Thursday, 30 November 2017

Day 105: In a Rush!

The band is playing carols outside Tesco tonight so this is quick post. I love the carols and the playing, but am not looking forward to 90 minutes out in the cold ... at least Tesco are usually generous and supply us with hot chocolate and mince pies.

I've been in a rush all day, trying to catch up with myself. I had everything organised and then a panicky phone call from L at 8 am put paid to all my plans - she'd missed her bus and needed a lift to Uni in Bath, so that took a big chunk of time out of my morning. The rest of the morning saw me rush here, there and everywhere to get all my errands finished. I'd wanted to leave home early and take some time to photograph the birds at Devizes, but in the end it was a quick snap using my phone and only then because there was a convenient parking space!

Teaching was hard work this afternoon as the children are ramping up the excitement about Christmas. Still, I only have next week to get through and then, except for the last few band commitments, I'll be on holiday until January 6th.

Have to go - I need to warm up before I play!

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Day 104: A Wintery Walk

Entirely my own fault but it has been a very stressful morning. I left some urgent printing to the last minute (!) so of course the laptop wouldn't play nicely and a 20 minutes job ended up taking nearly two hours. In the end I saved the files to a memory stick and toddled off to the Tech Guy, who printed everything for me. It serves me right for leaving it so late but at least it's done now. 

On the way back home I decided on a spur of the moment walk around the marina. It's bitterly cold and has highlighted the fact that I need to get some warmer clothes for walking, but I enjoyed a few minutes in the bright sun. 

Now I just have to finish planning lessons for tomorrow, which'll take me about another 30 minutes,  and then the rest of the day is my own. I'm fairly sure that I'll be turning the heating up, choosing a new book and settling down for a cosy afternoon and evening in the living room.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Day 103: Sorting and Planning

There's no daily photo today. My laptop seems to be sulking and keeps crashing so I can't convert a photo to upload - it's obviously heard that it's days are numbered and a new model will soon be winging it's way to me.

I've found homes for all my new goodies and just have to arrange for someone to put the picture shelf up and I need to assemble the plant stand. I then have to decide what to do with the old dinner service, cutlery and odds and ends of kitchen utensils - probably another trip to the charity shop.  

I only had 90 minutes of teaching this afternoon so I put the rest of my time to good use, looking at the possibility of a trip to London in January to see the Harry Potter exhibition at the British Library, a musical (haven't decided which one) and a catch up with friends. I'm just waiting to hear back from one person and then I'll make a decision about the musical and book my tickets. I find January and February quite difficult at the best of times so, knowing that I'm not feeling 100%, I want to make sure I have things to look forward.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Day 102: Monday Catch Up

I obviously wore myself out with all that shopping yesterday because I overslept this morning. 

It's the start of the local Christmas Tree Festival today and the band is entering a tree. The children have made the decorations and I'm meeting with some of the players later this afternoon to set our tree up in the church. Unfortunately I forgot to bring all the decorations home with me on Saturday so as a priority I had to call into the Town Hall (where the band is based) and collect everything so that I didn't upset any of the children by failing to use their home made decorations ... the glitter and glue is still wet on some of them and they're all sticking together, but that's the joy of working with young children!  

the tall building with the clock tower is the Town Hall, now an arts centre

I think the rest of the afternoon will be taken up with packing away all of my goodies from yesterday's birthday/shopping trip. Probably as a result of the depression I've been putting off buying things for the home so yesterday was all about choosing what I wanted. For the dining room I've bought the picture shelf, picture frames and plant stand I've been wanting for a long time. In the kitchen I've replaced my dinner service and cutlery, bought some extra mugs to match the dinner service, some replacement cooking utensils and a (long overdue) recycling bin. I found two lampshades I like for the playroom upstairs, plus a waste paper bin and for the small bedroom I managed to get a duvet set to fit in with my chosen colour scheme. Even though I haven't started using any of it yet, I can feel the 'relief' of breaking through that wall to treat myself to things I wanted/needed. It's another big leap forward on the recovery front!

