Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Layouts and photos

I have been a bit lazy at uploading my photos and Layouts (couldnt be bothered to walk downstairs to collect the camera, how bad/sad is that?). But I have finally got round to it. My latest LO is for the sketch challenge at ATDML which amazingly for me Is managed to make from scratch in one evening, and that includes sorting all my stickers out!

Photos: My lovely Son-in-Law Ollie, hard at work in the garden.
cardstock: SU! Mellow moss
SU! Crossgrain ribbon
MME Bloom and Grow pp
MME Bloom and Grow flower corner stamp embossed with variety of powders
Stickers: variety left over from other stuff, I think the flowers were from a card kit free on a mag.
Rub ons: Some basic grey, and the stitched effect from the poundshop (all very old stash) Title cut using cricut from Brush Strokes font

Second layout should have been up ages ago as it was for the ATDML first sketch challenge, but I hadnt worked out how to make the name plate for the title of the LO, so I put it to one side and ..... left it there. I finally finished it last night.

Photo: my geogeous younger daughter Laura and her Australian guest Gemma pp: MME Bloom and Grow Die cut and title cut using cricut using George font and a party ding

And finally 52 in 10

Ok I did say I wasnt sure how this was going to go as I really dont do BOM, but the first prompt really inspired me. I started off digi just incase it really wasnt for me, but decided on prompt 2 that I really would have a go with paper, and I thought I had a lot of Crate pp to use up. Well I did try, honest I did, but even thought the concept and the prompt were brilliant, I just couldnt do it. When it came to the journalling part I was just completely stumped, and actually felt quite silly talking to myself.

So I am very sorry Dolly but as fantastic as your project is, and I can definately see it is a fab project, it just isnt one for me. And as it turned out I didnt have that much Crate pp left anyway.

However this is as far as I got with prompt two and aside from the journalling I am quite pleased with it. I am stood in my childhood garden at Motney Hill, the front garden was huge and double fronted. My dad would turn one side over to dahlia's (hence the large blousy flower in the LO) and potatoes while the other side was very long grass and weedy flowerbeds with hollyhocks, flag iris and pinks in them.There was a largish rose buch as the end which we were not supposed to go near because of the long thorns but we used to pick them to make rose water anyway.

I am wearing a yellow velvet dress (I think my mum made it) which had gold ric-rak for trim on it, which was rather itchy. Mum says I loved this dress but my memories of it are iferent. I hated the colour (I still dont do yellow) the trim round the neck was itchy and when I first got it, it was way too big and the neck kept falling down, but by the time I filled out and the top fitted the waist was too small and the neck still kept falling down. I did have a striped drop waist dress that I think mum is getting confused with, as that one I did love and was really upset about when it finally no longer would go over my head.

I chose the paper to match the dress colour and I did use a quote about life, which I wrote out lots of times in photoshop, dropped the opacity and then printed on the yellow crate. I used some chalk to knock back the colour a bit.

Finally photos from my 365 challenge which should have been uploaded with the blog posts but (see above) weren't.

Outside of the opticians, the day Martin went to have his eyes tested

Having a laugh at the panto

Question of the day over at the Pad, what is on your key ring, so my picture of the day is my keys

I walked up to Sainsbury yesterday and thought I would try a few arty shots - got some funny looks from the trolley boy though.

Saturday I went over the house and helped out, I painted whilst Laura tiled.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Thursday (and other stuff)

Thursday was a bit of a day for us all really. It didnt start well. As I was munching my cornflakes, a pain shot through my gum. I innocently thought I had got a flake stuck between my teeth, but no, a huge chunk of tooth had broken but was still hanging in the gum (sorry, tmi there) so it was an emergency appointment to have that sorted out. I now have to go back next week to find out what they are going to do about it, which is bound to be big bucks.

Round at mums, we then sat around rather miserably waiting for the time to go to the funeral for Uncle Ray.

There was a huge turn out, which was good to see, although we didnt know that many people. Although the service was beautifully done, it had a very religious bent and seemed really detatched from the man we had loved. Still as no one that knew him was asked to get up and speak it fell to the vicar, who only had what the family had told him to go on, so I suppose he did the best he could. We all waved a personal goodbye as we walked past the coffin for the final time though, and send our love and wishes for his future journey, whereever that may be to .

