Monday, 31 March 2014

Happy as a dog in muck!!!

But am I referring to me or Anni????????  (Or even, at a push, hubby!).

I couldn't sleep last night so I got up and spent some time with Anni, who didn't want me to go back to bed!!!!!

Today, we have all been out in the front garden.  It were lovely.  Not sunny, but it wasn't cold.  Oh, it feels so good not to be cold all the time.  

Even Hubby managed a smile.  Even though he'd spent the morning at work, he managed to help in the garden.  So his helping was mainly sitting and directing but it was nice he had a little more energy to do so.  Energy has been sorely lacking in our lives so far this year.........

We only have a small garden at the front of the house and a yard at the back and we are desperate for a real garden but we love what we have.  We haven't kept up to it for the last year or two but we are determined to change that this year.  Anni was especially brave this afternoon.  Well for her!!!!!!  She happily sat and watched the world go by, people were another matter but the world was not so scary after all....... (she usually hides between/under your knees).


First signs of Spring were finally spotted too.  I love colour in my garden, Hubby prefers green - yuck.

Am I sad to love my watering can?

Can never have too much pink!


 From left:  Magnolia, first ladybird of the season, Our "Camilla".

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Making me Happy this week

Would you be surprised to learn I don't have many (if any) photos this week?????

1) Hubby made it back to work for 2 half days this week - whoop.

2) Returning a lost dog to her owner.  We were walking Anni on Saturday when a yellow Lab came up to say hello.  She has a small cut on her nose and was very happy to see us.  I tried ringing the number of her collar but no answer.  Thankfully as we were trying to see if she'd follow us her owner found her.   She was with us a good 20 minutes.  We asked so many dog walkers if they knew her that people were searching for her lost owner all through the woods.

3) Mother's Day Cards.  I thought I'd mix sewing and card making this year.

4) Finishing my dish cloth and although there were one or two small mistakes it actually looks like the pattern tells me it should!!!!!

5) A cuddle with Anni B.  She isn't allowed on the sofa usually so she love it when a big blanket comes out and comes up for a cuddle.  She hasn't been a touchy feely puppy but as she grown she likes a little more contact.  Still not as much as Patch did (she loved to be with you at all times) but she's changing as she grows.  After all Anni B is now 2!!!  Happy Birthday Anni.

PS Anni B is short for Anni Bannani.  When we first got her she was going to be Mabli.  Then she became Anni as she was our 15th wedding anniversary present to each other.  Then she was just so cute that I started calling her Anni Bannani which shortened into Anni B - well have you gone to the vets with an Anni Bannani?????

Saturday, 29 March 2014

More Holiday memories

A few years ago, I was going through a particularly stressful time at work and at the same time had to have Patch, our companion for nearly 13 years put to sleep.  I had always thought that when the time came, i wouldn't be strong enough to do it.  But then the time came and it was the best and worst thing I have ever had to do.  But at the end, I was strong enough, not only to make the decision but also to be there and for that I am grateful.  She was my best friend for 13 years, and it was the 2 of us against the world at times - Hubby was working away a lot, so Patch and I were a pair.  She is still missed.

When she died, I was desolate.  I had not realised just how much her death would affect me.  I had something missing, a part of me that was no longer complete.

Hubby and I decided that we needed a change of scene and to get away from home, so we went looking for a last minute holiday.  As we couldn't get a flight to Molyvos, we ended up going to Menorca.  Now I was a little worried about our choice, as an earlier holiday to Majorca had not gone too well - think Blackpool in the Sun.  I have no interest in going somewhere full of drunk Brits, eating British food - no thank you - not interested.

It was also our first holiday with a wheelchair.  Now Menorca remains a conundrum to me.  Although I am not a big fan of the resort we chose, nor the time of year we chose, I have very good memories of the holiday.  We were there in October so everything was starting to shut down, think empty shop shelves (we were self catering) and few open restaurants etc.  On the first night Elvis was singing in the hotel bar across the road- I knew we'd made a mistake.  Yet, we enjoyed it.  I could appreciate the quietness (with the exception of Elvis), the long flat promenade, the sea views from virtually everywhere in the resort.

From left: hidden paths to the beach, first view of the beach, lonely wheelchair, messages in the sand.

From left: old buildings from the trip to somewhere!, same place, trees bending to the wind.

From left: Sunset, a cold drink watching the sunset, another tree, waves

I am a real sea person.  I just feel happier sat watching the sea.

So Menorca.  Would I go back.  Yes, the help we got at the airport with the wheelchair was the best we've ever had, but I would pick a different resort and try and see more of the island - oh and avoid Elvis.

