Monday, 17 November 2008

tuesday 18th November

I can't believe how time has flown since I last wrote this blog. Just after I had finished my last blog I got a phone call from the Guide leader saying she had had her baby 51/2 weks early. he was very little and is in the special care baby unit. So, I spent a lot of time geting ready for the guide meeting. they are doing a concert in a couple of weeks but don't seem too worried about it whereas i'm panicking. We have someone coming in to help with the singing, but the girls were a bit high, so we abandoned rehearsal! I just wish that some of them were more committed and less rude!
I woke up on Sat. with an awful pain in my leg and then found it was difficult to walk. I rested most of the day and then went out for a meal at some friends' new home. We had a really lovely evening, but when I got home both my legs and feet were VERY swollen - a bit scary. I went to hospital with a suspected deep vein thrombosis. They couldn't decide what it was, so I came home with instructions. He said that the pain was probably the onset of arthritis in my hip - great! It was all a bit scary and I hope all is well. It means I missed the rehearsal for WI extravaganza and am not sure I'll make the party. I've got to take a meeting in Manchester today, so I'll see how I manage.
Other than that, I've not done much. I haven't even done much reading or prctise my art. Last week we started a detailed botanical drawing. I don't think I've done it very well, so far. I've got a few unfinished pictures which I must complete. I do enjoy my classes as I've always wanted to do it.
Anyway, I'll have to go and limp up to the train in a bit to get to my meeting. Hope the next blog will be more interesting.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Monday 10th November

I've just been trying to read my friend's blog - as it's written in French I find it difficult at times. Mind you, if I had my french dictionary at hand I might do better. What strikes me is that her life is so much more cultural than mine! My blog is a bit boring, but that's how it is.
I've been so busy this weekend that I could do with collapsing today, but I'm off to help my friends move house today, so collapsing will be postponed until this evening. this friend remarried in summer, and they have been living between 2 houses since then. Why? Well, they are moving into the husband's house, which is a rather gorgeous old stone weaver's cottage. But inside neede refurbishing as it really was a 71 year old bachelor's house - a huge machine in the laundry room, for starters. Anyway, it's fit for habitation now and B. is leaving her home this morning. It'll be mixed feelings for her I'm sure, but we'll get through.
I'll give you a taster of my weekend:
Friday: shoppping etc. Evening-Guides
Sat. Up at 6; on the train by 7.30 am to get to Preston b 9.30. Meeting until 2.30pm. Packed train back home. Had to stand all the way. In house at 4.45. Out again by 6 to go to as cabaret evening which was good. the singer sounded just like Karen Carpenter - what a beautiful voice she had. Home by midnight. Up early to be at the Cenotaph for parade. We had a good turn out from guides and they behaved very well, which is a miracle! It was really damp and cold but nice. Broadbottom is only a little village, but there was a brass band and a parade from the community centre to the cenotaph. The head of the little primary school always asks the chidren to come so of course, their parents come too, so there is always a good crowd. This year was a bit special. In previous years, the reciting of the poem was always done by an elderly man - a much loved member of the community. He had been in the war and spent many years raising money and awareness for the British Legion and many other acts of charity. Sadly, he died last year, so at the end of the service a bench was dedicated to his memory.
We look at old people and don't know what their lives have been. A friend told me of an old lady who goes to their chapel. She's very frail and needs help towalk etc. At the remembrance service yesterday she walked in with a row of medals on her coat. It turns out she was a major in the army during the last war and was secretary to one of the Americans at the signing of the peace treaty - amazing stories. I've just watched the news and one of the British heroes of the Falkland war has been interviewing the last three veterans of the Great War. They are grand old men. I hope that the last survivor is given a state funeral in honour of all the men who fought in that war. When we were in Bath they were just putting up a head and shoulders statue of one of the men, Harry Patchett. It was exquisite. K. actually spoke to the artist, who told K. that Harry was a remarkable man even at his great age.
Back to my busy weekend. Sunday afternoon - rehearsal for the WI birthday party entertainment. It was so bad that we're going ot have to rehearse again next Sunday otherwise it will be embarrassing for us and the audience!
I've just got back from helping at the move and had a sandwich. It went well and, hopefully they will soon get sorted in their new marital home, which is so gorgeous. I'm now going to do some hoovering, washing, ignore the ironing and hopefully do some work on my painting .......after I've made some phone calls. sometimes I get exhausted just hinking about what I have to do!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Thursday 6th November

