Monday, 29 March 2010

A walk through Faraway Tree

Well just after I posted that blog Amy and I had a lovely natter for several hours Thursday evening. We gossiped about boys, kids at her school, and life in general. She really can be quite funny and a joy to talk with...she just has her teenage moments ;).

Fairly quiet weekend. Friday night was dinner in and a movie on the couch at the boyfriends. Saturday had a lazy start where we slowly wandered down to Cadenheads, exchanging some £ to $ along the way as Ross owed a friend from a trip to Costa Rica a year ago. We window shopped our way to the Whiskey Shop and eventually started our tasting. I would say it was an interesting experience but I didn't really enjoy any of the Whiskey. I was told that if you drink it on the rocks, your taste buds become numbed and thus the taste is slightly dulled....which makes me think the only liquor I like straight up is Tequila...meh, I'm not really all that bothered. I hadn't eaten much so I ended up not feeling well afterwards, despite not even drinking the whole "taste". We did go and get burgers at GBK and they were awesome burgers but I just ended up feeling more ill which was unfortunate.

Saturday night consisted of helping TJ get the kids ready for bed and help her grab things out of the loft for their trip. They left 7am Sunday morning and I was left to my own devices.....I had a lazy day and felt pretty lame by the end of it so I resolved to be more active the next day.

Which takes me to today. I woke up did 48 crunches, stretched for 20min took a foot ball around on the fields, then jogged around the length of the gardens. I did some ironing...but have more I need to get up to after this. Then went to town and deposited money into the bank, both into savings and checking! Woo. Then I went to Toys hill for a brisk walk.

Toys hill was really lovely and though there were no giant sized teddy bears or large soldiers walking about (Faraway Tree Reference) there were lots of bare trees and moss covered logs. I even saw a beautiful young buck prancing through the Forrest. That was a 3.5mile walk after which I cam home and ate some lunch. mmm Grilled cheese and ham sandwich w/ tomato's, I even used olive oil on the outside instead of butter, then I ate an apple. After that I took a nap and a shower.

Now it is 3p and really time I tidied up and put a movie on to do some ironing too!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Mishaps, More Birthdays, and general merriment

Well I left off telling you about going for Dinner last Friday night.

Ross and I joined by Robbie and Helena went for steak at The Cabin in Fulham. Mmmmm, very tasty steak cooked just right (med-rare) and yummy creme brulee for pudding. Twas quite good food. The four of us chatted happily about many things over the course of several hours. I find it so nice to have mates to go out to eat with where we spend about 2hrs over our food, I feel I really get my monies worth and it is a much more enjoyable relaxing way to eat.

Saturday Ross and I just managed to get to Shammi's in Chiswick by noon only to find Suj had slept even later than us and wasn't going to arrive for another hour. Shammi then went about being such a wonderfully kind hostess and got out all sorts of things for us to nibble on. Hummus,cheese sticks, pistachios (brought back from her recent trip to Greece, mmm), fruit salad and a bottle of red wine. The food did tide Ross and I over as we were quite hungry. We chatted in her very sunny living room which was simply and tastefully furnished with a white couch and chair and a coffee table. There may have been a tv in the room but I can't remember. At any rate it was cozy and welcoming.

When Suj arrived we wondered down to a Moroccan restaurant for a leisurely inexpensive lunch. I had some savoury chicken dish that came with saffron rice. mmm.

Where Shammi's demeanour was quieter, calm, and friendly Suj was certainly quite friendly and lovely but louder and a bit brash but in a truly lovely way. I liked both of them quite a lot it was a nice lunch.

I was trying to figure out when I'd have time to bake the cookies before going to this party and in the end I decided not to squish the lunch and have Ross and I go straight to the Whiskey tasting instead of going by his place first. In the end we didn't make it to the tasting because traffic was so incredibly bad the bus we got on moved about 2 blocks in 10min! So we walked the two miles home and managed to call Cadenheads and have them reschedule to the following Saturday.

