Things that make you go 'hmm'…
Tag Archives: Tennis
Well, hello there, I’m back! I have so much to tell you I don’t know where to begin. The new haircut? The holiday plans? My meeting up with an old friend? The lovely walks? No, it has to be my excuse for my absence. After #2 son’s graduation, he came back home with me and we have been hanging out together before he heads off again. It’s been a nice reminder of how life used to be, having a boy with a bottomless pit for a stomach in the house again, it’s been one long round of cooking, food shopping and laundry, movies, music and cooking. And more laundry.
The graduation ceremony was a great thrill for me and the rest of the family. I thought I would explode with pride. My son looked so handsome in his gown (minus cap, you will notice. Apparently, the graduates had been throwing them into the air for photographs after the ceremony and it was thought that was too dangerous – someone had hurt their eye a year or so ago, so political correctness prevailed and they were banned apart from in the official studio portraits – utter madness.)
My two sons and my ex and I, had a great few days in Leeds, it really is a fun city with lots of great shopping (unless you are shopping with/for two very fussy sons – and I thought women were supposed to be bad!) and restaurants. We had one particularly wonderful dinner at a restaurant called Anthony’s which was a bit ‘Heston Blumenthal’ if you know what I mean! Every dish had at least one ingredient that made you say ‘What?!’ (risotto of white onion, parmesan air and espresso? Or poached quail, pea sorbet, cocoa, morels? Or how about my dessert of apple parfait, pork filo and sage ice cream?) We were all totally amazed at how delicious it all was, in fact we would go so far as to say it was one of the best (if not the best) dinner we had ever eaten.
Since we returned, #2 son has spent his days fishing in the river which runs through our garden – amazingly he actually managed to catch a fish yesterday (which he threw back). I don’t know who was more surprised #2 son, me or the fish! He saw an otter in the river while he was fishing but by the time he had shouted me to come and look, it had gone – probably terrified by the loud shouting coming from the river bank :-)
We did manage to spot a fox in the field next to my garden. Apparently, it has four fox cubs which we haven’t managed to see yet but the mother fox comes out every evening for a walk around the field. We managed to catch some shots of her including this one of the fox eyeing up a crow which seemed quite oblivious.
I love the view into the field, as do some others it seems…
We have had a really fun time since we got back from Leeds. I’m very conscious that these times together are going to be much rarer in the future. My nest will be well and truly empty. On the bright side I will have lots of time to make books and play tennis… (knee is finally better, by the way). I have been working on a photo album which I am making as a gift for a friend whose daughter is about to give birth to a little girl – my friend’s first grandchild. Here is a sneak preview.
By the way, an update on my garden furniture saga. PayPal finally decided in my favour and have refunded me £500 which is the most they can, the balance is still to come from the dodgy seller, (Gemma at Land of Sofas) so I’m not holding my breath. I was contacted by someone else who read about my problems here, she had also bought furniture from this wretched woman but had been too late to file a claim with PayPal, so she stands to lose all her money.
When I was searching for alternative garden furniture, I found a web site selling the same furniture, under a different name (Home Living Online) but I could tell from the telephone number that it was the same people. Please do not buy from this company. I have reported them to the Trading Standards people and I hope that they will stop them from swindling any more unsuspecting customers.
Well, it’s nice to be back blogging and I have missed my visits to my blogging friends – thank you for your concern at my absence, but fret not! #2 son is off on holiday next week so the house will be quiet again and I can get back into a routine. Books and blogging here I come….
I’m so excited I am ready early for once and raring to go! Wimbledon awaits. The weather forcast is OK(ish) so I am hoping to see Roger Federer play someone I’ve never heard of (Gicquel anyone?) Cue gratuitous Roger shot….and not even playing tennis :-)
The next match up should be amazing – two Amazonian women players, Amelie Mauresmo against Serena Williams.
What a slugfest that should be. I just hope that Serena doesn’t have to wear her very strange tennis macintosh thing. No rain please!
I’m taking my camera, so even though our seats are so high up we may get nosebleeds, I will take some shots of my day to share the atmosphere with you. I am off to Glastonbury on Saturday so next post won’t be until Monday. #2 son went on ahead to Glastonbury yesterday and it has just started to rain. Why am I not surprised…..
