Tuesday 29 July 2008

Prompt 17

This prompt definitely has touched a part of my life that is my relaxation and escape from stresses of everyday life. I love to read. I cannot get to sleep if I have not read at least one page from the book that I am reading. There are some types of books that I prefer to others, but I have very varied tastes in authors.
When I was a stay at home mum, I once enrolled at the library and was determined to try a new author every week. I was starting at A and the theory was, I would work my way to Z. Unfortunately I didn't get to complete my task as I found a part time job and time for reading got reduced. But it was a good way of moving out of my 'comfort zone' and trying authors I would not normally read.
I would not say that I particularly enjoy historical novels, but do enjoy the work of Philippa Gregory and have read several of her books. For the times that I want to stretch my mind and try and outguess the author I enjoy Jeffrey Deaver's series of Lincoln Rhyme books. I have never managed to guess 'whodunit' before all is revealed at the end. I am not ashamed to admit that I enjoy 'chick lit' and eagerly await the latest Marian Keyes and Jane Green. Erica James is a current favourite as is Penny Vicenzi too.
Autobiographies only interest me if I like the person whose life story is being told! I loved the Jackie Onassis book, but have equally enjoyed Richard Hammond's story of his recovery from that awful crash. Sometimes it is nice to read fact over fiction.
My suitcase for holiday always holds at least 3 books, and I try to take varied types and styles. When abroad, I like to read books set in foreign places too and the book I have ready for my next holiday is set in Italy.
'We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading' How true that is and an inspirational parent or teacher will do just that.If you enjoy reading, you are never bored, and a book can lift your spirits and take you away from the mundane parts of your life.

Monday 28 July 2008

Lacemaking, knitting and scrapping!

I am the only one in my family that enjoys craftwork, so I'm guessing it isn't genetic! I have never been artistic, cannot draw a straight line with a ruler but I seem to have ability in more 'crafty' things.
  • I think that my first creative influence must have been Mrs Hockley, my needlework teacher at Secondary School, who showed me that with a bit of effort, you could make something very wearable from a bolt of fabric. My friend Jill and I were keen dressmakers from about the age of 16 and there was a time when I made most of my own clothes, even went on to get an A level in Textiles and Needlework. Sounds a bit 'geeky' now but in the late 70s it wasn't that unusual!
  • I did go through a knitting stage in my early 20s and was often known to bring half finished items into work to get advice from a knitting supremo called Doris. She taught me all manner of stitches and cabling, working with 6 different colours of wool and how to spot where a dropped stitch had gone - more to the point, how to pick it back up without undoing 6 hours work!
  • When I was first married I made friends with a girl called Linda who had married a guy that I went to school with and lived in the same street as us. As our friendship developed, we discovered a mutual interest in crafting and we enrolled at the local school for evening classes. We had expected to be doing lacemaking, but somewhere along the line we got in the wrong queue and so for the first term we discovered the joys of crotcheting! But we finally made it to lacemaking classes and due to the patience of Mrs Lenthall, we actually made progress. We were by far the youngest there - by about 40 years - but we really enjoyed it. The class was fairly quiet, due to the concentration needed but Linda and I sat at the back like naughty schoolchildren and chatted away. The equipment for lacemaking is so pretty, the beads and the engraving on the bobbins - I think that was half of the appeal.
  • My last creative influence has to be my friend Denise who introduced me to scrapbooking. She has made some amazing pages and her handmade cards are so beautiful. Denise and I have been friends for about 28 years and she is one of those people who is a true friend. We may not see each other as often as we may like, but as soon as we get together we pick up from where we left off. And thanks to scrapbooking, and her encouraging me to take various classes, hopefully we will see more of each other in the future.

Sunday 27 July 2008

Prompt 15

It's been so hot this weekend! Has become so humid, I think we could be in for a thunderstorm (which I hate!) Too hot to do much but have managed to find just enough energy to put together my pages for prompt 15. Nowadays my social life seems to revolve around going out for drinks and meals with friends so that was my thought behind my pages. The prompt for making the words/pictures into a puzzle made me think of a jigsaw, which explains the layout that I have used.

