Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Mother's Day, Gran and other family matters

Thank you for all your lovely comments on the previous post; and all those comments on previous posts in fact - I really should say how grateful I am that so many people bother to say hello, you always make me smile!

I did mention in the previous post that the kitchen was a sticky mess on Mother's day - Little Miss had decided to bake me a cake, all on her own. She followed the recipe for a delicious chocolate brownie traybake, however after forgetting the baking powder it was a little more like a big biscuit - a very chocolatey one so it was all good. She had wanted to ice "Mum" on the top but was unable to find out how to make butter icing -
her two brothers were as much help as any teenage boy can be, that is to say no help at all!
So she guessed and got a bowl of icing sugar and added milk, then poured the very watery liquid into an icing bag, and watched it all run out the other end.
She also added most of a bottle of red food colouring so we had a very sticky kitchen, my slippers still stick to the floor in a couple of spots!
Anyway it was definitely the thought that counts, no one has made a cake just for me in a very long time. (And I have eaten most of it anyway!)

Sticky, flat, chocolate brownie
This seems to have brought on some competitive cake baking between the two youngest children (the oldest is too lazy/sleepy/teenagerish to join in). The result is far too many sticky chocolate cakes in the house and my waistband busting! 
On Mother's Day itself the Builder and I went for a very long walk across
 the marshes and down a few country lanes (the kids were still only half awake and really
didn't want to dress/speak/walk/move).
 We went for over 2 hours and chatted as we went, I love mornings like that.
 I forgot to take my camera or phone so didn't get to snap anything, the scenery is so pretty especially at this time of year and we saw quite a big grass snake slither across the path about a foot in front of us. We also ended up at the Deli/coffee shop in the village (one of my favourite places) for coffee and cake, I had an elderflower cocktail (non alcoholic) as
I'm trying hard to cut right down on my coffee and tea intake.
I also had a couple of lovely cards, number 2 son did a Moonpig type card on his own, Little Miss had made a lovely one at school and number 1 son, well he thought someone else would have bought a card for him to write in so there wasn't one!
she knows me so well!
I also had some lovely gifts, some cosy slippers and a couple of books which had been on my Amazon wishlist. So it was a good day all round, then as the weather was so good we barbecued for tea, no cooking for me!!

You may remember my Gran, 93 years young (94 on Easter Monday) I've mentioned her before here and here and a few other times as well. As I touched on in my post from last October she was becoming a little more frail and living on her own was a worry for everyone, especially as all her family are over a 5 hour drive away. During the winter she managed to fall down the stairs twice, no bones broken but a night in the hospital for cuts and bruises and it became apparent that she may not be looking after herself as well as she used to. I guess this assumption isn't rocket science given her age but very sad none the less. A hurried decision was made a few weeks ago by my Dad and his sister to move gran to a care home nearer to family. Gran in her usual upbeat frame of mind was happy with the decision and is now in a place in Suffolk, our neighbouring county. It'll take me around an hour and a half to get there, but only 40 mins from number 2 sons school if I'm out that way for a school event (ie cricket match). A lot less than the 6 hour drive to her home in Exeter, which means I can see her more often. I visited her last week and she was her usual smiley self, although a little confused about where she was. It's her birthday next week so I'm trying to create a collage of photos of her with us over the years, and being the complete opposite of crafty it will involve mainly some sellotape and a shop bought frame!

As the Easter holidays are here at last I had hoped for a little "spare time" that rare thing which is always hard to find. I had planned to go to work 2 days each week, but as usual my plans were scuppered at the last minute. Today was my day at work but the Builder in his wisdom decided yesterday to take the boys & himself (aka my babysitters) to a cricket match in Surrey!
On top of that my Dad sent a brief message yesterday afternoon to say
 "coming for a visit tomorrow, staying one night" Who was coming with him is usually a surprise, and when they arrive is pot luck too! I don't see him that often but now Gran is nearby it may be more frequent in the future. Day off work for me then & a re-arranging of my schedule for the week.
He arrived after 10am (he has been known to arrive at 7am or earlier) with Step-Mum in tow.
 I have a strange relationship with them, we do get on quite well but, without going into details
(I don't really want to put my dysfunctional family out there on the web!), I didn't see him for over 18 years during my childhood and kept in touch with him by the occasional Christmas card and by always keeping in touch with my Gran (his Mum) - sometimes you can't easily bridge a gap like that.

