Thursday, 31 January 2013


  • I was on a bus at 7:30. It was busy with quiet people
  • I was on a train at 8am. As I reached my destination I saw the sun rise above over the horizon like a huge shimmering golden orb.
  • I had my first interview in ahem years. I enjoyed it. 
  • The interview wasn't for a job, but for a post-graduate course to lead to a job.
  • I really want to do the course. 
  • I am concerned about the childcare juggle it would involve.
  • Once the interview was over I went for a walk to see the sea...
 ...white horses were racing wildly across the waves.
  • In the local branch of Boots I found a good stock of this, I had searched unsuccessfully for it over the past month or so in several other stores closer to home.
  • I visited the charity shops of the town. I bought...

...two Hornsea Fleur jars, 75p the pair. I'm pleased that they don't have writing on them - I don't like being told what to put in my jars.

A Royal Winton sectioned platter, I really liked this so pushed the boat out at £3 for it.

And a little pottery jar for 50p. (The ebony elephant was from a different charity shopping expedition. He was £2. His tusks are intact but his body is damaged on the side you can't see.) I also bought 2 Meakin bowls (75p the pair) but they're in the dishwasher as they were manky.

  • When I put the empty milk bottles out late last night, Orion was shining brightly right above. I always like to see Orion in the night sky.

Friday, 25 January 2013

At Last!

While much of the UK has been under a blanket of snow for about a week we have had just the merest sprinkling. Each morning on waking I've peeked out the bedroom window to see if we too have snow and each morning I've been disappointed. Till today. This morning I didn't bother looking out until I was actually ready to open the blinds, only to find to my delight that it had been snowing during the night. Only an inch or so, but enough for some snowy photos, plenty of sledging after school, and a snowman...



And as it is Burns night we had haggis, neeps and tatties for tea, perfect for refueling after all the fun in the snow.

PS I know it's a nuisance, but I had to turn the comments word verification back on. I had too much new spam on old posts clogging up my email inbox. Grrrrr!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Saturday Morning Bike Ride

First ride of 2013, off we go. My goal for this ride is to photograph the tree at the corner in January so that I can complete my set of photos for this view taken in every month of the year...


Some of the earlier ones aren't of great quality so I'll try and take better ones over 2013. I have to say that I was hoping to get a nice snowy scene for January, but as you can see, unlike much of the UK, we have no snow. None at all. So no sledging sadly, but at least I get out cycling. Now where to go next...

While I ponder my route I take this photo of the sun shining through the trees near to where I stop for my tree at the corner photos. It's turning out to be a lovely morning.

I'll go this way for now. Past the post (perhaps another contender for a year of monthly photos).

A few miles further on, I like the shapes of the hedge and fence against the sky.

A view past wonky fence posts of a distant farm.

The road ahead. Lots more posts.

 I like the weathered detail of this gate post and the rusty gate alongside.

Sheep fleece on a barbed wire fence.

On to the next field and I think this is probably horse hair caught by the barbs.

 Rusty gate chain detail.

On past another favourite tree, I like how it stands on the horizon.

On again, and another tree, not quite so perfect situated on the horizon, but I like the frozen ruts in the field in front of it.

At this point I'm being pursued by a rather fast and persistent runner. It's mostly up hill on this section of road, and I'm not terribly fast at climbing, especially when there are trees to be photographed.

Ugghhh, I was passed by the jogger, the shame! However, it means I can stop and photograph these interesting looking sheep without the feeling I'm being observed (expect by the sheep, but I don't mind them!)

And while I've stopped I'll just photograph the road too, nice icy tyre tracks.

Now on again a few more miles (and after climbing up up some rather steep hills while passing through a village - one of which I walk up and still get puffed out!), I really like this shot of a rook flying from a branch as I approached, I was lucky to catch it in flight at just the right angle.

Soon I reach the bench, it's pretty much downhill from here for the few miles left till home. All the hill climbs are worth it for this. Wheeeeee!

It was so good to get back out cycling again (I think November was the last time I was out on my bike), once on the quiet back roads it's just so peaceful and scenic - bliss!

Friday, 11 January 2013

Charity Shopping, a little Cycling, Crochet and Christmas review

I've not been noticing many charity shopping posts on blogs recently. Perhaps it's not something people blog about any more, though I have to say I always like to see what treasures people have found, even if it's something I don't personally like. Media-wise it has become the in-thing to be on the lookout for vintage and thrifty finds, perhaps bloggers have now moved on to something new. Or perhaps there's just nothing good to be found in charity shops any more - a combination of more buyers looking for the same things, or more sellers using ebay, aware now that they can get money for their "junk". I always pop into a charity shop if I'm passing - you just never know what might be in there! I was feeling that I'd had slim pickings recently, but I collected together my bargain buys for the last month and was pleasantly surprised...

