Monday, May 31, 2010

Kseniya Simonova

Kseniya Simonova is a Ukrainian artist who won Ukraine's version of "America's Got Talent." She uses a giant light box, dramatic music, imagination and "sand painting" skills to interpret Germany's invasion and occupation of Ukraine during WWII.

Rube Goldberg Machines

Rube Goldberg was a Jewish American cartoonist, sculptor, author, engineer, and inventor. He is best known for a series of cartoons which show machines performing simple tasks in complex and convoluted ways. These are known as Rube Goldberg machines. There was an ad for a car a couple of years ago which used one, the game Mousetrap must be all Rube Goldberg machine (!) and here is a video a friend pointed me to recently.

There are so many things which are amazing about this - the machine itself, how it seems to be in time with the music, the camera work, how the band members get about without being seen...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The next David Bailey?

Zachary has been taking some family photos with my phone!

Leo -

Me -

Leigh -

And one I took of Zachary -

Friday, May 28, 2010

A few photos of the garden

I've been taking some photos of the garden as things start to bloom this year. Here are a few piccies...

Some herb flowers - wild garlic



and lavender.

Finally, here's Zachary's pumpkins grown from seed. They're doing brilliantly! Time to plant them out in the garden.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Food Explorers

Had a great dinner last night - nettle soup followed by fondue and then dandelion pancakes. It was very exciting. The nettle soup was a fab green colour and tasted pretty good - although the cook wasn't sure if he thought it tasted good enough to make up for all the stings he got gathering them! The dandelion pancakes were..interesting! We decided they were slightly overdone, and that might be why they didn't seem to taste of anything but normal pancake batter - although you did sometimes get a hint of what they would taste like. Great to try out though - and the homemade bread and strawberry sauce which were also part of the meal were also really good. I love sourdough. Yum.

I made a carrot cake yesterday

and it's actually turned out pretty well, despite my mare with the cinnamon frosting. It was my fault for not letting my butter soften enough, although I thought 3 hours out of the fridge yesterday would have been okay! Should have microwaved it and consequently ended up (even when using an electric beater) with visible lumps of butter in the mixture!!!! I would still have quite happily eaten the lot, but the look on Leigh's face when he tried it was a clear indication that it should be dumped! The icing I ended up with was the end of the pack of cream cheese (50g) plus a load of icing sugar. And I still had some left, so if I had made the original recipe icing properly I have no idea how that would have all fit on the cake (200g cheese plus 50g butter and icing sugar) - would have almost had icing as deep as the cake!

Oh the children!

Caught a bit of an episode of something called Nanny 911 when I was up at an ungodly hour with Leo the other day. This pretty much follows the Supernanny theme except there are 3 nannies (plus head nanny Lilian) who decide which of them will be best placed to help the family. The things that made me laugh out loud - the group of nannies are described as having been gathered from 'all over the world' - well, the British Isles anyway, 'Nanny Central' is an Englishified cottage complete with thatched roof and roses round the door, and head nanny Lilian is described as having been 'nanny to the Royals,' and actually used the phrase "this poppycock has got to be stopped!" Hurrah for poppycock.

I also had a fun time with Zachary today - we were drawing faces on the easel, well I was drawing them under his close supervision! 'What colour shall we draw the face?' "black." 'What colour shall we do the hair?' "black." 'What colour shall I draw the eyes?' "black." 'What colour shall I do the mouth?' "orange!" Nice. Also, in the shopping centre this afternoon, Zachary tripped over his own feet but then kept crawling, declaring that he was a caterpillar. It really made me laugh.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Busy weekend

Phew. Busy weekend this one - and the sun has finally decided to make an appearance! Hurrah. The weather has been glorious but very hot...out comes the sun cream, hats and anything I can find to make shade for the boys. Mostly they're going about half dressed most of the time!

So yesterday was a Naming Day for the little boy of some friends. It was a lovely event at the family's home and a wonderful buffet! Interesting speech though - no remarks or comments about Edward and how wonderful he is, just a rail against the church, God and Christianity for the 'cynicalness' of christenings. Hmmm, appropriate.

