Friday, July 20, 2007

Basil relaxes on the computer chair...

Happy catblogging Friday! This will be my last post before our holiday. I hope to make the occasional blog entry while I'm away and maybe even visit a few blogs - but if I can't comment as much as usual I hope you'll understand and I'll catch up when I get back! I'll miss you all lots...don't forget me entirely!
Take care, everyone.
Julie xxxx

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Another photo from my night at the Royal Exchange Theatre....

As you can imagine, I'm busy preparing for the holiday. Yesterday was haircut day! I remember when it cost about £1.50 for the girls to have their baby wisps trimmed ...not any more! I had not realised the sheer COST of maintaining my two beautiful daughters in the cosmetic/beauty line...and they are already NATURALLY beautiful!

I have got all my packing pretty much done; just throwing last minute stuff in the suitcase. The cameras are packed too. These last couple of days are really dragging yet I know once we are away time will zip along.

Last night we went to see the new Harry Potter, using our ORANGE WEDNESDAY vouchers; really is a good scheme so thanks, Orange. We enjoyed the film a lot.

Well, off to work I go...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sunday, July 15, 2007

It's been quite a busy weekend.This first photo is a really BAD picture but it's still an important one to me. It shows S on Holly, ready for her first riding lesson since she fell off last week. She was really anxious but she insisted on riding, and chose Holly, just about the biggest of the horses available for her to ride. They had a good time and I'm so proud of her. K even came along to support her little sister - which meant a lot to S and to me, too.

We had the Wildcat and family around yesterday; it's been a while since we all got together and it was great. I cooked a roast dinner and almost everything was eaten; I love to see my cooking devoured. A highlight was seeing my flexible friend playing TWISTER with the kids; unfortunately I was not allowed to take pictures or my blog today would have been much more entertaining! All I can say is that we all saw her from many new angles :)

The flowers are from a beautiful bunch she gave me yesterday.

In the evening I went out for a drink with the Coven; always good to see them all.

I have started packing!! I think this week is going to drag!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

After seeing Anna's pics of Venice and the washing hanging out to dry, I remembered some of my photos...the bottom shot is Venice itself, the top one one of the islands on the lagoon. Looking at these pictures I can remember the wonderful sunshine and the warmth. Yesterday it rained almost the whole day. J and I went for a long rained. I did rained. I went out for another rained some more. It has been varied though....between heavy rain and really heavy rain. I am getting seriously anxious that I won't be able to cut my lawn before we go away!

At least today it's been sunny. P is off in Wales taking photos with his friend and I took the girls shopping this morning along with the usual chores. Now it's off to riding with S. Hope everyone is having a great Saturday.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Catblogging Friday rolls around again! Here are "the boys" Basil and Shea tucking into their breakfast.

Another busy couple of days. On Wednesday I was at a conference and yesterday was a very long and hectic day at work which started with me talking to a school about the summer reading challenge and finished with a "Friends of the Library" event. But I have today off...hurray!

One of the sessions at the conference was on creating a blog! I have just started one for the library and am going to use it for promotional purposes and of a record of all we do at work.I am planning on adding some more links etc to it at some point today.

Hope everyone has a great day and I hope to get caught up on all your blogs ASAP!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I've been given this great award from Ruth!
I quote:-

"Schmoozing is the natural ability “to converse casually, especially in order to gain an advantage or make a social connection.” Good schmoozers effortlessly weave their way in and out of the blogsphere, leaving friendly trails and smiles, happily making new friends along the way. They don’t limit their visits to only the rich and successful, but spend some time to say hello to new blogs as well. They are the ones who engage others in meaningful conversations, refusing to let it end at a mere hello - all the while fostering a sense of closeness and friendship".

Thanks, Ruth, I really appreciate this. I really enjoy visiting all my blogfriends!
I'm going to nominate Jo-ann
and JAM

Some readers may remember that we have been re-doing K's bedroom for her. Well, it's just about finished...her pictures still need to go up and a shelf too, but I hope you agree it's looking much better! now she just needs to keep it tidy! The first two shots so the "before" bedroom; the second two the "after".
What a lot of stuff she has.....!

Now after complete redecoration, new furniture and radical de-junking.....

I still need to get her a new computer chair and have her rug cleaned, then it's all done!

Monday, July 09, 2007

I feel terribly guilty because when I was helping out at RDA on Wednesday, my rider fell off.

