Monday, 26 September 2011

Calendar Girls

This is a very inspiring story and a totally different theatre production to Ghost that I saw on Friday. It was at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool. There were lots of top names in Calendar Girls, Lynda Bellingham, Jan Harvey, Deena Payne, Bruno Langley, Rula Lenska, Ruth Madoc and Joe McGann to name a few so I was really looking forward to it. (Jennifer Ellison was advertised as being in it but she wasn't.) We took my parents in law, Sylvia and Hughie, for their Christmas present as they will be away in Australia.
Well, I don't know what I can say really, it was a very big disappointment! During the first half none of the cast wore a microphone so we could barely hear anyone, that wasn't entirely their fault, it was opening night and the theatre was a sell out and so many people were coughing, sneezing and rustling. There were quite a number of people complaining around us during the interval about the sound and a lady a couple of rows back actually went to speak to a member of staff at the front. She told her they were aware of the problem and it would be sorted for the second half. Unfortunately, once they were wearing microphones it started echoing around the theatre, almost like they'd over compensated, a couple of scenes later and they did get the levels right but we felt most of the storyline was in the first half and we'd missed out on most of that! We had tickets on the far left of the theatre and the casts positioning meant we missed a few scenes, it was also chilly where we sat. Lastly there was only one exit and it was at the other side of the theatre so we were almost last out! At least I can say I've seen it but that's about all the credit I'll give it, what a shame though as it has some excellent reviews and I'm sure on another night it would have been a different experience, I'll put it down to teething troubles.

Courtney and Poppy's tea party

'Poppy' is Courtney's favourite dolly, Father Christmas brought her to live with us last Christmas and they are inseparable! This morning Charlie set out the blanket and all the picnic things. When Courtney came home from nursery we played with them and Courtney was tenderly giving Poppy a cute!

Sunday, 25 September 2011


I have just arrived home from a night away in London. I did the same as last year, travelled down on Friday, watched a show Friday night then went to the craft show on Saturday, only this time I added in a visit to the Palace!
I picked Charlie up from school as normal and Sylvia and Hughie came to collect him and Courtney and drop me off at the train station. I caught the 13:39 train to London Euston from Lancaster. I arrived around 16:20 and my friend Teresa met me. I popped to Paperchase at the station for my next year diary. (I always buy them from there but ours was inside a Borders which closed down) We then made our way to the hotel, Teresa had already checked us in so it was just a case of dropping my stuff in the room. We had intended going to Trafalgar Square before the theatre so I could photograph the Olympic countdown with less than a year to go! But we chatted whilst in the room and then decided we'd be better going after. We made our way out to the theatre and chose a little cafe nearby to eat at, it was very nice and I had a toasted cheese and ham sandwich! Then it was time for Ghost, what a totally fantastic show, the cast were extremely talented and all have powerful emotive voices. It followed the storyline of the film exactly and the special effects were amazing.

After the show we did go a long to Trafalgar Square. 307 days to go!

We then retired back to our hotel when after another quick chat we had a good nights sleep.
A few weeks before I'd booked the trip to London I'd seen that Kate's wedding dress was going on public display at Buckingham Palace. I decided straight away I'd like to see it and when Teresa asked if she could come a long to London too I mentioned going to the Palace so that was it, we decided to go!

We had breakfast and because time was getting on and we were booked onto the 9:30 tour we took a black cab there! (*We drove down the Mall in a London black taxi*) I've been to the Palace many times but never been inside. The state rooms were magnificent, as you would expect! We saw the quadrangle that Prince William and Kate arrived to on their wedding day and then in the Great room, there it was, Kate's beautiful wedding dress. All her accessories were on display too and their cake. There was also a video showing how the dress was made. Truly stunning. We weren't allowed to take photos inside the Palace so these are some I found on the internet. (if you click on the image you can make it bigger for more detail)
After the tour you are escorted to the lovely palace gardens, there is a cafe there and we decided to treat ourselves to a £3.95 cake!!!! It was worth every penny though, the latte was pretty nice too, LOL!

