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...


Scavenger photo-challenge - April

Welcome to our first Scavengerphoto-challenge :) A photo inspired by a word, words inspired by the photos - enjoy xx

When, in 2000, we'd returned to the UK with not a penny spare I fell in love with a Kilim rug in a small junk shop. It had a price tag of £75 - way way beyond my pocket but I really really wanted it. I saved pennies, saved pounds, walked passed the shop almost daily, watched watched saved saved and eventually managed to pay for it. Carrying it home on my shoulder was an amazing feeling. It has been part of our family life and as you can see - is becoming threadbare in places. I have been researching how to do an 'authentic' repair job but so far (and several unpickings later) I haven't quite succeeded...

We were on a really good walk Himself and I as we bumbled through the quiet little village of Whittington where we discovered a mosaic depicting St Micheal the Archangel. Apparently the pebbles used were locally gathered by the villagers from the River Lune, just a couple of fields away. Notice his 'feathery' wings? Yeah - me too! Bam! Job done :)

Something  fresh
We love terrariums and my current favourite is this one - a mini 'woodland floor' with tiny ferns, pebbles and moss. I'd just sprayed it with water and it made the delicate fronds sing in a bright fresh green.

Despite a cutting breeze - the view was amazing. (Tap on the picture to 'enbiggen' the view)

Slipping along the pathway we met a couple, he was scowling and muddy up to the knees and she just smiled apologetically. He looked at us and pointed at his feet - 'The track is a mess, puddles are deep - you are going to get wet'. I glanced over at his wife, she was barely muddy. He was correct about the track being wet - but we seemed to survive (as had his wife) - he must have overbalanced and hit the deck.

Some years ago, I lived in a commune style set up, worked for an educational environmental charity and learned about life. I fell in love with traditional crafts and learnt a few. One of them was hedge laying - I loved it, the cutting and layering, the weaving and steeping, the wielding of bilhooks and axes. So when I see a hedge being laid - I always gravitate towards it. 

It has been a slow start to spring but last Saturday the sun shone and it warmed our bones and the buds seems to just swell.

Camel hair coat and tiger's eye signet ring - both inherited from my Gran. They are very 'her', elegant, full of gracious poise and timeless. 

Years and years ago she once told me a story about that ring.  We lived in a hot and steamy African country and she had been cooking that evening's meal using beef mince.  A day or two later, when she was doing some house work, she wiped her hair off her face and inhaled an awful whiff. She searched the room for the smell in vain. Once or twice, when her fringe was plastered to her hot forehead (did I mention we lived in a hot and steamy African country?) she wiped her hair away only to be almost over come again by the rotting smell. She blamed the cat, she blamed the dog. It was only when, once again her hand was near her face she realised the stench was emanating from the tiger's eye ring - she pulled off and found that underneath was a small nugget of mince - happily rotting away beneath the stone .... I can still hear her horrified voice regaling the story, and it still makes me giggle :)

 This one I only just got my the skin of my teeth - it was the one image I was just not 'getting'. Nothing I saw fitted my ideal for 'Sticks' until, that is, one day last week during lunch. I'd driven out of town and parked up to make the most of the glorious weather and while I was absent-mindedly munching on my lunch, these walkers quietly pootled by. I stared enviously - they were out enjoying the day and I was watching the clock.  It was almost as they walked out of view I realised what I had very nearly missed - they each gently strode out with a walking pole in their right hands - Sticks!!! 

One of my own choice 
Eldest and Himself working away at what looked like a half hundred weight of bamboo which had taken over part of the garden - thanks guys - it was far more than I could handle xx

Well, I have enjoyed sharing little stories with the photos - If you want to see what everyone else has done - here are the links :)
  1. Lovely Lady - Thread through my Life (private blog) - Link
  2. Jak - Link
  3. Eldest - Link
  4. Aril - Wonderings & Wanderings from Gnat Bottomed Towers
  5. Susan- Granny Smith's Quilting
  6. Sustainablemum
  7. Julie  -Julie's Scrapbook
  8. Tess - Driftwood
  9. Eileen T - In my playroom
  10. Jackie - Winters End Rambler
  11. Kezzie - KezzieAG
  12. Jules - A Hidden Jem
  13. Cathy -The House with the Blue Door 
Excuse me now, I am off to have a look at what you lovely people have done :) Woo hoo!


In which I waffle ....

