Thursday, 30 December 2010

Christmas 2010

Well it has come and gone and I have been too lazy to blog it all.  What a lovely Christmas for a change.  We had the traditionally Christmas lunch (I forgot to put out the cranberry sauce, its still in the fridge) complete with Brussels sprouts which I hate but don't you just love the way you buy them here in the countryside - still on the stalk?  They didn't even fit in the fridge but that's not a problem I have a 'new' fridge outside, outside the back door keeps everything cold to near freezing ;)

All for Erin - the big box was actually her Blackberry .

Kylie our visitor from South Africa broke out the scrapbooking stash and created these stunning bows.

Scott received some Zuma body wash - brilliant!
Erin's new Blackberry and she also got a little Eiffel Tower to remind her of Paris.

The Brussels sprouts, I split up the leaves and sauteed them in with chopped bacon and a knob of butter.

I love this pic of Erin no make-up and happy as can be, she is a treasure!

Scott got me this stunning Union Jack cushion that I have had my eye on for ages.  So that's it I am sticking with my jewel colour scheme, you may have noticed the one Persian is back again :)

Erin vamping it up with her new floral handbag.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

1 Year Today

We left South Africa.  Where has the time gone.  For this anniversary post I thought I would list all the things that I miss about South Africa and a couple that I don't and then tomorrow do the same for my new homeland.


  • Very obviously my friends. Some more than others.
  • Sushi OMG how I miss sushi and the fantastic sushi bars that you get in and around Cape Town and my favourite - Willougbys at the Waterfront. Try the prawn tempura pure heaven.
  • The restaurants in general, I certainly haven't been to many here (and of course remembering that we live in the sticks) but I still think the South African restaurants are better.
  • Seeing the baboons in the Tokai forest.
  • The squirrels in my garden.
  • Drying my washing in the sun - I can't tell you how much I miss that.  Here my whites seem to be getting very grey - sorry to throw in that very domestic problem here.
  • Familiar faces.  I have started to bump into people in the village that I know but there is no real history with people.
  • Cheap good wine!!!!
  • The tap water, the water in the East of Suffolk is full of limescale and it's tastes very salty. YUCK.
  • The car guards!
  • People trying to grab my trolley when I come out of a supermarket.
  • The people selling stuff at the robots (traffic lights in the UK).
  • The school fees.
  • The medical aid fees.
  • The doom and gloom in the newspapers.
  • The SABC news reports and reporters.
  • Seeing needy, desperate people everyday.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

30 Years Today

My Dad died 30 years ago today - one week before Christmas, he was just 49.  One of the reasons my Mum doesn't get all that excited about Christmas. 

I had just turned 18 and I remember it being such a busy 'teenage' time, I was learning to drive and in fact got my license a few days before he died.  Writing this now I cant remember whether he knew about my first car - a beetle.   I had a steady boyfriend (Bruce - my ex husband) so I was fully caught up in that relationship too although I have to add that Bruce spent many hours sitting at my Dads bedside and even carried him down our very tight staircase once he had passed away.  He is may be my ex but he has some wonderful qualities, fortunately qualities that I see in my son Devin.

I can't say I miss my Dad he has been gone so long and was part of my life for such a short time, but I do remember him very well, he had the most amazing sense of humour and made people laugh at every opportunity.  Scott is not particularly humorous but there is definitely a bit of my Dad in him - certainly his sense of style!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Playing Santa

I have been a bit busy the last 2 weeks with a little project I took on - playing Santa.  Okay, no I am not dressing up in a red and white costume (I know it is entirely possible with me) but I am essentially  playing Santa - I am delivering Christmas online orders for the top UK online stores ie. Next, Freemans, Lands End, Amazon, Topshop, Oli, Asos to name a few.  I wasn't going to blog about it because at first I was a little embarrassed, just a little aftermath of being ex South African - white woman do not rush around delivering ANYTHING let alone parcels.  Anyhow, I have gotten over myself and here I am telling the story.  I took the job because it is short term, 6 weeks, the pay is approximately what I was being paid before (per hour).  I work for about 4 hours a day and it is not permanent.  Surprise surprise I really enjoyed it for the first week.  99% of the people I deliver to are seriously pleased to see me.  1% are arrogant pigs!  and of course its the 1% that are pissing me off - big time!

