Friday, 30 October 2009

Crafty Evening!

The end of this busy week saw me visit a new card making friend at her Stampin’ Up Open House. If you have no idea what I am talking about then you need to know that Stampin’ Up is a craft company that works through individual seller (like Avon or Tupperware) to sell stamps, paper, inks and all manner of wonderful things. Anyway I had a great time at Hayley’s place and her blog is over here at All Things Pink and Fluffy.

Hayley is a Stampin’ Up demonstrator that has come back to the fold after a little break and so to get started again she had an open house where you could come along and meet some like-minded crafty people, make some cards, have a cuppa tea and just enjoy a good old natter with friendly people!

I ended up making these three cards…


I think that the first one below is my favourite, it is a z fold card and I just love that wintry looking Church on the front – you probably can’t see, but there are little bits of glitter strategically dotted about the place! (you need to wiggle the card a bit to see that as the glitter catches the light, but you can't exactly do that online can you!!?)


This red wreath was the first one I made tonight and I rather like how it has turned out – a clean and simple sort of card that can be made fairly quickly.


The last one looks a bit flat, but what you really can’t see in the picture is that the two green baubles are popped up on foam stickies, so they stick out from the rest of the card.


What this one probably needs is a bow or two on the tops of some of the baubles – the cards that Hayley showed us did have bows but I didn’t fancy putting a bow on at the time.

Although they are a bit expensive, the more I use the Stampin’ up stuff the more I love them – I just need to play a bit more! Anyway, thanks for a great evening Hayley, I look forward to many more!! (and if you guys want to see more of my hand made cards, you can see them on my card making blog!!)

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Another Pub!

Tonight was another evening spent at the pub!! ;-)

I had a great evening with a couple of friends from the sign language class, however, we had hoped that more from the class would join us, but clearly people had things to do or couldn't find babysitters or had come down with a lurgy of some sort!

Still, it was fun with just the three of us - we certainly weren't short of conversation and stayed two hours! I was actually quite surprised at how busy the pub was, but then isn't Thursday the new Friday - when people go out on Thursday cos they want to stay home on Friday because the pubs are all too busy on Fridays? ha ha!

Anyway - I have to say that I am not very used to being out nearly every night of the week - it takes stamina!!! So, I am off to bed now and hope that I can find something rather more interesting to say tomorrow!

Monday, 26 October 2009

The Five Bells…

….is the name of the pub I went to tonight.  I am sorry to say that there are very few pubs in my village that I have been to, in fact I think that tonight was the first time that I’d been to a pub actually in the village.

I suppose I just don’t want to go to the pub alone as that doesn’t feel right, so when a new friend (from the Alpha course) suggested that we go for a drink I thought why not!?

It’s a lovely pub with cosy rooms, a roaring fire and, if you’re quick enough, a set of soft squishy armchairs – we spent two hours sat on these armchairs nattering away attempting to put the world to rights.  Even if it was a Monday night, it was great to go out and just have a good old chinwag – I must do it more often!

I certainly felt very welcome in the pub, which doesn’t always happen as the atmosphere isn’t always right, but this felt like a typical village pub where all the locals go to and there are no “unsavoury elements”.  I shall certainly go back again – if only I could drink cider without dashing to the loo every half hour!! ;-)

Sunday, 25 October 2009


Well, I have certainly been quiet on this old blog this week!! All I can say is that I have been busy and time certainly flies when you’re having fun!

So what have I been doing?  Well, on checking my diary it doesn’t seem as though I have done all that much actually, but somehow it certainly feels as though I have been busy!!  ;-)

In any case what stands out is that I managed not to embarrass myself at sign language class like I did last week when I failed to get full marks on the brief lipreading exercise!! But then again that proved to the hearing folks in the group that lipreading is difficult even for those that have been doing it all their lives.  (it was still embarrassing!! ha ha!)

Saturday evening also stands out as Mum and her friend Debbie popped along from a conference nearby to have dinner with me and help me fix my boiler!!! Yes, that’s right – they had to sing for their supper!  As it turns out it looks as though I may have a pressure leak in the system somewhere so I need to call a plumber this week.

This coming week looks like another busy one where I am somehow going to the pub twice!! (most unusual for me)  On Monday I am off to a pub with two friends that I have met at the local Alpha course,  on Thursday I am off to another pub with my fellow sign language students as it is half term so there is no class but we fancied going out for a drink and maybe even practice a few signs!!  (if you see a bunch of crazy people signing “run rabbit run” in your local….that’s us!)

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Show and Tell

It has been a while since I took part in one of the Stirrup Queen’s Show and Tells, but yesterday I received something in the post that is absolutely perfect for Show and Tell! If you haven’t come across this before, it’s essentially show and tell for the modern world – just take photos and blog about it!!


Anyway, this gorgeous purple wrap-scarf-thingie was handmade for me by the fabulous Katie who blogs at View from the Hill. It was made for me as part of this pay it forward scheme I have involved myself in. (I did take more photos but they didn’t come out that well.)

