#Ironbridge2014: Day 1 (April 13th)

Our Adventure to Ironbridge

Original image found here.

As normal we started Sunday with church. It was a special day as there was a guest speaker called Chris and a lunch for the associate pastor and his wife as he’s retiring. We left part way through dessert as we needed to get on the road but I’ve seen photos from the rest of the lunch and it looked like it was a lot of fun.

When the summer holidays arrive in July, we will have a recently arrived newborn to be coping with so we decided that we’d do our main family holiday now in the Easter holidays rather than going away in the Summer holiday. I think Chris is thinking of some day trips and adventures for him and Our Sidekick to go on when I’m at home with baby – some I might be able to do but I guess it depends on what they’ve got planned.

We left church, popped into Mum’s and a quick visit home and to the garage for some air to put into the tyres then got on the road.

For a Sunday afternoon the traffic wasn’t too bad. It was a little bit busy around the M6 just near Spaghetti junction (that’s M6 J6 to other people) but the traffic kept flowing. As Chris was DJ-ing at a wedding last night he had a bunch of new music so we spent pretty much the whole journey playing “Guess That Song” mixed in with counting VW Campervans (we got to 9 – if you include VW Transporters and Caravelles we were on 11!).

We arrived at the youth hostel just after 6pm to a lovely welcome. The building is on the hillside so the entrance is at ground level on one side of the building but there’s a second entrance on the first floor – so our room looks out onto the road at ground level but the window opposite our door looks out from the first floor.

While the boys unloaded the car I made up the three beds – I figured it was easier for me than attempting the stairs again. The sheet for my bed was far too small and so didn’t fit the bed properly – I think Chris is going to mention it next time we go through reception.

Chris made us dinner in the self catering kitchen. We’d brought a bunch of stuff from the cupboard and the fridge as we’d arrive after the shops closed. He had a packet of green pesto ravioli, then made a sauce from a tin of tomatoes, some onion, some carrots and I think a pepper – it was really yummy. He had some rice noodles for him so that made his bit gluten free.

YHA Coalport

Following dinner, we went for a wander around the grounds that the youth hostel sits in. It’s on the same bit of ground as the Ironbridge China Museum and sits right next to the River Severn and the Old Canal. We then came back into the hostel and hung out in the lounge. Johnny English was on the TV so we sat and watched that while I wrote this post. We headed back to our room and hang out together just chatting and laughing.

AtoZ Challenge: I is for…Interests

A to Z Challenge

I is for….Interests

Originally I had planned a different post but between life generally taking over my week seemed to run away so technically I’m writing this on Sunday and then back dating it.

So I decided to change it to interests.

Knitting and crochet are both activities I’ve watched my Mum and my Grandma’s do as I’ve grown up. It took my Mum a few (patient!) attempts to teach me to knit and for quite a long time all I could do was knit rather than purl. Eventually I got the hang of purling and happily switch between the two.

My lovely friend Judit from Monster Yarns keeps attempting to encourage me onto something more complicated like a jumper or a cardigan rather than sticking with scarves or cowls!! She’s right I need to get out of my comfort zone and try something new!

Whereas knitting I picked up fairly quickly (in the scale of things) but for a long time crochet wouldn’t stick. I couldn’t get the hang of it. Then about two years ago Mum sat down and taught me again and some how this time it did stick. I wrote about learning to crochet in more detail here.

Blogging and Social Media
I’ve been blogging for about eight or nine years now. Originally it started as trying to learn a new skill I’d found a website where I could build my own site but it was really basic and full of ads that I had no control over. Somewhere along the line Chris started teaching me how to write HTML and then got me onto WordPress and my first blog was born. As the years have gone it’s between tweaked and changed and this is the current incarnation (which still isn’t quite right! My fonts seem to be having a stupid moment!!)

Social Media is a newer thing. I joined Twitter about seven years ago and I think Facebook was somewhere around that too. I think I was on both before they properly took off here in the UK but the thing was because there wasn’t really anyone I knew on them I signed up for the accounts and didn’t really do anything with them. In an ideal world if I did need to go back to work after Blueberry is born I’d love to be able to run my own business doing social media for other companies – but where on earth would I start? I sort of had something happening as a part time gig but for one or another reason it didn’t work out. Maybe I need to start jotting down ideas and chat to some of those entrepreneurs out there that I chat to on twitter and other networks. Maybe they can help me.

