Monday, 30 January 2012

Popping in to the Play Shop

A journey down south for me will not feel right without a visit to the Play Shop. With Morgan so diligently looking after the place, I had to go down and join in the fun too! :) Here's what we got up to:

Here is the painty hand tree that used to be much smaller, but now it got a lot bigger. Morgan blogs about the beginning of the tree, and it was lovely to see it actually in the shop! :)

Morgan showed me about the tiny little sock prints that happened right after the painty hand tree. They are SO cute.

This little boy collected all the balloons and then released them into the world!

Attacking Morgan with balloons! :)

A lovely, happy, together picture

We're painting the shop brown! There are now some lovely feature walls.

Then we painted balloons, and when they popped, they became a speckle-ly feature!

Balancing on cardboard tubes - looks a bit like a dance routine here.

So a little boy asked me to sit in this chair next to the window and then told me I had jumped off a cliff because I was aiming for a rock pool but then I missed so I got a bandage on my head and arms. I then was told that I ate a bad possum, so that meant I needed bandages to my legs. I was also then instructed not to move until next week.

The painty hand tree got bigger today! Yay, new hand prints! :)

Morgan tells me that this little boy normally comes to the shop and does little things quietly in the corner. Today, he came in and made a statement!

Here is a little boy in a box. That little face shows just how happy he is, and how this just sums up what PUAP is! :)

It was a lovely Saturday of play! The shop's gonna be open for another month or so, but if you have any ideas of what or how we could make this project stay for longer, please drop me a line. If you want to support our cause, have a quick look at the Pop-Up Play Shop website, and drop some pennies in our Paypal pot.

Hoorah for play, and yay for the Pop-Up Play Shop! :)

Sunday, 29 January 2012

To London, Bath, Cardiff and Back

After a crazy three day adventure, I'm back! I took lots of photos, and will show you the highlights of my trip.

I started in Manchester and then went to visit my sister and brother-in-law in London.

I went on the tube. Quite a few times. And didn't get lost! :)

I saw the huge Olympic rings in King's Cross St Pancras

I found Platform 9 3/4! Felt like I was in Harry Potter :)

After a quick cup of tea with my friend Nancy (at 8am in central London!), I went to visit my brother in Bath.

It rained hard for about 15 minutes and then it was lovely! Look at that sky!

I found the oldest house in Bath - home of the Sally Lunn Bun! :)

We had sushi from a conveyor belt for tea! :)

After visiting my brother I went to see my colleague Morgan in Cardiff! :) We spent the day in the Pop-Up Play Shop :)

I played with balloons.

Painted on the wall.

And got taken into hospital because I jumped off a cliff into a rock pool and missed, and then ate a bad possum. (More on this tomorrow)

I had a lovely little adventure and saw 5 awesome people! Eventhough I'm a little tired, it was a fun trip at a bargain price! Woohoo! :) I love adventures. More adventures coming soon! :)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The Amazing Mrs Beeton :)

My Dad had a random day off today so we went to explore some of his favourite places: antique shops! :) It was a miserable day today, but I really wanted to get out of the house, so the antique centers were perfect! Not only that, I found a book I've been looking for for ages! A Mrs Beeton! It's not the "Book of Household Management", but it's almost just as good:

For those of you who have no idea who Mrs Beeton is then allow me to explain a little. Mrs Beeton was a British lady from the Victorian time that wrote a book that taught ladies how to become domesticated and middle classy. It was a guide to everything from health issues to removing weird stains, keeping your accounts to how to dress for afternoon tea. It was an amazing book, a ground-breaking book if you will.

I've read some of the original book free on my Kindle app, and fell in love with it, so you can imagine how excited I was to find a Mrs Beeton book! It's like a little bit of history inbetween my little fingers! :)

Look at the illustrations!

That, in the middle, is a salad. Salads don't look like that nowadays!

And of course, look what Mrs Beeton can teach me:

Cake! :)

I think that I might have to try out some of these recipes soon. I'll keep you posted about how they go. I'm really quite excited! 

Oh, and as a wonderful side point: Mrs Beeton gives some advice about children in the introduction to this book, and it just says that children need to skip, jump and dance. Hahaa. Makes me happy. I may have to reference Mrs Beeton in my dissertation! :) Yay! :) Yay for antique shops. And yay for Mrs Beeton! :)

Monday, 23 January 2012

Happy Chinese New Year! :)

It's new year again! Hahaa! Nah, it's the Chinese one! We've entered into a year of the Dragon! And it already seems like it's going to be an interesting one. My uncle was busy preparing for CNY today by filling Red Pockets. Normally, children receive red pockets from parents and close relatives in celebration of the new year. Because Uncle's going to day care tomorrow and doesn't get to be all new yearsy, he's taken the jubilation to the center instead!

Here's uncle working very carefully to fill his Red Pockets with sweets.

And here are a pile of filled Red Pockets :)

A very happy new year to everyone! From me and the whole family! :) Hope that your new year is full of good things! Hoorah! :)

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Some Very Awesome People

I know a lot of awesome people. And today I'd like to tell you about some of them, and to help promote their work.

First on my list of today's awesome people is a lovely friend and colleague of mine. I blog about her first today because what she's currently highly relevant to my passion for playwork at the moment, and my involvement in Pop-Up Adventure Play. Her name is Morgan, and she is awesome. Here's her blog and here is my favourite photo of her in the Pop-Up Play Shop.

Weirdly enough, this photo has been shared with a load of knitting websites. Morgan's gonna be famous for a great number of things aside from playwork! Wooo!

