Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Ice Dog

I just realised that for some reason I forgot to post a photo from the 27th! The days are all blurring into one this past week.

So yes, on Sunday we met up with various friends and in the morning we went for a walk through the woods and down to the river. Whilst the girls were crying and the boys/men were playing snowball fights the dog decided to chew some ice!

Barnard Castle

Two photo's today. My reason being I just can't decide which I prefer. As you can see they're both of the same subject, just different composition. We left Barnard castle today and returned to Manchester, via Harrogate for a family get together. It's been a lovely day but marks the end of our Festive holiday, boo :-(

Monday, 28 December 2009

Winter Walk

I went for a daytime walk through the woods today and took some snaps. The temperature has been so low that the snow is not melting it has just frozen in place. The ground was incredibly hard and slippery! I think my little boots I bought recently must have good grips on them as I wasn't slipping anything like as much as most of the other walkers I passed!

I was very disappointed because the best view of Barnard Castle (the castle itself) was inaccessible. Normally I would take a photo of the castle and the River Tees from what is known as The Silver Bridge however it appears to be having work done to it and is blocked off!

Boxing Day Nap

For some reason Nathan has been taking every opportunity to sleep this week. We have been to various people's houses on various days and he chats for five minutes then goes a little quiet and next time you look he's catching some zzzzs.

This is photographic evidence to prove to him that he has *not* been watching the film with the kids and he has *not* been awake but just closing his eyes for a "few minutes", rather he has been asleep for at least an hour each time and been very difficult to wake up!

Christmas Candle

My second Christmas Day snap is that of my sister -in- law's reindeer candle. He was lit at lunch time, placed on the dinning table, gradually burning and melting away over the course of the day. He saw us through our prawn cocktail, cheese and crackers, Christmas dinner, more cheese and crackers, Christmas cake and a few chocolate mints with coffee.

As you can see he's almost completely gone, you can just make out his little bum and tail!

Christmas Day!!

Two Photo's from Christmas day. This, the first, is quite clearly the tree with all the presents under it as it looked first thing in the morning. As you can imagine the children were very excited! I'd like to point out that there were presents for over 12 people under that tree, they weren't all just for us!

Christmas Eve

The "Buttermart" or Market Cross in Barnard castle, the town where I grew up. We're back up here for the Christmas break visiting my in laws. On Christmas eve I decided to go for a late night stroll as I was feeling to excited to go to sleep!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Parson Brown

Today has been a snow day. Snowball fights in the garden, creating Mr. Brown here and then on to the Demesnes in Barnard Castle to go sledging!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Whitworth Hall

Before setting off for our Christmas "holiday" in Teesdale I had to pop into University to collect some books from the library. It has snowed almost all day so I just had to get a few shots of the university buildings. This is the Whitworth hall which is also now a museum and where the graduation ceremonies are held.

Icy Snow

A shot of the refrozen snow in my back garden. The amount of snow we have falling today shall hopefully provide a more festive wintry scene!

Brandy Pudding

Delicious brandy covered Christmas Pudding. On Sunday we went along to a friend of mine's from University along with fellow students for a little festive get together. We enjoyed good food, drink and company.

Sparkly Reflections

As well as pretty lights on our tree we have pretty lights in our window which can be seen by anyone crossing the canal outside our house. It's nice to add a teeny bit of Christmas cheer to the passers by.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Signature Hot Chocolate

On Friday evening my eldest little girl and I went into Manchester city centre together. First off we walked through the freezing cold and posted my large pile of Christmas cards. Then we went into The Arndale Centre and entered a very important shop - The Bear Workshop. Matix picked her "bear" which was actually a cat and enjoyed watching her be filled with fluff, a little heart and making her "birth certificate".

Next stop, The German Christmas Markets. A Bratwurst in a bun each, smothered in ketchup and mustard, a mug of hot mulled wine to share (kindergluwein for children and drivers), strawberries dipped in milk chocolate and lots of sticky fingers and faces. Onto the other square with more stalls to buy the most delicious creamy gouda from Holland, where of course we had to try a number of samples of different cheeses before buying the one I knew I wanted anyway! By this point our fingers and toes were almost frozen so we walked to the nearest coffee shop that happened to have free seats, where we bought a Grande signature hot chocolate with cream, and a large slice of gingerbread loaf. Mmmm.

It seems that Matix most definitely appreciates hot chocolate (as the picture depicts) and I barely got a look in! I did however eat most of the cake. Good times.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Cool Dudette

Little Miss here wasn't being very cooperative for Christmas shots in front of the tree but she was happy playing with the shades and posing for the cute/cool effect!

Christmas Princess

I took so many photo's of the children yesterday to try and get a couple of nice ones for family. This one is one of my favourites.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Party Time!

Today was the fifth Christmas party so far this week! Each of our children has been to at least one party and we have three more before the week is up. As you can see, Christmas treats, sweets and presents bring a smile to little faces.

More belly!

