So we pick up this blog post from the middle of November 2022 and something we had not done since the early Summer.
Every few months we venture into Nottingham to spend an afternoon drawing; life drawing to be precise. Our friend, and burlesque performer, Scarlett Daggers runs an event called Dr Sketchy's that takes place above a pub in Nottingham and is aimed at artists of all levels. And because Scarlett is a burlesque performer the models are always from the world of burlesque and cabaret and we are even treated to a performance from one of the models.
Suffice to say Simon is able to produce some wonderful art work using his digital drawing tablet while I on the other hand stick to paper and pencil!
|A couple of my attempts|
|Simon with fellow 'winners' and Scarlett Daggers|
I, on the other hand, was just happy to produce something that didn't look too bad!!
The last week in November took on a decidedly Christmas theme as it was time to get prepped for a weekend of decorating. So prior to that happening there was a lot of organising and cleaning through that needed to be done.
Molly and Dan visited for that last weekend as I was not allowed to decorate without Molly being home! So we started late on Friday afternoon and by the end of Saturday we had everything in place, both inside and out. Which considering we had three trees indoors to assemble and decorate, numerous ornaments to place around the house, swags to hang and then two gardens to illuminate I don't think we did too bad.
|One of my three Christmas trees...this one is ALL Disney!!|
|And even R2D2 got in the act with Simon having 3D printed a special Santa hat for him!!|
It was then time for another week off work for Simon as he needed to make sure he used all of his holiday allowance before the end of the year. We had a day out shopping at Meadowhall, Sheffield with the aim of getting a little Christmas shopping done. So although no Christmas presents were bought we did come away with some new boots for Ethan (introduced him to the world of Dr Martens!) and some more Christmas lights for my garden and this time they were Mickey shaped ones!
Back home and with our shopping focus being online I took advantage of a price reduction and bought my first ever Disney Spirit Jersey...now these are a big thing with Disney fans and whilst there have been some lovely designs over the years that have tempted me they are not the cheapest purchase. But I couldn't resist this one as it combined my love of Disney and Christmas and at a price I was happy to pay!
And while I was shopping I couldn't resist picking up this decoration just for Simon!!
|Because every Christmas tree needs a dancing stormtrooper!!|
|Hotel Chocolat Advent Calendar|
The day started out a bit grey and foggy but as we ventured further north the weather conditions took a bit of a turn. It started with seeing reduced speed limit signs, along with signs warning of 'salt spreading ahead' and then everywhere turned wet which quickly turned into slush on the roads and before we knew it all but two lanes of the motorway were covered in snow! And that was all in the last five minutes of our journey. But we arrived safely and after a few hours spending time with Michelle (and shopping!) the weather improved and the roads were all clear for our return journey home.
But seeing Michelle did mean that we could surprise her with a very special Mickey Mouse figure...
|Michelle & Mickey!|
And then the day ended rather strangely and unexpectedly. We arrived home to find a lady wandering along the road to our house...she looked lost and so we stopped to ask if she needed help finding somewhere. It turned out that the lady was homeless and on seeing us asked if we had a phone she could use as she needed to call the emergency services as she wanted to 'kill myself'. At that I quickly phoned through for her and we then spent the next few hours trying to get her the help that she needed.
Both the ambulance and police services were reluctant to help explaining that it wasn't a job for the police but for the ambulance and vice versa! They were both experiencing severe delays and could not give us an estimate of when someone would be able to get out to help the lady. So in the intervening time we found a bench and supplied her with hot cups of tea, biscuits and a blanket to keep her warm as well as talking with her to see if we could figure out what had happened and whether there was anyone that could help her.
It turned out that she was under the care of a local trust who support the homeless so we decided to try and sort the situation ourselves by calling them. As luck would have it the person that Simon spoke to was an old school friend which helped make everything that bit easier. Ultimately we ended up driving the lady to the local trust just a few miles away and cancelling the ambulance. The police did call us back when we were enroute to advise us of the same information that we'd already found out ourselves. We explained what we were doing and they expressed their gratitude. We can only hope that the lady herself has been able to get the help and support that she very evidently needed.
On a lighter note...I did manage to complete two suitably themed jigsaws during the lead up to Christmas...
As we moved towards Christmas we had another busy weekend that saw a night out for me with the pre-school ladies and a busy Sunday for Simon as he was a guest speaker at Nottingham Video Games Expo.
Simon has been asked numerous times over the years to speak at various video game events about his career but has always declined. He is always much more focused on what he is currently working on rather than looking back at what has been. But as this expo was so close to home he decided to give it a go and see whether or not it was something that he would like to do more of in the future.
And Simon being the organised and professional individual that he is had spent the preceding weeks producing a presentation that documented his career making video games that spans over 35 years!! Check out his website for more details of his extensive portfolio! www.simonphipps.com
And this brings us to the last full week before Christmas. Ethan's last day at work was the 16th, as he'd got left over holiday to use up, while Simon had to wait until the 21st...and it is from there where I think the next post will pick up!