Monday, 26 September 2016

Since you been gone.....

The title refers to me. I've been gone a while.

I got a job... I didn't really mean to but the stars aligned and I ended up with a job three days a week. I work until 5pm. It is years since I worked until 5pm and it is not easy. I am in awe of people who work full time and blog...... Gillian springs to mind Tales from a happy house

I'm still working for myself as well so there's a bit of juggling going on.

Anyhoo..... Who cares about work, I've been out and about so here's some pics....

 We went to London and visited The Globe.  It is somewhere I have always wanted to go and it didn't disappoint.
And it rained while we were in there (we were under cover) but I was glad that it rained because that made it even more real, if that makes sense?
And the play made me both laugh and cry - unfortunately that's not that difficult these days.

Sweet peas from the garden, my favourite flower of the summer.  I love the smell and the hues.  This year the sweet peas have done really well and I have had a bunch in the house each week for ages.  I think this photo may be a bit blurred, or it may be my eyes.....

A trip to Newcastle, where we visited the Baltic.  We didn't look at the art.... well we did but I didn't get it (or have any profound or otherwise feeling about it) so we headed straight to see the kittiwakes instead.  They were much more interesting.

It was a while ago so I'm sure all these nests are empty now.

I went to the Air Tattoo as well which was brilliant but I'm not sure where the photos went.... I think they are in a cloud somewhere.  So one day when I get to sit at my laptop and find them properly I'll show you some absolutely chuff off planes.  Because that's what they were..... brilliant.... I'm building suspense and I fear I may fail to deliver.... I'll do my best xx

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Silver Linings

Last week my car broke.  I was tanking along and a light came on and "Stop Immediately" appeared on the information screen.

Cue sharp breaking and a little bit of swearing.  I looked under the bonnet and it was clear that there was no coolant left so..... long story short.... ex-colleague came to my aid and I managed to get home.

Next day I arranged for the car to go to the garage.  They would look at it as and when they could, which I was prepared to take.

Upshot was I needed a new radiator but..... first silver would be done under warranty.  Hooorahhh!

So, I needed a hire car.

Head into town to sort out a hire car.  But if I hire it there and then they will charge me for 2 days, so "come back in 2 hours and you'll only have it for a day and the car will be ready and waiting to go".

Second silver lining.....I am a short hop from the Hepworth.  Marvellous.

Time enough for tea, cake and a stroll round the galley.

There was a photography exhibition by Martin Parr.  Lots of ordinary people doing ordinary things and a really good photo of some storage in a factory

I stared at this for far too long
At one end of the gallery there was a massive selection of photos, really technicolour showing real world things all together in extraordinary detail.
Look at the colour overload in that. 

Then I moved into the Barbara Hepworth part.  I love her work more every time I go.
This is a view of the outside of the Hepworth building.  The river was thundering down and this line of barrels would have been above the weir.  I suspect it broke loose over Christmas.  The photos were taken on the ipad so they're not super sharp.  There's loads more to see but I didn't want to be taking too many photos!

Anyway, at the end of the day, I'm driving in the hire car to collect my daughter, a journey I wouldn't otherwise have been making, and.....third silver lining.......a barn owl flew out of a quarry and down the hedgerow towards me.  I could see its face as plain as day.

So when my car broke and my heart sank I could not have anticipated just how much joy I would get out of the process of getting it fixed.  I've always been a glass half full Gal, but sometimes, just sometimes, even I'm gobsmacked how nicely things turn out.  Definitely worth a look or a visit.  Excellent cafĂ©, excellent shop.  Just excellent all round really.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

The business of business

I used to work for a company but now I am working for myself.  And it's great but when I was sat at work I could surf on a lunchtime and post blogs and generally catch up with the world for an hour whilst cramming in a buttie.

Now I'm sat at the dining table tapping away on a laptop I find myself struggling to find the time to do that stuff.

I have a list in my 'work book' of things I need to do, phone calls to make, emails to send.  So I'm doing that and not looking at things that I like.  This is also partly because I could spend hours looking at the things I like and then I would never get anything done.

And I don't put the heating on because the business is new so I'm not making much money, so I feel guilty about putting it on.  Thankfully we got a multi-fuel burner installed and I don't feel bad about lighting that.  But when I do I have to keep an eye on the thing as it knows when I leave the room and it dies, so I find myself sitting and staring into the flames doing nothing.  Which is not very helpful...

It's all part of the transition.... and I have some work lined up so that's good.  And once I've made some money I'll maybe put the heating on (rather than extra clothes and fingerless gloves).  Although I'll still light up the stove as it is just so nice to have on... and so very warm, if a little tricky.

Any hoo in the interest of providing an update I went back to the river in town to see what the water level was like and it had gone down, so although this is not the river at its lowest, you can see just how much water was coming down over Christmas (left photo).  The newer photo is looking the opposite way but you can see from the legs of the bridge just how much water there was.

