Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Why not to go in the loft

So last night I had to make an expedition into our loft, to find a selection of "summer clothes" which had mysteriously disappeared, in anticipation of our trip to the beach on Friday. I had looked a week or so ago at the initial layer of detritus which exists in our loft, but I didn't see this collection of clothes in the tubs and suitcases where I thought they might be, so I had to plan an evening to take up a flashlight and really investigate the disappearance. You might be asking why I'm looking for summer clothes at the end of July, to which I would reply, check the weather for London for this past month, and you'll find that most people would probably have preferred to wear wool sweaters or be wrapped in fleece blankets. Anyway, that's a different story. If I told you that most of these summer clothes were bought in the summer of 2006, you may also have a chuckle to yourself about the absurd notion that I could even fit into most of this anymore, and I think I may just have to grant you that - I'm not sure much of it will fit, to be honest. But I had to at least locate the clothes before being able to test that theory.
So flashlight in hand, I ventured up the ladder, and as soon as I got up there I thought to myself, What a load of crap we have up here! There are nearly a dozen huge cardboard boxes which have not even been folded down, as well as probably two dozen that have been folded flat - perhaps in anticipation of our packing up our stuff someday. There are paint cans, an office chair, tubs of costume party clothing, Christmas decorations spilling out of their boxes, table legs, a spare vacuum cleaner (why we have a spare when we hardly use our main one very often is beyond me), spare parts to God-knows-what, about a dozen suitcases of all varieties - hard, soft, big, small, an entire suitcase full of bubble wrap; Matt's wetsuit, a Moses Basket, Blake's baby clothes, a spare trash can (?), extra boards and extra tiles, and the list could go on. After about 15 minutes trying to make heads or tails over what everything was, I finally did locate my tub of clothes (nicely labelled "Meg - Summer Clothes"). Coming down out of the loft was the best feeling, and I have to say that I really dread the thought of moving and having to decide what we do with much of that stuff. For another day...!

In terms of moving, not much has happened since last week. We still haven't yet seen anything in particular for us to go to, so I think we're planning on taking our break to the US and then coming back with hopes that there will be more properties on the market. At least I do know that if we need to pack things up to move, we have some boxes to start filling. I think I'll be sending Matt up to get them when the time comes.

Nine is fine, and what a mess!


One thing that seems to happen like strange clockwork is the arrival of Blake's teeth almost always to a "month-iversary". Yesterday he turned 17 months and out sprouted Tooth #9, on the right in the back. Also, do you ever wonder why some babies/young children don't mind being absolutely disgustingly caked in nasty food (here spaghetti bolognaise and yoghurt), and at what age do they start to actually think, You know what, I'd prefer not to look like someone dumped a plate of food in my face? At any rate you can actually see the new tooth in this picture, if you can distinguish it from a yoghurt blob.

Sunshiny photo op






We haven't seen the sun all that much this July, but on Monday there was some beautiful late afternoon sun that was coming through our windows. Here we are soaking up the rays! (please note Monday is my makeup-free day...wish I'd thought of that before taking these in such light!)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Happy Birthday, Diana!

Di's birthday was Thursday - the card is in the mail! Hope you had a great day!!

If the shoes fit

Blake has really become a shoe addict in the last week, now able to put on a pair of adult shoes on his own. Here he is on 2 different occasions with Matt's tennis shoes, and then indulging his feminine side with my flats.




Somewhere over the rainbow

Thursday was quite a big day on several fronts: I received a letter informing me that my application for British citizenship had been approved; I now have to attend a citizenship ceremony on August 10th before it's official. In the meantime, I am wondering if I should go all out and wear a hat for the occasion...?! Stay tuned for an invite for a fancy dress party to celebrate, "Britain" will be the theme.
I also had a fantastic realization, when faced with the news on Wednesday night that our fridge had pretty much kicked the bucket, that our local supermarket has a great cafe where they do kids' meals. Here is Blake enjoying his first-ever juice box!




We also got an offer - well, 3 offers - on our flat, one of which we accepted on Friday. We will now really need to turn up the search for somewhere to go. Right now it does not seem like there is much on the market so we have to hope that changes and that more people decide to sell, and that something is within our budget. At least now we can relax about keeping our place so tidy for viewings.
In the evening as I was headed out to book club at Sydenham Studios (Lucy and Ernesto's), there was a massive rain storm - pelting rain, wind, dark as night outside - but by the time I was halfway to the tube there then appeared a double rainbow. Perhaps a sign of good things to come, I hope!

In the meantime, our attempt to repair our fridge resulted in throwing £50 down the drain as what the man suggested did not work, so we've ordered a new one to arrive tomorrow. Not exactly the birthday present of my dreams, but it will be nice to have a working refrigerator again.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The scooter thief in action

I am not sure why sound isn't working on this (I was wrong - it is working!), but this is Blake trying out some kid's scooter. It looks like it might not be that long until he would be able to have one...