We left Buckingham Palace and made our way to Alexandra Palace for the Big Stamp & Scrapbooking Show!

It was very busy, usually by 1:00ish pm it is quietening off a little so we were surprised to see it so busy, it didn't stop me having a good time there though, I bought the papers I need to make my Christmas cards and a few other nice bits too! I said goodbye to Teresa at Euston and caught the 15:30 train home, arriving back at Lancaster for just before 6pm where I was met by Mark and Charlie who had just returned from Preston after watching football!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Mini Artist!

There was an art exhibition at school yesterday, every child in the school had produced a piece of work which was framed and we were given an opportunity to view and buy their pictures. In the end I was unable to go to the exhibition sadly but we sent in the money to buy Charlie's work. As I collected him today we were told we could go to the headmasters office to collect them. I am absolutely delighted with Charlie's picture, it's gorgeous, so colourful and I'm very proud of him! Straight away I could see it was a house and he was very excited telling me all about it. We will make sure it has pride of place.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Cars 2

At our local cinema there is a kids club where they show a film at a reduced price of only £1.75 each! We'd looked into taking Charlie to see Cars 2 when it first came out but for 2 adults and a child it was going to cost around £21!!! As it was Charlie's first trip to the cinema we weren't sure if he was going to like it so decided not to take him so we were delighted when Cars 2 popped up on the kids club! They don't normally show such recent films but this was a special! Charlie seemed to really enjoy it and said that the 'TV' was bigger than our house!!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

School Firsts!

Charlie has done a whole week at school already! Today is his 6th morning there. I just wanted to make a note of a few of his school firsts!

Wednesday 7th: First Day!
Thursday 8th: First reward sticker! For tidying nicely (that's my boy! He loves to tidy, LOL!)
Friday 9th: First library book, Tom and Pippo See the Moon by Helen Oxenbury
Monday 12th: First reading book home, Five Little Firefighters (a perfect choice for Charlie!)
and today: First PE lesson!

Charlie had a tour of his school on Monday, they got to see all the other classes, the hall etc and he told me they have a 'cafe' where he can have his lunch, bless!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The very first day........

When I say Charlie was super excited this morning, I mean SUPER EXCITED!!! The very first words he said this morning were 'It's big boy school today!' He was very keen to put on his uniform and posed beautifully for his photos. When we arrived at school we stood on the playground for a few minutes before being told we could go in. Once inside it was really exciting! The only 4 words Charlie said the whole time we were there was 'can I play now?' LOL! First we had to hang his coat up and say hello to Mrs Longdon then he was straight to a giant crane! I don't think he'll want to come home later! He's going to do 2 1/2 weeks of mornings, a week with lunch and then full time. He'll do 3 weeks of full time before the October half term holiday then he's back for a week before I return to work following my adoption leave. I am so pleased that the timing worked out perfectly, I can take and pick up Charlie every day of his settling in period. :D

My very smart little boy♥

All ready to go!

Arriving at school (which is just up the road!)

Look at his peg! I was so delighted! We walked a long, there was a car, a rainbow, a dolly and what did Charlie get....a koala! I love koalas so that made me very happy, LOL!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

It's worth going to school, LOL!

Charlie has been totally spoilt today! His Nanna, Aunty Nic, Aunty Karin, Maddie, Dan and Uncle John have all seen him today. He saw his Nanna and Grandad yesterday and they're calling up tomorrow to see him after school. Mark rang on the way home to say he was calling in Asda and asked if Charlie would like a treat, he requested a football cake (!) His wish was Daddy's command and a football cake was brought home! He also got his first ever Lego set from us! A fire engine, naturally! We sat with him and Courtney putting it together, it says age 5-12 on the box, well it took all of us an hour to put it together, LOL!!
Charlie's Aunty Karin (our lovely sister in law) is German and they have a tradition when a child goes to school, they receive a 'schultuete' which is a cone filled with treats. I've never seen anything like it, Karin, Maddie and Dan made one each for Charlie and Courtney, they are fantastic and FULL of treats....chocolate, sweeties, a full pencil case for Charlie and baking set for Courtney, some dinosaur face flannels that expand in the water (they'll enjoy those a bath time tomorrow!) and stickers!
Charlie was worn out at bedtime and I think the excitement got to him, he is so looking forward to 'big boy school' and it took him ages to settle! I hope he's not too tired in the morning to enjoy school!!