Today we went to see more friends for a birthday get-together. It was a really relaxing, lovely afternoon. A paddling pool was out so Zachary was in his element and we even managed to find a little shade! But best of all, the birthday boy, on one of the hottest days of the year so far, decided that he wanted Christmas pudding as his birthday cake. Which needed 2 hours boiling on the hob! Hot. Still, I love Christmas pudding so I was happy!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Smoked Salmon buns

Not very successful, although the picture doesn't look too bad - but you can see much (little!) they rose! I was looking through a recipe book for an entirely different recipe when I came across this one. We're off to a party tomorrow for which all the guests were asked to bring nibbles, so I planned originally to have a go at cheese straws. Neither I nor Leigh could think which of our many books actually had cheese straws in them so I started with the Cook's Kitchen Handbook as I thought they were fairly popular? No luck, although on looking at a couple of things which I thought might be cheese straw like I saw the recipe for the buns and thought it looked interesting.

Hmm...first issue was size of bun cases - the recipe uses the description "small bun cases" so I thought this meant the size that is between muffin cases and mini muffin cases. The size I would usually call 'buns.' That can't be right though - the recipe suggests you can get 25 out of the mix, and I managed 15. A tight 15 probably not filling the cases properly. Well, they didn't rise and tasted very strange indeed so I'm not sure that the case size was the only problem! Should have stuck with cheese straws!

On an exciting food front, we're having guests over on Tuesday who are bringing dinner with them (we're providing dessert) - nettle soup and dandelion pancakes. Sounds yum!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sickly children

Both children are sick again. Well, that's a bit melodramatic, it makes it sound much worse than it is, although I did have 3 prescriptions to fill on Wednesday. Got them at Boots, where Zachary screamed at me because I wouldn't let him stick his head in the fridge they have there for cold drinks!

Leo has another cold and raging conjunctivitis, so drops for that, and Zachary continues to be beleaguered (? spelling?) by eczema and has been prescribed a stronger steroid cream and some antibiotics because the doctor thought it looked a bit infected. He had bad eczema last year, but confined to elbows, knees, tummy and back, so all parts of the body generally covered up during the day. This year it's started on his hands and has now spread to elbows, so it's his hands we're having the most trouble with. Although he isn't noticeably scratching during the day, we're pretty confident that he's scratching at night, probably largely during his sleep (as evidence by lots of small blood stains on the sheet in the morning). And he's such an active boy now, loving to play in the garden and his sand pit, it makes it all the more likely something will get in the sore places.

Anyway, the antibiotics he's been given is the most bitter medicine you'll ever taste (that may be a slight exaggeration, but it's not far off!), and not surprisingly Zachary is reluctant to take it. We've tried just giving it to him plain, cajoling him, offering rewards, tried a spoon, a syringe and a last ditch attempt in juice (although he's supposed to have it on an empty stomach and the medicine can be slightly degraded by being put in other stuff), and finally last night we ended up holding him down and pouring it in. Which was truly awful. So, we've given up on the medicine as noone can seem to suggest anything else to try at the moment - fortunately I explained Zachary's lack of enthusiasm for the medicine to the doctor when she gave me the prescription (he's had it before, with the same results), so she changed the cream from a plain steroid to one with some antibiotic in it. I'm pretty much relying on that.

The annoying thing is that Zachary will practically drink Calpol down, and says that it's 'nice.' So, why can't this medicine have a bit of sugar in it, or some flavouring, or just something to stop it being so damn disgusting. Hmmm.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Amazingly, Leo is now 6 months old and it has gone in a flash. We have started weaning him and are about a week and a half in. I'm intending to do all his food from scratch again as I did with Zachary (the purees and main meals anyway) and this week he's tried pear, apple, sweet potato and carrot (not all at once!).

I'm almost embarrassed to admit it, but I really have very little recollection of how Zachary was when he started weaning and how long it took him to get the hang of it (I may need to look back at some old posts!). Leo seems to have spent most of the week grimacing when we get food into his mouth, rolling it around for a while and then pushing it back out with his tongue! I'm looking at this as being because he doesn't know what to do with it, rather than that the purees are foul... Anyhoo, we discovered that although he has very pursed closed lips when we try to feed him from a spoon, he is more than happy to jam a spoon in his mouth which he is holding so we've been loading the spoons and then letting him get on with it. It does seem to be working - the picture is of him enjoying some sweet potato this evening. Leigh and I were both pleased to see at least one mouthful being swallowed...although some of it came back up about half an hour later! Still, it's progress and he seems to be loving it.

