Thursday, 19 January 2017

Where Are We Now?

Hello, hello! How are you? And - how are we?! Let's find out...


The Boy is now 17. (Yes, 17!! This year he'll turn 18!! How is this possible?!) He took his GCSEs in the summer and did really well, and is now taking A-Levels in Biology, Psychology, History and Music. He's still playing his tuba and is working towards Grade 8 with the hope that he can complete it during Sixth Form. We're starting to think about university applications - yikes! - and although he's not yet sure exactly where he wants to study he'll probably do a biology degree of some kind.

The Tomboy is 14 and has started her GCSE courses. She's particularly enjoying Computer Science and wants to pursue this to a higher level; she's also attended various workshops and short courses to learn coding and other computer skills. Ideally she'll combine her creativity (particularly in her writing) with her interest in technology in some way. We're currently arranging some work experience for her so she can see what might be possible. She still plays drums (hooray for electronic drum kits...), is about to graduate from Scouts, is working towards her Duke of Edinburgh Award and generally keeps herself very busy!

The Doctor published his latest book last autumn, after 15 years of research and writing. It's early days for reviews yet but the feedback so far has been very positive. He was promoted to Reader (a step up from Senior Lecturer) in December. Yes, after all these years, he can finally read! We're very proud... ;) Work is, as always, keeping him very busy, but he's enjoying it - mostly, anyway! He's also starting preaching on an occasional basis at our church, and gets a lot of satisfaction from studying passages of the Bible to greater depth and really getting his teeth into them.

Me? I'm still working full-time as a Teaching Assistant, with a nice mixture of classroom support and teaching maths to small groups or individuals to either support or extend. This role suits me so well - I get to use my teaching skills without all the stress, admin and responsibility that goes with being a teacher! I also maintain the school website and supervise the (supposedly) pupil-run tuck shop, which adds interesting variety. The job is never boring, that's for sure... I avidly follow Hereford FC (the new incarnation of Hereford United) and after a fabulous season last year got to see them play at Wembley! OK, we lost, but to be honest it didn't matter all that much - we played at Wembley!!


Our love of travel continues and we generally have at least one trip booked to look forward to. Last year we went to Berlin at Easter and to Iceland in the summer (wow - just wow!) This year our plans include Poland and Costa Rica. The list of places we want to see doesn't ever seem to grow smaller, though!




In very sad news, The Mother-In-Law died in December. While her health had not been good for a while her final illness was sudden and quick. She's a much-loved and much-missed mother, mother-in-law and grandmother.


And so, that's where we are now. I do miss my regular blogging but realised some time ago that it just wasn't compatible with increasing family commitments and a full-time job. This post now is only possible because unfortunately I'm off work this week due to labyrinthitis :( It's unlikely to herald a new era of frequent blog updates I'm afraid, but it's been good to at least manage this one! x

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Bookish {January Edition}

A few years ago, on a whim, I decided to photograph every book I read through the year.

This year, on a whim, I decided to photograph every book I read through the year.

Or, at least, to start with January and see how it went...

And, reading-wise, January went pretty well!

 I try to read my Bible every day, and these reading notes help me to do so

 A couple of photography books, bought for joyously low sums as both were second-hand. Apologies for the title of the second, it's just photos of dogs!

 This one came to me highly recommended. In truth, I didn't think so highly of it myself - there was one part that 'got' me, but the rest not so much. Shame :(

 Some light relief! The Doctor's gift from Santa (who always, very kindly, brings us a book each for Christmas)

 The first prompted me to reread the second - I studied the General Prologue at A-level, 'twas interesting to revisit it!

 Let's just say, we have exciting plans for later this year... :)

 Came across a recommendation and the premise of this book intrigued me. I found it an interesting read

 I'm particularly interested in reading about photography at the moment!

 Picked this up cheaply thinking it might be suitable for The Tomboy, and read it first to check. It was, and she's reading her way through it daily now

More plans! Hoping for a short break in this area at some point

Ah, it's so good to rediscover the joy of reading, even if I only forget it for a short while due to the bustling busy rushing around of work and life in general...

What are you reading at the moment?

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Going Postal

Don't you just love Sian? She has the most wonderful ideas :) One of her latest was to organise a Pile of Postcards Valentine Exchange - ooh, yes please! I said, as fast as I could type it*

*Faster, it turns out. But I edited my response so it made sense, so that was OK...

