Thursday, 22 December 2011

The verdict is still out...

As the title says 'The verdict is still out'...  now what is the verdict out on I hear you ask?!  The best Mince Pies!!!

Now a new found friend & mutual acquaintance of my bestie, Alex, had recommended them on my bestie Jason's FB status, to quote: "If you get a chance to drive to a Waitrose, Heston's mince pies are absolutely wonderful! In fact if I pass buy a Waitrose this week I will get you a box so you can sample them"

Now true to his word, Alex did pass by a Waitrose & picked up a packet that he dropped round to my bestie yesterday (Tuesday) for sampling!  To quote Alex again in a PM to me "Just been shopping at Waitrose and picked up a pack of Heston's mince pies for Jason - I will try to get them to him today so that you can try them tomorrow"

The 'Sharp Clan' went round to Ayres Mansion for a Pre-Christmas soiree today (Wednesday), it was a lovely little get together & the children played while the grown ups chatted & out came the Mince Pies for the taste challenge... We started with the highly recommended 'Heston Blumenthal - Puff Pastry Mince Pies with pine Sugar Dusting'

First came the discussion by myself, Jason & Claire, me joking about the sugar smelling like toilet cleaner... promptly followed by me being like a child with a present & having to open the sachet of Pine Sugar to see if it actually smelt like toilet cleaner - OMG, by Christ it blinking well did, I just couldn't believe how much it smelt like pine toilet duck!  I was getting worried at this point as I didn't fancy biting into a Mince Pie that tasted like toilet cleaner!

Next was the appearance of them, they looked like sausage rolls of all things... they weren't even round!!!  What on Earth were these things?!  I was getting more & more concerned about putting one of these so called 'Mince Pies' into my mouth.

Anyway, Jason cordially placed said Mince Pies into the oven to warm as per the box instructions & then sprinkled with the pine sugar... I was nervous I must admit, but never the less I did take a bite & well I had to take another & another: 1) to be certain & 2) so as to be polite (was taught never to leave food)

Now I have to say I wasn't all that impressed, yes they tasted ok (not a bit like toilet cleaner, even though the sugar smelt like it) but they really were in my opinion nothing to write home about.  I am asking all parties that tried these mince Pies, to comment on this blog with their reviews at the end as my opinion counts for toffee on it's own... Mmmmmmmmmmmmm toffee! Lol

My review: they tasted ok, didn't like the shape, didn't like the flaky puff pastry (too damn messy IMO) & well although it didn't taste like it the sugar smelt of toilet duck!

Not overly impressed with the HB Mince Pie, I demanded that the M&S Lattice Mince Pies came out just so I could compare them - what am I like?!  Now although these had a lattice top as opposed to a traditional sealed pastry lid, I was not as scared to try these as I had been with the HB Mince Pies... I did however choose to have the most aesthetically pleasing appearance to the eye as far as these mince pies went - issues! Lol

After trialling the M&S Lattice Mince Pies, I decided to get marks out of 10 from everyone for both types of Mince Pie... the scores were as follows:

Heston Blumenthal - Total = 37½/50

Alison 9/10
Claire 8/10
Duncan 10/10
Jason 6/10
Lynda 4½/10

M&S - Total = 36½/50

Alison 5/10
Claire 9/10
Duncan 5/10
Jason 8/10
Lynda 9½/10

So as you can see there is only 1 point between the two so the verdict is still out as to which is the better Mince Pie?!  I personally think home made can't be beaten & I do think I may just have to make some to ask everyone else what their verdict is on my Mince Pies!  So you decide, which is the most superior, ultimate, perfect Mince Pie???

Well apologies to all that have been waiting this blog, I must confess I started to type this around 11:30pm (Wednesday) but alas at around 12:30am I dozed off at the laptop on the sofa so when I awoke at 2am I had a fair bit of deleting random letters then had to set to it again - finished it though, so time for a quick cigarette before bed now I am awake again, Lol!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Photos, photos, photos...

Photo's capture the memories we want to cherish forever, we can look at them time & time again & remember very good times, they are a fantastic way of keeping memories of important milestones & a way to capture the beauty of nature.

Now I don't get to do as much photography as I would like, but I do tend to be quite snap happy when I am out & about on days out with the family & of course karaoke (I am yet to get snap happy at The Hart, but I feel next year is the year for this now I am well established at karaoke table), I do also like to take my camera to school performances & on other occasions in the past I have been known to take spontaneous photos in the garden, at the church & anywhere else where I can get something not quite so ordinary captured forever.

I own two cameras which both have great qualities, 1st is my Pink Lumix DMC-FS42 Pocket Digital Camera which never leaves my handbag so I always have a camera on hand should I see anything that attracts my eye to photograph... 2nd is my semi-professional camera the Lumix DMC-FZ28 which I absolutely love for taking really good pictures & taking to special events such as holidays, parties & weddings etc.

