A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Showing posts with label The week that was. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The week that was. Show all posts

Monday, 14 March 2016

The Week That Was... 14th March 2016

This week has been one of contrasts. A day of torrential rain on Wednesday meant that local roads were impassable and when it did eventually stop, a hint of sun created a gorgeous rainbow. There were days when the temperature barely lifted at all, followed by a welcome reprieve of warmer weather and sunshine at the weekend. 

The Weekend
We took Saturday off and ventured into Worcester for shopping and breakfast at Bill's...

Banana & Blueberry Pancakes

For once, the weather was rather lovely and it made a change not be wrapped in a coat or huddled beneath an umbrella. The warmer temperature inspired a craving for salad and summer fruit and so, a quick trip into M&S was required to stock up on supplies.

Any suggestion of warmer weather and I need to spend time outdoors. We're fortunate enough to have a sheltered spot in the garden that creates the perfect suntrap and despite the temperature being only 10 °C at 1pm on Sunday, we ate lunch in the garden. Red onion and cheese focaccia with pesto and sun-dried tomatoes, served with bistro salad and almonds...

Red onion focaccia, lunch, garden

There wasn't a cloud in the sky...

Cloudless sky, sunny day

And we were joined by fellow sun-worshipper, the cat. Snoozing on the gravel while the sun's out is one of her all-time favourite things to do...

Cat sunbathing

I even went old school and scribbled this post longhand before typing it up later in the evening. I always love the idea of using the laptop in the garden but unfortunately this is something I've never mastered. If anyone has any tips for using a laptop outside, I'd love to hear them.

Sophia has booked her flight to the US and leaves on 10th June to work at Camp America for the second time. I won't get to see her again until 2nd September - but she goes with my blessing and I hope that summer 2016 will be equally as fabulous as last year. Olivia's secured an internship with a newspaper during the Easter holidays. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she will also spend some time at home, or she won't get to see her sister until September.

Bond Movies
I finally got around to watching Spectre this week and have to say that I wasn't overly taken with it. For me, the film lacked a certain something that I couldn't quite put my finger on. Was I missing Dame Judi maybe? Or was it the suggestion of a link between Spectre and so many of the great Bond film plots that rankled? Did anyone else pick up on this too? Mr A jokes that I missed my true vocation in life and should have been a film critic. 

I spied this Umbra Wave Wall Art Frame for the bargain price of £4.99 at TK Maxx. It makes a simple, but stylish addition to the conservatory...

Next Week 
Next week is going to be hectic as we prepare to pick up Sophia from Uni and I take on extra hours at work. There are also multiple projects ongoing in the house.

Well that's about it from the Anderton house for now. Here's hoping the week ahead is a brilliant one for all of you. I'd love to hear what you're up to x

Copyright ©2016 Izzie Anderton
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Tuesday, 8 March 2016

The Week That Was... 7th March 2016

It's been a busy week both at home and at work, so apologies for being slightly behind with the blog and if I haven't been around as much as usual on social media, I hope to catch up with everyone very soon.

This was my week...

Feeling Meh!
To be honest I'm feeling a bit 'meh' about everything at the moment. The cold weather is starting to get on my nerves and I'm longing for warmer days and the chance to see my daughters at Easter. When you're feeling under the weather there are two options and you can either keep moping or, drag yourself up and do something - anything will do.

I don't have a tendency to mope, so instead I've tackled a few of the tasks from the 'Snowball in Hell' list on my planner. The theory behind this is...

1. It's actually quite cathartic ticking things off the list.
2. The house is improving and the aspiration of living in a minimalist home could actually happen one day,
3. Once the weather changes for the better, I'll have completed most of the mind-numbing tasks on the list and be able to enjoy time off for good behaviour :o)

Live Music
On Friday we enjoyed a brilliant night out. I'd deliberated over buying tickets as I usually finish work too late to arrive anywhere on time, but fortunately the journey home was trouble-free and I arrived at the venue with minutes to spare. OK, so dinner was a packet of crisps washed down with a couple of glasses of wine, but the evening of live music featuring Nashville-based singer-songwriters, Angel Snow and Matthew Perryman Jones was the perfect antidote to the end of a crazy week. The beauty of the small venue is that the acts tend to hang around at the end of the night and I was lucky enough to chat to both of them. Here are a couple of video links if anyone wants to check out their music...

