I’ve just spent the last half an hour winding my Bethlehem Lights rice light strands around the front porch in an attempt to be festive, and very lovely they look too! I can’t believe there are only four weeks to go before Christmas, and in truth I feel incredibly disorganized. Last year I was way ahead of the game, but life seems to have got in the way and so I will have to make a huge effort once I get back from my weekend away with the girls – more on that in a mo!
Firstly thanks so much for all the entries into our competition, and for your lovely comments too. The correct answer to my question was indeed Palladium, and I think you were pretty much all spot on! The winning name drawn out of the hat though was Amanda Williamson, so very many congratulations to you Amanda! We will be posting the Diamonique tennis bracelet out to you in the next few days. So sorry I didn’t have enough to send one to each of you, but do have a look online qvcuk.com to see what other beautiful pieces of jewellery there are in the collection and if any of them fall into our special pricing categories for Black Friday!
I really enjoyed a mouthwatering afternoon reading through all your recipe suggestions, and am determined to have a go at a few of them over Christmas while I’m on holiday and we have family to stay. You probably spotted a few of the Cooks Essentials pans on my hob, and I’ve already added a couple more to my Christmas list! I’m very much hoping that their induction hob will come back in before then as I have it on wait list for my son, Sam. He enjoys cooking and this will look fab in his kitchen as he enjoys cooking has black tiles above his hob and work surfaces. I bought him the Ceramic Slow cooker last year which was black and white polka dots, and he’s had great use out of it.
I have to admit to hardly seeing my kitchen at all over this last weekend, as Colin and I headed down to Hampshire to see my mum, Joe and my sister and Linda. We had a lovely lunch in the local pub and were then waited on hand and foot that evening at Jenny’s. On Saturday night we were spoilt yet again when we had dinner with my friend Jo, her man Simon, and her brother Tony and his wife Fiona. I’ve known Tony since he was seven years old, and he’s still great company. Fiona is equally charming and a great cook and we had a fabulous fish pie which went down a storm. This was followed by a sticky toffee pudding that Jo had created, using her own recipe and was unbelievable! I felt unable to move very far on Sunday, and was glad that my shift was a late one, as I doubted I’d fit into any of my clothes earlier in the day!
I didn’t bother unpacking my bag on Monday as I was heading back down the M3 to my sister’s house in readiness for our school trip on Tuesday! Apologies for misleading you, but I hadn’t realized that there are several Planetariums in England, and the one we were visiting was the Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium not the one in London! I was more than a tad relieved as my sister was driving the mini-bus and I knew that I’d be the one who’d be needing to stop for a wee if we’d have had a two hour journey to London instead.
I’d been to Jenny’s school many years before, but had forgotten how lovely it was. All the classrooms were decorated with the children’s work, and there were beautiful murals in the library and special reading areas. I was introduced to Jenny’s class and assigned the 12 children who would be our group and would travel with us on the mini bus. Rosie sat next to me and was delightful, happily discussing what was in her packed lunch and how many siblings she had. Just to make conversation I asked her and the two little lads sitting behind us what was the most unusual things they’d ever had to eat. “A courgette” was the best answer I felt. There was no eating allowed on the bus though as they’d fallen foul of that a few years before when one poor unfortunate had projectile vomited over three other pupils and a member of staff… I was the one with the sick bucket, so prayed quietly all the way there…
Jenny did us proud with her driving, but was spared parallel parking at the Planetarium for which we were both grateful! If you’ve never visited the Winchester Science Centre, I’d highly recommend it. There is SO much to do and see. 100 hands on exhibits made a nice change from things that you can only look at but not touch. No fun with a large group of nine and ten year olds! We went to the Planetarium first and it was fascinating. The huge domed ceiling became the universe and we were taken on a virtual tour that included in depth information on the moon, sun and stars. I was incredibly impressed with the children’s knowledge of the solar system and only just managed not to make a fool of myself by making a comment about the sun being a ball of fire, before the little girl next to me explained it was made from helium and hydrogen gas!! Ooooops!
Having taken the children for a loo break and to wash their hands, we were then ushered into a large heated tent where we all ate our packed lunches. Once again the children’s politeness and behavior were exemplary and having filed out of the tent we headed off to explore the two floors of hands on exhibits. Ingenious examples of pressure, sound waves, medical science, sports science, and the human body were there for you to push, pull, walk through and balance on. A little lad called George drew this picture of me, which I though was very flattering! My favourite exhibit though was the ‘walk through colon’!
Having chosen a type of food from a list of options, you were given a bar code. When read, it activated a series of lights and chose the piece of simulated colon that represented your tummy after eating that food. From squishy to very hard it had the children in stitches. The piece de resistance was the sound of breaking wind as you walked out! Hilarious! It was very much a fun way of learning about all kinds of things including crystallography, reflection and refraction, structures and stresses and many more interesting and important factors of life and our planet.
I had such a lovely day, and was incredibly proud of my sister. Not only did the pupils respect her, but they were genuinely fond of her, and had clearly learned well through her teaching. It’s true what they say, good teachers make all the difference.
I’m off for a couple of days now, for my annual end of year weekend away with the girls from the village I used to live in. This year we’ve planned a dressing up competition – I promise photograph evidence next time! I will be back with Ralph Rossini from Honora at midnight though on the Thursday night 2nd December. Ralph has an incredible TSV which includes five pairs of button pearl earrings each individually boxed. The prize is incredible, and I think this has to be one of the best Christmas offers we’ve had! I hope you’ll be able to join us both.
I hope you will stay well and warm this next week, and keep on top of our ever changing weather! I took this photo from my window just five minutes after it had been dark as pitch, pouring with rain, and blowing a gale!