Saturday, 27 July 2013

Too Unbearably Cute

Cassie that is, not the royal corgis on the piles of royal tins in Marks and Spencer. She just is! I read an article on facebook the other day about dried catfood and other cat feeding related issues. It said how bad it was for them, how it is sprayed in 'liquid animal digest' to make it taste good, and how they are addicted to it. I am going to read up a little more, rather than taking one article at face value, but it was worrying stuff. I am no one to talk as I am not the healthiest eater a lot of the time, going for carbs over fruit more often than not. Bad Sarah! Just read this post of Suzi Blu's and it struck a chord. I think my problem is time. I tend to eat better in the holidays and actually cook sometimes too. When working I go for ease and the quick burst of energy you get from a chocolate biscuit. I should at least try a whole week without the bad stuff to see if I felt better. And coffee-I drink a few cups a day and I love it. But if I don't have one at night I wake up the next day with a headache as bad as any hangover. 

A painting of a dog I didn't buy, instead taking a surreptitious photo of it. I quite like it but I didn't want another painting with nowhere to hang it. I already have quite a few of those!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Last Day!

Yesterday was packing day in the nursery. I had to park up the road as some of the builders had got the space I sometimes get near school. As I walked down I saw this man watering the living wall on the community center. I want to make one of these at school next year.
 It was also the last day of my lovely Canadian colleague Cheryl. This year may have been a hard one in some ways, but it has been great working with her as she is a lovely person. Positive, funny and kind. I will miss her.
 Mr Tiger had to go too!
 Some of the quality furniture awaiting being transported to the new room. Can't wait for some new furniture!
 My empty room. I quite liked this room, but am glad to be getting one with toilets and sinks.
 The next teacher's possessions waiting.
I brought the petunias home in a bucket. It seemed a shame to leave them. I managed to give away all the tomato plants to children and parents. I brought the herbs home too but will take them back next year. A colleague took the courgettes. I am looking forward to developing the outside area next year. The new teacher is very into the outdoors and growing things, so at least that is one thing we have in common. But for now I am forgetting about work almost totally. The last two weeks have been taken up by a job that, although not really mine, I was 'delegated' to do by my line manager. It is something that I am quite glad I did, as I think I did it well, and got to do it my way. It took me a long time, including most of a Saturday, and half of last Sunday. I gave it in for final approval before committing it to the photocopier. I got it back, via someone else, and did not even get a thank you or a well done. It is not that I am desperate for praise. I am not, and in my school that is a good job as it is not very forthcoming. I am pretty self-motivated. It is not that that annoys me. It is the basic lack of courtesy. And the insensitivity to others feelings. It is not a one off and I am not the only person this happens to. I will be watching next year, and thinking. I am thinking about whether it is the best place for me anymore. I am sure it will be hard to leave if that is the decision I make, but it is something I have been thinking about a lot this year. So, holidays here I come! Stress goodbye! Rest hello!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Finished Picture and Evening Out

After the positive comments on my gypsy caravan picture I was encouraged to go back to it. I didn't do much more, just rubbed out some of the pencil lines to give it a cleaner edge and darkened the horse a bit. I have a nearly used up pot of gesso, which I am using to get a book ready to be a summer journal, so I spread a bit of that on the white paper background. Then I took some quotes from two books written by travellers, and wrote them in the background. I love writing with a nice implement on a good surface, and pencil on gessoed paper turned out to be just that experience.'

The evening out was with two current colleagues and one ex- colleague, and was lovely. The restaurant we went to is called The Stables and is in a big park in Bexley called Danson Park. My friend and I arrived first, and ordered a bottle of proscecco to share. The barman asked if I would like him to open it with a sword and of course I said yes. He then said words to the effect of ' What really?' I had believed that he had meant it when in fact he hadn't really. He had told me that this is the way the bottles are opened in Italy. However, because of my great interest in seeing this, he went off to fetch a sword very big knife, and set about preparing the bottle. He loosened the wire a little and then slightly re-tightened it a little lower down. He came around to my side of the bar. I was holding my glass ready and so was another member of staff as my friend had gone off to the toilet so was going to miss the spectacular results of him trying to do this. He made a flamboyant chopping motion towards the top of the bottle and the cork, but his wire must have been too tight and the top of the bottle broke off, spattering us all with fizz! I did get a glass of it, and he did get me another bottle. It was all very good natured and funny, and a great start to the evening!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Gypsy Caravan Drawing

