Monday, 31 March 2014

Four Seasons : Spring : Day 12

Four Seasons : 30 Days

New growth on the raspberry canes.

90/365: Progress Report [2]

This is how much I achieved over the weekend.  Not quite finished, but I can see the finishing line! Just a bit more gravel to move from the drive next weekend and the hardest part (for me) will be completed.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Four Seasons : Spring : Day 11

Four Seasons : 30 Days

Delicate white flowers on my new pieris plant.

89/395: Progress Report

Here's what I achieved in a couple of hours yesterday afternoon - it doesn't look much does it but I was shattered, just not used to heavy lifting! 
I seriously miscalculated the amount of membrane required so it all came to a grinding halt - I was too tired to sort that little problem out yesterday but it is top of the list for today.  I should be able to get the rest of the garden covered with gravel by the time I've had enough of physical labour and then on to the fun part - deciding where my plants can go.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Four Seasons : Spring : Day 10

Four Seasons : 30 Days

The hebe is ready to flower, just a few more days.

88/365: Guess What I'm Doing Today ....

I've made a start on laying the membrane and gravel and am hoping to get it all moved off the drive by tomorrow afternoon.

Friday, 28 March 2014

87/365: Tulips

The tulips will soon be in bloom and I can't wait to see what colour they are.  They were a gift from Joy.

Also linking with Peggy @ Four Seasons : 30 Days - Spring : Day 9

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Four Seasons : Spring : Day 8

Four Seasons : 30 Days

Pieris 'Forest Flame' showing off its bright red leaves.

86/365: New Shrub No 3

Broom 'Cytisus Praecox Albus'.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Four Seasons : Spring : Day 7

Four Seasons : 30 Days

Tiny pieris flowers, dipped in pink!

85/365: New Shrub No 2

Hebe, 'Blue Marie'.

Weigh In Wednesday [14]

Another week with no weight loss! Well, possibly a few ounces but not enough to say half a pound.  I'm not sure why as I've tried to be really good about eating properly.  

I'm not too down about it ... I'm expecting a delivery of over a ton of gravel which will have to be shifted into the back garden, so all that exercise should help kick-start a loss for the next weighing.

Linking with Weigh In Wednesday.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

84/365: New Shrub No 1

This is 'Pieris Forest Flame'. I've fallen in love the pieris I already have and I'd like to have several different varieties in the garden.  This one will be planted near the corner bed as it likes semi shade, but I'll be able to see the bright red leaves from the dining room.

Four Seasons : Spring : Day 6

Four Seasons : 30 Days

Delicate blooms on a cold windy day.  Taken in Avebury yesterday.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Four Seasons : Spring : Day 5

Four Seasons : 30 Days
There are little bursts of colour everywhere I look.  Taken today in Avebury.

83/365: Tulips

Joy asked how the tulips are doing so here's a photo to show how much they've grown.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Four Seasons : Spring : Day 4

Four Seasons : 30 Days
I'm seeing magnolia trees in bloom everywhere I go.  I'd love to have one in my garden but unfortunately do not have the space.

Photo from my archive.

82/365: Gladioli

The gladioli is just peeping up.  Only one so far, so fingers crossed that the rest decide to show themselves!

Saturday, 22 March 2014

81/365: New Growth ...

... on the Euonymus. 

Four Seasons : Spring : Day 3

More blossom, this time hidden away behind a tall fence.  I almost missed it but the white petals caught my eye.

Friday, 21 March 2014

A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal

I've decided to attempt the A to Z challenge this year, where participants have to produce 26 posts in the month of April, each based on the relevant letter of the alphabet.  April 1st is the letter A, the 2nd is the letter B, the 3rd is the letter C as so on.  Sundays are excluded from the challenge which cleverly leaves the 26 days needed to complete the challenge.
Your posts don't have to follow a theme and can be completely unrelated to each other but today is the day to reveal your theme if that's the approach you've decided on.  I've decided to opt for a theme and it is going to be ........ {drum roll} ........ Local history: people and places.

Anyone joining me in this challenge?

80/365: It's Raining

It's raining!  There's nothing more I can say ... the ground is too wet to work on today so my plans will have to wait.

Four Seasons : Spring : Day 2

Four Seasons: Thirty Days

I love the spring blossom - it's everywhere you look.

I'm also linking with the Spring Hodgepodge:

1. Thursday marks the first day of celebrate would you rather plant a garden or go for a walk in the woods? Would either of those activities be possible on Thursday where you live?  I live in the UK so both options will be possible from a weather/temperature point of view.  However, I teach all day on Thursdays and by the time I finish the light will be fading, so a walk in the woods won't happen on the first day of spring this year.  I am in the process of redesigning my garden so I'll opt for 'plant a garden'.  Today, I've ordered some more shrubs, some gravel and some paving stones.  This will be delivered some time in the next two (gravel & paving) to four (plants) weeks and then hopefully, my master plan will all start coming together.

