Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Birthdays all round

Well, what a weekend we had! At 2am we were still sitting in Mum and Dad's garden after a fab bbq. The whole fam came along and it was great to see everyone, including the Warden clan. We spent a sunny Sunday on the boat.

We returned back to Lincoln with D's birthday present from his Mum and Dad - a Playstation 3. I know nothing about this sort of thing but he asked for one because it is also a Blu Ray player (eh? what? not a clue). Suffice to say that this system makes the picture better. D had bought me Sherlock Holmes so that was the first film we watched on our new Blu Ray player. It was just as good as it had been at the cinema. What a great film! Funny, thoughtful, witty sleuthing in a magnificently reconstructed Victorian London. And, of course, Robert Downey Jnr in the lead role.

And today it is D's birthday. We are going for tea at a place called Damon's. It has been recommended and the birthday boy eats for free. Bargain! They even give him a cake. I'm hoping they'll make him stand up while they sing 'Happy Birthday'. That would be hilarious!

D and I have concluded that Lincoln has been hot for the past month. Man, you get some serious weather down here. We are not used to it at all. It is just baking! All our windows are open and D was lying on the balcony at 11pm the other night. Phew!

Anyways, I am going to carry on with Virginia Woolf's Between the Acts and get ready to go out. Enjoy the evening.


Friday, 25 June 2010

Just plane silly!

This is my picture of the day, taken by onlookers watching an RAF Lossiemouth training exercise over Wales.

Hilarious! The Ministry of Defence assured reporters that the crew had not endangered the aircraft. I hope it brought a smile to your face today.

Just while I remember, D asked why I didn't write all the books I'm reading in my 'I am reading...' list. I read a lot of books (not because I'm particularly bright but because...well...that's my job) but I'll try and include more work books so you can catch up with the full Warden reading list...just in case anyone fancies dabbling in the joys of experimental theatre. No, I thought not...

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

We're all going on a summer holiday

Howdie ladies and gents!
So, we have now uploaded our holiday photos so I thought I'd give you a wee picture scrapbook to peruse. I know holiday snaps are deadly dull...just humour me!

So we began our trip in a beautiful thatched cottage in Somerset...

...with some stunning views and a lovely garden.

It was a fab chilled out start to our holiday.

After our helicopter trip we arrived in the very picturesque Isles of Scilly. For those of you who have never got down that far (it is a bloomin' long way!) here are some D-special photos...

Just to prove that I did actually get to the Scillies (and didn't download these photos from wikipedia) here I am walking round a pretty scary path on Tresco. The views are so wonderful in the north of the island. Our day on Tresco was an adventure indeed!

We also saw this rather amazing bird. He was quite friendly and followed us up the path. It is (according to Dad) a golden pheasant.

This next one is (unusually) a photo taken by my good self. I thought it looked a little like a folk band promo! Actually it is a picture of the fam. From left to right (see I've even got the band promo lingo down!): Smelly (sistery person), D, Stu (Smelly's Man), Dad and Mum. The next album will be out in the Spring...

You get a lot of boats in the Scillies and, once we had got our sea legs (which took some of us longer than others!) we enjoyed pottering about on the water.

D even got to drive (sail isn't quite accurate) a catamaran. He looks like a proper sailor in this picture! Aye, aye captain...

So, that's just a wee selection for you, concluding with a typical D photograph of two random old folks looking out. We have a number of photos in this genre (he also likes to take photos of other people taking photos - he has a unique artistic eye!) and this is a good one!

Hope you enjoyed that wee run through. Now I know how to upload photographs I might try and post a few more in the future.

All's well here. England got through, of course, which delighted 99% of Lincoln and caused frustration and upset chez Warden. A fun trip over to Stockport beckons at the weekend for a celebration. Happy Birthday Mum! The whole fam are getting together. It'll be quite a do!


Friday, 18 June 2010

In action post...

Well, we are about to enter the second half of the England v Algeria game, A rip-roaring 0-0 at present. D is watching the US Golf on his iphone and cheering for Algeria. I must admit, I found the ironing more interesting than the game!

But last night was interesting. It was our usual prayer meeting night at LEC but we had a visit from the Slavic Gospel Association. Four lovely gentlemen singing and a really interesting look at the ministry. The history of that part of the world is so fascinating. A pastor from Romania brought the Word and spoke about Time (which coincidentally was the theme of the day in my research for 'the book'). We don't know how much time we have but we are responsible for how we use the time. A good reminder for me. It was a really lovely evening.

We took the car for a drive afterwards to clear the soot out of the diesel filter (don't ask me - a light flashed at us so we did what it told us in the manual). The sunset was magnificent! It topped off a good day, the highlight of which was visiting Joan. She is an older lady from our church who has recently had a stroke and is recuperating in a home. She used to be a missionary and is a terrific lady. I so enjoyed my visit - her only two complaints were a) that the carers seemed to have lost her chocolate in transit and b) that they convinced her to get her hair done and the hairdresser insisted on blow-drying it. Otherwise she was wonderfully positive and we had a lovely half hour chat. One thing we are really enjoying about LEC is sharing our lives with some of the old folks. It is the first time I've been in a church which such an old congregation (we do have young people too!) and it is nice to learn from them.

The game continues and England still look rubbish. My prediction? Carragher will get sent off and England will sneak a goal because of an Algerian mistake at the back. Happy days!


