5 things I liked this week – 4.11.16

  1. Working on a good project at work.
  2. Girl Lacer getting good marks in her school assessments.
  3. Humans is back on, yay! And even though Colin Morgan has toned down his out and out sexiness for this show, he’s still not bad to look at! (I am such a perv). And of course the TV show itself is good too.
  4. Me and Mr. Lacer are back box-setting Mr. Robot and we’re now on season 2. I love Mr. Robot for pretty much everything but ooh the love and care that goes into those camera shots, it’s achingly beautiful.
  5. The High Court’s decision that the government needs to be consulted before Article 50 is revoked is fantastic. The Brexiters want more sovereign control (what are we in the Middle Ages?) and as soon as OUR courts, OUR government try and exert some control, they don’t like it! As someone said on Twitter yesterday, it’s a rise of a group of people who only care that they’re right, that only their opinions matter, never mind that the pound shot up on the decision yesterday but hey, what are facts?
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5 things I liked this week – 28.10.16 (bit delayed)

  1. Going to see The Next Step with Girl Lacer. For those that don’t have dance obsessed children, The Next Step is a TV show about a group of dancers and they’ve been on tour. Girl Lacer absolutely loved it and for this 41 year old, who has only seen the random trailer for the show, I thought it was rather good too.
  2. Class has started! As in the TV show, Class, written by one of my favourite writers, Patrick Ness. For those that don’t know it, it’s a brand new Doctor Who spin off, set in Coal Hill Academy, with a bunch of sixth formers protecting the world from a crack in space time. It’s more ‘adult’ than Doctor Who, a bit scarier and even a bit of sex. It’s been billed as the British Buffy, which is big shoes to fill and so far, it’s filling them well.
  3. We popped into Hampton Court for one last visit to The Magic Garden before it closed for the winter and we also ended up having a go at the Garden Party trail. Girl and Boy Lacer particularly liked playing the 17th century garden party games.
  4. We had a Fire of London themed day this week too, going for a tour and then seeing the Fire! Fire! exhibition at the Museum of London, it was okay but I have two kids who definitely prefer art galleries over history museums.
  5. Finishing the dress I’d been working on all week (see next blog post!).

