Thursday, 31 March 2011

It's not much fun..

...pounding away on a treadmill as I recently discovered when I bought one off my sister in law.  I was filled with initial enthusiasm but then I found it boring and was looking at the clock every minute to see if my time was up.  Those minutes were taking a long time to pass when my little mind was empty.


However, reading is fun and my daughter, Caroline, told me that lots of girls at the gym read a magazine while they use a treadmill.


So I followed her suggestion.  Magazine or a book.  Now pounding away on the treadmill is a pleasure as well as being good for me.

The treadmill by the way came from a charity shop down in Wales.  My sister in law bought it and then found she couldn't use it because of a medical problem.  It isn't fancy, didn't cost much, is mechanical not electrical, therefore is economical and since the reading began I'm loving it.

Joining Dayle at A Collection of This and That for this week's Simple Pleasures.

It's been nearly a week...

..since I posted anything.  I seem to have been busy but nothing much to show for it.  However, just for the record here are a couple of random things that have been going on around here lately.

Last Thursday my lovely cousin, Sylvia, came over for the day.  We did our usual round of charity shops, a tapas lunch, antique shop browsing and afternoon coffee break in The Bear Cafe.  I love spending time with Sylvia, we always talk non-stop and have a good time together.  Also a short holiday with her next month at her cottage in Cornwall was mentioned too!  Am I not one lucky lady?

Talking about holidays.  I've booked a week in Devon in June for when my sister and her husband come home from the USA.   I am so looking forward to that I know we'll have a great time.

On Saturday I decided it was time to make some of Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls.  Caroline loves them and has been asking for ages if I would make some. George also loves them and he too kept asking me to make some. Of course he wanted to help with the baking, so did Nicholas and Charlie too.  So Saturday was the big day, we got all the ingredients ready, everybody assembled at their posts... and it was a big flop.  Flop as in the dough didn't rise properly and wouldn't roll out.  It was just too gooey!

I told George and Nicholas they could get stuck into the dough and play with it, and did they ever.  I really should have taken some pictures, but by now it was too chaotic,  and that "dough" was everywhere.  The boys were up to their elbows in it.  Literally!

I still don't know where I went wrong.  It was soooo disappointing. 

Yesterday I gave Charlie a haircut.  He hates having his hair cut and cries throughout it.  A lot!  It's traumatic for both of us.  I need to finish it off next time he has a nap here.  It's easier when he's asleep.  I'll be inserting a picture here soon.


I've been on a roll with digital scrapbook pages lately like this one about Charlie which I finished this morning.  Details can be found over on my other blog.


This little chap, Nicholas, isn't looking quite as bright eyed and bushy-tailed as this today.  He's been in hospital this morning and had a minor operation to correct his tongue-tie.  I've just spoken to him on the phone and he sounds fine.  In fact he's coming round later to show me his tongue.  Bless him.

William has a couple of health problems and he also has been to a hospital appointment this morning.  I've just spoken to him on the phone too and he's going back to work now.  I wish they could fix him.  I know his problems are making him miserable.

Well, that's it for now.  I'd better get some housework done.



Friday, 25 March 2011

Spring has Sprung.

Wednesday like most every day this week was a beautiful spring day. 


Caroline and Charlie came round and Nicholas was already here.  I was looking after Nicky-noo while his mummy went to see George perform in the school choir in a schools competition at the Town Hall.

So, it being a beautiful day we set off for a little walk around the neighbourhood.  The boys played for ages throwing twigs and stones in the little stream that flows alongside the footpath just a cock stride from our front door.  In the bottom right hand picture Nicholas is looking through his "binoculars" for fish in the stream.

This was such a simple thing to do, a little walk in the sunshine, with my daughter and grandsons but it was such a pleasure.  I intended to link up with Dayle for her Simple Pleasures Day but I got sidetracked and missed the deadline this week.

Yeah, spring has definitely sprung in this neck of the woods.



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Sunday, 20 March 2011

Hinchliffe's, Castle Hill and a Birthday Boy.

Today was a good day.  It doesn't seem to happen very often that we all are able to go out for the day together.  Usually somebody will have other plans or Caroline or Trev will be working.  But today everybody was able so we made plans for an outing and also it just happened to be William's birthday.