Wednesday, 16 June 2010


Now, I often enjoy those lovely American housewifey blogs. You know the ones - the lady in question generally has a truck load of beautiful children, a vegetable garden and some really excellent storage. Well, in my small way I have emulated these 'practically perfect in every way' ladies by finally doing something about my kitchen. For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of visiting us recently I now have a very small box kitchen with two doors leading into it. This means that storage space is at a premium. If you remember our flat in Timberbush you can imagine the trouble this has caused me - we could have held a ceilidh in our old kitchen! And so, to solve this problem, we have invested in a kitchen trolley. I did my best DIY job last night and now it stands proudly in our tidy, organised kitchen. I am as proud as punch and might even, in true American housewifey stylee, make muffins tomorrow. Yum!

Have spent the last few days getting back into work. This always takes a little bit of time but I finally cracked it today and had a very profitable time. I even came across a new gentleman who will prove to be very helpful as he project progresses. I love these wee moments of clarity - you feel a little like Sherlock Holmes searching for clues. Tomorrow is a day of meetings. The weather has been spectacular again in Lincoln today and I even read a book on my balcony for an hour over lunchtime. Sweet!

Well, so much for the World Cup. I must admit so far it has all been a bit dull. North Korea put on a good show yesterday and Switzerland pulled a surprise result out of the bag today, but otherwise it just feels a little flat. Not enough goals and too many slow games. I wonder whether the atmosphere will get even more dreary now that Bafana Bafana look to be going out after a lacklustre performance against Uruguay. Am hoping for a really excellent game to give the tournament a bit of a shake.

Anyways, I'm off to make some hot chocolate. D bought some special Green and Blacks stuff and it is really delicious. Perfect before bed. Hope everyone is doing really well.


Sunday, 13 June 2010

Sunday Review

Evening folks,
Since returning from the Isles of Scilly on Thursday D and I have done little more than play a bit of squash and putting in our Tesco order (hoorah for our Tesco Man who graciously climbs all three flights of stairs to our wee flat with all our groceries!). We've also been watching a bit of football - the Germans (despite the commentators' moans) were terrific tonight and look like going a long way. England were pretty poor...which gave D a great deal of pleasure, of course!

We've had a good Sunday of church and fellowship. We were invited to a family's house today for a good ol' roast and some good ol' chat. The folks of Lincoln Evangelical have been so very welcoming. The Pastor spoke about being shaken today. It got me thinking about the different ways we could understand 'shaken'. The world seems to be pretty 'shaken' up. I like to see all the good in the world but sometimes I can only see the 'shakes', both natural but, more often, manmade. Humans can be horrid! The Pastor mentioned this concept of 'shaking' and encouraged us to look to God the Rock who never moves. I then got thinking about how I am 'shaken'. Again there are probably two ways of looking at this. Certainly we can be 'shaken' by personal tragedy, health problems, family issues etc. D and I are in the fortunate position (don't worry, I know that smooth sailing never lasts forever!) of not really having to cope with any such tragedies currently. So what about another way of understanding this 'shaking' of the individual? I started to think about the way that folks in the Wild West (American friends, please forgive me - I am romantic when it comes to US culture) used to pan for gold. All the stones and stuff would fall through the holes leaving just the gold behind. I wondered what would be left behind if God did the same with me. What would be the gold left behind and how much would there be? Hmm...(in the words of Wayne Sutton) "is it hot in here or is it me?"

So this will be the thought I'll take with me into the next week. Currently watching a wonderful Studio Ghibli film called Ponyo. I love these beautiful Japanese animations. They can be a wee bit scary but if you have brave children I would heartily recommend them. D and I have also been watching a magnificent storm through our window - sheet lightening and lots of thunder. All quite exciting. Even the electrics went off for a moment!

Anyways, back to work tomorrow. With the publishing contract now all sorted I have something really concrete to work towards. Tomorrow, though, is taken up with university admin and teaching stuff. Ho hum... Oh, and a squash game...I am getting better, I think.

Enjoy the football and the week ahead.


Thursday, 10 June 2010

Where have the Wardens got to?

Well, you may well be wondering where we have been for the past week and a bit. Well, we went to the Isles of Scilly for a brief holiday with the Altree clan. We spent seven jolly days in the islands, enjoying the boats and the beauty of the landscape. All good fun. D drove (I think sail might be over-stating it a little) a catamaran and we had some lovely walks on the cliff tops. Some good fish too both in the sea and on the plate! We returned this evening after a long drive back. Our little flat was still standing (is it only me that experiences a profound sense of relief when I see that the house in still intact with everything in it when you return from holidays?) and we managed to get the bags up the stairs. Even my email inboxes look relatively painless - you can't ask for much more than that when you've been away for a week.

The day before our jaunt over on the helicopter (oh yes, forgot to tell you that bit - D was not happy with that at all!) we spent a happy night in Somerset at a beautiful B&B. It really started our holiday and D made friends with a pretty wee cat. We loved Somerset - before this trip it has always been a county I have just driven through.

And so now we are back into Lincolnshire life though we both have tomorrow off as well. I'll be doing the washing! Good news arrived before we took off to Cornwall - a publishing house has taken my long-awaited book. It is due for publication next September. This is VERY exciting indeed. The publication of your first monograph is a big deal in academic circles and I'm more than delighted. I'll keep you abreast of how the project goes.

The World Cup starts tomorrow. Obviously with a Scot in the house it is a case of 'anyone but England' though I must admit that even though I'm Stockport born I'm struggling to get excited about the prospect of an England win. The Ivory Coast is my tip for the tournament - first African winners.

Anyways, I'm off to make some more tea before I fall asleep. Enjoy the weekend when it comes.