I don't profess to be the best photographer, as I am just an amateur really but I have been known to take some really nice photos... I think I may just start going out with my Semi-pro camera & just randomly taking pictures when out & about, I may go down St Ed's & take some photos around the church.

Currently I am trying to catch up with uploading various photos to my Facebook as I have nearly 500 pictures on my Pocket camera which I need to get on to my laptop so that it is free for Christmas, no doubt it will come out to karaoke on Thursday & it most definitely will be out on Friday for Alison's 25th birthday celebrations too!

Some of my more creative pictures are on deviantArt if you would like to look at them take a trip to my page Lynda-Jane's deviantART I am rather proud of my work on here, although it is a fair few years old I still rather like it & I will get back to doing more photography like this as I do miss it.  I actually have a lot of photos on my computer that need framing & uploading, but you know what it is like when you have a house to run, children to look after & every day life just getting in the way?!  I am sure one day I will get time to sit down & start doing this again & my gallery over at deviantART will grow with more artistic shots & fond memories.

Just remember, don't shy away from my camera if you see me with it... it's good to remember happy times & those memories last a lifetime, although sometimes we need a gentle reminder in the shape of a picture to bring it back to our minds most vividly!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Blogger app... Happy Days =)

Oh my days, what can I say?! Imagine my excitement...

My reinstalled iPod touch just happened to be in my hands & I thought to myself, I'll just search the app store on the off chance that Blogger had finally brought out an app for iPod/iPhone & such like.

Oh WoW!!! There in all it's glory was a Blogger app & I just couldn't contain my excitement (I'm sure Jason & Claire think I'm more crazy than ever now)... I just couldn't believe it, I've been stressing on my Facebook status's for, what seems like, ages now how I wished such an app existed & low n behold, there it was & better still the app was FREE!!!

I giddily downloaded the app & logged in to see how it worked, I could see my blog... Change between this blog & my cakey blog, write new blogs & oh the possibilities were endless! Like a pig in muck, I was suitably so excited still!!!

I am now sat here, blogging away with the comfort of my iPod touch in my hand, chillaxing on the sofa while Jason is sat tapping away at his laptop keyboard in what seems to be a race to finish our blog before the other... Oh the competition?! Who shall succeed in becoming the blog champion of the evening??? Keyboard or iPod... We'll see who the victor may be!!!

Bloggedy, blog, blog, blog... I'm do happy I can blog anytime, anywhere now, the blogging world is my oyster & there'll be no stopping me now!!!

Yes, I had to log on & edit this to change the font, colour & my brackets font smaller to keep it perfectly tuned with my other blogs (OCD & all that, lol) -- I know you wouldn't expect anything less from me!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

The Sparkle is most definitely returning :)

What can I say?!  My 'Sparkle' is most definitely returning after probably the worst week in my entire life.  Who have I got to thank for my 'Sparkle' returning, well there are a few people I need to thank... First & foremost, my Bestie Jason & his lovely wife Claire - my short break with them has been unbelievably fantastic, what wonderful people & I really haven't laughed so much as I have being in their company (I really am going to miss them all, but we (no doubt) will meet up every week so it's not goodbye).  The second person I need to thank is my wonderful husband Duncan, he may not be perfect but he works hard, provides for our children, is a fantastic dad & is bloody perfect to me... I love you Mr Sharp!  The next people I need to thank for helping my 'Sparkle' to return are my most amazing friends, without them this past week I don't know where I would be & having a most enjoyable night out last night at Karaoke was really the best medicine - it was a fantastically funny night & there were a fair few occasions where my cheeks hurt so much from the laughter, it's great having the old me back again even if I do say so myself =)

The children have gone away to Duncan's parents for a few days to give us both a little break from it all, so we will both be out together socially tomorrow night for a bit more karaoke... I can't wait & I am really looking forward to a civilised Sunday dinner without the children (unless you class our adopted daughter Alison as a child) - a hot roast dinner without being asked to get this or get that or cut up Anneliese's dinner etc, etc, etc!  It's going to be soooo novel, Lol!

I have my nail in-fills to get done on Tuesday & am having my nails minx'd on Wednesday evening (which I have never had done, but hey it's almost Christmas so why not?) I have chosen such a pretty minx, it's called White Christmas & I think it is just gorgeous... see the picture: White-Christmas Minx

I have my hair-dresser booked in for Thursday morning too, so for Christmas Eve, Eve I will be looking my best again just in time for my adopted daughter Alison's 25th Birthday celebrations & more importantly ready for Christmas!

Sparkle, Sparkle, Sparkle, I feel like a fairy princess & I am shining once more...