On our wonder back through Chiswick we stopped by my cousins and had a lovely chat with her husband Chris, she unfortunately had to be at work due to all the strikes (She works in the offices for BA). After that Ross and I kept wondering and attempted to find me some cane syrup so I could make pecan bars but to no avail *head shake*. We did get a bottle of Mcellans for his friend.

Got back to the flat, baked cookies, the snowball cookies tasted yuck so they got tossed but the chocolate chip ones were ok. We got all ready to go and ended up forgetting both cookies and Whiskey *eye roll*.

The party was small, there were about 6-10 of us in Ed's flat. Mostly a bunch of rowdy boys (and by rowdy keep in mind these are all techies so not Frat boy rowdy) with beers or gin martini's. Remind me never ever to drink gin ever again, it is by far the foulest thing ever there is no redeemable quality in it at all!

At some point a large block of ice was plunked on the table and alcohol luge began...I'm amazed my friends from California seem to be very unaware of this drinking past time. Basically you carve a path through this massive block of ice and one person stands at the top of the slope and pours w/e down and the drinker is on the other end open mouthed in anticipation. So bizarre but ok.

All in all it was a fun party and I enjoyed meeting Ross' friends and nattering with them.

Not much went on Sunday, Brixton (Ross' football team) lost 3-1 but they did play a better game then the week before.

Wednesday was Pauls birthday and we all went back to the Royal Oak for dinner and Pauls parents joined us which was nice. I was a bit quieter this time and had the same thing for dinner as the week before but it seems Thursdays cook is better than Wednesdays, ahh cest la vie.

Last thing to note is OMG what is with teenagers being SO incredibly oblivious?! Only interested in putting in minimum effort into things like cleaning etc, and generally being a bit rude? Haha, don't get me wrong Amy is a lovely girl she is just 12 going on 13 come November. Yesterday she wanted some ice cream because she was starving and this is what she did. Took a spoon out of the drawer and a bowl out of the cupboard. By the time she got to the freezer her hands were full so she put the spoon in her mouth and then grabbed the ice cream out of the freezer. She then proceeded to scoop the ice cream out of the container with the spoon that had just been in her mouth!!!!! I am SO guilty of eating out of the carton and I do try and tell my parents if i have coz it grosses my dad out. Normally im not a germ freak, I really could care less most of the time but this is a house with 7 people and I'm not all buddy buddy with everyone yet so I just couldn't believe she did that. Her sis Meg would've been really grossed out. Then she leaves the emptied bowl in her fathers study and decides to go watch tv. Then this morning she decides to brush her hair in the kitchen!! She out of all the kids has the WORST lice problem. So I ask her to go brush her hair in the bathroom..TWICE and she doesn't seem to understand whats the big deal with her brushing her lice filled head in the kitchen where all the food is. EW.

So to my Mother and Father THANK YOU for putting up with my obnoxious teenagedom! Mum and dad you are amazing for doing ALL the laundry, ironing,washing up,cooking, and general cleaning. I seriously have the most amazing parents and feel totally spoiled....sorry the thank you is rather late in coming but yea that is a lot of work you two did and I really should have pitched in! Thanks a million!

That is all for now, teenagers make me exasperated, I've never had to live with one before. Jonnie still can come up with a hundred and one excuses NOT to do homework, sighh. Though and I quote "Once I got started it wasn't so bad"..*eye roll* DUH!...My poor mum only tried to tell me to take things one at a time for YEARS. Being a parent is exasperating when you have a teenager. They never listen, they are always right, and are generally rather self centered...hehe...don't be confused I still love all these kids. They have been very well brought up and are lovely each in their own way its puberty that is a bit of a damper :p.

Right, phew that was long. Welp I'm heading off to London on Friday but for a much quieter weekend. May do a Sunday roast at the pub with Laure, we'll see.

Ta xxB

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Tipsy Thursday

Hello all, I'm feeling fine after three glasses of red from the local pub. But let us go back to the beginning.

first off the car didn't end up going till today at 3pm! But it is expected to be back in a week, phew!

