Saturday, 31 December 2016

All About ... 2016 | Year in Review

What did you do in 2016 that you’ve never done before? Nothing major that I can think of.  It's been a year of going to new places, having a good social life, and meeting new people. From all of that, the biggie for me was going to see a professional production of Les Miserables in London.

Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions and will you make more for next year?  Sort of. I achieved most of the improvements I'd decided on in the house but failed miserably with getting the garden sorted.  Yes, I will set more goals for 2017 but I'll write about them in a separate post.

Did anyone close to you give birth? No.

Did anyone close to you die? No.  

What countries did you visit? Travel wasn't part of my agenda for 2016 so, although I visited new towns and places, they were all in England.

What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016? I'm lucky enough to be able to write that I don't feel I lacked anything in 2016 .... nothing important anyway.  In 2017 I want to focus on quality time with family and friends.

What date from 2016 will remain etched in your memory and why? December 9th 2016, when I heard that my sister had breast cancer again.

What was your biggest achievement of the year? Getting the work done on the house and starting to 'live' in my home. I love the new look kitchen, cloakroom and the music room but the best, and the change that's had the biggest impact on my day-to-day life, is the finished hobbies room.  I still have goodies to find and unpack, but I can now get on with so many of my interests - sketching, card making, the family tree research, sewing, watercolours .... the list goes on.

What was your biggest failure? I didn't get the garden sorted, mainly due to being let down by gardeners who accepted the contract and then either failed to turn up or wanted to alter the price.  

Did you suffer illness or injury? I had a bit of a scare with raised cholesterol levels - something which had never previously been a problem but which, combined with ongoing hypertension, required some remedial action. So it was a 'lose weight, exercise, eat sensibly' type of action plan, which at the first review, seems to have pushed things in the right direction. I have to see the doctor again in January but am not expecting amazing results this time - think, Christmas chocolates, mince pies and general excess!

What was the best thing you bought?  That has to be my new (to me) car, a Renault Clio. 

Where did most of your money go? On my social life and a belated 60th birthday trip to London.  Oh, and of course the new car and all the improvements in the house.

What did you get really, really, really excited about? I don't know! I've had a happy year, but not sure that I was really excited about anything.  If I have to, then I'd say that it will be the changes to the house. 

Compared to this time last year are you:
  • Happier or sadder? Up until this month, I'd have said about the same ... still missing Ced but coping and getting out and about.  The news about my sister has changed all that and, at present, is all I can think about.
  • Thinner or fatter? A little thinner!
  • Richer or poorer? Slightly richer.

What do you wish you’d done more of? I wish I'd spent more time with family, and I wish that I'd carried on with the decluttering. I also wish I'd spent more time 'living in the moment', but more about that in another post.
What do you wish you’d done less of? I wish I wasted less time on social media, something that I've already addressed.  

How did you spend Christmas? I was ill for most of Christmas with the cold from hell. I can't seem to get rid of it - I think I'm over the worst and then it comes back with a vengeance and I end up back at stage one.   

Did you fall in love in 2016? No.

What was your favourite TV show? I know I've watched a lot of TV this year but now I have to state my favourite shows, I can't think of anything! I watched Sherlock, Lewis, and for the first time ever, The Great British Bake Off.

What was the best book you read? This is a hard one to answer but I think I'll settle for 'The Gift of Rain' by Tan Twan Eng.

What was your greatest musical discovery of 2016? This won't be the answer you are expecting! My greatest musical discovery was teaching my great-niece, Little Miss C, to play the recorder and being constantly amazed by her ability and the speed at which she has progressed.

What did you want and get? I wanted to establish a happy and healthy lifestyle, and although there are aspects that I need to focus on, I have achieved that.

What did you want and not get? That would have to be the garden landscaping. It's been a big disappointment but, fingers crossed, I have someone starting in two weeks time on the first part. 

What was your favourite film this year?  I think that will have to be 'Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them', but close runners up are 'Jungle Book' and 'The BFG'.

