Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Day 75: Trying Something New Part 2

A romanesco broccoli-cauliflower: I don't think I've ever eaten it and definitely have never cooked it before so it's my something new for today. 

Monday, 30 October 2017

Day 74: Trying Something New

Well that was the plan anyway but as usual things didn't go according to plan! I had to get to L's home in Chippenham by 9 am and then she was driving us to Malmesbury to try Nordic walking. I arrived at her home on time but she was all behind so by the time we got to Malmesbury the walkers were nowhere to be seen. After driving all that way we didn't want to turn around and go straight home so we found a cafe and had a second breakfast ...

I think the Nordic walking would have been the healthier option but the bacon and egg bap was yummy and, in my opinion, a good alternative!

We're going to try again on November 8th so fingers crossed for a more successful outcome.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Day 73: My Sunday Photo

The bees are still busy in the garden and seem to favour the cosmos.


Saturday, 28 October 2017

Day 72: Feeding the Birds

I bought a couple more bird feeders yesterday. For now, they are hanging from the brackets for the hanging baskets whilst I decide where to put a proper stand/support for them. 

The birds seem happy with the current location though and started feeding from them almost straight away.

In between rain showers I've managed to tidy up part of the garden although there is still loads to do. I'm leaving the cosmos for a bit longer but have emptied the annuals from the pots so that I can put those pots away for the winter. I've planted some of the bulbs but have quite a few more to find space for - I'll get fed up in the end and just plant them anywhere!

I have friends visiting this afternoon so am looking forward to catching up with all their news as I haven't seen them for years. It seems that we've all reached an age where we're reminiscing and contacting old friends. Whatever the reason, it's going to be a fun afternoon.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Day 71: Sunset

Thank goodness for the sunset tonight as I forgot to take my daily photo this morning!

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Day 70: Poppy

I only have time for a quick post today ... I found another poppy in the garden, hiding in amongst the cosmos.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Day 69: I Was Wrong ...

... the recent storms didn't finish off the cosmos.

The plants may be looking a bit sorry for themselves but there are still plenty of flowers and lots of buds. It's mostly the white ones but there are a few pink ones to see.  

The new instruments arrived yesterday as promised and I had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon having a play testing them. Today has been all about housework. So far all the carpets have been done, dusting is finished and the downstairs cloakroom is sparkling again. I'm having my hair cut this afternoon (at home) and afterwards I'll wash the kitchen/dining room floor and finish the family bathroom. Then tomorrow it'll just be the ensuite and then wipe down all the paintwork throughout the house. I am definitely going to get a cleaner. I phoned round for quotes yesterday and now have to decide which company I want to use. I'm fairly sure it's going to be the one which offers to do the ironing as well!

It seems that all my windows need to be replaced. Every rep has given me the same advice and I've spoken to family and neighbours about it as well, so now it's a case of sorting out the best price. The work will start in January. 

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Day 68: I'm Excited!

It's obviously been raining through the night and is still looking a bit wet, drab and windy out there so most definitely another day at home. I not complaining today though as I have the perfect reason for being indoors. I ordered two new tenor horns for the band and they are due to be delivered today. I'm excited! The tenor horn is my principal instrument so I will obviously have to test them, won't I? I've looked out some of my music and plan to spend a good part of the day playing old favourites. Apart from that, all I have on for today is a visit from the final sales rep to quote for the replacement windows.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Day 67: Another Rainy Day!

So it's another day spent indoors. At this rate I'll run out of things to do ... I wish!

This morning has been completely wasted trying to get some sense out of HSBC and sort out access to the band's account. I now have to complete yet another form and send it in but it needs the other signatories to sign alongside me so it can't be completed until they return from their holidays. Why are banks so frustrating to deal with?

raindrops on honeysuckle berries
I've had a couple of enquiries about whether there will be a Winter Photo Scavenger Hunt this year and the answer is yes! I wasn't going to bother but I think it'll be fun and will get me out and about. Any suggestions for inclusion on the list will be very much appreciated.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Day 65: Oops!

I think I'll be looking for new lights next year!

Friday, 20 October 2017

Day 64: After the Storm

The garden is looking a bit battered after last night's heavy rain and wind. The cosmos and the rest of the taller plants over in the far corner are the worst affected, no longer upright and some snapped stems. Sadly, I think it's the end of the cosmos for this year! 

Nearer the house escaped reasonably lightly with some overturned pots (just the very small ones) and luckily, these weren't touched at all ...

... a surprise gift from a friend, which I still need to plant. 

My first thought when the rain started was 'I hope Maggie's family have finished their harvesting' and my second was 'the other end of the village is going to be flooded again!' 

There's a beautiful blue sky out there now but I'm waiting in for a couple of sales reps to quote for replacement french doors and also advise whether the problems with the other windows (leaking) are to do with needing new seals or (as I think) will need to be replaced. It feels expensive!

