Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Sunday Best

When I was a little girl, on Sundays we always wore what my granny referred to as our best 'bib and tucker', Sunday best. Last Sunday it was my youngest granddaughter's Christening day and granny would have been pleased with the amount of time and effort put in to making it a day to remember. The Church service went off without a hitch. Our baby was almost as quiet as a Church mouse, only crying once as the Vicar poured water over her head. At our Church, babies are baptised during the Family Service and welcomed by the whole congregation. It was a very moving service for Pentecost ending with the lively hymn, Lord of the Dance.

After the Christening, my daughter and son-in-law held a wonderful garden party. It did rain a little during the proceedings but that certainly did not dampen anyone's spirits. They had hired a bouncy castle, which was popular with not only the children(!), and had the foresight to purchase a rather splendid marquee. There was a hog roast and vegetarian options so all were catered for, and a drinks table that was kept quite busy...

Here are a few photographs to give you some flavour of the day


  



After everyone had left, my daughter commented that it was one of the best days ever. I am inclined to agree. Family and Friends came from near and far to share in this important day, several who I hadn't seen for quite some time. The conversation flowed as though it had only been yesterday when we last met. Isn't that the very best of occasions and really what life is all about? 

Later in the afternoon, it was our baby's tea-time and I couldn't resist taking this photograph as she sat in her high chair in the garden



She loves her food and can be forgiven for getting so messy. It was her special day after all.

Enjoy the rest of the week.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Out and About

Every week, I have the opportunity to spend a day with my four year old grandson. He will be going off to school in September so I have been getting out and about with him. Just the two of us. No 'big' or 'little' sisters who might demand attention.

Last Thursday, we drove over to Hayling Island. I had hoped to take him on the steam train that runs along the seafront. Regrettably, it wasn't running that day, but there were plenty of other things to occupy us.

On the seafront, there is a children's playground next to which is an area designed and developed by adidas, the 'AdiZone' outdoor gym. These sporting facilities were inspired by Olympic and Paralympic sports.  



The playground was considered to be rather tame by my little Olympian. He just had to test out all the other equipment in the AdiZone.




To my amazement, he managed the whole circuit, struggling only with the climbing wall. He is so agile, he made it all look so easy... 

After all that activity, he really deserved his chocolate ice-cream.



On one side of the seat is carved Time and Tide and on the other, as you can see, Wait For No Man. I guess in this instance, I didn't mind waiting while this little man finished his tub of ice-cream. And I ate mine.

Thank you for stopping by.

Friday, 17 May 2013

May Simply A Moment

Middle of the month already? That can only mean one thing. Time to join Alexa and her merry band of followers over at Trimming the Sails to record Simply a Moment

The past five days were spent with my younger daughter at her home in Kent. She had various medical appointments on Monday that I wished to attend with her. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will know that my daughter has Sarcoidosis, specifically in her lungs and bones. She has been on a lengthy, painful and debilitating journey but at long last, there is a glimmer of hope. The nodules in her lungs and left hip are now dormant and the doctors are able to commence reducing the steroids to a much lower dosage. This is wonderful news. If you are not familiar with the long term use of steroids, two of the side effects are a tendency for weight gain and the risk of osteoporosis, a Catch 22 situation. She is to have another MRI scan shortly, as there is still concern about her right hip, but we are hopeful this is a muscular problem rather than sarcoidosis. My daughter will be 35 in June, and for three years has been unable to work. She has a very supportive husband and I am hoping that as she turns 35, there is a new chapter awaiting them and a lot to look forward to. 



During my time with her, we were busy making decorations for our baby's Christening that will take place on Sunday. My daughter had printed out some of my patterns and cut them into circles for bunting - a real labour of love! We also made some large pom poms. Let's pray for a dry day on Sunday. They are going to look great decorating the garden.




Now you may be wondering, as this is Simply a Moment, when was that moment. I could record many from while I was with my daughter but as I was home for the 15th, I have chosen the following. Upon arrival home from Kent, as I got out of my car in the drive-way, I could hear that it was my grandchildren's bath-time. There were shrieks of laughter and a lot of splashing noises coming through an open window in the main house. I tapped on the window and heard, 'It's Granny. Granny's home'. Could there have been a better moment to record? Within an instant, I was enveloped in warm, damp hugs. I am so grateful to have my elder daughter and family now living just across the garden. No more returning to an empty home and a hug whenever one is really needed. I am so very fortunate.