5 things I liked this week – 14.10.16

  1. Walking in Richmond Park with the stags; I actually went twice this week, once last Friday and again on the Saturday. The Saturday walk wasn’t actually that relaxing, the park, if that’s at all possible, felt too crowded but I shouldn’t let that detract from the fact that I did enjoy my Friday walk.
  2. I’m still watching The Fall, still way behind, so no spoilers please but I’ve just got to the bit in season 2 where Colin Morgan makes an appearance, which always makes me feel completely hypocritical because I always think that men shouldn’t objectify women but oooh Colin Morgan (for those only familiar with Morgan’s earlier work, Merlin has grown into being a bit of a brooding hunk). I do really like The Fall but the fact that all the main characters bar the murderer’s downtrodden wife, all look like they’ve just stepped off a magazine fashion photo shoot, doesn’t make it feel completely realistic, although I can sort of get it from stylistic point of view, all the main characters, bar the wife, are in this almost out of this (normal) world, cat and mouse game, whereas the wife is just trying to raise her kids and do her job. There’s also the whole thing with Jamie Dornan being so good looking, ‘he just can’t be a murderer’, as shown with that scene on the train, where a young woman is looking at a rather accurate of photofit of the suspected murderer and Jamie Dornan is going “Do you think that looks like me? I think that looks like me. But I can’t be a murderer right?” and the young woman is going “Of course not,” simper, simper. Personally, the “cor Jamie Dornan is a bit of all right” effect lasted for about five minutes into the first episode of season one for me, as he’s a very good actor and he plays a very convincing absolute creep with a journalling fetish, so I can’t see why anyone would find that character attractive. Although for the record, Jamie Dornan with a beard, even playing a creepy murderer, is better looking I think than Jamie Dornan without a beard, playing Christian Gray (also, the Irish accent helps).
  3. Also on the TV front, I watched the recording of Derren Brown’s latest stage show this week. I saw Brown a few years ago and he was absolutely fantastic and I’m a big fan, I think the work that he does, not only his gift with hypnotism, reading people and all round trickery but also his work on looking at people like psychics, faith healers and psychology in general, is amazing. Brown has a book that’s either out or coming out soon (I’m not sure if the print copy is out yet, it might be, I’m waiting for the audiobook, which is out in November) on happiness and you could see echoes of that in his latest stage show, about how we are the stories we tell ourselves and if constantly tell ourselves bad stories, well, we’re not going to be very happy. Interesting stuff.
  4. We’re still finishing off the last touches of our grand bedroom swap that happened over the summer (the kids have got our big bedroom and we’ve now got the small bedroom). One of the things that the bedroom swap has influenced is where and how I can do my crafting, particularly big stuff, i.e. machine sewing. Now, except for a brief period when I had a desk in my old bedroom, I haven’t been able to use my sewing machine in my old bedroom anyway, I’ve always sewn in the living room (and that wasn’t particularly easy either) on our foldaway dining table. However, in moving the furniture around for the bedroom swap, we had to move the large bookcases that were in our bedroom, out into the living room and to fit the bookcases in the living room, we had to move the foldaway dining table. Now we did sort of think (briefly) about getting rid of the table, we only ever used it completely up, once a year (for Christmas), if that, because fully up it takes up the entire living room floor (and it is not a big table), it was increasingly not even half up, as we stored stuff in front of it a lot of the time. But me and Mr. Lacer are quite attached to what we call our ‘proper pieces of furniture’ (ie anything that didn’t come from Ikea or somewhere similar), as we only actually own two pieces, the table and a wooden oak chest of drawers (we are particular fond of the chest of drawers, it was an investment buy, after years of Ikea chest of drawers which would fall apart after a few years, I can see the investment chest of drawers literally being passed down the generations). So anyway, the chances of me and Mr. Lacer actually throwing out one of ‘proper pieces of furniture’ is about zero, so instead we’ve tucked the table down the side of our sofa and it now serves as a telephone table (it folds down pretty small). We will probably still get it out for Christmas but it will involve some heavy duty furniture moving to do so and I’m not exactly going to do that every time I want to do some sewing, so I was without a sewing table. Anyway, over the summer, this came to a head as Girl Lacer was invited to a 50s style birthday party and I wanted to make her a 50s style skirt, life ended up getting in the way, so I never did make the skirt (got as far as sticking together the .pdf pattern, I will still make the skirt though) but to make the skirt I knew I needed to sort out the table problem, so I ordered something I had been thinking about ordering for a while, a collapsible table that I could store under the sofa and then assemble when I wanted to get the sewing machine out. The table arrived, unfortunately the fabric for the skirt took ages to arrive (which was one of the reasons why the skirt didn’t happen for this party) and the table got stuck, still in its cardboard wrappings, under the sofa and left there, until this week …. Now I have been itching to get the sewing machine out all summer but the bedroom swap generated such a huge amount of boxes, that it took literally the whole of September (from basically when the kids went back to school) to sort out. There are still boxes in the living room, as Mr. Lacer recently cleared out a cupboard and I need to sort through those too but for a good long while, there was barely enough room to get even an embroidery hoop out in the living room, let alone a table to do some machine sewing, so the table stayed under the sofa. But as usual with crafting, sometimes it takes a fast encroaching deadline to get you moving; we have a family wedding to go to in a few weeks and I am making both me and Girl Lacer the dresses for it, so, I had to get sewing. So out came the table finally and it’s fantastic! I will be blogging about the sewing table (with pics) and what I’ve been sewing, in another blog post soon but it’s definitely been a highlight of the week!
  5. Time is going so quickly, it seems just like yesterday me and Girl Lacer were looking around secondary schools, now it’s Boy Lacer’s turn, although this time round we’re only looking around one, the school Girl Lacer ended up at (which had been her first choice school, on a list of about five schools). Girl Lacer’s school is only in its second year, it didn’t even properly exist when we went to ‘look round’ it, so it was excellent being able to look around an actual school building this time and to see how those initial words have very much been turned into very definite actions and we’re very lucky, it’s bloomed into a wonderful school, so that now, when we consider schools for Boy Lacer, there really is only one choice. Although we’re not the sort of parents who are very “you’re doing this whether you like it or not”, I can imagine, that in some families, kids have very little choice about what secondary school they want to put as their first choice and if Boy Lacer had wanted to look at other schools, we’d have been happy for that and if he’d wanted to put a different school as his first choice, as long as he had sound reasons for it, that would have been fine too. But he’s seen his sister have so much fun at her secondary school and although he was pretty sold even before he stepped into the door of the open evening last night, he sat and listened to the head’s speech, he said to me afterwards “well that sold me”. So, I am very excited for both of my kids, for the opportunities that they’ll have there. We were very lucky in that their primary school was fantastic and that it looks like their secondary school will be fantastic too. Which is, going back to the bedroom swap and the tables under the sofa, etc. etc. is why we’re doing this, my dad is frequently on at us to move out of the area, so that we can buy a three bed house, although these days in London, to buy a three bed house, we wouldn’t just have to move out of the borough, we’d have a move out of the city! He knows that a big reason we stay here is because of the schools and his counter argument is always “there’s good schools elsewhere, you know”, yes, of course there is but if we were to move now, wherever we ended up, those good schools would have waiting lists that our kids would be right at the bottom of and although I went to a ‘not good’ school (ooh it had a bad, sort of justified reputation), back when I was a kid and I came out all right, why give up on these opportunities for the kids that we currently have? They are worth the compromises.

