My Sunday Photo

Usually, when I get home from the morning school run, I am greeted by two hopeful dog faces wanting a walk.

A couple of weeks ago we changed the rooms in the house around a bit and converted what used to be my DH’s study into a bedroom, so that the kids can all have a bedroom each. This means we have a downstairs bed, and the dogs think it has been put there especially for them.

There is intense competition for it and the rule seems to be; You move, You lose.

So these days, when I return from the school run, I only have one hopeful face at the door. The other face is attached to a body busy snoozing, usually upside down on the bed in my DDs new room.

Such a great watch dog!


Sunday photo

My Sunday Photo

DS has a number of physical issues but the one that troubles him the most is his hypermobility.

His handwriting suffers most, in class he rarely manages to grip his pencil for more than 5 minutes before his hand hurts too much to write anymore. One of the things the occupational therapist has asked him to do  is ‘play’ with some of this theraputty before he starts writing. It’s supposed to strengthen the muscles in his hands and warm them up before he starts work.

On Monday, I got a phone call from Welfare. ‘ There is no need to worry, but we just wanted to make you aware that DS has managed to get a bit of putty in his hair.’ I have to say this was a new call from the school about one of my children, so I have to give DH full marks for originality. But to say he had a ‘bit’ of putty in his hair, is like saying that the fate of the Titanic was a ‘bit’ of a disaster.

Everyone who saw it just shook their head and said ‘Oh Dear’.

DS had no idea how the putty got there. Apparently one moment he was holding it in his hands, the next it was in his hair. Surprise!

When he got home, I combed some out and then, once my ears had stopped ringing from the screaming, I did a bit of Googling. Apparently what we needed was baby oil.

DH bought some home and DS sat around for 30 minutes with half a bottle of oil dissolving the pink putty. Five lots of shampoo later, DS had some very clean, putty-free hair.

At least we didn’t need to cut it out.

Sunday photo

My Sunday Photo

I’m sorry to say it, but it’s *that* time of year ago. I know it’s early, but these slots get snapped up fast.

We always have our Christmas Day shopping delivered. In fact, we usually book two slots. Just In Case.

At this point we use bottles of very expensive champagne as place holders and put notes in our diaries to alter the order to something less indulgent before the order goes through.

I can’t remember the last time I went to the supermarket for Christmas supplies but I suspect it was pre-children.

How does everyone else do their Christmas food shopping?

Sunday photo

My Sunday Photo

I’ve never been any good at crafts like sewing, knitting or crocheting. I can do them, but they always seemed like such an effort and I’ve never really enjoyed them.

Last Christmas, DH bought me a needle felting kit and I seemed to get on with it from the start. Most importantly, I enjoyed it.

A lot of people don’t know what needle felting is, but basically you use a specially barbed needle to stab bits of wool into shapes or patterns. It’s very therapeutic. Some felties contain wire or pipe cleaner armatures, or skeletons; wool is wound around these in layers to create the desired shape and colours.

I’ve had a go at making all sorts of different things and now I attend a local craft market every month. People ask me to make them things, usually animals or figures, and mostly seem to like what I produce.

Last week someone asked me to make her some small pictures for Christmas cards and this is the first of those.  I’m pretty pleased with it as I love robins.

If you are interested in seeing what else I make, check out my FB page and if you fancy trying a (new) craft, can I suggest needle felting? But be warned, it’s very addictive!


Sunday photo

My Sunday Photo

This is DD1 and our second rescue dog, who she has taken on the task of training.

He was an Irish street dog and was rescued from a pound when his seven days were up. A very lovely rescue called Heathlands Animal Sanctuary brought him to the UK and fostered him for three months before we met him and took him home.

He’s a good old fashioned mutt. DNA tests have shown he’s got a labrador grandparent, and a husky grandparent, and the rest is a real mix. But he’s very keen to learn and is a good partner for DD1 in both dog training and agility classes.

Here they are practicing the ‘Watch Me’ command, where he is supposed to be looking at his owner and ignoring what’s going on around him. You can see the concentration on his face as he waits to be told what to do next.

He’s not perfect, and is partial to stealing food and disappearing after interesting smells when in the woods, but he’s a loved member of our family now and the thought that he was so close to being killed because no one wanted him makes me very sad.

Sunday photo

My Sunday Photo

Astro slide Knebworth
We’ve just had the last week of our summer break and the weather has been lovely. After our washout of a summer holiday in Ireland, we had to make the most of it so got out and about as much as possible.

One of the places we visited was Knebworth House. We’d never been there before despite it only being 40ish minutes from home. It could do with a lick of paint but though it was a bit young for the 14 and 13 year olds, the 8 and 10 year olds had a great time on the slides and adventure playgrounds. Be aware there are some height restrictions on the slides, but DS is the shortest of us at 133cm and he could go on everything.

We got an icecream, which was reasonably priced and the younger two got a bit wet playing under the water feature, but dried off pretty quickly afterwards.

Then we drove up to the house and gardens (observing the 10mph speed limit so the kids could hatch a couple of Pokemon eggs) and had a stroll around the gardens and maze. DS liked the dinosaurs, DD3 liked climbing the hills and rolling down and the teens tore themselves away from their phones long enough to appreciate beauty of the house itself.

Knebworth House
So, in short, it’s a nice place to visit especially if your kids are 10 and under. There seemed to be plenty of things for under 8s to do as well.

There weren’t too many wasps, I didn’t feel like we had been ripped off by the entry price and it was much more fun than school shoe shopping.

Sunday photo

My Sunday Photo

This is an orchid I got for Mother’s day in 2015. It had blue flowers then, obviously dyed, and I knew if it ever flowered again the blooms would be white.

The flowers lasted for ages, but eventually died and the plant lost the stem and leaves and looked like it was dead. I tried a few different things to get it growing again, and in desperation moved it to the very sunny kitchen windowsill, chucked some water at it occasionally and left it alone.

Of course, because it was being neglected it grew two new leaves, and when I got back from holiday I found it had flowered. This is one of the flowers but it now has five. My kids think the centre looks like a Pokemon.

Orchids really are very awkward plants.
Orchid from Tesco

Sunday photo

My Sunday Photo


We’ve just spent three weeks driving around Ireland in the rain,  but it was all worth it because I got see one of my bucket list sights in the sunshine.

When we got to Dunseverick, in Northern Ireland, and visited The Giant’s Causeway,  it didn’t rain for two whole days.

The Causeway is a foreshore area that is made up of interlocking polygon rock columns. They make an amazing sight as they disappear into the sea.

The coast in this area would be glorious in any weather but it was so nice not to have to wear wet weather gear.

We visited the Causeway after the visitor centre closed, so had to walk down and back up again. The kids were not impressed with this, but it’s worth visiting early or late so you can avoid  the crowds. Once we got down to the stones,  they admitted the Causeway was ‘okay’.

My grandparents visited Ireland decades ago and came home with photos of this area.  I’ve always wanted to see it myself and am pleased that neither weather nor whinging children stopped me from doing so.

Sunday photo