Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Moving On

Last week was busy again with school assemblies, presentations and leaving ceremonies. This boy spotted me in the crowd and he is finally starting to listen to me when I say pose and smile for me if the camera is pointing in your direction. I have so many photos of them looking the other way, down at their feet or hiding their faces behind their certificates. Euan managed to get another certificate for swimming which was great but means more laminating for Mum.

Later in the week we went to another presentation. The year 5 & 6 children have been part of a D.A.R.E campaign which is all about drug, alcohol and social pressure awareness. It teaches them the facts about the effects of all of these and ways in which they can learn to say no. This day they were graduating from the course and the police officer who has been taking them for it came up to chat to the school as a whole about their preformance and results. The year 5&6 children were joined by their counterparts from Stanley and three were picked from each school to stand up and chat about their findings. Euan did so well as he is very nervous as a public speaker but I was so proud of him not only for standing up and doing it but also for his report. Well done my boy. As a way of congratulating the children they watched Toy Story 3 and also had some food and cake afterwards. The Chief of Police, CO Fisu and the head of Cable and Wireless who sponsored the event presented them all with a certificate.

Saturday saw a stunning sunrise again with such spectacular colours. I am going to have to get a thesaurus and come up with some new words to describe these I think!

We headed into Stanley for Euan's lesson on Saturday morning after helping John locate and then jump start his battery on his work Landrover. Thinking that was enough for one day, especially after smacking my head on the top of the boot we settled down at Jane's while Euan had his lesson. Aaaah not to be, just as we were about to leave and head down to the beach I found I had a very flat tyre :( Thankfully it hadn't blown out on the MPA road but it was still a pain as all the main garages are closed on a Saturday afternoon. We only have a very silly get you home spare on at the back and I was concerned about driving home on it along the MPA road. After eventually getting the tyre changed with a huge issues actually jacking the car up, remind me to send a letter to the company about how crap Landrover's jack and wheel wrench is....... I managed to get the other tyre up to the garage. He did fix it for me but he recommended that I didn't replace it back on the vehicle as he was concerned it would go again. Apparently a rock had just ripped the tyre and caused a slow puncture but unfortunately it is right in the centre of the tyre so likely to be very vunerable. Hmmmmmm not what I wanted to hear especially as there are no 19" wheels on the island and it will take a month at least to order. Euan and I finally got home at 5:15pm after leaving at 9:30am for a one hour lesson!

So Sunday saw us head to the pool at the kids request as they wanted to try out their new snorkels. Poor old Maddie's is a bit big for her face and she cannot keep her mouth shut around the plastic mouth guard. I could insert some rude words here but I shall refrain :) Afterwards we went to Oasis for cake and toasted sandwiches. I am not sure if I have mentioned before but MPA is meant to be one of the worlds longest wooden structures. Due to the bad weather down here all the accomodation, entertainment, library and food blocks are all connected by one corridor. It is reported to be around half a mile long. It is so easy to get lost in all the legs that run off in different directions but I am slowly getting used to where I am going. Above is just one small section of the corridor of course leading to our favourite tea shop here, not quite Jack's in Cirencester but needs must.

Yesterday and today I have been busy piecing together Maddie's quilt. I have finally managed to finish sewing all but one of the individual blocks and have started trying to lay out the pieces in some kind of colour order. I thought I had it but looking at the photos here I have noticed there is a heavier amount of brown in row two and nothing in row three, ah well back to the drawing board.

They will be better spaced out but I didn't have enough room to lay them out properly on the table. We have had grotty weather again today and snow apparently is forecast for later this week. DEEP JOY. Not long now and we should be heading off to Ascension and some much longed for sunshine
Tonight we went swimming again and the home for hot baths and some very naughty french toast for tea. Miss Muffet here was happily bundled up in her bathrobe when I spotted one of her little friends. She is not often without either a bunny or Tango but this little guy today in her pocket made me smile.

Right I think it needs to be early to bed for me tonight as my knee is rather sore, dance class really is not good for me I have absolutely no co-ordination even if it is fun. Take care Love to all Helen.

Friday, July 23, 2010

This and That

Birthday morning for Maddie and we had the usual present opening ceremony on the bed. Much to J's disgust I popped a very pink bow on Fergus. He thought I was really cruel doing this and wanted me to delete the pictures :) nah not when there is a good scrapbook page in it!!!

