Saturday 30 August 2014

Scavenger update

Now I've uploaded all of my recent photos onto the computer I can share a few more Scavenger Hunt finds
I woke up fairly early one morning recently and as I slowly dragged myself back into consciousness, I could see the faint rays of early morning sun creeping through the blinds.  I slipped out of bed quietly, picked up my camera on my way downstairs, quietly opened the front door and finally managed to catch a sunrise before anyone else woke up. 
I'm also including a picture of me sitting on a sunlounger wearing an awful sunhat and sunglasses, reading a book on holiday.   This is my take on me with something representing the season. Sun parasol. Sun lounger. Sun hat. Sun glasses.  Me in Summer - done.
The category of a mascot caused me no end of grief.  We don't really get too many mascots around here.  But I found young Alfred here on the day we came back from holiday.  We had stayed overnight before we went away in a hotel near to Gatwick that provided free car parking while you were on holiday.  They have a little children's club there and their mascot was 'Alfred, the children's concierge'.  So there's my husband trying to load 2 suitcases and handluggage back in the car and I'm still in reception taking photos of a display of teddy bears.  What can I say?  I am a Scavenger Hunter!
The photo bomb wasn't really noticed until we got back to the hotel one evening and went through the photos we'd taken that day.  Lake Garda at night time is beautiful.  The lights on the water are so pretty and the promenades are busy with people just walking around enjoying a post-dinner stroll.  I was trying to get a photo of the lamp post for the Scavenger Hunt, and I liked the little lighthouse lamp in the background.  But it was busy, and a lot of other people were standing around that part of the harbour enjoying the atmosphere. There were a group of people directly in my way and I was biding my time for them to move on.  They eventually got out of shot and I snapped my picture.  What I didn't realise was that this little girl in the red t-shirt must have jumped up onto the wall from the steps below just as I took the photo.  I thought I had taken it in the few seconds between the rest of her family leaving and her running to join them!  Needless to say, I was back again the following night to get my lamp post shot! 
I think that is just about everything ticked off the list but now I have the fun of choosing the final 21 to print off.  I've collected duplicates along the way and need to choose my favourites before I add them to my album pages.  What a fun project this has been! 

Thursday 28 August 2014

Let's sit and have a cup of tea

I will be at the door waiting for you as I see you come up the garden path.  The dog will be doing her crazy, twirling dance to show just how excited she is that we have visitors again.  She'll want to be showing off the new fur-cut she had this morning at the groomers!  Let's go through to the conservatory, the sound of the rain on the glass roof is somehow relaxing and calming.  The kettle's boiled, the cups are ready, how do you fancy some ground coffee that we brought back from a rather lovely Italian deli in Edinburgh?  I'll just put a few biscuits on the plate and apologise for the fact that Rachel's birthday cake is long gone!

We have definitely passed from Summer to Autumn haven't we?  The temperature has dropped and it's obvious that it's time to dig out those warmer clothes.  The change in the air makes we wonder ... Can I ask you what your feelings are towards change?  I sometimes find it hard to accept the need for change, yet once changes have been made I wonder what I was bothered about.  There are a lot of changes on the cards here and it is not until I contemplate what is about to change that I realise how secure in my routines I am.

Firstly I have got to get my head around the fact that I have to go back to work next week! So things have got to change to accommodate that - I am going to have to get up and get myself more organised earlier in the mornings.  No long post-breakfast dog walks I'm afraid.  No more leisurely days spent on a sewing machine.  But there does come a point where I do feel I need more structure to my days and going back to work will certainly achieve that.  I've taken on a few new projects at work and it will be interesting to see how they dovetail into my existing jobs.