We didnt stay long at the crem, as we had already booked tickets for the annual pantomime at our local playhouse, going with Laura and Wayne (Unfortunately the stupid new southern train timetables meant Kelly and Ollie couldnt join us again this year). It was strange not to have our favourtite Dame Dr Lee in it this year - he has finally retired) but his replacement was very good. The special effects and the Giant (it was Jack and the Giant) were way superior to any we had had in previous years, and I think it was one of the best performances we have seen doen there. The lovely young Austrailian girl Gemma, who is staying with Laura and Wayne, certainly enjoyed it. It was her first ever pantomime, but that didnt stop her getting stuck in with the 'Oh no his not' or 'Its behind you' shouts, and she laughed all the way through, especially when the giant first graced the stage.

The day should then have ended on a high note but just as we were leaving, mum announced that she could feel a crack in her dental plate. That is really spooky, in one week, dad had lost his final tooth, mine had broken, and mum's plate was cracked.

Friday didnt bring any better news for any of us. Wayne managed to get a flat going over the lovely pot holes the council have decided make for better roads, and Laura ended up having to fork out for two new front tires. Then Kelly emailed to say the chain in her move had all had the date of the removal messed up by the lady at the top of the chain, who couldnt get the booked date off work, and now wants a day in the middle of Feb.

On a more positive note, Martin collected his new glasses and finally, after 3 years, can actually see enough to read his watch screen properly.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Blog Award

I have been awarded a blog award from the lovely Sue. I think it is only the second ever blog award I have had since I started writing in blogland, so thank you very much sweet Sue (and also for the compliments on your blog, but I dont think I am slimmer lol)

Anyway here are the rules of the award if you should be the next in line for it.

1. Copy and paste the award on your blog. (ok I couldnt work that one out so I had to download and then upload it again from Sue's blog)
2. List who gave the award to you and use a link to her blog (or hyperlink).
3 List 10 things that make you happy.
4. Pass the award on to other bloggers and visit their blog to let them know!
5. I am not such a stickler for rules if you are like me: do as you please with it!!!

So ten things that make me happy

1 My Family and friends
2 My Cat
3 Being tucked up in bed with a good book, a mug of milk and some biccies
4 Teaching
5 Harry Potter books/films/theme music (great escapism)
6 Crafting
7 Messing about with seeds and plants in the garden (weeding can be quite theraputic too sometimes)
8 Sweet things to eat
9 The sea
10 The wonders of science

Right I am going to pass this award on to Scrapdolly, who's blog I read every day, not just for the scrapping inspiration which is brilliant but also for the inspiration on how to look upon life.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


We have booked our holiday to Cyprus with the kids.

Laura and Wayne came over for dinner and we spent a couple of hours on the net .... not booking the villa, that was easy to find and agree on, no it was the flippin' air flights.
You would think with an airport litterally on our doorstep at Manston (nah, doesnt do enough flights out to anywhere useful) and three London airports within an hours drive up the motorway, we would have plenty of choice. And I guess we did kind of. The trouble is they all run this sliding price scale, so when we first decided to go, the return ticket was about the £200 mark, by the middle of last week it had crept up to £250 and by Sunday we couldnt find anything below £300.

After shuffling flights and times about we finally found Air Cyprus (or some such co.) could do £200 tickets. It then took another 15 mins to type in all the details, only to find they were adding another £80 air taxes and then, as if that wasnt bad enough, they only gave the option of paying by credit card, and wacked £40 on for the privledge.

Still it looks a beautiful villa and we are all getting a litttle bit excited now.

So far there has been no call for supply teacher work, and with Martin finishing his break, I was really bored on Monday, so when Mum and Dad said they were going to Redhill to buy a cooker, I jumped at the chance. We had a lovely road trip through little villages (dad dislikes the bordom of motorways).

When we arrived I discovered that dad hadnt actually googled the location of the showrooms, so we drove round a fair bit before someone we stopped actually knew where it was and offered directions, but even then we had to drive round the industial estate a couple of times. The showrooms turned out not to be a showroom, dad really should have phoned ahead, but the guy Lee who served us was very helpful and mum and dad finally bought a new cooker that will hopefully fit in the odd sized gap in their kitchen.

Then we found a Toby and had a very tasty (and large) lunch. Meaning day 2 of diet went out the window.

I forgot to get my camera out the bag and take any photos though.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Some LO's, rest of hols

The rest of this week have consisted of an unschedualed trip to Bluewater, dinner out with Kelly and Ollie to The Harvester, several games of Mario Karts, and rather sadly the death of my 'Uncle' Ray.

