Friday, 31 May 2019


Another good result when I saw my GP yesterday as my blood pressure is back to an acceptable level. It means I'm back to taking the three different medications every day so it feels like a bit of a step backwards but it's a quick turn around and proves that the third tablet is needed. We also discussed why I feel unwell all the time and he has ordered some blood tests as the starting point. The earliest appointment for that is in two weeks time, so not long to wait but in the meantime his suggestion is to just go by how I feel and not overdo the exercise. 

My joyful activity for today will be playing an instrument, probably my tenor horn ... I'll use the practice mute so I don't disturb the neighbours! Apart from that I don't really have anything planned, so maybe a bit of time working in the garden or there are some bits and bobs of admin that I'd like to get finished and out of the way. 

Thursday, 30 May 2019


First the good news! I've been discharged from the retina clinic and no longer need to attend regular checkups. My optician will continue to monitor my left eye at my annual examination and will refer me back to the hospital if there are any changes to the mole on my retina, but they now think it isn't a mole and there is no risk of malignancy. My right eye will never get better but apparently my brain will learn to ignore the physical changes and eventually I won't notice the problem. 

The not so good news is that the Apple staff were useless! I seem to have become invisible at the age of 63 and the first challenge was to get one of them to stop chatting and acknowledge that I was waiting to be served. Once I did get some attention the aim seemed to be to get me to buy a new phone rather than discuss the issue with my current phone. The sales assistant wouldn't offer any advice and I'd have to pay a non-refundable fee for them to even look at it. Adding together that fee, a possible new battery and cable and it almost came to the cost of a new Android phone so I decided to cut my losses and went to Carphone Warehouse to choose a brand new shiny phone. Best decision ever! The sales person was extremely helpful, listened to what I wanted to use the phone for and offered practical advice. He even set the phone up for me so I didn't have the hassle of doing that.

I've changed my broadband supplier and today is the changeover so first task of setting up the new hub has been completed and now I have to wait for the set up at their end. 

I'm aiming for a quiet day today. It's cold and windy so I can't see much happening in the garden ... the sofa and cuddle blanket are calling me! I have a GP appointment this evening to see what my blood pressure is up to so am keeping everything crossed for a good result.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019


As far as the work in the garden goes, yesterday was a complete washout! It drizzled just enough to stop me from starting work but never rained enough to give the ground the thorough soaking that it needs. I didn't make it to the skip either! Instead I popped into town (no sign of rain there at all!) and then pottered around home, tidying here and there. I eventually gave in to my lazyitis, gave up any pretence of working and spent the rest of the day reading ... my joyful activity for the day.

I won't be able to do anything in the garden today. It's my appointment with the eye specialist at the RUH, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a positive outcome from the consultation. I can't drive there because they will dilate my pupils as part of the examination so am reliant on public transport.  I'll be going by bus, leaving earlier that necessary to allow time before I get the second bus up to the hospital to visit the Apple store in Bath, in the hope that they can resolve the problems with my phone.

another one of the newly acquired heathers

Tuesday, 28 May 2019


Yesterday turned out to be a bit of a strange day. The weather didn't read the forecast and rained when it was supposed to be sunny, so my morning hour in the garden didn't happen. I did take these photos before it rained ...

The garden is waking up properly and I am getting a better sense of the 'feel' I am trying to create ... but it still takes oodles of imagination. 

I met friends for a brunch type meal yesterday but didn't stay for long. I was feeling a bit out of sorts and wanted to come home, which I did and was delighted to find that the rain had stopped - apparently it was just a couple of short showers - and I managed to get another bed covered with the membrane. 

Today will be some more time in the garden and I'd also like to take at least one car load to the skip later, mostly garden and garage stuff. I should finish the membrane on the last of the bigger areas and then I'm just left with tidying up the bits I've started and working out how to do the beds with the established planting. I've estimated that at my current rate it will take another seven days to get the rest of the membrane down, which isn't too bad. However, the forecast is for a run of rainy days starting tomorrow and this is my medical week with hospital and GP appointments, so it all depends on the medical results/advice and on the weather. I am keeping my fingers crossed!

Monday, 27 May 2019


After an initial positive start, yesterday morning turned into a bit of a pity party. I knew I had to get on with the garden but felt completely overwhelmed by what I had to do so I kept putting off getting started ... extra cup of coffee, do my piano practice before I got too tired, just check my emails (for about the sixth time!) ... you get the idea, and then the door bell rang. 

