Friday, 29 April 2011

Royal Wedding Day

Oh wow! What a day. Actually I got up pretty late today. Hubby left me in bed and looked after the kids so when I finally dragged myself out of bed and came downstairs at 11 o'clock, I found that Kate and Wills and everyone else had started without me! How rude!
So we watched Kate Middleton and Prince William get married on the telly and late afternoon we went round to Hubby's parents for a celebration tea.

It is compulsory, at times like this, to don a silly wig, hat or deely boppers, or all 3, put up some bunting and balloons and have a jolly good time!

We had a little drive around the town afterwards to look for signs of other celebrations so that I could share some images with you. Most of the street parties had already cleared away, but I caught this one just packing up.
Did you watch the wedding today? I hope you enjoyed the day.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

The Easter Grotto

Here are some slightly late pictures of the Easter Grotto that Honor and I made in the garden.

I got these little blue angels to hang over the 'tomb' on Easter Sunday.
I think they are made by Gisela Graham. I have quite a few decorative bits and bobs from her.
Hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend and enjoyed the weather which was fantastic!
Here he is, my brave little man in the hospital. He is at home now, though he can't go to school, or play, just watch dvd's and keep his arm elevated on a pillow for a week. Then we go back to the hospital to see what happens next.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Great Expectations.

I'm not that phased, really. Exhausted, yes. A bit emotional, yes. Hungry, not any more.
About 3 Christmases ago I realised. Things may have got a bit out of hand. Expectations of the perfect meal, perfect presents, the whole experience has got to be, er, perfect. And Easter has got a bit like that too. It's not me! All I would like is a 5 minute breather. 5 mins to close my eyes. 5 mins to look around me and see how lovely it all is (sometimes!). Maybe one less argument that day. Oh, and a really good episode of Dr Who. But I don't expect it. So when the nurses at the hospital and kind, well-wishing friends said "Oh what a shame that happened on Easter Sunday" (Henry breaking his arm!) I thought, "well, why wouldn't it!?"

It was about eleven o'clock. The kids had done their egg-hunt in the garden and Hubby had made us eggs benedict for breakfast. (Not sure about that hollandaise sauce!) A joint of beef was in the slow cooker and I was thinking I was so full, it would be some time before I'd be ready to eat it! I sat down in the gazebo with a cup of tea and told Henry to go and play. Within seconds there was an almighty scream (fairly typical) and I looked up to see the look of horror on Henry's face and the lower half of his left arm flailing unsupported from his elbow joint. I ran to him, held onto his limb and quietly told him to stay calm while calling up to the bathroom for Hubby to come and help.

After a visit to the local minor injuries (it wasn't!), Henry and Hubby were sent on via ambulance to Margate hospital. I got on with arranging babysitters for the girls and met them down there. Meanwhile Henry had been x-rayed and booked in for an operation to have his elbow pinned and wired.
Several trips back and forth later, Hubby and I waited for the outcome. Then it all got a bit scary. We were met with a team of surgeons who were concerned that the blood flow to Henry's hand was limited. As the surgeon, who looked exactly like Lex Luthor from Smallville explained, this was serious and a specialist cardio vascular surgeon would need to come and perform a second operation. We were warned that Henry might lose his hand and there followed a very tense 2 hr wait into the early hours of the morning while they operated.

As it turns out, the artery that they thought was damaged was trapped and the surgeon was able to save it. So far it looks as though he will be ok. Maybe some nerve damage.

Henry is in a lot of pain and is still in hospital. Hubby is with him. I hope they'll come home tomorrow.

My Mum has been great and really helped out with looking after the other two children and lots of people have sent kind offers of help. I've just had the beef from the slow cooker, cold, with salad, new potatoes and coleslaw - my first proper meal since Saturday (if you don't count the eggs benedict!). It was lovely!

Get well soon Henry! xxx

Saturday, 23 April 2011

The poster.

Here is the poster that we modelled for. Funny, isn't it?

This week

On Tuesday, my mother treated Honor and I to a trip up to London to see the ballet, Cinderella at The Royal Opera House. It was very exciting travelling through the big city on the coach. It is such a contrast to our countryside surroundings. The buildings are so huge and the streets so busy with people coming out of work who all looked so tiny. We passed The Tower of London and St Paul's Cathedral to get dropped off at Covent Garden. We wandered around the square for a bit, looking for somewhere to stop for a drink, but everywhere was packed. So we decided to go straight into the Opera House and have a drink in their very grand bar. We pre-ordered our drinks for the interval (which has always worked well whenever we've been to a show at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury. Saves queuing. ) But when we came to collect our drinks, mine had been knicked and so we spent the whole break queuing for a refund. The ballet was very lovely, though. Isn't it amazing how a story can be told without using any words? Honor was thrilled by the performance, particularly at the comic moments of the ugly sisters. The journey home was painfully tiring though. We finally got home at 1.30am. I was hoping for a lie-in in the morning, but little Hope woke up as usual loudly announcing that it was "Timmy-Time!"

The weather has been very hot. Yes, hot. I don't know how I'll cope when the summer comes! Hubby and I have been doing lots in the garden. We got some wooden pallets given to us by the church and Hubby has made a large planter and a wheelie bin screen out of them. Honor has helped make an Easter grotto in one corner of the garden. We put up a crucifix with a crown of thorns hanging on it and built a tomb out of rockery stones. I shall try and get some pics tomorrow when we have our egg hunt.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Minor injuries and museums.

