Thursday, 31 July 2014

100 Happy Days: Day 100

I had a lovely time today. I'd arranged to meet up with Joy for a good natter, a bit of photography and a picnic.  We met in Sutton Veny at the village hall and set off to photograph St Leonard's Church, about a 5 - 10 minutes walk from where we'd parked.  On the way back to the cars, we stopped for a quick look around the Church of St John the Evangelist and the Australian war graves in its churchyard and then wandered across the Alexander Field to sit on the Diamond Jubilee bench for eats and a long chat.
The weather forecast was for rain mid afternoon but it was perfect all the time we were there - bright sunshine but not too hot. It was lovely to see Joy again and to catch up on all the news but as always, time passes too quickly and all too soon it was time to go our different ways. 
I've been planning to photograph this building for ages but have never managed to get there, despite my good intentions.  I took lots of photos so will probably do another post about this church and the other one we looked around so watch this space!

212/365: Clematis 'Piilu'

Delicate pink flowers have appeared out of nowhere - I hadn't noticed any buds on the plant when I looked a couple of days ago, but there's loads now.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

100 Happy Days: Day 99

Recommended by Aril.  Purchased on eBay.  Arrived in the post today. Placed on the top of my books-to-be-read pile.

Weigh In Wednesday [31]

I've had a good week full of new recipes and much more satisfying meals, and on some days have struggled to actually eat enough calories.  Up until yesterday that is, when I met a friend for lunch and just indulged ... big time!  Despite that, I have still managed to lose another pound this week so now have a total loss of 32lbs in 32 weeks.   
Linking with Weigh In Wednesday.

211/365: Over the Fence

Peeping up over the fence from my neighbour's garden - I love the colour.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

100 Happy Days: Day 98

This is where I had lunch today, sat at a table shaded by one of the red umbrellas in the garden of the Jolly Sailor next to Saltford Lock on the River Avon.  I met up with Suzy, who I haven't seen for ages ... so long ago that I can't actually remember when we last met.  We had a lovely meal together catching up on all the gossip; I had a fisherman's casserole followed by a really fattening cheesecake - I've gone way over my calorie allowance for the day but it was worth it!
Here's some more photos of the river ... 

210/365: Begonias

Monday, 28 July 2014

100 Happy Days: Day 97

Not the best of days, but now curled up with a book and a mug of coffee - just relaxing.

209/365: Petunias

Sunday, 27 July 2014

100 Happy Days: Day 96

I've thoroughly enjoyed myself today. I've been to a quilting workshop/course at Midsomer Quilting in Chilcompton, about 30 minutes drive from home.  We've been making a start on a disappearing 9 square mini quilt.  I didn't manage to finish this first stage but I only have to join the five strips and it's done - or so I thought but on closer inspection when I got home, I can see that I need to redo part of the strip on the left of the picture - you can see that the corners don't meet properly. It won't take long to do but I'm too tired to do it tonight. 

Stage 2 will be to add the borders, do the quilting and add the binding.  I'll be booking my place as soon as I finish off what I started today.

208/365: Honeysuckle

Guess what tomorrow's job is?  I can't delay any more, it's time to prune it back so that it is no longer growing over into my garden.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

100 Happy Days: Day 95

Just cleaned the sewing machine ready for tomorrow ... starting to get excited!

207/365: Raspberries

I thought the raspberries had finished so am delighted to see signs of a new crop.

Friday, 25 July 2014

100 Happy Days: Day 94

Playing Mind Games, I finally solved the puzzle I've been stuck on for days.  Also happy that the next game (shown in the photo) is going to be easier - I don't have any problems solving Sudoku.

206/365: Lupins

New flowers on the lupins.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

100 Happy Days: Day 93

Happy to report that my car passed the MOT first time, no work needed!!

