Wednesday, 30 December 2015

All About ... 2015 | Year In Review

What did you do in 2015 that you’ve never done before? I went on a one-to-one photography workshop, learning all about landscape photography, the use of filters and also had a try at some 'artistic' photos using intentional camera movement.  I've done lots of photography over the years but this is the first photography related learning event I've ever done without Ced being by my side.

Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions and will you make more for next year?  Yes and no!  I managed to replenish my 'rainy day' fund, I focused on my 'one little word' and I did lots of things on my 101 list, but I failed miserably on the weight loss, and I didn't manage to update my blog every day.  Yes, I will set some targets for 2016 but I'm still trying to decide what they'll be.

Did anyone close to you give birth? No.

Did anyone close to you die? No.  

What countries did you visit? I didn’t travel abroad in 2015 and the farthest I managed in the UK was a trip to the Isle of Anglesey for the photography workshop.

What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015? I lacked time to do some of the things I wanted to do in 2015, but things will be different in 2016 ... retiring from work ensures that!

What date from 2015 will remain etched in your memory and why? November 13th - my retirement date.

What was your biggest achievement of the year? Establishing a social life, making plenty of new friends, and reaching the stage where I feel content with my life. Oh, and retiring from work, of course!

What was your biggest failure? It's the same as last year - not carrying on with the weight loss and not exercising. 

Did you suffer illness or injury? Fortunately nothing major.  I've had my fair share of coughs and colds during the year but no new major illnesses. I take medication daily for hypertension and I have diverticulitis (which luckily seems to be under control and relatively pain free), and also ongoing problems with my shoulders, but I'm happy to report that things are going well on the health front.

What was the best thing you bought?  That has to be my new camera, a Canon 7D. I still need to get a decent lens for it but it's a vast improvement on my Nikon, which is now relegated to being my snappy camera. 

Where did most of your money go? On entertainment; day trips, theatre trips, a photography workshop, cinema trips, concerts, curry nights, a cooking course, an art course, and lots of social events.  I've had a fantastic social life this year!

What did you get really, really, really excited about? I know I got excited about lots of things in 2015 but now that I need to list them, I can't remember!  I ticked lots of things off my 101 list, including visiting Buckingham Palace, the Harry Potter Studio tour, a photography workshop, and completing an art course.
Compared to this time last year are you:
  • Happier or sadder? A bit happier.  I still miss Ced but things don't seem so bleak any more and I'm coping with the loss much better.
  • Thinner or fatter? A little thinner!
  • Richer or poorer? Slightly richer.

What do you wish you’d done more of? Nothing really.  2015 had been a year of getting on and doing lots of those things I've always wanted to do.
What do you wish you’d done less of? That will be the same as last year ... giving in to what others think is right for me, just to avoid confrontation and have  a quiet life!  I'm getting better at dealing with this though and generally speaking, this aspect of my life is getting easier.

How did you spend Christmas? Much the same as last year: I chose to spend most of Christmas Day on my own and went to Julie's home in the evening to celebrate with her and her family.  On Boxing Day I met friends for a curry at our favourite Indian restaurant and on the 27th I went to see a live screening of the Royal Ballet's The Nutcracker. 
Did you fall in love in 2015? No.  My heart is still with Ced, which is what I said last year as well. I don't think that will ever change.
What was your favourite TV show? I've watched quite a lot of TV this year, but nothing stands out as being a favourite show. I've watched most of the repeats of Lewis, and enjoyed a new detective series starring Nicola Walter - River - where the lead character was haunted by murder victims.
What was the best book you read? The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. 
What was your greatest musical discovery of 2015? I'm not sure that I had a greatest musical discovery. I listen to lots of music but no one piece of music, song or performer has really grabbed my attention this year.
What did you want and get? I wanted a social life and I wanted to retire, and I'm happy to say that both of these have been achieved.
What did you want and not get? I can't really think of anything, although I'm sure there must have been something. I realise that I'm lucky to be able to say this as it means that there was nothing major that I wanted and didn't get. 
What was your favourite film this year?  Not really a film, but I saw it via a National Theatre Live screening at the Odeon so I'm counting it - Hamlet, starring Benedict Cumberbatch.
What did you do on your birthday? I was supposed to be meeting up with a friend but she cancelled at the last minute due to illness so I was at a bit of a loose end when Julie phone to ask for my help.  She was moving house the next day so I ended up helping her finish packing, moving things to my garage, moving her youngest daughter's fish tank to my house, and transferring the big garden furniture and patio heaters over to the new house.  Not quite the sort of day I'd planned but still fun, and spent in the company of my best friend and her daughters.
What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? There isn't really one thing.  It has been an extremely satisfying year for me as, on the whole, everything has worked out as I wanted it to.
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015? I still don't have a personal fashion concept! Whatever is comfortable and fits!  
What kept you sane?  the little things ... music, books, photography. 
Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? As last year, I don't really fancy any celebrity or public figure but I follow David Tennant on Facebook.
What political issue stirred you the most? The immigration issues and the refuge crisis in Europe.  Also, the discussions on euthanasia and assisted suicide for the terminally ill. 

