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Sunday, 31 July 2011

Home thoughts.

Just a few thoughts whilst I'm waiting for a loaf to rise as I decided to make bread rather than take one from the freezer. Bit naughty to make just one loaf, not efficient use of energy not sure I have the oomph to knead two loaves.

It has been a very unusual weekend for Ian left here at 7am yesterday to go to a Summer School at University of Sussex. Whole two days of maths related stuff. Can relate that he has enjoyed it, learnt a lot, thought about the next course too.

Meanwhile I'm home alone. Well yesterday not much alone as Martha didn't go out till gone 7pm last night so we did what we call Mummy-and-Martha things. Ordered a couple of friendship bracelets for us, I think of them as M & M bracelets from : . Do have a look at this site, some beautiful, unique designs, prices that say "treat someone or yourself" and the pleasure of helping a small business rather than a chain store.

Today on my own and enjoying it apart from one thing. I don't wish to go and sit out in our garden. Even though it is reasonably quiet, only one lot of builders working on a Sunday, I am terrified that we have another fox visit.

Woken by the security light early on Friday morning, again the light alerted me to a fox in the garden on late in the evening. It had come through where the fence had not been put back properly by next doors builders, it was panicking too when Ian went out and chased it with the mop. 

Ian has propped the fence up now but I was worried the fox would jump over so have leant the whirly line against the fence too.

This is where I'm worried a fox will jump over, they have no fear around here and stroll about in daylight too.

My fears were dismissed by some at church this morning, but I would not be relaxed outside. Shame, the weather is fantastic, but some how the time has sped by. I am reminded of the time before I met Ian when I lived alone in my maisonette, I could pass a whole weekend without speaking to anyone, it didn't and doesn't bother me, I am happy with my own thoughts. In today's world I can share them and share others thoughts so would not wish to be without internet access and my iPad2 however much it eats into time.

Now I need to go and tidy the kitchen, there is ironing to complete, newspapers and a book to read and knitting to do. Two more rows of heel flap to be done.

Oh, and The Archers in 10 minutes. Byeeee!

PS on Monday morning. 

Loaf I made yesterday had a flying top but the taste was unaffected - still good. Think there may have been too much dough for the tin size, next time will set some dough aside for a few rolls as each time I make this the bread rises to twice the height of the tin.

Broad stroke planning our lives well into next year on Ian's return from his Summer School for the course he plans for next year is double the work and the double the points.* I am insisting we have a couple of trips away at the end of this year's study and before next years commences.

Then during the year I may go out to play again on my own, North Wales beckons again.

* We all know points means prizes don't we?

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Give us our daily bread.

Never quite sure what to say here, think I will return to the template of Simple Woman's daybook although maybe not using all the categories. Whilst writing this blog I am making a couple of loaves so if all goes well you may see the final result.

Outside my window ... from the front of the house whether we look to the left or to the right we can see building materials. The house next door is being extended; next door but one the other way the property is being altered, rewired and replumbed. Skips are us.
I am thinking ... about Norway. How could this have been avoided? Probably couldn't but just hope somehow some good will come of this. What a way to learn about this tiny nation with a total population less than half that of London.
From the learning rooms ... Ian has sent his third TMA (Tutor marked assignment) to be marked. Quite a relief, I understand question 5 gave him, and other students, some difficulty.
From the kitchen ... bread is in tins, proving for the second time. Will be scampering downstairs to light the gas oven soon. Recipe for a Half and Half loaf is from Taste of Health, a BBC cookery book from 1985. Update: the loaves are baked, didn't stick when I removed them from the tins. That is always my fear in spite of oiling the tins well.

I am wearing ... M & S cream trousers, sort of chino style with a Boden black and cream striped top.
I am creating ... socks, on second pink one, nearly at the heel.
Also working on cardigan but that needs total concentration. Earlier in the week sat in the garden and made much progress but cannot follow complicated pattern if anyone else around.
I am reading ... waiting for reading group book, it will be The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks. From what I have gleaned on line it looks good.
I am hearing ... fridge humming. How exciting is my life?
One of my favourite things ... well not things, but place. It is the Royal Academy of which Ian is a Friend. Met up with him after his day school (morning only) and after a light lunch we saw just a few of 1000+ works of the Summer Exhibition. Didn't see anything I wanted to buy, most prices were out of our reach just as the sizes of the works would be in our suburban semi! There were a few I liked, my tastes are uncomplicated, I like interiors or street scenes that look realistic and also are calming. 
As I have worked in an art gallery quite often many modern works make me think of the Emperor's New Clothes. Good that everyone has a different viewpoint about art. We hope to return to see a few more of the works before the exhibition closes.

A few plans for the rest of the week ... BLF Breathe Easy group tomorrow, the last meeting for the development officer who is off to Oz, there has been no communication about the meeting. As I missed the last one, and development person has not responded to me, not sure what is happening. We shall see.
To tempt parishioners to come to the gardening party on Saturday vicar was promoting the joys of a new mower. It is a ride on one, now I've never driven one of these and have a mind to turn up and have a go. Will I need my driving licence? So different from our traditional push along hand one, bought second hand some 32 years ago for £5.00 and still going well.

