Month: June 2012

A walk in the rain

Or should that be a walk in a torrential downpour? Oh yes, that’s what it was.

Last week we’d had horrid weather but on Thursday there was a little break in the clouds and I suggested to Gav we wander to the park and pick up a coffee on the way. Hmm..

By the time we got to the coffee shop it had started to rain but Gav said we could make it to the park and shelter under the bandstand till it passed.

We got as far as a pub that’s next to the park and sought refuge under their entrance canopy.

Even though we stood there for a good twenty minutes and there was no sign of the storm letting  up Gav still wanted to wander to the little Lake in the park to see how the rain was pouring through a stream that feeds the lake. Then, he said convincingly, we could cut through the wood and be almost home. 

Good idea Gav but not gonna happen.  So we trudged home the long way but don’t worry I moaned about my soggy feet and wet through trousers all the way!

Oh and just to show you how bad the rain and the overflow of the stream was here’s a photo I took four days later.

You can see all the debris piled against the railings on the right.

Next time when I see a break in the stormy weather I think I’ll just sit inside and not make rash suggestions about walking to the park.

The garden in late June

This always happens. All of a sudden overnight everything pings with fresh bright green and billows about filling up borders and spilling onto paths. It’s the time you either rush about thinking it should be tidied and contained or else you let it do its thing.

The cutting patch beds are filling up – slower here than the rest of the perennials.

Neat hedges are okay though.

And our first onions and garlic drying on the greenhouse benches.

All we need now is a little sunshine.

What’s on my reading list


With book thirteen finished last week I have just twelve left to read to achieve my goal of the twenty five books read this year.

I have been stock piling books for a couple of years now. Mostly because I thought it was a good idea to buy them then changed my mind and never picked them up to read. I’m picky remember. That pile has been sitting by my bed just growing. Some of the books in the photo are new or new to me and will be read but I thought it would inspire me carry on with the quest and maybe even pick up a poor soul that’s been there a while, by seeing all the possibly reads together.

So from the bottom up.

  • Alice in Wonderland – Gav wants us to read this together. I’m waiting for him to finish his current read.
  • The Art of Fielding – saving this for our USA trip.
  • The Death Instinct – given by a friend – not sure it’s my thing.
  • The Liberation of Alice Love – gift from my niece.
  • The Best of Everything – was on the BBC 2 my life in books programme. Also saving for USA.
  • The Moonstone – bought because it’s supposed to be the first detective novel and a classic but I struggled first time I picked it up.
  • Cutting for Stone – was on TV book club last year. Yep, been here a while.
  • The House at Riverton – charity shop find. When I read the blurb again changed my mind about reading it.
  • Allotted time – Christmas gift from Gav several years ago.
  • The Labours of Hercules – bought in March from wonderful Barter books.
  • Persuasion – bought years ago decided to read a couple of years ago. I’ll get there….
  • Friday Night Lights – borrowed from a friend. Saving for USA too.
  • Clouds of Witness – also bought at Barter books recently.
  • The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding – another Barter find. Adding to that Agatha shelf.

That gives me fourteen to choose from over the next six months. Let’s see how many get left by the wayside for another year and how many so far unheard of make it onto the list.

Cider, Apple and Rosemary Bread


It’s been a while in coming but Gav baked a loaf from the book the other day. Remember his rash promise?

Well this is loaf number three in his quest to bake them all.

This was a lovely loaf although he said there was too much pepper. Not an everyday bread but one I’d like to try now and again.

Photo walk turns into geeky quest

What started out as a reason to step out the door on a rainy Saturday turned into and intriguing quest.  I was inspired by Elise’s photo walks and thought it would be good practice for getting better with the camera so I headed out in the drizzly rain.

I wandered along the main street near where we live but was too self conscious to get the camera out on a busy Saturday. Eventually I turned down a side street near the park and spotted a post box. Good subject I thought and snapped a few shots. Then I noticed that the inscription on the front was not ‘ER’ for Elizabeth but ‘GR’.

UK post boxes are marked with the initials of the Monarch.

So this box must have been cast when a ‘George’ was on the throne. My history of Kings and Queens is not so good! It was interesting though, it meant that this box was at least over 60 years old as Elizabeth is celebrating her Diamond Jubilee this year. Anyway with that I wandered off and took some more photos of other stuff along the way.

On the walk back from the park I spotted another post box and wondered if this would be ER or GR so I headed over to it.

It was ‘ER’ but hang on, there have only been two Queen Elizabeth’s and this clearly is ER VII so who was this on dedicated to?

I headed home and forgot all about my interesting find until Gav and I were sat watching football later that evening and I mentioned the post boxes to him. After a bit of research on the web we found that the first box – which didn’t have a number on it – is seemingly George V (1910 – 1937)  and the second box was Edward VII (1901 – 1910 so that post box sat a few streets away is over 100 years old!) 

