Friday, 12 February 2016

The Little Things

Read | I'm reading Remember Me This Way by Sabine Durrant.  I've only read the first three chapters, but so far so good.
Watched | I went to see Spotlight last night.  It's the true story of how the massive scandal of child abuse within the Catholic Church in Boston was investigated and revealed by the Boston Globe newspaper. It's an excellent film and I'd recommend seeing it.  The subject matter is obviously harrowing but it is handled well in the film, and whilst there are a few verbal descriptions of the abuse it is not actually acted out in detail on the screen, which was a relief.
Heard | Quite a lot of podcasts reporting on the latest happenings in the Adnan Syed case.
Made | I made bread on Monday, pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, tomato soup on Wednesday and a vegetable curry on Thursday. 
Worn | The gloves and scarf have come out again, now that it has turned colder.
And Lastly ... This is what I'm doing for Lent this year ...
I found it on the Dorothy House Facebook page.  Dorothy House is the local hospice and I'll be donating the forty items to one of their charity shops. 

Thanks to Morgana for organising this weekly link up.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Snap | Arrows

I've been on the lookout for arrows to photograph for the scavenger hunt.  Here's the ones I've found so far which I'm showing today for Helena's Snap meme.

 Thanks for organising this Helena.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Winter Photography Scavenger Hunt | Puddles, Berries, Arrow

Photos from Castle Combe again, but this time it's some for the Winter Photography Scavenger Hunt.
No 6 | a puddle, all of which could double up for a couple of the other prompts as the puddles have reflections of either a chimney (no. 16) or trees which have lost their leaves (no. 9).

 No 7 | berries, a choice of orange or red ...

and finally, No 19 | an arrow, although to be honest, I'm not sure if this can really be classed as an arrow or is it just a pointer?

Monday, 8 February 2016

Memorandum Monday

Waving to you on this rainy Monday and hoping you all survived last night's winds courtesy of Storm Imogen.
This is another photo of Castle Combe, especially for Sian.  It was taken yesterday, standing by the side of the Market Cross to look back down The Street.  The structure you can see in the centre of the photo is the remains of the buttercross; dating from medieval times, the buttercross is where the villagers used to gather to buy locally produced butter, milk and eggs.
Driving to Castle Combe is also my 'first' for this week.  I've lost count of the number of times I've been to the village but as I was leaving home yesterday, I realised that I've always been the passenger in the car and have never actually driven there myself.  I had to resort to the dreaded satnav to get there, which did its usual creative route, so I suppose another 'first' is seeing parts of Wiltshire I've never seen before!
Thanks go to Sian at From High in the Sky for organising this meme.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

5 in 5 | Castle Combe

Here are my photos for this month's 5 in 5, kindly organised by Sandie.
I'd organised a photo walk around Castle Combe and that's where these were taken.  First thing this morning it was raining so hard that I thought we'd have to cancel but we decided to meet for coffee anyway and were lucky enough to arrive in the village just as it stopped raining and the sun came out.  The rain held off for the next hour, so we all managed to get a good selection of photos.  Most of the ones I took were for the Winter Photographic Scavenger Hunt but this selection for 5 in 5 was taken as we walked into the village from where we'd parked the car.
I love this sign and have been meaning to photograph it for ages ... and now I have!

Walking up through the main street  (simply named 'The Street'!) I saw this house name ... I think I'd feel completely at home living in Reading Room Cottage.

Reading Room Cottage is in this rank of cottages, mainly photographed for the chimney pots.

Taken in the Market Place.  You can see the church behind the cottage but unfortunately we couldn't photograph there today as there was a service in progress.

This rank of cottages is on the other side of the Market Place and is where we tried, unsuccessfully, to photograph a robin. It was on the ivy clad wall in the bottom left hand corner of this photo, but it didn't want to play nicely today so we all ended up with blurred shots of it disappearing off the edge of the shot.

Rain stopped play at this stage, so it was back to the pub to share our morning's efforts with each other.  It never fails to amaze me how we can walk around together yet all manage to see different things.  I was chilled through so sitting in front of a roaring log fire with a huge mug of hot chocolate was a thoroughly pleasant way to round of the morning.
Thanks for organising this photo meme, Sandie.

Friday, 5 February 2016

The Little Things

Read | I'm reading The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins for my book group.  In between I'm reading 'What if Harry Potter, the Chosen One, had turned out to be a squib', part of a series of 'what if' rewrites of the HP books by a fan.
Watched | I haven't really watched much lately and I've had to rack my brains to come up with an answer ... I watched the first of the new series of 'Vera' and, for the first time in ages, I watched the latest Silent Witness.
Heard | Mostly old favourites ... Bowie, of course, and lots of 70s and 80s pop music. 
Made | I've been preparing music folders for the new starters at the band.  An intake is usually only about 5 children but this time, following the presentations I did in some of the local schools, there were 24 - all keen and eager to start learning to play.  We didn't have anywhere near enough folders for them, so that's what I've been doing with my time.
Worn | It's been a black and white sort of day - I need to get on and catch up with the laundry so that I've got some brighter colours to wear!
And Lastly ... I've bought some spelt flour to have a go at making my own bread.  We used to have a bread maker which Ced used to keep us supplied with fresh bread.  Well, I no longer have the bread maker (no room for it now), so will be making it from scratch myself, using my mum's recipe. I've found the loaf tins, bought the rest of the ingredients, so there's no more excuses ... Monday will be set aside for bread making!

