Monday, 16 July 2018

Me On Monday

Dotted in between my Monday morning waffling are the final photos from the art exhibition, 'Celebrating Art in the Garden'.

So, Monday finds me feeling raring to go in a gently-paced-let's-not-be-silly sort of way. This morning I'll pop over to see J for a few games of Rummikub and on the way back will call into the Town Hall to collect some folders and music. As part of the presentations on Saturday, the children being promoted to the junior band will swap their beginners' tutor book for their band music folder - I just have to get them ready! 

'The Ponderer' by Jilly Sutton MRSS

This afternoon I'll carry on with the bits and bobs of admin. There's nothing particularly important left to do, but it's very satisfying to get it out of the way. Once that's done, probably about a couple of hours work, I'll make a start on moving the remaining stuff from the old laptop. This is mostly photos, all of which are backed up on a separate hard drive, but I miss having some of my older photos appearing randomly on the screen saver so I'll select some suitable ones and find them a home on the new laptop.

'Old Salt' by Jilly Sutton MRSS

The exciting news of the weekend is that the guy who is going to do all the home improvements in late September, emailed to say he could make a start on some of the smaller jobs next week. I don't know which ones he'll choose to do, and don't really mind, but it'll be lovely to get things started. One of the things to do is a repair to the garden gate and part of the fence so if he decides to start work on those, what's the betting that it'll rain?

'Bruiser' by Dominic Clare

When I was sorting through paperwork for filing yesterday I came across the initial letter from the eye department at the hospital stating that I'd be called back for another eye examination after three months. Well, that appointment should have been some time in June but there's been no sign of it, so I need to phone the department and see what's happening. 

'I Was In Two Minds' by Dominic Clare
I can't think of anything else to tell you so I'm off to get my breakfast now - dippy egg with toast soldiers, black coffee and possibly some fruit to finish.

Sunday, 15 July 2018


I woke reasonably early today, starting my day by reading and commenting on some blogs, but then I seemed to have dozed off again. I must have been tired because I slept right through and didn't wake again until 11:50am. Thankfully I didn't have any plans at all for today so I'm not having to play catch up!

I had some toast for a very late breakfast, mainly so I could take my tablets, and since then have been pottering about. I didn't do the washing up yesterday so I did that after breakfast and then did a quick tidy of the kitchen. Once I'd finished that I moved back upstairs and have been really industrious sorting through random to-do piles and catching up with all the odds and ends of admin that I keep putting off. The windows are open, the fan is on, the blinds are closed and the house is lovely and cool. I'm actually enjoying myself! I've made the final payments on two of my August holidays, made a start on the certificates for the band presentations on Saturday, filled two bags with shredded documents (shredding = the most boring job ever!), sorted a big pile of filing, and have made good progress on some additions to my 'when I'm gone' folder.

I've just realised what the time is so I need to go and cobble up something to eat for lunch before too long. My knee is still not right but isn't as painful as it was yesterday. I'm reasonably sure that I've just pulled a muscle so will continue to monitor it but probably won't bother to see the doctor about it. 

Saturday, 14 July 2018


Well the garden is happy. We had some rain yesterday, not nearly enough, but the plants don't look quite so desperate this morning.  According to the weather app on my phone, the next lot of rain is due on Friday, so no real let up with the heat.

Later this mornng it's the penultimate band practice of the current academic year. The children are playing so well that it's a shame we are taking a break. This happens every year, as the standard drops over the summer break due to lack of practice, but at least they are enthusiastic when we return in September. 

This afternoon and evening will be spent quietly at home, movng as little as possible. I've somehow managed to hurt my other knee so, once again, walking is painful. It's nowhere near as bad as before and I don't think I've torn the cartilage as the pain is in the back of my knee, radiating down to my calf muscle. I haven't tried Dr Google yet but will probably give in and self diagnose. I will make a doctor's appointment if there is no improvement by Sunday. In the meantime it seems like the ideal opportunity to catch up with the reruns of Doctor Who on BBC iPlayer.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Take Three Thursday - Sculptures

Many thanks for the kind comments yesterday. I'm feeling much more cheerful today, not quite back to normal but getting there. I'm not sure if it was the lovely cyber cwtches from Ladkyis, L's wonderful company at lunch, or the three scoops of homemade ice cream I had for dessert. Probably a combination of all three! 

I realised quite late last night that I hadn't taken any photos for Mary-Lou's 'Take Three Thursday' so I'm sharing three more from the 'Celebrating Art in the Garden' exhibition. The three I've chosen for today are all by John O'Connor and all celebrate the human form ...

