Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Right Now ...

... I'm looking forward to a few days away.
... Sunshine and warmer temperatures mean it's time to eat al fresco, with a side order of Pimm's.
... Reading the Neapolitan novels by Elena Ferrante on the Kindle.
... Still walking around the park each day.  A habit that's hard to break.
... Choosing 'nothing changes if nothing changes' as my new mantra.
... Not creating anywhere near as much as I'd like to be.
   ... Realising that we have probably decided on where next for The Boy Child's schooling. 
... Realising that we will probably have a fight on our hands in order to secure him a place.
... Splashing out on some new summer clothes is good for the soul, if not my pocket.

How's it looking for you right now? 

Monday, 22 May 2017

Memos: Mail: Me

It was a quiet week here in the West London suburbs.
No Happy Mail to brighten a morning,
although I did send out a few pieces. 
As for the weekend, we stayed close to home 
and invited friends over for coffee and cake.
We spent a happy few hours catching up
and realised too late that we hadn't taken any photos.
By then, the little one really wasn't interested in smiling.
Sunday saw us declare it Summer by taking the garden furniture
out of the shed and cracking the first (of many) bottle of Pimm's.

Friday, 19 May 2017

The Traveler's Notebook

With an overseas trip on the horizon,
I've been tempted to try out the humble traveler's notebook.
One 'l' or two in traveller?
I couldn't resist the urge to jazz up the plain kraft cover.
I've also added washi tape along the page edges,  
and thin lined card stock to alternate pages, simply because I am 
hopeless at writing in a straight line for any length of time. 
While we're away, I'll fill it with tales of our daily doings and 
the Instax Mini photos I'll persuade The Boy Child to take.
Once home, I'll print off and add in the Instagram-worthy prints.  

Thursday, 18 May 2017

The Design Museum

The Boy Child and I recently visited the Design Museum 
in its new home on High Street, Kensington. 
To be honest, neither of us enjoyed it very much,
 mainly because autism levels were high that afternoon.

On another day, I think the Design Museum would be a good place to spend an hour or two,
especially when they've ironed out their teething problems with interactive exhibits.
The space has clearly been well thought out and the whole museum appears
to possess a layer of peace, two things autism-parents are always on the lookout for.
So, what I'm actually saying is this, go and visit the Design Museum,
form your own opinions and then let me know.
Maybe I'll go again ... on a day when The Boy Child is in school.    

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Mini Refurbishment

A few months ago, I noticed that the carpet in the living room
had a few holes appearing.
The pile had finally been worn away after around 25 years of usage.
The ordering of a new carpet prompted me to cast an eye
over the rest of the room, leading me to renew some larger pieces of furniture.
Out went the battered and scratched sideboard
 I'd bought last century.
In came a retro-feel piece in white.
(I have the same piece in my craft room).  
   Out went two freestanding bookcases from along the back wall,
 and in came a large unit from IKEA.
Out went the large and ugly TV stand and in came
a white media unit from the same range as the sideboard.
Left to do is choosing light fittings and shades.
Having looked properly at that first photo,
 I'm also going to rearrange the display on the mantelpiece.
Nothing was thrown out.  Every item that we replaced was either 
re-purposed or given away, either to the charity shop (good will) or via freecycle.org.   

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Football at Wembley

When The Brainy One was offered free tickets to the
Women's FA Cup Final at Wembley, we decided to make use of them.  
Truth be told, I'm ambivalent about the beautiful game.
I know most of the club names in the Premiership and a few star players,
but not much more.  These last few years though, I've had to up my game
and at least browse the back pages of the newspaper in order to keep up with The Boy Child.   
You won't be surprised by my telling you that I'd never been to a professional football match.
But, Wembley, the home of English football?
On Cup Final Day?
For free?
That's an item ticked off my Bucket List.
If I had a Bucket List.
With a football match at Wembley on it.
I was prepared to be bored rigid and even considered slipping my Kindle into my bag.
But you know what, I loved it!
And it's not every day that I get to say that I saw a World Cup winner score at Wembley.
As for The Boy Child, he thought it was brilliant!  Probably because the crowd, at a little over 35,000 (35,271 to be exact, a new record attendance for women's football), didn't feel too oppressive
 and the noise level was manageable.
      Final result: Manchester City Ladies: 4, Birmingham City Ladies: 1.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Memos: Mail: Me

