Only two more sleeps…

Not long to go now and we will be enjoying a long awaited 2 week break.  It has been such a long time since the Christmas holidays and I am really looking forward to both a rest and a change…and a lie in.  I have positively yawned myself through this week at work a combination of late nights and early mornings when what I actually need right now is early nights and late mornings.

Of course everything happens just as you are preparing for a holiday and the added increase in the amount of tasks to get done both at home and work before you go just adds to the stress levels.  I feel I am being stretched in all directions and my list runs to 5 pages.  Fitting all the different activities and errands together is like trying to sort out one of those Krypton Factor puzzles and make it all fit.

We have a glut of family birthdays to deal with alongside Easter, our new car is being delivered some time this week even though we asked for it to be available after Easter, my tablets have run down to only a weeks supply and we are away for two so I need to renew my prescription, I will have to cook some meals to use up all the food in the fridge and who was it thought a staff conference the week before Easter was a good idea.  On top of that Homebase are having a 15% off everything weekend starting Friday which will include the Farrow and Ball paint we have chosen to use in our house makeover – so we have to make a decision – should we pop down on Friday morning before setting off for Scotland to take advantage of the offer.  What would you do?

Tomorrow evening after work and after the hairdressers is my only time to pack, make Easter eggs for daughter No 1, make a fruit cake and do any final washing and ironing as well as cut the lawn and move the pots of plants and water them.  Something tells me I won’t be posting on my blog before we go!

Have a lovely Easter everyone – I know I will even though we will be re-roofing the cottage for part of the time (well I will just be supervising) that is as long as the roof slates and velux arrive on the right day and the roofer turns up.

Packing, potting and posting…

              Lilac Verbena

‘No matter how busy a man is, he is never too busy to stop and talk about how busy he is.’              Kahlil Gibran

Perhaps this is true of blogging as at the moment I am breaking off my busy tasks to write a short post!

Getting ready for tomorrow

  • Try on clothes to find an outfit – done
  • Check toiletries bag – done
  • Clean shoes – done
  • Collect items together to go to sister-in-law (items we have been storing waiting for such a moment to be able to pass them back and yeah – more empty space for us! – definitely done
  • Wash and iron any clothes to take – done
  • Collect together any items for journey – done

  Household tasks       

  • Dishes – done
  • Fridge to clean out – has to be another day
  • 4 loads of washing – done many more than 4 – great drying day
  • strip bed and wash – done
  • Sewing – turn up lovely hubbly’s jeans – done
  • Dust and Hoover our bedroom – done
  • Dust and Hoover office – done
  • Labelling items – ran out of time
  • Check on directions for taking new supplements and make a note for kitchen notice board – nope
  • Add items to shopping list as I think of them – done
  • Plant plug plants – done – see below

Quite a productive day despite the raging heat which has left me feeling rather ‘cream crackered’.  Must retire to bed now for some much needed beauty sleep for the party tomorrow and because we need to rise with the larks and be off on our journey at 8.30am – I had thought about giving everyone a timed ticked for the use of the shower room to prevent a queue building up tomorrow morning – 4 adults and one shower is not easy!

The best things come in little packages

I arrived home last night to find a surprise waiting for me…

The free perennial plug plants I sent for from Gardeners World magazine.  I had forgotten all about them as they are quite late in arriving.  They are all re-potted and  hiding behind the shed for the weekend out of the direct sunlight.  There are 6 tiny plants of Foxgloves, Geums, Lavender, Echinacea, Penstemon and Delphiniums and they are so cute I just hope they make up for lost time so that they can get established before the end of the summer.

Have a lovely weekend – I certainly will and hopefully one or two photos to post.

And before I go  – welcome to my new readers from the Philippines and Ireland – I hope you enjoyed stopping by.

Thoughtful Thursday…

“This must be Thursday,’ said Arthur to himself, sinking low over his beer. ‘I never could get the hang of Thursdays.”

Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

I have spent the whole week at work steadily reducing my pile of files and getting rid of some of those ‘hangers on’ you know the ones I mean – the problem files – the difficult matters – the ones people pass to you to sort and suddenly there in the corner they breed overnight.  Well I have achieved a small victory – probably short-lived – but one worth noting.  Each problem dealt with is another tick off the list and nothing feels better than crossing off those items one by one.

Tomorrow is my day off and chance to start on my domestic To Do list with just as many problems to sort.  This weekend we will be going to my nieces wedding celebration party in Oxford – the snag is – the groom is unable to attend – yes very unusual I know and it is a long story but there you go.  It will be a very casual affair in a picturesque little village hall with barbecue and dancing.  I have to put together a suitably coordinated outfit to pack tomorrow from a rather uncoordinated selection.  I have some nice tops and even some nice bottoms but the nice tops don’t necessarily go with the nice bottoms!