What did you do on your birthday? I was tied up with the youth band all day on my birthday. The usual morning practices and then in the early evening, the start of our Christmas schedule, playing in the parish church for the Shoppers' Carol Service. The band presented me with a bouquet of flowers and I had gifts from some of the children - totally unexpected, as exchanging gifts is not something we usually do in the band. I also went out for a few meals with various groups of friends in the week leading up to the actual day.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? I can't really thing of anything, or at least anything I want to mention on a public blog! 

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016? The same as always, anything comfortable. I'm not a fashion victim!

What kept you sane? Setting goals, enjoying the little things of life, keeping busy.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I can't say that I've really fancied any celebrity/public figures this year.
What political issue stirred you the most? Brexit, the Syrian conflict, and the US presidential campaign.

Who did you miss? Ced. Always.  

Who was the best new person you met? I can't single anyone out. I now have a small group of people living locally who I can call friends and who I meet with regularly.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016. Breath ... count to 10!

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.  I'm no good at lyrics! 

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Busy Doing Nothing!

The only productive things I managed yesterday was to photograph the frost (see previous post) and keep myself supplied with food and drink. Most of my efforts involved trying to keep myself occupied and not worry too much about my sister .... but, my butterfly brain couldn't concentrate on anything to too long so a day of doing nothing means that the house looked like a bomb had hit it!

I tried a bit of piano practice but my heart wasn't in it and all I really did was move music books around, so I've tidied it all up this morning and will have another go later on.

I was a bit more successful with the Christmas jigsaw. I hadn't intended to set it up downstairs but it sort of happened, so it's lap meals until I finish it. It's a 1000 piece WASGIJ puzzle where there isn't an image to follow - the finished puzzle will show what the people in the photo on the box are reacting to. This is the progress after three days so it's going to take ages.  

I did a bit a reading but my current book hasn't really grabbed my attention so far. It's 'Black-Eyed Susans' by Julia Heaberlin, and is one of the books in the last load passed on by my sister.  It has fairly good reviews so I'll persevere with it for now.

Apart from that, the only other thing I did yesterday was to try to watch the Harry Potter film on the TV.  I was looking forward to this so of course, this was the time friends decided to phone and text. Just as well I know the story!

Today has been more productive.  I've tidied the house, done a couple of loads of washing, made a doctor's appointment, and have organised for two lots of work to be carried out in January (more about that later). Now I'm off to get myself some lunch, and this afternoon plan to complete the bits and bobs of admin that I didn't finish before the Christmas break started. Tonight has been set aside to watch the next Harry Potter film - I'm going to ignore the phone this time!

I heard from my sister last night; yesterday's operation went well and she's expecting to come home today.  Talk about a speedy service, but at least she'll be able to rest properly at home .... hospital wards are noisy places! Sadly, I have a horrible cold and can't go anywhere near her until I'm over it so won't actually get to see her in person for a few days.  

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Frosty Morning

It's chilly out there so although I had no plans to venture out today, I was tempted out to the garden to photograph the early morning frost on the plants and the fence. These are contenders for winter weather (no. 10) in the winter photography scavenger hunt.

I'll add a linky at the start of January so that we can share our progress.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Merry Christmas

Image courtesy of duron123 at

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas.

The answer to yesterday's Advent Calendar Joke is ....... Santa chooses a pizza that is deep pan, crisp and even!

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Advent Calendar Joke 24

Yesterday's answer: Santa has three gardens so that he can 'ho-ho-ho'!

The final question, and my favourite, is .... what sort of pizza does Santa choose?

Friday, 23 December 2016

Advent Calendar Joke 23

Yesterday's answer: Snowmen eat Frosted Flakes for breakfast!

Why does Santa have three gardens?

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Advent Calendar Joke 22

Yesterday's answer: Santa Paws delivers presents to cats!

What do snowmen eat for breakfast?

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Advent Calendar Joke 21

Yesterday's answer: I asked 'what did the sea say to Santa?' ..... nothing, it just waved!

Who delivers presents to cats?

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Memorandum Monday

Sorry, I'm a day late with this post ..... so happy Tuesday morning greetings to Sian and all the rest of the Monday gang.