It was my neighbour asking if they could still have the bags of gravel I'd promised them, so out to the garage and they took what they needed ... it still leaves plenty for me and means I've started to declutter the garage! They'd heard me out in the garden yesterday and we chatted about what I was doing ... anyway, to cut a long story short my neighbour and his son moved the bags of gravel to position them around the garden, ready for me to use. They also emptied some bags on the front garden to top off the gravel there. This was the part of the task which was defeating me so thanks to their efforts I gave myself a good talking to and got on with laying the membrane.

I'd chatted to a friend last night who advised that the plants will be okay for a while as they are and that he thought my efforts were better directed towards laying the membrane and gravel as this allows me to stay on top of the weed problem. So that's what I've done this morning. I agreed with other friends who live locally that I'll do the large areas and they'll come next weekend and sort out all the edges if I haven't been able to get them done (as I still can't bend for long periods of time). I just did my agreed-with-myself hour and this is the stage I've reached ...

The centre bed still has to be weeded, some of the grasses moved, and the bark topped up but all of that can wait until the rest of the beds are sorted out. There are six bags of gravel left in the garage which my neighbour will move for me if needed.

I didn't do the skip run. When I spoke to K she said that they'd abandoned the idea when they saw that the cars were queuing back to the roundabout and the police were there trying to keep the traffic moving. That can be a mid week job now.

Plans for today include an hour doing what I can in the garden, then a shower and off out to spend the rest of the day with friends. 

Sunday, 26 May 2019


One of the new heathers, 'Irish Lemon'. It's the only photo I've managed to take today so apologies for the cobwebby appearance but the camera battery died on me and is currently recharging!

I'm hoping to get a bit more done in the garden today and also need to do a run to the skip. Both activities strike me as not too sensible, especially the skip run on a bank holiday weekend, but the garden is a must do regardless of how I feel. I'm aiming for about an hour and want to get the rest of the new plants in the ground ... I'll worry about the membrane later. I know that's not the correct way to do it but ...

The latest problem is that my iPhone isn't charging. It seems to be a known issue and the recommended solution is to use the original cables not replacement cables. Of course, there is no solution for when you only have the original cables and it still won't charge, which is my problem. It may be time to look for a replacement, maybe Samsung this time. Any recommendations for reasonably priced smart phones?

A couple of nights ago I watched a programme featuring the Bee Gee's music and since then I've had two of their songs on a continuous loop in my brain. I'll share them with you .... 

Saturday, 25 May 2019


I am relieved that yesterday is over and done with. Nothing went well, even the trip to the garden centre, but more about that later!

J was a no show with no text or phone call to cancel, so I feel a bit miffed really.  I know this was something he was doing as a freebie but it is something he offered to do so I'm disappointed that he's let me down. Anyway, I will do what I can in the garden over the weekend and then ask one of my nephews to help finish off. I went to the garden centre to buy the weed suppressing membrane and treated myself to a selection of plants, using the money available because I'd used nectar points to pay for my groceries. Here's my choice ...

heathers, 3 pink flowering and 2 white flowering 

armeria 'Ballerina Lilac' and some phlox


photinia 'Pink Marble'
another hebe
The trip to the garden centre didn't go well. I'd already paid for my plants and then went back to buy the membrane. I had the measurements to cover the three areas I want to deal with but the sales assistant couldn't be bothered to work out how much I needed to buy. He said to buy some prepackaged membrane which is an expensive way of buying it and when I queried it he said it was 'easier' that way! I explained that it was down to cost not how easy it was, and he pointed to the roll of membrane and said it was needed for 'other customers'. I reminded him that I was a customer and he said he couldn't sell it to me because it 'may' leave them without any to sell to other customers at which I said I'd go elsewhere and walked out.

I went to the builder's merchants on the other side of town and bought some there. They were brilliant and cut it into the three different pieces I needed, so it will simply be a case of laying it and covering with the gravel. I was still annoyed when I got home and fired off a complaint to the manager of the garden centre, but I haven't heard back from him yet.

