Welcome to family, friends and visitors. Here you will find interesting (hopefully) pictures of my part of the world, news of our household and probably, long ramblings about anything that catches my interest.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015


Summer is truly here. Not a cloud in the sky all day but with a cooling breeze our valley was not far off paradise. This morning I finally started painting the back door. Putting tape on all the glass panes took as long as slapping on a coat of paint. I also painted the lower half of the kitchen door. 
This afternoon at work didn't feel like work. EntertaininglyDifferent , a theatre group were in for the day running workshops for the children. Today was a circus theme so the dress code was 'colourful'. I wore a pair of splashed look festival style loose trousers and a vest that I had flicked blue, green and yellow dye across. I also went wild with some hair chalks putting in lots of green and blue streaks and then acted most surprised when the children told me I had blue hair. My reception children had a plate spinning session (most of them could do it) which started off by balancing peacock feathers. Then it was down to the Secret Garden for a hula hoop session. That was more challenging especially for me and my TA. Neither of us could hula the kids' hoops but did a bit better with our session leader's bigger hoop. Then everyone went in the hall to show off their skills and more dancing and clapping. There was just 10 mins for a story and it was time to send the children home.
Back home I changed into working clothes and painted another coat of paint on the doors. I also painted the beams in the conservatory. I think they will have to end up black as the wood stains through the paint. I rounded off my evening by ironing the morning's washing while listening to The Who playing at Glastonbury.

Monday, 29 June 2015


This morning I thought I'd have a final  go at repairing the kitchen door with the resin filler. It had been so badly gouged by the previous owner's dogs that any repair was an improvement but now I'm trying to do the best job I can. I haven't been able to recreate the curved inner edge of the damaged piece of wood as the resin has to be used quite quickly in this warm weather. I thought it would help if I could use something to create a straight edge to work to but a piece of wood wouldn't be any good because the filler would stick to it. Then I had a cunning idea - tape non-stick baking parchment over my bit of straight wood. And it worked, not a perfect edge but much better than I could do free hand.
I was on my way home from work nice and early and wondering if I should sand down the door this evening when the thought struck me - sanding = dust and I've just washed every bit of the kitchen aargh! Luckily my aged brain came up with a solution, hook a plastic dust sheet over the top of the door and tape all the sides to the walls. I crawled under the plastic and worked in my little tent which  neatly trapped all the dust from the sanding. 
It's such a pleasant evening that once I had cleaned up my DIY stuff I went and weeded halfway around the round pond. The pond is very low at the moment. We have been promised a hot dry week so I may don my wellies and climb in for some weeding and maybe some stomping around on the clay to repair the cracks where the water is leaking out. That pond stayed watertight for many years until I pulled out some of the yellow iris which I think caused the damage.

Sunday, 28 June 2015


They were right and it was been a rather wet morning. There was less rain in the afternoon and even the occasional hot sunny moment. I've been pottering around and just about cleared the pile of 'stuff' which had accumulated on the kitchen table. Most of it was paperwork from school and is now filed away in the correct folders. I know some of my colleagues throw out everything once they've used it but I'm of the older generation who think that if they've printed a pile of A4 colour pictures to illustrate a lesson then they should be kept for the next time we cover that subject. Hence  several boxes of folders covering all the curriculum. 
 The redcurrants are being raided as fast as they ripen
 It looks as though there'll be some apples this year.
How to decide, The Who or Donovan for tonight's Glastonbury viewing? That's if they show those stages on the tv as our broadband speed gets even slower in the rain so little chance of watching on the website.

Saturday, 27 June 2015


 It's been a hot, muggy day getting cooler towards the evening.
My first job was to board over the lower half of the old back door. The ground in front of it is a good 6" higher than the old doorstep. Something that saved us from being flooded a few years back when the stream backed up in heavy rain due to my neighbour having built a wall beside the road at the end of his lake.
Step 1 was to board over the door. As I plan to paint over the boards I sanded each one down before I nailed it up. I tried to do a proper job and checked each board with  a spirit level.
Then it was time to mow all the grass once more. I couldn't put it off until tomorrow as the forecast is for a wet day. I had to do my mowing covered from head to toe as the flies, small black ones, were swarming around me. I was glad to go back indoors for ironing and Glastonbury. Once again I proved that it's possible to dance and iron at the same time. Curtains are especially good for this. So I got my music fix and we have freshly washed and ironed curtains up in the kitchen.

