Family · Food, Chinese, Noodles · Sheffield · Uncategorized

Visit to Sheffield

No 1 son moved back to Sheffield October 2016 after a year in Bath. As we live in the Midlands do you think he’s trying to move away as far as possible.. hmm! To be honest he went to Sheffield uni at 18 and never  came home to live with us again. After gaining a degree and a hard worked for PhD… proud parent alert… as we now can address him as Doctor. 

This weekend was a first visit to his new flat and sunny Sheffield. I fell in love with this city twelve years ago and said this was the uni for No 1 son on the very first uni open day visit. I was right and it became his home.

Sheffield Town Hall, with beautiful blue sky.

Sheffield is a vibrant multicultural city with plenty of independent shops as well as the usual retail outlets. However take a slow stroll along the sometimes steep abd cobbled side streets and you will find amazing buildings. Like this fabulous corner pub ‘The Three Tuns’. I wonder if they managed to get a double bed upstairs and into those rooms!

Of course a visit to the Peace Gardens is a must. To watch a little one who is daring enough to brave the tall spouts of icy cold water from the fountains. Surprisingly there are always one or two brave? silly? who will dare! And more often than not… someone does!

Food often plays  big part of our visit as No 1 is vegan. Arrgghh I hear you murmur, yes it can be difficult, but not here. There is an abundance of varied food outlets, from street vendors to takeaway and high class restaurants. First stop, as H just cannot pass by a pastie shop. He reminds me of the Oxo children following the delicious smell of gravy. His internal sat nav must have all the pastie shops pinpointed! For the rest of us it’s the tiny Chinese shop. If the locals use it then it must be good. It was, spicy noodles are always a favourite.

Ok so not the most fantastic photo but from No 1 son’s flat it shows how Sheffield is a mix of buildings and big skies. It’s wonderful.

Love Sheffield ๐Ÿ’•

Keep smiling ๐Ÿ˜˜ Maz

Mazzamaid, crochet, handmade · Uncategorized

Beautiful Blues..

January can be a drab month and after all the sparkle of Christmas I’m looking forward to spring and sunshine. I enjoy all the seasons as they can bring delights in different ways. Here’s my little bit of happy which makes my heart lift. I learned to crochet a few years ago….I’m still learning! But I’m pretty chuffed with my cosy blanket  from the fab Lucy@attic24 and my own project using odds n ends..cushion. I hope you like them. Douglas seems quite cosy too!

Keep smiling ๐Ÿ˜˜ Maz x

Christmas · Family

New Years Day decisions not resolutions…


I’ve always found New Years Day to be an awkward sort of day. If we’ve spent the previous evening celebrating then it’s usually a day of slobbing out in front of the TV. Slowly hoovering up left over chocolates, cake, sausage rolls and cheese washed down with copious mugs of tea, followed by the odd glass of wine…after 6pm of course! More recently we’ve celebrated earlier in the evening with family. Enjoying a few drinks at a local pub, with lot of laughter and quite a few bags of pork crunch! Then going home to watch the New Year roll around in peace and quiet in our PJ’s.ย 

1st January arrives and with it thoughts of what shall we do? First job of the day is taking down the Christmas decorations. Love the twinkling lights of the tree but today is the day it all has to be removed and boxed away. With one decoration left discreetly hanging until twelfth night to ward off bad luck of course.

After a quick flick around with a feather duster normal service has been resumed. I’m not a slave to housework that’s one reason for downsizing!

A quick browse through the TV guide proved that Christmas TV was naff this year and a trip to the cinema was required. Rounding up H, my brother and family, film chosen, tickets booked online, sweeties bagged up …cinema trips always demands treats…off we go. A very enjoyable two hours of watching a hunky Chris Pratt saving a space ship and getting the girl was just what was needed.

Leaving the cinema, BRR not only had darkness fallen, so had the temperature. Quick we need food…well NEED might be an over statement…but a quick nibble and a drink is required to end the evening. Decisions…where? Wrekin Giant pub? Ok fine…nah closed! Harvester? nah closing! Quickly find somewhere, my nose is turning blue and teeth are chattering. Light bulb moment.. Novello Lounge!