ʈωıɳƙɭɛ ʈωıɳƙɭɛ..✻´´¯`•.¸¸.٭✻
¸٭´´¯`✻٭...ʄɑıɽɣ ʃparƙɭɛs ☆✻ ☆ ¸.ƸӜƷ`*•.¸ ♥

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Weak-willed, Sensitive Nose & Weight Loss...

Well, here I am at last finally getting round to writing a blog that would have been written a few days ago... on Monday I was going to attempt this blog & then again on Tuesday, but here we are in the early hours of Thursday & I have spared a few moments to sit down & blog!!!

After having a fairly stable day on Sunday & after a relaxed evening of karaoke at The Hart an unravelling week began...

Monday was a new day & I left my Bestie's lovely home at 7am to get the children ready for school, my will power slipped & I bought a packet of 10 menthol cigarettes while walking home.  They only had Berkley Menthol's (Yuk) so that had to make do, but I am thankful for them as they saved me from deserting my children when the stress got too much.  Epic Fail, I had been given up smoking for almost 2 months (bar 3 days) but alas due to Cameron's issues I turned to the nicotine & burst into tears.

After my failure of smoking a cigarette I locked myself in the bathroom & cried, while thankfully my gorgeous adopted daughter Alison finished getting the girls ready & got all three children safely to school for me.  She is a wonderful person & will always be a daughter, sister, fabulous friend & part of my family for all the help that she gives to me, Duncan & the children.

Not beating myself up too hard about the smoking failure, I got on with the rest of the day... I had a package to post so queued up in the mammoth queue that was in the post office at 2.45, that continued to grow after I had joined - Now why is my nose so sensitive?! The two guys stood behind me smelt like a brewery & yes, literally I do mean like a brewery as they weren't stood THAT close to me but boy you couldn't mistake the strongest smell of alcohol!  I don't get how anybody could've consumed that amount of booze in the daytime, but there are obviously some people that feel they cannot function without alcohol in their lives in the middle of the day. Very unpleasant & the queue seemed to move not that fast to my disappointment!

Tuesday was a fairly dippy emotioned day, one minuted I was up, the next I was down... it was all over the place.  But I did manage to get to my weekly Slimming World group to see how much weight I had lost this week after loosing 4lb last week (getting slimmer of the week), this week I had lost another 5½lb!!!  I can see my waist again - Yay =)

Now this blog seems to be a bit of a mish-mash of randomness, but hey you know me I like to be different!!!  I have to say with everything going on around me at the moment there are some truly magically funny moments which I will cherish as it's those moments that have kept my spirits up & stopped me from slipping under, prime example of the day... at about 5.15pm Duncan puts a status on Facebook: Duncan Sharp I've had enough, all u do is take take take, and give me nothing in return, I push the right buttons, u still give nothing, I bang you hard and u still give me nothing. U are officially dumped!!

I immediately panic, thinking what on earth is going on now?!  So send him a text saying 'What's wiv ur status? Worried...' 

Meanwhile my phone is getting phone calls, texts & generally going crazy while we're sat here trying to eat dinner.  The next call I see coming through is Duncan, so I answer that call & he is on the end of the phone almost crying with hysterical laughter as his phone also was on overload with texts/calls - it was only the stupid stereo in the kitchen that has been on it's way out for ages now won't co-operate & play his new Coldplay CD!!!  OMG, how funny is that?!  People all over thinking it was the end & getting in a right old panic about it, while Duncan is laughing his head off!  Funny as... well I thought it was & it is still making me smile now!

A final good note to end on, I am happy as a pig in muck as the Emma Bunton song 'I'll Be There' is on karaoke & I just need to practice it so I can sing it for my Bestie... he has been solid as a rock (& so has Claire) throughout all this & I would do the same for him any time because he is the next most important man in my life next to Duncan & I love him dearly too, for he is everything you could ever ask for in a best friend & more!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Lost my Sparkle...

Not sure if this is right or if this is wrong, but I need to keep busy & do something so a blog seems like the only way to go...

I am so empty at the moment, I feel dead inside & so numb on the outside, it is like someone has wrenched my beating heart out of me & peeled off all my skin. The pain is immense like nothing I have ever felt before & I just have no idea what to do.

My world is shattered & I so want to rebuild it & start again, but as the saying goes 'Rome wasn't built in a day' - how very true, building a world is going to take a while, that is for sure!  I have to start back at the very beginning & take every day as it comes, this is very hard as I hate being away from my family but it's all I can do right now as things are so very raw.

