Thea and Marcus invited us over to Kent for little Katie's baptism. Katie looked very cute in all her white pretty baptism clothes - and she even had a pretty little bonnet on as well (photos will hopefully follow soon).
After the ceremony (with another 3 little ones being baptised on the same day) all the family and friends went back to Thea and Marcus' for some very tasty food. I'm not sure how everyone managed to fit in the house - perhaps Thea has a bit of a tardis house? Any how - there were tons of people there, even some that I haven't seen for years. We all had a laugh - and us sisters also got together for a bit of a dance to Abba.
Rich and I have been engaged for two months today! To mark this occasion we would both like to say thank you to everyone who has been so kind to congratulate us and help us celebrate. We have received a huge number of cards (as you can seen in the photo) and they are all so lovely - especially the ones which people thoughtfully made for us. Thanks also to distant friends and even parents of friends - we are so touched that everyone is so happy for us.
Rich and I have a long way to go with planning the wedding - but when we have some more definite details we will be letting people know. We look forward to seeing you all there!
Jess learns Java
Some of you may already know that I have spent some time trying (a little unsuccessfully) to learn how to program in Java. I did a little bit of it at Uni - but our tutor was terrible and it never made much sense. However, it did give me a bit of a taste for programming which a good friend from work then tried to expand on. After a year of finding the odd evening to try and get to grips with Java my life got too busy to continue... but I didn't give up on it entirely. My fantastic boss at work tried to get me booked on a rather expensive course (£1600!) which this week I finally got to attend!
I've had a really great (but very challenging) time trying to keep up with a group of professional programmers, but I did manage it (just!). I really loved having the chance to do this - and maybe one day it will prove helpful in a future career?
Fidget comes to stay
Today is a good day in the Fuzzy household as a new family member has come to join us - cue drum roll... lets all give a warm welcome to Fidget the hamster!
I've wanted to own a hamster since I was a girl, but seeing as we always had a cat in the house my parents sensibly didn't let me. Seeing as I'm not going to be getting a cat any time soon :-( Rich agreed to letting me have a hamster instead.
Fidget is still settling in and getting used to Rich and I. She likes her new exciting cage (we went a little crazy with rotastak), running around like a mad thing in her ball and for some reason blocking up one of her rotastak tubes... When she has settled in a little more (and we get her sitting still for a minute) we will take some photos of her for you all to admire.
Yorkshire engagement party
Rich and I headed up the country for a long weekend so that we could catch up with all his Yorkshire based family and celebrate our engagement all over again :-)
Rich's Mum and sister spent ages preparing and putting together a fantastic feast (see the photo on the left) which then got quickly demolished by all the hungry family members... oh alright, I ate most of it! In fact... I may even have finished off the last of the delicious potato salad, yum :-)
I was quite nervous about the party beforehand, but all of Rich's family made me feel so welcome - and little Drew and Ela kept me so distracted that I soon forgot about any nerves.
Thanks so much Rich's parents for giving us such a great time!
Chocolate engagement party
Rich had the fantastic idea of having some sort of chocolate engagement party while he was lying awake with jet lag after our trip to America. The idea turned into more of a 'go out for food and then come back and eat lots of chocolate' - but it still proved very popular with 15 people deciding to trying and cram themselves into our little flat.
We all went out to one of our favorite restaurants called 'Annas' which serves some very tasty Thai food, then we all had to dash back to Croydon to meet up with the rest of the group. Chocolate was served to all - Rich and I had spent a bit of cash on some very tasty chocolate from the 'Hotel Chocolat' shop in London.
Rich did a fun quiz that went down well, and one of our friends came up with a party game that left Rich and I tied together for a large portion of the evening. All the photos can be found in the photo gallery
Oh yes - that wonderful day has come around again! Tasty pancakes for all!
Rich seemed to think that we would be just having a few pancakes as a snack before moving on to our normal dinner - am I the only person that expects to have a dinner of just pancakes and nothing but pancakes on pancake day?
