Monday, 16 September 2019


A mindfulness interlude on a warm and sunny Sunday morning - a gentle breeze but still warm enough to sit out on the patio with a cold drink appreciating the sights and sounds of all that's going on around me.

Sights ...
  • the autumn colours, hinting that it's the end of the summer
  • shadows dancing across the patio
  • a tiny green beetle making its way across the patio
  • busy bees on the flowers
  • a spider waiting patiently on its web
  • fallen leaves and petals under the roses
  • the blur of a bird flying away. It may have been a robin but it was too quick to see it properly
  • a beautiful blue sky and fluffy white clouds
  • Sammy, my neighbour's ginger and white cat, taking a short cut across the garden

Sounds ...

Close by I can hear:
  • bees buzzing around the flowers
  • the rattle of the living room vertical blinds moving in the breeze
  • the rustling of leaves in the breeze
  • the creaking of the roof on next door's conservatory

In the distance I can hear:
  • an airplane flying overhead
  • someone sawing and hammering
  • very faintly, a siren sounding at the cereal factory that's on the other side of the village
  • a peal of bells. The breeze must be in the right direction as I can't usually hear them but I think it's the parish church where we held band practice yesterday

Considering I live in the middle of an estate, I'm surprised that I didn't hear any voices, radios, dogs barking, cars, trains, or cheering from the sports field - the home team must have an away match this week!


This afternoon I'm visiting another school to run one workshop with about 30 year 3s. One of the teachers in this school is a fellow band member (I used to teach her when she was a child 😊) and the Headteacher has released her from her own class to help me run the workshop, which is brilliant and will make for a much easier afternoon.

Then it'll be back home for the private lessons, and if I have any energy left I may try out a new singing group this evening but I'll tell you more about that once I've joined. It all depends on how I feel so may have to wait until I've completed all the workshops in two weeks time.

Sunday, 15 September 2019


the last of the lavender for this year
I'm having another quiet day at home. I seem to have had so many 'quiet days' lately but I don't have the energy or the inclination to do much more than the urgent stuff. I'll continue as I am until I have my heart scan at the end of this month and then see if the results of that make any sense of how I am feeling.

I was hoping to go out with my camera today but slept in too late to get to Longleat to photograph the massed hot air balloon ascent, and have since heard from a friend to say they may call in on their way back to Plymouth, so I'm staying at home as I'd love to see them.

So, apart from the possibility of visitors, I don't have anything else planned. I am too tired to weed the front garden so that will be done on Tuesday, as will the trip to the skip. I'll be visiting another school tomorrow so that's the reason it's put back a day. I do know I'll be curled up in front of the TV at 6:20 pm as ITV2 is screening Disney's original cartoon version of Beauty and the Beast, and for the rest of my time I will just do whatever takes my fancy. 

Saturday, 14 September 2019


Lots of excitement at band today as we practised in the parish church instead of our usual venue. All of the children have played in the church before though always as part of a church service, but you would have thought it was their first time with all the fussing! It took longer than it should to get organised, settle them down and start playing but, oh it was worth it. The acoustics in the building are amazing ... perfect for a brass band.

I've had my lunch (omelette with salad followed by a pear) and once I've finished this post will be pottering in the garden. I hope to get all the weeding done today and then tomorrow I can do some tidying in the garden end of the garage ... there's a car load of stuff to take to the skip which I'd like to get rid of. Then, assuming I have cleared enough space, I want to start photographing the tubas and trombones I'm storing for the band so another committee member can advertise them for sale. 

I'm looking forward to a quiet evening and an early night. I was invited to a meal in Bristol with friends but declined as it'll be a late night and I don't fancy the hour long drive home in the early hours of the morning. Anyway it's the Last Night of the Proms on TV and I want to watch it.

Friday, 13 September 2019


It's definitely a day for catching up with a few household chores (morning) and then reading and relaxing (afternoon and evening). 

'A' (cleaner) will be here soon so that's the bulk of the cleaning sorted. I have one load of bedding drying and another load to dry as soon as the machine is empty, and then all the towels to do and that will be all the household linen dealt with. I can probably get away without ironing the bedding as it's 'easy care' and usually comes out of the tumble dryer wrinkle free. It's going straight back on the bed this time as it's lovely and soft ... my current favourite set!

I'm in the midst of creating a shopping list in preparation for a couple of bulk cooking sessions. I have a couple of new recipes for curries I'd like to try out and, as we are moving into autumn, I fancy some of my favourite comfort food meals. I have plenty in the freezer at present so I doubt I'll get round to doing the shopping and cooking until after I've finished the workshops. I have enough on at the moment without adding to my workload 

After lunch (probably beans on toast, followed by fresh fruit salad), I will settle down to do some music practice, then lose myself in a book. 

Today's photo was taken of my view from the sofa after a few minutes of mindfulness earlier this morning ... that's why it's wonky!

Thursday, 12 September 2019


I must have been more tired than I thought as I slept in this morning, finally waking at 11:30ish. I'm putting this down to a combination of being unfit (so the workshops tired me more then they should have done) and the fact that I still have the cold so am physically under the weather even though I am feeling much better than when it first started.