Our first idea was to go to Dovestones Reservoir for a good walk and to take a picnic but that idea was spoiled by it raining this morning.  Caroline came up with Hinchliffe's Farm Shop and Restaurant in Huddersfiled and that's where we ended up. 

In the picture above you see the birthday boy with Nicholas in the farm shop and just behind them are Gary and Victoria.


Hinchliffe's is also a working farm set in beautiful countryside.  There are a few different animals and chickens etc. for the kids to see.   Notice no rain, it seems we had left it behind us.


We all enjoyed a drink and a cake on the veranda.  I had the carrot cake, it was delicious. In the background at the top of the picture you can see a little monument sitting up on the top of a hill, that's where we went next.


Caroline and her family on that tower.  The place is Castle Hill, and this rather big monument is Victoria Tower built to commemorate Queen Victoria's 60th year on the throne.


Gary parading as The Angel of the North or about to take off.  Let me tell you, it was windy up there.  Very fresh!


There were fantastic 360 degree panoramic views.


The boys had a great time looking for rabbits.  George insisted his name wasn't Alice though.


Nicholas fell head first down a hill and hurt his leg.  He couldn't walk so well after that and did a lot of hopping about.


Aaaand, wonder of wonders, I got a picture of all of us together!  Okay it's not fantastic but just when I needed somebody to walk by so that I could ask them to take our picture nobody did.  However I had my camera remote control with me but was there a wall or a bench close-by to rest the camera on, no!  The only place I could find to rest the camera was on a bumpy little hillock.  I was desperate not to miss this opportunity, so I set it up, we all crouched down and hoped for the best. This is the photo I got.  Perfect or not you wouldn't believe how happy I am with it!  I'm going to take my tripod next time and see if I can do better with that.


Finally back to the car.  To get an idea of how high we were - 900 ft above sea level to be exact.  You see the little red speck next to the cars at the very left hand side of the picture, that's Caroline waiting for us.

We all had a really lovely time today and with all the suffering and heartbreak going on in the world I know how lucky we are.  This neck of the woods was somewhere different for each of us, Caroline had only been to Hinchliffe's once before and none of us had ever been up Castle Hill.  I'm so glad Caroline suggested this area for an outing and also Happy Birthday William.



Thursday, 17 March 2011

Family Bible

While at my sister-in-law's home in Wales at the weekend Brenda had a surprise in store for us.


It was her mother's family's old Holy Bible.  Brenda didn't know of its existence until very recently when her cousin passed it onto her.  Naturally she was thrilled to bits to receive it.  It has to be said that this Bible has seen better days and looks a bit battered around the edges but the pages are free from mildew and considering its nearly 150 years old we're all just amazed and happy that it has survived intact.

As was the custom generations ago births, marriages and deaths are recorded in it.  The first inscription is dated 1866.  Not only are birth dates recorded but the day of the week and the time of day too!  Brenda was particularly thrilled with this information because over the last couple of years she has traced their family tree and was happy to see that what she discovered on her own is confirmed in the Bible.  Well done, Bren!

This wonderful piece of family history is my Simple Pleasure this week.

Linking to Dayle at a Collection of This and That to see what others have found pleasure in this week.



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Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Weekend in Wales

Wasn't the weather good last weekend?  We were lucky enough to enjoy it by the sea in north Wales where we spent the weekend at the home of William's lovely sister Brenda and her husband Arthur.  We travelled down on Friday night in order to make the most of our time there.


Saturday was a nice and easy leisurely day.  We headed toward Dyserth, stopping along the way to visit St. Mary's Church in the village of Rhuddlan.  I couldn't get a decent photo of the church but if you follow the link you can see what it looks.  It just so happened to be an Open Day of sorts, with church members on hand to share the history of the church.  It was a beautiful, ancient (circa 1300) and interesting little church and what's more the bell ringers were there doing their thing with great gusto.


From there we carried onto Jackson's Boutique Garden Centre at Trelawnyd near Dyserth.  A great place not just for plant lovers.  We had lunch in the conservatory cafe.  Very nice, I'd recommend it.


After Jackson's we backtracked stopping off at Dyserth Waterfalls.  Only small but powerful all the same. 


Sunday we drove the 30 minutes or so to Llandudno.  The sun was shining, the sky was blue and if you stepped it out it wasn't cold at all!


