Project 365 – Week 35

Sunday 23rd August. My baby turned six. We woke up in Plymouth, having booked the Travelodge there knowing we’d be going to the Eden Project the previous day. She opened her presents, we went off for a huge breakfast, then made our way back home via Stonehenge. Here she is modelling her buddingSTEM t-shirt which arrived recently – I contributed to the Kickstarter campaign they did, and gave H the t-shirt for her birthday.

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Monday 24th August. Getting Home Learning done for school. Yep, going into Year 2 it seems you get things to do over the Summer Holidays. So this is her Knight outfit. My work is done.

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Tuesday 25th August. Had to take H for a haircut and for her eye check up at the hospital, both of which went well. We have to trawl Charity shops for Enid Blyton books, and found two more. I spotted MC Miker and DJ Sven on the floor. Truly awful record (‘The Holiday Rap’) but this is what all our old 7″ records from the eighties look like now. Maybe.

bad records

Wednesday 26th August. We arrived in Amsterdam – tired after a 4am start but ready to explore a city none of us had been to. After forgetting to charge my camera battery last week, it was the first thing I did when I got home from Cornwall, so I have decent quality Miffy pictures alongside my substandard phone ones. I’m much less cross about it! Here’s one of the Miffy Statues from the Miffy Art Parade – they’re all being removed now, so there’s probably only a month or so left.

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Thursday 27th August. Utrecht. A long-standing place I’ve wanted to visit – to wander around the streets where Dick Bruna lives, to find out what inspired him, to go to the Miffy Museum (Dick Bruna Huis – it’s being refurbished but there’s a huge exhibition over the road at the main museum) and just to be there. I grew up with Miffy, H has too, but also my dad, when he was alive and went for a break in the Netherlands with my mum, picked up a Miffy for me (but lost it), as he knew how much I loved that bunny back in the seventies. To be in Utrecht meant a lot. Where else would you get Miffy traffic lights?

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Friday 28th August. Back to Amsterdam – and a trip to the Library for the views, a walk around some of the old city and to the Museum of Resistance (which has a fantastic new Children’s area which I’ll go into on another post), before finding more Miffy’s (Miffies?), and heading back to Amsterdam Centraal to make our way home again. This statue is in the Hortus Botanicus and was created by Dick Bruna’s daughter Madelon. I’m so pleased we got to this one, as you had to pay – they let us in for €4.50 as it was about to close, and H for free.

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Saturday 29th August. A lazy day around the house – we needed it after a busy last week. H was given a Miffy stencil, so she set about stencilling our back yard. I love it!

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Project 365 – Week 34

Sunday 16th August. We went to St Michael’s Mount – somewhere I’ve always wanted to go, so really pleased we did it. H was a bit worried as the tide was getting close to the causeway on the way back, and we had no money as there are no cashpoints there (but the shops do cashback) – but we made it back in time! A lovely afternoon, and I had completely forgotten the story of Jack the Giant Killer was based there!

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Monday 17th August. One of the biggest benefits of being National Trust members in Cornwall is the free parking – as we found when we went to tons of places and didn’t have to pay a penny. So we spent plenty in the cafe’s instead! We visited Kynance Cove and were so impressed – a beautiful beach. We bumped into friends too, and by the end of the day H had a body board (bought in Poldhu just up the road!).

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Tuesday August 18th. We knew this would be our last day of good sun, with possible appearances on Friday so headed for the beach again, this time to Gunwalloe Church Cove, another National Trust beach which was quiet, big enough to make a boat in the sand, and empty enough we bumped into our friends again and hung out with them for the day – with H getting more confident on a body board too!

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Wednesday August 19th. Making the most of our Merlin Passes we went to the SeaLife Seal Sanctuary in Gweek, where there was a Lego trail, plus additional questions which H enjoyed doing. It’s all outdoors, so not many places to shelter from the rain, but the rain wasn’t so bad. Our plans of doing two things in the same day were delayed by the rain, however. The Seal Sanctuary was wonderful – seeing how old seals are kept there, and seals are rescued and looked after until they’re ready to go back out to the wild was a real reassurance when you might have concerns about the SeaLife Aquariums (which I’m sure a lot of people do). A truly lovely place. This is H looking for Humboldt Penguins.

