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Saturday, 31 July 2010

A lovely surprise from Ulrike


A lovely surprise arrived this week in the post from Ulrike. A beautiful needlebook, stitched in Assissi with my initial on the front, and a beautiful decaupage card. Thank you so much Ulrike, it really was a big surprise and I love it!

And I will come to Langenzenn next year - this is a promise ;-))

Julie Gregory 'Sickened'

A young girl is perched on the cold chrome of yet another doctor's examination table, missing yet another day of school. Just twelve, she's tall, skinny and weak. Her mother, on the other hand, seems curiously excited. She's about to suggest open heart surgery on her child to 'get to the bottom of this'. She checks her teeth for lipstick and, as the doctor enters, shoots the girl a warning glance. This child will not ruin her plans.

From early childhood, Julie Gregory was continually X-rated, medicated and operated on in the vain pursuit of an illness that was created in her mother's mind: Munchausen by Proxy, the world's most hidden and dangerous form of childhood abuse. Sickened is her story,

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Foraging blackberries

We went foraging for blackberries today which was not really a planned thing but just spontanous  -we  (Imran, Ruby and me) went for a walk with the dog, just across the road from us, and the berries were  tempting. It's not a 'done' thing really here in the UK, but foraging for berries, fungi etc is quite common were I grew up in East Germany - so this reminded me of my childhood. Yep, it's easier to buy them in the supermarket, and not that expensive either, but foraging is so much more fun LOL. Even my 14 year old teenage son had fun! Imran is now trying to make the berries into a smoothie, and I might freeze some for later use.

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, 26 July 2010

NH update

Well, for some reason (there isn't really one!) I can't show a big update from last week... With Dan now finally in the US, and no more OU, I shouldn't really be dreadfully busy, but somehow I was - some days I did not get a single stitch in last week. Weekend was busy as well, we went to West Ham for some shopping which was quite nice, especially the food. We went to an Indian Restaurant and had a kebab roll and an absolutely delicious mango lassi (Yoghurt drink).

Jenny Colgan 'West End Girls'

A good summer Read!

They may be twin sisters, but Lizzie and Penny Berry are complete opposites - Penny is blonde, thin and outrageous; Lizzie is quiet, thoughtful and definitely not thin. The one trait they do share is a desire to do something with thier lives, and as far as they are concerned the place to get noticed is London. Out of the blue, they discover they have a grandmother living in Chelsea - and when she has to go into hospital, they find themselves flat-sitting on the King's Road. But, as they discover, it's not as easy to become IT girl as they'd imagined, and West End boys aren't at all like Hugh Grant.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Confetti Stitching

So, here is an update on my wedding picture (Stitch-a-photo). I have never really worked confetti stitching like this before - literally 2/3 stitches in one colour and than change thread again. Despite working on it the whole weekend, there is hardly any progress to see. But I finally managed to get into it a bit more, and a bit further down the picture there are actually large areas of black.

Anyone any tips on confetti stitching? What I did so far is go with one colour as much as I can do, jumping a bit more than just my ususal 3-4 threads, and securing the thread in the back under other stitches already in place. But of course, there is only so much I can go with one colour, so it's on and off with the thread/needle.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Twist & Pulse at Dartford Festival

This weekend was our town's festival, which takes place every year for 1 weekend in the summer. It is usually a mix of funfair, displays by local groups (artists, needlecraft, gardening, dog show etc), stalls from charities and other local authorities and firms. There is also a stage showing a variety of acts such as singing, dancing, magicians.

This year, quite a few TV stars from the TV series 'Britain's got Talent' and 'X Factor' were appearing. And I was so happy to see that my absolute favourite act from this years 'Britain's got Talent' were appearing - a young dance/comedy duo called 'Twist & Pulse'. The two boys adapt a fresh style to street dance, and combine street dance with comedy. They usually have me in stitches within minutes of watching them and IMHO, they are so talented. My boys love them as well, and Dan is thinking of taking up dance - he is actually looking to see if he can find a local troupe to join once he is back from the U.S.

Here are some pictures from the Twist & Pulse here in Dartford yesterday. Sorry, the pictures are not great - I was way down in the crowd, and because I had our labrador Bonnie with me, couldn't go any nearer (bad decision). The boys appeared here in Dartford, even though they were due for a live TV appearance later on in the evening - good on you!

Stephen King 'Desperation'

Welcome to Desperation. Once a thriving copper mining town in the middle of the Nevada desert, Desperation is now eerily abandoned. Except for the local cop - the unique regulator who patrols the wilderness highway where travellers like the Carver family bound for vacation and writer Johnny Marinville astride his Harley don't expect to get stopped and charged. Very soon, a mix of people, unlucky enough to drive through Desperation, find themselves in the town's jail, locked up by a Cop who is more than strange, and they realise that sure not all seems 'normal' in this abandoned town.