Who did you miss? Ced.  It'll always be the same answer I think.  

Who was the best new person you met? I actually met up with a new blogging friend - Sandie who writes over at itchifingers - and I've made lots of new friends locally through various meet up events.
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015. Let things go - you will always have the memories.
Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.  I can't think of anything - I don't often listen to songs so I'm not too good on lyrics. I mostly listen to classical music.

Photo Pairs

I had to dip into my archive for this pair ...


Linking for the final time with Helena's Photo Pairs.  Thanks for organising this all year, Helena and I'm looking forward to the new challenge in 2016.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Advent Calendar Door 24

I already knew what today's activity would be - to put the Christmas decorations up. Waiting for Christmas Eve to decorate the house is a childhood tradition which I've chosen to continue, although interestingly, my siblings all now decorate their homes early in December.
So far today it has been exactly as I hoped it would be.  I put the tree in place first thing and put a few of the baubles on, and then placed the rest of the decorations around the room - I only decorate the living room.  Today it's open house so throughout the morning people have been popping in to see me and whilst here, in between hot drinks and mince pies, they've all added some more of my cherished trimmings to the tree - I've done this in previous years and some of them now have their favourite baubles to look for and put in place.  By the time the last person leaves tonight, the tree will be decorated and the lights switched on.
I hope you all have a lovely Christmas, however you choose to celebrate.
Linking with Julie @ Julie's Scrapbook.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Photo Pairs

Here's a Christmassy set of photos for the Photo Pairs this week ... can't think what to call them though!

Advent Calendar Door 23

Today, it's an activity - to go to the Nine Lessons and Carols service.  The only problem with this is that I don't think any of the local churches are holding this service today, so it'll have to be a YouTube video.  This is my favourite service of the year: I know all the readings and carols by heart, and I love the familiarity of it all.  I look forward to it every year, and I'll watch it again on TV tomorrow when 'Carols from Kings' is broadcast.
Linking with Julie @ Julie's Scrapbook.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Advent Calendar Door 22

It's a gift today - £5 to spend on a treat. 
I played at one of the retirement home carol sessions earlier this morning and the other two are later this afternoon.  Then once they're over and done with I'll be delivering the last of my presents to family and friends, so I'll choose something then.  I'm fairly sure it'll be a new notebook.
I have friends around for a meal and chat tonight but it'll be an early night as they have to be up at silly o'clock to catch a flight back home for Christmas.  Home for them is currently in Australia but they are relocating to Wales towards the end of next year, so hopefully we'll see more of each other in the future.
Linking with Julie @ Julie's Scrapbook.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Me on Monday