So, today's plan is to lay membrane in one or two of the small planting pockets so that I can get these plants, together with some bulbs I've been given, in the ground today. If I can manage the gravel, that can go down today as well. That will leave the photinia to be planted in the larger bed behind the garage but whether it gets in the ground today depends on how much energy I have left. Wish me luck!

Friday, 24 May 2019


Nothing is going right today. I had lots arranged and so far haven't achieved anything. 

S my cleaner is poorly so the company has cancelled for today and can't offer a replacement this time. It's not really a huge problem so I've asked that she waits for her next scheduled visit in two weeks time as some of my other diary dates have been arranged to fit around S's time slot and I don't want to have to rearrange everything. J is supposed to be doing my garden tonight but he is dependent on a lift from S so I don't know if that is going to happen or whether they will contact me to rearrange a date and time. I'll get everything ready for the agreed time and then see what happens!

To get ready for J, I need to go to the garden centre and buy some more weed membrane but can't go until an expected courier delivery turns up. I've changed my broadband provider, saving me £12 a month, and the new hub is due to arrive this morning. 

I had a response to one of my adverts and was expecting that sale to happen today, but the person has contacted me to say they have changed their mind, so back to square one on that item! It's a frustrating time due to so many time wasters and I'm seriously considering taking everything but the doll's house and camera equipment to the charity shop and just clearing the space. There are a few other items that will realise a significant value but they are all small and I can find a space in a cupboard for them until they are sold. I'll make my decision at the end of the month. 

To deal with the frustrations of the day, this is my chosen joyful activity ...

Thursday, 23 May 2019


I have another social day ahead of me, meeting another adult band member for coffee this afternoon and an evening at the cinema with Julie, Lauren and Sue to see Rocketman (the Elton John story). I hope I can stay awake - our Girls' Night In didn't finish until 1 am and, although I slept in this morning, I am tired and in an ideal world would have a very quiet day. I'm sure I'll be fine once I get going though!

Breakfast this morning was scrambled eggs on toast and as I was clearing away I realised that I could take a photo for the SPSH, so here's my take on No 8 - shells, in this case egg shells ....

Wednesday, 22 May 2019


A very different start to my day today, meeting my friend in Bradford on Avon for breakfast. She's now continuing on her travels and may call in on her way home, but she hasn't set a time limit so the 'when' isn't known and it all depends on how much of a detour it'll be from wherever she ends up.

reflection in Bradford on Avon
After we'd said out goodbyes, I drove back to Trowbridge to do some shopping before I went home. I did the bulk of the shopping in Sainsburys as I wanted to use up some of my nectar points which means I have some spare cash to splash out on a couple of plants. I've bought enough to refill my store cupboard and also treated myself to a new skirt (see photo below of the leather type belt) without needing to spend any cash. It's probably not the best use of the points as I know it is possible to enhance their value in how your spend them, but this suited me this time. I also got a few yellow sticker bargains - ham, fishcakes, chicken, and gammon so I have a few extras to add to the freezer.

This afternoon I am doing exactly what Maggie suggested in a comment on yesterday's post and putting my feet up with a good book for company. I don't need to cook tonight as A and L will be round for our Girls' Night In (minus J because she is working away) and we will either get a takeaway delivered or go to the restaurant at the Marina for a roast dinner.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019


I’ve been busy with band stuff this morning. Our equipment is kept in the basement of the building we use for practice sessions and that’s where I’ve been working. I haven’t finished but it was so hot down there (the windows don’t open) that I packed some stuff in carrier backs and have brought it back to work on at home. It’s so hot outside that by the time I got back to the car I was feeling a bit wobbly from my efforts and was glad to get home ... a few minutes  sitting a cool room with a refreshing drink and I was okay again. Note to self, take it easy and carry water with me!

As soon as I was feeling human again I sorted through my post and found the stack of books my sister had left for me (a huge carrier of books put over the side gate). Best of all was a beautiful card from Mary-Lou in Canada ... happy post is always a joy to receive and this really cheered me up, so thank you for thinking of me Mary-Lou.

As for the rest of the day, I have one lesson to do for a child who was on a school trip yesterday and then I have no other commitments. If I can summon up the energy I will carry on with the band stuff but we have a two week break so there’s no rush to get it finished. Other than that, all I really want to get done today is to water the back garden this evening and clear out a couple of pots.

