Monday, 31 August 2015

Chaos - but not in theory!

Today is Bank Holiday Monday in England.  So of course, it is raining.  What else would the weather do on our last public holiday until Christmas!!  You know that it always rains in England don't you.


This is the best picture I could get out of the window - raining too much to put my camera outside!  It shows how grey and grim it is though.

We could have been sat in the garden enjoying the sunshine.  Or at a car show - several were on offer and I do feel so sorry for the organisers when it rains.  Visiting family.  Crafting.  Sitting doing nothing.  Cutting back the lavender hedge.

So many possibilities.  Instead though, I am working my way around the house around this.




It is so dark that I cannot even get pictures in focus!



Hubby is working very hard on this.




We decorated our bedroom when we moved here over a decade ago and it hasn't been touched since.  However after the water damage a couple of winters ago it really needed decorating.  We had to wait until we had had the render - stucco - replaced which you will remember we had done last year.  The plan was then to decorate our bedroom at the start of this year once the budget had recovered from the building work.  However, various things have delayed it.  So it is happening now!  Yay!



I forgot to take any totally before shots, but these will give you the idea of how it looked before.  Trust me, it looks much better in the pictures than in real life!


It was papered before and the paper has, for the most part come off fairly easily, which we were very glad about because getting the paper off - that had been painted over many times - the last time was horrible.  This was where I peeled off an experimental bit!  Someone was not impressed!


We have shopped for paint - no more wallpaper! - and new curtains and even a new lampshade!  It will, at some point, necessitate new cushions and the moving around of other things which I will share as and when.  So it will be an ongoing project for a while, but that is fine.

I will show you the finished room of course when it is done, in the meantime I will be working around it all and super hubby will be working away at the decorating.

Just as well it is raining hey.  He won't feel so bad being stuck indoors decorating!

Amy

p.s. I forgot to say before, that is why there are piles of books everywhere, I have had to move them all out of the bedroom to allow for the decorating!

Sunday, 30 August 2015

The situation

It seems that I have a bit of a situation....  You see there is this.


This is the yet to be read pile.

And this.  Plus about twice as many more.


And three more bookcases full too.  Which between the above and the three bookcases comprise our keeping books.

I have weeded out these for the charity shop.


And when most of these are read they will be heading there too.


More time reading, less time crocheting perhaps?

Or not....

Oh, and I just remembered another bag full that are still to be read.  At least only about half of the three bookcases full in the office are mine.  They are mostly cookbooks in there too.  Which surely isn't soooooo bad is it!!!

I used to read a massive amount, but not so much these days, but as you know from my Reading My Books Challenge (click the label at the bottom of this post to find out more) I am now reading more than I used to.  I do need to speed up though as at the current rate I have 10 years worth of reading here.

I bought two more yesterday as well!

Eeeeekk!!!

Amy

p.s. There is a reason why the books are randomly piled up like this.  More to follow on that in a few days.  I don't normally keep my books in random heaps!!

Friday, 28 August 2015

Coming back round to Fridays

I am so far behind with everything again, it is my own darned fault, there is no one else to blame.  I set myself these targets of things to get done - probably far from practical targets too - and then I just cannot finish them despite my best of intentions.  Not unless I run myself totally ragged that is.

So there are things not done.  I have to just "let it go, let it go...."  You know the words I am sure!

This week has been trying me.  On Wednesday I got in my little car - that just passed its MOT (annual inspection) on Saturday last and blow me down with a feather if the engine management warning light came on.  I have to say I much preferred it when cars were not so clever you know.  You just went until they stopped.  Although I am glad that we don't have to drive on those dodgy old tyres any more and have rust popping up everywhere like a dose of the pox!

