Friday, 12 January 2018

The one with the massive flashback

Facebook drives me mad a lot of the time, not mad enough to not live on it constantly of course (It's not that I *want* too, I HAVE to because of my work, well that and I'm far too nosy not to!)  It's full of rubbish a lot of the time, but also lots of little gems, funny things and random links that are a major time suck but so addictive.

Every now and again though it throws up a gem, or in this case inspiration for a blog post...

Recently I saw a link to an 80's nostalgia website and this particular post was all about the 'Come and Praise' hymn book that surely every 80s kid held in their grubby little hands once upon a time.

(I couldn't find the original post, so I'm making my own!)

We used this book every morning in assembly throughout my primary school years. They were kept in a box and handed out at the door as we left the classroom to go to the 'Big Hall' for assembly.  There were many very battered copies in the box and a few brand new shiny ones. It was always a bit of a 'thing' to get one of the new ones!

I searched for 'Come and Praise' on youtube and was instantly transported back to those days,  sat cross-legged on the floor, or in later years having the privilege of sitting on actual chairs at the back of the hall - in the 4th year (year 6 for all you young ones out there!)  or in the 3rd year when the older ones were out.   Listening to whichever teacher was playing the piano to accompany our dulcet tones.

(Do schools still have pianos?  I'm guessing not,  maybe an ipod?!)

We never sung all of the hymns in there, I remember different teachers used to have their own favourites and you could usually guess which one we'd be singing by who was taking assembly.

I loved singing along with my favourites until I realised it was more 'cool' not to sing, and then instead you'd just mumble along, enough to not get told off for not singing if spotted by a teacher!

We never thought about the words particularly (well, not always but more on that in a moment) and it would possibly be too religious for schools these days?  I have no idea having nothing to do with UK primary schools since 1989!

I don't think our school wasn't a religious school as such, although thinking back we did have the local vicar come in quite often with his guitar!

Here are a few 'classics' that I came across on youtube,  I was surprised at how many of the words I could remember as they played.

Autumn Leaves

Autumn days, when the grass is jewelled
and the silk inside a chestnut shell
Jet planes waiting in the air to be refuelled
All these things I love so well
No, I mustn't forget,
No, I mustn't forget,
To say a great big thank you
I mustn't forget

One More Step Along The World I Go

One more step along the world I go
One more step along the world I go
One more step along the world I go
From the old things to the new
Keep me travelling along with you

Cross Over The Road

Cross over the road my friend
Ask the Lord his strength to lend
His compassion has no end
Cross over the road

When I Needed a Neighbour

When you needed a neighbour
where you there, where you there?
When you needed a neighbour
Where you there?

(I most remember everyone always sniggering at the line 'I was cold I was naked'   and I think in the end they actually told us we had to skip that verse, I have a feeling that everyone 'forgot' and in the end we were not allowed to sing this hymn!)

When a Knight Won His Spurs

When a Knight Won His Spurs in the stories of old
he was gentle and brave, he was gallant and bold
With a shield on his arm and a lance in his hand
For God and for valour he rode through the land.

My main memory of this is actually the poem by Allan Ahlberg which went to the same tune and changed out some of the lyrics to a teacher interupting her singing to tell off the class.

When a Knight Won His Spurs in the stories of old, he was 'FACE THE FRONT DAVID BRIGGS, WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN TOLD' 

Give Me Oil In My Lamp

Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning,
Give me oil in my lamp I pray,
Give me oil in my lamp keep me burning,
Keep me burning till the break of day

I remember everyone singing the 'Sing Hosan -NA' bits really loudly and stressing the ending, antoher thing that drove the teachers mad!

Of course there were more,
Morning has Broken,  never did like that one much,
Lord of The Dance - can't remember how much I liked it at the time but I like it now!  I loved Michael Flatley's (he of the independantly flailing legs) Lord Of The Dance so they kind of changed it a lot for me.
Kumbayah My Lord - what does that even mean?!  (ok, just googled it, it means 'Come by Here)
All Things Bright and Beautiful

Were you a child of the 80s? Let me know your favourite or tell me any classics I missed!

Monday, 8 January 2018

Geocaching Day

It's been a long time since we went geocaching, maybe even a whole year but on Tuesday 2nd Jan I suddenly decided to download the app again and planned to go out with the boys the following day.

They were excited about the idea, especially after our recent 'adventuring' walk and even more so when it rained so much first thing in the morning ensuring there would be plenty of puddles to jump in!

In an unexpected coincidence, it turns out that it was 2 years to the day since we had found our first geocache, so I jokingly announced it was 'Geocaching Day' which impressed the boys even more.

There are many geocaches in the area we'd like to go and find but I thought we'd head to Protaras today, firstly because the boys enjoy the 'off road' ones more than the ones hidden in more busy areas as they get to run, play and explore, and on a day like today to jump in muddy puddles!  There are 8 geocaches in a reasonably small area in the hills of Protaras so I thought it a good place to head to, figuring we've got more chance of finding at least one.

