Monday, 20 November 2017

Day 95: The Last Leaf!

The last leaf on the crab apple tree ... sort of sums up how the garden is looking!

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Day 93: Bye Bye Patio

Where did all this cold weather come from? At least I didn't have to de-ice the car this morning, which was just as well as I was late leaving home. I think I can safely say that I won't be sitting out on the patio again for the next few months. 

The patio furniture has been one of my better buys and has been well used. I'd planned to move it into the garage during the winter months but that's not going to happen this year as I'm storing all the spare tubas and trombones for the band, so there is no room to move let alone find room for the table and seats.

I've finally managed to clear some of the garden - you can see the bags filled with the results of my labours lined up against the garage wall, waiting to go to the skip next week. There's still plenty to do but I'm feeling more confident of getting it done now. I have next week to get it finished and then we're into the carol playing season when there will be no time for anything but Christmas music ... best time of the year!

Friday, 17 November 2017

Day 92: Autumn Colour

This is the view from the window in the smallest bedroom, looking out from the back of the house. It's swiftly becoming a favourite place from which I can admire the view and just take time to appreciate the 'now'. There's still plenty of autumn colour to please the eye.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Day 91: Honeysuckle

If the weather plays nicely at the weekend I'll be cutting the honeysuckle back to the fence, and then will try to keep it contained. Someone suggested training it along the top of the fence but I don't know how successful that would be, but may be worth a try.

It's quite a simple day today with a bit of housework this morning, teaching this afternoon, and this evening I'm trying to finish the latest book for the book group. It's 'A Line of Blood' by Ben McPherson and, although I was really looking forward to reading it, I'm not enjoying it at all. 

Yesterday's theatre trip to see 'Priscilla, Queen of the Desert' gets a big thumbs up. I had a look online when I got home to see what else is happening locally and discovered that there is a touring production of 'Kinky Boots' at Bristol Hippodrome in 2019 so I've booked a seat to see that. I've tried to see it every time I've done a theatre trip to London but have always been unsuccessful in getting a good seat - this time I'm front row in the Grand Circle so it pays to plan ahead!!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Day 90: An Afternoon Treat

I've been wanting to see a stage production of this show for years. Really excited!

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Day 89: Raindrops

I've chosen the same subject as Maggie today - great minds think alike! Although in my case it was because there is a distinct lack of interest in the garden at the moment. Still a bit of autumn colour and the violas, but no shrubs doing interesting things so any suggestions for smallish shrubs which will flower/have berries at this time of the year will be very much appreciated.

I'm waiting in for a delivery for the band. I've ordered two brand new cornets for the juniors so will be preparing them for playing as soon as they arrive, ready to be issued on Saturday. I have 90 minutes teaching in a local school this afternoon and then that's it for the day. Tonight, I'd like to do a bit more sorting/clearing out and then a bit more research on my family tree.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Day 88: Night Photography

A very late post tonight as I've been on a photography course, all to do with night photography. Part of the course involved a walk around Corsham to practice everything we'd been learning.

Here's one of my first attempts ...

Night photography is something I've always struggled with so I'm pleased with the detail I've managed to capture in this image. Not bad for starters!

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Day 87: My Sunday Photo

for once I was up early enough to photograph the sunrise this morning!


Saturday, 11 November 2017

Friday, 10 November 2017

Day 85: Thank Goodness It's Friday!

Luckily I didn't have much to do today as I managed less than 4 hours sleep last night and am shattered. I've no idea why I didn't sleep well but the lack of sleep has meant that I've had one of those sickly headaches all day. When I tell you that my only work commitment was to run two 30 minute recorder playing clubs at lunch time, you may have some idea of how I felt for most of the day!

I'd arranged to meet with L for lunch on my way home from Calne, and as I still had to eat, I didn't cancel. This proved to be the best decision of the day and once I'd eaten the roast lamb meal I'd chosen, I was starting to feel a bit more human again.

Then home, a soak in the bath and coffee out of my new mug. 

My only plans for this evening are an early night and, hopefully, plenty of sleep.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Day 84: A Splash of Red

I glanced out of the window this morning and spotted a splash of red amongst the remains of the cosmos (still) waiting to be cleared. It's another poppy, and there's a couple more further over getting ready to flower.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Day 83: Nordic Walking

I took today's photo whilst we were waiting for the Nordic Walking to start. We were determined to be on time, actually arriving 20 minutes too early, so I pottered around the car park with my phone and took some photos of the river bank and the willows.

