27 February, 2009

Half-term Ate My Brain, or I'm Still Here...

Sorry, Gentle Readers! I didn't mean to go silent for so long, but the children had half-term holiday last week, and we kept pretty busy. Playdates, a cinema outing (Bolt wasn't half-bad), errands and a couple of days in London.

This week's been back to normal, if by normal you mean I am out of the house all day on various missions! I did go for my mammogram on Tuesday, which I had been dreading (four dear friends of my own age have been diagnosed with breast cancer already). However, avoiding one's mammogram is NOT the rational response. So that is done, over, and I hope shows all clear for another year.

David was thrilled to get to go to the Mart this year (local fun fair - see this page toward the bottom). I'd told him that I thought he'd have to miss it since Daddy is away, and I shuddered at the thought of dragging Lily around a loud carnival with lots of rides that are too big for her. Luckily, his friend Sam really wanted him to come along, so they got to ride all the good stuff on Tuesday, which was also Shrove Tuesday.

Lily and I had our Shrove Tuesday pancakes at home (topped with lemon and sugar, or chocolate spread - nom).

Anyway, back to our London mini-trip. We went down by train, and headed straight to Covent Garden in time for lunch (excellent savoury crepes) and some good street entertainment. Nothing like watching someone do a comedy routine while balanced on a ladder and juggling knives....good stuff!

The kiddies also wanted to visit Build-a-Bear, which we have avoided since we got here. They were thrilled, and didn't much mind waiting in line with all the other over-excited half-term children for their turn to push the buttons and turn the cranks to stuff their very own bears.

Lily chose a basic, and very soft, brown bear, which she named Talitha after a little girl we know. David went for the koala, and chose a leprechaun outfit for him. The koala was dubbed Sydney O'Beary. Both bears travelled the rest of the trip peeking out from the kids' backpacks.

Backpacks - my personal secret for overnight trips to London. Everyone gets a backpack, with their pajamas, next day's clothes and toiletries. Mine's a bit bigger, so I carry the snacks and paper/crayons/book/camera. We keep it light by wearing our jeans twice, bringing light PJs. I also cleverly made everyone wear old socks and underwear on day one, so we could trash it in the morning, rather than packing it up again.

Day two of the trip was spent entirely at the London Zoo, and sadly I have no pictures. We were too busy watching the animals to take many pictures, and none have people in them. Trust me when I say we had a great day. We enjoyed the monkeys the most, but the Komodo dragon exhibit was pretty neat, as was the butterfly house.

For my friends who are or have been in Omaha, got to say...the Henry Doorly Zoo is better. Seriously. The London Zoo is nice, but the Omaha Zoo is NIIIIICE.

I'll leave you with a few more pictures.

Lily spied this wonderful plant near Covent Garden:

David and Sydney O'Beary - we decided Sydney looks sort of like a tidy Einstein:

This Victorian postbox has been painted orange and is used for Zoo donations.

15 February, 2009

Valentine's Weekend

 Happy Sunday, everyone!

We had a quiet but good Valentine's Day here.  Kiddies got a little bit of chocolate and Red Noses, and I enjoyed some chocolate from David (a little Green and Black's Butterscotch bar).  We also got a special call from our far-away Valentine, and he sent red roses, too.  Aren't they pretty? 

'Cause he's  a sweetie like that.  I know how lucky I am.  [Thanks, baby!! I hope your Valentine's chocolate wasn't too melty...]

12 February, 2009


Wow, just when I thought I was getting to know the cycles of East Anglian weather, it went and started snowing. Again!  This is our second substantial snow in a week, if by substantial you mean 3 inches or more...

David's scheduled playdate with James here has turned into an impromptu sleepover, thanks to the white roads.  PJs and a spare toothbrush have been doled out, and today's clothes are in the washing machine, ready to wear again tomorrow.  I think the odds of school being in session are pretty good, but if not, they will have a BLAST playing in the snow again.

Me, I'm happy that the kids are happy, I'm happy that the snow is so pretty, I'm happy the visa paperwork got turned in today before all the snow arrived, and I'm happy to put my feet up and drink a cuppa.

Snow days...

11 February, 2009

A Lovely Day

It's been a busy week here at Casa Knitfarm. We saw off David on Monday morning and he's now safely arrived in the Hot Place.  This time around, he'll be missing Valentine's Day, Lily's birthday, and my birthday, which happens to be today. 

Despite that fact, it's been a really nice day so far.  The goodness started early, with a phone call from David.  He even sang Happy Birthday, although he was in a crowd of other people.  My sweetie...

I've gotten tons of birthday wishes/cards/calls, and even lovely gifties like sock wool, chocolate, roses, and the sweetest pale blue and white teapot just for me. I had a lovely morning chat with Afton and Ali, two friends from church; I bought a gorgeous brownie chocolate cake for my birthday cake; and I topped that all off by meeting up with my friend Ruth at Sandringham for some gorgeous cocoa and a large flapjack (which I cut into bits so that the calories would fall out).

Lily's at a friend's for playdate and tea, David is sitting next to me making up heraldic shields (his latest enthusiasm), and all's mellow in my part of the world.

06 February, 2009

The Day After...

All the lovely snow is turning to slush, and it's raining pretty hard right now. I ran to Tesco after school drop-off and got some groceries (the traditional pizza for the kids for our date night tonight - they demand Tesco pizza for tea when they are being babysat...it's quite amusing). The lines for the tills were incredible! You'd have thought we'd all been snowed in for a week, the way people were stocking up.

The high point of my Tesco run was finding some redbush CHAI tea. I've just made a cup now, and it smells and tastes heavenly.... lovely for the cold day.

Date night tonight, if the weather holds, will be Nando's for peri-peri grilled chicken dinner and then Slumdog Millionaire, which has finally made its way to our neck of the woods.

Here's to the weekend, everyone!

p.s. Picture from this site.

05 February, 2009

Crazy Long Picture-heavy Snow Day Post

Lily and I enjoying the snowy goodness of the garden. I was very grateful for DH's special wool socks with microfleece liners, I will tell you!!

Here David is getting started on his snowman...I really love this picture.
Here's the finished product: a snow pirate with cutlass, hook hand, peg leg, eye patch, hat AND shoulder parrot.  Trust me, they're all there.
Lily giving David a bit of assistance.

Lily and her own snowman, who is named Bob. Really.

I like this shot of the house, and the very snowy lane...