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Hamley’s Toy Shop – a child’s delight!


Dylan in Hamley's Toy Shop - 02-11-2013

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

My grandson, Dylan, has been to the famous toyshop in London, called Hamley’s, to make his Christmas choices. At three year’s old, there is no end to his list of wants, but who would spoil the magic? Not me, for sure…

Here at the cottage, the shopping is almost done. I still have the food to buy. I don’t have enough room to store very much and soon every corner will be filled.

The decorations will go up at the weekend. I must check that the lights for the tree still work!

The cake is made and sits in a tin awaiting the marzipan and the icing decorations.

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How are you getting on with your preparations?

Oma

So much to be thankful for!


photo (5)This picture is the very first one taken where I am with both my grandsons and their daddies. Needless to say I am very proud of it. Dylan, on the left, wasn’t feeling well that day so he looks miserable and Sam was tired because it was near his bedtime; so neither of them were very happy, but I was because it marks a moment in history for me. I am a very lucky Oma indeed. Shown are two of my three sons. The eldest one was not present and doesn’t have any children but I felt he was worthy of a mention!

‘Deep streams usually run smoothly and quietly. They have the same rocks and obstacles to overcome as their noisy, shallow counterparts, but they are so full that they can rise above those difficulties so a casual observer would never know they were there.

Whether our lives are turbulent and noisy, or smooth and graceful doesn’t depend on how many or how few problems they contain. It depends on how full they are.’

From The Friendship Book – 2013

Family life does not always run smoothly. I have experience of that like everybody else, but it is how we handle these turbulent times that matters isn’t it.

I have much to be thankful for. I really do. At this time of year as we pass through Thanksgiving and look forward to Christmas, I am more aware of it than usual.

I wish you all, my blogging pals, a peaceful week as you prepare for your Christmas festivities.

With love from the cottage and Oma x

Dylan update – Dylan is three today!


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It doesn’t seem possible, but my little grandson, Dylan, is three today! Congratulations to him from all of us at the cottage.

Apparently he ruined his birthday cake by putting too many sprinkles on top of it, but I bet it tasted delicious anyway.

Dylan's third birthday cake

Grandad and I will be fetching him from Nursery this afternoon. He comes to us for an hour while he waits for his Daddy to get back on the train from London. We have one or two little surprises for him when he gets here.

The dreadful storm, which passed over yesterday in the very early morning, has now moved on to Europe and we are left with some devastation. Luckily it didn’t affect the cottage or my precious garden, but the winds were high and the trees were bending. It’s not unusual to have storms at this time of the year, but one of that ferocity doesn’t come too often, luckily.

Oma

We went fishing!


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Those of you who are familiar with the programme ‘Last of the Summer Wine’, which has been running for many years, may see a similarity here. We went fishing – to a stream near the cottage, all four of us. On Fridays my grandson Dylan comes here to enjoy himself and I don’t see why we shouldn’t all join in, do you? With Dylan in the picture is his Grandad J and my husband, Larry in the background.

We took nets and buckets and gloves etc. and down to the riverbank we went. It was fun. This time I tried not to fall in. The last time (but one) that we went fishing, I had an unfortunate mishap and ended up stuck in the mud and had to be rescued! This time things went better. I stayed on the bank and left the fishing to the men and a very good time was had by all.

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When we had finished fishing, we filled up some receptacles with blackberries. When the jars were full, we ate our sandwiches, but just as we got to the crisps, it started to rain and we had to beat a hasty retreat back to the car.

It wasn’t a very productive fishing trip. The fish were wise to us, but we had a great time, as you can see.

Oma

Dylan update – a trip to the hospital.


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It has been a very busy week for my little grandson, Dylan who is two and a half years old now.

Last Friday he started Nursery School for the first time.  For the last year or so he has been coming to me for the day on Fridays, but now that routine is set to change. Just like everything else in life; just as you get used to one routine, it changes for another. Having Dylan for the whole day has been a joy, but also very hard work because he is on the go all the time and at my age that is hard. I need a sleep in the afternoons or a rest at the very least. With a toddler around, that is nigh on impossible. I cannot believe how I coped all those years ago when I had my own three little boys. Did I really go through the whole day without a nap? Could I really carry one on each hip at the same time? I did, but I couldn’t do it now.

So in a way I am pleased that Dylan will be going to Nursery and yet in another way I am sad because it will be different.

