Monday 29 September 2014

Me on Monday ~16

I had a parcel delivered today. An order that I made on Friday has arrived super-quick. if I'd known it was being delivered today I'd have left work much earlier and driven home much quicker!  As you can see, my photo for today's Me on Monday involves much stroking of lovely fabric ready to make a new quilt. 

As the evenings have got a little darker a little quicker, and the temperatures have dropped a little lower and my fingers have crept a little closer to the central heating controls, the quilts that I keep in the lounge are getting a lot of use.  I like to snuggle underneath one in the evenings, so does my daughter and the dog seems to think that anything soft is fair game as a cushion for her.  So I saw this lovely fabric over at Hulu Crafts website and next thing you know, an order had been made
How was your weekend?  We had a really relaxing time and it was nice not to have anything in particular to do.  It really was a furniture shop browsing, new doormat buying, staircase painting, homemade Thai green curry cooking, Strictly Come Dancing watching, new quilt planning, falling asleep after Sunday lunch kind of couple of days. 
And here we are at Monday again, giving up a wave to Sian, whose idea 'Me on Monday' was originally. 

Sunday 28 September 2014

Let's sit and have a cup of tea

Do come in, sit down and make yourself comfortable.  Kettle's just boiled and there's some cake in the tin, let's have a slice - or two! Funny how I'm inspired to do more cake baking at the time of The Great British Bake Off, and yes, this is Mary Berry's cherry ring cake.

As you can see, the dining table/craft table is a bit messy which shows that there is a new project underway!  Let me explain ... Part of my job is to help compile the school newsletter.  This term's edition is an interesting one as the students who went on overseas trips in the summer holidays write up their experiences.  There are two big trips: one to our partner school in Uganda and one to Cambodia.  Both are life changing experiences as the sixth formers help in schools and orphanages, build houses, help dig wells and all manner of things to help improve the lives of those who live in the villages where they stay.  One of the teachers who went with them to Cambodia is a textiles teacher and she wrote an article for the newsletter about a charity project she is working on with her Year 10 Textiles students.  They are making dresses for Dress a girl around the world and their dresses will be going to the village in Cambodia where our students stayed this summer. 
Can you imagine only having one dress?  Can you imagine the pride you would feel when wearing that dress?  How very special that dress would be to you?  We take so much for granted don't we?  In their words - Imagine a world where every girl owned at least one dress.  Imagine if that dress were made by you.  Please do click on the link and read about the work that is being done. 
I hardly need tell you what my project is do I?  I am going to be making a dress to give to the teacher organising the project because I love to think of how happy receiving that dress will make a girl somewhere in Cambodia. I've made the basic dress, now I just need to make a pretty pocket.  I'm thinking white with a red frill along the top, what do you think?

Linking up with Abi to share a cup of tea on the 27th of each month. Yes, I'm a day late!

Friday 26 September 2014

2014 Scavenger Hunt Round Up

It's over.  The last day of the 2014 Scavenger Hunt organised by Rinda has passed and it's time to count the days until the next one share the photos that we took.
I really enjoy this project, and it really adds something to days out and holidays.  There's real mixed emotions at taking the last photo.  Yay!  I've got them all. Oh no, now I haven't got any more to find. 
So in the words from The Sound of Music, 'let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start ...'

Now this town sign allows me slightly because there should be an apostrophe between the p and the s. How could the town council get it wrong?!  I was so happy to find this gnome because I am on the side of the team that finds them a bit creepy but this one seems ok.  We had stopped for a coffee at a restaurant on the banks of Lake Garda, and as we went inside to pay I saw this little guy in a water feature in the corner.  I think the waiters were a little bemused by me getting excited and exclaiming to my husband 'Look at that - quick, where's the camera , they've got a gnome!'

A few weeks in and even my husband is pointing things out to me (he was the one that spotted birds on a wire.  That was a tricky one around here as we have our cables buried underground, you have to go out into the countryside to find overhead wires.  Fortunately we had a willing dog eager to venture out on dog walks until we found what we were looking for.  However, having a dog with you does make the taking of the photo tricky as the sight of her tends to make birds fly off into the trees.  A group of tourists was always going to be do-able when on holiday and I snapped a group who were disembarking from a boat trip around Lake Garda.

Racks of postcards seem to be the same the world over.  I liked this Italian selection as there were a range of sizes.  Panoramic postcards are popular over there rather than the traditional size.  The urban landscape was taken on a weekend in Edinburgh.  Such a lovely place.

 Back to local dog walks for the rural landscape.  I love the fact that literally 5 minutes walk from my front door, I am in the countryside. This view across the fields towards the local church never ceases to bring me pleasure.  My daughter was the model for the tattoo picture.  She has a few discrete designs and I think this one of the first letter of her name is quite sweet. 

The photobomb caused me some grief so when this little girl popped up in a photo I was taking of a lamp post and jetty light, I was pretty pleased.  I loved this little bakery that we found in the resort of Garda. 

Some photos that I found I was really happy with.  This gramophone horn that we saw in a shop window in Edinburgh is one of my favourites.  The little mascot I found in the hotel at Gatwick airport I'm not really happy with.  So I may call into play an alternative for that one!

When the hunt started, sunrise was at an awfully early hour, so I held on for a while to take this one.  Trouble is, when you wake up early one morning, the first thought isn't normally 'quick, grab your camera, let's open the front door and take a picture of the sun rise'!  The parade that I took was the parade of cars taking place in the Gumball Rally.

