Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Tuesday's Treasures - Feathery Feeding Time!

For this week's Tuesday's Treasures I decided to post a picture of something that's very needed by our feathery friends at the moment.

On my birthday wish list this year was a bird feeding station which was kindly bought for me by my brother.  When I was growing up my Dad was a avid ornithologist (and still is!) but to be quite honest I could never see the fascination! Since getting older however I now have more of an interest in all things 'wildlife' and there's nothing I like better than sitting at the kitchen table on a Sunday morning, nice hot cup of tea in hand whilst watching a garden full of birds enjoying their Sunday brunch.

I like to put a variety of food out but the blue-tits, great-tits and goldfinches particularly love sunflower hearts.  Although, I must have got through at least 8 seed feeders in this year alone as the rather annoying squirrel (gun at the ready) keeps attacking them! I've now had to resort to a metal nut feeder but the feathery numbers seem to have dwindled recently so I really don't think they're impressed with the menu choice!

Monday, 29 November 2010

Listen carefully...I shall blog zis only once!

Went to see my good friend Jo in 'Allo 'Allo on Saturday afternoon (not Wednesday night as I'd originally planned due to a migraine!) at Leasowes Community Theatre.  This was an amateur production by local group Mayhem Theatre but there was nothing amateur about the performance - it was fab!

It was great to see acquaintances from disbanded Halesowen Musical Comedy Society which I used to be a member of, some of which I'd not seen for about 15 years!  Everyone played their parts exceptionally well and did a great job with the German, French and Italian accents which must have been tricky.

Jo's performance as 'Edith' saw her entering the stage for her first scene adorned with bread rolls for hair curlers.  I'd also like to assure anyone who came to see the performance (especially parents of the school choir!) that Jo's singing really isn't that bad and she obviously does a very good act of singing out of tune :)

A lot of work had gone into the creation of the set which was certainly apparent when the curtains opened.  Authentic costumes were hired in to give the performance a really professional feel.  I would urge anyone to grab tickets for Mayhem's next show, you won't be disappointed.

Whenever I see a show like this I remember how much I used to love acting but I also remember the effort and long hours that go into it.  Well done, Mayhem for all your hard work and on a superb show that had daughter and I in stitches on several occasions (especially anything associated with hidden knockwurst sausages!).

Sunday, 28 November 2010

'Young Voices' 2010

Young Voices is a nationwide music event that takes place from November to January.  Young Voices is, in essence, the largest children's choir organiser in the world.  Concerts are held at various locations such as Birmingham's LG Arena and London's O2 Arena where school choirs come together to perform the 'Young Voices' songs they have been learning for many weeks.  Many other performers also take part and the childrens choir is incorporated into many of these performances.  This year saw the return of the fabulous 'All Angels' along with Dionne Bromfield, Josh Osho and the superb Young Voices dance troup, Urban Strides.

After taking our school choir to the event at Birmingham for the first time last year and having such a fantastic time, Jo and I could not wait to return again.  Although the location had changed this time with a move from the National Indoor Arena to the LG Arena we were sure the atmosphere would be as electric as ever!

The song list this year included 'Bright Eyes' by Simon & Garfunkel, 'Stand By Me' by Ben E King along with super Michael Jackson, Pop, Snow Business and Golden Musical Memories medley's.  I thought the song list this year was superb and personally preferred it to last years although the timing in Bright Eyes was rather difficult, especially for youngsters.

[caption id="attachment_417" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Please note all faces have been obscured where necessary to protect children's identity"][/caption]

We arrived at the LG Arena by coach on Thursday 25th November accompanied by approximately 38 nervous but excited choir members, some of whom attended last year and others who were about to experience Young Voices for the first time. Luckily, this year there was no hanging around outside which was a good thing due to the drastic drop in temperatures.  We had great seats right in the middle of the massed choir and directly in front of the conductor.  Rehearsal went well conducted by the amazing David Lawrence.  I don't know quite how he does it but he has almost the full attention of over 5000 children!

At 5pm we were surprised by the appearance of 'Carrie Grant' who was there to record a live report for the 'One Show'.  We were given some new items to sing and did several practice sessions before going completely live on the 'One Show' at 7pm.  This was such an exciting experience for us, the children and the audience!!