William and I halfway down the pier, stopped for a photo and to admire the view of the Great Orme.  That's it behind us.


At the end of the pier after that bracing walk a cup of coffee and a scone was called for and readily consumed.


Then a walk through the shopping streets with their old Victorian facades.  A lovely Sunday outing.  Who could ask for anything more?

Before I sign off I want to say that although we were having a lovely weekend I was only too aware of the grief and suffering in other parts of the world, namely Japan and countries in the Far East.  The heartbreak and suffering is unimaginable to me living in Great Britain and my heart goes out to those whose world is in turmoil.


Thursday, 10 March 2011

Homework for Grown-ups.

Whenever I go to the local shops I always pop in the Hospice Charity Shop.  I've mentioned on here before about our local Hospice shop being the best to place to buy books.

Well, I popped into the Hospice shop this week on Tuesday morning for a quick nosey.  I had Charlie, my little grandson, with me so I was a little distracted by him and not concentrating properly on what was on the bookshelves. 

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I did however spot this little treasure of a book and was fascinated by it.  Really it's a mini encyclopaedia, a veritable treasure trove of knowledge.  I love books like this the kind that with every dip into something new is revealed.  I picked it up, had a quick look in it and then put it back on the shelf.

Tuesday night I didn't sleep well and the main thing that was going through my head was this book.  Why did I not buy it!  It was in immaculate condition and only £1 for heaven's sake!  So, yesterday morning I made another trip to the Hospice Shop and wonder of wonders there it still was, on the shelf, waiting for me to claim it.  I handed over my £1 and skipped all the way back to the car with it happily tucked under my arm. 

It doesn't take much to make me happy.

Linking to  Dayle's blog, A Collection of This and That, for this week's Simple Pleasures.



Sunday, 6 March 2011

A Beautiful Day


It was a such a beautiful day today.  The sun shone brightly most of the day and the sky was so blue, it was a tonic for our winter weary souls.  It was cold mind you, still hats, gloves and scarves weather.  Do you know though, one family had their little boys dressed in shorts, poor little things!

William and I had said we would go out somewhere today but he has been having a couple of health issues and didn't feel like walking too far, so when Victoria rang to say they were going to Todmorden Park and did we want to go with them we said yes.


We had a lovely couple of hours enjoying the sunshine.  I particularly enjoyed the carpets of crocus everywhere, it's great to see a splash of colour after all of winter's grey tones.  I'd taken along a flask of hot coffee and Vicki and I were able to sit, drink our coffee, natter away and watch the boys play while Billy and Gary ran around after them in the play area.

Yesterday afternoon was a treat for me.  I spent it with a friend I haven't seen for a good while.  She's been off working in different places for The British Red Cross.  We sat in my new favourite cafe, The Bear Cafe in Todmorden, and chatted away non-stop the whole time.  It was good to catch up and I hope we'll do it again soon.

That's it for now.




Wednesday, 2 March 2011

The story behind the iconic WWII poster.

We've all seen this poster, I have a version of it on my sidebar.


Along with the rest of the world I really like it.  I knew it was a WWII poster and that was about all I knew.  However I've recently discovered its full story.  Which, in a nutshell, is as follows:

2.5 million copies of the poster were printed to stiffen public resolve in the event of a national invasion.  All remained in storage until one copy was found 60 years later at the bottom of a box of books bought at auction.  The bookseller put the poster up in his shop and its message of reassurance has since become iconic.

I found this information on the back of a birthday card I bought from Marks & Spencer and decided to delve a bit deeper into it on the internet.  If you're interested here's a link to the poster's full history on the website of the bookstore where it was found.  Fascinating stuff.

For some reason it really pleased me to discover this little bit of information and so I'm linking to Dayle's blog for this weeks Simple Pleasures.


Tuesday, 1 March 2011

In my neck of the woods today.


Spring flowers in the sunshine.


A walk by the lake where I happily bumped into two of my favourite people, John and Lesley.


A vacuum cleaner that conks out on me, without fail, before I've finished half of the carpets in the house!


A little dog who wants his tea at 3.30p.m. on the dot and who follows me around and stares at me non-stop until he gets it.


And finally, pink trails in the sunset.