Thursday, 30 June 2011

Photo Scavenger Hunt for June

An interesting selection again this month, thanks Kathy.

The view right outside my door - my front garden, in its green phase

Something with my town's name on it - a personalized OS map of Devizes and surroundings

An elephant - couldn't find a real one, so snapped up this lovely china one on my son and daughter-in-law's sideboard

Something begining with Z - had to consult the dictionary for this one

A farm animal - this obliging heifer lifted her head over the railings for me

A wheel trim - Rog did a wheel change on my car and helpfully left my wheel trim in a photographic position

Architectural detail - a fancy roof ridge on the dentist's building

Cheese - this is the only cheese I can eat, anything stronger makes me cough

Night - bit of a cheat this one, from a Fleetwood Mac Fan, Tango in the . . .

A childhood memory - a prize from my junior school teacher, I always wondered why she put her name in it and not mine!

Cutlery - a last minute desparation shot

Tree branches - my fig tree

Sunday, 26 June 2011


An item of clothing that most describes who I am. This is the prompt from Josie's writers workshop, which I am linking into for the first time this week.

Look at the trousers I'm wearing. They were an absolute bargain, I dont remember how much, but they were a charity shop buy and back then I never used to spend much more than £2 or £3 per item - with two small children and not much money all my clothes were charity shop finds, and these trousers were just THE very best. We are talking about way back in 1992 when this photo was taken, the trousers were pure cotton, and although not really clear from the picture, each leg was different, the right leg being much more garish than the left. So, these trousers really describe the person I am, economical, casual and odd, sometimes loud, sometimes quiet, a bit rough round the edges but basically sound, having seen better days but with plenty of wear still left in me.

Week 8/52 50-56/365

Devizes is a very interesting place to live, not least because of the Kennet and Avon Canal, which runs right through the centre of it. Almost every day that I leave my house I see the canal in one of her many moods, which I have tried to capture in these few images.

50/365 A lovely little steam boat chugging along in the sunshine

51/365 British Waterways workers clearing overgrown trees

52/365 The Wharf

53/365 Interesting barge names

54/365 A model canal barge, which used to live on the Green, but since it was kidnapped (or I guess, more correctly, boatnapped) last year is now placed out of harm's way in the allotments beside the canal.

55/365 Too wet and gloomy for canal pictures today, so instead a collage of family members from Bristol, Plymouth and Florida, who met for lunch at The George in Longbridge Deverill.

56/365 The first of my hydrangeas to bloom

Thursday, 23 June 2011


Yes, Cassie, I was awake at 4.30 this morning again, thanks to you. Wish I had the time to take a nap.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

When I grow up . . .

. . . I want to be a writer.
This childhood dream has just popped back into my head, after being buried for some 55 years. In those days I was horse mad, and all the stories I wrote involved me owning and riding ponies.
Now I have decided once again to be a writer, and I read somewhere that the best way to become something is to pretend you already are. So - I am a (pretend) writer.
The next step is to decide what to write about, and again I read (you'll be surprised to learn I read a lot) that you should write about what you know. Well, so there the problems start, because I'm a bit of a Jill of all trades, I know a little bit about lots of things but I dont know a lot about anything much.
Maybe I should write about my day so far, but who is really interested in reading that I got up at 4 am to let the cat out, only to find she didn't want to go out, just wanted to be stroked and made a fuss off . . . at 4 am! Get a life, cat. And I dont suppose that my two cups of tea in bed, made for me by the lovely Rog, while I sat propped up on my pillows doing some crocheting, will be very exciting to many folks. My bowl of cereal for breakfast, which, although being wholesome and fulfilling, is unlikely to inspire anyone to great things. And I really cant even think of anything I did during the course of the morning, apart from washing dishes, loading the washing machine, making beds and sending a couple of emails. Late morning, and is anyone in their right mind going to show the remotest flicker of interest at Rog's and my sodden walk to town, we ourselves stayed dry under the brolly, but our shoes and feet got soaked! Buying carrots and onions in Sainsbury's was about as exciting as watching paint dry, and my 36p fine on my late returned library book is doubtless unlikely to make any difference to the world economic situation. A quick pint of lager for him and a half of Guinness for me in Wetherspoons helped to bide some time while the weather decided to change its course, so that when we emerged it was into sunshine, but is that really of earth-shattering importance to anyone? Our bus ride home (free, courtesy of over-sixties bus passes) passed entirely without incident, and our salmon salad lunch, although tasty and full of nutrients, would hardly feature as a newsworthy item.
So now as I sit digesting, I'm wondering what on earth I should write about. Maybe I should renew my passion for ponies again and take up horse riding and writing about it, or maybe I should just pop the dream back where it came from, buried deep down at the bottom of the filing cabinet in my memory (answers on a postcard please).

