Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Holidays and Birthdays

Blogworld seems a little quiet lately. I know I was away for several days but on my return it appears that quite a few have packed their bags and are taking, probably well-earned, vacations.

I am about to do the same. I shall finish this post and then go and pack. I always fall into the same trap when my holiday comes around and have been known (on more than one occasion) to shriek "I'm never going on holiday again". To say I dislike packing to go away is an understatement. And somehow it's worse when I'm bound for Australia to visit the family. I always have to take a little something for each of the grandchildren and this time, of course, there is a new baby to buy for. And small though he may be and totally unaware of my impending visit, he probably has more parcels than the other two put together, various members of the family having asked if I would mind taking gifts. So those things will go in first and whatever room there is left and bearing in mind the weight limit, I shall cram whatever I can into my suitcase and hope for the best. Later today I will go to see my mother and pack for her also. We set off on Wednesday.

My long list of 'things to do' is getting shorter, thank goodness, although I carry a pad around with me at all times to jot down yet another task that must be done, as soon as it comes to mind.

On Sunday I finished the birthday cake I promised friends and will be delivering that later today. Hope they like it. I was pleased with it anyway.

In the meantime my cousin has telephoned to mention that she and another cousin are planning a surprise 80th birthday tea party for their respective mothers, who are twins. Would we be able to make the party and would I please make a cake. So I set to and baked the necessary and will think about the decoration when I return from my holiday.

Speaking of birthdays - it will be Bob's 67th on Wednesday, the day I'm jetting off. We did talk it through before the flights were booked and because we are on a bit of a tight time schedule vis-a-vis holidays, decided it was OK to go ahead. We will have a celebratory evening with friends when we visit them in October.

The day after we arrive in Australia it will be eldest grandson's 8th birthday - need I say more. Bob always says, with a wry smile that he knows exactly where he comes in the pecking order. And I know too! Where would I be without him!

So this is it for a short while - I may try to post something while I am away but if not I will see you in just over three weeks. Y'all take care now.

A x

Sunday, 14 September 2008

I have been given an award

When I looked at my blog this morning I had a lovely surprise as I had been given an award by Denise at http://anenglishgirlrambles.blogspot.com/

I really appreciate this award, it was a lovely surprise which I glady accept.

If you haven't already done so, do visit Denise's blog - it is so well worth the trip - always interesting with beautiful photographs. Denise is an English girl who moved to the United States many years ago. Through her blog she keeps us entertained with accounts of not only her everyday life there but we also get to go on trips around the country with her and her husband. A great blog.

Thank you again Denise.

Time Out

Well, I'm back in the saddle (so to speak) for a few days and then I'm off again.

Had a great time last weekend with two of our grand-daughters, and all went well with the sleepover! Drove up to Stratford upon Avon last Sunday morning to stay until Friday, the main purpose being to meet youngest grand-daughter from school each day. It was her second week and she is doing part time only for three weeks. Last week it was mornings from 9 am to 12 noon. She looked so tiny in her uniform, even beside her classmates (she was 4 at the end of April). She has been used to going to nursery, now absolutely loves school and can't wait for next week (week 3) when she will be staying for school dinners!! After that she will be full time and we joke that she will probably be running the school by Christmas.

I drove home on Friday night in torrential rain, the journey took me about an hour longer than usual due to (a) flooded road in Stratford and (b) traffic jams near Bristol. I do not like motorway driving at the best of times so was glad to get back indoors.

And now I have a busy few days ahead preparing for my forthcoming trip to Australia on 17 September, accompanied by my 86 year old mother. This is my first post since last weekend and I may get one more in before I go. Have quite a long list of 'must do' jobs to get through. Not only do I have to sort out the home front but I will have to do quite a lot for mum to get her ready in time.