I am a cinema nerd. Well at least I always thought I was but one of my colleagues at work is even more of a nerd than I am. He has a verging on encyclopaedic knowledge of who won Best Picture at the Oscars and in which year and then the films that the Best Actor then appeared in and all sorts of things.

I tend to stick to the same genres but am trying to broaden my horizons. I watched Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter a little while ago as it’s available on Netflix. It was okay but again threw another twist on what vampires can and can’t do. (They don’t sparkle a la Twilight but apparently the vampires can cake on sunscreen and go out in the sunshine…..seriously, are you kidding me?). I also quite like foreign film. I watched one called “It’s OK I’m a Cyborg” which is a Korean film. It was really random and quite quirky but still quite good.

Reading Books
I am a book worm. I haven’t been as good at reading this year as I have in others. I’m almost finished book 4 or 5 of the year. Oh dear. I really need to get a move on. I am currently reading The Apprentice by Tess Gerritsen. It’s really grim in some places but it is a crime novel so kind of expected!! I’ll either read the next one in the series if I can get it on my kindle app or drag the boys to a book shop during the week.

Right about to run out of charge in my phone. Might be time to to find a charger and go read.

AtoZ Challenge: H is for…Hello Baby (aka Dear Blueberry ā€“ 28 Weeks)

A to Z Challenge

H is for….Hello Baby


Hello third trimester. Here we go! So today I went to see the midwife, all sorts to check up on. While sat in the waiting room, I bumped into my Grandad who was there collecting some bits for Grandma. I got my results from my glucose test frm last week – that was all good, there was also a test for my iron levels which were also normal (yeah!).

I had a trainee midwife for some of my appointment, she had a feel of my bump and measured it (normal range again!), she worked out that either baby’s head or baby’s bottom was just under my ribs on my right hand side. I had to have my anti-d injection which made my arm hurt for a few minutes. She asked did I want a warning or should she just go ahead, I said just go ahead. She gave me the injection and my arm bled a little bit and some of the injection dribbled down my arm so she had to grab a swab thing to soak up the blood/injection combination. After having my injection, I had to be weighed. The midwife was very impressed that I’d only put on about 2.5kg (6ish pounds) since my booking appointment just before Christmas. I think it’s the most normal I’ve ever been!

AtoZ Challenge: G is for…God

A to Z Challenge

G is for….God

My Grandma is one of my biggest role models. Through her whole life she’s trusted God that he’d provide and that he has a plan for her.

On Tuesday I saw her at the coffee morning at the church my parents and my grandparents attend. It’s funny that my rota day off in the week because of my Saturday shifts actually coincides with the coffee morning. It means I get to see my mum and my grandparents all in one day. We sat around the table this week chatting about how God provides and often provides at just the moment that you need it. Our circumstances changed at Christmas and it was exactly what we needed at that moment it time.

My mum sat at the other end of the table and got out my two scan pictures so show off. She’s so excited about her new grandbaby. Mum started knitting various bits and pieces and I’ve been crocheting ready for baby to arrive.

Each time I hear baby’s heartbeat and see baby fidgeting away on the monitor at my scans a certain bible verse pings into my brain, it’s from Psalm 139 and it says “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

AtoZ Challenge: F is for…Films

A to Z Challenge

F is for….Films
This weekend was a unexpected mass film weekend. On Sunday evening, Chris and I went to see Noah at the cinema then this evening we went to see Divergent.

Noah Movie PosterAs you may have heard, Noah has had it’s critics. When I saw it was directed by Darren Aronofsky (directed Black Swan) I was always prepared that it wasn’t going to be a rainbows and butterflies version of the story – it was going to be dark and twisty because that seems to be what he does best (I saw Black Swan at the cinema and it gave me the creeps!).

Overall I liked the film, I’m not sure it’s necessarily one I’ll be downloading or getting on DVD but was interesting and raised questions. Chris and I spent most of the journey home chatting about the film. I think like a few bible stories we have a Sunday School version of it in a way, at Christmas we have a twee version with non-smelly animals and Easter doesn’t have the blood or the gore. The story of Noah takes 3 chapters in Genesis which in the whole scheme of things is a really small section of the bible. But actually even when you just count the rain (40 days and nights) and the amount of time it takes for the earth to dry out it’s nearly a year and that’s excluding all the time that Noah and his family spend building the ark in the first place. I think it was only when I saw Ila (Emma Watson’s character go through her pregnancy in the story did I realise quite how long they were in the ark for). A lot of Christians have been “upset” by the interpretation but once you get your head round that it isn’t a literal translation of the story then it is a good story in the long run.

