Saturday, 29 December 2007

Saturday PhotoHunt - Messy

It's been just over a week since I last posted - I can only blame this hectic time of year! Things are settling down a bit now, so I'm hoping to get back to normal. I hope you all had a good Christmas, full of peace and friendship.

For this week's theme I've raided our archives. I must apologise for the poor quality of these photographs - they were taken on a very small Kodak disc camera in October 1990, and they're very grainy. They show our first day in our island cottage. I'm standing at one end of the main room wondering where to start in all that mess. The doorway behind me leads into the small room that briefly became our kitchen and dining room (6 feet across and 13.5 feet long!). Later it became a storage room, and later still a bedroom.

These lower two pictures are taken from the doorway shown above. The horrible wall above the hearth is stained by years of rain down the chimney reacting with the smoke and ash from the peat to form a creosote coating that soaks through the mortar and into the wall. It took us many years to control that problem.

So those are my offerings for this week. I'll be round to visit as soon as I can - shopping calls at the moment.

Friday, 21 December 2007

Saturday PhotoHunt - Light

This week's theme is LIGHT. There were so many possibilities - Christmas lights, candles, firelight, floating feathers from our budgie . . .
While I was out walking the old dog I saw this fern frond, with the morning light from the low winter sun shining through it.

And then there was a gorse bush decorated with strands of dew-drops on cobwebs (or it may have been melted frost!) catching the light beautifully.

So there you have my entry for this week. I hope you all have an enjoyable Season.

Monday, 17 December 2007

Yet Another Award!

What a nice surprise to start the morning! The friendliest Apprentice Curmudgeon I know has sent me another award, and this one's a treasure!

Thanks Siani, it's lovely! And thanks to the originator as well, the bouncy Hootin'-Anni.

I'll be back later to pass this on - just need to take the ancient old dog for a walk before she decides I don't love her any more!

Friday, 14 December 2007

Saturday PhotoHunt - Small

Since I posted a LONG ship last week, I thought I'd start with a SMALL one. This little craft is 14 cm high and 15 cm from bowsprit to stern. It has a metal frame with a blue glass hull and white glass sails - and I love it!

Then there's this garland of artificial holly. You can see it wound round the banisters, and it's very small.

Finally, this small model of Mont Saint Michel in Brittany was brought home to me by Clever Son and his partner after a holiday there last year. This model (unfortunately missing the crowning spire) is 4.5 cm high and 5.5 cm across. Considering the size of the original, I think that's small!

I'm sure someone will come up with a much better idea or six, but there you have it folks - those are mine.

Thursday, 13 December 2007


Life is getting back to normal right now, after our early mini-Christmas. 2nd daughter left last evening, and is now sleeping off the journey (poor visibility, fog, ice) back with her partner.
She was so impressed by Clever Son's skill. She loved the bed, and started making plans for built-in furniture along the opposite wall!
We gave her a lap-top and introduced her to Blogger. She's set up her own blog, but hasn't had a chance to post anything yet.
She gave me two new books, by authors I don't know, so I'm going to have fun finding out.
I'm already waiting for her next visit!

Monday, 10 December 2007


This evening, after spending a horrible day in shopping crowds, I decided to check on my blog's reading level. After all, I felt I had a right to some fun now I'm safe at home.

Woohoo!!! Genius!!!

Well, of course I know that I'm clever - and far from modest(LOL) - but now I'm told that my blog's reading level is genius.

Are we supposed to believe that?

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Christmas Spirit.

Thanks Siani, that code worked fine!

Here it is then folks, the Christmas Spirit Award. Very pretty, and a lovely thought. Much too pretty to keep to myself. So if any of you want to share some Christmas Spirit, you're welcome to collect it here. The code is in Siani's comment on the Bodacious post.

Happy Christmas (or whatever it is you celebrate at this time) to you all.

14th Dec.
Editing to apologise for the vanished award. It seems that if Christmas arrives too early it can also leave early. Either that, or my Christmas Spirit has vanished - which might be possible as the shops are demented just now!

11th Jan.
Well, what do you know? Christmas Spirit has returned without my noticing it! Do you think it's all ready for next December?

More Awards!

Siani's passed on another award. There were two actually, but I haven't yet managed to retrieve the pretty "Christmas Spirit" one. I'm not very technically educated!

I looked up 'bodacious' in WordWeb Online, and it says it means incorrigible, and unrestrained by convention or propriety.

Thanks Siani - I think!

Now, who deserves this one? Hmmm. . . . . .

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Saturday PhotoHunt - Long

The theme for today's PhotoHunt is LONG. I've looked everywhere for something suitable, without success. I've followed my cats around, waiting for them to stretch, particularly Rinli - he likes to sleep fully extended. I measured him once, and he was just half an inch short of 3 feet in length. Has he co-operated? Has he pandered to my photographic pleas? Come off it - this is a CAT I'm talking about!

So instead I'm submitting this picture from our family collection. This sail-training ship, the Asgard ll, visited our local port while we were still living on our island, so we naturally went to see.
She looks fairly long, and the Irish word for ship is - wait for it - long.

