Sunday, 30 September 2012

Pete's New Trick

Here's Pete's latest trick.  Now that we have new, larger glasses, he can drink out of them as well as his own bowl.  It doesn't matter if it's our water or not!  Now we have to keep an even closer eye on him!

Saturday, 29 September 2012

The Saturday Update

It's been the busiest week so far but we're over halfway to the holidays now!!  Parents' Evening on Tuesday was the real kicker as I didn't get in until 10pm!  I've cycled all week again so you can imagine the joy of my first bike ride home in the dark at that time of night.  We bought some fluorescent vests lately and it's a good job although it didn't help the truck driver spot me on Friday morning - good job I have my wits about me!

There have been several high points of the week - namely losing 500g at Weightwatchers on Monday, coffee with Loreto on Wednesday and snuggle time with Nico - what cold weather was made for.  This afternoon should be another one as we are going bowling with friends.  I can't remember the last time I went bowling and I've never been in Germany.  Should be good fun anyway.

Work has been especially stressful with colleagues off sick and some fall outs in the year group but I think everyone is just feeling the pressure at the moment.  Hopefully the bank holiday next week and the downward slide into the Autumn holidays will help people feel better.

We've been getting into the Killing series one and I've been reading Dracula.  These combined to make my me time in the flat yesterday a little more angsty than usual.  You know when your mind runs away with itself.  It was a bit like the time I watched Sixth Sense and didn't dare get out of bed in the dark for months after in case something reached out and grabbed me!

Anyway, here's to a more stress and angst free week next week.  Looking forward to Wednesday off - especially as it's our anniversary.  Have a good week.

Friday, 28 September 2012


Well, as it draws to a close, a little look back, an idea from Elise.

working hard with our new class.

drinking vanilla lattes with friends.

watching series one of the Killing.

cycling through all weathers.

sleeping as much as possible.

stepping on the scales with more confidence and success.

making social plans with friends and family.

running in the park.

listening to some classic Queen.

watching the leaves turn brown and fall.

wearing raincoats and capes on the way to work.

eating better.

snuggling under blankets with Nico and Pete.

building furniture.

buying books to get me through Autumn.

loving that Autumn means we're on the countdown to Christmas.

reading Robinson Crusoe.

rereading Cloud Atlas.

enjoying being a permanent employee.

feeling cold.

looking forward to October!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Wednesday, 26 September 2012


When I was about nine years old, my parents took us to Greece for our first family holiday abroad.  We had a great time and I still have lovely memories of family fun and learning Greek!  One of the great things to come out of that holiday was my very first penpal - a girl my age called Jessica from Wales.

We had befriended each other in the resort during our time in Greece.  It was quite a coincidence that this lovely family had three children the same ages as us so my brother had a little friend too - they took the inflatable boat a little too far out one day so both fathers had to swim out and bring them back out of the current before they got a telling off.

We wrote to each other for years and even ended up at Manchester University together - both studying languages!  Eventually we unfortunately lost touch (excluding the odd facebook update that is).  Unfortunately with the launch of email, facebook and texting has meant that penpals have more or less become a thing of the past, and I think it is such a shame!

There is nothing quite like getting a handwritten envelope in the post - and the fact that it's not a bill is reassuring.  It's nice to take the time to write a letter.  When I first lived in Germany my gran and I wrote to each other regularly and the letters are a memento that I will always have.  I always keep letters I receive. 

This is all why I am so happy at the moment to have a total of three penpals thanks to the like minded people over at yes and yes.  Thanks to Sarah's monthly 'Network of Nice' hookups I am writing to lovely ladies in Ireland, Spain and New York.  It's so nice getting to know other people this way.  Not feeling the pressure to reply straight away, the way I do with my emails, and taking the time to really put thoughts on paper.  It's also great to get to know how things are in other countries and cultures.  I can't recommend it enough!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012


Following on from what I started last week, and staying close to home again, I wanted to share a little about my first real trip to London.  I say real as I had been to London before.  My first ever trip there was when I was four years old and my dad ran the London marathon (yes, I'm struggling to train for a 10k, some genes just don't get passed down!)

