Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Today I put some work up for sale on Red Bubble (see links in sidebar). I actually joined back in October but never got around to uploading large enough images for them to actually be sold. I don't have any great expectations of selling anything but it's worth a try...!

Today has flown by. I rushed around like a mad thing this morning tidying the house then did some photo editing/uploading before going off to RDA. This evening was spent cooking, washing up and ironing - yuck. Phil is away over night.

We had an earthquake here in the UK last night...I slept through it! The last time we had one, Phil was away and I awoke to find the wardrobe shaking. In my groggy, barely-awake state, I assumed it was a poltergeist. I lay there very still and afraid until sleep over took me again. I felt very foolish in the morning and decided not to mention my nocturnal visitor. On the way to school I met up with some friends. "Did you feel the earthquake?" they asked. "Oh was it an earthquake?" I replied. "Thank God for that, I thought it was a poltergeist. They all seemed to find that VERY amusing!!

On a course for the next two days so I'm off for an early-ish night :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

These photos of Sonoma County Fair were taken back in summer 2007. I had another photo for today but it was a bit depressing, and I've had such a happy day.....Nothing very special happened but work was so satisfying today. It was one of those days when we all felt like a real team...not just work colleagues but people who really care about and support one another.

Both these photos transport me back to a really glorious day. I took dozens of photos of the colourful fairground; everywhere I looked there was something that caught my eye.

The weekend was good too. Sad, as we were saying goodbye to Phil's sister who is emigrating to New Zealand with her family and we won't see them for a very long time. Happy because we had a family party for them which was a lot of fun!

Yesterday the Wildcat and her husband took me to the FOCUS photographic show in Birmingham. We had a great day out. We met up with some other friends from the Corner. In the afternoon we had front row seats for a talk from photographer Joe Cornish..Phil knows him from workshops and Joe was kind enough to go to Phil's exhibition. He is a wonderfully inspiring man with a very spiritual attitude to life and his art.

I also got to see CH but only briefly...we need to "do lunch" sometime soon!!

On a less exalted note, I bought myself a lens...the Nikon 50mm f1.8. It's supposed to be a great portrait lens. My first prime lens and the first I've ever bought for myself :)

I'm getting excited as I'm helping Andy photograph another wedding on Saturday!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Catblogging Friday...and here's Basil in his shameless pose!

I got this from Susan, the Blissful Artist. Give it a try if you feel like it; one word answers only though!

One Word
1. Where is your cell phone? kitchen
2. Your significant other? talented
3. Your hair? clean
4. Your mother? deceased
5. Your father? deceased
6. Your favorite thing? home
7. Your dream last night? weird
8. Your favorite drink? coffee
9. Your dream/goal? photography
10. The room you’re in? study
11. Your ex? which?
12. Your fear? bereavement
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? here
14. Where were you last night? home
15. What you’re not? thin
16. Muffins? fresh
17. One of your wish list items? lens
18. Where you grew up? England
19. The last thing you did? dinner
20. What are you wearing? boots
21. Your TV? on
22. Your pet? cats
23. Your computer? lifeline
24. Your life? wonderful :)
25. Your mood? happy
26. Missing someone? parents
27 Your car? practical
28. Something you’re not wearing? makeup
29. Favorite Store? Tiffany's
30. Your summer? Californian
31. Like someone? ANISA
32. Your favorite color? blue
33. When is the last time you laughed? today
34. Last time you cried? yesterday

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I took this photo in Delamere on Sunday. Such a beautiful day....! There have been so many lately, to say nothing of glorious sunrises and sunsets.

Somebody told me recently I have a wonderful life (you wise friend, AS!) She's right but I haven't realised it as often as I should have in recent years. It's a very ordinary life, it's a small life, not remarkable in any obvious way, but yes, it is wonderful. I am appreciating the many wonderful things in my life more and more every day.

I had some news of a friend which was shocking and worrying. It made me really think about what's important in life and how much I take for granted and am not ever grateful for. I spend so much time fretting over the bad stuff I scarcely take time to notice all the good...It made me think of how I would view my life if I was in my friend's shoes right now (and I could be, who knows, one day.)

Some great things happened to me today. My hairdresser told me that every single time my daughter Sian is in the salon getting a haircut, another client will comment on how lovely/sweet/friendly she is! Every single time...I was so proud and happy. I also got my hair washed by Tracy, best hairwasher in the business...she makes you feel great all over with her magic fingers! My cat Shea came for a long cuddle while I was drinking my coffee and reading in bed this morning. At the stables, my favourite horse Bruno blew on me, steamed up my glasses, then rested his nose on my shoulder and closed his eyes :) I made a batch of flapjacks and for once didn't forget they were in the oven and burn them. A new charm I'd ordered for my Italian charm bracelet arrived (it's a laughing buddha) and it's beautiful.

