musings (201) fun Monday (76) friendship (64) K9 (13)

Sunday 29 August 2010

Visting another blogger

I came across these questions

Thank you Marie Elizabeth

1. How many pets do you have?
Two German Shepherd dogs
(see photos) 

2. If you could switch places with anyone in the world for one day, who would it be?
That as they say is a poser...
I'd really love to swap places with one or more of my 'click on the mouse' friends
Jan of Life according to Jan n Jer  
Being cheeky, I'd like to go to Boyd's Bear Adventures!

3. What is your favorite money saving tip?
'Make, do and mend' 
*Making rather than buying
*Doing rather than pay a n other to do something
*Mend instead of 'mending with a new one', when practical

4. What do you want your kids to be when they grow up?
No kids here, but I have a God-daughter...
She's got lots of commonsense and is very practical, with a wonderful sense of humour. What more could one ask!
5. What is your favorite quote?
Comes from Chaucer, 'Nun's Priest's Tale'
"If gold rust, what shall iron do"

Saturday 28 August 2010

August Fun Monday

Mariposa's theme
Show and Tell. Show us your most favorite part of the house and tell us why.

This is where I take liberties with the topic as my fave part is not one but two and inside not outside! 

I love the gardens at the front and rear of our property more than any part of indoors.
I adore roses of every hue, especially scented ones.
Even my washing line has been known to become part trellis for climbing, rambling roses.

 I also love fuschias, so in Summer the gardens are most colourful

For a short while, magnolias bloom, but their blossoms are soon damaged by wind and rain.
 Springtime colour
 But, roses are my passion...


Sunday 22 August 2010


Where was I five years ago n the 23rd April 2005? How could I have forgotten!
An early morning drive to the airport and flight to Glasgow, met up with the rest of the group. Boarded our Iceland Air flight and sped to Reykjavik!
Colourful Icelandic houses, lowering black clouds...lollipop shaped globes (lighting).

(OUGS) Open University Geology Society. So, no Blue Lagoon for us (smile); but a personal tour of the modern geothermal power station.

Thus began our field trip of Iceland, following part of the Golden Route, but in reverse. Strange to see a lighthouse on a hill, miles inland from the coast. Until you realise that being Iceland, whose geology and geography change constantly, lava flows had made the new land between the lighthouse and the coast...
One of our group was a most daring photographer!

Our journey continued...

5 years ago?

Aug 23 - Remembering! Where were you and what were you doing exactly 5 years ago? 
Mariposa hosts Fun Monday.

Think I might have probs with it's over 8 years since I retired and I don't keep a diary. 2005

Ah! Yes!
Counting the days in preparation for my once in a lifetime trip to Iceland?
Journeying to Ísland! joining OUGS folk for a filed trip around the island...

Saturday 21 August 2010

Across the Pond

Jan lives in Pennsylvania, 39.8 degrees N, 76.98 W, whereas I'm 53 degrees 25 minutes N and 3 degrees W. No wonder we experience such different weather!
She's on the East of an enormous continent, whereas I'm on the West coast of (by comparison) a small archipelago.
We visit regularly blog to blog and it's lovely being able to see someone else's part of the World. Whilst Jan seems to be longing for Fall, I want Autumn to be delayed. Temperatures here are 20C, which is comfortable except on days of high humidity.


Late August

Bi colour rose

Fuchsia promise of more flowers to come

First Aid

'Himself' is suffering from angle grinder 'rash' (self-inflicted). Angle grinders or whizzes as they are commonly referred to are dangerous pieces of kit.
First I knew was when he asked for help with dressing his hand. Now, dear reader don't think anything really dreadful has happened. (Phew)
He's scraped some skin off part of the back of one hand and bruised his chest. The t-shirt suffered most and has been binned. I was none too pleased when told that Harold had to be instructed to 'CUT the POWER' when the accident happened! They had been refurbishing double doors belonging to Harold's garage.

Traditionally, one would apply white lint to cleansed wound. White lint is difficult to find these days as everything has become more specialized! Quick visit to local chemists revealed a range of first aid stuff, but no white lint. Gauze will have to do!

