Monday, 30 November 2015

Me on Monday

 
Me on Monday ... is fed up with the cold and rain, and is feeling a bit stir crazy.  I had plans to take some photos by the canal today but it is way too wet to consider going out.  Things are so bad that I've actually done all the housework today (I usually do it in small stages throughout the week), attempted some of the puzzles in my new puzzle book (harder than I thought they'd be!) and have started moving furniture around in the living room; I'd moved it all round last week and wasn't completely happy with the new arrangement so am now making some more changes to make it work, and look, better.
 
Saturday was very busy with the band; final practice in the morning and then the first of the Christmas commitments in the late afternoon when the band played at the Shopper's Carol Service in the Parish church.  We played a selection of carols before and after the service started (as people were arriving and leaving) and also accompanied some of the singing. We were really pleased with how the children performed - they did well, and for three of them it was their first ever public performance.
 
Sunday saw a trip to Bath with my photography friends and a photographic treasure hunt around the Christmas Market.  The weather was appalling, although the heavy rain actually held off for the hour we allotted to complete the hunt, and unfortunately there were just too many people around to be able to take any decent photos.  None of us were particularly happy with our efforts (being jostled by the crowds resulted in lots of blurry images!) but we all completed the list and enjoyed a chat over coffee in the café afterwards. I was glad to get home to a warm house and just shut the miserable weather outside.
 
As for the rest of today ... I have no plans.  I'll finish rearranging the furniture and then just see what takes my fancy. 
 
Hope you all have a good Monday.
 
Linking with Sian at From High in the Sky.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

It's Nearly Time ...

. . . for this year's Winter Photographic Scavenger Hunt, hosted by Joy and myself.



Please feel free to copy and use the above photo, and keep a look out for the list which will be released on Tuesday 1st December. We really hope you can join us, the more the merrier.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Five on Friday

 

One | Here's some random photos taken during the week:


Two | Continuing with my attempts to do a new thing every day, here's what I've been up to this week:
  • Saturday, I watched Independence Day for the first time
  • Sunday, I tried camomile tea for the first time   
  • Monday, I starting learning a new piano piece
  • Tuesday, I listened to The Archers on iPlayerRadio - I've honestly never listened to this before
  • Wednesday, I had lunch with a friend in a new-to-me coffee shop in town
  • Thursday, I tried a hot chili chocolate drink - definitely a keeper! I've eaten chili chocolate before (yum) but had never tried the hot drink version.
  • Friday, I'll be having my first meal in Julie's new house - it's our tradition to have fish and chips on moving day once everything is in the new home.  Between us we've moved home 9 times, which is how we can have a 'tradition' for this type of occasion!
Three | In January, I plan to have a meat free month so I'm on the look out for new recipes, and/or new ways of cooking vegetables.  Any suggestions, or links to tried and tested recipes, will be very much appreciated please.

Four | I've made some big decisions - well, they're big to me!  I may have already mentioned that I've decided to sell my saxophone and oboe; I no longer play them for my own enjoyment, and if I do decide in the future that I'd like to do some private lessons, it won't be for these two instruments. 

I've also decided to sell the doll's house. It's taken me ages to reach this decision but I'm now sure it is the right thing for me to do.  It was bought when I lived in a much bigger house so, now I've downsized it seems to dominate the room and to be honest, I don't have enough space for it. The main reason though, is that is was something we were going to do together; Ced was going to make lots of things for it and of course, that can never happen now.  I can't get past the fact that anything I'd do now would feel like a compromise to me, so it feels best to sell it and let someone else get the enjoyment from it.  I can always buy another (smaller!) doll's house in the future if I still feel that I want one.

