Thursday, 28 January 2010

Skywatch Friday

Look what flew past our windows a few days ago -

In the top two pictures the Welsh coast is in the distance and the island you can see with the lighthouse is known as Flat Holm.

Click on each picture for more detail.

To see sky pictures from around the world - please click here.


A few days ago OH and I decided it was time we got round to hanging some of our pictures. All the unpacking is done and most of our possessions sorted and in situ or disposed of. We began in our little hall with a picture, a plate and the barometer. It was then it dawned on me that this was not going to be easy or relaxing! However, all went well there and we moved into our sitting room. Now, perhaps I should explain that OH is most definitely not a DIY-er. He does whatever needs to be done with minimum effort, except that it usually turns out to be with maximum effort! Now don't get me wrong, he is not a lazy man, in fact he has loads of energy and is always on the go, he is just not "handy". And, he has a heart of gold and that's what really counts. Anyway, back to the pictures. The first one we wanted to hang in our sitting room is fairly large and, I thought, needed to have two hangers on the wall to hold it safely. I persuaded OH that this was the case and he proceeded to fix the first of them. He then tried to guess as to where the second hanger should be placed. After a bit of discussion I got him a tape, a pencil and the steps and the picture was duly hung. (I thought it was actually a bit high but it was a joint decision so kept quiet and made a note to self to resolve that at first opportunity). Next it was two fairly small pictures which we decided to put into an alcove, one above the other.

By this time I was getting fidgety, wanting to do the job myself. I had to restrain myself from grabbing the hammer out of his hand as I reckoned this could be interpreted as being somewhat inflammatory and kept my hands firmly behind my back. OH measured to get the width of the space and hung the first of the two pictures and then said "do you think this looks about centre" to which I replied as calmly as I could, "why don't you measure it dear". We decided then that we would leave the others for another day! Probably the best decision for my blood pressure too!

This morning OH had to go out for a while and I got on with some jobs in our bedroom. First I pinned up the curtains which were draping the floor. I know the draped effect is fashionable but they were far too long and look much better now. I will get round to sewing them later. I moved a couple of pieces of furniture about, had a general tidy up and put a new cover and throw on the bed. Finally I hung a recently purchased canvas. The room looked much better, completely different and I felt pleased with the result.

OH came in shortly afterwards and I told him I had also had a busy couple of hours. "What have you been up to" he grinned and began looking round. Sitting room - no, kitchen - no, spare bedroom - no and then, finally, our bedroom. "Ahh" he said, looking round the door, "you've hung a picture!

I said nothing, nor about the picture I had just re-hung!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

ABC Wednesday - B

A boy with a ball on a beach, with a boat on the blue sea in the background. And, of course, a lovely blue sky.

I took this photograph of my grandson having fun, on one of Adelaide's beaches, last November when I was visiting.

If you click on the picture you can see more detail.

You can see more B choices here.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Sunday Morning Fishing

OH's son, P, my stepson who lives close to us, (the only one of our four children who does) loves to go fishing. He and a friend have a boat and, as well as work and family commitments, frequently take part in fishing competitions, sometimes going off to other resorts. This morning however there was a competition being held locally and he told us they would be launching their boat at 8.30 am. We looked out of our front windows just after 8 am and saw that the fishermen were beginning to congregate on the beach ready for launch. OH walked down to the jetty to see what was going on and I went out and stood on our balcony. Tide was high at 8.30 and off they all went, having to be back by 2 pm when it would begin to ebb.

Meeting on the beach

First in the water

Coming home again just before 2 pm

The Welsh coast is in the distant background

You can click each picture for more detail

A lovely morning but very chilly at 8.30, well it is January, but I could hear birds chirping as well as the ever present seagulls. It was such a pleasure to stand there and watch the comings and goings, not only on the beach, but by then there were lots of walkers about, many with their dogs. I am so looking forward to the warmer weather. I'm as sure as I can be that we are going to be very happy here.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Skywatch Friday

Raindrops on my window but it looks as though we may have a bright day after all.

For pictures of skies around the world, please click here.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

ABC Wednesday - Round 6 - A


I used to grow these pretty flowers, also known as Columbines and sometimes here in the UK as Granny's Bonnets. Apparently members of the Buttercup family.

This meme is hosted by Mrs Denise Nesbit and you can see more takes on the letter A - here.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

My Favourite Picture

I happened to visit Rosiero at Alcoholic Daze and became eligible to carry on this meme to display my favourite picture and to say why. Rosiero showed a photograph of her dog Snoopy and told a lovely story as to why it was her particular favourite.

Like her, I have several "favourites" and it really was a question of which to pick. It could have been my parent's wedding photo, or one of my pets and another I love is one of my son with his dog. We were all on a walk in the forest close to where my son lives in South Australia. I let them wander on ahead and took their photo. I feel quite emotional whenever I look at it, particularly now that Moss has gone to the big kennel in the sky!

The one I have chosen was also taken in Australia. It is of my eldest grandson and his sister, taken at the local park. They are 9 and 6 now but the photo was taken about 4 years ago. It is so colourful and they are having fun and it is an image I absolutely love of the two of them. I was lucky to capture it as they got to the bottom of the slide. Of course it is also a holiday snap and a lovely reminder of the happy times I have with them whenever I am able to visit.

I think I will leave it to anyone who wishes to, to take up this meme.

