Wednesday, 25 May 2016


This was supposed to be a set of photos from my trip out to the lavender farm today.  However, I had to rethink when I discovered that most of the lavender isn't in flower yet so instead, here's a set of the various purple flowers I found around the farm. [They are all purple, honestly, but blogger seems to have changed the colours slightly!]

Thanking Helena for organising the weekly SNAP link up.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Memorandum Monday

Waving a big hello to the Monday gang and sending thanks to Sian for organising this link up.

The photo was taken yesterday, when I visited Coate Water Park for the first time.  I met with friends for a photo walk which turned into mostly walking and chatting and very little photography. I did manage to complete my 10,000 daily steps on the walk around the lake, so that's also a first for me - completing that many steps in one activity.  

Apart from that, I don't think I have anything else to report.  I'm still tied up with sorting out the house and trying to get it presentable, so I haven't had much spare time to be out and about.  Today, so far, the boiler man has been to do a temporary fix so I will have hot water later today - I've been managing with kettles of hot water for the last few days, but he's ordered the part and will be back on Thursday to do the repair.  I've also had someone to quote for cleaning out the gutters as I noticed on Saturday that there is part of a bird's nest blocking one of the gutters on the back of the house - I think it must be left over from last year, or abandoned already this year, as I haven't seen any recent bird activity near it.  It's going later this week, anyway! 

I can't think of anything else to say so I'll make this post short and sweet!  Hope you all have a good week.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Five on Friday | The Little Things

Read | I'm reading 'Bitter Fruits' by Alice Clark-Platts.  It's a bit slow going to start off (I'm a quarter of the way through) - I prefer a fast pace in a crime novel.

Watched | Nothing again!  The living room is still piled high with furniture, music books and instruments while I'm waiting for the work to finish.  I can't even see the TV, let alone watch a programme!

Heard | Sorry, I haven't been listening to anything of note.  During the day the workmen have their radio on but it's just a background noise for me - I haven't really been listening - and in the evenings I've opted for peace and quiet, so haven't had any music on.  

Made | I've been making lots of decision on what stays and what goes. I've been ruthless, and have managed to reduce the kitchen paraphernalia by about two-thirds.  Well I say that, but it hasn't actually gone to the charity shop yet!

Worn | Mostly black and white - it's been a very monochrome sort of week.

And Lastly ... I'm taking a break from the house over the weekend.  On Saturday there is no band practice as we are taking the children busking instead, and then on Sunday I am meeting friends for a photo walk at Coates Water Park - I'm taking my new lens and hoping for some decent shots of the wildlife.  Hope you all have a good weekend with lots of fun things planned.

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

Wednesday, 18 May 2016


There was really only one choice for my photos for Helena's SNAP this week ..... I've waited most of the morning for a break in the rain to take some photos of raindrops.

Starting with a reflection in a raindrop on the metal bracket for a hanging basket.

Next, it's raindrops on leaves ....

.... followed by ripples from the raindrops falling into a tub of water, ......

.... and finishing with raindrops on a clematis bud.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Memorandum Monday

A bright and sunny Monday afternoon wave to Sian and all the other Mondayers. I've been racking my brains to think of anything new I've done, seen or heard over the last week but I'm struggling to come up with anything much, so just a short list of things to tell this time.

I have a drum kit in my house for the first time ever - don't worry, I have no plans to start playing the drums, I just drew the short straw on Saturday when the band played at a local fete and I ended up bringing half the kit home with me.  So that's just a nuisance, and doesn't really count as 'something new'.

My new bookcases for the music room were delivered this morning.  They'll be assembled and installed tomorrow, so then I can get on with the long overdue task of sorting out the sheet music. I chose the Billy bookcases (from Ikea) in the end opting for practicality and price, rather than the other ones I'd preferred but which were about four times more expensive and a lot smaller.  

My only other new thing is that I have cooked on my 'new' induction hob for the 'first time'.  It's not really much different from cooking on gas, which is what I had before, just a lot cleaner and looks smarter.  I'm happy I made the change. I'll be even happier when the rest of my new induction saucepans arrive so that I can cook a proper meal - having only one saucepan that works on induction hobs is limiting the meal choices!

I'll take some photos of the kitchen etc. later in the week when it's all finished and everything is back in its proper place.  Until then, I hope you all have a lovely week with lots of interesting and fun things planned.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Five on Friday | The little Things

Read | I'm in the middle of reading 'The Book of You' by Claire Kendal, a book group choice.  It's the sort of book I'd normally sit and read in one go, but that hasn't been possible this time with all the workmen in the house. Definitely  one to recommend.    

Watched | Nothing!  It's been a very quiet week and I haven't watched TV nor been to the cinema.

Heard | I listened to the Tom Hanks' Desert Island Discs podcast - I don't usually listen to this programme but read a recommendation on another blog about this particular episode.  I like Tom Hanks, so a very enjoyable listen.

