Category Archives: Happy Fridays

Happy Friday 18.03.16

Well, I didn’t quite manage to come up with a list of ten things that had made me happy last week – one of those weeks, you know? So here’s a few of the highlights from the past fortnight:

  1. B making it home on the train on his own from school! Three trains were involved in the journey, but it all went swimmingly well and he arrived at his final destination looking very grown up and pleased with himself.
  2. D and I had a great night out a couple of weeks ago at The Lancashire Hotpots gig in Derby. Just like last year, it was such a fun night, with lots of singing and dancing along with the hilarious songs.
  3. I then had a lovely Mother’s Day – it was so good that we could all be together for it. One of the highlights was the huge brunch which was cooked for me – so delicious!


4. G was out at a friend’s party last Friday after school until about 9.30pm, so D and I took the opportunity to have a lovely Caribbean meal (G isn’t keen on spicy food so we tend to avoid it when she’s eating with us) followed by a few episodes of The Good Wife. It was nice to have some time for just the two of us without work interfering, as it usually does during the week.

5. We then had an early start the next day, as it was B’s Parents Morning at school, so we drove up to Lancaster for that. It was a really good morning – apart from suggesting that he puts more effort into chemistry and physics, the reports were so positive and lovely, and it was great to meet his teachers, who we obviously don’t usually see.

6. The weather this week definitely deserves a mention! It has felt so much more spring-like and we have seen far more of the sun, so this has certainly cheered up the dog walks.

7. I had a great night out on Tuesday with two really good friends, first eating in Zizzi, before then going to watch a performance of “Look Back in Anger” at Derby Theatre. Honestly, I have never seen a poor production at this theatre, and this was no exception – the performances were truly amazing, and the direction by Sarah Brigham, was, as always, fantastic – very gritty, intense and thought-provoking.

8. I’ve devoured more great books over the past couple of weeks – I seem slightly obsessed with psychological thrillers at the moment – so I have loved Samantha Hayes’ You belong To Me, Sinead Crowley’s Can anybody Help Me? and am currently reading Sophie Hannah’s Kind of Cruel.

9. I have been thankful for the fact that my work allows me to be there to look after the children if they are unwell, as G has been for the past two days. She has had a temperature, with very sore head, throat and ears, and has not been able to go to school, so I’m grateful to be able to stay at home with her, providing cuddles, drinks and lots of soup.

10.Short hair! I decided this week, after deliberating for a while, to have my hair cut short, and I am really pleased with it. I haven’t had it this length for a very long time but I just felt ready for a change.

So, we are hoping that G starts to feel much better soon, as we have a family weekend ahead celebrating B’s birthday, which is on Monday. He is coming home tonight, then he and G are doing the “Closer to the Edge” activity in Markeaton Park tomorrow, followed by a meal at B’s choice of restaurant, so it should be fun.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Happy Friday 04.03.16

It’s been a pretty quiet week here, in part due to the fact that D has been suffering from the dreaded “man flu” – I think that we are all pleased that it now seems to be on its way out and he’s getting back to normal! Thank goodness for small mercies.

Tealight Tulips

Anyway, here are just a few of the things that have made me smile this week:

