Four months

Rosie and I have been living in our lovelylovely flat for four months today 🙂

In honour of the occasion, here are some photos of my BEAUTIFUL room which is FINALLY tidy since my OCD is flaring up. (Joke…I’m too lazy for OCD)

I like photos in my room…many many photos 🙂 Fortunately the previous people who lived here also liked to have stuff on the walls, so there are pre-existing nail holes which I’ve used. I’m on the look out for something to go over my bed, since that whole wall is pretty plain. I just got the white frame (the 8 photo one) this weekend, and I spent an hour or so yesterday finding the right photos for it. I think it looks pretty.

Speaking of pretty – look at these photos which I just found, I took them on my camera when we were on holiday:

I JUST LOVE THEM! I love the bold colours and the light on them. Mum got a bit annoyed with me at times, I think, because I figured out the “macro” mode and kept stopping to take photos of weird things and then zoooooooming in on them really closely. Like ladybugs – I have a whole bunch of ladybug photos saved on the computer at home. I’ll try and get Mum to send them to me, because they really are quite cool.

Get me, with all my photography talk. Such fun!


Bank Holiday Weekend

It’s the last Bank Holiday Weekend of the year…except for me it’s now just like any regular weekend, since I no longer work Mondays (whoop!!!!). Actually, saying that, it isn’t like any regular weekend…I am “on-call” for work this week, which usually runs from end of office hours on Monday (i.e 5pm Monday) to the beginning of office hours the following Monday (9am). However, due to the Bank Holiday, the office will be shut so any emergencies etc will be reported to me. So in essence, being on-call the week of a Bank Holiday means I am in effect, working whilst the majority of others are not…I feel this is an error.

Oh well. Here’s hoping that the kiddos will behave and no-one will decide to kick off or run off or have an arm fall off (I needed another scenario with “off” in it…that has actually never happened and I’d be very upset if it did!)

Rambling about work isn’t the purpose of this post. Oh no…not today 🙂 Today’s post is about two things…DIY and baking. The latter of which I happen to LOVE, the former…not so much.

HOWEVER…you may remember I gleefully posted about my newly purchased wardrobe a little while ago. Well, it was delivered on Friday (by two surly delivery-men who had neglected to read my delivery instructions which clearly stated “delivery required above ground floor” and were stroppy with Rosie who kindly waited in for me) and so the lovely Tasha and I spent three (yes, only three!!) hours assembling it yesterday.

Of course I had to photograph the occasion…

Old wardrobe...came apart scarily quickly...
Wonderful Tasha...such a help, and a D.I.Y MASTER!!!!


So many pieces...


Finished product...we were proud, and my things will fit in, woohoo


I haad to include the last one…Tasha asked so nicely for a hammer, and then was directed to my (very flowery) toolbox, to find a VERY pink and VERY flowery hammer. I think she nearly wet herself laughing. And was not impressed. I, on the other hand, love my tools. The pattern makes no difference to its’ effectiveness, and it adds a touch of hilarity when others (e.g. Tasha, or firemen) need to use my tools. Hehe.

So that was what I did on Saturday afternoon. In the evening Rosie and I went mulberry foraging (yes, really) up at the University and had a wonderful time getting all berry-stained; the berries are very juicy when ripe and at many points it did look like I’d had an unfortunate accident…juice dripping down my hand looked scarily like blood. We figure that’s where the phrase “caught red-handed” came from.

In addition, it turns out that mulberry bushes (as in the nursery rhyme: ‘here we go round the mulberry bush’) are actually more like trees.  Sadly I forgot my camera, so no pictures of our little escapade…which is a shame, since for the majority of the foraging I was in fact halfway up the tree. In my defense that’s where the most ripe ones are, and you’re looking at a girl who spent a vast majority of her childhood on Dartmoor with her nana, being encouraged (read: forced) to climb trees and massive rock formations. I am fearless.

Moving on. After the mulberries we went to see The First Grader, at the Gulbenkian (the cinema on UKC campus) which was a brilliant film. There may have been some wetness in the eye areas at several points, but it was also funny too. Heartbreaking and heartwarming, and also very enlightening. I’d recommend it, though there are some quite violent parts so it’s definitely not suitable for younger ones, or those who can’t stomach violence (like me).

Which brings us to today!! My first time back at City since finishing Impact (4 weeks ago) and I had agreed to serve on creche since a friend couldn’t. I got to spend a lovely hour or so playing with gorgeous children and chatting with mums from church, so it was great. It was so good to be back at church for worship, and I’m not gonna lie, it was so wonderful to just rock up at 10.15 and leave at 12.30!

