Thursday, 29 August 2013

Romsey another idyllic village in Hampshire

Romsey is a little market town just North of Southampton, it has an Abbey, a regular market, permanent bunting, great charity shops, many independent specialist shops and cafes.

King John's House is an ancient building with a little cafe, an independent art exhibition with a wall of knitted bricks and a pretty little garden.

Jamie was sad that I didn't want to have a photo with him in the arch of flowers. 

Romsey comes highly recommended.

Monday, 26 August 2013

A day on the watercress line

Jamie and I are in the middle of our annual summer adventure along the south coast, both sets parents live in the south, which is quite a trek from Chester but quite handy when we have a two week block to see them.
So far we have spent a few days in Southampton exploring Hampshire. 

We had a lazy day on the Watercress Line, enjoying the views and exploring idylic Hampshire villages.

The two villages on the line are Alton and Alresford we parked in Alresford and ate lunch in Alton, Next time we would do it the other way around as Alresford is much prettier, has a lot of independent shops and some lovely cafe's including the courtyard Tearoom with delicious award winning carrot cake.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Photos from my phone an Eighteenth Birthday edition

Last weekend I traveled down to a little village near Peterborough to join in the eighteenth Birthday celebrations for my niece Lauren. Here are a selection of the phone pics I took.

On the train down i knitted a little yellow hat and drank tea from a moustached man with a quizzical eyebrow.

The beautiful Birthday girl

Her awesome cake made by her super talented Gran

Of course everyone's favourite Mutti was there looking lovely in an orange dress Dad chose for her. 
Gok has some competition.

 It was the weekend of the 1940's fair, we didn't have time to go to the fair but i did get so see some lovely old cars.

There were roses, I liked them.

On the train journey home I had a wait at Birmingham New Street station, where to everyone's horror you have to pay 30p to use the bathroom (extortion). Well the toilet attendant made my day when he said I could use the toilet for free because I am pregnant! He made my day, and made me wonder how many other charging toilets I can find and use for free over the next month or so...

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Awkward and awesome things about pregnancy - third trimester

I am now 33weeks pregnant, 5 weeks in to the third trimester, here is a run down of the awkward and awesome things about this stage so far - advance warning- there may be some over sharing on my part... 
I'm wearing; jeans-mothcare, t-shirt - asos maternity, cardigan - charity shop, shoes - newlook (on sale for £5) 

Awkward- Putting shoes on my left foot has become nearly impossible.
                - Turning over in bed, getting up from any position and picking things up from the floor have become so much harder, I now assess how important or necessary it is for me to move before I do anything.
                 - doing a number two, (told you there would be over sharing) or not as the case maybe...
                  - Intermitant lactation -enough said. 
                  - Squashing my organs when I move, always fun! 
                  - Everyone wants to talk to me! A taxi driver started a conversation with 'you need to go to weight watchers love.' He thought he was hilarious!
                   - Regularly being kicked in the ribs - by the baby.
                   - Itchy skin, my belly, hands and feet have been itchy on and off for a while I went to the doctor because I googled and found out itchy hands and feet can be a sign of liver failure in pregnancy. He basically said I only need to worry if it is constant, unbearable and I turn yellow. 
                    - Paranoia and google don't mix.

Awesome - Having a husband who will put shoes on my left foot, pick stuff off the floor and help me get up.
                 - Knowing that whenever baby is born from now on it is likely that he or she will survive with no lasting side effects, I feel I am able to fully embrace this baby now, and get very excited!
                - Finding out dried apricots can change the answer to the eternal question, 'to poo or not to poo' ( I think I'm funny) 
                - The excitement of family and friends is wonderful. I thought that I wouldn't want people touching my belly, but I really don't mind. - as long as I know them and they don't stroke, stroking is weird (mum take note).
                - people can no longer mistake my belly for oddly placed fat.
                - Everyone wants to talk to me! I have found most people to be encouraging, my favourite conversations are with older ladies who reminisce about their children.
                 - Seeing friends blessed with their babies and knowing ours will probably be next.
                 - Having a sister-in-law who gets just as excited about yoda hats as me :)


Thursday, 15 August 2013

The top ten things on my wish list for pregnancy and after...

