2014? No, seriously?

So here we all are, 2014…. It’s well underway already and has started well in our little corner of the world. So far, we are doing okay. *touch wood*

The year of the Horse… The international year of family, farming and crystallography!

The year is unfurling in front of us, as it always seems to do once you get past silly season. We have thought about holidays, discussed caravans and cars, locations. Got confused about where the first week of summer should be spent (Cornwall or Wales, I’d like to do both but they are both happening the same week!) Considered plans for evening entertainments, It seems that the small people are of a ‘scouting’ age. I’ve signed the little lady up for Brownies and the little man is chatting about beavers, he’s still a little young but almost there. The little lady is practicing hard for her Orange belt, the grading is set for April, she and himself have bought a kick bag to practice with.

I’m thinking of ‘sausage inna bun’ nights and perhaps a souper Sunday get together! I’m looking forward to a party in March for a 60th and wondering if himself and I might get the prospect of a child free weekend and if so, what to do.

Chinese New Year is almost upon us, one of the little ladies close friends is from China, in past years we have had parties and lanterns, red envelopes and Chinese crafts. It’s always a fun time.

2014 sees the approach of the Winter Olympics, a firm favourite in this house, especially the skeleton. The smalls loved the 2012 Olympics and all the excitement it generated. It will be their first Winter Olympics they are old enough to watch and enjoy. Russia is a fascinating place, I’m looking forward to discussions of culture, vodka, weather and much more as I’m sure there will be topics at school and much coverage.

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Pancake day seems late this year, march 4th, we don’t need an excuse for pancakes in this house, we love them, I think we may have to do a few trial runs 😉

And soon, before we know where we are, the snowdrops will raise their gentle heads, followed by crocuses, then daffodils….

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Some friends of our left for the US of A today, there have been tears. I’ve managed to hold back the floods in the face of my friends wobbly lipped braveness but the little lady has balled her heart out. We’ve installed skype on my iPad so she can gossip to her friend across the Atlantic. I have put CST time into my world clock, I can tell we are going to have some issues explaining that one! Anyway… We wish them well on their adventure and we will see you soon!

Round and round at rounders!

I should have kept quiet about the good weather last week! Silly me…

However, we are British and as a friend of mine often says “There is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes.”

Week 2 (13th – 19th May) of the Mark Warner Holidays Active Families challenge.

Active playtime – active family playing lively games and perhaps learning a new skill.

We had a bit of a change to the #mwactive schedule this week, caught me a little of guard because I’d rallied the troops and asked some fabulous friends to join us at our local recreation ground for a picnic and some fun.  The 3 families made two great teams and we had an amazing time teaching the small people how to play Rounders! It was certainly lively!

Firstly, we did a warm up, critical when you are being so active. Our team physio instructed us on how to avoid Achilles and ham string strains with some stretching exercises (I hope I got that right!)

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Then Mr.K explained how the game was played, what the wellies (bases) were for and how you ran to the next base before the ball got back to you.

Then we got stuck in…

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Everybody runs!

Watch out for the tweets about our activities on twitter (@kailexness) using the tag #mwactive, you will also find the other bloggers taking part of the challenge through that tag.

So next week we ‘Get Sporty’ with some healthy competition.

I have to add my thanks to some great friends who got soaked through with the drizzly rain, Thanks Everyone!

Pizza and Chick Flicks

A night out is always to be relished when you are a SAHM and often the simple pleasures like making and sharing dinner and watching a film together are the best!

The mulled wine was most welcome too! Yum!

The goats cheese, sundried tomato and pineapple pizza was the winner for me even if I did have to pull off all the chillies (woos!)

Sex in the City 2 was fun as well, even though I have never seen the series or the first film it made me giggle, thanks to Annemarie for her hospitality!

Tis the Season…. to be 40 #thegallery

Thinking of the Gallery theme for this week didn’t bring to mind the yearly season changes for me, rather with my brain fixated on last weekend it reminded me of how in years past my birthday always signified the start of the festive season of sorts.

I’d celebrate my birthday, then Guy Fawkes, by which time the shops are brimming with goodies to eat and drink on the month long diet crisis that has become Christmas, there is the shopping and the parties (not so many now sadly) the ferrying around to the various outreaches of the family to make sure everyone gets their gifts.  Then the day itself cramming in booze rich food and Triv. Boxing day slumber, smoked salmon and scrambled egg, a walk somewhere in the chilled air, New Years Eve and more booze followed by a bleary start to the new year.

Some of this still happens, other bits have lessened, we now have the nursery party and a nativity to enjoy, the Santa Train is a highlight for me, this will be our third year in a row (I’m so excited!)

Christmas with the smalls is a sheer enjoyment that I revel in much more than booze and rich food and it all starts with November the 1st, so I thought I would share with you the photo’s from Saturday night. (Because it’s my blog and I can…  LOL!)

As always, don’t forget to pop over to Sticky Fingers for some much more sensible entries….

Sometimes it pays to take short cuts

I sometime think there is so much involved with my leaving my post as “Mum in Charge” that it is not often worth it and when I return to disaster and devastation I usually conclude that this is so… Today however proved to have been totally  worth the effort and so far (reaches out to touch wood) there is no disaster, devastation or repercussions to report, it has obviously been one of those serendipitous days which are meant to be, and for that I am grateful.

In order to leave home today with as little stress and apprehension as possible I got ready whilst the smalls played in the bath and then cooked an early lunch, I was going to do Roast Lamb, it is Daddies favourite but the Little Man is being faddy at the moment and would have kicked off and probably thrown it on the carpet – play it safe I said to myself, so they had Sausage, Beans and Chips which always disappears – how do they know?