It's a Christmassy first this time.  I went to see Pip Upton (a local actor) read A Christmas Carol by candlelight.  The photo show the stage set before the event started; once it did start, the only light in a fairly large room was provided by the candles you can see in the photo.  Pip Upton, adopting the persona of Charles Dickens, read an abbreviated version of the story using Dickens' original script - apparently, this is how the story was read to large audiences during Dickens' lifetime, although we were a much smaller audience, only 30 of us. I love this story, and this was a particularly atmospheric reading of it; imagine the dark room, the flickering candlelight and the intimacy of the evening. A Christmas Carol is an essential part of Christmas for me and this was a lovely way to start the celebrations.

Thanks to Sian for organising this. Only a few more days to go before the big event ... I hope you all have a fantastic time in whichever way you choose the celebrate it.  

Advent Calendar Joke 20

Yesterday's answer: Snowmen eat icebergers for lunch!

What did the sea say to Santa?

Monday, 19 December 2016

Advent Calendar Joke 19

Yesterday's answer: If you drop a snowball into a glass of water ....... it gets wet!

What do snowmen eat for lunch?

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Advent Calendar Joke 18

Yesterday's answer: If you eat Christmas decorations, you'll get tinselitis!

What happens when you drop a snowball into a glass of water?

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Advent Calendar Joke 17

Yesterday's answer: What's white and goes up? It's a confused snowflake. (sorry, I think the jokes are getting worse!)

What do you get if you eat Christmas decorations?

Friday, 16 December 2016

Advent Calendar Joke 16

Yesterday's answer: What did the snowman say to the angry carrot? ..... 'Get out of my face!

What's white and goes up?

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Advent Calendar Joke 15

Yesterday's answer: What do sheep say at Christmas? ..... they say, Merry Christmas to Ewe!

What did the snowman say to the angry carrot?

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Advent Calendar Joke 14

Yesterday's answer: Silent Night is the parent's favourite carol!

What do sheep say at Christmas?

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Advent Calendar Joke 13

Yesterday's answer: Santa's wife is called Mary Christmas!

What is a parent's favourite Christmas carol? 

Monday, 12 December 2016

Memorandum Monday

Happy Monday greetings to Sian and the rest of the Monday crew.

It's been a traumatic week but I do have one first to tell you.  Two of the children I teach have joined a local windband and I was invited to their Christmas concert. It was the first time I've seen them play in the band, or play any music that I haven't taught them, so it was fantastic to watch them performing with such confidence. I've already invited myself to their next concert!

The reason for the traumatic week? I learnt that my sister has breast cancer again, for the second time. Completely unexpected and obviously a shock. 

Advent Calendar Joke 12

Yesterday's answer: the snowman couldn't go to the ball because he had no body to go with!

Today, I'd like to know what Santa's wife is called?

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Advent Calendar Joke 11

Yesterday's answer: Which athlete is warmest in winter ...... a long jumper!

Today's question .... 'why couldn't the skeleton go to the Christmas party?

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Advent Calendar Joke 10

Yesterday's answer: I asked 'what kind of paper likes music?' ....... rapping paper!

Today let's see if you know which athlete is warmest in winter?

Friday, 9 December 2016

Advent Calendar Joke 9

Yesterday's answer: Santa's little helpers learn 'the elfabet' at school!

Today I'm asking what kind of paper likes music?

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Advent Calendar Joke 8

Yesterday's answer: 'Who hides in the bakery at Christmas?' ...... why, the mince spies, of course!

Today I'm asking 'what do Santa's little helpers learn at school?

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Advent Calendar Joke 7

Yesterday's answer: what do you call a polar bear wearing ear muffs? ....... anything you want, he can't hear you!

Today, I'd like to know 'who hides in the bakery at Christmas?

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

5 in 5 | Birthday Bouquets

My 5 photos were all taken in my living room early on Sunday morning before it was light, so harsh lighting and shadows from the flash.  The only things worth photographing at that time in the morning were the week old flowers gifted to me on my birthday.

Thanks for organising this monthly link up, Sandie.

Advent Calendar Joke 6

Yesterday's answer: if you cross Santa with a duck you get a Christmas quacker!

