Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Gardening in the Rain

What a crap holiday Weekend! In London it barely scraped 10°C and it pretty much pissed it down for 3 days solid.

Since we have the family event of the year coming up next weekend, we had to finish off the last few bits of gardening, so B&Q was raided yesterday and the front garden was finished off with six lavender plants and ten bags of gravel (which seriously tested our Mazda's suspension).

The three of us were a bit cold by the time we had finished but a nice warm bath sorted us out back to room temperature (which was fortunately a bit higher than outside)!

At least there was enough fine weather in Leeds for England to win a cricket match - I thought that the Windies were going to escape again!

Photo Added:
Visible is 6 new Lavenders, 10 bags worth of new gravel and a freshly painted wall and railings!

Front Garden

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A Minx wants a 'Nana!

Lauren loves banana ('nana)!

Some photos of Lauren enjoying her banana...

Lauren Minx 002

Lauren Minx 006

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Relaxing afternoon

Yesterday, on my day off from the manic stuff at work, Lauren and I went for a drive in the afternoon to Hampton.

The sun came out and although we did not get as far as Kingston to see Daddy (besides, I knew he would be busy) we had a great time on the Green at Twickenham watching some school boys preparing for a cricket match. Their mums were all sat at the clubhouse enjoying tea and cakes.

Lauren took Bob for company and we had a lovely stroll on the grass. She enjoyed watching the bigger kids playing and looked like she wanted to join in, but was too shy in the end (and they were a lot bigger!).

Sadly, she was a bit grumpy by the end and wouldn't let me take a picture of her, so we just came home for hugs and some dinner.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Shopping in the Rain

It's rained all weekend. Although we were hoping for some decent weather, Jase is happy because it means that he doesn't have to water the garden for the next few days...

We've not been moping about the house, though. Yesterday, we were out and about on the King's Road in Chelsea looking at some clothes for me for Jase and Charlotte's wedding in 3 weeks. It was a successful day of shopping, and we had a good time (even though parking was extortionate - the NCP car park was £9/hr!! Needless to say, we didn't park there but it still cost us £8).

It did start to rain whilst we were were out and about, and of course we had forgotten to bring an umbrella. Jase (as usual) got grumpy in rain!

Chelsea 004

At lunch time, we went to the Chelsea Farmers' Market on Sydney Street and enjoyed a lovely lunch at an Italian Pizzeria.

Chelsea 003

Lauren and I had pasta and Daddy had a pizza. Unfortunately, I wore a white shirt (why is it that you always find yourself wearing a white shirt when you go out for an Italian meal?) which got a bit splattered.

Chelsea 005

Lauren is currently having her afternoon nap, but we are planning to go to Brent Cross again when she wakes up. I still have to buy her some shoes (and I need shoes myself) for the wedding.

Of course, this means that it is the perfect excuse to go to Wagamama's for lunch...

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Annotated Scan for Gareth

I have annotated the first scan. Click the photo and view at the largest size to see the most detail.

Scan1 20070509 Annotated

Thursday, May 10, 2007

21 Week Scans of Ayers Baby Number 2

Yesterday was Serena's second scan. Everything seems to be OK - 5 fingers on each hand - 2 arms, 2 legs, normal size etc.

Here are two of the piccies - the bump above the baby's head is one of their arms and the one in front of their face is actually a leg! A bit of a contortionist!

Scan1 20070509

Scan2 20070509

Clicking them will open Flickr, where you can then click "All Sizes" to view them at a larger scale.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

May Day Weekend

Mum spent the May Day bank holiday weekend in London with us. We had a really lovely time, got mum an outfit for my brother's upcoming wedding and generally ate good food.

Although we achieved a lot, it still managed to be a relaxing weekend. Good for all of us as we've all been a bit frazzled lately at work.

At the weekend, we braved Brent Cross shopping centre and had lunch at Wagamama's. The noodles were fab as always, and Lauren especially loved the udon noodles!

MayDay 001

MayDay 002

On Grandma's brithday, we went to have dim sum at the London Hong Kong out at Heathrow before Grandma's flight home. It was absolutely packed!

MayDay 005

MayDay 007

Unfortunately, the service was slow and not all of our order arrived but the food was still very tasty and very reasonably priced. Lauren had quite a lot of dim sum and again ate some udon noodles!

All too soon, the weekend was over and mum headed back home. Dad is currently visiting our Grandparents in Hong Kong so did not come. I think Lauren really missed him; she went into the guest bedroom every day to look for him. However, all the grandparents are coming down to London at the end of the month, so not long for her to wait!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Kick, kick, kick

I am exhausted.

Work is a real strain at the moment. My department is like a war zone every day (and every night) and everyone who works with me is exhausted and demoralised. This is the reality of working in the NHS.

I've put in yet another 11 hour day where I've been rushing around on my feet the whole time. I hardly get time to eat or drink (and certainly no time to answer any call of nature) but I did eventually force myself to take a break.

However, on the plus side, I think we all still continue to do a really good job for the people we see and sort out, despite everything. It's just that often the management forget that and kick us whilst we're down.

On a brighter note, I've noticed kicking of another sort. For the last two and a half weeks, the baby has been kicking. It was only a faint flutter at first but now it is most definitely kicking. It's a really reassuring feeling to know that the baby is active and happens quite a lot during the day. Also, it seems that people at work are really beginning to notice the bump (and recognise it as such!).

At least now they don't just think I've put on a bit of weight! And I have an excuse to eat cake and biscuits (well, I will if I ever get a quiet moment at work)...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A garden paradise

We are both aching a bit after a weekend at work in our little garden. The weather was glorious so we decided to head to the garden center, buy some plants and finish off the tidying started by Suzanne and Peter last week.

I've been really busy at work since starting as a Consultant and have found myself working 11- 12 hour days. I've been really tired mentally, so found this a bit of welcome relief. Besides, I thought that both Jase and Lauren would also benefit from the fresh air and sunshine.

So on Saturday afternoon, we headed home from the garden center with lots of lovely summer bedding plants and a small tree. We got out spades and trowels and got to work.

Garden 004

Garden 003

After a bit of weeding and rearranging of plants in the garden, we planted up some terracotta pots, put in three flowering climbers (clematis plants) and dug out the water feature we had inherited from the last owner. This we were particularly keen to do for Lauren's sake (so that we didn't need to worry about her playing in the back garden).

Garden 002

In its place, we planted a small acer.

Garden 001

We don't have a large garden (you can probably tell from the photos) but we were really proud of the results. I think it's all looking lovely and tidy. I'm really looking forward to enjoying it further when the plants we've put in start to flower.

We also managed to whitewash the walls in the front garden and remove the two ancient rose bushes which had been terrorising the front. They were woody and gnarled and covered in greenfly (not the most attractive specimens, and pretty high maintenance). We still have to paint the iron railings at the front and replant the beds, where I plan to put in some low maintenance Hebe and lavender plants.

We'll post pictures of this when we've finished, but I can proudly say that it looks transformed already. Amazing what a lick of white paint can do!