TJ as per usual ran around a bit mad trying to get everything done but it worked in the end. I made reservations at the pub down the road for 7 at 7 :D. I got lovely Moules Frites and a glass of house red. Which turned into three glasses. Meg opened some very lovely birthday gifts! Never have I seen so many. sweat shirt, sweat pants, polo,skirt,tights,jewlery boxes, tiffeny's heart necklace etc, but I have to say she well deserved it.

I truly enjoed getting to go out with the family. It was so nice to sit round a table with them and chat! As the evening ended I noticed a full glass of wine still in the bottle as Paul went to pay so I asked TJ if it was alright if I had it and she said yes, please do. Then Tom piped in and said "don't get drunk Bronwen:, the cheeky monkey! hehehe, I didn't though :p. Very yummy food and we all had a nice time.

On the way back Meg leaned over to her brother Jonnie as she was tired and he put his arm round her and stroked her hair, such sweet siblings these guys are, never seen any like them! and once home Tom laid on Jonnie on the kitchen couch. I crouched near them on the floor petting Lenny then Lenny turned round and knocked me over! Well Jonnie thought that was funny and had a laugh so I started squeezing his sides which made him quite giggly and he surrendered, MUWAHAHAHA!

It was great fun. This is a very good family!

I am also SO excited for my weekend. Sometime tomorrow after TJ's car comes back I'm heading to London. Will potter round a bit get ready and meet up with Ross. We are having dinner out with his lovely friend Helena. Then Saturday we are baking some cookies and having lunch with his friend Shammi. Then at 5p we are going to a Whiskey tasting in center of London which I am sooo looking forward to!!! It started out as Ross getting a bottle of whiskey for a friend as a thank you gift and I've now turned it into a whole tasting which I'm very excited about as I enjoy Whiskey but don't know a lot about it. After that we are going to Ed's birthday party at his flat where I get to meet more friends. Sunday not much of a lie in as Ross has an away game of football, hopefully they tie this time!...I can't hope for a win, that seems a bit too high of expectations :p.

All in all I'm looking forward to being with Ross and trying/seeing new things! I love being near London its the best city ever!!!


Tuesday, 16 March 2010

How is it Wednesday?!

The days seem to disappear over here, literally!

Tomorrow is Meg's 11th birthday so tonight I'm making red velvet cupcakes w/ cream cheese frosting for her to take to school. I can only hope it works out as I do not have Dutch Processed coco *eye roll*. I tend to have big fears that I'm going to royally fuck it all up as I am in a kitchen I don't know and a country where ingredients are called different things and etc. Sighh.

I also loose the car today and I hope it is back in 10days time when the family head off to go skiing otherwise I am going to be stranded! TJ one morning accidentally while backing up rubbed the passenger door against her Mercedes. The Mercedes was fine, but the Fiesta now needs a whole new door! sighhhh.

I have lost a half stone while being here and recently put 1lb and 1/2 back on, this weight thing is so damn fickle! I should exercise proper then it'd go away...but I'm lazy. :(.

Not so much other news today, don't plan on going out for St. Patties day, barely even remembered it was today, thank you facebook people for your updates and reminding me :p.

Right should work or maybe nap :p.


Sunday, 14 March 2010

The Weekend

poo, I'm really knackered now! (Sunday eve here).

So Saturday I got up about 9ish, went to town to post a card for my mummy, buy some ingredients to make this cheesecake and that was all.