A good friend wrote this in her blog about me:

The Star without it's shining light

I don't think I have ever seen such a gorgeous, spirited young lady in such pain ever before.  It has been one of those times where, yet again, I have no idea how to behave or what to say and probably came across as a blundering idiot! She had her friends around her and was so very brave getting up to sing - I couldn't have ever been that strong, ever.  To the lovely "L" I hope things will get better and with the support of your friends you will turn that corner, but for now just go with it.

Nope, I don't ever want to see a friend in such a worryingly bad way again.  As the title suggests - It was karaoke at the Star without its shining light :(

This is where I got my inspiration for today's title... My friend's blog & my status on Facebook from Tuesday: Lynda-Jane Sharp
has lost her fairy sparkle... can somebody bring it back if they find it lying around anywhere, how can I fly without twinkly wings?! Best jump on my unicorn until it comes back, else this fairy is gonna run out of steam too "/

I have the most amazing friends looking after me, my Bessie Jason & his wife Claire, the are truly the 2 most amazing people in the world & I can say I don't know if I would be here if they hadn't taken me in & sheltered me from the black cloud that is constantly raining on me at this moment in time.

Jason wrote such a wonderful blog yesterday, not only did it move me to tears when I read it yesterday, but reading it again today moved me to tears again (mind you the moments in my day when there aren't tears are very few at the moment) if you would like to read his blog from yesterday you can find it here: Bicester Blogger

Now, I love my bessie for a lot of things but especially our shared love of the fabulous Emma Bunton & I hadn't heard 'I'll Be There' for so long!  Here's the link to the video on YouTube for everyone: 'I'll Be There - Emma Bunton'

Farewell the days, 
Come melt the ice, on many a cold heart.
Till the clouds roll in
And then you'll find
They're frightened of the dark

Some may come and some may go
They meet you high then leave u low.
But I will always be the one who cares
I'll be there

I'll be there whenever u need a friend
Yeah I'll be there whenever u need a friend, I will be there baby

I may have to go in body, but my soul is with you still.
When you think of me, I'm by your side to guide you from all ill
We all need somebody who
We can always run onto
And I will always be the one for you,
I'll be there

I'll be there whenever u need a friend
Yeah I'll be there whenever u need a friend, I'll be there for u baby.

We all need somebody who
We can always run onto
And I will always be the one, for you
I'll be there

I'll be there whenever u need a friend
Yeah I'll be there whenever u need a friend I will be there baby

I'll be there whenever u need a friend I'll be there for u baby
I'll be there whenever u need a friend I'll be there for you baby.

Jason, Claire I will forever be indebted to you both for the kindness, friendship & hospitality you have shown me - Thank You both for looking after me, it means so very much to have such very, very good friends (could I use the word very any more?!)... I love you guys xXx

Thursday, 1 December 2011



Now this would be funny if it hadn't stressed me out so much in the first place... 

Imagine the scene, I place a large bath sheet, 2 bath towels, a hand towel, a bath mat, a pedestal mat & 2 flannels in the washing machine with my detergent dosing ball/cap/lid/thingamajig (whatever you want to call this device) & switch on the machine to wash my load of towels while I pop down town to meet my bessie Jason & good friend Jo for a nice chill out & Costa.

A large skinny latte (what is THAT mug all about?!)

The morning was most enjoyable, we drank coffee (I will never upgrade my medium skinny latte for large again as the mug is just too random for me), we chatted & then we went our separate ways, I did a spot of shopping before heading home.

Now on returning home, I dropped off my shopping in the lounge & then went to put my freshly laundered towels in the dryer... as I remove them one by one from the machine, I can't for the life of me find this blasted dosing contraption - where the hell has it gone, it can't just disappear?!

I proceed to shake the towels individually, thus removing any bunched up corners etc & to see if the offending article falls out to the floor... but alas, the thing is nowhere to be seen.  So, I shake my head & think ok I will check the machine again, I spin the drum round, nope it really isn't in the machine - odd???  So I then one by one shake each towel/flannel/mat individually again, but STILL there is no sign of the blasted thing!!!

The offending article - stupid dosing thingamajig!

Now by this point I am thinking it's no good it must have disintegrated in the washing machine cause I used a 40 Cotton wash instead of a 30 Synthetic & these things are not that heavy a plastic... Crazy I know, but I figure there is no other logical solution as I have triple checked everywhere & it hasn't appeared yet.  So I go off to the tumble dryer, thinking oh well I have another in the cupboard & start to load up the towels - I decide that I may as well just put them in I have checked them more than enough times & they were hanging directly over my arm...

I put in the flannels, followed by the mats, then goes the hand towel & low & behold when I put in the first bath towel what should fall to the floor?!  Yes, you guessed it the bloody stupid little dosing thing!!!  At that very moment I quoted my bessie's favourite line 'Unbelievable' - Jason, I am sure you would have been in fits of laughter had you been here.