I am not sure the boy was to amused either.........

I finally managed to finish sewing Euan's christmas quilt and have hidden it away from prying eyes. I should really have given it a press before taking photos sorry. It has been folded and refolded over the last few weeks as I try to hide it from him during out of school hours.

We have had some spectacular sunsets again.

Saturday saw us head into Stanley for Euan's usual lesson. It was a stunning day after all the gales and rain we have had over the previous fortnight. I had picked some lunch up for us at the West Store and decided to head over to Surf Bay to eat. This is the beach that used to have landmines on but has been cleared over the past year. It is a lovely beach which is surrounded by huge dunes that the kids and the furry one loved. Dogs thankfully are welcome on this beach.

Fergus ran and ran, up and down the dunes with a massive smile on his face.

The sun was a strong bright light and I loved the fact that the kids were in silhouette as they ran around on the top of them.

Of course where one is having their photo taken the others will soon join in.

Euan spent most of his time running up and then jumping, rolling and wiping out getting back down.
We have decided that if the weather is fine this Saturday we are going to take our sledges with us as it could be a fabulous run down the higher dunes. We must remember to take goggles to though.
As we were walking along the beach we saw what we thought was a large stone. Just as I got close to it I noticed it was in fact a live seal. I quickly put the boy on the lead and had Euan hold him while I went to investigate. It seemed unable to roll around and although there were no outward signs of damage or distress I don't think it was very well. It couldn't seem to make much sound or rotate it's neck at all. It was absolutely sapped of energy as well.

The kids had a quick look from a distance and then we left the poor thing in piece.

I hope it wasn't suffering, it made me quite sad to think of it being on its last legs.

As we headed back to the car the sun was starting to lower in the sky and Mum had to have the obligatory silhouette shot. We tried to get Fergus to sit at an angle so we could get his head in the shot but with no luck.

He soon got fed up with the pushing and name calling and headed off to eat some more seaweed.

Home safe and sound the sky produced another spectacular display for us this time with bottom lit clouds of the softest pink and blue.

I never tire of sitting and watching these displays.

Sunday I decided was a day off. We took the kids to see Toy Story 3 and then once home I spent the evening felting and sewing. I have had the idea in my head to produce some felted pictures for the last few weeks. I didn't want to just leave them plain though, I wanted to try machine sewing into them. I used to do this at university with some of my photography that I would transfer onto fabric. John came in while I was busy and started chuckling, "playing again are you?" actually "yes" and it felt good. It has been a while since I let go of the guilt of house, laundry, food and just the notion of what I should be doing and just let loose with my mind and craft skills. I thoroughly enjoyed doing these little cameos and am hatching a plan for a bigger piece soon.

This one is simple needle felted with a few beads added for pips.

Strawberry Number 2 has been needle felted and then I heavily machine embroidered over the top.

This one is simply machine embroidered without any felting at all. I plan to hang all three up in my kitchen in little embroidery hoops. They are each no bigger than around 4 inches.

This Monday saw me finishing the above strawberries off and then making a start on Maddie's christmas quilt. It is going to be a pinwheel quilt all in brown, pink and white. Simple and clean hopefully once completed. I am not sure what to do with the basting yet, probably just the simple stitch in the ditch.

All the pieces have been cut out now I just need to find a day to sit and quilt. The first one I drew up using a water soluble pen but it just doesn't seem to want to disappear which is a bit frustrating so I have been marking up the others with tailors chalk and it seems to be going alot better.
I haven't really achieved anything else this week. Well I say that but I have been to two dance classes, lunch in the Officers Mess with the girls (well you need to don't you every now and again!!), dinner party on Tuesday night and alot of blog surfing, cleaning and laundry now my machine is fixed.
My friend Moira has just received her shipment this week and has lent me the Dixie Chicks CD's which I haven't listened to before plus Carolyn Dawn Johnson which am looking forward to hearing. I can hear J groan now, bloody country and western ;) he loves me really. Take care all and I will be back hopefully sooner rather than later. Love Helenx

Monday, July 12, 2010

Weekend Activites

This Saturday we held a party for Maddie. She just had three little friends over to have some crafty fun with felt. On Friday night I let Ellie and Maddie finish off decorating her birthday cake. I had got as far as covering the cake with green icing and let them get busy with some butterfly madness.

