Wednesday 22 January 2014

Where was I....?

Ahh, yes.
Cleggy was invited to speak at a conference for 
International schools - and since it fell in the 
boys October half term we decided to keep him company.
It was on a beautiful resort - which was practically empty, 
leaving the pools feeling like our own!
 Some Sangria was drunk.
Sunsets admired.
 Blue skies appreciated.
Plenty of swimming
 Playing cards.
And trying new food (snail paella)
Apparently The Teen was there too, although he was feeling a little teenish and didn't speak much - other than to wind his brothers up.
In fact, despite the super warm temperature, he spent a great deal of time with a towel on his head:
Our Alf has grown about a foot in the past six months - and definitely moved into a whole new phase. He is either charm itself or unbelieeeevably annoying.
My favourite moment has to be (in the middle of an argument) him slow clapping me and suggesting I 'put a sticker on my good parenting chart'.

He is a master of the argument - sarcastically retorting 'ahhh, great come back Mum' and my other favourite 'Ok Mum, if that makes you feel better then you're right'.
I have to give him credit - he's brilliant at winding me up.

Another classic (in the middle of an argument) 'well you seem to get 95% of your parenting from a book, so I'll just read ahead'. 
(found myself arguing back over the!)

Saying that he can be wonderful company and great fun (when he takes the towel off his head)
My favourite funny over Christmas:
'All fur coat and no knickers as an insult?? surely that's preferable!'
(SO his fathers son)

Anyway, I digress.
Whilst in Spain I made an itchy cowl. You can't have too many cowls
When we got back from Spain(beginning of November) I don't remember what happened, but then it was Christmas!
( Feel free to skip the Christmas photos...I know we're all over it, but it's purely for my diary!)

We had a visit from Grandma and took her to the Manchester Christmas Markets. It was a beautiful evening but SO busy we literally couldn't see anything.
The Town Hall was lit up and changed colours - mesmerising
Over the past few years Christmas has officially begun around here with our 'staff night out' (just me and Cleggy)
Followed by snowballs with our ace friends Jane and Rob.
I have a lovely photo of the four of us but I know Jane would groan if I shared it :(
We decorate fairly late - 
otherwise I get bored before the main event!

We I decided that we absolutely didn't need anything new this year on the decoration front. I made lots of crochet snowflakes and they made it all feel a bit new.
The ones on the branch had glitter sprinkled on them before blocking - they twinkled in the light.

 A lowlight of the festive period was my dropping a glass of hot mulled wine on the hall carpet...
I also made a new door wreath (inspired by Julia Crossland)
(it's still there!!)
Christmas was full of all our favourite things - 
family, food and games.
the boxing day ham - best ever!
made by Mabel and Wilf's Grandad - it was delicious
We played a week long game of 'peg of shame' 
We first played at Cuckoo's house last summer - you had to peg someone without them knowing. If you discovered the peg on your person you had to peg someone else. Nelly was pegged more than most, and Granny decided she wasn't playing after a couple of days as it was making her nervous!!
 Extra kudos was given for a photo!!
We sent this photo to Cleggy when he was out at the shops!!
I didn't make many presents this year - but had to make something to display these wonderful vintage printers blocks 
(from one of my new favourite shops Otto Retro)
and received some lovely hand made gifts in return - including this one from Cuckoo - a beautiful pin cushion
You may remember while we were celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary in Venice in the summer I purchased, what can only be described as tacky tourist lace. 
I assured Cleggy I would make something nice with them - 
here's what I offered up!
The heart is a little bit of glass from Burano
Of course Cleggy trumped everything with his marvelously 'wrapped' gift - a chest of delights!
 The drawers were full of clues to the presents - I had to turn the french music box and search for the treasures of the lady fish (of course!)

One of the clues was this little knitting bag - and was knitting lessons with French Knots Jo!! 
Can't wait to get started - bit worried about a new obsession though....
Beautiful set of bamboo needles to get started....
The last treasure was special - a stunning aqua marine ring made by Belinda @ Wildacre.
It is stunning - I can't stop staring at it.
 Speaking of rings - on Boxing Day I was also reunited with my engagement ring - which had been lost for about 17 years!! It's a long story - but turned up in a little box of heirloom jewels that Granny brought up to show us. She had no idea that it was in there - or how it got there. 

I couldn't stop smiling when I saw it - my cheeks were aching by the end of the day!!
Just before New Year is Alfie's birthday - this year he turned 14. 
I usually have a little photo montage - but he wasn't in the mood for photos! 
He chose to go to the Red Hot World Buffet in Manchester - all you can eat from all over the world. And eat they did!
This is my selfie for that day! 
We are doing a big family project in 2014 where we all promised to take a selfie each and every day for a year 
(it started on 1st December 2013 so we could make a family montage for Christmas this year)

They are harder than I thought man! Anyway -I'm getting the hang of it - and haven't forgotten one yet - here's my first collection
2014 is going to be an exciting one for us - we have a couple of big adventures planned.
The first is a mere 18 sleeps away and is a trip here:
I am beyond excited. If anyone has been and has tips/ideas then  share! We start in Kota Kinabalu then move on to Brunei, and finally Kuala Belait (where Cleggy is working).
I'm looking forward to writing a big fat Borneo post 
in a few weeks time.

