Catching up…

Hmmmm, it’s been a while since I posted so I guess I’m not doing so well on number 1 (Write this post)! Time to put that right. Although I haven’t been blogging I have still been thinking about my 50 things so it’s not all bad. So here’s the latest…

Here we all are, well except me as I was behind the camera!

Here we all are, well except me as I was behind the camera!

Number 1, already mentioned so I’ll gloss over that for now. Two and three ticked and done so no more to be said there either. Onto number 4, which we did just before Christmas. There were five of us, me, my daughter, my husband and his two, Ben and Anna. It was a great day, Harry Potter Studios is such a fab place. My daughter Lauren is 21 and grew up reading the Harry Potter books, waiting on tenterhooks for the next one to come out – we even did the Waterstones at midnight to get the latest tome. I remember the anguish one holiday when we left home with the as yet only partially read new volume. We just had to buy another copy at the airport. When the films came out, the main characters were in the same year at school as Lauren, well for 3 or 4 of them anyway. So she has a real affinity with Harry Potter and knows both the books and the films inside out. Lauren and I had been before in the summer time, a bit of Mum and daughter bonding time so this was quite different. And it was just a few days before Christmas…

A small part of the Hogwarts model with mood lighting

A small part of the Hogwarts model with mood lighting

Films sets of all the familiar Harry Potter places, the Gryffindor common room, Harry’s bedroom, Dumbledore’s office and many more, the Great Hall set out for a Christmas Feast and props everywhere, the detail and planning is amazing. The sun even graced us with its presence so we could fully enjoy the outside part, Privet Drive, the Night Bus and Hagrid’s motorbike. The piece de resistance is at the end. The model of Hogwarts as used in flying sequences. It is huge and again the detail is incredible. Being Christmas, it was sprinkled with snow and the lighting set the mood. Even though I had seen this before, it still took my breath away.

My proud moment...

My proud moment…

Back to the list…. No updates on 5 and 6. But number 7, well that I have done and I am the proudest Mum ever! Four years of hard work culminated in a fine ceremony in the equally fine Whitworth Hall at the University of Manchester. Lauren graduated with an upper class second Bachelor of Science with Honours in Zoology with industrial experience. No mean feat I can tell you, I struggle with the title of some of the modules let alone their content. An exciting life awaits, with the hope to head off to Denmark first for a Masters and then a PhD. Just think of that, my very own Dr Lauren!!

Number 8, there are no bookings as yet, but I have been planning a rail journey across Europe. Mainly southern Europe taking in France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Croatia. So more on that one at a later date! Number 9 won’t happen until the big 50 itself, at least I’m hoping I will get a lovely Steiff bear. Number 10 – I have done a couple of drawings and paintings to practise for doing a Frances original Christmas card. I wonder if I will get it done for this Christmas…

Until our holiday I was still running and will start again when we get home, so number 11 is in hand. We are in Switzerland at the moment and the weather has been amazing! I had no idea it would be so hot and running just hasn’t been on the agenda. We have been enjoying ourselves far too much. No plans for number 12’s visit to Paris, but there’s still time. Number 13’s visit to Belgium is set for next summer which I’m hoping will also cover number 25’s visit to Flanders fields. I have done more on the table cloth embroidery though there is still a way to go but number 14 is definitely underway. Nothing to report on 15 and 16 this time. Number 17’s walk on the Jurassic Coast is also in hand, we have teamed up with friends and plan to head out next May. Numbers 18, 19, 20, 22 and 24 have no updates just now. We have a visit to Highclere Castle in just a couple of weeks so that’s number 21 sorted! Hmmmm….number 23 to finish this list, I need to knuckle down on that one.  Number 26 is a short story, whilst I haven’t written anything yet I do have an idea, but not one I will share just now.

The before and after of the sheds

The before and after of the sheds

Number 27 changed a bit, we replaced the shed in the end. Now we have a newer and most importantly smaller shed. We have a few things down the side of it which do need sorting but that will happen. Our first choice of shed was so that you couldn’t see it from the house. This was true to start with, then we added two windows into the end wall which looked straight out onto the shed! Now the view through our new windows is much improved and the garden looks so much better now.

My Vetriano puzzle for number 28 is currently under Lauren’s bed. I’ve got quite far with it, but more is most definitely needed. But number 29, building a Lego Mini is all done. I loved doing it, quite took me back to childhood when I played with Lego quite a lot. I could be very tempted to do another kit like that, it was really relaxing.

And for now that’s where it ends. I am working on numbers 30 to 50, I just need to get a bit of a move on!

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