I originally made this photograph album as a gift for a friend who celebrated her birthday last week, but as with the best laid plans, I didn’t finish it in time and so ended up buying her a gift instead. This album is much larger than the usual books I make (as you can see from the photograph) and was subsequently much more difficult to make as handling large pieces of gluey paper is really difficult. Well, it is for me! This was also going to be a dry run for an even larger album I am going to make for another friend who wants it to match two albums she already owns. I’ll keep you posted how I get on…
I’ve had a really action packed weekend. It was a Bank Holiday here in the UK. As is often the case, the weather was horrible – very wet and cold but I still managed to have a good time. The weekend consisted of a friend’s birthday party, meeting up with various friends and lots of eating, followed by lots of walking to counteract the effects of the eating. You may have noticed my blogging has been sporadic recently, to say the least . Unfortunately/fortunately, this may have to continue as my social life has picked up markedly mainly due to the fact I have (at the risk of sounding like Jane Austen) – a potential ‘gentleman caller’. Here is Jane’s advice on how to find Mr. Darcy…. (it comes at about 1m 15secs)
It seems the amount I am able to blog varies inversely with the state of my social life! The social drought since Christmas has led to a very productive phase on the book-making/blogging front but this pace is difficult to maintain at the moment, so I intend to aim to write something every few days rather than every day. Just so you know. If I suddenly pick up the pace on the blogging front, you will know why….and I will be back to this….
Just as everyone returns to work after the holiday, the weather has improved and today was wonderfully warm and sunny – great for tennis – apart from the fact I didn’t give my tennis skirt it’s first outing of the year (as the sight of my white legs would have probably blinded the other players) so I was actually too hot wearing joggers. As it was such a gorgeous day, I put the hood down on the car for the first time this year when I was driving home and drove along the coast road. I spotted a glimpse of blue by the side of the road so I parked and found this. Click on each image to see a full sized version.
On Saturday, I walked into Bridport. There is a thriving busy street market on Wednesdays and Saturdays and as this Saturday was warm and sunny, the market was buzzing. After my visit to the tiny art shop to stock up on paper and glue, I was on my way home when I spotted a fabric stall which was selling really gorgeous fabrics at very discounted prices.
I noticed some of that plasticized cotton fabric which can be used for kitchen tablecloths (as it is very wipe-able!) I bought several prints as I thought it would be a nice to have some books with wipe-able covers, useful for using in the kitchen or if you are an artist and prone to getting paint or glue everywhere! This book uses one of these fabrics, it’s a cotton ‘toile de jouy’, a very traditional print. Toile de Jouy originated in France in the 1800s. In the French language, the phrase literally means “cloth from Jouy-en-Josas”, a town of north-central France. They are normally, rustic scenes in red, blue or black printed onto a cream background. They have become very popular for furnishing fabrics. I hope you like this book.
I was very touched by all the kind comments after my last post, all those compliments, I think you may have created a monster…..
Only joking :-) There are times when I really do wish I was amazing. This morning was a case in point.
I played tennis this morning. Correction. I played tennis very badly this morning. I normally fall out of bed at the last minute and rush off to tennis without any breakfast or even a cup of tea, arrive just in time and manage to play reasonably well. This morning, I woke early, had a leisurely cup of tea and a bowl of muesli and arrived at my friends house early, so we had a chat about my books and calligraphy (she owns a copy of the ‘Kites‘ piece which you may remember) – and then we played tennis and I was RUBBISH. Very depressing…
I was cheered however, when I spotted this, my favourite tree, in all its glory. Gorgeous. I just adore these flowering cherries and must get one for my garden. This tree would have looked so much nicer against a clear blue sky but it was solid grey, in fact 5 minutes later, it was pouring with rain and hailstones.
Here is the French group ‘Air’ and the track called ‘Cherry Blossom Girl’. Listen to this dreamy music and gaze at a still from one of my favourite movies, ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’. Luscious Ken Watanabe for you girls and for once, some eye candy for you boys too…. gorgeous Ziyi Zhang. And lots of cherry blossoms, how romantic….