Friday, 31 May 2013

BEDM - Day 31, One Whole Month!

I didn't do quite as well as I had hoped...but good news...Elizabeth is thinking of organising BEDN; Blogging Every Day in November! Woop! Woop!

I believe a lot of people organised themselves and did scheduled posts, which is something that I have very rarely done; mainly if I have already posted once that day and want to put one on during the night for next day. Which, reading this out sounds a bit daft, seeing as a blog can be read any time of the day depending where the reader lives, but you probably know what I mean! (And if you do, can you explain it to me!!).
nature = ducklings

It's been a funny old week: Mr B has been at home all week as he has been really under the weather with some nasty viral infection. I know he wasn't well...he hasn't done any washing up this week! We did a walk to the Nature Reserve last Saturday, which seeing as I didn't have any of my photos to use on that post I took rather a lot, and celebrated my birthday on Tuesday, (thank you, Char!), but it just wasn't quite the week I had planned in my mind!

Talking about jumping from the frying pan to the fire!

I am going to give this a go!
Link here
Louise, from Sprinkle of Glitter, (brilliant blogger and vlogger) is running this idea for the month of June. I think that being able to post "just" a photo, with or without text, may be more achievable for me and hopefully, hone my photo skills into the bargain!

So, here goes....
Have a great weekend!
Z xx

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

BEDM - Days 19 & 20, Favourite Tradition/Newsflash

Pennyblossoms is dropping behind with this Blogging Every Day In May malarkey!
Will be playing catch-up this week.
And playing 'chase-my-tail' too, no doubt.
Z xx

Saturday, 18 May 2013

BEDM - Day 18, Best Friends

Today, my best friend...
...has been... iron!
Z xx

Friday, 17 May 2013

BEDM - Day 17, Walk to Work

Ummm, don't go out to work!
But we do have a glorious walk when the weather's good. (So, not that often, then!). About 10 minutes walk away we can get to the Nature Reserve and walk amongst the cows (occasionally) and horses (hurrah). And take delight in the dog walkers dogs (yippee).
It does have the railway line running adjacent to it; but then when you are on the train to Brum you can lookout for the ponies in coats. (I'm talking about the adorable Freddie, who really is a horse, if we're being technical. Sadly I don't have a photo of him.)
Eventually we get to a great pub, The King William, and reward ourselves with a g & t.
I can't find any photos downloaded onto my laptop, so these two are taken from The Wildlife Trust pages for the meadow.
Z xx

Thursday, 16 May 2013

BEDM - Day 16, Pampering

So, who doesn't love a good pampering, then?
I love my Leighton Denny varnishes and nail care. Most of the varnishes I get from TKMaxx, but I have splashed out on QVC for some of his nail care.
One of the weird things about depression is the fact you can end up not taking care of yourself; daily ablutions-teeth cleaning, bathing, hair washing-all go to pot.
But through all that I have nearly always painted my nails! It's not that I even wear open-toed sandals that often. It just is!

Just a (bad) snapshot of three of the goodies Mr B brought back from Norfolk, VA for me. I had gone onto Target and set up a list (!) of things to look out for. The OPI Avoplex I first found in TKmaxx and haven't seen it on sale over here in the UK. I think it's just wonderful nail and hand cream, with a gorgeous smell which is a nice added bonus. The Burt's Bees coconut foot cream is something Mr B brought back on a prior trip, a few years back, having been encouraged to get a gift pack of their goodies by the Chief Electrician,  Johnny. This was before it was so widely available over here. But I have yet to see this item in Boots. But it is soooo much cheaper in the States, anyway.
The 'heavenly' is a Victoria Secrets body lotion. I have some of the perfume spray left from his last foray. I had used up the body lotion and shower gel, so he picked up some more for me.
(Stuff Victoria...Mr B is my secret angel!)
So, lovely smells and pretty toe nails.
That's me!
Z xx

