Friday, August 29, 2008

Two photographs of The Crescent in Bath; both of which fail to show its beauty and symmetry - but hey, I tried!!

I just returned from having one of those necessary but undignified female tests and I also got a treat; my blood pressure was checked! I LOVE having my blood pressure checked; that feeling when the cuff tightens around your arm is the best. I always get funny looks when I say this... :)

The good news is my blood pressure is excellent which really cheered me up. It has always been on the low side but i live in fear that one day it will shoot up. However it hasn't -yet!

Apparently we are due a mini-heatwave tomorrow. The only Saturday I'm working this summer and it's going to be hot! Typical...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Christmas is coming!

Today Sian and I went shopping to Liverpool. Since we discovered an easy and cheap(ish!) way to get into the city we've been going more often. Sian wanted to get some stuff at Primark and we went there first, after a small digression up Castle Street (Memory Lane for me) where I showed her the office building where I worked on my first job 30 years ago!

I could not believe my eyes when I saw the above display in Primark, and risking being arrested as a possible terrorist, I got out my compact and took this photo to put on my blog. It's a CHRISTMAS DISPLAY. There are SANTAS and SNOWMEN. But it is (and I checked) still AUGUST. I feel a Quiet Rage - type rant coming on!

It's bad enough that in the UK you start seeing "Back to School" promotions in shops before the six week summer holiday has even started! Or that you can't buy summer clothes in the shops after early July without rooting through crowded and confusing SALE racks because the autumn/winter ranges are all on display. I hate the way the minute the New Year celebrations are over Easter eggs appear in the supermarket to say nothing of Valentine's Day cards and gift suggestions. But to see displays of Christmas decorations in AUGUST is taking the bloomin' you-know-what! I'm outraged! Christmas starts earlier and earlier these days - I really wish it was illegal to start with the Christmas hype before December 1st. I adore Christmas but the past few years I've found myself getting bored with it long before the day itself actually arrives. The "Festive Season" seems to start sometime in late September and wears itself out long before December 25th in my opinion....Maybe I should start a campaign to restrict "Christmas" to December!
Rant over...

Apart from my horrific discovery in Primark, we had a great time. Sian was thrilled to see the Everton Mascot on Lord Street. I am so going to miss my girls when they are back at school!

The building with the coloured pipes outside it is Costa Coffee in Liverpool One. I have been trying to get a photo of it for a while now. This was taken with the compact but I've finally got a composition I'm happy with - so i may revisit it with the D80 sometime.

Let me be the very first to wish you all "Merry Christmas" for 2008 .....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


We had a lovely Bank Holiday Monday with Phil's family. The sun shone most of the day but Phil ended up BBQ-ing in the garage AGAIN as it got very windy and grey. But the meal was wonderful :)
In the evening the girls went to bed by nine and it was just me & the old days when the kids were small! We watched an interesting drama about Albert Pierrepoint. I read his autobiography many years ago and was curious to see how he was portrayed by Timothy Spall. I will be thinking about it for a long time, I'm sure. The abiding feeling I'm left with is that very little in life is black and white - just infinite shades of grey.
I was feeling quite sombre this morning, still thinking about the issues the drama had raised in my mind...but then Phil called to telll me that we have got a booking for a wedding we bid for over the weekend, for one of Phil's work colleagues. It was the first time we had put together a bid and I am thrilled it's been accepted!!!
It's the last full week of the summer holidays and I'm making the most of it as I will miss my girls so much when they go back to school!

Monday, August 25, 2008

This is a garden ornament I spotted whilst on holiday. I'm sort of regretting I didn't buy it!

We have had a busy couple of days doing up Sian's bedroom. We finished it yesterday after a trip to IKEA and then a long time spent putting the furniture together. It looks great (I must take some photos!) and Sian is thrilled with it.

Today is a holiday and we've invited Phil's family over. Of course this means a ton of house cleaning, cooking, etc to get ready for it! I'm not feeling 100% either today :( I woke in the night with stomach pains and I'm still not right.

The Olympics finished yesterday and already the moaning and griping about 2012 and the London Olympics has started. There has been widespread criticism about London's handover segment looking "cheap" whilst at the same time complaints about the cost to the taxpayer about the Olympics itself. It seems you can't win - you either look cheap OR you get accused of overspending. I thought it was ok myself. Not sure I could have done any better!

Like it or not, the Olympics are coming to London. I think we should focus on the positive things this will bring our country and we'll all be a lot happier. Except for the people who are much happier having a good old moan!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A bench in Stourhead - a great place to sit and dream....what do you think?

