In memory of Granny

Sam's granny sadly passed away and today is her funeral.

We were all very close to her and although it is very sad, she lived a long and full life so today's post is to celebrate the life of this special woman:

Christmas 2007

Ruth's Birthday 2008

Christmas 2008

Sam's Birthday 2009

Christmas 2009

Christmas 2010

August 2011

Christmas 2011

I was very fortunate to have known granny and am grateful for the time we spent together.

Birthday Nails

I have been so busy the past few months that I haven't had much time to paint my nails so I made a special effort to match my nails to my dress:

It's my birthday!

Just a quick post to say a huge thank you to everyone who has contributed to a wonderful day.

My fiance is fantastic and always makes my birthday super special and even though this year we've received some very sad news, he still pulled out all of the stops for a great day.

I am fortunate enough to have a wonderful group of friends who have some mad skills. I received a number of home made cards which was amazing. A few months ago I taught my best WI friend Emma to crochet and she made me cupcake amigurumi for my birthday:

A great big THANK YOU to everyone!

The Jubileekend!

Following a lovely, albeit brief trip up north to visit my parents, family and friends I had to hotfoot it back down to London for a WI special event: the Jubilee Pageant!

I’ve mentioned the Jubilee several times because to be honest it’s been a lot of hard work in a rather short amount of time. The turnaround from receiving information to taking action was not very long and at times I felt like being back at school with coursework deadlines looming. However, our little group managed to pull together and work on an excellent flag submission. We also managed to knock out a number of knitted items that were displayed several of our members got their bake on and provided cakes.

So what did we do?

As part of the Jubilee Pageant (you know, the thing with the big flotilla for the Queen) there was a big event in Battersea Park with a vintage fair and world record cake attempts and all sorts of exciting things. The WI hosted a tent at the event to display our handmade jubilee items, sell our crafted items and cakes, talk to the public about membership and among other things, style vintage hair, and all members were invited to volunteer on the day.

A group of 6 of us went along to help out for West Ealing WI and had a great time, despite the crappy weather. We saw some of the boats and barges before the flotilla which was good because when the flotilla did eventually go past the crowds meant we didn’t have a view of the river.

The flag we’d worked on was beautifully displayed in the Pumphouse Gallery along with our knitted items:

The Union Jack that I had crocheted and dragged around London was displayed on the stall in the main tent:

Overall the day was a huge success and I had a fantastic time. Cold and tired we went back to Ealing and I watched the whole flotilla on tv at Emma’s house.

Monday was a bank holiday and E3kend (the weekend of the E3 conference – say E3kend out loud and it will make sense!) for the boys so my sister in law to be and I went to the V&A to see British Design 1948 – 2012 which frames British design aesthetics between the London Olympics which was an interesting perspective. Returning home we had a lovely meal to celebrate the announcement of games releases. To be honest, it’s lovely just to hang out in a living room that is filled with people you feel comfortable with.

Having Tuesday off for the Jubilee was a real treat and I used it to pop to see an Apple genius about my iPhone having a number of issues. Sadly, my poor little phone was replaced and although it was free of charge I was advised to start my phone as new rather that importing all of my stuff directly over and I spent the day only able to contact Emma as she was the only contact I had on my phone!
Being in the Apple store I decided to take a class to learn more about Macs as I think I’ll be making the important step away from my PC laptop. It feels quite scary to move especially because I’ll probably be getting an iMac rather than a MacBook. If you have any recommendations for moving to macs then I would love to hear them – leave me a comment.

Trip up north part 2

After spending the day with my gran I made my way over to Huddersfield. I got there in time to pop into my previous place of work and see some of my old colleagues. I've had the privilege of working with some really terrific people and it was a real delight to see them.

After a quick catch up I went round to my friend's house to get ready for a night out to celebrate a birthday. On my way over though, I couldn't help but make good on my promise to get my vertical tragus repierced at Bleeding Art because Liz is the gentlest piercer I've had stick a piece of pointy metal into my flesh!

I'm not very good at keeping in contact on a regular basis so it was really great to catch up with everyone and spend a happy evening with the colleagues that turned into true friends.

Saturday was spent with walking the dogs with a close friend around Widdop reservoir and then some quality time with my parents before dashing back to London for the Jubilee.

Up next: the Jubilee!

Trip up north part 1

This past long weekend was such a busy one!

Friday was Whit Friday and I normally spend the day playing with a brass band touring the competitions of the village of Saddleworth. This is my post from last year. I had the day off work and travelled up on Thursday evening but I did not partake in Whit Friday celebrations.

Instead, I spent the day with my gran who has recently moved into a residential home as she can no longer live independently at home. My mum, my aunty and my little second cousin Ruby took my gran out for a lovely meal and I haven't seen my gran so happy in ages. Although its a shame that she isn't independent anymore, on the whole her move is a good one as it has lifted a huge burden of worry off everybody, gran included.

The star of the day was little Ruby and she charmed everyone. My ovaries appear to have taken over my  brain because instead of finding her scary and intimidating as I normally find small children, I thought she was simply enchanting!


The Women's Institute has certainly been keeping me busy with a fundraising car boot sale, the AGM and the Jubilee weekend all in the past 2 weeks!

This year I was fortunate enough to get tickets to the AGM held at the Royal Albert Hall and went with my best WI friend Emma.

The AGM was really enjoyable. It started with us all singing Jerusalem and was a sight to behold. We've started singing it at our West Ealing WI meetings but nothing compares to a room filled with over 5000 women gloriously singing while accompanied by an organ. It was emotionally moving and made me realise why we sing it.

The updates and talks were excellent. Lord Julian Fellowes, Oscar winning writer of Gosford Park and Downton Abbey gave a particularly enjoyable talk and our debate on our resolution was very interesting indeed. We voted for this years resolution to improve the recruitment, training and retention of midwives and I'm looking forward to getting involved in this campaign.

We had a bemusing talk about the need to engage girls in science by the enchanting Dr Maggie Aderin Pocock who delivered her entire talk with her baby daughter at her hip.  We took part in a world record knitting attempt, the results of which will be announced in 3 months time and were entertained by a live performance from the strictly come dancing team.

Lunchtime was hilarious because 5000 women exiting the Albert Hall at the same time stops the traffic! The people in the park were bewildered by the flash mob that descended upon them.

After the meeting Emma and I went to Harrods to check out the WI hamper in the window and to marvel at the puppies in the Pet Kingdom.

It was an amazing day!