Thanks to Morgana for organising this weekly link up.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

The Simple Woman's Daybook | Thursday 4th Feb 2016

Outside my window ...  it's pitch black. 
I am thinking ... about the cabinets, etc, I want in the revamped kitchen.  It's been measured and I'm going to see the designs next week.  It's so small that there's not really any scope for changing the layout but I'm determined to get rid of the gloss finish cabinet doors I currently have!

I am thankful ... for the mild weather we are having. 

In the kitchen ... the cupboards are bare - it's time to restock.

I am wearing ... blue skirt and cardigan with a white blouse - I've been out for a coffee with a friend and I haven't changed my clothes yet.

I am creating ... lists, lists and more lists ... all to do with the improvements I want to do around the house and garden.

I am going ... to have an early night.  I'm suffering from the January/February blues, am not sleeping well and am tired all the time.

I am wondering ... whether it is time to change my car. The speedometer is playing up now, so it has to go back in the garage next week for that to be sorted. 

I am reading ... The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. Actually, it's a re-read for one of my book groups, which I've read a couple of times before and I'm still enjoying on my third time.  I've just finished The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer for my other book group. It wasn't at all what I was expecting but I did enjoy it and read it straight through in one sitting ... I thought the ending was too rushed and didn't match the pace of the rest of the book.
I am hoping ...  to find a daytime choir/choral group to sing with.  I'm on the waiting list for one group, but will keep looking just in case that doesn't work out.
I am looking forward to ... a trip to the Museum of London to see an exhibition of the Metropolitan Police's Crime Museum.  I'm going next weekend.
I am learning ... all about Canon camera lenses.  I'm trying to decide which one (or two!) to buy.
Around the house ...  it looks like a bomb has hit it.  There are piles of stuff in every room as I sort through and organise what is going to the charity shop next.  Most of Julie's stuff has gone now so I have access to the smallest bedroom again and will be moving in there while I have the master bedroom decorated. 
I am pondering ... whether to get Netflix.  I don't watch a lot of TV but I would like to watch some of the older series I missed and also catch up on films I've yet to see.  I had a quick look on a friend's Netflix account to see what's currently available and it is tempting.

One of my favourite things ... chili hot chocolate - my latest discovery!
A few plans for the rest of the week ...
  • Friday: teaching for a couple of hours, the rest of the time at home sorting out piles of books for disposal
  • Saturday: band practice in the morning followed by an afternoon with Julie, supporting her as she chooses her new kitchen
  • Sunday: photo walk in Castle Combe with friends
  • Monday: nothing planned
  • Tuesday: teaching in the afternoon and the book group meeting in the evening
  • Wednesday: nothing planned
  • Thursday: nothing planned
A peek into my day ... this morning was spent catching up with some paperwork for the band, followed by coffee and cake with a friend this afternoon and an evening at home doing nothing very much at all. 
A favourite quote for today ...
"Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple." Dr Seuss

Monday, 1 February 2016

Winter Photography Scavenger Hunt | Link Up

Sorry, I'm a day late with this post - I've lost track of the days and the end of the month took me by surprise!

We're two months into the scavenger hunt, so I'm posting this linky so we can see how everyone is getting on. 
I have three photos to show today, but will be back with another post as soon as blogger starts to play nicely and lets me add the rest of my photos.
No 1 | a robin redbreast
No 4 | a star (from a beautiful Christmas card made by Miriam)

No 5 | a snowman

I've taken photos for most of the prompts now so I just have to find the time to upload them.  I still have to sort out one for a windy day, which is proving to be more difficult than I thought it would be. 

How are you all getting on?  Please add a link to your scavenger hunt posts so that we can see your photos and leave lots of encouraging comments! It's not too late to join in.  The closing date for the Winter Photographic Scavenger Hunt is March 21st 2016 - click here to find the full list.


Thursday, 21 January 2016

Taking a Break

I seem to keep running out of time and something has to give to save my sanity, so I'm taking a short break from blogging.  It may only be until the end of the month (and most likely will not be that long) and then hopefully things will return to normal.
See you all soon ...

Monday, 18 January 2016

Memorandum Monday

I've been racking my brain (didn't take long!) to see if I have any firsts to report, but I'm not sure that I do.  I've been out and about quite a bit but there's nothing I haven't done before - lunch with friends, band practice as usual, photo walk along my usual route around the village, book group, games night and a couple of trips to the cinema.  But as for anything new ... can't say there has been anything ... unless ...
Does taking on the role of secretary to the band count?  As well as being one of the musical directors of the band I have also taken on the responsibility of the secretarial role.  I've performed lots of the tasks when I worked in an office in the dim and distant past, but this is the first time I've ever done these things for the band.  It's going to be interesting is all I can say!
Taking on the additional role satisfies my wish to do some voluntary work in my retirement (the band is a registered charity) but I still plan to keep my musical responsibilities as well.  It'll keep me busy, but I'll be busy doing something I love.
I'll be back tomorrow with more of an update.  Hope you're all well and are having a good week.
Linking with Sian at From High in the Sky.