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Day 63: The View From the Window

The buddleia has had a growth spurt so the view from my kitchen window is changing as it's now tall enough to be seen just by looking straight out of the window. 

It's still raining out there, much heavier than yesterday, so it's another day at home. I have more energy today though, so am emptying and photographing all the bedroom furniture I want to sell. I'm having a good sort out as I do this so on the next dry day I'll need to take stuff to the charity shop and also to the skip. I'm well over half way through and hope to get it all finished today. That'll be another job ticked off the list!

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Day 62: First Day of the Holiday

It's the first day of the half term holiday. I'd hoped to go to The Range and IKEA with J, only ever a tentative arrangement if J could make the time, but she's had to cancel. Plan B was going for a drive and then a photo session but it's raining - that horrible fine, drizzly sort of rain that soaks through, so Plan B has also been postponed. Which means that I have a day at home.

I have plenty to do but I can't settle to anything. I seem to be wandering from room to room but failing to find anything to interest me. I think it is going to be one of those days!

Today's photo is the view from the back bedroom window. My back garden always feels very secure as my neighbour's garden wraps around mine - I love their little red acer tree. The grassy part beyond their wall is one of the many green areas that criss-cross the estate, all paved for easy walking - the path is closer to the wall and can't be seen in this photo. Just behind the trees is a reed bed which runs up through this part of the estate. It's in desperate need of some attention so I was pleased to read in the local newsletter that a grant has been obtained and work will start next year.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Day 61: Little Things ...

... please little minds! This is the message that greets me when I switch the engine on. My car says 'hello' to me!

P.S. Her name is Billie.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Day 60: A New Addition to the Family

Meet ???? .... well he hasn't got a name yet and I'm not sure whether it is a he or a she! So, meet my new car ...

The Clio was having too many expensive problems so had outstayed its welcome and it had to go. This is another Renault, a Twingo, with 2138 miles on the clock and a January 2017 plate. It was the Renault dealer's demo car and is the closest I'll ever get to a brand new car! My insurance worked out at the same price but the added bonus is that there is no car tax on this model!

It's the same size engine as before but a slightly smaller overall size, with the engine at the back this time. It has all the features I wanted with the additional (probably an essential requirement from now on!) of a colour reversing camera. 

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Day 59: My Sunday Photo

Taken from the back bedroom window earlier in the week, this is a straight-out-of-the-camera shot. The colours were so vibrant there was no need to edit.


Saturday, 14 October 2017

Day 58: Cosmos

There are plenty of buds on the cosmos, so flowers aplenty for the foreseeable future. 

Does anyone know how much longer they will flower before they give up for this year? 

Friday, 13 October 2017

Day 57: Retail Therapy in Bath

I've been looking for a new handbag for some time now but couldn't find anything suitable in Trowbridge so today I tottered off to Bath with L to see if I'd have more luck. I didn't buy a bag but did come home with three cardigans, two shirts and a top.

Here's a photo of the River Avon looking down towards Pultney Bridge.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Day 56: Computer Issues

I'm having problems with my laptop again so if I disappear for a few days, that'll be the reason. It starts to power up properly but then the screen stops working and although I can hear the process continuing, I can't see anything. If it doesn't correct itself (probably wishful thinking on my part), I'll have to get it repaired (hopefully) or buy a replacement (most likely!).

I don't have much to tell you today. I'll be teaching later this afternoon but until then I'm just amusing myself at home. My new Instant Pot arrived yesterday so I'm ploughing my way through the instruction manual before I attempt to blow up the kitchen cook with it. I used to use a pressure cooker many years ago, so should be okay with it! It is very big. I read the dimensions before I ordered, but as usual that information didn't translate into any spacial understanding, so I will have to move things around in the kitchen to find space to store it. 

Today's photo shows the buds of the potato vine.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Day 55: Potato Vine

This is the large climber on the front of the house which will be moved to the back garden next year. It's just too fast growing for its current position and keeps covering the vent for the boiler. In the back garden I'll encourage it to grow horizontally along the side fences and it can grow to it's heart's content!

It was a busy and somewhat frustrating morning. At the committee meeting on Monday I agreed to resume the position of Treasurer and have had the frustration of dealing, or trying to deal with HSBC, who have consistently blocked every enquiry. I went into the local branch at their request only to be told that they couldn't deal with it in branch and I needed to phone in, but the telephone enquiry team wouldn't deal with me as they said I need to speak to the local branch! I will try again tomorrow when hopefully different, more co-operative staff, will be able to help me.

This afternoon I met with Lyn to see Victoria and Abdul at the local Odeon. If you haven't seen it yet I can definitely recommend it. We have plans to try Nordic Walking next, something that's been on my list for a long time. Lyn is going to arrange a taster session/course for us and we'll see how we get on!