This afternoon I went to The Range (new superstore in Canterbury) to get some new storage boxes for in my wardrobe (also managed to pick up a bar of chocolate and a lightshade) then I came home and watched a movie (read: napped) and theeeeeen I made this beautiful creation:

MULBERRY PIE!!!! (and cinnamon crunch things made using the leftover pastry since I hate waste)

** Now, the observant among you may have noticed that my blog has become much more photo-friendly in the recent month or so. This would be because I have recently acquired a new camera, and after going most of my University years without one, I am catching up now by photographing pretty much everything. I hope that’s not a problem. If it is, tough…it’s my blog so nerrrrr.

Gosh, I’m so mature it scares me.

My point being: I took photos of my baking too, so here are some for your perusal…

Mulberries…which, for future reference, attract in the greater Canterbury area. Thankfully I have a swatter for such occasions, but be careful because you don’t want mulberry and fly pie. Ick.

Check out how neat my lattice strips are! I didn’t use a ruler or anything…though it definitely crossed my mind.

Ready to go in the oven…and you’ve seen the finished product already, so to finish this post (which has been startlingly long, sorry!) I’ll leave you with a photo of the cheeky little trinkets that Rosie brought back from her holiday at the end of July…


Arson, suspect packages and a lot of world issues

Canterbury is currently on some kind of lock-down – almost – there was an arson fire set in a local department store, and then a suspect package was found along the railway so the police, army and bomb disposal unit are investigating. It’s all over the news, I was babysitting tonight and had driven past the first lot of cordons that had been set up, and wasn’t sure why, then a little while later my mum rang me because she’d seen it on her local news and it’s very rare that anything local to Kent gets onto the news in Devon.

Oh dear. Watching the news tonight was very scary…reports about the hospitals in Tripoli where people were left to die, an awful lot about the conflicts still ongoing in Libya, someone sabotaging a supply of headache pills with epilepsy medication and anti-psychotic drugs, the hurricane, a couple on holiday both dying in separate accidents (she fell off a balcony and he fell down some stairs) leaving their four children orphaned, an extremist group driving a car full of explosives into the UN embassy in Nigeria.

And that’s without mentioning the economic crisis, the famine in Sudan and the tens of thousands of refugees dying as they walk hundreds of miles into Kenyan camps, knowing there may not be much help there.

Our world is messed up 😦

Days like this make me so excited about the new heavens and earth that God has prepared for us…where all these horrible things are not even a memory. In the meantime, the hope I have in Him is superceding my anxiety but it still makes me want to cry everytime I watch the news.

In other news, today I did a very grown-up social work thing, and placed my first every foster child with my foster carers. It was quite daunting, but my manager trusted me do it by myself since I was the one that made the match and planned it all, so it was good to follow it through. She’ll hopefully come to the placements meeting I’ve booked in, to ensure we get all the final details I may not have thought of, but it went really well and I feel very pleased with myself. So that was a good thing.

Also, I babysat for a couple from church tonight so that they could have their first baby-free night out with friends in OVER A YEAR. That also felt good, because I would only have spent the evening here watching tv etc…so why not watch tv at their house and give them a night off. They came back having had a great time, in a restaurant which was so quiet that the waiters and waitresses were able to sit down at a table and have a drink. It it made me very happy to be able to help them out.

Not so good…tomorrow I’m supervising a contact for a father and his fifteen month old son. The father is a schedule one offender, which basically means he is a sex-offender, who has committed offences against children. I’m dreading it.

Kent Police just tweeted (get us with our high-tech police force) that it was an elaborate hoax. I can’t believe the best adjective they found is ELABORATE. Wow. But all is not clear, they’re heading down to the cricket ground to check out suspicious activity there.

The saga continues…

What’s new in your life?! Bet it’s nowhere near as exciting as mine…

Le weekend…

I realised today that in some blogs I’ve written something along the lines of “more on that later”, but I’ve never actually given “more” on it.

That’s very rude of me. My apologies. A few days ago I said I’d write about my “long weekend”…so here it is. Along with photos, because I’m nice like that.

The long weekend

Friday – the wedding of Miss Lauren Patricia Stratten and Mr Benjamin Scott Alun Dyer. I was like a proud momma on Friday, watching them get married. Lauren and Ben were in my fresher cell last year (2009-2010) – they came to Uni as an engaged couple and Matt (co-cell leader) and I were both really impressed with their devotion to God and the way they graciously challenged their parents about getting married whilst they were still at Uni. Friday was the culmination of two years’ planning, and it was beautiful. I drove down to Bournemouth for the occasion, and it was lovely not only to see Lauren and Ben but also to catch up with some of the students that I haven’t seen since Mobilise in July.