Will that do?

By the way, if you follow the link to Asgard ll, it's well worth checking the photos.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Another Award!

I'm so flattered. I have another award from Siani.
What a lovely idea.

I think I'll pass this on to:

Damama T
Sarah of Farming Friends

Thank you, Siani.

Monday, 3 December 2007

More About Our Wedding.

I started today well, having visited Damama t for a good laugh. Her story's here. She reminded me of the start of our wedding ceremony.

Now I should perhaps explain that my husband has far from fond memories of churches, and likes only one hymn - "All Things Bright And Beautiful" - so that was our first hymn.

I was, fairly naturally, quite high-spirited that day. The first line of the hymn "all things bright and beautiful" had me looking at almost-hubby's tie, and starting to smile. The second line "all creatures great and small" made me look at my man, several inches shorter than me, and at his Best Man who had congenital leg trouble and was even shorter, and the giggle started to bubble up. I had to stop singing. I heard the same reaction from my sister (my bridesmaid, standing just behind me) and I started to shake with the effort of not laughing aloud. Fortunately, I succeeded, and I made my vows without a tremour in my voice. That was a real triumph!

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Wedding Anniversary.

Today is our 35th wedding anniversary. It's been a cold, wet day, just like 35 years ago. I've spent the day scanning all our wedding photographs into my computer, so I have a back-up for the originals. What a lot of memories!

Here we are, signing the register.

In the car, on the way to the reception.
You can see the weather through the rear window.

Now to cut the cake.
If you look closely you'll see that the top tier is badly positioned.
The manageress rushed in with it at the last minute, and plonked it on.
Shortly after the photo was taken, the top of the cake toppled off - saved from disaster by Aileni's rapid reactions (he caught the cake and replaced it safely!)

This was the third strange occurrence of the day.
The first event occurred after the service ended. The organist let rip with great volume and true Welsh "Hwyl" An elderly lady who suffered from Meniere's disease was sitting close to the organ. The vibrations brought on a fainting attack and an ambulance was called! She was fine, but she missed the reception.
The second event was during the photography. My close friend brought my Godson to me, so naturally we had a picture.

Fortunately there were no more unusual events!

In spite of the weather, it was a lovely day.

And thank you Mardé for the e-card - what a sweet thought.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Saturday PhotoHunt - Red

Today's PhotoHunt theme is Red. Below is a photo of me, taken many years ago on a lovely summer day. At that time we still lived on the island, and I was younger (and larger) than I am now. The reds don't show properly in this print. Middle son is in the blue canoe.

Two more recent photos are below.

I took these yesterday while walking the dog. They don't seem quite in focus to me, but the rose-hips are definitely red.

I seem to have trouble producing reds. This is the cotoneaster in our garden, and it's much more red than it looks here.

I'll try another one -

nope, still looks orange. You'll just have to pretend it's red!

May I ask you to visit Stephen? It's his first PhotoHunt this week. Thanks.

Friday, 30 November 2007

A Major Award!

Siani has presented me with an award. This award is for mind-power, believe it or not.

Now doesn't that give me something to live up to?!!

Now I must pass this on.
Welshcakes Limoncello

All people who keep me thinking and teach me things.

Monday, 26 November 2007

Clever Son!

More about the clever son I mentioned on Saturday.

We have a small single bedroom over the front door. It's been very difficult to fit a bed in there, due to a radiator under the window and a raised wedge in the floor over the stairs.

Over the weekend, Clever Son has built a fitted bed for us, so now we actually have a spare room. All I need now is the mattress, which should arrive by the end of this week. Second daughter arrives for a week at the beginning of next month, and now she'll have a comfy bedroom instead of sleeping in the sitting room. Much nicer for her.

This is the start - the first board on the wall.

Not far to go - fitting the slats.

The finished bed - and shelves on the wall, too.

I'm very pleased. Now - wonder what else I can get him to do . . . . .

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Saturday PhotoHunt - Hot

I'm late this week, and I've not been around for a while - sorry about that!

Anyway, here's my contribution this week. It was taken last December in my eldest son's new home. We gave him the stove (suitable house-warming present?) He found the mantelpiece at a demolished house, fitted it, and built the hearth. A young man of many talents.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

An Early Anniversary Gift.

Back on November 1st I complained about trouble getting the photos from my mobile/camera. I finally gave in and inquired about the availability of suitable memory cards. On our next visit to "the Big City" (for Stephen to buy his precious scooter!) I bought the card and adapter. Shortly after that Aileni (the nicest husband ever!) handed over the money to pay for the card as an early anniversary present (we'll have been married 35 years next month). You see - men can think of presents without being prompted!

I'm really pleased with the quality of the photos. Some were out of focus, but that's due to me being unable to see the screen clearly in certain lights. Most of them were surprisingly good for such a small camera.

Rinli on an upstairs windowsill

Badger trying out the cat-basket

This last photo was a difficult one, as Badger never keeps still if there's a camera around. So I'm pleased with the camera, and pleased with the gift of the memory card.