  1. I bought some lovely new tealight holders for the newly decorated sitting room last week. They are grey glass and are so pretty – I’m really pleased with them.
  2. A couple of weeks ago it was daffodils, but this week it’s tulips! I absolutely love them and am looking forward to having them brightening up the house for the next few weeks.
  3. Last Friday saw D and I heading out with some work colleagues for a meal and drinks. It was a good night – lovely food and great company – although I am grateful for the fact that we had to get back in good time for G and her friend, as I know I wouldn’t have been able to stay out until after 3am like the others!
  4. So this was followed by a very quiet weekend, which was no bad thing. I think that we are all grateful to have one like this every now and then to get on top of things and relax, without having a huge to-do list or lots of places to be/go.
  5. The weather is definitely improving (apart from Wednesday, which was absolutely freezing!) and I am certainly feeling much more like spring is in the air on my dog walks now – hurrah!
  6. Since my recent bout of de-cluttering and organising in the house, I am definitely feeling so much happier with it. It suddenly seems so much easier to keep it tidy, so I am loving coming downstairs in the morning or back from work or even going from one room to another and seeing everything so tidy and organised.
  7. I had another trip to the library last week and stocked up on some more great reads. This week’s so far have been Kill Me Again by Rachel Abbott and Until You’re Mine by Samantha Hayes. Fantastic, both of them!
  8. After completing my training course a couple of weeks ago, I had my first morning of proper volunteering at the hospice this week. I have been assigned to the craft table, which I am really pleased about, as it will give me something very definite to do. Everyone was very friendly – it was just a shame that it was very quiet when I was in on Tuesday morning, so there wasn’t as much to do as there will be going forwards.
  9. I made two rash purchases this week – new cardigans which I saw in the sale! One is great for work – a lovely green which looks good with black – and the other(which I’m wearing right now!) is big, soft and snuggly, so perfect for home. Very pleasing buys!
  10. We have a lovely weekend ahead, which we are very excited about. Not only is B home for the weekend (first time coming on the train, so we will all have everything crossed today!), which is lovely in itself, but D and I are also going out on Saturday night to see The Lancashire Hotpots (just hoping that it is as fantastic a night as last year!) and then it is Mother’s Day. What a perfect weekend!


Happy Friday 26.02.16

Well, this has been a rather mixed week – lots of positives, but also a few days of having too much on my mind, which has made it more testing than perhaps it should have been. But it’s “Happy Friday”, so I’m going to focus on some of the things which have made me smile:

  1. D and I had a lovely meal out at The Book Café in Derby last Friday evening. It is one of my favourite places to pop in for a drink during the daytime, but we had not previously visited at night. But it was great! We enjoyed a very nice cocktail when we first arrived – a Book Bellini for me – and then had a delicious meal, accompanied by a rather lovely bottle of Chardonnay. The atmosphere was perfect – there was a good mix of people there and live music being performed throughout the evening, which we really enjoyed, so we will definitely be returning soon.

Dan Reserve

2. My sleepy, cuddly “bookends”! Just how adorable?


3. Saturday night, being B’s last night at home before returning to school, became “family night”, so we treated ourselves to a Chinese takeaway, whilst watching a couple of our favourite “family” TV shows – Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and Death in Paradise.

4. B was good enough to make his famous pizza for us before leaving on Sunday – and it really was delicious! A wonderful going away gift!


5. Tuesday turned out to be a very productive day, as I decided to paint the sitting room. When we had the room renovated about 18 months ago, we painted the room a warm, mellow yellow, which I originally loved, as it was so light and bright during the day, but really cosy in the evenings, when we have the woodburner lit. However, I decided that I’d like it to look a little more up to date and fresh, so we went for a colour best described as “greige” – a mixture, obviously, of grey and beige. We are really happy with it – I managed to paint two coats on the whole room whilst G was at school, so it wasn’t at all disruptive, and it has freshened the room up well.

Before –


After –

Grey2 Grey1

6. To add the finishing touches to the sitting room, I managed to find both a canvas print for the main wall and some new cushions, to tie the colours together, which I’m really happy with.

7. All my mornings this week have begun in the same way – with a cup of tea and a great book in bed. This week’s fabulous read has been Until You’re Mine, by Samantha Hayes. I love this as a way to start the day – although it does mean that my morning exercise sessions have been completely forgotten!


8. My next one is really quite mixed. On the one hand, I am so grateful that I have a husband who works so hard, and I appreciate that so much. However, the fact that he has been working ridiculously hard – one night getting home at past 1 o’clock in the morning and then leaving again at 6.30am, cannot be sustained, and does worry me.

9. Hurrah for some proper winter weather at last this week! We have had some extremely cold but beautiful, sunny, frosty mornings,, which I just love, so my dog walks have been so much more pleasant.

10. The final one for this week is that B has been so much more communicative than normal! We usually hardly hear from him whilst he is away, but we have had calls every night this week, which has been lovely.

So, that’s it for this week. It’s felt like a pretty long one, so we are all looking forward to a nice, relaxing weekend.

I hope that you have a great one, whatever you have planned.