A true Stephen King story, with different characters thrown together to fight an unseen and unknown evil which seem to plant itself into peoples heads and take over - physically and mentally. This kept me entertained on every single page, and is in King's tradition of such books as 'The Stand'. It has also been made into a movie (or TV series? not sure) which I haven't watched, as I'm usually a bit disappointed by the TV adaptations. It's just that I prefer to be sucked into the book as King usually manages with me.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Dan on his way to Boston

Phew! I've just come back from Heathrow Airport, dropping Dan off. We had a mad mad dash this morning to the embassy to pick his passport/visa up - only after some kind courier workers took pity on me and I was crying down the phone for several days LOL - they kept a lookout for our passport and called me straight away when it was handed to them from the embassy. The number of phone calls I had to make ... I still can't believe that he is finally on his way to Boston after a 2 months struggle. I feel like I'm going and not him LOL. His teacher is flying with him, dropping him off and coming straight back tomorrow... and than going on to Australia next Sunday - she is Australian and going for her annual holiday, wow that woman has stamina.

Now I feel like a huge weight has lifted off my shoulders. Yes, I know, there are sure worse problems in the world...Now I can actually look forward to our Germany holiday in August.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Lilliput Lane update - cross stitch

Finally, I picked up some cross stitch again over the weekend. In the last few weeks with all the tension I just didn't feel like anything quite often, even though cross stitch should calm me down. But I am one of those people who have to have a clear mind to enjoy their hobby. Anyway,  - felt like cross stitching finally, and couldn't stop LOL. I decided to separate the bottom pages of the house and finished the left side first all the way to the bottom, and now on to finish the right side. There is going to be quite a lot of back stitching which is going to make a huge difference to the picture.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Thorpe Park

And here are, as promised, some impressions from our trip to Thorpe Park (an amusement park here in the UK) last Sunday. The weather was just perfect - around 25 d C, not a cloud in sight.
DD Ruby (with sunglasses) and her best friend Natasha in the queue

And off we go

DH Nafees came along as well, though he wouldn't get on any rides!

Ruby and Natasha waiting for Detonator

Oh, not sure if this was a good idea.

No, not a good idea at all!

Ruby, Nafees and Natasha

Looked like a lot of fun, but I really didn't want to get myself soaking wet

We loved the Fiftees style make up of this part of the park. And the great Fiftees music - it just really made the place instead of the usual load blast of chart

Natasha and Ruby didn't mind getting wet.

DS Dan (in white T-shirt) and DS Imran

And that's me!

The Park was really busy, so long waiting times at the rides- here are my 3 'boys' taking a rest.

Nafees was in charge of the video camera.

Natasha on the 'Merry go round' which was really more suitable for younger children as it was a very gentle ride.

Ruby on the same ride, being a bit embarrased to be sitting in the teacup with a bunch of 3 year olds.

Again I have to say we really liked the diffenrent styles of decorations around the park, all themed. Really creative. Here we are in front of the ride 'SAW' (like the movie), and the put up this old and battered American Police car.

A pigeon caught flying away from the 'dinner table'. Though it looks pretty dirty here, I have to say that all the catering facilities were clean and there was something for every taste e.g. grill, chicken, pizza, Burger King. Even this dirty table here was cleaned up very quickly by the staff while we sat on the next table.

Nothing better for the boys than to round up the day at the amusement centre.

Disappoinment and some hope

I have been fairly quiet recently, and this is mainly because I felt a lot of tension because of my son Dan's USA trip.Ok, on my soapbox now:

As you might now, Danial has been granted a scholarship to attend Phillips Exeter Academy, New Hampshire, USA for a summer school, running from 4th July to 7th August. Him and 3 other students from his school. We had to pay for the flights, visa fees, student exchange fees to the US goverment, doctor fees, immunisations etc which all together came to about £1000. So, he was supposed to fly out last Sunday. He didn't - because his student visa still hadn't arrived.

There was initially, when he had been granted the scholarship in March this year, some confusion about the need for a visa. First we were told that he may not need a student visa, as the summer school, strictly speaking, is not 'studying' in the traditional sense. But then we were told that it might be better if he did get a student visa - so off we went to apply for it. His three fellow students were given the visa within one week - and with Dan, they decided that they need further 'administrative processing'. We were never told why him... he hasn't got a criminal record and was never previously denied a visa or anything similar. Anyway, initially, it wasn't a problem... I just thought let them do whatever they have to do... so we waited... and waited. Than we became desperate, the day to fly was getting ever closer - still no visa. I have to say that his school and the school in the US helped us a lot. The day he was supposed to fly went by .... To cut the very long and boring story short - his visa was granted last Wednesday, but now I still have to wait to have his passport returned to us which may take another 2 weeks. His flight has been re-booked for Tuesday now, but I can't see his passport arriving before than. I guess I'm just too pessimistic now after that long wait. His teacher says if he can't fly by next Friday, than there is no point flying, as he will have missed too much of the summer school. But, they will automatically send him next year, and we will apply for his visa in January! And I will have to pay for all of it again... things we do for our children.

Last Sunday was the day he was supposed to fly, and in order to overcome major depression at home, I took them all to Thorpe Park (big amusement park here in the UK). I will post some pictures later. Cost me a fortune, but was well worth it to get away from it all.

©2009 The Pegster | by TNB