Monthly Archives: October 2014

Camera ready

Yesterday the Beddoe four went off to the BBC studios at Elstree (not the big EastEnders one – the smaller Holby City one) to watch a new Sky TV quiz show being filmed. I’d managed to get guaranteed seats and we were excited to see who the secret “celebrity” host was going to be. After a bit of a setback on the parking front (Tesco’s website didn’t mention a 3 hour limit and the other car parks were full – apart from one by a park in between a series of high rise flats. Nice.) we finally made it to the queue before the 2.15pm deadline. Hurrah. Stickers issued we duly waited in the rather smug “priority” queue until we were ushered in. Whilst waiting I was aware of a young person hurrying over to us who I eventually identified as my eldest niece! Of course I knew who she was but I wasn’t expecting to see her and was thrown slightly for a few seconds! She was there with my other niece and nephew and sister in law – sadly they were in the less-smug queue but far enough ahead that they were fairly sure of getting seats.

We eventually got the all clear to go in to the studio and were given seats fairly close to the front of the upper level (ground level were reserved to friends of the families competing, disabled guests and larger groups) so had a pretty good view of the stage. The warm up guy was very good (he’s been at all the previous shows I’ve been to, so must be a busy man) and the kids were entertained so the wait didn’t drag too much. It was the first time K and A had been so it was all quite interesting. T and I had been to a filming of the Magicians and I’ve been to X factor before so we were a bit more blasé! However this was the first pre-recorded show we’d seen and it was to prove to be quite different.

The presenter/host turned out to be Mel Giedroyc from Bake Off, which was great as both the children are fans and she was very funny and interacted with the audience throughout the filming. The idea was that two families pitted against each other in a quiz format with head to head rounds and a quick fire round at the end. Nothing particularly new or dynamic but still good fun to watch and we knew quite a few answers between us so felt we could easily have been in with a shot of winning had we been taking part!

The retakes and “pick ups” that had to be done were interesting to see and it was an eye opener to see how things are pulled together by the editing team after filming has finished. There were lots of breaks and plenty to see, with some audience participation in games set up by the warm up guy – the best one being “the chocolate biscuit challenge” where a member of the audience has to place a biscuit (chocolate side down) on their forehead and, without the use of their hands, attempt to get it into their mouth just by the use of facial muscles….. Interesting!

It was a good experience and the kids really enjoyed it. It’s a shame we won’t see it aired as we’ve just given up our Sky subscription! Oh well.

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Poppies

Last night T, A and I went out to collect money for the poppy appeal. This was the first time we’d done anything like that and the kids were very enthusiastic. We only had a few streets to do locally but we wrapped up in our coats and headed off with our box of poppies and collection tin (well, plastic pot but you know what I mean).

It was great! Most people were home (timed it just right) and most were happy to donate. One lovely young chap even went to fetch his car keys and walked about 100 yards down the road to his car where he had some change, just so he could donate. Very impressed. And another man greeted us in such a friendly manner it was almost as if we had made his day complete. He gave us a bag of euros as he’d just got home from a trip and had no sterling change!

Only one lady was rather rude but we excused her for that as not everyone wants to get involved. And another lady was slightly too keen to chat and we had to make our polite excuses and head off. But all in all it was a very enjoyable experience and we all agreed that we would be quite willing to do it again next year.

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My cup runneth over…..

…..so much to be happy about today. A very successful (in as much as I bought some things for other people that will hopefully make them smile) shopping trip with Mrs F, which started with a nine item (yes, that’s nine items) breakfast at Ikea. Then, after the compulsory purchase of candles (plus some fairy lights and picture frames) we headed off to The Centre:MK. A hideous place at weekends, it’s actually quite pleasant on a week day.

We managed to get everything we needed and some other bits as well.
The joy of the haberdashery department in John Lewis is unparalleled, and I bought a lovely button (yes you are reading correctly) and some wool – I even learnt that there is such a thing as a “lot code” so you know that the 2 balls of wool you are purchasing will be exactly the same shade. Who knew?! I certainly didn’t and had a lovely exchange with the lady who served me. She was thrilled to be passing on her knowledge and I was very excited to be starting my project with the correct colour wool. I could have spent all day in there. My new winter project is a cushion cover for A made up of 4 alternating colour squares (2 different colours) with one square containing her initial. That’s the plan. Let’s see how it ends up!

After a lovely day of not thinking about much at all, I picked A up from school and she got ready for her friends birthday party. Outfit finally sorted and hair done she went off fairly happily (I think the last party is still fresh in her mind but she knows this girls mum very well so was less worried). While she was out K and I had a lovely catch up with T. He’s been so chatty and funny – it’s been very heartwarming.

