Saturday, 31 December 2011

2011 it's been nice knowing you!

It's the time of year when you can't help but reflect over the previous 12 months and wonder what the next 12 will bring. For those who have been following my blog for a while you will know that this year has been a mixed bag for us....

The highlight was my parents moving over to Cyprus in March, and the low point was Aaron losing his job in August.  It's been great to see a couple of old friends from the UK who managed to visit us this year but sad to say goodbye to two friends of mine who had to move back to the UK.  Among the worries though there have been many good points,  various birthday's, days at the beach and meet ups with friends.
I'm linking up to Michelle's Reason's to be Cheerful this week, I haven't joined in for ages due to the fact that I've been really scraping the bottom of the barrel to find some decent reasons each week, but looking back over the photos of my year I realise we've still had a ball!

It was a year full of simple things and could have been better but was not that bad - although I hope 2012 will bring some good changes for us..... and a lot of luck - I think we're gonna need it!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Christmas 2011


We had a lovely Christmas, the first one spent with the three of us and my parents together, on the day Leo woke later than usual at about 6.30am, he came into our room as normal and said all excitedly 'it's got light Mummy!'   (He says this with great joy if he wakes up and it's not pitch black as he has less reason to go back to sleep!)   He asked me to get up and was very surprised when I said 'Ok then' and jumped out of bed.... this is not something that usually happens!  To add to his confusion Daddy was also getting up - this certainly never happens at this time of day when Mummy's up too!

I asked him if he remembered what day it was and despite the excitement of the previous days he didn't know. I reminded him that Santa may have been and he rushed into the hall, looked around and ran back to me saying 'No, he's not here'  I wondered out loud if he may have left something on Leo's bed for him so he ran back to his room, starred at the bed and somehow didn't see the red stocking stuffed with presents!
Once I pointed it out though he grabbed it and ran to Daddy to show him.

There was also a pile of presents in the front room with an inflatable Santa perched on top. He also managed not to notice these for a good 5 minutes whilst standing right by them. Eventually he turned round and did a double take, first seeing the Santa on the top and shouting 'YES, there he is!'

He hadn't really got the whole idea of opening presents, first trying to get us to do it for him, but eventually got into the swing of things. It took almost an hour to open his stocking presents but he picked up speed as we went eventually not wanting to look at what was in them preferring to go for the next one!

Leo loved the whole experience, even if he got a bit confused at times. He kept handing his presents to Daddy saying 'There you go, Daddy - Happy Birthday'  He then thought it was his birthday (we've been to several parties lately!) and then thought it was 'his' Christmas....I explained Christmas was for everyone but he disagreed - but I suppose he may have a point!


We spent the rest of the day at my parents with more presents and a lovely dinner cooked by my Mum.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Christmas of Yesteryear

This week brings us the last Gallery of 2011, and the prompt is Christmas of Yesteryear. I was quite excited when I saw this prompt last week as it would give me a great excuse to look at all the old Christmas pics, except then I went and forgot all about it!

It's lucky really that I knew exactly which photo I wanted to use...


This was taken in 1986, of my friend and I caught having a sneaky peak of the presents under the Christmas tree! Unfortunately I'm the one in the rather unpleasant pink trouser suit, I'd like to blame that on my Mum but I have a horrible feeling that I used to love that outfit!

I used to drive my Mum mad by constantly poking and prodding the presents under the tree, I used to spend ages trying to guess what they were but I actually never wanted to find out!  One year I had accidentally come across a present of mine hidden and after a second of being really pleased I was getting what I wanted felt quite disappointed that I knew before the day!

My presents from 'Father Christmas were placed into a pillow case and left at the end of my bed but in the run up to Christmas one or two from my parents were put under the tree along with those for the rest of the family.  This came about after the year I wondered why everyone else in the family had a present under the tree except for me!

Even when I realised where all the presents came from I insisted on most of them being kept hidden until the day - I knew I wouldn't be able to resist picking them up to have a feel and I didn't want to work out what they were.

