Saturday, 31 August 2013

Smiles 243:365

See girls - I told you I had a milk jug!
I have just found it hidden amongst all the ornaments we put in storage! It's now reunited with the rest of my tea set. 

And this may look unexciting to you, but the return of this filing cabinet has filled me with great joy as it holds all my flash cards, worksheets and other resources I've made, and I haven't seen it since September 2011.

I also managed to get Mum's sewing machine working and shortened two pairs of Jude's trousers. That was stressful but it made me smile to think that, for all lack of domesticity, I'm the only one who can thread the sewing machine! Thank you Mrs Cunliffe!



Friday, 30 August 2013

Smiles 242:365

A trip out today - and the first time we've driven past Spitfire Island and the Jaguar Works since we got back - good to see the statue/sculpture is still in the middle of the roundabout and loved the car on the side of the factory!

Home again, I managed to get nearly to the bottom of the garden, not helped by the tenants deciding to turn part of the path into a gravel beach...?!? Still, good to see that part of the garden albeit somewhat in need of a prune and tidy! There are apples on the tree although I won't be up the ladder this year to pick them! Now, where is that long fruit picker doofer with the net on the end....?

Smiles as FC Bayern München equalise in the final minute of extra time, just for the look on Mourinho's face!
Only Connect champions the Crossworders slaughtered the Masterminders (all did well in Mastermind and thought they could take them on...) in a special episode.
And I remembered to take a picture!!

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Smiles 241:365

Smiles today from good news -
I can go to work next week.
I only need to beg lifts for Monday and Tuesday.
I was asked to do something exciting - little but exciting.
Isaac finished his 'catch-up' homework.
A letter from the TV Licensing wasn't fining us for not having a license just reminding us to buy one!

I cooked a fine curry for dinner.

And I wrote out orders for lots of things :)

However, yet again failed to take any photos.
I must try harder. I must try harder. I must try harder.


So, to balance things up, here's a random picture of Isaac and me, again a while ago (you can tell by the glasses and the choochie cheeks!)

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Smiles 240:365

I popped into my new school today - well, the new new one! - and was very smiley when I saw I have a big desk with a cupboard and a drawer AND a comfy chair AND a floor to ceiling cupboard AND some drawers. To add to my joy, it's got air conditioning! I'm so used to scavenging for space in other peoples' cupboards and classrooms that I was quite overcome. So overcome that I forgot to take photographs! D'oh!
I was also gratified that I managed to discard large quantities of paper and "rubbish" from the cupboard to make room for more lovely things - very proud of myself as I hate throwing things away that might be useful 'one day'. Lovely helpful people too - all intrigued by my foot!
There will be photos next week - promise!

Wednesday also saw John home again - too late for a photo.

So I chose a random picture from my library for today! Taken at least 3 years ago,  probably longer, when playing with Photobooth for the first time.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Smiles 239:365

I'm not doing very well on the photo taking at the moment as I'm not out and about very much.

I can't even get a third of the way down my garden for fear of hurting my foot further.

So I'm relying on pictures BCH (before Switzerland)

I can see these from the part of the garden I can reach.

I can see this in the distance growing up the fence - very distant and rather wild but there are flowers!

And I can't wait to be able to stand under the trees and look up like this at the blue sky.



For now I'm making do with managing to get onto my beloved swinging bench :) (sadly no flowers on it at the moment)

I had a smile - and a laugh - at the young man from the Hyundai garage who called today to see if we liked our car. He asked about my foot and then tried to move the conversation on to the car by saying "Your legs apart... oh, no I didn't mean that. (pause) Leaving your legs apart... no, that's worse...." after which I rescued him by saying "You mean, apart from my broken foot..."  I could feel him blushing down the telephone! Poor lad!

And GBBO - no excessive finger slicing or great disaster this week but bread shaped like a football predicting octopus? And a loaf of bread with tomatoes on the top as ' an inventive spectacular bread'? 

Monday, 26 August 2013

Smiles 238:365

A duck in a shower in Dubendorf - and it's emigrating to the UK!

Great to have the boys back after their sleepover too.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Smiles 237:365

I'm all alone this afternoon so I've taken advantage and lain on the sofa with the remote control and a Tunnocks (dark chocolate) Caramel Wafer. I may move soon to make some dinner...

The wisdom of Winnie the Pooh was featured in the sermon at church this morning - how I love that bear! So here's one of my favourite Pooh-isms which makes me smile!







Saturday, 24 August 2013

Smiles 236:365

Nandos - how we've missed you!

Other smiles came as we were shopping for school shoes with the realisation that we could probably have bought Isaac's shoes more cheaply in Switzerland...

And from this tin of shortbread!

Friday, 23 August 2013

Smiles 235:365

Hurrah! Meet Efelbert, our new car! Can't comment on what it's like to drive but the passenger seat is very comfortable and the boot is large!
(NB Picture I took has disappeared so this is from the website! The reg starts EF hence Efelbert!)


Other smiles -
Jude sharing some of the "wisdom" shared with him by his cousin.

Messages from friends in Swittzerland.

