Friday 28 February 2014

Month in Numbers - February

For the shortest month of the year, February does seem to last a very long time.  
I downloaded an app called Collect which gives you a calendar page and each day it prompts you to add a photo taken on that day. So it was really easy for me to look over the month this time.  Kind of like a very mini Project Life without the journaling! Here's my month in pictures:

The highlight of the month was booking our summer holiday. 7 days in Lake Garda. Well, not actually IN the lake, but a hotel overlooking it. So in preparation for it, the husband and I are learning Italian via a free app called Duolingo.  It was recommended by the IT coordinator at work and you can learn many different languages - I'd really recommend it. At the time of writing this, I have completed 11 Of the lessons. And have mastered all the essentials like ordering pasta for lunch with a glass of white wine, and the Italian for ice cream with chocolate cake. Along with other, hopefully non essential, phrases such as 'The snake is in my boot'. 
I had 5 days off work as it was half term. And remembered how much I loved being a SAHM. 
I made the 4th and the 5th sample block from the Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine and sent off the Friendship Quilt square off to Amy who is the 4th person on the list.
I've made 2 cakes, one 'just because it's half term and I've got time to bake a cake' cake, and one 'Jon's home for the weekend and although it's not his birthday until the middle of next week it's an early birthday cake' cake.
I went to my monthly cookery club where I learnt 4 vegetarian dishes and tried 2 glasses of wine. Although one of the dishes was dessert and I'm pretty sure that most desserts are vegetarian. 
There was only one birthday in February, my nephew's.  32 candles bite the dust.
As you will see from the final photo in the collage, the pre-birthday cake which we will be having tonight is bordered with 2 packets of chocolate finger biscuits and about 200 chocolate M&Ms.  I can hardly wait for dinner time!
This is brought to you as part of Julie's Month in Numbers meme.  She's had a busy month with kitchen appliances ganging up on her, having her bumps felt and getting an extra head.  Go on, pop over there, you know you want to. 

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Half term holidays, half way through

OK, so it is a universally known fact that the days where you don't have to go into work go by twice as fast as the days where you do.  Which is how it is already Wednesday afternoon and I am officially half way through the half term holidays. 
Don't get me wrong, I have been busy working ...
and I am now itching to start a new project - what to do?  Decisions decisions.  I think a cushion cover may be next in line.  I have also made and sent off the next Friendship quilt block to Amy, but won't share it here until she receives it there.  How long does the post take to get from the UK to Australia - I'm not sure! I've been trying to keep up with the Block of the Month in my quilting magazine and I had been putting off last month's as it was circular and had lots of segments but I stuck with it and so long as you look at it from a distance with your eyes kind of squinty it looks OK.  Let's just say I won't be rushing to make a whole bed quilt from that design!  The top 'twirling baton' square was fun to make and only took an afternoon to do from start to finish so that was a relief and I'm all ready and waiting for the March edition to arrive.  I've also made a small project from one of the earlier editions but that is going to be sent onto someone who may read this and I want to keep it a secret!   As you can see, I've also bound and finished the quilt for J's old bedroom - just ready for his visit home at the end of next week.  When I mentioned wondering how I would 'sash' the finished square, Deb said that that 'was the easy part.'   I was a little dubious to say the least but hey, Deb, you were right! 
So what else have I been up to.  Well, we've booked our summer holiday.  Shall I give you a clue?  Well, where is famous for it's pasta, prosecco and ice cream?  Yup - it's going to be 'Ciao Italia' for us this year.  We've booked for Lake Garda.  In a small hotel, just 36 bedrooms in a converted country house and it looks lovely.  I'm counting the days already.
The weather seems to have calmed down a bit this week.  A lot of trees have come down around our town, in the recent storms and I've used these for a 'zoom in, zoom out' collage
This one had fallen across the boundary of someones house, through their hedge and onto a pathway leading to the church. It must have made quite a noise as it fell as the photo does not do its size justice - it was a really large old tree.  The 'zoom in' part is on the splinters of wood from the trunk; hard to believe that a tree which was so mature and gnarly on the outside had such a bright, light heart inside it.
Hope everyone else is keeping safe from the weird and wacky weather conditions that the whole world seems to be experiencing.  As for me, I can't wait for Spring!


Sunday 16 February 2014

Simply a Moment in February

The noise from the rain hitting the glass roof of the conservatory is almost deafening, and whilst I am warm and dry inside I am already dreading my turn at walking the dog later this afternoon.
I am surrounded by the Saturday papers; tales of floods and devastation on the coast cover the front pages.  In comparison to many we have been extremely fortunate, one cannot imagine the heartbreak that some are facing with their homes and possessions many feet under flood water.
A couple of weeks ago our town became an island, with all country road routes in and out flooded; today we are being held hostage by fallen trees forming natural barricades across the roads. Old trees with their roots ripped from the earth by the force of the wind last night. 
I realise that whilst reading, the strength of the wind and rain has diminished and I hear my husband upstairs calling down to me "just come and look at this!". I rush upstairs, the dog scampering just behind me, not wanting to miss out on whatever 'this' may be.
A double rainbow. In the midst of cruel, harsh weather, Mother Nature has thrown in some beauty.

Simply a Moment is organised by Alexa Please pop over there to see what other moments in time are being recorded this month.

Sunday 9 February 2014

Joining in with Abi's idea of sharing one photo with twenty words.
Queen of Puddings. The meringue rose amazingly well this time. It is one of the Sunday lunch favourites around here.

Tuesday 4 February 2014

What would you be?

So we've been interviewing for new teachers this week at work, and part of the process is for the applicants to be interviewed bt the school council. There's representatives from all year groups who get the chance to ask questions on behalf of the students. Some say it's the hardest part of applying to join us! They ask for a member of support staff to observe the meetings - to ensure no inappropriate questions are asked, and on Monday it was my turn to sit in on the interviews.
Mostly it was the kind of thing you'd expect. "How do you think your students would describe you as a teacher?" "What's been your most rewarding incident?" "Why do you want to work here?" as my mind started to wander, I heard them ask "what 3 essential items would you put into an emergency teaching pack?" Emergency teaching pack? What kind of emergencies do you get in geography for goodness sake? The humanities department suddenly seemed a lot more exciting. Apparently an essential part of teaching geography is a regular supply of tea, as they all chose tea bags as one item. And just as I was wondering what 3 items I needed the most to do my job (patience, sense of humour and the ability to eats copious amounts of cake) the next random question was asked. "I think that's almost everything, but one last question ... If you were an animal, what would you be and why?". That made them all sit up and think! Because they couldn't just say an animal, they had to come up with why they chose it.  Sneaky eh?
So since then, I've been wondering what I would have chosen,  first choice - penguin.  Obviously. But take away the cuteness and the amusing waddle of a walk, I can't say I share their love of cold weather and I'm not a good swimmer.  An ant? I'm little and I work hard and when I set my mind to something, I'm very determined. That would go down well with a prospective employer surely? But ants can be annoying and no one really wants them in their house so I'll scrap that idea.  A zebra? The strength and hard working of a horse wrapped up in an unusual coat? No. I think I'd have to go with a dog.  Loyal, faithful, easily trained and will do anything for a treat! 
What would you choose?