This weekend our son returns from Edinburgh along with all his worldly possessions.  Where will we put it all?  We have had two years of arranging our routines around 3 of us and a dog and it will take a little while to change those routines to factor in another person (who may not want to wait for his dinner until the 6.18 from Tottenham Hale arrives back in town with his sister on board).  Grocery shopping will definitely be changing and different ingredients bought to accommodate another person's likes and dislikes.
Trying to make space for all Jon's possessions has led to much clearing and sorting in his room and one half of the garage.  I need to apply this de-cluttering to other areas of the house; the study in particular.  There is a corner in there that houses two large storage bags of scrapbooking card, a tote bag full of equipment and another bag - I'm not sure what's in that one, it's buried beneath the others and hasn't seen the light of day for quite a while (which probably indicates that I could quite easily live without any of the forgotten goodies inside).  I've changed the way in which I channel my creative skills.  I haven't scrapbooked for months yet my sewing machine is almost a permanent fixture by the dining room table.  So perhaps I need to tidy those unused paper related things away somewhere safe, and replace them with fabrics, ribbons and threads which are being used regularly.  I'm not ready to discard them, who knows when I might change my mind about what to do in my spare time?
I've changed my eating habits and that's a good thing.  I've now lost 12 pounds at Slimming World and feel much better for it.  I'm close to my goal now and am happy to find that my clothes fit much better; those pounds creep on one at a time and it's easy not to notice until all your waistbands are a little snug!  Another bonus is that some of my clothes are now too big which means a little retail therapy is in order - happy days!
I guess it is good to shake things up a bit now and again and start of the new academic year is a good place to start.  With that in mind, I guess it won't be long until Abi is heading back up north to uni again so let's pop over there to see how she is getting on. 

Monday 25 August 2014

Me on Monday ~ 12

I hate to sound like a textbook Brit by moaning about the weather but honestly, if you could see outside my window at the moment you would understand why. It is pouring with rain. It is cold. It is wet. It is miserable. Which is why this is a picture of what I am doing this Bank Holiday Monday.
Yes, that is the heating controller in the kitchen. Yes, my finger is very close to the Advance Heating Boost button. Yes I was about to press it.  Then common sense kicked in, and I thought 'no way am I going to put the heating on in August. Get a grip woman, go and put a thicker jumper on.' 
We went out to the shops this afternoon to buy some new picture frames with a view to having a small 'picture wall' in the lounge and my husband is currently putting in picture hooks and I am (supposedly) printing off some photos from our recent holiday to put in the frames. One of us has got sidetracked.  Oops, that would be me! 
The weather is a real shock to the system as we had a good weekend and you kind of assume that it will stay that way.  It was the last weekend here before our son returns from Edinburgh; our daughter was on a surprise birthday weekend away with her boyfriend, so it was the calm before the storm of having all four of us living under the same roof again.  We still managed to fit in a meal out with friends, back here for drinks afterwards kind of Saturday, followed by a Mother-in-law for lunch, Spurs winning 4-0, making the most of them being top of the league, long dog walking, one more Breaking Bad episode kind of Sunday.
This is the last week of school holidays so it is back to work for me next Monday.  Prepare for a more sulky Me on Monday next week!
Me on Monday.  Another great idea from Sian.

Monday 18 August 2014

Me on Monday ~ 11

We had a fake birthday weekend here this weekend. Our daughter's birthday is next weekend, but she's going away for the weekend with her boyfriend. So we had unofficial birthday celebrations which included a day out at the beach.
We love Frinton.  It's about an hour and a half from home, and it's a proper old fashioned British seaside resort.  No amusement arcades or shops selling novelties by the beach.  Just lots of colourful beach huts by the sand.  You have to go into the little town for buckets and spades and ice creams.  We always went there for days out when the kids were young, and it's lovely to know that those happy memories of picnics on the green before going down to the beach for a paddle mean that they still want to go there even when they're grown up.  When Rachel said she wanted to have a nice day out for her unofficial birthday, it was lovely to hear that her first choice of destination was dear old Frinton.
Some of us sat in the sand and sunbathed
And ate ice cream
And you definitely can't have an unofficial birthday without an unofficial birthday cake
So it was a paddle in the sea, play games on the beach, picnic on the green, Mr Whippy 99 ice cream with a flake, watching a couple more episodes of Breaking Bad, Pizza Express Sunday lunch (with complimentary birthday Prosecco), chocoholic birthday cake kind of weekend. 
And today, this is Me on Monday.  You aren't allowed your presents on an unofficial birthday weekend; you have to wait for the proper day.  So today I am on my hands and knees on the spare bedroom floor, wrapping up presents ready for the official day. 
Me on Monday - the brainchild of Sian.

