Made In Britain at The Science Museum

Last week Miss L and I were lucky enough to be invited to the new display of ‘Make it in Britain’ at the Science Museum. We were lucky enough to be shown round by the legendary Trevor Bayliss who invented the wind up radio.

The jist of the exhibition is to show off what is actually still made in the UK from MacLaren sports cars to Chocolate, it’s amazing what is made here and we have no idea about it.  Mr Bayliss was lovely, and told the children all about Frank Whittle who invented the jet engine and advised them on how to progress any invention ideas they should have. Apparently Miss L should get herself a patent lawyer!

It was fun meeting Mr Bayliss and I was also lucky enough to meet the lady who writes From Britain with Love and her little boy, who loved the exhibition too.  The exhibition is very interactive for the kids, there’s lots of them to play with and have a go on, which really makes the exhibition fun for the kids.  If you’re in London, it runs until the 9th Sept 2012 and it’s worth having a look at if you’re in the area.

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Paralympic Flame

The Paralympic flame came to my town on Saturday and we had such fun going to see it. There was a flotilla of old boats going down the river and pretty much everyone in the town seemed to turn out.

We had a great time watching and standing near the Local Community Samba Band – who knew we had one?  Sadly the flame was so small (not that massive one that was about for the Olympics) that we didn’t realise it had gone past on a rowing boat – doh!  But we had fun anyway, it was great seeing all the old boats.

When it was all over, we turned round to walk home and realised there was a massive storm coming in behind us.  It was amazing to see it coming towards us but we got absolutely soaked on the way home – not sure my Converse are ever going to be the same again 🙂

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Back to School with Clarks Shoes

I’ve been blessed the last couple of years in that Clarks have sent me vouchers for Miss L’s new school shoes, and this year they were kind enough to do it again.  This year they sent us £40 to buy the new year’s shoes – hurray!.  The PR were supposed to sort out a shopping date for us, but it didn’t happen – in fairness they might have sent me an email but with the new bathroom going in, it’s not like I’ve kept on top of email this last couple of weeks.

So this was a true non-PR test of the store, they didn’t know we were coming and it was a week day when loads of people would be there school shoe shopping.  We turned up 10am Tuesday morning to our local store, and were greeted by a cheery lady by the front door as we walked into the shop which is always a good sign in my book.  We went and took our number from the machine and waited maybe 5-7 minutes for a lady to come and serve us. They had plenty of staff on, which was just as well as there were loads of people waiting but the staff were very helpful and chatty with the kids. It was very sweet hearing the kids who are starting this September telling the ladies all about their new schools.

Old hands like Miss L were more concerned with what size their feet had gone to over the holidays – a whopping 3G from a 2G in June when I last had them checked.  Because her feet are quite wide, we often only have one pair that will fit but this year there were three pairs to choose from. She made her choice which I was quite pleased with, it’s a nice shoe and similar to last year’s which lasted the whole year (first time ever!) and £32 which isn’t too bad for kids school shoes especially if they last like the last pair did. Here’s hoping for no growth spurts for a few months!  Thanks Clarks for the nice shopping experience and the new shoes.

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Mine are out and are so pretty, this year they are a mix of shop bought and home grown. So far I’ve been lucky and the slugs have left them alone *fingers crossed*. I just love all their jewel colours and the boost they give the garden once the roses have gone and how pretty they are cut in a jug.

They are in the markets and garden centers at the moment and should last through to the end of October, flowering throughout.  So if you fancy a bit of end of season colour stock up now, either pop them in a pot or in a boarder and they will look amazing.  My perfect flower!

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Fun Weekend

This weekend has been jammed packed with excitement.  First off Friday night as the builders who are putting in the new bathroom were leaving for the day, I reversed off the driveway only to hear a loud crack and the car suddenly dropped into the front drain. Eeeek, I was terrified I’d written off the car as it’d gone down with such a thump and then I realised the car was utterly stuck blocking my and my neighbour’s driveways – not brilliant when you live on a main road!

We all stood looking at it for a bit, then the builders and my husband tried to lift it only to realise it’s a Renault and 90% plastic so they couldn’t – same went for towing it out! Luckily part of the old drain cover was stuck behind the wheel, making bit of a ramp so they gave it a shove and I reversed like a mad woman and it came out.  I have never been so relieved in my life, especially when I realised the car was ok.  Now the drain is covered up and waiting for repair, looking at it, it seems that it must have been repaired donkey’s years ago with wood rather than bricks and it had all rotted away.  But it’s not something we have ever had to lift up, so we had no idea.  Moral of the story – check your drain covers!

On Saturday, we went over to Bury St Edmunds to meet up with some friends who we’d not seen for about 8 years and meet their children. It was so lovely to see them all, and such a shame we all live so far apart. But we’re hoping not to leave it so long until next time.  Time has a habit of slipping away so quickly.

Bury was really pretty on Saturday, the Abbey gardens are in full bloom and if you’re that way, worth stopping off and have a wander around.  We saw the Rwandan Paralympic team there who were on a meet and greet.  It was wonderful to see the greeting they got there, lots of people just spontaneously started clapping as they walked around the gardens it was really very touching.

Sunday was just a day of painting and painting some more in the bathroom, hot and tiring – blurgh!

What did you all do this weekend?

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{Tots 100 Homebase Challenge} The Garden

This month’s Tots 100 – Homebase challenge was the garden – hurray!  My hayfever is now over and I can finally get back out there and give my poor neglected garden some love.  But for this challenge I decided to concentrate on the patio which was looking a bit rough and as it’s closest to the house it’s also the the most visible part of the garden. Our patio is old, grey, prone to weeds and frankly not like you’d see in a magazine.  I’m forever out there trying to kill the grass that comes up between the cracks, and pulling weeds out.

There used to be pea shingle around the edges but the birds used to throw it around everywhere so I’ve replaced that with heavier slate stones and that’s worked pretty well. It doesn’t go everywhere and looks better next to the grey patio slabs.

I was looking for a quick fix solution for the patio – you’ll see why when I post about my bathroom at the end of the week!.  So I decided to ‘dress’ the patio to brighten it up, rather than do major work.  Armed with my £100 voucher from Homebase and gardening obsessed daughter we headed off to Homebase and bought garden wood paint in Cuprinol Willow for the bench to give it another coat, some solar lights, a bird bath (Miss L thought they needed one) and lots of pots and plants to ‘dress’ the patio with.  We also grabbed some pillows from inside and some bunting from Miss L’s room to make a pretty seating area.

I went for a pink/purple/white palette as I thought it would tie in nicely with the green of the bench and the pretty duck egg pots I found in Homebase. If it had been earlier in the season I would have bought some veggies and herbs for the pots but the growing season is pretty much over for them now, so we only bought some Swiss Chard which will be a nice autumn/winter veg and it’s still something for Miss L to grow.

I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out, it feels quite tranquil out there now and looks a lot better from the dining room window. Amazing the difference a few pots and some greenery make.  If you’d like some more inspiration about how to make a quite change to your home pop over to the Homebase Facebook Page

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Headboards Up

After much swearing, re-screwing the supports in (it needed eight more screws than were provided to make it safe) and general faffing about. Our headboard is finally up!

I really love it!  Thanks Paul for all your hard work xx

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