Not at all sure about this one. I look at it and find myself thinking why am I bothering? Is it because I started so I should finish? I think I will leave it where it is and do something else! 
 Just set it up and take some photos instead!
 Photoshop didn't help.
 It would fall over if it came to life and the wheels wouldn't go round. In a very self critical mood today!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Playing and Proposing to Play

I work very much on a do the hard stuff then claim the reward type of system. Recently there has been a lot of hard stuff so I really do deserve it! My rewards are quite simple and cheap. One type of reward-most evenings, is my little bit of making time. It is a rare evening that I don't do a little bit of something, even if it is only one or two rows of crochet. Progress on projects is nowhere near as fast as I can think of them, but I do usually finish eventually. I only have a few unfinished things hanging around.
 Another reward is that of planning the next thing I will make. This stage can last a while. Currently, and not pictured here, I am planning another large drawing. I really liked doing the one for the tea party and having something to work on a little at a time. My next one is going to be of one of my Gypsy caravans, rescued from the shed, and awaiting being coupled with the china horse I bought the other day for this purpose. (Good excuse eh?!) China horses are not really my thing but I can't draw a horse from my head.

Linda Sue sent me a crochet skull pattern on facebook the other day. It was for a scarf. I don't have any yarn soft enough for that but I had just got some bargain aran cream yarn from (another) charity shop and so thought that pirate bunting might be fun. So far I have only made two skulls and one square so a bit of photoshop play was needed. Much quicker than the real thing!

 Free ship images from here. (Much appreciated!)
 The other bit of proposed play is turning these frilly lady lampshades into sparkling mini chandeliers. It is one of those projects I have seen lots of examples of around the internet and I wanted to make my own. I have a whole bag of lovely droplets, a bargain from Greenwich market a while back and they are at last going to be put to use.
I will have to get over my problem with destroying things though. I almost like them as they are but I can see them with jewels too. Maybe I should do one first to see how it turns out! They would make a good base for dolls as they are a ready made skirt, but I am not really doing dolls at the moment so chandeliers it will be.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013


In the virtual world I was at a tea party. In the real world I was having a very busy but good day. We got up early as Roger Tester the electrician was coming round to fix our bathroom fan. I love it when people have suitable names for their jobs. I also had lots of work to do (still!-They keep thinking up more and more things for us to do!). I had to go to the post office and the shops for cat food. When I came out of the shops I thought I would check my tyres. There was a programme on this week about dodgy car places and one of the items was about things stuck in your tyres. Good job I checked as there was a great big bent nail in one. (Nearside rear-I love little proper terms like that too so I can expertly (!) chat to the mechanics) I rang up a garage I have used before for the same thing and they could fix it within the hour. It took little time and only cost £17.50! And the electrician fixed our fan and our over cooker light all for a very reasonable price. Whilst waiting I had plenty to look at on the tastefully decorated garage walls.
After finishing my work I decided to have a little trip to Rochester. The beautiful weather we have been having continued and I had a fun hour or two pottering up and down the High Street.
Back at home, I saw that my friend had posted on Facebook that she was stuck at home and fed up as the weather was so lovely. So I rang her up and we decided to go to a park for coffee and cakes. We went to The Horniman Museum gardens which are lovely and up on top of a high hill with great views of London.
The cakes were tasty as well as pretty. Mine was the purple one-blueberry.
The view over London with the Shard visible. A wedding party in the bandstand and my friend waiting for me on the wall with her bad foot up!
It was busy but everyone was very relaxed, sitting around in groups and enjoying the sun.
Mini silver ware for the dolls houses which maybe I will do this summer. I say that every summer but you never know!
In the evening Andy alerted me to a mouse in the back room. He was clinging to a wire that just hangs there uselessly. This is on the windowsill and the window sill is behind my pile of 'stuff to sort' and therefore I couldn't get at him. Tiger and Cassie were transfixed. Tiger even managed to jump up on the windowsill once without falling off! As far as I know the mouse is still in there. I hope it may have escaped though.
Roll on next Saturday!

