Wednesday, 1 April 2015

91/365: A is for ... the Apple Glass

So far this year my decluttering efforts have been focused on the things I want to get rid of.  All very necessary as there is so much that needs to go, but this month I'm having a bit of a change and will be looking at the special items I want to keep.

Click here to see the list of blogs participating in the 2015 A to Z Challenge.
First up is the apple glass. 

The apple glass brings back such vivid memories of my childhood.  It was part of a set that was gifted to my Mum and I can remember so clearly the day she brought it home.  It was a surprise gift to my Mum as a thank you for demonstrating the work to someone who was new to the job.  The woman in question was Hungarian and only spoke a few word of English, but Mum somehow managed to explain what to do and, for a few weeks, kept an eye on her until she was settled in and at ease with the work.  The woman (I don't know her name) painted this herself and presented it to Mum.  Here's the full set. 
I must have been about seven years old and can remember Mum arriving home from work with a parcel - a box holding some things wrapped in tissue paper.  Mum placed the box carefully on the kitchen table and told us (my sister and myself) to sit down if we wanted to see.  I can remember we were still wearing our summer uniforms - yellow and white striped shirtwaist dresses with brown cardigans - and our brother who'd been looking after us moved to stand in the doorway, sort of casting his shadow over the table.  Mum carefully unwrapped each piece and placed them on the table, just looked at them, and then cried.  I think it was this emotion that made this memory stick so vividly in my mind. I can remember my 14 year old brother asking why she was crying (typical man!!) and then Mum explaining that it was just because someone had taken the time to paint this especially for her. 
The set was put in pride of place at the front of the glass display cabinet, which I think every household had at that time, and I can remember sitting in front of the cabinet from time to time just looking and checking it was still there!  My favourite piece right from the start was the apple glass, chosen I think because at that age I didn't like pears! 
Mum treasured this set until the day she died and I chose to keep them when we shared her things.  I can remember talking about the day Mum brought it all home and being shocked that the two siblings who were there with me had no memory at all of that occasion.  It's strange what we do and don't remember, isn't it?

Photo Pairs

My linked photos this week are showing ...


Linking with Helena's Photo Pairs.

The Alphabet Project | L is for Locks

It's one from the archives this week.  This photo shows one of the group of locks located between Rowde and Devizes in Wiltshire which form part of the flight known collectively as the Caen Hill Locks
Linking with PODcast's Alphabet Project.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

90/365: Mouse Mat

Mouse mat | going to the skip.  This was Ced's, from years ago.  When we stopped using mouse mats it was just put away and forgotten about.  It's past its best and anyway, I don't use a mouse mat now so there is no need to keep it. I've put it in the bag to take to the skip.
Well, that's March over and done with and I've achieved my target of getting rid of (at least) one item a day.  Tomorrow sees the start of April and the A to Z Challenge when I'll be looking at the various items I'll definitely be keeping.

Monday, 30 March 2015

89/365: Hand Made Cards

Hand made cards | donating to one of the local retirement homes.  I have quite a lot of cards that I've made at crafting events but which I have no interest in using for their intended purpose.  Whilst I've enjoyed learning the techniques and skills needed to produce the cards, the end results are too fussy and over-decorated for my tastes so they have just sat in a box and I know I will never use them. 
I may be a bit slow on the uptake but I now know that I prefer the CAS style (clean and simple) of card making, which is why I've been getting rid of a lot of the crafting supplies that I won't have a use for, and is why all of the sample cards are going as well.  I'll still use the techniques I have learnt, but in moderation to fit in with the CAS style.  To be honest, it feels like a bit of a light bulb moment to have realised that this is my preferred style and I can now see that I will definitely start crafting again, something I was unsure of until this month.  In the meantime, I'll be getting rid of the rest of the unwanted crafting materials.

Me on Monday

Me on Monday - it's been a lazy start of the school holidays sort of day so far. A doing very little and not feeling guilty about it sort of day. A reading (Gok Wan's autobiography), eating, drinking and not bothering to get dressed sort of day. 
This lazyitis (I don't know if that is a real word) is the result of the tiredness after a manic school term combined with the exertions of an extremely busy weekend.  On Friday I saw Alan Davies, the comedian, on stage in Swindon.  I've only really seen him in Jonathan Creek and on QI so didn't know what to expect from his stand-up routine, but am happy to report that I thoroughly enjoyed every single minute of his act and I laughed so much I couldn't get my breath.  He was hilarious and I recommend his act to anyone.
The only downside of going to Swindon is the long drive home - over an hour. It took ages to get out of the car park, at least thirty minutes waiting, so it was gone midnight by the time I got home and I was shattered - this was after a full day teaching that had started at 8:30am.  But ... it was already Saturday, there was no band practice and I could sleep in as late as I wanted.  Wrong!
At 7:30 on Saturday morning I was rudely brought out of a deep sleep by the door bell ringing.  I staggered downstairs to see what was happening - the first thought was an emergency of some sort - so I was relieved (sort of) to open the door and see my friends from Kent grinning at me.  This would be the friends I wasn't expecting until the afternoon, so after the initial shock/relief I managed to fix a smile/grimace on my face and welcomed them in.  Apparently they'd thought to surprise me and take me out to breakfast - well, they managed that alright! So I showered and dressed and off we went.  Breakfast led to shopping, which led to lunch, which led to a walk along the seafront at Weymouth (I don't know how we got there and annoyingly I didn't have my camera with me!), which led to an evening meal in a pub, which led to me (as the only sober one) driving home, which led to finding somewhere for them all to sleep.  I made it to bed at 2:30 on Sunday morning.
I have no idea where they got their energy from but we were up again at 8 o'clock on Sunday and off to look around a car boot sale, then out for lunch and I waved them off at about four in the afternoon.  Lovely to see them but also lovely to see them go on this particular occasion!
So, the rest of Sunday was spent calculating and submitting my invoices so that I can be paid, and then just curling up on the sofa and reading.  I was in bed by 9 o'clock and fast asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.
How was your weekend?
Linking with Sian @ From High In The Sky.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

