Saturday, 27 May 2017

Excuses for Being a Bad Blogger...

First of all we went on a road trip with the Marcos.
On the first night we stopped over in Kent at the lovely 'Five Bells' in Brabourne.
This was our room for the night...
..And here's the spectacular open-plan bathroom.!!!
(It's great for one night of romantic luxury but I don't think I could live with it on a permanent basis.. I like to have some privacy when I'm chilling in my bath)

Then we pottered down to the Tunnel and caught a late morning train to France.
After another four and half hours of driving we reached our base for the weekend -
A hotel near the Spa race circuit on the far side of Belgium...

On Friday morning we were up really early and started to explore the track.
We've heard masses about this circuit but never attended any racing there before.
It was so exciting....
There were only two other Marcos cars at the event.
They were racing in the Sixties Endurance Race.
We spent a bit of time chatting to their drivers in the pits.
(Sadly neither of them managed to complete the gruelling two hour race on Saturday evening but it was great to see them out on the track during the practice and qualifying sessions.)

The Spa circuit is on a significant hill-side.
On Saturday we explored all the pedestrian tracks to the furthest points of the track.
The main pits is behind Mark's shoulder in the distance...
(These track days are always something of a keep fit exercise!!)

We stayed at the circuit to watch some night racing on Saturday evening.
When we came back to our car the light was perfect for this atmospheric shot of our car..

She got lots of attention and lovely comments everywhere we went..
(Not bad for a car that Mark restored from nothing in the garage!!)

Since we got back I just seem to have been 'chasing stuff'.... the dull post holiday washing and ironing piles; filling the empty food cupboards and other similar delights!  BUT I've also been catching up with family and friends; enjoying the sun at a picnic with an ex-colleague on Thursday and spent most of today on another road trip to Leicester.
The calendar for June looks slightly less crazy... so hopefully there'll be more frequent posts in the near future.  I hope that you are all enjoying the Bank Holiday.

Monday, 15 May 2017

A Special Evening...

Here's Mark and I on Saturday evening...
all dressed up for Mark's Long Service Dinner at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.
Mark started work with JLR 25 years ago this summer.
The evening celebrated 25 years, 40 years and even 50 years for employees across the whole company, so there were about 1200 people at the event.  We were slightly taken aback by the size and scale of it all, but it was really well organised and great fun.
The evening started with a formal photo.
(I've taken a photo of the photo so it's a little blurry.. but you get the general idea!)
..Then there were drinks, a four course meal, a full stage show (based on music from 1966/7, 1976/7 and 1991/2) and an excellent live band.  We finally got back to our room in the hotel at 1.30 in the morning!
The ladies on each table received these small bouquets.. so pretty!

Luckily for me, one of the ladies didn't want her flowers so I took a second bunch for Mum and Dad.  They've helped me with a lot of things recently and it was nice to be able to  give them a little surprise to say "Ta".
We got home (more than a little the worse for wear!!) by mid-morning on Sunday.
When we looked in the photo packaging more closely, we realised that the company has given us a further dinner voucher, which can be used at all the main chain restaurants.
We thought it would be nice to save it until mid-July, when Mark received his offer of employment from the company, and then we can enjoy another (slightly more low key!) celebration of his 25 Years.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Projects, Plans and Other Time-Consuming Activities...

Here's a recent photo of Thomas.  If cats could speak, he'd be saying
"Mum, please BE QUIET!  Why don't you do something peaceful like a blog post??"
So here's a flavour of what I'm up to...
~ There's been lots of instrumental teaching.  I've picked up another harp pupil AND did some coaching for a Year 13 student (which ended last week).  A number of my pupils have also asked for extra time or additional lessons for various reasons.
~ I've been asked to learn lots of material on both the harp and the piano so I've had to expand my practice regime.  I'm now starting piano practice at 7.00 each morning (good thing we're detached!!).  My sister and I have got a medium term plan which involves some challenging flute and piano playing, so I need to brush up my technique.  I'm currently re-learning one of the late Beethoven piano sonatas which I studied at Uni. (back in the dark ages!!).  It's hard to explain just how good this makes me feel... but I'm sure that you fellow musicians out there will know what I'm on about!
~ We went away for two nights over the May Bank Holiday weekend.  We stayed at the lovely little 'motel style' guest house that we normally use for the Donington Historic Festival.  It's a great set-up for the car and fabulous value for money.   The weather was SO COLD but we still enjoyed the first racing of the season.
~ My Blue Discovery was finally towed away by the insurance company last week.  Sadly the Silver one also has had to go back to the garage that we bought her from... She has several issues that need to be sorted while she's still under warranty.  To be honest, Mark could fix her.  It's just that he's so busy with work, other jobs at home AND his building/maintenance programme for the Marcos cars.  Unfortunately, dealing with all of this is extremely time-consuming because the Garage where the Silver car is being fixed is over 30 minutes drive away...
~ There's been a steady stream of low-level jobs to deal with in the house - Such as the light bulb in the extractor fan popping; small things breaking and the whole boiler system developing a curious resonance in the loft!! (Which was resolved by cleaning all the lime-scale off.........!?)
~ AND the tray in the Shower has cracked... leaving a nasty stain on the lounge ceiling.  Grrrr!  'Kevin the Builder' is coming at 12.00 to start the process of removing the old shower and replacing it with a nice non-leaky new one.....
Thomas is not going to be impressed by all the mess and dust from this latest disruption!!!