Sunday, 30 December 2012

The Mobile Phone Luddite...

On the run up to the holidays I put off several time-consuming jobs.  Yesterday we tackled the one that I was least looking forward to..... the dreaded 'new mobile phone' experience!

Basically I've had a phone on contract for years.  It is a bit expensive - but the huge mileage we do, the odd hours I work and the sheer amount of time we spend away from home sort of justify the expenditure.  When I first had a phone in 2001 I paid £35 per month (for a ridiculously small number of minutes and a small phone that made calls).  Over the years the monthly fee has shrunk to about half the original, while the minutes have soared.  The phones have become more sophisticated but I've still felt mostly in control of their functions.

Yesterday I went into a certain well known chain of mobile phone shops (fortunately I had Mark with me for back up......)  I am now the owner of a mini-computer that just happens to make phone calls.  The monthly fee is exactly the same as the last contract AND they are throwing in a 7" tablet computer for free!  Technologically I feel a little bit like Alice must have done as she fell down the rabbit hole.... I have a phone that can store complete novels in one corner of it's huge memory.  Last night I sat on the sofa and read the first few chapters of 'Pride and Prejudice' on my phone - just for the experience.  I've never considered myself to be a luddite but I've got to say that this feels like a technological step too far!

In the end I spent of lot of time last night worrying that the phone was going to do something 'behind my back' and that I might end up with a huge additional bill because of it's functions.  First thing this morning I got on the phone to the providers technological support.  A lovely lady explained how I could control it's access to the internet and cut the connection if I wanted to. 

I now at least have the illusion of being in control of this thing!  At the same time I feel slightly 'non-plussed' about the arrival of the free tablet computer.....  I suppose it can always stay in its box!

Friday, 28 December 2012

Finally... time to blog!

You've probably guessed that the last couple of weeks of term became increasingly manic.  I tried to keep reading your posts and commenting but I completely ran out of time when it came to posting on my own blog.  Anyway, here's a quick summary of the last few weeks..

There were concerts and Year 11 Parents Evening (on the PENULTIMATE night of term - stupid school!)  There were also pre-Christmas meals and drinks with family and friends AND a trip to see Mark's Dad and Brother in Oxford.

In the middle of all of this I was crocheting like made to finish a blanket.  I made it as a Christmas present for my friend who showed me how to crochet back in March.  I made a label which read "For my Teacher" - she was really delighted with it!

My Mother-in-Law stayed from the 24th ~ 27th so the whole house had to be nice and tidy.  She's actually pretty relaxed about these things but I like my visitors to feel as if I've made a bit of effort.

Mark was responsible for the tree.  He likes lots of lights - this year there are over 300!  Thomas is transfixed every evening by all the twinkles!

We had Christmas Eve at my house then went to my Sister's for Christmas Day.  This is the table set for 9 of us at my Sister's house. 

On Boxing Day we loaded Mark's Mum and my Parents into the old Discovery and went for a picnic.  The weather was a little unrealiable so we went up to Ironbridge and went for a short walk by the river.  Here's Mark and his Mum on the famous 'iron bridge'...

We were surprised that there seemed so many people around on a cold mid-winter day.  Then we realised that they'd come to see some lady Morris Dancers, who were clearly maintaining a local tradition and dancing on the bridge on Boxing Day...
Since my Mother-in-Law went home yesterday I've been making the most of a few days of 'R+R'.  It's been too wet to walk long distances so I've curled up on the sofa and started one of my Christmas books.  I've also started to crochet another blanket with some wool from the stash.  We went into Worcester this morning and had a little look at the Sales.  Mark spent some Christmas money on a much reduced PS3 Game but I wasn't really inspired to spend my money.  Most of the shops appeared to have dragged anything that needed 'clearing' onto the rails but there weren't any bargains.

In the end we left the shops and went down by the river to walk by the floods.  Fortunately the flood defences seem to be doing their job and people's homes and businesses are dry.

Now I'm back in the 'blogosphere' and catching up on all your news. 

Season's Greetings to you all!  Jx

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Taking a break..

