My favourite band/singer is David Essex or anything Motown. That new band Queen aren't too bad either
Monday, 30 November 2009
My favourite band/singer is David Essex or anything Motown. That new band Queen aren't too bad either
Sunday, 29 November 2009
See you tomorrow - don't be late, it's a tight schedule and we have a long journey to make.
Friday, 27 November 2009
Thursday, 26 November 2009
The only Nativity I remember being in was when I was about 10. My primary school decided to try something different that year. We had all been having French lessons (which was rather unusual in Primary school back in 1968) and our teacher decided to do the whole play in French. Pretty ambitious eh? Goodness knows what our parents thought, I'm sure they didn't understand a word of it, which could have been a blessing as I really don't think our accents were too authentic. I do remember my friend Susan Hutchin marching down the aisle of the hall towards the stage with the Kings trying to keep up with her while she was pointing up to an imaginary star in the sky and shouting 'Sweevie lay twarl' which was as close to 'suivez l'toile' as we were going to get.
I had the dubious honour of being the 2nd person on stage. Moira Payne was resplendent as Mary, dressed in a rather fetching pale blue tablecloth and I was purely angelic as the Angel Gabriel in a carefully draped white sheet. 'Je te salut Mary' is all I remember but I guess I must have then gone on to tell her she was expecting a baby. My moment in the spotlight over, I then took my place in the recorder group ready to accompany the choir in the only French carol I ever learnt 'Il est nee, le petit enfant'.
Does anyone else remember their first Nativity play?
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
My question for today is: Have you ever had a terrifying experience whilst doing the chores?
A simple visit to the utility room today reminded me of a dreadful experience which I thought I would share as my blog for the day.
I need to share some details first.
1. My utility room is part of an extension to the house and we get to it via the garage
2. Although I live in a large town, I am on the extreme outskirts of it and 2 gardens along from me is a large cricket pitch and then open countryside.
So ... one morning last year I went to the tumble drier to remove some towels which had been washed and dried the day before. Not normally a traumatic experience, but on this occasion I put my hand in, thought to myself 'that doesn't feel like a fluffy freshly laundered towel' and indeed it wasn't. It was a large mouse. A large dead mouse in fact. Totally stiff. And in with my clean towels. Did you hear me scream? I'm sure that anyone in a 100 mile radius might have!
What we think happened was that because I was doing the laundry in the evening, I had propped open the door between utility and garage in order to let the steam escape. In the daytime I just open up the door to the garden. So some poor, elderly, homeless mouse seeking refuge from the dark and the cold had scuttled across the fields, scampered across the cricket field, skipped towards the light coming from beneath the garage doors, edged his way carefully around my car (think 'Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible') climbed over the step, and wondered in amazement as he felt the warmth of the tumble drier. Someone (and I'm blaming Darling Husband for this) had seen the drier had finished, turned it off at the wall and just opened the door to let it cool down without taking the towels out. Imagine the glee of the poor little creature, a warm machine and a mattress of fluffy towels to lie his little head on for the night. What a way to spend his last hours. I tell you, it was the worst housework experience I have ever had! Can you equal that?!
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Monday, 23 November 2009
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would you change? I'm open to suggestions as to what I could do next!
Sunday, 22 November 2009
Saturday, 21 November 2009
You saw the front garden on your way in, but if I open the curtains you'll be able to see the back garden too. The tree on the right has lost all it's leaves now but at the beginning of autumn it was beautiful, full of burgundy coloured foliage. We've still got 5 koi carp in the pond but the herons have had a banquet this year on the golfish we had, we've lost about 9. We've had the pond about 10 years and this is the first year that herons have bothered us, I think the koi are too big for them and too quick at diving to the bottom.
So now you have seen what I see when I open the curtains each day, and I don't want to rush you but I know that Sian is waiting to see you. In fact I think I'll join you, we can find her together. All I know is that she lives in a very tall house, with The Accountant, The Tall One and the Small One. Let's go .....
Don't worry, there is not a tearful, long acceptance speech on the way and hopefully no wardrobe malfunctions while I am up on stage collecting it! I am so touched and grateful.
Now, the spirit of the award means that I have to share 5 facts about myself that others may not know so ....
1. I have danced on stage at the Royal Albert Hall. I would like to thank my partner, Martin Stringer, for learning all the steps that our teacher Mrs Bishop taught us in country dancing at Churchgate Street Primary School so that we did not make fools of ourselves. This fact goes back to 1966!
2. I used to have an imaginary friend called Zolly Watson. She lived in the playhouse at the bottom of the garden when I was about 6. We used to play there and our favourite snacks were lucozade and chocolate digestive biscuits.
3. I met my husband on a blind date. 29 years of marriage later .....we're still together!
4. My perfect dinner would start with champagne and end with chocolate. With some kind of lamb dish served in between.
5. I am absolutely petrified of lifts. Would rather climb 8 flights of stairs. My motto is 'Tis better to arrive breathless than a tearful, nervous, trembling wreck. And think of all those calories you are burning!