I had a very happy time finding postcards that I loved/that made me smile/that spoke to me of a particular person/all of the above (yay Paperchase!):

 
Then I had another very happy time writing little notes to the intended recipients, those on the list from Sian plus a few bonus cards because it seemed like a good opportunity!
 
Off they went, popped into the lovely traditional red postbox round the corner, then by plane, train, automobile and postman's shoe leather to drop through letterboxes far and wide.
 
And then? Ah, happy time upon happy time as my own postie was kept busy! First to land on my doormat was this beauty from Ladkyis. Lovely Tintern Abbey, a big church indeed! ;)


Hot on its heels was this rather gorgeous and much-loved pooch from Deb. The Tomboy was particularly delighted to see a dog pic arrive!


Coincidentally, but in a rather timely manner, a card from Ruth happened to arrive this week too! And it made me smile :)


Clever Sian remembered a conversation we'd had - ooh, years ago! And clever me remembered it too, and realised who this card must be from before I even turned it over :) Happy memories!


And the same day (yesterday, in fact) brought this pretty and inspiring card from Sandra - another Paperchase shopper, I see! She has good taste ;)


Today, the Day of St Valentine, brought to me a well-travelled card from Katie in New Zealand :) Now that's somewhere I'd love to visit one day! (How gorgeous is the light in this photo?!)


By my calculations, there may well be another card finding its way here - that's something to look forward to :) Better keep a little bit of space on my mantelpiece...

Many thanks Sian for organising this rather lovely and wonderful thing. And Happy Valentine's Day, one and all! Wishing you a fantabulous day xxx

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

I Thought This Was Kinda Cool...

...and I thought you might enjoy it, too :)



Cleverly done, huh? (I think maybe the patterns appeal to my mathematical brain!)

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Snippets of 2014

How do you summarise a year? How do you identify the highlights, the key moments, the defining points?

Well, I suppose you could start by taking a look through the folders of photos on your computer...


The Newest Hamster joined us in March :)


We spent a week in Florence (also visiting Pisa and Siena) at Easter.


I got to see the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in July!


Our family holiday in the summer was to Orkney, which was fascinating - we loved the wildlife, especially the super cute puffins! :)


In honour of turning - um - 30 plus(!), The Doctor and I took a special trip to New York in August.


The Mother got The Dog in the summer! The Tomboy is overjoyed :)


 I managed to get to the first stage of the Tour of Britain, too, and had the most amazing view near the finish line - here's Marcel Kittel powering to victory ahead of Mark Cavendish...

That's not the full story - no mention of The Tomboy's win of a big poetry competition, or The Boy's starting his GCSEs and passing his Grade 5 tuba, or The Doctor's latest publication, or my new job (which meant leaving the school where I'd been involved for 10 years, one way or another) - but it maybe gives you a small flavour of how 2014 was for us :) I hope it was good for you!

Thursday, 1 January 2015

One Little Word for 2015

My, it's dusty round here! 'Scuse me while I clear away a few cobwebs.... *atchoo!*

So, anyway. Partway through last year I really, really enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect with some old friends from school :) As we reached a significant birthday (shall we call it '30 plus'?!) we were prompted to organise some time away together to catch up with each other. In a couple of cases I hadn't seen these lovely people since we were at school, and even those I had seen I just don't see often enough. It was amazing and wonderful and awesome and such, such fun to spend a few days together, remembering and reminiscing, sharing news, laughing over old photos, and revisiting some old haunts!



The year ended with me managing to visit another old schoolfriend, who hadn't been able to make it to our weekend away but who lives near enough to The Parents-In-Law that it was possible for me to make the trip over for the afternoon while visiting them between Christmas and New Year.

The joy of reconnecting with these friends, along with other occasions over the year when I've had the chance to spend time with friends and family - those I see regularly and those I see all too rarely - made me think of all of you, dear blog friends. You are one of the reasons I plan to take 'reconnect' as my One Little Word for 2015. I'm still working on the details (baby steps, no pressure, blogging without obligation, and so on) but I miss you all and I want to find a way back to you! And so, by reconnecting with my blog and online community, I hope to start to reconnect with you once more. I can't tell you how much I look forward to that!

Happy New Year - may 2015 hold many, many good things for us all x

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Christmas Greetings!

A quick note to you all, dear blog friends, to wish you a very happy Christmas, and all the very best for 2014 :)


And I hope - though I will make no promises! - to get back to blogging just a little more next year... xx