Lovely cooked meringues!

This is how they came out of the oven this morning. Very tasty - nice chewy centre. Although I'm reliably informed that as they're destined for ice cream, they could have done with being a bit more cooked through. Not sure whether that's just the way they come out with Delia, whether I made too few from her recipe and they should have had a bit longer in the oven, or whether as ours is a fan oven it cools down to quickly? Anyway, I'm pleased with them and no longer scared of meringues!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Using up leftover egg whites

Meringues. Before tonight I had never made meringues. When I confessed this to Leigh he gave me a look of mixed horror and disbelief. But it's true. They've always held a slight edge of terror for me - I always think of meringues as being very easy to foul up and rather delicate, and those who know me know that I'm certainly not known for my elegance and daintiness, especially in the kitchen. Clodhopper is nearer the mark!

Anyway these meringues are destined to be broken up for ice cream so if they're a disaster it doesn't matter. Here's a picture of them heading for the oven and I'll post another photo when they're out (yes they are pink).

I used Delia Smith's recipe from How to Cook Book 1. Interestingly she suggests starting to whisk the egg whites on a slow speed for a couple of minutes until foamy, then medium speed for another minute before finishing them off to stiff peak stage on fast speed. She doesn't quite explain why this works but does say that the key is knowing when to stop and that to start with all you can do is follow tried and tested guidelines. So I'm following her to the letter..well, not quite. She prefers a hand electric whisk as she can feel how the egg whites are going - and I used our free-standing Kitchen Aid. If it's a fail I shall know why!

Also, Delia suggests cooking the meringues for half an hour then leaving them to dry out in the oven until the oven is completely cold. Which is what's happening at the moment. I'm quite nervous!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Facilities for nursing mothers

Had an interesting excursion to Morrisons this afternoon. I forgot one key component for dinner that Leigh asked me to get (it wasn't on the list and isn't something I usually look for...if that's any defence!) and managed to buy reduced fat coleslaw instead of tasty full fat. I also needed to feed Leo while I was there (which I knew I would) and thought I'd do it while having a cup of tea in the cafe. All going well until I get to the checkout and realise that I spent the £5 I thought I had in my purse yesterday and all I had was coppers and silver left! Fortunately I managed to cobble enough together to save some embarrassment!

I've also discovered that although I can do the bulk of my shopping in any store, there are a few select items I have to go somewhere specific for. At Morrisons it's pickle, beetroot salad (both of which are just inferior in Asda!), a reasonably priced pomegranate juice, and Green Giant sweetcorn, no added salt or sugar (I also used to buy my Vileda sponges there but couldn't see any today. This is a disaster - I'm going to have to start eking out my supplies!). At Asda I get chorizo, own brand Shreddies (why do Morrisons no longer stock these??) and (hurray) liners for washable nappies - no more wasting money on postage ordering online.

Mainly though, I was disappointed about the facilities for nursing mothers and I'm going to send an email to Morrisons! I knew I'd have to feed Leo and had decided to do it in the cafe. I got a trolley first because there aren't usually many baby ones there, but as I couldn't see anyone else in the cafe with a trolley I thought I'd leave it in the lockers they provide. Except that the family trolleys don't fit into the lockers! I just left the trolley on its own which wasn't too bad as I hadn't done any shopping but I'd have been reluctant if it had been full. To be fair, I didn't check to see whether trolleys weren't actually allowed in the cafe, but as noone else had one I thought I should leave it behind. It may be that this isn't actually an issue as what else are parents going to do with babies who are too small for the highchairs?

The next hurdle was that the chairs are fixed to the tables in the cafe and there wasn't quite enough room to sit with Leo on my lap feeding! I had to execute a slightly odd half on, half off the seat manoeuvre so as not to squash the poor boy. Interesting. I did check out the baby change facilities afterwards to see if there was any provision for nursing mums in there but there wasn't. So my other question is that if a mum just wants to feed her baby and not buy anything from the cafe, do the store mind her just using the cafe for a seat? Not great Morrisons.

