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!