Archive for March, 2010

365 Project: March 2010

Posted: 31 March 2010 in 365 Project

Another photo mosaic. This time it’s the results of my 365 project for March. Can you believe today is day 90/365?! The year is zooming along!

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March MSH Complete

Posted: 31 March 2010 in MSH
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My March Scavenger Hunt list is complete!

1. 74/365: Sea Bass for tea, 2. 81/365: Amazing Sunset, 3. Get off the phone!, 4. Riding on a Donkey, 5. Blowing in the wind, 6. 78/365: The Gruffalo came to school, 7. Stoodley Pike; Bronze age burial site, 8. 83/365: Next course?, 9. View from the inside, 10. Rectangular, 11. Sports Day Victory, 12. 70/365: Feeding time at the zoo, 13. Would these eyes lie to you?!, 14. Precious teddy, 15. Muddy Boot, 16. 80/365: Under Construction, 17. Get out of the way!, 18. 68/365: Cowboys & Indians, 19. 43/365: Oh dear, 20. The perfect ending

Over at The Gallery this week the prompt is “Outside my front door”. I smiled when I saw the prompt because I am very proud of where I live. It is a beautiful place and I count myself very lucky to call it home.I’m very sorry because I can’t choose one picture, there will be a few in this post!

This picture was taken from my door step in February.

This next one is also taken from my doorstep last week

We live in the middle of the Pennine hills, on the border of Lancashire and West Yorkshire. Our little town is nestled down in the middle of 3 steep valleys and so the hills can be seen from pretty much wherever you are in the town.
There are lots of mills in the town which are now sadly unused or are being used for other things. Outside my front door is one of these mills. It has been separated off and is used for different things. There is a garage in one bit, one section is currently empty and the other is used as the HQ for a local firm who create straw bale buildings. They run courses in there and give talks.

This is the view across our park.

We have a river (The Calder) and a canal running through the town. The river is 10 seconds from our house and so we are always over there feeding the ducks and the trout that call it home. Being on the Pennine Way means we get lots of walkers visiting. We have a lovely market which is a 2 minute walk from our home. The indoor market is great with 3 excellent butchers, deli stalls, hardware, haberdashery, florists and sweets! The outdoor market stalls change daily and it serves the town very well. The viaduct that runs through the town is a real landmark. Katie loves to watch the trains going across.

Yes, I love it where we live. There is so much outside our front door to see and do. The people here are wonderful too. I am so glad we moved here 2 years ago. It’s the best thing we ever did!

The Gallery: Me

Posted: 24 March 2010 in About me, Family, The Gallery
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It’s Gallery time again!

The prompt this week is “Me”. I’ve already posted a self portrait on week 1 so I’ve had to choose something slightly different.
I’ve sat and thought “Who am I?”. I’ve been wondering what one image I could use that incorporates all that I am. I came up with this…

It is obviously a picture of me on my wedding day. Here I am surrounded by my wonderful family. I am Mel. I am a wife and I am a mother.
I am my own person too. I like to spend time on my own and I love my friends dearly.

At the heart of all this though is my family. Without them I would crumble.

To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.
–Confucius–


If in doubt, bake!

Posted: 23 March 2010 in Recipes
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I just wrote a whole long blog post that was full of moaning and whingeing. I was about to post it and decided against it. It would have done no good at all. It does not do to dwell on things that cannot be changed.Instead I’m still going to list why I am feeling a bit fed up and then counteract it.

So our car broke down again… it’s ok. Anthony has been recovered on the M25 and is hopefully not too far away from home. At least he is safe and the car just needs a new alternator belt apparently.

The car breaking down means that Anthony wasn’t home to come with me to collect the kids like I hoped he would be. He has been gone since Friday morning and I’m very ready for him to come home. With a bit of luck though he will be home in time to help get Katie in bed.

Katie did not sleep well last night and therefore neither did I. She has a doctors appointment on Friday to hopefully swap inhalers. The coughing at night and after physical activity is getting worse. It’s ok though. The healthcare we get is free and tonight Anthony will be home to get up to her if she wakes.

Katie screamed and kicked and punched me when I left her at playgroup this morning. I came away in tears. She doesnt mean to hurt me though. She is missing her Daddy as much as I am.

Our money hasn’t been paid into the bank this fortnight. We are skint at the moment and really need that cash. We normally get it on a Saturday or Monday at the latest. We have been promised it by tomorrow. At least this means there will be less time until the next payment.

Katie dropped her litle fluffy chick from playgroup down the drain on the way home. Cue much crying and tantrum throwing. My nephew was with us and so I gave him some money to go to the shop and buy some more just to calm her down. We now have 12 Easter chicks and Katie is happy once more. She is walking round cuddling the tiny yellow chick!

