Thursday, 15 November 2018

Take Three Thursday

I'm sharing three photos for Mary-Lou's Take Three Thursday, where we are asked to share three photos that are linked in some way, for example either by theme, colour, date, movement, points of view.

I haven't ventured far for my three photos today, choosing to capture images of what's happening in the garden right now ...

crab apples - too small for culinary use so left for the birds to enjoy

Hydrangea 'Fire and Ice' - the last few petals 

the end of it's autumn display, the last few leaves on the euonymus
Many thanks to Mary-Lou for organising this each week.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Organising: Days 2 and 3

Day 2: The shredding is done! All of it! Every single last bit of it! Done!

Day 3: I didn't get round to the bulk cooking yesterday and it's unlikely to happen today either - I need the electricity to stay on all day before I make a start, so bulk cooking will have to wait for now. Instead, I'll be listing the audio equipment for sale. A local company is offering cash for old audio equipment so I'm in the process of playing 'hunt the audio stuff' to decide what can be disposed of in this way, assuming that the company will make an offer for all of it.

Once I've finished that, the rest of the day will be devoted to sorting out some band music folders. It's a nice easy, but time consuming, job and is another of those behind the scene tasks which will make rehearsals so much easier in January. It also removes two large plastic boxes of music from the house once it is completed, so an added bonus for me!

Tonight I have three friends coming round. We'll be sharing a takeaway and then sounding out new/different ideas for meeting up. I'll be offering to host film nights (which has already been agreed so we just need to agree dates, etc.) and also sounding out the possibility of 'bring and share' meals. It'll be interesting to see what the others come up with.

Last night was the girl's night out with Julie, Lauren and Sue, and the welcome addition of Kelsey (Julie's third daughter). We went back to the monthly quiz but didn't win this time, coming in 2nd! We did win a bottle of wine for scoring the most points in round 1 and a £10 token for the team name that made the question master laugh - we called ourselves 'We Peaked Last Time' (when we won). We now have £50 in vouchers so we plan to go early to the next one and have a meal before the quiz starts.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Organising: Day 1

It's been the day for organising. I've spent all day working on various bits of admin, some personal but most of it was band related. Personal admin, once I looked at it properly, amounted to about one hours work - one letter to write and then filing. The band admin took the rest of the day and I'm still not finished. When I started there were four piles of papers each as high as the unit in the photo, and lots of sorting, filing, shredding and a 'not today' pile I've ended up with the five small piles you can see on the shelf in this photo ...

This is the new mahogany unit, placed below the wall mounted TV which you can just see at the top of the photo. It's a bit grainy as I forgot to reset the camera, but you get the idea of what it looks like. It's been invaluable as a collating table when sorting out all the documents today - I don't know how I managed without it! After today's effort I'm left with three of these piles to take to the storage room on Saturday for retention, my black and red music folders to be stored in my music room as they will not be used until January, and the final pile (the smallest with the yellow labels on top) is the 'not today' pile and I will need to deal with it later on. Luckily it was the kerbside paper recycling collection today so all of the unwanted paper has already left the house.

I've sorted out some books for donation to charity which A will collect on Wednesday, and one book to return to J which will also be collected on Wednesday. They, together with L, are coming round for the evening on Wednesday and will hopeful remember their diaries so we can sort out arrangements for meeting together over the next few weeks.

Tomorrow, I have to take some instruments to the repairer and, on the way home will stop off in the supermarket to buy the rest of the ingredients I need to make a start on the bulk cooking. I may even make a start on the shredding as well!

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Remembrance Sunday

The band has turned down requests to play at various Remembrance Services over the last few years due to the inexperience of the children but this year we decided that the main band was ready to take on the responsibility of playing at such an important event and we accepted an invite to play at the Westbury service.

It was freezing ... bright sunshine but a bitterly cold wind. There's always a lot of waiting in between playing in these sort of services but despite the fact that none of us could feel our fingers by the time we had to play, the children played beautifully. We're all really proud of them. 

