Tuesday, 26 August 2008

The Tree of Happiness and Tripping with the Vicar.

Hope you had a good Bank Holiday. We were extremely lazy and went nowhere. We just lozzed about the house all day, not getting dressed 'til lunch time. It was great. The higlight (?) of my day was a visit to Tesco's. Am I doing something wrong with my life?! hee hee

OK. My blog chum Carina has tagged me for the Tree of Happiness meme. So here is my little list of 6 things that make me happy (in no particular order):

1. Getting nice stuff in the post. Bills are boring. I love it when our Mr Postie brings me loveliness in Jiffy bags, brown paper parcels or plastic envelopes. The best ones are prezzies from fab, unknown friends who I'm lucky enough to be a partner to in swaps. Handmade surprises are fantastic! To up the odds on my nice mail chances I subscribe to several magazines (well actually I ask for them for birthdays and Christmas then you get a gift all year round). Coast and Embroidery just don't seem to come often enough for my liking. :o)

2. Blue. Slightly perverse I know. 'Feeling blue' means being glum but bright, beautiful blue makes me smile. Mainly because it means sunny skies and summer seas. In fact all shades of the colour are just great. Turquoise. Teal. Ultramarine. Denim.

3. My kiddie. I know I whinge and moan but she is lovely really. I can't believe how right everyone was - they do grow so fast. It's scary. I know that before too long she will be a grotty, grumpy teenager who thinks I'm the most uncool pain in the btm. May that day be a long time in coming... pleeease. I want my funny little kiddie to last a bit longer.

4. My hubster. He may not think that it's true but he is lovely and he does make me very happy. After so long together it's another true-ness that you take each other for granted. A bit. But he can still make me laugh and he can still surprise me. After 18 years an unexpected bouquet of flowers for no reason at all, from the man who NEVER used to buy flowers, even for birthdays... Who says romance is dead?

5. Making stuff. (OK this is a bit of a copy from Carina but it's true.) I like nothing more than getting stuck into some stitching or felting or... any kind of crafting. It still feels like a guilty pleasure being able to sew things all day. If only I could manage to sell some of them I might not feel so bad... :o)

6. Green Wing. I have just spent an afternoon watching series 2 again. I love that programme so much. Dr Alan Statham is so funny. And Sue White is completely unhinged. It is a shame that it has finished but I'm glad that it all ended 'properly' in the "one-off special". If you haven't got a clue what I'm talking about here are a few links to tempt you.

I need to pass this on to some other lovely peeps who make me happy when I read their blogs. How do you narrow the list down? There are so many that I read which give me a lift. When the name appears in Bloglines I can't wait to click and see what's been happening. So here are 6 that I don't think I've sent an award or anything to before.

Sara - All About Eden - a friend who, like me, wants to run away to the sea
Pipany - Is a wonderful Cornish combination of Nigella, Hugh F-W and The Good Life
Clare - Summerfete - a new friend with lovely van and a lovely blog
Emma - JB*JB - a little gem everyday and another camper van fan
Julia - Miss Frugality - everything she makes is pure gorgeousness
Sam - incywincy - a real friend found through the world of blog.

Tripping with the Vicar

So on Saturday me, my mum and my kiddie went on a little pootle down the canal. Last year sometime mum bid on this trip at a charity auction. Our vicar and his wife own a narrow boat and they were offering to take 4 people on it including lunch made by them. We met up at the marina near Kings Bromley and headed out towards Alrewas - the village where I grew up.

As we left the marina one of the first boats we saw was this one -

I want her!!! Who would have guessed that someone could have such great taste!!

The weather was fab. Bright sunshine and toasty warm all morning. Kiddie had a whale of a time opening and closing locks, although she did need a bit of help with some of them. I could quite get into narrow boating. Winding locks is great for the 'bingo wings'!!

Here are the 3 of us waiting for the next lock to empty. I was mocked mercilessly for my frock - the most glamorous boater on the canal. David, (the youngish, trendy vicar) didn't believe I'd be able to jump off and on the boat to operate the locks but I'd worn sensible shoes so it was fine.
This is the good Rev Beedon and kiddie ready for action. Notice the sun has given up for the day.
This is the lock coming into Alrewas by The Boat (formerly known as The Navigation). Oh the hours I spent by this lock as a child... It was really weird to be back.
Here we are cruising into aforementioned lock. So after 8 locks, a Boatman's coffee, a lovely lunch, some mislaid keys and a 'rescue' from the pub it was time for home. We had a really great day. I don't know if David and Julie will read this but if so a huge


Tamworth Castle

Well we didn't make it to Warwick Castle as we couldn't get ourselves organised, so instead kiddie and I stayed local and visited Tamworth Castle instead. There are so many places right on our doorstep that we've never been to so I thought - why not. And it was well worth the visit. We took a picnic, although we had to sit in the car and eat it as it absolutely persisted down whe we got there. But once we'd eaten it started to brighten up. Typical!!