Now for today's question .... what do you call a polar bear wearing ear muffs?

Monday, 5 December 2016

Memorandum Monday

A cheery Monday morning wave to you all after a prolonged absence from Sian's weekly meme.

I only have one 'first' to tell you this week ... it may surprise some of you to hear that I watched 'Love Actually' for the first time ever on Saturday night. I was invited over to Julie's home for a belated birthday meal (fig & goat cheese tart, chicken curry, rice & nan bread, choc chip tart & ice cream, all cooked by daughter no. 2) and this was the chosen viewing. This was the sort of film I could never get Ced to watch, which is the main reason that I'd not seen it, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

I hope you all have a good week ahead of you. It's Christmas carol playing season for me, so lots of standing and playing in the freezing cold .... I love it!

Thank you to Sian for organising this get together.

Advent Calendar Joke 5

The answer to yesterday's question, who or what says oh-oh-oh is ..... Santa walking backwards!

Today's is slightly better ....... what do you get if you cross Santa with a duck?

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Advent Calendar Joke 4

The answer to yesterday's question 'how do snowmen get around?' is a bit of a groaner .... 'they ride an icicle!'

Today, I'm asking who or what say 'oh-oh-oh'?

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Advent Calendar Joke 3

The answer to yesterday's joke ... 'Where do snowmen like to dance?', is 'at snowballs!'

Today's joke is ...

How do snowmen get around?

Friday, 2 December 2016

Advent Calendar Joke 2

The answer to yesterday's joke ... 'what do you get if you cross a snowman with a shark', was frost bite!

Today's joke is ...

Where do snowmen like to dance?

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Advent Calendar Joke

I don't have time to do a daily advent photo this year so I'm posting the jokes out of my advent calendar instead.

What do you get if you cross a snowman with a shark?

I'll post the answer tomorrow.

Winter Photo Scavenger Hunt

Note: I will have to edit this post later as Blogger won't let me add a photo or a linky! For now, if you plan to join in, please leave a comment and I'll add you to the list when I get a linky to work.

It's December 1st, so it must be time to start the Winter Photo Scavenger Hunt. The hunt will run from 1st December 2016 to 21st March 2017, and all photos must be taken between these dates.

1.   layers
2.   raindrops
3.   key
4.   a signpost with an image of an animal
5.   fur or feather
6.   river or canal
7.   glassware
8.   a seasonal treat
9.   diamond
10. winter weather
11. a photo taken outside at night
12. a market or market stall
13. cogs/gears
14. repetition
15. hands
16. a memory of your childhood
17. a church with a tower or spire
18. tools
19. bird table or bird feeder
20. cold
21. hygge - this one is compulsory, here's a link to an explanation of the meaning of hygge 

If you find any of the above hard to get you may substitute one or both of the subjects below, except No. 21 which is compulsory.
Alt A  a pinecone
Alt B  a shadow
Alt C  an angel

I'd love you to join in, the more the merrier - please sign up below, and I'll be hosting a linky at the end of each month so you can show your finds. 

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

An Afternoon Well Spent

A few hours choosing books from the vast selection of secondhand books at Bookbarn International, all £1 each .... my idea of heaven!  

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Taking Stock

My first post in 39 days!  I really didn't mean to be away for so long but life got in the way, as it has a habit of doing.  The band is relocating to new premises and that's what's been taking all my time and energy, along with grant applications for the band, providing maternity cover at an additional school and continuing (very slowly) with the decluttering at home. 

This is the first photo I've taken in that time .... 

My camera has stayed in the cupboard and not seen the light of day.  But! I've missed the photography and need to claim back time for myself - I'm feeling out of sorts with myself, nothing serious that a few pamper days won't put right, so this is a 'taking stock' post, listing how things are at the moment.  The photo has nothing to do with the post, I just liked it and it was the best one I managed to take in the garden this morning.