Now I have to find a suitable gift for Aileni!

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Brave Sophie.

This evening I read a disgusting thing on a friend's blog. A brave little 9 year old girl from Shrewsbury has a diary blog, describing her fight against leukaemia.
The disgusting part is that some sick, twisted, evil person has posted death-threats on her blog.

What is wrong with some people? How could anyone do such a thing to a child?

Wee Sophie has had a bad week, feeling very unwell. Fortunately her father has been able to protect her from the worst of the evil, but she knows something's wrong. She needs even more support now than in the past. If you feel you can visit Sophie's diary, and maybe leave a cheerful message, this is her address

Prepare to be won over by Sophie's bravery and her lovely smile.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Saturday PhotoHunt - I Love .... ear-rings!

This wasn't a difficult choice - after all, I've already mentioned that I have a passion for ear-rings! The difficulty was managing to produce a usable photograph. I do not find it easy to photograph shiny objects. This is the best I could come up with, and I had to leave out all the ones with faceted stones. Still, a selection will give an idea of my madness.

Monday, 12 November 2007

Eight Things Aboout Me!

Siani, of Siani's Pot-Pourri, has tagged me, so I now have to reveal eight random facts about myself - thanks a million Siani! (LOL!)

When tagged, you have to link to the person who tagged you. Post the rules just before your list, then list eight random facts about yourself. At the end of your post, you must tag and link to eight other people.

So here goes:

1. I'm terrified of spiders! This is a totally irrational fear, as I've never been hurt by one. They kill flies, which are germ-ridden and disgusting, but it makes no difference. When my first baby was tiny, I was nursing her as a spider ran across the floor. My big black idiot of a cat pounced - and ate it - yeuch!!! I couldn't let the poor cat near me for some time, as I'd last seen that spider in his mouth. Stupid behaviour!

2. I love food. I particularly love chocolate (dark and delicious), chocolate fudge cake, mature cheddar cheese, fresh-baked bread.

3. I'm very good at starting new enthusiasms, and good at giving up part way. Anyone want part-knitted sweaters with missing patterns?

4. I'm bad at putting things away, but every so often I'll have a tidying spree.

5. I have a life-long weight problem (not surprising, considering no.2 above!)

6. I love jewelery, particularly silver. Ear-rings are my passion. In the past I've made my own silver and gemstone jewelery.

7. In the past 18 months I've managed to lose 3.5 stone, and am now struggling to keep that weight off.

8. I taught all my children at home from the time my elder daughter was attacked in school (at the age of five and a half!)

Right, that's done. Now I must find eight people to tag. Eight people I'd like to know better.

Welshcakes Limoncello

All interesting people!

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Sick Minds

I've just read that there was a bomb-threat today at Eniskillen, the town in Northern Ireland where a bomb killed 11 people at a Remembrance Day parade 30 years ago.
This horrific event gave rise to the Peace People, whose founders, Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan, were later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
I just cannot understand the mentality of someone who could make a threat of this kind.

Saturday, 10 November 2007


Some of you have expressed interest in the work Stephen has done in our garden. Now, as far as I'm concerned, I love a neat lawn surrounded by tidy flower beds. The trouble is that our garden tends to fill with water when the weather's wet (hey, this is Ireland, it's called the Emerald Isle for a good reason, and rain keeps it green!) The grass grows quickly, and then rain stops it being cut. No way can we have a tidy lawn without constant effort. So Stephen has been working to produce a garden that can be used whatever the weather. Here's a slideshow. Hope you like it.

Does this give you any ideas imac?

Seev, we have two girls and three boys - Stephen is the youngest.

Saturday PhotoHunt - Flexible

This was taken in the grounds of a local "castle" , actually a hunting lodge which is now run as a museum.

Two of my boys are posing in front of a green tunnel, formed by rowan trees trained FLEXIBLY over a long tubular metal arch.

Sunday, 4 November 2007


It's been a busy day today, in spite of the fact that Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest.

I came in from walking the dog this morning to find Stephen (my son) hard at work in the garden. We had a tonne of garden pebbles delivered yesterday, and Stephen was busily wheelbarrowing them from the front to the back. I had to trim the black weed-suppressant around some plants, and then the pebbles were spread over half the garden. There's still some left to do, as we need more of the black stuff to finish the job. Once it's complete there'll be a minimum of grass to keep tidy during the growing season.

I sat down with a cuppa, feeling pretty tired, and Stephen picked up a paintbrush. We now have a fresh coat of paint around the windows and doors. It all looks very clean and smart. I'm exhausted, but very pleased.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Saturday PhotoHunt - Classic

This first photo is a normal pile of turf (peat) which is burned on the fires here. Most households use it, and many still cut it from their own bogs. The turf is stacked outside the house, and carried in to light the fire.

This, on the other hand,is a turf pile in the CLASSIC mode, arranged in such a way as to shed as much rain as possible, keeping the insides dry.

Or, if you'd rather something different, this motorbike is now a CLASSIC. 35 years ago my husband and I did our courting on this machine.