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.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Five on Friday

It's a slightly different post from my usual five on Friday offering as today I have five photos of my (almost) completed kitchen/dining room to show you ......

..... standing in the hall, looking into the room.  There's no natural light in the hall, hence the darkened doorway.

Standing just inside the dining room and looking towards the kitchen. The red storage jars will be swapped for cream ones as soon as I see a set that I like.

This is taken standing in the kitchen and looking back into the dining room.  The dresser is my latest bargain buy.  The one I've set my heart on costs £2000 which I really can't afford at present, so this is my stop-gap-maybe-permanent solution, bought second-hand from eBay for £165.  It's not quite big enough as the shelves in the top section aren't full depth, so I either have to find somewhere else for the biscuit barrels on the bottom shelf or an alternative place for the still-to-be-unpacked glass paperweights. The electrician is coming today to sort out the lights (you can see the cable peeping out on the side of the dresser) and I'm hoping that it's possible to change to a white cable so that it's not so visible. 

I'm now standing with my back to the French doors looking back into the other side of the (very small, but big enough for me) kitchen,  The red slow cooker will live in the bottom of the dresser - it's out on show because I'm starting a pork casserole in it as soon as I've finished this post.

This is taken from the same spot as the previous photo but looking more towards the doorway to the hall.  The oak bookcase belonged to Ced and the chamber pot on top of the bookcase is explained in this post!  All the paintwork is white but the side of the door you can see won't be painted until the hall way is done, that's why it looks so grey. 

I still have to hang some more pictures, decide on curtains and I may change the wooden knobs on the dresser, but for now I'm counting this as one of the finished rooms.  I hope you enjoyed the mini tour.

Five on Friday is organised by Amy over at Love Made My Home.