And when I 'blogged in' this morning I found an award awaiting me from Denise at http://anenglishgirlrambles.blogspot.com/

Thank you so much Denise, it was a lovely surprise and I really appreciate it.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

See you next week

This afternoon we will be collecting our two grand-daughters who live locally, and they will be in our charge until mid-morning tomorrow. Ages 12 and 9, they are fun and good company. The plan is to take them to the cinema and then onto a local Indian restaurant for something to eat. Back at home it will be their choice of a game maybe or some TV. Their parents will have already stipulated bed-time and whenever we have sat for them of an evening the girls have, more or less, gone willingly at the appointed time. This evening will be a little different because it is the first time they have stayed over with us! We are looking forward to it - wish us luck!!

Tomorrow I shall be travelling up to stay with daughter in Stratford upon Avon, to help with the school run for the week, with youngest grand-daughter.

So I am signing off for a few days - see you next week. Take care.

A x

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Who Could Resist?

Grey squirrels visit our garden, munching on sunflower seeds and scrumping the peanuts left out for the birds. However I discovered quite early on in our now 3 year relationship that they seem to prefer the peanuts unshelled. No problem, I can keep in a stock of those as well.

A few days ago I was in the kitchen, finishing off a batch of chutney, when I spotted a squirrel, sat bolt upright and staring directly towards me. I knew immediately what to do.

I collected a few peanuts, still in their shells, and opened the door to the garden. By this time the little fellow had come a lot closer to the house and was sat waiting for me. Speaking softly to him (assuming male) I gently threw a peanut forward. He ran to it and put it into his mouth and waited until I had thrown a second and took that as well. He tried for the third but never can manage that many so turned tail and sped off back down the garden to who knows where, presumably to stash the bounty in readiness for winter. I returned to the kitchen to carry on with my task and about 10 minutes later he was back and the whole procedure began again.

People say they are pests/rodents but I like to see them - who could resist such cheeky charm?

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Birth Announcement

A telephone call from my son in Australia last night at around 11 pm brought the news that we have a new grandson. Matthew James was safely delivered and mother and baby are doing well. He weighed in at 7lb 4oz (3.05 kg), and has brown hair.

Son sounded very pleased and excited, telling me what a beautiful morning it was there.

Matthew was born at 10.33 pm (British time) on 1 September but in fact his birth time and date is 7.03 am, 2 September, being Australian time.

I telephoned this morning and spoke to each of the family, and heard new grandson making baby noises (not crying)! I am very thrilled and on 17 September will be travelling to meet the newest member of our family!

Monday, 1 September 2008

Baited Breath

Early on Saturday evening, around 6.30 pm, my DIL in Australia telephoned to say that she was experiencing the first niggles of labour!


Great excitement!

She sounded hushed and breathless. "What time is it there now" I asked, unable to quickly do the maths necessary to work it out for myself, partly because the telephone ringing had woken me out of a snooze! They are 8 1/2 hours ahead of our time. "it's 3 am" she replied, "I couldn't sleep and I knew you would be awake". Bless her heart. We chatted for about 10 minutes and then she was going to try to get some more rest, so rang off promising to call as soon as she felt ready to go!

No call during the rest of the evening and at bedtime I put the telephone within easy reach, my glass of water beyond it, for when I had to hurriedly reach out to answer the call in the night. I woke at 6 am, got up and rang Australia. DIL answered the phone. Niggling pains had subsided and she had felt nothing for several hours. I would wait to hear. By the way, baby's due date is 4 September.

Later in the day, about 1.45 pm, the call came - DIL was now having fairly severe, evenly spaced pains, about 10 minutes apart and was preparing to go to the hospital. In Australia it was then 10.15 pm.

I will add here that my son and his wife already have 2 children, a boy and a girl. Fortunately DIL's parents are visiting, their visit being timed for this occasion in order to (a) help out and (b) to see their new grandchild as well as their daughter and the rest of her family, of course.

So once again a promise was given and we waited for the call.

It came at about 10.30 pm. DIL had gone into hospital, was admitted and put to bed and the pains subsided! She was kept in overnight but sent home around 6 am (their time). Baby is obviously not ready yet. And so we wait. We do know the sex of this new baby but I'm keeping it a secret for now!

I'll keep you posted!

PS. All this working out time differences would wear us out, as we also have a daughter in New Zealand, a different time zone again. So we keep 3 clocks on the kitchen wall!