He was so intrigued that when Gav took Buddy out for his last walk of the evening he went to check the post box at the end of our street and found it was another different one. This time George VI. Haven’t grabbed a photo of that yet.

I know it’s a bit geeky or weird or both but I am off to look at our local boxes just to see how many different ones we have around Leeds.

Amazing what starts as a little walk turns into a history lesson……

Twenty Five books – number thirteen

It was a total surprise when I got to the end of this book and realised I’d really enjoyed it. My sister picked it up at Barter books and told me it had Christie-like scenes in it. And it did have the slight feel of an old detective novel. I didn’t notice when it was written initially and was about a third of the way in to the book when I was struck by some of the terminology she used and looked on the front page for the first published date to discover it was written in 1992. That’s 20 years ago! It was interesting to read what things were like back then.

And like I said I did enjoy it. The main character is well developed and it was gritty and a good story. 

I am almost halfway through the year and now past the halfway mark of books to read. Yay.

Bloom – arrangement number two

This is the second bunch of blooms I’ve picked from the garden. Sorry the photo’s not very clear.

In the vase are Euphorbia Oblongata and Alchemilla Mollis – my go to perennial foliage stems and the flower is Cetranthus ruber. This grows like wildfire in the right conditions and the bunch I picked is growing happily in the teeny crack between the path and our house. It has rooted itself in no soil at all and I pulled it all up at the end of last summer but it’s back. So I thought I would take advantage of its flowers and have some indoors too.  

The cold and wet weather are keeping my little Bloom seedlings small and weedy and there were some losses to slugs in the last couple of weeks. I’ll be back with an update soon.

Weekly layout – week twenty four


Welcome to week twenty-four.

I have to admit that I put this page together in rush. I realised at 5pm yesterday that I was working today and would not be able to create the weekly layout so I headed up to the craft room and just did it. It was amazingly liberating.

I found these two photos of my niece a few years back standing next to just planted sunflowers in one shot and then later in the year when they had grown way above her head.

The colours in the photographs were all over the place red, green, pink, blue etc. SO I pulled my usual standby out. Blue.

Hmm… Not convinced but I carried on with that theme finding some scraps to use.

What got my attention out of the little bunch of papers and embellishments was that multi coloured banner – right at the top of the above photo. I thought it went well with the mood of the story and the mish mash of colour would work too.

So I left the blue background behind in favour of white.

Much better and I liked that green paper to matt the photos on too.

As they were odd sized photographs I cut a big matt and thought I’d use the space for journalling. Here is the matt on the white cardstock.

I then just tucked random pieces of paper under the matt till I liked what I saw. I kept the balance of weight on the right. I also found that yellow border sticker and added it in as I knew there was yellow in the banner and that was a colour not already in the design.

The banner was added and a few flower brads to the yellow border at the top right.

Keeping with he fun happy theme I added some bright flower stickers to balance the layout, pull in some extra colour.

The space for journalling was used up with my rather long title.

I added the little bit of journalling around the edge of the matt and then a dashed line here and there.

And that was week twenty-four.

I’m planning on gathering my thoughts at the half way stage of this weekly layout challenge which is in a couple of weeks. I want to focus my thoughts on what I am learning, if anything, about the way I scrap the process I go through and my style. 


Weekly Layout is a series of blog posts that I am doing every week in 2012. I am walking through the process of putting the page together with a bit of background to why I picked the design and embellishments for the page. I hope to develop my style and push myself by taking on this challenge. You can see previous weeks here.

Summer Manifesto

Inspired by Ali’s post.

Even though it has been 14 degrees or worse here all week I’m jumping on board. Here is the summer manifesto –

  • Potter in the garden every day.
  • Eat outside twice a week.
  • Go camping twice this season.
  • Walk with Gav and Bud to the park in the evening once a week.
  • BBQ whenever we can.
  • Pick and arrange flowers from the ones I’ve grown every week.
  • Take my lunch and a book to the park every week before the kids break up (last week in July) Kids and picnics make the park a no-go Buddy area. (he likes to eat the picnics!)
  • Make virgin cocktails.
  • Take H to the seaside.
  • Visit a farmers market.
  • Light lots of candles in glass jars in the garden. Like this.
  • Go and pick strawberries.

Come on British summer give me a chance here……..

The Mug

Just wanted to pop in and show off my mug. It arrived ages ago and you may have caught a glimpse of it in a post during week in the life but I wanted to show it off in all its glory. This was taken last week when we had that glorious thing called sunshine.

I painted that little darling. And oh can you ever tell. But who cares it is a wonderful thing to have made and I’m so lucky to have such a clever and thoughtful sister.