Tuesday, 30 April 2013

I hate to admit this . . .

. . . but I cant remain in denial any longer, I've enrolled in U3A (University of the Third Age).

The only admittance criteria for U3A is to be over 60 years old. The trouble is that although I know that my body is over 60 (in fact its rapidly approaching 65!), my brain isn't yet there with it. I don't feel old, and I don't really want to socialize with old people - although having said that three of my dearest friends are roughly contemporary, and they're not old.

But I fathomed that if I don't feel old, and my friends don't feel old (well we/they may have the odd twinge here and there, but that's all), then maybe, just maybe, most of those other people over 60 don't feel old either, so it's possible they might be fun to be around.

So I joined up, sent off my £13.00 enrolment fee, and popped along this morning to a new members welcome meeting. After having a brief chat with a lady called Kay, the membership secretary, at the door (seemed friendly and welcoming) I made my way over to meet Anne, the lady I call my Photo Phairy, she runs the photography group and she lives just over the wall at the bottom of my garden. We had a nice long chat, the group she runs is very informal, not technical at all, and sounds like just my cup of tea.

I've also got a list of all the activities available to members, and there are a few others I wouldn't mind having a go at: local history, painting and drawing, textile crafts, creative writing, keep moving, gardening (probably not gardening, I do enough of that already), several languages and loads more.

So, if I'm not around much in the future, you'll know where to find me, I'll be out with all the other young oldies, drinking and partying and having fun.

Monday, 29 April 2013

April Scavenger Hunt

Thanks once again to Greenthumb, Made With Love, for this month's Scavenger Hunt list. Pop along to her blog for the linky to view all the other entrants.

Here are mine:

1) Pink

A little girl's glove lying on the grass at the bottom of the hill.

2) Six

a set of 6 tulip wine glasses, which I've had since 1968

3) Your city/town

This is where I live, Warminster, on the edge of Salisbury Plain (the white area to the top and right of the map).

4) Sport

We are armchair sport watchers

5) Night light

My studio entrance after dark

6) Something you collect

books, fabric, yarn, momentos, postcards, beer mats, you name it

7) Big

The hill I have to climb to get home from the park

8) Dinner

Cassie's, not ours.

9) Texture

Dining room curtain and tie-back

10) Curl

Morning Glory curling around the support canes

11) Take off

Gave GM a haircut

12) Plastic

One of our garden chairs, after a shower.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Just a quick look in my garden

Here are some of the things that are happening in my garden this week.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

This weeks challenge - resting and refreshment

Lynne at Lucky Snapping in 2013 has set the challenge this week, which is 
 “ Make rest and refreshment a necessity, not a luxury”

This is quite an easy one for us, as GM and I are both retired from full/part-time employment we are able to indulge in R&R much more frequently these days.

Mid-morning tea and biscuits

GM and GT enjoy a drink in the sunshine

even Cassie joins in

Al fresco lunch, the first (and lets hope not the only) this year

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Daisy Row plus 365

Today is the first anniversary of our move to our lovely new home. It's hard to believe we've been here for a whole year already, but having said that, it's been a busy year and we've got quite a few things done.

We're going to have an easy day, out for a picnic lunch and steakwiches a l'Homme Vert for tea.

By the way, I'll let you into a little secret about how I came about the name for my blog. Last year, before the move I was counting down the days for the last fortnight or so, day 14, day 13, etc. etc. so that the last day before we moved was day 1. When we finally arrived at our new house, GM said to me "Welcome to Day Zero", to which I replied "Thankyou, that's a great new name for my blog".

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Simple Knits, Bags - book review

This book was sent to me by F+W media for review purposes.

What I like about this book:

An illustrated list of contents

Each project on a double page spread, with clear and precise instructions on the left, a full page colour illustration on the right

As with most of the books that I've been sent, this book is aimed firstly at the very much larger American market, and therefore some of the instructions may be a little confusing at first for UK readers, however, unlike the others that I've reviewed, this one has a list of abbreviations and US/UK terms at the front which makes it immediately apparent to the reader that this is the case.

At the back of the book are several pages on bag-making techniques, including how to design and make a lining (essential for a knitted bag), Interstasia technique and charts, and some basic knitting techniques.

Whilst the title of the book is "Simple Knits" I would suggest that, yes, the designs are simple, but for an experienced knitter rather than a beginner. I like this book, and although I hadn't thought about knitting a bag before, I may just give it a try.

The cover price on the book is £6.99 but it can be purchased here for only £5.23 (plus postage)

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Dare we hope . . .

. . . that spring is finally here?

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Fame in New Zealand . . .

. . . for Cassie, not me.

Cassie has featured in Adrianne's blog post, Saturday Cat Words of Wisdom. She is chuffed to bits to be recognised so far away, and is now aiming for global domination. Go, Cassie.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Twenty-first Century

Some time after the turn of the century, I cant remember exactly when, I made the decision to tune in to the radio station Classic FM one day, and I suddenly realized how much I'd been missing out on all those years because of not listening to or understanding classical music.

My transformation was instant, I just loved what I was hearing, and since that day I have steadily built up a collection of CDs to reflect my new passion. Three composers stand out head and shoulders above the others for me, they are Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwick von Beethoven and Franz Joseph Haydn (the third being a mentor to both of the other two - can you just imagine being a mighty composer, he wrote over 100 symphonies, and also being friends with both Mozart and Beethoven, wow).