Having spent most of Thursday morning in tears over work-related issues, I forced myself to take a complete break this weekend.  Mark and I pottered over to Startford on Avon yesterday.  We found several great 'Antique/Junk' shops where I found a lovely Spode plate for a bargain price.  We also spent ages in a fabulous vintage accessory shop that was tucked away in a side street.
Today we did the food shop then organised ourselves to do a completely new walk in the area.  This involved a couple of miles of the Wychavon Way, then a spell of canal-side walking before returning to Droitwich via some lovely quiet lanes.
Here are some of the canal boats moored at Hanbury Warf (on the Birmingham to Worcester Canal)
We even found a sheltered spot to eat our picnic.  These benches are on the junction of the Droitwich and Birmingham/Worcester canals.  In the summer it's really busy but today it was really peaceful..

I couldn't resist this view of the rather sodden Worcestershire countryside...

Tomorrow morning I'm going to have a meeting with our Deputy Head and I hope that some of the things that have been making life difficult at school will be mentioned - if not resolved. 
Fingers crossed!!!!  I hope that you all have a good week.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Sunday Morning

I was so glad that I'd decided to pick up my camera for our walk yesterday morning.  I couldn't resist snapping away at these dramatic wintery skies..
This was a picture taken down by the canal - one of our favourite circuits.
I really wanted to get a picture of the sky and its reflection in the water.
It didn't quite work because I was a little too low.  I suspose that I should have tried
climbing a tree!

This is a more general view of my beloved North-East Worcestershire country-side.
The hills in the distance are at Great Whitley.  On a really clear day you can see
as far as the Shropshire Hills from here, and you only need to turn a little to the left
to see the Malvern Hills as well.

There's a little hamlet of Victorian cottages and houses a little further along this road and
all the properties have views like these.
Much as we love our current home, Mark and I always have a little fantasy about moving to one of these houses - just for the view.
Unfortunately they also come with masses of land which doesn't really suit our current life-style.
One day ...... maybe!

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Inspired by Bagpuss..

Inspired by bagpuss's pink and white stripes, my latest Motorway blanket is a blend of
 bright pink, a sparkly pink and white yarn and lots of plain white for the background.
The light was going when I took this photo - but I hope that you get the general idea..!

The target audience is a young girl!
Hopefully it will soon be brightening up the life of a young person somewhere..
I'm still crocheting away in the passenger seat, but I've abandoned these blankets while I work on a Christmas gift or two.  Firstly I want to create something for my friend who taught me how to crochet back in February.  She loves handmade gifts so would appreciate the fact that I'd made something for her.  Then, if I've got time, I'd also like to make something for my Mother in Law. 
Unfortunately December seems to have caught me by surprise!
We've been ridiculously busy with work AND socialising loads.
On top of all that we seem to be commuting seperately quite a lot too,
which means a lot less crafting time.
I hope that you all have a good week.

Monday, 26 November 2012

25 Years Ago..

At the end of November 1987 - 25 years ago - Mark and I got engaged.
This is the moment that he put the ring on my finger at my 21st Birthday Party..
infront of all our family and friends.
Last Saturday night we had a family meal to celebrate this anniversary.
Everyone got into the 'spirit' of 1987 and dressed accordingly.
I'm a tremendous hoarder and I still have my 21st Birthday outfit - so I wore it again on Saturday!
My sister wore a skirt that she's had since 6th Form and a black C&A shirt that we had always shared
Mark and Dad wore DJs, and my Mum wore a pretty Monsoon evening dress.
My Brother in Law wore his 1980s leather jacket and jeans.
My nieces wore their latest party frocks and looked lovely.
I prepared a 1987 Meal..
Black Russian Cocktails
Pernod and Lemonade
Roast Chicken
Chicken Kiev
Iceberg Salad
Chip Chip Cookie Roulade
(Biscuits soaked in Tia Maria and smothered in Cream)
"Green Stuff"
(A family recipie of Ginger Biscuits, soaked in Whiskey, with Lime Mousse on top)
Rasberry Ripple
(Ice-cream, fresh Rasberries and Rasberry Coulis)
A Cheeseboard of
Bavarian Smoked Cheese, Applewood Smoked Ceddar and Creamy Lancashire
We dug out all the old photos from the mid-late 80s and had a fabulous trip down memory lane.
Welcome to my new followers..
...and a huge "Thank you" to everyone
who helped me out of my technical pickle yesterday!