Here are some of my favourite photos –


After the ceremony there was a drinks reception, and following that the six of us girls (plus Matt) went to a country pub for lunch. After that, the girls and I headed out to Melissa’s aunt and uncle’s house where we were staying, and the jammies went on for the afternoon – we watched Miss Congeniality and I may have had a teeny nap before we went to the evening reception which was really fun – they had a great DJ and usually I’m not much of a dancer (I hate clubbing etc) but he played all the ones that get you singing along and enjoying it. All in all it was a great day, and we got back to the house around 11.30 and got ready for bed pretty quick…we were all exhausted!

Saturday: I’d made plans to go and see the Bournemouth Air Show with my dad and stepmum, and brothers and sister. Dad and Michelle were visiting my aunt and family in Portsmouth, and had planned to see the Air Show because the Red Arrows were going to display and we are huge Red Arrows fans (I remember seeing them fly when I was about two, and being sat on my dad’s shoulders to watch). Getting into Bournemouth and parking was tricky but I managed it, and eventually met up with them and we headed to the beach, getting thee about ten minutes before the Red Arrows, which was the first event on the programme.

If you’ve seen the news at all this week, you’ll know that after the display (which was fantastic, and demonstrated some of their new moves) one of the pilots, Red 4, crashed in his plane and was killed. We found out about the crash before most people on the beach as my uncle saw it on the news and called us, but we didn’t find out he’d died until later. There were lots of tears when we found out – it’s surreal to think that someone you’ve just watched perform died literally moments afterwards.

Because of all of that, I decided to go back to Portsmouth, to my aunt’s, as they were having a barbecue for my brother’s birthday (which was the day before). I ended up having a lovely time, though I wasn’t in the happiest of moods, and also stayed overnight and had time with them on Sunday morning which was good. I hadn’t seen them (aunt and uncle and cousins) since Jessica’s birthday last year, so it was good to catch up. And of course, it’s always lovely to see Jessica!

Sunday: Jonathan came home with me; he’d been planning on getting the train but it was nice to have company on the journey back – it was incredibly hot and stuffy but we eventually got home around 2.30pm and I vegged and slept most of the day as I hadn’t slept particularly well on Saturday night and had a headache. It was so good to sleep in my own bed!

Monday: I enjoyed my first long weekend, as I now don’t work Mondays, so I was able to get up whenever I liked and to be honest I feel I wasted the day but I’m not dwelling on it as I had a busy weekend and I needed to relax and just do nothing much before going to work on Tuesday for my first “full week”.

Here are some photos from Saturday:

Jessica is being trained up as a Red Arrows fan...

What did you do with your weekend? This weekend my plans are: having my haircut (long overdue), going mulberry picking with friends, and going to see The First Grader at the Gulbenkian (also with friends). Looking forward to it already!



This evening I spent several hours with two lovely friends,  helping a third lovely friend sew name labels on her son’s new school uniform. Earlier today, when I told my colleague my evening plans, she made that face…the one where she’s thinking “better you than me!” 

However – it’s the kind of thing I love to do, why not keep your hands busy whilst catching up with friends? We did have a preach on in the background, but it wasn’t really listened to as mostly we just talked.

I’d had a fairly busy day (I won’t say “stressful” although there were moments) and I didn’t leave the office until almost 6pm, then I was taking a meal to a couple from church who have just adopted a new baby. I was super-conscious of the extra time I spent at work, and trying to ensure everything was done at home so I could enjoy my evening…as a result when Faith picked me up I was a little out of it…but I perked up when we arrived and had tea and a slice of very naughty chocolate cake!

It can be tempting, at least for me, to want to just veg out after a long day. I often want to put my jammies on as soon as I get in the door, not eat a proper dinner and just watch mind-numbing TV for the evening and end up not even having an early night. But, I know this isn’t good for my ’emotional health’. So, after my loooong day I was very glad I had plans which meant I couldn’t wallow (though I’m not sure that’s the right word) but that also didn’t demand very much of me!

It felt like something from Gone with the Wind, or Little Women. A sewing circle really is my idea of a good time, because you don’t have to talk a whole lot, you can be distracted with whatever you’re sewing and it feels good to be productive.