I can remember very clearly laying under the tree with Catherine in the photo above - she was a much better guesser than me (she unwrapped her presents one year when her Mum was out and tried to re-wrap them!) but even she didn't know what it was that I was getting,  I don't remember what it was that particular year but they were always good, and made better by the fact they were surprises!






Sunday, 18 December 2011

What makes Christmas...

Everyone has their own Christmas traditions and favourite things about the season and I've been really enjoying reading all about them on the many different blogs I regularly read. Joining in with the festivities is Kate with this week's Listography as she asks us all What makes Christmas, Christmas for us



1. The Tree - You cannot have Christmas without a tree, it's the first thing you need! Even when I lived on my own and wasn't even indoors for the majority of the Christmas season I still had my own little tree that I decorated with the Christmas CD playing several vodkas and singing my head off to 'Lonely this Christmas' like a festive version of Bridget Jones!

2. The music - I LOVE Christmas music much to Aaron's disgust, it doesn't matter that is not necessarily 'good' music but it's got to be done!  The last two years I have got up and thrown open the balcony doors as wide as they go and played 'Fairytale of New York' at full volume whilst singing and dancing round the balcony, not entirely sure what the neighbours thought but who cares!

3. Food, food, food!   Christmas dinner of course but also the mince pies, cheese straws, chocolate (mmn especially Lindor - thanks to my friend Larisa for bringing some out to me!) Boxing Day dinner of cold meat, cheeses and pickles.

4. Presents - I know it's not (supposed to be) all about the presents but I love giving people presents, and although not so much this year it won't be long before that will be the main excitement for Leo. As a young child I did appreciate it wasn't ALL about the presents but it was still the best bit!   I can't wait to see him open his presents this year.

5. Family - Spending time with those you love, having fun, a bit too much to drink and playing board games!

CreatingChristmas

Silent Sunday


Friday, 16 December 2011

Christmas Tree Craft

You may already know that craft activities are not something that comes naturally to me, add my complete lack of patience and a wilful toddler into the mix and it's not something that usually fills me with joy! However Leo does get very excited and I thought as it's Christmas it would give me something to blog about it would be a lovely thing to do :)

I really can't remember if I saw this idea on another blog - if I did and you know which one let me know and I'll credit it as it seems unlikely I would have come up with the idea all by myself!

What you need - toilet roll tubes, red paint, card (I used a cereal box), green paper, stickers and glitter glue.

Paint the tubes, and leave to dry.
Cut out Christmas tree shapes and stick to the card.
Stick the trees to the rolls and then decorate with stickers and glitter glue to look like baubles and tinsel - Done!


Leo was a bit bemused at first as the only painting we've done just involved splodging colours randomly on paper but he eventually got the idea. When they were dry I explained what to do and did one to show him, he understood what I said but then, as two year olds like to do completely ignored me and preferred to stick the decorations on the back of the tree!

With some encouragement from Daddy he got the hang of it in the end and we ended up with three cute looking Christmas trees. Leo has since been asking to do more every day!



CreatingChristmas


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And for more Festive posts and ideas head over to Thinly Spread where you can find Festive Friday
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Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The Ultimate Christmas Meme!

Have I mentioned that I love Christmas? The blog world is going a bit Christmas crazy so it was only a mater of time before 'The Ultimate Christmas Meme' appeared, it was started by Mummy Alarm and I've been tagged by Jenny from Mummy Mishaps who loves Christmas as much as I do.  I love an excuse to get even more festive so here's my answers...

1.The Christmas song I can listen to even in June is...
As much as I love Christmas I wouldn't want to listen to any Christmas songs in June, it's weird enough often being sunny here in December let alone listening to Christmas songs in 40 odd degree heat!  I like to keep Christmas special so try not to do anything festive until December. That said if I had to choose one it would be the best Christmas song of all time - Fairytale of New York.


2.Hot Chocolate, Egg Nog or Mulled wine?
Seeing as I don't like the others it would have to be Hot Chocolate, preferably with a big slug of baileys in it.

3.When do you put your decorations up?
Not on Christmas Eve that's for sure!  Usually about 2 weeks before the day itself,  again - although I love Christmas I don't like it to start too early, I think there should be a law against putting them up in November!