Sunday, 25 November 2012


Can anyone explain how to remove pictures from the Picassa web album so that I can continue to post newer photos...



Monday, 19 November 2012

Lovely Vintage Caravans

Look what I found yesterday...
A small encampment of vintage caravans in a corner of a hall at the NEC!
Here's a beautifully preserved 1930s caravan..

And here's a 'trailer-tent' from a similar period..

I was completely captivated by the care that the owners had taken over the interiors.
Here's a dressing table in the corner of a 1940s caravan..

And here's the living area of the 1950s caravan.

All the owners clearly have a tremendous eye for detail...
I spent ages staring through the doors and windows, admiring the time and effort that must
have gone into collecting all these period items.
We were at the show because Mark's newer car was on the Marcos stand.
As an exhibitor he got free passes for each day - which made it a cheap day out.
He was quite worried when I came with all these pictures...
He seems to think that I'm a little too enthusiatic about George Clarke's new TV series and has openly wondered if I'm about to put a case for caravan ownership!
I don't know.. it might be fun!!!

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Just Pottering

Today I've had a lovely day of quiet pottering.  I started by catching up with everyone's blogs over a mug of coffee first thing.  Do check out pearl@serenitycove's most recent post.  It transported me into a full-on Christmas mood!
Here's this week's 'Motorway Blanket'.  I decided to have a bit of a change and make a blanket for a baby this time.  The yarn has a a faint colour change in it (pink, purple and cream).  I added some soft white DK yarn and used both together to make the heavier edging.  I got it all from the Hobby Craft shop near school.  I just went in to pass a little bit of time and discovered that they have got a 'three for two' offer on all their yarns at the moment.  For once I didn't feel as if I was being slightly ripped off!  I asked how long the offer was going to be on for and got the typical large chain reply - "We're not sure..."
Those of you with sharp eyes will have spotted the new suite.  Thomas adores it and has chosen the chair in the corner as his own.  Fortunately the blue and beige colour combination seems to hide cat fur quite nicely!  Unfortunately the colours don't exactly go with the pale green theme of the rest of the lounge.  I'm going to have to get myself organised and sort it all out at some stage.... Probably Christmas or the January Sales.
Hope that you are all having a good weekend!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

We Will Remember Them

I just wanted to share a few photos from Tuesday's concert. Each year I set my new Year 9 classes the task to create a performance around the theme of 'Armistice Day'. I challenge them to maintain the core spirit of remembrance while creating a 'son et lumiere' of images and contemporary songs. This year I have a really thoughtful and reflective group and it was a particularly moving performance.

Some of the girls performed their own setting of 'In Flanders Fields'
The boys reflected on the way greed can fuel conflict.
This is M. singing 'I need a Dollar' in front of a video sequence he had compiled..

They decided to create a timeline of 20th century conflict.
This is a section where they reflected on the conflicts of the 1950s and 1960s..

And at the beginning and end of the performance F. played the Last Post beautifully.

I don't think there was a dry eye in the house.
I was imensely proud of them.

Monday, 12 November 2012

A couple more blankets and a new suite

Thank you to everyone who left comments on my last post.  You could probably tell that I was emotionally floundering yesterday afternoon.  Reading all your thoughts and supportive words helped me to get my head straight.  I really appreciated the fact that you took the time to write.

Anyway, here are a few more cheerful things from the world of 'Stand and Stare'... 

The 'Motorway Crochet Project' is working brilliantly.  Here's blanket number 2, largely crocheted in the two weeks before halfterm and finished off during that awful 5 hour journey back from the Lake District.  Its another 5X6 blanket, made with some chunky wool and a lot of blended DK yarns on a 10mm hook. 

This is blanket number 3 - which only took a week to make because it's one large square.  I found some lovely vari-colour baby yarn in a budget shop in Pershore.  I blended it with some blue, green and white DK wools.  It's really soft and snuggly.

Here's our lounge at the moment.  We are waiting for a new suite, which should be delivered tomorrow.  The two armchairs have been dragged in from the conservatory as a temporary measure.  The old suite (which we got from the Co-op back in 1996!) is going to a friend's son.  He and his family are going through some terribly difficult times at the moment and this is something of a 'cheer them up' measure.

