Wednesday, 29 June 2016


It's photos of flowerpot people for Helena's SNAP meme this week.  I saw the first one in a village I pass through on my way to a friend's house and knew I already had the other two images to complete the set.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Memorandum Monday

Waving to all my fellow Mondayers and hoping you're all well.  

I only really have one new thing to tell you about this week. I ran the annual games morning at band on Saturday so needed to come up with some new team building games for 8 to 13 year olds, which were suitable for all abilities and fun for both girls and boys. So I spent a good part of the week online researching games for the Saturday morning event and during the course of the week I learnt how to play lots of new to me team games. Luckily, there are plenty of ideas out there so a noisy, fun time was had by all. I think all the sweets and chocolate added to their enjoyment as well!

Thanks to Sian for organising this.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the weather improves this week as I have people coming to measure up for the garden landscaping.  Hope you all have a good week.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Five on Friday | The Little Things

Read | I finished reading 'Summer of Ghosts' by P.D. Viner.  I'm glad I finished it but I don't think it's made it to my list of books to recommend.  I also read 'Gray Mountain' by John Grisham - I haven't read any of his for a while and I enjoyed this story.  I'm now about half way through 'Scaredy Cat' by Mark Billingham - I've watched a TV adaptation of this a few years ago and can vaguely remember the story, but not enough to spoil my enjoyment of the book.

Watched | No, nothing again this week. 

Heard | Nothing that stands out - I've had the radio on in the car but at home have opted to enjoy some peace and quiet.

Made | I've made a huge dent in sorting the stuff in the spare bedrooms.  I'm about half way through the first attempt and am on track for over half the stuff to be donated to charity.  

Worn | I've lost over a stone (14lbs) now, so am able to wear some of the smaller sizes in my wardrobe - nothing new, but I haven't worn any of it for so long, it feels like it's new!

And Lastly ... today, I booked return train tickets, a 2 night stay in a London hotel and a ticket to see Les Miserables, all for the grand sum of £11 ..... plus some really old Thomas Cook vouchers which I won years ago and forgot about when Ced's illness took hold of our lives.  I found them again when I was decluttering and, to my surprise found that they were still valid.  So the July trip to London is sorted and I have enough vouchers left for another trip later in the year.  See ... decluttering does have its benefits!

Thanks to Morgana for organising the Little Things, and to Amy for organising Five on Friday.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016


A sequence in four photos for Helena's SNAP meme this week.

This is the clematis I'd thought was killed off in one of the many storms last winter - it was pulled off its trellis and uprooted, so I hacked off the majority of the growth and stuck the roots back in the soil (literally ... it was pitch black, pouring with rain and I could hardly stay upright in the wind) and somehow, it has survived.

Here are four of it's stages of life, all on the plant on the same day.

 Thanks to Helena for organising this every week.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Memorandum Monday

I've been racking my brain to come up with a 'first' or something 'new' that's happened in the last week but I'm struggling to think of anything much. I've only thought of one thing and to be honest, it's not a completely 'first' time for me, but is a 'first' time in a particular school (although I have done this before in other schools I've taught in).

I teach recorder to four year groups in this school and I arranged for them to play in assembly to the rest of the school.  These four year groups have all been learning their own part of a multi-part tune and the assembly was the first time they had all played it together to get the full effect.  All went well and they did a fine performance.

One of the parts is an ostinato (a repeated pattern of hand claps, words, and foot stamps) which was performed by the year 1s.  I then invited the children that I don't teach to join in on the ostinato, so with 3 year groups playing the recorder parts and 4 year groups performing the ostinato, the entire school (approx 260 children) including the teachers and TAs performed the same piece of music together. As I said earlier, I've done this before in other schools but this was the first time in this particular school. 

I've nothing else to write about so I'll wish you all a good week whatever you are doing.

Linking with Sian at From High in the Sky.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

All about ... this Summer

I thought I'd planned for a relatively quite summer but seeing the list of all the things I've booked/arranged, that doesn't seem to be the case.  It will be a fun summer so fingers crossed for some sunshine.