It's a bit better in Asda - at least they have a chair in the baby change room, but there's not really enough room for a trolley too! The last time I had to do an emergency feed stop, I'd finished shopping and had a full trolley. It was a tight fit getting me, 2 boys and the trolley in the change room - the only way I could manage it was to ram the chair provided right up in front of the toilet. Not the nicest way to feed your child. The chairs in the cafe are movable which is good.

All I really need is a space big enough to get me, the baby, a trolley and a chair in, preferably not having to sit right up against a toilet. There must be space somewhere in these huge stores.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Blancmange. Fail.

Not sure what happened, whether it was not quite enough time in the fridge (although it had more than the 6 hours suggested) or something went wrong at the milk boiling/whisking stage. There were more solid sections in it and it tasted great, but the texture is all wrong! I had a pig mould to use - there was the vaguest approximation of a pig's face when we first turned it out, but by the time I got the camera, this had happened...

Need to find out how to improve it and try again. It's certainly not going in my Flickr baking folder until it can hold its own shape!

Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni

I have been wanting to try making cannelloni for ages and I bought all the ingredients this week. We've got guests for dinner tonight so as it makes more than the 2 of us would eat I thought it would be a good (foolhardy?) opportunity to try it out. Hmmm. Well, it looks yummy going in the oven, but was a lot more faffy than I imagined and had to be made in 3 sections - the tomato base, the cannelloni filling and then a mascarpone sauce for the top.

Here are my hints and tips -

1. How I ever thought I'd be able to make it this afternoon with two children about is beyond me. Took longer than I thought and there were times there my hands were covered in the filling mix. With Zachary at nursery and Leo asleep it was much more manageable!

2. If you are squeezing excess water out of spinach, wear an apron. Or at least don't wear a white t-shirt.

3. Filling cannelloni tubes. Hmmm. The recipe suggested using a piping bag (I couldn't find any of the nozzles) or using a food bag and snipping off one of the corners. First food bag - too much snipped off corner so filling just oozed around the outside of the tube rather than going in. Second bag - better size of hole for squeezing but it burst when I had about 2cm of filling in the first tube. So I gave up on the bags and just poked the stuff down the tubes with my fingers (yes, clean of course!). That worked quite well, but is v time consuming. So my advice is, get a piping bag sorted or chop the spinach FINELY, rather than ROUGHLY as the recipe suggests!

So hopefully I won't poison anyone and here is the finished product -

Looks a bit insipid, but I did bake it again before serving and it was delicious!

I also thought it would be a good opportunity to try out making blancmange for the first time. My friend made it for dinner the other week and it was delicious so, copy cat that I am I thought I would have a go. It's in the fridge chilling now and seems okay except that the milk took ages to come to the boil. This would have been fine if Leo wasn't crying throughout the whole process! I was trying to keep the whisking going as instructed, while shouting 'boil, damn you' to the pan, and soothe Leo with my foot. The soothing didn't work! Also, the recipe said to use 'vigourous' whisking so I got out the electric whisk. Tricky to manage if you're using a small pan which has cinnamon sticks and lemon peel in it as well as the milk! Lots and lots of splashing occurred.

Not quite sure how it will turn out but there's always ice cream as a back up if needed!!

Inappropriate boy

I'm waiting to see how long it will be before Zachary comes out with a little gem at nursery. Now he's copying a lot more speech, it's not going to be long! Two candidates arose this week. The first was during a game Zachary was playing with his dad which involved blowing a toy hat off each other's heads. Zachary wanted me to join in so we have "Mummy blow Daddy" repeated at a loud volume several times!

And last night he described the Snickers ice cream as 'knickers' ice cream. How long will it be before someone calls the social???!

Historic times

The new government has been formed and it's a formal coalition between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservative party, something that many people thought would never happen. The Liberals have 5 seats on the Cabinet, including their leader Nick Clegg as Deputy Prime Minister and they appear to have made agreements on many of their policies (see here for some more). The biggie is political reform = the Conservatives promised a referendum for the country on this and I should think that will come along pretty sharpish! The other surprise was their agreement that there will not be another general election for 4/5 years, as again we speculated that there would be another within the year to consolidate the Conservative position, but perhaps they feel they don't need it now and that the coalition will stand strongly.