It is the Easter holidays and the kids and I have been exploring various different play areas. Honor and Henry really make the most of these chances to play but with little Hope in tow, the fun has been short lived because when she gets tired and cranky, we have to pack up and leave. The older kids have been extremely gracious about this and came as soon as they were called. Today we were lucky because Hubby worked from home. (Actually, he had a suspected broken wrist and was waiting for an opportunity to go to the local minor injuries clinic to get it x-rayed...)
So while he was home, I was able to take Honor and Henry out by themselves.
We went to Herne Bay where they played at a seaside park and on the beach without interruption...
... and to a coffee shop for a knickerbocker glory!

Then we went to the museum to learn about fossils.

When we got back, Hubby and Henry went to minor injuries. Hubby had an x-ray, but it seems that the wrist is badly bruised. He can't clean the toilet for a couple of weeks!
Actually, yesterday, the kids and I took part in a little modelling project. My cousin is an editor of a local health magazine. She was putting together a poster to educate the public in using alternative health providers to A&E, for example, minor injuries, pharmacists etc. I had to pose as a gardener, with gloves, hat and trowel grimacing, rather unflatteringly with back pain. Henry looked very gorgeous with his skateboard feigning a sprain and Honor looked pretty in a flowery dress pretending to have been stung by a bee. We took one of those 'buzzy bee' flowerpot decorations as a prop, but it was declared 'too cheesy'! My uncle modelled the diy disaster, pretending to hit his thumb with a hammer. When I told him that Hubby was planning to go to A&E about his wrist, he suggested a local minor injuries surgery that had an x-ray facility. I never knew! Good advice, Uncle Ken!

Another wildlife visit

Yesterday we went to Wildwood, the wildlife park where we are members. It looks after British species of wildlife, past and present. One of their most fascinating species is the adder, Britain's only venomous snake. Here is one that we saw basking in the warm, spring sunshine.

They have three species of deer there, too: roe, red and fallow. Here are the children getting hands-on experience of the deers' antlers.

But the best bit of all is the picnic!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

More simple than Nigel

Not the most ambitious cookery project, but you can't beat chocolate crispie cakes for a bit of simple fun for the kids. We have all been enjoying the Nigel Slater Simple Suppers programme on BBC on Sundays. The kids sit glued to the TV with their tongues hanging out like a couple of labradors waiting for their pedigree chum and talked excitedly about the recipes that they were going to make which included beetroot seed cake and beer and beef. Well, I'm sure we'll get round to that soon but for now we got out the boxes of cereals and made these cakes.
But first they did a bit of maths practise. Here is Henry tracing shapes. I recently subscribed to a website called wondrous worksheets and I really like their simple, easy to use worksheets. Honor is learning how to find percentages so I keep printing out the sheets from this site to reinforce this skill.

Then we got into the kitchen and got all chocolatey!
And I made some heart shaped parmesan and goats cheese biscuits.

This afternoon we got our bikes out. I am trying to get used to a) riding a bike again and b) riding a bike with little Hope on the back. We managed to get as far as the local dairy farm where the farmer let us into one of the cow sheds to see the baby calves. AAaaaahhhhhh!
As my legs get stronger, I hope to cycle longer distances and use less petrol which is now very expensive.

Friday, 8 April 2011

The water-fight.

Well. What a beautiful couple of days it has been, weather-wise. This week I have been mostly playing in the garden with Hope. She loves being in the garden and when I give her some water to play with she is in heaven! This afternoon she used paint brushes and plain water to paint onto the patio and enjoyed using the jug from her tea set to pour water down herself! After school, Honor and Henry came home and had a water fight. They were having great fun until they trampled mud through the house, had some sort of rumpus and left their wet clothes on their bedroom floors for me to pick up. I got a wee bit cross and sent them to bed without watching Doctor Who. There followed one almighty slam of a bedroom door.
Oh well. Looking forward to the weekend....

Monday, 4 April 2011

Happy Birthday to Boo!

On Saturday it was little Hope's second birthday.

She had jelly babies for breakfast!
And we bought her this little tea set.
She enjoyed her party a lot more than she did last year. She revelled in all the attention and ate lots of cake!
Ah. What lovely girls!

The weather here has been quite nice too. I've been growing some seeds on my windowsill and today I planted out a few rows of peas. I start most things off indoors as I don't have much luck with sowing things straight into the ground. However, I have sown some spring onions and radishes straight into the veg patch as they were successful last year.
We have plans to make a simple outdoor kitchen this summer. I am inspired by the Nigel Slater 'Simple Suppers' programme where he is often cooking delicious recipes outdoors at somebody's allotment or veg patch. At the moment I have sown peas, broad beans, runner beans, swiss chard, perpetual spinach, beetroot, salad leaves, spring onions and radishes. Little Hope has helped with a lot of the planting. She has been learning to spoon compost into a container at her Waldorf Steiner toddler group.
We have plans to fix up our indoor kitchen too. I don't know if I mentioned it, but a pipe in the bathroom leaked recently causing damage to the ceiling. So that needs repairing and I think we shall be retiling and putting in new worktops and sink too.