88/365: Energy Monitor

Energy monitor | given to a friend.  This was provided free of charge by my energy provider and when I originally requested it, it duly turned up and was installed.  Then a week later a second one turned up, which I queried and returned as instructed.  There is obviously something wrong with their system as this is the third one, which turned up about a month after I'd returned the second one.  As they are free of charge I've passed it on to a friend who uses the same supplier.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

87/365: Wireless Router

Wireless router | given to a friend.  This router was installed for a while in the old house but never worked properly - I don't know if it is faulty or just wasn't set up properly.  I don't need it in this house and a friend was asking around for one so that's where it's gone.  He knows about the problems with it but wants it anyway!

Friday, 27 March 2015

86/365: Marker Pens

Marker pens | going to the skip.  These either have ruined nibs or have dried out, so will be dumped next time I go to the skip.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

85/365: More Coloured Pencils

More coloured pencils | to be given away.  When I found the other box of pencils I sorted out what I wanted to keep so everything in this tin will be going.  These will be given to the local women's refuge hostel (if they want them).

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Photo Pairs

I was waiting outside of my Friday school, pondering what I could do for the Photo Pairs this week when I thought of a photo I'd taken at the school a couple of years ago, on a sunny autumn day if I remember correctly.  I had my little snappy camera with me so I took another photo to pair with the older one, this time on a slightly dull spring day, but you can't have everything!  It's not a then and now pairing - this week I've gone for ...

The Alphabet Project | K is for Keys

Linking with PODcast's Alphabet Project and the letter K ...

Here are three keys from my collection.  From this angle they just look like ordinary keys.  They are  not a set; the one on the left is much earlier than the other two and, although the others look to be the same, the collars are different.  Have a look at the second photo to see what is unusual about them.

They are chatelaine keys and would have hung from the belt of the housekeeper in a large house.  When she looked along the shaft of the key she was able to quickly select the correct key, just by looking at the number.

84/365: Rusty Tweezers!

Rusty tweezers | going to the skip.  I think these tweezers were kept in the workshop for the odd occasion when he got bits of swarf caught in his fingers.  Anyway they are rusty and I have much better quality ones that I'm keeping, so these are off to the skip next week.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

83/365: Printer Bits

Printer bits | going to the skip.  These were part of the printer and ink system I took to the skip earlier this year. They are definitely not part of my current printer so are no longer required and will be taken to the skip next week.

Monday, 23 March 2015

82/365: Postage Stamps

Postage stamps | to go to one of my schools.  I found an envelope full of used postage stamps that Ced used to collect for charity.  I know that one of my schools has a collection box for just this purpose so I'll let them have these.  I just have to remember which school it is!

Me on Monday

I've been teaching all day but finished early enough to drive over to Corsham to collect my flute.  I stupidly dropped it (contrary to everything I say to my pupils about being more careful with their instruments!) and it was very poorly indeed, almost unplayable if that's a proper word.  It's been brought back to health by an extremely clever repairer - I'm fairly sure he was trained at Hogwarts - and is now as good as ever and so much easier to blow, which is a relief! I've missed being able to play it so am planning a little toot on it later on, once I've finished all the boring housework stuff that I can't put off any longer.
The start of my weekend was busy with the annual Easter Concert at band, followed by the Easter egg hunt for the children. Saturday was also the set date for the monthly Photo an Hour which I managed to complete again this time, and which you can read about here. If that wasn't enough, it was also the final day of the Winter Photographic Scavenger Hunt so I also updated my blog with the final photos.
Sunday was a lot quieter and, apart from feeding myself and drinking copious amounts of coffee, all I did was update my blog and then lots and lots of reading. I could feel myself relaxing as the day went on and that, combined with a reasonably early night and a good sleep, set me up for the final week of term.

How was your Monday?

Linking with Sian @ From High in the Sky