The episode of The Big Bang Theory in which Sheldon has a mental block, refuses to sleep until he solves the problem and ends up in a ball pit diving and popping up shouting "Bazinga!' to avoid being taken home by Leonard.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Smiles 234:365

Bored with my foot and airboot, I decided to allow Chuchi monkey to use it as a climbing frame. 
He seemed to have fun. 

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Smiles 233:365


Lisa P would be proud of me, drinking tea out of china cups! Lovely deli/tea shop in Wylde Green in which to pass the  20 minutes it took Boots to process my prescription. 

And Bob made me smile today - I'll be dreaming the Thomas theme song on repeat... Love you squawk monster xx

And John made me smile - and cry! - by Facetiming from Winti having retrieved something...



Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Smiles 232:365

I'm struggling to smile today. 

So thanks heavens for Mary, Paul, Mel and Sue, and GBBO :)

And as always my wonderful beautiful boys!

Monday, 19 August 2013

Smiles 231:365

Thanks to Sinclair for making me smile by sharing this photograph on his FB page.

And this arrived today. Hurrah!

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Smiles 230:365

My friend Claire shared this on FB with the following comment - 
"Am sure this was written for our Belarussian girl Sasha" 
Whilst I have never met her, I followed Sasha's visit (along with other children from Chernobyl) to Northallerton this summer and in every picture she had a bright smile whatever the time or occasion. And I know from following the blog that she has little about which to smile on a day to day basis. 

Makes me all the more grateful for what I have and all the more determined to smile in the face of what, when all is said and done, are mostly annoying, temporary inconveniences in my life. 

Although I may need to remind myself of this at 3am if I'm woken yet again by a teeth-grindingly-painful ache in my foot and leg...


Saturday, 17 August 2013

Smiles 229:365

I found this chap in the toilet at the Hyundai dealership. Certainly made me smile! Not sure they could believe I was so amused by their toilet brush holder!

Another big smile today - being able to watch MOTD in bed for the first time in 2 years. Not going to fall asleep watching it tonight though. Foot too annoying :(


Friday, 16 August 2013

Smiles 228:365

Today's smile (above) came in a gift bag (minus the photobombing monkey!) courtesy of my lovely neighbour Lynn who wanted to cheer me up. And she has! All my favourite things which proves that she really has been reading Smiles. And now she's in it! Thank you so much!

Other smiles:
8 out of 10 cats does Countdown - hilarious. 
Sunshine. 
A trip out alone on the mobility scooter - and no incidents!
Blogging about my favourite books from primary language learning - and there are so many more to share too!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Smiles 227:365


Fruit related smiles today!

John is back from USA and made me my "wake up" cup of tea before climbing into Isaac's bed for a snooze (I'd had a bad night so was finally comfortable spread across ours, snoozing!)
I've organised the 'coat cupboard' - how long that will last is anybody's guess!
Big smile every time it's painkiller time. Well, 20 minutes after that actually...
Lots of clever 18 year olds getting their exam results and posting excited messages on FB.
Realising that a new SIM in my phone means that I can start Sneezies all over again:o)



Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Smiles 226:365

Thought for the day!


Smiles today :
 a decent game of football between England and Scotland
a visit from Julie and Harry
watching the boys mucking about in the garden
listening to earnest discussions about filming 
regular reports of who had 'accidentally' hit who in the unmentionables
last night before John comes home from USA



Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Smiles 225:365

Today's smile is dedicated to Lisas!

Lovely Lisa visited today which made my day. The Sartori-Readshaw family are off to Dubai you see, and I'd missed the wedding and christening and saying goodbye so I was really touched that Lisa popped in with little Theo before they moved. Lisa is one of those people who always makes me smile - she's got a great way of looking at life and her Facebook updates about conversations she has with her husband are hilarious! When Lisa started at WCPS, I became 'Spanish Lisa' as we were both Lisa S; since then two more Lisas have joined the team so it's like being back at primary school where there were 4 Lisas in my class of 28!

And it's Happy birthday to my Swiss "other half". 
Happy birthday 'Baking Lisa' from 'Running Lisa'xx


Monday, 12 August 2013

Smiles 224:365



Things that made me smile today.

A trip to the shops - thanks Mum for lending me your scooter.

New books to read. 

Christine Ohuruogu winning gold by 4/1000 second. 

England winning the Ashes. 

On preparing to watch University Challenge
"Shall we watch it in HD?" I asked. 
"Yes, then we can see all Paxman's wrinkles" came the reply. 

Catching the start of Newsnight - Paxman has a beard!

Pulling faces at John on Skype. 

(Translation - Did you know that the brightness of every day doesn't depend on the sunshine but on the smile coming from your heart)

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Smiles 223:365

Be grateful. Be thankful.
That was the message at church today. And I am. There's always something for which I can be thankful even when life is "rubbish" (also part of the sermon!)

Beautiful places that hold precious memories like Amden. 

Special people who make me smile - just thinking of them is enough!

Even little things like being able to drink Crabbies, eat toasted teacakes and have a glass of fresh skimmed milk!