Nathan took this one and for some reason I like it and my blog is lacking in photos so I've added it as well. I hope you can see that the swelling has gone down a little now and I no longer have a huge bulging tum, just a slightly curvaceous one. The wound looks much better from a distance! Anyway, I promise that's my last belly shot for the year :-)

Scar in the making

I had my staples removed from my tum on Monday. It was very cool watching the student nurse take them out, and it didn't hurt at all. They said that I had a mild reaction to the staples themselves hence all the little red dots but other than that it is healing well and so far no infection - yay!

That bruise just above the wound is still pretty tender though, I wonder if its from them clamping me open whilst they did their work?

Festive Train

One of three little train decorations that I bought the children last year. I believe I picked them up in Berlin airport on our way home from our holiday. I do think that little wooden decorations are just lovely but I couldn't find any nice ones in the shops this year.

Christmas Tree

I really do like this new tree. Granted, it's not quite as nice as a real one, but far less messy, prickly and it's reusable!

Fairy or Star?


I'm sure you will begin to notice over the next few photo's that my life has been about two things this past week. Christmas decorations and the "hole in my tummy" as the children call it.


We had intended to start to decorate the tree last weekend but had to leave it until this week. We bought this artificial tree from B&Q and decided to get a decent one with the aspiration that it will last us until the children are all grown up! Because it is so much bigger than our previous little scraggly thing we've had to buy new baubles and other bits and bobs. £2 for a large tub! I'm sure things are much cheaper than they were a few years ago.

If you're wondering why this photo looks a little washed out it's because the lighting in our livingroom is so dreadful that everything has a horrid yellowy tinge so I've altered it quite a bit. believe me, this looks better!


Nathan wanted to take a close up with his macro lens on his little video camera. I realise that pictures of bits of metal stuck into my flabby belly are not the most exciting but it does reflect the reality of my week!

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Appendix absense

You may have noticed that I've been somewhat AWOL recently. Never fear, I have a real excuse! Last Friday I went into A&E feeling rather ill and early the following Sunday I had my appendix removed. Joy of Joys. I haven't been in a fit state to walk and talk for much of the week never mind lift a camera and take photos. However I do have a couple of grim pics of my evidence that I have been sliced and diced.

Sorry that this is not a pretty sight! And no my belly does not normally look quite that flabby and fat. Yes I am far from skinny but it is definitely swollen.

Thursday, 3 December 2009


Whilst having a quick tidying spree this morning before a visitor arrived Nathan found this in our down stairs cupboard! The poor thing must have got stuck in there, died and gradually dried out. It's basically mummified. It is very light and feels like a bit of cardboard!

It's also now in the bin in case you were wondering what I did with it lol.

Bedroom Shelves

Not a terribly artistic photo however we (well I say we, read Nathan a little more than myself in that) have spent a good few days moving all the bedrooms around so that children and toys can fit in better and so we can be back in the room that was originally our bedroom before Baby number 2 came along.

We have plenty room space but what we were short of was wardrobe/cupboard/drawer space. Rather than spending lots of money buying items that we'd soon grow to dislike or break, we decided to build some shelves instead! I must say that I really do prefer these to any other bit of bedroom storage we've had previously. So much more organised and spacious and less mess. Fantastic. Clever Nathan.

First Day of Advent

A lady at my mum's church very kindly knitted all these little stockings and filled them with sweets as an advent calendar for my girls. I think it's lovely and they've found it all very exciting so far! I have to admit to be a slightly strict mummy and thinned out the sweets a bit and put in some stickers and changed the amounts of treats around so they don't get so many! Don't want them getting too used to all that sugar every day now do I?!

We haven't put the Christmas decorations up yet but it is beginning to feel a little Christmassy now. It is very bizarre though because that means my year long photo a day blog is almost coming to an end!


On the bus on my way home on Monday.

Somewhere in Manchester

I pass these buildings most times I travel into the city centre and the difference in the building's style, genre, age or whatever you want to term it always strikes me. I like them both but am in two minds as to whether they go well next to each other.? The irritating road works barriers (which are all over the city at the moment) don't add to the picture either!

Christmas Lights

This is a big Christmas light display in Picadilly gardens, it is shaped like a Christmas tree.

Marzipan Figures

Last week Matix and I marzipaned the Christmas cake. We had a little bit left over so we had a bit of a play and made the above slug and snail and a few others. They taste yummy.

You may have noted that I haven't updated the blog for a while. Illness has befallen us all, along with tiredness and endless housework! Not to mention my ever increasing amount of reading for university. I have a few photo's from last week and this week to upload but not one for every day, more like every other day. I shall try to do one everyday for the rest of December though!

Monday, 23 November 2009

Poorly Baby

This week at some point we've all been ill. Other than going out for Nathan's film showing last week I've been in the house doing nothing for days and days. I'm so bored! Today I started to feel a bit better and pondered going out with the girls tomorrow but this little girl has had a fever almost all day and slept for 5 hours this afternoon! Look at her little flushed cheeks, poor thing.

