Saturday, 17 February 2018

Saturday Spotlight - the big build!

Sorry if you came by last week and there was no new post - things just got too hectic!

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you will know that we have had building work start this week - we are demolishing our garage and a couple of other outbuildings and replacing them with a small one bed annexe for Penny to move into.
 So this was my view when I was standing at my kitchen sink.
Going ....
Going .....


And now we have a digger and dump truck onsite, which Ben would have LOVED when he was a little boy!
We also have a portaloo onsite for the builders to use so they don't have to come indoors!
So far I'm really impressed with our choice of builders and am hoping that they continue to impress us! One week into the build things are going well and I have had to go out and buy more coffee lol! These builders are coffee drinkers not tea drinkers - which is probably just as well as my tea making is not very good!

So, I will be updating my blog regularly with how things are progressing with the build. Penny is, of course, extremely excited about it all and has been out with us to choose her kitchen and is having a lot of fun choosing tiles, paint and wallpaper/borders. The main build is due to take 6-8 weeks, so hopefully by the summer she will have moved in!

Anyway, I'd better stop now as I am writing this blog on a Friday so the builders are here and I think I need to go and make them another coffee!

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Spotlight Saturday - Penny graduates!

Last Friday saw us down in Canterbury to see Penny graduate wtih her MA in Prose Fiction. We arrived Thursday night and stayed in the Premier Inn. On arrival I went to Penny's room and painted her nails for her! We had arrived late so eventually got to bed after 11.30pm!

Friday morning after breakfast we had time to kill. We had decided to pop on our clothes from the previous evening, have breakfast and then go for a walk into Canterbury and have a mooch around the shops.
It was very chilly and I was able to get a cheap scarf from Primark to wear with my coat for the graduation and let me tell you I was really pleased I had it! We got back to the hotel at 10.30ish and went out separate ways to get ready. Once I was ready I left Hugh to pack our bags and went down to Penny's room to keep her company whilst she made herself up and got ready.
We checked out of the hotel just before midday (the latest we could) and made our way to the University Library where Penny had to collect her gown, hood and mortar board and have her officical photo taken.
Our first glimpse of her in her outfit!
Once she had picked them up she changed into her beautiful boots, which have a very high heel and were not particularly good for walking long distances in but hey, they looked good!
Then it was off to the hall for the official photo to be taken. Penny of course chose the book backdrop for her photos! We are still waiting for these to arrive but I took a sneaky one whilst the official photographer was doing his thing!
Penny and I had been tweeting photos and comments all morning using the CCCU hashtags for the day. In the entrance hall they had a board showing the tweets and mine and Penny's were both up as we walked past!
We then made our way over to Canterbury Cathedral where the ceremony was going to take place. We got there nice and early so that we could take our photos. We whipped off our coats whilst taking the photos and tried not to shiver too much!

Then it was time to go into the Cathedral. We were not allowed to take photos during the graduation ceremony but there was an official one which we bought afterwards.
After the ceremony we returned to the Uni to hand back the gown etc and to go to the reception. We only stayed there for about 20 minutes as none of Penny's fellow graduates attended so we didn't know anyone! We had however booked a celebration meal at Bill's in Canterbury so walked back into town to have our evening meal.

We had a lovely meal together and then made our way back home. It had been a fantastic day and we were (and are) extremely proud of our beautiful, clever daughter.

Now, if anyone knows of a job going part-time in retail or admin that is local to us Penny would be thrilled to take it! She has been job hunting so hard for the past few months and so far nothing has come to fruition. I am sure it will soon, but if you can help we would appreciate it!

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Spotlight Saturday - me and reading

I have always had a HUGE appetite for books. I love to read. I also love to listen to audiobooks. I have bought or borrowed stories on CD from the library in the past. I have thought of subscribing to Audible however I have found BorrowBox which is actually linked to my local library. It does however seem to be Australian based and a high proportion of the books available to listen to seem to be from Australian authors. Having said that, I have found plenty for me to download and listen to and the best thing is that it is free! I can download the story to my iphone and then listen either through my phone or through my car audio system.

So what have I listened to? Well, I have found that when I am driving to and from work I really enjoy listening to Young Adult fiction. Last year my favourite duology was Dreamhunter and Dreamquake by Elizabeth Knox. These stories are set in 1906 in a world very similar to ours except for a special place where only a select group of people can go - they are called Dreamhunters. The story follows the family of Laura and Rose and their involvement in this place and how the government is using it to control the popluation. I really enjoyed this duology.

My favourite series was The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. This series is a 'sci-fi' retelling of old fairytales. The characters are based on Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel. They are extremely fun stories to listen to and this year I have also listened to two stand-alones based on the series.

I like to listen to all the stories at 1.5 speed. Penny can't understand how I can listen to it and get what the narrator is saying! I find it really easy and it means I get through the books faster!

I am currently listening to Midnight is a Lonely Place by Barbara Erskine. This is an adult historical fiction book I actually own but I am loving listening to it being read by Rula Lenska. I also like to listen when I am working out in the gym (I must go back, haven't been for ages!) and also when I am doing the cleaning and cooking.

I do also read paperbacks and books on my Kindle. I have a paperback on the go downstairs to read in the evenings or any other time I am at home downstairs, a paperback at work to read in my lunchtime and a book on my Kindle which I read before I go to sleep.

And THAT is how I manage to read so many books in a year! I know that some people would get the stories muddled reading like that, but I am not one of them! Let me know, do you like audiobooks? Do you have more than one book on the go at any one time?