5 things I liked this week – 30.9.16

1.
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Beautiful supermarket flowers that stopped me in my tracks and I couldn’t resist buying.

2.

V&A London Design Week 2016

Seeing London Design Week at the V&A. I particularly liked the marble that looked like liquid (second row, photo on the right) and I was in total awe of the light display in the tapestry room (third row, left) and the installation by the Exhibition Road entrance (third row, right).

3.

Hampton Wick pond

Another lovely walk by Hampton Wick pond.

4. I don’t watch that much TV these days but sometimes getting your teeth into something is just what you need, it’s usually at this point I comb iPlayer, Netflix and Amazon Prime and declare with a wail “There’s nothing on!” but I did manage to find something I liked this week, The Fall. I’ve already caught up and watched season 1 and I’m about to start watching season 2 (so no spoilers please). I was a big Gillian Anderson fan way back in her X-files days (the recent new X-files stuff? nah) and I generally like anything she’s in but she is absolutely brilliant in this. And the way Jamie Dornan goes so quickly from “phew he’s a bit of all right” to absolutely creepily repulsive, well that’s very good acting.

5. I’ve been doing #30Lists this month, I was going to do a round up post when I finished my last list today but it’s getting a bit of a right pain having to link all my images from Flickr because I’ve run out of space on my WordPress account, so I’m not going to. I’m not sure thirty pictures of my not particularly neat handwriting would be that exciting anyway, but it’s been great fun to participate in. Here’s my favourite #30Lists from earlier this month.

One of my favourite #30Lists from this month

 

5 things I liked this week – 26.8.16

  1. Getting out to see some Welsh countryside last weekend.

    Near and at Barmouth plus Snowdonia

    2. Appreciating my own ‘countryside’ when I got back (and the fact that it was a lot sunnier!)

    Home Park

3. Whilst I was away (and the kids were at the mother-in-law’s), Mr. Lacer started the very long process of swapping ours and the kids’ bedrooms around. We live in a tiny two bed flat and can’t afford to move, for the past 12 years, me and Mr. Lacer have had the ‘big’ bedroom (it’s not that big, particularly when both kids were babies and took their turns sharing with us) and the kids had the little bedroom, sleeping in bunk beds eventually (they originally shared the room in a toddler bed and a cot). Both kids need a lot more privacy now and really should have their own separate bedrooms but we can’t afford to move to a three bed place in our area and we desperately don’t want to take the kids out of their schools, so we’ve swapped bedrooms. Now technically our flat is a two double bedroom flat but the second bedroom really is a stick a double bed in it and not much else room but you know what, I think it’s cozy.

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I do have a hell of a lot of stuff to sort out chuck out though (and also a lot of storage solutions that require sewing).

4. The Great British Bake Off is back!!!!!

5. I have a new dangerously favourite shop, The Journal Shop, do not, I say do not, click on that link if you have any predisposition towards stationary, particularly vintage or Japanese, because it is bloody gorgeous, sigh (and I thought Present and Correct was dangerous).

 

5 things I liked this week – 12.8.16

1. Converse Thunderbolt Modern trainers, let me just drool a little and mourn that I can’t afford them.

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Image credit

2.  A relaxing bench in the sun, with the rather clever feature of being part of a series of benches, where each bench gets progressively bigger. I was on the second biggest bench and my feet couldn’t touch the floor, making me swing my legs and feel happily like a little kid.

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I’m also quite fond of Prisma

3. I keep reading stories about this weird star that is baffling astronomers, one possible explanation is that some alien civilisation is using the sun for something (as an energy source presumably) or has some giant megastructure orbiting around it. Of course there could be some scientific explanation (that doesn’t involve aliens) that we just don’t understand yet but aliens would be cool (as long as they’re nice aliens). But then again (and I’ve lost the link to this article), I read another article this week that reckons life on Earth may be premature compared to the rest of the universe, that conditions aren’t right yet elsewhere but will be eventually. Now, in a way that would be even scarier than face eating aliens, if we’re the oldest civilisation in the universe, you know the sort of species that goes round looking all wise and bearded in cloaks, god help the rest of the universe.

4. We’ve had The Living and The Dead on our DVR for ages, some of it is still on iPlayer (although the first few episodes have already disappeared). Me and Mr. Lacer watched the first episode and we were like “hmmm, is it worth watching or is not worth watching?” (leaving aside the pure attractiveness of this man).

