Sunday, 24 September 2017

My Sunday Photo - Week 143 Q is for Quirky, Queer and Quality

Peter and I visited the Autumn Show at the 3 Counties Show Ground in Malvern on Saturday. We lived in Malvern prior to emigrating and attended all the shows there every year, usually with kids, parents and friends. 

This year, our first time back in 7 years, it was just the 2 of us and we had great fun exploring without having to meet the needs of others and spent way too much time in the wonky and giant veg tent wondering if any of this when grown to this size actually tastes as good as the normal sized ones and who the hell has the patience or the tools needed to peel and cook it all.

One Daily Positive - Week 38

An up and down week emotionally, but as Peter says that's normal for me and I'm starting now to think about when I'm returning to Dubai. Mum's house is sold, so need to find somewhere for her to live, find the teen a job and a home, get the tax return completed and a few blogging assignments written and I'll be off. I expect to be done in the next 3-4 weeks.

260 Sunday Relax
Peter and I went for a walk around the town and took a couple of short cuts across the fields, then ended up taking us well out of our way. Child 2 and 2a joined us at my Mum's for a Sunday roast.

261 Monday Yay!
Took the last of Dad's stuff to the skip today, not an easy task throwing videos and tins of paint away, should be an easy job, but it wasn't. The staff were great and helped out by saving me the stress of sorting through all the paint and oil.

262 Tuesday My Desk
Took Mum to Newport to meet up with Dad's friend who he's known since the day they were born and who with his wife, who died 5 years ago, were Mum and Dad's best friends. Mum then had an appointment at the Royal Gwent and the evening was spent in the flat catching up with blogging stuff.

263 Wednesday Sweet
Collected the teen from Stratford and drove home through the Cotswolds, stopping off at Bourton on the Water for lunch and Ice Cream.

264 Thursday Depth
Not a good day for me, I feel overloaded, can't do right for doing wrong, trying too hard, not doing enough and admitted defeat, sending Peter out for the day with child 1, 2 and 2a while I got rid of a potential migraine and lined up some house viewings for Mum for next week.

265 Friday Water Splash - Splashing out with family and friends
I won't be with Peter for his 60th birthday in October so I invited family and friends to join us for a birthday meal to celebrate early before he flies home on Sunday. This was the early part with the family, our friends joined us afterwards for a table for 20. I'm sure we'll have a few celebrations back in Dubai also.
2, Hubby Thing 2, Sister, her partner, Thing 3, Nephew in law, Niece, thumbs up from 5, Mini me, Mum, Thing 1 and Me.

266 Saturday Fly
Up early and after coffee with Peter's Mother, we spent the day at the Malvern Autumn Show. We lived in Malvern before we emigrated and this is the first time we've been back to one of the shows and the first time we've been without kids, parents or other people and it was lovely to wander around at our own speed, have a picnic, browse the stalls and watch the sheep dog show without having to consider other people's needs.

On the blog this week:

My Sunday Photo - C is for Cave. Another day out just Peter and I to Wookey Hole.
Triumphant Tales and TweensTeensBeyond - A Care Package for a Soldier. My son in the Middle East.
PoCoLo - What not to flush down a toilet.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Toilet humour

Well it's obviously been an issue at some point in time for signs to be put up.

I've never considered flushing clothing down a toilet, have you?

These are common signs in South African toilets, trust me, you'll be very grateful that the instructions are followed.

What's the strangest toilet sign you've seen?

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Care package for a solider

My son, child 4, was deployed to the Middle East this summer. He's based in the UK and I live in Dubai. I've spent the summer in the UK and will return to Dubai in October. I visited him and his girlfriend and her family in June and sadly as my father passed away in July, they both spent a lot of time on the mainland with me before he was deployed. I've seen far more of child 4 than I normally would.

We chat most days on social media and skype weekly, post flits too and fro also. But while he's based in the Middle East it's more important to me and him that we keep the channels of communication open as much as possible.

The British Army offer a free service for family members of soldiers, when they are based abroad to send 'gifts from home' free of charge via the Post Office using a BFPO number, up to 2kg in weight and recommend packing items in a shoe box.

Now I am a dab hand at packing shoe boxes having worked as a volunteer for 5 years with the Santa Shoe Box Project in South Africa where in Pretoria as part of a team we collected and distributed up to 10,000 shoe boxes to disadvantaged children in the area, with 110,000 collected countrywide.

Due to personal circumstances, this will be the first year I've been unable to take part in the project. We lived in Pretoria for 4 years, before moving to Dubai and I returned last year for 6 weeks to help out. I hope to back on board next year.

Like the Santa Shoe Box Project there are certain items that can't be packed in boxes and requirements for the way items are packed.

Toiletries and liquids must go in zip lock bags to prevent spillage.
Chocolate melts in temperatures in excess of 30c. Pack sweets and high energy snack bars instead.

Now my son has access to shops on base, he can pretty much get everything he needs, he just has preferences and somethings such as toiletries are expensive.

When you're 1000's of miles away from home and as an expat I know and appreciate how lonely and difficult it is, any contact with family and friends, regardless of however small it is, is greatly received and as child lived with us in South Africa and took part in the SSB projects also, he's rather keen to receive his very own shoe box.

He's moaned a little at some of the stuff I've put in, no doubt I've probably caused a few raised eye brows, but he has photo's, letters, sweets, toiletries, sun cream, playing cards, magazines, plasters, foot creams and what he doesn't want or need he can share with his colleagues or those who maybe don't have family or family who realise just how lonely and isolating it can be living so far from home.

I've got 3 themed boxes lined up to send as well as the regular ones for my mum to post out at set times. There's a Halloween one, a Christmas one and one for his Birthday.

There are a couple of rules and tips on packing a box which are:

  • Keep the box plain, don't identify the country where the solider is deployed to and write your return address inside the box.

  • Write the number of the box and date sent on the outside, that way the receiver will know if they're missing a box.

  • Write messages and decorate the inside of the box. Pick up postcards of where you've been and just write random messages.

  • Don't wrap individual items, customs may check the contents.

  • Wait to seal the box until you've had it weighed at the post office, put the roll of selotape inside the box, as tape can add a few grams to the parcel, once you've got the weight right, remove the roll and seal the box.
One final tip........

Don't forget the girlfriend, send her a box too.

You can read more here about my Santa Shoe Box Journey 

This service is for family members only and the military personal (male or female) will give you a BFPO number with the details you need. The box is sent to a UK address where they are then forwarded to where they are posted.

There are registered organisations who allow individuals to send parcels out to support troops in the front line where you can pack similar boxes, there are plenty to be found on google, but I have never used any so cannot endorse or recommend.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

My Sunday Photo - Week 142 - C is for Cave

Peter and I spent Friday at Wookey Hole, exploring the caves and a game of crazy golf that I won, only because Peter lost his golf ball in a water hazard.