Also, it was nice to be able to help my friend – she and her husband have both been very supportive of me, throughout Uni and Impact, and they both work incredibly hard. They have four great children, three of whom are moving schools this September, so there are a lot of labels to do – one is going to boarding school so needs labels in literally everything! We didn’t get through it all, by any means, but in just over 90 minutes we accomplished: hockey socks, vests, jumper, shirts, polo shirts, tie and towels. It would take much longer for just one person, and I’m betting it would be much less fun!

In short, what might seem like a really monotonous task to some (!) actually was a very enjoyable evening…I got to sew, spend time with friends, and help out someone who is lovely, and important to me. I’m going to bed happy 🙂


New furniture is on its way!

I just bought a new wardrobe 🙂 Yay! Ever since I rearranged my bedroom furniture I’ve been very frustrated with my wardrobe…it leans, so that the doors don’t shut and the drawers won’t open (tricky situation) and I have no motivation to put my clothes away. (I’m not just lazy when it comes to laundry…really).

New bedroom furniture has been on my “list” since we moved in, because I knew it would eventually drive me nuts that nothing in my room matches…I didn’t really appreciate how soon that would be. Currently the next item on the list is a chest of drawers, since the bottoms of the drawers of the one I was given are falling out…not good, because it means the drawers stick. However, I’m hoping that since the new wardrobe is a four-door one (huge, I know!!) there will be space to hang up all my t-shirts etc so I can get out of the awful habit of just chucking them into the drawer.

Maybe now I’ll actually wear more than just 15% of my wardrobe!

This hasn’t been the most exciting post I’ve ever written. It’s been a really long weekend, but I’ll post about that later. Right now I have to go into town and hi

Good Reads

There was an article in some magazine a while ago…I think I read it at the doctors, that great place of literature, and it was about books…why we love them etc.

Let’s just put it out there…I love books. I love reading. I love bookshops and libraries. I love borrowing books (though I never have enough bookmarks so sorry, lend to me and it’ll come back with corners turned down slightly) and lending books and talking about books.

Which is why I love this website, which was linked in the article:

Gradually I’m getting through my entire literary history…though I might draw the line at Katie Morag and The Old Bear Tales! I’ve also found a lot of new books to put on my “to read” list.

Check it out and have a go…


It’s official…

…my family are nuts!


Today was the final day of our holiday in Oxfordshire/Gloucestershire. I’m so tired after our 6 hour (!!!!) journey. I worked it out at an
average of 29 miles an hour…thank you Saturday traffic!

It was a really good holiday actually, the weather was really good apart from one day – the only downside of that being that it made our cottage REALLY hot and that meant everyone had trouble sleeping. Except me, because I can sleep through anything apparently!

We went on quite a few outings throughout the week; to Oxford and this little village called Broadway which was the Prettiest Village of the Year 2007, and to the Cotswolds Wildlife Park as well…a fair bit of driving all round but it was nice to see all the different things around; afterall how often do we go on holiday?

And we managed to have only one grumpy day…which I’m going to blame on the weather because it was really hot all the days before  that, and on the grumpy day it tipped it down the whole time so we weren’t sure what to do with ourselves.

I’ll try and blog more about it later but I need to go and find some bedding for the spare room (from the airing cupboard which I so lovingly tidied, which is now an absolutely state again!) and also I just need to crash out. I’m very sleepy.

But here are some photos of our holiday:


All our knees squished together on the little train at the Wildlife Park




I’m in the Cotswolds…so far we’ve taken about 200 photos between us and have had a ton of fun already. I love it. Time with my family like this is great…it’s been a few months since we were all together (and still not completely together cos my brother had to leave before I could get here) but it’s relaxed and fun and the weather is great too which helps.

I managed to get here with only the directions printed from the internet, since the cigarette charger socket thing in my car seems to have died and the battery on the satnav had run out. I’m very impressed with myself! I think it helped that I was at a wedding only about an hour from here on Saturday, so I vaguely recognised the turn offs etc. It felt quite annoying really; Thame (where I was) is off junction 7 of the M40, and the turnoff I needed was junction 8. But, it was worth going back to Canterbury on Saturday night – not that it was optional – because Sunday was the last Sunday of my Impact year.

It’s officially done…though I still need to hand back my keys. I don’t think it’s sunk in yet…it probably will over the next few days, or if not, when holiday is done. I think I’m still running on adrenaline at the moment!

I am going to try and upload some photos and video tomorrow…we have so many weird shots already that my memory card was full so I’ve transferred all my images onto the computer already.

I’m having a blast…and still 4 days to go here 🙂