Friday, 1 August 2014

Olympic Cauldron - Memories of London 2012

Good morning everyone - DH is on holiday so we have been lucky enough to have a visit to London this week - regular readers will know that this is a city that I absolutely love to go and spend time in.  I will share more photos later this week, but I thought I would start with an amazing sight that met my eyes on my first ever visit to the Museum of London. 

Two years ago this week I posted this photo, courtesy of Google, of the Olympic Cauldron lighting up the 2012 Games in London -

Although I was lucky enough to go to an Olympic event, I wasn't one of those fortunate enough to be at the lighting of the Cauldron.  I was amazed however by it's beauty, and the sheer feat of engineering and design that it represented.

So, imagine my astonishment/excitement at encountering this yesterday...

...taking pride of place in the museum, which I understand is now it's permanent home.  It is every bit as amazing as I imagined...

a little bit about this masterpiece...
What I hadn't realised is that every petal is different, each was made by beating the metal around a wooden form...

Each petal as beautiful and unique as the country that it represented...

I just loved it and felt quite moved by how beautiful it was, and what it represented.  If you are ever in London, do visit the museum, it is free and well worth a few hours.  The staff are really friendly and helpful.  All being well I will share some photos of the other exhibits soon, but in the meantime one last glimpse of this beauty...

Hope you are having a great week!


Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen

We had another birthday here yesterday, this time it was the turn of my Darling Daughter who turned Sweet Sixteen (I used to love the song of that title by Neil Sedaka when I was little, my brother - who is 13 years older than me - had a Dansette record player, and I used to play this song over and over! Yes, I am showing my age, I know).

She had a lovely day, with lots of lovely cards

including this beautifully hand-drawn one by her very talented bestest friend

lots of presents...

a trip to the cinema to see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - we all went together as a family, even the boys were impressed by her choice!

Then my bestest and her daughter, who is my daughter's bestest, came to visit in the evening, with a lovely posy of sweetly perfumed Sweet Peas

and lovely gifts, including a beautiful hand painted gift by my friend's daughter, who, you wont be surprised to hear, is heading off to Art College in September

It is so lovely that our daughters get on so very well, my bestest and I met many a few years ago at Art College....and of course it was Sue who introduced me to blogging...

We had a lovely Nandos-styled meal cooked by DH and cakes which my Darling Daughter made, but these didn't last long enough to be photographed - they were chocolate cupcakes, filled with chocolate ganache and iced with salted caramel frosting - oh my goodness they were delicious!!

She said she had a lovely day, which I am so pleased about as she is the most lovely, sweet, adorable daughter anyone could wish for.  She is probably one of the most unselfish people I have ever met, she has a heart of pure gold.  I am very blessed with my kids I have to say, I am so very thankful for them.

We now have a short birthday break, until it is eldest son's birthday on 31 August.  Quite a lot of exciting things happening between then and now, more of which later.

But today, we are heading off to Manchester to see relatives and to enjoy a lovely Middle Eastern meal.

Have a lovely day, Helenxx

Sunday, 27 July 2014

18th Birthday

Happy Birthday to my third eldest son who has just turned 18.  However did that happen, seems only yesterday that I was bringing him home...

Darling daughter donned her apron and made him a lovely lemon cheesecake for his birthday cake

She even made the ginger biscuits that made up the crust - even though her brother had chosen cheesecake so that she wouldn't have to slave over a hot oven...

The entire confection was covered with lemon flavoured meringue sprinkles and popping candy

She is getting quite arty at taking cake photos...
It was absolutely delicious, and didn't hang around for long!

He had a lovely day, got lots of presents and declared himself delighted with all of them.  He is such a lovely lad, with a very droll sense of humour.  He is (as all my kids are) very close to my Darling Mum who he spends each Saturday morning with, as well as visiting in the week.  She enjoys having long discussions with him about topics ranging from history to Doctor Who!

