Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

Tag Archives: flowers

I’m a hothouse flower…

Well, that’s all my travelling done for this year. Unless some miracle happens, I am doomed to the rain and grey skies here in the UK until next year. It was 37°C every day I was in Mallorca, clear blue skies – I loved it. I am definitely a hothouse flower.  I arrived back in the UK yesterday and today it is raining. Sorry to bang on about the weather again but it does get me down.

Anyways, before I went to Mallorca, I was very busy making two albums and boxes for the friend I was going to stay with and for her daughter, who gave birth to a beautiful baby boy back in May. It was my friend’s birthday (a significant one) and as I couldn’t think of a present to buy her, I made her the album of photos of her first grandson. I asked her daughter to send me lots of photos of the baby and she kindly sent me nearly 500, so it was a very enjoyable task to go through them and choose the best to go into the two albums. (I printed them on to double sided heavy weight paper using my Canon Pixma Pro 9500 printer using archival pigment inks, for the technically minded among you)

Here are photos of one of the albums – one was pale blue and the other was pale green. The photo on the front was taken in the baby’s bedroom.

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My friends have THE most beautiful house. I am especially attached to it because I helped to choose it several years ago after a whistlestop visit to Mallorca when we viewed 18 houses, with 4 different agents, in 2 days. The house they bought was the last one we viewed – on the way back to the airport. They grow all their own fruit and vegetables – there are olive, almond, carob, apple and pear trees, grapes, tomatoes, plums, damsons, sweet potatoes, figs…the list goes on. Idyllic times.

It was a fabulously lazy holiday (even by my standards) – wonderful friends, great food, lots of swimming (well, floating about on an inflatable reclining chair), lots of reading, chatting and bobbing about on boats. I even managed to keep up with the cricket while I lay by the pool, thanks to my faithful iPhone. In fact on Saturday, I was following The Ashes, the Man U (my team) v Wigan footie match (5-0! Keep it up boys!) and the Formula 1 qualifying (go Lewis!) from the comfort of my sun lounger. A very sweet day on the sporting front.

lollingI even managed not to drop my phone in the pool…

Just before I left for Mallorca, I took part in an event which happens every year in my town, Bridport. There is a carnival which takes place on Saturday and then on Sunday evening, there is a torchlight procession from the town hall in Bucky Doo Square to the coast at West Bay, where there is a huge bonfire and a firework display. It was a fine dry night so 1500 people took part, the walk takes about an hour and it was very atmospheric.

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Milo was in kennels while I was away. I picked him up yesterday. He was in a disgusting state. He smelled terrible, his feet and fur were matted with smelly mud and worse (horse poo?) his coat was full of matted lumps, his eyes were streaming and irritated. I was told the dogs are allowed to run around and play together in a large paddock which is covered in bark chippings. Apparently it had rained while I was away. He has only stayed there overnight before so I was not prepared for the consequences of leaving him there for a week. When I complained about the condition he was in, (I said the standard of care was outrageous) I was told I was outrageous for not wanting my dog to have fun. I dread to think how long they would have left him in this state if I have had gone away for a longer holiday. The sad thing is that I had recommended this kennels to several friends as it appears to have good facilities. I shall be spreading the word and am now on the hunt for another place to take him when I go away.

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Poor little pooch. Dog groomers for him tomorrow.

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Then and now…

I went for a walk on my favourite beach last night. I was delighted to find lots of the coastal plants in full bloom along the edge of the beach and on the cliff tops. I think the purple flowers are called ‘thrift’ but will have to check up on the others. 

I had lots of company on my walk – not of the human kind though.

The cliff tops are honeycombed with rabbit warrens and I saw dozens of them during my walk. It’s slightly disconcerting actually. The cliff edges are unstable enough without bunnies mining them! It was a lovely walk though, even though it was grey, the sun kept trying to break through and the sunbeams shining on the sea were gorgeous.

I went for a walk as I needed to get out – I had spent the entire day sewing this giant album I am making. I started by cutting 50 sheets of ivory Colorplan 270gsm paper (which is the same as Falkiners use in their photograph albums). Each sheet had to be measured and cut individually and then scored so I could fold over a 2cm section on one side. This helps to space the pages so that the album lies flat once photographs are placed into it. 

The next step was to sew the pages together which so far has taken me over a day and I am only about half of the way through. I normally just hold the text block in my hands to sew but as these pages are 40cm x 50cm, that’s just not possible. The sewing would be easier I think if I was using a sewing frame but as I don’t have one, I am just lying each new page on top of the previous one and holding them in place. It seems to be working so far….

I found this great web site the other day that invites people to post an image of themselves when they were a child and then to photograph themselves re-creating the childhood photograph. It’s called ‘Young Me, Now Me’ and some of the photographs are hilarious. I ‘borrowed’ these to show you what I mean. You must visit and see the rest of the photographs – or even post your own!

As you might have guessed, I couldn’t resist digging out a Young Me, Now Me combination. It’s not a direct recreation but with a bit of cropping and converting to B&W, it’s close enough…

It’s interesting to note I had bags under my eyes even when I was 8. Must have been all that reading after lights out under the bed covers with a torch! And my hairstyle hasn’t changed that much – just got longer. Which reminds me, I’m off to my hairdresser again on Wednesday. Last time I went, he was in a  wheelchair as he had broken his leg very badly and he did struggle to cut my hair – I’m amazed he even tried. It necessitated me lowering my chair until it was inches off the floor so that he could reach me – I felt like a little girl again, sitting on those miniature chairs we had in primary school.

Shall I be more adventurous this time….? Nah!

 


 

Vote for me or I’ll……make another book!