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

BEDM - Day 15, Life's a Lesson

Saw the first two swallows of the year today. Only a week later than previous years, which is pretty good going, seeing how awful the weather has been! So, I think ...
"One swallow does not a summer make" a suitable and apt saying for todays' topic!
Tying in with the 'Book Love' post the other day, and my love of informative books and with two weeks to my 53rd birthday, I hope I never lose the enjoyment of learning; whether it be a new recipe or new things on the computer, my brain likes to be used, stretched!
So, I might not be able to pick out some wonderful phrase to live by, but I do say be open to learning, from whatever source, and enjoy.
Spires of Oxford, a world renowned seat of learning, not that I went there though!
If things go wrong, learn from mistakes, but don't beat yourself up over regrets or whatever. I always try to aim for perfection at whatever I turn my hand to but hopefully I am not a 'perfectionist'; that's too destructive for me to cope with. I think a good lesson is to know your limits.
By all means reach for the stars, but maybe, just maybe, reach for the ones that are closest first! Just give it a whirl!

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

BEDM - Day 14, Food Glorious Food

I've just popped over to Chars' blog and read her post on this topic.
I said the only cake I had baked since getting our new oven last summer was a Christmas cake. I've changed from all gas to a gas hob and electric fan oven. Even though I knew it would probably cook quicker than before, it still caught me out and I felt it over-cooked just a little bit! But, we took it round to our neighbours to celebrate and they all thought it was lovely! Probably me just being picky!
I don't like marzipan so I don't decorate it. It's lovely with a hunk of Cheddar cheese!
If anyone wants the recipe I can post it for you.
Z xx

Monday, 13 May 2013

BEDM - Day13, Go Green

One of the girls came back to school, from abroad, for the summer term. She had bleached her hair bright blonde. As it was the summer term we would travel to Honiton, by coach, to use the outdoor swimming pool there.
It turned her hair green! 
Not what was meant by the title? OK, here goes.
Is this what they mean by a living roof? Lettuces growing atop the cat basket in the garden
My mum sent me away to school, in 1972, (the same school), with a little plastic bottle of squirty deodorant. It was absolutely squeezed it and a 'spray' of liquid would spurt out. My God, it really was rubbish, but in her infinite wisdom, my mum said I couldn't have a regular can of spray deodorant because it would destroy the ozone layer. And we ate brown bread too! How did she know about that sort of thing?
And what about those 'green' light bulbs? Aren't they totally useless for the job? Alright for subtle background lighting, but I can't see to sew by them on a dark evening. Pah! 
Maybe I should've fried these green tomatoes?
It is one of my guilty secret  joys of staying in Plymouth. As it is a holiday rental property, guests put all their rubbish into a bin bag and stick it in the bin. Simples! Might not be green, but is sure is easier!
It's almost like some sort of religion, sorting out all the waste into its' own bin. And I hate the fact that there seems to be 'bin police' keeping an eye on what we throw away. There is so much more to be concerned about, surely?
Z xx

Sunday, 12 May 2013

BEDM - Day 12, Collecting

Oh, yes, collecting!
Gratuitous shot of pretties...just to cheer me up!
We both are things, heart things, snow globes, cat name it we probably collect it.
Boxes full of 'stuff''
Too much of it. For those of you who have followed for a've seen the pictures, read the posts.
Well, not me personally, but my stuff!
Apparently, one of the reasons I got a Support Worker, was because I was deemed to be a fire hazard!
My granny's tea set
It's my last visit from my SW this week because they have lost the funding for 'long term support'.
Good thinking! NOT!
Hope I'm cured!!
Z xx

