About Me

My name is Jules and I am a wife, mum and nanna. I have recently taken early retirement from Special Education which was a job that i really loved. I am loving life and fully intend to make the most of it making some fantastic memories along the way. Family and friends are very important to me and I enjoy spending time with them. I love socialising and having a laugh.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Walking in between the showers

Evening Everyone.
Today here the weather has been atrocious. We were out early to take the Granddaughters to school as their parents were travelling to a funeral early. As I went to put the children into the car the heavens opened and I got wet for the first time today. On the way to school we commented that it had stopped raining. Sure enough just as we arrived at school there was yet another shower. Wet for the second time today.
When I arrived home as I was already like a drowned rat I thought I may as well take our dog for a walk around the block. I was insight of home when from absolutely nowhere it started raining cats and dogs. Wet for the third time today and it was only 10 o'clock!
It continued to rain as I collected my daughters dog and delivered her to the groomers. Fourth time today that I got wet.
The weather cleared up enough for hubby and myself to decide to go for a short walk to somewhere very local to us called Mow Cop Castle. We can see this castle from our house and often go to walk there. It isn't a real castle, it's a folly. It is a local landmark and is on the Pennine Way for anyone who is a walker.

Here is a link for anyone who interested in visiting.  Mow Cop Castle
It is now owned by the National Trust and it is fenced off part way up the path. As Kids we would take our packed lunch and drinks and play there. You could go right into the castle and I have photos of myself as a teenager sitting in the windows with my legs hanging over the edge. No such thing as health and safety and risk assessments in those days.
This Sunday they are lighting a beacon at the castle in honour of all the soldiers who died in world war one. The last time they lit a beacon was for the queens diamond jubilee. We will watch them from our house and in fact you will be able to see it for miles.
After our walk we popped in to visit friends and then had a drive to Leek ( lovely little market town in the Peak District )to do a spot of shopping, where, yes you've guessed it, it started to pour down. This time it was torrential and I got well and truly soaked to my skin. So, after five times of being wet through, I decided to call it a day and head home to dry off. I'm hoping for better weather tomorrow! Hope it is drier where you are.
Take care
Jules x

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Sunday, 4 November 2018

Blooming fireworks!!!
Evening everyone.
We have and in fact still are having a terrible time with our Cocker Spaniel whilst the fireworks are going off.
We drove round for miles last night when they were particularly bad and the poor dog was frantic. He shakes, pants and is up and down like something possessed. It is awful and really stressful for us to watch him like that.
Our neighbour always has a huge firework party and so we have no option but to go out. If the fireworks are in the distance we can just about manage it by having the TV on very loud, having a calming spray from the vets and trying to comfort him. We have tried ear defenders - he pulls them off, we have tried wrapping him in a scarf as recommended but he goes berserk trying to get it off.
I know I sound like a right misery and a party pooper but I really wish that they would only have them at organised events and not be for sale to the general public. I'd also like to see them only let off on bonfire night and not for weeks and weeks either side. They will just about be over then they will be selling them again for New Years Eve!!
Sorry for the short post but they're going off here again tonight. Wish me luck!
Jules x

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Thursday, 1 November 2018

Half term holidays

Evening Everyone.
Hope everyone is well and the weather isn't too chilly where you are. It is half term here this week and so we have been out and about with the grandchildren.
Monday we took two of them to Manchester Airport and then out for lunch. I had packed a bag of drinks, a flask and some snacks which helped with the costs.
Tuesday We had eldest granddaughter. We took her out and about with us while we did a bit of shopping and then took her for lunch too. We only had a coffee and then had a sandwich for our lunch once at home as she wanted to go to McDonald's.
Wednesday we had a day to ourselves as we had made arrangements to meet some of our ex work colleagues for lunch. These are lovely friends who we had a fabulous working relationship with for may years who have now also retired. I feel very privileged to work with such an amazing team of professionals and was very proud to be part of that team. We sat eating, chatting, reminiscing and laughing and before we knew it 4 hours had just disappeared. Cant wait for the next time.
Today I have been with my eldest daughter and my sister to try on some more wedding dresses. We actually ended up going to one of the first shops that we had visited back in August and after another trying on session we all agreed on  a gorgeous dress. I was quite emotional seeing her there looking so beautiful. The dress certainly had the wow factor and will look absolutely gorgeous in church on her wedding day.
After this we went for coffee and then picked up my eldest granddaughter again. Hubby had been out walking for the day with his two friends. One friend he has known since he was 11 and used to live next door to. The other friend he met at University and was the best man at his wedding. We do make an effort to stay in touch and meet up with our friends as often as we can, friends are important and a real blessing.
Tomorrow we have another day with the grand kids and are taking them to the local wacky warehouse......wish me luck! Those places are manic at the best of times but school holidays when the kids are fuelled up on Halloween sweets. Nightmare!
Enjoy your weekend folks and take care
Jules x