He was not my real Uncle, but one of my dad's friends from childhood. They had met when my dad spotted him at the end of the road kicking an football and dad asked if he could have a kickabout. Ray said yes and they had been mates eversince. We were bought up thinking of his wife and him as our Aunt and Uncle, their children as cousins. Ray was a lovely man, with a very dry but very funny sense of humour, and could tell a joke with a completely straight face. As kids we always remember him with his roll of insulating tape in his pocket which he jokingly used to mend everything in sight.

RIP Uncle Ray.

And I have finally remembered where I put my camera down last, and taken photos of the LO's I have been working on.

I have been very inspired by the work by Karola and the wonderful things she does with Webster's Pages. I dont have any but thought I would try something a little more delicate than my usual style. Alas I didnt pull it off at all (although I am pleased with my Tim Holz flowers which are covered with glitter) I need a bit of shopping for lots of lace and such like before having a better go at this I think.

SU! Bashful blue cs
Chatterbox rooms pp
unknown pp from old stash
Copic pens on stamp

This is a second go at sketch *61 on Creative Scrappers and is a scraplift of Nicole Greguric digital design

SU! Blush Blossom cs
SU! Rose red cs
MME Asparagus pp
SU! stamps Polka dot punches
SU! Baroque motifs stamps
Studio G date stamp
Prima flowers

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Not much on holiday

This week Martin is on holiday, using up some time he had left over from when he moved into the garage and had to cancel his break to undertake training. Its not been the best time to take off with most of the country at a standstill because of the snow.

Stuck in all weekend, by Monday I was really fed up. Schools are re-opening but no supply work is forthcoming, Martin doesnt fancy doing much other than watching TV and chilling on the sofa. Still, I tempted him out with a 50% off token at Pizzahut. I also had a birthday gift voucher from Matalan, they were giving me £5 off if I spent £30.

OK I know many people dont rate Matalan but as an Early Year's teacher their stuff is the right price for working all day crawling around the floor with 4 year olds. I dont have much in the way of clothes and what I do have either has paint or glue on it, or has been torn accidently by a child climbing on me I really dont mind if it is stuff that has only cost a few quid.. The one problem I do have though is that usually I have to try on an awful lot of items before finding the one thing that does fit reasonably so finding £30 worth was going to be a problem, and with Martin chaffing at the bit to get into Pizzahut........ all of which was made ten times worse when I discovered most of their stuff was in a half price of half price sale. A £14 skirt became a £3.50 skirt. Well great except nothing was priced, we queued up and put stuff through the tills twice before we made the £30! I did really well though, 4 tops and 2 skirts for £26!!!!

Martin finally went for his extremely overdue eyetest. We calculated it is about 3 years since he last had them tested. Which makes it even harder to believe that he has been walking around with incorrect glasses. If you remember I had lots of problems with Specsave in the summer and had ended up having my eyes tested all over again in an independant opticians. For Martin it was a similar problem. The specsaver frames were too 'short' so there was not enough room in the frames to put in a lens that could accomodate the varifocal part. Specsave didnt bother telling him and getting him to choose something more suitable to the perscription, no they just cut off part of the varifocal length and squashed the rest into the available space. No wonder Mart had had trouble reading his watch!!!

Other than that, we have had a few games of Mario Karts and I have done a little scrapping.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Projects - how am I doing

Suddenly our snow is all melting away. Hurray!!

Things should be returning to a semblence of normality, although Martin is on holiday this week, so not quite, and my parent's are still iced in, out of the reach of a save drive.

I thought it would be a good idea today to see how my projects are doing. Reviewing the state of play now and then may keep me on track.


Photo 365 - Last year I tried to set a theme to each day. It didnt work, I had a whole list of things use as subjects but became stumped if those things were not available on the said day. My project didnt last past Februarym the photos were boring and I really stood little chance.
This time, I have simply taken my camera everywhere with me, and photo oportunities have presented themselves. Of course the snow has helped, but they havent all been snow photos. I dont know if it will last, but I have managed a photo every day (even if I havent uploaded them all here)

52 walks with my camera - See above. I have actually managed 3 walks with my camera (although the last one doesnt have many photos as I forgot to take the spare battery with me and the one in the camera run out on the way) So that's one week in hand. Mind I havent made the LO's yet so not all is successful.

