A Day Out

Every so often my Uni chums and I meet up for a catch up.  It happens two to three times a year, and this year for the first time since my wedding three years ago, our fourth comrade was over from Australia where she’s been living for the past 6 years so it was a proper reunion!!

We met up at a country park north of Nottingham.  It was a bit of a drive for me from where we live, but it was a lovely place to meet.  We had a picnic whilst the kids played in a park, then strolled around to feed ducks, sat again whilst the kids rolled down hills before finishing the day off with a cream tea in a cafe!

Image

Although not as sunny as where we set off from, sunglasses came in useful!!Image

I think I dropped my camera here, but this was during the picnic!!Image

Playing catch and running up and down…Image

And here we are having our tea and scones!  (I say scones like phones rather than ones!!)

Image

It was a lovely day and I always enjoy catching up with my friends.  It’s hard to believe we all graduating University together in 2000 and here we are, 13 years later still good friends.

Steve came along because I thought all their husbands would be there too!  I’m not sure he’s forgiven me yet.  I won’t ask him next time!  Oops!!  He was useful though as he played with Joel so I could chat and relax a bit.  We’ll work extra hard on the house tomorrow and Monday to compensate for the day off!

May Day Bank Holiday

I was determined to have a nice day out, and make it something different to regular days of the week.  After all, a Bank Holiday is special and should be treated as such.  We don’t have a lot of money going spare at the moment due to house purchases going through, and potentially having two mortgages running alongside each other pending finding a renter.

So a free day out it would be, and what better than a picnic somewhere scenic?!  We settled on   a nice area in Cannock Chase called Seven Springs.  There is a pool and stream for splashing in, and a big open space by a little car park.  We set off at 11am having made sandwiches, (egg mayonnaise, tuna and pepper and jam and banana), added some sausage rolls, a bag of crisps, some apples and a bottle of squash.  We took our deckchairs, a picnic rug, our picnic was in a nice picnic bag which was a wedding present, and a ball for Joel to kick about.

We weren’t the only ones with the idea of a picnic there either.  The car park was heaving on our arrival.  We drove up seeing nothing but cars but lo an behold, there was one space at the top which had obviously not long been vacated so we took it!

Izzy was very excited and Joel was too, he kept saying ‘nic-nic’ and wondering what it all meant.

Image

I love this photo above!

We found a nice space, laid out the blanket and chairs and let Izzy chase her tennis ball until she got tired out and Joel kicked his ball with us and ran about in the sunshine until we all got hungry.  Picnic time!  We sat in our chairs (Joel loves having his own deck chair)

Image

There were a few other families sat around in their own spaces too.  Most people park there to then go for a big walk, or go cycling.  We just kicked a ball with Joel

Image

Image

Izzy loves being out of doors with us.  Here she is all content in the sunshine after running about all morning!

Image

Joel and his egg.  He’s gone off egg sandwiches but likes a plain egg!  Although Jam sandwiches are ok:

Image

Image

We didn’t like paddling without shoes on, too brrrr Mummy, so we went back up to play ball some more:

ImageImage

Then it was getting very late for lunchtime naps, and there was no way it would happen in the outdoors!  We’d been out for over two hours, eaten and had fun, so we thought we’d head home again.  Joel went to bed for a sleep, Daddy stayed indoors watching tv shows on his laptop, and I got my sun lounger out of the shed, reclined with a big sunhat on and read some more of my current novel ‘The Sunne In Splendour’ by Sharon Penman, all about the Plantagenants and War of the Roses.  So interesting, I’ve nearly finished (it’s something of a tome) and I will need a new book to read one on our hols next week.

Once Little Dude was awake we played in the garden with his water table, learning to use his scooter, and eating ice-lollies.

Then my parents came over for dinner, and I’d put a leg of lamb in the oven earlier, (Steve got half a lamb to freeze a couple of months ago and we’re still working our way through it all!) added some new potatoes, asparagus, green beans and gravy, with a Christmas pudding for dessert!!  It was a lovely meal, topped off with the bottle of wine we were given at the hotel in Kent which we’d saved.

So we had a wonderful bank holiday on a budget and it was a lovely day as well.

Sunny Saturday

How nice it is to see the sunshine for once!  It feels as though we’ve not seen it for months and months on end!

Joel woke up at 7am and Steve took him downstairs so I could lie in for another hour.  Of course, Steve only lies on the sofa and falls asleep which leaves Joel to fend for himself, but he’s very good at playing with his toys and Steve is technically there if he needs him.

This morning we all trundled over to the castle for a lovely walk.  We got Izzy to come with her ball launcher and all put our wellies on.  Joel loves going for walks at the moment, although it takes a lot of time to get him to toddle along.  He likes to stop and smell the roses (figuratively speaking) so it takes a lot of persuasion from us and occasional picking up to be a plane to get him to keep motivated and moving.

Anyway, it took well over an hour to walk the 20 minutes woodland path but Izzy didn’t mind as she had lots of ball throwing and was quite shattered by the end of it.  Joel even managed to stay awake in the car and have spaghetti and yoghurt for lunch before realising how tired he was and bursting into tears.  I made a delicious chilli con carne last night and we all had it for tea and there was one portion left which I wanted for lunch with sour cream and nachos.  It was just as tasty as I’d remembered too.  Joel kept helping himself to forkfuls from my plate alongside his spagetti.

