt. It was the first year that I wanted to do something to celebrate his life. The Milton Keynes International Festival was on, and Flyfour knew what I needed to do.

Every So Often

Every so often I start to forget things. I forget that I enjoy being around young people. I forget that I enjoy helping others. I forget that I enjoy reading at an alarming speed (roughly 619 words a minute if I'm in the mood). I forget that I love working. I forget that I love to cook. I forget that I love to write. I forget that I like making other people happy. I forget, well I guess I forget that I'm me. I remember that I enjoy being around young people. I remember that I enjoy helping others. I remember that I enjoy reading at an alarming speed (roughly 619 words a minute if I'm in the mood). I remember that I love working. I remember that I love to cook. I remember that I love to write. I remember that I like making other people happy. I remember that I am me.

Lasers Over Milton Keynes

Just before the world went to pot, the family and I went to an event at Bletchley Park that the Milton Keynes Islamic Arts, Heritage and Culture had put on, and as it was only a few minutes away from us, and we figured it would be fun. It was. When we saw there was a similar event happening again, I wanted to go and view again which is why after we'd locked up for the night Flyfour and I got dressed again and went to Central Milton Keynes Train Station to see a laser light show, that those watching could control!

How Do You Know If You're Part Of The Solution?

I've not had many words of late, which you could probably work out from the lack of blog posts, podcasts Facebook updates and even tweets. Most of my time has been consumed with work and volunteering but I've been spending a lot of time reflecting and thinking about what impact I'm having on the world and how to ensure it is a positive one. As a child, I was convinced that I was going to work in a school.

Lazy But Busy

I don't like to not be busy. I know that I tell you that I'm lazy, and I am, but I do need to be doing something most of the time.  Working, Volunteering, my Church calling, Reading, Knitting, Volunteering with the Girl Guides, Coursework, Blogging, Vlogging, Podcasting, Cooking, Cleaning, Gardening, Letter Writing... the list goes on and is pretty endless. There are of course moments, where I'm sitting on the sofa or at the kitchen table doing nothing. Moments where I could have been cleaning the bathroom, unloading the dishwasher, running a load of laundry, preparing a nutritious meal for my family. I googled it back in April.

I Knew Him

I saw him in Asda and immediately I knew that I knew him. This wasn't like the time I saw John Higgins in M&S and for a minute stared at him trying to work out how I knew him, whilst he stared back trying to work out if I was a crazed stalker, before we both sort of grinned at each other (I'm assuming he did, we were both wearing masks) and continued looking at the bakery together. No, I knew this man. He wasn't someone I'd just seen on the telly, he was someone I'd spoken to before.

What We Are Eating This Week W/C 4th October 2021

I have been putting meal plans on my phone each week, it's been easier for me to reach into my phone and pull out what I'm supposed to be cooking than going to a blog post every week! However, I have also realised that without the weekly prompting of writing a blog post about what my family and I are eating, I haven't been letting my thoughts out in blog format either... So I'm back! Yay!

Wake Up And Do Something Good

There is a hymn that I was reminded of a couple of Sundays ago when a friend mentioned it. It's titled " Have I Done Any Good " (and the link will take you to a page where you can read the lyrics and listen) and is a favourite hymn of mine, which is a good job as this last week it has been stuck in my head and I've been singing it almost constantly all week, much to the annoyance of my family and co-workers. It's the chorus that has stuck out to me this last week and has made me think of my lockdown experience. Then wake up and do something more Than dream of your mansion above. Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure, A blessing of duty and love.

Making The Most Of It

The plan for this summer was that we were going to purchase new garden furniture. Our garden is looking pretty good because of the work we have put in over the last couple of years and so we figured we deserved a new set of table and chairs on the patio to eat at and a sofa type thing on the deck so we could enjoy the last of the evening sun in comfort. We were going to get a Fire Pit or a Chiminea or even one of those Patio Heaters that you get outside pubs so that we could sit on the patio long after the sun had set and still be warm, without the need of blankets, cardigans and a thousand other layers. We were going to buy a Pizza oven so that in addition to our BBQ we could spend more time eating outside, enjoying not only the new furniture and the fire pit/chiminea/patio heater but each other's company too. The plan was that we were going to make the most of our outdoor space.

What We Are Eating W/C 17th April 2021

Every Saturday, Flyfour and I pop to Tesco to collect our shopping. We've been ordering it as a Click and Collect option for a few months now, with me working out what we need and placing last minute changes on a Friday evening (when I realise I've run out of Bisto or have a sudden urge to buy peanuts), removing most of the items I hastily shoved in my basket to reserve the slot and panicking that I'm not going to remember the security code on my debit card and will have to go and find my wallet. I can never find my wallet. Or my glasses.