Thanks so much to all of you who made such lovely comments on my last post, I really appreciated it.  We celebrated again this week as my second son achieved his HNC in Media with merit this week - this is brilliant in and of itself, but also means he goes on to take the HND next year.  We are so proud of him.

Have a lovely Sunday, Helenxx

Saturday, 19 July 2014


Hello everyone, hope you are well and that if you are in the UK you haven't been too badly affected by the overnight storms.  A lot of rain here, but not too much thunder, which is a good thing as last October our street was hit by a lightening ball - it fried our PS3 and the internet router, and knocked out everyone's Sky boxes.  To add insult to thankfully no personal injury, it was just as the winner of Great British Bakeoff was being announced so we all missed the ending!

Anyway, yesterday was the hottest day of the year so far, but we needed to be out and about.  Inhalers packed, we headed off to De Montfort Hall in Leicester

This is why it was so busy on a Friday afternoon:
Yes, we were there for a degree ceremony.  The hall itself is very grand inside...

Here is some detail of the Grand Organ...

The music was fantastic as we waited for the proceedings to begin...

The Senate looked very grand assembled on the stage (I actually performed on this very stage when I was 11!)

You might be thinking that I was there to see one of my kids graduate, but hopefully that will be in the next couple of years.  In fact I was returning to this stage, to collect this:

It was wonderful to be there with my husband and children, all of whom have supported, encouraged and put up with me whilst working on my degree.  I felt like they had all earned it too!  Not to mention friends who have had to put up with me not always being able to see them when I have been up to my neck in work and studying.  Just goes to show, one is "never too old" to achieve something new.  It was wonderful as well to see how many young people were there, picking up their first degrees, just starting out on exciting new journeys. 

So, at the moment I am enjoying having a bit more time to myself, but by the autumn, if times past are anything to go by,  I know I will be looking for something else to study.  But in the meantime, just enjoying the memory of yesterday - still can't believe that I did it!!

Have a lovely weekend, Helenxx

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Schools Out (for summer!)

This picture (courtesy of Google) pretty much sums it up!  Seven weeks of illness whilst working have taken a toll, but the results of all that work has been worth it, it has been fantastic to see the students achieving what we hoped they would achieve.

So now it is time for we teachers to chill out, relax and re-group (and for me to hopefully recover from the bronchitis that has way outstayed it's welcome).

Hope to be back as soon as I have re-gained my energy!


Saturday, 21 June 2014

Midsummer's Day

Hello everyone - here we are on Midsummer's Day in the UK and the sun is actually shining!

After a long, hard week of illness and struggling into work, it is lovely to have time to just relax and enjoy the little things in life.

Blue skies, washing blowing on the line...

Kitchen window sill plants - much-used herbs (the mint is lovely in a tall glass of lemonade, with ice and slices of lime, just the thing to sooth me after another long bout of coughing...

My little aloe plant...

The promise of summer strawberries...

Hanging basket just starting to come into flower...

Beautiful Calla Lily bought as a get-well-soon present for me from my bestest friend...

These were an absolute bargain from the supermarket, three pots for £2.00....

Their perfume hits you when you arrive at the front door.  Love the perfection of each flower...

And the ghostly day-time, waning moon...

Hope you have a lovely weekend, apparently DH is firing up the BBQ later, looking forward to that!


Sunday, 15 June 2014

Aint nobody got time for...

(pic courtesy of Google)

Sadly though, it seems that I do have time for it, as that is exactly what the "under-the-weatherness" has turned out to be - yuk.

Can't even do any crochet due to the incessant coughing fits (just typed gits, which made me laugh, which made me cough again!).  Feeling a little tad sorry for myself :(

Anyway, I am taking the antibiotics and using the inhaler as ordered by the Dr.  Trying not to do too much.  Reading lots of your lovely blog posts.  Hoping that I feel much better tomorrow as I need to be at work.

Hopefully will be back soon with more cheerful things!