Saturday, 11 May 2013

BEDM - Day 11, Favourite Books

I do really love my books.
Tucked behind the rabbit is probably my favourite book ever, 'Hoorah for the Filthpackets' by Alexandra Artley, (of which there is one copy for sale on Amazon!), which makes me laugh until I have tears in my eyes. Difficult to explain what it's about...AA portrays aspects of human behaviour which are frequently swept under the literary carpet...only those whose private lives are utterly spotless will be bemused by this witty celebration of honest filth...Just some of the words written on the frontispiece.
That is probably the nearest I have come to reading fiction for years but give me a crafty/cakey/ interiors/gardening book and I'll love you for life!
I guess my favourite ones are any thing by Rachel Ashwell, of the original "Shabby Chic" trend.
They are just full of eye candy and I just love to look through them.
One book I have on my list to get is by a blogger, Carolyn Aiken, of Aiken  House and Gardens. She lives on Prince Edward Island, Canada and has the most beautiful home and gardens. Truly stunning. She has released her own book that is available to be shipped worldwide. I haven't got around to ordering it yet, but I will. (Unless I win one in her giveaway!!)

Such wonderful photographs.
I also treasure 'Romantic Prairie Style'  by Fifi O'Neill, writer of one of my Top 5 blogs.
I hope my choices inspire you!
Happy reading!
Z xx
PS. If ever anyone finds a copy of 'Boys, Boobs and High Heels' by Dianne Brill, could you be an angel and grab it for me! You will be handsomely reimbursed!

Friday, 10 May 2013

BEDM - Day 10, Travel Dreams

Yes, I know...I used this picture not long ago, but with a totally different slant! Day of Doldrums!)
Today's topic is as it says in the title. After the fiasco that was me trying to Granada last summer (here and here), I must admit if I get out of the front door I'm happy!
But a wish list, now that's different. I would love to go back to Spain and Switzerland, (oh, how I fell in love with Lausanne). I am not well travelled at all, so a trip to New York would be up there near the top of the list. Just because...
At school in '72 we had a lecture on Iceland and that really captured my imagination, all those hot springs, volcanoes and suchlike. I would also love to visit Tibet to see the Buddhist monks, and revel in the spirituality of the place.
My recent forays have been to Manchester and Plymouth and tell you what, I am as happy there as I think I would be anywhere abroad. I also want to get to Keswick as my mum wanted her ashes to be scattered on Derwentwater, so that needs to be on the list, but for an altogether different reason!!
Z xx

Thursday, 9 May 2013

BEDM - Day 9, Social Media

Other than blogging, me and social media rarely cross paths.
I don't do Twitter, I don't do Instagram or Pinterest.
I have a Facebook page, which is very rarely used, just to keep in touch with, mainly, a couple of people who don't blog.
To be honest, I don't see how I would have the time to do anything other than my blog.
Haven't got anything personably suitable as a photo, so 'fashion stamps' fills the spot, I think!
Letters...letters are good! Remember them? When I was at school, we had  to write a letter home every Sunday; it was like an extra lesson, all sitting at our desks, writing about the last weeks happenings! I had a few pen pals too and that was great fun and couldn't wait to hear my name called out after breakfast, to go up to the Headmistress' table to receive my post. Parcels were opened after breakfast, while being watched by the beady-eyed matron!
And I am still totally in awe of e-mails, the fact that I can send a message to my mate from college, who lives in Sydney,  and he can reply straight away! The instantaneous-ness of it, just blows my mind! And for free, too!
Guess that's just an age thing!
Z xx

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

BEDM - Day 8, First Job

If I remember rightly, my first job was as a Saturday Girl at the village bakers.
Except I started on a Friday, because one of the 2 women that worked there was ill.
The next day WAS Saturday and I was running the shop on my own as the other lady went sick too. (Though the baker and his wife were working out the back, baking things!)
It was the first Saturday of 'Sussex Fortnight' and was extremely busy with a queue snaking along Bankside as I tried to keep up!
I ended up working every day that summer holiday!
recipe here
The lasting 'thing' from that job is the fact that I can impress Mr B with my knowledge of cake names, especially Coconut Madeleines!
Z xx

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

BEDM - Day 7, Pets (aka Cats on a Train)