Busy Blake

Has it really been a week since I last made a post (no doubt Granny Karla will say, Yes, where have you been?!)
We went on Thursday back to the Princess Diana playground, which Blake really likes. He also likes catching up with his friend Maddie, although as soon as he remembers the water fountain at the Diana playground there is no socializing to be done - it's just him and the fountain that matter!
Saturday we went to a birthday party of an "older girl" at nursery - her 3rd birthday so Blake is "in with" the older crowd.
And then finally on Sunday we headed up to Granny Lyons' for a day visiting with Tom, Lykke and cousin Emma, as well as Matt's cousin Robert and his fiancee Kelvia who were visiting from the Lone Star State. Blake enjoyed playing in the garden, making some interesting music on the piano, and discovering an electric screwdriver (without the dangerous part!). The new obsession, however, is really the little 3-wheeled scooter...he just sees them and wants to ride them!
Somewhere in there was a bit of sleep, but still not enough. We also put our flat on the market last Monday and have therefore have to live in a land of tidyness for the estate agent to show it. The good news is that we had an offer - which we haven't accepted - but it's still nice to think that the market might be picking up. Of course we don't quite know what we'll do if we do get the asking price for our flat, since we haven't yet seen anything within budget for us to go to. For now, I think we're just waiting and seeing what happens...
So, a busy - and fairly stressful - week. We are now starting to count down the days til we go to Topsail and have a BREAK!
Blake - July 09

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Doug and Annlou get married

We spent Saturday at the wonderful wedding of Chris's brother Dr. Doug, and his lovely "Angel of the North" Annlouise. On the train there, I realised that although I had brought my camera, I had forgotten to put the fully-charged battery in said camera, so sadly I cannot bring you any pictures of the event.
Doug and Annlou looked amazingly happy and everyone had a good time despite the return of the real British summer weather. It is a sign of the times - old age and fatigue - that at the reception, I did not partake of two of my favorite activities: dancing and karaoke...and they had both! As it was I was not going wild with the booze because I feared an early wake-up this morning, and my cautious attitude was a good thing since Blake woke up at FIVE TWENTY and didn't really go back to sleep. Ugh.
Granny Lyons was here babysitting and she did a great job with Blake, despite his tantrums about going into his stroller and his being a little distressed when he woke up from his nap to find us gone. She cleverly entertained him with the contents of her handbag and then today he managed to convince her he could be responsible with her sunglasses, which to be fair to him, managed to stay intact.


Saying adieu to Colin

Chris and Anna are back from France, so Colin's stay as our houseguest has come to a close. We are pretty pleased that everything went so "swimmingly" - ha ha ha. Colin was a delight to have, so quiet and able to entertain himself. He is welcome back here anytime.
Here are some shots of the reunion!

Chris came back from France sporting a blue plastic handlebar moustache:


And he did come back with a tan, although is not as orange as this picture implies (I should have used flash - oopsie - scared of startling Colin though):

The Little Professor


Blake has a real obsession these days with glasses, both real and sun. He took to searching around in my purse to find mine to then wear around the flat...here is he sporting them, a few hours before then actually breaking them - which was not so funny to Mommy.

4th of July!

We were down at Jamie and Diane's last Saturday, to celebrate Jamie's and Adam's birthdays (as Jamie says, we're all now "in our thirties," which is easier to remember than our actual ages.) The rain stayed away and Jamie was busy at the bbq while the rest of us chased the kids around, chased down by Pimms and beers. I then led a VERY reluctant crowd at attempting to sing some US patriotic songs ("for Blake's benefit, to honor half his heritage"). I'm sure people would have participated more enthusiastically if only it weren't singing. Here are some lowlights:



Blake was not 100% as he had a cold and cough, but he still had fun copying Sam Stafford-Binns; they spent nearly half an hour sitting, jumping and standing on the futon in the "Outbuilding" and playing with Blake's new toy stroller.


We got to meet the very adorable Arthur Marshall, little bro of the now very grown-up Charlie. It was one of those days where I feel like I actually didn't really speak to anyone, but rather spent the day running around in circles and dealing with one thing or another. Still good fun of course!
Blake treated us to a wake-up call at around midnight, and for some reason then decided that the next hour was the energy equivalent of 2:00 pm - he was bouncing all over the bed, laughing and not expressing any interest in sleeping whatsover. We finally got him back to sleep but thus began the sleep deficit that has plagued us all week.
The next day we went for a walk on Horsell Common and it made us pine to live somewhere with woods to walk in. As you can see from one of these photos, William found it all a bit tiring so had to take a nap right in the middle of the walk.
Jamie then made a paella on the bbq, which was new to us, but very tasty! (CP: he didn't have all your exciting shellfish, so I can't really make comparisons!). And then all of a sudden, it was Monday morning again...why do they come around so soon?!

4th of July

Blogging hiatus

Unintentionally, it has been a long time since a post - but I'm back and will try to update everyone on the last week...I could sum it up in three words, however: NEED MORE SLEEP!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Colin cam: Day 6


Colin has been with us nearly a week now, and seems to be enjoying the heat. I was worried that our flat would get too hot for him but Chris told me that his natural environment is hotter, so he should enjoy it.
He is definitely ready to be fed in the morning, so today I gave him 5 pellets. I tried to get the feeding in action but it came out blurry. I do wonder what he thinks about all day...

Summertime means crisps and beer

London is in the middle of a heatwave, and it is great! We have had two really awful summers in a row so it has been a lot of fun to see the sunshine and to see the mercury rise past the mid-60's in June! In fact, today's high was somewhere in the low 90's, so it is really hot!
Afternoon for the boys means crisps and beer, so here they are indulging in both of those treats. Blake's reaction to the beer is pretty funny; although he clearly doesn't like the taste, he wants to go back for more!
Afternoon crisps and beer