Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Monday, 29 September 2014

272/365: Winter Flowering Plants

This was a special offer of a 'lucky dip' mixed selection of winter flowering plants.  I've received Sweet Williams, polyanthus, and primulas - they were delivered today and will be container grown to add some winter colour to the garden. 

Sunday, 28 September 2014

271/365: Begonia

I keep thinking this has finished for the year and then it surprises me with another flower!

Saturday, 27 September 2014

270/365: Pieris

Looks like there will be plenty of flowers on this one!

Friday, 26 September 2014

269/365: Honeysuckle

Taken earlier this morning.  It's now drizzling, so I timed it right!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

266/365: Clematis 'Winter Beauty'

This one was chosen to add some interest to the garden during the winter months - it produces white blooms from December to February.

Monday, 22 September 2014

265/365: Jasmine

This arrived today - a winter flowering jasmine.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Saturday, 20 September 2014

263/365: Courgette Flowers

I thought the courgettes were finished for the year, but there are three new flowers today.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

261/365: Hydrangea 'Fire & Ice'

This is the plant I'm hoping to use in the newly gravelled front garden ... once it has grown a bit!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

260/365: The Front Garden - Progress!

I hadn't expected to get this done so soon.  I only had lessons first thing this morning so I went to order the gravel and membrane on my way home.  They offered to deliver straight away so I was anticipating an afternoon of moving the gravel from where it would be dumped  in front of my garage, to this space once I'd managed to lay the membrane.  But as usual, people are so kind.  I had help to lay the membrane - thank goodness, as it was just windy enough to make it a challenge!  I was just puzzling how to keep it in place when the gravel turned up and the lorry driver offered to dump the gravel exactly where it was needed.  Problem solved! 
It still needs to be levelled properly and there is extra gravel still to be shifted, which is for the back garden.  You can't really see it in this photo but there is actually a big mound of gravel next to the neighbour's hedge. I've done enough for today so it'll be finished off at the weekend.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Blogtoberfest 2014

Yes, it's nearly time for Blogtoberfest 2014.  I'm hoping to take part again this year ... is anyone else joining in?

259/365: The Front Garden

I'm so glad to get rid of the overgrown bushes that were in this patch - the kitchen is already much brighter since their removal.  The two manhole covers near the road sign are a bit of a surprise; I knew about the smaller one back by the wall but the other two were completely hidden by the bushes, so I'm wondering if it is possible to cover/disguise them in any way.
This patch is going to be gravelled and I'll just have one specimen shrub there - I've ordered a 'fire and ice' hydrangea which I'll keep in a pot on the decking through this winter and plant in this patch once it has grown a bit.  I may also put a load of bulbs in this area - haven't made a final decision on that yet though.

Monday, 15 September 2014

258/365: The Back Garden

The back garden is now cleared and I'm off tomorrow to order the membrane and gravel.  Some of the plants have been lifted and potted while the gravelling is sorted and then they'll be replanted in their new permanent positions. 
The front garden has been cleared as well so I'll show that to you tomorrow.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Friday, 12 September 2014

255/365: The Back Garden

The rest of the back garden will be cleared over the next few days and then I can get the membrane and gravel down before the end of the month.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Weigh In Wednesday [36]

I'm down another pound this week so am still keeping to my target loss of a pound a week - I've now lost 38 lbs in 38 weeks.
I haven't made any changes this week, just keeping with the plan - calorie counting and 30 minutes exercise a day is working for me.  I've started back at work now and will be more active throughout the day anyway, so it will be interesting to see if it has any affect on the rate of loss.
Linking with Weigh In Wednesday.

253/365: Heather 'Dark Star'

It has finished flowering for this year so is not looking its best!

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

252/365: Erica 'Fiddler's Gold'

These flowers are tiny ... so delicate.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

250/365: Erica 'Albert's Gold'

I mentioned that I was planning to add some heathers to the garden and yesterday a friend turned up with 9 varieties for me.  It's a lovely gift and a total surprise.  However, I'm not ready for them yet as I haven't cleared the part of the garden where I planned to put them (although now I've seen them I may have a rethink!) so for the time being they are staying in pots.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Friday, 5 September 2014

248/365: Petunia

I just managed to photograph this before the rain started. This is the one remaining petunia flower in the hanging basket.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

247/365: New Shoots

I found these in the corner bed and I'm not sure what they are.  They may be grape hyacinths but they flowered back in April - do they usually flower twice in a year? 

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

246/365: Begonia

The begonia is looking very bedraggled but it is still producing new flowers.

Weigh In Wednesday [35]

Today's weigh in recorded a loss of 2 lbs since my last weigh in, which was two weeks ago.  This equates to a total loss of 37 lbs in 37 weeks meaning that I am still reaching my target of losing one pound each week. 
However, it is getting harder!  I am now exercising regularly and I am hoping that this exercise, added to my imminent return to work when I will inevitably be more active, will help with the weight loss.  I'm sure that the rate of loss would slow down if I stopped exercising.  Over the summer break I have been managing to drink the recommended 7 - 8 glasses of water each day and I am also hoping that I can continue with this when I return to work.
To finish on a positive note, I have lost 3 inches (7.62 cms) from my waist since I started.  Most of my skirts are now loose and need to be replaced, so a shopping spree is on the cards!
Linking with Weigh In Wednesday.