As we'd already imagined, with the children singing their hearts out and the addition of Santa hats and coloured lights the atmosphere was absolutely magical.  Many of the children were very tired by the end of the concert and then with a walk back to the coach and a trip back from Birmingham I think they were very glad to get home.

This was 'A's last year at 'Young Voices' as next year she'll be off to High School.  She sat next to me during the performance and sang her absolute heart out!  She told me later that she was determined to make the most of it as she wouldn't get the chance to go again.  Unfortunately my partner in crime, Jo, missed the actual performance as she had to leave early due to doing her own performance onstage in 'Allo 'Allo.  This was a real shame after the work we've both put in but I've no doubt we'll be back again next year with a new set of kids and a new set of songs.

Well done Young Voices for excelling yourselves once again and organising a superb event.  What better way to start the Christmas season than with 5000 children singing in unison!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

'The Gallery' - Man & Dog

Gallery theme for this week is 'Black & White' and I had just the picture in mind for this.


Bude in Cornwall has always been a favourite holiday destination of ours ever since the children were little.  One of our most loved spots is 'Duckpool' - a small National Trust beach a little further up the coast from Bude.  We've spent many a Summer and Autumn day sitting on this beach and this particular photo was taken on a .............Summer day (yes, you wouldn't think it would you!).  The sky was so dark and stormy but the camera just wouldn't do it justice.  I tried a B&W setting and voila!  It captured the scene just as I'd wanted.

Pre December Update!

There's a lot going on recently but nothing that particularly warranted a full on 'post' all of it's own, therefore I thought I'd blog a little 'update'.

Can you believe it's only 30 days until Christmas? It only seems 5 minutes since I was lying on a beach in Majorca - browning nicely and now here I am, hat, scarf and gloves at the ready and precariously plodding my way to school as the dog nearly pulls me over on the icy pavements!  Say what you like though about the hype, but I do love this time of year with the anticipation of Christmas.  Cold, frosty mornings are wonder and especially so when walking a dog - why didn't anyone ever tell me?  We'd have had him much sooner :)

My Christmas pressy buying is not going too badly (for once) although I always seem to make a good start and then my enthusiasm dwindles, leaving me with 26 presents still to buy come Christmas eve!  How are you all getting on?  You're all going to tell me now that you started in July and they're already wrapped aren't you?

Got a busy week this week.  Monday started off with Dancing and Guides for 'A' as normal with an extra rehearsal thrown in ready for her Preliminary Modern exam this coming Sunday.  Yesterday (Tuesday) was our very last school choir rehearsal for the 'Young Voices' concert taking place tomorrow at the NEC in Birmingham.  The kids are really hyped (as am I!) about the whole thing although I think some of the younger members are a little nervous.  They're really in for a great day though if last year was anything to go by.

Tonight I'm off to see my lovely friend Jo playing 'Edith' in 'Allo 'Allo which is being performed by Mayhem Theatre Group.  From the little tit-bits I've heard so far, I can't wait! (More to come on this tomorrow :) )

As I've already mentioned tomorrow I'll be off to the NEC with the school choir.  It's going to be a long but very enjoyable day.  We leave school around 1pm and won't be returning till around half ten.  As much as I love the snow and frosty weather, let's hope it at least holds off to allow us a safe and swift journey there and back.

Friday is a quieter day, although it is the School's Christmas fayre which I no doubt will be attending to test my luck on the old tombola :).  'S' also has a friend sleeping over Friday night as a treat for his 14th Birthday.  Gone are the days of keeping them entertained though, luckily they'll be quite happy with a pizza and an evening of Xbox!

After such a busy week I'm relieved to say the weekend is a quiet one.  'A' has her dance exam Sunday morning but other than that I'm looking forward to a nice relaxing time with a morsel of Christmas cooking and cardmaking thrown in for good measure.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Tuesday's Treasures - No to nailbiting!

Week 3 of Tuesday's Treasures is a a rather random picture of..............

My Nails!

This may seem a bit of a strange choice for my treasure but I am extremely proud of these little beauties.  I have been an addicted nail biter for 33 years and then suddenly last year I finally managed to break the habit!

I tried so many different methods including that horrible 'nail biting solver' but nothing seemed to work - eventually it just came down to sheer willpower.  After buying many, many packs of 'Broadway Artifical Nails' I thought the time had come to stop spending my money and just grow my own.

