Saturday, 28 November 2009

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

...everywhere you go!"

And I'm starting to feel Christmassy!

William 'wrote' his letter to Father Christmas yesterday (with a bit of help...) and drew him a lovely picture. Well... he covered a piece of paper with a LOT of felt-tip pen, anyway! Today we took it to the Post Office to send it to his workshop at the North Pole (well, local branch situated at Nanna's house...). I can't wait to see William when he gets his reply!

It was even more exciting when, just afterwards, we were going down the escalators, only to see Mr C coming up the other way! I thought William's eyes were going to pop out of his head!!! (Apologies to my OWZAT friend, Oscar, who was also travelling up the escalators and whom I nearly ignored in all the excitement!)

What Wills doesn't know is that he's going to see Father Christmas tomorrow at Paulton's Park! Every year Heals' work organises discount tickets to the park and Christmas Wonderland. It's always really freezing cold (open parkland) and we have to queue for the Wonderland bit for ages, but the children get a great visit with a 'proper' Father Christmas who magically knows their name as soon as they go in ;-) and a very decent, quality gift appropriate to their age. We grown-ups get mincepies and mulled wine :-) Last year I was recovering from the dreaded Norovirus (if you've never had it I don't recommend it) so I was chilled to the bone and the very smell of the mulled wine was making me feel really sick. This year I will be making up for all that! The tickets also include a full day at the park itself, including all the rides and attractions. I am determined that, as my Mum used to say 'we will all enjoy ourselves if it kills me'. I myself will be armed with 4 layers of clothing, including tights AND kneehigh socks under my jeans. I know, most unsexy, but the only man I need to impress is Healey and he's seen worse!
(The recent bad weather is set to continue and according to the MET office it will almost certainly bucket down, but that's what wellies are for!)

Going back to today; I managed to get quite a bit of Christmas pressie shopping done and bought all our charity Christmas cards. Whether they'll actually be written and sent in time is another matter..! A few of the local residents have already switched on their lights... I think this is a good thing..?!

BTW; you may have noticed that I refer to Mr Claus as Father Christmas rather than Santa. It's not that I have anything against 'Santa', it's just that he was always Father Christmas when I was growing up and I'm a sentimental (old) fool!

Bye for now;
Em ♥

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Busy, busy, busy..!

Pardon the rush - I'm having to post this quickly in the 3 seconds I've got spare this week..!

Thursday - Took 46 prints to be mounted and wrapped. They're destined for the We Make designer arts and crafts fair in Chelsea, London on 5th Dec. A good feeling!

Saturday - Took two of my best works to the Westy in Aldershot for the open exhibition. I've entered a very personal piece (A Gentle Freak-Out) and one of my best, older images (The Chapel Gate.) I also managed to convince Mum to enter two of her paintings, including her 'MS' painting, which is a very personal and powerful piece. I inherited my creative, artistic side from my mum so it's wonderful for us to be exhibiting together! Neither of us would've imagined it possible not so long ago!

Sunday - Mark managed to bag an extra ticket for the Formula 1 day at Mercedes-Benz World, Brooklands racetrack. Great day! Met Mark and his Dad, Ted, on the train and William instantly fell in love with Ted! Friends for life, those two..! William already adores fellow racing-car-loving 'Uncle' Mark so no-one's nose was put out of joint :-)

Monday - Pyjama day. Spent most of it painting and crackle glazing frames to display some of my 6x4" and 7x5" prints at the We Make fair.

Tuesday - William and I went for a walk in the woods with Andy, Sarah and their little boy, Benjamin. Kicked leaves, spotted squirrels and mushrooms, played with very large fallen branches (though that was mostly Ben and Wills), stopped at the park then headed home. First signs of a possible cold...

Wednesday - Yep. After three false alarms these past two months, I've finally succumbed to a cold. Sneezing, sore throat, swollen gland in neck. Stayed in PJs, did more frame painting. Benylin Day and Night tablets worked wonders!

Thursday - Postman brought me my new stickers, branded with my phalaenopsis orchid motif, to use as seals when wrapping sold prints. (I also have return-address labels and magnets made in my motif!) I'm starting to look like a professional! :-D Parcel Force man later brought my magnets so I can send a few off to the We Make organisers now to go in the tote bags which they will be selling. Yay! Had some sad news via text from a very good friend - if you're reading this, I meant what I said. I'm here for you anytime. xxx
Caught up with emails, checked on my Etsy and Folksy shops, spent some time in Flickr and Facebook (tending my Farmville farm!)

Friday - no wait... that's tomorrow. Getting ahead of meself a bit there!

Bye for now!
Em ♥

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

'One One was a racehorse'

One One was a racehorse
Two Two was one too,
One One won one race
Two Two won one too!
Oh, I did do love that poem as a child!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Bad Hair Day

What a day! Awful. Ridiculous. Mad. And all before I'd had my breakfast!