I will be back after the weekend with some photographs of the Christening but in the meantime, don't forget to pop over to Alexa's and share your Moment.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Change is Good

Throughout the lengthy process from when it was just an idea, getting in an architect and obtaining planning permission to the now finished build, of one thing I felt sure. It was and is the right decision for me to downsize. The fact that one of my daughters and her family are able to live in my house and I have only moved across the garden, could not be more perfect. 



It has been quite a journey. I have travelled the gamut of many emotions from start to finish but I never once doubted that the time was right for change. Getting older (hopefully!) is something we all face and I am happy and relieved to have made this move while I am still able to enjoy all the delights of being a parent and grandparent that are on offer, without the huge responsibility of running a large family home. When my third grandchild was born, it became obvious to my daughter and her husband that their home was becoming too small. We discussed at length our many options but always came back to the fact that we all love our family home and none of us wanted me to sell it. 

So here we are, still settling in and tweaking the furnishings, enjoying each and every moment. I have my privacy and they have theirs but we now only have to cross the garden to see each other. No vehicle required! 



My view has changed too as I look out across the garden with the added bonus that it is springtime and the trees and bushes are in flower. Change is definitely good... it is wonderful.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Time for the Grandchildren

Time for some cuteness, I feel... It has been a while since I posted a photograph or two of my grandchildren. Our baby is now six months old. I can hardly believe it. Here she is. 




Don't you just love those chubby legs!



During the house move, I took the older two grandchildren to the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum in West Sussex while their parents attempted to unpack after the departure of the removal company. We chose one of the wettest days this year but enjoyed such a fun day out. They were really interested in learning about historical rural life and quite fascinated by the Victorian Schoolhouse.



This building was originally a cart shed that was converted to a school for 'six poor children' in the village of West Wittering in around 1851. My six year old granddaughter wanted to know what happened to the children who were taught there. I could only say that they probably felt very fortunate to be able to receive an education and being small in number, would have had their teacher's undivided attention. One can only hope that they went on to achieve great things. My grandson, aged 4, wanted to know where the computers were!

Later on this week, I shall post some before and after photographs of my new abode, so do pop back for a visit on Friday.

And thank you for all my welcome back to blog-land messages. I really appreciate them. Bye for now.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

More than Precious

For a myriad of reasons, I have found myself unable to blog for over a month. There have been medical appointments with my younger daughter; moving out of my home into a granny annexe; helping my elder daughter and family move into my house, just to name a few. I have missed you all, especially participating in Storytelling Sunday and Simply a Moment. One of the difficulties was having no access to the internet for all of that time. Can you imagine how frustrating that has been?

No doubt, over the coming weeks, I will be able to share with you some of the above experiences but today belongs to Storytelling Sunday over at Sian's place, From High In the Sky

Having to downsize from my home has not been as traumatic as I first thought it would be. By nature, I am a hoarder - 67 years of stuff to be shared out between my girls, taken to the charity shop, or dispatched to the tip - but, and this has surprised me, I now feel an enormous burden lifted from my shoulders. The space in my annexe is limited and I will have to live in a much more minimalistic way than ever before. This has set me free in ways I never thought possible. There is now only room for those most precious of belongings.

One of the things I had tucked away in a cupboard was a small suitcase that belonged to my late mother. For some reason, after she died, I just couldn't bring myself to sort out it's contents. Now, I had no choice. Just writing this down has created a lump in my throat. In one of the pockets, I found a small album containing some family photographs that I thought were lost in a fire at my mother's house. They were taken on my brother's wedding day. He and I standing together and my mum and lovely granny too. 

  

There was a seven year age gap between us. He tragically died when I was 23 and he 30 years old. This photograph means the world to me as does the Parker pen he gave me on my 21st birthday.



This pen has travelled the world with me. I could never bear to part with it. It brings him close. When he gave it to me he remarked that he hoped it would tell many stories and it has. He was a born story-teller and would have loved this Sunday opportunity to share a tale or two.

If you are a story lover and enjoy reading about precious things, do pop over to From High in the Sky and join in. You will be glad you did.

So happy to be back on line. Enjoy the long weekend.