Thursday, 27 April 2017

Take Three Thursday

Organised by Mary-Lou @ Patio Postcards, this is her weekly meme to share three photos which have a common theme. My photos are of three varieties of thyme I've acquired for my garden - Highland Cream, Doone Valley and Pink Chintz.

Thank you for organising this link up, Mary-Lou.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Busy Doing Nothing

It's a day at home for me today which is just as well because it is bitterly cold out there. I don't 'do' cold! The heating has been turned back up and I'm snuggled up in a comfort blanket as I type this, but I'm still shivering and desperately hoping that it isn't another bout of the dreaded lurgy.

I'm waiting in for a delivery, due either today or tomorrow, of something special for my garden and once it's here and planted I'll do the photos to show you what's been happening in the garden. Does this cold spell mean that I should hold back on the planting until the weather improves?

We had plenty of rain last night so the garden has had the watering it deperately needed. I could hear a constant dripping and eventually tracked it down to a leak where the down pipe connects to the gutter so that's something else I need to get sorted, but will hopefully be the last 'outside' thing demanding money for a while. 

I'd planned to get on with the sorting/decluttering (I'm just doing little bits at a time to nibble away   at the seemingly endless number of boxes still to clear) but have decided instead on a doing-nothing-except-reading-eating-and-relaxing day. It feels like a much better use of my time!

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

A Nice Problem To Have!

I'm not complaining, but I have too many books! Despite sending the majority of Ced's books to the National Trust at Lacock for their fundraising and also donating over 100 paperbacks to the BookBarn, I still have way too many. I also did a ruthless purge and passed on loads of books I'm unlikely to ever read to friends. However I finally had to admit that maybe, just maybe, it's a bit of a problem when I found myself searching online for new bookcases. 

I decided to add a smallish one to the third bedroom after it's decorated (won't be long!) and then to be strict about the books I keep. Happy with my decision, I settled down for the evening when the doorbell rang ... it was my brother-in-law with another delivery of books from my sister!

I may need a bigger bookcase but, as I said in the title of this post, it's a nice problem to have!

Monday, 24 April 2017

Memos, Mail, Me on Monday

For the first time in ages, here's a wave to Sian and all the other Mondayers on this lovely Monday morning.

I'll start with the 'new' things which, of course, are to do with the garden.  It's not a complete reveal but if you read yesterday's post you'll know that I was going to the local garden centres ... this is what I bought. I'll list all the names in my garden post later this week.  The two roses, different varieties but both white, have been planted but the rest has been placed around to see if I like the arrangement. With a few tweaks, they'll be planted later today.

Moving on to the interesting mail, I received the results of my Ancestry DNA test on Saturday. There's no real surprises with the largest percentage showing ancestry from Great Britain and West Europe - my sister commented that we are more British than our Royal family! A family story is that one ancestor was a Spanish sailor from the Armada who came ashore and settled in England and the DNA results show a percentage as originating from the Iberian Peninsula - a very small percentage, i.e. 2%, but I'm claiming that as a possibility even though I have absolutely no documentary evidence to back up the claim! The best part of the results is it provides links to others who share, or may share, a common ancestry; my results show 98 people who have links with my own family. I've had a quick look at some of them and can easily identify a few but on others, all showing a high probability, I can't see an obvious common relative so I'm hoping that this will be a route into discovering the ancestry line I've struggled with. 

I've nothing else to talk about so I'm off to the garden centre again. I don't really like the pebbles in the gaps at the edge of the paving (wrong colour, and I think it'll look 'more finished' if it's some sort of pea shingle) so I'm off to see what else is available. Then I have a couple of hours teaching and will finish off with some photography if the weather holds - we're due rain later today. I hope you all have a good week whatever you have planned and I'll be round to read your posts later tonight.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

A Photo An Hour | Saturday 22nd April 2017

Organised by Louise @ duck in a dress and Jane @ is that you darling, yesterday was the day chosen to take a photo an hour throughout the day.

7 am (ish) | my day started at silly o'clock. I'd been awake and pottering about for a couple of hours before I remembered to take a photo for 'a photo an hour'.

8 am | in the middle of doing the previous night's washing up. I'd been too tired to bother with it after a great evening with friends who came round to see the progress on the garden, and which went on a lot later than any of us had planned! 

9 am | I've been shopping (ran out of bread!) and have just finished putting it all away. This is my current favourite owl shopping bag hanging on the door handle to remind me to put it back in the car.

10 am | out in the garden, filling the gaps at the edge of the new paving with pebbles. The pebbles were in the garden before and were bagged up and stored in the garage, so this was a simple job and I managed to get about half of it done - I'll need some help from my nephew to finish it as I can't reach/move the remaining bags of pebbles.

11 am | L, the landscaper is back to finish off the grouting - his last job in the garden. This is a sneak preview for you ... I'll do a proper post about it later in the week.

12 pm | moving some of the empty pots out of the garage where they've been stored. 

1 pm | waiting for the kettle to boil and indulging in an after lunch maple and pecan danish pastry - my reward to myself for working in the garden in the morning!

