Monday, 30 September 2019


This photo shows my plans for this evening, with an early bedtime looming some time around 9 o'clock. 

I've spent a lot of time on the phone and the laptop today, all to do with the band, and I have brain ache! I don't know how I ever managed to work full time ... I definitely don't have the energy and levels of concentration any more. The good news is that the issue affecting the band is moving towards a successful conclusion and we are now preparing for the next stage.

The children all turned up for their lessons today, and all played to the best of their ability. I think I'm fortunate in having a group of children who are having lessons because they want to learn, not because the parents want them to learn ... it makes a huge difference. I'm letting them all enjoy their current level of playing for a couple of weeks, using some new repertoire and some old favourites, before moving them on to the next level. I'm continuing to enjoy the lessons and have been asked to take on some more pupils, which I think is unlikely but I am considering it. I have the time but don't know if I really want the extra committment.

Tomorrow morning is set aside for shopping and cooking. It's the time of year for warming soups and stews, and hot chocolate drinks, so I need to be prepared.

SPSH Final Selection

The Summer Photo Scavenger Hunt is over for another year and it's time to choose our final selection. Many thanks to Mary-Lou for organising the hunt again this year. As usual it's been a lot of fun and I hope you enjoy my final selection of images ...

1. An Outdoor Clock

2. Single & Pretty

3. Repetition

4. Blurred Vision

5. The Word Summer

6. An Umbrella, open or closed

7. A Curving Path

8. Shells

9. A Bridge

10. Something Made of Stone

11. Fish

12. Something Crooked

13. Two Colours of The Rainbow in Any Combination

14. A Handwritten Sign

15. A Broken Chair/Bench/Stool

16. An Out of Season Treat Being Enjoyed

17. A Sail

18. Something That Should Be Found In Pairs 

19. A Funny or Meaningful Bumper Sticker

20. A Favourite Seasonal Scent

A:  Bird or Bee House

B:  Fresh Local Produce

The Winter Photo Scavenger Hunt starts on December 1st 2019. I hope you will all join in.

Sunday, 29 September 2019


Joy mentioned yesterday that she liked my key holder so, as I have nothing better in mind for today's post, here it is!

Just a cheap eBay find, it's been one of my better ideas for staying organised. All the keys are kept on here so I don't have that last minute hunt for keys when I'm ready to go out. Most of the keyrings are Harry Potter ones. Obviously! I have to replace the one on my car keys (left hook) as the Deathly Hallows one I was using has broken. The yellow duck keyring belongs to someone else and will be going soon, I hope.

Once a month I check for all the birthdays, get the greeting cards ready to be posted and then put them in the tray above the hooks. This is right by the front door so, as I see this each time I leave the house, it's easy to grab the correct envelope and pop it in the post box. I also keep appointment letters, theatre tickets and invitations in the tray as well.

So there it is, keeping me organised for £10.99!

Saturday, 28 September 2019


The stack of instruments have been put back in storage and I have reclaimed my hallway and music room. I like the space ... having to squeeze past the instruments gets me down. I've enjoyed having the plain white walls but it's time to start thinking about what I want on the walls. I measured up for the frames some time ago so now just have to decide on the actual photos ... my next project!

I had three new starters today. Two are still in year 2, so a year younger than we usually start them but they have family members in the band so an exception has been made for them ( as a sort of trial). The third one is year 3, so the correct age, and his mum learned to play in the band as a child. It's unusual to have such a small group and also to have all three with brass players at home to support their learning so I think they will pick it up very quickly. All three of them are very lively so it's going to be a fun year!

I didn't sleep too well last night and developed a headache as the morning went on so after a quick lunch I went back to bed. A couple of hours later and I'm feeling much more human again. I have a busy week ahead of me so the rest of this weekend will be as quiet as possible to recharge the batteries. 'The Hitman's Bodyguard' is on TV tonight so I'm looking forward to seeing that ... I really enjoyed it when I saw it in the cinema on its release two years ago, a very funny film. The rest of my time will be filled with good food, a good book, some piano playing, and just generally excelling at doing as little as possible!