Friday, 9 November 2018


The technician had just left after inspecting the furniture. Apparently the 'fault' is not a fault but is how the furniture is now made and, even if I asked for replacements the same problems would be visible and could possibly be even worse. He went on to say that this type of complaint was now the norm and I was lucky as it is even worse on darker fabrics! I asked what, in his experience, he thought the resolution will be and he said that as it isn't a manufacturing fault they are unlikely to uphold the complaint. Not good news, but then he went on to say that he used to make furniture so knew how to make it look better and proceeded to fix it for me at no charge (to me) by hammering the piping into a different shape and position to cover the staples. I'll be interested to see what the company says but it now looks so much better and I'm happy again.

Yesterday's tiredness seems to have resolved itself. I'm putting it down to stress rather than a bug with maybe an element of adjusting to the new medication thrown in. I only have a few admin things to do this morning so have a fairly easy day ahead of me and will try to get out for a walk later if the rain holds off.

Thursday, 8 November 2018


This is my second day of reducing my blood pressure medication and I'm tired all the time. Yesterday I slept for most of the afternoon and evening, and then all through the night. Today, I'm up at my usual time, although woken by the alarm this morning, and I've already dozed off on the sofa while waiting for the kettle to boil. I'm sure it's a coincidence and nothing to do with the change in medication ... maybe I've picked up one of the many bugs that are being passed around?

Luckily I don't have much arranged today so don't have to go out if I don't want to. D will be here in a few minutes to continue the work on the bathroom and I am expecting a Tesco delivery this afternoon, but that's it. The time is my own to do what I want but I know it's not going to be the shredding because I caught myself thinking that I was too tired to consider doing that ... any excuse!!

It's raining on and off so I don't know whether I'll go for a walk or not. I was considering a pleasant amble along the canal towpath, complete with camera, but the weather isn't the best so ... I'm not sure. My reading chair is calling me!

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Some Progress ...

Thank you for your comments yesterday. The prize breakfast was huge and very tasty ... so tasty that I forgot to take a photo but here's a picture of the place itself, The Barn at Bathford.

A quick update on the complaint about the furniture .... the manufacturer has seen the photos and has arranged for a technician to visit to produce a report. Further action on their part will be determined by this report. The technician has already contacted me and arranged to visit on Friday, so not too long to wait. 

I spoke to Julie and Lauren last night and we've actually managed to agree a date to go to see the second Fantastic Beasts film. Lauren is booking the seats today. Finding a mutually agreeable date without someone (usually me!) having to change something already in the diary is a major achievement and I can't quite believe that we've managed it so easily!

The shredder has now been moved to the living room so I can get on with all the tedious and mind numbing shredding that needs to be done. I haven't plugged it in yet or actually shredded any documents but I'm counting this as progress.

I've done my 15 minutes walking for today. My knees are protesting a little now but I was expecting that and know that it will get easier if I exercise regularly. I think it'll take longer than expected to get back to the 30 minutes a day so will just take it slower than I'd planned.

I've found a local company that buys old video players etc. so have emailed them with details of all the items I want to get rid of. I'm not expecting to get much for them but it will be better than disposing of them at the skip. I've got my act together and have photographed some of the other items I want to sell so will sort out the adverts for that later this week. I also have an idea forming on what to do with all the cameras and accessories but need to do a bit more research on this before I take any action. Once I've dealt with all of this I'll just be left with some specialist books to sell and the decluttering project will be completed.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Ups and Downs

First the downs ... there's only one but it's a biggie ...

A close examination of the new sofa and reading chair made me very unhappy and I have made a formal complaint about the quality of the finish - on both items of furniture a line of staples, which I think are to do with attaching the piping and should be hidden, are visible. I went over to the store to see the display pieces but they are no longer on display. However, I'd taken photos and the sales person agreed with me, i.e. that it wasn't acceptable and gave me the details to make the written complaint. This has been done and acknowledged; the photos have now been sent to the manufacturer for their comments and proposed action, so it's a case of waiting to hear what they have to say.  

Thankfully, there are more ups ...

