Friday, August 31, 2007

I was so thrilled when Ruth gave me this award! Thanks so much, Ruth. I'm going to pass it on to Lori and to John. I really love Lori's blog because firstly it's full of horse photos and horse stories but also because Lori just a really special person. John's photos are spectacular and he writes so well too. It's always a pleasure to visit him.

It's catblogging Friday and i do actually have a cat photo! This is Basil, who is now allowed outdoors. He's really enjoying peering in the pond...Basil was really excited to receive his first ever postcard yesterday, from P's friend G who is visiting Colorado! He struggled to read it though, as G has terrible handwriting!!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thank you for your kind comments on my post yesterday. I wasn't at all sure I should say anything about how I was feeling - I often have this internal struggle about how frank and open my blog should be: I tend to keep a lot of stuff OUT of my daily postings in case it's misunderstood or misinterpreted or just comes over "wrong". In fact, shortly after I'd posted yesterday I went back to remove the post having had second thoughts but some people had already commented so I left it there.

I am a very "up and down" person emotionally - and right now I'm struggling with the "down" feelings. There are a few things that are really worrying me right now but my blog isn't the right place to discuss them. It just helps sometimes to say "I'm sad" as well as at other times wanting to be able to share all the happy times... One of the reasons I started my blog was to try to cope with my often out of control fears and worries. And to a large extent that's happened. I cope better now, thanks to my blog and the support and example of this blogging community.

There are people out there (and you may be one of them!) dealing with huge problems, pressing sadness, ill health...coping with courage and spirit and grace. I'm trying to deal with my own worries as well as you do.

I'm trying to be honest and I'm trying to do the right things. I fail, far too often. I have to keep trying.

I am so grateful for your comments. Thank you. Thank you!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I don't have anything to say today. I'm heartsick.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Joann has given me a lovely award for support and friendship to her blog...I'm really honoured! Joann has a wonderful blog that has really grown in popularity so if you've not yet checked her out why not pay her a visit today? Thanks again, Joann, for my award :)

We had a lovely day yesterday. We went to see the Red Arrows display at Hoylake with the Wildcat and family, then back to their home for a delicious BBQ and lots of good conversation. They are such special people and I feel lucky to know them! it wasn't a very nice day; it was positively ARCTIC by the coast. But now the Bank Holiday is over, I stop hoping for summer and any nice days are just a bonus.

Sorry, I'm not done uploading holiday photos yet!

This busker jumps out at unsuspecting tourists on Fishermans Wharf, just opposite Joe's Crab Shack. He gets some brilliant reactions! This time we saw a woman kick him...poor guy! It's the most novel busker I've ever seen.

Today I'm off to a garden centre to buy some stuff. Hope everyone has a good day.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Welcome to San Francisco! This is the view you get from the Larkspur Ferry as it comes into harbour.

In Japan Town, SF. What a wonderful name for a restaurant!

This machine was featured in The Princess Diaries with Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews...

I was tagged by Crows Feet Annonymous for the "Eight things you shouldn't say" meme. Leanne's "eight things" are phrases you should never use to your kids and well worth a read..anyway, here are mine.
1. "Actually, your bum DOES look big in that".
2. "It's not you, it's me....I just need a little space"
3. "Do as I say and not as I do!"
4. "Are you pregnant again or have you just put on weight?"
5. "I think we need to talk about our relationship..." (especially not at bedtime!)
6. "Did you keep the receipt?" (when someone gives you a present)
7. "Have you just farted?"
8. "Size matters..."

I'm not tagging anyone but feel free to take part!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

This is a photo from the Sonoma County Fair. I loved this figure...and there was such a good background behind her. It was one of the few shots I took that day that wasn't in brilliant sunshine and I think it's one of my favourite pictures of the trip.

We had good luck at the craft fair yesterday; despite truly terrible weather P sold 4 photos making over £120 and loads of people expressed an interest in the website so he may get more sales through that...he did last time.
This ride was such a jumble of colours, shapes and textures...I liked it a lot. I had the day almost to myself as S and D were busy going on rides and P, K and W had gone to the races; so it was just me and the Nikon.
Can you see all the Scooby-Doos hanging up for prizes? The people on these stalls were VERY persistant. I had to laugh when I walked past one stall and the guy said "Pay for the kids and I'll give YOU one for free"...very suggestively! I enjoyed my ride on the Big Wheel in the background. The song playing was Rhianna's "Umberella" and we all sang along to it the whole ride. Apparently as soon as that song ceased to be No 1 in the UK the heavy rain/flooding eased. Coincidence or what?

