Friday, 30 January 2015

Lunch with Eileen and a bag of goodies

Eileen, of in my Playroom, and I live about 10 miles apart and enjoy meeting up for lunch every now and then. This time we met in Westbury which is roughly halfway between us (although if I'm honest it's marginally closer for me than for her), and enjoyed a very pleasant couple of hours eating and chatting in Madame Butterfly. As is usually the case we were both far too busy to take any photos of our meals but I can assure you that we enjoyed our food, and both indulged ourselves with dessert - even though I had my Slimming World meeting the next day!

If you take a look at Eileen's blog (link above) you will see that she is having a bit of a declutter, and I was the very lucky recipient of a bag of goodies from her, which I didn't get to look at until after I arrived home. Wow! So much lovely stuff. Too much to show all in one photo, so here it all is in three. Firstly lots of papers, including some music books and some shiny card,

and various other bits and pieces, embellishments, stickers etc.

Many thanks Eileen.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Blog birthday giveaway

Altogether we had ten comments on this post, although one of them didn't wish to be entered in the giveaway, and one on Facebook, so ten entries to the giveaway.

We decided to operate a pretty low-tech way of choosing our winner. These are the names hand-written on torn scraps of paper,

 folded up and put in an empty (clean) margarine tub,

one of the folded up scarps of paper was picked out,

and the winner is:

A surprise package will be winging its way to you soon, Sue, and thanks all for entering.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

"Liberate your Art" postcard swap

I signed up for this for 2014, but at the last minute I had to pull out, as I simply hadn't had the time to do anything about it, so when the opportunity to sign up again for 2015 arrived in an email, I have to admit to a bit of umming and ahhing before I eventually decided to go for it in mid-December.

Having got Christmas and New Year out of the way, I then needed to think about what sort of entry I was going to make, and eventually opted to go for a photograph as being possibly the easiest art form to turn into a postcard. Decision made, there was then a search for a suitable subject, and this presented itself to me just over a week ago when we had a particularly cold spell of weather.

In order to have some work done on the brick paths surrounding the house it was necessary to relocate a lot of garden and growing bits and pieces onto the decking, including this large, clearish plastic container with a pale blue removable lid, into which I had emptied the soil from a few pots. This container had a few windblown leaves on the top, and, after a shower, some rainwater.

Next morning we had a frost and the water was frozen, and there, staring me in the face, was my photo subject. So this will be my "Liberate your Art" entry for 2015.

There is still time if you want to join in, just follow this link to sign up.

Monday, 26 January 2015

This year's 365

I'm posting my 365 for 2015 on a different blog, which you can find here.  I hope some of you will pop over, and follow me, as I don't seem to be getting many page views at the moment, and I'm beginning to feel a little bit lonely. Thank you.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

The actual birthday . . .

. . of my blog is today. Five years old!!! (see this post)

To celebrate I'm holding a surprise giveaway, I have a little box of goodies for someone, so if you would like to be in with a chance to win, please comment on this blog or on the link to this blog on my Facebook page.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

This is the year of the garden make-over . . .

. . . but I didn't think we would get off to such a great start!

We have brick paving across the front, down the side and at the back of the house. Last weekend the back and side looked like this

Then I went away for a couple of days, and when I got back it looked like this

Perhaps I ought to go away more often! (Don't worry, my pots are all safe, just temporarily relocated.)