The chosen picture -

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Settling in

The snowy weather and icy conditions continue here and we have been told that more snow may be on the way today. I have been out for a walk each day, taking it very carefully, and have enjoyed it. However, I have been spending the majority of my time indoors. I do have plenty to do as I am still unpacking boxes from our move. Still? you might ask and it has been a long drawn out process but I have had a month's holiday and Christmas festivities in the meantime. I think though that I may have unpacked the last box and just have a few bits and pieces left to sort through. Also, it has been "decision time" - do we need it, love it, have we used it in the past year? Unpacking has been like pouring a quart into a pint pot!

I am not sure if I mentioned that when we moved we "downsized" from a 3 bedroomed house with a garden to a 2 bedroomed, first floor apartment overlooking the beach with views to the Quantock Hills on one side and the Welsh coast on the other. When we said what we were doing friends and relations asked "won't you miss your garden". The short answer is "no". I rarely sat in the garden and definitely won't miss working in it as it was becoming more and more of a chore, a challenge, to keep it tidy. If I do suffer "withdrawal symptoms" my daughter has a large garden and can always use help. We do have a small balcony and have put a few pots out there and will have a table and a couple of chairs there in the summer.

I will miss the wildlife, the birds and the squirrels and of course, the pond. But it wasn't a decision lightly made, we feel very relaxed here and I have seen squirrels and hedgehogs at the rear of our apartments and birds, obviously. We have had plenty to look at from our front windows. On Christmas Day the weather was beautiful and apart from folk out walking, once the tide was high there were yachts and wind surfers taking advantage of the sunny breezy day. We can see the local lifeboat launch from here and have seen it out on excercise a few times. I must add that we don't just sit staring out of our windows, life goes on as before. It's just that instead of a garden aspect we have one that entertains, doesn't need any input from us and the flower beds and containers are dealt with by the local authority. Perfect!

Here are a couple of recent shots - the first from our front windows, of the Quantock Hills

and this is a shot of a local landmark, taken from our back windows. (click on each picture for more detail)

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

The Sky looks full of Something!

"The sky looks full of something"!

No sooner were the words out of my mouth yesterday than the snow began to fall. A real snowstorm, thick snowflakes.

OH and I had taken my mother and driven a few miles to a favourite restaurant for lunch yesterday and just as we arrived the snow began. We joked that if we were to get "snowed in" at least there would be plenty to eat. However, we didn't hang about, once our meal was over we immediately made our way back home. By then the snow had stopped and soon there were blue skies again. Phew!

The weather forecast later though predicted heavy snowfalls for our area, but we were slightly doubtful that it would affect us too much as we live on the coast and rarely get more than a dusting of snow, most years none at all. However when I woke at about 1.30 am and peered out of the window I saw that we had indeed had quite a covering. This morning when I got up it was still snowing and we had had several centimetres.

Me and my big mouth! I should learn to "keep mum".

When I was on holiday in Australia recently, one day I wandered into an "Alpaca" shop. Not selling the actual animals but garments made of the wool. The lady behind the counter was knitting some of the yarn and greeted me with "where are you from"? I told her and she asked if I was visiting family for Christmas. I replied that I was leaving the following week so would be at home for the festivities. "So you'll be going back to snow then" she smiled. I disappointed her when I replied that it was very unlikely and said that although last year we did have snow in January and February it was rarely a "white Christmas". "In fact", I told her, "the part of the country where I live we rarely get snow anyway". She then said that she had always thought that all of England was covered in snow at Christmas, so that was her "Christmas card" picture of the UK dashed! Oh well. If she had been watching international news a couple of weeks later she would have seen that there was widespread snow in the UK and probably wondered if I had known what I was talking about!

So here we are - 6 January and almost the whole of the UK is covered in snow, our area included!

It is still snowing, a real snowstorm with thick snowflakes and the sky still looks full of something!

Friday, 1 January 2010

Once in a Blue Moon

We had a fairly quiet Christmas, well as quiet as it can be with a 5 year old in the house! Our grandaughter woke at 3 am but was persuaded back to sleep and finally surfaced at 7.45 am. Very civilised. We had a lovely Christmas Day and we spent the following few days in our usual way, relaxing, catching up with family and friends and eating and drinking far too much.

OH and I decided quite early on that we would not be going out on New Year's Eve. This is partly because for many, many years OH always worked on New Year's Eve, therefore it is a pleasure for him to be at home. As for me, although in my youth I was as keen to be out "on the town" as the next person, I now dislike being out at New Year and prefer to see it in at home. So, yesterday evening we again had a quiet evening, a few drinks and then at midnight we went out onto our small balcony, listened to the local church bells and watched the firework displays around the coast. To our left we have views of the Quantock Hills, around to Minehead and Exmoor way beyond and on the right we can see across to Cardiff and part of the Welsh coastline. It was a lovely clear night so we were able to see quite a lot, albeit at a distance.

We then sat and watched a film and finally went to bed at 2.15 am. A very late night for us! I woke at 6.30 am! I got up to get a drink of water and then looked out of our front windows. The tide was high and the moon was full, it looked so beautiful. It was the second full moon in the month which I was told very recently is a "blue moon". You learn something every day and it seemed very fitting to witness it on New Year's Day.

I am hoping that the coming year is less stressful than 2009 for me and my family but we will take what comes.

I sincerely wish all that is best too for my blogging friends and hope that you have a happy, healthy,peaceful and prosperous year.