My lovely freshly laundered towels

You really wouldn't believe it would you???  So unbelieveable I HAD to blog about this as I am STILL laughing about how stupidly crazy this actually was!!!

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas 
Ev'rywhere you go; 
Take a look in the five and ten glistening once again 
With candy canes and silver lanes aglow. 

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas 
Toys in ev'ry store 
But the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be 
On your own front door. 

A pair of hopalong boots and a pistol that shoots 
Is the wish of Barney and Ben; 
Dolls that will talk and will go for a walk 
Is the hope of Janice and Jen; 
And Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again. 

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas 
Ev'rywhere you go; 
There's a tree in the Grand Hotel, one in the park as well, 
The sturdy kind that doesn't mind the snow. 

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas; 
Soon the bells will start, 
And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing 
Right within your heart.

Ok, so I had to start off with a cheery Christmas song that I love, as it is the 1st of December & I have finally managed to sit down & type a blog up it just had to be about Christmas!!!

I am so very pleased with myself this year as I am not normally as organised as I have been with regards to Christmas, I am very organised with most things but Christmas usually gets left to the last minute & is then one mad rush trying to get everything for everyone & then wrap & distribute presents to all & sundry, finally managing to wrap the children's presents on Christmas Eve/Morning at some unearthly hour & leaving them under the tree ready for mass carnage at about 6am by the children!!!

Cameron at 7.30am last year

What's so different this year I hear you ask?!  I have actually almost completed all my Christmas shopping & better still I have wrapped everything I have purchased so far, so I am actually way ahead of myself - what's happened, have I been abducted by aliens without my knowledge & they have programmed my brain to be so much more organised than normal?!  I wish, i think I am just motivated & almost as excited about Christmas as the children are :)

I have to say getting presents for my children this year has not been the easiest apart from Cameron (10) as he is pretty easy to please, he knows what he wants & if he doesn't say he is very rigid in what he likes so you can't really go wrong... Anneliese (4) on the other hand is the hardest to buy for as she is at that in between toy stage, too big for baby/toddler toys but not big enough for big kid toys - what does she ask for?!  Just the new Peppa Pig DVD, bless her... we did manage to get a little more information out from her eventually, but just went with gut instincts & hope that she will like what we have chosen.  

Now Hermione (8) has been the tricky one, she wrote out her list for Santa which included a lot of chocolate/sweet treat making items which we don't really want to encourage for obvious reasons (bad teeth, gaining excess weight) but she also had some items we had never heard of... well, we managed to track down most of the requests although one item in particular must be one of the top toys this year!!!  She wanted a Monster High Spectra Vondergeist - this proved amazingly crazy to find, we started off looking on-line as most things are cheaper on Amazon etc, but practically everywhere had 'Sold Out' of this particular doll on eBay they were look in excess of £45 for what is normally a doll that retails at £14.99! 

Spectra Vondergeist & Holt Hyde

I reserved a Monster High doll in the local Argos but they only had a boy doll Holt Hyde left as you don't get to pick they just bring out from the store room... this promptly went back to the store room as he just is not girlie enough for my princess, I had resigned myself to the fact that Hermione would have to make do with the Lagoona Blue doll that I managed to purchase via Amazon (at the normal retail price, I'd like to add) I hoped she wouldn't be too heart broken Christmas morning.

On the off chance I popped into Bicester Toys... Now, I don't like shopping here for too much without doing research first as quite often their items are often overpriced compared to other stores & having 3 children & the current financial climate paying over the odds is not really an option for me.  So I am perusing the store trying to get inspiration for Anneliese's presents at the time & I spot from the corner of my eye some Monster High dolls on a shelf, I think to myself surely they won't have Spectra Vondergeist left on the shelf as everywhere else is completely 'Sold Out' - so I remove the first layer as neither of the dolls on show is her, low & behold under the second doll I remove there in all her beautiful purple glory is Spectra... I can't believe my luck & she was only £2 more than the RRP, so I snap her up & promptly take her to the till - RESULT =)

So apart from pleasing my children with hopefully all the gifts they want & maybe a few they didn't expect, seeing their over excited faces on Christmas morning as they open their presents & feeling all warm & gooey inside that I have done a great job what do I like about Christmas?!  I love the smell of a real tree, the downside to this is: a) they drop a few needles (even if they supposedly are non-drop trees) b) you can't put them up too early (they prefer to be outside) c) it is wasted money... The upside to real trees is: a) they look & smell gorgeous b) you don't have to store them away all year c) they make great firewood afterwards d) no two are ever the same - so all in all more plus's than minus's so they win every time, I can't wait to get mine & put it up though!