Made | I'm in the middle of making order out of chaos, sorting out the kitchen.  The work in there has finished so now I have to put everything away again.  It's decision time - what stays and what goes?  When I was emptying the cupboards ready for the work to start, I found lots of things I'd never used in the three years I've been in the house, so it's time for a few charity shop donations.  

Worn With no washing machine for the last week or so, it's been a case of finding whatever is clean! I caught up with most of the laundry yesterday, so once I've tackled the pile of ironing it'll be back to normal.

And Lastly ... The kitchen is finished so now the contents of the music/study room have been moved to the living room, and work will start on replacing the flooring and fitting the much needed bookcases to store all the sheet music and smaller instruments. That should all be finished by the end of next week (he's fitting this work in amongst his other jobs), and then hopefully it'll be time to concentrate on the garden.

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

Wednesday, 11 May 2016


A quick post before the power goes off again!  Here are four keys I use regularly: car, door, band cupboard, sensor key (in a school).  

 Thanks again to Helena for organising this.  

Monday, 9 May 2016

Memorandum Monday

I don't seem to have left the house much over the past week but when I finally sat down to think about the new things and first times, I've actually managed to come up with quite a long list!

Not a particularly great one to start with though. The day after I bought my new car I picked up a chip on the windscreen - the first time this has ever happened to me and, to go with it, it was also the first time I've used Autoglass and the first time I've had a replacement windscreen fitted. 

Following on from that, I couldn't drive the car straight away so I decided to treat myself to a takeaway delivery, and for the first time I ordered and paid for the meal online instead of phoning for it.  

Last Monday I started two new free online courses - 'Anatomy: Know Your Abdomen' and 'Food as Medicine', both really interesting.  The anatomy was only for two weeks so I finished it this morning and was a taster for me to see if I thought I'd be able to study human biology at A level standard or whether I'd find it difficult to retain the information. I enjoyed the level of detail so am considering starting a biology A level in September.  The food as medicine course is on for another week and is fascinating.

On Wednesday, for the first time I went to see a local big band play (swing, rock and pop music).  This is the band the conductor of the youth band plays in; I've been promising to go for ages and finally got round to it. It was a great evening - I loved it!

On Thursday I watched 'Jurassic World' for the first time as we celebrated Lauren's 19th birthday.  The Jurassic series isn't really my choice of films but this one was watchable and not too scary!

And finally, on Sunday for the first time I made and drank a non alcoholic mojito!

Linking with Sian and waving to all the other Mondayers.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

5 in 5 | Home Improvements

It's time for Sandie's 5 in 5 again, so this month I thought I'd share some photos of the work in progress on the home improvements.  

The first two photos show the work so far in the kitchen.  The new worktops went in yesterday and today they are connecting the sink, installing some of the appliances and also hope to make a start on the tiling.

This is a look back into the dining room - still very much a storage/prep area. There is nothing to be done in the dining room for this stage of the home improvements - I want to get a dresser but that'll fit on the opposite wall.  The table and chairs will go under the sunset picture, in front of the french doors.

The flooring has been taken up in the hallway and cloakroom (the door on the right) and will also be removed from the music/study room (the door on the left).  It was honey coloured laminate which was scratched beyond repair and, in the music/study room, there were big holes in it.  You can see the replacement flooring in the bottom left of the photo - it's limed oak (on offer at 50% of original price!) and it's vinyl planks instead of laminate.  There will also be a recessed doormat inside the front door and, if there is enough money, the front door will be replaced as well.

The final photo shows the new sink and storage in the cloakroom. I had problems with the exposure but it is all white, not the grey in the photo. You can just about see the colour in the tiles under the mirror cabinet - they are iridescent and reflect in the light from the circular window behind the toilet. This is nearly finished - they just have to grout the tiles and lay the flooring.

The kitchen and cloakroom will be finished this week and the flooring will be completed by the end of next week.  I'll post some more photos when it's done.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Memorandum Monday

It's a rather mixed set of first times and new things this week.

I tried lime and chilli flavoured popcorn for the first time - strangely moreish, and luckily low in calories.

I learnt a new fact ... that it is thought that it wasn't until relatively modern times that people were able to see the colour blue.  You can read about it here if you are interested.

I saw Sean Lock on stage for the first (and last!) time on Friday night.  I'd been looking forward to seeing him for ages but was slightly disappointed by his act, which wasn't as funny as I'd been expecting from seeing him on TV. I wasn't the only one, as a few people walked out during the second half.

For the first time ever I actually made one of the recipes I'd saved on Pinterest - a kale, tomato and quinoa soup which tasted much better than it sounds!  Am I the only person who saves lots of ideas on Pinterest and then promptly forgets all about them?

Hope you all have a lovely Bank Holiday Monday and a good week to follow.

Linking with Sian at From High in the Sky.