Me on Monday ... is on the mend and feeling much better.  Thank you for all your kind comments.
Today was supposed to be an 'at home' sort of day but I realised that I hadn't posted my Christmas cards (even though I'd written most of them in November), so a trip to the Post Office was a necessary evil this morning, and I decided to finish the rest of the odds and ends of shopping while I was out.  All I have to do now is the vegetable shopping, but that needs to wait until nearer the big day.  Some of the cards may not arrive until after Christmas now, even though I forked out for 1st class post ... but it's the thought that counts isn't it! 
Apart from carol playing on Saturday morning, I haven't done very much at all over the weekend, except pamper myself and try to get over the cold.  I've mostly been reading and watching TV.  I saw the live version of The Sound of Music yesterday, which I'm glad to have seen but, in some way that I can't quite put my finger on, seemed to lack the energy and charm of the film version.
Later today, I'm going to read Dicken's 'A Christmas Carol, but I'm waiting for it to be darker so I can light the candles and create the sort of atmosphere this story needs ... imagine the blinds closed, a darkened room, with pools of light thrown out by the candles.  I'll have some homemade mince pies and a mug of chili hot chocolate and I'll be snuggled up on the sofa, with my new throw wrapped around me.  Yes, I'm definitely starting to feel Christmassy!
I'm playing the flute tomorrow at three sessions in retirement homes, each one lasting one hour.  I'm really looking forward to it because I'll be playing the main melody for once. I just need to find a red top to wear and then I'm all set!
Hope you all have a good week and don't have too much left to do to get ready for the 25th.
Linking with Sian at From High in the Sky.

Advent Calendar Door 21

Today's choice is to read a Christmas short story or poem. I haven't decided what I'll read yet, but Dicken's 'A Christmas Carol' is currently top of the list, with Dylan Thomas' 'A Child's Christmas in Wales' as a close second.

Linking with Julie @ Julie's Scrapbook.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Advent Calendar Door 20

I actually have a choice of two activities today but I haven't decided which one, if any, to do yet.  The two activities are an outside meet and greet hosted by one of the houses in the close, and a Christmas evening at the local folk club. 
My neighbour does the meet and greet every year but in previous years I've been unable to go because of music performances.  I said I'd be unable to attend again this year but it now turns out that I can go, although I'm not sure that it's fair to inflict this cold on anyone else.  The folk club do will be good fun - it's two very funny blokes I went to school with - but sadly, I'm still not feeling too good so at the moment it looks like I may be staying in and watching the live version of The Sound of Music on TV!
Linking with Julie @ Julie's Scrapbook.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Advent Calendar Door 19

I had the perfect gift from the calendar today - a much needed new throw for the sofa.  I'm currently wrapped up in it as I type this post.
I'm cold and tired from carol playing this morning.  It was the last one for this year, and I struggled a bit this morning - it is not pleasant playing a brass instrument when you have a head cold and the resulting headache is pounding and hasn't yet responded to pain killers. I'll probably resort to a soak in the bath to get warm and relax, that should get rid of the pain!  Despite the moans (I am still at the pathetic, feeling sorry for myself stage of the cold) this is one of my favourite times of the year in the band.  I love playing the carols and seeing how much all the children have progressed.  
Next, I'm changing to the flute and have three sessions to do.  These are a lot easier - all seated and indoors in the warm, playing at local retirement homes.  I'm just helping out, rather than organising as I do with the brass band, so I just have to turn up and play. 
Linking with Julie @ Julie's Scrapbook.

Friday, 18 December 2015

All About ... this Winter

Back in September I made a list of activities to do during the autumn.  I'd done this before in the summer and it had worked well for me.  Not only did it keep me busy but it was good to have things in my diary to look forward to, so I'm adopting this approach for each season of the year.  

Here's my winter list so far, taking me up to March:
It's not a long list this time as I like to cuddle up at home in the cold weather and this will just be enough to keep me going during the first three months of the year.  There may also be an early January trip to London to see Matthew Bourne's gothic version of Sleeping Beauty but I'm still trying to find affordable public transport.
In addition I'll have my regular social events, i.e, photo walks, games evenings, book groups, recorder group, curry nights and quiz nights.  I also hope to join a local U3A choir which meets on Monday mornings.

In between times, I'll be continuing with the plans to do up the house and will be looking for replacement furniture for a couple of rooms, soft furnishings and planning how each room will be decorated, although the actual work won't start until the warmer weather when the heating gets switched off.