Well all the excitement of the american election is over and there is a black american elected president - what an historic moment. I hope that he can live up to the expectations everybody has of him and that his term of office is a good one for all. It's hard to believe that it's only 40 -50 years ago that black people didn't even have a vote and we must not forget the struggles and bloodshed that has allowed this moment to happen - the civil rights leaders and ordinary people who were brave enough to fight for their cause. One of the most moving moments of the TV coverage was to see jesse jackson with tears rolling down his cheeks and one of the most worrying was to see Barack delivering his victory speech surrounded by a high-walled bullet proof screen. Let's hope nothing untoward happens to him.
I am finding it difficult to get my act together this morning. I have been up really early on three mornings this week to go to hospital and dental appointments and this morning I feel very lethargic. Everything is fine at the hospital and I've still got some of my own teeth!! I went to the hospital because I've had a persistent cough since last Chrismas and my voice keeps going husky. They couldn't find anyting on my lungs or vocal chords, thankfully, so I'm now discharged from that clinic. The consultant made me laugh when he asked if I was an opera singer because my voice/vocal chords were very strong. Anybody who has heard my singing will know how wrong he is - I can clear a hall in 3 seconds!
I enjoyed the art class yesterday, although I'm finding this topic rather difficult. We are doing a wintry landscape in oils and I don't think that I like using oils as a media - it's very hard. My landscape looks pretty awful but it is't finished yet. One day I'm going to make a fortune, I hope.
I finished my carol service so that's one job out of the way. I've just got to do the organising bit which shouldn't take too long. then I've got tokae some props for our WI birthday party. We're having a sixties party and doing some silly sketches - The flowerpot men, eurovision and a scene from Coronation Street - it should be OK. Rehearsal on Sunday after being frozen at the cenotaph for Remembrance Sunday parade.
Well, I'd better become the Domestic Goddess and do some chores - I'll have another coffee first! I'm out for a meal tonight with 3 of the other teachers from Chapel School. That'll be nice. I still miss the kids, especially as we head towards Christmas. Never mind - I don't have time to prepare lessons now.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Monday 3rd November

Well, it's back to normal today after a lovely ten days or so. Our visit to the Lake District was good - we went with a group of people from church and got to know people better. K. was the star of the evening entertainment and of a piece of drama. On the Saturday we were planning to go out walking, but it poured down. I have never seen rain like it! We ventured into the local town, but decided to go back to the hotel! Coming home on the Sunday was a bit adventurous as the roads were flooded. When we saw the news on TV we were amazed at just how bad the floods were!
We had a couple of days at home and then went down to Bath. We stayed in a hotel at Limpley Stoke, a tiny spot on the map. It was like a big mansion, built of beautiful Bath stone which is a golden colour. All the trees were changing colour and it was very picturesque. We spent a lot of time with my goddaughter and her children. Thursday was a birthday party with 10 x 9 year old girls. It was good as we did an arty party and they were all dressed in fancy dress. K escaped to the local pub with his book! On the Friday we explored Bath for the day and went back for Hallowe'en. Because they live in a village, the kids all dress up and do trick or treat and the mums or dads come with them.
Since then, I've been stuck into planning a carol service for guides - it's coming between me and my sleep, but I think it's finished now - I just have to print everything out.
I wanted to get some painting done today, but I haven't been able to, what with dong the carol service, washing, phone calls and visitors! Anyway, I'm off to bed now as I have to be up in the morning to go to the hospital for a check up. I still haven't found a way to put pictures on this to liven it up!!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Sunday 19th October

I can't believe that I haven't written since Wednesday. I haven't been that busy really. On Thursday night I organised an 'Any Questions' night for the Trefoil Guild. I had invited the following to form the panel - a prospective MP, the vicar, a Guider and a young mum who is an oral surgeon, married to a kenyan and they have three gorgeous little girls. They were all nervous, as I was, but it went very well indeed. The time just flew which is a good sign and the answers to the questions were very diverse and interesting. Friday was boring really - planning menus, shopping and guides. On Saturday, K had to work as the Ofsted inspectors are in next week, but we managed to go out for lunch. The same today - K worked all day, I've been battling to do a page for our County website - without much success, I might add. we did manage to get out for a walk on Hobson Moor which was quite bracing!
I also rang my goddaughter who lives near Bath, so we're going down there for a couple of nights next week to see her and the kids. Great!
What I haven't done is much housework or ironing so I think I'll be doing that this coming week. We're off to the Lakes for the weekend so I'll have to make sure our wet weather gear is fit to wear.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Weds 15th October