Five | Yesterday I celebrated my 60th birthday.  It didn't quite go according to plan as I was supposed to be lunching with a friend who cancelled due to sickness. I'd just put the phone down from talking to her when it rang again and this time it was Julie who'd been let down by the person who was supposed to be helping her finish packing up the house ready for the move today.  So we joined forces and I spent the day with Julie getting everything ready: cats to the cattery, tropical fish to my house, precious fragile things to my house, 3 rooms and all bathrooms emptied and cleaned.  We had a Chinese takeaway last night - a sort of 'birthday party/last takeaway in that house/looking to the future' meal, which turned out to be a lovely impromptu way to end the day.  Despite the change of plans I had a lovely birthday with people who I look on as family and who count me as family too.  It couldn't have been better.

birthday flowers, a gift from Julie and her daughters
I'll be seeing my twin sister next week (when she's back home) for our joint 'it's our birthday do' (probably another takeaway, but Indian this time), so birthday celebrations will continue for a while and will, as usual, get mixed in with the start of the Christmas activities - carol playing with the Youth Band starts tomorrow when we play at the Shopper's Carol Service in the Parish Church.

Thanks go to Amy for organising this link up.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Photo Pairs

I had to dodge the rain showers to get today's photos, but I suppose it serves me right for leaving it to the last minute!  Here's ...

IN THE WATER & OUT OF THE WATER
 

These were taken just round the corner from home, from the towpath on the opposite side of the canal from the boatyard.
 
Thanks to Helena for creating this wonderful weekly link up.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

On Tuesday


reading 'The Night Falling' by Katherine Webb (I have to finish it for next week's book group!)
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booking some tickets for shows in 2016
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listened to The Archers for the first time ever (on iPlayerRadio)
*
food shopping; ringing the changes with different recipes
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practicing the piano
*
teaching this afternoon in a local school (one of the ones I'm keeping for now)
*
bumping into someone I haven't seen for years and chatting for ages as though we last saw each other only yesterday
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hearing from Julie that her moving day has been confirmed for this Friday (27th)

Monday, 23 November 2015

Me on Monday


Me on Monday ... tucked up in the warm and pottering about at home.
 
My 'new thing' for today is a new piano piece, which I've never played before and which, if I'm totally honest, I still can't play.  It isn't going well! I'm not giving up on it (well, I have for today) and so far I've sorted about half of it but that part still need more practice.  At least I've started playing the piano again which is one of the things I want in my life.
 
It was a quiet, not doing much sort of weekend.  After band practice on Saturday morning, I didn't leave the house again.  Julie called a couple of times to drop off more of her stuff and for me to print out a document that was needed urgently, but apart from that I spent the time alone ... thinking and planning!
 
My first week of retirement has made me realise that I need to learn to say 'no' to people, otherwise all this extra time isn't going to benefit me.  I don't mind helping out in an emergency but I don't want to be a regular babysitter (for a friend's grandchild) or get up early every day to provide a taxi service to a neighbour's son!  I did manage to say 'no' to those two requests but lately, conversations seem to be full of other people's ideas of what to do with my time (which in some way seems to benefit them!) but with no real understanding of what I do actually want to do.  With that in mind, I'm adding a couple of activities into my week - joining the adult recorder players on Wednesday mornings, and having a go at line dancing (provided there's a place for me in the group) on Thursdays.
 
As for this week, I don't have much on which I'm secretly relieved about now that the cold frosty mornings are with us - I'll be out with my camera hoping for some interesting photos.  Oh, and there's a special birthday celebration as well!  Hope you all have a good week.
 
Linking with Sian at From High in the Sky.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Five on Friday | Love the Little Things

A combined post this week, merging Love the Little Things and Five on Friday.
 
Read | I'm still reading Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman, which I started back in mid October. It hasn't really grabbed my attention so far, although I know that a lot of my friends have enjoyed it and recommend it.  I'll get to the end because a friend's daughter loaned me the book and she really rates it, so I'd like to be able to discuss it with her.  I keep putting it down for other reads, one of which was The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern which I thoroughly enjoyed and is the best book I've read for a long time.  
 
Watched | On Tuesday I went to see The Lady in the Van and last night I went to see an NT Live screening of Of Mice and Men. Both had laugh out loud moments followed by heart-breaking sadness, and I admit to shedding a tear at both of them.

Heard | This week I listened to a short play on the radio; Three in One, which is one in a series of plays starring David Threlfall.
 
Made | Lots of lists!  Christmas presents/cards list, ideas for daytime things to do/places to go, photos I want to take, films I want to see, books I want to read, and recipes I want to try.
 