Hope you'll laugh with me when I admit that in this dog-friendly household we have in stock more first aid stuff for them than for us! LOL

Monday 16 August 2010

Fun Monday colours

After yesterday's post, now something about me and my life.
Grammar school had a uniform which was navy and gold. In winter we were allowed to have pale blue or pale gold blouses, but on formal occasions we had to have crisp, white ones. There was even a difference in material as the coloured ones were warm "Courtelle", and white were cotton poplin. 
Originally, we made our summer skirts out of pale blue cotton poplin. I remember it took 3 yards of material! Sixth form had the same style and material, but were allowed dark red, or green.
Hence, for many years afterwards, I avoided buying anything blue LOL. 
College colours were purple and white but only if we wished to wear sweatshirts, scarves with their badge on them.
Not a real uniform...

Later, I taught in a school who's uniform (pupils) was navy and white. So, I still avoided wearing blue (grin).

Now, I love purple (grin), grey, black and white, and green.
Cue poem
"When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple". by Jenny Joseph

I am not an old woman...yet!!!
But, I love the idea of wearing purple in rebellion against aging.

Visiting another Fun Monday participant Cynical Girl reminded me of the 1960s when for a while 'pop art' became fashionable and Mary Quant led the way with her geometrical designs.
Also, a conversation years ago with an elderly relative who was telling me of her mother and grandmother. She must have been talking about the late 1890s / early 1900s; when women (working class) were expected to wear black from their 30s onwards. She was so pleased to have lived when women could wear colours throughout their life.

Sunday 15 August 2010

thinking ahead

Mariposa is asking about colours of our lives, so I thought I'd begin with colours associated with Sunday. Writing about Sunday colours...

Thinking of colours such as Green the colour used for vestments at Harvest time, or when other colours are not used.

Red Whitsuntide, Good Friday and Martyrs

Gold or White used for happy times Christmas and some Saints' days

Blue associated with Mary

Violet Advent and Lent

This colour scheme is used by Catholics, Church of England and Methodists.

Thursday 12 August 2010

24601 Jean Valjean

Today, we went to Manchester by train and thence to Salford by tram. Lunched at Bella Italia opposite the Lowry theatre. Had a mochachino and thoroughly enjoyed it. The waiter brought extra coffee to ensure it wouldn't be too sweet. He really was a sweetie-pie!
A short walk across the plaza took Barbara and I to the Lowry.
Les Misérables, 25th anniversary production. 3 hours of wondrous special effects and glorious music.
The theme is still playing in my head!

Journey home :(
Walked thro' a cloudburst / downpour from theatre to tram stop. Luckily we both had brollies with us!
But, we arrived just in time to see the tram disappearing down the line.
There were puddles everywhere, the shower passed over only to be replaced by more of lesser intensity.
Announcement... "owing to adverse weather, the next tram is delayed"!
Manchester, England, Adverse weather! Rain is normal, not adverse!
Eventually a tram arrived and we managed to get seats. Each time we stopped, yet more folk attempted to get on, but it was already ram-jam full.
Finally, we reached St. Peter's Square and with difficulty, alighted from the tram.

Looking at the tramway from the platform I noticed it was flooded, as the drains were up the slope and quite useless.

We walked to Oxford Road station, 'survived' the automatic turnstiles and found our departure platform. 15 mins to wait. Phoned home to say it'd be 7 p.m. when we reached our stop.

We settled in our seats and had a good natter, chatting merrily and as usual 'setting the world to rights' LOL. Our journey usually takes 45 mins. So, when friend said it was our stop we alighted, still chatting...Oops!
Only to find it was the wrong stop! Phone-call to friend's son and he arranged to collect us.

That's one theatre trip we won't forget in a hurry!

I've looked on youtube and excerpts from the 2010 Les Mis can be seen there.

Tuesday 10 August 2010

what's in a name...

Apparently, the Snickers / Marathon name has a history. Snickers was the name of a horse and was chosen as the name for a chocolate bar. (1929)

It was an esoteric choice of name, but in the UK the bar was given the name 'Marathon'.

Re-branding to the original 'Snickers' name in 2008 because on the continent of Europe they (like the US) were more familiar with that name.

For other similar stories click here

Monday 9 August 2010

Brands alternatives...

It must be a sign of the times as over here people are seeking out alternatives to global brand named products.
Why buy 'Kleenex' and pay top whack when the German supermarket chains stock cheaper 'equivalent' alternatives?
Beanz as the advert says meanz Heinz, but again alternatives are available.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not choosing inferior brands...I'm buying quality products and economizing at the same time.
Another sign of the times is the idea of the 'Green' consumer.

