Saturday, 8 March 2014

In the Footsteps of Jane Austin

After a bit of reflection I've decided to keep both my blogs 'alive' for the next few weeks.  This means I can more easily keep up to speed with all your news - especially as I've not been able to get my head round the Wordpress following system yet.

To read about my travels in January, please click here!

Thanks for bearing with as I try to bring order to the chaos!!!


Thursday, 6 March 2014


Thank you to everyone who realised that I'd 'gone to ground' for a while.

There have been several difficulties within my family which have taken up a lot of time...
There's been a visit from Ofsted...
There was the resulting Post-Ofsted exhaustion..
There's been some pretty stressful times within my friendship circle too..
I've ended suffering from a bit of depression (not nice while it lasted)
AND - to top it all - my blog has got a virus.... which means I can't upload photos.

In spite of all this, I have still been busy with my camera and I've got loads of photos I'd like to share.... so I'm in the process of trying to set up a WordPress blog.  Once I've got everything sorted I will come and find you.  Hopefully I will be able to follow you all from the new dashboard. 

I'll post a link to the new blog on blogger over the weekend.  Please come and find me!


Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Check out our bottom!!!!!!!!

Follow this link to check out our bottom.... Brooklands Museum !!

Yesterday afternoon we were just checking some event dates at the museum when we realised that a photo of the rear of our car is promoting the 2014 Super Car Day.  Our little "garage-built, recycled, up-cycled, costing about the price of a family saloon" restoration is sharing web space with REAL exotic super cars.
We were SO excited.  It's lovely when all Mark's hard work and creativity is recognised unexpectedly.  We've been asking people to 'look at our bottom' all day.... so I couldn't resist a quick post!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Tidying up the Wool Stash...

 Introducing.... my first ever 'scrappy blanket'.

After two years of happy crocheting I've collected loads of 'part balls'.  There's some cheap and cheerful DK in there but I've also got some lovely soft cottons and bits of interesting textured yarns.  My first 2014 project is to work them all together into a 'scrappy blanket'.  (I'm just working with one yarn until it runs out then tying the next one in.) Currently I'm in a pink and purple phase....

I'm trying to create a bit of a 'summer garden' effect with all this colour.  The blue bit at the centre is supposed to be a garden pond, the green is the grass and all the other colours are the flower borders.  It may not be the most elegant piece of crochet I've ever done but the riot of colour is banishing my January blues!!

Once I've finished up all the purple and pink, there's still another red section to do and enough bits of yellow for one more paler border.  I hope that it will be finished by the end of January.
I spent some time tidying up my wool stash over the holiday.  I realised that there's several 'close to being finished' pieces of work tucked away in there.  I hope that I'm going to have the self-discipline in February to finish these things off! 
I'm back to school tomorrow... although the New Year starts with training rather than teaching.  My school has joined up with some of the local primaries to do a large scale training event at the NEC.  (That's another first for my 'Novelty' list!).  I'm actually really looking forward to the new term.  I feel as if I've had a proper chance to recharge my batteries over the holidays.  I've also had plenty of time to catch up with niggling jobs and other bits and pieces that were waiting patiently for my attention at home.  In short, I feel 'smiley and positive'.
Not sure if I'll feel the same way when I have to get up at 'stupid o'clock' tomorrow morning....!!!
Ha Ha!


Wednesday, 1 January 2014

365 Novelties.... A Challenge for 2014!

I've got to 'come clean'... 2013 wasn't as good a year as my blog frequently suggests.  I try to post about the nice stuff because those are the times that I want to focus on, remember and celebrate.  The reality is that my workplace, especially by the end of last term, was extremely difficult.  One of my line managers went off with stress at the beginning of December, the other followed him about a week later.  My own health 'went astray' in the last week.  I ended up doing most of the last week on crutches (not easy when the school site is about a quarter of a mile wide).  My family's health is not great.... and a certain family member's behaviour has generated huge tension and upset across the rest of us.  A few of my closest friends have had horrifically difficult 2013s too, while Mark's workplace has been worse than mine (One of his line managers collapsed at an airport, while he was waiting to travel for work.  He's OK - but not in work until they can find the reasons behind the collapse.)

My only wish for 2014 is that things don't get any worse....

As a result I've decided to take a slightly different 'tack' on New Years Resolutions for 2014.  (As I read in another blog recently - life is stressful enough without creating more self-imposed stresses.) 

So here's my idea... I'm going to collect 365 "Novelties" over the course of 2014.  By this I mean recording all the tiny new stuff (a new recipe; the discovery of a new author or new song; the pleasure of doing a walk in a new direction; choosing a different flavour of ice-cream - simple things) and then I'm going to post more regularly about the things that are keeping me sane and 'out of a rut'.

Does anyone feel like joining me?

Happy New Year and best wishes for 2014!

Monday, 30 December 2013

Season's Greetings!

Season's Greetings to you all from my poor neglected blog.  The last few weeks were SO chaotic (both in terms of a ridiculous workload at the end of term and lots of lovely Christmas stuff with family and friends).  My new year's resolution must be to post more regularly again.....!

Anyway, here's the edited highlights from December...  The harp moved out of the lounge so that the Christmas tree could move in.  I was very proud of the 'new look' silver and gold tree (63 baubles for £5 from a local Charity shop!)

The harp has taken up temporary residence in a corner of the dining room.  This photo was taken on Christmas morning.  There were five of us for Christmas dinner this year (my parents and Mark's Mum).  My sister and her family went to stay with her Father in Law in Derbyshire.

Thomas the cat has really enjoyed having his humans around.... in the form of open access to the sofa and an almost unlimited supply of treats!

On Christmas Eve we took my parents and Mark's Mum for a little drive around the Cotswolds.  This is the church in Temple Guiting.  Mum particularly wanted to see this village because she's recently read a murder mystery based in the area.

We then stopped off at the tea rooms near Broadway Tower..... A coffee break seamlessly moved into a lunch stop too!

The views from the windows were so gorgeous that it seemed a shame to move on..

Eventually we drove down the hill to Chipping Camden and stopped to explore another church.

The church was full of families rehearsing for the Nativity play and Christingle Service..... All very festive!

A very important, non-festive, development in our lives has been the arrival of another (!!!) Marcos.  You can probably see that it's another major project to entertain Mark for a few years.  (He gets as excited about Marcos parts as I do about wool and crochet projects!).  However it has to be said that family and friends are slightly bemused by the fact that this is Marcos number 3....

I hope that you are all enjoying the last couple of days of 2013
and all my best wishes for 2014!