As for the Nordic walking ... I loved it! I can see it will be something I can do regularly and I'll definitely benefit from the exercise. My friend found it more difficult and has been advised to go on a one-to-one session so I don't know yet whether she plans to commit to it. If she does, I will still go to the Monday session in Malmesbury with her but I will also investigate a group closer to home, in Avebury, for myself. Malmesbury is a 50 minute drive each way where Avebury is only 25 minutes each way, so there's a big difference in terms of time and effort to get to the meeting points. I'll aim to do two walks a week once I've done the introductory session but my first priority will be to invest in some new walking boots as my existing ones aren't up to the job.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Day 82: Bits and Bobs

I had an appointment to see the doctor this morning so took the opportunity to catch up with things in town.

Last week I booked a couple of holidays online, both photography holidays and both in the UK, and at the time I made a mental note to go into the travel agencies and see what other types of holidays are on offer. I always think it's better to have the brochures rather than keep changing screens online so I've come home with 10 different brochures to sit and work my way through. I want to book at least one more holiday for next year and at the moment (bearing in mind I haven't read any of the brochures) I'm thinking about a week in New York. 

I also dropped another load of stuff off at the skip and one box to a charity shop, so that's cleared some more space at home. Then a trip to Sainsburys to stock up on veggies and lentils as I want to do some bulk cooking and freeze as individuals meals.

I had time for a walk through the park on my way to the surgery. The results were disappointing this morning; even though I've been doing plenty of walking and daily exercise, my blood pressure was way too high so I have to have blood tests and return in one month. 

It's pouring with rain now and I've just noticed that the bird feeders need to be topped up. Again! These birds are costing me a fortune. I think that'll have to be an after-I've-finished-teaching job though. In a few minutes I'm off to my Tuesday afternoon school and once I've finished there I need to drive over to Melksham to deliver a birthday card. Then it'll be back home for a roast dinner (probably lamb but it might be pork) and an evening flicking through the holiday brochures.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Day 81: Kitchen Quiz

It's a kitchen duties sort of day today. I have friends coming round for a shared late lunch later on so am cooking these ingredients (+ others!) for my contribution to the meal. Can you guess what I'm cooking? It's a nice easy quiz, just say what you see 😁😁

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Day 80: My Sunday Photo

I've decided to keep my paperweight collection. These four, for some reason, are always
displayed in this order. The rest just have to take their chance!


Saturday, 4 November 2017

Day 79: Pieris

Earlier than expected, the pieris has started producing buds ... much prettier than yesterday's plant!

Band practice resumes this morning and, as I'm the only one of the music team attending this morning, it's going to be busy. Fun, but busy!

Friday, 3 November 2017

Day 78: It Has To Go!

The four o'clock plant I posted about has to go. 

I assume it is producing its seeds but it looks a mess and, in my opinion, a little bit creepy. It has overstayed its welcome and, weather permitting, won't last the weekend. I've tried to give it away but none of my gardening friends like it either!

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Day 77: Meeting Friends No 2

Another afternoon at the cinema with friends. We didn't actually get to see a film this time, choosing to chat and drink coffee in Costa Coffee instead, as H couldn't stop coughing and was worried that she'd spoil the film for the rest of us. We made her buy the coffee to make up for us missing the film!!

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Day 76: Catching Up With Friends

Not that we had much time to chat because we spent the afternoon here ...

... watching 'Thor: Ragnorak'. Not my usual choice of films but there were lots of laughs and it didn't bore me to tears like some of the superhero films do. 

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Day 75: Trying Something New Part 2

A romanesco broccoli-cauliflower: I don't think I've ever eaten it and definitely have never cooked it before so it's my something new for today. 

Monday, 30 October 2017

Day 74: Trying Something New

Well that was the plan anyway but as usual things didn't go according to plan! I had to get to L's home in Chippenham by 9 am and then she was driving us to Malmesbury to try Nordic walking. I arrived at her home on time but she was all behind so by the time we got to Malmesbury the walkers were nowhere to be seen. After driving all that way we didn't want to turn around and go straight home so we found a cafe and had a second breakfast ...

I think the Nordic walking would have been the healthier option but the bacon and egg bap was yummy and, in my opinion, a good alternative!

We're going to try again on November 8th so fingers crossed for a more successful outcome.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Day 73: My Sunday Photo

The bees are still busy in the garden and seem to favour the cosmos.


Saturday, 28 October 2017

Day 72: Feeding the Birds

I bought a couple more bird feeders yesterday. For now, they are hanging from the brackets for the hanging baskets whilst I decide where to put a proper stand/support for them. 

The birds seem happy with the current location though and started feeding from them almost straight away.