Worn | Red seems to have been my favourite choice this week - red tops paired with black skirts, or jeans.
 
And Lastly ... I set myself the daily challenge of trying something new, or re-introducing something I used to enjoy back into my life.  This is to mark the start of my retirement.  Here's what I've done over the past few days:
  • Tuesday | I tried a sticky toffee latté at Costa Coffee.  I'm supposed to avoid milk in my diet, so have never had anything like this before.  It was a bit sweet, and although I enjoyed it, I did suffer the next day so have no wish to repeat the experience!
  • Wednesday | I played two new to me games at the games night: Blokus and Kensington.  Both were easy to learn and fun to play, so hope they make an appearance at future games nights.
  • Thursday | I listened to a play on the radio.  This is something we used to do regularly, especially when my late partner was in hospital, but which I've not thought about doing since I moved into this house.  It was a pleasant way of passing an hour and is something I'll be doing again soon.
  • Friday | Well I haven't done it yet, but I'm going out for a meal later tonight and will be having a curried fish dish. I love curries but have never eaten curried fish - I'm looking forward to this one!
 
Thanks go to Morgana and Amy for organising their weekly link ups.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Barney and Me

Yesterday I went to the cinema to see the early evening screening of The Lady in the Van (excellent: both sad and funny, a very moving story) and then had to fight my way back to the car park through the winds and rain that was Storm Barney. Needless to say, I arrived home soaked through and cold, but nothing that a soak in the bath couldn't remedy.
 
So, one warm bath later and wrapped in my dressing gown, I was about to settle down with a relaxing mug of hot chocolate.  Picture the scene ... mood lighting from a single lamp, CD playing quietly in the background, and I was closing the blinds to shut the night out and savour that feeling of being safe and warm inside while the storm raged outside. I'd just reached the French doors leading onto the garden and pressed my nose to the glass to see if I could see what was happening in the garden when something smacked against the outside of the glass. 

One screaming fit later, I plucked up the courage to turn the outside lights on and try to see what had hit the glass door. The lights revealed my favourite clematis doing some sort of breakdance along the decking, smacking into the glass doors at regular intervals.  The storm had ripped the top of the plant from its trellis but it still seemed to be rooted, so I thought the best thing to do would be to chop it off and see what it looked like in the morning.

So, dressed only in my dressing gown I ventured out into the stormy night to look in the garage for the secateurs.  Of course, I couldn't get to the light switch because all of Julie's things are still piled in front of it, so it was a case of hunting in the dark.  I don't know why I didn't have the gumption to wear a coat over my dressing gown, but all I can say is the cold wind was getting everywhere!  A life time later, at least that's what it seemed like, I found the secateurs and cut the clematis away and stuffed it in an empty compost sack in the back of the garage - not as drastic as it sounds as it needed to be done but I'd planned to wait for more favourable conditions! 
 
Looking at it this morning I can see that it has uprooted itself on one side so I've tucked it all back in and am hoping that it survives. There's no other damage thankfully, just a few twigs and various bits of greenery that appeared from I don't know where, which only took a few minutes to pick up and dispose of.  I've been luckier than some of my neighbours, who lost fence panels and wheelie bins.  Just wish it hadn't been my favourite plant that took the biggest hit ... still it's quite resilient so it should grow back as healthily as ever.  Time will tell! 

Photo Pairs

You may be relieved to hear that this is my last pair of photos from the Harry Potter Studio Tour.  Here's the whomping willow in the early stages of its creation ...
 
CONCEPT ART & WHITE-CARD MODEL
 

To save me typing the purpose of the white-card models, here's a photo which explains it all!

 
Thanking Helena for organising this weekly link up to her clever meme.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

I'm Following a Tree | November 2015

With my 'better late than never' hat on, here's my tree following post which is over a week late and I've missed the link up! 
 

As you can see, it has dropped most of its leaves.  A few are still clinging on for dear life ...
 
but the majority of them form a blanket on the ground around the base of the tree.