Friday, 28 March 2014


My hubby and I always said we'd never holiday in the same place more than once.  The world is such a big place and we wanted to visit as many different places that we could.  One Summer we were flicking through a holiday brochure - do you remember them, before we all relied on the Internet?, and I saw a  hotel that I HAD to stay at.  Except it was fully booked.  The photo was something like the one below.  I fell in love with the stone of the hotel building, the blue of the pool, grass (actual grass by the pool and not concrete), the old town raising up on the horizon.  I was in love, but it wasn't meant to be.

We stayed in a little place up the road, nice pool, no grass, cheap.  Too hot to move after 10am in the morning.  Nice little balcony in the shade.  And our trip to Molyvos was done and dusted.  The world needed to be explored.

The following year, we went somewhere else and we hated it.  HATED it.  So English, not us at all.  So when we started to look the following year we went back to the Molyvos pages.  We umed and arghed for a long time, the world was still out there, but we went back to Molyvos.  To a hotel with the most beautiful view (we could no longer afford my dream hotel).  Excuse the quality of the photos, but these were before we had a digital camera - I've just taken a photo on the camera!!!!!

From left: View of hotel from pool, view of pool and castle from balcony, sunset over the sea towards Turkey.

We loved, the pool, the view, but the owners were a little scary.  If you crossed them, then you suffered, oh you suffered.  It was a bit like Fawlty Towers but in the sun.  One room had the shower which gave you an electric shock, one room had a window between the bedroom and bathroom so if you got up in the night you woke up the other person.  We fortunately didn't cross the owners and we had a good holiday.

Then we went back.  We didn't cross them and we had a good time.

So we went back a 3rd year, we didn't cross them, but they were getting a bit funny with us and since it was at the top of a big hill (20 minute walk uphill) it was getting too much for Hubby, so that was that.  Our lovely affair with Molyvos was over.

Until we found; Eriphilly hotel.  Again, a nice apartment block, fab pool and friendly owners.  We'd found our place in the sun.  So we returned again.  We still loved it but it got too far for D to walk to so we looked again for a hotel nearer town.

So I thought it wouldn't hurt to look at my dream hotel again.  And it wasn't full and we could afford it (just) so we booked it.  It's basic and not cheap (thanks to the travel agents) but we are friends with the owners and we love it.  It is clean, great location, friendly owners and staff and everything we need in a hotel.  Nothing is too much trouble, so we have returned and returned and returned.

 From left: Hotel entrance, side view, pool view, relaxing by the pool!

 From left: Excited much?, Olive Press hotel (in a converted oil mill), view from harbour, view of harbour

From left: Molyvos by day, Molyvos by night, view from the castle, view to the Olive Press hotel by day.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

When things don't go to plan!

I have a rather bad habit of not trying anything new.  I don't mean trying new food - I've cracked that one (mostly) but I mean new things generally.  I don't try new things as I have a fairly mad idea that I can't fail at something if I haven't tried it.  It's a habit that I am trying not only to break, but to smash into tiny pieces so I can never fall back onto it again.

Let me give you an example.  I love knitting again.  My Grandma F taught me how to cast on & off and knit when I was a teenager and then I stopped before I did anything else.  I think I did about 6 squares with the intention of making a blanket.  I then picked up the needles last year and started again - I could even hear my Grandma F's voice in my head telling me how to cast on, and I did it first go (Thanks Grandma!).  So I knit things - squares, scarves, simple things.  Then I taught myself how to Purl - this took multiple watches of You tube videos and involved me sticking out my tongue - it helped, truly.

So I have knit 1 pram blanket, 2 lap blankets, and 4 scarves.  I have a list of beautiful things I NEED to knit but the old "Oh, I could never do that struck".  So in my first attempt to break down my "oh don't even try" mentality, I bought some dishcloth cotton (3 weeks ago!) and started my first dishcloth.  Now I am certain(ish) that I followed the pattern.  So can anyone tell me why my stitch looks nothing like the original????  Anyone, Mum?

The original can be found here .  I have obviously done something incorrectly - but for the first time, I am not struck with disappointment.  Yup, it looks nothing like what it should be it's fine and will do the job just nicely.  Want to see my version?

Now I think I may start another one, in a different pattern whilst I wait for my Mum to come down and explain where mine differs from the pattern.... MUUUUUUUUUM.

Then I may pluck up the courage to try knitting something not a square/oblong - maybe!!!!

Edited: Thanks to G's help we've figured out where I went wrong.  I read the pattern as knit row 1,2,1,2 etc it actually says knit row 1,2,2,1  - and yes I can usually read!!!!  I shall try it again.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Making me HAPPY this week

Making me happy this week;

1)  Paddling in my wellies.  Are we ever too old to not find this making us smile? -er, don't answer that one Mum!

Stream view
 2) Baking.  Chocolate chip buns below (slightly overdone as I forget about them - twice).  I also made Raspberry buns too.  What do you call them?  I used to make bigger ones and I'd call those muffins.  But the small ones were buns growing up so buns they stay.  What's your favourite flavour?