Came home made cake with just enough time. Then I picked Jonnie up from the bus stop in forrest row and we had a nice drive home. chatted a bit, normally he is very tired after a 12hr day and crash's in the car so was nice to talk. We got home and I put in a duck to bake for his tea and then checked incoming flights to Gatwick. Amy was coming back from Jersey and I needed to pick her up, of course we had mis placed the itinerary so we didn't know exactly which time but I had heard someone say three and TJ said she thought it was between 2 and 3 and when I checked arrivals I saw one plane coming into the North Terminal at 1/2 2 so I thought great and left at 1/2 2 to get her.....I then waited at north Terminal for an hour to discover she was actually on the 4p that landed at south terminal. Grumble grumble. I'd agreed to pick her and Jonnie up so it was just a bit unfortunate but I felt a bit anxious and frustrated because I had been hoping to have dinner with Ross at his place before we went to the show. O well, left airport at 1/2 4 and was finally heading home. Got a lil lost on m23 and stayed on it instead of getting onto m25, sighhh at least it wasn't a huge inconvenience.

We got back to the duck out of the oven and carved up so Amy and I both ate which was awesomely yummy as I was soo hungry and had hardly eaten at that point. By 6p I got to head off to London. :D. Ross met me at Victoria station and we headed to soho theatre. We sat in the bar and each had a drink then wondered up the stairs to wait in a que to be let in. "The Studio" as the theatre called it looked a bit like a dingy class room but at least the performer Russell Kane was far from dingy! He was upbeat, with excellent gesticulation and lots of funny quips! A bit did go over my head but he was brilliant and Ross really enjoyed himself which well made up for anything I did not get.

We got out around 9, it was just a quick 50min performance, and wondered back toward his flat. It was so nice outside we picked up a bottle of red and some dark chocolate and sat out on his roof terrace and enjoyed the view. Twas lovely.

Sunday morning we were up at 9 which was really no shame as it was sooo GORG outside! We headed over to the football pitch with his flat mate Miles and his girlfriend Laura. Laura and I sat on the side lines and tried to encourage poor Brixton to victory which sadly did not happen. We did get in some good shouting and I even called one of the players on the opposing side a wanker because quite frankly the lot of them were! Big cheaters! Pity the ref had skipped out on them last min as it was an important game, sighhhh.

After game we went to Fulham to a Chinese place to eat sooooo much dim sun with Ross' friend Helena who was quite lovely. I ate so much food I almost fell asleep at the table, but then I got out into the fresh air and we walked a bit and I felt better. Saw a very cute Audrey Hepburn dress at a charity shop for 20£ ooooo, but it was in the window and I was told it was coming down on Tue so didn't get to try it on, maybe next weekend.

All in all a lovely time in London, with Ross and meeting his friends. Reallllly looking forward to next weekend when I get to spend fri-sun in London with Ross going to friends birthday parties, a football match, and general relaxing. Ahhhhhh.

Welp, fam is home now. They were out when I got back AND had left most of the cheesecake un eaten :(. Usually if I leave any sweets about for a day in this house hold they are gone when I get back. Ah well :(.


Thursday, 11 March 2010

Why I love Kids!

Right, today I went to pick up the kiddo's from School. Amy is away in Jersey so just Meg, Tom, and their friend James. So on the ride home this conversation transpires.

James is going to the netball tournament referred to as IAPS this Saturday. Meg will be playing as her team has done quite well and qualified.

So Tom says; to everyone really in response to James talking about going to IAPS

"You're also going to hang out with your 5th best friend"

James(rather incredulously): "5TH!? That is placing yourself rather high don't you think?"

Tom: "fine well 15th"

James: That is still rather high"

Tom: "Well 25th"

James: " You do think a lot of yourself don't you?"

Tom:" 50th then"

etc...Tom ends with "150th"

James: "Well really you are like 25th, there are a lot of other girls in front of you mate"

Me: "You clearly have your priorities in order"

James: "Yup"

Too funny.....really had to try not to laugh. Then the day before Amy was teasing Tom a bit about a girl he likes called Liv.

Tom: "Well its not just emotional"

Amy: "O, so is it physical then as well?"

Tom: "I don't even know what that means"

I LOVE these kids!!! Reminder Tom is 9, James and Meg are both 10 (almost 11, they were born the same day in the same hospital in the same room 15min apart) and Amy is 12.