That's MY day...hope yours is full of good things too!

Monday, February 18, 2008

I work in West Kirby and during my lunch breaks I like to walk around the Marine Lake. This can be hazardous at times as sometimes the waves come over the walkway. the walk takes me around 45minutes which is just right for my lunch time. I love the fresh sea air and the scenery. You often see sailors and windsurfers enjoying the lake too.

Click HERE for a webcam of the Marine Lake; between 1.30 and 2.30 you might see me!!

Daniel Craig went to school in West Kirby!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Well, I think I finally "made it" I am on the cover of TIME magazine. Thanks to Akelamalu who made it all possible!

Friday, February 15, 2008

This first photo is of moss in an alpine garden in Ness. The one below is yet another cactus!!

Kind Fives - I've been taged by Claudia at Everyday Kindness

1. List five kind things you for yourself. List five kind things you for your closest friend, partner or child. List five kind things you have done for a stranger.

2. Tag five people.

Easy, right?

Five kind things things I do for myself:

1. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes every day.

2. Forgive myself when I make a mistake.

3. Try to live in the moment.

4. I don't dwell on negative thoughts.

5. I allow myself to be creative - blogging, taking photos, gardening, whatever.

Five kind things I do for my closest friend, partner, or child:

1. I make my family's dinner every day. And we all sit around the table to eat.

2. I always say "I love you" to Phil and the girls several times a day.

3. I pay sincere compliments.

4. I tell Phil I miss him whenever we are apart.

5. I try to get Phil to believe in himself more.

Five kind things I have done for strangers:

1. I volunteer one afternoon a week (although this is such fun it should be in the first section)

2. I pick up litter in our neighbourhood.

3. I'm a considerate driver.

4. I do my best to encourage other photographers on the Corner.

5. I try not to gossip (a work in progress, this one!)

I tag: anyone who fancies doing it!
This was quite an eye-opener for me. It really struck home that I'm probably nicer to strangers than I am to my own husband and yet I love him dearly. Here are 5 things he does for me and that I'm VERY grateful for!

  1. He makes me coffee every single morning.
  2. He always cleans out the cats' litter box.
  3. He washes dishes every night.
  4. He takes care of all the bills.
  5. He washes my car.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

To Phil, on Valentine's Day.
The Book of Love

The book of love is long and boring
No one can lift the damn thing
It's full of charts and facts and figures and instructions for dancing
But I
I love it when you read to me
And you
You can read me anything
The book of love has music in it
In fact that's where music comes from
Some of it is just transcendental
Some of it is just really dumb
But I
I love it when you sing to me
And you
You can sing me anything
The book of love is long and boring
And written very long ago
It's full of flowers and heart-shaped boxes
And things we're all too young to know
But I
I love it when you give me things
And you
You ought to give me wedding rings
And I
I love it when you give me things
And you
You ought to give me wedding rings
And I
I love it when you give me things
And you
You ought to give me wedding rings
You ought to give me wedding rings

sung by Peter Gabriel

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The girls and I met up with Phil today for lunch at our favourite pub (see above and below) It's not exactly close to home nor is the food cheap so we don't go often, but it is very close to the Eaton Estate so a good place to meet when Phil is there working. We had a lovely meal and it was good to have the family all together again even if only for a short time.

The weather continues to be brilliantly sunny and I'm awestruck at the beauty of the surrounding countryside. We are having a great half-term holiday.

I have just finished a brilliant book, "Notes on an exhibition" by Patrick Gale. I started it yesterday before we went out shopping and at intervals during the day it kept enticing me back! Finished it in bed this morning :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

More from the cacti house at Ness...this succulent had such delicate flowers...

I've been tagged by Dianne for the "Six Quirks" meme. You really should visit Dianne; she is a very talented writer and fellow cat lover. The meme is simple - just list six quirky things about yourself. I'm not tagging anyone in particular but folks, please feel free to post your own list as I'd love to know six quirky things about you all!
My 6 Quirks - and it was quite hard to limit it to only six...!

1 - I always say "Hello Mister Magpie" whenever I see a solitary magpie....
2 - The milk must go in after the tea or I'm positive it tastes wrong.
3 - I am incapable of draining a cup of tea or coffee...I always leave about an inch and I have no idea why I have to do this.
4 - I can't eat cherry tomatoes whole; they need to be cut in half before they go in my mouth. There is something about the way they go "pop" if you eat them whole that makes me think of eyeballs. I'm a bit like that with grapes too....
5 - I read the end of books I'm really enjoying in case I die before I reach the end and never find out what happened.
6 - I can't wrap gifts to save my life...when I do, it always looks like a 3 year old was let loose with gift wrap and sellotape!

