Wednesday, 30 January 2008

ABC Wednesday - B

For the Wednesday ABC today's letter is B. I had a hard job deciding what to post (I have so many B's in my life) but I finally decided to go with the local option.

When we lived on our island we took our small Boat to the local harbour for the weekly shop.
We used this harbour - a fishing village called Burtonport - for all our necessities. All our belongings were loaded aboard our Boat (locally known as a punt) and ferried over to the island. Here's a photo of hubby on the pier with my tricycle, and number of fishing Boats in the background.

And here he is fitting my tricycle into our punt.
The largest island was and is served by a ferryboat. Here's her stern, or back, carrying a baby boat (lifeboat)

And a close-up of the lifeboat.

Well, that's my B for today. I hope you enjoy the pictures. If you'd like to join the fun, visit mrsnesbit who came up with the idea. Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, 29 January 2008


No, this isn't a human-rights post - under these circumstances humans appear to have few rights. I'm talking of humans' existence to care for, and pander to the needs of, various creatures sometimes known as pets.

Last week I posted pictures of my owners trying to take over my blogging. I had several comments from people who suffer in the same way.

Heather, Ter, and Welshcakes Limoncello have been befriended by dogs.
Now dogs like company, and they love it if you come down to their level (lie or sit on the floor, play with them.) They love to join in.
Badger will be 14 in May, and mostly behaves like an elderly dog in need of plenty of rest. I say "mostly" because there are two occasions when she still behaves like a puppy. First, when I brush and comb her in the mornings, because she knows I'll be taking her out for a (whisper this!) walk. The second occasion is if she finds me doing some exercises - on my mat on the floor. Wow! And yippee! Fun on the floor! PLAY! End of exercise session.

Cats are different. Cats like to take over. VP, Barbara, Max-e, Damama-t, and Teena have been taken over by cats (although Damama's are at one remove, and Teena also has a dog) And, of course, Daisy is a cat!
Daisy is very good at all sorts of things.
Cats do not like to be ignored. Cats do like being warm and comfortable. When their slaves sit in front of those computers they ignore cats - so cats sit in front of them to be noticed. Laps are warm and usually soft - and available under the afore-mentioned circumstances. Need I say more?

I'll leave you with a couple of pictures of Rinli, playing my game of Sudoku for me. I can't illustrate the time he deleted my e-mails for me - I was too busy to take a photo!

But we love them really, don't we?

Sunday, 27 January 2008


I've had a delightful surprise.

Yesterday I posted that my old-fashioned sewing machine was around 80 years old.

Today Katney came visiting and told me I could find the date of manufacture on the Web. So I looked.

I found that my machine was manufactured in 1903. It will be 105 years old this year. What's more, it was made in Elizabeth, New Jersey!
My mum was born in 1906, three years after the machine was made, and she never left Britain. She might have bought this second-hand, or possibly she inherited it from her mother. But it's American made. Wow!

Thank you Katney!

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Saturday PhotoHunt - Old Fashioned

This week's Saturday PhotoHunt theme is "Old Fashioned". I suppose I could have posted a self-portrait, but why should I make you all suffer like that? So I decided to show you my old hand-operated Singer sewing machine.

This is something in the nature of an heirloom, as it belonged to my mother. Many years ago now I had it overhauled and put in the new case it now wears. It used to live in a dark wood base with a curved wooden cover, but this had split over the years and needed replacing. The man who did the work was very interested in my machine. He said the model number indicated that it was an imported model. I'd love to know more!

This is the mechanism for winding the old-fashioned long bobbins.

And these are three spare bobbins, together with spare needles in two sizes. The needles are kept in the elongated acorn-shaped wooden container.

This is the only sewing machine I have used since our move in 1990. It's probably 80 or more years old now, and it still works well.

If you want to join the fun, click here. Happy Hunting!

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

ABC Wednesday - A

Yesterday I discovered Mrs Nesbitt's ABC Wednesday. I was taken with the idea so I'm joining in. The alphabet came to an end last week and is starting back at A today. I've not had much time to think about this, so my entry is a bit hurried.

I tend to drink quite a lot of water. Also, I've always disliked the taste of chlorine and metal piping that to me make up most of the taste of tap-water. Over the years I've spent a small fortune on various bottled waters, all, believe it or not, with their different flavours.

For twelve years we lived on an island off the coast of north-west Ireland. Our drinking-water came direct from the sky, ran down our roof, along the gutters and down the pipes into two storage tanks. The eastern tank was especially cool and good, and the water was superb. Though it tasted quite different after a thunder storm!

Moving to the mainland and back to piped water brought a return to expensive bottles of "spring" water. We bought a filter jug and stored filtered water in the fridge.

Not long ago my dear husband bought a very special item for me. I proudly present my entry for letter A - my AQUA FOUNTAIN!

This lovely item filters the nasty taste out of tap-water and chills it as well. That bright blue light shines when the water temperature is 4 or 5 degrees Celsius. Lovely cool, fresh water on tap whenever I want it.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008


So there I was this morning, sorting out some comments on my previous post, when this happened!

