Thursday 29 June 2017


I mentioned a while ago that I was joining in with the photographic scavenger hunt that I saw mentioned here on Mary-Lou's blog.

Now I do love a challenge for the summer, so immediately knew that I would be joining in.  I was on holiday in Croatia when it started and was thrilled to start ticking things off from Day 1.  

I've tried to keep the ones I have found in the order on the list but blogger doesn't always put photos where I want them so bear with me if we get a bit out of sequence!

3 A web
4 A Zig Zag

5 A seasonal relaxing space/item

10 Something yellow

11 A toy only found out during June to September

14 Someone fishing

15 Something crafted from wood

17 Circles in architecture

19 Feet

21 A plaque

23 Something powered by wind

24 Seasonal food

25 A hat

Monday 26 June 2017

Memos, mail and me

Was it Groucho Marx who said they didn't want to belong to any club that would have him as a member?  

Well, that's what came to mind when I saw that Julie and Ruth had serendipitously found themselves in possession of the same, unusual, book.  As often happens in blog-land, one thing leads to another and then all of a sudden the 'Sanditon-along' book club is born.

Now, I've always fancied joining a book club.  I like the idea of seeing how other people may interpret the same novel.  But years of A Level English Literature made me a bit dubious in case the analysis became a bit deeper than I expected.  I remember having to write an essay on why D H Lawrence chose particular flowers in Sons and Lovers.  I also remember thinking that he possibly just looked out of his window and chose things he could see in his garden.  How was I going to turn that into something meaningful that would fill 4 sides of A4 paper?  No, let's think of why he may have chosen sunflowers over delphiniums.

Then someone I worked with had a book published.  After years and years of submitting novels to publishers, suddenly she had an offer to publish two books.  Then two more and needless to say, she no longer sits next to me in the office doing the administration of work experience for Year 10s, she's busy being wined and dined in fancy restaurants and slaving over a hot laptop on her next best seller.  One of the things she has to do before the publication date is to go through a series of questions that book clubs may discuss.  Now, she'd never been part of a book club, and neither had I so I was of no help to her and she had to ask her publishers what kind of things people may want to know.  It was a bit of an eye opener, and you suddenly realise that readers may put a lot more importance on things that were just chosen on a whim!

So yes, I had considered joining a book club; I love reading, and in fact they started one at the school in which I work.  That would be handy.  I'd know everyone there, it would be hosted in a place I knew, nothing too scary there.  And I was on the verge of saying 'yes, I want to join' when I discovered that the other club members included the head of the English faculty, an ex-teacher of English, the Head's PA and an ex-Deputy Head.  Scary flashbacks of being picked on in class to answer questions on Joseph Conrad's 'Nostromo' came back.  Scary because after a couple of chapters I decided I didn't like the book, so I hadn't read the book, and my only knowledge of it came from a revision booklet I'd found in the library. 

But then I saw Julie and Ruth's blog posts and it seemed an interesting book.  Half written by Jane Austen and finished by 'Another Lady'.  Now, Julie and Ruth don't seem to be the kind of people who would pick on me in class, and unlike Nostromo, it seemed like the kind of book I might enjoy reading and it would be interesting to see if the 'other lady' managed to seamlessly finish the book.  

A quick visit to the internet found that it was possible to find a second hand copy and I ordered one before I had chance to change my mind.  The photo on the web page showed a different cover to that which the others had found but I ordered it just the same, hoping that the ending in that edition would be the same as it was in theirs, so was very surprised when this arrived ...
Exactly the same edition.  You see, some things are just meant to be!

So that's me sorted then.  How about you?  Are you going to join in?  My only problem at the moment is not opening it properly and starting to read before the start date of 1 July.  Not long to go ...

Monday 19 June 2017

Monday and Me

Old habits die hard.  I'm so used to joining in with Sian's Monday posts that I automatically head for the computer on a Monday, even though she isn't hosting her normal Monday groups for the summer.

My husband should have know that once I had decided to join in with the Scavenger Hunt being organised by Mary-Lou , walks out were likely to be punctuated by random comments being shouted out as I noticed something that needed to be ticked off the list.