Happy Friday 19.02.16

Here we are at the end of yet another week – and that’s half term just about gone, which is such a shame. But we’ve had a good week, with lots of lovely highlights along the way:

1. Of course, number one has to be having B home for the week. D collected him from school last Friday and they had a good journey home, so we had a really lovely long first evening together – what a joy!

Sign2. Love was in the air on Sunday – Valentines Day! D and I don’t make much fuss about this but we had a nice day (despite the fact that D was working for most of it) and loved our small gifts to one another  (we had both got mugs, as we do drink A LOT of tea together!) and enjoyed some pink fizz in the evening.


3. We have had a really quiet half term week compared with others, as we had a few chores to fit in, but have had a lovely time nonetheless, filled with plenty of relaxing for the children (who were ready for a break), playing board games (I love the fact that they still enjoy this so much) and watching films in front of the fire. Simple things!

4. I completed my hospice volunteer training this week, which came with mixed feelings from the whole group, I believe. The sessions have been so well-structured and thought-provoking, that we have all really enjoyed them, so, although this means that we are now closer to actually making a start on our volunteering, it was very poignant for us all, as we have shared a lot over the past few weeks and now know that our paths may not cross again.

5. I made a cheeky purchase of these lovely bowls during the week – aren’t they pretty? G and B didn’t really understand why I liked them so much, but they just caught my eye immediately – and they were more than happy when I filled them with nibbles!


6. Once again, books feature on this week’s list. I first read “The Betrayal” by Laura Elliot, which I would definitely recommend – an entertaining, thought-provoking psychological thriller, and I am currently halfway through “The Secrets We Keep” by Jonathan Harvey, which is written in a very different style but is completely intriguing as more and more small details are slowly revealed about the disappearance of the main character, which is riveting. We had a quick trip to the library on Saturday, so I have a lovely pile of books ahead of me!

7. Daffodils! I just love daffodils (almost as much as I love tulips!), so it’s so lovely to have jars of them dotted around the house at the moment. They add a wonderful splash of colour and are a sure sign that spring is just around the corner.

8. I lit my new sandalwood candle for the first time this week – and it is beautiful! I adore the smell of sandalwood (when I had my soap making business a few years ago, this was always one of my favourite fragrances) and the ceramic pot it is in is lovely too – a very good buy!


9. It has been lovely to see the children getting on so well together this week. There have been a couple of tiny spats between them, but for the vast majority of the time, they have had a great time together, and have really made the most of the week before B heads back on Sunday.

10. D and I are now looking forward to a Friday night out, which doesn’t happen very often! We are going to The Book Café in Derby for a meal, drinks and live music, which I am so looking forward to. Hopefully it will feature in my Happy Friday list next week!

I hope that you all have a great weekend, whatever you are up to.

Happy Friday 12.02.16

Well, we reach the end of another nice week, so here’s a little round up of some of the things that have made me smile over the past few days:


  1. A variety of food! This seems like such a simple thing, but it is one that most of us in this country take for granted. At the moment, I’m trying to eat healthily during the week, so I loved the lentil-based salad I had on Friday, but then weekends are for some treats! Chocolate brioche for breakfast anyone?


2. G has developed a sudden interest in baking this week, and has made two cakes over the past few days – the chocolate chip one below at the weekend, then a red velvet one on Tuesday – and they have been enjoyed by all!


3. I had a lovely day out in London on Sunday, which was a real treat. Since my friend returned to the UK last year after several years of living in Europe, we had been talking of meeting up in the capital for the day, but the occasion of her birthday prompted us into action! We had such a lovely day – my trains were on time, so we met up as planned, and filled the day by sitting in cafes drinking tea and catching up, with a great theatre trip in the middle. As it turned out to be so easy to meet up, I’m sure that we’ll be doing it again!


4. As I mentioned, we went to the theatre in the afternoon, at Kings Cross Theatre, to see The Railway Children ( It was a fantastic production, so cleverly and uniquely performed and directed, with fabulous performances from each and every one of the cast – including the real steam train, which was very impressive! A lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon, without a doubt!