And that certainly was the feel of the press conference given by the 2 party leaders. It actually feels as though we could be heading for exciting times - perhaps this election is just what the country needed, with the views of 2 parties forming policy rather than just a single view. Ooo.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Well, hello 4.30am

So Leo has now been awake for 2 hours, been fed twice, nappy changed 4, yes 4 times (thankfully L took pity on me for the last one and did that for me. And this is on top of the change I did at half 10) (blame curry for dinner??), and still no sign of going back to sleep. But he's not been crying at least, although I don't know whether it makes it better or worse! He's just so darn cute about it, giggling and cooing at me and smiling in the dark. As a last ditch attempt I have now got up and am going to try to settle him back to sleep with some Marple. Just need to make sure he doesn't nap all day. I do need some sleep!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Smoked mackerel pate

Made smoked mackerel pate this evening - a friend's recipe and so easy. It's basically equal quantities of smoked mackerel and stilton whizzed in the food processor with a tablespoon or 2 of creme fraiche and a squeeze of lemon juice. I was slightly concerned at its grey hue, but not to fear, it tasted delicious. I bought some soda bread to have with it and it was great. Will definitely be keeping that recipe for the future.

Also planning to try spinach and ricotta cannelloni this week. I've never made cannelloni before (the dish, not the pasta. Leigh attempted pasta making once. It was not successful and I'm not brave enough to try it) and am planning it for the evening friends come over for dinner. Not sure that's a good idea. Also just thinking about that, one of our friends is on a diet and there's frankly a ridiculous amount of cheese in it - 4 different types all in all. Hmmm may need a rethink.

Finally on the food front, I've just finished Julie and Julia which was great, if a little scary. Hacking up a live lobster!!

Hung Parliament

So it's all excitement here. After 13 years of Labour government, the General Election yesterday sees an official hung parliament. Leigh managed to stay up til about half 2 last night watching results as they came in, and I picked it up for a couple of hours at half 5 when Leo got up (after Zachary was up, Lazy Town and CBeebies dominated any TV watching!).

The figures in 2005 were Labour 356, Conservatives 198, Lib Dem 62, and then the rest of the seats were taken with the smaller parties. Today the results are Labour 258, Conservative 306 and Lib Dem 57, smaller parties (including the first one ever for the Green Party) 27, with 1 constituency still to declare. However that constituency won't be decided for a while yet as one of the candidates died shortly before the election. So a massive swing in favour of the Conservatives although they didn't get the 326 needed for an overall majority. Lib Dems lost seats overall, despite the apparent public swing in their favour after the televised election debates. Just goes to show you can never really tell what the British public is thinking!

The result of all this (as everyone no doubt knows) is that Gordon Brown does not have to resign even though his party did not receive the most votes. He can stay as Prime Minister and will be trying to form a coalition government to enable him to influence the majority. David Cameron has also opened the negotiating table to the Lib Dems and it'll be exciting to see how things develop from here as this is a situation I haven't witnessed before. But it does show up the flaws in our electoral system, so surely something's got to be changed there???

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Is it just me?

Is there some kind of law which says that the one spoon you'll drop during the washing up will always be the large one which is still covered in tomato pasta sauce and bits of onion?

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Phone piccies

Thanks to the wonders of my husband's technological capabilities and a tiny, tiny SD card in my phone, I have just downloaded all the photos from my phone to my laptop without having to email them all to myself (which I did once and let me tell you, it was laborious and expensive!).

Here are a few of my favourites:
Leo yawning

Zachary trying a spider hat in IKEA

Ice cream and thermos tea at Calke Abbey

Zachary's first day

I awoke with an anxious knot in my stomach. Actually that sounds like I had a natural, gentle awakening from sleep. Ahem. I was dragged from sleep by the sound of Leo doing a massive poo and found I had an anxious knot in my stomach for the day ahead. Zachary's first proper session at nursery. After he got upset last Thursday I was convinced that he was going to refuse to even go in the gates of the nursery and was steeling myself for this eventuality.

As is also the way when I'm slightly nervous about something, I had spent a large proportion of yesterday evening going through my itinerary for the morning. Leigh went to London for work today and was due to be leaving the house as or before Zachary got up, so I was carefully planning my timings knowing that I'd have none of the usual couple of minutes grace I get when Leigh holds a baby for me or helps with coats and shoes. I watched Zachary carefully through breakfast but there were no outward signs of him suspecting anything unusual - Zachary pouring his apple juice into his milk and cereal, finishing it and declaring it 'nice' doesn't count!