I started using Sally Hansen's Maximum Growth which was great and really helped to strengthen my nails.  I found that once I'd got past the 'end of finger' stage I wasn't even tempted to bite them.  I think the temptation was more so a jagged bit of nail or dry skin but once I started looking after them this disappeared.

Looking after my nails is now something I find quite therapeutic.  I love cutting and shaping them and also trying different colours of nail enamel.  Obviously, they still break from time to time like everyone elses but I've never been tempted to bite them even when they do.  Due to the fact that I'd bitten my nails for such a long time and also that I used to bite them so low the nail bed areas are now quite short, but even these have improved as time's gone on though.

I often get compliments now on my 'lovely' nails and I'm so proud as I know the willpower it took to get them like this.  My nails are actually quite short on this photo as they were getting too long for playing the piano. I never thought I'd see the day when I'd actually have to 'cut' my nails with scissors......I thought my teeth would forever do the job!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

'The Gallery' - Before & After Nickelodeon

Week 35 of 'The Gallery' is the theme 'Before and After'.  Tara Cain's outline was to find a picture you've taken before and re-stage it in some way.  I've actually had to pull out all the stops for this one and take a 'new' picture! *Shock!!

I call this 'Before and After the Nickelodeon Channel!'

This photo of 'A' was taken in 2004 when she was just 4 years old, it's always been a favourite of mine.

Here she is again aged 10 after many viewings of iCarly, Hannah Montana, HSM etc etc.  Can you see the influence?

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Tuesday's Treasures - Old Faithful!

For week 2 of Tuesday's Treasures I've decided to post a picture of my lovely piano.

[caption id="attachment_378" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="My Pride & Joy!"][/caption]

This piano was bought for me when I was 7 years old (I'm now *ahem 34)!  It was bought as a gift from my Grandad on the condition that I practised hard and learned to play 'properly'.  I kept my promise and after much cajoling and nagging from Mom and Dad took my Grade 8 aged 15 - I hope I did him and them proud.

Although, I now also have a digital piano which is great for recording and other fancy techno stuff, it will never replace 'old faithful'.    I've always loved the sound of this piano, especially the rich bass notes, however it's probably now in need of a little tlc as it could do with new felts inside along with other bits and pieces.  Never-the-less, it still holds a special place in my heart and I could never part with it.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Postcrossing - Travel the world from home

Postcrossing was something I stumbled upon in the Summer whilst looking for penpals.  It really is a great idea and you can learn more by checking out www.postcrossing.com.  I can remember finding the site, registering my details and then I couldn't wait to tell 'A' all about it as I knew she'd love it too.

Postcrossing.com is a postcard exchange site and is very addictive!  You register your name and address and then click on 'Send Postcard'.  You are then given a random name and address from somewhere in the world.  Your postcard can contain as much or as little information as you wish to write and must also contain the special ID code given to you by Postcrossing.  This enables the receiver to register the card their end when it arrives.  There is an option to operate 'Direct Swaps' where people may read your profile and personally request your address.  Other than participating in this option you never know where your next postcard will arrive from as the system is all done at random.

This is something that 'A' has loved taking part in and it's a great tool for teaching kids about world geography.  We've also received postcards with little snippets written in the language of that country which she has been able to punch into google translate.  She's also translated her own little snippets to write in the language of the person she's sending the card to.  Postcrossing has also been an invaluable tool for helping with her handwriting as she knows that if her writing is unclear the receiver will be unable to read it!  Obviously, as with all internet use I carefully observe all her participation in the site.

[caption id="attachment_373" align="aligncenter" width="1024" caption="A favourite of mine from Sonia in Germany"][/caption]

Within your Postcrossing profile it's possible to say the kind of postcards you'd like to receive but I for one love seeing pictures of where people live.  Unfortunately, living in a small urban town I've personally found it very difficult to find suitable postcards to send out to other people.  I've had to visit local historic sites and near-by villages to acquire any resemblance of a postcard!

The Postcrossing site also has a great forum which covers topics like penpals, 'random acts of smileyness', education and meet-ups.  There is also a great blog at www.postcrossing.com/blog which gives an insight into postcrossing around the world.