2 pm | playing 'word with friends' on the iPad.

3 pm | back out in the garden enjoying the sunshine and taking some photos - here's the shadow of some leaves against the fossilised ones in the stone and the (out of focus!) green ones in the front!

4 pm | looking for ideas for planting.  I'm hitting the local garden centres today (Sunday).

5 pm | relaxing on the sofa with a coffee and my latest book.

I fell asleep so missed the photos for 6 pm and 7 pm!

8 pm | the final job in the garden - watering the plants. 

This was the final photo for the day. I had a soak in the bath and then planned to read in bed but actually fell asleep and slept through the entire night, not waking until 6 o'clock this morning.

Plans for today include meeting J for breakfast at the newly refurbished Leyker's Coffee Bar in town and then a potter round the local garden centres. 

Many thanks to Louise and Jane for organising this monthly link up.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Yoo Hoo, It's Only Me ....

.... I'm back! Hopefully!

Apologies for my prolonged absence but I've been ill, constant bouts of the bug that laid me low at Christmas.  I've had lots of sick days, though have managed to keep up with my teaching commitments, but apart from that I simply haven't had any energy  for anything else. If I've not been teaching I seem to have been sleeping, so lots of things have fallen by the wayside, this blog being one of them. Physically, I'm almost back to normal but emotionally am still not right. I'd been hovering on the brink of crossing the line into depression before Christmas but the inevitable happened and I'm now focusing on putting this latest depressive illness behind me. I still have a way to go but do feel that I'm making progress. I have the support of the people around me and my doctor is aware of the situation so I'm as optimistic as I can be, that this aspect of my life will improve soon.

Despite being ill and having no energy, exciting things have been happening in the garden so I have lots to tell you but that's for later in the week. I also have my camera out for the first time in months and will be back with an update tomorrow - it's 'a photo an hour' today and I'm joining in for the first time in I don't know how long. So I need to go and do things so my photos aren't too boring!

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Take Three Thursday

Hurray!  A new photo meme, this one organised by Mary-Lou over at Patio Postcards, where we are asked to take three photos with a common theme.

My selection is also for the WPSH - No 3. | key showing three different items which are all called keys - piano keys, keys on a ring and clarinet trill keys.

A big thank you to Mary-Lou for organising this.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Winter Photography Scavenger Hunt

On Monday afternoons I visit Little Miss C to teach her to play the recorder. I took my camera with me yesterday in the hope that I'd find some photos for the hunt and, once I'd explained what it was all about, she hunted around and found a good selection for me. 

No 5 | fur or feather, here's a photo of Henry, one of their cats. 

No. 9 | diamond, here's Little Miss C modelling her mum's engagement ring.

No 15 | hands, a selection of poses by Little Miss C and Little Miss H.  These cost me a fortune as I had to pay them a modelling fee - they are saving up to buy two hamsters and all the cages and food!

No 19 | bird feeder, found in their neighbour's garden

Monday, 20 February 2017

Memos, Mail, Me

A cheery Monday evening wave to Sian and all the other Mondayers. It was a rushed start to the day with the gas man turning up half an hour earlier than expected.  Luckily I was up and dressed, though I hadn't had my first mug of coffee or any breakfast, but for some reason his early arrival messed up my morning and I couldn't get my act together!

The gas pipe has now been removed and the resulting hole in the wall will be made good when I get round to the work on my bedroom and en-suite; that needs a plasterer and he will be able to make good the living room walls at the same time.  There will be another hole in the hall to sort as well because next month I'm having the control for the central heating updated to a WiFi controller (which will allow me to program different on/off times for each day of the week) and the existing wall mounted control in the hall will be removed.

So, on to the happy mail .... there's only one thing to tell you about this week.

I've decided to do the Ancestry DNA test to discover my ethnic origins. I've provided the saliva sample and sent it back but have to wait 6 - 8 weeks for the results. Has anyone else thought of doing this? I've dug out all the work on the family tree and plan to continue once I've had time to look through and decide what to do next. I let my Ancestry subscription expire but luckily they are currently offering 50% off the annual fee so that's reduced it to a much more reasonable price. I'm looking forward to delving into all the records again; it's surprising how much you can find out about previous generations.

Sunday, 19 February 2017


Today has been all about the front garden, visits to the garden centres, cold winds and steaming mugs of hot coffee! And supervising! 

B, my newly found gardener, has been absolutely brilliant. He's advised on suitable plants, chosen healthy specimens and has done the planting and relaying of gravel. I ordered one plant online which hasn't arrived yet and there's still a few more of the ones I bought today to be planted and the trellis to be fixed on the wall, so I won't do the before and after photos in this post ... you'll have to wait.

I'm indoors now, warming up and I've only been outside to see the results of his labours and to help with the clearing up ... he must be frozen! I still have to move some of the furniture in the living room to make space for the gas man to remove a gas pipe tomorrow morning but once I've done that I can settle down for the evening. I want to watch 'The Big Painting Challenge' on BBC1 and then finish reading my book ... see if my guess on 'who done it' is correct!