Friday 15 August 2014

Half way

I honestly cannot believe that I am half way through the summer holidays; where has the time gone?  At the beginning, almost six weeks sounds tantalisingly long.  Then you realise it's actually 5 weeks and 2 days.  Then you spend a week getting ready for your holiday.  Then you have a week away.  Then you spend a week getting back in the old routines and the next thing you know, someone says 'let's meet for lunch' and you realise you don't have many free days left.  I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but , six weeks?   Really?  Not quite long enough.
So have I spent my time productively?  Well, I think I have.  My project for the holidays was to finish my quilt and I am very nearly there.  I had a moment of madness while stitching top and batting to backing and decided to have a go at free machine quilting.  It seemed a good idea at the time.  It has been met with varying degrees of success.  You know that moment when you think 'I'm not sure this was such a good idea'?  There were a few of those.  Interspersed with 'This is not so bad after all', swiftly followed by 'I wish I hadn't started this, I think I'm ruining it'.  Fortunately I decided to only do one narrow 'feature' strip at each end rather than a whole quilt!
I do quite like it but am certainly not brave enough to go over the whole quilt with it.  So I'm now at the stage where I am hand sewing the binding.  Two sides done and two to go. 
Life is going to be changing again over here in Deb's World at the end of the month.  Our son's two year stint in Edinburgh is almost over and it is time for the wanderer to return.  It's going to seem very strange to have him home again.  I wonder where we will store all the 'stuff' he's accumulated?  Actually, I think that tidying up and going through the garage to make space was on my original 'to do' list for the holidays.  Hmmm, decisions, decisions.  Keep sewing or brave the spiders and the cobwebs of the garage to make space...

Monday 11 August 2014

Me on Monday ~ 10

It was a relaxing weekend. A fabric buying, quilt sashing, uploading holiday photos, photobook making, Breaking Bad episode watching, drinks with friends, storm watching kind of time.

Now that the quilt is almost in one piece, this is me on Monday ...

Me - wanting to get it ready for the next stage. Coco - testing it for comfort.

Me on Monday - brought to you via Sian.

Saturday 9 August 2014

One Photo & Twenty Words

Seen in a shop in Verona.  Sometimes you don't have to be fluent in a language to understand the message.

*I'm a blogger, not a saint*

Linking up with Abi's idea to match one photo with twenty words on the 9th of each month.  Are you joining in too?

Thursday 7 August 2014

Caccia al tesoro (aka Scavenger Hunt in Italian)

Buongiorno! We returned from Lake Garda yesterday and the suitcases are unpacked, the washing machine is on its third batch of washing, the first lot is dry and the second is on the washing line drying.  I've been to Waitrose to fill up the fridge and have planned what I'll be cooking for dinner tonight.  The holiday is well and truly over!
I'm a little late to the party in linking up to this month's Scavenger Hunt update but am pleased to say that I ticked a few more off my list, and found duplicates that I may prefer to a few of the ones I had already found closer to home.
Without further ado ... I knew finding a group of tourists would be easy and here they are disembarking the ferry at Bardalino, the next resort along from Garda.
The rural landscape in Italy is so pretty, just look at these vineyards
The lamp posts are pretty too
The waterfall that we found in an area where the river runs through the town to the lake wasn't as dramatic as the one we found in Edinburgh though.
The painted bus was almost identical to the one we found in Edinburgh.  I'm wondering if you can find them all over the world!
Of course, a rack of postcards was never going to be a problem in a tourist destination

And you should have seen the delights inside this bakery

A double instruction on this sign

What little bird wouldn't want to live in this birdhouse (just in case I don't find that parade I'm searching for!)
But the one I least expected to find in Italy and the one I was most excited to find, was this little fellow (with his own little waterfall) inside the courtyard of a restaurant.
 I've still got a few to go.  I need to wait until sunrise is a little later in the morning and I'm not sure when  photobomber is going to appear, but I'm keeping my eyes peeled!