Monday, 20 May 2019

Monday ... A Garden Update

J is a treasure! He cleared the garden (front and back) in just over two hours. This was all I asked him to do but he has offered to come back on Friday evening to dig over the bigger areas, lay some membrane and cover it with the gravel I have stored in the garage - this is a freebie. He also took all the cleared weeds to the skip for me.

Here are the 'before' and 'after' photos of the back garden. This is the area immediately outside the dining room ...


... then looking down the garden ...

 ... and finally, the part behind the garage.

The bed in the middle of the photo still needs a bit more weeding and at some stage I'd like to move some of the crocosmia, but for now it'll do as it is.

I forgot to take any 'before' photos of the front garden so here are the 'after' photos ...

I need to replace the climber I gave to my sister as it was too large for the space, and it needs some more small shrubs next to the buddleia but that may have to wait until next year. I can also see a dandelion next to the lilac which needs to come out! The buddleia needs some attention to remove some of the lower stems and knock it back into shape.

I don't know how much will actually get planted this year as all spare funds have been allocated to completing the house. I do have a gift token which should finance a couple of shrubs for the bigger area in the back garden behind the garage, but the priority for this year will be to keep on top of the maintenance and stay as weed free as possible. 

Sunday, 19 May 2019


The forecast is for rain, starting at lunchtime, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it holds off as J will be here from 11 am to start clearing the garden. I've just been out to take some 'before' photos and am delighted to see that the climbing rose which struggled last year is covered with buds and already has a few flowering.

Band has finished now for the half term break. We have a committee meeting tomorrow night but that's it for the Saturday morning sessions until June 8th. I'll do one more set of lessons tomorrow and then they too stop until schools resume on June 3rd. I'll still be busy though as there is always plenty to do with the maintenance of the sheet music, etc.

I gave up on watching the Eurovision Song Contest last night. I saw all the entries but couldn't face sitting through the tedium of the voting so had an early night instead, which explains why I was wide awake at 5:45 am! 

Today I hope to move the majority of things back to their correct places following the painting. The door of the hall cupboard won't be done until Monday so that stuff will have to stay in the living room, but I should be able to move the piano back to its correct position and finish getting the music room sorted ready for teaching in there tomorrow. This is assuming that the paint is properly dry ... yesterday it was still a bit tacky.

I'm off to have some breakfast now - scrambled eggs, bacon and mushrooms - and then I have some emails that can't wait until tomorrow so I'll deal with them today. Apart from that, I need to stay at home because of the work on the garden but I don't really have anything special planned once I finished the music room and the emails ... so another relaxing day ahead of me.

Saturday, 18 May 2019


It’s Saturday so it is the usual band practice. I arrived first so set out the seats ready for the players.

I thoroughly enjoyed this morning ... a short session with two boys to reinforce their ability to count the rhythm, and then playing with the band for the rest of the morning. We played through quite a few new pieces so plenty of sight reading.

I dropped off a couple of boxes at the charity shop and now I’m home for the rest of the day. I need to get the music room ready for lessons on Monday but that'll be the limit of my efforts today ... everything else can wait until I summon up the energy.

Friday, 17 May 2019


The decorating is progressing well but it looks like he’ll need to come back on Monday to finish off. 

I want to start looking for a replacement door mat and a set of frames for the walls. I’d like to display some of my own photos in the hall and am trying to decide between black & white or colour. Whichever I decide on, I’ll be out and about taking a new set of images ... it’ll be a fun project for the summer, alongside the scavenger hunt.

I spoke with my doctor yesterday and have agreed that until I go in to see him will restart the medication I stopped last year. He’ll do a review at my next appointment and we’ll take it from there. Not quite the result I wanted but the medication works and it’s important to lower my BP as soon as possible. I’m hoping that the longer term solution will be somewhat different.

The rest of the day is an at-home-reading-and-doing-very-little-else sort of day. It’s cold, dull and wet so I wouldn’t be going out even if the decorating wasn’t happening. I will need to get my stuff ready for tomorrow’s band practice at some stage but there’s nothing else that is urgent so I’m snuggled under a comfort blanket and reading ‘The Guilty One’ by Lisa Ballantine on my Kindle.

Thursday, 16 May 2019


I’m being watched! Meet Ermentrude, my carrier bag holder ...

The cupboard under the stairs had to be partially emptied and all that stuff  been dumped on the big sofa. I’ve very quickly got used to the living room being tidy and this mess is stressing me. I’m so ready for it all to be finished!