Another cactus pic! I loved the regular, uniform placing of the spikes on this one.

I'm off to Chester shopping with the girls...

Monday, February 11, 2008

What a wonderful day
...we had yesterday! The dinner turned out well, my guests were most appreciative and as the weather was so nice we went to Ness Gardens again in the afternoon and took loads of photos. The first one is part of a monkey puzzle tree. I liked the way it seemed to be reaching towards the light!

We also spent ages in the cactus house. Griff called this the "tartan cactus" as it doesn't have any spines but instead has a subtle tartan pattern on its surface.

I happened to look up as we were walking past some buildings and saw all the lumps of moss on this roof. Such a vivid green, and so regular it was as if they'd been arranged there.

Phil is at Eaton this week but will be popping home occasionally. And it's half term, hurray, the girls are off school and I'm (mostly!) off work. Today Sian and I went to aerobics and swimming.It's the most beautiful spring day here...

Saturday, February 09, 2008

I had a lovely surprise this morning - a parcel from America! When I opened it up I found a beautiful fabric postcard from my incredibly talented friend Susan over at the BLISSFUL ARTIST. I just stared at it, hardly able to believe it was mine! It's absolutely gorgeous. The colours, the textures, the! Thank you so much, Susan!

And the back (photo above!) is just as beautiful. I have decided this perfect object will have a permanent place on my living room mantlepiece - the colours go so well in that room and it will be there in full view for all our friends and family to admire and enjoy.

Can you see the little heart charm on the lace border above? I wish my photos were better but I was in a big hurry to get them on my blog and show off my present as quickly as possible!

Phil and Kate have gone off to the football and I've been busy baking as we have guests for Sunday dinner tomorrow. I've made sticky toffee pudding and cranberry & lemon crunch squares so far. Soon I'll be taking Sian riding and then we are all meeting up at my in-laws for supper. just a lovely Saturday, in fact...and it's SUNNY!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

For C, two years ago today - remembered with love.

I love my home...I love being at home!

Wednesday mornings are just about the only times I have time to myself in my home. I work Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, the weekends other people are around, Monday I go to the gym and aerobics and the supermarket, Wednesday afternoons is Riding for the Disabled time. But I relish time alone in my house and garden. I love being here.

I haven't done anything very exciting this morning. I have been scrubbing mould off the shower cubicle in our bathroom with an old toothbrush. then a bit of wedding in the garden, sorting laundry, Hoovering, dusting, cleaning the girls bathroom. Then a bowl of homemade soup and off to RDA. Phil missed out on the pancakes yesterday so I'll mix up some extra batter for him tonight!

I managed to read this month's reading group choice(Frankie & Stankie by Barbara MUST read it!!) in spare minutes today. It was good, but thank goodness I'm a fast reader - I always leave the "set book" to the last minute!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Happy Shrove Tuesday to everyone! hope you all enjoyed your pancakes! the girls and I managed to put away a fair number without any help from Phil, who was in London.

Lent starts here; I always try to give up something just to prove I have some willpower and it's usually chocolate. I failed miserably last year at about day 3 so here's hoping I'll do better this time! I'm also going to give up BISCUITS...I don't really even LIKE biscuits but I eat them because they are there.

So, I'm giving up chocolate and biscuits. I've told you all so now I've got to stick to it!! Time for a quick walk after all those pancakes I think...

Monday, February 04, 2008

It's great to have Phil home. The house feels "right" again. We had a great Sunday dinner last night; full of conversation and laughter.

I took this photo in the cactus house at Ness Gardens. I'm very fond of cacti.

My Helsby friends and I have just signed up for this year's Race for Life in aid of Cancer Research UK. Time to start training...

I have joined the Everyday Kindness Blog roll (see sidebar!) The idea is to try to do one small act of kindness every day. It can be as simple as letting someone take your place in a queue, smiling at someone in the street...

Friday, February 01, 2008

There is no sign here of the snow that has fallen in much of the UK today so here's a photo of some snowdrops instead! Not in my garden, sadly, I just planted three clumps earlier this week and they've not had a chance to spread yet!!

It was so windy last night and with all the creaks and moans about my attic bedroom I didn't sleep very well. It's supposed to get chilly tonight so another hotwater bottle will be accompanying me to bed. It was very gusty down on the shore at West Kirby this lunchtime; I feel like my face was sandblasted by all the windbourne sand blowing off the shore.

I just finished reading "Plain Truth"by Jodi Picoult and enjoyed it, especially all the details about the Amish way of life.

Well, I'm off to get a load of laundry on, wash the dishes and tidy up then hopefully I can be sat down watching a DVD before 8 pm!