 You don't realise how the list is burning into your memory until a chance conversation with a new member of staff goes something like this
'So where did you work before you came here?'
'I was a tutor for children whose families worked in a circus in Australia during the day and a circus performer at night.'
'Can you juggle?'

A sign in another language was an easy one to tick off in Italy!
Back to Edinburgh for the next couple.  A beautiful waterfall, I wish you could hear just how pretty the water sounded as it cascaded down.  Then back into town to cross the bridge and take a picture of a lamp post


Now, just to prove that painted buses can be the same in two totally different locations: One from Verona and one from Edinburgh! I think there must be a company somewhere in Europe that has a monopoly on painted tour buses! 

Oops, got a little out of sequence there!  Back to Verona, for an Italian public garden. Such a pretty, relaxing spot in the centre of the city.  Europe certainly knows how to do public gardens well.  Uh oh.  There's me in a hat.  Wearing sunglasses, on a sunlounger under a parasol - must be me in Summer!
And finally because I really wasn't happy with that mascot, I'm adding a pretty little bird house.
 And that's it.  Scavenger Hunt 2014 officially over.  Thank you so much Rinda, for organising this.  All that's left to say is - please promise to do it again next year!

Monday 22 September 2014

Me on Monday ~ 15

Mondays sure are coming round quickly aren't they? This weekend has had a real autumn feel to it; sunny but with a chill in the air. Dew on the grass in the mornings and the leaves are starting to fall from the trees.  Lights are getting switched on a little earlier every day and I'm monitoring the weather reports ready to switch on that heating the minute we go into single figures.

Was your weekend good? Ours started with a night out on Friday - I like extending the weekend by adding a Friday night into the mix! It was a celebrating a friend's 60th birthday, Indian meal eating, daddy-long-legs chasing, making a dress for charity (more of that in a future blog post), waking up at 2am by thunder storms, having Jon help cook Sunday lunch again, lazy Sunday kind of weekend.

And Monday finds me ...

Working from home!  The whole school computer system crashed this morning and we could literally do nothing - no internet, no emails, no Word, Excel or Publisher.  So after a coffee and a couple of hours making my desk the tidiest it's ever been, finding things I thought I'd lost, reorganising the pin board behind me and shredding stuff I may regret in the future - I suggested that as I had a fully functional Microsoft Office package on the laptop at home, along with full internet access, I would probably be more productive going home for the morning.  It also meant I was able to multi task and try out one of the recipes I learnt at cookery club last week, broccoli and stilton soup.  Don't turn your nose up like that - it's absolutely lovely! 

So this is me, giving a big wave to Sian, who's had a bit of a cowgirl kind of weekend.  Why not pop over to see her and admire those boots of hers? 


Monday 15 September 2014

Me on Monday ~ 14

Hi there! I'm back to give a big wave to everyone while joining in with Sian's Me on Monday idea.  I missed last week but if I had joined in, my photo would have shown ice packs, paracetamol and ibuprofen gel. I twisted my back awkwardly and next thing I knew I was in loads of pain.  So from now on I must remember that the others taking part in Fitsteps classes are probably 20 years younger than  and I don't have to try and keep up with any frantic Zumba moves. I must also remember that an oven pan containing 2 half shoulders of lamb slow braising with 2 litres of stock will be heavier than I may have anticipated when putting in and out of the oven to baste. Furthermore, when lifting an overflowing   washing basket, you should not try and twist to get through a half open door. You will get away with two of those things but the last one will 'break the camel's back'.

There are many lovely things about having Jon back, not least the fact that he loves to cook (let's not mention his lack of loving clearing up after himself). So this weekend has seen me enjoying meals that I haven't had to cook myself "you get the ingredients Mum, and I'll cook." It's a deal! There's also been a lot of garden clearing - although I've had to have many coffee breaks due to not having a fully functioning back and not wishing to undo all the good work of resting for a few days. That's my story and I'm sticking to it ;-) there's been dog walking, sloe berry picking, book reading*, clothes altering and finishing Season 4 of Breaking Bad.

Which brings us to Me on Monday.  Can you spot the clue in my outfit that tells you that temperature have dropped in the mornings around her?

Ah yes, the first sign of autumn in the office. When necklaces are replaced by cotton scarves.

*The Midwife's Confession. Have you read it? If not, I really recommend it. So many secrets to unravel! 

Tuesday 9 September 2014

One photo and 20 words

A tiara, sunglasses and a cheeky wink. Some see a diva Cavapoo, others see Audrey Hepburn. What do you think? 
A monthly meme from Abi.

Monday 1 September 2014

Me on Monday ~ 13

After five weeks of freedom, the summer holidays came to an abrupt end this weekend and so this is where you would have found me on this Monday.
This is how I found my desk this morning.  No I did not leave it like that on the 22 July.  Where did it all come from?  Who does that bag with the Chinese writing all over it belong to?  What the heck has happened to the blinds at my window?  What is in all those boxes?  It's not the best sight to greet you after a nice long relaxing break is it?
So after a morning of staff meetings where we discovered we are ranked as the 4th highest achieving state school in the country and many 'didn't our girls do well?' comments along with 'we're well overdue for an Ofsted inspection' warnings, two cups of coffee, a secretaries' meeting and a support staff briefing later and it felt like we'd never been away. 
Our son has returned!  So our weekend was full of van unpacking, storage box opening,  filling up wardrobe drawers, enjoying having 4 people around the breakfast bar on Sunday morning, not liking the Sunday Spurs score, dog walking, and mentally preparing one of us for back to school kind of weekend. 
Me on Monday - with a special wave to Sian.