Real Xmas Trees

What else?!  Food... I love food at Christmastime, there is so much good stuff around (although most of it is bad for the waistline) Mince Pies, Christmas Pudding, Terry's Chocolate Oranges, Quality Street, then it comes to all the lovely things that M&S do!  Now I am a keen M&S food fanatic, I really like their extremely chocolatey biscuit selection box = Heaven, only today in town when I pop in they have a sample table at the front with these on offer (but I resist) so I text my bessie Jason as he'd said he really likes these too (he'd missed out though as was already home), the boxes were only £2.99 so I got a box to put away for Christmas. As it says on the box, these biscuits do in my opinion take first place as they are amazing!!!

 M&S Extremely Chocolatey Biscuit Box

The final thing about Christmas food I particularly like is shortbread... why is it though that all the big supermarkets (also M&S) have these very pretty tins marked up as RRP £9.99 with fingers, petticoat tails & various other pretty shapes of shortbread inside, they then mark them up as half-price like it's some super duper deal at £4.99/£5 for 410g of shortbread in a decorative tin?! When you can quite adequately purchase shortbread fingers in 210g packets at just 89p... fine you get a decorative tin that catches your eye in the shop, but do you really keep that tin for ever???  I think not, you may keep it for a while but inevitably you end up filling the tins full of quite basically 'crap' & then you decide to get rid of the 'crap' & then you end up throwing the tin away - you over pay for these tins that just end up in the trash when you can get more shortbread (albeit just fingers not pretty shapes) for a fraction of the cost - I brought 3 packets today so have 630g of shortbread fingers for just £2.67... given this pricing if you wanted 410g of shortbread in a tin you are paying on average if the price is halved £3.21 for the tin you are to throw away eventually!  What a waste & who on earth would pay the RRP of almost £10 for that much shortbread just because it has a decorative tin?!  I wouldn't!!!

  Tin vs Fingers?!

Now, will there be snow this Christmas???  I figure there is a good possibility seeing as it is December 1st today & so far apart from one or two colder days, so far this Autumn/Winter season has been very mild in comparison to previous years, I am not a weather person but I just feel it in my bones - I have just googled the info & stumbled upon this report on the Telegraph's website: UK:snow - White Christmas???  Ok, so the Telegraph put this in last years edition (gotta love google) but I did also find this: Christmas Snow 2011 I do so hope that we have a White Christmas, it does make it all seem so much more magical when it snows =)

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

A month to the day... Now where did that go?!

As the title suggests, a whole month has passed since I last managed to blog... OMG, where did that time go?!  It's amazing how quick time flies once you age & have children, it is always one thing after another & with every good intention to prioritise your time to fit everything in something always goes wrong or gets in the way!

What takes up all my time you may wonder???  Well it's like this I have 3 children & they require care, as do my pets, husband & adopted daughter... there's washing, cooking, cleaning, errands, grocery shopping, bathing, school runs, tidying etc, etc, etc.  Now if everything ran to plan, things would get done quickly & easily but children are not robots & do not always do as they are told or as they are asked & sometimes just plain ignore you so time is wasted repeating yourself over & over trying to get through to them.  As the saying goes 'A woman's work is never done' not a truer word is spoken as there is always something to hold you back or get in the way of progressing through the day!

Still, enough said... I wouldn't change it for the world, I love my children & they make me so very proud.  Only last week was parents evening & to say I am proud of my 10yr old high-functioning autistic son is an understatement - he is amazing at school & has had the best report ever, in the past year his reading has excelled & his maths is off the scale he is astounding them all with his knowledge which makes me all warm n fuzzy inside as only a few years ago we were so concerned when he refused point blank to write anything down & would hide under tables in class, not join in with others etc, etc - As a treat for this he is coming with me to the cinema to watch Twilight Breaking Dawn pt1 after school today & I can't wait =)

It's hard to believe but Christmas is only just over a month away too... I don't feel that Christmasy yet, although I am sure that will soon change in a couple of weeks & the tree is up with the twinkly lights.  My shopping is almost complete & better still I have started wrapping & apart from the children's presents everything is wrapped & labelled already!  I don't have a clue what to get Duncan & although he tells me not to worry about presents for him, I do like to get a few from the children & me as I feel it is still important to show that he is just as an important part of the family as the children are!

I have a few subjects that I want to blog about, but weather I will get the time or not is another question... Why can't Blogger create an app for the iPod touch/iPhone/iPad (or Android/Blackberry)???  If there was such an app, I could log-in via my iPod touch & blog away any time... alas I have to physically have the time to unpack, plug-in & load up my laptop which in my hectic life is not always a possibility "/

Until next time, whenever that may be...

Sunday, 23 October 2011

One of those Days... Yes, really!