DivergentDivergent was next up. My cousin is back from uni at the moment so we decided to go see the film. My aunt and my cousin are my film buddies, we saw all the Twilight films and the Hunger Games together so far, now we have the Divergent series to add to the list.

I read the book of Divergent in April 2012, so although I remembered bits of the story, I wasn’t entirely sure about the rest of the story. I think they did a really good job about getting Shailene to be like the Beatrice/Tris in the book, on the way back to the car we talked about how it was better than the version of Bella between the Twilight films and the Twilight movies. Overall I enjoyed it and it was a good film, some bits were tense and had me on the edge of my seat, there were a couple of bits that were missing between the book and the film but you always expect some bits to be missing along the line.

April 7: Currently…


The Good Wife (Season 4)
Rev (Season 3)
Grey’s Anatomy (Season 10 – finally seen the wedding!!)
Les Miserables
The Smurfs 2
The Amazing Spiderman

Rizzoli and Isles: The Apprentice (about half way through)

Les Miserables – 10th Anniversary Concert Soundtrack

I finished the baby blanket for Blueberry and delivered a baby blanket I made for my friend K at her baby shower this weekend.

Excited – counting down the shifts until my holiday! Yeah! (And then I’ll be counting down to maternity leave)

My baby shower -Mum and I spent Saturday afternoon making Baby shower invites.

Hugs! The end of last week was kinda tough and I was glad to get home and hang with the boys at the end of last week.

AtoZ Challenge: E is for…Edible

A to Z Challenge

E is for….Edible
Around two years ago Chris discovered that he needed to consider a gluten free diet as the gluten in his diet was making him poorly.

At first, we headed for the Free From range and started there. Even now with intolerances rising, Free From food is still more pricey that it’s gluten containing counterpart.

When I discovered that they sell gluten free flour in the Free From section I decided that I’d start experimenting with some of the “normal” recipes I like making but with Free From ingredients.


One of the best discoveries was American Pancakes and how to make them with gluten free. Rather than using plain flour like you do with normal pancakes, you chuck in gluten free self raising flour and you get puffed up yummy pancakes. A friend of my Mum’s lives in the US part of the time and on one of his trips back to the UK, he brought me back proper American Maple Syrup which was the perfect accompaniment for the gluten free pancakes.


This is technically normal chocolate muesli as per my Mums recipe but I did make it for Chris with gluten free muesli (I think it was Nut and Vine Fruit mix or something like that). Basically rather than chucking in the 3 cups of muesli that we normally use I chucked in the gluten free muesli and did the rest of the recipe as it’s goes. And it worked! Chris loved it!


This was my latest attempt and discovery, I have a love for Rocky Road, after my Mum’s Chocolate Muesli and Grandma’s Polish Cake I think it’s then my favourite. I looked up the recipe for Rocky Road and found it was really easy. We grabbed some gluten free biscuits and made a batch of gluten free Rocky Road. Both Chocolate Muesli and Rocky Road and really easy to make and then throw them in the fridge over night ready for snacks the next day. My Mum used to make chocolate muesli as my Dad had muesli for breakfast so it was often in the house anyway and worked amazing for packed lunches and for “pudding” at tea time. (In our house it works wonders for breakfast when Chris doesn’t have time for a bowl of cereal).

AtoZ Challenge: D is for…Dreams

A to Z Challenge

D is for….Dreams

On one of my pin boards on Pinterest there is this photo…(unfortunately there isn’t a source link on it, if someone knows where it is from please let me know so I can credit it properly).

Lots of my dreams are for my baby, what he or she will be like when they arrive, whether he or she will take after me or Chris, will he or she look like my side of the family or Chris’s. I look like my Mum’s side – I have dark hair and dark eyes like my Mum and Grandma (actually my cousin has dark hair and dark eyes too – when we were younger we looked like siblings).

I also have dreams for Our Sidekick. I hope that he’ll be happy whatever he ends up doing, that if graphic design and art is his passion that he’ll follow that. I hope that he’ll one day find a lovely girl and they will encourage each other to be the best they can be like I hope Chris and I do and that he’ll have his own family one day if that’s right for him.

I dream that Chris and I will be happy for many many years, I’m sure we’ll have fallings out and disagreements across the years but I hope that one day, we’ll see Blueberry graduate university of they decide that’s what they want to do and that if Blueberry is a girl, Chris will get to walk her down the aisle like my Dad did for me and then we’ll be chasing Blueberry’s kids round the garden and winding them up like crazy before sending them home (that’s the job of a grandparent right?).