We're not really "splashing the cash" though... The new suite was a bargain, clearance, factory direct purchase - costing less than 40% of what we paid for our old suite back in the 90s.  One of those lucky buys that generally happen to other people!!!
Thomas - who loves a day sleeping on the suite if he can get away with it - was horrified when it all disappeared yesterday afternoon.  He made me laugh though. It didn't take him long to work out that it was in the garage.  You could almost see him thinking "Ha - sussed you!  Now put it back...!"

Sunday, 11 November 2012

My Mum...

My Mum has Huntington's Disease. This is a genetic illness and it is hereditary.  Basically it causes damage to the nerve cells in the brain. As the damage progresses, HD reduces people’s ability to walk, talk, think and communicate. Symptoms include uncontrolled movements, changes in mood and behaviour and altered thought processes. Eventually individuals with HD become unable to look after themselves and need full-time care.  If an individual has one parent with the HD gene, he or she has a 50/50 chance of inheriting the gene and developing HD themselves.

HD comes from my Grandfather's side of the family.  He had it and so did one of his sisters.  The other sister did not inherit the HD gene.  HD does not skip generations.  This basically means that my sister's children are not at risk of the Disease if she does not develop it.  My sister and I could both get it - or neither of us could get it.

Like any other hereditary illness, the speed at which symptoms develop can vary wildly.  Some people can start displaying symptoms in their 30s.  Others don't see anything until their 50s.  We are lucky that our 'version' doesn't really manifest itself until people are in their late 50s.  After that, it follows the standard pattern of deterioration.

I am so proud of my Mum.  She has fought the symptoms and forced herself to keep going.  She tackled each stage of her deterioration and found a way round it - until now.  Today she and Dad called in for lunch after church.  After we'd eaten Dad and Mark went off to do a job and she just sobbed in my arms because she's so frustrated.

She walks badly and is exhausted by her own body as it jumps around.  The constant movement is putting pressure on her joints and muscles and she's in a fairly constant pain.  The involuntary muscles movements can also choke her when she's eating.  There are certain foods that she no longer eats or wouldn't tackle in public.  We understand her speech - but she's having greater problems communicating with people who are not used to it.  She was 69 at the beginning of September.

She nursed her Dad through the illness and knows exactly what's going to happen next.  We don't save things until tomorrow anymore.  Hopefully this recent period of deterioration will stabilise soon.  This will give Mum time to work out new ways of living round these lastest inconveniences.  She's a very brave woman.

Nevertheless I can't begin to describe how hard it is to be part of a family with HD.  Fortunately I'm close to my sister and we support each other.  Sorry that this is another gloomy post.  It's just that Mum's tears today have really unsettled me.  As you've probably guessed we are normally a 'get on with it and cope' family!

Welcome to Sandra and Sonny. I've tried to find your blogs so that I can follow you too - but I can't seem to find any links.  I'l try again in a couple of days.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

I want to hide..

Normally I'm a bit of a 'Pollyanna'..
I try terribly hard to focus on the good things in life
and remain up-beat about the things that are getting me down..
The last few days have been a little more like this..
My school has been found liable in a Health and Safety court case..
Our Head now faces a civil action..
My Managers are pre-occupied and giving contradictory guidance...
Ofsted is looming...
Marking is mounting up...
My colleague is on Maternity Leave for another five months
Her replacement is getting very flakey...
There a performance tomorrow night..
Another performance next Tuesday..
AND my Mum's Huntington's Disease has made one of its sudden jumps for the worse.

I want to hide behind a very large teddy bear and never come out again..

Fortunately my pupils are still lovely and the teaching remains fab.
Things I can influence are fine...
I just need to find the mental equilibrium to handle the things that are buffeting me...

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Lake District Re-visited..

This year Mark and I decided to re-visit familiar territory and spend a few days in the Lake District during half-term.  We went there for our honeymoon (in 1990!) and spent a lot of time walking up there in the late 90s.  We stopped visiting the area for a combination of reasons.  Firstly, I had a period of ill-health and long distance hill walking became difficult.  Then some friends who we used to walk with divorced.  Finally we discovered the lovely walking on Exmoor and decided that it was easier to drive down the M5 than up the M6.  As a result this little break was a 'full-on' trip down memory lane....

We stayed in the Britannia Inn at Elterwater - just where we'd always stayed.  This time our room was the first window on the left.  We got a great B+B rate because my half-term was a week later than the Lakeland schools.