This week, I received a surprise in the mail from the lovely Alison.
Unexpected Happy Mail is the best!
As for the weekend, I did something that I never thought I would ever do.
I attended my first professional football match.
At Wembley.
And you know what?  It was pretty darn amazing!

Friday, 12 May 2017

Things He Says | The Tell It Like It Is Edition

Scene:  The Boy Child and I are eating supper in an Italian restaurant. 
Me: " Do I have pasta in my braces?"
The Boy Child: "Thankfully not!"

Thursday, 11 May 2017


Sometimes, when I begin a scrapbook page,
I have no idea of where it will end up.
Yesterday, I was working on a page for the Los Hermanos album
It's nothing fancy.
I had a little fun writing a note to Santa.
I love how it turned out.
It brings me joy.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

One Photo | Twenty Words

When we married, we merged two homes together;
it's taken me years to surreptitiously weed out his dodgy musical taste.  

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Hands on Therapy

 what with the The Boy Child being on school holidays.
I'd planned on rectifying that this month.
And where better than beginning with a double page spread of Max.
I still have a smallish pile of photos waiting for a home in the Los Hermanos album,
and with an overseas trip on the horizon, there's a travel journal to be prepped.
Plenty of therapy on offer this month.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Memos: Mail: Me

After the unexpected loss of Max last Monday, I wasn't really giving much thought
to the arrival of any Happy Mail. 
But there, in amongst the bills and junk mail, was my family history magazine
and two lovely cards from friends
(We've been staggered by how many people have been in touch
to let us know that they too loved our pooch.  Thank you.)
As for the weekend, we had an extremely early start for Dawnosaurs 
at the Natural History Musuem.  It was, as always, great fun.
 We also had an overnight stay from one of The Brainy One's cousins
(and you know how much we love cousins) and ventured to the park
on Sunday morning to see our dog walking friends. 

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Month in Numbers | April

Did April turn out be awesome?
Let's take a look.
Seven: the number of scrapbook layouts I made this month;
the number of pieces of happy Mail I posted out this month.
6: the number of donations to the charity shop or via freecycle.org -
2x bags of books, 1x very old sideboard, 2x CD towers and 1x very old TV media stand.
21,857: my highest daily step count.
21: the number of times I took Max to the park.
In hindsight, how glad i am to have had that time with him.
9: the number of nights that my SiL's dog stayed with us over the Easter holidays.  
Zero: lengths at the pool.  I missed the first half of the month because of the school holidays
and then I rocked up to the gym to learn that the pool was closed for maintenance
work the last two weeks.  
Month in Numbers is the brainchild of Julie
and you'll always find a warm welcome over at her place. 
 Not to mention entertaining posts about a varied list of topics.
Go on over, stop by and say hello.
You can see my previous Month in Numbers here.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

His Name Was Max

Our beloved Max died yesterday afternoon from heart failure.
He was 11 years and three months,
and he'd lived with us since he was 8 weeks old.   
He brought our family such joy and love.
The Boy Child has never known life without him.
We are devastated.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Right Now ...

... I'm finding the going to be tough.
I'll be back next week.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

All Things Mandarin

Yesterday, I accompanied The Boy Child, 13 other pupils from Year 5
and assorted staff members to a Mandarin Taster Session at a local school.
It was huge fun!
There were three sessions: language, art/culture and dance.
A few boys were silly during the dance session, but that notwithstanding,
all the children and adults enjoyed the afternoon very much.   