It didn't start well as we couldn't find the first one despite the app taking us straight to where it seemed like it should be.  Once we start looking in a specific area the boys tend to have limited patience if we don't locate it quickly. They hate to leave without finding it, especially Leo but with others so close they were happy to carry on.

I was unsure if it would be possible for the boys to happily walk around all of them, given that we would more than likely end up going out of our way a few times and still have to walk back to the car, so we drove a little further, closer to the second and third on our list.

We found it without too much trouble, signed the book and took a little blue shell as our treasure, leaving a small black cat figurine in its place.

Onwards and upwards to the next coordinates and as we passed a gazebo, at Loukas request we stopped for a quick rest and a snack.

The next cache, called 'Leapin Lizards' sounded quite interesting and we found it easily once we spotted a pile of rocks which looked a little different.  It was an unusual container, to say the least!

Louka was a bit scared at first, and I have to admit it did look quite realistic hidden in the rocks, but a poke with a stick soon meant they were happy to pick it up!

This time we left a little Playmobil toy treasure map and took a Russian coin in exchange as well as signing the logbook.

It suddenly started to rain heavily so we ran back to the gazebo for cover. Luckily it only lasted a few minutes.

At this point we decided to retreat and head home, the sky was starting to look very dark and I wasn't thrilled about the idea of getting stuck in the middle of nowhere in the pouring rain and driving down random unmade muddy roads with no real idea where I was going!

It was a successful trip though, 2 out of 3 ain't bad!

If you are looking at trying geocaching, you can find out how on the official geocaching website, although we use the C:Geo app from the Google play store (not a sponsored post, just preempting the question!)

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Winter Walks

I love going for winter walks in Cyprus, it's something we have so rarely done yet when I do bother to get out its' great, especially now everyone can walk (well, Aaron not so much at the moment but we can leave him at home!)  and generally not fall over.

We went out during Christmas week and had a lovely walk along the cliffs in Kapparis and some time on the beach. It was very warm, despite it feeling chilly at home and I even took my fleece off and sat in a short sleeved t-shirt!

While sitting on the beach watching the boys compete to throw rocks the furthest into the water I thought how amazing it was to be there, in December and how it was better than being indoors.
I thought we need to do this more often,

I thought I need to remember that it's always worth going out

I thought with a smile,  I should write it down so I don't forget

Louka had not wanted to go out when it was first suggested, moaning first about getting dressed, then having to put on shoes etc, I tried to be encouraging and eventually gave up and said' just get in the car, we're going out and you'll enjoy it once we're there'. Leo wasn't overly enthusiastic but just went along with the idea.

It would have been worth it if we'd made it there and back without any moans but it was all worth it when I heard Louka running down the path say 'This is SO MUCH FUN'

They both enjoyed 'adventuring'  -  more fun than merely going for a walk.  We weren't out that long, as walking is not really their thing and they've not got to have walked far before they are 'soooooo tired' and the moaning kind of outweighs any joy gleamed from being out and about,  but it's a start!

So, note to self,   don't forget to get out more!

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Hello 2018

Hello 2018! 

How are we here already? 
I realise it just makes me sound very old but seriously, how can we have reached a year that once sounded so far into the distant future to me that I couldn't have even imagined it.   Of course, once upon a time 1999 seemed like a long way away, but I feel like I've lost a decade somewhere,  if I think 10 years ago I still have to check myself to think it was actually 2008 not 1998!

Last year Aaron was thinking it very funny to constantly tease me about the fact I would be turning 40 in October,  I generally tolerated it as I was ignoring the actual age thing and excited about the forthcoming celebrations.  I did assume that the jokes would stop once I became a 40-something but he still continues,  I wouldn't mind but he's older than me!

So, I'll be 41 this year,  meh,   it's ages away and who actually cares. 40's the new 30 anyway (thanks Pitbull!)  I guess that makes me a proper adult (or was I supposed to be there already?),  it's still not quite as I imagined, I thought I'd have it all figured about by 30 once upon a time!!

What's the plan then for 2018?    Where to even begin?
Work, work and more work, I love love love what we do together, and the new directions we are also going in but I've got to make a plan to keep up with it all. It's not going to be easy but nothing worthwhile is - (who said that? Sure I read that somewhere!)   It's fine though, I've got this!

Family, health, diet, fitness, housework, blogging?, friends,   yep! Let's get juggling!

I don't 'do' resolutions, especially in January, but I like the idea of a 'word' for the year.  I'm sure I've picked one at least once before but having looked back through previous January posts I didn't think to mention it on here it seems!

Going with the first word that popped into my mind, and that made sense the more I thought about it is 


On what?  Well, everything!
All of it, but one thing at a time.  I want to pause and plan and then get on with it all.  

(and I still really want to blog, I'm just not that great at juggling the three websites, so this is always the one that has to give!) 

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