Suitcases Signs_1 Signs_3 Signs_2

5. So, bizarre as this may sound, another thing that has made me happy this week is cancelling our summer holiday! We had booked to stay in a beautiful, luxurious gite in the south of France in July, but, for a number of reasons (mainly the costs, which were adding up with expensive flights, car hire, food, etc., and the situation of being left with no one to look after the dogs after we were very badly let down by our dog-sitters), we just didn’t feel as good about it as we should have done, so decided to cancel it. Strangely, when I then went to remove it from our online calendars, which we use for everything we have planned, I spotted that I hadn’t even put it in the calendar, which maybe says a lot? Anyway, as soon as we had made the decision, and also decided that we would go to our beloved Norfolk instead, I felt so much happier!

6. The added bonus of cancelling our holiday to France means that we can now go to Carfest! Well, D and I can go, as the children will be in France staying with their exchange family, but again, this seems a little like fate, as D had bought the tickets for Carfest North after not being able to buy any for Carfest South, where we have been for the past four years, not realising that we would be in France that weekend. Hurrah!

7. An amazing thing that happened this week, which has made me so happy, is that I have re-established contact with an old university friend, whom I haven’t seen for about 9 years and who is now based, with her beautiful family, in South Sudan. I was so pleased to find her via her blog, which I used to contact her, and then received the most lovely email back. It’s so good to find someone from your past again, isn’t it? And I will make sure we don’t lose touch this time!

8. I know that this one features every now and then, but you can’t beat finding a good book to raise your spirits, and I have read two this week (largely thanks to my train journeys to and from London!). The first, which I read for my book club, was The Tea Planter’s Wife, by Dinah Jefferies, which I really loved. The descriptive writing in it was so vivid, and I found the story was certainly intriguing enough to make me want to read more – and I didn’t at all predict the ending, unlike some members of my book club! Secondly, I am reading The Ice Twins by S. K. Tremayne. I have not quite finished this but am enjoying it so much- it’s definitely one of the most unputdownable books I’ve read in a long time! The intrigue and cliffhangers at the end of almost every chapter are fantastic, and I can’t wait to find out the ending.

9. My de-cluttering continues, so I was very pleased to take 12 bags of clothes, shoes and bags to the recycling centre yesterday. It’s so great to feel that everything is now so much more organised. I still have some areas to tackle, but I’m getting there. (If anyone knows of any school/organisation/family that would benefit from a carrier bag  of pencil crayons, felt tips, pens and pencils, please do let me know though, as I don’t want to just throw them away.)

10. Last but not least, the children finish for half term today, which is lovely. It’s only been a very short half term, but we are all looking forward to B coming home today and us having a nice week together.

Have a great weekend  everyone!

Happy Friday 05.02.16

So we are at the end of yet another week – and it has been a good one, with lots of reasons to smile. Here are just a few of them:

  1. I had the most lovely weekend with my sister in Norfolk, which is going to take up a few points this week. Let’s start with the weather – Saturday was absolutely glorious, with bright, blue, huge Norfolk skies and so much sunshine.

Marsh22. We made the most of the beautiful weather by going for one of our favourite walks. It is about 6 miles long and takes in a mixture of country lanes, wild common land and coastal path (where we spotted these pretty snowdrops!). The only difficulty was how hot we became, quickly shedding coats and scarves and enjoying the warm sun.


View Marsh Church3. Dog friendly eateries! There are quite a number of places in north Norfolk where the pooches are welcome, so we took advantage of one of them about two thirds of the way through our walk, stopping for a very welcome drink at Deepdale Café, where Lottie and Honey behaved beautifully (it wasn’t that Tilly didn’t, but I had left her at home with D and G!).

4. We then returned to the cottage for a delicious lunch of homemade soup (thank you, Christine!) and bread, before having a few hours drinking tea, eating chocolate and reading – the most perfect way to spend an afternoon (it may have involved a little snooze on my part, too!).

5. Saturday evening saw us heading out for a meal to The King’s Head in Bircham. We had decided against getting a taxi, mainly because they were crazily expensive, so we just had one delicious Hendricks and Fever Tree before a nice meal. The starter wasn’t the best but the main course was very good indeed, and it was a lovely evening.

