Just about bordering on odd, I see things through different eyes.The heading says it all - I live, I love, I craft, I am me...

31/03/2015

Marching towards April showers...

Yes, I know it is still March, but only just. (It was when I started typing this - I suspect any minute now it will become April!)

March had to cling on by its very finger tips.  The weather the last few days has been lively at best and downright vindictive at worst. Last night the wind screamed around the house with blood curdling howls which were punctuated by hail hammering on the roof.

The last month was full to bursting with barely space to breathe. There has been good and slightly less good things all the way through.  Welcome to my March Round up :)

Picked the first flowers from the garden - a dark and freckly hellebore, bamboo and honeysuckle shoots *happy*

This month's 52 new recipes were rather successful. We had chocolate fruit cake  (yes CHOCOLATE! ) fruit cake, a surprising combination which worked. Smoked salmon frittata  (inspired by a recipe from a magazine in a hospital waiting room) the boys really loved this one. Home made garlic bread... This was more of an experiment which worked. *happy*

Witnessed the lunar eclipse at work with friends and colleauges - it was a strange magickal morning, as the sky darkened the birds burst into evening song and flew to roost, then as the sun began to shine once more - they all 'woke up' and started with their dawn chorus - amazing! *happy*

I had some minor surgery on my back, which despite several false starts I eventually had a suspicious mole removed leaving me with a 5cm long scar and, for the time being, a stiff shoulder and the occasional shooting pains as it heals. *sort of happy*

Had special silly moments with the cat pretending to be a diva*happy photo opportunity*


Eldest has been sorting out work experience for himself. To his delight he has been offered a place at an engineering business with second business requesting an interview despite them knowing he already has a placement and happy to discuss alternative dates. *happy happy*

I am off to do some 'speed awareness training' - something to do with whizz whizz whizzing past a speed camera (oops) so have booked some quality time with the traffic police *stupid me*

Work - as I may have mentioned is frazzlingly busy but strangely I still love it and despite being absolutely whacked out tonight (started at 8.30am and did not stop - not even for lunch - until 5.45pm) still came home smiling *tired but a happy tired*

Had some much needed me-time (guilty pleasure), did loads of crochet - three cushion covers completed - started the 4th cover tonight will reveal them properly in an April Ta-da! *happy happy*

I have been lucky enough to receive some lovely goodies, be a recipient of wonderful comments and emails, celebrated a fun family and foodie 17th birthday, walked some cathartic, some wet and some simply beautiful walks - Yes March has been rather good to me (despite the odd hitch :)


How was March for you?
Did the weather keep you awake at night?
Have you been recipient of unexpected kindness and love?
Are you ready for April?

xxxxxxxx

29/03/2015

Sunday's quiet thoughts

The house is quiet, Youngest is upstairs getting ready for bed, Himself and Eldest are taking Girlfriend home, the weekend is almost almost almost over.  I have done very little (intentionally little) apart from a bit of crochet, cooking and reading - and I do feel a lot better.  











I have been again greatly touched by your comments - thank you :)

I hope your weekend gave you what you wanted and what you needed - making you ready for the week to come :)

Bring it on!

While I was catching up on a few blogs I came across this....and it just felt right for the moment xx

Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you.      -Lao Tzu

28/03/2015

Thank you!

I am really touched by all your lovely comments and emails - thank you - My life is still as busy but recently I have been in a better frame of mind.

This weekend I am using as a breathing space. Wild wet weather outside is certainly helping.

I mentally blocked off all 'things to do' and had a really lazy start to my day.  I did try (briefly) unsuccessfully do some housework but soon gave that up.

There was a bit of a grump going on, triggered by a combination of lanky teenagers and social media problems (our cell phone mast is not working). Fortunately that calmed down when the boys resorted to watching Mongol - the Rise of Genghis Khan  - perfect for this day of 'hibernation'.

I have been lucky with this blogging lark to have made some lovely kind and generous bloggy-friends. One of them - Susan from Granny Smith's Quilting and I have a shared love for the Yorkshire Dales. Her knowledge of the area and her holidays there made me think, that despite her coming from Australia, she was originally a Yorkshire lass born and bred. It turns out she is as 'foreign' as I and we both hail from the colonies!

Any hoo, where this waffle's leading to,  is on Friday, when I came home I found a parcel waiting for me - look....
 
Ooh - 'foreign' labels!
Inside was a parcel in the prettiest' paper - I love the song bird
And inside?
Something beautifully made.
I love love the fabric!
Beautiful on both sides
But this was not the only surprise...
 Tucked inside was a gift box 
and a very appropriate card

Thank you Susan - very generous and knowing how busy you are, 
thank you for making such a beautiful table runner.

Thank you xxxx


PS - the house is just mine - Himself and Eldest have gone walking, with the go-pro, off to our local waterfall and Youngest has gone out with a friend for the afternoon - so I have a cat, a mug of tea, my laptop and some  'me time' bliss xx



23/03/2015

Hello (remember me?)