What more can I say?!  It has been one thing after another, all trivial but none the less all happening to me & I feel I should have stayed asleep today "/

Finally got to sleep around 2:30am/3am this morning after waiting up for Duncan to finish work, catching up with Coronation Street from being away last week, having some food & then going to bed... I first woke at around 6am briefly, but dropped back to sleep for a while (dreaming of the most amazing family home in Bicester that I last dreamed about over 7yrs ago, don't ask me where it is or if it actually exists - I can tell you where it's supposed to be & the whole layout of the downstairs to great detail tho, lol) anyway  I have digressed - I finally awoke properly at 7:45am, my alarm was set for 8:30am & the first thing I hear is Duncan on the PS3, Cameron & Hermione playing & Anneliese whining, just another normal day at home so I decided to try & catch up with FB on my iPod touch...

Here starts my woes of the day, I reach over to my bedside lamp to turn it on & discover Duncan had removed the bulb to replace his blown bulb & left me with none... Gee, thanks! Lol, then FB kept crashing while loading, so that was a no go.  I figure that Smurfs Village may be working now it's had an update, but alas no that kept crashing on loading too. Same thing with Bejeweld & I am starting to feel like giving up, but for good measure try Words with Friends - hallelujah an app that works today!  So I played for about an hour before my battery depleted after all the failed attempts at other apps "/

I lay in bed for approx 15 minutes deciding if I should get up or not & Duncan comes to surprise me with a wake up kiss, but I surprised him instead by having my eyes closed & then opening them just before he kisses me Lol...   I decide that I am going to get up as I have Hermans to sort out, need to shower & wash my hair etc, etc.

So I get up take my clothes down to the bathroom, make a coffee, sort Cameron & Hermione out to do some homework while Duncan goes to sort out logs for the fire, was planning to jump in shower at 9:30am everyone needed the bathroom first... I decide to update my FB status via txt message as it was the only way this morning due to my iPod being temperamental! Hermione was reluctant to do any writing & Cameron had got no further than one sentence of a poem he was writing, so I assist Hermione with her writing & ask her what she want's to write & say I will write it down so her spellings are ok & she can then copy it while I am in the shower, Cameron does another sentence of his poem in the meantime & then says he can't think of anything else that rhymes.

An hour passes with discussions about what Cameron can put, trying to persuade both children to actually write something down & trying to keep Anneliese out of their way as well, so I figure at 10:50am I may just get in shower... alas not yet as kids still bickering putting each other off not co-operating etc, etc.  Finally manage to jump in at 11:15am & am washed, dressed & drying hair by 11:30am to come out hoping the kids have sorted their act out & got on with homework - no they haven't :(

11:40am comes around & Duncan is struggling getting the chainsaw to start - I am thinking this is a doomed Sunday as everything everywhere is going wrong for everyone!!!  Around 12pm my brother stops by so I make us all a hot drink, that may make things better?!  Nope as I take Duncan's & Mik's out to them I slop Mik's coffee all over my hand, WTH the cup wasn't even overfull!!!  Lol, gotta laugh else you'd cry eh?!  My brother asks if I am ok so I briefly explain that today I must be jinxed & should've stayed in bed, I say the kids are messing around, I think I left my camera charger in Disneyland Paris, my iPod is being an ass etc, etc. Told you it's all trivial stuff but it was one thing after another.

I go back inside to drink my coffee & feed Herman as I had figured it was better to bake him & his babies tomorrow given the fact everything was going more & more pear shaped for me.  Elaine had been txt'in me all morning as i had originally planned to pop round & pick some loaf tins up from here to batch bake on route back from Tesco, altho I had decided at 11:35 I was not going to attempt leaving the house alone so she shortly turned up after I had gone back inside so I made her a cuppa... by a pure stroke of luck the tea came out fine =)

Elaine is my hero today as she got my 3 items for me & is coming to straighten my hair at 7:30pm then we're off out to The White Hart for a bit of karaoke with Jason as she has missed not going out since last Friday & I think nobody should come near me in case I turn them to stone or something with my bad luck today, lol!!!

Now Elaine stopped for a couple of cuppa's & a chat etc, I quickly flicked thru last weeks pictures with her & then she had to go - next bit of bad luck, I forgot to give her the money for the bits she picked up - doh!!!  Good job I am seeing her later so I can pay her back.

My brother comes in to chat with me & I start looking on eBay & the internet to replace my lost camera charger, a daunting task when they don't make that model any more... then I have a bizarre idea of looking in the camcorder case & bingo it was there!!!  Lock me up at the funny farm now I say.