Friday, August 22, 2008

While in Bath we visited Sally Lunn's. This famous teashop serves the famous Sally Lunn buns. Hard to describe, they are very light and topped with a choice of flaoured butters. I had ginger, my inlaws had cinnamon and the girls had chocolate. After sampling everyone's bun, I decided cinnamon was the best option!

Below is a shot of the sign for the Pump Room in Bath.

In the post today I received the most beautiful sympathy card from Mrs Nesbitt. Thank you, Denise, it is lovely and the words are most comforting. I have no idea if the service for Karen has taken place yet, as the kind sister in law who has kept me informed whenever Karen was ill is away from her home and with the rest of the family right now.

It still hasn't sunk in that she has gone...

I just had a lovely time in Chester with Kate. Normally it's Sian and I who go off together so it was fun to spend time just with Kate. I treated her to some new make-up and even got the salesgirl to demonstrate the right colours and methods of application. I am so blessed in my two lovely daughters!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I was intrigued when I looked into this lily and saw what looked like miniature horseshoes inside! Aren't they pretty? I have no idea what type of lily this is.

Last week I plucked up courage to do something I haven't done for 15 years - I got fitted for some new bras. The only other time I ever got measured was after Kate was born. I visited a well known chain store as they have a good reputation for underwear and asked to be measured. This very sour-faced elderly lady pronounced me a 40A and handed me two incredibly ugly bras to try. I tried one and it gave me a sort of continuous roll that finished under my armpits instead of breasts - and I fled the fitting room in tears. Instead I estimated my bra size - I'd been a 36b before Kate was born so I reckoned I was now about a 38C and that was the size I wore until recently, when I bought a few bigger bras. But I never felt they did me any favours.

Anyway, I made an appointment at Bravissimo
in Chester as my current crop of bras were falling apart.... I was really nervous when I entered the shop and met Jackie, my fitter. She didn't use a tape measure, she just looked at me and then produced some bras for me to try. I soon stopped feeling awkward as I realised just what a difference a correctly fitted bra made to the way I looked! I even discovered the right way to put on my new bras! i'd made the common mistake of wearing bras too big in the back and too small in the cup! My boobs were no longer merging with my waist and tummy but were back where they belonged! I got quite a buzz to be told I had a great cleavage too!!

Their bras are really pretty too and not too terribly expensive.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

On the Monday of our week in Bath, we went to Stourhead.
We had a great time, although I forgot to put the picnic lunch in the car, leaving it instead resting peacefully on the kitchen table! the day threatened rain but as we walked around the lake the sun shone, despite the oppresive clouds. The views were stunning and this is one of my favourites.

And these are the last pigs...I promise!


The weather has been just awful these past few days and doesn't look as if it's about to change for the better any time soon. I try not to obsess about the weather but this summer has been so bad lately it's hard not to feel shortchanged on a bit of sunshine to tide us through the winter months. There's no denying a sunny day raises the spirits and I could do with that now!

I think I need to go and see "Mamma Mia" again!

Monday, August 18, 2008

More pigs...

Disco Pig


Pig of Paradise

Pigabyte (and friend!)

Pigasso (who is back after extensive repairs due to vandalism!)

I've had a busy couple of days: I find if I keep occupied I'm less likely to get tearful! Yesterday I attacked some bushes in the garden and started to clear a patch behind the garage which I hope will be my new vegetable garden. Today Sian & I went to aerobics and then to IKEA to choose some new bedroom furniture for her as we are are doing up her room. Then it was TESCO and back home! I got lost three times on the way to IKEA as normally Phil drives and the road layout has changed.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A contrast in textures...
Phil's commision from the Duchess finished yesterday. The girls and I met him for lunch and then he had got permission for us to walk around the gardens with him. It was a really lovely experience. We have been in the grounds on Open Days but it felt really special to have the place to ourselves (the family are away on holiday.)
It was a bittersweet day. It was good to be with Phil and to know that the week-long absences are at an end. It was sad to think the commission is over - he has so much enjoyed being able to do what he loves the most. And underlying everything is my sadness over Karen.
I am ok much of the day but at night my thoughts rush in, the same happens in the early mornings. My heart goes out to Karen's family who had to return home and face their home without Karen.
I am trying to get comfort from the knowledge that Karen is no longer suffering and that she is at peace. I have faith that one day I will meet her again. Karen gave me a bookmark which says "Distance cannot separate two hearts that really care". Karen and I have always been far apart in distance and yet we have always been so close. We are still close.
"Life has to end….love doesn’t.” - Mitch Albom

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Karen and Rick at their daughter's wedding.