So, now I am going to continue the award giving ceremony by giving the award to some of my favourite blogs out there.
Robyn, Denise, Claire, Amy, Sarah, Sian
These people are personally responsible for keeping me away from doing the ironing, making me late preparing dinner and generally distracting me from doing anything remotely related to housework.
I know that some of these have already been nominated this award but I just wanted them to know that they're in my favourites list! I would also nominate Rachel who nominated me but I'm not sure if you are allowed to go round in circles!
Thursday, 19 November 2009
You see Rachel B did a post about some fudge she bought which looked fabulous. Mel wrote a comment on the blog which mentioned 'no boil fudge'. Which immediately got my attention because I love fudge but my recipe involves boiling for about 20 mins which inevitably leads to 3rd degree burns on my arms where the melted sugar spits out at me while I stir. So I contacted Mel through her blog and today she sent me the recipe. In fact it would seem that Mel is quite the cook, she even has a seperate cooking blog .
So I got to business as soon as I got home and the fudge is chilling nicely in the fridge at the moment. It cuts into 32 pieces which roughly equates to 29 pieces for me and one piece each for the rest of the family :-)
Thanks for the recipe Mel!
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
So pick up your remote controller and press fast forward to today. If someone had told us that 12 months after that day she would be ridiculously happy working 10 minutes from home in a hair salon I don't think either of us would have believed it.
For 12 months ago she had just landed a fab job in Covent Garden, London working for a prestigious media communications company working on global accounts. What the 2008 'us' didn't know that over the next 10 months she would narrowly escape redundancy, tire herself out in commuting, become bored with the job, and basically become so unhappy it impacted on many parts of her life and in all honesty, made her ill.
She's now retraining, back at college one day a week and working in the salon for 4 days. With a great bunch of friendly people, using her artistic skills and learning new things. A huge decision to make, and I am sure a fair few people thought 'what a waste of a degree' but I can tell you that what really matters is that I have my happy daughter back. She is well and content and keen to start the day again.
And of course, so many free haircuts - she looks quite different!
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
So anyway, back on planet Shimelle we have been told to do a post about something we will scrapbook later but I have a bit of a twist on that, I've not got a picture I am going to scrapbook, but I have a selection of edgings waiting to be used in some artistic way.
While I was at the crop on Sunday there was a brief period of time between finishing my 2nd layout and the raffle being drawn. Now I may not have been a big lottery winner, but I have been lucky at the Crafty Stash crops (something to do with millions of people doing the lottery and only about 25 at the crop?).
So I spent a little time and a bit of money on a few 'essentials' from the lovely array of goodies Sue had brought with her and then I spied a basket of cutters. Now, I only have one edge cutter and it's about 2" long and only works on paper so to have the opportunity to have a little play on some very posh, intricate ones was too much to resist. I collected together some decent sized offcuts from the papers we had been using and did a selection of fancy edgings.
My only dilemma now is how best to use them. Suggestions?
PS Good job I stayed for the raffle, I won a lovely 12 x 12 fancy template - Thanks Sue!
Sunday, 15 November 2009
The crop at Welwyn Garden City today was really good and I loved the colours of the papers that we had to work with. I especially like the red and white page that we did and I was pleased that I had taken a photo of my daughter that I had taken just before she went out on Saturday night. It was lucky that she was wearing a plain black dress so it fitted in nicely with the theme of the papers.
For the other page I found a picture that was taken on her birthday which was also shortly before my son went back to start his 2nd year at university. He is wearing a red t shirt which again fits in with the colours of the page quite nicely.I always enjoy the crops, it is so good to see other people's work and it is amazing to see how different photos can change the whole look of a page and also how other people interpret ideas. I am learning so much. I come home inspired and keen to start on my own ideas for pages. So in theory, this week I should be doing a bit more scrapbooking to go with the blogging. Watch this space ....
Saturday, 14 November 2009
Yuk! Isn't it horrible? I woke up to howling wind rattling round the house and rain lashing against the window. My husband doesn't understand when I say that there are parts of Autumn I really don't like. He loves the fact that in England we get a wide variety of weather according to the season and would not enjoy living anywhere that the seasons don't change. I don't like the fact that in England we sometimes get all 4 seasons in one day! You can wake up to sunshine and get caught out in a thunderstorm later on, or wrap yourself up warm against the elements in the morning and find yourself sweltering under 4 layers of clothing in the afternoon. I guess that is why a true Brit will always find themselves prepared for any eventuality. And why it is very hard to pack light if you go away for a weekend!
I suppose it gives us the excuse to buy lots of clothes for all weathers and we need a wide variety of footwear for all conditions. Imagine living somewhere that you could get away with two pairs of flip flops for the whole year! All those knee high boots, ankle boots, high heeled sandals, strappy sandals, winter shoes, ballet flats, flip flops, Ugg boots etc etc we would miss out on 'needing'.