It was the last ride of the morning and I was leading Drummer; who's a big piebald cob about 15.3 hands high. He's quite young, very gentle, and was used for carriage work before he came to the school. He's a real gentle giant - steady, good in traffic, reliable. Anyway, as we turned a corner (fortunately we were in the indoor school as it was raining) something spooked him and he just reared - or reared as high as he could with me hanging off his head! It all happened so fast. I heard Peter (my rider) scream, then there were awful thuds as Drummer's front hooves hit the ground, along with poor Peter.Somehow I managed to hold onto Drummer who was terrified. Our instructor told me to lead him away while she and Peter's carer examined Peter. I was so thankful to see him get to his feet. Next thing he was approaching us, our instructor wanted him to pat Drummer. Before I knew what was happening he was hugging me and reassuring me that all was ok! Then he patted Drummer and told us he wanted to get back on. None of us had expected that. With the instructor and ride leader as side walkers he completed the session. He was so brave. At the end I had another big hig, a kiss and a thimbs up sign as he left.

Peter is in his 50s, I guess, with learning difficulties. And such courage, kindness and understanding. I am so lucky to get the chance to work with Peter and the other RDA pupils. They have taught me so much. The horses too...who behave so differently with their "special" riders. Everyone has told me it wasn't my fault, that horses can spook at the smallest things sometimes...but I still feel I let brave Peter down.

S had her first fall yesterday and I was at work - not there for her :( More guilt! She fell off Peanut. He was trying to run out at a jump; S wouldn't let him and instead he jumped the block that the poles were resting on - a big leap. She almost stayed on but not quite! But she got right back on and cleared the jump successfully. I'm so proud of her too.

K fainted yesterday. P and I were terrified. I think it was heat, lack of food - anyway, she seems ok but she cut her chin when she fell. I experienced such fear when I saw her fall. P was feeling so bad that he didn't move quick enough to catch her.

My friend is ill but I am struggling to find a big enough gap in my pre-holiday frenzied schedule to get to see her again.I don't want to let her down...

I guess guilt is part of life...maybe.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Today it finally brightened up but it was still windy, so instead of braving the gales around the Marine Lake I took a walk in Ashton Park. This charming park is a hidden jewel of West Kirby. It's always a delight to wander around it. Beside the park runs a coastal footpath called the Wirral Way. Under one of the bridges crossing over the path I saw these two examples of graffiti which really appealed to me.

Also in the park, I came across a book lying on a bench, sealed in a plastic bag. I was delighted to see it was a book someone had released for BOOKCROSSING. It's a P G Wodehoue story I've not read so I'm going to take it to the US with me and release it over there! It will be fun to see what happens to it as I can check its progress on the website. Bookcrossing is a great idea; why not check out the website and release one of your books into the wild?

Tonight I'm off out with part of the Helsby Coven for a "Cruise Night" at the Forest Hills.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Today was S's birthday celebration with her friends.
We all went to Bella Pasta and then the girls went to see "Shrek the Third" then it was back to our house for a sleepover. I think S had a good time! I took this pic of a wine bottle on our table. I liked the contast in textures. P and K were complaining that "people were staring" at me taking a photo of a wine bottle! Then they were jiggling the table! Some people, hey...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

I went to visit T in Leeds a couple of weeks ago; we went to Hull for the day and on the way back decided to drive into town to visit Pizza Hut. I was stressed about parking in town but we managed to find a great parking space and just opposite I spotted this great building. It's been such a busy week for me this week I've struggled to take any pics but remembered these two from my (recent)archives.

The second shot is of a friend's hands. It was actually a photo that included her face but like me she is camera shy - so although she looks great and there is a wonderful look of concentration on her face; I've cropped it to just show her hands as she takes a photo with her phone camera.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th July to my American friends!

These photos aren't new but I'm posting them today because it's a special date in the US. The top one is a view of Yosemite, taken three years ago on our first visit to California. Like everyone who goes there we were overwhelmed by the beauty of the place and looking at this photo brings back so many wonderful memories.

The second picture was taken the following year when our California friends came over to see us. It was taken on a trip to Edinburgh in July, when it was as rainy, cold and windy as November (or indeed this July!) They never let the bad weather get them down and were as great guests as they were hosts. Here they are, huddled under umbrellas, looking up at the Edinburgh scenery.

I can't wait to see them again. We all miss them so much. I hope they, and my other American friends have a wonderful 4th July.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

On the Marine Lake......

If love were what the rose is,

And I were like the leaf,

Our lives would grow together

In sad or singing weather,

Blown fields or flowerful closes,

Green pleasure or gray grief;

If love were what the rose is,

And I were like the leaf.


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

I took my camera with me to the theatre as it's such a special building. The actual theatre is built in the round with several galleries - a futuristic metal structure. Right above is this glorious skylight. Yes, it was actually SUNNY in on Friday evening.....hard to believe, I know.

We got some really heavy bursts of rain yesterday. I can't remember such a wet June before. Lets hope July is better!

The attempted terrorism attacks here in the UK have terrified me. I try to be brave but they do scare me. Especially as P goes to London all the time and we are flying soon...

I'll pray for courage and for and end to terrorism.

Anyway, welcome to July everyone and have a lovely Sunday!