Friday, 27 September 2019


It's washing day today ... instruments, not clothes! This one is on loan to an established player who was complaining that one of the valves doesn't work properly so I brought it home to check it before I took it for repair. They are all shown how to care for their instruments but this particular player clearly hasn't bothered at all. When I dismantled it, I found that most of the slides are seized solid and the tubing is full of mould. Not only a health issue but an expensive repair for the parents - the band finances repairs due to wear and age of instruments but parents have to pay for any repairs due to lack of maintenance or through dropping the instrument. I'm speaking to the parents tomorrow and will take the instrument to the repairers next week.

'A' will be here later to clean the house. I've tidied round as much as I can but the house is full of instruments so I will ask her to just hoover and clean where she can for today, rather than have to keep moving everything. They will be moved back to storage tomorrow and I'll be glad of the space again.

After she's gone I'll make a start on some cooking for the freezer, probably bolognese sauce and a veggie chilli for starters. I'm having a roast dinner for my main meal today so I'll plate up an extra meal for tomorrow and then the rest of the veg will be frozen for bubble and squeak.

Apart from that I have a couple of phone calls to make on behalf of the band, and then just need to get the paperwork ready for the new starters for tomorrow - three that I know about but hopefully a couple more will turn up as well.

Thursday, 26 September 2019


It's raining so most definitely a day for staying indoors and keeping dry. I needed some shopping but didn't fancy going out so ordered it online and was lucky enough to get a same day delivery, so I won't starve!

I haven't anything interesting to tell you. It's turned out to be a strange sort of day, being busy all the time but I couldn't actually tell you what I've achieved. Once I've pressed 'publish' on this post I'll go downstairs, make a hot drink and either watch some TV or read. I've been hearing positive comments about some of the latest TV series so, it they are available on iPlayer, I will try to catch up. If not, there are plenty of books in the bookcase so I can easily lose myself in a good story.

Wednesday, 25 September 2019


This morning I ran the last workshops for a while so these instruments now go back to storage until November. A parent of a current band member had kindly arranged for an additional school to contact me so I have arranged to see all of their KS2 children in November and will try to contact two or three other new schools for the same week. This morning went well but I will be surprised if any of them want to join the band. Hopefully I'm wrong but, much as they enjoyed themselves, I didn't see any genuine interest in learning to play properly.

I've eaten my lunch (chicken curry) and will be driving to town in about half an hour to meet S for coffee and cake. I'll go a little earlier so I can do the banking for the band while I'm there to save another trip tomorrow. 

Then it's back home, feet up and a relaxing evening to enjoy!

Tuesday, 24 September 2019


The rain and thunder woke me from a deep sleep just after four o'clock and there has been heavy rain continuously since. The thunder has stopped thankfully. 

I had to get to the Health Centre for an 8:30am appointment so searched the depths of the understairs cupboard for an umbrella ... the broken one in the photo was the only one I could find so, time running out, it had to do. I got there in plenty of time and got soaked through getting from the car to the entrance under an umbrella which wouldn't stay up! Then the news that the specialist had been called back to the hospital in Bath so all they did today was an echocardiogram. At least the process has been started and my GP will get the result in about ten days so I need to make an appointment to see him. 

The worst part was getting dressed in sopping wet clothes so I was feeling really chilled by the time I got home. I've had a soak in the bath, and am now wrapped in a thick fluffy dressing gown and nursing a hot drink. 

I won't be going out again today! I'm feeling quite sleepy after my early start so I'm going back to bed to catch up with some sleep, and then the rest of the day will be a mixture of reading, TV, and music.