1. This lovely changing bag from Jamie made me realise I needed to consider him in changing bag choices, (I was previously considering a Cath Kidston bag)  also because we are planning to use cloth nappies we are probably going to need quite a big changing bag! It looks large and versatile, you can wear it as a back pack too.

2. Another Watermelon, it was so lovely and refreshing!

3. Another pair of Pregnancy leggings from New Look They have been so comfortable and I wear them very regularly! I should probably have two pairs...

4. A heated airer, again because of re-usable nappies and general babyness we are going to have a lot more washing to dry. We have decided that a heated airer would suit our lifestyle better than a tumble dryer.

5. A breast feeding pillow, from what I hear breast feeding is not easy, so I figure things that make it easier would be a good idea! 
This one can be found here

6. The hungry caterpillar set from Tesco, it is just too cute!

7. Lots and lots of sleep

8. Someone to knit me a baby yoda hat!
you can buy the pattern here (hint massive hint)

9. Bio-oil because I'm pretty sure the stretch marks are just waiting to make a surprise appearance...

10. More time, it is just going too fast and I'm far to tired to consider looking after a baby yet. Also the baby room is a mess and has no curtains because some dufus decided to make some - and hasn't even found the material yet!

Monday, 12 August 2013

A review of Othello at the Grosvenor Open Air Theatre. (By someone who doesn't know much about Shakespeare)

On Friday night Jamie and I headed to the Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre to watch a production of Othello. Neither of us new the story, the only thing we knew was that it was a tragedy.

The only experience Jamie had had of Shakespeare previous to Friday night was studying Romeo and Juliet for his GCSE's - and he quite likes the Baz Lhurmann film adaptation. I have been exposed a little more, I have watched a few of Shakespeare's plays in the Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre in previous years and I studied twelfth night as well as Romeo and Juliet for my English literature GCSE all in all not a huge amount!

In past years I have been impressed by the beautiful and atmospheric setting the imaginative staging, costume detail, and good acting. 
Othello did not disappoint. 

 I found the below image on the Chester Performs blog, they do many other things in Chester as well as putting on the Open Air Theatre every year.

Before heading to the theatre we popped in to Waitrose to pick up some posh picnic nosh. I love seeing what food people bring, some go all out with full on meals and champagne, when booking you can book a hamper to be made for you (I'm always jealous) everyone eating and drinking helps create a lovely atmosphere.
For my pudding I had a massive meringue, I enjoyed its hugeness :) 

We had booked seats on the terrace, but upon arrival I realised that was a big mistake. I would have nowhere to lean against and I wouldn't have managed the whole evening with my back unsupported. So I asked one of the attendants if we could sit on the back row, so I could lean against the wall. She found the manager and he was so kind, they had no space on the top terrace but they found us some deck chairs to sit on. I have to say a massive thank you to Chester Performs because if we had been unable to move, we were going to go home. (I may have shed a tear at the kindness shown me- stupid pregnancy hormones!)

We settled in to our seats with a blanket. I look very tired! 

When the play started it quickly became apparent that the words, structure and phraseology of Shakespeare were not going to be easy for Jamie to follow. It also took quite some effort on my part to work out all that was being said.
All credit must go to the actors who made it possible for us both to follow the story, regardless of our Shakespearean naivety! As we watched and became used to the rhythm of the language we both found it easier to understand.

Iargo was a great villan, heartless and cruel but as with most evil characters he seemed to be motivated by some great tragedy in his past, which was hinted at but never fully revealed. With a great twisting plot unable to predict what was going to happen next or work out what would happen in the end,we were on the edge of our deckchairs. 

The minimal set was used to great effect, enabling the audience to imagine different places with ease.

The play was at times disturbing, as I imagine Shakespeare had intended. The strangulation of Desdemona very realistic, and the pile of bodies at the end was harrowing.

We left unsettled.

Unfortunately Jamie now believes that every Shakespeare play ends with a pile of bodies... I think next year I will take him to a comedy.