'Inner Space'


'Alchemy of the Heart'

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Out To Lunch

It wasn't the best choice of film yesterday. I wasn't aware of the subject matter of 'The Leisure Seeker' starring Helen Mirren and Donald Southerland and if I had known, I wouldn't have gone to see it. It was well acted, there were plenty of comic moments, but overall it was a very sad story. Although it dealt with a completely different illness, the portrayal of watching the person you know and love disappear as the illness progresses was a bit too close to home for me. I left the cinema feeling very melancholy, a feeling that stayed with me for the rest of the day, and is still with me this morning.

I don't think it's a day for being at home on my own so I've arranged to meet a friend for coffee and probably lunch. I haven't seen L for a few weeks so we'll have plenty to talk about, laughs are guaranteed and I should be able to shake myself out of this mood. A pudding or two will help!

Back tomorrow in a more cheerful frame of mind.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Yesterday and Today

I've finally caught up with the skip runs. A good part of yesterday morning was tied up with taking the garden waste and rubbish from the garage to the local recycling centre. It took three car loads to clear everything out but, as last time, a member of staff helped me empty the car on each trip. I didn't have to ask, there was someone offering to help as soon as I'd parked the car. Either I look pathetic or it's their new policy -  I noticed plenty of staff around all helping to unload cars. The contract to run the recycling centre was recently awarded to a new firm and it's certainly been a change for the better. My neighbour has also kindly said that I can put any garden waste in their recycling bin if there is room, so that will make things easier in the future. 

Yesterday was also all about catching up with the laundry. Two loads done, dried, and either put away or stacked on the ironing pile. It was a lot cooler so I could have got on with the ironing without melting, but I opted to get some of the band admin done and out of the way instead. In two weeks time it's our end of term concert to parents, the AGM and the end of year presentations to the children, so I made a start on printing the certificates. I just have to check the registers and work out who has won the attendance award, finish writing my reports for the AGM, and then I'm pretty much up to date on the secretarial side, just the financial side still to check.

Last night I went to see the comedian, Tom Allen. I've been to see lots of comedians over the last five years and, although I've always enjoyed them on TV, I've been slightly disappointed when seeing them live. The only ones who fully lived up to expectations were Jason Manford, Alan Davies, Sandie Toksvig and Sarah Millican, and now I can add Tom Allen to that list ... a brilliant evening!

Later this morning I'm off to a Silver Screen showing of 'The Leisure Seekers' at the Odeon; only £3 per person and that includes coffee and biscuits. I missed it when it was first released so I'm pleased to have this chance to see it. Going to the cinema during the day, and especially in the morning, is a bit of a guilty pleasure trying to ignore that feeling that I should be doing something more constructive with my time ... it won't stop me enjoying the film though! 

This afternoon I hope to do a bit more in the garden and maybe try to move some of the pots around. At the very least I need to wash the patio furniture to clear off a huge spider's web as I have friends coming round this evening and I'd like us to sit outside - now I'm getting rid of the living room furniture, I'm in the strange situation of having more seating outside than in until the new furniture is delivered. I have no idea when that will be as I haven't even chosen it yet!

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Summer Adventures

I've finished planning my summer adventures, taking me up to the end of August. Some of them are already booked and will definitely happen but the last four on the list are some things I'd like to do this summer if I can fit them in.
  • See the comedian, Tom Allen on stage in Frome 
  • Tour of the Chained Library at Wells Cathedral
  • See an ABBA tribute group
  • Holiday in the Peak District
  • City Break in Liverpool 
  • Holiday in Brecon
  • Bath Abbey Tower Tour
  • Visit the model village at Bourton-in-the-Water
  • A day trip to the coast
  • Sightseeing in Bristol 
I'll be able to cross the first one off the list tonight as I'll be sitting in the front row of the balcony seats in the Memorial Theatre, watching Tom Allen.

Over the next two weeks I need to catch up on the band admin as, for the first time in years, I'm taking a complete break from anything to do with the band during our summer break. It'll be my first summer break in years where I don't have to make time for lesson planning, band, or anything music/teaching related. I've been retired for a week now ... it feels good!

Monday, 9 July 2018

A Busy Few Days

Me on this very hot Monday is feeling completely drained after a busy few days. The band played in church yesterday and it was baking in there. I melted! I was expecting it to be refreshingly cool as we always freeze when we play there at Christmas, but no such luck! We sounded good though - the accoustics in the church really suit a brass band.