I am not the only one that seems to be getting excited about our Scavenger photo-hunt - I keep getting lovely comments and emails saying how much fun/inspiration/enjoyment you lovely people are having and cryptic footnotes about items found and plans to dash off to photo the last missing feather/wet/sticks etc.  I would love to know which one you found the most challenging to find :) And there has even been a number of tentative enquires whether there will be another one! (Eldest and I are working on a new list as we speak :) )

On a different note,
...the boys and I spent a most precious and glorious Wednesday in Kirkby Lonsdale and walking around the little picture postcard village of Whittington. The sun was so so wonderful, warming, bright and very welcome. We spent time munching our lunch on the river's edge punctuating it with bouts of stone skimming. Youngest took photos whilst I skimmed - I am a bit rusty, think I need more practice!

The boys tower over me now. 

Baked vegan brownies - they were very successful and very quickly consumed.
I have had requests (repeatedly) for another pan, 
however a distinct lack of cocoa in the cupboard has put paid to that!
(Note to self...remember to buy some more -SHARPISH!).

A certain sporting event is happening this Friday (no I don't mean our photo-hunt!) but Tour de Yorkshire
Stage 1 culminates in the town I work and it has certainly sparked a flurry of bunting and flags and all things blue and yellow and bicycle shaped!
We even have a Hollywood style name, I could not resist taking photos.

It is strange what you stumble over when walking out on the hills.
A manhole cover .... with a personalised touch ... a little on the batty side.

Himself has been baking too - he made GigANtiC custard slices!
They too were scoffled rather quickly. 
He has just told me that he has been thinking how to improve and refine his recipe ...
watch this space!



And you?

PS Gentle reminder of our Scavenger photo-hunt : 

All you need to do is be inspired by the list. 
interpret it as YOU please - think outside the box, 
think laterally, take photos
 and most importantly - have FUN!

  1. Orange
  2. Feather
  3. Something fresh
  4. Horizon
  5. Wet
  6. Craft
  7. Growing
  8. Memories
  9. Sticks
  10. Any subject of YOUR choosing.
Ok, it is now down to YOU - we shall reconvene and and reveal our pictures and a little bit of waffle, over the final weekend of April (starting Friday 29th).

Scavenger photo-hunt BIG REVEAL for April is...



Today - 1
Part of our service to the farming community is to drop off parcels at a mutual venue, today I delivered a parcel to an auction market cafe.  I queued up with the hungry farmers to speak to a staff member and when I finally reached her, she said in a dull monotone ... 'yes'.

I said who I was, who the parcel was for and then made a request that as it was a fridge item, please could it be stored in their fridge until it was collected.  The sweat-shiny faced woman looked at me for a moment or two with her mouth open, then shrieked 'Fridge?? Fridge??'

She turned to the rest of staff and said loudly 'She said to me - put it in the FRIDGE!!' she screamed a manic laugh and snatched the parcel from me and, as I tried to explain that there was an icepack included and could she just place it somewhere cooler than the sweltering kitchen, she stalked off still screeching 'fridge ...FRIDGE' (Now, I am not sure what I triggered but I suspect it was a raw point ...)

Today - 2
A burly gruffly spoken farmer came in today, I'd just taken a call from him not ten minutes before ... he'd found a newly born lamb savaged by a dog. He was angry. He was furious.

When he arrived, I directed straight down to the waiting vet as he humphed and growled and vented his feelings.
A ringing 'phone distracted me as he left.
It seemed not two minutes before he returned and I assumed that he'd left it with the vet to be stitched up ... how wrong I was. It had been savaged beyond rescue and it was decided that it was kinder to put it to sleep and the big and gruff and tough and now deflated farmer was unable to watch his lamb being injected. His anger was now sadness - I felt sad for him too.

Today - 3
Waiting at the auction mart, I over heard this conversation ...

Well 'e ******* put t' ******* line in t' wrong ******* place an'  he painted it t' wrong ******* colour ... can ya see it? (vigorous pointing at a sign above the door).
A-a-a-ye I can. (A craning of a craggy neck upwards).
Also, also he ****** well 'e dint match t' *******colour wiv the writin' Can ya see it? 
A-a-a-ye I can.
Well, I was ******* mad, I were, ******* mad!
A-a-a-aye (nodding head sagely).
So - I did 'im, I dint pay 'im, I ******* well dint pay 'im.
A-a-a-ye (more head nodding).
So, (a very audible rubbing of scaly raspy hands together gleefully) I go't  fer free! I was *******, ****** chuffed wi' me'sell.
(Just more nodding and staring at the floor).
An' I ******* put that **** sign oop an' I neva paid a ******* fing fer it!