D and J are back today to finish the en-suite and will continue with the rest of the plumbing/tiling in the main bathroom without interruption until the job is finished.  

The film shown last night at Screen Unseen was The Old Man and the Gun starring Robert Redford and Sissy Spacek. I'm not sure that I rate it as a 'good' film that I'd rush to recommend to everyone, but it was an enjoyable way to spend an evening with a few laughs woven in. 

I feel ready to try the daily 30 minute walking again. My knees, whilst still painful, are no longer preventing me from exercising so I will start with 15 minutes and gradually build up to the daily 30 minute walk. The FitBit is recharging as I type this. 

I had some good news from the doctor yesterday. My blood pressure has improved sufficiently to try to reduce the medication I take daily so instead of the combination of three different medications I currently take, for the next two weeks I will only be taking two of them. He'll review it at my next appointment in two weeks and if the reading is still okay I will be able to come off that particular medication for good. I'm particularly happy about this as the medication that I'm stopping is the one with the nasty side affects on liver and kidney functions, so if I can manage without it I will no longer need the regular blood tests.

I've won the grand prize of two English breakfasts in a Facebook competition so I'm meeting L in about 30 minutes to claim my prize. I can't think of a better way to start the day!

Monday, 5 November 2018


We’re off to watch ODEON Screen Unseen tonight (where you don’t know which film you’ll be watching until it starts). We were very lucky with the last one, which was A Simple Favour, so fingers crossed for a good one tonight. All that’s promised is that it won’t be a horror film, won’t be one of the big blockbusters (so it won’t be the new Fantastic Beasts film) but will be a film which they believe will be a future classic and won't have been released for general distribution yet. 

It’s been a good week for films. Last Thursday we went to see Bohemian Rhapsody which was absolutely brilliant ... take tissues if you get emotional when you watch films. I've always liked Queen's music but wasn't an avid fan of the group so only knew a bit of the story and this film filled in some of the gaps. Next time I go to the library I'll look out for a biography of Freddie Mercury, if such a thing exists.

Yesterday I watch War Horse, another emotional film although strangely it didn't affect me as much as the stage show did. It's worth watching if you haven't seen it before and again, have plenty of tissues handy. Some of it was filmed in this area and for once I could place the location - usually I don't! 

When this was finished I made myself a snack and then settled down to watch Hugo. I first watched this a few years ago and enjoyed it just as much the second time. It does get a bit emotional at the end but I think I was a bit cried out from War Horse, so no actual tears were shed this time!

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will be released on November 16th so Julie and Lauren are taking me to watch it as a birthday treat. This is assuming we can find a date we can all make, something which is proving impossible at present!

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Living In The Moment

It's pouring down so I'm quite content to be warm and cosy indoors today. I don't have any plans for the day except to drift through, doing whatever grabs my attention.

My iPad had breathed its last! It was a gift from Ced about ten years ago, has been well used and will be missed but ... I'm not sure that I will bother to replace it. My first thought was that I need to rush out and buy another tablet but, after a little thought, I'm not sure that I do. If I'm honest with myself having the iPad in the living room, while both useful and convenient, was also a major time waster. I repeatedly found myself scrolling through the iPad while I was 'watching' a TV programme or 'reading' a book, but the truth is I wasn't doing anything properly so satisfaction suffered as a result.

I've been thinking about this for a while but the loss of the iPad has brought it to the fore. It's about being in the moment which often I'm not. The iPad stopped working properly on Friday morning so since then I have been fully focused on whatever activity I've been doing ... and that full focus makes every activity so much more rewarding. I've shocked myself with how frequently I've interrupted whatever I've been doing to reach for the iPad when there was nothing in particular I wanted to use it for ... it's become a habit, and not a very healthy one. 

I have the laptop in the playroom upstairs so there is no real need for a tablet downstairs and I think, once I've got used to it, I will feel happier and more fulfilled as a result. I'm convinced the change can only improve my mental health which will have a knock on effect on how many and what type of activities I choose to do. Time will tell, but for the next few months I plan to focus on living in the moment and see how it goes!