That's Rinli with the string on my desk, and Tris on my lap. It's so hard to blog under these conditions! Shortly after Aileni took these photos, Rinli decided to play with Tris. Tris objected, and they left. Now I can blog again!

Monday, 21 January 2008

Monday Musings

A bit of fun to start the week. I've shown you Badger trying to fit in Tris' basket on an earlier occasion, here. Now here's poor Badger squashed into a corner of her own bed so that Tris isn't disturbed. Isn't she a considerate dog?

Fortunately they are good friends. Tris likes to come walking with us to keep us company.Tris even likes to sniff the wheels of parked cars when we pass them. I wish I had a photo of them both sniffing - the dog with her head down and the cat stretching up. The neighbours laugh!
Sometimes you find treasures when you're out walking. Like this yummy slice of dry white bread. We had to stop for Badger to eat this. If I offered it to her at home she'd have been disgusted. I suppose things taste different in the open air!

Poor Badger finds all this walking and eating makes her thirsty. Maybe the bread was a leetle bit dry after all. This is actually her favourite puddle. She loves to stop and drink here. Tastes much nicer than the clean water I give her at home!

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Stephen's New Blog

I'm delighted to report that Stephen has reconsidered his previous decision and started a new blog.
I know, he could have reactivated the old one, but he wanted a fresh start. He's done some work on it today, which is great.
I hope he carries on with his reading, but this blog gives him an outlet for his photographs and for his feelings and will surely do him a great deal of good.

Saturday PhotoHunt - Important

Sorry this post is so late. I forgot all about it last night, and I've been busy this morning. Still, better late than never as they say, so here it is.

This weeks theme for the PhotoHunt is Important. The most important thing in the world to me is my family. These photos were taken back in 1995, and I have to admit that they were not taken by me.

This first one was taken by Tony Weaver for an article published in the "Sunday Express" on 9th July 1995. The article, written by Amanda Doherty, was a look at the way residents lived without piped water, electricity, or a ferry. This particular photo was never actually published.

Amanda was fascinated by the way we lived, and she came back to write about us for "Best" magazine. The above photo was taken by Trevor McBride to accompany that article.
Now I just want to remind you all that I have two daughters and three sons - and leave you to guess which are which!

If you fancy joining the PhotoHunt fun, just click here, or on the blue PhotoHunters image at the top of this post. Happy hunting.

Friday, 18 January 2008

Crazy Eights!

Siani tagged me with this a while ago, and it's taken me ages to complete it. It's not easy, as I'm not used to telling people how I feel. Still, for what it's worth, here I go . . . . .

  1. Eight things I'm passionate about:
    1. My family
    2. My animals
    3. My friends
    4. Plants and trees
    5. Wildlife
    6. Open air
    7. Singing
    8. Life!

  2. Eight things I say often:
    1. The thing about that is . . .
    2. But I told you!
    3. I'm tired!
    4. I'm hungry!
    5. Coffee!!!
    6. What do you want for dinner? (3 people, usually 3 meals!)
    7. This place is a mess.
    8. Good dog.

  3. Eight books I've read recently:
    1. Temeraire : Naomi Novik
    2. Knife of Dreams : Robert Jordan
    3. The Innocent Mage : Karen Miller
    4. Watchman : Ian Rankin
    5. Thud! : Terry Pratchett
    6. Forest Mage : Robin Hobb
    7. Time to Depart : Lindsey Davis
    8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows : J. K. Rowling

  4. Eight things to do before I die:
    1. Hold my grandchild
    2. See all my children settled
    3. Become an Irish citizen
    4. Meet some of my on-line friends
    5. Visit some of the fascinating places I read about
    6. Learn (and speak) some other languages
    7. Sing in Beethoven's Choral Symphony
    8. Just SING!

  5. Eight songs I could listen to over and over again: (How on earth do I choose just 8?)
    1. The House of the Rising Sun - The Animals
    2. A Whiter Shade of Pale - Procol Harum
    3. Tears of the Dragon - Bruce Dickinson
    4. Send in the Clowns - Judy Collins
    5. Space Oddity - David Bowie
    6. Beethoven's Ode to Joy
    7. What is Life to me Without Thee? - Kathleen Ferrier
    8. Handel's Messiah (OK, that's cheating - it's many more than one song!)

  6. Eight things that attract me to my friends:
    1. An ability to make me laugh
    2. An ability to talk intelligently about anything
    3. A good sense of the ridiculous
    4. Understanding
    5. Gentle tact
    6. Truthfulness
    7. Trustworthiness
    8. An ability to put up with me!

  7. Eight things I learned in the last year:
    1. The world is full of caring people
    2. I have a wonderful family (I learn this anew frequently!)
    3. I can lose weight, but keeping it off is hard
    4. I prefer to shop on my own, but I must write a complete shopping list first
    5. I like window shopping (with coffee breaks!) but it's more fun with a friend
    6. Now I've lost weight I love buying clothes, particularly in sales
    7. I've developed a certain amount of vanity
    8. Blogging is easy - except when tagged with difficult memes!