The Simple Woman's Daybook - Wednesday 3rd September 2014

Outside my window ... it's a dull day but at least it isn't raining.  
I am thinking ... about the next stage of home improvements. I think it will be the changes to the electrics - extra sockets and changes to the configuration of the light switches in the hall.  I'd also like to remove the wooden decking and replace with a proper patio.  It looks like I'll have to do some serious saving - these are going to be expensive!
I am thankful ... that recent health issue have proved to be less serious than first thought.  My medication had been changed again and fingers crossed that I'll start to feel better.

In the kitchen ... I am busy cooking in bulk to refill the freezer.  Yesterday I made lentil and vegetable soup in the slow cooker and today I am making bolognaise sauce and vegetarian chilli.  I've also prepared some no cook oatmeal breakfasts for the rest of the week.

I am wearing ... blue!  Various shades, but I definitely have a blue theme going on.

I am creating ... my Advent calendar.  Sorry to make you think of Christmas this early, but I like to be organised! I'm in the process of  creating 25 packages for myself to open on the days leading up to Christmas and on Christmas Day itself.  There will be a couple of more expensive things, like a set of DVDs and a photography projects book, but mostly will be paperbacks, puzzle books and the sort of treats that I don't normally spend my money on.  Although I'll obviously know all the treats I'll be getting, they will all be packaged in identical boxes so I won't know what is in each box and there will still be an element of surprise for me.

I am going ... to get up early tomorrow to photograph the sunrise for the Summertime Photo Scavenger Hunt.  Sunrise will be at 6:25am but I need to drive to a decent location, so will be getting out of bed about 5:00am. 

I am wondering ... whether I am sinking into another bout of depression.  The last couple of months without Ced have seemed harder, not easier, and it is more of a challenge to keep myself feeling positive.  I am organising my life to keep things upbeat and have plans for social events but at the back of my mind is the constant feeling that 'something is not right'  and daily life is becoming an effort - I recognise the signs, having been down this path before.  People around me are aware of how I'm feeling so I have plenty of support and I just hope I can reverse this downwards spiral.

I am reading ... 'The Light Between Oceans' by M L Steadman.  It's another book club read but I haven't read enough yet to say whether I like it or not.
I am hoping ...  that the weather stays fine this week as I have lots I want to do in the garden.
I am looking forward to ... joining in on some meet ups; a quiz night next week, a ghost walk and a curry night the following week, then a ladies one-off 4 part harmony singing workshop and another book club evening later in the month.
I am learning ... a new piece on the flute ready for an audition to join a local amateur orchestra.
Around the house ...  I've got a lot sorted over the summer.  There is now an external key safe fitted on the back wall of the house and a combination lock fitted on the side gate. I've also had blinds fitted to the windows on the back of the house so that's all the windows done now, and the ceiling lights from the old house have been connected in the living room.   By the end of September I will have the dining room door replaced, the lock on the living room door repaired, the music room decorated, a new camera peephole will be fitted to the front door and the trellis and brackets will be fixed in position in the garden. 
I am pondering ... plans for a water feature in the garden for next year.  I've just used my Tesco and Nectar points to order some more plants and bulbs and then that'll be it for this years planting.  I wonder if I should then wait a while to see how it all looks before I rush into anymore planting. 

One of my favourite things ... walks along the canal towpath.
A few plans for the rest of the week ...
  • Thursday: gardening and/or decluttering
  • Friday: gardening and/or decluttering
  • Saturday: gardening and/or decluttering
  • Sunday: car boot sale
  • Monday: teaching
  • Tuesday: workshop in a school to get new starters for the band
  • Wednesday: housework and gardening, then a pub quiz in the evening

A peek into my day ... I have to stay at home today as I'm expecting some parcels.  I'll be cooking and catching up with the laundry this morning and then making a start on clearing the garden behind the garage this afternoon. 
A favourite quote for today ...
"Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful of your life"- Mark Twain

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Today ...

... has been a very different sort of day. 

  • I've finally watched Frozen, so now I will understand what all my pupils are talking about.
  • I recaptured my childhood, laughing out loud at the slapstick antics of Sooty and friends.
  • I went shopping in Sainsbury's and spent an awfully long time in the sweeties aisle.
  • I had an indoor picnic at lunchtime, which I haven't done for years.
  • I sang along to the Donny Osmond version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and still remembered all the words.
  • I spent quite a lot of time talking about the 'olden days', when I was a child at school.
  • I played snap, and lost!
  • I did some colouring in ... very therapeutic.
  • I played the recorder and performed in a mini concert in my living room. 
The reason for this change of pace?  I had the pleasure of babysitting Little Miss C, so have had a very enjoyable day seeing the world through the eyes of a five and a half years old.  She is desperate to learn to play an instrument, so today was her first (surprise) lesson on the recorder; she picked it up straight away and we played the three pieces she'd learnt (all based on the note 'B') in a mini concert to her mum when she came to collect her.  Here she is ...
I've loved having her ... but it'll be early to bed for me tonight.

245/365: Buddleia

Monday, 1 September 2014

244/365: Courgette Flower

I though the courgettes had finished but today there are two new flowers.