  • Making Christmas tree decorations with a musical theme.  The band has been invited to provide a tree for the local Christmas Tree Festival and every band member needs to make a decoration or two, or five!  There is a prize for the best decoration made by a child. 
  • Cooking soups, stews and casseroles for the freezer. 
  • Drinking way too much black coffee and not enough water.
  • Reading 'The Key To It All' by Joanna Rees.
  • Wanting the garden to be finished.  It feels like another year wasted but I've finally found someone to do the hard landscaping at a price I can afford. I'd like it to be cheaper obviously, but it is what it is and will only get more expensive if I delay any longer. Hopefully, it'll be done in February so next year will be the year of the garden.
  • Looking for some new clothes, suitable for teaching and for wearing out in the evening.  
  • Playing lots of Christmas carols.  We're practicing the carols with the children ready for our December busking schedule.  Sorry to mention the 'C' word!
  • Deciding whether to continue with the blog or not.  The fact that I'm writing this post gives you my answer but I may not be updating too often until the new year.
  • Wishing that some warmer weather returns.  I'm not very good in the cold!
  • Enjoying a couple of trips to the cinema to see 'Doctor Strange' and 'Now You See Me 2'.  I've also booked a seat to see 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to find Them' later this month.
  • Wondering whether I'll be able to change the hinge on the fridge door or whether I'll have to get help.  The door won't close properly because the top hinge has broken, so I've ordered a replacement and will try to fix it myself.
  • Loving teaching Little Miss C to play the recorder.  She is amazing and doing much better than expected.  It's the high spot of my week.
  • Pondering whether to do another 365 photo project next year.
  • Considering where to go on holiday next year and looking for places of interest for day trips.
  • Watching I don't normally watch much TV but this time I watched the entire series of The Great British Bake Off.  I really enjoyed it so am a bit narked that it is moving to another channel and the inevitable changes that will bring.
  • Knowing that I really need to go downstairs and finish the washing up instead of sitting here at the laptop, writing this post.  I'm expecting visitors in about an hours time so I may have to shut the kitchen door so they can't see the mess!
  • Thinking about Ced.  He's been on my mind a lot lately, sometimes happy thoughts, sometime sad.  

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Taking a Break

Just to let you know that it's unlikely I will be updating my blog for the next few weeks.  I'm not ill or anything and there is no major crisis, it's just that real life is busier than usual and I don't seem to be able to find the time for the blog.

Take care, and I hope to be back soon.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016


It's another set of morris dancers for Helena's SNAP this week.  Last week I shared photos of the different shoes and this week it's a selection of the wonderful hats.  The last one is my favourite!

Monday, 19 September 2016

Memorandum Monday

It's an early start today so a rather bleary eyed Monday morning greeting to Sian and the rest of Monday bloggers.

Well the good news is that we had some new players at the band on Saturday, following my presentations in the primary schools. Three turned up on Saturday and I've had telephone calls from other parents reserving places for at least four more children. I'm hoping that we end up with ten new players as that will be a good result for the band.

We also played through a selection of new, slightly harder, music on Saturday which was purchased as a challenge for the junior band to try to progress them to the next level. Saturday was just sight reading all twelve pieces and they all did very well. Every piece was recognisable but they will obviously need plenty of practice to get them up to performance standard.

I was supposed to be going to the Longleat balloon festival on Sunday but I didn't feel well so chose to spend the day at home doing very little really, but I did make a lentil and vegetable soup using a new-to-me recipe. Most of it will go in the freezer but I'm taking some in a flask for my lunch today - it's a teaching day.

All the items I listed for sale on Gumtree have now sold, which is a first for me. The hall table sold and was collected during the week, which means that the bigger items of furniture I no longer wanted have all gone from the house. This has left me with enough floor space to continue the sorting/organising; the next stage is to organise the rest of the things I want to keep and get them put away, and then get on with placing some more adverts to try to sell some things.

I hope you all have a lovely week.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Five on Friday | The Little Things

Read | I'm still reading 'Early One Morning' by Virginia Baily. The time it's taking me to read it is no reflection on the quality of the writing or the actual story, it's simply that I have been so busy I haven't had time to settle down to read at all this week.