Yeah, I know, I kind of fell off the radar.  Life has been so very hectic that my feet have not touched the ground.

I have, over the days weeks written many posts (in my head) but they never reached my laptop, which I haven't even switched on in over a week! (Now that is really something unheard of for me...)

I was going to waffle on how kindness is seen as a weakness and that politeness is often misinterpreted for invisibility. (Might leave that one - a bit heavy going....)

I composed a medical comedy-drama concerning the number of appointments and referrals I had to go through before having minor surgery on my back (no wonder the NHS is reputed to be running out of money). But this is not fresh or exciting news - quite the opposite in fact.

I even drafted out a sitcom cops-and-robbers type farce to include being caught speeding on the way to one of the many doctor's appointments I have had to take time off from work for. I even have a cliff hanger! However even I am not interested...

And I've constructed some cat related silly stories and I promise to show the photos that inspired them. Sometime. Promise.

*Deep breath*

Work is busy, weekends are full, walking still is my release - so, please excuse me if I haven't been around recently but trust me, I am still here :)

08/03/2015

In which we have a wonderful micro-adventure

It is amazing, this bloggy world we dip our lives and stories in to.  

For example gz from ook?! (rant whilst waiting) explained that the donning of underwear whilst wearing cycling gear is a 'definite no no' as this causes (no wait I shall quote) ....lovely writing...but one comment...underwear under lycra is a definite No No...shorts come with padding and if worn with underwear you risk chafing at least and fungal infections at worst...... He should have done more work on flat land first...but don't you have a shortage of that? ;-) Really? Not that I don't believe you (you have loads of bike-know-how as your blog proves) but it is the thought of not wearing any that made my eyebrows go skyward! Especially after what I saw that day....... it will be for ever and ever and EVER be etched in my brain *shudder*!!!

 gz also mentioned she has just baked the malt loaf from my February round up - nice one - it is a super yummy loaf and while it lasted it stayed deliciously moist and succulent! I think most of my new recipes are ones that come recommended via blogs.
I love the feedback and the comments and the subsequent discussions that fly back and forth. I love the advice and the love, the chat and the stories. I love reading your posts and being inspired, delighted and entertained. I feel the pain when you write in sorrow, I feel the tiredness when you have had enough. 
 Saturday was surprisingly beautiful, despite the skies being very heavy and often threatening we decided to chance it and go out on the hills for a micro-adventure.
I am so very very glad we did.   
 We saw things we'd not seen before. Found hidden waterfalls that tumbled down rock into deep isolated gorges.
 Snow was still present and was an essential part of several snow-ball games. Youngest instigated each and every battle and Himself and Eldest in turn dodged or retaliated as necessary all over the hills.
 I, chose to remove myself from this rather boisterous and potentially icy-cold game and took photos.
 Lots and lots of photos
I'm in this one.
See what I mean? 
 Years ago, (not that if feels that long ago) we all pressed our boots in a snow drift.  In order of size it was Himself, me, then the boys. Now, in order of size are the boys (Youngest first) then Himself and the smallest foot....was me.
 We climbed up higher, the air was cool and crisp and as long as we were out of the nippy breeze, it was beautiful.
Cold, but beautiful.
 Water gate?

 The streams had undercut the snow creating amazing flying cornices.
 We chanced upon an old lime kiln with the vault's beautifully curved arches behind the stoke hole. We hid against the wall, to drop out of the breeze, where we stopped for a mug of tea and chunk of chocolate and took in the view.
 
In places the snow was knee deep, much to Youngest's delight as he floundered around and rolled about. Where does he get the energy?
 Our final stop before the descent was high above a winding river. Sitting right on the edge of the limestone, we watched the skies and clouds, sipped the remains of our tea then, returned to the winding footpath down to Arncliffe

 As we walked through the village, we spied a gentleman's vintage slate walled convenience behind a pub....  is it still in use??  :) It certainly made me grin.

Monday tomorrow, back to work. Back to reality. 
I shall hold our walk close in my heart to keep me sane through the rest of the week.

How was your weekend?
Did you get out and about and breathe the air?
Did you see something that made you grin?
Did feel the cold air on your face and smile at the sun?
Did you see a fish out of water?
Did you have a micro-adventure? - they are highly recommended!

I love hearing what you get up to xxx

04/03/2015

Observations

Today.

Observation 1
A couple, hand in hand, laugh a secret shared laugh as I walk out at lunch time.  Her tinkling giggle catches my attention as I notice them coming from the train station.  Hand in hand and clutching a shopping bag each, it looks like they have spent a wonderful morning somewhere and now have returned home, still buoyed up by their trip. He is a fair bit taller than her and he crooks his head down towards at her smiling raised face.  They look so in love, so happy that it makes me smile.  I try to guess their ages as I over take them and decide they must be in their late 70s.  I can still hear their laughter as I turn away into another street.