2. When did somebody last spring something on you? (or when did you last spring something on someone?)  Today! I had a text from my niece treating me to a cinema trip next week as a thank you for collecting her children from school a few times.  I wasn't expecting it at all, so a lovely surprise.  The day before I had a surprise gift from an ex-work colleague and the day before that, another surprise gift from a close friend.
I quite often have somebody spring things on me.  In my group of friends, we frequently have 'bring and share' meals which one or other of us organises on the spur of the moment. 

3. We often think of spring as a time for new beginnings...what's something you'd like to start doing this spring?  I'm going to start quilting.  Properly, not the half hearted attempts I've done in the past.  The cloth for my first quilt has arrived and I've booked myself on a couple of courses with Midsomer Quilting.  

4. Where do you like to sit in a movie theatre? When did you last sit there, and what were you watching?  I don't go to the cinema that often but when I do, I don't like to sit too close to the screen.  Somewhere in the middle is best.  The last film I saw at the cinema was Philomena. 

5. When you meet someone for the very first time, what do you want them to think about you?  I'd like them to think I am approachable, friendly and trustworthy.

6. March is frozen food month (yes, really!). Besides ice cream (gotta make you think a little) what's your most often purchased frozen food item?  I buy frozen lamb mince (can't eat beef) and frozen peas.  They are the only frozen food items I always have in the freezer.  Everything else in there is the result of batch cooking and freezing the results.

7. What's something you avoid?  I try to avoid confrontation.  It's not always possible but I do my best to avoid the stress.  I also try to exclude negativity from my life and focus on having a positive attitude and surrounding myself with positive like-minded people.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.  Only two more weeks teaching and then it is the Easter holiday.  I can't wait, but before then I have three school performances to organise and there is also the band Easter performance.  Busy times ahead!!

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Skywatch Friday

Taken this week in Trowbridge, Wilts UK.  The first three photos were taken within fifteen minutes of each other.

Linking with Skywatch Friday.

79/365: First Day of Spring

According to Greenwich Meantime today is officially the first day of spring. 
There are a few signs of Spring in the garden the most obvious being the daffodils with their bright splash of yellow standing out against the browns and greens around them. (I apologise for the poor focus - it is very windy and this was the best of a bad bunch!)
For the next 30 days I am joining in Peggy's Four Season:: Thirty Days which asks us to add one photo and a short description each day to tell what Spring looks like, tastes like, smells like, feels like ... through our eyes.  On some days it will be a separate post but for today I am linking this image for day 1 of the thirty day of spring.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

78/365: More New Tools

Another surprise gift - a deck brush and a hoe.  I'm going to really enjoy gardening if I get this many gifts! 

Weigh In Wednesday [13]

No change this week which I'm rather relieved about, as the week included a burger night with friends (eating double the daily amount of calories!), chocolate biscuits and cake.  I honestly expected to have put weight back on.

I will be good this week as I want to get down to the next clothes size so that I can go shopping for a new summer wardrobe before my holiday in May.

Linking with Weigh In Wednesday.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

77/365: Garden Tools

A surprise gift from a friend.

Tuesday Ten

Today, for the first time, I am joining in with a new meme I've found which is organised by Lisa @ The Golden Spoons and Rabia @ The Liebers

The Golden Spoons

If you turn your purse (handbag) upside down what are ten things that would fall out?

I have to admit that I very rarely carry a handbag these days but on the rare occasions that I do, this it what would fall out ...

1.  My keys.  I keep my car keys and house keys on the same ring.  Also store clubcards and four key rings making quite a weight and which I keep thinking I need to do something about, but never get around to!  There is a fairy key ring, a quavers (music notes) key ring, a trigger from an antique flintlock pistol and one that says 'it's going to take more than an aromatherapy candle to rescue me from the day I've had'.

2.  My phone.  I'm not into constantly texting or speaking on the phone but I like to have it with me in case of an emergency.  It has a useful 5 megapixel camera which is another (more important) reason for carrying it around with me.

3.  My purse.  This contains a credit card, prescription card, library card and a small amount of change. I only carry larger amounts of cash with me if I am planning a shopping trip - that way I don't impulse buy!

4.  My diary.  This has been a relatively recent inclusion as I never previously felt the need to carry a diary - I always remembered everything I had to and didn't feel the need to write it down.  The diary became a necessity during the time I was caring for Ced, when I kept double-booking myself and forgetting birthdays, so I eventually started writing it down.  I can't get on with the calendar on my phone, so this is a proper 'paper, write in it' type book.

5.  A pencil.  So that I can update the diary! I love writing with a proper fountain pen but too many memories of leaking pens means that it's a pencil in my bag these days.   I seem to have to reschedule lots of arrangements so using a pencil (that can be erased) also helps with the fact that I don't like to cross things out - I like it to look as neat as possible. What can I say, I'm strange that way!