Too funny, can not wait to have kids of my own and here them say things like this...I remember I was just as bad. I believe it was 6th grade when Jason Roos "asked me out" via a note (which yes I still have) that said "would you go out with me? Check one" and there was a yes box and no. I'm pretty sure if memory serves correctly I went home later that day and proudly (and loudly) announced to my parents that I had a boyfriend! haha, ooo dear *head shake*.

Otherwise uneventful day. Saturday a couple of pick ups then taking Ross out somewhere fun..can't say here though coz its a surprise ;)!

Still love going into London, all the old architecture and diversity is positively thrilling! So happy to be here, I really love driving about England in my manual car. My goal now is to get a bit more organized...but I'm procrastinating by writing a blog :p. Need to clean up my room..there are bed clothes at the end of my bed and money on my table. Need to get everything in order! No slacking on that budget! already have some plans for my monies in the future. Life is so exciting :D!

xx B

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Bowling,partying, and general update

Phew, its been awhile. Sorry bout that. Anyhow Thursday runs worked out just fine in the end. Friday my plan was to wake up, see kids off, finish chores, make cake, nap, drive to friends party in Rochford...not quite how it happened.

I ended up going to Brighton to watch Amy play in a net ball Tourny. It was a pity her team was not doing well at all. So TJ and I only stayed a couple of hours. The town of Brighton did look quite lovely. There was a nice looking pier with carnival type rides, beautiful blue sea, and an Arabian looking Palace which was gifted to Brighton sometime back.

TJ and I arrived home round two. I then drove into Edenbridge to get passport renewl forms for the kids and some ingriedents to make a cheesecake. Then I spent the next hour or so till 1/4 after 4 making sure mum was all ready to go when the taxi arrived to take her to Heathrow. She did in the end have everything, BUT we got a last minuet call to come pick Amy up at the school because the friend that was going to take her had to leave and Amy was not back from Brighton yet. Poohy, there went my hour nap.

I finally left at 7:30 and dropped Amy at the neighbors. Thankfully I got to my friends with out getting lost and I drove into town with her and her sis. We met up with some of her friends at a pub where we had before drinks. Then we went to her favorite club called Mayhem. I did dance a little which I was really looking forward to doing but I was sooo knackered I actually sorta napped in the club...ooops. At least it meant I was awake when we left at 10 to 2am. So I got us home safe and sound and then She and I curled up in her bed and nattered. All in All it was a pretty good birthday, I'd say :).

Saturday ended up being loads of fun. Got the kids from their various places and made them grilled ham sandwich's, Meg and I had cheese on ours but Tom and Amy do not like bizarre to me. After that I had a lil nappy for 20min and then I drove the four of us to Tumbridge Wells to the entertainment plex. We went to the Bowlplex but they had no lanes for an hour and a half! As luck would have it the Cinema was playing Alice in Wonderland only 20min after we arrived. So we reserved a lane for 7ish and went and watched the movie. The kids enjoyed the movie...and the sweets I got them ;). Then we bowled a game where Amy won quite nicely, score of 108! Then we drove home.

I have to say I was so thrilled to be out with the three of them. Its not something I've gotten to do before but it was a lot of fun bonding with them.

Once home Amy was knackered coz she had gotten up so early so she was off to bed fairly quickly after dinner. Meg, Tom and I curled up on the living room sofa, me in the middle and watched Hotel for Dogs. Fairly awful movie but wonderful time cuddling with the lil ones. I fed them both ice cream for pud after, my all those sweets!

Sunday we didn't go out as a tutor came to help them out. But that night I roasted a chicken which I was quite proud of! We have no stove so I had to do microwave new potato's and microwave carrots. Which I put in a dish surrounding the chicken. It looked quite pretty in the end. Though when it came to carving I had no clue what I was doing. Meg assured me that they did not mind in the least :). She is such a sweetheart.