I try to be organised and at the end of the summer put my little strappy dresses and shorts away, as I pack up winter sweaters and skirts and opaque tights at the beginning of spring. But because you never know when you may need winter clothes in summer, it's a tough call to make.
Don't get me wrong, I love a cold, fresh, crisp autumn day when the leaves are turning, and I love the crunch of freshly fallen snow underfoot almost as much as I love cloudless blue skies and sunny days. It's the damp I don't like. Don't like dashing from car to house and still getting drenched, don't enjoy driving through the huge puddles that appear in country roads, and could quite easily hibernate until the rain stops again.
Is it just me? Anyone out there enjoying the weather today?
Friday, 13 November 2009
I was going to post a thank you to all those people who have kindly visited my blog and an even bigger thank you to those who have left comments. I always make sure that I check out the blogs of those who leave comments and it is such a shame if there is no way of knowing where to look. I normally click on the name and check out the profile and look for clues of where to find their blog but it isn't always there :-(
I do realise that in this class I have done an awful lot of blogging and not much scrapbooking but that will be resolved this weekend. I'm going to an all day crop organised by Sue at Crafty Stash which I am really looking forward to and guarantees two layouts to be published afterwards. I normally meet up with my friend Denise but she is on a weekend scrapbook extravaganza and won't be there so I will be 'Billy No-mates'. So if you are going to be there too, give me a wave and a smile! Here's a peek of what we will be doing ... (click on the dots!)
For those of you interested in sewing, you have to have a look at Robyn's blog. What an amazing quilt. I discovered Robyn's blog while on another Shimelle class and have checked it out regularly ever since. How that lady finds enough hours in the day to do all she does with two young bundles of mischief I do not know. Pop by and tell her I sent you!
Thanks again for blog-hopping in my direction, hopefully there will be pretty pictures of layouts after Sunday.
Thursday, 12 November 2009
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Monday, 9 November 2009
Sunday, 8 November 2009
Friday, 6 November 2009
Normally when I post something showing a layout I have done, I merely put it on the carpet to photograph it, I think I may try using this corner to display things in future.
Thursday, 5 November 2009
I work part time at a fairly large secondary school in Hertfordshire. About 1200 students at the last count. I work part of my day in the exams office, which is a busy place at the best of times but with Year 11 mock GCSEs starting next week and entries for January modules taking place it's manic.
So let's sit here in the main office where I work for the other hours of my working day, it's quieter in here, but no less busy. Oh, and can I introduce you to my colleague Dany, who is in overall charge of Work Experience but we work very much as a partnership in the months leading up to it. Our girls have just finished their week out in the world of business and we're starting the feedback part of the job.
I want to share something that may seem insignificant to the rest of the world but something that gave us a warm glow this morning and a feeling of 'job well done' all day.
Work experience can be challenging. Some girls know exactly what they want to do and are keen and enthusiastic and it is straightforward to find somewhere for them. It's been tough this year with the credit crunch, businesses don't have the extra staff or time to give up a week to show a 15 year old what they do all day, and quite frankly a lot of places locally haven't survived the recession. Some girls want the impossible, one girl wanted to work at a space station - well, we do have Science College Status so I guess we will always have someone hoping to aim high!
Bearing in mind I had 156 girls to try and find places for, and it's done on first come first served basis, by the time I am down to the last 10, inspiration is seriously lacking. My 156th girl was someone who is not academically inclined, prone to trying to avoid lessons and generally not taking much interest in anything. People told us to not bother taking too much time finding anything as she probably wouldn't turn up anyway.
But something in that comment made Dany and I determined to find something that would hold her interest. I am a firm believer that the 'problem' children are sometimes only a problem as they are bored and don't have any interest in the normal subjects. It is a matter of finding something to grab their imagination and keeping them absorbed. I also feel that everyone needs to feel that their opinion is important, to listen to them and show an interest.
By a convoluted sequence of events and a passing comment when she came to discuss work experience with us, we managed to secure a placement for her at an RAF base in Suffolk, based about 15 mins from where her grandparents lived. It was agreed she could live with them for the week and they would get her there. She absolutely loved it. She went every day, threw herself into whatever they asked of her, is absolutely set on joining the RAF on leaving school. The RAF sent in a glowing report about her, she was a joy to have there and she fitted in from Day 1. She's going back in a couple of weekends time to help out with a display and she has returned to school a more confident, enthusiastic person.
Sometimes you have to accept that a square peg will not fit in the traditional round hole and find the right shaped home for them. We honestly feel that a few extra hours finding something out of the ordinary for her might just have turned her life around.
Gosh, is that the time? The going home bell will be going any minute, thanks for popping in. See you again sometime I hope!
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
I never used to drink red wine much but over the years I have discovered that I do in fact quite like it! A nice glass of Montepulciano goes down very nicely but my favourite white wine at the moment is Torres Vina Esmeralda. On offer at our local Waitrose at the moment, don't just take my word for it - give it a whirl!