I told Daddy to put the Little Man to bed when he finished his dinner, our usual routine and to let the Little Lady watch a film on the car DVD screen with ear plugs in – great fun for her – so he could watch the British Grand Prix in peace, I will probably go to Mummy hell for that short cut but my husbands sanity was at risk…

So at 11.30am I left my family stuffing dinner appreciatively.

I took the back road to Bristol and pootled my way through the villages in beautiful and desirable quiet, there is much too much noise in my life at the moment, the vocal talents of my smalls are far reaching and penetrating. I always have difficulty discerning between sounds, if I am trying to hold a conversation somewhere noisy and I suddenly lean towards you or turn my head slightly it’s because I can’t hear you, probably not because I fancy you 🙂 Any time spent without noise is a blessing and driving in the car without company is rare, I found I was smiling to myself as I drove, not caring if the drivers coming the other way thought me a demented idiot.

Bristol itself is much changed since my college days and I have not been to the new look center, wow, just wow and lots off it, Cabot Circus is an impressive development, it has gone on my “get back to another time list” for further exploration. I walked through to Quakers Friars, where both my Mum and Dad had got remarried, (what a difference!) I wandered around to the old entrance, reminised a bit, noted the proposed arrival of The Sanctury with a leap of my heart (always wanted to go there) found a comfy spot on a very comfortable cool marble bench and waited…

The look on Julia’s face as she approached me was truly hilarious, is she isn’t she, I still think we should have worn carnations or something, I couldn’t help laughing. It was so pleasant to sit there in that smart square full of brightly coloured deck chairs and become acquainted, after a short while we were joined by Chris and the Tweetup began.

Vicky caught up with us at the restaurant, Bella Italia is so great for a meet up, the staff are relaxed and on a Sunday it was not heaving, they let us get on with the gossipy stuff, no rush, no pressure. For myself it is so nice to meet with other women who don’t just talk about their smalls, ok, so we did talk about the smalls but other subjects were explored and enjoyed, many laughs were shared over some delicious Italian food – I’m not telling what we discussed, what happens in Bristol stays in Bristol. But it was great and they are brilliant and I can’t wait to do it again.

Vicky – Vegemitevix, Julia – What will Julia do next, Chris – Thinly Spread

I got half way home and my phone rang, oh heavens it’s the husband! Have my peace keeping shortcuts paid off or has all hell let loose? I pulled over and answered with bated breath…. No, he sounded calm and happy, would I be long because the little man had woken up with a full nappy and it was a stinker… He doesn’t do bad nappies as they make him want to throw up, well if that was the limit of the disaster I was thrilled! Home I came, changed the nappy, made sandwiches for them and all was well.

What a bloody brilliant day 😀

Friendship (The Gallery – 13)

This weeks gallery theme from Tara at Sticky Fingers is Friendship

My husband took this picture during one of our get together weekends in Teignmouth, good friends, happy times.

Wedding Bliss

Like a lot of people I love a good wedding, I’m not the weepy sort of wedding follower in fact in general I don’t mind missing the ceremony all together that comes under the heading of “the boring bit”….

Brides always look beautiful on their wedding day, it’s not the virginal white dress or the careful make up, it’s not the thousand pound-odd location, the fancy car or the clever photography. Fat, thin, super model beautiful or just plain old ordinary, it’s the inner glow, the sheer happiness, the big grins and the soppy love filled eyes. Not my favourite part of the wedding though…

The wedding breakfast, yum, 3 course meal with free wine – need I say more…

Shame about having to listen to a load of speeches though but hey! The speeches are generally followed by the PARTY!

I love a good knees up at a wedding, band or disco I don’t care, give me wine and a dance floor with a load of happy friends and relatives and I can’t help strutting my funky stuff even though I look like a sack of potatoes and “Dance like me Dad”  I’m sure I’m an embarrassment to everyone around me but frankly my dear I don’t give a damn, I’m never more lost inside myself than when drunk and boogieing.

Weddings though are a hot bed of happenings, my husband and I attended a fabulous wedding last weekend, it was an evening only invite which I usually dread.  I hate turning up half way through a wedding with everyone who has been there all day already happy and settled in their surroundings I always feel like a gatecrasher, however for some reason last Saturdays was different, maybe it’s because a good friend of mine had been there all day and although it’s my husband’s friend who was the groom I have met the bride socially and a few of her friends too.  It is probably also because you couldn’t wish to meet a nicer more diverse group of people.

The atmosphere was lovely, happy and relaxed, the groom plays in a band and they provided the music in the evening with the members moving in and out easily, there was some show casing going on but who can blame him, it was his wedding day!  In the main room with the dancers was a piano and on this had been placed a great photograph of the happy couple with a nice wide frame for the guests to write their best wishes. Don’t ask me what I wrote because I couldn’t tell you except it was polite and loving – I had a few extras that evening.  Soon after me I noticed one of their other friends sit at the piano and start writing with concentration, “That’s nice, she’s giving it great thought”  I mused to myself and wandered off in the direction of the husband and the bar.

A little later the friend I saw writing came and sat next to me, she was behaving fairly sheepishly and her partner was glaring at her with extreme disapproval. “Whats going on”  I asked “I’ve been a bit naughty” she said, this lovely friend with a great sense of mischief had drawn a goatee beard on the bride!

Obviously she was now a bit aware of the repercussions of her actions, so I told her to “fess up” before 1) they noticed or 2) someone told them, so she called the Groom over and fessed up good.

He said, that it was fine because they were going to use a wedding photo in that frame and all was well in the world – lovely man.

Later that evening someone added devils horns to them both, what are people like!