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Day 54: Wisteria Lane

This is buddleia wisteria lane, where the flowers droop to mimic the growth of a wisteria. I couldn't get the colour right today ... it's actually the pale lilac of a wisteria and not the pinky colour I've managed to capture.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Day 53: The Front Garden

I tend to forget about the front garden when looking for subjects for photos so I'll remedy that this week and feature some of the plants. Today it's the turn of the hebes - they've all done well and are now flowering.

I've just got home from lunching with a friend in Lacock, which is very close to the Whitehall Garden Centre and we somehow ended up leaving the pub early and driving to the garden centre to look for bulbs and winter plants ... she is a bad influence on me! I've arrived home with loads of bulbs and violas which now need to be planted. 

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Day 51: Signs of Autumn

I've been busy with band things all day, so just a quick post to share my daily photo - the honeysuckle is covered in berries.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Day 50: Steps!

I'm feeling much better today. In fact I was well enough to do all my lessons yesterday afternoon, but ended up feeling completely drained. After an early night I'm fighting fit again.

Maybe not fit enough to use the step board you can see in the photo though. It's set up in the spare bedroom and my plan is to use it as a means of completing a second block of exercise on most days, maybe for ten minutes at a time. I managed five minutes today before my legs had had enough and I had to admit defeat! 

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Day 49: Recovering!

I had another very disturbed night with very little sleep and a lot of pain and vomiting ... yet another migraine! Unfortunately the migraine was well established before I woke for the first time so, although I took the medication, it was too late for it to be completely effective. 

I'm up and about now and just about to try my first hot drink - just boiled water, not coffee for now. I liked the shadows from the blinds, hence my choice of photo for today.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Day 48: Mornings (continued)

In response to an email received yesterday, I don't feel the need to control my time to such a degree that I have a timetable for the entire day with each 30 minute slot allocated to a specific activity. I don't have any routine for the period in between breakfast and lunch from choice and don't plan to ever have one. I'm the sort of person who needs an element of routine in my life but feel that I have enough with my start to the day (see yesterdays post), the teaching commitments for three periods during the week, and the band practices on Saturday mornings.

Mornings are my pottering about time, usually around my home or garden, doing bits of housework, listing things for sale, lesson planning, preparation for band practice, paperwork and checking emails and blogs. Very little is written in stone and I'll quite happily abandon all of this to meet a friend for coffee and/or lunch, or maybe choose to spend time taking photos. The dreaded migraines are increasing in frequency, so mornings could be spent reading and resting until the medication kicks in and I start to feel better. Whatever I choose to do, it's a case of 'going with the flow' - I generally keep busy(ish) and things that need to be done are getting done so, as things stand at present, I'm happy with my approach. Oh, and of course there are plenty of coffee breaks! 

I try to take my daily photo for Project 365 during the morning even if I don't get round to writing the blog post until later. I was pleased to see so many bees around the cosmos this morning ...

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Day 47: Mornings

My morning routine is gradually evolving and the start of the day is becoming calmer and less stressful. That may sound a bit fanciful but it's an important self-realisation and a step forward in overcoming the depression.

I now very rarely set an alarm and I allow myself to wake up when ready. Overcoming the mind set that I had to get up early and start the day has been the hardest part. The truth is that, except for Saturdays when I need to get to band on time, I don't need to up early so instead of the previous 6:30 am alarm, I now wake sometime between 7:30 am and 8:30 am.

My first thing is to complete 30 minutes of exercise, which I've settled on doing around my home. I don't bother to get dressed, I just get on and do it.  It sounds like an horrendous start to the day but it works for me. This means that before my day has started properly I have over a third of my daily steps target completed and I sort of feel ahead of the game. Removing the need to leave the house has also removed the anxiety I was experiencing, a feeling which stayed with me for most of the day.

When I've finished, I shower and get dressed and then have breakfast. Breakfast is also an opportunity to read for 30 minutes or so, a time to sit, eat and relax. I'm trying to be strict with myself and eat all meals at the table, but quite often I curl up on the sofa for breakfast! Then, fed and watered, I feel ready to face the day!

Today's photos shows the thank you gift from the girls after Friday's excursion to buy new laptops. The other two have theirs now as well.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Day 46: Gladioli 3

Please ignore the mess in the background! It's just started raining so I can't go back out and take an 'out of focus background shot' which is what this one was supposed to be! I don't have much yellow in the garden, which is something I need to remedy next year. I'll have daffodils and crocus, but any suggestions for a small shrub with yellow flowers will be very much appreciated.

I'm meeting a friend for lunch in Lacock, but it doesn't look too promising for any photos of the village today. I'm turning into a fair weather photographer!

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Day 45: Gladioli 2

This is the one that I decided against staking as I thought it was blind. To show me how wrong I was, it is now growing horizontally and just generally getting in the way!