Anyway, many years later, I went back for a real tourist trip to London with my Dad again.We hit the major sights - Tower of London, Tower Bridge, London Eye, Westminster, St Paul's Cathedral, Harrod's, the parks, it was brilliant.  We walked feet weren't happy but we had a great time.   As you can see, we had typical English weather but it didn't spoil things and the best thing...I get to do it all again in May next year with over twenty adolescents!

Monday, 24 September 2012

The Hunger Games

Regular readers will know that I'm a big film fan as well as a bookworm and that when it comes to film adaptations, I have to read the books first.  Some films completely ruin the story for no good reason (My Sister's Keeper?), some just don't translate well into film (Twilight?), and others make the transition brilliantly (Narnia...) and really bring the story to life.

Our latest comparison over the weekend was the Hunger Games.  I read the books back in May and was blown away even though I had heard of the premise of the story and was totally put off by it.  Nico read the first one last week - he's never finished an English book so quickly - they are brilliant reads.  We saw the film on Saturday and found that while there were some changes, and the feelings weren't put over as well as in the book, the film was generally good.  

One thing that I do find sometimes is that I am a bit spoiled by having read the book in that I can't watch the film with fresh eyes and give it a fair comment because I'll always be comparing it.  However, I do like to see the characters come to life and am really looking forward to the sequel which is now being filmed.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Cloud Atlas

I first read this book about five or six years ago and absolutely loved it.  After all that time, I can't believe how much of the story I had forgotten.  I wanted to reread the story to have it fresh in my mind for when the film comes out later this year.  I remembered vaguely five of the six different stories but had forgotten the whole second half of the book.  Did I read it too quick or do I read too much?  I don't know but I'm glad I read it again and can't wait for a trip to the cinema later this year!

I love how it travels through both space and time and retains the link - the sense that all of us are connected somehow and that history repeats itself in different contexts.  Some of the stories were harder to read due to the language but for me, that was still part of the magic of the book, the way the author plays with language.  I'd highly recommend the book and really hope the film does it justice.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

The Saturday Update

Things are good here this week.  I lost 1.3 kilos at Weightwatchers on Monday and have been keeping up to it this week so hopefully more good news on Monday.  Still cycling to work despite the drop in temperatures this week - I look like a yeti with all my layers.

I'm absolutely shattered which is unusual for me three weeks into the new term but it has been pretty full on at work to the extent that we can't find a slot in the schedule for a team meeting until November because we have that much going on between us!

I've finished rereading Cloud Atlas in anticipation of the film (more on that later) and started the second Gordon Ramsey book before moving onto my classics for October.  Nico finished the Hunger Games in record time so we can now indulge in the film and see if it lives up to the book.  

I had a lovely coffee with Loreto on Wednesday in town and we planned one in for next Wednesday as well as bowling next weekend which I must get booked today.  I had a lovely catch up with Hayley in England too so it was quite a girly week.

Also had some good news which should help me achieve some of the goals I was starting to worry about...more on that later.

Next week is more of the same.  Work will be even more full on with parents' evening on Tuesday but I am looking forward to the bowling at the end of the week.  Have a good week!

Friday, 21 September 2012

Scotland - Edinburgh

While we're on the topic of Scotland this week, I thought I'd also fill you in on my other trip there which was to the capital, also with family, for my Dad's 50th birthday.  While I loved the countryside in Scotland on my first trip there, I also loved this city based trip.  I'm a sucker for capital cities anyway but Edinburgh has something really magical in the tiny old streets, the castle, the medieval feel of the place.  I really loved it.

It was easy to reach on the train (so no problems with parking or city driving), we found a nice hotel and ate in nice restaurants.  We walked all those extra calories off, especially as Edinburgh is so hilly, and so all the sights we wanted to - the Castle, the parliament, Princes Street...  It was a brilliant weekend and I'd love to go back with Nico some day.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

The Graduate

At the weekend, we finally got around to watching this old classic.  I already knew the premise of the story but what really surprised me was Dustin Hoffman - he does look so much younger but I was left wondering whether he was actually twenty when he took the part and just looked older because of the style of the day or whether he played it when he was older.  I had to research it and discovered he was actually thirty at the time.  He is really quite a classic actor, one of my favourites.

I won't spoil it for those who haven't seen it but it is worth the watch and one of my favourites from the classics we've seen lately.  The music is also excellent.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Scotland - Lanark

I'm looking back a little this week and remembering some of my favourite holidays.  I'm not very good at keeping the timeline straight in my head but I believe the trip I'm sharing with you today was about five years ago.