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Thursday 20th August. This picture could have been SO much better – if only I’d remembered my camera battery. Foolish things to forget when going on holiday, your charger. So I had to rely on my phone. Which takes photos like this.

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but also takes photos like this, as after we’d been to Pendennis Castle (using our English Heritage Membership), we went to Glendurgan Gardens (using our National Trust membership) – the maze was excellent!

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Friday 21st August. Shaun’s birthday! So we went to St. Ives, which was lovely. I loved walking around, I loved going into a Seasalt shop, and I loved spending money on so many things which will be memories of our day there. I want to go back. I also don’t want to do the park and ride and get the bus down the hill, as a fiver is a right rip off, when you see what a short distance you go!

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Saturday 22nd August. We left Helston, and went to The Eden Project – a wonderful day out. Again, relying on camera photos, and a full review to come – probably with awful photos. We’ll just have to go again 🙂

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Project 365 – Week 33

Sunday 9th August. We went to see Horrible Histories Barmy Britain part 3 at the theatre. I thought I was being clever getting us seats second from the front, but oh, silly me. We were in fact the front row. Which was fine, but being long sighted I had problems focusing as it was pretty much in my face! But it was excellent. Here’s H.

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Monday 10th August. After the horrible fire we took H to Halfords to size her up on a bike. She’s tall enough for a 24″ one now – scary. She’s a big girl.

H new bike

Tuesday 11th August. This one is a complete cheat as I did take it on Tuesday, but the aftermath of Monday meant I didn’t post it anywhere until Wednesday. Shaun took Monday off to get a smart meter fitted at home, and we have a little gadget which tells us how much power we’re using. This has made us realise some things use a lot of power, and we’re really cutting back. Interesting, though.

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Wednesday 12th August. Found some Minions Kinder Eggs. Bought two. Didn’t have time to eat them.

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Thursday 13th August. Found time to eat them.

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Friday 14th August. Stayed here. It was spacious, warm and quiet, and part of a cunning plan to beat the M5. It worked.

Wooden wigwams

Saturday 15th August. Stopped at Trellissick as we beat the M5 and arrived in Cornwall nice and early. H did a few more of her 50 Things tasks!

Picking apples

Project 365 – Week 31

Sunday 26th July. Drove to Guildford to watch Inside Out at the cinema. H really enjoyed it, I cried several times (proper tears falling from my eyes in a ‘I am so obviously crying’ kind of way) and I think Shaun liked it too. We went to GBK for lunch beforehand, where H got to do a spot of colouring in while waiting for our burgers.

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Monday 27th July. I’m taking the train home to Wallington at the moment, having to pick H up from Holiday Club, which she’s enjoying and is with lots of her friends. Spotted this at Waddon. Keeping all options open there.

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Tuesday 28th July. My new super healthy regime (more to come on that before the month is out) meant I spotted this ad on our local bus stop. NEW MARMITE! Now it may or may not be common knowledge, but I have a Marmite Archive which has different varieties from over the years. Shaun (Vegemite lover) does not understand it, but he doesn’t need to as people who eat Vegemite have not been spoilt like us Marmite lovers.

Groovy Marmite

Wednesday 29th July.  A pile of Dictonaries and Thesauruses I ordered in for some mums at school to save on shipping – to be handed out this weekend. I like to keep busy!

oxford dictionary and thesaurus

Thursday 30th July. The sky looked great tonight.

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Friday 31st July. We’re team Frozen – H’s goodies arrived today. She’s been doing some of the activities on the cards and seems really motivated by it which is good! You can sign up here, and it’s to help encourage your child to do 10 minutes of exercise every day – while H is pretty active anyway, this is giving us a bit of variety.

team frozen

Saturday 1st August – Wember-leeeeeee! Finally made it – it has been just over six years since we last went (when York City were in the League Two play off final and H was six months in my tummy) – she loved it, enjoyed the mexican waves, and only got tired right at the end (so I was kind of glad Notts County didn’t equalise) – but soon perked up when she spotted the playground right next to the stadium – though she was tired and grumpy on the journey home.

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Project 365 – Week 30

Sunday 19th July. Today I messed up. I want to take H to a game of football before we go to Wembley, so decided on a friendly that Crystal Palace ladies were playing. We turned up at Bromley’s ground, only to find we were two hours too late – it was a 1pm kick off. So we kept on driving, making the most of our English Heritage membership, driving to Eltham Palace instead. The day was saved, but no football.