When I was little, I was so desperate to have a pet that I kept a snail!
When I was 7, or thereabouts I got a little white mouse, Tinker. He was followed by another white mouse, Timmy.
We then moved onto cats, which we really didn't have much luck with; although we had an acre and a half of land, including a bluebell wood, the little b*ggers would, of course, go across the road. I had the horror of seeing one of them knocked down in front of me; the driver was distraught, but brilliant. I was waiting with my mum, for a lift to take me to the school Christmas disco, and the kitty had heard us talking and just dashed across the road, in the dark, to see us. My lift arrived and I was bundled into the back of the car. The driver took the cat and my mum into the vets. It all turned out OK in the end.
I used to go to school by taxi, that long ago that it was not the norm, (it seems impossible to get a taxi during 'school run' times in this town!), and saw our second cat tucked into the hedgerow down the road from our house as the taxi drove away. My wonderful teacher, Mr Hathaway, let me call my mum and on finding out that poor old puss was no more, took me home at lunchtime.
Several years down the line, my dad wanted to get a boxer dog. He did a whole load of research and found a breeder in Sussex. We got Ryvid Staccato to give him his full Kennel Club name aka Stac.
He was a great, fun dog, but sadly, epileptic and was ultimately put down at 18 months.
We gave Swanfield Rufus a home via Boxer Rescue. He was 3 years old when we got him and at long last, Rufie was a pet that we had for 10 glorious years. Boxers tend not to make old bones, so at 13 he had had a very good innings.
 Those that follow me know we have 2 cats; Tabby who we rehomed from a house down the road and her one kitten, Rene. (Guess that's why they wanted rid!). We didn't know she was expecting and I happened to be on the phone to a lady called Rene when Renny-Penny-Pants was born, so that's why she was named as such. She is still known as kitten even though she is about 14 years old and we believe Tabby is about 18.

 So, that's my pets...lots of happiness but quite a bit of sadness too. I worry like mad about how I'll cope when these 2 pass away, but, the joy we have had from these two is immeasurable and they have been a Godsend to me when I have been in the depths of depression.
 I love my cats.
Z xx

BEDM - Day 6, Bank Holiday Fun

Saturday was the day of the Fair. There were a couple of showers, which was a bit of a shame, although it didn't seem to dampen the spirits. This was the first time that there were stalls outside on  the lawn, which was really good.
We got a garden urn for work for Mr B, a couple of large garden pots for me and a basket that both the cats have tried out!
After a wander round, refreshments were needed. A sit down and a natter with Trevor's mum, Margaret was in order. Trevor organises the "Vintage in the Shires" fairs.

We are 'twinnies' -  our birthdays are the same date, although not the same year, it has to be said!!

Sunday we went into town and got a new little greenhouse, seeing as I've filled up the other one and still have packets of seeds still to sow.
Dragged out the lilac jeans, Guess bag and Babycham trainers and added a T-shirt that Mr B brought back for me from Jewish Mother Backstage in Norfolk, VA. It was brilliant fun when he was away as we managed to set up to Skype while he was away and our conversation on his birthday was when he was at this deli.
Back here, we went into this lovely café for lunch. It has the original shaped, glass frontage, which looks out over these wonderful black and white shop fronts.
We finished off the evening with a Chinese takeaway.

Today we didn't get to the Car Boot this morning. But I did get to put up the greenhouse and sort out a load of old flowerpots and stuff to chuck out. I've also started taking down the bower as the metal frame is knackered and the passionflower has died, so it just needs a complete re-think and overhaul.
It's still a bit too much of a mess to take photos, buy no doubt some will follow.
Mr B is off on tour again Wednesday, so I need to sort out the washing for him to take and clear the top of the piano, so we can move it along, (in front of the wall that I papered last week), when he gets home,  and then I can do the rest of the wall while he is away. So, that's Tuesday organised.
Have a good week!
Z xx