4 What are you having for Christmas dinner?
Turkey and all the trimmings, I've already made and frozen Red Cabbage and Cauliflower Cheese, two recent additions to our Christmas dinner but in just a few years have become a very well loved part!

5.What is your favourite Christmas tradition?
Putting the decorations up I think, it's an exciting part as all the festivities are still to come and I enjoy having a drink and listening to the Christmas CD while doing so - the decorating is an event in itself!   Although come back to me in a year or two and I may have developed more traditions as Leo grows up which may change my answer!

6. Have you ever gone Carol singing?
Once many years ago with the Brownies, we didn't actually knock on doors but we stood in a big group at the top of my road by the shops, bus stop and pub! I seem to remember there being quite a crowd of us with Brownies and parents, siblings and anyone else who got roped in, and I think I really enjoyed it.


7. When did you learn the truth about Santa?
I don't know how old I was, but one year I woke up as my bedroom door opened and I saw my Mum putting my presents at the bottom of my bed. I asked what she was doing and after a slight hesitation she explained that Santa was very busy delivering all the presents so she had met him downstairs and was just helping him out. I don't remember if I totally bought the explanation but I think I may have done as I wanted to believe. Even as I got older I still insisted my Mum continue putting my presents in my bedroom - she drew the line when I was out to the pub and going to bed later than she was!

8. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
Lights, then tinsel, then decorations... as Leo can now tell you!  (he was desperate to get the decorations out and we kept telling him to wait as that was the order so he started repeating it!)   Our tree is huge, its almost 8ft and very wide, it was big in our old 3 bedroom house but *may* be slight overkill in our apartment, I don't care - I love it!  
It's always been a 2 colour tree, only red and silver decorations. We put it up together with the Christmas music blaring away in the background to drown out Aaron's moaning ;)    and then he puts the lights on as I always end up getting really annoyed with them. He usually puts the tinsel on too as I 'don't do it right'  (I like to argue this point but it does look better when he does it - but ssssh don't tell him!)  then the rest is down to me, this year with Leo's assistance for the first time.

9. What's the best thing about Christmas? 
I love it all, food, drink, presents, cooking, get togethers, even present wrapping and card writing but this year the best thing will be Leo as it's the first year he will really start to appreciate what's happening.

10. All I want for Christmas is...
Apart from good health to my family and friends all I really ask for is for a job for Aaron, well, either that or a huge lottery win!  



You know the rules.... 'do the meme and tag some bloggers' but rules are meant to be broken! If you fancy joining in go for it and let me know, I'll give you a mention.


Sunday, 11 December 2011

Meeting Father Christmas

Last weekend was Leo's first bit of Christmas excitement, as he got to meet Father Christmas twice. I took him to see him last year but he was a little underwhelmed to say the least back then, (I didn't even write a blog post about it!)  and although he didn't cry at all the whole experience pretty much went over his head!  This year he understands who he is meeting, even though he doesn't get the whole 'presents coming at Christmas thing  - I've deliberately not mentioned too much about that as if I tell him Father Christmas will bring him presents he will just want them RIGHT NOW.

The first meeting was at the school on the army base's Christmas Fayre. The excitement started when Father Christmas arrived waving to everyone from the top of a fire engine with sirens blaring, We then queued with his friend (who's five) and he saw him go first so that would have encouraged Leo to do the same.

Leo was a little unsure but walked in holding my hand and then randomly asked Father Christmas to give him a 'High five'  When asked what he wanted for Christmas he said he didn't know but he nodded when told he must be a really good boy and then he will get some presents on Christmas day.   He took his gift and said 'Fanks Cissmass'

He left the grotto clutching his gift  - a lego 'alike' toy for age 6 and above which I swapped with a colouring book won from the tombola when Leo wasn't looking, (may have been a small flaw in the sorting out of the gifts!)

The Farye was more enjoyable than the year before as last year he had not been walking long but also was not happy in a buggy, this year he was really happy to be given some money and pay the lady for a go on the games!