Most of the seeds have been dispersed but there are plenty of the male catkins still holding their seeds.  I don't know if this means that they've missed their chance for this year or whether they will continue to release their seeds through the rest of autumn.
 
I don't know if the tree is confused by the mild weather but there are also fully formed female catkins ...
 
... and lots of buds. Maybe this is normal, but I hope the colder winter weather to come doesn't kill them all off.

 A photo of the bark - my favourite part of the tree.

  And the view up through the canopy, now devoid of its leaves.

Thanks to Lucy @ Loose and Leafy for creating this meme and to Pat @ The Squirrelbasket for taking it on while Lucy sorts out her computer problems.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Me on Monday


Me on Monday ... is a lady of leisure, taking it easy and enjoying the peace and quiet. This is the first day in this new stage of life where my routine is obviously different.  Last Monday I was working in two different schools teaching flute, clarinet and recorders, and today I'm at home with nothing planned at all.  I deliberately didn't make plans for today because I didn't want to rush into anything, opting to take time over the next few days to see how I feel about things and deal with how I'm feeling.
 
Well today actually started quite late - I slept in until just before 9 o'clock, which is unusual for me as I usually wake up around 6 o'clock.  Probably the result of a busy weekend - band etc., on Saturday and yesterday was taken up with a photo walk in the afternoon and a quiz in the evening. With one exception it was a good weekend; lots of chat with friends, having time to take photos, discovering a new café which served the most wonderful cakes and which is now noted for future visits, and making plans for future meetings with friends.  So, I went to the quiz feeling pleasantly tired but relaxed and came home feeling uptight and completely out of sorts.  There was a group of five of us in the quiz team (4 regulars and 1 new one) but the behaviour of two of them ruined the evening, not only for me but for one of the other ladies as well. These two were sitting at opposite ends of the table and spent the entire evening talking shouting to each other in such a way that you could tell they thought they were being amusing but were actually being extremely annoying.  They were so loud that we missed a lot of the questions and they wouldn't respond to polite requests to listen when the questions were being asked. So not a very enjoyable evening and I think that if it happens again next month, I'll try to find another quiz team to join.
 
This all meant that I woke this morning in a strange mood, just a bit down but not enough to worry about.  I eventually got my act together and left the house to do today's errands - post a parcel, buy some printer ink (why does it always run out when you have something important and urgent to print?), and then some shopping in Sainsburys where I was pottering about the aisles when I had to stop myself from bursting into tears: I don't know why, but probably the anti-climax after finishing work and the frustration about the quiz night mixed in with being tired, and then the horror of the events in Paris which has affected everyone this weekend.  Anyway, I took some time out in the café to calm down and pull myself together, and then finished my shopping and came on home. I've felt like my normal self ever since, so that release of emotions was obviously something that my body needed.
 
One of my blogging friends is challenging herself to try something new everyday for a year.  Whilst I don't think I can manage a whole year, I do plan to mark the first month of my retirement by doing my own version of that challenge; either something new, or reintroduce things that I haven't done for ages. They are only going to be small things, nothing expensive.  On Saturday it was a first time thing when I played the main melody in the Christmas carols (usually I play part 3, but on Saturday I was asked to help out on part 1 - I've played the main melody before with the band but this is the first time ever on the carols!!).  On Sunday I explored Marlborough town centre;  I've been there a few times but never strayed from the main high street, but yesterday I ventured down lots of the alleyways and side roads.  Today, I've reintroduced the Telegraph crossword to my life.  We used to do this every day but stopped when Ced's illness progressed and he became too tired to bother with it.  I don't know that I'll do it every day but, so far I've enjoyed the challenge of puzzling out the answers. If you can solve any of the clues in the photo at the top of this post, please feel free to post the answer in the comments - I'm not too proud to ask for help!   
 
Tomorrow I'm off to the cinema to see The Lady in the Van, and on Thursday I'm going to see an NT Live screening of 'Of Mice and Men', both of which I'm really looking forward to. Hope you all have a good week.
 
Linking with Sian at From High in the Sky.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

On Retirement


Well it's official ... I created a 'life event' on my Facebook page so it must be true.  I retired on Friday.
 