If you're interested in the stuff that Morgan does, and would like to find out more, give me a shout and I can talk you through the process :)

Next awesome person of the day is my friend Ric. I've known him since college and he's awesome. He has a wonderful blog-type website where he writes his own short stories and shares them with the world. Go have a look! :) I did some photography for him a while ago and here is one of my favourites:

I love this photo. It seems to encompass all the things that Ric likes in the photo: books, writing and biscuits. :)

Next I would like to introduce to you my friend Claire. She's recently started a business selling cards and gifts in Rochdale near where I used to work. Claire is one of my playranging buddies, and the first person I've ever interviewed and employed. She's awesome, and I think it's wonderful that she's started up her shop - Forget Me Not. Here's my favourite photo of Claire and me.

All dressed up and smiley :)

Finally, I'd like to tell people about my sister and her cake making skills. She has, what the young people say, "mad skillz" and made her own wedding cake to prove it! She also made a cake filled with a rainbow once, and another cake that was very exciting and beady. Should you ever want a cake made, I whole heartedly recommend my sister Christabel, who really should have a website, but doesn't. However, I have lots of her cake photos. Here is one of her creations:

I do believe this was a cake for a surprise birthday party. It looked awesome! :)

If you ever want a cake made to order by Chris, drop me a line and I'll put you in contact with her! :)

Well, I'm gonna leave the awesome people posts for now. I think it'll do for today anyway. All of the people I know are awesome, but today I thought I'd give just 4 a bit of a boost. Perhaps you will feature here one day! :) Keep an eye on the blog to find out! :) Yay for awesome people! :)

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Corking Covers :)

I've amassed a wide variety of covers from various small music bands that I'd like to share. I quite like covers of songs, cos more often than not, they are much better than the original, and have had more thought put into them. Here are a few of my favourites...

Pomplamoose - one of the most creative but random bands ever

Boyce Avenue covering some Bruno Mars. Lovely!

An awesome version of Just a Dream by two wonderful singers.

He has too much to say at first, but it's worth waiting for to hear his voice :)

And finally, Walk off the Earth. I found them the other day and they are fascinating to watch! :)

These videos have kept me entertained for quite a while. Hope you like them :)

Monday, 16 January 2012

Celebratory Pie! :)

I finished another essay today so I thought I would celebrate by baking an apple pie.

It's the biggest pie I've ever made and it was awesome! Nice and golden on top, soft and sweet inside, and no soggy bottom! I'm dead chuffed! The people on the Great British Bake Off would be happy with this one! :) Yay! :)

Tomorrow I will hand my stupid annotated bibliography in. All 30 hours of work in a little file of scribbled on papers. Gosh. So much work. I'll be so sad if I don't pass. o.O

Anyway, yay for pie! :) And yay for finishing essays! :)

Friday, 13 January 2012

Nom nom!

After discovering the new Taco Bell in the Arndale on Tuesday, I thought I'd have an end of week Taco. 

They wrapped it upside down!

There it is, my lovely crunchy taco...! :)

Secretly I was hoping that it wouldn't be as good as the American ones.

Even more secretly, I hoped that is was just as good.

And they were just as good. NOM NOM NOM! Yay for tacos! :)

Creative Craft Project #1

For Christmas, I got a little pack of cards containing 52 creative project ideas for me to try out. Today, I thought I'd give one of them a go :)

I think it went quite well. Thank you Lee! :D

Stay tuned for more Creative Craft action! :)

Tuesday, 10 January 2012


I made an amazing discovery today!

Yay! T-bell!!! Woooo! Now Manchester really has got everything! I no longer need to go to the States for a quick taco, it's all here in my own city!! I'M SO EXCITED! Taco time will have to be soon. I'm thinking Friday....

(Incidently, I didn't make up the word Mexicunian - it was on one of the adverts in the Arndale. Made me giggle!)

Sunday, 8 January 2012

My Parents are Crazy!

Yes, those are home made sausages (which are a special Chinese dried sausage, bit like pepperoni, but sweeter I think). And yes that is the radiator at home. 

I have been informed that the kitchen will look like this til Tuesday. Madness!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

A New Year with Old Friends

I've spent the first few days of 2012 with lots of friends from all over the place! They all came to Manchester to come to see me (well, okay, some of them still live around here) but it was cool that I spent some quality time with lots of people that I really don't get to see as often as I'd like.

Up first we have my lovely college friends Lee (from Manchester), Shazia (from Rochdale) and J (who flew in from Kosovo), with the added addition of J's girlfriend! Woo! We went to play pool and have curry. Here's my representative photo:

Lee, Shazia, J and I have known eachother as a group (along with Jenny, Clare and Ric) for 10 years now! It's crazy really! :) And awesome too! :) And it warms my heart that I still know them so well :)

Next up is my lovely friend Valerie who came to visit from Singapore! Yay! :) I have not seen Valerie for about 5 years, and have known her for around 8 years. Wow. She came over to Manchester for a few days to show some friends around her old haunts. We ended up doing a load of shopping and then visiting Chester.

My unexpectedly posh looking hire car. (Lovely to drive too considering the car I'm usually in)

Some original old wall in Chester. Made the old fashioned way with sticks and mud! :)

Modernising ancient Chester.

Valerie!! :) And coffee.

It's been such a long time since I've seen Valerie, it's wonderful to know that our friendship is just the same. We're just as silly, and happy, and we get along just the same eventhough she's a high-flying lawyer now I'm I'm a lowly playworker. It was also lovely to meet her friends and be in the centre of some of the fastest conversations I will probably experience in 2012. 

Thank you all for a wonderful start to the year. You've all made it awesome, despite my stupid cold, and I hope to see you all again very soon! :) Yay for old friends! :)