Watched | I spent most of last Sunday watching the morris dancing along the seafront at the Swanage Folk Festival. The road was packed with 30 to 40 morris teams, with 6 or 7 of them performing different dances at various points along the road at any given time.  A few dances later and then it was all change as the next teams performed and then, at some stage, they all seemed to move to a different position along the road and all start dancing again. It was a brilliant day and I've put it in the diary to go again next year.

Heard | This is linked with my 'watched' - imagine all those morris dancers and the sound they made with bells strapped to their feet or legs.  Then add in the sound of all the different musician accompanying the dancing and you have an idea of my memorable sound this week.  I absolutely loved it and had a fantastic time.

Made | I've made my way through all the primary school presentations for the youth band and am now preparing for the new intake on the next three Saturdays.  I'm shattered but fingers crossed that we have some new players joining, then it will have been worth the effort.

Worn | I've worn new shoes for most of the week and have blisters from them. Two new pairs of shoes and two sets of blisters!

And Lastly ... it's the Longleat Balloon Festival this weekend and I'm hoping to get there on Sunday. 

Thanks to Morgana for organising the Little Things, and to Amy for organising Five on Friday.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt

Catching up with photos for the Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt.

No 2 | a footprint or a pawprint, seen on the beach at Swanage

No 9 | someone playing with, in, or around water.  There were plenty of opportunities at Swanage - children playing by the water, swimmers, beach volleyball, musicians paddling as they played and one I didn't expect at all .... morris dancing in the sea.

No 11 | fresh produce

No 15 | a team logo. Each morris dancing team/group/troup has its own logo. 

No 18 | a supermarket cart, basket or trolley full of groceries

No 19 | a seasonal cocktail or beverage, someone drinking cider from a plastic cup, a sure sign it's the summer festival season

No 20 | someone laughing, some of the morris dancers laughing as they danced in the sea.

Four more to do ....... not that I'm leaving it to the last minute or anything!

Wednesday, 14 September 2016


Here's a selection showing the variety of footwear worn by the morris dancers at the Swanage Folk Festival. You may think there are five photographs but this is for Helena's SNAP which asks for a maximum of four photos, so you must be miscounting!!  

Monday, 12 September 2016

Memorandum Monday

Waving to Sian and all the other Monday bloggers on what has been a hectic Monday.

I've completed my 'first' day of maternity cover for the woman who took over some of my schools when I retired; I met most of the pupils for the 'first' time today as they started learning their instruments after I retired ..... let's just say it was interesting, and leave it at that! I've also completed Little Miss C's (my great niece) 'first' music lesson today; she was so excited and eager to learn - I think it is going to be the best part of my Mondays for the foreseeable future.

I have lots of 'new' things in the house.  I wrote about my newly finished playroom here and there is also a photo of my 'new' canisters and salt & pepper pots in that post as well.  Since then I've also bought a 'new' door mat for the French doors in the dining room, a 'new' kitchen bin and, in the playroom, a 'new' table for the printer to sit on.

On Friday I went to Salisbury with Julie to see Sarah Millican, the comedian. It's the 'first' time I've seen her live; she was brilliant, I just laughed the entire time she was on stage. 

Yesterday I went to Swanage for the day to see the folk festival for the 'first' time.  The town was packed with morris dancers, at least 30 - 40 groups, all in their costumes/uniforms.  It was an amazing sight on the road that runs alongside the beach, with at least six groups dancing at the same time. I spent the entire afternoon walking up and down the road trying to see as many different morris groups as possible. For the 'first' time ever I even saw a morris group dancing in the sea! Photos to follow - I took 399 photos but I got back too late last night to sort through them. 

I hope you all have a good week. 

Friday, 9 September 2016

Five on Friday | The Little Things

Read | I'm currently reading 'Early One Morning' by Virginia Baily, chosen by one of the book groups. I've only read the first chapter but am hooked already.

Watched | I've watched the Great British Bake Off and also Extra Slice.  It's the first time I've attempted to watch an entire series of this, but I'm enjoying it so far ..... although the bread-making one was stressful!

Heard | Two hours of sixty year 3 primary school children trying (for the first time) to play brass instruments. Not quite as bad as it sounds as it was ten of them playing instruments with the rest of the children stamping feet, clapping, chanting, etc., and then swapping round so everyone had a go on the instruments. I'm busy doing the presentations in the local schools to attract new members to the youth band.  I have four more presentations to do next week.