Which reminds me, I really had better get on and finish what I have chosen to do for this pay it forward – after all, I only have until the end of the year to finish it!! I don’t doubt that I will finish it, but it might get a bit close to the wire as I seem to have a lot going on at the moment, but hey, it’s not over until it’s over!!

In any case, thank you ever so much Katie for sending me this beautiful lacy wrap, I look forward to wearing it and being the envy of everybody I meet! ;-)

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


I’ve had a few questions asked in my blog comments lately and I never know whether to answer them in the comments or email the commentators back. So, I have decided to gather some of them and answer them here…..

1) Jelly on The Cuteness of Curiosity asked if I knew what kind of Hearing Dog I’d get. The short answer is no. There are many different kind of dogs chosen for Hearing Dogs – it’s not like Guide Dogs for the Blind where the dog has to be big enough to push/lead a person around. Hearing Dogs come in all shapes and sizes and given that my house (and garden) is relatively small, I think that a small-to-medium dog would be just about right for me. I definitely don’t want a dog that is too small – it’s still got to be dog sized!! ;-) But other than that I would be very happy to have any kind of waggy-tailed dog!

2) Jelly also asked whether or not I have someone to practice my sign language with. Again, the short answer to that is no. But I do try to practice what little I have learnt already – I just wonder what other drivers must think of me when they see this odd looking woman practice her signs for colours at the traffic lights!! Hmm…..hands free mobile calling just wouldn’t work for signers would it??!! It would most definitely be hands free driving – ha ha!

3) Literary Feline of Musings of a Bookish Kitty asked me what books I bought over the weekend. Well, as I said before, it was too good a deal to pass up - three books for the price of two. So good that I got four! (yes I know that doesn’t make sense – Mum bought the other two – making six in total.) So…down to the nitty gritty, I bought….


Although that is not a strictly accurate representation!! The four that I bought at the sale were The Lost Book of Salem, Drood, The Book of Unholy Mischief, and another one not pictured which is Covet by J.R. Ward. The other three books pictured came from different sources – Spies and the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency came from a charity shop on Sunday – perfect for my reading group!! The American Future I bought on Amazon along with The Learning Portfolio (not pictured). While I am not as bad as Alice who has given herself a book buying ban, I have not bought this many books in so short a space of time for quite a while! I certainly am going to enjoy reading all of them! (oh – the Amazon book parcel also included Nora Roberts’ latest book – Black Hills – which has already been devoured!)

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Sunday Snippets

Well, I couldn’t exactly say “Sunday Sundries” could I? I think that would have sound rather silly! Anyway, on to the snippets…

  • After I’d tidied the house to spick and span status, I thought that I should make good use of the opportunity and invited Mum to come up for the weekend! Yesterday we spent in Bath once I’d gotten my hair cut and we had a good time – we had dinner in Sally Lunn’s (a super little cafe that I thought was called Aunt Betty’s or something similar!!). We also found one of those three bo0ks for the price of four deals where I usually have trouble finding three books that I want but actually managed to find four this time around!! (So Mum bought two books as well which worked out as a good deal for the both of us)

  • I managed to embarrass myself at my first sign language class on Thursday. The tutor was going round the circle and asking us to sign each letter of the alphabet, i,e A…B…C…D….etc only when he went round the circle at TUVWXYZ I got quite tangled up and simply could not, for the life of me, remember what letter came after V and managed to sign the wrong thing twice!!! It was a good ice breaker even if I did look a bit silly – I should clarify that I DO actually know my ABCs!!

  • Thursday was quite a busy day as I also went back to university for my second year of the part time Masters. The campus was just heaving with new students – it really was quite crowded and I had a few fond thoughts about my first time at university all those years ago!! I also got my last assignment and portfolio back and so I could read the comments that the tutor put on the portfolio that I only just managed pass. Clearly I have a lot to learn about extending reflective learning and actually taking it forwards rather than just reflecting. Fortunately I also had the boost of some excellent comments on the assignment that I’d handed in months ago – let me quote for you (cos I am rather proud of this one!) “a first class assignment with the investigation being explained in a clear and logical manner”. Which is lovely to get and shows that I can actually do this Masters!!

  • Well, this was less a post full of snippets but rather a post full of rather long paragraphs!! ;-) Still sometimes none of it is quite long enough for a full post and I just want to say something rather than nothing!

Thursday, 8 October 2009


…the house was as tidy as I could make it while still living in it.  (by that I mean that there is quilting stuff all over the dining table and a pile of clothes on the chair in the bedroom, not to mention all the craft stuff in the littlest bedroom!)

All this unusual tidiness is because I was getting a visit from Julie from the Hearing Dogs for Deaf People charity.  I have  mentioned them before – when I was first thinking about it, and when I went to visit them at The Grange.

Anyway – this visit was the next stage of the application process where someone, like Julie, comes to visit me and have a rather long chat about me and my life!  She arrived about 10:30am and left round about 1pm and we chatted about pretty much everything possible when it comes to Hearing Dogs.

