Sunday, 29 September 2013

Welcome to Jolene

... to Jolene @ Kitzbitz Art Glass

image from Google

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Blogtoberfest 2013

Yes, I'm going to do it .... well I'm going to try anyway! To blog every day during October, so at least 31 posts.  Is anyone else thinking of joining in?

Sunday, 22 September 2013

The Simple Woman's Daybook - Sunday 22nd September 2013


Outside my window ... it is cloudy with a few patches of beautiful blue sky.  There is no breeze and it is warmer than yesterday.

I am thinking ... about life and what I want from it. 

I am thankful ... for my friends who are always there for me.  My car is in need of attention and I have to put it into the garage during the coming week, which of course happens to be a very busy week when I desperately need my own transport.  Julie, without hesitation, offered me the use of her car until I can get mine sorted. I know how lucky I am! 

In the kitchen ... there is a chicken and mushroom casserole cooking away in my new shiny red slow cooker. The 'shiny red' will obviously make the food taste better!  When I finish this post I'm going to cook a batch of chilli and a batch of shepherd pies for the freezer - the ingredients are ready and waiting for me to get started.

I am wearing ... all the colours of the rainbow - I look like a 3 year old who has dressed herself.  I've been without a washing machine for a couple of weeks and am now playing catch up so this morning I just picked anything that was clean!

I am creating ... order out of chaos.  Decluttering is going well and I'm starting to feel that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel - with the inside of the house at least.

I am going ... to phone my niece to wish her a Happy Birthday.  She live in Wales so we don't get to meet up as often as I would like but phone calls and Facebook help.

I am wondering ... when to restart the degree course.  My initial plan was to start in the new year but I was reading through the course manual during the week and am now starting to feel that sooner rather than later will be better.  The need to produce work in a reasonable timescale will be another good structure in my life.  We'll see!

I am reading ... '15 Seconds' by Andrew Gross.  It hasn't really grabbed my attention but I'll keep going until I finish it.

I am hoping ... that the car repair isn't going to be too expensive.  Fingers crossed!

I am looking forward to ... tasting the onion bread I bought this morning. I couldn't resist it, it looked so delicious and practically begged me to put it in my shopping basket!

I am learning ... the value of routine.  Now that I'm back teaching and so, as a necessity, have to organise my time properly I am starting to appreciate the benefits of having some order in my life and a proper (though flexible) structure to my day.    

Around the house ... I can hear the washing machine working away to create me another pile of ironing.  I'm in the dining room and can hear Classic FM on the radio in the kitchen - it seems to be all I listen to at the moment and I'm finding the music an effective way of relaxing.  If I listen carefully I can also hear the fan on my laptop and the mumble of my neighbours in their garden.  It is very peaceful here, a good place to heal.

I am pondering ... plans for improving my health and fitness, still!  At some stage I need to stop planning and do something.  I have been walking a bit more than usual but if I'm honest with myself it doesn't add up to enough exercise in a week so I still need to work out how to do more. 

One of my favourite things ... using my favourite fountain pen filled with black ink to write a letter on good quality white writing paper.

A few plans for the rest of the week: I'm teaching every day so I don't get a day off this week, band practice on Saturday, babysitting for Tinks and Tweenie tomorrow and then going to see a concert at the weekend in which one of my friends is performing.

A peek into my day ... I've been shopping for missing ingredients and plan a day in the kitchen cooking for the freezer.  I also have a couple of letters to write - I still write (snail mail) to a friend from college and also to a penfriend who I first wrote to when we were eleven, all those years ago.
 A favourite quote for today ...

image from Google

Linking with The Simple Woman's Daybook

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Random Photos of the Garden

There's not much happening in my garden at the moment and I won't really be starting on it until next year - I need to finish sorting in the house first.  Here's some snaps of what's out there now.  Apologies for the dodgy focus on some of them!

Welcome to Ladkyis

... to Ladkyis @ Ramblings of a little old lady

image from Google

Friday, 20 September 2013

Summer Scavenger Hunt

With one day to go, here's my selection of photos for the summer scavenger hunt organised by Rinda.  Before you look at the photos, it's confession time ... most of the images were taken specifically for this hunt but I've also had to use some older photos to complete the list - there was just too much going on in my life that took priority and I didn't manage to get out and about as much as I needed to.  Promise I'll do better next year!

1: Open air market.  
Taken in Bradford on Avon, this market runs every week.

2: Theatre.  
This is the Wharf Theatre in Devizes.

3:  County Hall.  
Currently undergoing repairs, this beautiful building is in Bythesea (pronounced
'by - the - sea') Road in Trowbridge, a town which is at least 40 miles away from
the coast. This always amused us as children!