I have just returned from my Art Class where I have been introduced to pastels. I enjoyed it because it was messy and you could have a good time blending colours.My first attempt was OK but not wonderful so I'll have to keep trying!
Yesterday was a bit hectic as we were delivering all the harvest stuff to a centre for the homeless. This centre is supported by all the local churches and staffed by volunteers They provide 'listeners' who give support and advice to the people who come and, of course, they are also given a free hot meal. It was sad to see so many who have been brought down by drugs and/or alcohol or just circumstances. Where is the support for them? It should not be left to volunteers and charity donations.
After that I went to Praise and Play with the little ones, which was lovely and then off to WI.
The speaker was really interesting and she talked about silk painting and silk dying and donated a beautiful scarf for the raffle. Unfortunately I didn't win it - what a surprise!
The rest of the meeting wasn't too good, but there we go. You can't win them all.
well, I have to get on with some letter writing etc as I'm out again tonight. I also have a carol service to plan and various other things I must do. So I'll sign off now.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

sunday 12th October

We are having some beautiful weather at the moment - long may it continue! Today I was at church for harvest and then came and emptied out all my hanging baskets which have been very straggly for the last couple of weeks. I now have to plant my spring bulbs and generally tidy everything up.
Yesterday,I had a lovely day out with my husband. We went back to the gardens at Chatsworth to look at the sculpture exhibition. I wish I knew how to put pictures on to my blog so that I could show the beauties of the gardens and some of the sculptures. They are all by modern artists and for sale. We heard that one had been bought for 2.5 million pounds - just out of our range! I liked some of them, in fact quite a few, but some left me cold. One of the nicest was in the gardens and not part of the exhibition - the dancing hare - which I absolutely loved. Another was called sunny moon by Zadok Ben- S......(can't remember the name). I think Zadok would be a wonderful name for a dog, but K. doesn't agree!! So there'll be no Zadok the dog.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Thursday 9th October

It's been a beautiful autumn day today. It's been warm and sunny with a bit of a 'nip' inthe air. I do like autumn especially the trees as they change colour before they lose their leaves.
The best place to be in autumn is the Lake District. We'll be there in a fortnight so hope we're not too late and the weather is fine. Not a lot to ask, is it?
I finished my book this morning. I bought it as a light read but it turned out a bit more than that. The author is a doctor who is on TV quite often and is very funny. He has written about his first year as a doctor in a hospital. There are funny bits but it does seem to highlight the so-called demise of the National Health service, especially with the care of the elderly, which is worrying as I'm getting on a bit. I think it's a bit simplistic to blame that on the NHS but it is a good target. I could go on about this, but I won't. Now I have to decide what to read next - a biography might be good. I've got a pile of books I haven't read yet so I'm a bit spoiled for choice.
My art class went well yesterday. We had to draw a still life. I have never been taught to draw properly so it was a bit of a challenge, but I was quite pleased with my first attempt. It was better than my first watercolour. Next week we're trying pastels which will probably will be very messy.
I had an e-mail from my goddaughter today. She sounds brighter than she has for a while. I hope we can manage to see her at half-term and the children too, especially as it's her birthday and her daughter's too. The last time we saw them was Easter last year - far too long!
Well, I've just watched a good film. I'm not a great film fan, unlike my husband and french friend but I enjoyed this one. It was a feel good romance - 27 dresses starring Katherine Heigl. I do like a bit of romance.
We're really trying to cut down on eating rubbish. Tonight I made spicy lentil soup with a cheese and tomato muffin. It was very nice so I hope it fills us up until breakfast!
Well, I shall go and make my shopping list for tomorrow. Such excitement!!

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Tuesday 7th October

Another lovely day in paradise! It's pouring down with rain yet again. My garden is like a quagmire and is looking a bit sad. I need to get out there and clear/tidy up all my pots and do something about the cats! Since we lost our lovely Rufus dog the local cats regard our garden as theirs and they lie in wait for the birds.
Our lunch went very well yesterday and I'm all geared up to take over at the end of November for a couple of months at Guides. J. has worked really hard and planned a good programme - I just have to deliver! I just hope I can be organised as she is.
Afterwards I went to see one of our older WI members who is now in a nursing home. We had a good talk although her mind kept slipping a little bit. She has lived in the same cottage for all her life, even after she married. It has a wonderful view over the valley and the resevoirs - she must miss it, even though she is now being looked after physically. She has lots of stories about her village, even all the scandal from years and years ago.
As it is such an awful day, I had better tackle my ironing and get it out of the way - oh joy!! This afternoon I have the little ones at church and tonight, a meeting. Kevin will not be home until about 9.30 this evening. I hope to get some time to finish my book, so I'll sign off and get on with my chores.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Monday, 6th October.

