Dutch Duolingo complete

Well Done Me! This morning I did the last 2 chapters of the Duolingo Dutch course.

I am level 14 out of a possible 25, which means there is lots of room for improvement! I haven’t done any for a week as I wanted to think German for that essay. The last chapters were on the geography of the Netherlands and on local foods. I am very much looking forward to trying them!

Now I need to get back into the habit of revising  5 lessons a day so I can improve fluency.






“Very Good”

Bizarrely I got a Very Good mark for my German essay, for which I studied all of 3 hours in the last 5 weeks, then dashed off in a tizzy while suffering from a dreadful cold. I really was quite shamefaced while submitting it, knowing it was a total crap effort.

I determine to actually study next time !! p

pI promise!!


Stafford & Birmingham

Hello. So Friday I got the train to Stafford, had lunch in SK with mum. Popped into the market for some lovely balls of yarn. Mum & Dad had only just got back from Devon and were recovering from the strains of looking after an elderly relative. I was still suffering with the cold and went to bed shortly after tea. I think it was about 7pm!!


Saturday mum & I went to Birmingham, and had a lovely lunch in Tortilla in Grand Central, which is the fancy shopping mall with massive food court near New Street Station. Had a look in some fancy colourful shops, very nice. we were both pretty feeble and had to stop for cuppas more than anything!

Then we went to the covered market there by the Bull Ring to this knitting stall.


Picture nicked from the web as my phone had no battery. The lady manning the stall was lovely and very helpful. I got 5 balls in some fab colours. I haven’t crocheted much in the past weeks as been occupied with tidying . But with this cold I was happy to sit in bed crocheting and I did lots this weekend. So I’ll put some pics up shortly.

Saturday night we watched “Fargo” and enjoyed it. it’s 20 years old! It’s always been one of my favourites. I showed mum some potential homes for us in Amsterdam on Pararius.nl and then we enjoyed looking at some flats in Exmouth on Rightmove.com . It was all very hypothetical but fun!

Didn’t do much at all on Sunday. Oh yes, I cut mum’s hair. I was a bit terrified of the outcome as it must be at least 2 years since i did it. Maybe much longer.  I had to youtube some techniques. It looked pretty after.

Came home to find Jojo better but Fred is now ill and Lola has got worse.

I received a dressing down from a precious teenager for about half an hour and then went straight to bed!


I felt much better this morning. I did lots of sensible stuff like having a healthy cooked breakfast with kale in it (Urgh) and took my iron (etc) tablets. Made a load of omelettes for the kids too. I did lots of kitchen jobs. Then the kids started waking up. I had the intention of taking some of them for a walk. We were watching the Hairy Bikers and Bake Off while waiting for different people to get ready. The Bake Off episode featured Egg custards and lots of us started wanting an egg custard!

In the end the 3 kids and I (Obv Jojo was at school) went on the bus to Ditton to Coffee500. it had been such a long time waiting for various folk to get up that we ended up being there for lunch. It is a very reasonable place to eat. we had all sorts of fancy mochas and hot choc with American marshmallow fluff in etc. and a toasted sandwich each. We had a nice chat in there with lots of laughing, Thank You Jesus! It is not very often we have these teens interacting with each other so nicely. We have a bunch of intense personalities!


Then Fred got the bus home, and the girls and I walked a little way to the Halebank Co-op and got those elusive egg custards!

Also today Lee rang his future boss A. Today she was personally moving house from Germany to Amsterdam. She said his contract is 100% being done! Honest! As he suspected there really is only one woman in HR who does these things and she’s been off ill. She is back in now and working on it.  Wahoo! We live in Hope!




Essay submitted, wahoo!


Wednesday I had lunch with Emilia and this cute kid! He does smile and try to converse with me, but I can’t capture it. He did eat a portion of banana baby porridge. Then, I didn’t manage to get much more essay done. Jojo came home looking rather ill and I conceded defeat by the cold: I didn’t go to Jojo’s Parents Evening. I went to bed and watched Crazy Stupid Love, one of my favourite films, with the Dutch subtitles on. It’s hilarious.

I woke up knowing I only had a few hours to sort this German essay. I wrote it in Biro and then I needed a computer to upload it to Open Uni’s website. My laptop is working but currently does not have Microsoft Office! So I can’t create a document on there. Penny and Emilia were both out so I braved the weather to walk to the local library. I look and feel dreadful too. I got in there 11.30. quickly typed up my work and submitted it at 12:02. The deadline was 12:00 but I think that’ll be fine. Phew! On the bus stop to come home I met Emilia with Sam in the pram. So we walked together and she made me this fabulous lunch.

Eating is such a treat at hers, she makes everything a bit special, she always goes the extra mile. Her kid obliged us by sleeping out the back door throughout. Very different to yesterday!!

I am very much looking forward to going to Mum & Dad’s this weekend. It has been a difficult week just trying to get people fed & to Dr appointments while being ill. I do feel a lot better today but still quite weak and tired.

