Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Ready for the off...

We are all packed and ready to go. Our internet is cancelled from midnight and it is all starting to feel a bit real!

I don't know how long it will be before we have sensible internet access again - several weeks probably - it takes almost a week just to get to St Helena.

The itinerary for anyone mad enough to be considering it is:

Wed - taxis (yes we need 2) to the station, train to oxford, taxi to RAF Brize Norton, board flight to Ascension Island.

Thurs - Land on Ascension Island

Fri, Sat - Explore Ascension (I am considering this a little mini holiday in all the madness)

Sun - Board the RMS St Helena

Mon - Stop the Smalls dropping over the side

Tues - Arrive in St Helena.

The Smalls are madly excited about the variety of transportation involved and I am eyeing the pile of ten (yes ten) suitcases, 5 carry-ons, three car seats and a buggy warily.

It's going to be an adventure!


Sunday, 11 November 2012

The morning after...

On Friday night I had a lovely sweet send off from all the Friday morning coffee girls. We had an amazing meal with contributions from several of them (all fab cooks) and a wee drinky or two.

They gave me a gorgeous present of a leather-bound note book made by one of them with messages from them all.

We had a peaceful evening without any Smalls - what a treat!

Then on Saturday morning I walked back to get my car.

It was the most glorious morning for a walk up the river

and through the park, and reminded me of all the great things about living here.

There's going to be a lot of sea, but I shall miss the river... and  my fab friends.


Thursday, 8 November 2012

October Slow Living

Once again I am hooking up with Christine over at Slow Living Essentials to take stock of the last month.

Things round here have been pretty mad this month preparing for our epic adventure and have been anything but slow so I think I am going to struggle this month.

Nourish: I borrowed a recipe from here to make some button biscuits with the Smalls for our last Friday coffee tomorrow. We also made a wee victoria sponge filled with home made black current jam. I have been trying to make more grown-up type meals for the Smalls with mixed results. Tall Girl loves proper food but the boys would much rather eat kiddie food or preferably a toasted bread product. Very frustrating!

Prepare: We couldn't do much with our apples this year since we are going away, but I did make some chutney and we gave away the rest of the apples to friends and family who will make good use of them. I stockpiled a few choice goodies from the supermarket and sent them on our shipment to St Helena so we can have a few hard to get hold of treats over the next few months.

Grow: We have been eating baby leeks from the garden and also humongous parsnips. I transplanted some thyme I sowed earlier in the year into one of the vacant veg beds. One day it will be a thyme hedge but that's on hold for now.

Reduce: Not much here. Our stint as hyper-consumers has continued a bit, but we did dismantle an old defunct bench with the intention of reusing the metal ends to remake it one day.

Green: We've gone backwards here. Our compost bins are both totally full due to lack of attention, stirring and the crappy summer, so this week we have given up composting green kitchen waste. Our lovely gardener who will be looking after our patch while we are away (we don't normally have a gardener I hasten to add) is a compost pro so will have it all sorted out in no time.

Create: I made some hair clips for Lazy Daisy Jones as a result of my give-away and finished the back of the waffle cushion but I can't piece it together because the filler is somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean. I am hosting my last knitting evening tonight so you never know, I may get the needles out. I also really loved putting together my two crochet flower tutorials.

Discover: I now know sooo much about St Helena, a place I had barely heard of six months ago. I am sure I will continue to soak up info once we are there.

Enhance: I have been taking part in my lovely choir and will miss it immensely.

Enjoy: We have had lots of visits from friends and family this month and lots of messages of support from those too far away to visit which has all been lovely. We have been trying to visit all our fav local places too.

Not too bad for a month of madness! How was your month?


Monday, 5 November 2012

So long, farewell...

So it begins - the long good bye. The Smalls finished school at the end of the half term and received loads of cards and some presents from their friends. Their two classes had a party and I managed to hold it together through the last assembly.


This weekend saw a farewell visit from J's parents and now my Dad is here for a few days.

This week sees the last choir practice, knitting evening and Friday coffee.

John and I each have leaving parties planned - his with work and me with my Friday coffee pals.

Lots of  lovely good wishes have been coming through the post and by email and phone from far flung friends.

It's not like we'll be gone forever, or even out of contact, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, but it does all feel a bit weird!

Nine days and counting...


Thursday, 1 November 2012

Take Note

Our Grand Adventure is galloping ever closer and I am starting to think about all the great things about life here that are going to be put on hold for a while.

Last night was the penultimate choir practise I will be able to go to. It is a little choir, 12 on a busy night and also very new. It was formed back in the spring for people who want to sing but don't have any pretentions about being ever so good.

Talent and experience are very much optional, but the enthusiasm is infectious. We have an extremely talented choir master who at only 19 is wonderful at nurturing our little group, confidently leading and teaching people two and three times his age.

As will many of the good things in life, much tea is involved, but the best bit is the singing. I am not much of a singer but I love it. I am an alto, so get to sing all the interesting parts. It is brilliant when we try a new piece, have terrible trouble getting to grips with it, and then suddenly it comes together and starts to sound ok.

I always get home on a high, bounding with energy despite it being pretty much bed time. I think it should be prescribed as a daily tonic before breakfast!

Oh, and there's proper biscuits...