Me Chris

6. Champagne! What a fabulous way to end such a perfect day! As we had only had one drink whilst out, we indulged in some champagne when we got back home – whilst sitting in our PJs watching Casualty – lovely!

Champagne7. Sunday made us realise how lucky we had been the previous day, as it was VERY wet and miserable. We managed a walk around the village though, before heading off to visit my niece and her boyfriend in their flat in Cambridge for lunch. They made us a delicious meal, and it was so nice to see them and where they are now living, which is absolutely lovely.

8. Wow – seven points just on the weekend! (It was that good!) However, on to other things, D made me very happy with the orchid that he bought for me on Monday. We love orchids, especially because they last so long, so I’m loving seeing this in the bedroom when I wake up each morning.


9. It has been a week of great progress in lots of areas this week, which is making us feel very positive – all good! For example, I’ve only got one more session of week two of Couch to 5k to do, which definitely counts as progress.

10. The final one for this week is my continuing hospice training. The sessions are so interesting – they are full of fascinating information and really make you think, and some of the other people on the course have amazing stories to tell. I will really miss the training when it is done and we are all volunteering in our different areas.

So, almost the weekend, and I have another lovely one planned, with a quick trip to London scheduled for Sunday to visit a friend for her birthday, with a theatre trip thrown in, which should be great.

Have a fabulous weekend, everyone!

Happy Friday 29.01.16

Happy Friday everyone! I hope that you’ve all had a good and productive week, which means that you’re probably feeling as ready for the weekend as I am!

So, here’s what’s made me smile this week:

1. Number one, obviously, has to be having B home for the weekend, which was lovely. We were home by quarter past six, so had a great family Friday night, eating Chinese and watching “Death in Paradise” together – a brilliant start to the weekend.

2. We had a nice family walk on Saturday to Barton Marina. We used to walk there very regularly when we lived closer by but it had been a while since we had last visited, so we all enjoyed a good walk, and G and B were very happy with the bubblegum ice cream they bought at the end of it!

Walk3. I had a quick trip to Primark later on Saturday which proved very fruitful – as always! I managed to find a lovely blue and white striped shirt which I’d seen online and liked the look of, plus some new sportswear and equipment, including an exercise ball, which I’ve been enjoying using this week.

4. We ate out on Saturday evening, as we often do when B is home, at Ask Italian in Derby. We enjoyed a lovely meal, made extra special by all being together.

5. G and I put our new sportswear and equipment to good use on Sunday, when we did a workout together, focussing on yoga and experimenting with the exercise ball, which was great fun.

6. Although we haven’t yet had much of a winter, there are suddenly lots of signs of spring popping up, from the delicate blossom we spotted on one of our walks, to huge swathes of daffodils on the grass verges near to the hospice, to all the bulbs which I planted a few months ago beginning to shoot up, which is good to see.


7. After seeing it mentioned around and about for the past couple of years, I eventually got around to downloading and making a start on the “Couch to 5k” running programme. I have so far completed two of the three days which I need to do this week (third one will happen later today!). I can’t say that I’m enjoying it – I think that I really am the world’s worst runner – but it does bizarrely leave me feeling very energised afterwards – and, therefore, productive, which is a good side effect!

8. I had a lovely evening on Tuesday this week at Quad in Derby with a friend, enjoying a cinesupper – a meal and catch up, followed by watching “Room”, which is a great film. Not the easiest to watch, but the performances in it, especially by the young Jacob Tremblay, are amazing, and it is incredibly well-made, so I loved both it and the chatting time beforehand.

9. The other thing which I have finally done this week is read Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying”. Again, I have heard and read about this for quite a while now, but thought I’d give it a go this week. I haven’t quite finished reading it, but it inspired me to make a start on the first task, clothes, anyway – the result of which is seven bags of clothes, shoes and bags to give away, and beautifully organised drawers and wardrobes, which definitely make me smile! There is lots more of the house to tackle, but I feel that I’ve made a good start.