Time to work :(

20170125_095913.jpgStill with a bad cold, I spent Tuesday mostly in bed.  I saw Penny for a few minutes and had a nice phone call with Becca.  Then took Ruby to her orthodontist appointment in the afternoon. She got the bar (wire) of her brace replaced as she’d chewed through it a bit. The orthodontist Dr Woodier, who is very nice, remarked at the change in her, looking at the plaster cast of her original teeth shape. It is difficult to realise that only last year she had one front tooth completely overlapping the other. Anyway, her overbite or whatever is also getting corrected well, and she has an appointment in 2 months for the bottom brace to go on. Good progress! Then we had lunch in Tortilla, v nice healthy tacos full of veg, beans & salad, and then went home. I necked a bottle of Home ‘n’ Bargain’s £1 red wine and fell into a deep sleep, emerged at 10pm feeling a lot more human!

Today is Writing My German Essay Day! It has to be in at lunchtime on 26th. Thankfully these huge bags under my eyes are full of adjective endings, strong declensions, and the correct word order in subordinate clauses. Only Kidding! I don’t know any of these things and I am frantically looking them up. !!

Jojo got his 1st school report yesterday and it’s Parents Evening tonight. As ever his report is very good & complementary. It is a school which works very hard to get you to learn the best of everything you can and it suits his character. It really is the best preparation he could have had for the foreign move. Whatever school he goes to next, I suspect he could not be asked to work harder, but he is practiced in giving a loft of effort.

Lee and Lola are also suffering with a bad cold.  😦 sad times!



Ange & Chris: Modern day heroes!

So I made a massive tray of macaroni cheese, roast potatoes, defrosted a chicken stew, Tea: achieved! Then told Lola to give out some jobs to the kids,  and went to Angie’s. I had to go over for Chris some of the things I said to Angie the other night relating to SBC, which was very uncomfortable, and we had some discussions, thankfully lovingly. Please pray for all concerned! It’s been a strange day.



oh hello. above left, some ducks on their first flight apparently. This morning I was determined to Do Something! after 2 days basically abed. So I moved this cupboard downstairs from my bedroom & put the saucepans in it. I chucked out a horrible old broken dark brown tallboy that I had been using there. (top right).

Also I bought this Brene Brown book in a 2nd hand shop the other day to get change for the car park, but it turns out it’s about how to become more like me! #arrogant?

Anyway I had a lovely good talk with Emilia this morning and we looked at her wedding photos and stuff. Then I felt a bit dizzy so came home for a little lie down. I’ve done a good bit of cleaning today too. it’s baby steps, but you can see a difference in the dining room. Simonne thinks her friend can get & fit us some 2nd hand patio doors for the back door.That would be excellent!

some pics from her wedding. wow people have changed!!




I have come down with a bad cold.

On Saturday morning Lee and I had breakfast in Bold St Coffee. Then we went with Joe, Emilia and Sam to Delifonseca’s to lunch. It is pretty fancy food! I had Lebanese salad, chips & aioli. Lee had fish n chips, a fabulous version of. Joe had a bombe thing of liver in cabbage, Emilia had a beef salad. I was a bit too uncomfortable to really enjoy it unfortunately! I just went straight to bed after for the day.

Also the crochet has become a lovely rectangle, and I got myself this silly donut cushion.


Also look at my new hob kettle on the left, it’s gorgeous and so fun! I didn’t go to church, mostly been asleep today.  Someone from church brought me some flowers today which I have put with my pink lilies.


Birthday Dinner at Maranto’s

I didn’t do much daytime – carried on with this turquoise crochet, it’s really pretty. I went for a pizza lunch with my two girls, we had a nice time and a good laugh. I made sure I didn’t eat much, as we had the birthday dinner to look forward to! Jonny has the same birthday as me, turning 68 I think, so we decided to have a joint birthday. They treated us to a fab dinner at Maranto’s on Lark Lane. We had a lovely meal and lots of talk. Lee hasn’t spent any time with them before, well he certainly knows about them now! Simonne had quite a few pets, and told us about growing up in Harare with 27 dogs, 30-odd cats, 2 monkeys! etc! I had a lovely pea, mint & spinach risotto and they all had massive steaks. The food is very good in there. It was a good night.


to Paula’s

Hello, Thursday morning I went to Paula’s to look at her crochet stuff, I’ve never been to her house before and it’s always interesting innit!  I borrowed a mag off her as I liked this pattern, and I’m having a go in this Alize 4ply (?)sparkly mohair (?):

afineromanceI think it could become a café-curtain or something.

Then Emilia came for a cuppa, and later I went to housegroup, I have started going to Jonny & Simonnes’ group as they can give me a lift! Neither of the housegroups are very accessible from my house – both at least 2 buses and not very frequent services. And Lee is simply often not here to give a lift as he is frequently away – he was in Belfast Tuesday, and by the sounds of it he will be away even more before long!!

I was a bit tired and shy as there’s a few people I really don’t know, but i’ll soon get into it.