4: Airplane.  
This is one of the radio controlled planes made by Ced.  It's the only one
I've kept - I have lots of lovely memories of the winter nights he made this.

5: Sunset.  
This was taken from the back garden of my new home and is the view I can
see from the living room.

6: Someone sleeping.  
Here's one of Boy, tired out after a
day of playing with his siblings and cousins.

7: A funny sign.  
I think this is supposed to be intentionally funny - it didn't work
though, my unhealthy a** just kept walking past!

8: Tower.  
Three of Farleigh Castle's ruined towers.

9: Something out of place.  
Well how often do you see a giant doughnut on a child's
swing?  This was part of Lauren's coursework for her art exam.

10: An outside bench.  
In this case, lots of benches taken at the Wilton Windmill site.

11: An animal in a zoo.  
I didn't make it to a zoo so here's a photo of animals I may 
have seen if I had ... well it's zoo animal cushions, but you get the idea ...

12: A cloud in the shape of something.  
Yes, I know it's upside down but I think it makes it easier to see ...just to the right of centre there is a dog/teddy bear.

13: Fence.  
I found this by the canal near my new home, just a short length of fence not connected to anything.

14: Stained glass object.  
This is part of the stained glass panels in the front door
of my sister's home.

15: Police car.  
I didn't manage to see a Police car when I had my camera with me, so
this was solved by a rummage through the toy box.

16:  Windmill.
This is Wilton Windmill, the last remaining working windmill in Wiltshire.
17: Candle
this is one of the older photos, experimenting with lights

18: Local pub
The Somerset Arms in Semington, the scene of many happy times with friends and family

19: Fisherman.
I had to cheat with this one.  This is taken from the TV - I sat through
'Extreme Fishing with Robson Green' to get this image!

20:  Dinosaur.  
Another rummage through the toy box produced this book, the only dinosaur I could find.

21:  Me with a craft tool.  
Well part of me anyway! It's a bit of a lame interpretation of the subject but in my defence, I haven't unpacked any of my crafting stuff so this is the best I could do. 

Thursday, 12 September 2013

The Simple Woman's Daybook - Thursday, 12th September 2013


Outside my window ... it is pitch black.  There are no other houses overlooking the back of my house so when I look out of the French doors in the living room I can't see any lights at all.  I think there is a street light out there but there is no sight of it tonight.

I am thinking ... about going away for a few days at half term.  Delays with the house purchase meant that I didn't get away during the summer holiday and I want a change of scene to blow the cobwebs away

I am thankful ... for the support of my family and friends, as I come to terms with the changes in my life and move towards a happy future. 

In the kitchen ... it is all tidied away but the fridge is looking rather empty so I need to do some shopping.  I don't want to starve!

I am wearing ... jimjams and dressing gown. 

I am creating ... lots of mess as I unpack all the storage boxes and make decisions about what stays and what goes.

I am going ... to start cooking some of the recipes I've been saving.  Am I the only person who saves new recipes and never cooks them?

I am wondering ... whether to take on some extra work.  I spend all of my time working with children and on some days I don't get to speak to another adult unless I make the effort to do so.  I've been wondering whether to get a part-time job which involves working with other adults to help balance my life a little.

I am reading ... nothing!  I've just finished reading 'The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest' by Steig Larsson.  I'm not sure what to read next but I've got plenty to choose from - the top shelf of the bookcase is packed full of novels to read.

I am hoping ... to start a redwork embroidery.  I've nearly finished designing a Christmas wall-hanging but it may not be finished in time for this year!

I am looking forward to ... meeting up with friends.  We're going out for a meal next week, venue  still to be decided.

I am learning ... about plants an
d garden design.  I don't know when I'll make a start on the garden as I need to sort the house first, but I have ideas forming about how I want the garden to look.

Around the house ... I'm slowly getting sorted and finding places for the things I want to keep.

I am pondering ... plans for improving my health and fitness.  I'm seriously unfit and still massively overweight and must do something about it.  I have the time now but need to be realistic about what I can achieve - I have a tendency to overdo exercise plans at the start and then give up, so I'm aiming for a more sensible approach. 

One of my favourite things ... my new home.  It really is starting to feel like 'home' and I know that I am going to be happy here.

A few plans for the rest of the week: teaching tomorrow, band practice on Saturday and a photo session on Sunday, weather permitting.