Friday, 12 July 2013

Time For Tea

Do you take lemon or milk? Sugar or honey? I like milk and no sugar, but I like the look of lemon and amber tea much more. It is time for tea at A Fanciful Twist today. The Mad Hatter and all his friends will be there. A few of those friends are here too, to offer tea and chat. They only arrived last night and preparations have all been very last minute. The Mad Hatter has been to Spain. The rabbits have multiplied. The mice sleep, or hide in teapots. Alice is drawn in the shadow of the clock which says that three is time for tea. So choose your teapot and take a sip, before clicking here to take a trip!
Are you still here? Oh no, no, no. Cassie says it's time to go!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Heron Post

On Friday morning last week, the postman rang the bell just as we were leaving for work. For once I couldn't remember ordering anything from anywhere, and it turned out I hadn't. Instead it was the giveaway prize I won from Anne the other day, for telling her something important that I had forgotten. Thanks Anne-it was a lovely surprise! I love the heron photo-a favourite bird we have in common. I love the card and the sheep stitch markers too. A pleasant start to Friday!

Monday, 8 July 2013

A Day Away

Last week was exhausting and stressful. Trips are fun but take so much preparation and are so full of worry. No matter how much fun it is, I am basically responsible for getting the children there and back again without mishap. If you have ever done a risk assessment for such a thing then you will know how many things can potentially go wrong! There have been all sorts of things going on at work, on a scale from annoying to upsetting. I wonder at how people make decisions that make absolutely no sense to me, then don't have an answer when asked why. I felt totally wrung out by Friday and could not go to a party that my friend was holding for some of the people leaving work, because I was exhausted and just did not want to become involved in any more work related conversations. Andy has had a similar week so we decided to get away on Saturday to Dungeness. (Again!) It was just the perfect cure for it all! We had fish and chips sitting on the beach with this view, a beautiful warm breeze and people to watch. Then I went for a walk with my camera to see what I could find while Andy lounged.
 Oh-before the walk with my camera we thought we would paddle as the sea was far out and the sand looked inviting. Last time we were here and the tide was out it was lovely to walk in. However, the sand was deceiving. Underneath the thin layer of sand was mud-as in the Bear Hunt mud-thick and oozy. By the time we had realized, it was too late! We couldn't go over it, we couldn't go under it, we just had to go through it!
 I managed to rinse some off in a little water, apart from my toes, which stayed mud caked all day-even when in the shop later! Andy has thrown his shoes away!
 Andy through my zoom.
 I saw a bee who thought that these egg sacs were a flower.
 I saw lots of waders-from afar-it took quite some time to get even these photos as it is so wobbly with the zoom-my knees were my tripod! After much research, actually involving a book, I think they are Bar Tailed Godwits.

 I love this one-he looks like a little old man.

 There was even an oyster catcher. I spotted him as the black stood out at a distance, so I zoomed in and there he was!
 This little dog found us and let me throw his tennis ball for him. 
 I played with the sand. If I had realized how bad it smelt I would not have bothered! I had to search for the eyeball stones.
 Shell bow tie.
 The last find of the day was by chance. I was looking at the wild flowers when I noticed something under this one.
 A large, mottled and mysterious egg. Softly buried in the mossy grass at the base of this flower. I think it might have been a Curlew egg. I don't know if it was abandoned or just unattended. 

 The lifeboat station was open. We had a look at the impressive boat, talked to the lady in the shop and bought a few things to support them. I can never believe that the lifeboat service is a charity and all the lifeboat crew are volunteers. The fact that we live on an island where sea accidents are a part of every day life and this is not government funded always amazes me.
 Last picture looking back towards the lighthouse with Derek Jarman's cottage in the foreground. There are always lots of people taking pictures of the house and garden but somehow to gawp like that at what is still someone's home just seems wrong to me.