Saturday, 15 October 2016

iFly (formerly Airkix) fun

Today we went down to iFly (formerly Airkix) in Basingstoke for S to have a birthday flight. She's always wanted to fly so when she saw the video of the teen and I doing it, she said she'd love a go. She was a natural.  She did 3 flights and loved every minute of it.

We booked a return set of flights for her before we left, along with another set for the teen and indoor skiing for the youngest.  I think we could be here quite a bit!

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Cake and other stuff

We popped over to Longacres this morning to pick up some cake.  Hubby wanted some of the scrummy lemon drizzle to take to work as he has a very important meeting today and it seems Waitrose cake didn't cut the mustard.  The girls and I headed off and also had a bit of a look around.

They really liked the Halloween display and said some of the features were 'really creepy'. My particular dislike is anything clown. Yep, I'm one of those people who hates clowns.  The whole 'IT' masks hanging there I could happily have taken down and jumped up and down on. Heaven help anyone who turns up at our door on 31st wearing a clown mask (you have been warned)!  I did get away with buying nothing more than a couple of witches hat hairbands though - phew!

The bakery area is one of our favourite parts.  The girls chose their cakes (yep, the 'usual' ones) and then we got some huge bread rolls for lunch.  Only one problem with the bakery that I noticed - the croissants. I have a nut allergy and they had the plain and almond croissants in the same basket, touching each other.  No go for me I'm afraid but hubby had asked for an almond one, so he was in luck.  I think I must have picked it up a bit like people pick up their dog's poo!  I literally held a plastic bag over it and scooped it up, turning the bag inside out as I did so, so I didn't have to touch it.

We then went and got some beads that you can use on top of plant pots for decoration. I wanted them to put into a glass bowl that hubby had bought.  It's sitting on the shelf in the lounge so I filled it up with three different types of beads, layered, and put a little string of white flower LED lights into it as well. It looks really nice now.  Not sure whether smaller lights may have been better, but I can always get some next time.

I also bought some fake tealights that flicker.  I like these for a little candle holder I have in the lounge.  They look really effective in the evening and give a cosy glow.  Since we've decorated, I'm always looking around for little 'homely' bits and bobs.  Nice to have the house feeling fresh again.

Monday, 3 October 2016

No Man's Land

Saturday afternoon we went up to London to the matinee performance of No Man's Land by Harold Pinter. I was very excited as it had two actors that I love in it; Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen.  I'd managed to get the tickets for £10 each. We were up in the Gods but who cares!  When I saw the show advertised, there was a press release saying 100 tickets would be made available for £10 each and guess who got 2 *grin*.   This appears to be an amazing achievement as hubby checked out the prices of the show on Friday before we went. If he'd had a stool, he'd have fallen off of it.  Guess how much....£150 (or more) per ticket!  What?!  I actually thought hubby was exaggerating (he is prone to that at times - he had a kettle that must have cost a million pounds when we first me I'm sure).  I even looked it up myself. He wasn't. Talk about feeling a tad smug.

We nipped up on the train so parked in the station car park. I was expecting £10 for the day but oh no, on a Saturday it's £2 for the day.  Perhaps we should buy a lottery ticket today too?  Luck seems to be on our side.

We arrived quickly (it's an easy journey for us) and went off for a light bite and a drink first almost opposite the Wyndham Theatre, which is where the show was. 

Picture credit
Very excited as it came to show time. The two stars were absolutely brilliant and the lines had us laughing out loud as an audience.  As we were right at the back at the top (see pic) we saw a lot of the top of their heads. It would have been nice to see the expressions too but I'm happy for £10 a seat. You wouldn't want to sit there if you suffered with vertigo though.  There were people standing behind us as well and bar one or two seats we spotted, it was a full house.

I can't honestly tell you what the play was about as I haven't got a clue.  They seemed to be drunk and waffling in the night scene and boasting about having affairs with each other's wives in the morning scene.  No matter, it was good and they are a great pair to see. 