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Day 101: A Special Day

I've spent the day with Julie, indulging in some serious retail therapy in The Range and IKEA in Bristol. I've bought loads of things I wanted for my home and am totally happy with my choices. Here's a photo of a new throw - taken on my phone with no flash, so apologies for the poor quality. I'll tell you about all the other things later in the week.

On the way home we collected daughter No 4 from work and set of for a meal, only to find that our chosen venue was closed! So we opted for a Chinese takeaway and an evening watching Blue Planet. 

It's been a lovely day in the company of good friends with lots of laughs and treats. A perfect way to spend my birthday!

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Day 100: Winter Photographic Scavenger Hunt

Joy and I are co-hosting another Winter Photographic Scavenger Hunt this year, we would love you to join in with us. The only "rule" is that all photos should be taken during the duration of the hunt, which is 1st December 2017 to 21st March 2018. There will be a monthly linky on both my and Joy's blogs, and also a Facebook page is already up and running, so please feel free to join us either way, or both.

Here is the list.

  1. Men at work
  2. Luggage
  3. Domestic trivia
  4. A Winter's Tale (or tail)
  5. Passengers
  6. Wrapping paper
  7. On the water
  8. Silver
  9. In the making
  10. Having fun
  11. Library/Book shop
  12. Stationery
  13. A line of ...
  14. Stones
  15. Bow
  16. A sense of history
  17. Many
  18. Signpost
  19. A pair of ...
  20. Detail
  21. Handle
  22. Symmetry
  23. A heart
  24. Steam/smoke/mist
  25. A peek inside

Good luck, and enjoy. The object of the exercise is fun, so please interpret the subjects any way you choose.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Day 99: T. G. F. B. F!

Or to give it it's full title ... Thank Goodness For Black Friday!

I don't usually bother with it but this year it is a necessity. My laptop has finally given up so a replacement is now urgently needed. A quick search and the one I want from Dell has 15% price reduction plus free postage, saving me approx £140 overall. Add that to the £100 already saved on the new printer and I have enough money to update my editing software with some money to spare. I just have to get on and order it it all now ... using the iPad (which'll be the next thing to be replaced, hopefully in the January sales.

It's not much of a photo today but does sum up a regular feature of my life during school terms ... arriving at the school early and using the time to sit in the car and read. I don't usually have chocolate but today it was essential to my well being!

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Day 98: Taking Time Out

I have no idea why, but today was a struggle. If I'd had the choice I'd have stayed at home but I had to teach this afternoon, so I had to force myself to get ready and make the journey. As it turned out it, there wasn't the usual heavy traffic in Devizes so I had time for a walk around the wharf. Just a few minutes, but long enough to get some fresh air on a cold but sunny day.

I'm home now, in my dressing gown at 5 pm and looking forward to a quiet night in! 

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Day 97: Ladies Who Lunch!

I met Joy for lunch today to agree the final list for the Winter Photo Scavenger Hunt which will start on Friday 1st December 2017 and finish on Wednesday 21st March 2018. 

The photo looks a bit odd as I used my phone to take a photo through the window and I've picked up the reflection of the curtains and the lights. It was too cold to go out and take the photo, or it may have been because I was feeling lazy after a very filling lunch!

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Day 96: My New Toy

I've finally got my act together and bought a new printer. This one has the ecotanks of ink, filled from bottles, rather than the small expensive ink cartridges and is a much cheaper system to run. I've used bulk ink tanks on my previous printers, but as add-on systems, whereas this one has the bulk tanks integral to the printer. It's only 4 colour printing rather than the 6 colour printing I'm used to but, with improvements in the quality of the inks and the actual printing capabilities, I'm hoping that the difference won't be too obvious. It was a black-tag purchase in Currys, reduced by £100, and is also a scanner and copier. I'm treating it as an early Christmas present to myself!

Changing the subject, I've added word verification to comments as I'm getting lots of spam comments. I can't see what form the word verification takes so if it is a problem, please will you let me know. I'm hoping it is the sort where you just have to check a box to say you are not a robot.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Day 95: The Last Leaf!

