Wallpaper

 

How difficult can it be to choose new dining room wallpaper? Well that all depends on who goes with you to “help” choose!

Today’s mission was to buy six or seven rolls, depending on the pattern. Simple. Not. Son and daughter decided they were going too. After the initial argument over who’s going to sit in the passenger seat and who’s in the back; which, incidentally takes place EVERY time we go out in the car; we were on our way.

First stop B&Q. Son, having a short attention span unless it’s something he finds interesting, decided he wanted to talk vlogging and how he needs a tripod and suitable camera. Really? We’re having this conversation now? I want to look at wallpaper! At every turn he was there, in my face, talking animatedly about how much money he was going to make “if only” he had the right equipment. Trying very hard not to blow my top in the store, I reminded him of the concept of personal space and how much I would really like mine back; he rather sulkily withdrew.

The wallpaper stock was dire. Or rather, I didn’t like the choices available, so we left. Stroppy son, unphased daughter, worked up mum.

Second stop Homebase. The return of hyper-son. Grrrrr! Daughter steps in to stop me blowing a fuse. By this time I was a little short tempered. The suggestions of modern wallpaper patterns on my 1930s walls was not going down well. Nor were the comments such as “oh mum, you’re so old” and “we don’t want to live in an old people’s home”! Needless to say, we left toute de suite.

Final destination an independent store. Oh my! I so wish we’d gone here first. In and out in less than ten minutes. All three of us agreed on two patterns and texted husband to make the final decision. Job done.

How difficult was that?

Taming the Beast – Nurburgring Nordschleife

 

Oh my word! The Nordschleife is most definitely a mighty beast. Constructed between 1925-1927 in the Eifel forests of Germany, it was named Green Hell by famous racing driver Jackie Stewart. With 73 corners and a difference in altitude of 300m between the lowest and highest points, this public toll road is not for the faint hearted.

We spent last weekend here as a treat for my husband’s 50th birthday. We hired a Renault Megan RS something or other from RSR Nurburg, who took us through the dos and don’ts when driving “the Ring” (capital R because it deserves respect). There was so much emphasis on the dangers of crashing and the costs we would be liable for to cover repairs to the car and Ring barriers, I was seriously having second thoughts! Husband was quiet and contemplative, but firm in his decision that he wanted to press on and get behind the wheel. Son was upset because the minimum age for a passenger is 18 and he’s just 14. Selfishly I breathed a sigh of relief!

Husband drove the first lap accompanied by a ‘Ring instructor’, the purpose of which was to guide him on the most suitable positioning of the car around the course in order to get out the other end in one piece. Also, bear in mind that in Germany they drive on the right hand side of the road (the opposite to us in the UK), and this was another challenge in itself, it doesn’t feel natural to have people overtaking on the left! The weather was also against us with low cloud and rain. After the first lap, I tentatively sat in the passenger side; my thinking being that I couldn’t go all that way and not travel the Nurburgring, I’d probably never return, so it was now or never. Hanging on for dear life, I gritted my teeth and shoved my bum into the back of the seat. Husband put his foot down and there was no turning back. I was petrified! Hugging the right hand edge and taking the ‘driving line’ whenever appropriate, or possible, people even overtake on corners, we made it unscathed. What’s more we did it again and again, a total of six times! By the end I felt pure exhilaration. We had survived the Nordschleife.

Some, however, weren’t so fortunate. We passed two accidents, one where a car had slid off the road and the car behind him was too close to avoid hitting him. The other was more serious; a driver in a hire car from the same company we used, managed to spin taking out the front end, another driver and a crash barrier. The road was closed for at least an hour whilst the cars were towed away and the barrier repaired. An expensive mistake for that poor chap!

The adrenaline rush whilst driving, and the satisfaction of taming the beast was an experience we won’t forget.  Nordschleife I salute you!

Castle on the Hill

Framlingham Castle is the castle Ed Sheeran refers to in his song ‘Castle on the Hill’. We visited last weekend while we were camping in the area. Surrounded by beautiful countryside, it dates back to the 12th century, and is where Mary Tudor was proclaimed Queen of England. Numerous little princesses were delicately running around, whilst the young knights were protecting the grounds from imaginary enemies threatening to takeover the castle. We successfully managed to dodge the arrows and took a stroll, taking in the enormity of the walls and towers which during their reign would have been seriously imposing.

The village of Framlingham focusses around a central square which still looks ‘oldy worldy’. Traditional and modern businesses have taken residence in the Tudor buildings, one in particular being St Elizabeth Hospice charity shop which is supported by Ed with his donations of clothes and jewellery. The small car park in the middle spoils it a bit, but you can imagine in centuries gone by elegant carriages being drawn by magnificent horses and the aristocracy disembarking to partake of the luxurious food and decor of the Crown Hotel.

A lovely day had by all. Quality time with the family, if you forget about the ‘can we go now?’ comments from Son, and the ‘do we have to?’ remarks from Daughter; but let’s not go there, just for once we’ll remain in my fantasy world of Queens and Princesses, handsome knights and court jesters, goblets of red wine chinking and copious amounts of rich food.