205/365: Honeysuckle Berries

The flowers have gone and the honeysuckle is now producing its berries.  These will eventually turn black.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

100 Happy Days: Day 92

It's been a productive day, getting lots of little things done and out of the way.  Today I had a combination lock fitted to the side gate, the key safe fitted to the back wall of the house, took 10 bags of shredded paper to the recycling centre, ordered a new washer/dryer, booked a theatre ticket, arranged for a carpenter to give me a quote for some work I want done and I've just returned from dropping my car at the garage for its MOT tomorrow.
I've earned a rest, so plan to spend the rest of the day simply relaxing and enjoying the peace and quiet.

Weigh In Wednesday [30]

I've had a better week and have managed to lose the pound I put on last week, so back to a total weight loss of 31 lbs to date.

I'm experimenting with different meal choices this week.  I'd got back into the habit of having snacks which obviously leaves fewer calories for each meal so this week I'm padding out each meal with more fruit and/or veg and eliminating the snacks.  So far it is working - I feel full and haven't wanted to snack. 
Linking with Weigh In Wednesday.

204/365: Pieris Flower Buds

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

100 Happy Days: Day 91

For the past month I haven't been able to get any of the ITV channels - it just said 'bad signal'.  I checked with the company that installed the TV aerial to be told that the heat can sometimes affect the signal; ITV signals are particularly susceptible to this and although they could fit another booster, there was no guarantee that it would work so I decided not to bother.
I switched the TV on today for the first time since the power cut during the storms of last weekend and was happy to see that it is working properly again - all channels displaying properly. I don't watch TV very often but its good to be able to have the full choice of programmes again.

203/365: Pieris

According to the internet, this is a pieris fruit.  I had no idea they had fruits, but apparently they do!

Monday, 21 July 2014

100 Happy Days: Day 90

Catching up with friends ... laughing ... crying ... feeling good!

202/365: Mystery Plant

Does anyone recognise this plant? From the shape of the skeleton leaf I posted here, Ladkyis thinks that it may be Japanese Knotwood.
When the shed was demolished, this pot was found squeezed behind it.  There are two plants in the pot, both of which have probably self seeded.  The other is easily recognised as a bramble but I don't know what this one is - even with watering it hasn't grown much!  If it is the dreaded Japanese Knotwood at least it is contained in a pot and it can be incinerated easily.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

100 Happy Days: Day 89

Have spent an enjoyable hour looking for new recipes. 
Until recently I found cooking for one a bit of a chore, but I seem to have regained my love of cooking and am enjoying trying out new things. 

201/365: Courgette Flower

Plenty of flowers but still no courgettes!

Saturday, 19 July 2014

100 Happy Days: Day 88

Sadly, no band today - rain stopped play!  Happily, the unexpected free time gave me the chance to finish my lesson planning, which now leaves me with a free day on Monday.

200/365: Stormy Weather

Much too wet to play in the garden today!

Friday, 18 July 2014

100 Happy Days: Day 87

Getting ready for tomorrow ... we're taking the children busking in town again.  The pegs?  They're used on windy days to peg the sheet music to the stands so that we can keep playing without the music blowing away!

199/365: Buddleia

This is a beautiful colour (but blogger has again lightened the image so you can't see the true depth of colour!) but not at all what I was expecting.  The label described its colour as 'red' and showed an image of a deep burgundy bloom.  I'm not unhappy with the colour - it is amazing in real life - but the plant will probably have to be moved next year to avoid colour clashes!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

100 Happy Days: Day 86

Back at home playing the piano ... waiting for the temperature to drop before I can venture out into the garden. 

198/365: Skeleton Leaf

This is the mystery plant, found when the shed was removed.  I've no idea what it is so am giving it some loving attention and waiting to see what it reveals!