Anyway, for those not in the know, if the engine management warning light comes on, that is not a good sign.  Oh no siree!  So I stopped called Hubby.  He says "oh".  Just ""oh".  Yeah, you don't say, bite me!  Really helpful.....  I didn't say that to him, just thought it.  On his suggestion I got out of the car in the heaving rain (no coat, phone in one hand, trying to open the bonnet (hood) with one hand) and checked the oil - yes, I can do that! - oil all OK.  Hubby says that the car will not blow up.  Not that I thought I would, the engine wasn't getting overheated and there was nothing untoward going on so I knew that already.  It was just this darned light.  He suggested calling the AA - rescue service - I suggested going straight to the garage and not bothering waiting to be rescued.  Good idea says he, I didn't think of that....  Good thing that I did then isn't it!

So off I trundle in the heaving rain, driving slowly just in case everything suddenly ground to a halt.  I get to the garage, wonderful man called Matt came out and smiled when I saw him and then frowned when I told him about my car.  He really likes my car and is convinced that it will go on forever!  I hope he is right because I love my car too!!

He gets the diagnostic machine, plugs it in, all OK, turns the light off, sends me on my way and refuses to charge me.  You cannot ask for better than that can you.

Now, I should say if your engine management warning light comes on you must always get it checked, but sometimes it will just come on for no reason and just needs turning off, but don't bank on that and just leave it!

Anyway, that is a long tale of my car and getting it fixed, all OK, but very trying.

OK, you are wondering where this ramble is going and what on earth it has to do with "coming back round to Fridays" or is it Friday's???  I am never sure......

Well, I am behind with everything, one of the things I am behind on is reading blog posts but yesterday afternoon, when I was still feeling rather delicate from the car incident on Wednesday and because of other things, I dipped in to read a post by Countryside Tales - also called CT.  You can read the post here.

CT included in this post a quote that I had included way back in May 2014 in a Five On Friday post.  You can read it here.

The quote was from Maya Angelou and was "Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option".

As I said I am feeling a bit delicate right now and these words, and the others that CT shared, and the whole thought behind her post, and the fact that she remembered that I had shared this all the way back in May 2014, made me cry a bit!

I need to remember these words!!!  I have been feeling rather beat up in an emotional way about a few things, which I have been getting over, but I need to remember this.

So, thank you CT (wish I knew your name!) for the reminder!

Finally, this brings us back to Friday and to Five On Friday because I had shared these words in a Five On Friday post and CT remembered them all this time!

See, there actually is a point to all this endless ramble!!

The point being that Five On Friday will return next Friday.  See details by clicking the Five On Friday page - top right of the sidebar - or the Five On Friday badge - the picture, near the top of the sidebar.

Truly, ANYONE is welcome to join in, providing you stick to the rules such as they are.

I hope that you will all get your own thinking caps on and join us next week to share Five things or to take Five to muse on an individual subject.

I look forward to reading your posts and hope that just occasionally, some of what I, or you, share will be remembered over a year later by someone else!

Thank you CT, for so many things!!

Amy

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Random Odds and Ends

An odd kind of day yesterday for some reason.  You know when you have those days that you just cannot seem to get into anything but you don't know why.  Well it was one of those.

The weather was horrid again - for the third day in a row it rained more than you can imagine.  The driveway was like a lake a couple of times because the rain was coming down so hard and so quickly that the water just couldn't drain off quickly enough.



I sure hope that it clears up soon!

I'm glad you were amused by the squirrel story that I shared yesterday.  I didn't see him at all yesterday - Mr Squirrel - I think the rain kept him inside his little house.

Stuck indoors yesterday I tried to get on with a few things.  I did my meal planning for September and went and got the meat for the month - forgetting a couple of important things!  My mind really wasn't on the task in hand properly at all.

I also started a new project - even though I am trying to finish others, but this is a quick one.  Any guesses???  This is very close up by the way!


After looking out at the rain I took a photo of this combination that I have shown you before, but it looked so good today, even in the rain.  Verbena Bonariensis - the purple - and Choisya - the yellowy green.


I also sorted out the bookcase where I have all my novels.  Yes, it seems that I have enough books to last for about the next 10 years at the rate I am reading them....  Better get faster at reading hadn't I!  I also made a pile for the charity shop of books that I read years ago and am not going to read again.