Advent Calendar Door 18

Today's drawer has revealed a gift - it's a selection of pens and pencils.  I don't need them, but I wanted them, so this is a treat for myself!
I have a day off from carol playing today, which is just as well as I've woken with a bad cold and am feeling a bit pathetic! Still, at least it will be over and done with before the big day ... I hope!
Linking with Julie @ Julie's Scrapbook.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Advent Calendar Door 17

It's a nice easy activity today - to watch a Christmas film.  I'm watching 'The Wishing Tree' (and writing this post during the adverts!), which only has two stars and is a bit cheesy, but it was the best on offer on TV today.  I was hoping for 'A Wonderful Life' or 'A Christmas Carol' (but only the Alistair Sims version), but no such luck!
Last night's concert was brilliant, as good as I remembered, and there was the added bonus of a surprise performance from the local singing group that one of my friends belongs to, so I got to see her as well.
It's the penultimate carol playing session with the brass band tonight, and then home for a soak in the bath, a bit of reading and an early night. 
Linking with Julie @ Julie's Scrapbook.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Advent Calendar Door 16

Today's activity is to go to a concert; Johnny Coppin's 'All on a Winter's Night', which is a mix of traditional carols, new folk songs, humorous readings and folklore.  I saw this last year and loved it, so I'm hoping tonight will live up to my memories of last time.
I'm out carol playing immediately before this, so I'll have to get away early and leave them to it so that I can make the start of the concert.  I won't have time to change or to take my instrument home, and it's all going to be a bit of a rush but I'm sure it'll be worth it!
The Christmas meal (last night) was lovely.  In the end we didn't discuss the book (that's been carried over to January) but just spent the evening chatting about anything and everything.
Linking with Julie @ Julie's Scrapbook.

Photo Pairs

A tongue-in-cheek pair of photos today, taken in the grounds at Longleat, here's:


Linking with Helena @ Helena's Creative Maven.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Advent Calendar Door 15

Today's drawer revealed an activity, which I already knew about as it's the other books group's Christmas meal.
Linking with Julie @ Julie's Scrapbook.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Me on Monday

Me on Monday ... is having a leisurely day at home.  I don't have to go out until this evening, when I'm off out to see the decorated houses in the village and then meeting friends to go to the Odeon Screen Unseen screening in town. 
I'm waiting in for visits from various trades to give me quotes for the work I want to have done on the house.  Today will be the plumber to quote for relocating a new boiler, a replacement shower and various odds and sods that need sorting, and also the TV repair man to see if it is possible to sort out the dodgy on/off switch on the TV.  Tomorrow will be the repair man to sort out the garage door which has come off it's runners (luckily, it's not my cost to repair it - it was broken by someone else and they are paying for the repair!), and someone to quote for replacing the horrible laminate flooring in the hall.  The electrician came on Saturday, so I'm just waiting to hear back from him as well.  None of the major works will start until after Christmas, and probably nearer Easter, but once I know if the boiler can be moved upstairs, I will be able to order the replacement kitchen cupboards and take advantage of the January sales prices.  The replacement patio is waiting until the warmer weather.
Sorry, I went off on a tangent there.  Back to Me on Monday ... Saturday was tied up with the brass band, playing carols outside at one of the retail parks in Trowbridge.  It was cold and windy, but the rain held off and people were very generous with their donations, so all in all, a good morning's work.  It's lovely to see the children, some of them as young as eight, enjoying themselves in this way and still be smiling and laughing after two hours standing in the cold. They don't all play for the full two hours - we have a break for hot drinks and snacks, and the newer ones play percussion instruments on the majority of the carols as they currently only know three notes on their brass instruments, which does tend to limit how much they can do! The more experienced children take turns to have a rest from time to time, but the adults play all the time.
Saturday afternoon and most of Sunday was set aside for  relaxing, recharging the batteries and doing nothing much. Then on Sunday night, it was the Christmas Quiz.  I'd been a bit anxious about going as I'd been upset by the behaviour of some of the others last time, but it turned out to be a good night.  One of the other team members just told them right at the start that they had to listen to the questions and stop spoiling it for the rest of us, and they did as they were asked.  As easy as that!  We didn't win but we did achieve our aim, which is to get an answer for every question and to get at least half of them right; we ended up getting 40.5 out of 62 so, although we've done better in the past, we were pleased with our score.
As for the rest of this week ... it's another busy one.  The final three carol playing sessions, a meal, a concert, and numerous present delivery visits to fit in. Hope you all have a good week.
Linking with Sian at From High in the Sky.