Anyway they're here today and tomorrow they will leave after breakfast to visit Gran then go home straight from there, we'll enjoy their company while we can.

Well I'll go and spend a little more time with them and also with the giant chocolate cake
 baked by Little Miss this afternoon,
 I'll be back soon with tales involving an aeroplane and a parachute.
See you all soon, have a good week.


  1. How lovely for Little Miss to make you a cake for mother's Day. I made a chocolate cake a few weeks ago and forgot the sugar! It was not edible! My icing too is always to runny! I was sorry to hear about your Gran's fall and hope she settles into her new home. It will be good to have her closer so that you can see more of her and also your Dad. Sarah x

  2. You are one lucky mum Jay. I got some cards and a few minutes peace although later, Sam must have felt guilty about his lack of earlier effort and coded a little pac man style game for me. I was the main character trying to escape poos, germs and (yes it is true) Lynx deodorant bottles. Your daughter is a darling!
    I am glad your gran lives closer now and I hope she will find her new home less confusing soon. What a lovely collage you are making for her. I bet she'll love it. Cx

  3. Sounds like a busy few days for you. Lovely to read about your Gran and glad she is closer and it'll allow you to see her more frequently. My birthday today is often bitter sweet as my nan actually died 5 years ago the day before my 30th so it's always a day that's in the back of the mind. I miss her every day but so glad I spent a lot of time with her.

    As for the Mother's Day baking I would've still ate it!!


  4. sweet that your daughter baked you a cake.. yes in the end it is the thought that counts.. her attempts at frosting were giggle worthy..
    enjoy your time with your gran.

  5. Hilarious - how sweet the doggie cake is! Photos of your gran are corker! the one of her double fisting (sherry? wine? in each hand ) is priceless.Happy Mum's Days! and good skills on the photo collage!!

    1. Sherry, Jody, at our wedding. Shortly after this was taken she had one in each hand & balanced a third on her head!!

  6. The photo collage is beautiful. I hope your Gran is well. The cake looks wonderful, bless her heart. I want that Karl Pilkington book! I love him!

  7. Goodness me, a parachute?! I loved how hard your daughter tried with the special mother's day brownie. And the card is fantastic. I'm laughing about no.1 son thinking someone would have bought him a card to sign. I'm glad your grandmother has settled into her care home okay. My partner's mother is just getting used to being in a nursing home at the moment as well. Hope you guys enjoy the Easter break. CJ xx

  8. Bless Little Miss for her baking skills, how lovely she was so determined to make you something. A very sweet card too.
    I'm sorry to hear about the falls your gran had but I'm pleased you have her so much closer to you now, ideal for extra visits,
    Oh my have you done that jump?!
    Lisa x

  9. Lovely Gran & wonderful cake. Most families are a little dysfunctual !

  10. Oh that card is gorgeous! Great to hear your Gran is a little bit closer now and I'm sure she'll love a photo collage of her lovely family. Hope your time with your Dad went well. I actually have a similar relationship with my Mum, not having seen her for 15 years during my childhood which makes our relationship quite unusual now so I relate to how you feel a little bit. It can be tricky sometimes.....Mel xxx

  11. How lovely to have something given for Mother's Day with so much thought put in to it, it might not have risen but I bet it was still delicious. What a special gift you've got planned for your Gran's birthday, I'm sure she'll love it.

  12. What a lovely cake! With all those lovely, thoughtful gifts and cards you must have felt very spoiled. Good to hear that your Gran is closer to you and you can see her more. She's going to love the birthday present! x

  13. What a lovely thing for daughter to do, sounds like you had a lovely day.

  14. That chocolate brownie is making me really crave one now !! Sounds like a lovely day :)

  15. If you need help eating all that cake I can easily pop over! Glad to hear that your Gran is now much closer.