Another week starts and I'm out to lunch today while my dear husband is at work. Nowhere special but I'm meeting J. the guider I work with on a Friday night. She's expecting her second baby in December and is finishing soon for her maternity leave. So, we're meeting to plan the programme as yours truly will be in charge. We now have 17 girls so it takes a lot of planning!! Talking of guides, I was invited to be a judge at a talent show in a Division in central Manchester. It was a good afternoon. I do admire the guiders there - it's not easy for them, but they do good work. One unit raised money for an orphanage in Romania for several years, and the girls went out there to work. the girls themselves have not got a lot, but they worked for others - excellent!
On Saturday, the weather was not so good so we took ourselves off to a bookshop and spent a fortune. Now I have to find the time to read. One of the ones I bought is 'the other queen' by Phillipa Gregory. I quite enjoy reading historical novels as my knowledge of history is a bit shaky. The history teacher I had at school was dreadful and I dropped the subject as quickly as I could and concentrated on Geography. At the moment I'm reading a book by a junior doctor. It's mainly a light read, but does throw a light on some of their pressures. One of my friends was a doctor and, when she was doing her two year hospital training, we were invited to lots of parties at the hospital. I vowed then that I would try not to fall ill after 11pm or in August. August is the month when all the newly qualified doctors hit the wards!
Well, it's a cold frosty morning - just right for a walk. I'll see what time it is when i've done my chores.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Weds. 1st October

I have been busy this week so far, which I like! I visited an ex-colleague on Monday who has just had a breast reconstruction following a mastectomy. She looked well, thankfully, but insisted on showing me her scars! We had a lovely chat and caught up on news of other ex-colleagues and the time just flew. It's a bit worrying the number of women I've heard of recently who are fighting cancer, especially as my sister and my mother have both had the dreadful disease. However, it does no good to dwell on these things - live life for the day. One good thing came from my visit. A. is absolutely brilliant at sewing and has taken up patchwork so we are going to meet one afternoon a month and she will teach me some simple patchwork / quilting. That should be good.
Yesterday, I went to the toddlers group at church, called praise and play. It's really good and the little ones are lovely. They sing and play instruments, listen to a story and colour a picture or do a craft. The vicar wants me to be the children's coordinator to sort out the sunday school etc. I told him I'd think about it but it sounds a lot of work. We shall see.
K. came home a bit upset as he'd been to see the nurse to get the results of a series of blood tests and it seems that there may be a problem. So he had to go back for another blood test today and one next week before we get the full picture. So, fingers crossed!
Today was my art class. I really enjoy it and wish I'd done it years ago. As I'm just learning techniques, my pictures have no partcular style. The tutor says that will come with time and confidence. Let's hope so. I'll have to close now as I have a gang of women coming round to plan a party for the WI.

Monday, 29 September 2008

Monday 29th Sept.

Well, it's 9am on a Monday morning and I'm no feeling very energetic this morning, so I thought I'd write my blog. I've had a busy weekend with one thing and another. Friday night was guides. J. had planned a really good evening and the girls responded well. There were quite a lot absent, so it was quieter than usual! On Saturday, I was 'on duty' at a coffee morning. It was held in the most beautiful old stone house in Broadbottom. I love going there as the garden and views are wonderful. Inside the hall has a magnificent tiled floor and the rooms are spacious. The house belongs to an elderly couple who look after all this without help - amazing. The lady of the house is a local historian and is most interesting to talk to. K's job was on the bookstall and spent his morning in the library - just his style!
Yesterday we had a visitor from church. M. is working in our parish for 12 months. He has come from Nairobi where he has almost completed his post graduate accountancy course. He is a delightful young man and we had a lovely day. After lunch we went to Chatsworth for the afternoon.
Well, I'd better make a move. I'm off to see one of my friends who has had major surgery in the last couple of weeks. Time for a natter!