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Merlin, you’ve all grown up! (Image credit)

I was  also a bit dubious as it’s quite scary and I am most definitely not into scary things. But we did some looking around at the reviews (whilst trying to avoid spoilers) and everyone was raving about it, so we kept it on the DVR. Meanwhile there were other things to watch and I’m still at the recovery stage where going to bed at 8pm is still very attractive sometimes, so it wasn’t getting watched. But me and Mr. Lacer made a concerted effort this week and ooh it’s good. It’s still scary but sigh, Colin Morgan. My perving aside, it’s a fantastic story, sort of a traditional ghost story with a twist, set in a working country estate. I have quite a fondness for the farming bits in particular because on my dad’s side, there’s a whole branch of the family tree who were farm workers doing the harvest, just as they’re doing in The Living and The Dead, for centuries, staying in the same village for generations.

The Living and The Dead also has the extra added bonus of being filmed in some absolutely stunning scenery, it must have been quite familiar for Morgan, as the episode we’ve just watched, featured lots of running in and out of crevices and caves and they’re exactly the same ones they used for Merlin. They filmed The Living and The Dead in the Forest of Dean, somewhere I’ve never been and is now on my holiday destination wish list!

5. I try and have a set mental list in my head of clothes I want to add to my wardrobe, that way I’m less likely to make impulse purchases and I will admit, there’s a certain thrill of the chase when I find ‘the’ perfect whatever that I’ve been after, especially as the perfect whatever has to also be affordable. So I was really please to find this skirt in M&S, the label in the shop said it was an a-line (although I note it doesn’t say that on the website) but it isn’t really, it’s much more like a pencil skirt, which is what I was after, it’s got just the right amount of cling (so it’s really comfy) and it’s just the right length, result!

5 things I liked- 29.7.16

1. I grew up in a bygone era where there were only 4 channels and no internet, let alone internet streaming, so I was much less discerning about what I watched (eek, even Antiques Roadshow if I was really bored). Back then TV channels weren’t afraid to show really old repeats either but there was nothing wrong with that because I grew up watching some classics, The Flintstones (yes, that’s a classic) Mash, Porridge and The Adams Family. I’d somehow forgotten about The Adams Family, until I saw that some genius has hand coloured some of it and oh it brought all the feels back.

2. Comic Con has meant lots of good trailers being released, although so much of it is for 2017 stuff, how can I wait!

3. Sesame Street have started doing some really cool collaborations, I love this one.

4. Politics is pretty awful at the moment but I do love the one ‘fun’ long running politics story in the news at the moment, the ongoing battle between Larry the Cat (resident of 10 Downing Street) and Palmerston (feline resident of the Foreign Office). The latest installment of the saga involved Palmerston invading number 10, Larry was not impressed.

5. Clothes are really exciting me at the moment, I’m still a little limited about what I can wear, no way do I want anything but the softest of fabrics on my stomach scar but a girl can dream and dreaming is just about what I’m limited to at the moment, as I’m still on medical leave and I only get statutory sick pay and when I go back to work my hours will be reduced. But let me get myself off that economic downer and show you what I’m drooling over on Boden.

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The Supersoft Ballet Top, except in black, not the colour shown in the photo. As well as the low neckline at the back, it also has a higher neckline at the front. Heck, if I were loaded I’d also buy one in navy blue and maybe the navy / ivory stripe too. I think this top would also look good on Girl Lacer (she’s getting to the age where she’s starting to be able to fit into adult clothes) and she is an actual ballerina. (And double heck, the model even has her hair in the same style I’m currently trying to grow my hair out into).

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Featherweight Polo Neck, except in black (spot a theme developing?). I am so glad polo necks / turtle necks are coming back into fashion this autumn, I am still heavily influenced by an interviewee I once saw, at a tender age, on Wogan, looking stunning in a black polo neck, black jeans and a black leather jacket.

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Lightweight baseball tee (actually in the colour shown), I have a fondness for baseball tees and they’re not always easy to find.

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And finally the Sally Coat; I need a new coat this winter, my faithful, signature, woollen, purple coat has seen too many winters and is now also too big for me (in a way that is not flattering). I know exactly what sort of coat I want, I’ve been thinking about this for months and weirdly, duster coats are now apparently ‘the shape of the season’. The Sally Coat seems to be a pretty good match to this dream coat I’ve been carrying round in my head, the right shape, woollen and navy blue (I would also go for dark grey but they don’t do dark grey for this coat). Whereas the other three dream items could well not end up in my wardrobe (*sob*), I can’t escape that I need a new coat and it could well be this one; I won’t need a winter coat for a few months yet, so I’m going to continue looking (which is more than half the fun).

(All photos under 5. from Boden).