Tuesday, 28 November 2017

A Week of Firsts

I would like to say I don't know where the time is going but I do its busy working with M and her IGCSE coursework, it is going ok but its a lot of work for her and I! On top of this she has been practising badge work for gymnastics and wanting me to check her positioning etc, she's now achieved her bronze and learning drama speeches for her Lamda exams which we had hoped would be Easter but are now the beginning of February.  She has now mentioned that she might be put in for her ballroom and Latin exams in February too, these are all classes she loves but it is extra work, we have also manged to do some Christmas shopping.

Hubby realised he still had holiday to be used up before Christmas, still waiting to find out if he will be on call over Christmas but it does mean he will be having some long weekends, so have some day trips planned.

L has been desperately wanting to go on a train, so Monday last week, we took the bus into town and then the train to Oxford. While there we visited the  Oxford Natural History Museum so she could see some fossils another first and the Pitts Museum. She loved the train ride and on the bus on the way home hubby took her upstairs, another thing she has been desperate to do, I do not like the stairs on the bus especially with a small child.

The Natural History Museum is lovely, lots to see and do with out being overwhelming, L loved the fossils, the various animal displays, the black bear was adored and the displays of birds from around the world. Though she did get rather upset with one display where a bird had killed a rabbit, so quick talk about life cycles and what might happen if the rabbits had no predators, how different our world would look, upsetting but it is life. Pitts museum, lots to see and maybe a little overwhelming as their are loads of cases, with lots to see! I loved the display of bobbin lace and lace patterns, clothing from around the world, musical instruments, L enjoyed doing the mouse trail, definitely somewhere to visit again.

The other first was taking the girls to a hairdressers, we normally have a lovely friend come to our house but she has been unwell for a while now, felt guilty going somewhere else but desperately needed haircuts. M really didn't want to go somewhere else but actually enjoyed the experience especially the big mirror and being able to watch what was going on, for L it was too noisy, didn't like the clippers and hairdryers going.

We have also been doing lots of baking, M has experimented with scone base pizza recipe but decided she much prefers a bread based one, L and I have made oat cookies and an eggless ginger cake.

Oat Cookies
200g self raising flour
200g oats
125g brown sugar
200g margarine or butter melted
15ml golden syrup
15ml hot water
2.5ml bicarbonate of soda
  1. Mix flour, oats and sugar together in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add in the melted margarine and golden syrup
  3. Mix hot water and bicarbonate of soda together and add to the rest of the ingredients,mix well.
  4. Roll into small balls in your had and gently pat down a little after it is placed on the baking tray.
  5. Bake at Gas 4 for 15 minutes.

Eggless Ginger Cake
275g plain flour
5ml bicarbonate of soda
10ml ground ginger
125g treacle
125g golden syrup
125 g margarine or butter
125g brown sugar
150ml milk or milk substitute, we use oat milk
  1. Sieve flour, baking powder and ground ginger.
  2. Put treacle, golden syrup, margarine and brown sugar in a pan and gently warm until margarine is melted.
  3. Add melted ingredients and milk to the dry and mix well.
  4. Bake in a lined loaf tin for 1 hour.
I finally made it to the cinema, the last time I went to the cinema was with O to see Jurassic World, so a while ago. It wasn't the planned trip with my husband, still not managed that but went with M and a good friend to see Murder on the Orient Express, loved it wasn't sure how I would feel about a new Poirot, David Suchet was such a good Poirot but actually liked Kenneth Branagh portrayal of him, though still not 100% sure about the moustache.

On a crafting front I have finished the simple little dress, another present done and working on the blue one, loving the simple the pattern. Made the mistake of popping into a local charity shop to browse books and spotted a set of Nicci French ones we hadn't read, so came home with them. Hubby and I have read the first one, Blue Monday and enjoyed it, hoping the rest are as good! Now planning activities and crafts for our advent calendar, we always make one with a different story, craft to do, film to watch for each day of advent, always have way too many ideas for the number of days in advent! Do you have a favourite Christmas film, story or poem, would love to hear what they are.


  1. My favourite museum. So much to see. I'm glad L enjoyed crossing off a few "firsts". We're at the start of mocks. Not sure if it is fortunate or not, but only two subjects with course work. We've got hair cuts on the list too. I've not heard of the book series. I'll have to look it up.

    1. Good luck with the mocks, think I am with you not sure if coursework is a good thing or not, I suppose it depends very much on the subject of the coursework. Loved the museum and so easy to get to, started second book in the series and enjoying it.

  2. Lovely to see you back here. Sounds like you have had a lot on and still do, with all the work your daughter is doing and participating in. Sounds like a good mix of activities! Great photos of the museum and sounds like a good day out with lots of new experiences for your daughter. Hope your husband doesn't have to work over Christmas - what does he do? Thanks for the recipes - sound very tasty! Shame you didn't make it out to the cinema with your husband. Mine always goes to the cinema alone on his nights off. I haven't been for ages as I prioritise writing my blog and crafting with friends on my two nights off bedtime. I also loved David Suchet and am a big Poirot fan. Glad Kenneth Brannagh pulled it off. My daughters also found the hairdressers very noisy and overstimulating so we have only been once! We don't even like the hand dryers in public toilets!! The dress is really pretty as well!

    1. It is theory a good mix of academic and creative activities its just the exams all coming at once, with Christmas in between :) The Museum is lovely and if you are ever in Oxford I would recommend visiting both. Kenneth Branagh is very good Poirot, different to David Suchet but very good unlike some who have tried to portray Poirot! L hates hand dryers too!

  3. About videos and books. We particularly like the Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey video (and book) and bookwise Holly and Ivy by Rumer Goden is lovely and heartwarming as is Papa Panov. I listed our Christmas books here: https://amothershares.wordpress.com/2016/12/16/christmas-books-for-children/ if you are interested? The girls enjoy White Christmas with Bing Crosby and we all love the Doris Day films By Moonlight Bay and By the Light of the Silvery Moon - although not strictly Christmas, they are snowy and there is thanksgiving. We also have Holiday Inn which is pretty good too. Lots of dancing and singing - our kind of fun :-)

    1. Thank you so much for your video list and book list, I have a couple of new films that I haven't watched, love your book list, we love Ferdie's Christmas and see you do too.

  4. That ginger cake certainly looks tempting . . . thanks for sharing the recipe!

    1. If you like ginger cake it is worth making, if you do, please let me know how it turns out for you.