With a quick curtsey, I bid you farewell; I can hear the musicians playing.

 

Silverstone Classic Car Show 2017

 

Our second year attending this show and it did not disappoint, albeit the weather wasn’t as kind to us as it was last year, which was hot, hot, hot!

In between the light showers and heavy downpours, thousands of people visited Silverstone (which hosted F1 a couple of weeks ago), to see the vast array of classic cars, watch the various races and the auctions (my favourite part). The show started Friday 28th and finished Sunday 30 July. We travelled up the motorway, caravan on tow, on Thursday to claim our pitch and stayed through to Monday to avoid the mass exodus on Sunday evening.

The auctions started in the mornings with automobilia and watches; but the best sessions were the afternoons when some 100 plus classic cars were auctioned each day (Saturday and Sunday). A 2008 Ferrari 430 Scuderia fetched £100,000, a 1988 Peugeot 205 GTi £34,200, and a 1973 Ford Escort MK1 Mexico (previously owned by my husband years ago) sold for £30,500. The buyers then had an extra ‘buyers premium’ to pay on top of the hammer price. I find it very interesting watching the bidding take place. There are people in the room raising their bidding cards, people bidding on the telephone and online; the auctioneer did very well to get the best price possible for each and every vehicle. The amount of money changing hands over the weekend was astronomical!

On Friday evening the Bootleg Beatles performed to a very wet audience. Saturday was Tony Hadley’s turn (ex Spandau Ballet). On both nights the heavens opened, but the atmosphere was fantastic.

A truly brilliant few days away, roll on next year!

The Joy of having Teenagers

 

We, the family, drove up to Suffolk yesterday, caravan on tow, to spend the weekend having some quality time together. That was the plan anyway. Having two teenage children means that plans don’t always work out the way you want them to.

This morning daughter says “Can we go to Aldeburgh today, they have fantastic tasting ice cream”. (We’ve previously visited). There were no objections, so off we set.

Son: “How long is it going to take to get there?”

Husband: “As long as it takes”

Daughter, smacking her lips together: “But it’ll be worth it”

Aldeburgh is a former Tudor port on the coast. Some of it’s buildings date back to the sixteenth century and it was once the home of composer Benjamin Britten. It is very picturesque and definitely a tourist attraction.

We walked along the promenade with the dog and back through the high street to partake of our ice cream treat. Daughter was right, it was delicious.

Back to the car and we drove further up the coast to Southwold. Another beautiful seaside town with a sandy beach, beach huts and a pier; plenty of eateries and independent stores. We visited a French cafe bar and sat in the outside area to eat lunch. This is where things started to go downhill. Son was getting fed up with walking around, and generally felt we were wasting the day. He wanted to go back to the caravan site to swim.

Daughter: “Get off me!”

Son: “What?”

Daughter: “You keep touching my hair!”

Son: “I’m looking at the blond bits on the ends”

Daughter: “Well don’t, it’s my hair, leave it alone!”

And so they went on, bickering for what seemed like an absolute age. The trouble with children of a certain age is they think they know it all. If you intervene you suffer their wrath followed by tremendous sulking and pouting. Then again, if you let the argument run its course, the end result it the same! Husband verbally bangs their heads together and we eat lunch in silence.

Travelling back in the car, they both fell asleep.

Lovely.

Son: “Right, can we go swimming now?”

Daughter: “No, I don’t want to, it’ll be too cold”

Feeling my son’s frustration, I tried to persuade daughter to go, but she was not budging. Grrrr!

Mum to the rescue: “Come on, let’s go for a bike ride”

Guess what? Daughter agreed to do that! I’m sure she deliberately sets out to upset her brother whenever she can. Having said that, son does the same.

Bike ride complete, I’m knackered. Kids are actually getting on again.

What are the odds of it lasting all evening?

Out of Steam

 

It’s been just over a month since I started this blog and I’m already at the point where I’m struggling for inspiration! Is my life that boring? Where has all the positivity gone? I’ve hit a flat spot. I imagine if other people are going to run out of steam it would be much longer than a month in surely?

No need to expand on that at present.

183 // The Boredom Challenge

This was my day yesterday, with the exception of finishing “the endless list of things you wanted to do in a day”. My ‘get it done’ head was most definitely absent.

Mindfump.

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When does the sky become space? When does red become yellow? When does Wheet-a-bix become mush? When do cells become conscious? When does your belly button become a hideout for fluff? When do sounds become music? When does the metaphysical concept of ignorance become Donald Trump? When does a caterpillar become a butterfly? When does relaxation become boredom?

I will be honest and say I only know the answer to one of those questions. I mean, I could probably have a stab in the dark where some are concerned; Catapillars go into a cacoon then magic happens and it flies away as a butterfly. Red becomes yellow after it evolves through orange, which also happens to be the meeting point in which the metaphysical concept of ignorance becomes Donald Trump.

I surely know the answer to the last question though and…

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