Monday I dropped the kids off at the Layby and then procrastinated. That night Jonnie came back from staying at his friends over the weekend and he was knackered so he went to bed pretty quickly! Tuesday I took Amy to Gatwick where she was going on a net ball tour with school to Jersey. That went smoothly, and afterwards I went in to East Grinstead to get on a monthly plan with 02 instead of pay as you go. So was pleased to have that sorted! Then got home to a sparkly clean kitchen, Thanks Agnes! and got to the ironing and putting away of clothes.

Mum and dad were back round 2ish and they went to get the kids from school and then whisked them off to get passport pictures taken. Meanwhile I went and got Jonnie from bus stop and brought him home were we all had chicken pie and baked beans for tea :).

Now that I have been here a bit I'm quite comfortable with the roads and don't really get lost anymore. I understand what direction I'm going in when I see towns labeled like Croyden, Tumbridge Wells etc. I know where the B269, or A264 etc will take me. I do have more of a routine at the house but things have been a it chaotic what with vacations and birthday parties etc! But we manage with hardly any issues at all.

I'm really enjoying my time here. I just feel like everything is perfect right now. I'm really enjoying being back in England and I think when I was in Cali I was restless to do something and to be active again and to just get out. So I'm really happy now. It is hard not having my best gal pals around because I have so much to say but at least my wonderful boyfriend lets me tell him everything so I'm not in need of nattering more than I already do :).

Well this is quite long enough. Hope I filled you in enough mum..o and anyone else that may possibly read this! :p Almost time for me to get up!


Wednesday, 3 March 2010

busy busy busy!

Well it has been hectic this week! Mum and dad leave Friday afternoon for a little weekend skiing. In the meantime there is a Thursday (tomorrow) netball tournament for Meg in Brighton. Which means I get up early (6am) and drive Jonnie and his friend to the bus stop in the morning. Then there is some to do in the afternoon of whos driving whom or picking up where but I expect that shall be figured out.

Today was lots of ironing and tidying up so that it is all cleared away for when mum and dad leave. That went pretty well. Then I spent hours getting a bank account. Driving first to Edenbridge first to find there was no teller there that day to assist me and she was all booked for tomorrow. So turn around drive to Sevenoaks and go to the bigger branch. Wait 45min for available teller then 45min to open bank account. I have to say I left with a big smile on my face. The fellow that helped me was very upbeat and friendly. I really felt taken care of and not like he was resiting something he was told to learn out of a manual. I feel like if I really have some problem I can call him up (he gave me his number) and speak with him and he'll ACTUALLY help me solve the problem. And he'll care! I already like Barclay's about 10billion times better than the ones in America. for 5£ a mo I get mobile phone insurance AND I get a one year warrnty on ALL eletronic purchaes more than 25£ regardless of what the store or company gives me. Plus the first 300£ I overdraft there is no fee. Now isn't that nice and friendly?

Enough about banks. Friday, no afternoon pickups coz I get to go shake my booty with my friend Laura for her 20th birthday out in Rochford! Very excited to have a night out, meet with her friends and then dance,dance dance!

Saturday I have to head back in the morning to do some pick ups and then in the evening we are all planning to go bowling! weee, me an 4 kiddo's to the lanes! Really looking forward to that! Then they have a tutor Sunday for a couple of hours.

Monday and Tuesday will be fairly regular aside from getting up early to do all the morning driving. O wait Tuesday Amy flys to Jersey to a sports thing so I get to drive her to Gatwick. Wee. Then mum and dad back Tuesday afternoon and things resume to a normal easy pace :D

Then Wednesday I get to go see Alice in Wonderland in IMAX in London!!! woohoo. Very excited.

That is all for now. I've got the school runs down, I pretty much have the house work down but I'm still finding a routine. Also things seem to change a lot around here right now. Ski season is a very busy one for this family :D. I imagine in a month or so things will quiet down a bit more.

All in all I love it very much and this family is a lot of fun. The children are all lovely. Spending more time with Amy. She seems to be gravitating towards me as I stand about doing chores. So we have started chatting a bit more. All the kids are curious and ask lots of questions.

Kisses to you Cali mates. Miss you loads!