We had a good haul between us, although I lucked out a little... encouraged by my parents and Leo's run of luck on the tombola (biscuits, tinned hot dogs, Christmas pudding, chocolates, colouring book, pencils, more lego) I had a go and won a large tin of rather dubious looking green beans, although I did manage to do a swap with my Dad for his Oreo cookies!

Being on the army base it felt just like being in a UK primary school, although I'm thinking they wouldn't have had stalls outside!

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Toys of an 80s Childhood.

Everyone is talking toys at the moment as we approach Christmas and it got me thinking about the toys I loved as a child. Jenny from Mummy Mishaps looked back at some toys from her toddler hood (and I had a couple of those like many of us did in the early 80's, Fisher Price phone anyone?) so thought I'd look at my childhood toys.

I had a Cabbage Patch Baby all dressed in pink which I think was called Norma, not a name I really liked for my little doll but that's what it said on her birth certificate so I stuck with it!  I had a bigger 'real life baby' doll which I had for years and probably got played with more but I did love this one - do you remember they used to smell like Talculm powder!




Care Bear 80s toys
Image credit
Care bears....the love of my childhood life!  I was their biggest fan, I had 3 years of 'Care Bear parties - so 3 birthday cakes (that was must have been quite easy - same cake, different colour, different picture but I didn't think of that!), I even had a surprise on my 25th Birthday when Aaron got me a Care Bear cake made for my School Disco themed party!  I had a huge collection of bear gathered over the years, cuddly one, poseable ones and little ones,Professor Coldheart, the cloud car and a few Care Bear Cousins.

80s toys, My Little Pony
Image credit.
My Litte Pony - these were great and I can still remember the names of the ponies I had (Lickerty Split, Bow Tie, Minty and Peaches in case you wondered!)  I had the little blue stable and my friend who lived over the road had the Dream Castle so I used to take my things to hers and we'd play with it all together. There were many outfits you could buy for them but they were expensive so my brilliant Mum made loads of accessories for them instead.

All of these toys escaped each time we had a clear out and when I moved out the ended up in my parents loft where they stayed until they started sorting things out for the move to Cyprus.  As I wasn't pregnant (just!) and even when I was to be there would be no guarantee it would be a girl we decided we should get rid of them all   :(

There was much debate.... boot fairs and Ebay seemed too depressing as I'd probably only get pennies for such a huge collection and it would be a lot of effort, so I rang my best friend, one who played with them herself as we'd known each other since playgroup.  She had a 5 year old girl and I asked if she would like all the toys for her. Funnily enough she said yes!

I took them all down one weekend, my friend kept back the doll for Christmas and as to not overwhelm her but I gave her the rest. Her Mum and me then spent a very pleasant afternoon showing all the bits and telling her their names.  The funniest bit was when my friend Mum walked in and saw me and Nicola sitting on the floor brushing the ponies hair (with her daughter now watching TV instead!)  She looked a but stunned and said it was a sight she hadn't expected to see again!

I'm glad I didn't have a girl in the end as I would have been a bit sad that I'd given all 'her' toys away but I'm so pleased they went to Nicola and her daughter, it seems quite apt that they have come full circle!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Homemade Lemon Curd

I've been on a bit of a domestic goddess fad lately, making enough Mince pies to feed the village and Onion Marmalde but I took it to another level last week and made my own Lemon Curd, I'd even been saving jars to put it in! It was actually really easy to make, and a damn sight cheaper than buying it as I've not seen a jar for less than 4 euros here. I just need to find someone with a lemon tree and it would be cheaper still!

You will need...
Grated zest and juice of 4 large lemons
4 large eggs
350g golden castor sugar ( I didn't have any so used normal granulated, seem to still work!)
225g unsalted butter cut into small chunks
1 level desert spoon cornflour

Lightly whisk eggs in a medium size saucepan then add the rest of the ingredients over a medium heat. Whisk continuously until mixture thickens, should be about 7 - 8 minutes.
Then turn the heat to the lowest setting and continue to whisk for about another minute.
Remove from the heat and pour into hot sterilised jars as full to the top as possible, cover with wax discs, seal when hot and it will last in a cool place for several weeks.

