August 16, 2015

Wednesday 29th July Smiles at The New Forest Show

Morning…my early cup of tea has arrived thanks to dad and I am pleased to announce that my purse is coping far better with the New Forest Show than my mums! She has purchased among other things a soup maker, which I am thinking about and a waste paper basket which I am not thinking about! My mum has always been a hoarder and this mornings discussion has been as to whether the old bin was bad enough to be completely chucked away or not…we decided to take a view on it.


I think the photo speaks dad and I won the discussion and the unravelling bin is in the bin,although obviously not the bin we have just bought, because that would be just foolish!

My mum was about to buy a bargain rotary dryer for my brothers new house, until I pointed out that the word she half looked at and thought said ‘rotary’ was in fact the word ‘Royalty’ and although it was metal and long and looked the shape of a rotary dryer it was in fact a mop!

royalty mops NFS 2015

Today other family members join us at the show and some of them are very little, so our day will be more child friendly and the show certainly has loads to do for kids! Back at home my husband leaves for Menorca for three weeks leaving my two sons house sitting…please give me, the house and the animals the strength to cope and survive!

Todays Show meanderings included the church tent for a touch of face painting, badge and flower making, whilst the grown ups drank tea. Here we are pretending to be meowing cats afterwards, which made the little one smile.

face painting NFS

We saw lots of different animals including a pig and her piglets.

pigs NFS

We went round the sheep tent and saw a variety of sheep and lambs that included black, white and even orange. No, my eyes were not deceiving me, but it is a type I have never seen before. These sheep had very cute faces, thick, curly wool and seemed to smile when I asked them to.


Today’s lunch in the members enclosure was not quite so healthy and a lot more fattening than yesterdays, but I thought I’d done rather well not having both the scone and sandwich selection and the cream tea certainly put a smile on my face.

not so healthy lunch

family picture NFS 2015

Today we arrived early to watch the Household Cavalry Musical Drive and managed to find seats near the front in the members enclosure.It was well worth the wait. The sight and sound of the majestic, red uniformed soldiers on horseback performing the drill was a unique experience and truly amazing, even if one of the horses didn’t stay sitting down when he was supposed to! I took some video of it ,so hope to use it in a New Forest Show Vlog when my editor has some time to put it all together :-) Their breast plates and helmets with white plumes were gleaming in the sunshine, their long black boots shiny and they looked immaculate, but I couldn’t help thinking in the heat ‘how do they cope?’ In waiting we also saw the horses and carriages which came on beforehand and is always a lovely sight.

household cavalry

Afterwards we went to see the ‘Dog and Duck Show’ where various dogs herded some ducks around a course and into a pen which was very clever and the instructor talked about dog training, which was interesting.

ducks NFS

In the local food area we found a cow that children could milk and our little one found another little one to share the job with. The milk was in fact water but they both got the idea and had to be persuaded to leave. Hopefully they don’t believe that from cows we get water!

milking the cow

milking with a friend

It was a very hot and tiring day and not at all the weather for a snowman but mum had managed day 2 brilliantly, so smiles all round..


August 15, 2015

Tuesday 28th July The Goldfish Kiss Of Life

Morning…I have indeed escaped to the country for my see, smell and explore of the annual New Forest Show exhibits and demonstrations which starts today. I have been going every year, since I was a child, when it was a one day show on a Wednesday, because way back then, it was half day closing for all shops and meant that all the local community could attend…how times have changed! In the modern consumer world you have to work Sundays, night shifts, you struggle to get any key days off and shops are open 24 hours!

Nowadays, the New Forest Show is also a vast three day show, with several event rings, animals galore, crafts of all sorts, thousands of people from all over the country attending and it takes three days to see everything properly! It no longer has a fairground which is also a sign of the times. I remember in my youth, we often returned home with a goldfish in a bag that we won at the fairground and added to our fish tank.


One unfortunate memory etched in my mind is of a scorching, hot summers day when all the goldfish, who had been hanging outside the fairground stalls for hours, were struggling to survive. We won a couple of fish and got home to worryingly find the fish had started to float to the top of the water. The mother of the friend I was with, who was slightly eccentric, found some thick plastic tubing and tried to give the tiny goldfish the kiss of life! Is this possible? She put the tube over the fish’s mouth and started to blow. The fact that the tube was twice the size of the fish is still a vision I can’t erase from my mind forty plus years later. Sadly the fish did not survive, but the vision of her efforts to keep the fish alive is still something that makes me smile and I have never forgotten.