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Sunday, 28 October 2018

A little snow, a chilly weekend and blooming fireworks! ⛄

Evening Everyone.
Hope everyone is well. We woke up yesterday to a light covering of snow and it was still actually snowing. It was also really, really cold. The first time this year that I've actually worn a fleece under my jacket and also had to wear a hat, scarf and gloves. I can't ever remember it snowing in October before? Yet again the seasons seem to be all over the place.
I don't know if any of you have pets? We have a 10 year old mad Cocker Spaniel. A mad Cocker Spaniel who is absolutely terrified of fireworks. We have tried absolutely everything to help him but nothing works.
We had him firework trained as a puppy, we have tried ear defenders that he rips off, a weighted blanked, we have bought plug ins and sprays from our vet all to no avail. We asked the vet about some sort of medication to calm him down but were told that they won't do that because tests have shown that the dogs can still hear the fireworks and are still terrified but showing no outward signs.
 After sitting in the house with the television blaring out and all the curtains drawn, putting him in the car and driving out to the middle of nowhere and sitting with the radio on and a flask, we have resorted to taking him to our local pub which has no houses around it and so no fireworks. In theory this should be ok. I will drive so that we haven't got to walk him in case any fireworks go off on route.
 The things we have to do as pet lovers!
I wouldn't mind if it was only one night be we seem to have them going off for weeks. I know I sound like a real killjoy and admit that before we had our dog I wouldn't of realised that pets could get so distraught.
Do you have any pets? Are they afraid of fireworks?
Take Care
Jules x

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Thursday, 25 October 2018

Aborted mission to the Theatre

Evening everyone.
We have had tickets to watch a play at the New Vic Theatre for several weeks. It was a play written and directed by Alan Ayckbourn called Joking Apart.
It had a fabulous write up and was supposed to be really funny.
We get tickets free of charge periodically from a friend of our sons who works for the theatre. We do treat him to a selection of his favourite beers to say thank you. Its a deal that seems to work very well.
We do pick certain plays to watch that we think we would be interested in and if we can't get free tickets for that particular play we do still get a 50% reduced rate.
Today we made a mistake. We sat through the first half and then went to the cafe for our usual half time coffee. Hubby went to find a table and I stood in the queue for the drinks.  Any regular theatre goers will know that this queue takes forever to go down and so whilst waiting patiently I had tome to reflect on the first half of the performance. Guess what? I really didn't enjoy it. I was bored and didn't find it remotely funny. I thought I was going to just be bored for the rest of the performance until I returned with the coffees and Hubby asked " So what did you think of the play?"
 I had two choices here, lie and have to endure the second half in silence or be honest and ruin Hubby's enjoyment as he would feel guilty about making me sit through it knowing I wasn't enjoying it.
So I took the cowards way out and said "hmmm it was ok" to which he replied
" thought so, you looked bored stiff, I actually thought it was rubbish and not our cup of tea at all, lets go home. No point sitting through another 45 minutes"
Phew!! Thank goodness for that.
But, now, how do we walk out past our friend in the box office  without having to confess we hated it after he told us it was so good just an hour earlier. There was nothing else for it, we sneaked out of the upstairs fire escape feeling  like  naughty children! I think in future we will need to be a bit more selective about what we ask to see. Thankfully it hadn't cost us anything or I may of had to force myself to see it through to the end.
Have you ever had to sit through something that you found boring. What would you do in this situation?
Just in case you're interested in the play. Here are the details.