Some books come, some go, and some stay forever and some only a short time!

One new book has come my way recently though.  Look, isn't it a beauty!


I won this journal in a giveaway held by the lovely Vicky over at 2 Bags Full.  Isn't it pretty!!  I have no idea what I am going to write in it yet, but I will really enjoy using it when I do decide.  Thank you so much Vicky, it really is so nice and so lovely of you to send it so far to me.

Oh, and a funny book coincidence that isn't really funny at all....  As I explained in my meal planning post - here - I choose two cookbooks to cook from each month.  The totally random choices for September.  The Pioneer Woman Cooks and Mary Berry Cooks.  It was the "Cooks" that struck me.  I am daft aren't I!!!  Small things make me smile!

Once again I am late in reading blogs, but I am getting there - slowly!  Just starting on those from Friday, so I will read, but please bear with me!  And once again on the comment replying too!  I do apologise, even though you will all tell me not to and I would say the same to you!

Later in the day I lit my candle, but it died.  No more flame to be had!  So there was nothing for it but to start a new one.  A bit late in the summer for seaside, but we can hope can't we!!


Well that is about it for these random musings.  Oh, and I will remind you again on Friday, but just in case you don't stop by then - or I don't post! - Five On Friday will be starting up again on Friday 4th September.  So start to get your Five thinking caps on ready to join in!  Details can be found on the Five On Friday page via the link at the top of the sidebar.  Or click the badge in the sidebar to go to read my posts.  Anyone is welcome to join in.

Hope you are all having a good week.  Happy Hump Day!  I will leave you with some flowers from Friday!



Amy

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

A squirrel tale

Once upon a time there was a squirrel who lived in a garden.  He built himself a drey - for that is what a squirrel house is called - high up in a tree.

The squirrel was very happy going about his business.  Digging holes in the grass, moving bulbs around in the autumn, burying acorns and getting up to all kinds of things that made the squirrel very happy indeed.

When the squirrel got cross he would make very loud chattering noises at whoever he was cross with.  He could get quite angry.  Nothing scared the squirrel though.  The humans who lived in the house attached to the garden would come out and wave their arms and shout to stop the squirrel digging, but he would just carry on and ignore them.  If the squirrel was interrupted by the humans he would make all kinds of noise at them to tell them off.

One day though the squirrel had a bit of a shock.  He was coming down his favourite tree ready to go digging when all of a sudden he saw something unfamiliar looking at him.  In fact, it was staring straight at him.  The squirrel had no idea what to think.  What was that?


Whatever it was didn't move.  It just continued to stare straight at the squirrel.  The squirrel climbed around the tree trunk making his angry noises and went back and forth, but still the thing just stared at him.

The squirrel was very worried.  Time passed and the thing just stayed there.  Perhaps it was safe to go down.  After all, it wasn't moving.  The squirrel came further down the tree and then the thing got up and moved towards him.  This frightened the squirrel and he climbed back up the tree trunk very quickly.

The thing was now at the base of the tree, looking right up at him.  Squirrel didn't know what to do.  Should he go back to his drey and find another way down, perhaps on the telephone line that he liked to walk on.  But what if the thing came after him, what to do.



The thing and the squirrel stared at each other for a long time.


Then, all of a sudden the thing got up again and turned its back on the tree and the squirrel.  It started to climb up a trellis by the fence.  This really worried the squirrel.  The thing was coming to get him.  He started shouting away in his angry squirrel voice and ran further back up the tree trunk and straight back to his drey where he thought he would be safe.



The thing climbed up the trellis, as though it was a ladder, and walked away on the top of the fence.



Mr squirrel had a real fright that day.  Perhaps it will teach him not to go digging in the garden again for a while!