He got bolognese sauce and yoghurt all over his face and as Steve had left me to sort lunch and was on his laptop in the lounge, I sent a very messy joel through to him and giggled to myself as I heard Steve saying ‘don’t touch, don’t touch!’ and having to clean him up!!  One way to get him to assist with these things I suppose.  He’d hate to get yoghurt on his laptop.

Joel is currently snoozing but we may go along to a softplay area this afternoon with him and have tea out.  Steve’s idea which is a nice one!   We’ve not had a date night for months so I think we’ll have to go out for dinner next month for our anniversary.  I’d love somewhere that did fine dining but Steve would grumble about prices and say he’d prefer a BigMac.  Maybe there’s somewhere in the middle which isn’t an Indian!!  (STeve will either go to MacDonalds, KFC or Indians.  He doesn’t do proper restuarants whereas I want tablecloths, candles and proper cutlery!)

 

Intruder……

I’ve not blogged for a wee while, mainly because last week Steve left the back door open, during the night some ne’er-do-well, came in and walked out again with my laptop and an old mobile phone.

It’s very freaky to think you’ve had an intruder.  Especially with us all asleep and none the wiser.

We were very lucky though, he/she only took my not very expensive laptop and most of my photos on it are backed up, and my old blackberry which was a bit battered.  It could have been a lot worse.

Friday night we had forensics around but they couldn’t find any prints, and two officers came around to take our statement.

We certainly have become rather complacent at home.  And Steve never locks the back door so he’s had a rude awakening as to what that can do.  And hopefully, he’s learnt his lesson.

Stressful Nightmare of an Afternoon

Today began with me feeling a bit itchy and tickly at the back of my throat.  My throat felt a bit sore and I just presumed it was hayfever, so took an anti-histimine (as I used to do regulalry before Joel) and thought nothing more of it.

Come midday, I was tired.  So tired I couldn’t keep my eyes open.  I think I may have even dozed off at my desk, waking suddenly when my head fell down.

So, I used 1/2 a days precious annual leave (leaving me only one further 1/2 day) to go home and have a sleep as I wasn’t functioning normally at all!

I fell into a deep sleep, with a crazy dream where I was watching the olympic flame go by, but caught the eye of Lord Seb Coe (who looked like Hugh Jackman) and we had a passionate kiss that made the front pages of the tabloids the next day, wondering who the mystery woman snogging Lord Coe was!!  Most peculiar indeed.

Anyway, I was rudely awakened at 5pm by my alarm (thank goodness I had the presence of mind to set it) and I hurled myself out of the house and heard the door slam behind me, at which moment I realised I’d not picked up my keys.

I decided the first thing to do was collect Joel, as it was nearing the end of the nursery day and I didn’t want to be fined, nor leave Joel there till last!

So having taken Izzy with me for the walk, and come back with Joel, we went to try the back door.  Soemtimes we leave it unlocked, with a key in the lock but today it was properly locked with the key hanging out of sight.  I guess that was good if burgulars decided to come calling, but for me today it was the last straw.

Being locked out of your own home, with a baby is horribly stressful.

I decided to leave Izzy in the garden, and opened the shed for her, put a blanket down and hoped that she would be ok, not bark and annoy the neighbours, and not jump the fences to find us.

I took Joel in his pushchair and we went to Asda for supplies.  I got a small pack of nappies, a pack of wipes, some bananas, strawberries (he likes fruit in a morning), clean knickers for me, and some ready done milk bottles for Joel, and some straws for him to drink it with!  We then walked along to the Travel Lodge nearest us and I rang Mum and Dad to check that they’d not put a key safe in their garden (which was their plan as Dad kept locking himself out) but they hadn’t and Joel began to cry as he was hungry (again) and I was crying because I was stressed, and Mum was stressed in Wales and Dad kept asking whether I could find a small child to put through the open bathroom window who could find the keys!!!  I ended up snapping at Dad that I didn’t know any small children, and if I did I wouldn’t want to put them through a window, and saying I’d call them back once me and Joel were settled with food.

I was in a right state by this point, Joel was howling, and I kept popping strawberries in his mouth to keep him going, and we got to Pizza Hut and I must have looked such a mess, he was crying, I was crying, I’d got him out of the buggy and was struggling with nappies, baby and bags, and the staff were lovely.  They sat me down, got a high chair, brought Joel a bowl of spaghetti bolognese straight away, and a tap water in a cup with a lid and straw.  We shared a salad bowl so he had something to nibble as well, and we were able to sort ourselves out!!

We then had a call from Mum to say a couple from Church said we could go there to wait for Steve and they live just next to Pizza Hut, so that was good.  Steve’s friend Joe, went to check on Izzy and rang me to say she was find and seemed happy enough in the garden so that was a relief.

And once we were at the couple’s house, we had chocolate biscuits and cups of tea, watched a film and then Steve got back earlier for 11.15 which was good.

I’m going to get more spare keys cut.  This situation can never happen again!  It’s just too awful!!  🙂