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Thursday 25th September

I have just got in and had a nice surprise - or so I thought! I had a payslip giving me a very nice sum of money, almost £2000. I hoped it was a bonus for having taught so long, but no such luck.
It appears that the school has appointed another teacher with my surname and initial and the money was his - what a shame! I could have done some mischief with that amount.
I had been into Manchester as I had to go to the Guide shop to pay some bills and into the office to get an address or 2. That didn't take long, so I thought I would go to the Art gallery. There was a new exhibition on but it was on the second floor. Now, Manchester Art gallery is a beautiful old classical building which has had some refurbishment internally. Part of this refurbishment is a new stairwell and lifts - all of which are glass and the stairs are open tread. As I suffer from vertigo, this is not good! I asked if there was another way up or down, but there was only a metal, spiral staircase which I couldn't manage. I was not very pleased. It meant I didn't see the exhibition.
I've just switched on the news and it looks as though they are in a lot of trouble. Maybe our government will stop thinking that everything American is good!
I have been trying to read my friend's story of the heron, but it's all in French ( that's because she's french!) I struggled a bit, but got the gist. We have a heron who flies over now and then, and occasionally rests on the roof. I think he's eyeing up the fish in next door's pond, but maybe not.
Well, I'll have to go and take my husband out to meet the boys. That means I have to pick him up later. What a good wife I am!! While he's out I think I'll practice my painting.......or have a nap. We'll see.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

wednesday 24th September

I have had a nice day today. The sun was shining so I got a pile of washing out - I won't think about the ironing. Then I addressed and filled 66 envelopes with my newsletter for 60+ guiders and got them posted. At 12.30 I went off for my second art lesson. This week, we had another try at watercolour painting. There is so much to learn and it's quite difficult to learn to use the water as well as the paint. My masterpiece is a work in progress to be finished next week. I might even photograph it to put in my blog, as long as you remember that I have only had 2 art lessons in my whole life! I must practise the techniques. After the class I went a little walk. We live in such a lovely part of the world that it is nice to enjoy it in the sunshine. Mind you, I should have been spending time in the garden, tidying it up. I was just reading my friend's blog and she does read a lot. I used to read such a lot. I still read but not as much as I did - I'll have to change that!
As I went down to the village there was a couple having a row and the language was awful. The bloke threw something away, which hit a car. The car driver got out and said something, next minute he's receiving a mouthful of abuse and the offer of a fight. Thankfully, he got back in the car. The aggressive bloke was as high as a kite on either drugs or drink and this is at 3.30 in the afternoon with all the kids coming home from school to see and hear it all. I find it so sad that relatively young people are in such a dependent state, with no self respect and full of anger. I don't know what the answer is.
Anyway, I must go and practise my art - I've got a fortune to make!

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Tuesday 23rd

Phew! I tried to get on my blog this morning and was told they had to check if it is a scam or not. Why do these things happen to me?? I don't know. It's a gorgeous day today - a bit windy this morning but lovely sunshine. I should have been pottering in my garden but I had to finish my watercolour for tomorrow. It was a bit difficult as I can't find the photo I was copying so I've taken a bit of poetic licence. I must say that for my first watercolour ever's not very good! I'll have to improve if I want to take the art world by storm.
This afternoon I had to go a clinic about my feet. The physiotherapist thinks I have flat feet so she referred me. I've been doing exercises to stretch my ligaments but they are still too tight. I now have to do them every hour (!) for 6 weeks and go back. It was a bit of a waste of time and it cost £2.00 to park!

Tonight, I have a meeting to go to.- hurrah! It will nice to see everybody after the summer holiday but it only means more work for me as I have to do the minutes. I don't know how I survive such an exciting life! At least I'm away from the television and the labour party conference. Why do politicians never answer questions? I really think they're a breed apart. I'm sure their mothers love them but I can't say I do- whatever their party.
Well, I'd better close before I become nasty. I shall have a coffee and then get ready. See you soon!

Monday, 22 September 2008

Monday 22nd September

Well, I thought that I'd better try and join the computer literati and start a blog. Goodness knows what I'm going to write about but I'll have a go. I've finally retired after 46 years teaching. That's a long time and I feel a bit lost without the kids. Mind you, I don't know where the time goes. Today I went into Stockport to buy some art materials, came home and wrote some letters and did some ironing. I so hate ironing! There's only two of us so I don't know why I have to do so much.
This evening I finished writing two sketches for our WI 60th birthday party and got them printed off. Not a very exciting day - maybe tomorrow will be better.