My nerves were not helped by Leo pooing 3 times before Zachary got up, and then deciding he was hungry as I was finishing dressing the boys, and not being able to be settled before we went out. I should learn that you can't plan times with a baby (this is something I have to tell myself again and again) as I found myself feeding Leo at the time I had hoped to be leaving the house! But, deep breath, it's not like it's school or anything and I was already taking him later than the session actually started, so once Leo was fed, off we went.

Got in the nursery fine, got in the room, then Zachary started to cry as I said goodbye. But I was strong and left, and managed not to anxiously phone the nursery after 10 minutes to see how he was! I rang in at 12 and apparently he settled within about half an hour of me going and had been absolutely fine since. Relief. And he was happy to see me when I went to collect. Brilliant.

And this afternoon we watched TV, painted some Alphablocks which ended in purple and green streaks in hair, played with pegs (Zachary is now expert at operating them), and bounced on the bed.

Leo seems to have got through whatever was going on with his tummy and when I came downstairs after bedtime, he was asleep in bed and Zachary just happily chatting away in his room. Holby and CSI. Great.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Calke Abbey

Well, we made it. Up (that bit not a problem with Leo rising at half 5 and Zachary at 7 - oh the halsyon days of lie-ins), dressed, picnic made and out of the house by 10. Back to the house at 2 minutes past 10 to collect forgotten directions! Out again in newly started rain with Leo crying all the way there...

Calke Abbey was great and there was a craft show there as well which we went to in lieu of going round the gardens or house. Bonus. The day was a weird mix of lovely sunny spells interspersed with freezing rain and wind, including hailstones! So we ate cold ice cream, enjoyed hot cinnamon nuts and spent an hour picnicing in the car. It was great. Zachary got ice cream absolutely everywhere but we had lots of chance to practice our smug faces at the people who seemed to be sneering at our eating in the car, when it was pouring with rain and we were warm and happy.

Another bout of crying from Leo as we left, but by the time we got home, both boys were asleep and Leigh and I had a happy hour of doing relaxing when we got home before either of them woke up.

We decided to give weaning a go this evening and Leo had his first taste of baby rice! All seemed to be going well until bedtime - Leo is still up, having now pooed twice since dinner and vomited a bit too. Not settling at all... Was it the baby rice? Was it the defrosted milk? Going to leave things for another couple of weeks and use fresh milk next time just in case!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Bank holiday weekend

Am having a great weekend so far. Cake Break on Friday went well in that people actually turned up and ate cake! Many thanks to all who contributed and I am so grateful to my friends from playgroup who came along just before 2 as I was starting to lose hope a bit (although it was only an hour in!). Everyone else turned up in the last hour. Had a fairy cake decorating competition for the (ahem) children and here's a picture of the entries

I had intended that people might want to eat the fairy cakes afterwards, but as I forgot about them in the oven and they had about 10 minutes too long, they were more like biscuits than cake. More pictures of cake here, and some recipes here.

There was cake left over, but we were due to spend this afternoon with friends and they kindly (and most selflessly!) said we could bring any leftover cake to them and they would take it off our hands. Reluctantly of course!

Good day yesterday - shopping, visitation from Leigh's brother and lots of ice cream making. Then today went to church this morning with the boys to help at creche. On arrival found Leo had pooed through his outfit so he had to get naked and redressed - poor boy. At least that's what I would have said had he not been grinning throughout! This afternoon saw us at the house of friends, lovely dinner, skittles in the garden with Zachary afterwards, finishing up with some CBeebies and lots of leftover cake.

Tomorrow is bank holiday Monday. In a change to our usual modus operandi (get up late, stay in pj's for most of the morning, then declare 'oh crap, why didn't we organise anything? I can't be bothered to work out somewhere to go now but Zachary's driving me insane') we have actually made plans! Now watch the rain come pouring down...but it's okay, because not only do we have plans but we also have RAIN CONTINGENCY PLANS! Woohoo!

So, tired but happy, I'm about to pour myself an amaretto with cherry coke (suggestion made by my brother-in-law - tried it last night. Why have I never done it before? It's like alcoholic cherry bakewell!!!!) and hopefully find some time for cross stitch. New project started yesterday - exciting.