Monday, 23 September 2019


I'm having another early night. A very early night. It's only 6:40 pm, I've finished teaching, have eaten a meal, had a shower and am now reading in bed. I'm tired and have nothing left in reserve, so bed is the best place. I am seeing the heart specialist at 8:30 tomorrow morning, luckily in Trowbridge so I won't have to get up too early. Hopefully, I will get some answers to why I am so tired all the time.

Sunday, 22 September 2019


Well the promised rain has arrived but I'm not entirely sure why it merited a yellow weather warning. Maybe it will get worse as the day progresses. It is pleasant sitting inside in the dry and listening to the raindrops falling on the patio though ... there's something comforting about the sound. 

I'm having  another very quiet day today. Despite going to bed early I didn't sleep particularly well so don't want to rush around doing things that can easily wait. The only must do task is to check that I have everything ready for tomorrow's workshop, and then I'll be snuggling up on the sofa with a cuddle blanket and will carry on with the book group book - Heresy by S J Parris, which after a slowish start I am really enjoying.

Saturday, 21 September 2019


It was a busy band practice today. We're getting ready for our autumn concert next month, have ongoing bad behaviour from two children who will possibly be asked to leave, and we fitted in a short committee meeting as well. We have reached a decision about the issue affecting the band and now have to make things happen to get it all sorted.

At home now, I've had lunch and have done a bit more tidying in the garage. There's more stuff than I thought to sell or donate but it can all wait for now.  I came indoors for some water and now don't want to move, so the garden won't get done today. We have a yellow weather warning for tomorrow and rain is forecast for every day next week so I'm not sure when the garden will get the attention it needs but I am too tired to care!

I've given in and am watching TV ... that together with spells of reading are my plans for Saturday.

Friday, 20 September 2019


I slept in this morning and am now regretting it as I have lots to do today. At the moment I'm in the playroom and have taken a break from catching up with admin to write this post. The photos were all taken yesterday at The Courts Garden showing some of the sculptures ... difficult to photograph stainless steel in bright sunlight so please excuse the strange editing on some of them!

When I finish this I'll pop to town for some bits and bobs of shopping which should keep me busy until lunch time and then this afternoon I hope to do a bit more tidying, either back garden or garage. Really it should be the garden but I don't fancy another day in bright sunshine so unless it clouds over, then I'll be tackling the garage.

Early evening I will be out for another walk along the canal towpath. At the moment this is fitting nicely into my daily routine and I'm hoping it is something I can keep doing during the colder months. Actually, it's not the cold that stops me, it the fear of slipping when it's frosty and icy but that's a while away yet so for now the evening walk is a lovely way of winding down from the busyness and stresses of the day.

I've been reading up about shinrin yoku. A couple of years ago I went on one of these walks, organised as part of an arts week, and loved it. On that walk we were encouraged to take a sketchpad and record parts of the day and every time I see the sketchbook in the cupboard I am reminded just how much I loved the experience. There doesn't appear to be anything happening locally but I have found a couple of affordable walks that I'm considering. One requires an overnight stay and the other seems to be as part of a long weekend holiday but I'm in the early stages of planning so there may be others. It's definitely on the list though!

Tonight a friend was supposed to be coming round but she has been poorly all week so I don't expect to see her. Instead I may do some more family tree research, obviously some more reading, and maybe watch a couple more episodes of 'Friends'.

Then it'll be another early night. I've been going up to bed between 9 pm and 10 pm and reading for a while before I turn out the lights, and I feel it is making a slight difference to my energy levels. 

Thursday, 19 September 2019


I had nothing planned so I went to the National Trust property in the next village to try to find some more photos for the SPSH. I timed my visit well as The Courts Gardens is hosting a sculpture exhibition, which was actually on my list of things to do but I'd completely forgotten about it!

The photos I'm sharing today are all to do with the scavenger hunt.