Advent Calendar Door 14

It's an activity today - to drive round and see all the Christmas decorations on the houses.  The photo was taken last year in Melksham, and it's a house that people come from miles around to see - it really is an amazing sight.  They collect for charity, although they only do this every other year.  I will make a slight detour to drive past it next time I go to Julie's, 'just in case'! 
The glow in the sky when it gets darks suggests that there are plenty of decorated houses close to home, so tonight I'm going to explore my home village which is small enough to do on foot (provided it's not raining!).  I have seen a couple of places which will help with the scavenger hunt - snowmen seem to be very popular this year.
To finish off the evening I'm going to screen unseen at the Odeon in town, although I doubt it'll be a Christmas film.  I'm going with friends and our agreement is, that if it turns out to be a horror film, we'll leave and go for a drink and a chat.  So far, we've been lucky and have stayed to see the film each time.
Linking Julie @ Julie's Scrapbook.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Advent Calendar Door 13

Today, it's an activity I've been looking forward to ... it's the Christmas Quiz tonight. 

I don't have anything else planned for today. I haven't even got dressed yet; I'm still in my dressing gown and am snuggled up on the sofa where I plan to stay and read my book, watch a bit of TV (if there's anything decent on) and indulge in copious amounts of food and drink until it's time to get ready for the quiz!
Linking Julie @ Julie's Scrapbook.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Advent Calendar Door 12

I was relieved to find another gift in my Advent Calendar today; the carol playing is taking its toll on energy levels and I doubt that I'd have managed an extra activity today. Anyway, today's gift is some Christmas tea towels.
I have another session of carol playing this morning and then thankfully, we have a few days off as the next session will be next Wednesday. It's been raining through the night and is still drizzling, so I'm checking emails and texts regularly to see if today's playing is being cancelled. If we do play, I foresee a steady supply of hot drinks!
Linking Julie @ Julie's Scrapbook.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Advent Calendar Door 11

It was a gift today - a selection of puzzle books.  They'll keep me out of mischief on wet afternoons!
More carol playing tonight, this time at a local school's Christmas fete, so seated in a warm hall with free drinks and chocolate cake - luxury!
Linking with Julie @ Julie's Scrapbook.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Advent Calendar Door 10

It's an activity today - to make some mince pies and some shortbread. Unfortunately this will have to wait until the weekend as we've been notified that the power will be switched off later this morning for emergency work. 
I'm off out carol playing again tonight and I hope it's as much fun as it was last night when we played in the foyer at Tesco and, to the children's delight, we were supplied with hot chocolate and mince pies by their Customer Services Manager.  I think Tesco now tops their list as the best place to play!

Linking with Julie @ Julie's Scrapbook.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Advent Calendar Door 9

It's another gift today - a (very cheap, as in £4.99 cheap!) watch, similar to this one but with a heart charm.  I'll also be playing out with the band tonight so it's another evening full of Christmas carols.
Linking with Julie @ Julie's Scrapbook.

Photo Pairs

I'm organised this week!  Today's Photo Pair were taken at Longleat's Festival of Light.  The first one was taken in the early afternoon and the second was taken after the lights were switched on at 4:00pm. 


Thanks to Helena for organising this link up. It's nearly the end of the year and I'll be sad to see the end of this weekly meme - it's been good fun.  I do hope Helena is planning another one for next year.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Advent Calendar Door 8

Day 8 and it's another gift - a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle.

Linking with Julie @ Julie's Scrapbook.

Winter Photographic Scavenger Hunt | The First Photos

I've been lucky enough to find some photos for the Winter Photographic Scavenger Hunt on recent trips to Longleat and Lacock Abbey. 
I've already shown my photos from the Festival of Light at Longleat, which I may use for No. 3 | outside lighting - if you haven't already seen them, you can view them here and here.
No 8 | a wreath.  Both of these were photographed at Lacock Abbey.

No 9 | a tree that has lost all of its leaves.  The first photo was taken at Longleat and the second one is the view from the Abbey at Lacock.

