Thursday, May 26, 2011

England to Wales and back again

Sunday I had to move into the pub as the cat managed to make a small hole in my inflatable bed, good job its only 200yds down the road. Monday Alana went to nursery and Sarah and i went into Reading for a spot of shopping and sorting some of my bank stuff out. I was blown away at the cost of parking over 10 pounds and we were there just over 2 hours. I have got so used to not being charged to park anywhere in US.

Tuesday we had a little bit of drama, my daughter was supposed to be staying with her fathers girlfriend but at the last minute she decided to ban me from dropping Sarah off at her house. Must have heard of my prior life as a cat burglar ( Joke ) actually I am at a loss to understand, been divorced nearly 20 years and she has only been on the scene for a year, I thought that we were passed that sort of nonsense. The only good thing was it made me feel like I was back at school again!

Anyway on to plan B Sarah stayed at my ex in-laws and thank goodness we have maintained a healthy relationship over the years. I stayed with my Mum. Wednesday I took mum off to Mumbles for the day ( after we had a little bet on the horses and a visit to my Aunty Hazel and Uncle Dave) it was so lovely to finally see the sea. We had a nice lunch up at the pier then walked into town and joy of joy found a quilt shop. I bought some beach themed charm squares so I make a quilt for the little bedroom at home.

We rounded off the trip with a visit to Joe's for ice cream.

Went to pick up Sarah at the outlaws but had to drive around the block for 5 mins so as not to upset the girlfriend who hadn't left yet :-) see I really am a sweetie. We went off to Porthcawl and had a fish and chips at the Atlantic and a good long chat.

Went back for the two of them this morning and then collected my mum and off to Ewenny to Crazy Kids. Couple of hours for Alana to burn off some excess energy and then the drive back to Berkshire

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Family here I come

The car came to collect me at 10 o'clock and the first 10 miles took nearly 45mins welcome to London and that's not even rush hour. On the way we passed many of the the well known sights but one I thought might not be so well known is this one,

the locals refer to it as the gherkin. I bet the poor architect who slaved over this design is mortified. As we swung around the palace we were lucky enough to pass the changing of the guard.

At last I arrived at Heathrow ready to pick up my car from Avis. In order to for everyone to follow the next bit - british version will be in brackets. They upgraded my Ford Focus wagon (estate car) for a BMW version, very nice. It was low and narrow (normal) and took a bit of getting used to. Especially the stick shift ( gear lever) and driving on the other side of the road ( normal side of road). Roads were busy (normal) and as I got closer to Sarah's the roads were very narrow (normal) but I arrived unscathed. They were both really pleased to see me and I think Alana liked her back pack

and the denim dress

and her sundress

Sleep now thats an interesting word -- I think I remember what it used to feel like. Ho Hum! Saturday turned out to be a nice sunny day so we drove off to a Waterfowl Sanctuary on the outskirts of Banbury. There were lots of chickens, ducks, goats llamas and donkeys. Alana had lots of fun feeding them

She was also able to pet a few of the smaller animals, she had a rabbit, baby chick, hamster and a gerbil on her lap (not at the same time)

The evening was rounded off with home made chocolate puddings with runny centers and fresh strawberries - Sarah made them from scratch and they were delicious.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Canary Wharf so near yet so far

So here I am, working in Canary Wharf London. I arrived here late Monday morning and on the way in from Heathrow, passed my favorite windows, just imagine how great the light in those rooms

I have done 6 training sessions in 3 days, my feet ache like crazy. it's been interesting, especially trying to make sure that I cover everything in each session without repeating myself in the same session. Wednesday night I went out to dinner with a friend of mine who works at the company that I was working with last November. We went to Borough Market and a fish restaurant, really good. different menu every night depending on the fish they have. I had a lovely mackerel pate to start and a whole Dorset crab as a main course.

On the way back to the hotel tonight I treated myself to a rhubarb smoothie, it was yummy, you don't tend to see much rhubarb in the US. Tonight I was too tired to go out so I had room service but as I am staying at the Four Seasons it was served beautifully

So close to family yet too far to visit yet. Friday will resolve that, I will be going back to Heathrow to collect a car and then off to see my daughter and granddaughter yeay!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, May 16, 2011

Huge catch up

Wow it has been such a long time since I blogged last. I have been really busy wrapping up my project in Florida and also lots of classes and some visitors.

ok lets go back in time ......... April 13th my niece came to visit with us all the way from Scotland - only just a teenager and flew all on her own! She is a real pleasure to have around, very chatty, easy going and prepared to come hiking with us.

On the Friday and Saturday she was entertained by DH as I had already committed two classes by one of my favorite bloggers and authors - Bonnie Hunter from I took two of her classes, Pineapple Blossom

and Scrappy Mountain

These are both scrap quilts so I was able to finally start to use some of my scraps. Bonnie was a lot of fun and a really great teacher, if ever you get the chance then don't hesitate to sign up. Bonnie also gave a lecture at the guild on managing and using her scraps and one of the quilts she showed was her own Scrappy Mountain

We had lots of day trips with Caitlin and plenty of trips to the craft store. On the 23rd her mum (my sister)and stepdad arrived and so we had a week of hiking eating and chatting with them, it is always nice to see them and the time passes far too quickly.

Apr 30th I had a class at Quilters Attic in Pine Bush -- it was a cutwork embroidery and I had chance to use my cutwork needles -- they actually cut out the fabric for you -- how cool is that. Just realized I have not taken a picture yet - so will need to do that soon.

On the Sunday we went for a very strenuous 8 mile hike up and around Bald Mountain about 45 mins away from the house. It was a great day and we all enjoyed it

Although we did have a minor scare when we came across a 5ft Black Rat snake. Not poisonous but quite aggressive and moved so very very fast - yuck!

Off to Florida for my final week and then a mad sewing weekend as I found out I was going back to UK and will be getting to see my daughter and granddaughter. So I knitted a shawl for Sarah

A Jersey jacket for me

some sundresses and capri pants for Alana

And this darling back pack for Alana

How cute is this ?

This weekend I made T- shirt dress for myself but I forgot to photograph that as well. Friday and Saturday I was at a John Deer embroidery seminar it was a lot of fun and I may have made a few purchases!

I am now sitting at the airport waiting for my overnight flight to the UK - 4 days of work then some time with the family. Yeay !

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad