Thursday, June 29, 2006

Its our birthday and I'll smile if I want to

Yes! It's my birfday today. 41 (gulpo!) Here I am today wearing my new Birthday Shirt (as opposed to Suit. Trust me. Nightmare stuff) Got the curly hair vibe going.Sometimes when I dry it naturally it goes curly, sometimes its straight. Odd.
Any way I had a gorgeous birthday with other pressies including a new printer for photos and cards, a subscription to cloth/paper/scissors (thanks to 2 lovely friends at Church), Heat mag, a choccy orange (all mine) and some more t-shirts.

I get to celebrate with my best present.
Here she is at just a few minutes old. She is ten now! And although I only look about 20 in this photo those of you who are good at maths will have realised that Carys was born on my 31st birthday...

I pulled some more photos out of her book while I had the scanner on. Here she is a few weeks old with her brothers. I think they wanted a Pokemon instead...
Yes I had 3 children in a short space of time (Hywel the oldest was 3 and 10 months when Carys was born). Yes I am mad. I look at women with kids like that now and wonder how they manage....
Here she is at just over 1. Most of the pics at this stage are of her smiling and absolutely filthy!
Love this one with Hywel patiently lying while Carys sleeps on him
Here she is at two in Hereford park.
And I can't show anymore because it is at this stage that my ability to put pictures into albums gave up on me and they are still in a big shoe box. Now i have my new birthday printer I have no excuse for not scrapping them!!!!!

My dogs are barking

Ow! Ow! Ow!
I'm getting no sympathy from Phil who says that you should only wear shoes that you can walk in because that is what they are for...
Anyway I went to London yesterday with my MBF (Ministerial Best Friend) Anne, to meet up with Father Keith and Metrosexual Cecil, two lovely URC Ministers from Cambridge and Ipswich who happen to be members of London clubs and promised us unsophisticated left wing types a glimpse of how the others live...
They reminded us to dress proper (!) and thought we should not eat in the club dining room in case we were too loud (!). Anyway we did and we weren't.
I bought a new dress for the occasion. It is a jersey type wrap dress which is very flattering but looked better with heels so I thought "well I won't have to walk too far" so decided to go for it. I usually wear flat shoes all the time and having small feet it means that heels are higher that on larger feet (that is my excuse and I'm sticking to it). So I set off looking all smart and gorgeous (as much as I ever can anyway).
Anne and I arrived a little early at the National Liberal Club so sat in the park on the Embankment and chatted a while. We then rather blotted our copybooks by attempting to enter through the servants door.
Anyway we had an amazing time - wonderful company, talking about faith, worship, URC gossip and being very rude: fantastic food and an awesome building. I have now seen the actual Gladstone bag!

Then we walked to Whippels (next to Westminster Abbey) so that Keith could buy a canterbury cap then walked round Clarence House to Green Park and the Royal Overseas League for cream tea on the terrace. I then hobbled home. I have about 6 blisters and aching feet. But also a wide grin from all the fun. Cecil and Keith treated Anne and me so we have to think what to do in return. Its a too up between Walthamstow Dogs or Romford Dogs at the moment, plus a slap up meal of pie and mash (where jellied eels are de rigeur bleurgh!)

Right I'll have loads more to say later today so I'll leave it there!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Lazing on a sunny afternoon

well I'm recovering from the Church BBQ and getting ready to tidy the conservatory and run two youth groups (only Phil the star has already done the hard work for this. Yippee!)

Thanks to those who did my challenge - it wasn't meant to be painful! I know people often have sad memories but I had hoped that earliest memories would be safer....

I went out with Miss Carys last night to watch Barking MAD (an amateur stage show group) doing Calamity Jane. It was pretty good. I spend a lot of time thinking "I could do that" because if my life had taken a different turn I'm sure I would be in one of these groups but can't fit it in! I have a real soft spot for the musical. I watched it first at University (yup sheltered childhood) with my good friend Shaggy. when Doris Day said "Pint of sasparilli barman" and banged her fist on the bar I laughed and laughed. If I'm at someones house for drinkies its what I say now. People look at me funny. Don't know why...

Incidentally Shaggy is not his real name. Its just he looked like Shaggy from Scooby Doo. He is now called Nick and is a Clown who does environmental shows in schools in the South East alongside his adorable wife Booj and their baby Bella. How cool is that!

Carys wore her new crocs... yes we are now a 3 croc family and I think Phil might get some too.
I took the opportunity to try out some crazy angle poses too. Me likey
Now from all the pics i take you would be forgiven for thinking I only had 1 child. Number 1 son doesn't mind posing but would rather play computer games. This one is 'soft focus' (eg slightly out of) but I like it as he is beginning to look older...
Emrys hates having his piccie taken. He approves of these two shots however

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Questions, questions

well no-one has taken up my challenge yet. Sulk.
But being the loving, caring sort, I will do KathyB's

1 What was your first pet and what was it's name? Fluffy the Goldfish. I wanted a cat.
2 which WtP character are you? Pooh, Piglet? Eyeore? Or one of the others?Roo
3 Aston Martin or Ferrari? Morris Minor
4 Favourite crisps (potato chips) flavour? Worcester Sauce
5 Money no object sailing trip - where would you go? Oooh possibly the carribean or the one I've done - Greek islands
6 Tea? coffee? or juice? Proper Northern tea.
7 What's your favourite season? The end of the football one. Summer, no autumn, no spring. or is that winder. ove something about each of them.
8 Have you ever seen an eclipse? Yes when i was 6 or 7 in London
9.Would you rather hold a snake or a spider? A hamster and only if I really had to.
10.Which do you play? And which is your favourite? Chess, Monopoly, Backgammon, Scrabble. Please NEVER EVER ask me to play Monopoly - I hate it (have a father and a son who love it though...) Can't play Chess or Backgammon so that leaves Scrabble but I'd rather do Connect 4 because I am good at it. ooh and Cluedo. love Cleudo. So my answer is Cleudo.
11. Do you do Sudoku? That is a rather personal question.
12. 3 favourite flowers? Tulip, poppy and plain.
13. What's you favourite in a box of chocs? Ones with lemon in.
14. How many handbags? none, 1-5, 5-10, 10-15 or more than that? 1-5
15. How many different countries have you visited? 11 - 13 if you count standing on a runway or waiting in an airport for 40 minutes

Monday, June 19, 2006

Tell me about your childhood...

Thought I would issue a blog challenge!
What are your earliest memories?

my earliest is of being pushed along in a stroller by my Grandad (Pop) and pointing at the street lights going on. I have a feeling I said this in Welsh which puts me at under 2 as we moved when I was that age and I was bilingual before we went to London (and I could talk quite a lot it wasn't just 'ga ga' which i do believe is the same on both languages...)

Spookily my mum's first memory is being pushed along the same road by her father but definately a different part of the road and a different pram. Pop was quite an austere father I think, but a very loving Grandfather. He decided that Pop would be a good name because it just might be my first word. And it was... Until we moved he spent a lot of time with me - and that went on until he died when I was 12. We loved each other very much and when I think about him I still miss him - 28 years later...

Anyhoo another early memory is of wearing an Easter outfit with a very scratchy hat and big scratchy knickers. It is a pink costume and I have photos of me wearing it. I was 1 3/4 at the time. All I remember is the sensation of scratchiness and possibly the excitement of new clothes. I was a chubby little thing and basically looked like a marshmallow. WOuld show you but all my photos are at my mum and dad's.

So lets hear your early memories...

We now have a medium sized paddling pool in the garden. Hywel and Carys spent most of the weekend in it. Here are Carys' feet looking cool

Today I spent a fabby time with the wonderful Susan and Anita. we did some chatting and some crafting. I discovered something TERRIBLE. I have put my photo stamps in Cd cases and the little notches in the jewel cases have made indentations in the stamps. Sue, being resourceful created a shim for them but it is a major disaster. so just beware if you buy photo stamps.

This evening was movie night and we watched

which was really great. I am a heretic in that nature programmes bore me rigid. I was forced to watch the whole Big Planet series and I would end the night really bad tempered because I didn't want to watch.
I know, I know.
But this one I enjoyed! The kids did wonder why the penguins didn't just have cars to drive them the perilous route back and fore between feeding and mating grounds....

Thursday, June 15, 2006

My first tag!

In honour of this momentous occasion - a tag from NZJane I am blogging for the second time in about 12 hours!
20 things about me! And I will try and make them ones you don't already know.

  1. My full name is Lythan Elisabeth Laughing-Eyes Nevard. Laughing-Eyes was giving to me by an American Indian when I was 6. It was her name and I took the giving of it very seriously. It's not on my passport though.
  2. I look exactly like both my parents only they don't look alike. Scary.
  3. It is my birthday soon. I get a bit over excited waiting for it to happen and then end up being grumpy on the day. My dad is exactly the same.
  4. I am left handed. No-one in my parents family is. My mum says its a birth defect cos I was breech (she's almost forgiven me for the trauma 40 odd years later...)
  5. I am married to the most patient, loving, wonderful man called Phil. He has put up with my for over 18 years which have flown by and I love him more now that I ever did before. And I haven't only written that because he reads my blog... BUT I met his brother a year or so earlier. Didn' realise they were realted until I was putting Phil's phone number in my address book and realised his was the same as Animal's (not his real name)
  6. I am still a little bit scared of dogs even though I have owned one for 13 years.
  7. I am a little bit scared of cows when there are more of them that me in a field.
  8. I love lime pickle and would put it on all my food but Phil gets upset at his 'delicately flavoured' dishes being ruined by a smack of lime pickle
  9. I would love to be a bridesmaid again.
  10. If I could do any job in the world I would be a backing singer. Although it would be hard to give up being a Minister as well...
  11. I find it hard to eat without reading at the same time.
  12. I have the radio on all night in case I wake up so I don't start thinking... 5 live is best for this because they drone on without music which wakes me up...
  13. One day I thought I would buy a few cards to put some canvas crosses on. I blinked and then found I had about £500 worth of card making stuff. Oh Phil that was a typo I meant £50.
  14. I have more card making stuff than I can ever use but that doesn't stop me buying more. Sigh.
  15. If I didn't pluck away (or shave when I get desperate/lazy) I would only have one eyebrow. I'm too tight to pay for electrolysis but the thought of being scary Auntie Lythan with the one monobrow and moustache is the stuff of nightmares.
  16. I am an extremely sarcastic and bitchy person who has to work hard as a Christian not to let these traits get the better of me. Miss those days though...
  17. I have a very filthy mind. If you see me smirk you know I have twisted what you said into a double entendre worthy of a carry on film.
  18. My parents are both 5' 7 so I fully expected to be that height. At almost 41 I am beginning to realise that it won't happen and I am stuck at 5'2 and A HALF.
  19. I have a broken knuckle on my right ring finger which won't bend into a fist any more. So I've had to give up the boxing. I can still play the piano and harp and it is an excelltn excuse for when I stuff up.
  20. My family make me laugh every day. I thank God that we all share the same sense of humour and can inflict it on the rest of the world.

How old do you think I am in this pic?

16... The other person is Sue from Swansea who also looks a tad more glamorous now!

Here is the most recent but not flattering pic of me (note to self, pull in tum and hitch up top when daughter is taking photo)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Ho hum

Life is pootling along. Actually it is quite hard at the mo but not stuff I can share on here just yet.
Oooh I love the air of mystery :)
So i think we will have some good stuff/bad stuff

Good stuff:

  • the boys are doing scarily well in their exams (if they get under 70% I think there is a problem - and that s in maths and everything)
  • Carys got 18 out of 20 in her spellings. Her average used to be about 3 so she has made huuuuge improvements
  • My Dad got his Fathers Day cards and pressie in time before the holiday and he loved them all! i sent him the boy in the bath one and the person who wanted one chose the golf one which she is really pleased with.
  • I posted my flower/sentiment orange card on the Self Addressed Gallery and Michell from Purple Onion hadn't realised that her own mini sentiment stamps fit the hole in the card so well. How chuffed am I!
  • Finished Tell No-one and it was good to the end. Made some more flower cards and a congrats for my Goddaughter who did really well in her singing and dancing exams (my influence obviously)

Bad stuff:

  • Looks like my church keys were stolen from the door today. An internal door which should be safe. While I was in the room. Someone asked to sit in the church and pray. And wandered about a bit. We suspect that the young man of whom we asked if he had the keys several times, might have dropped them outside and come back. Looks like a job for the metal detector. Life is fun.
  • The thing that cannot be named that is hanging over me.
  • After school on Monday a friend got into an altercation with someone about dog droppings near the school. I panicked and moved away and now feel hugely guilty about not sticking up for her. I don't often go to school now so haven't been able to apologise (I've only got an old mobile number and she's ex directory). Why am I such a wimp! (Actually it may not have been wise to get involved but i could have checked she was ok)

But life is mostly good and I have many blessings to be thankful for.Here are some I prepared earlier...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

I am soppy

and proud of it!
Course i am crying tears of frustration at the moment as my finely honed and amusing blog post about today has disappeared in a bizarre blogger mystery.
I'll try again

I have been sobbing my way through a nights tv while cross stitching (3 years in and about 2 to go I reckon...)
The Estate Choir - about starting a classical choir on the Blackbird Leys estate in Oxford which will sing at the Albert Hall
An episode of the West Wing series 4. Some of this I just don't understand, some is very funny, some intelligent and even though i know it is designed to be schmaltzy there is still the odd
that escapes.
And then happy reunions on Lost.
(though I would also like to know what soap powder they use because Michael's orange shirt was immaculate after days in the jungle...)

Had a FANTASTIC service at my church in Harold Hill today. The tiny congregation has grown from about 10-15 people to anywhere from 15 to 30 each Sunday. This is thanks to 3 new families who have come. we have gone from knowing everyone's names to having names we can't pronounce so we did a name learning session today and Esther one of the new people was interviewed by me about her life and faith. Then we shared communion together. Communion is where we remember Jesus sharing a last meal with his friends and sharing his life with us by dying on the cross. Through bread, wine and prayer together we are in communion with god and with each other. It really felt like that today. praise God!

Then an afternoon in the sauna/conservatory card making. I was listening to 'Tell no-one' by harlan Coben on CD. It is a great one to listen to and I can't wait for more!
Managed to make some cards for the Crafts by Carolyn sketch challenge Fontwerks stamps and twinkling H2O's
SA June paper, Purple Onion alpha stampsMy first SA kit card with PO ribbon phrase stamp in the 'slit' and the fontwerks stamps you may soon tire of seeing...
Carys then got in on the act with a card for Tadcu for Father's Day
. American Crafts paper (we went through my whole Crate Paper collection and none had the right green which was funny as they are all green. Oooh no, one did but it did not meet with Princess Carys' approval); QVC box letter stickers (love having so many alpha stickers!) I knew it needed something else and suggested brads. Carys chose and placed then and think they look fabby. She inked round the edge of the patterned paper - and a bit over it as well (ah just like her mum!)

She also became a sixer in brownies today as she will go up to Guides in September. She carried the flag in Church parade. I made her wash her hair to mark the occassion so it looked lovely and curly. So we had to have a photo session!
NB I would photograph the boys as much but they don't like modelling really...

Friday, June 09, 2006

Ahoy there maties!

My pirate name is:
Red Morgan Bonney
Passion is a big part of your life, which makes sense for a pirate. You can be a little bit unpredictable, but a pirate's life is far from full of certainties, so that fits in pretty well. Arr!
Get your own pirate name from

Well this is about as much fun as you can have in a quiz! Give it a try

Apart from my guess which card is chosen. it has been chosen but no guesses yet.
Come on blog readers!

Father's day

is coming up.
I can never think of what to buy my Dad - he has everything he needs really so i will have to rack my brains. I'll have a bit longer because he is off to Canada on Thursday so won't ge this pressie until July! (What do you mean I could have given it to him early?!!!!)
I have just been on Amazon and ordered him some books to arrive on Tuesday so he can decide which, if any, to take with him. see I am a thoughtful daughter after all!
(Watch my mother laugh heartily at that one)

Someone asked me to do a father's Day card for her - ulp!
I've made 5 to choose from and one can also go to Dad. Which would you choose?

ties with lovely Pepper Tharp stickers that I can't find anywhere now!

Golfing rubons, Self Addressed kit (Dec) paper

new stamp! SA Kit as above, ribbons have shrunk :(

Crate paper mm-mm (shame you can't touch it cos its lovely to stroke!), tin embellies from somewhere in a sale. Yes the paper is 'slightly squiffy'. I'm starting a new fashion

Pepper Tharp sticker on acetate over Paris Map paper which was from an old SA kit I bought in their shop. Hadn't worked out how to use it and so pleased I did. And FOUR brads. (Trouble is that detail only makes a card precious to acard maker not the recipient)

Oooh last night someone said their husband hadn't believed I'd made their anniversary card as it was too professional. What a compliment!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

All quiet

Nothing really to report at the moment.
Oh I have had some parcels though!
1: My first set of photo stamps. They are called 'darling boys' but some of the babies you can't tell!

I've used one already on a Father's Day card. Still learning with these photostamps though.
Bought them here and sadly she has loads more to choose from!

2: My Self Addressed Kit arrived. Still not sure about the cards. They have a slit and an stable door kind of opening that just remind me of women in Burkha's. Could be fun though. And the papers are adorable.
The grey thing is a flower chipbaord book. Any ideas how to use it?
The embellishment add on is fun, fun, fun. I love alphas but have to force myself to use them!
3: My ribbon kit from Shoebox trims. 10 yards of ribbon in these sorts of coloursbut none of those are ribbons. There are quite a few gorgeous multi coloured ones to put in my ribbon boxes and coo over.
4: Some train tickets.
(Lythan gets out her soap box, tests if it will carry her weight as she is bound to stamp a bit and steps on)
Here is what I want.
What I want is to book a train ticket to somewhere and pay one price. Possibly get a little taken off for early booking, but basically you log on/phone up and it doesn't matter when or where you just get your ticket.
I don't care if it is a Supersaver or an InAdvanceOffPeakSaver or even an UltraSaverticket withwingsforaddedprotection. One basic price and you can call it what you like.
But no.
To book a ticket you have to have the cunning of a fox.
to attempt to barter with the internet ("ten for that you must be mad?" "I'll thrown in a gourd")
you can only purchase tickets if you have dosed up on Valium and are wearing a hat to stop you tearing your hair out.
Or maybe its just me.

I needed to order two return tickets from Paddington to Exeter in early July. Didn't have exact times til now. Go on Friday, return Monday.
First and cheapest option on both Trainline and the Rail Company was £118. Each.
Then I noticed on trainline that singles can be cheaper. It turns out that they cost £12 each with a reserved seat. That makes (including card fee) a total of £49.50 for two. And i ordered them yesterday at 3:45 pm and they arrived today.
Fantastic service! Excellent price!
So why wasn't there a return for £24 mentioned anywhere?
It doesn't make sense.
Yes I get the additional smug pleasure of having secured what seems to be a bargain, but I'd rather just be offered that price in the first place.
Thank you ladies and gentlemen have a good afternoon
(Lythan replaces soap box where she found it)

On a lighter note, Carys came home from school with the cutest freckles on her nose.
Here they are

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Home again, home again

Back in lovely old Upminster.
With a cold.
Boo hoo.

Anyway to take my mind off it, here are the last of the holiday piccies.
First Thursday night was pub quiz night with my school friends and their hubbies. Its funny cos when I'm back in Swansea I'm always on the look out for people I know - but I tend to look at the 18 year olds to see if I recognise them not the oldies like me! I don't feel 40! Phil's brother Martin came along as he now lives in Swansea too. It was a bit odd seeing an in-law mixing with my school friends and we have NEVER seen Martin in a tie before (he had been on late shift at the psychiatric hospital) but he, like Phil is really easy going and can relax with anyone! Just to complicate the pictures, no-one is in a photo with their other half...
Roger (Sue) and Alison (Rob)
Me and Sue
Sam (situation vacant)
Rob and Phil (me).
We got the third highest number of points but about 6 teams came first and second. It's always good fun though. If you are ever near the Old Inn at Penllegaer then don't forget that Thursday night is quiz night!

Friday we went for a meal and walk at Rhossili. It was so beautiful.
We ate indoors much to my parents disgust but the kids are really funny about wasps, I don't like eating outdoors in the wind and there was a big drop which would have made me nervous. (Official: I am a wuss). The windows were a bit grubby but the views were spectacular. The boys were too busy reading to notice...

Then we walked to Worms Head. Well to the end of the cliff anyway. Sadly the causeway was still under water. We will have to go back to walk it. You have 5 hours around low tide to get there and back otherwise you are cut off and it is unsafe to swim. Its the sort of thing that makes me nervous (told you I was a wuss) but am determined to do it one day. A helicopter landed on Worm's Head while we were watching. Had someone got stranded? we'll never know...
Here are some more piccies of the beach, Worms Head, another beach and some sheep.

Love the way those sheep cling onto the mountainside. We used to tell English people that Welsh sheep have two legs shorter than the other to cope with the mountainsides...

Back to work tomorrow and Phil starts Jury Service - a new thing for Ministers as we were exempt until recently!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Vision On

Do be do be do be do, da, da, da , da,da,da da be do...
We were singing the 'gallery' music as my photos from Clyne garden went round the pub quiz table last night. I'll tell you about last night and today when I am home and can download more photos. (Woo, I can feel the excitement from here)
for today, its just pictures of Clyne Gardens. I'd wanted to take Carys and my God-daughter Nerissa there dressed as fairies but that bit didn't happen. But I'd thought that the gardens would be in flower and that if the sun shone it would look beautiful. Dear readers, it was. Despite me taking us in the wrong direction, choosing the wrong car park and us having hardly any money between us, giving only 40 minutes to wander the park at speed hunting for the Japanese Bridge, they came out quite well.
Here are the scenic ones...

Here are some of the nicest of Nerissa...

Isn't she gorgeous? (So's her mum Sue!)
And some of my lovely girl...

Yes sometimes Swansea can be a sunny seaside town...

And the Gower was beautiful today as well.
Aaah chilled out and (almost) ready for the journey back to reality tomorrow...