Ahhh, I feel so much better for getting that post done - I umm and aaah about stopping blogging - but apart from missing the sense of community I know I'd regret not having this diary of our lives.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2014.
fee x


  1. LOVE the selfie a day!!!!!!! + !!!!!!! + !!!!!!
    (and hey, kickass glasses :-))

  2. Two months without Chipper Nelly is far too much, Fee! Great to have you back and lovely post, full of colour, action and gorgeous things, far too many to comment on individually, so I'll just say

    "I LOVE IT ALL"!

    How exciting, your holiday is really something to look forward to ...

    Love Claire xxx

  3. Don't ever say sorry... Just keep going x

  4. Loved this post FEE. OH MY WORD I SOOOOOOO relate to your teen. My eldest is 14 and is EXACTLY the same. His sarcasm knows no bounds (from me i'm afraid so I cannot moan too much) and he is now trumping me in arguments too. And what is it with towels on heads? My eldest two both do that. They walk way behind me or way in front now. So not cool to be seen with your mum out in public. And don't get me started on mumbling! It drives me INSANE!

    Ahhhhhh, sounds like you had a fab christmas though......and yay to finding the lost ring! How great is that! love it when things like that happen.

    Oooooooh looking forward to your post holiday write up!

    Take care my lovely xxxxxxxx

  5. So lovely to "see" you and to read and look at your catch up. You have been a very busy bean!! Looks as though you have been having lots of fun - well, apart from the teenage moments which I hope pass very quickly for you! - and doing all sorts. Looking forward to reading what you get up to in Borneo, that will be a great adventure I am sure! Hope you have a lovely time!! xx

  6. Goodness Fee, that man of yours is something else!! That tiny little knitting bag...oh my!
    You really made me smile with your tales of the teen, I have to admit I love teenage boys! :)
    Enjoy your upcoming trip, it sounds amazing!
    V xxx

  7. Hello Fee
    I've only recently discovered your adorably gorgeous blog and was so happy to see that you had a new post when I looked on my sidebar.
    LOVE your cowl soooo much and also your lovely Christmas decs. The snowflakes are so simple but so effective.
    And then how cute is the tiny knitting bag !
    Been to Brunei airport as a stopover, very funny, its a bnit like a glorified garden shed and the announcements are all made after a 'bing-bong' on what sounded like a xylophone. Good times !
    Have a super trip away,

  8. Hi Fee, great to catch up on all your news and adventures. How brilliant to get your engagement ring was obviously meant to be. The teenage boy syndrome may well continue until he's about 22..sorry to tell you that...LOL. Mine is 25 next month! Mind you they are very funny and of course us Mum's do love our boys. Loved the peg of shame and your pressies look amazing, you lucky girl. Enjoy Borneo...looking forward to the photos already, hugs Jxx

  9. Lovely to see you here Fee......such a gorgeous post and so many wonderful things in it!! I love everything!! Have a marvellous trip.....I look forward to hearing all about it!
    Sending love.
    Helen xox

  10. ~ Ooh a treat to have you back, here in blogland!
    You made me smile )
    ~ I simply LOVE mystery, and finding your beautiful ring once more must have been the icing on your Christmas cake, Fee...
    Twinkles and hugs *****
    Maria x

  11. wowsers you have been busy! loving the teen description, our teen is so similar, we get glimpses of the old, cute son then the new hormonally charged one comes in :-( Hope you have a fantastic 2014, sounds like you will :-)

  12. Oh Fee, don't start me on slow clapping - my teen does it too and it drives me wild!

    Fabulous post - love it all (am particularly blown away by Cleggy's gift-giving!).

    Have a super time in Borneo.

    Heather xx

  13. Great post and finding the ring? Wow, how good is that!

  14. I spy me on a selfie! I ( quite rightly I now see) refused to give Cleggy one of my crappy gift vouchers as amazing gift giving is clearly his super power.
    How wonderful to find your long lost ring, and how wonderful that you are as svelte as you were 17 years ago and it still fitsxx
    ps please bring me back a little Borneo sunshine in your suitcase!

  15. OMG I have missed the boat now! I wanted some christening blocks for my new grandson! I hope you have a fabulous trip that is going to be such an experience for the whole family and the boys are at a perfect age to get so much from it. Have a fantastic time and I (we!) want lots of photos.

  16. so much to take in! Love the selfie idea, but I have committed to project 365, a photo a day. The peg game is fantastic and will be played here, thanks for sharing. Have a great time in Borneo, and a terrific 2014. Jane x

  17. So you've not quite gone yet! Borneo ... the only word that came to mind is my youngest's favourite response ... mega !!! Have an incredible time and hope to see you on your return.

    We play the peg of shame now ... all your fault! ;)

  18. Loved this post FEE. OH MY WORD I SOOOOOOO relate to your teen. My eldest is 14 and is EXACTLY the same. His sarcasm knows no bounds (from me i'm afraid so I cannot moan too much) and he is now trumping me in arguments too. And what is it with towels on heads? My eldest two both do that. They walk way behind me or way in front now. So not cool to be seen with your mum out in public.Top Ten Web Hosting Reviews

  19. So much to love here! The photos, the decorations, the happy christmas plates, the chest of treasures, the moody teen comments, the selfies... all brilliant! The found engagement ring - ahhh, what a moment that must have been. And yes, I am nodding in agreement about the diary of our family lives, that is my main reason for it too. Lovely read xx


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fee x