I've spent some time in the past and will be spending some time in the future looking into my family history and as my Grandmother's mother came from Lanark in Scotland (near Glasgow) we went up there to spend some family time together and learn a little bit more in the process.

It was my first trip to Scotland and it was beautiful.  I was amazed at the picturesque landscapes and how different it was from England.  We stayed in a little cottage near the banks of Loch Lomond. 

Tuesday, 18 September 2012


Just got back from my second Weightwatchers meeting and after a very nervous weigh in (the lady is very quiet while she works it out and I ate a lot of home made ice cream last week - all pointed up though) - I lost 1.3 kilos (about 3 lbs).  My goal was 500g so I am very pleased and plan to keep it up.

I figured my new favourite post run song is now appropriate here as I wave goodbye to another kilo at last.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Three Week Countdown

This weekend I realised it is now just three weeks to the big 10k in Bremen.  It just so happens that I have three weeks left on the training plan which I haven't touched since we went on holiday.  I'm not quite sure how I am going to fit in runs during the week yet but I did a 4k run by myself yesterday and while I could tell I've been out of it for a while, I didn't do too badly and felt good about it.  I took the Ipod with me and finished off with Queen's 'Another One Bites the Dust' which I think I'm going to play at the end of each training session til I get through this!!  

I'll be glad to have done it and hopefully it has a positive effect on my fitness and weight .. but there'll be no running on the list next year, 10k is the most I can manage, if I manage that!

Sunday, 16 September 2012


Having read a lot about Etsy on various blogs that I read, I decided to finally make the leap, set up my own account and make my very first purchase in honour of my friend's birthday.  I bought here these beautiful earrings as she is very into earrings:

buy them here!

This week I thought I would give you a glimpse into the kind of things you can buy there along the theme of the last couple of weeks - back to school.

buy it here!
I love this Dr. Seuss print, and you can order it in a whole range of colours!

buy it here!
Lovely range of name tags for all your school goodies - again, available in a range of colours with different little mascots.  So cute!

buy it here!
LOVE this headband - so colourful and cute, it makes me wish I was six years old again!

buy it here!
And last but not least, a lovely school bag!  I love the nice relaxed style and the fresh colours.

Have a browse for yourself - it's wonderful for presents and inspiration.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

The Saturday Update

It's been a busy week at work again this week.  First we had the last two days of induction week for year five and then we had to get back into normal lessons.  It went quite well.  We managed to keep a trip on the schedule despite thunderstorms on Tuesday and with my regular classes, there are just two I really need to keep an eye on control wise.  As well as that we had year team meetings to plan the class trip in October, Whiteboard training and unfortunately, our first call to parents for a particular naughty pupil in our class but at least we are on top of things!  

On a personal level, it was my first week back at Weightwatchers and so far I'm feeling good.  Even though I don't entirely trust them any more, my scales at home say I have lost three pounds (and that's despite the delicious Hawaiian Chicken on Sunday) so we will see on Monday.  I only got on them to give me an extra boost to stay on track over the weekend.  I need to get back into running ready for the 10k but for the second week running, I've cycled to work every day, earning me an extra 20 WW points!

This morning I'm heading to Ikea with Loreto as we are out of DVD space now.  Apart from that we're planning on a quiet weekend.  The weather really turned this week and I'm really feeling it with the sniffles and a cold sore on the way so need to rest!  I finished Robinson Crusoe - my classic for the month and started re-reading Cloud Atlas in anticipation of the film later this year.  We've also booked our trip to the Harz in October with Dad, staying in Goslar this time - looking forward to that.

Friday, 14 September 2012

A song for the weekend...

In my quest for more classic films, I inadvertently bought the remake of Footloose.  We watched it last weekend and surprisingly - I really loved it!  The music is fantastic.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Haiwaiian Chicken

Here's the delicious dinner we enjoyed on Sunday as a kind of blow out before I went back to Weightwatchers.  Nico cooked me a lovely Chicken with pineapple and cheese.  Most of the sauce and rice went untouched as I was so full after the main.  I think it helped on the diet though since I really didn't need to eat much on Monday,..or Tuesday...