Assuming I’m going to keep to the every-third-week pace, I’ve only got two more RYWF updates to go after this one and then 2012 will be done – eek! How did that happen??
So – what have I been up to? Having a lot of fun actually, which I ascribe largely to the fact that it has mainly been nice and sunny (if a bit on the chilly side) and so we’ve been able to get out and about. This has put me in a really good mood, I hate being stuck indoors.
Our main outdoor activity has been white horse hunting. The big, chalk, carved-into-the-side-of-a-hill kind. There are eight of these altogether in Wiltshire (plus an extra one just over the border into Oxfordshire), and it is one of our family goals to visit all nine before September 2013. Over the past couple of weeks we have ticked another two off our list so that means we are now up to 7, and we just have 2 left.
So, here is the Marlborough white horse (a dinky one):
and the Devizes white horse (the only one of the nine which faces to the right):
|(the little people are Connor and Reece, the cows were very friendly, I was stood just between the horse's back legs)|
|(not my photo, this is how it looks from the air)|
At both locations we also made an afternoon of it by doing some geocaching (and in Marlborough, some Chariots of Fire style time trials :) ), nice cheap family fun in the autumn sunshine, fab.
Another reason I’m in a good mood, I actually managed to have two whole days off work the other week. In a row! It was like a bonus weekend, but on a Wednesday and Thursday. When you work full time, days off are totally like the best thing everrrrrrr, dude.
The Wednesday I spent mainly chilling, and painting, and watching Battlestar, and having a super long soak in a very bubbly bath, and generally doing all the terribly self indulgent things that I don’t have time for in an average week. Lovely :)
Then on the Thursday I took Connor to London town to see my dad and also to visit the Tower of London. Again this is related to our family goals – we had a goal to visit eight different UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and this was number eight, so that’s a goal ticked off the list! Yay! (The other seven, as I know you’re dying to ask, were the Dorset Jurassic Coast, the Avebury/Stonehenge area, Greenwich, Blenheim Palace, the City of Bath, Ironbridge, and the Cornish Tin Mines. The full list is here - I’d love to visit all 28, but some – Henderson Island anyone? - are a little remote!
Then we had a good look round the exhibitions – Connor was particularly amused by this suit of armour belonging to a young Henry VIII (so that’s how he attracted all those wives???) – and the crown jewels. Now, I have to say I wasn’t that bothered about going to see the jewels, I’m not a big jewellery person – at least not into traditional gold and diamonds and the like. But, oh my lord, in the flesh they were BEAUTIFUL!! So sparkly!! I’m beginning to get the appeal :D
And finally, the gift shop …. I got some postcards – as ever (I really ought to start up Postcrossing again so I actually get to use some) – and Connor bought the most impressive (and heavy – they are real cast iron) set of jailer’s keys. They are awesome! He said I am allowed to play with them sometimes :)
|(apparently that's his prison guard face :) )|
So then I was back into work for one day, and then it was the weekend again – this is the life! I wish I could do that all the time, work one day on, two days off, ad infinitum ......
And, talking of friends who make me smile, while I was up in the Midlands (child free at that as Jay was babysitting Connor for me, as he is a total star) I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go and see my bessie Alison, so that was my next stop. She hadn’t told her hubby I was coming so he looked rather surprised when he opened the front door, still in his dressing gown :D (at this point, I’d like to remind you all that I had been up and dressed for almost *6 hours*, get me! but usually I would still be in my jamas too :) ). Great to see the bessie, as ever, and Bert the mad doggie. Another visit where I wish we had had more time to chat as it always goes far too quickly. I wish she lived closer.
All round, hoorah for visiting buddies from far and not so far
Onto last weekend now, and our trip to London for VANS WARPED TOUR UK - woop woop!!! We bought tickets for this one-day punk/rock/skate festival months and months ago and the date finally rolled around. This was Connor and Reece’s first proper gig – and talk about dropping them in at the deep end! 30 bands over 4 stages over 10 hours. It was a long old tiring day. But I wanted to use this as a test to see if they could hack a day at Download festival next year without getting bored or complaining, and given the great time they had at Warped I think the answer to that is a definite yes.