She was ever so friendly and put me at ease while we talked – she took plenty of notes!! I can’t actually remember every little snippet of conversation but we covered things like what kind of dog I was hoping for, where I would take it for walks, did I travel on public transport, the fact that I’d have to pay for pet insurance (fair enough), and that Phoebe-cat might have trouble with the dog at first!!  ;-)

The funniest thing to my mind though was that before she left she drew a little plan of the house and even went as far as to ask me what side of the bed I usually slept on!!  Clearly this makes a difference when the dog is trained to jump on the bed or put a paw up to get drag me out of bed.  (by the way – it is that time of year again when I have three different alarm systems going – the shake awake, the lumie, and a timer on the bedside light – not to mention the hungry cat – I really really don’t like dark mornings!!  Or actually I like them too much!! tee hee!)

In any case, this is still just the beginning of the whole process! The next stage is for me to go to The Grange for an overnight visit, probably in the New Year sometime, so that they can assess how I am with dogs in general (also this allows them to see how determined to have a dog people are – I mean – you have to be in order to jump through all those hoops, and besides some people may not realise just how involved having a dog is and so this the time to reassess and change your mind perhaps).  Then…there is a visit at work to get my managers on board and to see where the dog would be working – so it is no short and easy process!

Monday, 5 October 2009

Reading Group

Tonight I attended the first gathering of a new reading group that has been set up in the local public library.  If I ever had any idea that reading was generally not a  male hobby…I had it confirmed this evening – all fourteen people were female.  That’s right – not one man – perhaps they all thought that we’d be blue stocking snobs!

Oh well – we spent an hour and a half talking about how we wanted this group to be organised and telling everybody about our favourite books/authors.  Before the evening we were all told to bring a copy of our favourite book so that we could at least tell everybody about it.

All day I’d been thinking about what book to bring – should I be pretentious and bring something like The Pickwick Papers, should be low brow and bring Harry Potter, should I aim for the middle ground and bring a book by Bryce Courtenay?  (all of which I have enjoyed reading!!)  In the end I decided to go with honesty and bring one of my Nora Roberts books – just because they are romances doesn’t mean that I can’t tell everybody that they are my favourite books despite some people sneering at them.

And…..someone else at the group had also brought along one of her Nora books!!!!  Vindicated!!!!!

Anyway, over the next few months we are going to be reading the following….Small Island by Levy; Spies by Frayn; To kill a mockingbird by Lee; The Island by Hislop; and we start off with the Number One Ladies Detective Agency by McCall.  I have not read any of those so I am looking forward to this.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Saturday Sundries

And it’s another post full of nothing!

  • One of the people at work compiles the regional monthly newsletter and one of the pieces this week was submitted by someone calling themselves a “trainee library”!! Clearly she didn’t mean to say quite that, but I wonder what a trainee library would look like – would it only have little books?!

  • Did you know that today is World Card Making Day!!? No, I didn’t know that too, but then I suppose with all the other “days” out there, I am not surprised that there is a card making one too – so I have been making a few cards today – need to get ready for Christmas. (That said – I simply cannot believe that the shops are stocking their Christmas merchandise already – I am not looking at it on principle!)

  • I collected the new hoover on Tuesday and gave it a spin that same evening – it’s a pretty strong hoover!! I would certainly recommend the Miele Cat and Dog if you have a pet the sheds hairs all over the blooming place! I had to change the first bag pretty quickly cos my last hoover just doesn’t pick up all the finer hairs and when I did I thought that I had broken the hoover already!! I had to pull the bag out with a bit of a tug and the mechanism that holds it in also came out!! You can probably guess that I panicked a bit until I realised that it was meant to do that so it doesn’t get broken when pulling the full bag out!

  • This coming week is going to be interesting – on Monday evening I am joining a new book club at the local library, I have never been to one before so I hope it will be fun! Wednesday I have my interview with the Hearing Dogs for Deaf People – it’s going to be a long day starting at 10:30am and going on for as long as necessary – apparently it can take quite a few hours! Thursday I am back at university to start the second year of my part time Masters, Thursday evening I am off to a local college to relearn sign language and I am hoping that I can pick it all up again!

Thursday, 1 October 2009


Well.....I can no longer deny that it is Autumn.  Yes, it's the first of October today and yet; while it is rather damp and gloomy out there I am still wearing my sandals and am hanging on to summer for as long as possible and wringing every ounce of warmth from the sun as I possibly can.
Still, I think that Autumn is one of my favourite seasons - the air changes, the leaves turn red, the mist in the morning looks enchanting.  If only the nights didn't get darker, if only the temperature didn't drop, or if only the spiders didn't start emerging (yesterday I found one in a shoe that I hadn't worn for a few months!!), along with those crane flies that dance around the room dangling their legs in your face!!
Nevertheless, I still like Autumn and the lingering warmth that makes for some excellent walks (although I really should actually GO on a walk or two!!). I like it when it gets noticeably colder and makes you want to snuggle under the duvet and really tuck yourself in to avoid that cold air, I like it when I can get the candles out as it just doesn't seem right to burn candles in the summer, I like it when I put on a jumper that I haven't worn since March.
Simply...despite my occasional whinges, I like Autumn!