I been out in the garden to have a look around and I need to have another weeding session. All the rain we've been having is lovely but it does encourage the weeds to show their heads.  I think that will be a weekend job. 

At the moment I'm in the playroom; I've just finished writing references for two ex pupils and am now catching up with a few odds and ends of band admin, but I'll soon be finished and will be going downstairs for a late lunch and then ... who knows?

I want to do a bit of piano practice and need to go to the local shop as I've run out of washing up liquid and the dirty dishes are piling up! I can't be bothered to drive into town so will either have to pay the extortionate prices of the local shop or leave the washing up until I get to town either tomorrow or Saturday. I have other bits of shopping that I'd planned to do today but they can wait.

I have that sort of 'muzzy' head where I've probably had too much sleep and now can't concentrate for long. The references have taken much longer than they should have done and I feel like I need a nap! I need to pull myself together, so maybe a walk and a good dose of fresh air is what I need. It's perfect walking weather - a bright warm day, a fresh breeze and no rain - so if I can summon up the energy I'll take myself off to walk along the towpath just to get some fresh air and clear my head.

Wednesday, 11 September 2019


I'm shattered! I've visited two schools today and run three workshops with 30 seven year old children in each workshops. It's been a noisy, but fun day and hopefully some of them will be interested enough to join the band.

The second school was so hot it was unbearable. The engineers are sorting out a problem with the heating system so the heating is on and turned up high with all windows and doors open. 

I'm home now and the first thing I did was to jump in the shower and cool down. I didn't have any plans for this evening but it seems friends are coming to see me ... as they've suggested treating me to an Indian meal, I'll welcome them with open arms!!

Until they get here I'll read for a while and enjoy the peace and quiet ... much appreciated after the noise of the workshops!

Tuesday, 10 September 2019


I've caught up with myself at long last! Today has been taken up with band stuff and lesson prep, and all the urgent bits have been done so I can take a bit of a rest until the responses start coming in.

Tomorrow is the first two workshops on behalf of the band and I'm really looking forward to them. They are hard work but rewarding, the worst bit being ferrying 10 brass instruments from home to car, car to school and the same again in reverse on the way home. The bit with the year 3s is good fun ... and very, very noisy!

The only other must do for this week is to write references for two teenagers I used to teach, but they won't take long to do. 

For the rest of the evening I have plonked myself in front of the TV and am watching 'Would I Lie To You?', always a good laugh.

Oh, and I'm feeling much better now, thanks.  

Monday, 9 September 2019


I've underestimated how long the band admin will take so I've run out of time to write a proper blog post as I need to finish the paper for the committee meeting tonight.

Apologies to all and I'll be back tomorrow.

Sunday, 8 September 2019


It's 10:49am and I've just dragged myself out of bed. Something I ate yesterday didn't agree with me and I've spent a good part of the night in the bathroom. I still feel nauseous but am over the worst thankfully, but I think it will be a jimjam day today. I've eaten some dry toast which should settle my stomach (and has allowed me to take my medication) and am now sipping some boiled water. 

Band went well yesterday. One of the best things about the first day back is hearing all their news ... music exams passed (piano and singing by the two sisters), all about changes of classes and new teachers (all the children), change of schools (one girl and one adult teacher), holidays (most people), new pet (one girl), and birthdays celebrated (two children). Attendance for the first week back was good though it was obvious that very little practice had been done during the break! The first week back is always a case of 'let's see how much you remember', but they soon settle back in to it and, after playing a few pieces realise that they haven't really forgotten anything. The first couple of pieces were very painful to listen to though, more of a free for all rather than playing in time!!

This week and for the rest of the month I will be running workshops in some of the local primary schools in the hope of gaining some new band members. I have seven sessions booked and will contact three more schools tomorrow to see if they are interested. I do this every year so will only see the new year 3s as I will have seen all the older children in previous years. These instruments are stacked in my hall and will be taking up space for the rest of the month!

I start the private lessons tomorrow. One boy has stopped lessons but is continuing with band so I will look for a replacement next week. I'm not surprised as he never practiced but I'm pleased that he is staying with the band.

There's another committee meeting tomorrow night, and thinking about it ... my whole month is tied up with the band on one way or another. So, a music filled month ahead ... sounds like my sort of month!!

Saturday, 7 September 2019


I'm dressed early and raring to go ... weekly band rehearsals resume this morning and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again.

It's definitely chillier this morning so I think it's unlikely that there'll be any more opportunities to eat breakfast out on the patio this year. I have been out for a quick look round the garden but I won't mention the weather or Bless and Lady Ella will be envious!! I've taken special care in choosing the photos for today 😚

I'm feeling much better today and, as expected, the cold has moved from head to chest and I sound really croaky when I talk. If it wasn't for that I'd go along to the library after band finishes to join in with their board games afternoon, but I'll delay going until next week. 

Once back home I don't have any plans for the rest of the weekend so will be pottering about home just doing whatever I fancy!

Food plans for the day are bacon, mushrooms and eggs for breakfast, homemade tomato soup for lunch, and homemade vegetable biryani for dinner tonight. I'm giving up coffee for a few weeks to see if it makes a difference to the frequency of the migraines so I will just be drinking water.