My mum is a Fellow member of the show and always gets three tickets for each day, so the two of us pace ourselves and go every day, knowing that we don’t have to panic buy and can always ‘think about it’ and return the next day should we so wish . This year, after her illness and being in the middle of chemotherapy we will have to see how she manages with all the walking, as it can be quite tiring. We will not however be adding to our pet collection like last year, as Winston the rabbit is lucky to have survived a year in his free two storey mansion (thanks to a friend) and roaming his country estate grounds. (our garden!)

winston young

Sadly my plants and garden have not had such a lucky year…it comes to something when my recent potted plant pots are having to be raised out of eating level and the garden bench can no longer be used for its original purpose of sitting!

flowers on bench

After a morning of perusing craft tents, the honey and bees where we always get a scone with a choice of honey, the antiques tent and a quick stop off at the church tent for a cup of tea we stopped for lunch in the members enclosure.

Today’s lunch was a very civilised smoked salmon sandwich with a cup of tea, whilst listening to the brass band play and watching the donkey and carts being judged.

New forest show lunch day 1 2015

donkey cart NFS 2015

donkey carts 2015

We wanted to watch the Household Cavalry Musical Ride which is this years show main event, but it was so crowded that we gave up, wandered for a while and left earlier than usual as it was so hot. Before going home we went to our not quite so busy ice cream shop in Lymington high street, where there is a sign from Chris Evans saying that they make the best ice- cream he’s ever tasted! Mine was indeed delicious…both flavours. Mum had coped very well with day one :-)

ice cream shop with mum

ice cream shop

double ice cream


August 9, 2015

Friday 24th- Monday 27th July Bank Forgetfulness!

Morning…today I  am catching up on housework and taking my son round Camberley to hand in a few CV’s in the hope he will get a job or at least some interviews. He needs to do something more regular now that it is likely he has to have a second gap year before going to drama college. This evening I get my hair coloured and cut in readiness for going away…you can tell I was a girl guide in my youth and like to be prepared!

It’s Saturday. Yesterday was wet and windy and last night chilly, even for me a woman of an overheating age! Age is beginning to be a concern…not only did I have to cover my greying hair but memory seems well and truly shot to bits. I spent 5 minutes struggling to pay a cheque into the HSBC bank.

HSBC jpg

Until my son pointed out that the problem might be because I now bank with Santander.


I didn’t change just recently, but over TEN years ago!…how could I possibly forget?!!

It’s Sunday. It’s raining again so the desire I had yesterday to walk daily has suddenly disappeared. A wardrobe clearout has made me realise why elastic and stretch fabric has become a clothing essential and why I may never be Miss Fashionable. My husband has not been happy this Sunday morning, a day of peace and goodwill to all men. He has been telling off the cat for eating his ear phones…goodwill not stretched to cats, although cat doesn’t seem that bothered!

relaxed bailey

Husband Alert…although he was adamant the cat had eaten his foam ear phones and got really cross with him he has since found them caught up in the bed although he is certain the cat must have either spat them out or I put them there!

It’s Monday. Enjoying a lie in after the worst nights sleep ever! Not helped by both son’s wandering round. One was having a bath at gone midnight to help him sleep but the very loud water system refilling was keeping me awake. The other padding up and down to the kitchen to get a drink and no doubt have his late night cigarette. Sadly Escape to the Country did not send me to sleep and I wanted to move to the Welsh Border Countryside for some peace.

escape to the country

My bathroom cabinet is now empty of out of date medicine. Off down the M3 later to my parents for the New Forest Show..hurrah!


August 6, 2015

Thursday 23rd July An Evening of Wicked

Morning…tired after a very long, tiring but brilliant day yesterday. It is always good to check your dress is not tucked into your knickers after going to the toilet and entering a hall full of parents and children…sadly I didn’t! When going into the hall for the leavers assembly I decided I had better quickly nip to the toilet and went rushing into the hall when a parent came over to me and quietly suggested I might want to adjust my clothing..thank goodness I was wearing leggings underneath, otherwise the view and embarrassment could have been far worse! I had worn my green dress in readiness for our trip to visit the Emerald City in the evening…my face stayed red rather than green for a few minutes after.

Our journey and trip to London to see Wicked was full of laughter.

Wicked 1

We left school promptly, all collected in one car and made our way to Farnborough station. We were early, so decided to sit in the waiting room and I thought I’d make use of my new selfie stick with a group photo. A simple task if you know how to put the selfie stick together, but hilarious when you have never used a selfie stick, struggle to put it together and find it takes several adult minds and hands to work it out!


We laughed so much that the station porter entered and said “I thought you were a lot of kids making all that noise!”…no, we were a lot of school workers pleased to NOT be surrounded by kids for the next 5 weeks..SCHOOLS OUT FOR SUMMER! One of my colleagues decided to glance at the reading material left for waiting passengers and found….


… indeed we were about to behave quite rebelliously and without applause! However it made for interesting reading whilst waiting. The selfie photo was finally taken and the faces with huge grins said it all.

wicked 3

We got on train number one and a colleague with a Mary Poppins style bag produced some teacher rebel snacks for everyone which we consumed rather rapidly.