Getting the car recovered from the M25 though means lower fuel costs! At least when the car is fixed again we’ll still have a full tank of diesel.

This afternoon while having my pity party I decided I needed to bake. I got up and made these…

Now, my mum always taught me that to make scones you need to be light with your hands. If you are too heavy the scones are too heavy and hard. They don’t rise and you might aswell use them to sink a boat.
So gently, gently I made cherry scones. The result? The yummiest, lightest scones I ever did make. Not only did they bring me out of my pity party but I’ve ended up with some delicious cakes for when Anthony gets home.

I’m still a bit fed up and I still feel a bit alone but I’ll be ok. Once Anthony is home and Katie is in bed I’ll feel happier I’m sure. The lack of adult conversation since Friday is starting to get to me.

Cherry Scones

60g butter
240g self-raising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
100ml semi-skimmed milk
100g glace cherries

Pre heat oven to 230 C / gas mark 8.

Place flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl and rub in butter, next stir in the sugar and chopped cherries, then blend in the egg and milk to form a soft dough.

Now turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently. Roll out to about 1cm (1/2 in) thick and cut into 5cm (2 in) rounds. Place on a greased baking tray and bake in centre of oven for about 8-10 minutes.

Thankful Friday

Posted: 19 March 2010 in Thankful Friday
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I’ve just got back from Robyns school assembly. Robyns class (year 2) did a performance of “The Gruffalo” for the rest of the school and the class 2 parents. It was really wonderful!
The children all performed very well and there was an extra special guest, The Gruffalo himself! School had hired the official costume as a suprise and it was so wonderful!

This afternoon Class 2 are going off to Burnley on the bus to actually meet Julia Donaldson, the author of The Gruffalo. They have been learning all about her and her books for the last few weeks and by chance she is in the area! Robyns school have managed to arrange for the children to go and meet her and they are able to take a book each to get signed.

Robyn has made me very proud this week. We had parents evening on Monday and we got a mixed report from her teacher. She is very, very capable of producing wonderful work but lets herself down by having sad days for no apparent reason where she does very little and is quite withdrawn. We had a little chat and ever since Monday Robyn has been a little superstar at school. She has done some fab work and has been very happy and enthusiastic. Most of all Robyn is proud of herself. She has realised it is nicer to be happy at school. Even 6 year olds have the choice to choose happiness. She has realised that being happy makes you more productive and more responsive. She has got so many compliments this week on her happy smiling face.
I am wondering whether her sadness has something to do with Granny Mary. As you may know she was very close to her Granny who sadly died suddenly last July. At the time she seemed to cope OK but now she has started to talk about her more and I think things might be hitting home a bit. Hopefully we can work things out and encourage her to talk.

So, today is Friday and here that means Thankful Friday. What am I thankful for this week?

That I spoke to my mum on Mother’s Day and managed to agree that next year I would like to send her a card and she will do her best to accept it graciously.

The lovely warm weather. I’ve managed to just wear my fleece jacket outside instead of my big winter coat.

Swimming. I went to the pool on Wednesday with my friend and had a really lovely time. We have promised to go more often and I really believe that we will. I might even go on my own on Monday.

Bread. This morning I woke up to fresh bread again. That smell is just divine and it tastes good too!

Childrens nurses. Yesterday Katie had to have blood tests at the hospital. I don’t mind admitting that I was dreading it but the nurse and nursery nurse were really fantastic. Katie came away with a sticker, a colourful plaster and an award card with a silver star on.

What are you thankful for this week?

So, this week the prompt for The Gallery is “Colour”. I’ve gone with Green because it seems to have featured in my photos alot this week and also as we are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day today.

On Saturday we went to Manor Heath Park where they have a “Jungle Experience”. It is free and is a tropical oasis in the middle of a park in Halifax. We have been meaning to visit for a while and with the return of our car we decided we should get out and about!

We had a really lovely time. We saw butterflies, quails, terrapins and fish aswell as wonderful tropical plants. There was plenty to see and we are definitely going back in the summer when we hope there will be more butterflies aswell as more colour in the actual park which was also beautiful.

Here’s just a small selection of the wonderful greens that we saw.

As I already mentioned, today we are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. Robyns dad is Irish and dear Granny Mary was so proud of their Irish roots. Each year Mary would take Robyn out with all the family to celebrate and the party atmosphere was great.
Today Robyn went to school wearing an Irish ribbon and shamrock badge. She was so proud to tell her teacher and friends that she is half Irish and that she was wearing the badge to celebrate St. Patrick’s day. She even showed the headteacher in the school yard at the end of the school day.

Yep, green is definitely the colour today 😀

You can see more Gallery posts on Colour here.