In the right hand photo you can see the barge, used for transporting goods, that came loose from its mooring upstream many years ago and which crashed over the weir and got itself stuck.  Cormorants sit on it from time to time to dry their wings. 

Anyway I must get on an do some work.... and I might take off the fingerless gloves, heating comes on in five, hurrah!

Friday, 8 January 2016

Blue Skies

This morning as I drove my daughter to school is wasn't raining......hoooorah!

I've been seriously considering whether I should be getting some wood and nails ready to build an ark.  Just call me Mrs Noah. 

But this morning it was pinky skies which gave way to blue, albeit briefly, before becoming cloudy but at least it's light.  So what if it's 4 degrees, I'm getting out the thickest socks and woolliest jumpers.  Ironically as I was in the car I didn't get a snap but it wasn't raining and that was bliss.

Before Christmas we took a trip to the East coast.  It was raining and blowing a gale.  We were aiming to get to Spurn Point but gave up before that as the wind and rain was bad and instead ended up on the beach at Kilnsea.  We were the only ones on the beach and the wind farm was generating some serious electricity....

You can see the surf whipping up and when we got back in the car I was rosy cheeked and numb of fingers.  As we drove back the roads were like ribbons of silver across the countryside in the flat light.

On the 28th December there was a rugby match in town, I wasn't going but I did go into town to see the river in full spate.

The footbridge was closed later in the day.  I shall have to get a picture of the bridge when the river is 'normal' as comparison.
Mu husband said that he has seen the river higher, but I haven't.
The weir which runs across from the flour mill was almost indistinguishable with all that water.

But the sky was blue that day as well and it feels like they've been few and far between since........

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Running to Stand Still

There's a U2 song from the Joshua Tree album with that line and it is exactly how I feel at the moment.

Although this year as I don't have a job anymore I am more infront than last year.... or the year before.... it still feels like there is much to do and not much time to do it.

I went shopping with a friend recently to Leeds and the weather was foul, really cold and wet. Thankfully Leeds has some lovely indoor areas.  The Victoria Quarter is the best.  These are two shots from there.

 Yes, that is a piano

The choir in the second shot were singing and encouraging people to join in so my friend and I belted out 'Oh Little Town of Bethlehem', properly singing, not singing like you do at a wedding.

It was fun and in the slight warmth of the arcade with the carols ringing round it was impossible not to feel Christmassy, despite the wind and sideways rain.

I hope you all have a good one, that you manage to relax and that Santa is kind to you xx

Friday, 11 December 2015

Life gets in the way....

Crikey it feels like ages since I blogged.

We've had three birthdays since last time and now we are heading to Christmas. The tree isn't up, cards received are unopened in a pile and I still need to make a list of presents to buy.  Hmmm not much to do then.

Anyhoo, I thought I'd share a recent conversation......

My daughter was talking about her mate taking apart his Apple iPhone. She was seriously impressed with his ability to take the phone apart, but far more impressed with how small the screws were....

"Mum I've had bogies bigger than those screws".

You think you bring them up right and then........bogies......???

These are the flowers my step-daughter bought me for my birthday.  Lovely.  Those cabbage things are really pretty, but I have to say they don't last very well.  Are they really some sort of cabbage?  I should probably google it..

And finally a cat in a box... just because......

(he's a house cat who is the size of a dog and who likes to go for walks on a lead - hence the harness)

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Pebble collecting

I called my blog pebble collecting and then made scant reference to pebbles thereafter.

So now you get to see pebbles......

This is the story of these pebbles, the smooth pebbles.

Many years ago we took a trip to the Ardnamurchan Penninsula.  It is a remote part of the Scottish mainland and the most westerly part of the mainland of Britain.  You get there on 30 miles of single track road with passing places, or you did when we traveled there 25 years ago.

We stayed at a cottage that looked towards Rum, Eigg and Muck.  The location was remote but beautiful.

As it was Scotland we took advantage of our right to roam and did a lot of walking.  On one of those walks we came upon a cove where the beach was sand and pebbles.  It felt like no-one had stepped on that beach for thousands of years.  It was remote and as I recall we got to it down an awkward gully.

The sound of the pebbles washing up and down on the beach was mesmerising and as I picked up a couple of the pebbles I was amazed by how smooth and soft they felt.

I stood and looked at all the pebbles and chose these three.

They are my favourite pebbles.  They are reassuring pebbles that feel like they have had a lifetime of rhythmically washing back and forth on that beach, slowly accumulating the restful solitude of the landscape.

To me they are more than pebbles, they are a link to a charmed place of solace.  Maybe that's the reason why I keep them next to my bed and why, each time I hold them in my hand, I feel a sense of the calmness of the beach from whence they came.