Observation 2
A young bespectacled dark haired girl flings her head side to side as she looks for directions.  Her smart modern dark blue mini, with its white go-faster stripes, trickles slowly down the road with a tail of annoyed traffic behind her. She drives by and initially I think on her no further.  As my walk progresses, she drives passed again.  This, her second circuit of the town, is driven a little faster. I smile inwardly and wonder if she has an appointment somewhere and isn't sure where. Again she fades out of my thoughts.  Only, by the time I see her for the third time, she is driving flat out with her head still flinging around as she tries to read road signs, not run over pedestrians while trying to miss any on-coming cars.She flies by me, screeching into the local supermarket car park and out of my eyesight - I'll never know what she was searching for.


Observation 3
High on the hills behind the town a trail of hikers are working their way across the sky line.  At this distance they are only small dark specks on a winter grey-green hill, almost like very small beads on a very fine thread. I am envious of their freedom while my brief lunch walk is taken through the outskirts of the market town. I lose them as I turn down a quiet street and as I walk along the houses, between each building I can catch glimpses of the hillside. Occasionally I can make out the trail of walkers as they press on. By the time I have reached my furthest point and need to make my way back, the hikers have gone over the col and have disappeared into the dales. That pang of envy hits me again.


Observation 4
On the opposite of the road, in the distance, I can see a wheelchair-bound animated body being powered along by a sturdy woman in thick chunky heels and a wafting cloud of black curly hair.  My first impressions are of a frighted person with flailing skinny arms feeling unsafe in the chair. But as we walk closer, the pair turn across the road in front of me and I can now correctly hear the old lady chatting gaily away whilst pointing to landmarks and regaling stories to her chunky heeled driver. She, the sturdy woman with the generous head of hair, seems unaffected and uninterested and continues to surge forward as the stream of chatter just bounces off her.  Does the stick thin old lady say the same stories every time? Does her sturdy companion not care or knows them off by heart? Who knows, I turn left as they carry on back towards the pensioner's care centre.

Observation 5
A middle aged man with more than a little middle-age spread doing his damnedest to return to his youthful slender struggles up the slight incline that I am walking along.  The air temperature is a cool 3.5 deg c but the sun is shining and the sky is a clear delicate spring blue. I can hear his ragged breath as he peddles his narrow expensive looking road bike alongside me. I am on the pavement briskly walking my lunch break away to clear my head.  His rasping breath makes me take a subtle sideways look to see who is in such obvious pain.  His red face is stuffed into a shiny new-looking cycle helmet while his gaping jaw is gasping for air. He looks like he is fit to burst.  He can barely over take me and as the slight incline flattens out, he just manages to edge forward.  I can now see that his cycle gear is also as smart and new looking as his bike, only - he must have bought it for the smaller size he wants to be.... for his black lycra covered backside has stretched the fabric so tautly that is it blatantly obvious that he is wearing no underwear...... I quickly averted my eyes forward and thankfully turned away from his punishing workout and his unfortunate wardrobe malfunction.

I have returned to work.  My lungs filled with crisp air, my head a little clearer and my life a little richer for each of these stories that have no beginning and an unknown ending.


02/03/2015

An almost foolproof recipe for a fun birthday

 Ingredients:

  • A fridge stuffed full of food waiting to be prepared
  • 3 Teenagers and Husband and over helpful cat (evicted from the kitchen on numerous occasions)
  • 3 fondue pots, two from charity shops (thrift store) and a borrowed pot
  • Spices and fruit juices for the mulled apple punch
  • Breads and garlic breads
  • Mountain of baking potatoes
  • A huge chocolate cake
  • Many dips, sauces and sauces
  • Slabs of chocolate and strawberries for the chocolate fondue and fruit salad for desert
  • A cold and snowy Sunday

Method:

  • Get two of the three teenagers to assemble the fondue pots - two had never been used before and still had their labels one - one pot was from the 1970s! (cue thoughtful looks and mild confusion from same teenagers as they set up)
  • Then direct the same teenagers to chop and slice and dice and cut meat. cucumber,courgette, mushroom, cheese, tomatoes, onions, peppers, celery and anything else they can wield their knives through. (Tidy kitchen after them)
  • Sort out youngest teenager and husband to bring in extra chairs and table and arrange seating
  • Start laying out the vast quantities of bowls filled with nibbles, meats and forks
  • Be prepared for visitors bringing more delicious food


  • Stick the kettle on, serve warmed punch, tea and coffee with the cake
  • Toast the birthday boy (sorry - young man) and quietly remember his first day - with us 17 years ago and wonder where the time has gone and feel proud at the young man he is becoming.
  • Light fondue burners and feast through the evening regaling stories and tales and laughing as food is being eaten
Happy birthday beautiful - we love you x

March 2017 Link up Party

If you have joined in with my Scavenger hunt, please link with me on your blog :) Please add your name to the link up ...