I now realise I have a "Thing" for pottery jugs, perhaps I am a collector. The darker one was £4. The stoneware one was quite pricey at £8. The first time I saw it in the shop I wasn't prepared to spend that much on a jug. I kept thinking about it though, and decided to return for it with some of the money I'd got for Christmas. After all, all proceeds are for a good cause too (another thing I like about charity shops). This was during the school holidays so off I set with the children in tow. We were going to Lidl first but we only made it as far as Lidl carpark - poor A trapped her finger in the car door, cue much shrieking, tears and blood so it was home again. However, earlier this week N & I tried again, and the jug is now ours. The pottery bowl was £1, and the tealight holder 49p. (And A's finger is a little black under the nail but isn't hurting)

Also we have... a smelly M&S candle (50p) and two funky pillowcases (each 40p).

So, not bad at all.

Now to some photos from a little outing N and I took on Wednesday. We took N's bike. I was hoping we'd cycle/walk to the nearby bird sanctuary and I could take some photos en route. N had other ideas...

 ... at first it looked as though we'd be at the playpark and nowhere else. It's quite a good playpark but it's not in a terribly scenic location. While N was playing I took a photo of part of the old lemonade factory, I liked the different shades of blue. Then I resorted to bribery - a promise of an icecream at the cafe beside the loch did the trick. The cafe is in the opposite direction to the bird sanctuary, but is still reached by a path through the nature reserve.

Off we go (he's not a keen cyclist, unlike the rest of us)

 Within a hundred yards the surroundings change from rundown buildings to attractive lochside scenery.

 I find it surprisingly colourful for this time of year.
The water level is quite high. The gulls appearing to perch in a row are all sitting on the kerb beside the lower (underwater) path.

He has a push-up ice lolly thingmajig. I have a hot choclate and we share a pack of shortbread. The cafe is in a fantastic location and is in a fabulous building with plenty of seating space and a gift shop area. However, I do feel it could be so much better - real crockery instead of paper cups, home baking instead of mass-produced packets of biscuits, locally made crafts in the gift shop instead of imported tat...

Returning to the car park we pass the resident whooper swan - notice how yellow his bill is compared the the mute swan behind him. He has a damaged wing so remains here all year instead of migrating.

The pink footed geese visiting for the winter were pecking busily at the grass.

Later that evening...

...we had a fiery sunset, these photos were taken at about 4:15pm, just as we were heading out to A's piano lesson.

Now to yesterday, a misty day.

 Perfect for enhancing spiderwebs,

but not great for light levels. It's gloomy again today.

A quick look at some crochet progress. I'm  making another crescent moon shawl, this time for one of my sister-in-law. Progress has been slow - I started it away back in June. It's only now that it's almost finished (the edging takes ages!) that I'm liking it. I think I even prefer it to the first one I made, it's a better colour for everyday wear but less interesting in the making.

And lastly, a look back to the days after Christmas and at the New Year. I have to say it seemed that Christmas passed very quickly this year. I felt I was always on the go and getting things done, which is fine, but I do like a wee moment at Christmas to sit and look at the tree and Christmas lights and enjoy the Christmas sounds and smells. I must be more organised next year (no last minute crocheting of very long cuddly snakes would probably help!).

Here are the books I got for Christmas 2012.

I've started reading Nella Lasts's War and am enjoying it - just the kind of everyday detail that I like. I've finished reading Home and I enjoyed this too, it's not just pretty pictures of homes - the best aspect of the book are the memories and opinions of/on homes from the contributors. ReCraft seems OK as craft books go. The Art of Handmade Living is rubbish and will be offered to friends or taken to the charity shop. I haven't looked at the Jane Brocket one yet but I enjoyed her Knitting and Quilting books and expect this will be similar. Celebrate has lots of nice pictures in it, I only requested it once it was in the £6 range as I didn't feel I could justify it otherwise.

Aren't these the prettiest chocolates? I've been trying to cut down on sugar, but did say that a small box of nice chocolates would be welcome among any Christmas gifts - quality not quantity is more important to me now! Hubby gave me these, they're from Kimbles and they tasted absolutely delicious too.

The dining room set for New Year's Day. We went to friend's for Hogmany and had Grandad to visit at New Year.
The little nativity scene is now back in it's matchbox and packed away along with most of the other decorations - I'm still finding the odd forgotten ornament around the house.

And I did finally make some more snowflakes, but these will need to wait till next year before being displayed.


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