One of my favourite Mozart pieces is this one, the second movement of his piano concerto no. 21 (nick-named Elvira Madigan because of its use in the film of the same name)


and my favourite piece of all time is this, Beethoven's 7th symphony, 2nd movement.


This clip is slightly over 8 minutes long, but is well worth a listen, if it doesn't move you in one way or another I would be very surprised. Enjoy.

Many thanks to the ladies at Lucky Snapping 2013 for asking us about our Musical Memories, I've really enjoyed the past few days, looking up stuff on YouTube and listening to favourites old and new.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

For the times they are a-changin'

Despite the title, and a deal of respect for the great Mr. Bob Dylan, he doesn't actually feature in my musical memories. These three titles are from a time of great change and upheaval in my life.

The first is by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the clue is in the title "Breakdown"


The second puts into words the wonderful sense of freedom that I felt after I'd made the decision to walk away from a toxic marriage, Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Freebird"


And the third tells its own story, after I met and fell in love with the wonderful GM


"You Make Loving Fun", another track from the Fleetwoood Mac Rumours album - probably the best album ever made.

Linking up to Happy Snapping 2013

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

More Musical Memories

I was a post-war baby, one of the now ageing baby-boomers. It was my generation that invented teenagers, fashion and pop music. As teens in the 1960s we enjoyed an amazing explosion of creativity, it was a great time to be alive and there seemed to be so much hope for the future.

In 1962 the Beatles arrived, and I think its fair to say that they made such an impact that music has never been the same since.

Most of my friends at the time had a favourite Beatle, there was a more or less 50/50 split between John lovers and Paul lovers, but my favourite was George, the quiet one.

This track blew my mind away when I first heard it, it was so unusual.


So many other groups had successful careers during those changing times, and its difficult to remember them all, but some of my favourites were Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Who (both of whom I saw in concert somewhere in East Ham, I think) and the Beach Boys, a real breath of fresh air from this enchanting place called America.


By the end of the 60s I was a married lady and during the 70s and early 80s most of my energies were taken up raising a family, fighting poverty (and my husband) and were generally not a particularly good time for me, and my musical memories are sparse, but then I discovered Fleetwood Mac and I was hooked again. To be fair, they had already been around for a while, but it was only in 1985 that I became aware of them, and the Rumours album just hit me sideways.


That brings me up to the mid-80s, when my life made a sudden turn for the better and music came back into it.

Come back for more musical memories tomorrow.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Musical Memories

Lucky snapping in 2013 sets us a new challenge each week, this is the first one I have made the effort to join in with.

Music plays such a huge part in all our lives, dont you think? Well, it certainly did in mine, anyway.

My parents weren't musically inclined, but back in the fifties when I was young, the wireless, as it was called, (which always confused me, because surely the electricity came to it through wires?) was always on, and I especially remember 2-way Family Favourites which was on at Sunday lunch time. It was a request show for English families with relatives serving in Germany. They played a lot of classical music, which I must have taken on board subliminally, as now I'm a huge, huge lover of classical music, most especially Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn. In those days though it didn't really do very much for me. We also used to watch TV, I remember Saturday nights watching Billy Cotton's band show, and shame upon shame, The Black and White Minstrel Show.

When I reached my teens I suddenly discovered Radio Luxembourg, and spent many a long hour with my ear up against the old Dansette transistor radio my parents had bought me. My very first musical heart-throb was Buddy Holly, and I was devastated to find out that by the time I discovered him he was already dead, having been killed in a plane crash. However, it was his music which I remember most fondly from my early teenage years. I had all his albums, in mono, and drove my parents mad by playing them over and over again on the Dansette record player in my bedroom. I'm not sure what happened to these albums, as I dont have them now, but I do have a CD which has all of his music so I can listen to him whenever I choose. Oh Happy Days.


(hope this works, I've not uploaded a youtube clip before.)

Monday, 15 April 2013

Proper gardening

At long last it was warm enough and dry enough to get out and finish off my temporary raised beds. Another couple of days sunshine and I'm hoping to get out again and plant some stuff.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Indoor gardening

Might as well, its far too wet to garden outside!


Hanging baskets planted up . . .

with some of these . . .

and some of these . 

Waiting to go outside, if it ever stops raining and starts warming up

Top Sweetpeas, centre Morning Glory, bottom leeks (oooh! no pun intended there)

Hoping for some sunshine

Remember the seed disks (here)? This is what they look like now.

Oh come on spring, haven't we waited, patiently, long enough?

Friday, 12 April 2013

New Dining Room

This morning GM fixed the picture hooks on the wall, so we hung our pictures and the room is now complete. We are delighted with it.

We don't have a lot of pictures, just two originals and a limited edition print.

The first is by Lian Lilley Earley and is of Wisteria at Iford Manor. Lian is Warminster born but now lives in Devon, with her husband Mark, who has the somewhat flowery title of The Bard of Bath.

The second was painted by a neighbour of ours when we lived in Surrey, and is of a pub we used to frequent, the artist is Janet White.

Apologies for the odd angle, its the only one I could take without massive reflections on the glass.

The third is a limited edition print that we bought on our first visit to Bath in 2005

Now here are views of the room, one from each corner

As there are currently only three of us in residence, the table looks a bit overkill, but I look forward to many happy days when we have family and/or friends gathering and a table full of guests.