This is the entrance to the castle which is a motte and bailey so it's on a hill.

It really is a patchwork castle as it's one of those that has had bits added to it over the years. There are Norman bits, Tudor bits, Victorian bits, you name it it's in there. Walking around the ramparts you can see just what a mishmosh it is. (that's kiddie walking in front in the pale blue skirt).
She had a great time pretending to be a princess. She did get a bit spooked by the haunted bedroom and staircase. In the bedroom there is an voice activated thingy where an image of the ghost lady's head appears and talks in a spooooOOOoooky voice. Kiddie was in the room on her own and managed to trigger it. Oops!
This is the view from the top of the tower across the fields and the river Tame. This is the second attempt to get up the tower. The first time we tried we had just climbed out onto the roof in time to see a massive thunderstorm move in. Being that high up and the possibility of lightning was not a good combo so we went down again - pronto!!

This is the bedroom in the Victorian part of the castle. It look like a magazine spread with the sunlight streaming in through the window. There was a great embroidery on the wall - I think it was a sampler but I couldn't get close enough to look properly or photograph it as it was roped off.
And here I have managed to capture a shot of one of the ghosts. I don't know if it's the White Lady or the Black Lady...? Just a fleeting glimpse as she disappears round the corner. ;O)
Phew! Up to date again now. I'm off to try and :

a/ do some more sorting of The Pit aka kiddie's bedroom,

b/ finish my Robot for the Robot Swap,

c/ work out how to clone myself.


Lindsey xx


Miss Frugality said...

You had nice weather at the weekend too :-)(I went to the beach and ate ice-cream)
Thanks for sending me the tree of happiness!
I love green wing too :-))

Tip Top said...

What a fab time you've had!! I just love reading your blog!! Thank you!

summerfete said...

Ethel or is it Edna? Thankyou so much for tagging my blog, I'm glad it gives you a lift, you made me smile this morning when I read your comment.

ps. Alan Statham is the man!!
I love Mark Heap, he is especially good as a tortured artist in Spaced.

Clare x

artisbliss said...

Looks like you had such fun. I enjoyed seeing the photos.

summerfete said...

Make bramble jelly with the blackberries. It is easy, just a little messy, dont wear white!
this site has a recipe www.bbc.co.uk/food.

Basically you heat the blackberries til they are liquidized then you have to strain the liquid through some muslin/jelly bag (youre not meant to squeeze, but who can wait over night!). Add 1lb preserving sugar per 1 pint of liquid, and boil.
You will also need some sterilised jam jars.

Hope you crack it!! Its worth the effort, I still have a full jar from last year!


Carina said...

The Snork Maiden!? Best name ever!! :-)

saraeden said...

Cheers for the tree of happiness award honey !!!
I promise i will get around to it very soon , just up to my ears in forms and lists !!!

Chloe said...

I love love love the Green Wing. Its hilarious.
Such a shame it isnt on anymore.

incywincy said...

Xxxx big kisses - thanks for my award hun!!!

Great pootle down the canal pics ;)

Jackie said...

Thank you for your comments. I have to tell you that the OTT bedroom is the ONLY room in the house that is ever pristine which is why I am so fond of it. I taught Stig of the dump all he knows. Pampers boxes are proof of what a slob I am. My kids were 21 and 23 when that pic was taken and I still haven't thrown out the boxes.
Your day out looks great. I love canal boats. You look lovely too. Did you lose lots on the ww? I am trying to get half a stone off before we go to Greece. (I wish I had your e-mail address..this is a bit long for a comment)

Jackie said...

PS I really like the bed in the Tamworth castle pic but when we chose our I had been watching too much 'through the keyhole'.
Sorry for everyone who didn't win.

Katy said...

what an excellent weekend!

When you've figured out the cloning, let me know...ta ;)

Swirlyarts said...

Where have you gone?? Hope you are ok and just busy with the new school year.

Miaou said...

Thanks for sharing your pics, tamworth castle looks well worth a visit! I agree with most of your fave things too (though I have never seen Green Wing!)