Well my brother goes & leaves us to it & about an hour ago 3pm ish, I decide I may as well blog about my down day thanks to some brief FB comment chats with my good friend Jason - This blog has not been easy to write at all, Hermione finally finished her homework but all three children have the devil in them today & have been squabbling all day pretty much... I have made numerous typing errors, but hopefully have fixed them all now - apologies if i have missed any & the grammar or spelling is off, but I officially give up now "/

Duncan is now cooking the Sharp Family Roast in the kitchen as he is a true knight in shining armour - I fear I may burn my self if I go near anything hot today, hence Elaine is straightening my hair later (plus she does a much better job than me with it as short as it is) lol.

Better late than never, my blog is complete... hope you are still awake after reading this?!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Herman causes kitchen chaos!

Who is Herman I hear you ask?!  Let me explain...

Early this year I was given a tub of yeast mixture with a list of instructions as follows:

Herman is a friendship cake that you cannot buy but give away. Herman is alive. He grows slowly because of the yeast process. It also takes ten days before you can eat him. Herman shouldn’t be put in the fridge & also requires to be covered by a tea towel. He grows at room temperature.

Hi, my name is Herman.
I am a friendly cake. I can live a long time & travel a long way.

This is how you should look after me. I am made from natural yeast, which is ready in ten days. Then you should divide me into four parts so that three friends can spread the friendship & pass it on to their friends & so on.

Do not put me in the fridge & make sure that I'm not too hot, but I like to be warm. Put me in a large bowl so that I can grow, but do not cover me with a lid, just a clean tea towel. I need to breathe.

Day 1: Herman arrives

Day 2 & 3: Stir Herman well several times a day with a wooden spoon

Day 4: Herman is hungry, please feed him with : 200g sugar, 125 g plain flour, 200ml milk. Stir well.

Day 5,6,7 & 8: Stir well a few times a day

Day 9: Herman is hungry again. Please feed him with: 200g sugar, 125 g plain flour, 200ml milk. Stir well.

Day 10: Divide me into four, one for you & three for your friends.

Add the following to the part you have kept:
150g melted butter
3 eggs
250g plain flour
100g brown sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 apples, peeled, cored, grated
100g dried fruit.

Mix well & pour Herman into a large greased tin, or 2 smaller ones. Make sure it has about a quarter of the tin to rise because otherwise it will overflow. Sprinkle with brown sugar, then bake at 150°C, Gas Mark 2 for 1½ hours.


Sounds simple enough, right?!  Well earlier this year when I got my very first Herman everything went perfectly & we enjoyed a few batches of Herman giving only a couple away & keeping one to re-grow... finally after about 8 Herman’s (I cook in 2 smaller loaf tins) we decided to give all three away & Herman was no more after the last slice had passed our lips :(

I had been hoping to acquire another Herman offspring but alas, there were none to go round every time I heard of a friend with Herman his offspring had already been allocated to other people much to my disappointment.  Now imagine my surprise after a few quiet months 7 no word of Herman when I noticed via Facebook that my friend was in possession of a newly grown Herman!!! So I was hot on my keyboard commenting on the said status asking if there was any possible chance I could have one of Herman’s offspring - my lucky was with me as low & behold I was told there was some offspring left & I could have some =)

So, Monday morning (10/10/11) I pop round to my fellow blogger Jason's house to enjoy coffee with him & his lovely wife Claire (both very good friends of mine & Duncan's)... we sit, we chat, i get baby Herman in my pot & pop him in my bag, we drink coffee, we chat some more then it's time to wander off home, life is good!

But what I don't know is... baby Herman is not happy, baby Herman is getting angry in my pot, baby Herman is not liking the dark of the bag, so baby Herman starts seeping through the lid into the bag!  I get home, all cheery as I finally have another baby Herman all of my own to nurture & grow so I head into the kitchen to put baby Herman into my cherished Mason Cash mixing bowl (it's nice & large, perfect for baby Herman to grow) - what happens next???

Well, I start getting the few bits of shopping out of my bag & notice baby Herman has tried to escape.  So I figure let's take the lid off the pot so he can breathe & everything will be fine.  So I take my pot out & try to open the lid... how tight did Claire do it up?!  It wouldn't budge at first & panic starts to creep in as I am thinking baby Herman has already started seeping out, will his temper go completely over the edge & will he manage to explode my pot?!  I keep trying & after a few attempts it finally slowly starts turning while more of baby Herman is escaping; now my pot has about 5 threads on the lid... I'd undone the first thread, was slowly moving onto the second thread & BOOM!!!!!!  The lid from my pot propelled into the air & about a third of baby Herman had covered me & the kitchen!

I have never seen anything so funny, my coat needed washing, my hat needed washing, I had to wash the cover from the dogs cage, wipe down my cupboards, wipe down the walls & mop the floor - my, oh my can baby Herman fly!

After approx 30 mins, my kitchen was back to normal & you wouldn't guess anything had happened there... Baby Herman looked tiny when in my bowl so I fed him & now he is happily growing as he should be =)