Saturday, 29 May 2010


I have had a lazy day today - I got up at 7.30 to find that my husband had taken out our spaniel for a long walk, so I was able to have a shower and have my breakfast at a leisurely pace. The rain was pouring down and it was rather chilly after a beautiful week. I decided to get the shopping out of the way and, apart from cooking tea, I have spent the day reading the paper, doing crosswords and generally being lazy.
The last two weeks have been a bit busy, to say the least. Our friends are over on a trip from Oz and I've been able to see Janette twice so far, and we meet again tomorrow. I used to work with her - she's a lovely person and so is her husband. They were in England for 7 years and have made many friends as John was a Methodist minister. He has now retired so they are travelling all round England at the moment.
A group of us had afternoon tea at the Midland Hotel one afternoon, which was rather grand (and expensive!)
The day after, I was off to camp with 15 guides. We had a wonderful time. The weather was glorious, the girls were really well behaved and did all the chores without moaning ( a miracle!!), the activities were good so everyone was happy.
I came back from camp on Sunday night and on Monday went off to the council offices to chair a panel dealing with school appeals. The school concerned is very popular and is full in the new year 7, but we heard 30 appeals over the three days.
On Friday we went to see a flower festival in a local church - it was amazing!! The theme was the passing of time and the arrangements were so beautiful - no bunging the flowers in a vase!! I haven't any photographs as I forgot my camera- typical!
Well, I think I'll go back to my paper - ther's only the Eurovision Song contest on TV and it's not the samewithout dear old Terry Wogan commentating.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

A busy week!

I started last week with Sunday School with the younger ones. There were only about 6 little girls in my group and we had a lovely time. It was the annual meeting of the church after the service, so we got home later than usual, had lunch and went off on a walk with Jasper.
Monday was washing, cleaning and getting ready for our adult 'sleepover' at Waddow Hall, near Clitheroe in Lancashire.
Tuesday meant an hour's drive into the beautiful Lancashire countryside to meet up with other Trefoil members at the Hall. This is one of the Guide activity and conference centres in the UK and used to belong to the Pilkington family. (Pilkington Glass). It is a lovely old house in beautiful grounds with camp sites, a Brownie house and two cottages available for hire. From the front of the house the land slopes down to a river with a weir - lovely! When I was a guide and a young guider, we used to camp there and boy, was it strict! If you went anywhere near the house you had to be in full 'best' uniform or you and your guider got into real bother! Things are more relaxed now. After a wonderful buffet lunch we went a walk around the large grounds, back for afternoon tea, crafts and a chat with other people who were staying there. There was a crowd of students from Liverpool University on a field week and a group of ladies who had come away to do some uninterrupted patchwork.
After dinner we all dressed up in our western outfits, much to the bemusement of the students, and took part in a murder mystery evening - who killed the sheriff? It was a lot of fun, though nobody identified the murderer which could have had something to do with the amount of wine and other liquids which were being consumed.
Weds. we had a morning of indoor curling which was good fun and after another good lunch it was time to make our way home.
Thursday found me on the train to Manchester to man the Guide shop with my friend. We were feeling a bit tired so hoped we wouldn't be too busy. That was too much to hope for and we took quite a bit of money.
On Friday, Kevin and I went shopping to our nearest John Lewis store and had lunch there. Neither of us bought anything much but it was nice to go out together! I had Guides on Friday night and Saturday we did some work in the garden and then I was catching up on paperwork for the next two events! On Sunday we went out for lunch to Lymm with our friends - we haven't seen them since New Year's Eve so we had a lot of catching up to do! Lunch lasted until about 4.30 pm so by the time Jasper got his tea he was ravenous. Well that was my busy week and this week's as bad - or good.
I'm just off to my weigh in, then my mums and tots group, having taken the dog an hour's walk. It's glorious today - long may it last!