The unwanted furniture was collected this morning so that’s one of this month’s goals achieved and probably the only tick in the box for today.  The decorator has started painting the doors in the hall, which makes moving around the house difficult, so it’ll be a day of reading, playing online games, maybe a bit of letter writing, and I have the telephone consultation with my doctor this afternoon. 

Wednesday, 15 May 2019


It's the last big push to the finish! The decorator is here working his magic and should be finished by Friday.

He's working in the hallway which hampers access to all of the rooms in the house but luckily I had arranged to meet Joy for lunch so I was able to disappear and leave him to get on with things without me getting in the way. As to what happened next ... well, I'm blaming Joy!

I left much earlier than necessary as I wanted to take the car out for a bit of a drive and ended up driving past the retail park where the big Currys (electrical retailer) and Matalan (clothes and homeware) stores are. I had no intention of buying anything but decided to have a quick look around both stores, just to kill some time. In the past I have spend a lot of pennies during visits to garden centres with Joy so my excuse is that, because I was meeting up with Joy I was in a spending mindset when I walked into Currys. And I still had that spending mindset when I bought a Kindle Paperwhite! And again when I bought a cover for the Kindle! Thankfully, I ran out of time so couldn't look around in Matalan. Anyway, I met Joy for lunch and we had a lovely meal and a long chat - this is my (very appropriate) Joyful activity for the day.

I'm back at home now and am upstairs in my playroom keeping out of the way. The Kindle is charging as I type this. I won't be giving up reading 'proper' books but there are lots of cheap books available on the Kindle which I'd like to read, and it's a useful way of taking plenty of reading material with me when I go away for a few days. 

J turned up to do the garden last night but he was clearly unwell so I sent him home and told him to come back when he's feeling better. This means that the garden clearing is on hold but it won't be a huge delay so I'm not fretting about it. 

Tuesday, 14 May 2019


The new book group was a success. We chose a different venue for this book group and it turned out the be a good decision, so good that I'll move the other book group to this new venue as well. The staff were so welcoming and there is a function room we can hire (no cost!) so won't have to deal with the noise of the main pub. 

So, this morning is all about photographing the rest of the things to be sold. I'll be selling my doll's house as well - I've had a couple of half-hearted attempts and at one time a cousin was interested in buying it, but it's still here and I don't have room for it and it's time for it to go ... I need to dust it properly before I take the photos for the ads!

The things underneath the table are all to do with cameras and computers so won't take long to sort out. The things in the really useful boxes (blue handles on the right of the photo) are crafting supplies or parts for the doll's house, so once they are emptied I also have to decide what I want to do with the boxes.

The contents of the cardboard boxes in the photo below are waiting patiently to be sold. I've placed the adverts and now have to sit back and wait. The two small tables and the old video recorders have been sold and are awaiting collection.

Upstairs there is a pile of books that I want to sell, and then it'll all be done!

J will be here this evening to start clearing the garden, and tomorrow the decorator returns to paint the hall, the cloakroom, and the gloss work in the music room and the downstairs internal doors. This will be the end of the decorating, so another milestone will be reached by Friday.

I have to clear out the music room (of everything but the piano) ready for tomorrow so for the rest of the week will have a couple of plastic crates and some chairs stacked in the living room - I'm running out of space to put things! The contents of the cupboards can stay so it is just the stuff on top of the piano and the chairs, extra music stands, etc. It won't take long. 

Then I need to get to the doctor's surgery by 2:00pm to have my blood pressure checked ready for a telephone consultation with the doctor on Friday. I've never done it this way before but he doesn't have any appointments for the next two weeks and I will run out of medication before then, so we'll see how this goes. I'll do a bit of shopping while I'm out so that I don't have to go out later in the week.

Monday, 13 May 2019


I haven't replied individually but I'd like to thank you all for your kind words yesterday ... they really helped.

Strangely, yesterday proved to be a trigger of sorts and I feel I've made a huge leap forward. I was looking through some of the things I haven't felt able to let go and had a sort of light-bulb moment; these are things that Ced treasured but which, if I'm completely honest, I don't want. They are packed away unappreciated, are taking up much needed space, and in some ways are preventing me from fully moving on. So, I spent the afternoon photographing everything and tomorrow will place some adverts. Any money I make from the sales will be put toward something to go on the wall(s) in the living room. This morning, I still feel completely at ease with this decision ... it's the right time.

