Wednesday 5 November 2014

Back from Blighty :) And a Halloween Bar-b-que!

Monday afternoon I arrived back home after my 11 days away in the UK.  I have to say that I had a lovely time, caught up with some old friends, finally met some people that I've previously only 'met' on-line and also met some super new people that I'd never spoken with before!  Of course I also spent some quality time with my mum and my brother John. So a really great holiday!!!

I was going to post photos of one of the highlights of my trip, the Chat n Snap, so well organised by Dee of Sasha Village, her husband Paul and their happy and talented band of helpers....however, having seen the photos from everyone, mine aren't so great so I don't think I'll do that yet.  Instead I will add other photos from my trip, and they'll be in no chronological fact the first ones will actually be from last Friday, when we attended a Halloween Bar-b-que at the Day Centre my brother attends, organised to help raise funds for a new minibus.

(The photos were taken with the kind permission of the staff and clients, I don't recall all their names so will just add Christian names if I know who they are :)

The day was beautiful, really mild and sunny for the end of October and so we were able to sit outside.  The clients and staff really got into the spirit of the occasion by dressing up in fancy dress...there were some very scary ghouls, vampires, witches and wizards, amongst other great outfits!  I even spotted an Elvis hidden in there!  My mum and I didn't dress up (although some of you might say otherwise ;) ) but my mum spent hours making and decorating more than 60 cupcakes to take with us.

The lunch was very tasty and perfectly cooked on an outside grill by several members of staff.  We had hot dogs, burgers in rolls and jacket potatoes, salad, cheese and coleslaw.  We also had the most delicious homemade soups, pumpkin or vegetable.  Both were lovely, definitely the best veggie soup I've ever tasted and the pumpkin was great, so much so that I'm going to try making it myself!

Here's my mum and my brother John enjoying their lunch.  I'm not sure what my brother is dressed as, he has an eccentric style all his own! 

Back outside, here is John again with one of the members of staff, sorry but I don't recall this man's name!!  **** Update - this is John the Caretaker apparently! ****

Jonathan decided to join us at 'our' table....I've known this young man for many years and was admiring his super tee shirt....which apparently he got in the US for a bargain price!  Lucky fellow!

Here's John again with another member of staff, I'm afraid I forgot his name too but do recall he was a nice young Italian chap!! ;)  That mask is pretty horrible though!!  Italian or not, I'd not want to run into him on a dark night, if he was wearing that ;)  **** Update: this young man is called Tony! ****

You'll have gathered by now that my brother loves to have his photo taken!!!  Here he is again with his friend Tom who was wearing this brilliant, and scary, werewolf mask!   This was the first time I'd met Tom and he told me that he'd "heard all about me!"  Thankfully he added "all good!" Bless him! ;)

This young man, another client, asked me to take his photo.....I do know his name but have forgotten it, if it comes to me I'll add it here later.  ***** Update: after describing this guy to my mum over the phone, I'm told it is Paul ****

Members of staff, dressed as witches, serving guests with a plentiful supply of tea and coffee....and Halloween cakes too of course!!

This "Two Faced" apparition is Karen, a lovely lady who works at the Centre.  How she kept this extra head in place all day amazed me!!!  I had to laugh when I realised that as I was talking to her, so I was turning from one head to the other, so as to 'include' both of them in the conversation! DOH!!

Had to include a few photos of things I saw around the Centre, this handsome chap wasn't dressed for Halloween though.  I'd have loved to bring him home with me, wouldn't he make a great model in my doll/sewing room?!  Not sure I'd have been able to fit him in my suitcase for the journey back to Spain though!! 

I liked this hand written sign I saw on the wall of one of the rooms! (No, I wasn't snooping around the rooms, a member of staff told me to go and look at the displays, so didn't want to miss that opportunity!) 

And a nice, thought provoking poem written by a member of staff:

Back to the main hall and here's Elvis!!!  Or could it be one of the clients in disguise perhaps?

I think client Alan is as bad as my brother, he asked me several times to take his photo!!

After the BBQ everyone went back to the main hall where there were raffles, face painting, competitions and a disco.  One competition was to "guess the weight of the pumpkin".... the pumpkin was actually grown by the clients as they grow LOADS of different vegetables.  I don't recall the exact weight but it was a little under 10 stones!!!!  That is one BIG pumpkin! :)

A bit of boogieing going on here:

I believe this young lady is Melissa, she enjoys having her photo taken!

More clients strutting their stuff!  And great client artwork decorating the walls!

A bit of a 'waltz' happening here between client Melissa and a member of staff....whilst in the background a purple haired witch sits and watches all the fun :)

John's still smiling, though maybe my mum by now is feeling the effects of having stood making and decorating Halloween cakes for hours the day before! 

Finally, oh yes it's John again....this time with Cheryl, a lovely member of staff, dressed in a very fetching blue, silver and black witches outfit! 