A picture thought I am sharing ...

Photograph of one of the many and varied sunflowers in our front garden. Picture taken by Martha with her phone. Must take more pictures of these lovely flowers, some grown from last year's sunflowers. Those were from seeds given away at Hampton Court flower show.

Friday, 22 July 2011


Hello folks,

Just a quick pop in here to say that the change of font is so the blog is easier to read, thought however pretty the previous type face was it didn't make giving links easy.

So what else has been happening. At doctor's yesterday, given an appointment for that morning with choice of doctor too. Fortunately chose to see doctor who specializes in lung problems, as usual at practice treated so well and have come away with steroids and antibiotics. After reading the possible side effects of the steroids I can be as loopy and spaced out as I like whilst blaming it on the drugs. Instructions didn't say no red wine so able to enjoy the same with a lovely Spanish style meal yesterday organised by daughter. Without going downstairs to check the feast included some lovely cheese, walnuts, a kind of quince jelly, lots of different meats too.

It was a productive day for knitting. As I'm not infectious (did check with doctor), went off to knitting group at Mrs Moon where ribbing for second sock completed and now working my way down to the heel. Much knitting was achieved at Home Group in the evening too.

Met a member of Home Group on way to collect paper this morning, we were comparing our life styles. This couple have very set routines, Thursday big weekly grocery shop, Tuesday meet friends for coffee and maybe a visit somewhere, then two days spent as volunteers at a charity.

We are so different, there is no pattern to our week really, apart from Sundays. Even that has changed as Ian has OU courses for three Sundays this month. We never shop regularly, it is a case of shopping when we need stuff, mainly at Waitrose but sometime very big Sainsbury's trying to avoid the crowds at weekends.
At  local studies I turn up on different days too, as this week I have given a couple of talks about Breathe Easy at Pulmonary rehab courses so haven't yet been to library. If the weather is good we may consider a trip out very much at the last minute, say a train trip to the coast, weather and Ian's studies have precluded this recently.

Now, will sign off, last of the washing to be pegged out. Yes, I know it it not Monday (a wet day this week) but there you go! All part of my philosophy of seizing the day, living in the present, going with the flow and trying to relax. Those who know me of old will appreciate how difficult that is for me.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

100 posts later

Well I have spent much of this afternoon attempting to learn how to transfer photos taken with my iPad onto this blog. So, have decided to chat away and then, using my laptop, will add some pictures. That means there may be not be a picture of the broken Knit Pro needles with the second pink sock on them. Second time these needles have broken, Ian attempted to repair the first ones but they are so fine, 2.5mm so repairs didn't quite work.

These are the needles that broke,I was pulling the yarn very tight so there is no ladder where I switch from one needle to the other. Having looked at Ravelry I gather this is a common problem with this size needle.

Dear daughter couldn't work out either how to use the pictures I have taken with my iPod, she set up Flikr and Tumblr for me. No success there either. Am giving up as if daughter with IT background cannot fathom this, no one can.

Have switched to my trusty old lap top now so you will have some pictures, but firstly I cannot resist posting this about Anchorage Public library.

Readers have been asked to knit or crochet hats to put on the busts and statues of authors to celebrate 25 years of Loussac library. The hats will go to charity afterwards, what a lovely idea.

Whilst we were away I was thinking about the whole business of packing up and going away even for just a few days. Sometimes is it worth it? Finding and deciding which cases to use; what to take and what to wear; domestic planning involving food whereby one runs down fresh stores but leaves enough for a meal on return. Then there is house security, especially with all the building work going on around us.

In the past we have frequently forgotten important items, when we went annually to Solihull the visit to John Lewis was not only because we liked that branch of the store but because we'd omitted to pack something. This time we forgot to pick up the vouchers for our prepaid newspaper so frantic texting to daughter asking her to use them so we could catch up on our return. We do have the paper downloaded onto iPad but the articles are selective, especially at weekends.

This time nothing else as such was left out but I didn't feel Ian had chosen the right shirts for a party, they were well enough, not garish, not old or the wrong colours but just not right. Think office wear, safe and boring. So a trip to the shops, fortunately Austin Reed had a sale so we came away with two shirts, one long sleeved and one short, a jumper and two pairs of colourful socks. Beautifully made shirts, I like the short sleeved one, firm fabric with good facings too. Haven't a picture of himself wearing it but will try.

Another factor about going away by car is that we always leave far later than we intended. This time we were  away on the Friday, I would have preferred to pack the preceding evening but was advised it would be better in the morning. It wasn't, even if we had a more up to date weather forecast. No discipline of a check in meant an unpleasant journey down M3, heavy traffic and gusty winds.

It was worth it this time, the party was very good and so was the hotel so we ate and slept well, met up with other relations on our way home but once home there was unpacking and laundry piling up. No other trips away are planned, happy about that, I love our home and we are so near the tourist hot spots.

Just in case you were wondering, we stayed in room 9 at Wood Lodge Hotel in Bournemouth.  Recommended.

Not a usual blog, just my thoughts on stuff in July, realise that we are all so different. Seem to have stopped taking pictures, must do so even if it is just our view of the building works next door. this was the view on 12th July.