There are a few weeks of performances left at the Open Air Theatre. If you can get there you should, but don't forget your essentials; picnic, blanket, cushions and wine (if you aren't pregnant).

Friday, 9 August 2013

The top 6 Reasons why I am a terrible dinner date

1. I once fell asleep before the main course arrived - it was a week before our wedding and in my defence I was very tired! Jamie was not impressed, and thought half the restaurant were wondering if we were on a terrible first date.

2. I am a bad orderer, it takes me a long time to make a food decision, and I often change my mind at the last minute leading to many a food disaster.

3. Following on from bad ordering I get huge food envy, and have been known to request a dinner swap (I feel guilty even writing this!)

4. My favourite thing to do in a restaurant is watch the other diners, although this is very amusing for me, my date (Jamie naturally) is often left bored, confused and annoyed that my conversation is usually lacking.

5. On honeymoon I had a couple too many champagne cocktails in the hotel bar before we headed to the restaurant, I managed the 1st course quite well but the wine I had with it tipped me over the edge. A few mouthfuls in to the main course I announced that I had to go and lie down, I then promptly left. Leaving Jamie with two main meals, a nearly full bottle of wine and a couple of very confused waiters. He found me half an hour later asleep in our room.

6. Jamie tells me that whenever we have a sharing platter I eat the best things first then leave him a huge amount of the other stuff, and believe myself to be generous.

I realised just how bad a dinner date I am last night whilst lying awake ( my brain goes everywhere at 4am), so I have come up with a plan to improve myself... 

I think Lunch dates are the way forward, I'm less likely to fall asleep, it is less acceptable to drink champagne cocktails before lunch, it is often cheaper AND most places have a set lunch menu or at least a smaller menu so I have less choice.

I am very glad that Jamie and I started dating whilst we were broke 3rd years at university because by the time we could afford to go out for dinner I had reeled him in to my snare (I'm honestly not that creepy) and he believed me adorable regardless of my dining faults (& still does).

Monday, 5 August 2013

Pregnancy update - week 31

Week 31.

It is pretty scary that I'm 31 weeks pregnant, I only have 6 weeks left of work  (we are on holiday for two of them) and we are in the middle of assembling the baby room.
After putting together a cot and putting some baby clothes in a chest of drawers last Friday, I had a bit of a mini breakdown, I sat in the corner of the room convinced that we wouldn't get everything we need to do done (who knows what it is we need to do) and wouldn't know what to do with a baby, there are so many unknowns. What will the baby be like? How will labour go? Will I get post-natal depression? Will Jamie cope with disturbed sleep? (the answer to the last one is most probably; yes, but in a zombie - like state.) 

I'm ok now, it was just so over whelming, and I don't think I had grasped how much our life is changing until then.

Photos from last week, I'm actually glowing!

The dress I am wearing I have had for 8 years, it is pretty much stretched to capacity, so I don't think I can wear it again until after baby has arrived.

My belly seems to be growing at an alarming rate now. I am thankful that so far I haven't got any stretch marks, but I imagine it will happen soon as the skin over my stomach seems pulled to bursting! (lovely image for you there)
I haven't noticed any Braxton Hicks contractions yet. 
I am much more emotional at the moment which is probably the reason for my little break down last Friday.
I am concerned that my wardrobe is going to become very limited soon, thanks to my refusal to buy many maternity clothes. : /
At the moment I have one pair of black jeans, a pair of denim shorts, three skirts, a few tops, maternity leggings and some dresses. A lot of the dresses and tops are now a little bursting... I will keep you updated with how I manage. 

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Photos from my phone

last week unprompted and without help, Jamie made cookies!

A lovely baby shower, for a wonderful mum to be.

A borrowed fan, my new best friend...

Jamie's second batch of cookies, didn't turn out quite as well...

Ill in my pyjamas

Jamie's parents came to visit and weeded our front garden within a couple of hours of arriving

Colourful pedalos on the river

A fancy bridge that can only be viewed by the public from a boat, as it's part of the famous Eaton hall estate in Cheshire.

I hope you are having a good week?