The recipe makes three 1lb (350ml) capacity jars.


Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Let the Christmas baking commence!

One of the things I always enjoyed as a child in the run up to Christmas was doing the pre-Christmas baking with my Mum. Mince Pies, and Cheese Straws are the ones that stick in my mind, along with decorating the Christmas Cake with the ancient plastic Santa, holly and robins.

It's only in recent years that I've decided that I like mince pies but apart from a couple of years when I left home I've always made them, it just doesn't feel like Christmas until I've made them now. Fortunately now I like them too I can actually eat my own cooking!

Although I enjoy cooking, it's taking a while for me to enjoy cooking with Leo but he enjoys it and I want to involve him so I split my baking into two parts. He helped me make the pastry in the morning and I left it to chill until he had gone to bed before I made the pies.

You can tell I'm getting old as I had actually planned to go to the pub with Aaron the night I made these but turned down my parents babysitting offer to stay home and bake, what is the world coming to!


Once Leo had gone to bed I opened the wine and put the Christmas CD on - one reason why I did it when Aaron was at the pub as he tells me off for starting Christmas too early. When the first batch was in the oven I rang my parents and invited them to be offical tasters and join me in a glass (or 3) of wine.

I have no idea how many pies I made, I know it was 6 batches of pastry (I made 3 lots but I doubled the ingredients each time)  - It was a little bit like a production line, and we *may* have tried several on the way from the cooling rack to the storage box so I gave up trying to work out how many were cooked!

I've never made my own mincemeat so I used 3 jars in total, next year I think I'll try making my own.  I was going to post the pastry recipe but I'm not actually sure which one I used now, but it's not rocket science, just sweet pastry so I'm sure you could figure it out!  I also made some tarts with my home-made Lemon curd as I thought Leo would prefer those - and they are yummy!

So I now have a whole shelf in my freezer of mince pies but I won't be eating them all - it should keep my Dad happy till New Year at least. I'll just make sure I keep one back to leave out for Father Christmas.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Popular posts

As the year draws to a close it's natural to reflect on the year that has passed, and look back over the previous 12 months. This week BritMums are asking us bloggers to share the best of our blogs, favourite posts or most popular so I've been trawling through the archives to remind myself of what I've been up to.

This has been a great year in blogging terms, I've really enjoyed both writing mine and reading others, I've 'met' some great people who although I've not met...yet - I'm still keeping my fingers crossed and hoping I'll get to go to BritMums Live) I would consider to be good friends. I've had a chance to review my first products and I've really enjoyed joining in with  lots of link ups with other blogs.

I can hardly believe that I've written 243 posts so far this year and I've enjoyed every minute, it makes up for the fact that we have nothing to watch on TV!  I'd like to share the top 5 favourites with you in case you missed them!

1.The most viewed post by far is actually one of the most annoying, as in it I share my the Children's programs I find the most annoying, this post has had more views than any other post I've written added together!
2. The second most viewed post was the sad story of Alethea Ayres, an inspirational woman who battled with malignant melanoma and sadly lost her fight earlier this year.
3.Back in July Cyprus suffered its biggest disaster in years when the Evangelos Florakis Naval base was destroyed by a huge explosion - I wrote about how it affected us in 'No Tea & Teletubbies.
4. In September we finally finished Leo's bedroom and he had a 'proper' room for the first time, I shared before and after photos and and asked 'What makes a House a home?'
5. I'm really please that the fifth most popular post was actually written by my Mum, about how she copes with Menieres Disease. I hope that it may have helped someone in a similar position.

I don't even know where to start with my favourite posts, I enjoy the photo posts so along with all the Flashback Friday's and Silent Sunday's I've really enjoyed my 'Discovering Cyprus' posts as it's great to get out exploring and finding lovely places to photograph.

I've no idea what I'll be blogging about in the coming year but as ever I'm sure I'll think of things as we go....


Linked up to this weeks BritMums Blog prompts.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

The best Christmas songs in the world ever!