[caption id="attachment_374" align="aligncenter" width="1024" caption="Another favourite from Japan"][/caption]

I think the idea of postcard exchange is a wonderful idea especially in today's 'electronic' world.  I think that the importance of the hand written word is being lost and this is perhaps just a small way to keep it alive!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Harry Potter - A Family United

The count down is on, it's now officially 8 days till Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 is released in the UK.  I for one can't wait!

There is something about the Harry Potter series that is just so enchanting.  I love the fact that when I get immersed in the story I feel like I'm a child again where anything seems possible.  I'm transported to a fantasy world away from the humdrum of everyday life/chores/work etc where magic is commonplace and good must conquer evil.  I still marvel at J K Rowlings imagination in creating such a complex world of magic and characters with names such a Peter Pettigrew, Bellatrix Lestrange and Albus Dumbledore.  The woman is a genius!

The other thing I love about Harry Potter is that (cheesy as it is) it unites us as a family.  We've all read the books, watched the films, discussed the actors/actresses and even played the game.  Believe me, with a 10 and 13 year old it's often difficult to find things we can share as a family.  Harry Potter is that thing!

Of course I have certain favourites from the films and the books and I believe some Directors have done the series justice and others just weren't to my taste.  I am still a huge fan of Chris Columbus' direction of The Philosophers Stone.  Something just felt comfortable and homely about this version whereas my least favourite film would be Alfonso Cuaron's 'Prisoner of Azkaban'. Hogwarts was portrayed in a different light as were the characters - something just didn't feel right!

My favourite character has to be Bellatrix Lestrange and had I actually made it to Drama School when I was 18, this is a part I would have loved to play!  Helena Bonham Carter is amazing as Bellatrix and has just the right amount of sinister and insanity about her.  I also adore Alan Rickman's portrayal of Severus Snape and I can't wait to see how he plays his part in the last two films.

I loved the Delores Umbridge character in 'The Order of the Phoenix and Imelda Staunton played this fantastically with just the right amount of pink mumsiness with an edge of venom.  In 'Half Blood Prince' I felt there should have been more about the 'Young' Tom Riddle as this part of the story gives us a such a massive insight into the beginnings of Voldemorts malevolent nature.  I know I'm asking for a lot though as a 4 hour film just wouldn't practical!

One things for sure, family TFAMMM is truly looking forward to Part 7 of Harry Potter and the 19th November can't arrive soon enough!



Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The Gallery - Arnold's Autumn Adventure

Well this is Week 34's entry for 'The Gallery' and the topic is 'Seasons'.

Well I thought what better picture to use for this weeks entry than of our lovely puppy enjoying the Autumn leaves.  This was taken on our recent afternoon out at Bidford-On-Avon.  It was a beautiful November afternoon, the sun was shining and there was a lovely nip in the air.  Arnold had his first experience rustling the leaves and was completely shattered by the end of the afternoon.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Tuesday's Treasures - Gilbert 1,2 & 3

Well here's my post for Week 1 of 'Tuesday's Treasures'.

Gilbert 1, 2 & 3

[caption id="attachment_355" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Gilbert 2 & 3"][/caption]

I absolutely adore these cute ceramic cats by 'Quail' and bought these two from a lovely little shop called 'The Cats Whiskers' in Tintagel, Cornwall.  Their actual name written on the base is 'Basil' but they're called Gilbert after our lovely chubby moggie who we had to have put to sleep a few months ago.  They look just like him!  They were affectionately named Gilbert 2 & 3 by 'A' as obviously, our own super puss was Gilbert 1!

They do lots of other different coloured cats in the range and Mom has 'Simon' and 'Dusty'? to match her two lovely cats.  They also do salt and pepper pots, egg cups etc as well as other animals and birds.

Gilbert 2 & 3 have pride of place on my hearth and mantel and are a super reminder of our dearly missed Gilbert 1.

[caption id="attachment_356" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Gilbert '1'"][/caption]

Sunday, 7 November 2010

The Gallery - Braving the Elements

This is my first post for Tara Cain's weekly post 'The Gallery'.  It's a little late but due to the fact that I love this pic so much I thought I'd post it on here anyway!