Angel Snow - Secret (YouTube)

Matthew Perryman Jones - Waking Up The Dead (YouTube)

Mother's Day
Sunday was Mother's Day and as both daughters are away at uni, neither of them made it home. Instead, we arranged to chat and at one point I had one daughter on the phone, while chatting to the other on Skype. I may have extracted kisses (via Skype) from both daughters - obviously this was allowed being Mother's Day; normally this wouldn't happen and my request would be ignored.

Well that's about it for this week's news. I hope you're all doing OK, I hope to catch up with everyone soon.

Copyright ©2016 Izzie Anderton
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Monday, 8 February 2016

The Week That Was... 8th February 2016

Graduation, GraduateDo you ever find yourself scratching your head and trying to resolve a problem that there's simply no answer to? There's been a lot of this going on over the last week as I've grappled with too many unknowns and not enough facts to resolve one particular problem. It's also been a week of locating lost paperwork and struggling to understand one daughter's filing system which appears to be based on the 'fling it all in a heap and hope Mum can find it method.' Luckily for my daughter, I did eventually find what she was looking for and managed to post her documents in time.

Maths Problems
Both daughters graduate during the same week in September. We only have the date for one graduation, the other will be announced some time in April. As their universities are 400 miles apart, what are the chances of both parents attending two graduations? I'm already feeling emotional at the prospect of being able to attend only one.

On Friday I met a friend for coffee. We hadn't found time to meet up for over two years, but managed to stay in touch via email. I'm always astounded that friends can pick up exactly where they left off even after such a very long time. After a couple of hours we were all caught up and I'm hoping that it won't be another  two years until we meet up again.

On Saturday, I was one bedraggled blogger in Ludlow celebrating her father's birthday with the rest of the family. It was one of those days where it was impossible to get any more soaked such was the rain; but we did that great British thing and carried on regardless. Fortunately a hearty lunch kept us all going for longer than we imagined was possible. For some reason we kept losing my brother-in-law and had to resort to calling him on his mobile.

raindrops, glass

Later the same day I overheard a conversation between Mr A and his sister discussing what I'd like for my birthday and telling her that I'd be 50 next year. For the record I won't be... I'm deliberating whether (or not) to share this information with my husband. This inspired a whole new conversation where I felt compelled to ask several questions that he mostly didn't know the answers to. Note to self: never apply to go on Mr & Mrs. 

There are some weekends when I think that blissful Sundays spent reading the paper, partaking of lie-ins and long country walks is the stuff of urban myth. Our entire Sunday was gobbled up with the following...

1. Going to the tip several times
2. Locating documents for Sophia's trip to the American Embassy in London next week
3. 100 other things... I won't bore you with and yes, for the record I know I need to get out more

The highlight of the day was watching the final episode of War and Peace. Suddenly, I feel compelled to read the book and have added it to my reading list.

And finally...
My favourite read for this week comes from Tattooed Mummy with her post What Do Women Really Want for Valentine's Day? With the help of several (very wise) bloggers she has compiled some fabulous suggestions. If you're a male of the species and struggling with the issue of what to buy, you might want to read this.

That's it until next week. I'd love to hear what you've all been up to x

Izzie x

 Copyright ©2016 Izzie Anderton
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Monday, 25 January 2016

The Week That Was... 25th January 2016

Breakfast, eating out, best meal of the daySince the last update there have been several new developments in the Anderton house. These are mostly good and all conspiring to keep me busy - which I guess can only be a good thing.

Here's what I've been up to this week...

I've started not one, but two new jobs. I was offered one just before Christmas and received a phone call out of the blue with the offer of a second, last week. At the moment I'm juggling both and enjoying them equally.

I'd hoped my daughters would come and watch The Peanuts Movie when they were home over Christmas, naturally, they weren't keen and so I cajoled Mr A into seeing it instead. We thoroughly enjoyed the film and I couldn't have cared less that we were the only grown-ups in the cinema without children.

Olivia arrived home on Friday for a surprise visit. She's currently hard at work on her dissertation and I'm loving her being at home. She might be 21, but that doesn't stop me from sneaking glances and thinking how adorable she is. I am one very proud mum. I have to wait until Easter to see daughter, Sophia though :o(

If all goes to plan both daughters will graduate during the first week of September. I'm hopeful that their graduations won't happen on the same day as my daughters' universities are 400 miles apart. Although, if memory serves, their formidable start to uni life back in September 2013 was also due to take place on the same date and ended up being quite the juggling act.

Will Sophia even be home in time for graduation after working in the US for the summer? Who knows? It all sounds like the plot from a random episode of Soap. Let me know if you're old enough to remember this. 