I'm Trouble

I'm trouble. I'm not sure who it is that decided this, but it's been a phrase that has muttered about me for the last ten years or so, basically once I was comfortable being me around other people. It's only been in the last six months or so that I've come to wonder a little about why I'm trouble and so, of course, I took to the internet to ask those who know me best.

The Easter Garage Project

Flyfour and I love going for our evening walks , it gives us time to talk and plan and on one of these walks we were trying to think of a project we could do over the Easter bank holiday weekend together. There were several contenders, but in the end, we decided that we would spend the weekend clearing out the garage. We assumed it would take us all weekend to do and so booked a tip slot for last thing Bank Holiday Monday and early on Good Friday morning (just before 9am) we were in the garage pulling boxes and piles of stored junk out on to the driveway and building the newly purchased (delivered in preparation earlier in the week) racking system. Two hours later, we stopped as we'd sort of finished!

What We Are Eating W/C 10 April 2021

This last week I was sick. That isn't really a good way to open a post about food, but Flyfour came upstairs and said that he wasn't going to make the Salmon that I had scheduled as there was some chicken in the fridge that needed to be used up (date wise) and so he was making that. The reason he knew it was the Salmon we were supposed to be eating, was because he checked the blog. This made me realise three things. One my family really try to get out of eating fish at EVERY opportunity. Two my husband knows where I keep information for the family and Three, I so love him.

Hospital Jokes

My Mum had to go to the hospital recently, and I had volunteered to take and collect her, despite her appointment being incredibly early for a Saturday morning. We had driven across to the hospital in fine spirits, me trying to make up some lost time as my Mum was running late and talking about various TV shows that we both love. My Mum was nervous, but trying not to show it and so instead of kicking her out at the door, I parked in the drop off zone and walked my Mum into the Reception area of the department she was attending. We were cracking jokes at each other the whole time, and then as I left her sitting in the corridor waiting to be collected by the Nursing team, I knew I needed to do something special when I came back to collect her. I spent the next two hours thinking up puns that I could use to greet my Mum or jokes I could play. I came up with a lot, but knowing that she was going to be given sedation and would be a little drugged up when I collected her, I figured greeting

Tailspins and Spirals

Tops and I were watching Vertigo the other evening, and as is normal when watching a film with Top Ender she was pointing out every nuance. Every single detail. Actually, that's unfair, seeing it written like that, it's not as depressing or as annoying as you might think, and has given me a new appreciation for the complexities of making a film and it's great to see the way her mind works and to understand why certain choices were made and how great she will be at University studying film and even better in her future career. The reason I mention this is because a lot of the symbolism in Vertigo is spirals, and I've realised that I've been in a bit of a spiral these last few months.

Gardening Doesn't Come Naturally To Me

Gardening doesn't come naturally to me. I'm not all green thumbs like my paternal Grandparents or my Mum although I do like to walk around barefoot and feel the grass beneath my feet.  It takes real effort for me to do the things that I need to do in the garden to keep it looking nice and not an overgrown jumble of weeds (although I do keep some areas like this on purpose). Sure I know what this plant is and what that plant is, but only because of the patient teachings of my Grandparents as they pottered around their garden and I'm sure because they told me countless times what this plant is, and what that plant is and somehow like names of birds these things stuck.

What We Are Eating This Week WC 3 April 2021

There is an unwritten rule in our house that if I haven't made a proper meal plan, one where I've written down what we are eating and put it on the blog then we get to eat takeaway every night. Oh and we also don't have to eat healthily and we don't have to actually eat, we can just snack and eat countless rounds of Cheese Toasties with the lactose-free mozzarella because that makes the best toasties... So I'm back to writing everything down.

Ready To Change The World

Every once in a while I wake up ready to change.  Ready to change the world, change my bad habits, change my life. Don't get wrong, my life is pretty damn perfect. I have an amazing family, a job that I love, amazing colleagues and friends. I get to do hobbies that I love, I've had many opportunities to stretch and grow and learn.

Meal Plans W/C 27th February 2021

I cheated and made this menu last week, at the same time as I was making last weeks menu. I'm not sure why, but it seemed making a meal plan for two weeks was easier than making one for one week! It meant it was easier to buy ingredients for things like lunches over the two weeks, but also I was able to buy larger packs of some veggies and fruits (frozen) because I knew that we'd use them over the two weeks... Plus Tops is coming round on the whole side salad thing! Anyway, Tops and I have really enjoyed this last week of meals, Dan Jon never complains about food (unless it is carb free or Beef that he doesn't enjoy the texture of) and Flyfour just hasn't been here enough to complain!

Meal Plans W/C 20th February 2021

Last week I spoke with the Dietician about the families diet and if there were any changes that could be made as Dan Jon's cholesterol is raised. It was agreed that we have a pretty good balanced diet and didn't need to add or change anything.... but I used the time to speak with the professional about some changes that Flyfour, Top Ender and I have been talking about in order to help the entire family lose a little weight. The dietician agreed that everything seemed good with our "diet" plan and so said we could go ahead! The good news is that it isn't really that different to what our current diet is, we're just making sure there are extra veggies at each meal, eating a Salad with each meal and thanks to Top Ender that we have enough calories left to enjoy some sweet treats too.