Drawer Basket

10. The final one for this week involved me and D taking advantage of G being out all evening on a school theatre trip to have a “date”, which consisted of D cooking a delicious meal – steak from our favourite butcher, roasted potatoes and asparagus, followed by gooey chocolate puddings – accompanied by a little Prosecco, of course. Fabulous!

I have a lovely weekend in Norfolk ahead. I am going with my sister and, although we own the house there together, the two of us have never stayed there without anyone else, so I’m really looking forward to it. A good walk and then a meal out on Saturday night are as far as we have got with our planning, which is perfect!

Happy Friday 22.01.16

So, Friday is here again, and it’s been a pretty quiet week – not that that is a bad thing! Here’s a little round up of it:


  1. Eventually the rain, and therefore the field, dried up enough by the end of last week for me to be able to let the dogs off their leads to run around like crazy things! It had been a complete quagmire for the past few weeks, so it was a real treat for them – and so nice to see them having so much fun together!
  2. Christmas may be well and truly over (four weeks ago already – what?!?) but fairy lights and candles are still being lit just about every night in our house – simply because they are so pretty. Love them!

Living room Snowy garden

3. Obviously a big highlight of the weekend was the snow! I do love it, but not when it disrupts work and school, so it was great that it came on Saturday night so that we woke up to these lovely scenes on Sunday morning – and then was all gone by the start of the working week – perfect!


4. The cold snap in the weather has meant that the woodburner has been put to very good use this week, as we have lit fires every evening. Installing this is definitely one of the best things we have done to the house – by far!

5. I started my volunteer training at the hospice last week, and I’m really enjoying it. The first session was the foundation course, in which we were given lots of information about all different aspects of the hospice by the CEO and the directors in charge of the various areas – operations, clinical, retail, marketing, finance, etc. So interesting. This week’s session was the first of the actual volunteers course, and it gave us a better chance to get to know each other a little more whilst discussing various questions and topics.

6. I believe that I have mentioned this one previously, but I am so grateful that my job allows me so much flexibility, as came into play on Wednesday when G was unwell at school and I had to collect her at 11am. An afternoon of sleeping on the sofa in front of the fire made her feel much better fortunately, but I was so grateful that I could collect her and carry on working at home without any difficulty.

7. There have been some stunning sunrises this week, especially on Tuesday. The photo really doesn’t do it justice – it was possibly the brightest pink sky I have ever seen, which certainly helps to start the day off nicely!


8. We may still be two months away from Easter, but I couldn’t resist the hot cross buns on my way home from work on Thursday! A truly delicious lunchtime treat!


9. Tilly was trimmed yesterday, which always seems to put a real spring in her step for some reason, which is so lovely to see (as she is often a bit of a crotchety old woman!). It will mean she dries far quicker after our walks too, which is definitely a good thing.

10. Last one for this week – it’s Friday and I’m going up to fetch B home for the weekend! Hurrah! We are all really looking forward to having some full family time together, so are very excited.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Happy Friday 15.01.16

Well, that’s the first complete week back in the work/school routine done, so my first Happy Friday post of the year. It’s been a pretty good week, all in all, despite being a little worried about B having his first cough and cold whilst away at school, but I’m sure that the matrons are keeping an eye on him for us.

So, here are the highlights of my week:

  1. D came home on Friday night armed with the most beautiful bouquet of flowers and bottle of Prosecco – what a fabulous start to the weekend!

Flowers Tea

2. I discovered a lovely new tea at the weekend – Three Ginger from Pukka. I love all things ginger and this is definitely no exception.

3. I had bought some new bedding for our room just after Christmas and so I put it on at the weekend, and I absolutely love it. It’s pale grey, with a delicate white floral design, so looks perfect with our grey and white walls.

4. We used some lovely little mugs which we had been given for Christmas for the first time at the weekend. They aren’t large enough for tea, but are just perfect for coffee, and are the most lovely pastel colours.

Bedding Mugs

5. D and I had a good planning session whilst G was climbing on Saturday morning, making plans for all different aspects of life, such as health and fitness, home and finances, family, etc. It felt really good to have some proper plans in place which we can review regularly and will hopefully keep us on track to achieve what we’d like to this year.