3) Walking with Mum and Dad in the sunshine.  Anni adores my Dad.  In fact, I'd say she adores him more than she does me!!!!!!  It's such a sight to see her walking by his side gazing at him.  My first dog, Patch adored my Mum so maybe it's only fair to swap this time.

4) The local library.  I am trying not to buy books and I think I have only bought 3 this year so far - which for me is a real achievement.  I have only given in when one of my fav authors was half price in Waterstones and have 3 charity shop bought books to put aside to take with me in Summer.  So I love the fact that I can order books online to my local library and they email me when they arrive.  I ordered 8 books last week and the first 3 have arrived already.  I'm not sure what I'd do without my books - I have yet to appreciate e-books - they just don't do it for me.

5)  Meeting new friends.  We're meeting a friend of a friend who is coming on holiday with a group of us later this year.  We thought we'd start him off slowly and go out for a Sunday meal with a smaller bunch of us.  I'm writing this before we go - so maybe I'll have to change this once when we get home if he can't stand us!!!!  Ah well V, you've paid now so you'll have to put us with all for a week in the sunshine :-)

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Sky at Night

I love the unexpected things.  When Anni wants to go out we have to go downstairs and tonight we were greeted by this gorgeous sight and I nearly missed it.  I MUST start looking up more!

View from the back door.


Do you think she is watching too?

And then night is already starting to encroach on the sunset.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

The Book Thief

I am in 2 minds when it comes to films of books I have read.  I find that if I have read the book first then the film never lives up to the written word and if I see a film first I sometimes prefer the film to the book.  There are few exceptions where I feel that both are of equal value, or I prefer the 2nd medium to whichever I saw/read 1st.

For example I first read "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" and although it isn't one of my top 10 books ever, I did enjoy reading the book and I loved the characterisations.  I then ignored the film for a long time.  Indeed the only reason I saw the film was that the author was giving a reading of his latest book and then CCM was being shown in a little theatre/cinema in Bradford.  So my Dad (who loved the book), my Mum (who I think still hasn't read it - Mum?) and I, bought tickets and with anticipation went to see the film.  Oh, how I regretted that decision.  Why adapt a book (due to it's popularity) and then change it?  A character dies, oh look not in the film.

On Friday, L and I, went to see "The Book Thief".  Now I only considered going for 3 reasons.  1) I can't remember the last time I went to the cinema, 2) I read the book over 2 years ago so I figured that I wouldn't remember all the finer details and 3) to spend some time with L.    Well, I absolutely loved the film.  LOVED IT.  I had seen a review on "Film 2014" where they liked it but said it had been sanitised to allow children to watch it.  Well, I disagree I don't think it's been "cleaned" up.  The scenes of Kristallnacht were uncomfortable viewing and life during wartime was indeed hard.  The film has a good moving plot and the actress playing the little girl, Liesel is worth the price of the cinema ticket alone.  I suspect she has a big future ahead of her.   Don't watch it for a piece of fluff it is emotional viewing, but well worth it.

PS That's why I will NEVER watch "My Sister's Keeper".  I LOVE this book, the film changes the story - not just in a minor way but with a MAJOR twist (or not) and spoils the entire plot of the book.  WHY????

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Before and After

Can you tell which is which?  All I'm going to say is that it involves the dog and her love of all things water (except Baths obviously!)  One photo is upstream of the other one!!!!!!

Monday, 17 March 2014

Making me HAPPY last week

Ok, ok I am late with this post.  I admit I did consider posting last night but I was oh so tired.  So I sat on the sofa and vegged.

Making me happy this past week;

1) Cake!!!!  Making an (early) cake to celebrate A's birthday.  I couldn't get the sparklers to light at the same time - but I guess that means that we got twice the sparkle!!!

2) Birthday day out for A.  We went to Harrogate, sorry no more photos.  On the way back to the car we stumbled on a row of trees covered in fairy lights.  It looked so pretty and I so wish I had the proper camera with me.  We spent the afternoon in the Harrogate Turkish Baths.  I am not one for just sitting there really but I have to admit I did enjoy it in the end.

3) Lunch with G and what a lunch.  Am going back next week and I may NEED to have the same thing.  My friend G thinks that ducks are to be fed, whilst I disagree and think they make a mighty fine wrap - I even have an image of G in hysterics now as she imagines ducks making my wrap!!!!

4) Blue skies.  Welcome back.  Aldo see the sun shining off of the gold owl?  It was lovely, then it went behind a cloud and I nearly froze to death......

5) Hubby made it back to work.  Only for 1 day but it's a start.  Fingers crossed he keeps feeling a little better with each passing day.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Happy, happy day

Oh my.  I have really missed you.  So, so much.  Oh sunshine welcome back!  3 days of sunshine now and boy oh boy it's been sorely missed.  I love Winter (well I love the snow) but I am so glad to have the sunshine back.  It was lovely to see the spring flowers today.  I love the blues and yellow together.
I am now hoping to see tulips next time I go out and about.