The face of a man with three children

Du Vin

Seeing as I'm a little behind in my photo taking, this is a shot I took a while back that I almost used but at the time Nathan didn't like very much. Or perhaps he just preferred my other choice of the day?

Anyway, I like the fact that much of the photo doesn't seem entirely in focus which is how it should be when wine is involved ;-)

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Burned Spikes

I went out for a little walk with the dog yesterday morning and discovered some handy work of our local youths. (Well I assume it was the young teens who hacked down random trees and set alight to them - perhaps I am being stereotypical and judgemental?!)
Anyway, it makes for a nice photo.

Award Winner!

On Thursday evening Nathan and I attended an award ceremony for the Exposures film festival - based here in Manchester which is specifically for student film makers. Nathan's documentary film "Lift" was nominated for two awards, Best Documentary and BBC Best of the North. He won BBC Best of the North which we are both thrilled about and here he is receiving the award!

It was a great night. No one spoke too much, there was a great atmosphere and free Corona :-) All the clips of films we saw looked excellent and there will be a dvd of those films which won awards so we're looking forward to watching that.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Maccy D's for tea

We were all feeling very tired and non committal in the cooking department yesterday evening so we went to MacDonald's! :-0 I think that was my first Big Mac in years!!


The children were giggling and shouting for us to come and see them and this is what we found! She climbed up quite a way to get into there, I'd say that shelf is head height for me. She's a funny one :-)

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Nov 14th - Dancing in the city

Manchester city centre was quite exciting over the weekend. Charis and some other little girls had great fun dancing with these street musicians who put on a pretty good show and drew a large crowd (by Manchester standards anyway). I took a number of shots like this one and there were two or three others that were equally good, and some that were possibly better framed and focused. This one however captures the mood and movement best and that's what I wanted. Any comments?

Charis and I had gone into town to meet some friends of mine and have lunch at Kro Picadilly. That was most enjoyable as was expected. We then went shopping in Primark and thoroughly regretted setting foot in the place. We bought some nice pj's though!!

Nov 13th - More fountains

I know I've taken a shot of Picadilly gardens already this week and I'm not being boringly repetitive on purpose, it's just I happen to pass the fountains on my way to and from uni so it encourages me to take photo's of them. I altered this photo a little more than normal because I wanted to see if I could improve it as it was rather dull really.

I think you get a much better impression of the fountains in this shot than the one from the other day although it's not a well framed perhaps?

Nov 12th - Nathan's ladybird

The only photo's I took today were at a friend's child's birthday party and the best one was of her but I don't think she'd appreciate me putting it on here. So instead I am using a photo that Nathan took in his office.
We have quite a few labybird's in the house at the moment, which I can only assume is because my tomato plants appear to have some little green residents.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Fountains by night

Taken whilst waiting for the bus on my way home yesterday. (I missed the bus twice by the way, TWICE!) I also bought myself some hair dye which is currently doing it's job and about to be rinsed off any minute now.

Orange Glow

Nathan very lovingly bought me some flowers recently and they have been much appreciated by myself and the children, sitting on our table in the kitchen whilst we eat breakfast. They are orange and yellow but here I've upped the iso and lengthened the exposure which gives the petals an exaggerated luminous glow.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Nov 9th - Tree in the mist

The weather has been rather unusual for Manchester today. Rather than being grey, wet, dismal and cold, we've had crisp clear icy air with a glistening sun and lot's of wintry fog! It's been fantastic. This is a tree on the grounds of University that I happened upon on my way to the library.

Twit twoo

An owl on display at the Eden Project. I was able to get close without there being a fence or barrier between us!

Halloween Runner up

I almost used this as my halloween photo. This was also taken at the Eden project in one of the biodomes where all the witches, wizards, zombies and little monsters were dancing away!


This is a cheat photo (as are the following ones) because I haven't had chance to take many photo's recently. I am beginning to think that possibly my 'photo a day' may turn into more of a '7 photo's a week' senario unless I can balance my, work, uni, children, housework and hobby time more efficiently.

This was taken in the edenproject whilst we were on holiday. I love my new macro lens!

Nov 5th - Bonfire night!!

It seems to be a tradition around here for some neighbours and younger members of our local community, to build and light a bonfire on the grass, by the canal, just outside our house. This year I took the kids out to have a look at it, and to watch a couple of the fireworks that the neighbours were setting off. This photo was taken from our window on the first floor with my zoom lens.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Nov 4th - Gap

See that gap there, between the little bike and the pillar?

That's where my bike would be, had it not been stolen from the back garden! Meaners.

I put it out for a few hours because it was a bit of a hazard in the hall way with the kids coming backwards and forwards and someone helped themselves to it.
They had to go into the next door neighbours garden, climb over a fence and get the bike back over it. They damaged some plants in the process too. Charming.

I over exposed this photo to make it ever so slightly more interesting and colourful.