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Monday 20th July. H’s last day of school for the year. One of my late days at work, though I realised I was on holiday club hours, so made it to the childminders’ place for 3pm, a bit earlier than we expected. So good for it all to be over, even if H has several weeks of holiday club for the holidays. School’s out!

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Tuesday 21st July. H’s birthday present sorted. Ordered from Sports Direct on Sunday, arrived Tuesday. Now hidden away for another month.

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Wednesday 22nd July. Did our second video for the Collins Picture Atlas review. It went much more smoothly, as in, H spoke well whereas I waffled on and made myself sound foolish. But I think a bit of perspective is in order. It was only a few years ago we all realised Mexico was part of North America. I’ve said that at work we need an atlas with each continent and country correctly defined. So this atlas would be pretty handy in that respect. But I didn’t want to actually *say* that. So I just said something else badly. Here’s H reading it.

h reading Thursday 23rd July. We went to the pub after work to hand over the cushion we’d crocheted. I can’t crochet so didn’t join in, but was there in spirit. I think the pub loved it – it was our little tribute to Andy, the bar manager who died recently from Sepsis. He was so supportive of our little group – even if he kept forgetting to book our meetings in the diary 🙂 I’ll miss having my indie music chats with him. H and J from next door walked back home nicely together afterwards. h walking

Friday 24th July. Wet. Not helped by standing on a wobbly paving stone at Sutton Station and this happening. 

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Saturday 25th July. A busy day. We started with H’s football class, my eye test and new glasses, going lavender picking at the local harvest, then back to Carshalton Athletic to watch a friendly. We FINALLY got to a game. Attendance 102 and H loved it – and was focused on the game for quite a bit of the time which was great and sets my mind at ease for next weekend at Wembley. Phew.

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Project 365 – Week 29

Sunday 12th July. We went to Shrek’s Adventure on the South Bank, which was fun – though we were shattered so made the most of our Merlin passes and sat on the London Eye for 30 minutes afterwards. You can guarantee you’ll get a seat there, you see. We’re over half way through having our passes and I’m wondering if we’ll renew next year – we’ve definitely got our money’s worth.

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Monday 13th July. The last Rainbows of term, I get my Mondays back! H made a medal, and got ANOTHER badge which has been sewn onto her uniform so I don’t lose it between now and September. Phew!

H rainbows badges

Tuesday 15th July. And a swimming badge too – her 15m! We thought she’d got her Stage 3, but her teacher says they’re not quite there yet, so I guess that might come around Christmas time if she keeps up the hard work. I’m hoping for a break with all this sewing…

H 15 M

Wednesday 16th July. Received a big box of Dora and Friends goodies – more to blog about and very soon. You might spot the little pictures over on my sidebar. I had to carry it home on the train and fortunately didn’t drop anything. The box is also large enough to hold all H’s schoolwork from the last two years! (which we received on Friday)

dora and friends

Thursday 17th July. Knitting! My feeble attempts at crochet have created this. While I’m just not good enough to join in the squares we’re doing for the cushion for our local pub, for the former bar manager who died recently, I’m good enough to make a hat for a half of Guinness. Fine by me.

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Friday 18th July. So I won a £20 Nickelodeon Store voucher, went to buy myself something nice (like say, an early Rugrats DVD as the first few series were awesome), and ended up buying H some Spongebob pyjamas instead. Can’t complain, as she does love the great spongey one, and it looks much better on her than me too! Anyway, the original pyjamas were too small, so Shaun swapped them for these today and advises the Nickelodeon Store on Leicester Square is much nicer to visit (read: quieter) on a weekday.

spongebob pyjamas

Saturday 19th July. Football again, H has decided which name she wants on her birthday England shirt – she wants 15 – Stoney. So I’ve ordered from Sports Direct who have England shirts for £22 at the moment, with additional letters. Sorted. Phew. Anyway, my favourite bit of football is the fact H runs, runs, runs and walks just a little bit. It has to be the most exercise she gets every week (about an hour and a half of doing stuff) and she doesn’t complain. Well, she does complain about stuff, but not about running around for that long. I love that she gets to play with Shaun at the very start too, having a little kickaround before it all starts. I watch from the side and occasionally scare the girls when I decide to join in (well, it makes them scream anyway). We’re thinking about going to watch Crystal Palace Ladies play this Sunday.