For these things and many more, I am very thankful!

Smiles 222:365

That's me! Not a bad rendition although there was no plaster/airboot option. Not even a bandage. 

Taxi rides galore today - I shall soon become an expert - and another jaunt around Sutton on a mobility scooter (so far no mishaps)
Reunited with some of my teaching resources from storage but I had to be selective and leave some behind until the next visit as we couldn't carry much. Jude was very pleased to be reunited with a green dragon called Dragee. 
Waitrose curry is rather good. I think M&S may have lost my curry custom as their choice is more limited. 
I successfully made some white school shirts white again! Very pleased with that!
Now time for sleep as John's off early tomorrow. 

Friday, 9 August 2013

Smiles 221:365

We have wifi! 

And a functioning phone line. 

Hurrah!
(All the above are from Happy animals)

Hopefully Smiles365 are now back on track and will be published nightly as usual! 

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Smiles 217/218/219:365

I've scavenged a bit of wifi so an update!

An amalgamation of posts as still no 'phone/internet chez Stevens. However, we have a promise that we will have it on Monday, or possibly before... (slightly sceptical still though!) 

I had a very shallow bath/shower on Tuesday having found the shampoo finally and with a bit of help from a large plastic bag and some duct tape!

After no end of shennanigans with locked phones and incompatible SIMs, I now have UK mobile access thanks to Simon and GiffGaff. Hurrah!

I went back to the hospital today and now have an airboot rather than a plaster. Still have a broken foot, still can't walk properly (although I can now start to put weight on my dodgy foot) and certainly can't drive or get around easily BUT I can take the airboot off to shower (so no more plastic bags!) and sleep which is wonderful as I was wishing all last night that I could do just that when my leg was aching and needed a rub!

Other things making me smile:
Crabbies AGB.
My sister and nephews visited today (Wednesday)
I wasn't even an hour at the hospital when I'd been warned to allow two
John came home commenting "so the New Street train arrives  five minutes late but is still on time according to Network Rail?"
Youngest nephew grabbed a special cuddly toy but the owner didn't freak as they would if anyone else had grabbed it because R is very special :)
Eldest nephew loved his cello magnet
The fish we had for dinner was delicious.



Another update when I get more wifi. In the meantime, I'll keep looking for those smiles amongst the frustrations.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Smiles 215/216 :365

The post for today (and yesterday!) come to you courtesy of someone else's wifi.

Yesterday was a day on which I started smiling and then had to laugh else I'd cry! And today has continued on the same theme thanks to a broken foot.

Following in the footsteps of my Mum who broke her foot (with help from Mano the dog) the week before we moved from Berkhamstead to Sutton Coldfield in 1981, I have joined the list of numpties that hurt themselves at stupid inconvenient times and broken a bone in my foot. Or, as I have started saying, 'done a Beckham' and broken a metatarsal.

This has thrown all plans awry and made me rather cross with life.

However, I WILL smile for the following reasons:

  • I made it to the library with the boys after the incident and everyone was pleased to see us after 2 years.
  • Whilst I may have been seen more quickly in Spital Winterthur and may well have come away with some painkillers, I didn't have to wait too long at Good Hope, there were no drunks and I was straight into Xray and out again.
  • The girl that plastered me said 'bet you're glad you waxed your legs!'
  • I went to SCBC this morning and it was good to be back
  • I have the best family ever - my boys are being so helpful and John is an angel who needs to sit down and have a rest but won't until the house is sorted as he knows it's stressing me. 
  • My Mum said 'well, it makes your sun tan look good at least!'
  • How could you not smile when your son lies curled up on the floor behind a box and uncurls himself like a hydraulic lift to move a box across the floor to you, or carries your girly cardigan for you as you can't use your crutches and carry it?

Friday, 2 August 2013

Smiles 214:365

I spent most of the day unpacking but I did get to see my sister and her boys for tea at Mum and Ray's. I and J had a great time playing with H, including a dip in the hot tub, and R enjoyed demanding Row row and watching Roly Mo with me.  Sadly I didn't take any photos to share.

However, here are two we took at the airport on Tuesday. The Swiss love of wrestling and huge cowbells always makes me smile. Especially the cow bells as they bring back memories of the men in Oberwald.



(written on 2nd but just published as I've found some wifi!)

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Smiles 213:365

As I've spent the day unpacking boxes and dealing with moving back in, I have no (interesting!) pictures so I'll share one from this time last year.
Boys and beach volleyball in Winterthur. 

And as today is 1st August or Swiss National Day, Happy Birthday Helvetia. 722 today!

Smiles today included the removal lads who made the move as painless as it could possibly have been, a delicious BBQ and a dip in the hot tub. Also a trip to the council tip. Yes, I know that's weird but it did make me smile!

Hopefully more smiles tomorrow as we should have the house in a fit state for sleeping at home :)

Smiles 212:365

Limited wifi so short posts until we get connected again.

A happy boy and his new fez!

Mighty fine haircuts - thanks Simon for not telling me off about the state of my hair and especially Maria who did battle with Jude's thick mop and won!