The Simple Woman's Daybook - Thursday 17th July 2014

Outside my window ... there is bright sunshine.  It's going to be a very hot day and there has been a weather warning about taking care in the heat.
I am thinking ... what I have to do to convert the study into a music room.  The previous owners had built a big cupboard in the corner of the room to house a washing machine and tumble drier.  I need to remove this cupboard and replace the two machine with a combined washer/dryer which will be housed in the kitchen where the dishwasher (I never use) is currently located.  I trying to arrange for one of my nephews to disconnect the machines so that I can take delivery of the washer/dryer.  Then it is a simple case of decorating the room and moving the piano and other instruments in!
I am thankful ... family and friends.  I always seem to say that, but its true.  Not only for their help and support but also for the laughter!
In the kitchen ... I'm trying out new recipes.  This week I am trying a new tofu recipe (I'm never sure if I like tofu, so we'll see!), a new lentil dhal recipe and a new pasta bake recipe. 
I am wearing ... clothes that are now too big for me but I'm enjoying the feeling for a while!  I need to buy some more clothes in a smaller size but am waiting to see how much weight I lose over the summer holidays before I go shopping.
I am creating ... a mess!  Creating the music room means that there are piles of books and things in the living room until I find a new place for them.  Some of it will go back into the music room, some is to be sold and probably some will go to the charity shop.
I am going ... to finish my lesson planning for next term.  I will be teaching much younger children so need to develop some age appropriate teaching aids for them.
I am wondering ... when to retire!  I will be in receipt of my Civil Service Pension in 2015 so need to decide whether to give up working then, to reduce the number of schools or to carry on as I am now for the time being.  I have a year to decide what to do. 
I am reading ... 'The Chemistry of Tears' by Peter Carey which is the monthly read for the new book club I am going to.
I am hoping ...  that I am not heading for any more health issues.  After 30+ year of high blood pressure I now seem to have very low blood pressure.  I have to go for blood tests, reduce my current medication and return to the doctor in six weeks.  I started fainting which is why I went in the first place but I'm half hoping that it was a one-off rogue reading and that things will be back to normal when I see the doctor again.
I am looking forward to ... playing with the band on Saturday.  We are taking the children busking in the town centre ... weather permitting!
I am learning ... to rebuild laptops.  I am practicing on the one that Ced used and if that goes well I will do my own.  They are both running really slowly so I want to get that sorted, link the two computers and also sort out a better back up system. 
Around the house ... I'm decluttering.  Still! I am hoping to sell some of the unwanted items at a couple of car boot sales during the summer break.
I am pondering ... all sorts of things but the biggie is whether I am truly happy with the direction my life is taking.  The jury is out on that one ... I'm generally feeling content with things but I spend too much time alone, and if I do retire will be spending even more time on my own.  The question I am trying to answer is ... am I really unhappy with this situation or am I worrying unnecessarily based on other people's perception of how I should be living my life.
One of my favourite things ... sitting out on the decking as the light fades, just relaxing.
A few plans for the rest of the week ...
  • Friday - lesson planning
  • Saturday - busking with the band
  • Sunday - catching up with family
  • Monday - finish lesson planning
  • Tuesday - project: music room
  • Wednesday - project: music room
A peek into my day ... I'm still at Julie's house looking after their pets but they will be home in a couple of hours.  So I'll catch up on how their graduation ceremony went and then back home for a potter in the garden.  Plus fit in a photo session if I have enough time!
A favourite quote for today ...
"Every morning we are born again.  What we do today is what matters most"- Buddha

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

100 Happy Days: Day 85

I'm pet sitting today and tomorrow.  It graduation time for two of Julie's daughters and they've all gone of to Cardiff for the celebrations.  I'm having a sort of mini break from home, looking after their dog, two cats and the tortoise.

197/365: Clematis 'The President'

Beautiful, but not quite the colour I was expecting (its label shows a much deeper shade of violet/blue).