Friday, 26 June 2015


I woke up this morning with a stuffy nose, nasty sinus headache and some jaw ache so for once I turned off the alarm and let myself have a proper sleep in. (Usually on non-school days I'm up before 8.00). The sleep and some pain killers did the trick and in the afternoon I started blitzing the kitchen. Even if I hadn't got dust everywhere by sanding the door it was about time for a wipe down of all the surfaces. It's when I'm doing a proper clean that I wish I was a bit more successful at achieving a minimalist look. It's just that I find some ceramics and glass beautiful to look at. The weather forecast for tomorrow is looking good so the first pair of curtains is in the washing machine.
The weather today has been rather dire. Rain first thing in the morning, drier in the middle of the day when I took the photos and then rain all afternoon. I'm guessing that the school's sports' afternoon had to be postponed. 
As well as wiping down surfaces and washing things I've been finishing off my knitting project. Today was more about sewing. All will be revealed in due course. 
It's the Glastonbury  Festival this weekend so I've got the tv up to full volume (which isn't enough). I've had a quick look at the line-up and while I admit that my musical knowledge is limited I enjoy listening to new bands and there are some oldies that I recognise..

Thursday, 25 June 2015


Another trip to the dentist this morning and one more step to becoming a toothless old crone. Actually it's a step towards having a full set of teeth when I finally get some dentures. Have to wait 3 months before we can start that process. This morning's appointment was a bit of a trial as although the dentist is very good and kind it took a long time to drag the poor tooth out. This was due to the crown snapping off first leaving very little tooth for the dentist to get hold of. She did warn me that I'll probably it'll be more painful this time but I didn't have to teach in the afternoon this time and I've got tomorrow at home as well. 

Once my visit to the dentist was over I did some shopping, ice cream is specified in the after care notes! I also went to buy some feather board wood that I need. After carefully looking at the different lengths on offer I worked out that I needed 5 planks. The boards came in packs of 10 but there were some loose ones too. When I asked an assistant she said that yes I could buy just 5. I assumed that 5 boards would be half the price of 10, silly me. At the checkout the price for 5 boards was £14 while the pack of 10 was £15. So 10 boards it was.
It has been a very warm day, mostly cloudy and almost too hot when the clouds cleared. I spent my afternoon sitting outside, first reading and then working on my knitting project.  
It was cloudy last night when I checked outside to see what the sky was like. There was no point in walking up the hill when I couldn't see any stars at all. Maybe one day we'll take a trip up to the arctic circle to see the aurora borealis. 

Wednesday, 24 June 2015


Listening to the World Service last night my ears perked up when I heard a voice saying that due to a solar storm there was a good possibility that the aurora borealis could be seen from the UK. Even from the south of the country! The aurora are on my bucket list so up I got, put on a dressing gown and a woolly hat and off I went. I knew I would have to walk right up the hill out of the valley partly to get a good view to the north but also because my neighbour has 4 big floodlights on all night. They light up the stable yard, car park, lake and most of the bottom of the valley and are a nuisance when you're trying to adjust to night vision. It was a mild night and all was quiet as I walked up the hill. The ponies must have been asleep in their field because when I walked past them there was a flurry of huffs and snorts as Boris and Taff had a little panic. Further on up the hill where it was almost dark there was the sound of feet lolloping along the road. I think a hare as it sounded a bit heavy for a rabbit. Apart from the ever present ringing in my ears the night was very quiet. Just the dripping of moisture from the few trees I walked past or the occasional sound of a cow or a car in the distance. And did I get to see the aurora? Sadly not, as the lower part of the sky to the north was covered by clouds. I had to be content with seeing the main constellations above me. Tonight is supposed to be better, clouds permitting so I'll be up there just in case.
It has been very warm today. This morning I did more work on the kitchen door. Preparation is so tedious and my fingers are itching to get hold of a paintbrush but I want to have several things ready to paint at the same time. 
Coming home this evening after a staff meeting followed by some shopping the sky was in 2 parts. In one direction clouds floated in a blue sky while to the east a dark grey cloud bank loomed.  
Go away clouds, 
and let me see the aurora borealis,