I reckon they did a good job all in all, even if more icing was eaten than put on the cake!

I had spent the day before making party bags for the kids. I have been so unorganised with parties down here, which I am sure will make many laugh at home as it is usually my "thing". They each had their own fabric bag to take home with some sweets and then their creations for the day.

Maddie helped me set up the table in the morning and chose who should have which colour of snake. We started off wet felting the snakes bodies and then while they dried in the tumble dryer we started on the butterflies.

They had lots of fun picking sparkley bits and buttons to decorate them with. They all turned out very different from each other which is rather nice.

For lunch we kept it simple and just had pizza, sausages, cheese and crisps followed by home made sundaes. Certain children had a total sweet overload and weren't able to finish them off.
This one below was not amongst them!

I cannot believe Maddie has turned seven, she is my baby! I am officially starting to feel old :(

This one didn't have any difficulty finishing her sundae either funnily enough :) After lunch we finished adding the detail to the snakes and ran out of time before parents starting arriving to add all tongues and eyes. With a manic rush I managed to get all the party guests out of the door with completed bugs. Sadly due to the rush I forgot to take a picture of all the snakes together. I did take some with the guests but I don't want to put them up here without parents permission. Once I have helped the girls finish theirs I will take some more photos to share.

Sunday saw us heading over to what I think is called Mullet Cove. We have never been over there before but it is somewhere you can still take dogs. Mum had reached the end of her tether with bickering and knew that a bit of fresh air usually does the trick which it did. It was a rather bracing day with temperatures at around zero. We have had a bit of rain lately which is unusual in the Falklands and it had left quite a few frozen puddles and tracks.

The kids were in their element smashing the icy tops with the words "be careful that could be deep " echoing in their ears. The girls took to holding hands as one tested the depth of certain puddles. J and I took to placing bets as to who would fall in first.

I wasn't sure what to expect but the beach is rather rocky and muddy in comparison to Bertha's which is just around the corner from here.

There were lots of shells and smooth pebbles on the beach which had my lot scrambling around looking for skimming stones and the chinese hat style shells to bring home.

Somebody furry in our family really enjoyed having a good run around and swim in the ooh so icy waters. He didn't stop racing here and there to check out the next leg of the walk.

Although not a great shot it really does paint the picture, a wet soggy doggy with a very big smile on his face.
While I was busy bimbling along and looking for photo opportunities, the big and not so big kids in the family were busy trying to smash a very large ice puddle we had passed. They must have spent over twenty minutes trying to break up it surface with very little impact. This would be of course after the big kid in the family had earlier told them off for throwing stones!!

Carrying on out to the peninsula there is an old boat which I think was once upon a time called the Lady Diana. The boat itself looks in okay condition but the trailer is rather weather beaten now.
The kids had an attempt at the rope pull but couldn't make it budge even a millimetre.

There was a cold low slung sun which was casting a lovely shimmery light over the water. These three decided to get in the way of my action and strike a pose.

Boy wonder was busy looking over the water to see if he could make out the big black bird on the horizon who kept checking us out. That was of course before Dad decided to throw a bloody great big rock in the water in front of us, soaking the pair of us and my camera. Thanks for that Dad!

We all started to feel quite cold so made the decision to head back for a nice cup of tea and some birthday cake. There was the odd rain shower just starting to appear on the horizon but it treated us to a wonderful bright rainbow behind us.

True to mucky boy fashion Euan managed to break free a large piece of ice using his coat sleeves as you can see in the photo (thanks Euan next time take your gloves) and he was excited by the different patterns he found underneath.

Back to the car to stripe off before getting home just as the heavens opened. Good timing all round. Mum spent the next few hours showering dogs and putting jackets through the washing machine for school the next day. Poor old Fergus spent the rest of the night sprawled out on the sofa unable to move. He was really stiff and his arthritis was quite bad during the night. Thankfully this morning he doesn't seem so bad and he has a lovely fluffy white coat now but I am sure that will not last long.
I am struggling again with my asthma and have had a sore head over my eye sockets so am worried my sinus problems may be returning. I think a quite day today is in order and will just plan to finish up some bits a pieces from this weekends crafts. Love to all Helen x