In between rain showers I've managed to tidy up part of the garden although there is still loads to do. I'm leaving the cosmos for a bit longer but have emptied the annuals from the pots so that I can put those pots away for the winter. I've planted some of the bulbs but have quite a few more to find space for - I'll get fed up in the end and just plant them anywhere!

I have friends visiting this afternoon so am looking forward to catching up with all their news as I haven't seen them for years. It seems that we've all reached an age where we're reminiscing and contacting old friends. Whatever the reason, it's going to be a fun afternoon.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Day 71: Sunset

Thank goodness for the sunset tonight as I forgot to take my daily photo this morning!

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Day 70: Poppy

I only have time for a quick post today ... I found another poppy in the garden, hiding in amongst the cosmos.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Day 69: I Was Wrong ...

... the recent storms didn't finish off the cosmos.

The plants may be looking a bit sorry for themselves but there are still plenty of flowers and lots of buds. It's mostly the white ones but there are a few pink ones to see.  

The new instruments arrived yesterday as promised and I had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon having a play testing them. Today has been all about housework. So far all the carpets have been done, dusting is finished and the downstairs cloakroom is sparkling again. I'm having my hair cut this afternoon (at home) and afterwards I'll wash the kitchen/dining room floor and finish the family bathroom. Then tomorrow it'll just be the ensuite and then wipe down all the paintwork throughout the house. I am definitely going to get a cleaner. I phoned round for quotes yesterday and now have to decide which company I want to use. I'm fairly sure it's going to be the one which offers to do the ironing as well!

It seems that all my windows need to be replaced. Every rep has given me the same advice and I've spoken to family and neighbours about it as well, so now it's a case of sorting out the best price. The work will start in January. 

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Day 68: I'm Excited!

It's obviously been raining through the night and is still looking a bit wet, drab and windy out there so most definitely another day at home. I not complaining today though as I have the perfect reason for being indoors. I ordered two new tenor horns for the band and they are due to be delivered today. I'm excited! The tenor horn is my principal instrument so I will obviously have to test them, won't I? I've looked out some of my music and plan to spend a good part of the day playing old favourites. Apart from that, all I have on for today is a visit from the final sales rep to quote for the replacement windows.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Day 67: Another Rainy Day!

So it's another day spent indoors. At this rate I'll run out of things to do ... I wish!

This morning has been completely wasted trying to get some sense out of HSBC and sort out access to the band's account. I now have to complete yet another form and send it in but it needs the other signatories to sign alongside me so it can't be completed until they return from their holidays. Why are banks so frustrating to deal with?

raindrops on honeysuckle berries
I've had a couple of enquiries about whether there will be a Winter Photo Scavenger Hunt this year and the answer is yes! I wasn't going to bother but I think it'll be fun and will get me out and about. Any suggestions for inclusion on the list will be very much appreciated.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Day 65: Oops!

I think I'll be looking for new lights next year!

Friday, 20 October 2017

Day 64: After the Storm

The garden is looking a bit battered after last night's heavy rain and wind. The cosmos and the rest of the taller plants over in the far corner are the worst affected, no longer upright and some snapped stems. Sadly, I think it's the end of the cosmos for this year! 

Nearer the house escaped reasonably lightly with some overturned pots (just the very small ones) and luckily, these weren't touched at all ...

... a surprise gift from a friend, which I still need to plant. 

My first thought when the rain started was 'I hope Maggie's family have finished their harvesting' and my second was 'the other end of the village is going to be flooded again!' 

There's a beautiful blue sky out there now but I'm waiting in for a couple of sales reps to quote for replacement french doors and also advise whether the problems with the other windows (leaking) are to do with needing new seals or (as I think) will need to be replaced. It feels expensive!

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Day 63: The View From the Window

The buddleia has had a growth spurt so the view from my kitchen window is changing as it's now tall enough to be seen just by looking straight out of the window. 

It's still raining out there, much heavier than yesterday, so it's another day at home. I have more energy today though, so am emptying and photographing all the bedroom furniture I want to sell. I'm having a good sort out as I do this so on the next dry day I'll need to take stuff to the charity shop and also to the skip. I'm well over half way through and hope to get it all finished today. That'll be another job ticked off the list!

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Day 62: First Day of the Holiday

It's the first day of the half term holiday. I'd hoped to go to The Range and IKEA with J, only ever a tentative arrangement if J could make the time, but she's had to cancel. Plan B was going for a drive and then a photo session but it's raining - that horrible fine, drizzly sort of rain that soaks through, so Plan B has also been postponed. Which means that I have a day at home.

I have plenty to do but I can't settle to anything. I seem to be wandering from room to room but failing to find anything to interest me. I think it is going to be one of those days!