The holiday was all about walking and taking photos.  This was the view over Elterwater common and back over the village on the first morning..
We walked over the hills towards Grasmere and enjoyed the wonderful reflections..

The cloud and light produced some spectacular effects.  This is one of a sequence of photos that I took at the top of Lake Windermere..
All this walking up and down hills gave us an appetite.  This was the best lunch stop of the holiday - blueberry scones, blueberry jam and cream with a view across  Lake Windermere to the Langdale valley.

There were fabulous sunsets too.  We were lucky enough to be driving round the bottom of Rydal Water when the sky turned this wonderful colour.

By the end of the holiday there was snow on the hills.  This was the view from our table at another of our lunch stops..
And 'BJ' the old Discovery seemed to enjoy the dramatic mountain passes (although she did have a major flood through the rear sky-light when Mark drove through a large puddle a little too fast!)
Having spent most of our recent holidays walking well off the main tourist trails, Mark and I took a while to adjust to the fact that we had to share our paths this week!  We also found Lake District prices a major shock.  We had a great journey up from Worcester - only two and half hours.  The M6 was at it's worst yesterday and it took us FIVE hours to do the same journey in reverse.
Nevertheless I think we will be going back again sooner rather than later.  The walking was fantastic  and we've come home feeling fitter and refreshed.  Next time we'll definitely self-cater - which will keep the food costs down.  I'm already in the process of creating a short list of cottages for Easter!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

One Lucky Hare!

Yesterday we spent the day at the Silverstone Racing Circuit again.  It was the final day of the 2012 season for the Historic Racing Car Club.  We wandered around the whole circuit, just soaking up the atmosphere, in the morning then settled down to watch the racing properly in the afternoon.
We've never been to this particular race meet before and it's really 'laid back and low key' compared to some of the more major events.  As a result the spectators could get into stands that are normally reserved for those with serious money or connections!  We found ourselves in a pretty prime spot in the British Racing Driver's Club stand.  This was our view of the tight left hand corner at the end of one of the fast straights.  It's a tricky corner to get right and is one of the points in the circuit where drivers are most likely to damage their cars.
All of a sudden, a hare popped up on the grass to the left hand side of the corner.  He was clearly used to being able to run around the circuit without having racing cars hurtle past his whiskers.  He made a lunge forward then stopped as a car thundered by.  He turned back and stood up for a moment, assessing the situation.  Then he tried again and the same thing happened.  By this time everyone in the stand was on edge.  The situation could end really badly for both the hare and a racing car, but there was nothing the marshalls could do.
As the hare tried to cross the track for a third time some slightly slower cars came to the corner.  I covered my eyes because I really didn't want to watch what was going to happen next.  Suddenly everyone around me was clapping and cheering.  I moved my hands away and saw the hare running towards the shelter of some hoardings on the far side of the track.  The cars had also managed to negotiate the corner without making contact.
One lucky hare!!!
We drove home through one of the best sunsets I've ever seen.  It lasted about 45 minutes - with absolutely gorgeous colours that just kept on changing.  There's no pictures of it though - I stupidly left my camera in the boot of the car!
I'm still in school this week.  The halfterm holidays are all over the place.  Worcestershire and Solihull (where I work) start their week off next Friday.  In the meanwhile, Birmingham has got it's halfterm holiday this week.  I teach loads of pupils who live in Birmingham so their younger siblings are on holiday while they are supposed to be in school.  I also work with teachers who can't be on holiday with their children.  I suspect that there will be quite a few children missing this week.  So much for a 'continuity of teaching and learning'!!!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Crochet in the Dark

Here's the throw that I've been making over the summer.  I've always loved the effect of mixing loads of different colours and textures together - almost like a piece of patchwork.
I've made it in a range of double knitting yarns - but every square has been bordered by the same cotton and wool blend (called Duo).  It's a lovely soft yarn and it made a gorgeous scalloped edging.

In this picture you can see most of the yarns that I've used.  The pale colours tend to be cottons, while the slightly shiny thread is a silk blend that's been hanging around for years in my wool stash. There's also some Sidar Denim and Click. 
As you can see, I still need to spend a bit time finished off the ends.....