Now to sit down and enjoy an M&S “dine in” meal with K and perhaps a glass of vino.

A nice start to the weekend. I really do feel like my cup runneth over!

Music and books

I’ve been a bit under par since last week but two things that never fail to settle me down are books and music.

I’ve struggled to find a book to get my teeth into, but I’ve now got one on my kindle that seems to be a good un.

And today I’ve had a double helping of my all time favourite band on TV – I randomly stuck “Later With Jools Holland” on the iPlayer to find that U2 were on and they were amazing; and then tonight I’ve caught up with Graham Norton and they were on there as well, finishing the show with an acoustic rendition of my favourite song from their new (free) album. Just incredible. I was lucky enough to see them live at Wembley stadium circa 1990 and have never heard or seen anyone to compare. It’s amazing how much music means and how much pleasure it gives me. I can’t sing and can’t play any instruments and I NEVER dance but I just love listening and losing myself in it. Just like books.

Things are starting to feel better.

On another note I’ve been very aware that T is not spending as much time downstairs with us at weekends or evenings as he used to so I had a chat with him last night and we’ve decided to start playing cards or scrabble in the evenings – just us two. And we started tonight. Now, I’m not very competitive but I do like a game of scrabble, so I was really pleased that T was such a great opponent! It wasn’t a whitewash like it normally is when I play K, for example. Hopefully we can carry this on and get him spending more time with us again. Have also suggested he plays chess with K -although he reduced me to tears when he tried to “teach” me so maybe that’s not such a great idea!

A glimmer

On what has truly been a horrible day I have struggled to see anything to make me smile.

A woke up this morning with a bad tummy ache and had to be persuaded to give school a go. I was due to meet a possible new member of our work team to talk her through the job I do and that she potentially will be doing for our French and German customers so the idea of having to juggle a sick child as well was not great. However mum and dad live just around the corner from where the meeting was due to take place so all was not lost. Luckily she was ok to go in but I suspected a call from the school office would be imminent, so M&D were put on standby for child sitting duty.

My suspicions were spot on and the call came at 10.45am and I went to collect her. We headed off to mum and dads and arrived just as they were returning from the shops. As soon as we set foot in the house I knew all was not well but had no idea of the bombshell I was about to face. My lovely Auntie B has died very suddenly of a heart attack. I am devastated. The timing wasn’t great as I was due to meet previously mentioned potential new colleague at the boss’s house. So I had to leave my poor, beyond-sad mum and dad with an upset A (who couldn’t fail to hear the news) and off I went trying to pull myself together. Disaster. I missed the turning to the house and had to do a 3 point turn in the tightest of lanes and then bloody missed it again and had to repeat the exercise before finally getting there (in one piece, amazingly). The meeting was a blur and as soon as I left I stopped in a layby and called K. He’s due to be away overnight tonight but without hesitation told me he’s coming home and will drive back to his meeting in the morning.

Back to mum and dad’s where the sadness was just unbearable. My Uncle H died last year and Auntie B had been very sad and lonely ever since. She was wheelchair bound through osteoporosis and had carers coming in to her several times a day. My mum and dad visited her regularly and the children and I went as often as possible. They were both very fond of her indeed. I always loved seeing her (we normally went with mum and dad) and we always laughed about old stories from when my dad was a boy and she would drag him to Sunday school (she was ten years older) and other funny, funny stories. She loved seeing the children and although she has 4 grandchildren and a great-granddaughter of her own, her face still lit up when she saw my two and she always wanted to know what they’d been up to. I will miss her very much.

So, I haven’t really imagined I would find anything much to smile about today but my lovely girl came up trumps when she asked me to spectate at her teddies “race for homeless teddies” and I was even provided with little flags to help me cheer my chosen participants on. Her imagination and creativity amazes me and it made me smile. And then my lovely T came home with a grade 6c for his geography assessment which he’d worked so hard it – it made my day.

It’s going to be a tough few days and I can’t begin to imagine how sad my poor parents and my cousin and second cousins are feeling but I am very grateful to have my family and the little things that still make me smile.

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Three things….

…made me smile today. (Posting for Tuesday this morning.)

Popping to the garden centre with Mrs F to buy spring bulbs. Bulbs that I may never plant but that could look very pretty in Spring if I did.

Catching up with Miss T on the phone and her having to whisper so that the knobby kitchen fitter she has working at her house couldn’t hear her.

Book club. A day early.