This photo was taken back in 2008 on our girls weekend to Tenby.  The weather was ...........in a word...........AWFUL!  Due to the fact that we 'always' walk South Beach we were determined to go ahead as usual.

Oh my God.......the picture says it all!  We could hardly stand up let alone pose for the photo. Our clothes were soaked, I had to hold onto my hat for fear it would blow away and Steph (on the left) didn't realise that her hat was perched on top of her head like an elf and none of us bothered to tell her! :)

I have to say we had to give in half way across and the journey in the other direction was much quicker as the wind was blowing from behind us!

I can't help but laugh every time I look at this photo and I've just had a little giggle to myself whilst typing this and reminiscing about how funny the whole thing was at the time.

Tuesday's Treasures

I'll be posting a picture of some of my favourite and most treasured trinkets and trappings and a little bit of blurb to tell you about them.  I would love you to join in by posting a similar item on your own blog or facebook page.  I will not be posting every week, but as and when I have something to share :).

Your photo can be of absolutely anything from your husband to your newest handbag, a favourite photo to your latest flower arrangement!

Hoping you will join in the fun and can't wait to see your weekly offerings!

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Afternoon by the River

[caption id="attachment_320" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Bidford-On-Avon"][/caption]

Well I was determined that this weekend wouldn't come and go again like every other day.......housework, washing, kids bickering etc etc so we watched the weather forecast and today seeming to be the better day of the two we decided to have an afternoon at Bidford-On-Avon.  Mom, Dad and bro came too to make the most of the lovely weather.  This was Arnold's first big afternoon out and with the amount of clobber we had to take it felt like having a toddler all over again!

The weather was beautiful and the sunshine certainly enhanced the lovely colours in the trees.  'A' (and Mom!) had a great time on the park especially seeing as there were some new gadgets to play with!  Not quite so busy today as it normally is but I guess that's only to be expected in November.

Arnold met loads of new doggy buddies today and we were even brave enough to let him off the lead for 10 minutes.  He was brilliant!  P, S, A and myself split up and each had a handful of treats and then took it in turns to call him.  He then shot towards us like a rocket! :)  We really want to try letting him off the lead a bit more now but we're just so worried that the second he sees another pooch he'll be off!  The swans didn't like the look of him much but he didn't let the fact that they were spitting put him off!  He had a great time in the leaves and especially when we kicked them up in the air for him to dive into.

Comical moment came late this afternoon when Mom offered to make 'P' and I a hot drink.  I got a lovely cup of tea and 'P' almost ended up with a nice steaming cup of gravy seeing as Mom had took the wrong jar from the caravan :)

[caption id="attachment_321" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Lovely Autumn colours"][/caption]

All in all a super afternoon out topped off by fish and chips on the way home.  Although, Arnold's contribution to the trip back was somewhat less pleasant as there were some rather strange odours eminating from the back of the car.  We seriously have to change his food!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Arnold - Class of (Nov) 2010

[caption id="attachment_308" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="See me 'Sit'!"][/caption]

Well, that's it, Puppy socialisation class is now over - wow that 4 weeks went fast!

I think the opportunity to meet and play with the

other puppies has been invaluable.  He's learned a few important tricks along the way such as sit, down, roll over but I think just the chance to interact with other similar dogs has been the most important part of puppy class and I'd recommend it to anyone.



I don't think we're planning to take him to dog training as we're happy to keep up the practice at home.  He has plenty of other doggy mates he can interact with too to show him the ways of the canine world.

[caption id="attachment_307" align="alignright" width="225" caption="See me 'Lie Down'!"][/caption]

I can't believe the change in him just over the last 3 or 4 weeks.  He listens (most of the time!) to what we say and seems eager to please us.  Hearing some of the other owners tell their stories at puppy class I actually consider us to be very lucky as he's picked things up (especially house training) so fast! 9 or 10 wks ago when he was a little ankle biting monster I often wondered what the hell we were doing wrong!  Thanks to everyone who said "it will get easier" as it has and we really do have a lovely puppy :).