Here's my other project - crocheted over the last two weeks or so during our commute round the M5 and M42.  The throw was worked on 4.0, 4.5 and 5.5 hooks and it's really dense and snuggly.  This little blanket was worked on 8.0 and 10.00 hooks so it grew very quickly.  I've also discovered that I can work it in the almost darkness of a passenger seat at 7.00 in the morning.  Good use of commuting time, I think!

I got the idea of blending double knitting yarns from one of my Mum's friends.  The darker yarn has a sparkle in it which is quite attractive with all these Autumnal colours.  The fourth row is a normal chunky wool, while the seam and the border are two 'normal' double knitting shades mixed together.

I'm going to keep the blue and brown throw for myself - but Mum has friends who can find a good home for these little chunky blankets.  I've already done 5 squares of the next one.  It's nice to think that my 'lost commuting time' can be turned into something positive for someone else. 

Sunday, 14 October 2012

A 'Micro-break' in Wales (aka The Brecon Wool Raid!)

After another mad week at work Mark and I decided to give ourselves a 'Day-cation' yesterday.  We trundled off down to Brecon in BJ (the old Discovery).  Someone, somewhere, was keen to see that we had a good day - BJ ran out of fuel just as we rolled onto the forecourt of the petrol station at Abergavenny!  We actually had to push her to the pumps.  Fortunately she didn't seem to mind having air in her fuel lines too much and Mark got her started again so that we could continue our journey through the hills.
Wool was one of my main motivators for suggesting a day out in Brecon.  This is the wonderful wool shop tucked away in the entrance to the Covered Market.  They are fantastically over-stocked and have masses of yarns that may have gone out of stock everywhere else months ago.  This was the case yesterday with Sidar Denim.  I've always loved working with this yarn and was gutted when it went out of production and disappeared from my local wool shops.  They have finally got round to putting it in a clearance sale in Brecon and I picked up loads for £2.35 a ball.  A real bargain!  They also had big balls of Hayfield and Robin DK yarn for £1.55.  Irresistable!
After a lovely lunch at the Cathedral tea-rooms we left all the wool in BJ and went for a walk by the canal.  This was the gorgeous sky over the Brecon Beacons.

My camera struggled with the depth of shade under the trees but I couldn't resist this photo of the reflections.

We walked down to the aquaduct, where the canal goes over the River Usk.  It's a pleasant flat walk of about 3 miles - perfect for shaking down lunch!

We then drove home across the border, past Hay on Wye, Hereford and back into Worcestershire.  This is my 'woolly loot' spread out on the bed when we got home.  As well as Sirdar Denim, there's some clearance cotton mix yarn, clearance Snuggly and a few other bits and pieces.  I calculated that I paid just over £2.00 per ball on average - not bad for Sidar yarns. 
This has all been safely stored away with all my other recent woolly purchases.  Mark was remarkably understanding about the amount of wool I bought, given that it was all a great bargain, BUT I am banned from buying anymore until some of it has been made up!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

The Greens and Golds of Early Autumn

My next door neighbours' tree has inspired this post.  It's always gorgeous at this time of the year.  I'm hoping that it will survive the horrible weather that is due to start tomorrow.
Today's walk took us past this mass of orange berries.

I also spotted all this bright green young mistletoe..

At the junction of several lanes the leaves on one tree have turned faster than the others..

While there were many beautiful trees by the canal...

It's been a real bonus to have such decent weather for a whole weekend.  I've pottered around - buying more wool, doing a food shop and a couple of hours of school work.  Mark has spent the whole weekend outside - clearing a tree from the back garden (that had got way too big and unhealthy) and tidying up his garage and shed.
This week kicks off with a long day tomorrow.  My Year 11 Diploma students are putting on a Solo Recital Evening.  They've each got to stand up and perform four pieces, back to back.  To make it even more demanding, they also have to chat to their audience as they instroduce each piece.  It's one of those evenings where I know I'll get completely wrapped up in their performances and will be exhausted by sympathetic stress!
On the subject of stress - I had a very good conversation with the Deputy Headteacher last week which left me feeling a bit more re-assured about the whole situation at work.  I still don't trust any of them, but I do feel as if they took account of my feelings in the recent upset.  At this stage I don't really think I can ask for more.
Wishing you all a good week.