Weigh In Wednesday [29]

I thought I'd done reasonably well this week but have managed to gain one pound.  Not disastrous, just frustrating, so will have to try a bit harder!
Linking with Weigh In Wednesday

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

100 Happy Days: Day 84

I'm officially 'on holiday' now - no more school until September.  Today I was in my Tuesday school where I teach the Year 1s, 2s, 3s & 4s to play the recorder.  It was the final lesson with the current year 4s and at the end of the lesson they presented me with a 'thank you book' they had created; every child had coloured a picture of a recorder and on the back of the page had written a message saying what he/she had enjoyed about the lessons.
It was a lovely surprise.  I read the messages when at home and they have said some lovely things.  I'll treasure it.

196/365: Petunia

Monday, 14 July 2014

100 Happy Days: Day 83

Last week, I joined an online site called 'Meet Ups'.  It is social networking site where groups of like minded individuals can arrange to meet up.  It's not a dating site, although there are specific groups for singles.  I have joined the Bristol/Bath group which seems to organise every type of activity you can possibly think of.  For my first 'meet up' I am joining in with a book club meeting to be held in a pub in Bath next month.   I am feeling really excited about this and it seems like a good way forward for me, allowing me to continue with activities that I find enjoyable but in which my family and friends have absolutely no interest!
The book shown in the photo is the book to be discussed next month. I bought a copy from eBay for 99p and it arrived in the post today so it's time for some reading to be done!

195/365: Petunias

This is in one of the hanging baskets (that is not hanging but is sitting on the deck because I'm still waiting for my BIL to fix the brackets!).  The colour is a surprise - I was expecting the reds, pinks and whites shown on the original packaging.  I love the colour of this flower though, so I'm quite happy!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

100 Happy Days: Day 82

I've had a lovely day.  I started work on clearing what will become my music room, spent a pleasant hour with (unexpected) visitors, pottered in the garden for half and hour trying to pretend to myself that I knew what I was doing and then finished up with some photos of the sky.  I even managed an intentional sunburst!

194/365: Tomatoes

Quite a few of the leaves on this plant have turned yellow (don't know if I've over or under watered it, or whether this happens to tomato plants anyway) so I am over the moon to discover that it has produced some tiny cherry tomatoes.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

100 Happy Days: Day 81

We took the children busking in town today.  Good fun, although I felt faint during the second session and couldn't play for a while - probably a case of not drinking enough on a very hot day!

193/365: Clematis 'The President'

Looks like I can expect some violet/blue flowers quite soon.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Summertime Photo Scavenger Hunt [5]

I went to Bath today and was lucky enough to take plenty of photos for the scavenger hunt.  

Warning .... this is a photo heavy post!

On the way to Bath I took this photo for No. 1 - a sign welcoming people to your home town.
As to be expected, Bath was a good choice of venue to get photos for No. 4 - a group of tourists.  Here's today's selection (the red and yellow thing in the corner of the third image is the guard rail on the open-topped bus):

No. 5 is a rack of post cards.  I managed to find these at two different locations today:

No 12 is a mascot.  This has been the most difficult one to find so far but today I was fortunate that a Bentley and a Mercedes were parked outside the Abbey and the chauffeurs allowed me to take these photos of the car bonnet mascots.

I found another offering for No 16, which is a sign in a language other than English:

I'm not sure if the following photos can count for No. 18 - a water fall.  These are shots of Pulteney Weir and may be the closest I can find for this prompt.

No. 19 is a public garden and these photos are of the Abbey Garden in Bath,

And finally (I can hear you sigh with relief!), No 20 is a bus with a picture painted on its sides

I also took loads more photos of lamp posts but I'll save them for another post.

Here are the links to the rest of my Summertime Scavenger Hunt photos:

Starting the Summertime Photo Scavenger Hunt (horn, sign in a foreign language, lamp posts) 
Summertime Photo Scavenger Hunt [2] (tourists, urban street scene, rural landscape, bakery) 
Summertime Photo Scavenger Hunt [3] (gnomes, tattoos) 
Summertime Photo Scavenger Hunt - June Update (birds on a wire, rural landscape)