Tuesday, 28 December 2010

A Lovely Christmas

Its all gone quiet.

My brother, his wife and his 4 gorgeous children have left after staying with us over Christmas. The house has been full of fun, laughter, chatting, playing, eating, drinking, the 'Pwshhhhht' of the cousin's new soda stream, the ratatat of the toy machine gun and the glorious singing of everyone on the 9 year old's karaoke Wii game.

Its been a lovely few days...apart from the day of hell when we got back from hols to find the house completely frozen - but hey - the warmth of family soon defrosted the house...and we're pretty much back to normal now!
Walking off all the nosh and booze - my big brother, his wife and me - the wifey with all the hair!

A fab Christmas - thanks to all who made it so special

Monday, 27 December 2010

Elephant Shower

I've had a bit of time in between scoffing turkey and chocolates to download a few of our holiday memories.
The video is the highlight of the trip, but there are more photos at the bottom of the page

Hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas. I really have had a ball.

Friday, 24 December 2010

The Travellers Return....To an Igloo!

We are home after a fantastic week in India. We all thoroughly enjoyed it - especially the kids, and we packed in so much in one week that it felt like we'd been away for two!

We played footy and cricket with this gang of kids every night

6 year old made her own little pal - Pushpa

A trip to the barbers - the boys had their hair cut, and we all had a fabulous head massage!

Mapusa market

Washing an elepahant
Getting a good elephant shower soaking!

Unfortunately, we returned from 30 degree sunshine to minus 4 million and arrived home to find that the house had turned into an igloo whilst we'd been away! Every single pipe had frozen - showers were popped off the walls with big ice pops sticking out, toilet cysterns were complete blocks of solid ice, and the heating system was also totally frozen! What a nightmare...it was FREEZING! and the cousins were arriving the next day...

...Good job I have an amazing husband.

Yesterday, he managed to defrost the pipes, fix 17 leaks, AND get the heating going. If we'd called a plumber, it would have cost thousands. He's a complete star!

So we can now return to thinking about our wonderful holiday memories! The cousins have arrived, the house is now warm and cosy and we can finally get a wash and enjoy the festive season!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Balti's, Beer and a Bloody Good Time in Brum

Sunday 12th December 2010

Well - I'm back now, and I've had the most wonderful trip ever!

We visited loads of our old places. When I first arrived off the train though, I didn't recognise ANYthing about Birmingham. In fact I started wondering if I really had spent 3 years of my life there after all! The city centre has changed so much in 20 years - no more concrete!
Near the Halls of Residence. Pete, Nikers, Suze, Adie and me.

However, when we explored the Birmingham uni campus and halls of residence, memories soon came flooding back and we remembered stories, moments and people, buried deep in our minds, that had us roaring with laughter.
Outside our Sports Centre where we spent MUCH of our time
Niki nearly killed me 20 years ago by pushing me off this 8ft wall. We re-enacted the moment!

We visited our old houses, the OVT pub, and had a balti in our favourite curry house - the Dilshad - complete with their speciality - the enormous 'duvet' naan!
My housemates - outside the lovely 968 Pershore Road

At the end of the trip, I was just about to say farewell to everyone, when we spotted one of our old PE student buddies - Debs! She was a 'mature' student when we were there and we all loved her. We hadn't seen her for 20 years! It was lovely to have a speedy catch up with her!
Oh My God - Its our ol' pal, Debs!

A fantastic weekend girls - thank you for being such wonderful friends - I love you all - and look forward to the next time we can all be together again...whenever that may be!
Me and my my gorgeous pals - thanks for the trip down memory lane!

Off to Memory Lane

Friday 10th December 2010

When I finished my degree, I packed a red rucksack, bought a round-the-world plane ticket and made straight for New Zealand with my uni pal, Pete. We travelled there for 2 months before running out of money - completely! Thankfully, I managed to get a job as a nanny in Sydney, and after 6 months of working managed to save enough to travel home via Malaysia and Thailand. I was away for 12 months, and returned with nowt but the red rucksack - and lots of great memories.

I always remember packing that red rucksack the night before I left for the BIG expedition. Not once did I think - 'I hope I've got enough woolies in case its cold,' or 'what if I run out of money?' or 'where will I stay?' I just went.

So its quite funny that for this weekend trip to Birmingham I spent ages fretting about what to take. I should have just grabbed the bag in the morning, hoyed a couple of pairs of knickers in, a toothbrush and the train tickets and off....but no. On the night before, I made 2 rounds of sandwiches and charged my phone and music machine. I packed the camera with spare batteries, and IRONED some pyjamas. I even got a flask out ready to make some tea in the morning, then checked the train times, wrote them down, then checked them again - 3 times.

How and when did I become such an organised, meticulous old lady?

When I get home on Sunday, I will have to pack for our trip to Goa...not just for me, but the whole family - God! How will I cope with that?!!

Friday, 10 December 2010

Brum Brum

Off to sunny Birmingham this morning for a weekend with my pals that I was at uni with. We're going to visit all the old haunts - pubs, the campus, the curry houses and not forgetting - the delightful places we used to call home - 968, Pershore Road and 102, Selly Oak...its 20 years since we left there - blimey!
 This photo is us saying goodbye to Susie at the airport in Beijing last October. She lives in Australia, and has recently arrived for a trip home to Blighty. I'm meeting her at Birmingham New Street station this afternoon, and the others later on. Hooray!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Snowy Scenes

The white stuff just keeps on coming. Everyone is just so fed up with it now...apart from the 9 year old who has had his 3rd day off! AND I've just looked on the website and they're off again tomorrow!

Here's an update of pics since the last dumping this afternoon...

Life is hard in the trenches...

...But at least we have somewhere warm and dry during the day.

My mum hasn't been anywhere!

Looking down the road in our village

Looking up the road from outside the pub...which is sadly shut due to the snow.

Icicles in the garden

Mad kids in the garden