My wonderful friend, Karen, has passed away peacefully. I can't believe that I will never hear her voice again. I was so incredibly lucky that I knew her.

Karen never judged me; she knew the best and the worst of me and she still loved me. I never had to pretend anything with her, or be anything but myself. Karen always understood. We were far apart in distance but never in spirit.

She was one of the best people I ever knew. I can't believe she has gone. I have to ask why? Why did she have to suffer so much, why did she have to die?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Photo is my mum in law, June, Sian & Kate.

We went to see Mamma Mia! today and all I can say is, if you haven't seen this amazing film yet, you must go! And I'll come with you. It was superb.

There was one song in particular that had me crying - there is a scene when the mother and daughter are preparing for the wedding and this song is played. It's one I haven't heard for years, certainly not since I had children, and it touched me very deeply. Both because of my two beautiful girls who are growing up so fast, and also because of K....who I fear is also "slipping through my fingers". Here are the lyrics and if you don't know the song, try to listen to it...

Schoolbag in hand, she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile
I watch her go with a surge of that well-known sadness
And I have to sit down for a while
The feeling that I'm losing her forever
And without really entering her world
I'm glad whenever I can share her laughter
That funny little girl

Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what's in her mind
Each time I think I'm close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time

Sleep in our eyes, her and me at the breakfast table
Barely awake, I let precious time go by
Then when she's gone there's that odd melancholy feeling
And a sense of guilt I can't deny
What happened to the wonderful adventures
The places I had planned for us to go
(Slipping through my fingers all the time)
Well, some of that we did but most we didn't
And why I just don't know

Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what's in her mind
Each time I think I'm close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time

Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture
And save it from the funny tricks of time
Slipping through my fingers

Slipping through my fingers all the time

Schoolbag in hand she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile

Songwriters: Ulvaeus, Bjorn; Andersson, Benny;

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The city of Bath, not to be outdone by other cities who have superlambbanana and decorative cows, have their Parade of Pigs. I had a lot of fun pig spotting but got nowhere near all one hundred pigs. But there are more to come...

Sky Blue Pig

Porc au Cirque

No 1 Pig

Peoples Pig and Piggery (in the background)

Pig in Prada

The news of my friend K in Canada is still not good. All positive thoughts and prayers for her would be most welcome. She has fought so often and come through against the odds.

I must photograph my birthday presents! I got some really nice things. One of my favourites is an indoor water feature. Phil's parents got me some Shalimar and a beautiful glass paperweight that sits on a little platform. In the platform are three coloured battery powered lights which change. They illuminate the glass and it looks so pretty. Trouble is, I find myself watching the colours change instead of the TV....I also was given a portfolio to display photos to potential clients, a book on the Nikon flash system and a miniature greenhouse which will come in very useful next spring!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The photo today is of a detail from a Georgian house in Bath.

I was awake early this morning and read for about an hour. Kate is doing "To kill a mockingbird" at school next term and I thought I'd re-read it so we could talk about it. I'm enjoying it so much I'm wondering if I really have read it before or have I just ASSUMED I have because it's a classic and I've read most classic novels!! Of course I have also seen the film but the the writing is just amazing. I'm loving it.

After an early morning visit to Tesco I've been cleaning the house, making soup and doing a bit of gardening.

The weather is gloomy and matches my mood. I'm sad and worried. K is very, very sick.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

We got home from our holiday yesterday afternoon on my birthday (I'm now can this be? Inside I'm still favourite age ever.....although I think I look 57 LOL) In the evening Phil and I went to an evening wedding reception - as guests not as photographers which felt WEIRD!! I did enjoy it.

We had a great trip and I loved spending time with my inlaws but I missed Phil and the cats and my HOME! Next week I'm on "staycation" and I'm looking forward to that too.

I have a load of washing to do and get dry and it's bloody RAINING!! Plus photos to edit and quotes to prefer, gardening to do ....oh such a TON of STUFF!!

However I have caught up on most of my blog friends but as there were about 90 posts to read I wasn't able to comment much without committing the entire day to it. I missed you all though!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Self portrait...can you see me? :)

I'm off on my holidays for a week, back on August 9th. I won't have internet access while I'm away but will look forward to catching up with everyone's blogs when I return. Have a great week, folks! I'll miss you!!