I intentionally put 'retired' in italics in the previous sentence as it hasn't quite gone according to plan.  I should have been finishing completely with the music foundation - no more work for them at all - that was the plan.  But a phone call on Tuesday changed all that; the teacher who was supposed to be taking over one of my schools is ill and now can't do it, so I was asked to keep that school going for a little longer until they can make alternative arrangements.  I could, and should, have said no but I'll still be going to that school every week to listen to readers and run the recorder group, so I said yes.  I'm thinking of it as a temporary one-off job which I will only do until Christmas, but which will give me some extra pocket money and which will hopefully finish much earlier.
 
It's been an emotional last week, saying goodbye to all the children.  I managed to hold myself together until the last school on Friday; this is the other school I'm keeping to continue with their recorder club (as it is the most fun ever!) but I'm giving up the brass and woodwind lessons.  I taught 6 children there (3 sets of sisters) and, as well as having their music lessons, we also played together as a band after school.  At the end of the band practice their mums came in and they presented me with flowers (see photo above) and a photograph of the 6 children holding up a sign saying 'thank you'.  Lot's of hugs and goodbyes and that 'end of the world' feeling for the children, and then we all went our separate ways with the children calling out 'see you next week for recorders'! This is the school I'll miss the most but at least I'll still see 4 of them at the recorder club.  I thought I kept my emotions in check, but when I got to my car I just sobbed.  The end of an era!
 
As to the rest of it ... it's too early to say but I am feeling excited about the possibilities.  So far, this retirement lark doesn't seem any different, but then this is only the second day!  Saturday was just a normal Saturday with band practice, time spent with friends and then a quiet evening at home.  Tomorrow will be the first time that things are obviously different as it would normally be a teaching day and, of course, that isn't going to happen any more.
 
I have lots of plans but I'll take my time and not rush to doing too much.  I don't want to be continually stressing to fit everything in and I'd like a more leisurely pace of life.  I've applied to join the local U3A as I want to join their choir (that'll be Monday mornings sorted) and possibly one of the adult recorder groups (which meets fortnightly on Wednesday mornings).  There's also the yoga to fit in if I can, and I'd like to have a go at line dancing. 
 
I'm also sorting out the house.  The work I'd like to have done won't start until after Christmas now, so in the meantime I plan to concentrate on dealing with the remainder of my late partners things.  I've decided to treat it as a job and work on it for two half days every week until it is finished.  It's a good time to do it in the run up to Christmas as a lot of it should sell easily as this is the time of the year when people are searching eBay and Gumtree for gifts.  When that's all gone I will have my second bedroom to use as a hobby room - I have plans (and stash!) for quilting, watercolour painting, card making, and calligraphy.  For starters!
 
Thanks to everyone for their kind wishes in comments and via email.  This past week has sort of run away with me and I didn't find the time to blog or comment but I hope to get back to normal over the next week.  I'm off for a photo walk with friends this afternoon so please keep your fingers crossed that the rain holds off. Hope you all have a lovely Sunday. 

Monday, 9 November 2015

Me on Monday

Me on Monday ... looking forward to my last week of full time teaching.  I retire on Friday 13th November - it's okay, I'm not superstitious - so I have a week of saying goodbye to the children I teach and to all the schools I've been working in.  I'll retain contact with two of the schools but this will be my last visit to the other six schools.  It feels strange, but on another level, I'm completely ready for this change in my life. 
 
Saturday was tied up with band practice, starting up again after the half term break.  We've started on the Christmas music, to get the children ready for the events we are playing at this year - there's 9 of them, so December is going to be busy.  It always feels strange to start playing carols so early - I don't feel at all Christmassy yet - but we have a lot of new players and they need this extra time to practice their parts.  Saturday afternoon was spent at home, catching up with housework and laundry, and Saturday evening was spent trying to finish the book we'll be discussing at the book group tomorrow night - I misjudged how long it would take me to read and should have started it a few days earlier than I did!
 
I didn't manage to finish the book on Saturday, but turned the last page on Sunday morning just before it was time to get ready for lunching out with friends.  This time we went to our favourite Indian restaurant in Devizes; good company and wonderful food, so a great way to pass a couple of hours.
 