Today's photo is the view from the back bedroom window. My back garden always feels very secure as my neighbour's garden wraps around mine - I love their little red acer tree. The grassy part beyond their wall is one of the many green areas that criss-cross the estate, all paved for easy walking - the path is closer to the wall and can't be seen in this photo. Just behind the trees is a reed bed which runs up through this part of the estate. It's in desperate need of some attention so I was pleased to read in the local newsletter that a grant has been obtained and work will start next year.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Day 61: Little Things ...

... please little minds! This is the message that greets me when I switch the engine on. My car says 'hello' to me!

P.S. Her name is Billie.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Day 60: A New Addition to the Family

Meet ???? .... well he hasn't got a name yet and I'm not sure whether it is a he or a she! So, meet my new car ...

The Clio was having too many expensive problems so had outstayed its welcome and it had to go. This is another Renault, a Twingo, with 2138 miles on the clock and a January 2017 plate. It was the Renault dealer's demo car and is the closest I'll ever get to a brand new car! My insurance worked out at the same price but the added bonus is that there is no car tax on this model!

It's the same size engine as before but a slightly smaller overall size, with the engine at the back this time. It has all the features I wanted with the additional (probably an essential requirement from now on!) of a colour reversing camera. 

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Day 59: My Sunday Photo

Taken from the back bedroom window earlier in the week, this is a straight-out-of-the-camera shot. The colours were so vibrant there was no need to edit.


Saturday, 14 October 2017

Day 58: Cosmos

There are plenty of buds on the cosmos, so flowers aplenty for the foreseeable future. 

Does anyone know how much longer they will flower before they give up for this year? 

Friday, 13 October 2017

Day 57: Retail Therapy in Bath

I've been looking for a new handbag for some time now but couldn't find anything suitable in Trowbridge so today I tottered off to Bath with L to see if I'd have more luck. I didn't buy a bag but did come home with three cardigans, two shirts and a top.

Here's a photo of the River Avon looking down towards Pultney Bridge.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Day 56: Computer Issues

I'm having problems with my laptop again so if I disappear for a few days, that'll be the reason. It starts to power up properly but then the screen stops working and although I can hear the process continuing, I can't see anything. If it doesn't correct itself (probably wishful thinking on my part), I'll have to get it repaired (hopefully) or buy a replacement (most likely!).

I don't have much to tell you today. I'll be teaching later this afternoon but until then I'm just amusing myself at home. My new Instant Pot arrived yesterday so I'm ploughing my way through the instruction manual before I attempt to blow up the kitchen cook with it. I used to use a pressure cooker many years ago, so should be okay with it! It is very big. I read the dimensions before I ordered, but as usual that information didn't translate into any spacial understanding, so I will have to move things around in the kitchen to find space to store it. 

Today's photo shows the buds of the potato vine.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Day 55: Potato Vine

This is the large climber on the front of the house which will be moved to the back garden next year. It's just too fast growing for its current position and keeps covering the vent for the boiler. In the back garden I'll encourage it to grow horizontally along the side fences and it can grow to it's heart's content!

It was a busy and somewhat frustrating morning. At the committee meeting on Monday I agreed to resume the position of Treasurer and have had the frustration of dealing, or trying to deal with HSBC, who have consistently blocked every enquiry. I went into the local branch at their request only to be told that they couldn't deal with it in branch and I needed to phone in, but the telephone enquiry team wouldn't deal with me as they said I need to speak to the local branch! I will try again tomorrow when hopefully different, more co-operative staff, will be able to help me.

This afternoon I met with Lyn to see Victoria and Abdul at the local Odeon. If you haven't seen it yet I can definitely recommend it. We have plans to try Nordic Walking next, something that's been on my list for a long time. Lyn is going to arrange a taster session/course for us and we'll see how we get on!

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Day 54: Wisteria Lane

This is buddleia wisteria lane, where the flowers droop to mimic the growth of a wisteria. I couldn't get the colour right today ... it's actually the pale lilac of a wisteria and not the pinky colour I've managed to capture.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Day 53: The Front Garden

I tend to forget about the front garden when looking for subjects for photos so I'll remedy that this week and feature some of the plants. Today it's the turn of the hebes - they've all done well and are now flowering.

I've just got home from lunching with a friend in Lacock, which is very close to the Whitehall Garden Centre and we somehow ended up leaving the pub early and driving to the garden centre to look for bulbs and winter plants ... she is a bad influence on me! I've arrived home with loads of bulbs and violas which now need to be planted. 

Sunday, 8 October 2017