We had a really great afternoon, and Lea, if you read this, I hope you'll pass on my thanks to everyone for letting me take their photos and for making us so welcome! :)


  1. Nice to have you back Sharon. Looks like you went to a great Halloween party there! Some great costumes and everyone enjoying themselves!
    Hey your Mum doesn't want a job making 60 gingerbread men in time of a wedding does she? Those cakes she made look delicious I'm sure she a dab hand with gingerbread!
    Hugs Dee xx

    1. Thanks so much Dee, it's nice to be back! And thank you again for such a lovely time on the 23rd!
      Erm, well I would ask her about the gingerbread men, she is very good at those too, but poor woman is probably still recovering from all those cakes!!!! Her back was really hurting her for a few days afterwards, bless her!!!

  2. Hi Sharon, great to read you had a lovely vacation! First of all, those cakes look so so delicious! The Halloween party seems to have been so much fun, everybody's costumes and masks are great! LOL for you talking to the lady's second head too! I think that's an automatic reaction, out of habit :-). I look forward to your other photographs too :-). Hugs xx

    1. Thanks very much Night Owl! I did indeed and the time went very quickly! It was so much fun to meet dolly friends too :)
      LOL, honestly it was so funny when I was talking to the false head.....just my polite upbringing I guess ;)

  3. First up, glad you had a good trip to the good old UK! Bet the canine crew was glad when you returned home though :)
    What a wonderful place the centre is, everyone looks so happy and relaxed there. I love the outfits and as for those cakes...mmmmm!! I do love cake :)

    1. Thanks so much Ronny, it's so nice to see you commenting on our blogs again, we've missed you lots!
      Oh those doggies licked me to death and have been squashing themselves into my sides on the sofa ever since!! They acted like I'd been gone for months! :)
      The centre really is a nice place, the staff are lovely and the clients do indeed seem to enjoy themselves, thank goodness! :)

  4. It was lovely to meet you at the CnS and I'm sure your photos of that event are better than you think - I took loads and only shared the better ones.

    1. Thank you Anna, and yes, it was lovely to meet all the dolly people that until now I'd only met online!
      Well I looked at mine again after reading your comment and honestly, they are not too good at all. I don't know what was the matter with me, but my photos are NOT good! :/

  5. I LOVE this post. Everybody looks so happy. The costumes are great fun, too. John was obviously delighted to be your host for the day.
    Congratulations to your Mum for the cake making - good thing I wasn't there as I'm a champion cake eater and they do look delicious. Congrats also to the giant pumpkin grower! What a whopper - puts Bruce's 34 lb one to shame.
    Jenni x

    1. Hi Jenni, lovely to hear from you....I hope you're feeling better since we last spoke!
      Yes, it's a happy place, thank goodness, and my brother loved having us there I think! My mum is a volunteer worker there and goes in once a week to help with the art projects and stuff that they do there, so it was very nice to join them both there on Friday last.
      (Not to mention the nice food! ;) )
      I too am a champion anything eater, but I was restrained, and had just the one cake :)
      Honestly their pumpkins were enormous!!!!!! I will have to try and find out if anyone took photos of them.

  6. Sharon what a lovely post. I have been to quite a few parties like this over the years with our kids and really enjoyed each one. It's nice to see John dressed up in his Halloween outfit and that your dear mum Margret managed to get home in time to make her cakes, lol.
    Love the poem too. Steve xxxx

    1. Thanks so much Steve, and yes, mum did in fact make a start on those cakes the evening after we'd been to yours....poor woman, she was exhausted!!! I can imagine with three children you've been to a lot of events like this, and enjoyed every one of them! We used to regularly go to the discos, but they don't have them much anymore, they tend to do things like this instead which take place during the day.
      Isn't that poem sweet!

  7. What a great FUN post seeing everyone joining in with the dressing up and thoroughly enjoying themselves.
    I bet that you were so pleased to have been over in the Uk at that time and taken part and seen what a wonderful happy and helpful environment this day centre is.
    Scrumptious looking cakes that your mother made, like Simple Sasha,I just LOVE cup cakes! Not sure that I could have limited myself to only ONE though! They've made me feel quite hungry so luckily my meal is already in the oven.

    I really enjoyed meeting you at the CnS although would have loved to have chatted for much longer but I'm only too aware of just how time flies when you're having such Sasha fun.
    Pleased to hear that your little 'doggies' missed you and so gave you a warm, although somewhat wet, welcome home.,

    1. Thank you Kendal, glad you enjoyed it! It was perfect timing, wasn't it! Actually, to be honest when my mum told me about the event and how we were both invited to it, I made sure that I was there that big longer so that I could go! It is such a happy place to go every day and I know my brother hasn't any complaints!
      The cakes were very nice, just normal sponge with coconut, but very tasty!!! Mum had some mixture left over so made a 'loaf' which I had a couple of pieces of afterwards! ;)
      I enjoyed meeting you too Kendal but as you say, the time went so quickly!!! I certainly had a lot of Sasha fun too! :)


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