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Happy things in August

September 9, 2014

August was a truly excellent month.

This is because my new niece arrived safely. She was a little earlier than expected but absolutely fine.

I had a wonderful trip to Broadway Market -with friends where I tasted a truly amazing G&T meringue.

A friend had a daughter after two little boys about five days after little niece was born.

I saw Gillian Anderson in A Streetcar Named Desire I’m not sure I actually have any words – still! I’d forgotten how brutal the play was and Anderson was superb but it was an ensemble piece it wasn’t a one star show. I also loved the set.

Before Streetcar L and I went for Cocktails in The Shard. I recommend the Beijing Fizz and the view is out of this world. I will never pay to go to the top again. It’s so much nicer to sit and admire the view with my cocktail in hand.

L stayed after our evening out and we were able to have a good gossip and catch up.

I went to Wavelengths pool with K. It’s a lovely swimming pool with a wave machine and sleds. I may have to take big niece there because I think she’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

I have a new to me phone. Don’t get excited it’s not the coveted iPhone, it’s still a dumb phone but a slightly less ancient Nokia than my previous one. It works rather more reliably and the battery is good for more than one phone call.

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I received a belated birthday present in the form of a Kindle Paperwhite. I have been ambivalent about a Kindle as I love proper paper books. However I already wouldn’t be without it. I love never running out of book to read on my commute and I am already used to its compact size and reduced weight. Being able to read in the dark is good too.

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My Sweet peas produced some flowers.

Self seeded nasturtiums did amazingly well.

I had a lovely dinner at Prezzo with my Mum and Fairy godmother.

Nice dinner out in town with K, S and L at a rather nice Italian S and I found in Villiers St.

There’s been some lovely cosy TV being repeated. I’ve had a wonderful nostalgic time rewatching Hamish Macbeth and Noah’s Ark. I loved them the first time around and I’ve enjoyed renewing my acquaintance with them while knitting now that the evenings are getting darker.

The return of the Great British Bake Off is also making me happy.

The simple joy of having knitting back on my needles. I’ve been busy working on a cross stitch sampler for a special occasion and had no time to knit. But cross stitch doesn’t have the same stress relieving properties as knitting.

A splendid dinner at Brawn for K’s birthday.

A Barbecue at another K’s.

Asters – my first this year.

Trip to Westfield with Mum.

Lunch at Wahacca.

A splendid chocolate mousse made by my Mum.

Another belated birthday present form my fairy godmother – this ace cushion. I love cushions and have them all arranged on my window seat. This one is just perfect and the colours are just right for my sitting room.

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Major progress on the cross stitch sampler I’m well ahead of schedule.

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L’s birthday dinner at Annie’s. It was a delicious dinner and super company. What more can one ask.

A wonderful surprise – more on that next month but it should be an awfully big adventure.

A lovely Team breakfast at All Bar One. Did you know they serve smarties in shot glasses with tea and coffee at breakfast time. This pleased the inner child in all of us and we took some back to the office to share which made us very popular.

Excellent yarn and pattern haul from Hobbycraft and John Lewis at discount.

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Seeing D even if it wasn’t under the best circumstances.

Reading with big niece and introducing her to Blackberry Farm. It was so nice reacquainting myself with old friends. I still love Naughty George.

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Learning to make Loom bands. My big niece enjoyed teaching me too. It’s a role reversal she’s not used to.

My loom band bracelet big niece made me.

Playing with our old farm with big niece. This was a treasured toy when my brother, sister and I were small. It’s wooden with knitted fields and Brittain’s farm animals. Big niece loves it as much as we did and much like us objected strenuously to having to put her carefully arranged animals away.

The light up ducks Mum bought in Tiger. It is fair to say big niece was not the only one who was fascinated by ducks which light up when placed in a hot bath.

Finding Smokey aka Millie the cat a new home with people who will look after her. My only regret is that I couldn’t keep her myself.

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Making strawberry jam. I was sold some truly appallingly soft strawberries but I decided rather than waste them I would turn them into jam and the result was really most satisfactory and very tasty on hot buttered crumpets.

A large bunch of Sunflowers.

Progress on a depressingly slow and tedious legal issue.

Some new GGBP books. I’m especially pleased to have Balconies and Blue Nets a Mabel Esther Allan I’ve never read before. It was exactly what I expect from an MEA. Not much plot but very atmospheric with sympathetic characters a great sense of place and vivid colours. It is a light frothy read perfect for morning commuting.

It was a good month for reading generally. I read Robert Galbraith’s The Cuckoos Calling and although the plot was fairly predictable the characterisation was excellent and I loved the use of language. I also acquired ebooks of Pamela Cox’s Malory Towers continuations. I found them highly amusing. I hope it’s not a spoiler to say that I was pleased two characters had the opportunity to redeem themselves even though that’s more an EBD then EB trait. I was also pleased that the girls were given realistic but appropriate career aspirations.

As for the first Wells and Wong mystery Murder Most Unladylike by Tobin Stevens. I couldn’t put it down I was totally gripped. It combined my two favourite genres the school story and cosy crime. I liked the style, the two leading characters were engaging and there was a most satisfactory twist. It retained a sense of its time and place and yet avoided offensiveness. Hazel’s asides on the casual fascism she endures are understated but apt. I like to think they’d make a younger reader think – if they needed to.

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