A peek into my day ... I'd ordered blinds for the seven windows overlooking the road at the front of the house and they were fitted this morning.  I'm really pleased with them and it's lovely to have some privacy again.  I spent the afternoon sorting through a big pile of papers and getting that side of things organised.  This evening, I had a long soak in the bath and have been watching TV.
 A favourite quote for today ...

image from Google

Linking with The Simple Woman's Daybook

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Tilting at Windmills ...

... well, photographing one anyway!

I needed a shot of a windmill for the summer scavenger hunt.  The only one remaining in Wiltshire is on the other side of the county and is too far to go for one photo.  However, today was my first day back teaching and I was at a school which is only 15 minutes drive away from the windmill so I had plenty of time to find it and photograph it before I came back home.

It's also 'hay bale' time again.  Here's a couple of photos taken on the drive home.  Not the best images as I couldn't get as close as I wanted and didn't have the correct lens with me!

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Exploring the Neighbourhood (1)

My new home is in the local marina. It's not on the waterfront but that is very close, less than five minutes walk away. By the side of the marina is the Kennet and Avon canal with easy towpath walks in both directions (to Bradford on Avon or back in to Trowbridge) and at the end of the village is the River Avon with its water meadows/flood plain and weir. 

Today, I walked round to the waterfront to take a few photos to share with you.

The marina, looking towards the canal

The marina, looking back towards the houses.  My home is behind the houses on the left.

The canal, looking towards Bradford on Avon.  This is where you can hire a boat

The canal, looking towards Trowbridge.  The big building in the centre of the picture is the boatyard.

The overflow lake at the edge of the marina

Monday, 2 September 2013

Last Week ...

... was a busy, fun week.  It was the last week of the school holidays so I put the remainder of the unpacking on the back burner and spent the time meeting up with friends and family.

Julie and Lauren came round to see the house and Julie treated us to a Chinese takeaway. We tried the one which is only about three minutes walk from my house, near the waterfront.  It was okay, but we all agreed that the ones in town are better.  

On the Wednesday, I met with Lyn for lunch.  We went to the Lion and Fiddle, which always used to be a very popular eating place but it was empty ... we were the only ones there. However, the food was lovely and I would go there again - the lack of other customers meant that the service was superb!

Wednesday evening, my sister and BIL came round for a meal.  I know, two big meals in a day - not easy, but I managed it!!  This time we tried a takeaway from the Indian restaurant (next to the Chinese takeaway) and it was delicious.  We will definitely be eating there again.

Laura, Brian, Tinks and Tweenie came to tea on Thursday.  I cooked a meal this time, no takeaways!  Earlier in the day, Mel came round with Raggie and Wriggle.  Raggie starts school next week and I'd sewn the name labels on her school uniform so they popped in to see the house and collect the uniform.  She is beyond excited about starting school, I can't wait to see how she gets on. All four children loved the garden - apparently, it's not 'decking', it's a 'stage'!  We were treated to impromptu concerts from both pairs of children.  I opened both sets of French doors and the children were running in through the dining room and out through the living room, on a continuous circular route.  It was lovely, just what I was hoping would happen.

Sunday morning saw me standing in a field with Julie at a car boot sale helping her sell of some of her unwanted goodies.  It was my first time actually selling, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I know that it was a lovely sunny morning and maybe won't be quite as much fun on a cold day, but we've decided to try to do one every month and share a stall selling half her stuff and half mine. 

Sunday night, Julie called round with her four daughters to let the older girls see my new home.  It's the first time since the funeral that I've seen them all together.  The eldest, Rheanna, works shifts so I don't see her that often.  The other two, Bethanie and Kelsey, are away at university so usually it is only Lauren, the youngest, that I see regularly.  They are a force to be reckoned with when they are all together and tremendous fun, always laughing.  It was a flying visit but it really cheered me up.

I've also met a few of the neighbours now so am starting to feel less isolated here.  One of them knocked on my door on Friday with a gift of some home grown tomatoes for me.  Totally unexpected but very much appreciated.  They were full of flavour and so much better than the shop bought ones. May have to think about growing some myself.

Sorry for the lack of photographs but I have actually got as far as charging the camera battery so things are heading in the right direction!  Hope you all had a good week.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

September's Simple Things

Here's my list of simple things to do in September.  I'm deliberately keeping the list short because I still have a lot of unpacking to do.
  • find my candle holders and tealights and have at least a couple of evenings relaxing by candlelight
  • complete a WASGIJ jigsaw puzzle
  • watch the final episode of 'Lewis'
  • do some baking - either a cake, scones or biscuits, or maybe all of them!
  • start a redwork embroidery wall hanging, probably a Christmas theme.
These things have all been buzzing around in my mind for ages but I never seem to get round to doing them so September is the month I get my act together!