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

How the couch potato became a runner

When I think back to school PE lessons, I was.......OK.  Not Paula Radcliffe but not a snail either!  I often competed in sports day events such as the 200m and did 'OK' - 2nd or 3rd place maybe, but never won anything.  In high school I competed in the 15oom a couple of times more out of peer pressure than an actual love of the distance and always did terribly!  After leaving school I was more interested in alcohol, boys and then later on married life, children, work etc!  I don't think I really considered the fact that I needed to do some exercise until just after I hit the big 3-0.  I suddenly realised that I couldn't keep shovelling chocolate, wine and all things unhealthy into my body without noticing the physical effects.........in effect I was getting fat!

P was already into running and did the odd race here and there.  He subscribed to the 'Runners World' magazine and on odd occasions I'd pick one up and have a read.  I was surprised to find that it wasn't all about super svelte ultra marathon runners but there were also a lot of articles for novice runners or complete beginners.  From reading the magazines I then found the 'Runners World' website which was not only packed with really useful info but also the most fantastic forum.

The most important advice I could give to anyone new to running would be :

1. Make sure you're physically fit and get a check-up with the Doctor

2. Get fitted with the correct running shoes

3. Take it slowly!

When I say take it slowly, I mean TAKE IT SLOWLY!  It's so tempting once you're all kitted out with your brand new running trainers, gps watch, bright yellow lycra bodysuit etc etc to think you have the physical ability to match your new gear!  Unfortunately, stamina and strength can't be purchased at the nearest sports store ............. you have to work at it!

Remembering back, for my first attempt I intended to follow a plan I'd found through Runners World which was basically to Walk 1 min / Jog 1 min repeated 5 times.  Believe me at this point in my running career I could barely manage that 1 min jog!  Although not overweight, I couldn't believe how physically unfit I had become.  This was going to be hard!  I felt I looked such a fool to the general passer-by, never-the-less, I stuck with it, gradually increasing the length of time I jogged rather than walked and before I knew it I could jog constantly for 10 minutes without any sign of a walk!

Since then my running has continued, although I do have the occasional break (which I know I shouldn't!).  Unfortunately, I do find that when I have even the shortest break of a few weeks my fitness plummets in no time at all and then I have to work back up to the level I'd got to.  I've done a few races such as the 5k Race for Life series, the 5k Hydro Active Challenge in Birmingham, the Great Manchester Run (10k) and also the Evesham 10k.  At my best I could run for an hour without stopping.  You cannot explain to a non-runner the sense of acheivement you get from completing a race such as these, especially when you know the work you've put in to get you there.

[caption id="attachment_298" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Race for Life - Sutton Park"][/caption]

Even now, I know I'm not what you'd call 'a natural born runner' but I do the best I can with what I've been given :).  In fact, in runner's terms I'm what you'd call a 'plodder'!  All I have to keep in mind is even the slightest amount of 'plodding' is better for me than sitting on my bum watching TV!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

School Choir

As most of you know my friend Jo and I set up a choir at our daughter's primary school in 2007 as we felt this was something the school lacked.  The choir has gone from strength to strength ever since and we now have 38 members.  This number will no doubt grow in January when we have an intake of Year 3's.

In the run up to Christmas we keep to our Year 4, 5 and 6's. The children perform at the 'Young Voices' event in Birmingham and this can be a very tiring and long day, and would be especially so for Year 3.  We took part in Young Voices for the first time last year and the experience was amazing!  We always give Year 3 the opportunity to join in January when we start work on our Summer concert.

This year we will also be taking part in the Merry Hill Choir Competition for the very first time.  We're very excited about this as are the children!  We have to perform for 15 minutes and include at least 3 Christmas themed songs.  We've chosen to perform two of the Christmas songs I've written (one of which Jo and I jointly wrote lyrics to) and also our 'signature' tune, Now's the Time, as we felt these would be new and original and help to set us apart from the other choirs taking part!

I can't believe we only have 4 weeks to get the children to learn these new songs - what a challenge that's going to be!

Monday, 1 November 2010

Nan's 90th Party

Had a lovely time on Saturday night at Nan's 90th Birthday party.  She'd been told we were organising a bit of a tea but I think she was quite surprised to see her whole family there and was a little emotional :).

Lovely 90th Birthday cake made by Emma (thanks matey)!

My New Header

Have been having a little play around with photoshop, some lovely downloads from Shabby Princess and some great fonts from Kevin and Amanda have managed to come up with a new header...........what do you think?

Not sure whether I'll stick with it yet, but at least it's something new and original :)