It was about halfway through that hubby turned to me and said "I've just realised it's Magneto and that other chap". I give up....!

Sunday, 2 October 2016

New furniture

Our new suite arrived on Monday last week and we love it.  We ordered it from DFS as, believe it or not, they had a sale on!  I know. Amazing right? Anyway the delivery chaps arrived about 8.30 in the morning and were the nicest people.  They got a tip and well deserved it was too as they brought everything in carefully, unpacked it and took the rubbish away.

The girls adore the swivel chair and we all love the corner suite.  It's just so comfy.  Although we did like our leather one, now that the girls are older (although I'm not sure they drop less crumbs), it's nice to sink into a warm, material suite as opposed to the chill of plonking yourself onto a leather sofa.

The lounge looks bigger now with everything rearranged. I really like the new layout.  We've only got one more room to decorate - the dining room. Hubby is going to start on that one this week he informs me (is that before or after fixing your two motorbikes and tidying up the garage and put the new racking up in there?).  We'll see.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016


We're decorating the lounge as our new suite arrives on Monday - hooray!  We sold our old three-piece suite within 1 day of advertising it and have been sitting on garden chairs ever since (around three weeks). Fortunately they are nice garden chairs with big cushions but even so, we can't wait to get our new suite.

Today hubby was painting the walls whilst I was trying to work out how the spaghetti of cables behind the TV would work if we moved said appliance to another wall.  Sadly, it looks like we can'nay do it, we're going to need more cable Jim (Star Trek reference).  Of course when we had our Sky box installed, it seemed unnecessary to have a spare 3-4 metres of cable behind the TV so the installers cut it off so it fitted nicely.  Thus, we need more cable (hubby's job for tomorrow along with painting the last two walls).

I'm really looking forward to having more space in the lounge, even though we've ordered a corner unit. I've replaced 3 Argos DVD/CD shelves with a new bookcase from John Lewis to match the one we already have.  As you've gathered, they aren't for books.  The girls are really excited about the 'love seat' swivel chair we're getting. There may be a fight over who sits which side.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Spring bulbs,wine and...Halloween?

The teen and I headed down to Longacres today to pick up some spring bulbs. I know, summer is just about over (so the weather tells me when I look out of the window) so I thought it would be nice to prep the flower pots for spring.  Some of my summer plants are dying off a bit already which is a shame.

As usual, there was so much variety I thought it would be a tough choice but then the teen said "Look mum, flowers the colour of my soul" holding these up. Decision made.  I got three different colour packs of these.  I have to say that I'll be curious about how black they look when they come up.  I've never had black flowers before.

It seems that Longacres is totally ready for Halloween as well. They have some pretty creepy displays there that you can put outside your house.  I may even have to get something more for our house.  I normally go crazy with just a pumpkin *grin*.

As you can see, I also spotted the ideal wine glass for my sister (sorry Kate!) LOL.  Gives a new meaning to 'just the one' doesn't it.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Cyprus Conference

I've just returned from a conference in Cyprus that I attended as a doctoral student (MCIS 2016).  It was a wonderful opportunity to get feedback on my thesis and also to network with some amazing people.  Lots of connecting via LinkedIn and emails were exchanged.

View from terrace of the Aquamare Hotel & Spa
However, the hotel (Aloe or A _ _ E as the sign said) was...err...a bit of a joke.  Sadly the conference organisers assumed the 4* rating was true (I wonder if they looked in any rooms?). The conference hotel - the Aquamare - was indeed a 4* but none of us could get into it as it was fully booked. However, we all booked in to the 'alternative' hotel or found our own accommodation. Let's put it this way - I'll read TripAdvisor before booking any future conference hotel *grin*.  Here's my review of it on TripAdvisor.

The weather was glorious but it was a hot 20 minute walk from one hotel to the other, although coming back in the evening along the beach walk was just stunning.