Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Time has a way of disappearing!!

Time seems to have passed rather too quickly around here lately. The last fortnight has been full of events and lots of blog posts going on in my head but just not making it onto the computer. We have had some beautifully warm and freezing cold miserable weather of late. The upside of this is that we have had some stunning skies at night. These clouds were shot over the fence in our back garden just as the sun was starting to set. I still find the openess and height of the sky here breath taking.

A fortnight ago we found ourselves off for a walk to Bertha's again. The day before friends of ours had been swimming with the dolphins and I had been gutted to have missed out. I planned to go down and see if I could do the same however, the weather was somewhat different on the day we went. It was blowing a hoolie and the sand and sea spray was wiped into a frenzy.

Even John had a hard time standing upright when the gusts blew. For the children it is not much fun as they are just at the right height to get a face full of sand. Ellie spent most of her time walking backwards to avoid the danger. In the background you can see white around the rocks, this isn't sea it is the sand whipping about.

Euan got caught in a particularly bad blast and came away with a gritty mouthful! Thankfully he was in a cheery mood that day and just laughed it off.

We decided to head down to the rock outcrop to see if there were any seals about and if the dolphins were swimming in the bay just past the point.

Ellie decided she had, had enough after she ended up getting wet trying to save her sisters croc which blew into the sea. Give her her dues she was like grease lightening and she managed to save said article and return it to her less than happy sister. About 5 mintues later it all got to much as she was starting to feel rather cold and wet. As you can see Dad was very sympathetic but did give her a hug as consolation.

On the way out to the sand stretch you have to walk through the wet flats and this one below had a massive hissy fit when we wouldn't go and get her and carry her over it. I believe Mum and Dad were quoted saying "buck up your ideas it is only a bit of water and sand" well something like that but probably not so sweet. She spent around 20 minutes screaming in a squat position as we carried on walking down the beach without her. Ellie was a very good big sister and eventually went back to help her. Maddie spent the rest of the walk sulking.

Needless to say I didn't get out to swim with the dolphins that day either! John and Euan did see a few further around the bay while I was busy walking back to the car with the moaning minnies :)
Sunday morning saw us head up to Heli Ops to see if we could get a ride out to Volunteer point to see the King Penguins. Unfortunately the weather was out of limits and all the trips that day were cancelled. Dad did manage to give us a guided tour around the Sea King Hanger though which was rather cool. J has been lucky enough to get out on a few trips and do a bit of winching, which apparently is not as simple as it looks!

Monday saw me heading off to this destination below. This is where our boy has just spent the last few weeks making his way from Kennels in South Hampton to Ascension and then on to us. He shared the bridge with crew and a little and apparently mad jack russell. The crew said it took him a good few days to get used to the environment but he was soon to be found sunning himself on the deck.

The ship itself is huge. The one below is a picture of the ship our car came on but the ship Fergus came out on is very similar. You actually drive onto the ship to pick the dog up which was rather cool. These ships are over three stories high and probably about 8-10 containers wide. Even after seeing them at South Hampton I don't think I truely understood how vast they were.
Our boy arrived safe and sound and very well looked after by the crew. I cannot fault them at all, Fergus arrived very relaxed and happy. It was wonderful to walk onto the bridge and see him happily padding about. When he saw me he went mental and jumped, kissed, scratched and squeaked himself silly. The kids were also very excited to come home from school to see their boy.

He has been spoilt wrotten since arriving and has had his tummy tickled at every opportunity. He is currently under house arrest for two weeks after which he has to be cleared by the vets and then we can start taking him out and about. Personally I cannot wait to take him down the beach. I am not sure who is training who around here.

The power was off in the house from Monday to Wednesday while they changed the circuit boards which were out dated and apparently unsafe! Nice, I was told they were being changed as there was a chance we could be electricuted whilst in the shower, oh deep joy hey.

I spent my time playing as J would say in my office with some needle felting. I have had an idea brewing for some time about making some larger than life size flowers and decided to just ignore the leaning tower of laundry and take some time for me.

These are the results of my labours. I plan to make three of the daisys to sit in the spotty vase in my kitchen since fresh flowers here are nearly none existant.

The poppy was the quickest to take shape and I remembered as I was putting it together that I had some stamens in my beading box. It was just the right thing that I needed for the center of the flower.

Originally I had planned to just use pipe cleaners for the stems but they weren't strong enough to support the heavy flower heads. Since I didn't bring any of my wire with me I found I was struggling to work out what to use. The tumble dryer was busy beeping at me to change it out when I saw some metal coat hangers about which thankfully worked a treat. One of my neighbours was getting rid of 40 or so which I very quickly helped myself to.

The daisy was slightly slower to come together. I started it in the evening while watching one of the many dvds we have borrowed from the comprehensive film library here. I felt the petals looked a bit like sausages or fingers and wasn't sure whether to continue with it. In the end I did and I am glad. It wasn't smooth sailing as once I needle felted the center it looked a bit bland. I decided to add a few french knots around the edge which soon became most of the flower head as just a few looked very odd. I am rather pleased with the results now and at nearly 6 inches across they certainly make an impact.

They go rather nicely with my new fabric stash that was delivered last week from Purlsoho. I plan to inject some yellow into my rather boring bathroom. A delivery arrived from next also with some new towels, a lovely bright yellow pedal bin, some sea grass baskets and some tops for the girls. I am planning on adding a bit of green into the mix as well probably my signature lime green knowing me.

Unfortunately this week I also managed to scrap the bumper on the new car, thankfully J didn't divorce me and was rather sympathetic. All around the base there are stone rocks marking the edges of the roads, car parks and gardens. I had been to school for the kids settling in review and reversed back out of my space not seeing the one sitting in the middle !!!! of the car park. Not good.
Thursday and Friday were spent trying to work out how to make the kids book character costumes and preparing for J's 40th. J had to work in the morning but came home to find a stack of choc chip cookies with a candle in them. We had attempted to make some cupcakes but the mixture kept curdling. It would seem that the eggs in the families shop come from Chile and can be up to 4 months old! Lovely hey, so cupcakes were off the menu as no fresh ones could be found anywhere. J just about managed to open his presents before dashing off to the living room to be disappointed by the Scotland Rugby game! In the evening the kids went over to our neighbours where Bev our wonderful babysitter looked after all six children. Their parents and two other couples and Weena (Wayne, J's deputy) headed into Stanley with us to celebrate J's birthday for a valentines meal at the Brasserie. We had a super meal and I think I definitely lucked in with my menu choices. The salmon en croute main course was divine. Unfortunately like a dummy I forgot to take my camera with me so sadly there are no pictures from the evening. I did return with three helium balloons and a bunch of roses amassed from the surrounding tables in the restaurant though. The kids have really enjoyed hanging lego characters and bunnies from them.
Sunday saw the kids and I head back to Heli Ops with hopes of getting out to Volunteer. J was unable to come with us as he was on duty and needs to be within 10 minutes of work. We were successful this time and had a bumpy ride out to Volunteer Point which is about 25 minute heli ride north east of the base. I have some more wonderful penguin pictures to bore you with and hope to get them edited and up soon.
Right I had better head to bed as tomorrow is book character day and I need my face painting skills for Maddie's outfit. Love to all, stay safe Helen x

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