Sunday evening was back at home, snuggled up on the sofa, and ordering a few things online.  I won't tell you what I've bought, as it is all for my Advent calendar and I plan to write a post about it later in the month. Then a catch up on iPlayer; I'm following three detective series - Unforgotten, River, and From Darkness - before a soak in the bath and an early-ish night.
 
Hope you've all had a good weekend and are looking forward to the week ahead.
 
Linking with Sian at From High in the Sky.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Saturday, 7 November 2015

The Year in Books | November 2015

I honestly thought I'd read more books this month, but it turns out that I have actually only read two, which is a surprise as I seem to have been reading all the time.  Obviously not!
 
I can probably put this down to the book group choice for October, which was The Well by Catherine Chanter and which took me absolutely ages to read even though it isn't a particularly long story.  I can't really say I enjoyed this book and I had to make myself keep reading it.  I loved some of the descriptive writing but didn't think any of the characters were particularly well drawn and I didn't engage with them at all.  In particular, I didn't like the main character who, to me, just came across as completely selfish.  Also a lot of the back events just seemed to have been included to provide red herrings to the main story line.  I guessed 'who done it' quite early on and was expecting a twist near the end, but there wasn't one! It's not a book I'd recommend.
 
To make up for that one, my own choice for the month was Personal by Lee Child. If you've read any of Lee Child's books before, you know what you're getting and this one followed the usual formula and didn't disappoint. 
 
My November reads are:
Sending thanks to Laura at Circle of Pine Trees for organising this monthly link up.  

Friday, 6 November 2015

Five on Friday


I'm joining in with Amy's 'Five on Friday' and because it's the first week of the month, I'm sharing five intentions about what I hope to accomplish during November.  But before I do that, here's the update on my October list: 
 
  • Start playing the piano again  - a miserable fail! Mainly due to me not making a conscious decision to allow time each day for this to happen.  It's a post-retirement thing now, when I'll have no excuses at all.
  • Get in the kitchen and try some new recipes - done
  • Get in touch with an old friend I've lost contact with - in progress.  I've emailed a couple of friends but am waiting to hear back from them.
  • Get some quotes for the bigger work I'd like to do in the house - I've started on this but am still sourcing electricians and someone who is gas safe qualified to remove a gas pipe in the living room. 
  • List a minimum of five things for sale on eBay, Gumtree or Amazon - I didn't actually list anything but I have actually sold more than five things through word of mouth, so I'm counting this one as a success. 
 
So, onto my November intentions:
 
OneComplete three Christmas shoeboxes and deliver them to a local collection point. 
 
Two | Create my Advent calendar, ready for next month.  I'll write about this in a separate post!
 
Three | Rearrange the living room to see if I like the new placement of the furniture.  This is a 'try it and see' before I commit to ordering the new sofas, chairs and cupboard/unit. It's also about trying to work out how I want to use the room in the future.
 
Four | Complete my Christmas gift shopping and write all the cards, ready for posting.
 
Five | Investigate 'what's on' in this area during the daytime, ready for when I've stopped work.
 
I'll review my progress in the first week of December.
 
Thanks to Amy for organising this.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

5 in 5 | Circles

It's pouring down so I had to abandon my original plan for the 5 in 5 photos so I've been trying to come up with an alternative that didn't involve going outside ... and getting wet!  After lots of brain ache, I settled on wandering around the house looking for circles.  Here's the best of my efforts ...
 
the lock plate on one of the internal doors
the cap on a bottle of oil
rawlplugs still waiting to be removed and filled in
the top of a money box
the rose fitting on the watering can

Not my most inspired set of photos, but at least I didn't get cold and wet! 
 
Thanks to Sandie for organising this meme every month. If you'd like to join in, click here for more information.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Photo Pairs

Another pair inspired by my recent trip to the Harry Potter Studio Tour, here's ...

WIZARD CHESS & MUGGLE CHESS
 

Thanks to Helena for organising this link up.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Thankful Thursday (just a bit late!)

Throughout the month of October I'm joining in with Mary-Lou's 31 Days of Thankful.  Here my record of the last part of the month.