PS I've nearly finished my knitting. Made some fingers this evening. They were quite fiddly.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015


All is quiet in the blackbird's nest with no more constant back and forth by the parent birds so I guess the youngsters have left. I took this photo a couple of days ago and they looked ready to go. No doubt after a bit of a break the female will be back in there sitting on eggs.
Earlier this morning I saw this squirrel up in the tree. The sunlight is making him look almost brown. The day started sunny so I did a couple of loads of washing and hung them out on the line. Then just before I left for work ominous grey clouds were gathering. I brought everything in and naturally it stayed dry. I came home fairly quickly after work and hung all the washing back out again and now it is nice and dry. 
This morning I got on with preparing the kitchen door for painting. I'm still at the sanding stage and even though my sander sucks up the dust there is now a fine layer of resin dust over all the kitchen. Perhaps it would have been better to  unscrew the door and work on it outside but I worry that being so old the screws will either not come out or not go back in afterwards. Too late now for regrets.
When I came home from school I decided to enjoy the sun so I sat outside and carried on with my knitting project. 

Monday, 22 June 2015

Rainy Morning, Sunny Afternoon.

Looking at the blue skies this afternoon it's hard to imagine that I drove to work through heavy rain. I've been teaching the reception children all day. A number of the staff were out for one reason and another so we did have to make a few adjustments to the day. However I wasn't expecting to be asked if I would pleeeese take the singing assembly. I don't mind singing with the children though my voice is a little deep for their songs so I was happy when a TA who sings in a choir, volunteered to be the extra adult with me. It felt rather strange to have 180 little voices chanting good-morning to me. 
At lunch time I had barely time to drink my coffee after marking and sticking in work into books and writing up the reading records of the group of children I had been reading with before it was time for a School Council meeting. The PTFA had asked that they run the hook-a-duck and splat-the-rat games at the Summer Fayre in a couple of weeks' time and I needed to give them letters to take home. PE once more in the afternoon, this time practicing egg & spoon or rather bean-bag and spoon, and sack races for sports' day.
After school I went into town to get petrol, change my library books and do a little shopping including some wool for a knitting project which I shall reveal later. When I mentioned in the wool shop what I was going to knit the sales lady said everybody is knitting those. 
At home I had the bin bags to drive up for tomorrow's collection.  
In the garden the afternoon sun created some good lighting effects. 
I know I've shown these recently but I love the way the sun is shining through the leaves of the sedum flower stalk.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

The Summer Solstice.

It's the summer solstice but I'm trying not to think about the days getting shorter once more. It's still another 4 weeks until the school summer holiday starts, that's when I really feel it's summer. However I shall try and enjoy every sunny day whenever it occurs. This is definitely the time when the garden is at its most colourful. The roses are flowering as are the hardy geraniums while the azaleas are still hanging on to their blooms. 
Today was windier, colder and sunnier (at times) than yesterday so I was able to get out and mow all the grass. I also did a bit of trimming with the shears and some weeding too. 
Not much else has happened today. Romas rang to wish Peter Happy Fathers' Day. We've never taken too much notice of Fathers' day as it was just a commercial invention but he had a nice long chat with Romas. 

Saturday, 20 June 2015


A wet and misty day today. Perfect for a lie-in followed by a long  ironing session. As I ironed acres of white sitting room curtains I watched wedding dress programs on the tv. Sort of fitting I thought.
The view in the middle of the day. 
By the time I had finished all the ironing I was ready to stretch my legs so I went out for a walk up the hill. I met Sarah turning out the ponies so we had a chat, mostly about ponies. 
 Look, we have giant geese!
It's always interesting to see what photos I can get in differing weather conditions. This Great Tit conveniently posed on the fence posts for several minutes allowing me to take enough photos  to find a decent shot.
It wasn't cold so I carried on to Ashelford Corner. 
Coming back down the drive the cloud was being blown in over the top of the hedge so I didn't get wet at all. I was only in shorts and t-shirt but I had a carrier bag to protect my camera if I should get caught in the rain which luckily I didn't.