Love Christmas = Love Christmas music, it's the best way to get you in the festive spirit!

Growing up we had an LP (remember those? Big round black vinyl things? No, ok I'll continue) of Christmas Carols which was very nice but as I got a bit older I discovered the joy of the Christmas Song!

Every year at the end of the school term there would be charity events, and own clothes days and it would all be topped off with the Sixth Form Christmas show where all the teachers would make prats of themselves for our amusement. The best bit for me was at the end when they used to play all Christmas songs and everyone would be so over excited about the holidays and what was to come. That was the start of my love of the Christmas song, now much to the disgust of my hubby who thinks they should only be played on one day I can't wait to get the Christmas CD out each year.

It's a tough call but I've been trying to list my top five favourites...

Well, first of all there is no question what the best Christmas song of all time is, those opening notes make me smile every time...


Moving on, it gets a bit trickier as there many that I like, so in no particular order...

Shakin' Stevens - Merry Christmas Everyone - just makes me want to dance!
Wizzard - I wish it could be Christmas everyday,   - Let the bell's ring out for Christmas! I always used to get this and Slade's Merry Christmas Everyone mixed up, I love that too but I Wizzard just tops it.
Mariah Carey - All I want for Christmas, I really don't like Mariah generally but  love this song. I remember the year it came out, it was the first year I was out over the festive period and it was played constantly in the pub I was drinking in.
Wham - Last Christmas,  not the best song in the world but how can you not love it, and it's got a lovely video!

I'm trying to get Leo excited about the Christmas music but currently he's firmly on his Dad's side and is refusing to be interested.... going to have to call in reinforcements I think!

Linking up to Listography

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 3 December 2011

The first of the Christmas traditions

Every family has their own traditions and habits over Christmas and every year it makes a popular topic of conversation in the run up to Christmas, what you eat, where you go and what time you open presents are just a few of the many things discussed. I have been with Aaron many years now and mostly our Christmases were similar and they kind of merged into one but the Christmas after we got married we discovered a bit of a compatibility issue!

Just to set the scene (Sorry Aaron, you knew this blog post was coming didn't you!) Aaron hates Christmas.... well, he likes Christmas Day but he says that Christmas should be just that, one day. I on the other hand think of Christmas as a season!  I love the run up to Christmas as much, if not more than the day itself, I love shopping, cooking, wrapping presents, writing cards, carols... the whole thing and it drives him nuts. 

That year we had been having our annual conversation where I try and convert him and get annoyed when he doesn't get all excited and was debating when to put the tree up. He said he didn't care when it went up until we had kids but when we had a child it would be not going up  before Christmas Eve once they had gone to bed....... 

I was actually lost for words and that doesn't happen very often!  I may have even laughed at the very thought of it. The decorating of the tree was always an event in itself for me, and as a child marked the start of Christmas. I immediately came up with a whole list of reason why that was NOT going to happen, if for no other reason it would be the last thing I'd want to be doing on Christmas Eve, especially if I had kids!

His argument was that it is magical for kids to come down on Christmas morning to see the room transformed into a Christmas 'wonderland'  Growing up that is how his family did it, - Aaron and his brother and sister would go off the bed on Christmas Eve to wake up to a stocking on the bed and tree, decorations and a pile of presents downstairs.  I can see where that would be exciting, but to me surely the presents alone are exciting, I don't remember being anything other than excited on Christmas morning despite having had the tree up for a couple of weeks. I can understand that he would want to recreate what he had as a child but this is just wrong :)

He was adamant, but so was I. I told him there was no way that would ever happen, and because I wanted them first I told him they would get done when he was out and then he would have to explain to our child if he was going to take them all down again to put them up two weeks later :)

Since then, we tend to have the discussion every year, especially this year as he said Leo is at the age to really appreciate it Christmas morning, he was shot down in flames by my parents and I and once again (as he always will) has lost the battle.  My parents and friends will be putting their's up  before this time so wouldn't Leo think it a bit odd that we are the only people without any?