Project E - the first prompt (which I have only just found this morning) is to write down 5 things you have succeeded in every evening. Mmm not sure that much goes on in my life to manage 5 but I am going to have a go at 5 things for the week. Watch this space.....

Project 12 - still collecting photos, and I have lots so that shouldn't be a problem, finding scrapping time might.

Shimmelle's monthly challenge - oh oops, I went shopping, and out to Pizzahut yesterday but didnt keep the recipes (slaps wrist). Mind I never have been one for scrapping stuff like that, however I am doing daily blog updates so I will have noted all the memories and with the help of my 365 photos should be able to make a LO at the end of the month

And the final two, 52 in 10 and Scrap weekly both had suggestions involving aims, goals or resolutions, none of which I do anylonger (as they always get broken and are a waste of my time for me at least) so I am giving these a rest for one week. I did manage Scrapdolly's week 1, and am just about to look at Scrap Weekly's second challenge.

I have also all but finished a double and a single LO as well as starting another single, so I am doing well in the challenges, keeping up my blog, my photography and my scrapping so far!!

Woohoo for me!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sheer madness!!

So we have to consider here, who is the madessed?? The person in the hot tub during a freezing snowy white-out, or the person stood in the garden wearing only slippers and PJ's attempting to take the photo??

Martin had slept awkwardly and needed the soothing release of some aqu thearpy, I was slightly tempted when he said he was braving the snow to get in the hot tub, but sense came to my rescue. What we had both forgotten was that I had turned the temp on it down when the snow started, as we weren't using it and wanted to save a bit of electricity.

He was in it for over 20 minutes though, whereas I was only out there seconds taking the photos, so in retrospect I think Martin (who is now standing under a hot shower) wins in the madness stakes!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My neighbours - beggars belief!

The two guys next door still live with their mum even though they must be well into their 50's. They have never shown much in the way of brain cells and often make us scratch our heads at their antics, but this weeks has got to be the ultimate.

Friday younger brother arrived home in his car at about 3.30, just before sunset. We have about 8 inches of snow on the ground, all of which had landed before he went out to work in the morning, so there is a car sized clear bit of ground on his driveway. I was just pulling our bedroom curtains to warm the room up, when I glanced out and saw him reverse onto his drive. He manages this fine, but decides he is too close to the hedge and pulls out again.

He then spends the best part of an hour attempting to get back onto it!! I was nearly wetting myself, it was so funny. Every time he got to the kerb his front wheel would spin. The more he tried, the more it spun and the more icy patches he created. He kept pulling out, and trying from different angles, slide again, try again. He had to keep pulling up to the kerb to let other traffic past as with the cars all parked along the road, it makes it only one car wide.

Ok so that in itself is not funny but I know I am only a girlie and shouldnt know much about cars, however as an avid watcher of Top Gear I do understand the concept of front-wheel drive. If the back wheels can get up the kerb but you are getting front wheel spin, do you get out with your spade and dig out the back wheels???? If you are my neighbour with the one brain cell you do!! The more times he got stuck, the more snow he dug from behind the car.

I did think I might go out and offer to steer while he pushed but decided it would probably make matters worse, and if I pranged his car there would be real trouble. And I simply couldnt understand why he didnt turn it round and drive on frontways. We always do.

Anyways after about half an hour trying, and making the bit of his road so compacted with ice, he parked up his car. As it is now almost dark I thought he was just giving up and leaving it on the road (after all its a very quiet road and none of our drives have gates on, so it made little difference). But no, armed with his spade he spent 20 mins digging out two trench lines from the kerb to his car parking place on the drive. He didnt clear the bit just in front of the kerb where he needed to bump it up, but he did clear two holes further out where his front wheels would go.

Back in his car he gets. Success?? No, and I am sorry I really did laugh out loud now, the two trenches were wider apart than his wheel base!!!!! One wheel tracked along it, the other was left high and dry on the large pile of snow he had just dug out!!

He gave up and stuck it out on the road.

This morning (as if that wasnt enough) Older Brother is out there with a spade. No idea why as the snow is thawing rapidly and most of the drives and paths are clear, the road is more compact ice but if the thaw continues it should be ok by this afternoon) So I look out at the noise of spade scraping concrete. I have to walk away shaking my head. DH goes to look, and even he shouted out to me that he had to wonder at the guy's mentality. He is scrapping up the snow from his drive and the pavement in front of his house ........ and throwing it into the road in front of his house!!!!!!! As we watched he then got a very small bucket (about the size of a 12" flower pot) full of grit, which he then threw over the pile of snow/ice in the road and around the hedges of his front garden (and no where near his car)!!!