Our pancakes turned out pretty well apart from us being unable to flip them as they kept sticking to the frying pan in a very obstinate way. I even made a pancake with a 'J' written on it, by using the method of pouring out your letter in batter a little before you put all the batter for your pancake in.
Perhaps it wasn't the best idea filling up so much on pancakes though as I felt pretty stuff just before having to run about lots at Taekwondo.
Chinese New Year
Ah - Chinese New Year: Fireworks, parades, yummy food, martial arts displays... all happening in sunny London.
Ruth, Rich and myself again wandered into London (for the third year running) to see and enjoy the new year celebrations that our good mayor had organised. We were a bit disappointed by the parade though, as it was so very short this year - and there didn't seem to be that much which was very good, apart from those very cute Chinese Lions (see the photo).
Ruth did take us out for a delicious Chinese meal though - we feasted on crispy duck, beef with cashew nuts and lamb with lemon grass... so very, very tasty :-) After food, a quick look at the displays and a bit of retail therapy (I bought another lantern and a little Chinese Lion) we all trundled off home.
Hooray for Valentines day! Rich and I had candle light fish and chips (yum!) and then went out to the theatre to see a performance of "Dick Barton".
Dick Barton is loosely based on the very old BBC radio show. The orignal radio show was broadcast in the 1940's and 50's and was completely serious, the recent theatre productions of it are just incredibly silly - and tons of fun. Sadly it seems as though this current production of Dick Barton (the making of a legend) may well be the last, as the company that make the productions have been having troubles getting the BBC to allow them the rights to do another show.
Last week I did my 5th Kup grading (going for blue stripe) - and I got myself very, very nervous beforehand. Because I missed the previous chance to grade I had to go to a different club with lots of different people that I didn't know. And if that wasn't bad enough it turned out that I was the only one grading for my new belt - so Jessica got lot's of 'individual' time to show off (eek!).
In spite of all this I still managed to do okay (though I wasn't too happy with my kicks) and I managed to pass. The examiner even thought I did really well - and so I won the grading award!!! (see the photo on the right of me holding it proudly). I'm so happy about this that I've been wandering around with a huge smile all week - I've never done this well before!
Today it snowed - hooray! Seeing as Rich and I missed a previous snowing while we were in New York we both got pretty excited by it snowing again today. Everything looks so clean and pretty (even the view from the back of our flat!) so we were sure to take lots of photos.
Sadly I had to go home early from work as I didn't feel so good, so I missed Rich's lunch time fun. He got to build a snowman and a tower! (Hrumph! *sulks*)
The next time it snows at work I am going to have to make a snow-brarian... I think a snow bun and glasses shouldn't be too hard to do :-)
Hot Fuzz - a film review by Jessica
Rich organised this trip to go and see a preview of the new Simon Pegg film "Hot Fuzz" at our local Odeon. The main reason I was interested in going was that there was going to be popcorn, we also got given a copy of the film "Shaun of the Dead" each as well as two "Hot Fuzz" posters - anyone want one of the "Shaun of the Dead" DVDs?
The film was very, very funny. Slightly sick in places (especially towards the end) but even so I still found it to be great fun - and I'm really squeamish. It's a great film with lots of unrealistic gore and stupid gun fight scenes - especially the shoot out in the local Somerfields.
If my review wasn't detailed enough for you then you could always look at the BBC one I guess...
Cooking for a chef
One of my good friends from Uni visited Rich and me in Croydon today. Aubs is hard to get hold of at the moment as he is very busy starting up his own food and event design business. But after playing a lot of telephone tennis we finally managed to arrange a time to meet up.
I have never cooked for a proper chef before (I usually only inflict my cooking on family and unsuspecting friends) and so I was understandably nervous. So nervous in fact that I managed to drop runner beans all over the floor, but Rich and Aubs made me feel better by teasing me about it for the rest of the afternoon. Dinner was a steak recipe by Jamie Oliver involving tasty steak, parmesan mash potatoes and the well travelled beans with carrots.
It all seemed to go well in the end, with a little help from Aubs and Rich I managed to produce a rather tasty lunch... maybe I'll make it for another lucky relative/friend sometime?