What a fantastic experience.  One of the things I love about myself is my ability to get stuck in when necessary and make do.  I have a fairly small area, a pretty upmarket town - Framlingham.  The people I have met and had a little glimpse into the homes of, are amazing.  What a great opportunity to really get to know an area.  Getting to know a town in the UK can be quite trying to say the least.   2 4 6 8 running down one side of a street does not mean that 1 3 5 7 will be across the street - a few blocks down with 37 39 41 53 59 across the street is quite normal.  A street name and a town is an address - period!

After struggling for ages to find an 'exclusive' address 'The Vicarage' Parham, I asked the woman why she didn't have any sign up?  She replied 'I am not putting a sign up for a couple of Christmas deliveries, everyone knows The Vicarage, you should have knocked on a few doors in the village and someone would have told you where we were'.  Such incredible arrogance to think that I should be prepared to 'find' her.  Incredible house - I could see a murder mystery happening right there :) Another 'The Gospel Hall', after 3 phone messages to them they finally called to 'explain' where they were.  When I arrived there this morning I was told that I must be an idiot if I can't see that the house used to be a Gospel Hall!!!!  I told her that if she was planning to do any more online shopping she will not be receiving the goods.  Strange that both places are named after religious venues, but more importantly to me is the fact that both appear to be upper crust or 'wealthy' money does some horrible things to people. Delivering to little old ladies and ordinary people in miserable flats and dodgy council houses is way nicer, they can't praise you enough for bringing their latest QVC TV purchase.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

2010 Cookery Book Collection

Now I can just imagine certain readers of mine wont even read this post but for a few of the others (Hayley, Shayne....) here goes.

Firstly, I only buy celeb cook books I don't do the '100 best chicken receipes' type books, this year Jamie is tops he has really outdone himself with his new 30 Minute Meals.  Okay, so it is tough to create his menus in 30 mins but whatever they take they are so worth doing. Jamie also has my dud of the year Jamie does Spain, Italy, Greece etc. so if anyone out there wishes to pay the postage I will happily pay that one forward? 

If you haven't discovered Rachel yet, then you are missing out, fabulous both Home Cooking and Bake.

Then there's the Hummingbird Cookery Book which I have to confess I haven't used yet but I have paged through it a couple of times. I am sure it is fabulous but I think Shayne could show them a thing or two certainly in terms of decoration.

Last but normally not least my beloved Nigella with her Kitchen which just hasn't managed to blow my hair back yet but given time I am sure it will, I find that it takes me sometime to get into a new book by Nigella because I am so attached to her others.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Guess what I got?

Mistletoe! I have never seen the stuff before. We are not the kissest of families but I hope to catch my teens under it a few times. The ceiling is so low in this house that attaching it to the door frame is going to be a problem so I will have to attach it to the ceiling in the lounge. Christmas is going to be fun!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

What would you do?

Okay so I have been banging on about this for years but it seems to have taken a more sinister turn. I keep the house relatively spotless and leave the kids rooms and bathrooms but the other day I rushed out and left the house in a real mess. Erin got home and called me and the first thing she said was - 'why is the house such a mess?' She is also leaving more personal stuff just lying around for all to see. I have tried taking away all her luxuries ie. laptop, cell phone, ipod and now even TV and she just digs her heels in and refuses to do it. So far we are even civil with each other on it.

Christmas Time

I am really starting to miss my girlfriends. I am in the midst of the Christmas madness that people speak of, but I have ended up feeling all low and depressed. Things are just getting to me, this will be our first Christmas in 3 years that the immediate family will be together so that is exciting but then there is the other side of it that I am sure you have all experienced from time to time - where to have it? I am going to have Christmas lunch in my house with my kids come hell or high water, my Mum was hoping to have it in her house so that she didn't have to go anywhere! She has my brother and his family living with her at the moment and his son and girlfriend are going to be there from London so that's 6 altogether. So why am I missing my girlfriends? a good natter is what I need with someone that KNOWS me.
The pic is from Christmas years ago, probably the last time it was Christmas for me!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Snow pics

These are pics I took of the school run outside the house at 8.45am, don't you just love the toboggans? These children normally come down the road on scooters and you hear them long before you see them. One of the delights of being at home now, I had never seen them until I gave up work.
Erin has just called, her bus hasn't arrived and she has gone home with a friend. Chaos I tell you! Very pretty chaos though.
BTW for all of us that thought that Brit women were fat, these Mums are very typical around here.