Tuesday, 25 April 2017


When The Brainy One travels abroad for work,
a few things happen in our house.
 I change our bed.
I love a freshly made bed.
More so if I don't have to share it for a night or two.
Is that selfish of me?   
 I also get into that freshly made bed earlier then when TBO is home.
The ritual involving The Boy Child is that he gets to choose what we have
for supper.  It invariably involves pasta, Parmesan and my home-made
hidden veg in tomato sauce.  Last night, I added diced salami and
 quartered cherry tomatoes.   

What rituals do you have? 

Monday, 24 April 2017

Memos: Mail: Me

The only bright spot in a week of envelopes with windows in
was the arrival of my sub copy of The Simple Things.
Plans to read it over the weekend didn't materialise, 
but I'll be rectifying that error today.
As for the weekend, we drove 25 miles out into the countryside 
in order to dog walk in the woods.
It was beautiful and we hardly saw another soul.   

Friday, 21 April 2017

Sywell Aerodrome

On the Saturday of the Easter weekend, we drove up to Northamptonshire
 To be honest, there's not much there unless you are an aviation enthusiast.
But it turns out that lots of people are, as it was fairly busy. 
 The flying highlight was the arrival of a privately owned Spitfire,
 which drew the crowds like a moth to a flame.   
We had a great day and it was marvellous to see The Boy Child 
and his uncle build on their relationship.
And even if you're not an aviation enthusiast, I'd still recommend a visit.
There's a beautiful Art Deco building which houses a bar, restaurant and hotel.
The volunteer-run Museum is also worth an hour of your time,
and you never know what just might fly in.
  It's also dog friendly.


Thursday, 20 April 2017

What a Pair

We caught up with our great nephews over the Easter weekend.
Although it was difficult to find all three boys awake at the same time, 
we did manage a family photo with Los Pequeňos.
As you may have noticed, Pequeňo Dos no longer needs additional oxygen
(that's him on his Gruncle's knee), and they are pretty much nigh on impossible
to tell apart.  They are now six months old and doing so well that it's easy to forget
The Boy Child loves having baby cousins and you can see him with the twins here

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Month in Numbers | March

Did March turn out to be marvellous?
Let's take a look:
55: the number of minutes it took for the orthodontist to attach my braces. 
330: the number of lengths I put in at the pool - the biggest total of the year so far.
6: the number of separate donations made to either via freecycle or to a charity.
27: the number of layouts I made during the month.  It sounds a lot, but the majority of the pages
were divided pocket pages and quick to put together.
30: the number of times I went out with the dog to the park.
  Most walks were around 90 minutes from start to finish.  
20,040: my largest daily step count.
72: the total number of leaflets I dropped through letterboxes re a proposed development.

Month in Numbers is the brainchild of Julie
and you'll always find a warm welcome over at her place. 
 Not to mention entertaining posts about a varied list of topics.
Go on over, stop by and say hello.
You can see my previous Month in Numbers here.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Autism | Five Years On

I'm back from the Easter break and ready to mark
what has been a huge milestone for my family.
Yesterday was the fifth anniversary of learning formally
that The Boy Child has autism.
I wrote a blog post back then and, having re-read it just now,
I find that I was far too cocky in my assumption that
autism is just a word. 
It is so much more than I first realised.
Autism affects every corner of our lives and we're still learning to live
with this unwelcome and unwanted intrusion into our family and home.
The biggest thing I've learned is that autism, while ever present,
comes in peaks and troughs.
It ebbs and flows.
Some days are easier then others, 
some days are harder than I ever could have imagined.
Some things for The Boy Child are easier.
Some things for The Boy Child are definitely harder.
The Brainy One and I attended the dreaded annual Statement Review meeting 
before the Easter holidays and learned that things were worse than we'd been lead to believe.
Later this year, we have to apply for the Secondary school we'd like The Boy Child
to attend from September 2018 and I desperately miss the wise counsel of this lady.  
The next few months are set to be challenging, but surely not as difficult as the last five years.
Wish us luck,