6.  My medicines. I take prescription medicines every day for hypertension and I always carry a supply with me.  I started doing this when Ced was in hospital so that I could stay the night with him if necessary and not have to worry about the hassle of arranging for someone to bring my meds to the ward for me.  I just haven't got out of the habit.  I also carry a prescription medicine for migraine headaches as it is only effective if taken early enough.

7.  My notebook.  I'm a list sort of person so the notebook is full of lists - ideas for photo themes, lists for the scavenger hunts, shopping lists, to-do lists, favourite authors, books I want to read, plants I like, ideas for places to go .... I add to it as and when I need to ... using my pencil (see number 5 on this list)!

8.  A novel.  I always carry a paperback novel with me. If I am meeting up with friends and family and arrive at the pub/restaurant too early I usually sit in my car and read while I'm waiting.  If I'm out on my own and go into a cafe, I like to sit and read while I'm waiting for my food to arrive.

9.  Some tissues.  Particularly during the summer months as I suffer from hay fever so need to constantly blow my nose.

10.  A photo of Ced.  I don't keep it in my purse and don't remember how it found its way in to my handbag but this is where it lives for the time being, in the side pocket.  It is slightly larger than a passport size photo and is one I took of him working in his workshop just before his health started to deteriorate.  It is the last photo I took of him where he still looks healthy.

Now I've thought about it, with the exception of number ten, all of these things would fall out of any bag I have with me - my teaching bag (number 10 would then be music books) or my camera bag (number 10 would be the camera and/of camera lens) are the bags I usually have with me.

Monday, 17 March 2014

76/365: Looking Bare!

I spent yesterday evening planning the planting and I'm off to order the gravel and paving stones tomorrow.  Hopefully it'll stay dry so I can start getting some of the bulbs and plants in over the next week or two.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

75/365: Bye Bye Lawn

Most of the lawn has now been removed.  They just left a strip around the garage until I can afford to lay the paving stones and gravel and have the step down to the garage door built. 
The soil is better quality than we expected.  It is clay because that's what the Trowbridge soil is like, but much better than some parts of the town.  There are plenty of worms and it is not as compacted as we thought it would be.
Now to get on with the planting. 

Saturday, 15 March 2014

The Simple Woman's Daybook - Saturday 15th March 2014


Outside my window ... there was a beautiful sunset tonight (which I managed to photograph) but the light has now gone and it is pitch black.

I am thinking ... about the last year, my first year without Ced.  The anniversary of his death earlier this month seems to have set me off again and it has been a weepy couple of weeks.

I am thankful ... for all the years I had with Ced.

In the kitchen ... it is all tidy, washing up done and put away, rubbish taken out to the bin.  I'm organised for once!

I am wearing ... red, white and black.  Skirt, t-shirt and cardigan.  It is nearly time to shop for some new clothes in a smaller size.

I am creating ... nothing yet, but I have ordered a kit to make a quilt for the smallest bedroom.  I couldn't resist it and am looking forward to trying machine quilting.

I am going ... to have my cards read.  I admit to not being sure that I really believe in this but Julie wanted to go (and she does take it seriously) so I'm going with her.  I've been surprised how many people I've mentioned it to actually take it seriously.   I'll let you know how I get on.

I am wondering ... about all sorts of things really, all very much to do with Ced.  Mostly happy thoughts and memories but wondering about where he is now, what happens next, etc.

I am reading ... nothing. I've had a busy time since I took on my new pupils and haven't had enough spare time to read properly so gave up on the book I was reading.

I am hoping ... that we've seen the end of the cold, wet weather.  I need some warm sunny days to cheer me up.

I am looking forward to ... my holiday in May.  I don't teach during SATS week so have booked a little cottage near St Austell in Cornwall.  As well as lots of sightseeing,  I'll be meeting up with Karen which I'm really looking forward to.

I am learning ... about local history, people and events, my theme for the A to Z Challenge in April.

Around the house ... there are piles of papers from the ongoing decluttering.  I'm waiting to borrow a shredder which will deal with about half of it and then the remainder can be sorted properly and filed away.

I am pondering ... everything and nothing.  My brain is too busy to think straight.  Roll on the Easter break!

One of my favourite things ... walking along the canal towpath.  A good place to walk, to remember, to relax, to take photographs.

A few plans for the rest of the week ...
  • Sunday - gardening.  My brother in law and nephew are digging up the lawn.
  • Monday - teaching, having my cards read in the evening
  • Tuesday - shopping, then teaching in the afternoon
  • Wednesday - teaching
  • Thursday - teaching
  • Friday - teaching
  • Saturday - band practice in the morning, then relaxing at home

A peek into my day ... band practice this morning, housework this afternoon, blogging and TV this evening.

A favourite quote for today ...

'without music life would be a mistake', Friedrich Nietzsche

74/365: And Then There Were Two!

It's lovely to have a splash of colour just outside the dining room doors. 

Friday, 14 March 2014

73/365: Finally!

At long last!!

Skywatch Friday

taken this week in Trowbridge, Wilts UK.

Linking with Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

72/365: Almost!

It's taking it's time!