Take care
Jules x
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Wednesday, 24 October 2018

I'm Back!

Hello Everyone.
Hope everyone is well. Sorry for not blogging for a week but I have been away for a couple of days and also unfortunately wasn't too well when I returned. The joys of looking after poorly grandchildren. I had managed to pick up some sort of virus that made me dizzy ( more than my usual blond self!), upset tummy and nausea. I also seemed to ache all over. It was horrid! I rang my daughter who is a primary school teacher and she said that half her class and several staff were poorly with the same thing. Thankfully I am back to normal again now.

I was really really lucky to win my mini break at The Manor House in a competition. When we arrived we were given the keys to our room which we thought was rather nice and later found out that it was the best room in the hotel, in fact it was the bridal suite.

We were given a voucher for a couple of glasses of prosecco and £55 credit for our evening meal, which was more than adequate. We didn't bother with starters but we each  had a main meal, a sweet, a cheeseboard to share and two cappuccinos. I had glass of baileys too and the only thing we paid for were two beers for hubby.
 The following morning we had a fabulous breakfast. The menu was really good and as well as a full English breakfast there were pancakes, kippers, smoked salmon and various types of eggs. Alongside this there was a lovely selection of toast with good quality preserves,  fresh fruits, cereals, yogurts, danish pastries and muffins. The waitress kept asking if we would like more toast or tea and coffee. We really were spoilt for choice.
 Although we were incredibly lucky to win this, and so it was all free, I would honestly recommend the hotel to anyone for a short break. There is a swimming pool and saunas that are free for your use whilst staying,  lovely walks from the hotel and just a mile down the road a village with a good choice of independent shops, pubs and restaurants. Even though we had only gone for a couple of days we left feeling very relaxed and pampered.  Just what I needed after my horrid virus.
Hope you are all well and managing to dodge the nasty virus's that are doing the rounds. It's that time of the year when the coughs, colds, flu and tummy bugs seem to be rife. Have your flu jabs if you can, take some vitamins, try to wash your hands or use antibacterial gel after contact with anyone who is poorly or better still avoid going where you know you may catch something.
Take care
Jules x

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Saturday, 13 October 2018

Mad, mad weather.

Hello Everyone.
Well the weather here has been mad this last few days. It has been hot enough to be able to go out without a sweater or jacket. Cold enough for my trusty Ugg boots to be dragged out from the depths of my winter wardrobe. So windy that we worried that we would lose the fence panels, the greenhouse door had to have a very large and heavy garden ornament pushed up against it to stop if flapping in the wind and whilst pegging out my washing under the carport I truly feared for my life as it rattled and banged and a piece of the corrugated roof flew off! :0  On top of this we have had a frost two mornings and so much rain in a few hours that I contemplated building an ark! What on earth is going on?
What has happened to our lovely predictable seasons here in the UK? I must admit that in the past I have always been more than a bit sceptical about the doom and gloom  and scare mongering of the scientists who appear on the news to tell us about the effects of global warming. Well, no more, I am convinced that they were right all along and hope that it isn't too late to try to reverse or at least stop this from happening further.
I was chatting to a neighbour who said " global warming, bring it on! I love the warm weather" I didn't say it but mentally I thought " then why not move to a sunnier climate?"
 I love our seasons.
I love the autumn leaves falling and changing colours in the garden, watching the birds and squirrels collecting the acorns from our tree to store for winter.
 I love the first snow of winter when I can go for a walk, wrapped up in my hat, scarf and gloves. Home again after into the warmth of the house and snuggle up with a hot chocolate.
I love spring when the snowdrops, crocus and daffodils start to appear and all the plants in the garden spring into life. I love watching the ferns in the hedgerow unfurl.
I love the long days of summer, walking on the beach, ice creams, eating outdoors and it still being light at ten o'clock. 
I love living here in my little cottage, with all the wildlife ( some not so much!) and having the privilege of being retired and having time to enjoy it.
Jules x

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Walking in between the showers Evening Everyone. Today here the weather has been atrocious. We were out early to take the Granddaughters...