No 16 | a chimney.  These are the Tudor chimneys at Lacock Abbey.
No 19 | a fountain. This is the fountain at the centre of the sun maze at Longleat.
Alternative B | an animal statue.  Both taken in the grounds at Longleat.

It's not too late to join in if you want to.  Details about the hunt and the full list of photos can be seen here.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Advent Calendar Door 7

Door 7 revealed a gift for today - a new Christmas mug.

Linking with Julie at Julie's Scrapbook.

Me on Monday

Me on Monday ... enjoying a quiet day at home just pottering about and sorting all the things that get neglected when I'm busy.  You know, those boring but necessary things like housework!
It's been a busy weekend starting on Friday with a coach trip to Longleat where we had a trip around the safari park, a wander through the house which was decorated for Christmas (the theme was fairy tales) and then the high spot of the trip, which was the Festival of Lights. I've included some more photos from the trip in this post.

Saturday morning was taken up with band.  We're out and about for the Christmas carol playing now, and this time we were playing in the town centre - two hours standing in the cold wind, battling to keep the music on the stands and the stands upright, as well as pointing for the beginners to help keep them in time (as they played along to four carols using the only three notes they know!). I love it!

Saturday afternoon was spent at home listening to the old Christmas number one hits, and then a flying visit from Julie to take some of her things from my spare bedroom.  I didn't do much in the evening apart from watching the Liam Neeson film, Non Stop.

On Sunday I went over to Lacock where they had one of the local mail voice choirs singing carols in the Tudor Courtyard.  It wasn't quite what I was expecting - I thought they'd be leading the singing and the audience would be able to join in but it was actually a stand and listen to them event.  Very enjoyable, just not what I was expecting.  When they'd finished I wandered around the cloisters to see the Christmas Tree exhibition and then through the Abbey where there was a real fire blazing in the main room and you were invited to sit and warm up - a very different way of experiencing the Abbey.

Back home and another visit from Julie and one of her daughters to collect the rest of their things from the house so, apart from 3 boxes which should go this week, I now have my third bedroom back.  As for the garage, there was some chopping and changing of what's stored in there but it's still full; somehow the garage door came off its runner so I'm waiting on a repair visit for that tomorrow.

I fell asleep on the sofa during the evening so didn't sleep that well when I finally took myself off to bed, so I'm feeling my age today.  I've tidied around the house but will take it easy for the rest of the day as I have a busy week ahead with band commitments; we're playing out on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 

Hope you all have a good week. 
Linking with Sian at From High in the Sky.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

5 in 5 | Longleat's Festival of Light

I'm a day late with posting my 5 in 5 photos, which I actually took on Friday 4th when I was walking around the Festival of Light at Longleat.

To give you an idea of scale, the adult rhino in the first photo was slightly taller than me, so about 5 feet 4 inches to the tip of its horn.  These were some of the smaller lights but I'll save the photos of the bigger exhibits for another day.

Thanks to Sandie @ Itchifingers for organising this monthly link up.

Advent Calendar Door 6

one of the many Christmas trees in Longleat House
I've opened No 6 and it's another activity - to go to the carol singing at Lacock Abbey where one of the local male voice choirs will be singing in the courtyard at lunchtime today. 
I've never been to this particular event but I have heard the choir before and they are excellent, so I'm looking forward it.
Linking with Julie @ Julie's Scrapbook.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Advent Calendar Door 5

Today's selection from my Advent Calendar was another activity - to watch the 'Top 50 Christmas Number 1s'. I do this every year - it used to drive Ced nuts!!! - but I love it.  I only have Freeview TV and there wasn't one of these programmes on today so I've relied on YouTube and have been sorting through the various videos on there.  I couldn't find all the Christmas number 1s but I'm not too disappointed as I'll now get to watch them all over again when they're on TV!
It's been the perfect thing to do this afternoon after a cold, tiring morning playing carols in the town centre.  We played for two hours, which is a long time for the adults let alone the children; it was blowing a gale, so music pegged to the stands and parents tasked with catching the stands when they blew over ... it all added to the fun!!  The children played well, hot chocolate for all at the break, and the collection money exceeded our expectations, so (even though I hadn't wanted to get out of bed) it turned out to be a good morning. 
Linking with Julie @ Julie's Scrapbook.