Sunday, 5 May 2013

BEDM - Day 5, Fit & Healthy

We used to swim regularly, but after not going for ages whilst still paying the gym membership, we finally chucked in the towel! (Boom, boom!)
I am hugely overweight, I know. My doc tells me not to worry over it; I think partly because of my meds and partly so that I don't obsess over it.
I have got to the point that my weight is stable...and hopefully that isn't tempting fate.
Although I am fat, my cholesterol level is totally OK; even better than one of the petite nurses who did the test!
I did think I should post a photo of the unused exercise bike, punch bag and rebounder that are lounging under the gazebo.  But hey, this could be the summer of change! Who knows?
I do work hard in the garden - I do all the hard graft as well as the pretty stuff. Mind you, if my back is being arsey then sometimes you'll find me lying on my side doing the weeding! And I think all this wallpapering and painting is keeping the 'bingo wings' at bay! And I have to stretch to reach the top shelf of the cupboards, so, every little bit helps.
Surprisingly, I have no photos of me in F&H mode, so enjoy some piccies of flowers that have grown over the years instead. So much more easy on the eye!

Ah, yes, definitely room for improvement.
Z xx

Saturday, 4 May 2013

BEDM - Day 4, My 5 Favourite Blogs

After staying on a narrow boat in Oxford several years ago, I had seen this boat go past a couple of times.
(Minus the dog, he came along later!).

I was really into the whole boating idea and happened upon a website that showed where boats were moored all over the country. I noticed Maffi's and there was a link which I clicked on, and there it was ...the first blog that I had ever encountered.

His best mate, Dr Bones, soon became a regular read too, and, like Maafi, she lives permanently on her boat along with a piano! She posts of amazing early morning views from her window. Beautiful.

 One thing led to another as they say. Somehow I made the jump from boats to blogs about pretty things...crafting, baking, etc etc.

 The first blogger that I followed was Mel, 'Shabby Chick', of Country in the Town Blogspot. She became my first follower and it was reading her blog that really inspired me to start writing mine. She, too, had health issues and I found great support from her.
She hasn't posted for a while, but she has had many changes in her life, so I guess blogging has gone way down on the list of priorities! But I would still recommend a little trawl through her crafty, homey posts. 

Thank you for visiting me :)
 Fifi and Cindy are 2 American bloggers that are just fab-u-lous!
Lots of pretties and gorgeousness and both huge inspirations to make my mind go 'oooooo'!
<br><br><br><b>Join us every Friday...</b>

Friday, 3 May 2013

BEDM - Day 3, A Day In The Life

Today, I've mostly been gardening.
Real cherry tree blossom, as in it will turn into edible cherries, if we're lucky!
Pear tree blossom in the background.

Today I chipped off a piece of nail. Doesn't sound very exciting, but I am rubbish when it comes to nail growing so a tiny chip probably equates to a third of a nail!
Today I re-set the oven clock, after knocking the button on Tuesday, trying to put up the pasting table in the kitchen.
 Today I rocked a mini quiff, as inspired by Happy.
Today I've really realised that I am pants at taking a self portrait!

And, tomorrow, I'm going to this....

Z xx

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Edit: now with photos

A wander round to our local Polling Station turned into a lovely evening.
Mr B suggested we go to the village pub for our evening  meal. Jokingly, he said maybe we could get a taxi there. On stepping out of the building, lo and behold, there's a black cab sitting there! We waited a couple of minutes and the driver came out and was willing to take us to the pub and then we clicked it was the Northern Soul fan. He has picked up Mr B on a few occasions and they natter about music. He dropped us off and refused to take a payment. I mean, how kind is that? Particularly after the altercation with the doctors' receptionist!

Me 'n' Ness earlier in the year
We were just a tad too late for food as such, but the lass in the kitchen did us double egg and chips, which was scrummy! (She cooks a mean steak too!).

(can't get the hang of cropping this photo)
Then, to round off a great evening, the 'pub cat', Ness, snuck in and came and cuddled up next to me!

I've noticed Char is doing a 'Blog Every Day In May' thing, so having missed the first day, is it feasible, that as I've done 2 posts today, that I may organise myself to join in this as well? I think there are certain things to blog about each day, but if I just blog every day that would be a good start! We'll see!
Z xx