So, it has been decided (by my Dad and I, who declare ourselves in charge of such things) that next weekend is the time for them to go up. I'm being very good I think as I'm very excited about Christmas this year so could quite easily be persuaded to put them up now!  As much as I love it though I don't like them up too early, and I agree that we should have no decorations or anything Christmassy before 1st December (I may have sneakily played Fairytale Of New York last week but no-one was in so it doesn't count!)

I haven't edited that photo - he actually was wearing a black Santa hat with 'Bah Hunbug written on it!


CreatingChristmas


Friday, 2 December 2011

Flashback Friday - a moment in time

As I'm sure you have gathered from reading my blog I LOVE photos, I can easy spend hours looking at old photos or faffing about with them. Over the years I've taken hundreds and have rarely been at an event (or non-event!) with having taken any, because of this its very unusual to suddenly see a photo some time after it was taken (or in this case uploaded to Facebook - I'm on there so much it's very unlikely that I would miss something!)

I came across this unimportant looking photo the other day posted on the facebook page of my old 'local' - the pool club we used to spend most of our time in.  It was a totally ordinary Thursday evening and we taking part in the monthly quiz night - hence the serious 'thinking' faces.


Apart from the fact I didn't know it had been taken and I've only just seen it 3 years later it jumped out at me for another couple of reasons....

It was weird to see my old pool club - I spent ages looking at the photo, imagining what the place looked like and who would have been there that night, then remembering all the various nights (and days) spent there.  Looking at the table I can see that Aaron is drinking whiskey and coke (no ice - we never had to specify all the bar staff knew without asking)  and I was probably drinking Red Bull and lemonade, my favourite 'driver's drink' at the time.

The main reason though is while we were sat at this table I believe I made some comment about my top being uncomfortably tight. Aaron looked at me and said 'Well I reckon you're pregnant'.  I remember not knowing what to say, I knew it was possible, and even quite likely but we'd been not NOT trying (if that makes sense?!) for so long that I'd kind of given up wondering each month.

He was convinced but I just shrugged it off and joined him for a cigarette (yeah - I know don't leave me comments telling me it's bad, I'll just move them into the spam folder!)   That cigarette was not at all enjoyable and I put it out, decided that the Red Bull was making me jittery and had a cup of tea instead.

The next day I brought a pregnancy test on the way home from work, (well that and a box of tampax - I was hedging my bets!)   and he was right.... little Leo was on his way!

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Also linking up to BritMums blog prompts

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Getting back in the habit

Several weeks ago I completed a fitness assessment with MG Health and Fitness, I enjoyed finding out that apparently I'm fitter than I think I am, and survived the run up the hill, I was advised on the areas I need to focus on and how best to move forward not just for short term solutions but to work towards a long term fitness goal.

A few days later I was back for another class and I was all committed to my new plan, then the following day I picked up Leo awkwardly and put my back out - you may have seen me moaning about it on twitter / facebook! Although Claire from MG helped me out it meant I had to miss classes, I could hardly stand up let alone get to the studio!

It doesn't take much to get me out of an exercise routine, so I really had to force myself back there this week but I know that if I don't get stronger / fitter then the problems will continue.  As Claire is out the country Mike was taking the Legs Bums & Tums class. It's a good job I can't blog as I'm exercising as the words running threw my head were not printable!

Having only really exercised at home with DVDs or on my own at the gym, working out with an instructor is very new to me. Mike is a great trainer and a hard taskmaster!   I will very easily give up on a particular exercise when working on my own when I think I can't go on..... not something you can get away with there!

It is reassuring to know that working with a trained instructor I'm much less likely to do something that would be bad for my weak points (back, knees, shoulder....I could go on - and do quite often!) and as they are small classes it almost becomes a personal training session as he adapts it to suit, of course the downside to it is the fact it makes it a lot harder to hide in the crowd and have a sneaky rest!

So, Legs, Bums & Tums - I'll be back next week so it can't have been all bad. I really enjoyed it and now am just hoping I'll be able to walk in the morning :)



This is NOT a sponsored post, I am choosing to attend MG Health & Fitness Studio and recommending it to anyone in the local area - I have not been asked to write about it.

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