What We're Eating W/C 6 February 2021

I always love a food challenge month as it makes meal planning so easy. Top Ender helped me come up with some great meals for some of the nights this month, but with having limited (well not really that limited) ingredients to pick from it means there isn't a whole of lot of options to pick from but I am trying to pick some meals that mean I'm stretching the palates of my family... they are not so keen on this!

Saying No To God

I've been thinking a lot over the last month or so about saying no to God. It started when a friend and I were chatting about how we knew what to do with our lives. The friend had been certain that there was a position at a school that he was right for. The School was lovely, the staff he had met were terrific, the interview went amazingly and to top it all off it was a near-perfect distance away from his home. He didn't get the job. Instead, he found himself accepting a role in another school. A school that he now realises is even better than the one he'd fallen in love with, he has developed deep friendships with the staff that he works with and has been able to share his faith with several of them and it's again a near-perfect distance away from his home. We'd been chatting about how sometimes God says No to us, and how sometimes it is because the plan is better than we could imagine and we just need to hold on, and of course, me being contrary it got me to think

What We're Eating W/C 30 January 2021

Our food challenge starts this coming Monday and thanks to the lovely Top Ender sitting with me and helping me plan a few meals, I've managed to come up with not only this week's meals but meals for the entire month of February! Here are the meals for this week.

What We Are Eating W/X 23 January 2021

I had everything ready last week to post, and for some reason just didn't get around to posting. This did mean I had no clue what we were supposed to be eating each night, did accidentally not eat two of the meals I'd purchased ingredients for and now have so little space in the fridge and freezer that everyone has been reminded that lunches should be "typical" lunches and not something we'd have for an evening meal! Honestly, whilst I do kinda love the lockdown lifestyle (I could live with never seeing anyone), I do miss the bit where the children (and husband) don't eat us out of house and home and only leave the "healthy" ingredients in the fridge untouched...

The February Meal Plan

Every February I plan a food challenge. I'm well aware that the rest of the family merely tolerate these adventures, but the point is that it gets us out of a rut with regards to the food we are eating, it helps us to be more mindful and it also encourages some of the family (cough Top Ender and Flyfour cough) to try something a little out of their comfort zone. Okay, so at times a LOT out of their comfort zone.

3AM And We're Both Awake

It was the middle of the night and Flyfour and I were laying in bed, wide awake and giggling under the covers. I'm sure we aren't the only couple who are often awake together at 3am. For us, it's normally because one of us has gone to check on Dan Jon and has finally come back to bed after an hour of lows, and as we climb back into the warm sanctuary that we call bed, we accidentally disturb the slumber of the other. A short conversation might follow, where we confirm what DJ's blood sugars were, or more often a muttered "need more snooze" but for some reason this pariticular night we were both wide awake.

Who Knew You'd Be So Good At What You're Doing!

Recently someone gave me a compliment, although to my ears it wasn't really a compliment. "Who knew you'd be so good at what you're doing!" I wanted to reply back that the people that hired me to do my current job had. They hadn't just decided that it was easier to give me the role than to hire one of the other people who had applied. That they had listened to what I had said during the interview, had looked at my experience and thought about the ideas I had shared and realised I was a good choice... even though I'm still not sure I believe that.

Happy 17th Birthday Top Ender!

It's Top Ender's 17th Birthday today and I've tried to think of something to tell you about her, that I haven't already told you before. I mean, you already know she is kind and caring, funny and beautiful. You know she is smart and courageous and loving and giving. I'm not sure there is anything I haven't told you about her. So instead, I will say Happy Birthday Top Ender.

What We Are Eating W/C 2 January 2021

A new year, a new start and I really need to think what our February challenge is going to be. We did joke about an alphabet challenge but I'm not sure I can pull that one off! You might notice a lot of veggie meals on the menu this week... hopefully, the family won't notice and moan but I'm fed up of eating meat so everyone can live my preferred diet this week!

Happy New Year!

I've been thinking about resolutions a lot since September. To me, it's September that is the start of the year, thanks to years of British Schooling, my own children being in the Britsh school system and of course now working in a School. September is when the new notepads come out, when I start taking stock of what I have (or haven't!) achieved, thinking about what I want to achieve and having a little bit of a trial run before I actually set my goals for the year in January. I've come up with a few things that I want to achieve in 2021, I'm not sure if they are really resolutions they are more a mix of short and long term goals but I know that these four areas that I'm focusing my efforts in are the areas which will help me to be the me that I want to be, that they will smooth off my rough edges (or maybe give me some!) and help me to be better.