I like the line of canopies leading into the centre of the frame here and there are such well-placed members of the public too. It was such a glorious hot day. The sort of cloudless deep blue skies you so seldom see here in England. The colours were so riotous in the brilliant sunshine; I felt drunk on them.

I so wanted to buy an ice-cold dill pickle but somehow the time wasn't quite right!

Monday, August 20, 2007

These globe sculptures were all along the waterfront in Chicago. I wish I'd had more time to photograph all of them but these are a few of my favourites. They are all on a conservation type theme. I kept getting left behind as I stopped to study each one.

P had a meeting about the Westminster commission. The good news is they have insisted he come to S's wedding in October so I won't have to do the wedding photos on my own. Hooray! Now I can sleep again at night; it will be fun if it's a joint rather than a solo effort.

I have been busy ironing and doing housework today as tomorrow afternoon S and I are off to visit Talj in Leeds for a couple of days. I'm trying to forget I have a job evaluation interview tomorrow morning :(

I also managed to download and edit most of the photos from my Olympus compact and they are on Flickr now. I'm always so pleasantly surprised by the quality of pictures this little camera produces and the editing of them is much easier as they aren't RAW images.

Next weekend is a long one and I'm hoping to sort out the garden - it's looking terrible. Very overgrown and over-saturated.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The first parasol was taken in Japan Town, San Franciso. we had a lovely visit there with my friend's son as our guide. The second one I saw at the Sonoma County Fair. The shade was very welcome while I was waiting for the girls on the various rides!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I have been a bad blogger this week!I have been so busy re-adjusting to my "real" life and catching up on laundry etc, I've not had time to blog or edit any more photos from the holiday. The above pic is a shot of the big wheel at Navy Pier, Chicago, and the one below is the view from the wheel. We really enjoyed the ride and the sights from up here.
The last picture shows the contrast between old and new style architecture in Chicago. I hope to revisit this interesting city one day as we really barely scratched the surface. And we'd love to visit Mafia Wife and Family in Grande Rapids, Michigan, too!

Today we popped into Chester and met up with our lovely friend CH from the Corner for coffee. P had decided to cook American-style ribs and so we went to Lakeland for "Bone Sucking Sauce". This evening, after S's riding lesson, P's parents came round. P grilled in the garage as it was RAINING but the ribs turned out great; thanks Will for the instructions.
We have a craft fair in Hoylake tomorrow so I'm going to bed early.

Monday, August 13, 2007

I really enjoyed visiting Chicago! The weather was so good while we were there. There are some very striking buildings. The middle one here reminds me of the Chrysler Building, my all-time favourite slyscraper.
There were lots of flags flying on Navy Pier. We had a wonderful time when Mafia Wife and her family came to see us. We visited the aquarium, had lunch (with MW's incredible chocolate fudge for desert!) and then took a free trolley bus to Navy Pier. we just strolled along enjoying the sites. And of course taking photos! here is one of MW and Phil with their cameras.

I am slowly getting unpacked and laundry done. The cats are really thrilled to be home and want lots of attention. I'm getting gradually back into my old routine but missing my friends in the US so much.
I haven't had lots of time to look through my photos yet but will hopefully get a few more edited later today. But first...lunch!

We arrived home in the early hours of yesterday morning and I'm now in my usual post USA condition of severe jetlag and functioning at about half my normal capacity...which puts me about on a par with your average cabbage or similar vegetable! Our luggage decided it wasn't ready to return with us and spent an extra night in Chicago - who can blame it, it's an amazing city! It's only just returned home after taking a later flight. I'm supposed to be unpacking but just had to have a quick peak at my photos....

These are three views of a sculpture in Millenium Park, Chicago, I called it The Bean and as you can see I was fascinated by it. These were taken on our second day, it was wonderfully hot and sunny. We spent the afternoon at Wrigley Field watching the Cubbies play Arizona Diamondbacks. Not the most exciting game but good to see that historic ballpark.

It's hard to believe the holiday is over. I'm missing my Californian friends so much. On this trip I was also lucky enough to meet Mafia Wife and her lovely family who drove to Chicago to see us. We had a ball and she has two of the custest, funniest, most adorable little boys you could imagine.

I really MUST get some more washing on...back to the unpacking!