saturday football

Project 365 – Week 28

Sunday 5th July. H had a party, and we went to buy a new umbrella for our outdoor area. However, we don’t have as much money any more. Fortunately, we have some Love2Shop vouchers. We had an awful experience in Homebase the previous weekend, being kept at Customer Services for 45 minutes before we walked out, so I reserved in store at Argos. Shaun paid for the umbrella, only for them to have a power cut – not their fault, mind! About 45 minutes later we finally had our umbrella!

blue parasol

Monday 6th July. Our paddling pool has has holes in it. Arse.

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Tuesday 7th July. When you get a song stuck in your head, your child tries to video you singing it and ends up taking a bad photo. AKA too tired to remember to take a picture, this is all there was.


Wednesday 8th July. Impromptu meet up after school today, which resulted in H and her friend writing some songs. Bear in mind she’s five, likes One Direction and is learning a Bruno Mars song for school. This is the result.


Thursday 9th July. My desk fan. Best thing ever. A USB desk fan. All MINE. 

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Friday 10th July. Gave H her copy of ‘First News’ which she settled to read. We weren’t sure if she was too young, but had to bear in mind although she’s still five, she’s doing mostly Year 2 work at school anyway, including watching Newsround. She knew it was the ten year anniversary of the London Bombings this week – I had no idea she knew anything about it. So I thought it was probably time she read a bit more.

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Saturday 11th July. Football of course. Seven girls turned up this week – enough to make a team. They were given pink bibs. H wasn’t happy about this (she hates pink, loves blue). I chatted with another parent about how a lot of people are saying it’s sexist the girls get to go for free, whereas boys pay – but there are 20 boys, to usually 2 or 3 girls. 7 girls is a huge step forward – having a team of girls is massive. They were given pink bibs and called the Pink Ladies which I approved of for the Grease connection, but that was it. They were fabulous, so proud of them all – even though they didn’t win and had help (two of the girls were really little, and all the boys were much older). We were all cheering on the pink ladies at the side of the pitch, it was lovely.

pink ladies

Project 365 – Week 26

Sunday 21st June. I bought tickets for Miffy the Movie, so headed out with H early first thing. Poor Shaun, his Father’s Day not starting off so well as it was the London to Brighton bike ride, and all trains had stopped from our local station, so he had to drive us to Morden! But it was fun, and soon we’ll be Miffy bloggers which makes us happy!

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Monday 22nd June. For my birthday present I bought a spiralizer type thing as I need to lose weight (more of that to come with my latest monthly update, it isn’t good news) – and finally cracked tasty courgette noodles tonight.

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Tuesday 23rd June. After school H decided to play me a few songs – except the only songs she can play are Hot Cross Buns and Jingle Bells. Although I’m pleased she can play them both on recorder and her little piano… ahem.

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Wednesday 24th June. We were sent some fabulous books from the new Collins Big Cat series. Now H is a Free Reader at school these are ideal, and already she has been reading at least two a night, or just looking for things in the world atlas. Our review will be a video one… this could be interesting!

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Thursday 25th June. A perfect sitting outside after school day, eating ice lollies. There’s an Ice Cream van which parks outside school which offends me (school can do nothing about it) – they’re expensive, compared to our super cheap lollies. So yeah to us!

ice lolly

Friday 26th June. Our laundry basket had fallen apart so we needed to go to Ikea, so went after school. Ikea now has the veggie balls, also suitable for vegans. I’m not vegan, but it’s handy to know. They were pretty delicious too – and for a plate for me, and a child one for H plus drinks, it came in at around £6 which is a bargain. I was full for the rest of the evening too.

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Saturday 27th June. A social BBQ gathering, and a lovely sunny day too. I got this picture of H inside a tube in the garden – she had a brilliant time, and it ended up being a late one. So late in fact I was asleep on the settee by 10pm, but awake in time for the England Women’s game at midnight, and stressed enough to stay up until 2am on Sunday morning. I haven’t done that for a long time…

H party

Project 365 – Week 25

Sunday 14th June. We went for a drive to our new Aldi (which didn’t have the Lacura makeup I was looking for), and for a walk to Cane Hill. I’ve loved the Cane Hill building since I first saw it – when it existed it stood on the top of a hill above Coulsdon looking down. Sadly, there was a fire and most of it has been destroyed. Worth a google though. This is the main entrance these days. Sad. It looked like this back in 2008.

