Wednesday, 21 May 2014

A bittersweet visit to my parents

One of my oldest (longest) friend's dad died recently and I travelled down to the homeland to pay my respects to him, and to support my friend. Travelling alone was a bit of a luxury, sans enfant et sans Glynn. I never get to spend time with my parents on my own, so we made the most of it. The funeral went as well as could be expected, but the party afterwards was a true celebration of his life. He would have been so proud of his two sons. 

The next day, the three of us went to Mount Edgcumbe Park for a long ramble, hoping to find where I lost my dog Kim many, many years ago. In fact my friend and I were discussing it only the day before (he'd been with me). I don't think I did find the actual pathway but we did walk around in an odd figure of 8 shape, finished off by a nice cup of tea in the Orangery. Here Dad and I are racing back from the Folly to up where Mum waited.





How many posts do I write about actual blogging?

I don't actually know, but I'm guessing I could count on more than one but less than two hands. Today I had some time on my hands (hence the counting) as my dear boy had to be collected from school as he wasn't feeling well. After quickly covering my lessons, I took him home and we bundled on the sofa, watching MOTD, Outnumbered, Tom n Jerry and Johnny Test. I read three chapters of The Mystery of the Strange Bundle (Blyton's Five Find-Outers) and I'm reading the last two chapters before bed. I've also done a load of washing and done a bit of surfing, both things I rarely have time for.

Searching for a magazine-like website for women, I came across Huff Post's post Top 10 Websites for Women and discovered xojane.co.uk and blogher.com from whence popped this!

Inspired, I start (again) and hope I continue...

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Beef goulash - yummy

Mr Humdrum's "fun" Christmas present this year was a Hamlyn recipe book "200 really easy recipes". It's nearly the end of April and he hasn't been near it.

I batch cooked in the Easter holidays and made beef goulash. Defrosted it and ate it yesterday with a jacket potato. Gosh it was yummy. The sauce was thick and tasty. I didn't use my own stock but hey. And I discovered that marjoram was basically oregano. Result!

Can thoroughly recommend it.



Monday, 7 April 2014

Sunday Monday happy days

(I have just changed my font to Helvetica - didn't the creator die recently?) (Yes and I know it's a typeface not a font.)

This past week or so, I've been doing the 100happydays challenge. You have to Facebook or tweet (or email to be private) a photo of what makes you happy for 100 days in a row. You receive a book of your images at the end as a reward. On day 8 so far, the hardest part for me is not, as the raison d'etre of the challenge suggests, that I'm too busy for this; rather I am prone to forgetting! I have therefore set up a reminder on my phone. I'm worried that food pictures will feature, and I don't want all of my posts to be "Oh so proud of my son" etc. 

And it's not like I'm not happy! I am, well I'm content, and that in my (photo) book is better than being happy. I like being content with the happy bits coming often. 

Anyway, why not take up the challenge? I just want the book. But how on earth the photo of the cup of tea on Day 2 will make any sense without its caption (Cuppa made for me at cub drop off), I don't know. Watch this space.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Thankful Thursday

This probably exists already as a meme, but let's just assume I made it up. I have managed to get through a whole month without blogging. Things have been annoying this year so far; not THAT bad but downright annoying. And while I can manage one or two annoying things, when EVERYTHING is annoying, well it just gets you down. Let's just think about work though...

Just as the Spring weather bursts out, I am starting to feel better. This Thursday I am thankful that I've had a good week at work. Not just a good week, but the best week this year so far. In January I changed my role at work. Feeling like I needed a change, I asked for it. But when it happened, it had attached to it another role that challenged my confidence. Realising I am "externally referenced" (thanks Shorwood and her NLP training!), when I understood this reference was not forthcoming, I knew I had to look inside myself to boost my confidence. I aspire to be more "externally referenced".

Due to ill health (a horrid flu-like thing and a small, planned hospital procedure) plus half-term sandwiched in the middle, a three-week break inadvertently afforded me the opportunity to step back and view my progress, or my perceived lack of, and how I was going to "make it work". Unfortunately I cannot explain how I did it - I think it just happened to me. Maybe it was in the back of my mind all the time, and it needed time and space to move around and sort itself out. However it did it, it did it.

Hence this week's HURRAH. (I also started teaching French to more classes so that might have something to do with it!)

In any case, this positivity resulted in a desire to blog today. HURRAH indeed!

