Monday, 19 December 2011

Happy Christmas, everyone!

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas, and every blessing for 2012!

This is an Icon called 'Stella Maris; Our Lady, the Star of the Sea', a Neo-Coptic icon written for the Apostleship of the Sea by Dr Stephane René.

And, something else to think about at this time of year:
(PS. It's worth reading out loud, and slowly)

What The Donkey Saw
U.A. Fanthorpe

No room in the inn, of course,
And not that much in the stable
What with the shepherds, Magi, Mary,
Joseph, the heavenly host –
Not to mention the baby
Using our manger as a cot.
You couldn’t have squeezed another cherub in
For love or money.
Still, in spite of the overcrowding,
I did my best to make them feel wanted.
I could see the baby and I
Would be going places together.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Thinking about economics

So, apparently, the 80's are back!
Funny headgear,
and leg warmers!
Two of Guy's favourite things: Mikey the kitten, and his Dinosaur film!
We had a lovely half-term, which finished with a surprise visit from Grandad!
On a more serious note; we've been talking more and more about the Occupy Wall Street/Occupy the London Stock Exchange movements.
I've read some really interesting articles such as this one, and watched some interesting speakers. And, yet, I'm still trying to find out what I can do to tread lightly and live simply. The Mother has some good ideas, and I am enjoying making our own dishwasher and washing detergent. My recipes go something like this:
Recipe for Liquid Laundry detergent

2 1/4 Cup Liquid Castile Soap
1/4 Cup White Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Glycerin
3/4 Cup Water
10-15 Drops Essential oil (If you use Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap, you can get tea-tree, peppermint, etc. which have antibacterial qualities, so you don't need to add the essential oil).

Combine all the ingredients, put them in an empty laundry container – done!
Shake before using. Use 1/4 cup for small loads, 1/2 cup for larger or very dirty loads.
Recipe for Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

1 cup Washing soda
1 cup Borax (you can still get it in the UK, but it's hard to find! E-bay and Amazon are probably your best bet!)
½ cup salt
½ cup citric acid

Mix together and store tightly covered in a Mason Jar or tupperware (This is important! Otherwise it absorbs moisture and goes down to mush!).
Use one tablespoon per load. Add vinegar to the rinse aid dispenser for the best results.

McMama makes a homemade washing powder which looks fairly simple, too.

Although, I'm still trying to work out - Are banks really bad? If so, how can I function in today's society without a bank account?
If the 1% are getting paid more than ever before and paying less taxes than ever before, what are they doing with the money? Why is it not trickling back down into the economy?
What is the appropriate response for St. Paul's cathedral to the protesters, who now say they want to stay camped there until after Christmas? And what, indeed, would Jesus do with the current state of the global economy?

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Here we are again!

So. We finally got around to Phoebe's birthday treat - Yay!
We took some friends to the cinema, to see Mr Popper's Penguins. Which is a good movie for a bunch of 6/7/8 year old boys and girls (some of whom don't have English as their first language). Lots of physical humour!

and then to a restaurant for lunch.

And we've been out and about enjoying the autumn.

In other news; I've been trying to work out how I feel about the Occupy Wall Street/Occupy the London Stock Exchange movements.
Partly like this:

But mostly, I think, like this:

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Pic of the week

One boy and his kitten!

Guy has a small fluffy kitten called Mikey. He is very happy about this!

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Ingrained habits!

Walking to work this morning, I saw this:
It's the branch of a tree which grew through the fence. But now the tree has been cut down and there's just this little bit remaining. Maybe they can't remove it without damaging the fence?
Anyway, it made me think about habits - the good and the bad, and how ingrained they become in us, so that sometimes we carry on doing this long after the original reason has passed.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Phoebe's Birthday Picnic

Believe it or not, this is OCTOBER in ENGLAND!
As it was Phoebe's birthday, she asked to go for a bike ride and a picnic by the river.
Okay, I look strange in this picture because I am squinting into the sun. Again, seriously! Sun. Bright sun. At four o'clock on a Sunday afternoon - incredible!

And it wasn't long before the children were stripping off and in the water.

In OCTOBER, I know!
Hope you guys had good weather!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Fun places that are bad for my waistline!

We went to St. Giles' Fair, which was slightly quieter than usual due to 'inclement' weather!

Prior to going to the fair, we went out for pizza. We asked for some chopped mozzarella or avocado for Tabby. And they brought out this: baby-food Pizza Express style (it was quite a big plate, and they didn't charge us for it!).
We visited Aunty Sox in London, who took us to Chocodeli which is one of the best chocolate shops ANYWHERE! Here we are pondering which ice-cream to have:
The train that you can see above Ken's head was actually moving round the shop - how cool?

So pretty!

Monday, 5 September 2011

An 'in-tents' experience

Well, we've been spending a lot of time outside: I had some plastic closhes for keeping the slugs away from baby plants, but the children decided they were space helmets!

We also decided that the tents could use an airing!
So, to check we had all the bits and pieces, and that nothing was broken or damaged, we set them up on the lawn.
I should really have chosen a dark night with the rain lashing down. Some how it seemed just too easy pitching the tents in the back garden on a sunny summer's day!

Tabby has a particular penchant for giraffes.
So you can imagine her excitement when we found out that the Cotswold Wildlife Park now has giraffes!
In other news; the other day while in the bath, Guy informed me that he'd found the brain (I think he meant vein) in his male appendage! Of course, I'm pleased he's identified it early - a lot of men I know are still doing their thinking with 'that' brain!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

What I did on my holiday!

Well, every morning we'd get our wetsuits on;

Then, we'd walk to the end of the garden, down a small path, and onto the beach.The low tide was quite early in the morning. The weather was really good, these photos are just taken early on, before the sun came out!
Phoebe found LOTS of dead crabs! I have high hopes of a career in pathology for her!
There was lots of shell-seeking and rock-pooling!
The rock pools were full of surprises!
Because the whole beach was covered at high tide, the beach was washed clean every day.
And, of course, we'd swim!
The sea was lovely and calm - but COLD!