I must try and learn to use our camera on a setting other than standard.  The photo below doesn't capture the blue of the sky at all.

Today I have been into Halifax with my friend G.  I love Halifax.  It is full of beautiful old buildings.  I love old buildings.

I wonder what it was originally built for?  It is now the Post Office.  I would love to wander around all the rooms inside and try and image them in days gone by.

We were out to celebrate G's Birthday.  An early lunch out.  A glass of wine (well I did), a gorgeous duck wrap, a good catch up, sunshine.  Can you ask for anything more?

Early Happy Birthday G.  Hope you have a fab day on the actual date.  Next time I'll try remember the balloons!

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Making me HAPPY this week

Another week gone.  Where does the time go?  I hate to admit it but time does pass quicker the older I get!

Making me happy this week;

1) Realising that for the second time Dave had left the Physio with one trouser leg rolled up.  Thankfully this week it was only slightly! (last time it was rolled half way up his leg and we didn't realise until we got home).

2) Ladies who lunch - REALLY.

3) Injuries from de-cluttering.  See S, it's telling me not to bother.  The next one may be much worse!!

4) Wording on our bill - do you see it, just before the little gremlin?  Erm......  ok, we may have shared a bottle of wine by the time we got the bill, and you may have had to have been there with us but we were in tucks!  (See photo 2 above).  Love you A xxxx

5) The possibility that Hubby is going back to work tomorrow.  Fingers crossed his bosses will support him as needed to allow him to do his job.  Still it's taken a while to get this far so for that I am grateful.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Double Fed Up

God, I am fed up today.  My Hubby is still off sick but mentally he is raring to get back to work.  Sadly we are not 100% convinced that his body is at the same stage.  Now, we think he can drive to work and back and we think he can return to his job, but we are not as convinced that he can do both on the same day!!!!  So when we were advised to contact a Government scheme called "Access to Work" to ask about help with taxi fares our hearts soared.  Oh yes, something to help us for a couple of weeks whilst he gets his strength back up.

So far it's taken 3 weeks to get them to actually ring us back with information, despite promises of 7 days, 2 days etc etc.  Imagine my frustration when it's taken them 3 weeks to tell us that we are entitled to 25p a mile.  Sadly the taxi firms want £17 each way so how are we meant to reconcile the two????

So does Hubby stay on sick until we are sure he will be ok, does he risk going back to work but being unable to drive home, go back to work and push himself too much so he is back on the sick.  Maybe he should give up work entirely and live on the social??

In these days when we are shown people on the TV taking advantage of the system, was isn't the system set up in such a way to help those in short term need to stay in a job they love.

So Mr Cameron, although I admit you may be doing an equally bad job as the next man you won't get my vote (not that you ever did) at the next elections.

To make matters worse, I am in the midst of de-cluttering the attic so I can start on the rest of the house so we can try and sell and buy a bungalow.  It never rains but it pours!!!!

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Finished - well nearly

It's done (nearly) and taken just over 2 weeks (including a 3 day break when I was ill this past weekend).  I may be ignoring the fact that I still have work to do, but I can do that.  Cause I made it, so I can now ignore the tiny little bit which still needs finishing - cause that's how I roll!!!!!!  Can you tell what I may have left to the very end, even though I swore last time I wouldn't?

Yup, an entire lap blanket's worth - humph.  Why, oh why do I not learn.  Before you think that I will have learnt this time I have to be honest the blanket for me which is half finished is exactly the same and I have no intention of sewing them in until the very end.  I'll then regret it again, but maybe I need something to moan about sometimes!!!!

Want to see the almost finished blanket?  It is longer than the image below as I had to balance it on the banister.  I knitted it as a lap blanket for my Hubby when he is in his wheelchair.  When he's sat down it goes about half way between his knees and his ankles.

I was more than happy with it.  I love the colours, I think it is more me than the pink version I am doing myself!!!!  Can anyone tell me why, after all my hard work he has decided he prefers it the way below????   MEN!!!

Monday, 3 March 2014

Making me HAPPY this week

Quick post tonight.  It is late, I have few photos and been ill for the entire weekend.  So making me happy this week;

1) Meeting friends C & G for a catch up on Friday and trying new food.  I used to be a really fussy eater, then a few years ago I decided to try and change this.  I still wouldn't choose certain things and I don't like slimey textures (at all) but I do try new things, even if I only eat them once!!!!

2) Knitting.  Who'd have known just how much I would enjoy knitting, but I do.

3) Hubby is finally starting to feel better (please don't let me jinx him here).

4) Drinking Pink Lemonade - I know, but it's pink and so pretty.  Cheered me up no end this weekend.

5) Well she is gorgeous!