One really does wonder!!!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Yet more white stuff

Minus 7 temps and another 6 inches of snow. Things are starting to get really nasty - even the M2/A229 has been shut for most of the day. Martin made it in and out of Canterbury but at one point it was touch and go as so many roads had been shut.

So I have spent the morning baking. Two lamb hotpots, sausage rolls, bread rolls, veggie soup and cinammon and raisin muffins. As a change from snow photos, how about some comforting grub photos?

Cinammon and fruit muffins
Then inspired by ScrapDolly I made a digital page for a January desk top calendar using one of my snowy pictuers.

Background paper:- WR Fairy Cakes by Weefairie designs
Date stamp:- SueColbert
Clip:- Brandy Chammartin Wintereonderland kit
snowflakes Baby its cold outside kit by Michelle Underwood

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Its no fun anymore

I never found snow fun in the first place but last night saw another big snow fall across most of the country and people are starting to see the seriousness of it all.

Many schools are shut, most public transport is out of commission and according to the news over a million and a half people failed to get to work today due to the snow.
Both Kelly and Ollie were not amongst those people as it seems the new high rail speed link has better technology and is running into London well.

Martin managed to get in, although Laura's school is shut.

Its not just us humans that are suffering, Yesterday I watched as a poor fox, desperate for a drink of water from our frozen pond was chased off by the neighbours cat. This was at 11 in the morning, way past Renard's bed time. Kelly phoned to tell me she had been woken at 5 am from a comotion caused by a Mr Foxy Loxy attempting to get through her cat flap!

So the first thing I did this morning was to make a huge hole in the ice on the pond to provide the wildlife with some fresh drinking water.

Photo of the day is kind of predictable. I was so fed up of looking at the four walls I took myself off for a snowy walk to the seafront. I had intended getting an amazingly arty shot of a pine branch covered in snow overhanging the path but just as I got out my camera, my mobile went and I slipped over at the same time (for the fourth time). By the time I had got up, dusted myself down and answered the phone, all thoughts of the photo had passed me by.

Then I thought there are stunning snowy photos all over the net at the moment so I settled (out of all the photos I took) for this one.

Even with all this snow to play with, even with all the wonderful commaraderie there is about at the moment, someone still thinks its ok to do this! And the picture doesnt show up so well that its not just one sign but two!!
My tax rebate turned up today (finally) so with little else to do I did a little internet shopping, just a few sheets of bazzill and a deep cut houseing for my cricut. I cant do much scrapping until my cardstock turns up but this is something I did at the weekend.

Its a scraplift of Davinie's work for last year's Project 12

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Dawn of a new day

Not today, but yesterday's photo of the day.

I must have hit on exactly the right moment to open the curtains, so I grabbed my camera. Only seconds later the sun had moved up higher and the effect was gone.

I spent yesterday not just tidying but also sorting out my craft room. There wasnt much that needed throwing out, but quite a bit that needed putting back in its right place. Its nearly all done, just a few bits on and around the table to do and then I intend to make the tidy room my photo for today.

I am also attempting to sort out all the half finished projects hanging about. I have ordered cs to finish my wedding album, and have dug out my photos of our holiday in Corfu to finish the holiday mini box I also made but never filled.

Monday, January 04, 2010

White world

Our street, no chance of the dust cart making it down the road though.

Photo 4

Today was the first day back for lots of schools. Hopefully supply work should start soon but in the meantime my little bit of Kent woke up to a white wonderland.

end of our road with snow on bushes, fenses and roofs

I know this is old hat to most of England who have been under snow since before Christmas, but this is the first serious amount we have had in our little tiny corner, everything else has been a light dusting gone within hours. It would apear that where within a 5 mile radius, last week we had no snow, this week the same 5 mile radius is the only bit of Kent with snow.

So today's photo was a no brainer. In fact as my library books were in need of returning to avoid a fine, I decided to take my camera for another little walk (I can bank this towards my 52 walks for the weeks I cant get out lol).

Next door neighbour's car left a dent to show depth of fall

kids snowballing in street

Large lump of ice, not safe to walk here.

Artistic photo of snow covered tree.

Once I got out though it was obvious that the side roads were nothing but sheet ice under a few cm of snow so after one near tumble I stuck to the main road.