For a start, I'm not well. I don't know if I've got an ear infection or a virus, or if the tablets are just causing bizarre symptoms. [Important note #1: I should mention that my symptoms include neck ache, ear ache and slight trouble breathing.] Basically I haven't felt right since yesterday. But I decided at 8:45 this morning to throw caution to the wind, throw on some clothes and take William for the first session of the new pre-school gymnastics course at our local leisure centre. He loved the last two courses and went to the drop-in sessions throughout the summer holidays, so I thought I'd do the good mummy thing and make the effort to take him today. This was my first mistake!

[Important note #2: William wasn't bothered about going out. He'd already started getting his train track out and wanted me to help him put it together and play trains.]

Anyway; I did what I could with my fringe - my hair could've done with a wash, really, but I have a slummy mummy image to maintain ;-D - slapped on a hat (my nice new crocheted black beret, if you're fashion-concious and interested) and we left the house at 9:05. William sat in the buggy most of the way so I could go faster (hah!) and he walked the last few yards. [Important note #3: Willaim is very heavy to push, especially uphill and especially with my torn shoulder. He usually walks everywhere these days anyway. I only take the buggy for naps and longer trips out.]

We got there - late, despite the hurry which half killed me - and had to wait in a queue. My chest hurt and I was hot and fed-up. Finally got to the counter. "Sorry, that class is full. They're only taking 6 children this time." Well,thank you very much. Perhaps someone could've revealed that important fact a few weeks ago..?! If I'd known I'd have enrolled him during the summer. I was too ill and fed-up to put up the usual public mask so in a break with the norm I actually let the lady behind the counter see my displeasure, especially as I'd made such an effort to get there and now faced the long walk back home again; not to mention William's disappointment. She asked if we like to go into the soft play area instead. I thought about it, but Wills won't play on his own and there were no other children there then, so I suggested we stay for a drink while we decided. The cafe was in the early stages of opening up but the lady said she'd get it open straightaway for us. At this point she disappeared and it didn't open for over half an hour - in other words, its regular opening time. By this time I was feeling very undervalued as a customer indeed. I'd been to TWO of their courses before AND the drop-in sessions AND brought another person (i.e; customer) along, yet I felt like they didn't give a flying fig about us.

Anyway, we waited, which William was happy(ish) to do and had already chosen a large chocolate chip cookie for his snack. They openend up and - lo and behold - the cookies were still frozen. Why were they on display then, for goodness' sake?! Managed to convince Wills to have some Jaffa Cakes instead. Now I must mention that the girl who served me at the cafe was lovely, which was lucky because by this time the tiredness and walk and nonsense was taking its toll and I was going a bit dizzy in the head. I ordered the cookie - then Jaffa Cakes - a drink for Willaim and a breakfast bap for myself. (I needed it!) I gave the girl my debit card and there was that "err...we can't do that yet moment" so before she needed to explain I fished in my purse for my last fiver. She gave me the change and I stood there chatting, which felt a little bit awkward, while the other girl made my coffee... or so I thought. Then I got that feeling something wasn't okay... it was as if the girl was making polite conversation, which it turned out was exactly what she was doing as I hadn't actually ordered any coffee! So I ordered a latte and had to fish about in my small change to pay for it! Luckily I had enough! In fact I gave her too much, somehow?! We joked about it but I still felt like a cross, tired, fed-up, unwell madwoman with unwashed hair. Which was a pretty accurate description actually!

Sat down with Wills and tried to phone Healey to have a rant, although by now I was going almost giggling with madness. Voicemail - which I stupidly didn't listen to (well it costs on a mobile! LOL). Tried again 5 minutes later. Voicemail again. Which again I didn't bother listening to. As my Mum would say 'that'll learn me.' Tried again and actually listened to the message "...I'm not at my desk today so please ring blah blah blah etc." Ah! Rang the main number and spoke to a colleague who got a message to Heals immediately. He called less than 5 minutes later and had a great idea; "why don't you stay there at the soft-play and I'll pick you up after 12pm, in my lunch hour and take you home?" Brilliant!

So I went to pay for the soft-play, as suggested by the lady on reception and now by an excited William, hoping that the Chip & Pin machine was working/awake/warmed-up or whatever by now, and - lo and behold - the soft-play wasn't opening that day until 12pm...

#SNAP!!!# (That was my mind going.)

### I could've bloody well stayed home, wrapped in a fleecy blanket, drinking sweet tea and half watching CBeebies while William played with his trains - which is all he damn well wanted to do in the first place!!! AAAAARRRRRGH!!!!!!!!! ###

So we went to the library and caught the tail end of storytime. Yes, if we'd ledt the leisure centre earlier, instead of trying to kill time there, Wills could've had a whole hour of stories and activities... Ha ha...ha ha...hee hee.. Oh look! Men in white coats...hoo hoo...ha ha!!!

(I laugh about it now - but only because if I didn't, I'd cry!)
Em ♥