Monday, 12 January 2015

Fat Mum Slim's weekly Photo Prompts, week 2

5. Square. This was given to me in a swap in which I participated last year, isn't it fab? It was made by Jayne

6. Round, bicycle wheel

7. Currently reading - this is amazing, I think everyone should read it.

8. Landscape - looking over the lake from the top of our hill to the other side of the valley

9. Pattern, tree bark

10. Hello, caterpillar, don't normally see you at this time of the year!

11. I see - better with my glasses than without.

For next weeks prompts, click here, or there is a Facebook page

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Weekly Photo prompts

Fat Mum Slim, who used to set monthly photo challenges, has changed for this year and is offering weekly prompts instead. The prompts for the first four days were:

1. The Sky

2. Something yellow - the post-it note that I wrote the prompts on

3. Me today (actually this was yesterday)

4. I hear - the clock striking three

Click here for the prompts for the next seven days

Monday, 5 January 2015

5 on 5 - January

5 on 5 is Sandie's idea (read her blog here), although when I do it I usually "bend the rules" a little bit, as my pictures are usually taken over a longer period than 5 minutes.

This weekend I decided it was high time to sort my wardrobe and clothes, as I have far too many things that either no longer fit or are worn out. However, as I have just joined Slimming World and fully intend to lose about 15 kilos in as many weeks, I am not yet throwing out anything that doesn't fit.

So firstly I emptied the 6 drawers and made a pile of all my tops.

Can you see a bit of a pattern emerging here? Predominantly blue, and a fair few stripes!

I sorted them into piles of vests, T-shirts, tank tops/sleeveless tops, jersey long-sleeved tops and knitted sweaters,

These piles were then sub-divided into those that still fit and those that will fit later this year, and neatly stacked back in the drawers - minus the odd few that went into the charity shop pile.

The next section to tackle was the left-hand hanging cupboard which houses all my shirts and jackets

which entailed emptying the whole lot onto the bed and rehanging it in some semblence of order.

OK it doesn't look a lot different I'll agree, but all the white shirts are on the left, all the jackets are on the right, shoes are neatly stacked and the top shelf also has neat piles.

By the time I got this far I had run out of steam, so skirts, trousers and dresses will have to wait for another day. I did have a quick flick through my dresses and came across this old wooden hanger. How many of you remember the Susan Small brand? A relative by marriage, who was a dressmaker, worked exclusively for them and at one stage I had loads of these hangers, I wonder what happened to them all, as this appears to be the sole survivor.

Saturday, 3 January 2015


Later this month my blog will be celebrating its 5th birthday! An amazing amount has happened to me, and been featured in this blog, over the past five years.

When I first started writing this blog we had only been in Wiltshire for about 18 months and now we've been here for six and a half years - we've never regretted the move, we always knew it would be a one-way ticket but we have loved (almost) every moment of our time here. We started out (after a brief interim period in Trowbridge) in Devizes, a lovely town with Wadworth's Brewery, Caen Hill Locks, the Kennet and Avon Canal and a weekly market in the Market Square and the indoor Shambles. But, much as we loved Devizes, there were downsides. The house we bought needed a lot more updating and improving than we had at first thought, there was a lot of new house building close by, the traffic gridlock in town was worsening by the week and to cap it all, our next-door neighbour turned out to be a paranoid schizophrenic - or, at the very least, an unpleasant and confrontational person, so we made the quite difficult decision to move again. After a long and involved process which took from May 2011 until April 2012, we ended up here in Warminster in our dream home, where we have now been for almost 3 years.

When I first started writing my blog our younger two sons, GO and GT, were both still at University, one in Bristol and one in Bournemouth. They are now both settled in full-time employment and living away from home.

When I first started writing my blog I had two grandsons, I now also have three granddaughters and another grandchild due in April.

When I first started writing this blog GM was working full-time, he is now enjoying retirement.

When I first started writing this blog my emphasis was mostly on my knitting (long time readers will remember it was called Joyknitt until after our house move), and now the emphasis is mostly on photography.

And those are just a few of the bigger things that have happened.

When I first started writing this blog I had no idea of where it was going, I had no idea of who was going to read it, if anyone, and I certainly had no idea that by now I would have 188 followers, have had almost 100,000 page views, and have made so many virtual friends - several of whom have now become real life friends.

So all that remains for me to say is a huge thankyou to everyone who has been a part of my life, both real and virtual, for the past five years, and here's looking forward to the next five.