We will be staying in Oxford overnight on Saturday and although I would have liked to try the much acclaimed Malmaison hotel, converted from an old prison, there were no deals going and anyway the converted cells might feel a bit too claustrophobic for me.  So we have booked into the local Travel Lodge (practical and very predictable) but fine for what we need.

Beautiful conversion of the Old Oxford Prison ...

I am hoping for good weather as I intend to pack as if it will be good weather with only a standby jumper and umbrella thrown in just in case. I haven’t checked yet but I am presuming my toiletries bag is still all ready to go from my weekend away at my sisters wedding.

First thing on Friday morning I need to make a list and already it looks like my Friday Fling and Fiscal Friday may have to wait yet another week as I will be lucky to even attempt the quickest of Tidy Friday’s.  Oh how I long for a weekend at home, two in a row would be even better but that might be asking a bit much!

Ready, steady, pack…

Rain, rain and more rain…but I am sure it is about to stop because a) – it has now rained constantly almost since that sunny day in March when my sister got married (and how lucky was she!) and b) –  tomorrow we are going to our cottage for 2 weeks…yeah…and I have ordered good weather.  We set off tomorrow for Scotland to escape our normal busy lives here.

We are going to a special place that is just as unhurried and stress free as you can get…

where we are hidden away with a gorgeous view to wake up to…

and my flowers are well in bloom…can’t wait to see my garden again.  It is always a surprise to see how much everything has grown.

But before then the packing has to be attended to and as always the question is where to begin.  Of course I won’t be even attempting to do the Friday Fling today

  • Finish bits of washing for holiday
  • Change and wash bedding – I like to put fresh bedding on before we go so it is clean to come back to.
  • Wash clothes ready for work when we get back – I may not get them ironed but I know they will be clean for our return.
  • Ironing to do – as much as possible
  • Prepare clothes to take with us
  • Pack some basic food items – we will shop for rest when we get there
  • Quick flick round with the duster
  • Run hoover over the floors
  • Check bank accounts
  • Water plants indoors
  • Clear out the fridge
  • Have a sit down for half an hour and a cup of tea!

So I won’t be blogging for a while until my return as we don’t have TV or phone or computer at the cottage – no technology just a mobile that only works at the bottom of the garden.  Bye for now…

From one bin to another…

I am so excited at my new ‘find’ that I can’t wait to start packing.  These are pop up Laundry bins from Primark in a washable Nylon fabric. I decided on all white but they are available in a range of colours and they come folded up in their own handy little bags and once set free spring into these even handier open-topped containers.

This solves my problem of transporting bedding, towels and clothes from home to our beach cottage and transporting the dirty washing back again.  I should be able to pack the clean stuff into these 3 bins and then sort the washing ready for when we return.  They should travel well and are far better than suitcases, boxes or those polypropylene bags.

Before I go I would like to say thank you to the people over at the  Rio Rosa Mosqueta Natural Rosehip Oil blog http://naturalrosehipoils.co.uk/  for their lovely comment.  It is my favourite oil – I can definitely recommend it – my skin has been so much softer and smoother and the scar on my neck from my Thyroid operation is fading well.  I am hoping that with continuous use I will see a good result soon on my ever increasing wrinkles!

Reflections on the week that was…

Friday night at last after a long exhausting week which has seen my two work colleagues have their lives unexpectedly turned upside down.  Today should have been my day off but because of the unusual circumstances at work I had to go in today to keep on top of everything before I go away for Easter.  It is unfortunate that the Easter holidays have almost collided with my return to work and although I have only been back two weeks I am now going to be away for two weeks.  So instead of being able to pack and set off tonight we are having to delay this until  tomorrow.  At this very moment I have a few items in the washer which I hope will dry before tomorrow if I can stay up late enough to get them out.

Houseplants and Clean Air

Most of our clothes are clean and it should not take long to pack but some of the tasks we need to do before we leave can take quite a long time to complete – such as watering the house plants, emptying bins, checking the fridge and the endless charging of mobiles and cameras.  So far I have done the bins and will put the chargers on before I go to bed  – I aim to check the fridge whilst washing up the breakfast dishes in the morning and give the houseplants a good soak while I am packing.  Luckily we can set off at any time and although I would like to leave as soon as possible I am not going to race around the house to do so.

I really thought this time I would be all organised and ready but with the developments at work I don’t feel I have had any choice but to stay late every night to avoid a catastrophe.  I have been so tired each night that I haven’t even opened my planner.  This is exactly what I meant in my earlier posts about yo-yo organising when some unexpected event crops up and chaos takes over once again.  How do other people cope and keep organised when up against difficult times?

In and amongst all this I have had some new ideas which I will write about soon as it occurred to me that I have certain good habits that I never fail to do no matter what – for instance I always cleanse and wash my face and brush my teeth at night before bed – I would rather leave a sink full of dirty dishes than have a dirty face when going to bed.  I just need to expand on these automatic habits a little more.

Have a good Easter everyone and I will be back soon.