Sunday, 19 October 2014

Emeralds and Poppies

This week saw me brave the Big City once more. I had been invited to accompany some friends to see the wonderful Caro Emerald play at The O2. We decided to make a whole day of it and fit in some sightseeing and girlie shopping too. How could I resist?

The pre-visit planning session took place in a pub and was not much use. Two of us turned up, we couldn't get WiFi and neither of us had brought maps or could visualise what London looked like other than a vague recollection of the shape of the Thames from the start of EastEnders. Cue conversation along the lines of “I think the O2 is about here” (points to beer stain on table) “So, we get off the bus here” (indicate dry roast peanut to left of beer stain) “The best place for lunch, then, is here” (slightly bent beermat somewhere in the middle). We decided to go with the flow and delegate all responsibility to the lady who hadn't turned up for the planning meeting!

It ended up being a relatively stress free day. I drove to Oxford and we took a coach into London, starting off in Covent Garden. I had never been here before and thoroughly enjoyed it! They even had a Moomin Shop! A whole shop dedicated to all things Moomin, I was in heaven! I only bought a pencil as that is all that would fit into my stupidly small handbag...
After this we had a very grown up lunch in an Italian restaurant. I’m quite glad I was designated driver for the day and had an excuse to avoid a glass of wine with lunch as this normally results in having to have an afternoon nap.

Covent Garden - I wish I'd taken more photographs!

After Covent Garden we strolled along the Thames Path towards the Tower of London. I wanted to visit the Poppy Garden exhibition there and the other ladies were kind enough to indulge me. I am so glad we did.... It was simply breathtaking. If you haven’t heard of the art instillation, check it out here. Basically they have created 888,246 ceramic poppies to represent those who died in WW1 and they are being planted around the moat at the ToL. It began in August and will finish with a ceremony on 11th November. I can’t even describe in words the impact that all these poppies have. And when you stop to reflect that each one represents a person then it becomes even more mind-blowing. Truly moving.

Poppies at the Tower - 

Following this sombre moment we continued on our journey to The O2. The gig was pretty awesome too. Caro soon had people up and dancing and we forgot the prospect of the epic homeward journey that still awaited us and got caught up in the music!

Bring on the music!

I finally crawled into bed at 2.15am – It had been a day of contrasts, fun and sombre reflection. And Moomins :)

Saturday, 4 October 2014

On Niddy Noddys and Hot Air Balloons!

I am currently being seriously rubbish at keeping up with my blog.... 100 lines, “I must try harder”.

Things have been pretty much ok at Mothball HQ. We are a few staff members down at work which has been a bit overwhelming at times but it has meant that I have learned some new skills (booking in groups) and had lots of opportunities to answer the phone (I’m honing that telephone voice technique!)

In real life I have been continuing the spinning. I treated myself to a new fleece – from a Dutch breed called a Zwartble. This fleece is mainly black with light tips and it has really long fibres. In essence this means it is a little easier to spin which I figured was a good thing for a learner. I have also created my first bobbin of yarn from two bobbins of thread wound together in the opposite direction than they were spun (are you still with me?). Now I need a piece of kit called a Niddy Noddy to wind the yarn into a skein. Well, I don’t actually need one, I could do it round the back of a chair but the idea of owning something called a Niddy Noddy fills me with such glee that I can’t suppress it.

The gardening is winding down. I have to admit that my half hour allotment visits have been a bit sporadic what with work and all. But the leeks are growing nicely and one pumpkin has overcome all odds and will hopefully provide some Hallowe’en centrepiece. Our plot is right on the corner of the allotments, nearest the entrance. This means it is easy to get too, not only for us but for everyone else. Unfortunately it means that all the local dog walkers seem to see it as fair game for their dogs to use.  People who have things to dump also seem to find it attractive. We’ve had bricks, rubbish, cuttings, you name it. Last week I found a lovely hanging basket, complete with flowers. I was tempted to hang it from my raspberry supports for some added colour! We have decided to make some form of fencing a priority over the Winter.

DD has passed her Fitness Instructor course – one proud Mother! She has gone on to do some extra courses so she can teach classes at her local gym. Of course, being a supportive type, I have been there at the classes. Power Pump is mostly fun. Loud ‘modern’ music and some hard work with weights. I am still struggling to move my arms for a couple of days afterwards but I am assured this will get better! The other class is enticingly called ‘Insanity’. I was swayed by the promise that there are actually only 15 minutes of exercise in this class. What they fail to tell you is that the 15 minutes are pure hell. To tell the whole truth, I was really swayed by the promise of Haribo after the class but so far this has failed to materialise.... I would like to tell you at this point that the classes have been totally worth it and I now have the physique of Linda Hamilton playing Sarah Connor in Terminator 2. That would be a lie and I suspect that the mirrors in the gym are in fact fairground mirrors because after all that pain my arse is still the size of a hot air balloon!

Oh well, back to those squats.....