Last week, for instance, while walking past the play equipment at our local park, I suddenly shouted out 'Web!'.  I had thought that at this time of year it may be hard to photograph a web, as my plan to take a picture of a large web which had formed on the swing chair in the garden was thwarted, you couldn't actually see it through the lens of a camera unless there was dew or raindrops on it.  Typical.  Just when you need rain, the UK is sweltering in 'hottest day of the year' temperatures!  So I was thrilled to notice that the climbing wall in the park was actually designed around a spider's web.  Another one ticked off the list!

Likewise, a dog walk around nearby farmland resulted in me shouting 'something crafted from wood'!  My husband looked around at all the trees and thought I was perhaps choosing something a bit too obvious.  And then saw me sprinting through the farmer's garden to take a picture of this amazing wood sculpture.

So, thank goodness I have the Scavenger Hunt to take my mind off the fact that it is now less than four weeks to the wedding 😳  Rachel is now back from her hen weekend and there really is nothing to stop her tackling that 'still to do' list.  Which is one and a half A4 pages long apparently.  So much for her saying 'don't stress Mum.  It's all under control'. Clearly it isn't!  I wonder how many things on that list have my name by the side of them ...

Monday 12 June 2017

It's all in the timing

In an effort to distract us from the chaos that is taking place in our country at the moment, let me share what has to be the luckiest timed photo I have ever taken.  

It was our first night in Croatia and we chose to eat at a seafront restaurant as we thought it would be lovely to see the sun set over the sea.  All the tables along the seafront wall were taken and we had to have a table one row back.  We had noticed that the seagulls were lying in wait along the wall and I mentioned to my husband that maybe we'd had a lucky break as I didn't fancy eating my dinner under the beady eye of a huge seagull.  Add to this, a local cat catching the last few rays of the sun.  This particular bird had been getting closer and closer to the cat and I thought it would make an amusing photo of the two of them staring at the table, both hoping for scraps.  As I held up my phone to take the picture, the gull swooped across the table, grabbed a chunk of fish from a plate and flew off.  In that split second, I took the photo and here he is, greedy gull!

What are the chances of getting the shutter to close just at that moment?  What a lucky shot!

On a different photographic theme, let me share another of my pictures for the Scavenger Hunt being organised by Mary-Lou .  I do hope that you will be joining in too!

Number 23 Something powered by wind

I wish that I could feel that sense of calm relaxation at the moment.  Now we're home I've realised that it's now just 5 weeks to the wedding and there are still things that haven't been done.  As I sit here typing this, my practice largest tier of the wedding cake is baking in the oven and I'm just hoping that the recipe I've found works for this size tin because I don't have much time for more experimenting!  Although the people at work are enjoying being my taste testers every Tuesday, because if I want to fit in my dress, I can't keeping having 'just one more slice' !

Friday 9 June 2017

Photo hunting resumes!

For the past few years now I have enjoyed joining in with Rinda's Summertime Scavenger Hunt, but it seems that it isn't going to happen this year.  So I was thrilled when I saw the post from Mary-Lou to say that she was organising something this year with Lady Ella.

I was on holiday in Croatia when I saw it on the first day - June 1st and immediately started looking around for things that fell into the catergories.  I do love a photo scavenger hut!  The first one that I set my mind to was Something Yellow .  After my last Monday post, you could probably guess that this one caught my fancy!

Now this was fairly easy as there was a Yellow Submarine boat trip that left the harbour in Porec every day.  They also run a taxi service to the nearby islands and guess what?  The awning and seats are yellow!  But I didn't want to just use photos from Croatia in my collection and looking around the garden today I noticed that the yellow poppies have come into flower in the week that we have been gone.  My friend gave me some seeds a few years ago when I admired them in her garden and she handed them over with the warning that I may be cursing her in years to come as they multiply and appear in the most random places.  We haven't yet reached that point!

I'm not planning on taking more than one photo for each category but it's good to have a choice for when you get to the end and decide which one will make the final cut.

I should warn you that you may see a few Croatian photos in my finds - we had a fabulous week and would recommend it if you fancy trying something different.  We stayed in Porec which has a UNESCO World Heritage site.  So much character.  We have a special place in our hearts for anywhere Italian, and Porec is so close, there is much Italian influence there.

Time to upload camera photos and sort through our pictures to find more to share with you next time.  Thanks, Mary Lou for picking up the Scavenger Hunt baton - it's going to be fun!