Saturday at band practice was also hard work due to the heat - it's not easy to play when you are perspiring so much that it's a bit of a challenge to keep the mouthpiece in place on your lips. One of the parents took pity on us a brought two large fans in to try to keep the temperature down in the practice room, which helped a bit.

On Friday I'd seen my doctor, collected my prescription and then went back home for some time in the garden. It was too hot to do much and it was a case of 20 minutes out in the sun and then back inside to cool down and summon up the energy to go back out and do some more. When I got fed up of playing that game, I settled down indoors and started editing the photos from Thursday.

Thursday was when I went to the 'Celebrating Art in the Garden' exhibition at Urchfont. I knew it was finishing yesterday, so I'd fitted in a quick trip and I'm really glad I did. It was excellent and I'll look out for it again next year. In the evening I went to watch a live screening of 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie' at the local Odeon. I didn't know anything about this, except that it's a musical,  but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'd definitely go to see it again. 

Later this morning I'm off to play a few games of Rummikub with J and then it's back home to do a bit of housework, have some lunch (probably salad), and then an afternoon taking the garden rubbish and some stuff I've cleared out of the garage to the skip.

I've just sponsored my great niece, Little Miss C. When she was four years old she saw a TV programme where a liitle girl had lost her hair as a result of chemotherapy. She was very upset about this and when she found out that it was possible for people to donate hair so that poorly children could have wigs, she asked if she was allowed to do that. Well five years later, her beautiful red hair is long enough and she will be having it cut in about four or five weeks. I'm so proud of her. 

Sunday, 8 July 2018

SPSH | A Few More Finds ...

Of course, the 'Celebrating Art in the Garden' Exhibition was a perfect place to find some more images for the scavenger hunt.

The first three are all by Tom Hiscocks and are for No 2 | stripes. The first two photos are different angles of 'Drinking Horse' and the third one is titled 'Female Torso II'.

I've found three more for No 4 | wings. The first one is by Hayley Jones, the artist who also made the robins, and is titled 'Taking Flight'. The two mosaics are by Jacquie Primrose, 'Bees and Butterflies' and 'Dragonflies'.

I was lucky enough to find an image for No 7 | Unexpected Reflection. I first saw this one from a distance and thought the entire circle was filled with models of birds, but as I got closer and the angle changed, I realised that the centre was actually a mirror reflecting the birds arranged around the outer circle. I think this was titled 'Feeding Table' but I can't tell you the name of the artist - this was on sale in the shop.

Here's another one for No 12 | bells. This was part of an installation by Alison Berman titled 'Are You One of Them or One of Us'. The tree was full of mortar boards and bowler hats each type fitted with either a sheep or a goat bell.

The final image is for No 14 | a trilogy of three and is another set of mosaics by Jacquie Primrose titled 'Abstract Teardrops'.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

5 in 5 | Celebrating Art in the Garden

I'm joining in with Sandie's monthly 5 in 5 meme, where you are asked to set a timer for five minutes, take as many picture as you want in the five minutes and then choose five of those images to share.

I'm sharing five more images from the 'Celebrating Art in the Garden Exhibition' at Urchfont Manor. This is an annual event organised by the Friends of the Garden and their aim is, to quote from their catalogue of the event, "to foster public appreciation of contemporary sculpture and to fund bursaries for artists."  It was an excellent event, very cheap at only £5 entry, and in a beautiful setting - I'll definitely look out for it again next year.

I'll be honest and say that I didn't actually set a timer for the designated five minutes but the images I've chosen are all from the same part of the exhibition, so it's close enough ... probably!

The first two are the work of Alison Berman - 'House on Stilts' and 'Dark Horses'. There was something about the houses that really grabbed my attention and is one of my favourite pieces from the exhibition. If you look closely you'll see that the horses don't have legs and are suspended from the trees. I couldn't decide whether I liked it or not. 

The third image is of a sculpture by Dominic Clare and is titled 'Twist & Wiggle'. There were other sculptures by him which I preferred and which I'll show in another post, but I liked the curves in this one. I haven't really managed to capture the beautiful grain in the oak, so the image is a bit lacking!

This one is called 'Man Who Caught The Moon' and is a bronze by Giles Penny RWA. I love the simplicity of this one.

And to finish off, one of the pieces of hand blown glass by Lynn Baker. All different coloured glass 'cocoons' hanging in the tree ... simply beautiful.

A big thank you to Sandie for organising this meme. It's now been running for five year and Sandie is celebrating with a series of post over on her blog. Why not pop over and see?