The last leaf on the crab apple tree ... sort of sums up how the garden is looking!

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Day 93: Bye Bye Patio

Where did all this cold weather come from? At least I didn't have to de-ice the car this morning, which was just as well as I was late leaving home. I think I can safely say that I won't be sitting out on the patio again for the next few months. 

The patio furniture has been one of my better buys and has been well used. I'd planned to move it into the garage during the winter months but that's not going to happen this year as I'm storing all the spare tubas and trombones for the band, so there is no room to move let alone find room for the table and seats.

I've finally managed to clear some of the garden - you can see the bags filled with the results of my labours lined up against the garage wall, waiting to go to the skip next week. There's still plenty to do but I'm feeling more confident of getting it done now. I have next week to get it finished and then we're into the carol playing season when there will be no time for anything but Christmas music ... best time of the year!

Friday, 17 November 2017

Day 92: Autumn Colour

This is the view from the window in the smallest bedroom, looking out from the back of the house. It's swiftly becoming a favourite place from which I can admire the view and just take time to appreciate the 'now'. There's still plenty of autumn colour to please the eye.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Day 91: Honeysuckle

If the weather plays nicely at the weekend I'll be cutting the honeysuckle back to the fence, and then will try to keep it contained. Someone suggested training it along the top of the fence but I don't know how successful that would be, but may be worth a try.

It's quite a simple day today with a bit of housework this morning, teaching this afternoon, and this evening I'm trying to finish the latest book for the book group. It's 'A Line of Blood' by Ben McPherson and, although I was really looking forward to reading it, I'm not enjoying it at all. 

Yesterday's theatre trip to see 'Priscilla, Queen of the Desert' gets a big thumbs up. I had a look online when I got home to see what else is happening locally and discovered that there is a touring production of 'Kinky Boots' at Bristol Hippodrome in 2019 so I've booked a seat to see that. I've tried to see it every time I've done a theatre trip to London but have always been unsuccessful in getting a good seat - this time I'm front row in the Grand Circle so it pays to plan ahead!!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Day 90: An Afternoon Treat

I've been wanting to see a stage production of this show for years. Really excited!

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Day 89: Raindrops

I've chosen the same subject as Maggie today - great minds think alike! Although in my case it was because there is a distinct lack of interest in the garden at the moment. Still a bit of autumn colour and the violas, but no shrubs doing interesting things so any suggestions for smallish shrubs which will flower/have berries at this time of the year will be very much appreciated.

I'm waiting in for a delivery for the band. I've ordered two brand new cornets for the juniors so will be preparing them for playing as soon as they arrive, ready to be issued on Saturday. I have 90 minutes teaching in a local school this afternoon and then that's it for the day. Tonight, I'd like to do a bit more sorting/clearing out and then a bit more research on my family tree.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Day 88: Night Photography

A very late post tonight as I've been on a photography course, all to do with night photography. Part of the course involved a walk around Corsham to practice everything we'd been learning.

Here's one of my first attempts ...

Night photography is something I've always struggled with so I'm pleased with the detail I've managed to capture in this image. Not bad for starters!

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Day 87: My Sunday Photo

for once I was up early enough to photograph the sunrise this morning!


Saturday, 11 November 2017

Friday, 10 November 2017

Day 85: Thank Goodness It's Friday!

Luckily I didn't have much to do today as I managed less than 4 hours sleep last night and am shattered. I've no idea why I didn't sleep well but the lack of sleep has meant that I've had one of those sickly headaches all day. When I tell you that my only work commitment was to run two 30 minute recorder playing clubs at lunch time, you may have some idea of how I felt for most of the day!

I'd arranged to meet with L for lunch on my way home from Calne, and as I still had to eat, I didn't cancel. This proved to be the best decision of the day and once I'd eaten the roast lamb meal I'd chosen, I was starting to feel a bit more human again.

Then home, a soak in the bath and coffee out of my new mug. 