Groups such as Greenpeace  have raised awareness of the impact large companies have on the environment.
Global brands 

Coca-cola, IBM and Microsoft are the world leaders but...
I never buy Coca-cola or similar as it's 'fatal' for tooth fillings.

My latest acquisitions (technology) were a Mac book Pro and ipod touch.

Okay, I know some parents with baby fashionistas but others (more sensible) eschew brand names and high prices.

Some (mainly youngsters) are hooked on brands names, but those of us with less spending power need to count the 'pennies'.

A very old saying, "money's made round to go round; and made flat to pile up".

Sunday 8 August 2010

it shouldn't happen...

Neighbour is vulnerable as she's blind and elderly, also, her health isn't good.
So, when neighbour's lads kicked a ball which broke her window, it was a very nasty shock.
Looking at it, the damage has been done probably by a ball of some sort. I think they ought to get rid of the footie nets as they are obviously rubbish at football!

Today, someone from the police service is due to interview her. She was too ill and distressed to contact them when incident happened.
She contacted a number of local police forces, the nearest police station is closed, only 'manned' part-time. The next one she contacted weren't interested because it wasn't a priority!
Hooray for St. Helens police! They class her as vulnerable, they promised to send someone to interview / talk to her and gave her a crime number to tell the insurance company. She's promised to phone afterwards and tell me what happens.
This shot shows the lads' garden (age late teens / early twenties), set up more as a playground than a garden!

Contrast it with neighbour's garden...

Hers is a very productive garden and greenhouse.

Saturday 7 August 2010

Thinking ahead...

Next Fun Monday's about...
Brand names which make life easy...Hm...that's some ask...

Here across the Pond we're not as into brand names as other parts of the World.

To quote Douglas Adams "I may have to think for a while"...

Spoof brands thanks to 'Auntie' which is a term of endearment for the 'good, old' 'Beeb' aka BBC.

Brand names make life more difficult when they insist upon re-branding, usually thanks in no small part to our neighbours in Europe.

'Marathon' was a chocolate bar confection, re-branded to become 'Snickers'. Ludicrous to folk here as 'snicker' means a half-smothered laugh, aka silent laughter. 'I'd like a silent laughter chocolate bar'...

Tuesday 3 August 2010

needles, hooks and things crafty

A neighbour taught me to knit before I was old enough to start school. Mother taught me sewing and I taught myself crochet.
However, D's got a thing about such crafts being a waste of time! Hence, he's none too pleased that I'm crafting for charity.

In my time I've knitted Intarsia and Aran patterns, crocheted granny squares, blankets, tops, doilies and curtains.

My latest project has an owl theme (based upon Aran cables). If you search Ravelry you'll come across lots of patterns. 
Check out Flickr too for pix of Aran inspired owls.

Am working with double-pins, something I've not done for many a year. Happily rediscovering skills I thought I'd lost.

Monday 2 August 2010

Shoes, sandals aka footwear

My all time favorite SHOES...Mariposa saves Fun Monday!

if this had been a few years ago, I would have shown pix of shoes with 3 inch heels.

One torn ligament later, high-heeled shoes are a big No! No!

Today it's walking sandals, hiking boots and my faves Chung Shi shoes.

They have negative heels and are superbly comfortable. Pricey? Yes! But, they last and last and last.
This is when I admit, I always buy in the sales!

Pix to follow...
 Yes, well-worn...time to order some more perhaps...
 I wander round the house barefoot or in sandals, I dislike having my feet covered up...
I ordered my new shoes online yesterday...and...they arrived today! That's truly amazing as  our postal 'service' is erratic, to put it mildly. Especially as they came postage free. Usually if free postage is the option of choice, goods can take 7-10 working days to arrive.

Sunday 1 August 2010

August 1st

A great brouhaha in the media, as Yorkshire celebrates it's 25th 'Yorkshire Day' and 'good luck to 'em'.

This has got me reminiscing and musing about history and in particular Lancashire my county.
27th November 1295, King Edward I summoned Lancashire's representatives to attend Parliament.

Another historical fact...the Queen of England is the Duke of Lancaster...  The 'Loyal Toast (at official banquets) is "The Queen, Duke of Lancaster". It's even listed in Debrett's as one of the loyal toasts approved by the Queen.

Large tracts of the County of Lancaster are part of the Royal Estates. (The Duchy of Lancaster).

In 1262, Henry III granted lands to his son Edmund.
1395, Henry Bollingbroke became King of England and the lands in North West England, Duchy of Lancaster