Amy

This is a real story as you can see by the pictures!  It was so funny to watch!  Pictures taken one morning last week.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Over the weekend

Well another Monday has rolled around again.  Seven more days have passed since last Monday and a new week begins once again.  Last night when we were having dinner Hubby asked me what I had on this week.  I reeled off a list of things and things to be done for events yet to come.  We talked a bit more about what we need to do next weekend - more on that as it happens! - and that sparked more lists in my mind.  I guess that answers where the time goes to doesn't it.

This weekend though we did lots of relaxing.  Really!  Although you may not believe it when I start my list of what we got up to in just a moment.  It was though a chill out and not do lots of doing kind of weekend which we both needed.  Me especially.

The lunch that I hosted on Friday was a great success!!!  Thank you all for your support last week.  It went really well and we had great fun.  All women resulted, of course, in lots of talking and it was wonderful to catch up with each other over some really good food.  Recipes have been exchanged and a few ideas picked up too for our own cooking at home.  No one made any comments about dust - not that there was any - and it was all good.  By the time that Hubby got home on Friday evening I had everything cleared away and put back in order with just the dishwasher waiting to finish.  After that I declared that I wasn't doing any housework at all over the weekend!  I pretty much stuck to that, with just a little bit of cooking on Sunday.

As there was so much going on and talking when everyone arrived I totally forgot to take any photos with my guests, but I do have a few from before to share with you.


This was the place setting that I laid - with different coloured napkins for each person.

Everything was prepared and ready.  I had china to hand and jugs ready for filling with water and so on and breadsticks for munching on with the first course.


Cookies were baked too.  These are Ginger Nuts - recipe here.  I had to make a double batch to ensure that there were enough left for Hubby!


The fridge was full to bursting with everything!  I cannot believe that I am showing you the inside of the fridge, but it is very clean as I cleaned that too!


A few things arranged on the kitchen windowsill.  For what reason I have no idea, but I thought it looked nice!



Chairs were cleared of blankets and cushions were plumped.

 
Flowers were as arranged as flowers ever get in this house.



The sky though was black as coal.  It didn't look as though it was going to be a nice day weatherwise.


So lit a scented candle to try and bring some light on the situation.


It worked and the sky cleared and I could set up seating areas in the garden for drinks on arrival.


The people duly arrived and we drank and ate and did all those good things and I totally forgot to take another photo!  It was wonderful as I said and I will not be nearly as stressed if I repeat it another time - I hope!!!

So we moved on to Saturday!  We went and ran some errands, I bought some fabric from Hobbycraft - which I have no plans for, but it is gorgeous! - and some foam mats to block the shawl that I have nearly finished making. 

Then we went to a town a few miles from us called Camberley in Surrey where they were having a car show in the town centre.  Although I don't suppose that the girls will be wildly interested in I know that some of your husbands and other halves have enjoyed my car pictures before, so here are a few for them - and you too of course!!








This is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - from the film!
















There were lots of different musicians playing around the town, but these four were my favourites.  I mean, if you can play an instrument that you have to actually stand inside you deserve to be liked don't you!


I did also spot some crochet!  This is the Water Lily CAL blanket that some of you have been making recently, displayed in a fabric and yarn shop window.  I was surprised that it was bigger than I thought.  Another one for the future perhaps??


The town has lots of beautiful colourful flowers too.


Then it was home and doing nothing for the rest of the day, save some crochet and then an early night.

On Sunday we had plans to go to another car thing and we got there as the heavens opened.  It was being held at an Antiques Centre so we dashed inside and had a good look around, but came away with nothing!

Home again, and Hubby did some gardening later on when the weather cleared, I admired my fabric purchases from Saturday and did some work on my quilt and to be honest I don't know what else I did!  Just pottering.

Later in the day I made some flapjacks - recipe here - and then cooked dinner which was a lovely chorizo and potato frittata - recipe here.

We followed dinner with strawberries and cream and sat watching television - and I typed up this post!


So that was the weekend that was!

I hope that you had a great one and that you will have a great week too.

I am linking up with Karen at Pumpkin Sunrise to share my weekend with others.  Thank you for the prompt Karen.

Amy