I've found someone to clear the garden for me at the bargain price of £50. He's doing it over a couple of evening this week so that's another problem sorted.

Today the children will be turning up for their music lessons so I'm finishing off some flash cards for the first timer and then just need to do a quick check through my notes to see where I am with the others. 

Tonight is the first meeting of the Sci-Fi and Fantasy book group. The chosen book (the Limpet Syndrome) was not the best read but should give plenty of scope for discussion.

Sunday, 12 May 2019


It's a very special day today. Had he lived, it would have been Ced's 80th birthday and every year I choose this date to celebrate that he lived and that I was so lucky to have known him.

Obviously I think of him every day, but today is all about taking the time and making the effort to remember his life and give thanks. Sometimes this is with family, other times with friends who knew him and on one occasion, a holiday to Cornwall which is a place we both loved. Today I have chosen to celebrate alone so will be cooking a favourite meal (diet, what diet?) and taking out those treasured memories from that special place in my heart and remembering those happy times we spent together.

Saturday, 11 May 2019


It’s was band practice this morning and I feel worn out; I did very little playing and lots of pointing to music to keep the children in time. This, of course, is a good excuse for a lazy afternoon so I will be curled up on the sofa as soon as I’ve had something to eat, reading, daydreaming, and maybe a short nap or two.

Friday, 10 May 2019


I had a good night's sleep and, even though I didn't set the alarm, woke just before 7 o'clock feeling refreshed.

I need to be at home for the cleaner and a parcel delivery. The house will be sparkled later today so I've had a quick tidy round to move all the books I'm in the middle of sorting so that the living room carpet can be vacuumed when she is here. I've nearly finished sorting out the books, only one pile left to go through, so the next job is to send them on their way to their new homes; charity shop (Monday's job), friends (Monday evening at the book group meeting), other friends (at band practice tomorrow), and damaged books to the skip (Monday's job).

I've started on the meal planning. I'm not finding it as easy as I hoped and I can't work out why, but do know that I need to get myself organised otherwise I drift too far away from the Slimming World plan. Weight loss through healthy eating and exercise is my goal, so I have to crack this meal planning lark!

I've chosen some new recipes to ring the changes with meals and try to keep it interesting so earlier this morning I prepared some spice mixes (cajun, tandoori, tikka, and a curry mix) ready for some batch cooking later in the month. Once I have all the meals planned I can work out the shopping list(s) and take it from there. 

As for the rest of the day ... nothing much. After S (the cleaner) has gone I'll open the next box and get the contents photographed but apart from that probably reading, maybe a bit of weeding, and maybe a walk along the canal as long as it doesn't rain. 

Thursday, 9 May 2019


I'm feeling much better today though still very sleepy but that's the after effect of the medication and it'll take a couple more days to get back to normal. I don't take the second tablet unless absolutely necessary for this very reason.

The leak in the radiator has been dealt with (the drainage valve hadn't been tightened properly) and the boiler issue is no longer an issue (the WiFi thermostat has been swapped and given a good talking to!), so it was a very cheap visit. Thankfully!

I'm not doing much today. It's raining on and off, and I don't feel like going out so I will sort through a pile of books and that's about it for today. My daily photo is similar to yesterday but this one is a possible for the Summer Photo Scavenger Hunt, No 4 blurred vision .....

Wednesday, 8 May 2019


The man who runs the print shop is my new best friend! Each music book was copied, collated, folded and stapled in one pass of his all singing, all dancing machine ... he saved me hours of work, which meant that yesterday afternoon and evening was spent reading. I've left it really late to read the book for the next book group and, typically (because I've left it late), it's a bit boring and I'm having to force myself to keep reading.

I didn't get up early this morning as I woke in the night with the threat of a migraine so took some medication. I'm only allowed two tablets within a 48 hour period and took the second one four hours after the first; it's done the job in that the migraine hasn't developed, but all I want to do now is sleep. One tablet I can cope with and keep going as normal but two tablets act as knock out drops as far as I'm concerned. This means I didn't get up until 8:30am.