6. We had a very successful trip to Dunelm Mill, with the aim of buying some new mugs and bedside lamps for our room. Not only did we come away with some beautiful, simple white China mugs with an embossed daisy (!) design and a couple of lovely white bedside lamps, but we also happened to purchase a slow cooker in the sale! We’ve never used one before, but are very much looking forward to trying it out at the weekend.

7. We had a lovely trip to Trentham Gardens on Sunday, which I described in more detail in my mid-week post.

8. I had tried to get some new pyjamas after Christmas but couldn’t find any that I liked, but then stumbled across some lovely, cosy ones whilst shopping last Friday. I absolutely love them – so much so that I have been in them by 8 o’clock every night this week!

9. We received a pastoral report about B this week, which was great. It wasn’t too lengthy but had sections completed by his form tutor, housemaster and head of year, and was so positive. It referred to how well he has settled into boarding life, how conscientiously he is working and just what an all round superstar he is (okay, that last bit was my interpretation of it, but it was lovely!).

10. “Death in Paradise”!! We all absolutely adore this programme and so were thrilled when it returned to BBC1 last week. We can’t watch it on the actual day it is on, as G is at cadets then, but it is becoming our family ritual to all sit down and watch it together on a Friday night, as an “end of the week” treat. Can’t wait for tonight!

We are hopefully (dependent on G’s homework load) going to venture to Stratford-upon-Avon this weekend, to visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace, which should be really interesting. I hope that you have a fabulous weekend, whatever your plans are.

Happy Friday 18.12.15

Only one week to go until the big “ho ho ho”! Hurrah! (Have I mentioned just how much I love Christmas??) Anyway, consequently this has been a pretty busy week but with some lovely moments. Here are the highlights:

Walking Park2 CathedralBaking

  1. Friday evening saw us heading off to Derby cathedral ( a building which I absolutely love) for a Christmas brass band concert performed by Derwent Brass and the Derby Central Salvation Army Band. As you would expect, it was a truly lovely evening – plenty of rousing festive music with the opportunity to join in with some of the carols – sooo Christmassy!
  2. I eventually got around to writing our Christmas cards on Saturday – not my favourite festive activity but certainly helped this year by listening to Christmas music and drinking mulled wine at the same time.
  3. On Sunday, D, G and I went to the local Christingle service, which was really nice (G particularly enjoyed the fact that the Christingles were decorated with just sweets rather than raisins!) – and we even managed to come away with a spare Christingle for B.
  4. I seem to have had some lovely, but very wet, walks with the dogs this week. Honey seems to have had lots of energy recently, so I’ve given her plenty of time off her lead running crazily around in the water-logged field.
  5. Catching up with friends has been a real highlight this week. Christmas gives us the great opportunity to meet up to swap gifts, which I did with different friends on Tuesday and Thursday this week – a real treat to spend time with them.
  6. Honey has been particularly cute this week! I bought her a new Christmas toy which I just happened to see in passing on Tuesday, and she absolutely loves it! Whenever D comes home from work or downstairs in the morning, she rushes to get it and run around him with it, as if she is showing it to him – adorable!
  7. A quick trip into TK Maxx on Tuesday proved very fruitful – I came away with a very large, red, Christmas bowl – exactly what I had been looking for to put chocolates into – and two fabulous-looking candlesticks for the table. These will be lovely adorned with some holly and ivy for next week, but also are pretty stunning on their own all year round, so I was very happy with my purchases.
  8. Christmas baking! I love this time of year for providing an excuse for baking – not that I normally need one! So this week I have made shortbread and cinnamon shortbread Christmas biscuits and marzipan crumble-topped mince pies – yum!
  9. Yesterday marked the beginning of the Christmas holidays for us, as I went up to collect B from school. The day worked out really well – I was able to take a Christmas posy up to my parents’ grave, see a friend for tea and a chat, and then drive to Lancaster with time to walk the dogs before picking up B. We had a great return journey and were home by 4.30pm – lovely to have him back home!
  10. So today holds the final highlight of the week – G finishing school for Christmas! Then we can really start getting festive together, as we have lots of lovely things planned for the next week.


I hope that you all have a lovely, and not too hectic, final weekend before Christmas!