I did a little bit of housework, I think I have finally caught up with the washing mountain, and then hit the craft room. In truth it was more the shopping on the internet I hit. Yesterday I started my 2009 album and had hoped that for once I would co-ordinate the thing. It was only after I finished the first double page I realised that SU! do not do single colours, so after a long search I was able to find equivelant colours. That was the easy part, finding somewhere with the colour I needed in stock was another matter, but finally I tracked it down. While I wait for it to arrive I have printed out the photos for the next page, matted them and cut out all the bits of patterned paper to go on it.

I have also decided that one of my other new year projects is to finish my wedding album (hopefully before my 30th wedding anniversary in August LOL) I started this album about 3 years ago. They are not brilliant photos to work with - anyone who knows me, knows the tale of dissasters that was my wedding day, one of them was that the photographer double booked himself so instead of letting us know, he sent along his trainee. This guy spent ages setting up every single shot, he pinned me to an inch of my life with pegs (yes he pegged up all my trail and dress at the back). The vicar had to come out 3!! times to ask us all to leave as we were holding up the next wedding (the poor girl had to go round the block 5 times) and even then he insisted on setting up 3 more photos. The final photo has a cat (which had wondered in to the foreground) sitting down licking the parts cats love to lick, and Martin gritting his teeth and clenching his fists ready to hit the guy.

After all that, half the people who should be in the photos (such as my brother, Martin's brother or my Grandad) are not in them, the shots we wanted (like us on the horse and landor, the reception, the cake cutting, etc are not there, and in general they were so disappointing that we never ordered any and only kept the small sample book.

So I didnt really have much enthusiasm for finishing it.

My skills in photoshop have vastly improved though, so I hope I can put them to good use and salvage something worth scrapping. The problem is that since I started the album I couldnt remember what colour Bazzill I had used, and it has taken me another age to match up and order cardstock.

Not a fortune spent but a very long time shopping, and now a bit of a wait until I can scrap.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

How long can I keep it up

I have just heard a bloke on the telly say that most new year resolutions are broken within the first 3 days, and that the diets usually break by Marh 18th.

I know we are only on day 3 but I do seem to be doing well, so we shall see how long I can keep it up.

Photo 3

It has been trying to snow on and off all day here. While this may not be news to most of the country, it is about the most we have had here so worthy of a photo. This was taken about an hour ago - its nearly all gone now.

52 in 10

I was really impressed with the first prompt on Scapdolly's 52 in 10 that I thought I would have a go at it, theming it to both Martin and I since it will be our 30th wedding anniversary this year.

I downloaded a free kit from Penny (there is another bit to come tomorrow) and decided I would use it for all 52 projects, printing them out 8x8) I thought doing it digi would make the work quicker and easier to handle.
Huh! I think my lappie needs a defrag as the amount of times the whole thing crashed and I lost the bit I had been working on was no-ones business. Still it is done now and I am reasonably pleased with it.
I used Dolly's LO for today as a sketch and have only used bits from the kit, except for the Treasured Moments overlay from Scrapdolly.

I have just noticed that Shimelle is also running a Scrap every month challenge, As I can see this fitting in well with Project 12 I am going to add this to my list of challenges.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Walk 1

First off, my photo for 1st Jan 2010 (hopefully 1 of 365)

New Dyson and Band Hero!

Photo 2 (2/1/2010)
Birds huddled in a tree above the River Stour

Then my very first of 52 walks with my camera (doubling as photo 2 of 365)

When we bought our new bedding I decided to go for a firm pillow with neck and upper back support in the hopes of stopping the back pain and headaches I have been waking up with. Martin opted for the softer spring type pillows. After one night of struggling on something resembling a block of concrete on the bed and another night attempting to
siddle onto Martin's lovely comfy soft pillows, I gave in and resigned myself to going back to Dunelm and getting two softer pillows for myself.

Canterbury is a nightmare to park in, it always has been, so now I park for free in
Sainsbury car park on the outskirts of town and walk in. Armed with my camera and wondering what to take photos off as I walked towards the shops, it suddenly struck me that even though I have lived only 7 miles from the centre of the City since I was 13 years old, I do kinda take the place for granted. As I looked up at the site of the new Marlowe theatre being built, it seemed a shame that so many of the places I ignored in my childhood had since vanished under the heading of progress. I resolved to take some photos of how old haunts looked now (since I couldn't really go back and take photos of how they were then. What a pity I had not taken any way back when).