With Larry’s arrival and Dylan’s first trip to Nursery School, we have put away the cot and all the bedding including the mattress. It is up for sale (sadly) and so is his push-chair (reluctantly). Ah, I hear you say, but you have another grandson (Sam)…. what about him? Isn’t he coming to stay at Oma’s?  Well no, is the answer to that.  I don’t expect to see nearly as much of Sam as I have of Dylan. Sam and his parents live fifteen miles away so he won’t be popping in nearly so often. I think of him every day and in some ways I wish I saw more of him, but again, it’s hard work, entertaining family and babies and I have to admit, I’m just not up to it anymore.

For the last two and a half years I have played at mummies and babies a little bit.  It was wonderful to have a cot around again and a pushcahir and all the other paraphernalia that comes with a baby, but now I’m ready to move on. Larry is here and soon his ‘stuff’ will arrive from America and we need every bit of spare space we can get in the cottage.  I’m not very good at empty nests. I never have been. My nature is to collect things, not to give them away.

Dylan went to Nursery with his daddy and the first session was just for an hour and a half. Soon he will be going for a day and a half each week, which is probably plenty for a child so young. After his session at Nursery he came here for the rest of the day and I noted that he was a bit disturbed. For the first half hour he curled up in a ball by the front door and wouldn’t talk to anybody or do anything. We were expecting a delivery of a large package so eventually he had to move to allow the men to get through the door so that made him move to the sofa. After that he steadily got out of the sulks but truly he was upset and I felt sorry for him. He is a sociable child and he needs to mix with other children, but it must have been hard for him – about the same as for one of us going to work for the very first time.  Everybody is new, there are lots of people about, the noise is probably a bit deafening and all in all it makes for a stressful environment.  I’m sure that once he gets used to it, he will be fine, but for the moment, he is out of his comfort zone for sure.

Last night there was a development, nothing to do with the Nursery. Dylan developed breathing difficulties in the middle of the night and his parents took him to the A and E (Accident and Emergency) department of the local hospital. There he was thoroughly checked out, given oxygen and steroid medicine and eventually went home at 5 a.m. It must have been very traumatic for him as it was for his anxious parents. Today they are all resting and getting over it! However, it is a wake up call. His mum suffers with asthma so maybe Dylan will have a tendency to that sort of thing.  At the hospital, croup was diagnosed. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen again! So frightening for all concerned.

So, life does not always go smoothly, does it and the lesson to learn is that each day is precious and we need to remember that.

Bless you Dylan, get well soon. You are so very loved by us all xxx

Oma

Dylan update – a trip to the park.


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Last Friday, before it got really hot, we took Dylan to the park to play football and to see all the exciting things there are for our amusement.  As well as the beautiful areas of grass and trees, there is a Discovery Centre where the children can learn about bees and flowers.

Here he is, walking with his granddad, past the cactus house.

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We explored the gardens where there are lots of vegetables and herbs. The smells in there are incredible!

It wasn’t long before we got thirsty and then Dylan saw a sign…

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Glad of a sit down, we bought coffee and ice cream and then had a rest before finishing our explorations.

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Then one last go on the slide before it was time to leave…

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My English cottage garden – Dylan’s first strawberry!


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Yesterday, my grandson Dylan, aged 2 1/2, picked his first strawberry at Oma’s.  The gardener and I have been watching that strawberry to make sure that the birds didn’t get it and we succeeded – only just. The strawberry plant hid the strawberry under one of its leaves, which also helped. Dylan picked the strawberry, washed it and ate it all up. He said it was yummy!

‘Any soil that is warm, firm and will work into a fine tilth is suitable for growing strawberries.  The position selected needs to be sheltered so that late spring frosts do no harm to the flowers.  Varieties can be selected to suit the particular soil and so make a good crop more certain.  For heavy soils choose Sir Joseph Paxton, while on a light soil grow Royal Sovereign.  Where the soil is peaty, Jucunda will do best.

The best method of propagation is by layering runners early in July.  Vigorous runners with compact centres should be selected, but do not allow a plant to retain more than four runners at the most.  It is best to peg down runners in small 3-in. pots rather than direct into the ground, using wire pins or wooden layering pegs.  Place a small piece of turf over the drainage hole in the pot and fill up with a mixture of loam and leaf soil, to avoid drying out of soil or upsetting.  It is important to keep the soil moist.’

Then, when the work is done, put your feet up and have a rest!

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Taken from’Practical Gardening and Food Production by Richard Sudell F.I.L.A.,F.R.H.S.

Are you growing strawberries this year? If so, how are you getting on?  Ours are about one month late owing to the bad weather.

Oma