Friday 25 July 2008

DD - Dynamo Deb

Oh I struggled with this page! And from looking on the forum, I wasn't the only one!

My alter-ego 'Dynamo Deb' (aka DD) was inspired by the fact that there are some aspects of my 'working' life that I don't enjoy, and others are not a chore at all. Ironing. I hate it. It multiplies overnight and the longer you leave it, the harder it is to do. More to the point, I seem to be the only one in the household who understands the complexities of how to use an iron.

My 2nd picture relates to my job in the Exams Office at a secondary school and these are the logos of the exam boards we use. The lady that I work with is nothing like Alan Sugar but I thought I would use him as my adversary.

Cooking is a job that needs to be done daily, but it is not a chore for me, I enjoy cooking and although I moan from time to time about having to think up different things every day, I don't really mean it!

All names except mine have been altered to protect the innocent, just in case anyone thought I was secretly married to Mr Pitt ;-)

Happy days here in DD land, my daughter has just graduated from uni and has been offered a fab job in London, son safely returned from his first holiday abroad with friends, and we are off to Portugal very soon.

Wednesday 23 July 2008

First Job

Back in 1969, when I was eleven, my parents took us to Spain and we flew for the first time. I was thrilled and knew then what I wanted to do when I grew up. I wanted to be an air hostess. The glamour; the excitement of being in one country at breakfast and another by dinner; I was so impressed. However, reality kicked in when I discovered that you had to be 5ft 3in and I had stopped growing 2" too soon. Also I couldn't swim, which apparently you needed to be able to do so in 1976 when I finally finished my A levels, 'trolley dolly' wasn't an option open to me. But my love of travel had been established and I managed to find a job at OSL villa holidays in Broxbourne. I started work in the Private Lettings dept, organising flights, insurance, taxi transfers etc for the owners of the villas. Fast forward to 1986 and I was still at OSL, which now incorporated Wings Faraway Holidays and various other subsidiary companies. During those 10 years I had moved around within the company and ended up as Senior Passenger Relations Officer, working for the Company Secretary.
I really enjoyed my OSL years, we were selling a dream and it was my dream too! And what job perks - being paid to have to travel to faraway places to check them out and ensure that the brochure descriptions were correct and staff holidays for £10 a head!

Tuesday 22 July 2008


The sight of the word 'games' on school timetables used to fill me with fear. When it comes to competitive sports I am the person you least want on your team. It really doesn't bother me if I come first or last and am more likely to collapse in a heap of giggles when things go horribly wrong on court. My attitude to football finals is 'well there is always next year' or 'they shouldn't be disappointed, they did really well to get that far'.
But, when it comes to non physical games, I am in my element! I love the games on Facebook like Wordtwist, Pathwords or Scramble and am a demon at Boggle. I can get obsessive at Shut the Box, of course I will be able to shut the last one if I just have one more go! We've just bought a Wii and for once in my life I am good at ten pin bowling. But apparently hilarious to watch as I pit my wits against the tv screen.
When the children were young we always played board games on a Sunday evening and Rumikub was a favourite, despite the fact that I always consider myself to be 'mathematically challenged'!

Monday 21 July 2008


I thought I was going to struggle with this one and to start with totally overlooked the 100 words part of the challenge! However, I've just stuck the final picture down and it's been a really nice page to do. I think that is probably because I have been focusing my mind on things I would like to do and am now subconsciously in a place where the mortgage is paid off, I am fluent in Spanish, have frequent flyer status and spend most weekends relaxing in my beach house. If only!

Sunday 20 July 2008


In the interests of catching up I think I am going to do inspiration and aspiration on two single pages and link them together! So here is my inspiration page. I love cooking, love looking through recipe books and watching cookery programmes on TV. But I am the messiest cook in the world and ten minutes before friends arrive for dinner I guarantee the kitchen looks like a bombsite. So the top picture is of a few of the cookery books I have on the shelf as they are what inspire me. The second picture is of the beach that featured in the TV series 'The OC'. How I loved that programme. I wanted to live that life! The clothes, the social life, the amazing houses , Sandy Cohen!....... ;-)

The second, aspiration, page will have to wait until tomorrow as I have been out all day having a family picnic in Hatfield Forest and all that fresh air has tired us out. And, to be honest, am having a dilemma over what to include on it!