It's pouring with rain and the house is cold. One of the radiators in the living room has developed a very small leak, which thankfully I discovered very quickly and the carpet hasn't been damaged. The repairman is coming tomorrow but since speaking to him I have also discovered that the boiler keeps switching itself off and has to be reset each time. I don't know if this is to do with the leak or is a completely different issue but at least the boiler is still under warranty. For the time being I have left it switched off and am relying on an electric heater, although I may just go back to bed and sleep!

Tuesday, 7 May 2019


I was out of bed before 6 am this morning and ready to face the day, but despite the early rise I seemed to have bumbled about and not achieved much so far.

I have a few bits and pieces of admin to catch up with so am spending the next hour or so in my playroom bringing everything up to date. At the same time I'm taking the opportunity to print out another set of music for the band.

This set will take most of the day to sort out but gives us 8 new pieces of music for the children to learn so it'll be worth the effort. This set can be collated into booklets (rather than the usual separate sheet for each piece) so allows for easier management of the music in the future.

Apart from that I've completed my postal vote for the European elections so need to post that next time I go out, have dealt with my emails, and the rest of my time has been gainfully employed (not!) playing solitaire and minesweeper. 

If I can get all the parts printed out I'll take it to the printers this afternoon and spend the rest of the day producing the booklets. I say 'if' because I'm running out of printer paper so it's touch and go whether I can finish the job today. Either way I need to do a bit of shopping - printer paper, bread, bananas, and some salad bits.

Monday, 6 May 2019


I was out of bed by 7 am again, washed, fed and ready to face the world before 8 am. Not bad for a Bank Holiday Monday!

I have no plans for today except to do a bit of clearing in the garden if the weather permits - it's cold, windy and trying to rain even though the weather forecast has promised us that it won't ... the weather clearly hasn't read the forecast!

So far this morning I've done some piano practice and then finished sorting out my clothes. I haven't put them back in the cupboard yet because the paint still feels a bit 'tacky'. I've been ruthless, getting rid of all the poorly fitting, tatty or purchase mistakes that I've been holding on to for some unknown reason; so much has gone that I'll need to replace some items otherwise I really won't have anything to wear when I go out so there will be some retail therapy in the near future.  I have a lot to either cut up for rags or to take to the charity shop and I've also filled another box with odds and ends for the charity shop, so that's cleared a bit more space. And ... at long last I've started listing the items for sale on Gumtree, so fingers are crossed that there is some interest and it all sells.

I'm going to sort out lunch now (roast chicken, roast potatoes, sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage and gravy) and then will settle down to read the book for the new book group - I need to read it by next Monday so I have plenty of time.

Sunday, 5 May 2019

SPSH | First Pictures

I set the alarm for 7:00 am and was dressed, fed and in Bradford on Avon by 7:40 am. I was on a mission to find my first set of photos for the Summer Photo Scavenger Hunt. This all sounds very upbeat but I actually had to drag myself out of bed and stick to my plan (one of my goals!) of going out to take some photos. Once I was on my way I enjoyed it and had a lovely surprise meeting in the car park when I bumped into an ex colleague who I haven't seen since 2004. 

I started in Bradford and then drove back to Trowbridge to add a few more to the haul. I didn't have the sense to take the list with me (!!) and now realise that there are others I could have taken photos for but it's a good start with six photos and one of the alternatives in the bag.

1. An Outdoor Clock on the Parish church in Trowbridge. This is the church where the youth band plays twice a year as part of their service to the community.

3. Repetition of the bricks on the Handle House in Trowbridge. This is where they used to dry teasels for use in the cloth industry; the other side of the building has the same configuration of bricks, designed so that the gaps left between the bricks allows the breeze to dry out the teasels.

5. The Word Summer showing a road sign containing the word 'Summer'

9. A Bridge - the town bridge in Bradford on Avon. The small building on the left of the photos is the Chapel on the Bridge, and at one time also served as a lock up (prison cell) only big enough to hold one person.

11. Fish, this was a lucky find as I didn't know this was there - a mosaic in the garden commemorating the twinning of Bradford on Avon with Sully-sur-Loire in France

13. Two Colours of The Rainbow in Any Combination, another lucky find next to the Handle House with the colour combination of blue and green.

alt A: Bird or Bee House - showing the pigeon loft in the roof of St Margaret's Hall in Bradford on Avon

It's not too late to join the hunt - everyone is welcome.