Wicked 4

We got off the train at Clapham Junction and found that the train we needed was already waiting at the station. We ran as fast as we could but leg length and fitness meant that we were not all as fast as each other, so some were on the train as the guard blew his whistle whilst others were still on the stairs! “Get away from the door” was screamed as we held the door open (so rebellious) for that little bit longer..we all managed to just get on just in time and without being squished by the closing doors! Time for another train selfie, with the selfie stick we were getting used to using.

wicked 6jpg

We got off at Victoria station and the maps were pulled out to find the whereabouts for a restaurant that I have never been to called Giraffe. We  found the theatre first and decided that we should have a photo outside the theatre whilst it was still light and relatively unbusy. The selfie attempt started and I was just getting there, when a very kind gentleman offered to take a photo of us all which obviously seemed much easier and had a better chance of accuracy or so I hoped..One photo was all of us standing around not at all ready and pulling faces and then we had this it, just!

wicked 8

We finally found the restaurant and more drinking and eating was on the cards.

I had a Mango and Lime Daiquiri  cocktail which was delicious but there was a problem with the way I pronounced ‘daiquiri’ which caused much discussion!

Wicked drink jpg

A delicious burger with good sweet potato fries and evil calorie laden pudding meant I was well and truly stuffed but ready for Wicked.

wicked 9jpg

I have loved and listened to the Wicked soundtrack for ages, love the music and have been wanting to see it for ages. I have watched and heard snippets and whilst knowing it was about the two witches from the Land of Oz, I had no idea about the whole story. We were quite high up in the gods as even though I looked for deals and the show has run for a while it still seemed to be quite expensive. The female voices in the performance were superb and I loved the drama, music and staging, although sometimes being so high up I felt I missed bits. Some of my colleagues whilst enjoying it, did not consider it a show they would want to see again and it does seem to be a marmite type of show which is quite apt..watching the battle of good versus evil is a show that people either love or hate! I am a lover and look forward to seeing it again but maybe a tad closer.

wicked 10 wicked 11



August 1, 2015

Monday 20th-Wednesday 22nd July Saturday Night Fever

Morning… I can’t believe I still have to arise whilst most other school workers are still in bed…for the next three days I’m wishing I worked for a County Council other than Hampshire!

I’m trying to get my body stable after lying down all night…my balance is all over the place and it is not alcohol related.. Sadly, Labrynthitis keeps paying my body a visit and the process of lying down to sitting up can take some adjustment and time.

My first Vlog (an achievement for someone who is a bit of a techno phobe) titled “I walked 2000 miles in 15 minutes” finally made it on to YouTube…I haven’t a clue what I’m saying or what I’m doing as totally unscripted, but it made my family laugh. Even if everyone else just watches and sighs, I now have ONE YouTube subscriber and a couple asking for more Vlogs!

It’s Tuesday. Why does our school’s birthday have to coincide with my physio visit to the hospital? I can’t be seen on a Pilates ball doing thrusts in a sequinned, fluorescent pink ruffled shirt, silver shoes and a hippy wig and flowers. They would be admitting me for something other than my bad back and I might not be let out to do the staff Saturday Night Fever dance to the whole school later on. End of term is two days and counting…

Potley Party

I decided to be dressed in seventies gear for the first hour before going to the hospital and the children in my class asked if I’d had a haircut…wild, uneven and out of control..did my hair need that sort of improvement I ask myself? Pilate ball thrusts at the hospital were not completed as back went into spasm after enthusiastic leg stretches, resulting in me sprawled on a mat in pain. The chat afterwards was about ‘pacing’ and I think was directed at me!

Potley party 1

Staff Saturday Night Fever Dance successfully completed with no mistakes.

Got home in the evening and had a little sit down to find someone helping themselves to my glass of water…blooming cheek!

cat drinking water

It’s Wednesday. Last day! A child again praised my dress wear yesterday, so obviously dressing up suits me and my everyday clothes are not rated that much! The team are off to see the show Wicked tonight. This is something I would have been if I’d chosen to use the toaster this morning, as the cats new sitting place is on top of the bread bin with her tail hovering over the toaster waiting to catch fire!

cat on toaster

Lucky for the cat I was having breakfast at school in the food technology room, a treat for the team from our lovely team leader.

breakfsast at school

I started my breakfast with fruit, yoghurt and a glass of orange juice.

breakfast  at school 1

It was followed with a bacon roll and some croissants and of course the necessary cup of tea.

breakfast at school 2

As well as our Leaver Assembly for the Y6 children one of our team is sadly leaving to pursue a teacher training course so we had to say a goodbye to her. She knows us well and left us with 24 Twirls in a bag to get us through the first week back in September…ah yes a twirl a day will keep the diet at bay!