Made | I've made plans to go to the coast next week.  I want to see the sea and have a long walk to blow the cobwebs away. It's just a day trip, so fingers crossed that nothing crops up to mess with my plans.

Worn | Mostly red and white .... they were the only clean outfits, but I've caught up with the laundry now so I can ring the changes on my choice of colours!

And Lastly ... we're seeing the comedian Sarah Millican tonight. We bought the tickets over a year ago so have been waiting ages for this .... she'd better be good!

Thanks to Morgana for organising the Little Things, and to Amy for organising Five on Friday.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016


I've taken a slightly different approach for Helena's SNAP meme this week and have taken four photos of the same object ..... a red ring binder filled with empty plastic wallets.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

5 in 5 | In My Playroom

My photos for Sandie's 5 in 5 were all taken in my home, showing my newly finished hobby room playroom and the new purchases in the kitchen.

Actually, this room isn't completely finished as I still have to build an IKEA flat-pack table for the printer and assemble my new chair (once I've found a spanner!), but here's how it looks for now.

I sold the full size office desk and chose to have two smaller tables instead.  It makes the room more versatile as I can keep them in the square that you see in the photo, or can join them along the shorter sides to make a long thin table for working on the family tree charts or for when I'm collating and filing the band music. I opted for the high gloss white finish as a reflective background for still life photos.

This is the first room I've added colour to.  My original plan was to wait until the entire house was decorated and the basics in place before I started adding the colour and the homely bits but I fell in love with this rug ..... so changed my plan and bought it.  I would have preferred it to be longer but unfortunately the longer ones were also much wider so would have been too big for the space.

Meet Larry the Lamb; he's a doorstop and lives in this room.  I moved him away from the door to photograph him but he's back in his proper place now!

And this is Boris.  He'll actually live in the spare bedroom when that is finished but for now I let him use my chair when I'm not working at the table.  The berry coloured book is my brand new bullet journalling notebook and the spotty one is the one I'm using to write my morning papers (one of the elements of The Artist's Way course I'm doing).  

It's downstairs for the final photo ..... to see my new salt and pepper pots (which are out of their cupboard home for the purposes of this photo) and the tea/sugar/coffee canisters, all bought on Sunday in The Range at Bristol.

Hope you enjoyed the look see.  Thanks to Sandie for organising this link up.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Memorandum Monday

I don't know where today has gone, so it's a drizzly Monday afternoon wave from me this week.

I have a few new/firsts to tell you about. The first 'new' is that I've started a bullet journal for planning my daily and weekly things to do. Bullet journalling seems to be everywhere at present and I've finally jumped on the bandwagon, although I'm doing a very minimalist version in my brand-new-bought-specially-for-bullet-journalling Leuchtturm 1917 notebookI've also started a 'new' course, organised by Sandie, which follows The Artist's Way, and which so far is going well.

Another 'new to me' is a TV programme recommended by Aril - 'The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice', which I watched during the week and really enjoyed more that the main Bake Off programme.

My 'new-to-me' dresser (the delivery I was waiting for) has now been installed in the dining room - I wrote about it here and posted a few photos. The photos also show my 'new' kitchen spotlights.

Something I'm really excited about is the 'new' arrangement to give my great niece, Little Miss C, some recorder lessons.   She will be 'learning' recorders at school but they don't teach them to read music so she wants to have lessons with me as well. She went off home with one of my spare recorders, a music bag, four music books and a notebook detailing what she needs to practice.  The agreement is that we will review how she is doing after a year and, if she has been practicing regularly she'll be allowed to change to another instrument, most likely the flute, and music lessons will continue with me.  Her younger sister, Little Miss H, is still too young for formal music lessons so she will start sometime next year.

And my last thing for this week is that for the first time I have been asked to provide maternity cover for the music lessons in some of the schools where I used to teach.  I'm considering it, as the money will go towards finishing the home improvements.

I hope you all have a good week and that the weather improves.  Thank you to Sian for organising this link up.