Monday, 20 June 2011

Charity Shop finds

Three items found today, I paid £1.50 for each of them.
A jam pot

A book

A hand painted vase

The other side of the vase

Pretty things in my garden

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Week 7/52 43-49/365

What a horrible week it's been weather-wise for the middle of June. On the up-side we've had a couple of viewers to see the house, even though the Agent told us things were really quiet. Neither of them came back with an offer, but at least there seems to be viewers out there.

43/365 Rainy Sunday afternoon

44/365 Umbrella and walking stick corner

45/365 Woke up and opened the curtains, could hardly see the other side of the green, it was so misty

46/365 I love this house, its the Lodge House at the Town end of Quakers Walk

47/365 Plenty of bees buzzing around

48/365 Planted the first of my outdoor tomato plants - don't think we'll have any more frosts now!

49/365 Too wet for Cassie to go outside and chase the pigeons, she's quite happy to look at them from the comfort of the windowsill

Thursday, 16 June 2011

House hunting (if money were no object!)

I love these two houses, the first one is in the London Road, just down from the Police HQ, so wouldn't really be my first choice of places to live, but I just love the house.

This second one is the Lodge House by the gates of Quakers Walk, I think it's privately owned now, but was once part of the old Roundway Park (and subsequently New Park) estate. The location is very quiet, traffic-wise, but is quite a busy pedestrian thoroughfare since the building of the new housing estate off the London Road.

Neither of these houses is on the market, but even if they were, I think they'd be out of our price range. This one is on the market, but again, I think its a bit more than we can afford! Likewise this one.
But can you see a pattern emerging? It has only recently occurred to me that I much prefer houses that are symmetrical in appearance, houses with the front door in the middle and a window on each side just like I used to draw them when I was 5 years old.
Now if only I could find one in our price range!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Wait a minute (or weight a lifetime)

As a child I was skinny, as a teenager I was skinny, when I first got married in 1968 I was a size 8.
By the time I was 21 I had developed what are now called "good child bearing hips", but I still had a 22" waist and virtually no boobs to speak of (in those days my first husband used to call me Sonny Jim because of my flat chest!) I had my first child at age 22 and second at age 27, and as in those days a lot of things that we have machines to do these days we had then to do by hand, I managed to stay relatively slim. I've always been fairly active anyway, enjoying gardening, walking etc. Towards the end of my first marriage I suppose I was possibly carrying a bit of extra weight around my hips and my husband then referred to me as "The fat cow".
By the time I was 40 I had walked away from my first marriage and was into my second. Two more pregnancies in quick succession left me rather overweight, and as my second marriage was a) happy and b) comfortable I didn't really worry much about my weight in the early years. I was still fairly active, still gardening and walking everywhere with the double buggy.
But my eating habits became erratic and I started to drink a bit to much, only social drinking, maybe a couple of bottles of wine between us over the weekend and a couple of lagers each evening to wind down when the kids were asleep. And my sweet tooth took over. I didn't put on huge amounts of weight, its just been a steady increase year on year.
My lovely OH has recently retired so instead of sitting at a computer all day he is now doing all sorts of jobs around the house and garden and he is losing weight. I have had a stiff and painful back all winter and I have most definitely slowed down a lot, so I am still gaining and I suddenly find myself, at age 63 weighing 75 kilos (thats just over 11.5 stone, and almost as much as him!!!), not yet obese, but heading in that direction and certainly way over what I should weigh.
We are currently in a sort of limbo-land, our house is on the market, so I intend to use this limbo time to become more active in the dietary sense, I shall lose some of this extra blubber that has attached itself to my once slender frame, with the help of the Slinky Slimmers group I have joined on Facebook, and the support of Momentum, a group of mums trying to lose weight (I still qualify even though my eldest is 40 and my youngest nearly 21, I'm a mum trying to regain my pre-baby body - if somewhat belatedly!).

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Week 6/52 36-42/365

The lilacs are finished, and most of the other plants in my front garden are still to bloom, so it all looks rather green at the moment.

The postie walking his trolley across The Green

Rog hates roses, due to being severely attacked by one as a child, so when we moved here all the roses where hoiked out (or so we thought). We must have missed this one, and as we hope to be moving soon, it's now safe.

Bought myself some new trainers, really, really comfortable, and only £20 from Amazon

Our house is now officially on the market.

Here is my greenhouse (actually my front porch). I want to put the tomatoes and the hanging baskets outside soon, but at the moment its still too cold!

My friend Sarah, of Ama Aqua Cake Toppers, has made this fabulous model of the Wiltshire Air Ambulance helicopter. I'll be handing it over to them during next week, I hope they will auction it or use it as a raffle prize to raise funds.