Friday Oct 23rd | I am thankful for time spent out in the fresh air today; pottering in the garden, wandering along the canal towpath, and walking across the village down to the flood plains. 
 
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Saturday Oct 24th | I am thankful that I have sufficient income and free time to indulge my interests and hobbies; today I visited the Harry Potter Studio Tour and had a fantastic carefree time, but I am aware that there are so many people around the world who couldn't ever hope to do something like that and who's every thought is survival and where the next meal is coming from.
 
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Sunday Oct 25th | I am thankful for the people I know, friends and family, and how they enhance my life. I know I am lucky that I have people who care for me and take the time and trouble to check that I am well.
 
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Monday Oct 26th| I am thankful that the new road is open to traffic and all the temporary traffic lights, diversions, roadworks, and all the delays they caused, have now disappeared. It's a much easier journey to drive into the town centre now.
 
*

Tuesday Oct 27th | I am thankful that so many of my memories have been captured on camera.  I've nearly finished sorting all my photos and now hold the majority of them as digital images; I've set some of them to view as a video photo album/screen saver thingy and catching glimpses of them has cheered me up - it's been worth the effort.
 
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Wednesday Oct 28th | I am thankful that I was one of the lucky ones and managed to get tickets to both of the new Harry Potter plays.

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Thursday Oct 29th | I am thankful that I have a freezer full of nourishing food and that evening meals can be quick and easy on days when I'm too tired to cook.  I'm grateful that mum taught us to how to cook and was so generous in passing on all her skills.

*

Friday Oct 30th | I am thankful that a replacement tutor has been found and that my retirement is imminent.  They have to negotiate her new timetable with the schools and then I can do the handover - it should only be two or three weeks now, and then I can finish.  

*

Saturday Oct 31st | I am thankful for the generous help from a friend's husband who has rebuilt my laptop for me and (hopefully) resolved most, if not all, of the issues I've had with it.
 
 
Many thanks to Mary-Lou for organising this. It's been an interesting month and it is true to say that looking for the positives to be thankful for on a daily basis has had an impact on my outlook. 

Monday, 2 November 2015

Me on Monday

Me on Monday ... feeling poorly, despite which, I'm a happy bunny with a working laptop and able to access other blogs and even possibly comment!  I whispered that last bit as I didn't want to tempt fate and everything go wrong again.  We don't really know what was causing the problems but changing to a different template seems (fingers crossed) to have resolved all the issues.
 
Saturday was mostly taken up with meeting friends, a bit of shopping and, in the afternoon a photo walk with the camera group.  The theme for the afternoon was 'texture' so, after the initial chat and coffee, we wandered around Devizes Wharf for an hour or so to take our photos, and then met back at the café to review our efforts.   A fun afternoon and the weather was kind to us.
 
Saturday evening was spent at home on my own.  It was one of those times when I couldn't settle to anything so pretty much wasted the evening drifting from one thing to another and not really doing anything much at all!
 
As for Sunday ... well Sunday was altogether much more focused.  A morning spent doing the laundry and sorting my teaching bag ready to return to work this week, and then I collected Julie at lunchtime to drive to Bristol for the matinee performance of Mary Poppins.  It was brilliant, probably the best stage musical I've seen for years, and I know from your comments that some of you thought the same.  I missed about 10 minutes of it near the start as I had another dizzy episode and had to leave my seat to go outside, but thankfully I recovered really quickly and it didn't spoil the afternoon at all.
 
The first part of Sunday evening was spent at Julie's, catching up with three of her daughters and then back home for a bit of quiet time, before a relaxing bath and an early night.
 
It was another night of broken sleep, but this time with nose bleeds and vomiting, so I've woken this morning feeling unable to face the world and I've taken the day off work.  It turned out to be the right decision as I've had another couple of dizzy episodes, so it'll have to be another visit to the doctor as soon as I can get an appointment. I have lots of blog reading and commenting to catch up on and I hope to get round to all of you during the week.  In the meantime, I hope you all have a lovely week.
 
Linking with Sian at From High in the Sky.