We’d visited the Lounge recently during daylight hours with my eldest son who’s vegan and it got a big thumbs up from all of us. Evening changes it into a cosy, warm, inviting place with a super atmosphere and cocktails! What more can a girl ask for .. well is asking for Tom Cruise shaking cocktails too much??

Ever helpful staff rearranged tables for us.. food was chosen, drinks deliberated over and ordered and warmth was restored to fingers and toes.

It really is a fab place with friendly staff and the food choice is different to the other establishments. We’ll worth a visit!

All in all it was the perfect end to the first day of 2017. Here’s hoping we enjoy a few more like it ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Christmas · Family · Holiday

Christmas…Bah humbug? or whoohoo!?

Do you enjoy Christmas? Or do you think…. possibly as I do…that the whole world…well maybe just the county then, is having a much more fantastic time than I am? Everyone is posting pictures on social media wearing sparkly tops, drinking cocktails at a Christmas market or in some swanky bar, while I’m sitting at home I’m my PJ’s. I stress obsess over making this time of year special and honestly would love to be invited to share a family lunch. Somewhere I could just turn up in my sparkly top, clutching something fizzy and presents. Hey, I’m happy to muck in and would heartily do the washing up or keep the littlies entertained….if I didn’t have to prepare anything other than choosing the wrapping paper and matching gift tags.

To add slightly to my ‘stressmas’ is a lovely son, who is vegan and who visits us for the holidays. Not mega problematic but when we are primarily a meat eating household with vegetarian options it can send me off kilter. You will quite often find me in the free from aisle in a large supermarket reading the reverse of packets as if they were the next bestselling novel. Thank goodness he’s quite handy in the kitchen and is happy to take over. 

Don’t let’s get started on the present buying. My father has the best idea. His Christmas shopping consists of popping to the bank and buying money gift cards..  sorted! 

Next year…as Del Boy and Rodney were fond of saying…we are going on a trip away. Where someone else can do the ‘stressmas’….I’ve already picked out my sparkly top and shoes! See you there maybe ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

I’m not completely bah humbug but would appreciate a little more whoohoo at Christmas time. ๐ŸŽ„

Why do we put ourselves through this madness every year…..because it’s Christmaaaassss! 

Smile ๐Ÿ˜ƒ Maz x


Family …friend or enemy..?

During the month of December I have a relative who will have a birthday . Nothing strange in that occurrence you’re thinking. Although it has made me think about how a family can become divided due to a family ……we’ll call it a ‘feud’ until I can think of a more appropriate term.ย A decade and a half plus three years ago this problem happened, a life time for some of our younger family members. I’m not going into the reasons, to be honest I only know the bare bones, the Chinese Whispers that pass around families. My thoughts are, I wasn’t involved in this feud and somehow it has had an impact on the life of my family. 2017 will be a big celebratory year for the family and there are going to be a few zero birthdays happening. Big birthdays are always a good reason for family to gather. Lots of planning goes into making a special occasion that everyone will remember and talk about in later years. Now back to my ‘estranged’ relative, in retrospect ย I have never celebrated any special occasions in their life – other than a wedding almost thirty years ago – that unfortunately didn’t last. I nor my siblings have been invited to any special birthdays throughout the years or looked forward with anticipation and excitement to the birth of a child, as I have done with other family and close friends. My children haven’t cousins of their own age due to my own siblings being much younger than me, which meant their children are still quite young. My cousins children are of similar ages and they simply became ‘cousins’. We had the usual birthday parties at the noisy play barns and summer play dates. We celebrated end of A level results and the moving onto University stages. We also endured each others sad times when losing loved ones.

My feelings are that this relative has missed out on such a lot of happiness over the years and the child that eventually blessed a new partnership does not really know any of their extended family. Maybe I am making assumptions here, perhaps her life is full and she is content? ย I can count on one hand (minus a thumb) the amount of times I have had contact with this child or the parents over the years. The child has never had the advantage of spending time with the other young people in the family, there are six of them . Not spent time at the park, eating ice cream or visiting and playing with each others new toys. There are not any photos in my faded albums of these people. Nothing to remember them by, no history to recount, no memories to conjure up when clearing out the cupboards and the old photos fall out. Just distant thoughts and a ‘I wonder what happened to them?’