So this Thursday, I am thankful for my nasty flu bug and a small operation.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Happy Humdrum Christmas

I'm happy. I'm about to spend another sleepless night coughing, but I'm grateful my cold and cough appears in the evenings only.

It was a shame we had to drive down in that awful weather on Monday, but I'm happy we had the chance to see our niece and meet her toddler son for the first time.

I'm bemused our son was underwhelmed by his BMX bike, but I'm pleased he was delighted with his tablet from his grandparents.

I'm slightly worried that he spent a long time playing a coin game on it, but happy he sent me his first email (aged 7). Scary.

Tomorrow we get to spend the day with my parents and I can't wait.

And at this very moment, I'm extremely happy that I get to read the new Rebus book. My bestest present so far!

Hope you had a good one.







Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Meal Planning Monday - always late!

Wrote my week's planning on Saturday. Posted it Wednesday! Here goes ...

Saturday - cheat lasagne (fresh sheets of pasta, cheese sauce tub, Look What We Found bolognese) and garlic bread from the freezer YES

Sunday - roast chicken with veg gratin using up rest of cheese sauce from yesterday YES

Lunches at work - soup made today

Monday - meatballs n pasta (all meat bought on 3 for £10 at Waitrose) HAD TUESDAY

Tuesday - beef casserole and dumplings HAD JACKET POTS

Wednesday - jacket pots with tuna OOPS PIZZA COMING...

Thursday - pizza wraps

Friday - outlaws staying so hopefully they will buy a takeaway!

Thursday, 14 November 2013

His name's Edna. Edna Book.

For every time I worry that my son spends too much time in front of the telly or on my laptop, please let me look at this photo to remind me of the time he spends with his nose in a book. I'm not that worried really; he lives for football and spends hours playing with his mates in the park. But on Tuesday at the school book fair, he wangled an early "Good Parents' Evening" gift out of me in the form of the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid book. I'd planned on buying it anyway, and there was £4 off at the fair! I told him he would have it taken away if we didn't get a good report.

Yesterday was Parents' Evening but we only got to see his Maths teacher as his class teacher was off sick. Thankfully he got a good report for Maths.

But I couldn't really take the book off him in any case, should he get a bad report from his class teacher. He's already finished the book! Within one day, he'd finished it! That was because he read on the way home from school, walking from the car to the house, whilst he was eating. You get the picture.

So if Miss M tells me he's a nightmare, what am I going to do? Help!

Monday, 4 November 2013

How to get humdrum but happy

December's issue of Psychologies has this as a strapline. Coach Jessica Chivers suggests ways of finding even dull (necessary) housework activities more appealing. She talks of reframing the chore - I find that phoning my mum makes emptying the dishwasher much more enjoyable.

She also talks of exchanging the bucket list of "things to do before you die". Okay I don't think many of us would sniff at seeing the Northern Lights, but how about standing on Southsea beach, facing the Isle of Wight, during Cowes Week. Try and beat that contrast of white sails against the blue sea.

I'm thinking of creating my own list; not a bucket, rather a suitcase filled daily with "things" that have made my life happier, made me more content. Maybe this is where my blog is heading...

Saturday, 2 November 2013

A new desk!

I've moved my desk area. It's still situated under the stairs in our open plan front room/stairway area. It's no biggie really. I just turned it 90 degrees and tidied it up. BUT it's made a huge difference. We can now sit and type at the desk, or write, while still looking at half the room. I'm hoping this will make a difference to the frequency with which I blog... you never know!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Meal Plan Monday

Well last week didn't go to plan as I was ill. Clearly Mr Humdrum can't cope so I had to muddle on. I managed to resist the Dominos helpline but we did have fish n chips Thursday night. I also made butternut squash soup and veggie soup - the former for my lunch and the latter to have in a cup as a starter to get more veg down us.

This week we will mostly be eating OOTF (Out of the Freezer) as I am loath to spend more money on food when I have a whole dead farmyard in there.

Roasted turkey breast with some trimmings
Gammon steaks for the boys and jacket potato n tuna for me
Home made steak burgers and home made wedges (pic below)
Omelette with soup as a starter
Chicken curry, not sure which flavour yet

In other news I did a tiny shop in Aldi tonight. Last time I stuffed my basket down in a huff about the long queues but today I persevered. Will report on quality!

I am also trying to "eat clean" for some of the day.