The Marlowe theatre building site. A brand new theatre, bigger,better and more exciting than ever before is now being built on the site of the old theatre.

New Marlowe Theatre as it starts to go up

Actually its not the old theatre because when I first moved here back in 1969 the original Marlowe was in the back streets way across town. A really small 'rep' that few people went to.
In 1984 it was moved to the redeveloped
Odean cinema (about the worst place for a theatre, the acoustics were appalling Finally this year it was pulled down and the new development is being built on the same site.

Not only did I go to school in Canterbury but for 2 years I worked there too. As I said, parking was a nighmare, but if you knew where to go, there were places. Just where the car is seen turning into Orange street, is a car park which , despite being a fair way from my office was always empty, so I used it frequently.

Orange Street car park

Once as I pulled out and turned up the road, the engine stalled and then hit the dead spot on the starter motor. Stuck blocking the road, I realised I had no idea how to open the safety catch on the bonnet. I needed to do that so that I could hit the starter motor whilst rocking the car in order to release it from the dead spot. Embarrassingly, with a long queue of traffic attempting to get by, I had to stop a small lad (probably about 11 years in age) and while I held his ice-ceam cone, he freed the bonnet for me!!

This is the gate to Kings College. A very private and presigious college attached to the Cathederal.

King's College gate

For many many years I used it as a short cut across town. By going in the City Gate entrance to the Cathederal and then slipping past the 'No Public Admittance' sign in the cloisters, it was possible to walk through the College gardens and out into the back street just behind the High Street. Of course this became impossible when they started charging to get into the Cathedral, as the toll booth was placed on the City Gate entrance, and the short cut was just not worth the £2 entry fee.

Simple Simon's or The Parrot.

During the 70's it wasnt as popular a passtime as now, going out for a meal was a special occassion. The really 'happening' places to go around here were The Bow Window where you needed to book a good month in advance, and Simple Simon's in Canterbury. I longed to go there and find out what all the hype was about but somehow we never seemed to get there. Early last year I walked pasted it again, and once more resolved we would visit it next time we were going out for a meal. Sadly before we managed that, it changed hands and name and although it is still getting fair reveiws in the local papers, it no longer holds the appeal of the place everyone was going to in my teen age years.

Canoe launching spot by youth club

Finally, just opposite where I parked my car for this walk, a bit of the River Stour. On this very spot, and from the concrete landing on the other side of the river, I spent my Friday mornings having canoe lessons. When we got into 5th year (Year 11 nowadays) we had the choice of sports at school, swimming lessons at the local pool or canoe lessons. The canoe lessons were run by and just behind the local youth club The Longbridge. It really hit me how times have changed since that time.The youth club was known as The Longridge, it is now The Riverside club. It is far more built up rather than the one story 1960's wood and glass build. The river now has a heavy security fence protecting youngsters from falling in, whereas it just has a boat house with a small padlock and free access - in fact many teenage romances were conducted on the bank behind the boat hut when the youth club held their weekly disco's.

And the strangest memory is that we were allowed to walk there and back every Friday on our own. We never had a teacher with us, the lessons were done by a very compatent yet rather gruff/strick youth worker. No register was ever taken, and since our sessions ended with just time for us to walk back for lunch, no register was taken until afternoon. Very very strange and very different from now.
Despite the cold, the wet, and the miserable teacher, I enjoyed every minute of my canoeing which is a big thing to say since I hated any kind of school sports or PE.

So one walk down, 51 to go!

I have also done some scrapping and nearly have a double LO completed, just some journalling stripes to add before uploading. So I am very pleased with my challenges so far!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Craft and photography challenges for 2010

I just want to record on here the projects I want to join in this year. So far those I fancy are:

365 photos - I attempted this last year but only got about 17 photos. however I am going to have a real shot at it again this year, hopefully my other projects will help me.

Project 12 - to make 12 LO's, one a month on all the photos I have taken for that month.

Project E - I've just found this challenge today and quite like the idea of looking for positives. I may not manage one a day but a page a week would work.

52 Walks with my Camera - a brilliant idea, one walk a week, a photo of that walk and one LO. A walk could be anything, a trip to the supermarket, a stroll by the beach, a wander round the garden. A group of girls are running this on UKS and putting their photos on flikr

Shimelle's monthly challenge - I am not that keen on Shimelle's stye but I think this will fit in well with Project 12 so am going to join in this too.