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Monday 15th June. The latest Anorak Magazine arrived for H last week, and she hasn’t put it down. She probably should soon, as the new Storytime Magazine arrived too, and there’s an Okido due imminently as well!

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Tuesday 16th June. H’s friend came for a playdate after school, and both of them insisted I play with them. This is WRONG! At their age they should be getting embarrassed to be seen with me. I’m obviously doing something wrong. Anyway “Elsa” decided to jump on the trampoline while wearing a Hungry Hippo Hat. While singing that James Bay song they all sung in their assembly. SAVE ME NOW.


Wednesday 17th June. H keeps growing – or her clothes are shrinking. Love this dress, but it’s Age 7 – big on top, but not long enough already. Sigh!

H dress

Thursday 18th June. Waiting for my train at Mitcham Junction.

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Friday 19th June. A sad day. The funeral of a workmate and friend, and a great send off. Work closed for the day, and there was a good turnout for the funeral. Afterwards we had drinks in the pub over the road where more people from the past came to pay their respects. I don’t want to post a picture of anything to do with today, but there are plenty.

Saturday 20th June. My 30 year school reunion. Way back in 1985 someone in the system in York decided to make all the Grammar Schools comprehensives. Our beloved old Mill Mount school was closed, we merged with the boys’ school (Nunthorpe) up the road and became Millthorpe, and crucially, we never got to go back. Until yesterday. I took an early train back to York, meeting friends in the pub beforehand and all of us going together inside our old school. An amazing day, an amazing old building (it’s Grade II listed). Seeing our old classrooms and traces of the times we were there. Memories. The one thing everyone did makes me smile – we had two sets of stairs in the old building. The (what we thought was grand in our heads until we saw it again) ‘up’ staircase, and the spiral ‘down’ one the servants of the house would have used. So everyone went up the down stairs, and down the up stairs. Obviously I didn’t take this one, my good buddy Sheena did, I’m just going up the ‘down’ stairs. Rebel.

Mill Mount down stairs

Project 365 Week 24

Sunday 7th June.  H got her hair cut – eight inches off – more about that soon. Afterwards we headed to Morden Hall Park who were relaunching the National Trust 50 Things campaign, and had some fantastic creatures for the kids to meet. They weren’t allowed to touch the tarantula, though were allowed to touch the snake. It was really good – and we got several of the easier 50 Things ticked off and stickered while we were there. This is when H met and stroked a giant cockroach.

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Monday 8th June. Rainbows in the park. You probably can’t see it but this field was full of daisies – H stepped really carefully around them so as not to squash them. I also made it to our new local Decathlon store. Oh my goodness, SO much nicer (and more reasonable) than Sports Direct. I have a new favourite sports shop…

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Tuesday 9th June. H’s hair – in the bag. I need to put them into ponytails to be able to send off to the Little Princess Trust and we’ll be raising money for them too.

H's hair

Wednesday 10th June. This is what a Hungry Hippo looks like. Our dry run for the Carshalton Carnival parade on Saturday. Everything fits. Phew.

Hungry Hippo Carnival

Thursday 11th June. I’ve been sent some wine which is chilling in the fridge, and of course as soon as I get the wine the sunny weather seems to have disappeared!


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Friday 12th June. We still managed to have our tea outside – we’ve done it a few times this week. So pleased we bought a new table and chairs set a couple of months ago, as we’re getting close to July now, when our rent increases by £230 a month. Living in London and renting is a big pile of poo right now and there’s nothing we can do about it.

eating indian food outdoors

Saturday 13th June. The day of Carshalton Carnival, and despite the clouds there were colours and eventually some sunshine. Being Merlin passholders (which is nothing to do with the fair), and then having to pay £2-£3 a ride at the carnival made me realise how much we’re saving by having them! A lovely day with some sad news, and a visit to the pub afterwards to raise a glass. Now the stupidly busy week coming up is set to start. Oh boy.

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