The gig was at Alexandra Palace in North London – one of my favourite venues, it’s such a pretty old building in lovely grounds, and as it is high up on top of a hill, it has the most amazing views over London. And of course it was where Dr Who scaled the radio tower in the episode The Idiot’s Lantern (the really scary one with Maureen Lipman in the TV shouting “hunnggrrrryyyyyyyy!!!!” and stealing people’s faces). Before the bands even started playing I had realised a long term ambition – I finally got a photo of the beautiful Ally Pally Rose Window from the inside – that room has never been open whenever I’ve been there before during the day.
We saw a ton of bands, and they were pretty much all on top form – I especially enjoyed Lost Prophets (more than I expected to actually), Less Than Jake, Bring Me The Horizon, the Used, Bowling For Soup, New Found Glory, Architects ….. and a couple of bands new to me that were fun to watch, Man Overboard and Force Family 5
|Bring Me The Horizon|
- We have discovered a new Chinese takeaway near us that is luuuuuush!
- My hockey team has signed a new, rather fit, defenceman – about time Swindon got some eye candy ;) (cracking photo by Simon Emms)
- There was a cool geocoin inside one of the caches we found the other day – you don’t get to see them very often nowadays which is a pity, but that means it’s a real treat when you do
- Finishing my Desert Island Discs CJ in time and getting it in the post – I love launching a new journal into the world, with all its empty pages waiting to be transformed :)
- And while we’re on the subject of Sci-Fi, I’m excited about Battlestar Galactica Blood & Chrome, the new prequel webseries – the first two episodes are now up on Youtube here and here and they are pretty good!
- Trick or Treaters – we actually got some this year, yay! (although on the down side, that did mean fewer left over sweets for me) – Connor had a lot of fun going out ToT-ing with his pals from school too
- My Instagram web profile went live, and it looks cool: http://instagram.com/floroo17. I think I might start using Instagram more again like I used to, just to keep it up to date.
- Three of my Roller Derby photos got published in an actual magazine down in Portsmouth – I’m hoping to be able to get hold of a copy, as I love seeing stuff of mine in print, makes it seem all official-like :)
|(mine are the ones with the yellow background)|
- Meeting up with Pam in Cirencester for a little wander and a chat and for her to hand over her Desert Island Discs journal – it’s a lovely fabric based affair
- Connor’s eye test going well, and the opticians having one of their 2 for 1 sales on again so I was able to get him some prescription sunglasses for free
Hell Down South run and did it in record time – they say that anything under 2 hours is brilliant and his time was 1:45. A bit muddy though, apparently his vest started off white. Ewwww. And he told me he is still picking dried mud out of his beard :D
- that the hotel in Brum where I went to visit Michelle backed down on the £90 parking fine they tried to slap me with - I was not happy when I opened the letter!! But when I called to explain I had been there to visit one of their guests AND the receptionist had told me I was fine to park where I was for the duration, they apologised and rescinded the fine immediately. Phew.
Battlestar Galactica sketch but also a guest appearance from Eddie Vedder. It's almost like they wrote that whole episode especially for me :)
- Connor having a glowing parents' evening and a fun class assembly in the same week - and I managed to get to both, escaping the curse of the working mum for once, hooray :)
- and finally, this :
I could watch that on a loop all night, bazinga! :D
I want to wrap up this time with a huuuuge thank you to our chief Rocketeer, Virginia. This whole process, of sifting through your life each week (or fortnight, or every third week in my case) to find those golden nuggets, is so uplifting. It doesn't allow you to wallow. It makes you recognise how blessed you really are. And none of us would be doing it if Virginia hadn't had the idea in the first place, and caught the rest of us up in her enthusiasm. So cheers me dear!
See you all again in December - eek!