  8. Eight people I appreciate enough to tag:
    Searching my soul for the answers to these questions has been difficult to me. I know I could have answered off the top of my head, and I did think of that, but I wanted to be as honest with you all as possible.
    I don't want to pressure anyone, so I'm chickening out of this part. If you feel you'd like to do this one yourself, please feel free to consider yourself tagged!

Stephen's Blog

Well, it's happened again.
Stephen's deleted his blog.
I admit the latest version wasn't the best, but still . . .
All right, he has a valid point. He feels that blogging is distracting him from doing other things, like using his expensive software to read the books he's always wanted to read. That's going to take up a lot of time. And it's going to require a great deal of concentration.
This is his decision, and I must respect that.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Nice Matters

A bit back, Siani tagged me with the "Crazy 8s" meme, and I've been working at finishing it but finding it hard. I was in need of a break. And then Siani gave me this pretty little award.

Aaah, isn't it sweet?

I must say, it's made my day. Maybe I'll finally be able to finish that meme.

Now I must pass this on. These ladies all have interesting blogs that I love reading, so the Nice Matters Award goes to:

Barbara of Home in France
Liz of Finding Life Hard?
Welshcakes Limoncello of Sicily Scene

Thank you the enjoyment ladies.

Monday, 14 January 2008


I've had it with Facebook!
I've de-activated my account (seems there's no way to delete, how creepy is that?)
I'm sorry to any friends I've met there, but we can keep in touch here.
All my family is on Facebook, but they'll just have to contact me by what I think of as more "normal" methods - I have a mobile, I have an e-mail address, what more do they want?
Goodbye Facebook!

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Saturday PhotoHunt - Skinny

I have to admit I've been struggling with this week's PhotoHunt! The theme is 'skinny', and I couldn't get my head around it. It slowly came to me that I was seeing skinny things all around me. Winter trees! So here's a group of alders just down our road - even the few catkins waiting for spring look skinny.

And here's a summer picture, from last year - a small and skinny willow tree in our front garden.
That was such a warm and pleasant day - lovely to look back on in this cold weather.

To join the Hunt, click on the link above or on the Photo Hunters symbol. Happy Hunting!

Friday, 11 January 2008


Yesterday was busy. Stephen had to take his new scooter for its 500km service, a ride of 34 miles (can't think in kilometers yet!) The scooter is only 125cc, but fortunately it's a quite powerful machine for its size.
Stephen was very worried beforehand (I wasn't, of course - LOL!) as he finds anticipation of any kind almost unbearable. I'm so proud of the way he coped. He set off early while I walked the dog, and we followed on in the car.

I should maybe explain that those 34 miles run through hilly country, and it is winter. He coped with rain (nothing unusual there!) and nasty hail showers. One such shower hit him on a hilltop and left him driving slowly over icy marbles. Once through it he looked back in his mirror and saw the road behind hidden by a white wall of hail.
When he arrived at the shop, he found that the workshop was across the town. He had to follow the mechanic through busy streets and around three fairly large roundabouts. Not an easy trip for him, but he did really well.
I'm so proud of him.

While on the subject of Stephen, let me show you what he gave me for Christmas.

You know I love ear-rings, and these are quite something!

Here's a photo (not the best ever - who is that old woman?) of me wearing the 'gunmetal' pair. He also gave me the necklace.
Nice presents!

Tuesday, 8 January 2008


Way back in another lifetime - well, before Christmas anyway! - I promised to pass on my latest award. So here goes!

First, to Damama, whose treasure of a blog can always make me feel better.

Next to Jane, who gives me lovely things to look at and think about.

And lastly (but far from least!) Pam, whose courage and determination are way out of sight.

Thanks again to Siani for passing it on to me.

Friday, 4 January 2008

PhotoHunt - Delicious

This weeks theme is "Delicious". To me, that always means FOOD! As I'm currently trying to get rid of the results of my seasonal excesses, I thought it wiser to avoid anything too tempting, so I've returned to the past.

When we lived on our island, it was necessary for me to make my own bread. We were a family of seven - and the youngsters all had good appetites. I made three large loaves every day or two - more often if we had visitors!

I used to leave the loaves to cool in our one main room. In warm weather the doors and windows were open, and the smell of fresh hot bread spread far. There were donkeys who could be seen hurrying up the track as the breeze took the scent to them. When they arrived at the door it meant more bread-making soon!

The picture below is NOT of a donkey. This was Declan, our male goat. He was young, and rather pushy, and he liked bread. One day he walked into the kitchen, with his eyes on the fresh bread, which smelled delicious to him!

We were lucky this time. Although he brought two of his children with him (to distract us, I think!) he did not eat our tea.

We were less lucky on another occasion. Somehow we were all briefly out of the house, and the door had been left open by accident. We returned to find him in the kitchen. He'd eaten half of one loaf, and taken chunks out of the two others. He was NOT popular!