I really like this book. The cover is a Japanese Silk bookcloth from Falkiners. It is a rich red with a grey slub, so classy! I also love the paper inside. I think I bought this one from Paper Source when I was in Los Angeles, it has been waiting for the perfect companion and I think this is it.
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Dear Kim over at Laketrees nominated me in three categories of the Bloggers Choice awards the other day. I am almost embarrassed to tell you the categories but as I would like your votes I shall :-) Unfortunately, they spelled my URL incorrectly and in correcting the error, they deleted Kim’s vote for me, so I am feeling like Billy No-Mates with no votes (instead of Billy One-Mate with one vote!) :-(

So all I can say is ‘Vote for me! Yay!’ :-)

My site was nominated for Best Blog Design!My site was nominated for Best Photography Blog!
My site was nominated for Hottest Mommy Blogger!

I played tennis this morning at the local tennis club. I joined a ‘ladies’ morning’ and it is more of a fun, coaching session than my usual doubles game. It probably involved a lot more running around so I really feel like it will do me good on a lot of levels, I will meet some new people, get fit and improve my tennis – result! It was raining when we started to play but by the time we had finished, the sun had come out and it had turned into a really nice day.

When I got home, I wandered around my garden for the first time in ages and was surprised to see how many signs there were that spring is approaching. Well, that or that global warming has finally hit Dorset. Lots of flowers were out – and I’m sure that apart from the snowdrops, they are early. I took some photographs to show you.

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I’m actually feeling quite cheery today for the first time in ages. Long may it continue!

No books, just stuff…

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One of those nights last night. Woke at 3.35 am and couldn’t get back to sleep so I switched the light on and then read for an hour. Fell asleep for 30 minutes and woke again and read until 6.30, got up made tea, went back to bed then fell into a deep sleep and was nearly late for tennis this morning….and what a game it was . It was very windy so it was hard to play and the gusty wind made it very interesting, especially wearing so many layers of clothing, it was hard to move one’s arms properly, but play we did and had a great time.

When I got back, my flowers from the Go!Smell the Flowers competition had arrived and they are beautiful as you can see – and I have still got another 11 deliveries to send where I want over the next year! What a great prize. Thanks so much, Jim and Em!
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I was reading the latest post over at Kim @ Laketrees. To find that she has featured….guess who?…..ME! Hurrah for Kim! She has been nominated for several blogging awards (including Hottest Mommy Blogger) over at the Bloggers Choice Awards. She was nominated by Sue@BloggingSueblimely (what a great name) who has in turn been nominated for several awards. I headed over and voted for both of them as they both have fantastic blogs and deserve to win :-)

Kim also posted a great cartoon from Dave Walker @ Weblog cartoons (who also drew the ‘procrastination cartoon’ I posted a couple of days ago) about organising your desk. It’s very good and I thought I would follow Kim’s lead and post a photograph of my desk so you can see where I am writing this.

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The key things to notice in this photograph are my MacBook Pro which is my baby and I love it. If you click on the photograph you can see a close up of my desktop photo which I think is beautiful. Three printers. Yes, three. One is a combination printer/scanner/copier so I keep it even though the printer no longer works well with my Mac, the other is an ordinary photo printer which has now been superceded by the third, which is a new A3+ size printer I have just bought so I can put into action a cunning idea I have had for my books. And then there is the spaghetti junction going on underneath. Bit like me really. On the surface all is tidy and organised, underneath turmoil :-)

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Hiding behind the Mac are three pots of pens and pencils, three staplers (why?) four packs of various highlighter and felt pens. Who says I am obsessed with stationery? There is a stamp which I used when I was doing my teacher training which says

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and some book marks which have spaces for smiley face stickers which I used to give the children when they were good (a little bribery goes a long way)

I also have some speakers on my desk so I can listen to music and a clock and weather forecaster so I can see what the weather is doing in case I forget to look out of the window. It is radio controlled and is supposed to set the time itself. At the moment it is saying it is 6.34pm on the 8th January even though my Mac says it is 5.50pm and it is the 21st January. I think it might be broken…

So I dare you, post a photograph of your desk and computer desktop. Does it say much about you?

Happy New Year

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Well, here we are, 2008 already. I haven’t written here for ages – a combination of a hectic Christmas and a severe ‘stuck in the doldrums’ mood. Just haven’t felt like blogging but I have decided that as it is a new year I am going to throw myself back into making my books and blogging, it’s good therapy.

Christmas was – well, Christmas was unusual to say the least. I was feeling very depressed following the unexpected break up of my current relationship and not looking forward to the festivities one bit. So my ex-husband volunteered to stay over Christmas and we all ended up having a really nice time. It was good to have someone with me to go the the various parties I had been invited to, and I’m sure we caused a stir. Half the people were wondering if we had got back together (we haven’t) and the other half weren’t even aware we had split up (it was six years ago!) and so were very puzzled by what was going on. I have always wanted a big brother (I have three sisters) and oddly, that is what my ex seems to have become – a great friend. My sons loved having him around and it took the pressure off me having to be jolly when I felt anything but.

The boys are both away after celebrating New Year with their friends so the house is quiet. I cooked dinner for some friends last night and we walked into town to see the New Year in. Today, for the first time I felt like writing. Another year begins and I am going to get on with it, stop moping and make a fresh start. I just read that I have won a year’s worth of flowers over at Go! Smell the Flowers which was a lovely start to the year and maybe an omen that this year is going to be better. Hurrah for me!

So have a very happy 2008 everyone. thanks for all your wonderful good wishes, encouragement and support. You are all fab. This is to make you smile.

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