For sixteen years I sent a birthday card, however I am positive by the time the child could read, the question would be asked ‘Mum, who are these people?’ This year I didn’t send a card….

On the other side, they have not experienced my sons grow from gangly, spotty teenagers into fantastic young men. My siblings become parents to gorgeous children and nowย looking forward to becoming a grandparent and myself…a great aunt!!

So, am I the enemy by default because I didn’t get involved and didn’t take a side? More possibly I am an innocent bystander that got caught in the cross fire. Do we really need extended family? Are we happier in our own bubble of life? Will the child look back on life in years to come and wish they had known some of those distant relatives? Who knows the answer.

My children look back on their childhood with a smile and recount many happy moments with their family, both extended and just boring old mum and dad! That makes me extremely happy ๐Ÿ™‚

Family · New chapters · Uncategorized

New chapters…

Today I have had two thought provoking events that have made me think about my life and where I go next.

The first revelation has been that rude people are always rude and like the proverbial leopard never change their spots. In my position I am expected to always be the epitome of diplomacy never knowingly undermining any of my work colleagues or the system I work in . However, the unwashed public feel that they have the given right to be extremely rude and unpleasant to me without regards to my feelings. As always I must smile sweetly and keep my mouth shut and my thoughts to myself. If I were to meet that person in the street, I say to myself, I will give them what for….but if I’m honest I would not give them the satisfaction of caterwauling in the street. I would look them up and down, with a shoulder shrug and an icy stare I would strut off in the other direction. I am not going to lower myself to their level.

My second revelation today has been, no matter how long you have worked in an establishment, work colleagues are just acquaintances that you are in the presence of for six hours plus a day. An enjoyable work environment is pleasant, regardless of who you are in contact with, but when you walk out of the office and step into your transport of choice you become yourself again. Ringing true the saying ‘I work to live, not live to work’.

Perhaps these thoughts are putting the idea in my head that the time is right to make a move. Leaving any where after a substantial amount of time will always bring emotions bubbling to the top. Yes, people say you will be missed, no one can ever replace you, but the job continues and there is no time to mourn the leaver. It’s similar to throwing a pebble into a stream. It breaks the surface, the ripples subside….it’s gone, never to be thought of again. Perhaps not thought of is too strong a sentiment.. Christmas and special occasions you may be invited to return. Be welcomed back with hugs and kindness, but the in jokes will exclude you. The giggles will not include you and the feeling of being the outsider, the visitor will be a strain on both sides. 

Is it ever easy to leave your job? Would it be preferable to slide away quietly at the end of the day? Without the knowledge that someone in the background is badgering folk to put a few pounds in the inevitable brown collection envelope? The coffee break chats of what shall be we buy? what would they like? are we having a leaving do? who’s going to buy the Leaving Gift?? Yes it becomes a sentence said in capitals! 

It makes me think it would be easier to stay put…. but our lives are lived in chapters and I really hope my time has come to turn over a new page…


Christmas · Family · Uncategorized

An early birthday present…

My lovely husband surprised me last weekend with an early birthday gift. Theatre tickets for the Royal Ballet to watch The Nutcracker at The Hippodrome.

The Nutcracker was magical and not a sound could be heard during the performance. The height the boys reached was astonishing and the girls seemed featherlight. 

Oh to be a ballerina…whom I’m kidding… I’d be the baby elephant in tights… sigh.. we can all dream! ๐Ÿ™„

The #Hippodrome was definitely dressed to impress with its finest twinkly lights and perfect Christmas trees. The foyer buzzed with anticipation and we fuelled ourselves with coffee and fruit cake before taking our seats. We’re so rock n roll ๐Ÿ˜‰

Even the fire curtain was spectacular.The boxes looked plush and comfy. I might have have to stand my ground next time and ask for a box! 

It was a special evening. Not only celebrating another birthday but also the end of a very difficult year for my fabulous husband. 

We’ll live to fight another year… onwards and upwards!