The two gents then wandered off back inside through the door below the shamed shop signage cheerfully resplendent in it's various shades of yellow and green sporting a crooked line. I looked at it and wondered at the thinking of the first man - he was unhappy with the sign, refused to pay however he still used it and despite his annoyance was triumphant because he 'go't  fer free!'

Today - finally 4
Watched a nondescript grey car pull up with three occupants. The driver, an older stern faced man, had a light grey blue shirt on with military style epaulettes and the other two were obviously in police uniform.  All three solemnly removed their police jackets and donned civilian fleeces. As they walked past me, I could not resist ... and said 'Now that's a sight you don't often see ...'
The older man turned to me and tersely said - 'What's that?'
I replied ' I noticed the epaulettes and decided that you were not farmers ...' (followed by a slightly nervous giggle as I wondered if they had attempted some form of casual undercover').
The man suddenly smiled back and laughed a 'Well spotted'. And with that, the three of them turned and slipped into the crowd.  What had I just witnessed I wondered??

When I told Himself of my day he looked at me oddly and said ' What a strange world you inhabit'.


Generous servings of Sunshine and Snow

Dish of the Day.

  • Take one gloriously sunny spring Saturday

  • Add one husband, walking boots and a flask of tea

  • Omit two teenagers (deposit one at his Saturday job and the other with the Girlfriend)
  • Go to Kirkby Lonsdale **

  • Arrive early, before the hordes of day trippers

  • Wander through gloriously quiet sunny streets

  • Find a lovely bakery with an unexpected tea-room at the back and sample their most delicious wares - yum yum
  • Return to same bakery a little later and purchase something for lunch by the river
  • Pop into shops that give you a serious case of the 'wanties'

  • Drool over yarns and wools and patterns

  • Fall in love with a lime green scarf, speckled with indigo flowers and acid yellow tendrils
  • Walk along the River Lune, breathe in the fresh spring air

  • Steep gently as you follow the paths through rolling green fields

  • Sit in sunshine and slurp tea appreciatively while sand martins scream and weal over the river
  • Skip over puddles and bumble through villages

  • until...

finally return to the car, still in drenched in the welcome sunshine.

Optional extras

  • Collect various sons from various location on return journey
  • On reaching home, stick the kettle on, stoke up the fire and watch the snow flurries as they fall.

What a way to to end the day with generous servings of Sunshine and Snow!

**Please follow the link for Kirky Lonsdale and watch the 2ish minute video, it shows everything beautifully - a lovely lovely little rural town.


Wild and Wet and Windy in Wales!

You know when you get that 'itch' ... the type that really needs to be sorted. That kind of 'itch' that can only be mended by a dose of sea air, salty blue skies and endless horizons. Do you know what I mean?

Well, not only did we have a severe case of the wanties for the sea air but we managed to give ourselves a decent dose in a day-out jolly.

We went to the Llŷn Peninsula in Wales for the day and despite the rather brusque weather - it was great!

We woke early and bundled two sleepy teenagers into the car - they almost instantly fell back to sleep, tousled heads buried into their pillows. Himself drove and I happily tackled my knitting.  It is not complicated but I seemed to have lost momentum and decided to make good the journey time to to get some dedicated knitting done.
The weather reports had cheerfully promised dire conditions but we'd decided that if we waited for a nice day - we could wait and wait and wait and miss our micro-adventure. So, with the rain on the windscreen, the boys asleep, knitting under way - we arrived, three hours later at Porth Colmon.
I sat in the car - staring at the purple-grey sea, frothing and expansive - as I tied on my boots. A quick jump out of AND STRAIGHT BACK IN to the car confirmed the need for several more layers on. A second attempt, wrapped up and waterproofed, proved more successful.  The wind was rather 'fresh' and very cutting - burning our cheeks and making my eyes water - but it was salty and it was bracing and it was wonderful.