Monday, 8 February 2010

grey Monday

It's another grey day here in Hadfield and I have only ventured out to collect my prescription. I don't know where the time has gone - I had a mammoth ironing session this morning and was going to do some housework, but got waylaid. I had to get things ready for our toddler group tomorrow. We're doing the story of Adam and Eve and I was trying to think of a craft. We usually make a snake out of old socks, but I haven't any left. I thought of making a spiral snake, but the children are very little. So I have drawn them each a snake outline and they can colour it and stick stickers on - how original is that? - not very, I'm afraid.
I had a lovely time on Friday night. I went back to a town where I had been Commissioner for Guides. They were having a dinner to celebrate our centenary and I was giving the after dinner speech!!!! I was absolutely petrified and suffering from total lack of sleep through worrying, but it went down very well, thankfully. Perhaps I've found a new career. I met so many people I haven't seen for ages - it was really good.
I'm a bit sad today because one of our great jazz musicians has died - Johnny Dankworth. I do enjoy jazz and he was someone I could listen to for a long time, along with his wife, Cleo Laine. His son and daughter are both jazz musicians, so hopefully they will carry on his music.
Well, Jasper and I are on our own tonight. K has gone to his digital imaging class and I will be washing up and watching Coronation Street. Jasper hasn't been himself for the last few days. He was very sick on Thursday night, so we took him to the vets on Friday and he couldn't find anything. On Saturday, he didn't want to eat and yesterday and today he's been a bit better, but a little quiet. So we'll go downstairs and make a coffee and have a snuggle!

Saturday, 30 January 2010


I have been reading blogs today, especially those of my friend and my husband, but also one or two others. They are so interesting and full of photos etc and mine is so bo..o..o..ring. So I have decided to liven it up by adding pictures and learning how to take photographs off my camera and put them onto my blog ( I can hear the exasperated sigh of my husband if he reads this...'I've shown her so many times and she STILL forgets!!') Oh well! Mind you, I have to remember to take photographs in the first place.
Last night I went to the pantomime to see Jack and the Beanstalk. I know that you usually go to the pantomime during the Christmas season, but our local amateur theatre always produces theirs in the dark days of January.
I absolutely love the pantomime - I can boo and hiss with the best! Where else would you see a man dressed as a woman in outrageous costumes, the young male role performed by a girl, slapstick comedy, the evil person and a good fairy? Wonderful!!
When I was teaching, I used to take the year 7 pupils to the panto at Christmas. We had a science teacher who was really strict with the pupils. She used to come with me and would hiss and boo, cheer and shout -the pupils were somewhat surprised and spent most of the first act watching her rather than the stage! Happy days!
Last night's performance was very good and the audience enjoyed it, although it was almost ruined by an over excited 7 year old on the front row, but the cast managed to shut him up!!
Well, back to mundane things, like perfecting an after dinner speech by next friday - not started yet, but all will be well.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Sunday 17th

Well, we finally made it to church this week and it was good to see everybody again.
It was my turn to take the little ones in Sunday School and our theme was saying thank you. It was fun to hear what the children really wanted to say thank you for -presents, biscuits, dinosaurs were mentioned as well as flowers, mummies and daddies!
It was a good session, I think.
It was also good to see Moses again. Moses is working for a Christian organisation called Careforce. He spent last year attached to our church working with the young children and young people most of the time. This year he is working in Edinburgh helping young people with drug and alcohol addiction, which he finds very interesting and rewarding. Moses himself is an incedible young man. He is Kenyan and his mother and father live in a village in the countryside. His mother still collects water and I think his father is a subsistence farmer. Moses went to a missionary school, walking 5 miles four times a day. At the age of 8, he was sent to live with a relative in Nairobi because he was bright and could be educated there. He now has a degree, I'm not sure what it is in, but he is working for Careforce for the moment, for very little money.
When I hear stories like his, I wonder what I have done with my own life. I've not been brave enough to even travel very far, although I am fascinated by other cultures. I despair when I hear about children living in poverty and without any chance of education, so why don't I do something practical?
On a lighter note, I have read Daniele's blog with her photos of Paris. I love the way she finds things to photograph that most people would walk past. Clever girl!
I must go now, my programme is on TV! - No,I'm NOT a telly addict....much!!