Saturday 19 July 2008

Travel pages

Putting together the travel pages took longer than it should have because I decided to look through a box of old photos to see if I could find a picture of me in Cornwall as a child to go with the one taken 2 weeks ago. And of course, once the box was open, it took hours to go through! However, I found 2 pics taken in 1961 and they capture the happy childhood memories that I still have. Fast forward to 2008 and a picture of me taken at the top of St Michael's Mount near Marazion.

Friday 18 July 2008


I've been so busy thinking about what my travel pages are going to be like that I've overlooked some of the blog prompts. So this morning I have been deciding on what poem or verse I can use. I've not read much poetry since my English Literature A level (too many years ago to comment on!) but one song that always moves me is James Taylor's "You've Got a Friend". I hope that everyone can hear these words and think of someone who fits the description and I hope that there is someone out there who hears them and thinks of me.

When you're down and troubled
And you need a helping hand
And nothing, whoa nothing is going right.
Close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest nights.

You just call out my name,
And you know where ever I am
I'll come running, oh yeah baby
To see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall,
All you have to do is call
And I'll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah.
You've got a friend.

Tuesday 15 July 2008

First pages

Well I finally finished my first pages and whilst I am pretty happy with them, now they are done I can see where I could have done better! I thought I was going to struggle to find 'nice' looking time pieces then I remembered that I had a very special watch that used to belong to my mum which is a family heirloom so that was my first picture. Then I decided to photograph the fob watch that my dad wore to my wedding and that became my main picture. For my 'random' small pictures I decided to have a theme of my working day so started with my digital clock in my car. Then I had taken a picture on the computer of the time at which I started this project yesterday. I work in a school office and whilst walking through reception today, I noticed the D&T dept had put up a display of clocks that the year 8 girls had been making - how convenient! Finally, the clock in my hallway at home showing the end of a working day.

I am SO enjoying this project!

Prompt three

I know I've missed out prompt two but I'm anxious to catch up! So I've skipped to 'What's in your suitcase?' which is good practice as it won't be long until I' doing it for real! I'd like to think I have that 'capsule wardrobe' that magazines talk about, something that takes me 'effortlessly from beach to evening' but it's never going to happen! Holidays are for relaxing and to me that means beach or pool. So my first item is beach towel, swiftly followed by sun cream. As a natural redhead, something I have always needed! Swimwear next and as the years go by, the amount of fabric and lycra needed has increased, gone are the days of string bikinis! I always take at least 3 sarongs with me to take me 'effortlessly' from beach to beach bar when I'm overheated and in need of shade and a cold drink. Like many women I usually take more clothes than I need although I always promise I will try and cut down. There is always something that I take out there than returns home unworn. And of course several pairs of shoes that are unsuitable for walking along cobbled streets so the old faithful comfortable gold flip flops are taken out every night! Years of travelling with children mean that I have a pretty extensive holiday first aid kit but I daren't leave any of it behind anymore 'just in case'. The last thing that goes into my hand luggage is my trusty pashmina, something I could not travel without. It doubles up as pillow on aircraft or blanket for when the air con gets switched on, seat cover when you go to a restaurant that has uncomfortable bamboo seats that leave odd marks on bare legs and of course something to put round your shoulders when the sun sets in the evening and a slight breeze picks up. Just thinking about packing makes me want to be on holiday, only two weeks to go!
Well, this is my first day and I have a week of work to catch up on! The first page that I have looked at from Shimelle seems totally appropriate to my life at the moment. Time and Travel. Well, my daughter has just got her degree from uni so is job hunting at the moment so is travelling back and forth from London quite a bit. Those 4 years of uni seem to have flown by - for us - I'm not sure she would agree!
My son recently took his A levels and left school and he flew out last night for his first holiday with his friends. He's currently in the Greek Islands. An anxious time for me but I am sure he is having a great time. Time for him to fly the nest and time for me to realise that both of them are all grown up now.