My only plans for this evening are an early night and, hopefully, plenty of sleep.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Day 84: A Splash of Red

I glanced out of the window this morning and spotted a splash of red amongst the remains of the cosmos (still) waiting to be cleared. It's another poppy, and there's a couple more further over getting ready to flower.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Day 83: Nordic Walking

I took today's photo whilst we were waiting for the Nordic Walking to start. We were determined to be on time, actually arriving 20 minutes too early, so I pottered around the car park with my phone and took some photos of the river bank and the willows.

As for the Nordic walking ... I loved it! I can see it will be something I can do regularly and I'll definitely benefit from the exercise. My friend found it more difficult and has been advised to go on a one-to-one session so I don't know yet whether she plans to commit to it. If she does, I will still go to the Monday session in Malmesbury with her but I will also investigate a group closer to home, in Avebury, for myself. Malmesbury is a 50 minute drive each way where Avebury is only 25 minutes each way, so there's a big difference in terms of time and effort to get to the meeting points. I'll aim to do two walks a week once I've done the introductory session but my first priority will be to invest in some new walking boots as my existing ones aren't up to the job.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Day 82: Bits and Bobs

I had an appointment to see the doctor this morning so took the opportunity to catch up with things in town.

Last week I booked a couple of holidays online, both photography holidays and both in the UK, and at the time I made a mental note to go into the travel agencies and see what other types of holidays are on offer. I always think it's better to have the brochures rather than keep changing screens online so I've come home with 10 different brochures to sit and work my way through. I want to book at least one more holiday for next year and at the moment (bearing in mind I haven't read any of the brochures) I'm thinking about a week in New York. 

I also dropped another load of stuff off at the skip and one box to a charity shop, so that's cleared some more space at home. Then a trip to Sainsburys to stock up on veggies and lentils as I want to do some bulk cooking and freeze as individuals meals.

I had time for a walk through the park on my way to the surgery. The results were disappointing this morning; even though I've been doing plenty of walking and daily exercise, my blood pressure was way too high so I have to have blood tests and return in one month. 

It's pouring with rain now and I've just noticed that the bird feeders need to be topped up. Again! These birds are costing me a fortune. I think that'll have to be an after-I've-finished-teaching job though. In a few minutes I'm off to my Tuesday afternoon school and once I've finished there I need to drive over to Melksham to deliver a birthday card. Then it'll be back home for a roast dinner (probably lamb but it might be pork) and an evening flicking through the holiday brochures.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Day 81: Kitchen Quiz

It's a kitchen duties sort of day today. I have friends coming round for a shared late lunch later on so am cooking these ingredients (+ others!) for my contribution to the meal. Can you guess what I'm cooking? It's a nice easy quiz, just say what you see 😁😁

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Day 80: My Sunday Photo

I've decided to keep my paperweight collection. These four, for some reason, are always
displayed in this order. The rest just have to take their chance!


Saturday, 4 November 2017

Day 79: Pieris

Earlier than expected, the pieris has started producing buds ... much prettier than yesterday's plant!

Band practice resumes this morning and, as I'm the only one of the music team attending this morning, it's going to be busy. Fun, but busy!

Friday, 3 November 2017

Day 78: It Has To Go!

The four o'clock plant I posted about has to go. 

I assume it is producing its seeds but it looks a mess and, in my opinion, a little bit creepy. It has overstayed its welcome and, weather permitting, won't last the weekend. I've tried to give it away but none of my gardening friends like it either!

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Day 77: Meeting Friends No 2

Another afternoon at the cinema with friends. We didn't actually get to see a film this time, choosing to chat and drink coffee in Costa Coffee instead, as H couldn't stop coughing and was worried that she'd spoil the film for the rest of us. We made her buy the coffee to make up for us missing the film!!

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Day 76: Catching Up With Friends

Not that we had much time to chat because we spent the afternoon here ...

... watching 'Thor: Ragnorak'. Not my usual choice of films but there were lots of laughs and it didn't bore me to tears like some of the superhero films do.