Monday, 5 September 2011

Just me and my boy! Day 2!

Courtney was at nursery this morning and this was the second of the 2 Mondays that Charlie and I had a 'date'! I had planned a wet and dry activity as I wanted to make the most of this morning. It was absolutely tipping it down so bowling it was! Charlie was very excited and even got dressed especially for the occasion♥ We were a little early for bowling so popped into Morrisons for a magazine (he chose Cars) and visited the cafe. He could hardly contain himself as we made our way over to the bowling alley, LOL! We swapped our shoes and were given lane 17! On his very first go Charlie scored 9! I fully intended letting Charlie win, we had the side barriers up and I really made a botched first bowl but as the barriers were up it kind of bumped against them and hit the pins right in the middle resulting in a strike!! Whoops! Charlie did get a strike though on his 5th go! Phew! It was close in the end and I did win but don't tell Charlie because he thinks he won♥ (on the score sheet photo, I'm down as M for Mummy! and I'm so proud of my boy, he took the photo of me and I also have one of me bowling!) We finished off our morning with a visit to Nanna and Grandad's before collecting Courtney.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Naming Ceremony!

So, that's it! We're all ready for Charlie starting school on Wednesday♥ I have just lovingly ironed on all the name labels to his clothes (and also hand written his initials on the labels, just in case!) 4 pairs of trousers, 6 white polo shirts, 2 school jumpers and his red team sports T shirt! (and his PE shorts which are in the pump bag) I've also initialled his shoes and pumps and named his pump bag and reading book bag! He is so excited about Wednesday, we have been counting sleeps for a few days......just 3 to go now!

Friday, 2 September 2011


Yesterday I took Charlie and Courtney to Blackpool. Elizabeth came with us too. We were meant to go the other week when we went to Skipton Castle as it was too wet and cold to go onto the beach. Yesterday was starting to look a little doomed too, not due to the weather but more to do with bad timing! Tonight is the Illuminations switch on in Blackpool and the local council had closed more than half of the car parks to do the preparations! Not a single space could be found. We drove up and down the promenade twice and eventually found a space where there was nothing around us (nowhere to eat etc) and the beach was a little walk away but it was a space! I went to the ticket machine and discovered it was going to cost £6 to park there, now I'm no scrooge but I'm sorry I'm not paying £6 to park in the middle of nowhere! I suggested to Elizabeth that we move on to Cleveleys as I've taken Charlie to the beach there a couple of years ago and it was lovely so off we went! By the time we arrived it was almost lunchtime so we decided to eat first. The cafe we chose was lovely and we all ate well. Charlie was very excited to go and play on the beach so imagine our horror when we got there and the tide was in!!! Just typical, LOL! We did manage to find a section where we could go down onto a pebbled area, it was actually quite comfortable sitting on the pebbles! There was quite a bit of driftwood and seaweed too so Charlie and Courtney were kept amused! We got their buckets and spades out and the made pebble sandcastles, LOL! They really enjoyed throwing pebbles into the sea and they watched a dog playing fetch with sticks in the water, at one point the dog came out just by Charlie and shook itself all over him!! The tide started to go out and eventually we got to see a little bit of sand! After about 2 hours playing we headed off to a different cafe for ice creams before coming home. We couldn't have asked for better weather, we had lovely glorious sunshine but there was a very light breeze so it didn't get too hot. A really lovely but totally not what we'd planned beachy day!