  • see the Simon King photography exhibition at Longleat
  • visit The Old Mill at Ramsbury
  • visit Tewksbury
  • spend a few days in London, when I plan to
    • see the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition
    • see Les Miserables
    • see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, parts 1 & 2
    • tour the Houses of Parliament
  • visit the Cotswold Wildlife park
  • visit Stratford on Avon
  • visit Swanage (for the morris dancing festival)
  • Longleat Balloon Festival

There'll also be the usual band events, quiz nights, photo walks, book groups, music events and meals with friends.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Five on Friday | The Little Things

Read | I'm still reading 'Summer of Ghosts' by P.D. Viner and I'm finding it quite hard going for some reason.  I'm just over half way through and the story has just started to grab my interest so I hope it stays like that to the end of the book.

Watched | I can't remember switching the TV on this week so, no, I haven't watched anything.  Either that, or my mind is going and I've forgotten!

Heard | Elton John, live at Longleat.  He was amazing.

Made | I've made a list of my summer plans so will be updating my blog with the list some time over the weekend.

Worn | I treated myself to two new tops.  Nothing special, just comfy short sleeved polo tops (one red, one blue), but it's nice to have new things to wear. 

And Lastly ... I'm off to Longleat again in the next couple of weeks, this time to see the photography exhibition by Simon King.  I'd originally planned to see it a month or so ago but with one thing and another I had to keep postponing.  

Thanks to Morgana for organising the Little Things, and to Amy for organising Five on Friday.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Decluttering and Organising | The Next Stage

I've had my rest from decluttering and organising and now am feeling up to the challenge of the next stage.

I took some books over to the National Trust at Avebury Manor for them to use in their fundraising pop-up book sales.  There were about 300 books in all, only about 100 were mine and the rest were Ced's - this was the first big clear out of any of his prized possessions and, as to be expected, it was an emotional experience for me.  I know it was the right decision but I still had a few tears about letting them go ....... I'm okay now though and can already see and feel the benefits.

The plumber is here today, sorting out the three toilets (none of them flush properly) and the immersion heater.  I just have to arrange for the central heating control to be changed and then that side of things is all finished. The new front door, soffits and fascias will be done some time w/c 14th July, and then I have to decide what to do next.  I'm still sorting out quotes for the patio and hard landscaping and working out how I can save costs on the garden side of things ..... I'm no longer using the landscaper I'd originally planned to use as I couldn't get a firm quote from him and it was getting more and more expensive. This work was supposed to be completed in August but I don't know how likely that is now.

Meanwhile, I'm carrying on with searching out all the stuff which can be donated to charity, and this is taking a lot longer than I thought it would. I probably have another two or three weeks effort to get to the end of this stage but it will mean that over half the stuff in the two spare bedrooms will then be gone.

It looks like an horrendous task doesn't it, but it's not as bad as it looks.  The bottom two pictures are the smallest bedroom and is already sorted (even if it doesn't look like it is!) - mostly things to sell, a few bits to keep, plus all the remainder of Julie's stuff for her to sort out.  The first two photos are of the bigger of the two bedrooms and is the room I'm currently focusing on - you can see why it is going to take me another two or three weeks!  My aim, as well as the sorting, is to also clear the wall at the end of the room (seen in the first photo) so that I can have some more Ikea bookcases built in.  Once they're installed, it'll be easier to organise the things I want to keep.

Progress report to follow!

Wednesday, 15 June 2016


As well as being for Helena's SNAP meme, this set of photos also doubles up for Rinda's Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt - No 10 | a bicycle

They were all taken at the Bedlam Fair in Bath.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt | First Photos

I've made a start on collecting the photos for Rinda's Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt.  I had a bit of a false start with some of my photos because I forgot to take the list with me; I took some photos of a patio only to check the list when I got home and find out that it should be a porch or decking - close but not close enough! These are definitely on the list though .....

No 1 | a wild heart, photographed at Job Mills

No 3 | a skeleton, bone or x-ray, discovered outside a local antique shop. 

No 10 | a bicycle, or in this case 3 of them, photographed at Job Mills

No 12 | a window, one of the stained glass windows in the Parish Church of St James.  I'd planned to photograph from inside the church but it was locked, so this was the best I could do for now.

No 16 | a map showing a trip taken, this shows one of my regular routes along the canal towpath.