We followed the edge of the coast line down onto the windblown sands were we crossed the small bay and back up on to the coast line. In places the pathway was treacherously muddy and one path we had to give up on as it had been closed due to collapse into the sea.
We returned back feeling completely battered by the air, refreshed and invigorated - ready to eat our lunch. We had a 'carnic' watching the sea chop and churn against the black rocks, as we gently steamed up  the windows while we warmed our hands around mugs of tea and filled our bellies with homemade homity pies.
We drove on to another bay - the Whistling Sands. Once parked, we walked up Mynydd Carreg - a small hill above the sands which gave us the most amazing views.  The wind by now had picked up and was colder and sharper than before. The skies heavy and the occasional spatter of icy rain drops kept us watching the skies.
 We sheltered against the stone wall at the summit which gave us some relief from the buffeting wind.
From here we could see down to the bay where the sands were. Our walk took us down through the fields to the coastal path and followed it until the bay,
Along the way we stumbled through an old jasper quarry (opened in 1094) where we found nuggets of rough jasper. Continuing along the path we were halted by a rather large and warty toad - well we think it was a toad as it walked rather than hopped and it's skin was roughened and dry. It gave us a stern look from it's golden eyes before it trundled off into the grass.
As pleased as we were with our jasper and as tickled we were by the toad - we were delighted by the sight of dolphins - a large pod, we guestimated about 25ish - moving through the rough sea. We threw ourselves onto the grass cliff edge trying to shelter from the winds as we took pictures. Not an easy task - but we saw them and we may have squealed a little (ok, ok it might have been just me who squealed!) 
Eventually the clusters of dolphins went out of sight and we just had to move to keep warm.

Our path finally took us to the edge of the bay, leading us through a small twisted woodland, giving us a wonderful respite from the cold wind. 
At end of the footpath, two small wooden buildings appeared. As we approached they proved to be loo blocks! What a welcome sight! That, here, on a 'wild-and-wet-and-windy-in-Wales' day, the two little wooden buildings not only had working and clean toilets but loads of loo roll, fresh hot and cold water and a jar filled with flowers - love it!
After making use of the most unexpected but rather delightful facilities we continued our walk down to the Whistling Sands. There were a few other hardy souls enjoying the bracing sea air including a dad and small daughter who ran around joyfully. We were amused by the 'creatures' on the beach - evidence of a warmer day's play.

We walked across the length of the bay and briefly up on to the dunes on the other side. It was cold! Time to return to the car - we still have to drive home and the weather was deteriorating rapidly. 
A return journey across the sands, back up on to the farm land and through the fields to the parked car. Once there, off came the boots and down came the rain - we'd only just made it in time!

Himself drove us to a scenic spot where we finished off our picnic and drained the flask while we watched the sea through windscreen wipers - I'd got my breath of sea air, the boys had got their walk and we'd seen dolphins ... what more could we want? (apart for slightly better weather?)


Scavenger photo-hunt update

I am delighted that you lovely lovely people are joining in however, a number of queries have popped up - so hopefully I can answer them here.

Which pictures? How many pictures?
Ideally as many as possible but no pressure - the idea is to be inspired to 'go hunting' and share your findings and stories.

Think out of the box? I don't think I can do that.
Shall I give you an example?  
The word 'SPRING' can be  interpreted in many ways -
ie a rusty vintage car suspension spring, 
or a water source (such as a medieval holy spring), 
or the more traditional - lambs and daffodils...
See? How easy is that?!

I don't have a blog how can I join in?
Two ways of sorting that...
1. What a good excuse to start your own blog! - even if you only use it as a photo-record, it might develop into something else :) 
2. Send me your photos in an email with a bit of a waffle for each one and I'll post it here :)

Do I have to reveal all of the pictures at the same time?
Yes please, in a post from Friday the 29th April, l will post a reminder.

Can I 'grab' the button?
Yes please, you can take the 'Scavenger photo-hunt' button on the right of my page and if you would be so kind as to link back to I live, I love, I craft, I am me ... in your blog post that would be lovely, you can also share on Facebook and Twitter (for those who are into their social media!) 

Any thing else? 
Well - that's up to you! Go for it and enjoy the challenge :)

Joining us so far...

  1. Aril - Wonderings & Wanderings from Gnat Bottomed Towers
  2. Jules - A Hidden Jem
  3. Susan- Granny Smith's Quilting
  4. Eileen T - In my playroom
  5. Jayne - The View From Bag End
  6. Lovely Lady - Thread through my Life
  7. Jackie - Winters End Rambler
  8. Kezzie - KezzieAG
  9. Julie  -Julie's Scrapbook
  10. Jak
  11. Cathy -The House with the Blue Door 
  12. Tess - Driftwood
  13. Sustainablemum
  14. Myself & Eldest