I will also be keeping an eye on this one for inspiration.

As much as I adore Scrapdolly's work, I am not committing to her 52 in 2010 as I think it is going to be too BOM orientated and that is not me, but I am keeping an open mind on it and will pop over and look at the prompts when she starts.

HAPPY NEW 2010!!!

We actually managed to see in the new year together last night. Laura and Wayne are in Cologne, Germany for the week, Kelly and Ollie were round Gemma's so it was just us and the cat. We thought it would be an ordinary evening with me on the pc and Mart asleep on the sofa, but .......

Martin and I had been hoovering up pine needles, having deciding the tree really wasnt going to make twelth night, when we came to the mutual agreement that our very old Dyson really wasnt up to the task. It wasnt even worth attempting to get it fixed since there were so many things wrong - the lead was joined together with insulating tape, the hose connection had snapped, two of the brushes were broken, the rewind on the lead was pathetic ... and that was only the things we could see.

So we actually went out and hit the sales!!

We got such a good bargin on the Dyson, £50 off and then another £30 in collected Nectar points, that we took ourselves into Dunelm and bought pillows andr a duvet.

The trouble with sales though is that you tend to get the bug and get carried away. And carried away we got, because the next thing we knew we had treated ourselves to Band Hero the superbundle for the Wii!!!!!!

We started putting it together straight after Eastenders. Be warned anyone buying it who may be a little tech. challenged or not up to speed on the use of a Wii. The instructions are worse than useless. Eventually we got the guitar and the drums set up, only the mic to go. Ah a usb connector, I know about those. Martin isnt so sure though and stupidly I asked him to look on the Wii box for the port. Not there he said. It only took me another hour to find there was one there and get the mic hooked up.

Then we needed to set up our players and get our band working. That took another hour and a half!! Don't laugh, its pathetic really. But anyway then we were up and running, singing songs we had never heard before, bashing away at the drums and having a brilliant time. It was 5 mins to midnight before finally we wore ourselves out and turned it off. It seemed silly to go to bed then, so we watched the fireworks on the tv and sang Ol' Lang wotsit with the cat, much to his disgust.

This morning we woke to a very light sprinkle of that 'orrible frozen white stuff (I do so hate snow). It reminded me that last year, for nearly a month, I had a go at photograph 365 and although I wasnt too successful, wondered if I should try again this year? I am already going to have a go at Project 12 and thought even if I dont manage a photo a day, if I can manage 4 or 5 a week it would help with the Project. Lets face it, its the start of a new decade as well as a new year and good or bad, really should be recorded.

Then I thought I should look back at my 12 in 365 resolutions I posted last Jan on the pad and see how I did. I am not one for resolutions and you can probably see why.

1 Lose at least 2 stone before the wedding (1/8/09)
Yeah right! I have actually put ON half a stone since last year. Not good, and I intend to try again.
2 Don't give up and keep looking for some kind of fullfilling job
I have actually decided that provided it brings in enough money supply work is ok, although I wouldnt mind a permanent part time teaching job as I still miss a sense of belonging (and the christmas parties!)
3 Stop putting it off and go have my smear!
Did that!! All clear
4 Scrap at least 4 old photos a month
Ahem, and passing on .....
5 Finish all the half started scrappy projects/albums by end of year
Completed a total of none although I did buy some cardstock to do my wedding album .. and then promptly spilt coffee all over it.
6 Add all my friends into my birthday book (not just family) and then
make enough cards to fill my birthday book for this year and send them out
This kinda worked and I didnt miss any of the birthdays that are in there. Just didnt add any more birthdays.
7 Use the wii fit for at least 40 mins a week
Shall we pass over this too? I am going to buy a couple more keep fit type games as bordom sets in fast.
8 Make much better use of my square foot garden than last year.
Finally!! One I succeeded in.
9 To go out with DH more - and not just bloody castles with English Heritage!
Another success. Ballet, theatre, and a couple of public gardens. Bring it on for this year too.
10 Take more photos!
See above
11 Sort out the family filing before it takes over the cupboard.
Well I did do this but it seems to have taken over again since. Put on list once more for this month.
12 Learn to use inkscape properly and make wonderful things with my cricut
This is the one bit of software I simply cant get my head round but I have decided there are tons of really clever people out there doing it for me. Thanks guys!

So watch this space, I will be uploading my photo for today, sorting out another 12 in 365 resolutions, and listing all my crafty projects for this year.