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Saturday, 16th Sept

Another week has passed, full of snow, ice and slush! We've been complaining about it, of course - I don't know what we Brits would talk about if it wasn't for the weather! Then we hear about the terrible disaster in Haiti, and it puts your own moans and groans into some sort of perspective. Although the disaster is terrible, the true human spirit seems to come to the fore at these times - we hear about people just taking leave from their jobs to go and help, because they have skills or equipment which are needed. I just hope that the help is there after the initial input, because it takes such a long time for people to rebuild their lives and regain some sort of normality. It makes me feel so useless when all I can do is offer money.
Things are getting back to normal here as well - meetings have started up again and also my art class. I got a compliment from my tutor this week, so I was well 'chuffed' AND I actually finished a picture. I was so happy that I came home and painted a small watercolour for my sister's birthday. I know she'll like it - she better had!
Well, I must go now to do some shopping and have lunch out then come back and play with my beautiful little spaniel.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Saturday 9th Jan

It's Saturday again! It's cold and we still have a pile of icy snow outside our house. Yesterday, we cleared the drive as much as we could and managed to get the Clio to the top. It took ages to clear the drive and our lovely neighbour helped us. Of course, almost as soon as we'd cleared it, the snow started again. It's been off and on all day today, but not heavily. However, it's really cold now. We've had some enormous icicles which Kev photographed, no doubt to be seen on his blog!
I didn't sleep much last night as my arm gave me a lot of pain and I couldn't get comfortable. I think it must have been set off by the shovelling! Anyway, it's a bit better today, but I haven't done a lot in case it starts up again. This afternoon I had a go at my latest masterpiece! I started it earlier in the week. I found a picture of an Art Deco lady and decided to paint it in acrylic paint. I found it much harder than working in oils because the paint dried really quickly. I was disappointed with what I'd done, so I 'googled' some hints on using acrylics and tried again this afternoon. The background is looking much better, but Rembrandt I'm not! The problem is I have mislaid the copy of the picture I was doing and I can't find it again on the internet. What an idiot!
Kevin took Jasper out for a run on the school field. He's getting much better at coming back (Jasper!) and he loves the snow. I'm not sure that he loves all the little ice balls he gets in his feathers, his paws and his tail though.He must have had a really good run as he's fast asleep across my feet as I type.
I must make tea now - good old sausage and chips. Our butcher makes the tastiest sausage around - pork and black pepper- scrumptious!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Post Christmas

I was so busy before Christmas that I didn't know what to do with myself. I had to prepare a Carol Sevice for our County Trefoil groups, another for the WI and a nativity for the Sunday School to do in church. Everything went well, thankfully, especially the Nativity. I was so worried about that, but the children were fantastic and even the donkey behaved! .. Yes, we had a real donkey to bring Mary into church!
Christmas was lovely. Ours always starts with a dinner dance on the Saturday before and that went well. We had to collect Jasper from kennels on the Sunday, in the middle of a snow storm. We made it home OK and then battened down the hatches. My sister made it on Christmas Eve luckily. She has been a bit worried about her car and was worried about breaking down in the bad weather. On Christmas Day we went out for our dinner to a little tea rooms in the next village. It was wonderful! The attention to detail was outstanding and the food was scrumptious .....and no washing up!! Brenda stayed until the Tuesday and then went home and within a few a hours had ordered a new car! Talk about biting the bullet!
We had a few friends round for New Year's Eve which was nice. We all prepared a different course for the meal - I was hoping to get the cheese board, but no such luck!! Since then, we have not been out much as we have had a lot of snow - about 40cms. The only member of the family who is really enjoying all the snow is Jasper the spaniel, despite getting ice balls in his paws and feathers!
I've been really lazy since the New Year - the days just seem to pass by. Today we took the cards and decorations away, so that's something. Tomorrow, I must tackle my tax return. I've never done one before, so I'm a bit apprehensive about doing it. It would be lovely if they found out that they owed me lots of money, but I don't think they will. I've also got to write an after dinner speech before February and I have no inspiration..or jokes..!
Well, enough for today. I'm off to watch TV!