No 9 | a bridge - the Monet type bridge, a popular place for family photos

No 12 | something crooked - a holly tree

No 14 | a handwritten sign - found near the entrance to the property

No 17 | a sail - one of the exhibits scattered about the garden

No 18 | something that should be found in pairs - I asked another visitor to the gardens if she'd mind me photographing her shoe. When I explained what it was for she kindly added her foot as well!

Alt B | fresh local produce - I found the blackberries in the car park and the other fruits were growing in The Court's kitchen garden

Wednesday, 18 September 2019


I ran one workshop this morning and that's it until next week. This morning's class was lovely and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that some of them do choose to join the band. So far the interest has been disappointing with only three parents registering their child to join, but they have until the 27th of this month so maybe there'll be a last minute rush. Some years we get lots of new players and some years only a handful - I never know what to expect! 

I'm home now and have been ticking off some of the jobs on my to-do list, and am just about to do some piano practice. When I've done that I'll have some lunch (homemade lentil soup) and then make a start on the back garden and garage ... tidying up needed in both spaces. 

Once I run out of energy outside there are plenty of indoor and admin tasks to do. I'm having shepherdess pie, kale and runner beans for my evening meal, after which I will either read or watch some TV followed by a soak in the bath and an early night.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019


I didn't make it to the singing group last night. The private lessons ran late which left me with too short a gap to make and eat my main meal of the day and get to the singing group on time, so I've decided to wait until I've finished the workshops before joining. When things are back to normal I can eat my main meal in the middle of the day and then just have soup or similar in the gap between lessons and singing group.

I have another (rescheduled) workshop this afternoon. This one will be a doddle as I used to teach in the school and the children already know me. Unlike yesterday, which was a bit like crowd control at times! 

This morning is 'rearrange the freezer' time, moving all the older meals from the garage freezer to the kitchen freezer. The rest of this month is all about using up the odds and ends in the freezers so there's space for when I do the next lot of bulk cooking. The next little job following on is to complete the shopping lists for the bulk cooking and also check the cupboards for all the basics, ready for a shopping trip next week.

This evening will be a case of curling up on the sofa, dimming the lights and listening to some music ... my choice will depend on how frazzled I feel!

Monday, 16 September 2019


A mindfulness interlude on a warm and sunny Sunday morning - a gentle breeze but still warm enough to sit out on the patio with a cold drink appreciating the sights and sounds of all that's going on around me.

Sights ...
  • the autumn colours, hinting that it's the end of the summer
  • shadows dancing across the patio
  • a tiny green beetle making its way across the patio
  • busy bees on the flowers
  • a spider waiting patiently on its web
  • fallen leaves and petals under the roses
  • the blur of a bird flying away. It may have been a robin but it was too quick to see it properly
  • a beautiful blue sky and fluffy white clouds
  • Sammy, my neighbour's ginger and white cat, taking a short cut across the garden

Sounds ...

Close by I can hear:
  • bees buzzing around the flowers
  • the rattle of the living room vertical blinds moving in the breeze
  • the rustling of leaves in the breeze
  • the creaking of the roof on next door's conservatory

In the distance I can hear:
  • an airplane flying overhead
  • someone sawing and hammering
  • very faintly, a siren sounding at the cereal factory that's on the other side of the village
  • a peal of bells. The breeze must be in the right direction as I can't usually hear them but I think it's the parish church where we held band practice yesterday

Considering I live in the middle of an estate, I'm surprised that I didn't hear any voices, radios, dogs barking, cars, trains, or cheering from the sports field - the home team must have an away match this week!


This afternoon I'm visiting another school to run one workshop with about 30 year 3s. One of the teachers in this school is a fellow band member (I used to teach her when she was a child 😊) and the Headteacher has released her from her own class to help me run the workshop, which is brilliant and will make for a much easier afternoon.

Then it'll be back home for the private lessons, and if I have any energy left I may try out a new singing group this evening but I'll tell you more about that once I've joined. It all depends on how I feel so may have to wait until I've completed all the workshops in two weeks time.