The Best Meal of the Day... 
Going out for breakfast has become our new favourite start to the weekend. We pop into the newsagents for a paper on the way to our favoured haunt before settling into the cosy fug of the coffee shop for a lengthy read over breakfast and several cups of coffee. 

This gorgeous mug was a gift from my sister-in-law. It comes in handy when surrounded by distractions at home...

Go away I'm writing, elevenses

I finally spied the last two cushions for our sofas while I wasn't even looking. Isn't this the best kind of shopping?! I am quietly optimistic that the cat won't wreck either of them. Although, I may have said this about every cushion purchased since she came into our home as a kitten 14 years ago and decided that destroying cushions was one of her many talents.

I've also bought a couple of new outfits for work. Huge thanks to White Stuff for stocking something that fits my Cadbury's Mis-shape, forty-something figure and coming to my rescue the day before I was due to start a new job.

And finally...
My favourite blogging read for this week goes to Tracy from Inside The Rainbow with her inspired post Dancing With Mr D, all about celebrities who are no longer with us and the legacies they've left behind. If you haven't read it already, it comes highly recommended.

Well, that's about it from the Anderton house for this week. Wishing you all a fabulous week whatever you're up to x

Copyright ©2016 Izzie Anderton
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Monday, 17 August 2015

The Week That Was...

Social gatherings are like buses in the Anderton house. There are none for ages and then several turn up at once. Last week there were so many invitations that I had to admit defeat and decline a couple. The thought of partying every night fills me with dread and as I get older, I need a night off in-between to recover.

On Monday... I helped my dad with some gardening. Now I'm pretty rubbish at this, but I looked at the state of his lawn and borders and realised he needed all the help he could get. The realisation that a parent isn't coping as well as you'd thought is a sad one. We talked of putting his house on the market and moving to somewhere more manageable. I can't tell you how horrible it was to have this conversation.

Monday was also the Writing Group Summer Social, along with bottomless jugs of Pimms, lots of wine and scrummy cheese and nibbles. I was tired. We sat outside. I'd begged Mr A to collect me at 10pm, so that I could be in my PJs and reading a book by 10:30pm. And for once I managed to sleep quite well. This is what usually happens most nights: The Trouble With Sleep.

There was an invitation to a friend's house on Wednesday. As she lives just up the road there was a whoop of joy as neither of us had to drive. I have experienced some of the worst hangovers ever at her house. Her husband is a generous host who cannot bear to see a millimetre of empty space in a wine glass before refilling it. I vowed to stick to two glasses. And failed miserably. Four bottles of wine between the three of us, (Mr A was drinking beer) meant I was feeling delicate for most of Thursday. This led to the realisation that I need to come up with a new strategy next time. Mr A suggested I drive as I won't down a single glass of anything containing alcohol when I take the car.

I took several pictures during the evening, but this was the only one in focus...

View from a friend's garden
Daughter, Olivia phoned early on Thursday morning and announced that she would be coming home next week. Despite feeling under the weather hungover I felt very happy indeed and may have danced around the kitchen. She soon picked up that I was feeling below par and said, wasn't she supposed to be the one drinking? Ever been told off by your daughter? I felt well and truly chastised. Apparently she was up at 5am and had been to the beach, this made me snort with laughter as it wasn't so very long ago she was doing stuff like this...  Mum, You Know You Love Me...

I may have spent much of the day reading blogs and trying to find a few new ones to add to my reading list. This was my favourite discovery last week from Kate, over at Yes, She Writes. Anyone who's a book lover will identify with her brilliant post about the problem with books.

On Friday, I hopped off into town to buy food for a post I'm working on about food banks. As I'd been given some money to buy stuff, I was determined to make this stretch this as far as possible and went to several stores to buy as many special offers as I could. It was raining heavily for most of the day and I reached that point where I couldn't have been any more soaked than I already was. I returned looking rather bedraggled and realised that wearing Converse that morning wasn't one of my better decisions. On Friday night I consumed no alcohol whatsoever.

I'd agreed to attend a Golden Wedding Anniversary party with my father at the weekend. Sadly, my stepmum died four years ago from 'the big C,' but we still keep in touch with her lovely family who live just outside Bath. Their welcome was very warm indeed and I don't think I've ever had quite so many social hugs and kisses in one weekend. I wish we saw a lot more of them. For the record no alcohol was consumed.

On Sunday, after lengthy goodbyes and one heck of a delicious breakfast, we drove home again. The cat had missed me, I'm not so sure about my husband. I have a feeling he may have relished the peace and quiet.

Linking up with My Week over at Mummy Barrow.

Copyright©2015 Izzie Anderton

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