Saturday, July 31, 2010

Heavenly Saturday

I have had a wonderful day. I hope my darling sister and dear wee niece had wonderful days today because they are both having a birthday. Lucy is turning one. Meg, well, we won't say because I'm older than her. I must say though, I think I am finally finding myself and am so happy with life at the moment. I'd much rather be my age and feeling like I do, than much younger and back where I was then. I love my house, family, job (sometimes) and the things that I do. Today was just great. We got up and went out for brunch. Then we packaged up the birthday presents (late, of course, but true to form) and sent them off. What a rigmarole! There was the wrapping, the boxing up and then the fleecing at the Postshop counter. Dreadful price to send things. Next time I'll be thinking about size before I make a present purchase. Maybe these little birdies would make a suitable option.
They are such happy little creatures. They catch the breeze from the heat pump and are constantly gently swinging. I embroidered this little heart earlier this year and I finally put it together. I love it. It has a bit of lavender inside. The gold stars looked a little over the top before I put it together, but once finished, look just right. The pink is a bit richer in colour than in this photo, and the green silk fabric is a fresher colour.
After we sorted out the parcels we popped into Bunnings. I got a big bag of blood and bone and proceeded to lavishly anoint my freshly weeded and pruned front garden with it. I had a lovely time. It was quite warm outside. Jersey weather, rather than jacket, jersey, hat and scarf weather. The first buds on the daffodils have appeared, and also one plump tulip bud nestled deep in a ring of sage green leaves. The earth is lovely and loose at the moment, releasing the weeds with ease. I did my best to shape the roses into attractive shapes. Several of my friends are getting a professional in to do theirs. I'm more of a DIY girl, myself. It is a bit like paying someone to give you a manicure when a pair of scissors (or a day in the garden) will do the trick. This is such an exciting time to be out in the garden. The promise of the flowers to come is thrilling.

The crafty neighbour and family popped in twice today. She and I spent some time together stitching. She is making an embroidered Christmas picture with funny elves on it. I was working on the quilted lotus panel. While that was happening Monty was busy supervising my bowl of bread mixture. I'm sure Hugh would be pleased that I had the bowl protected by his cookbook. I was very fortunate to find some real fresh yeast. That is a rare commodity around here. I found it at the Mediterranean Warehouse.
I was amazed at how frothy the flour, water, sugar and yeast mixture was compared to my usual brew. Fabulous. I usually use dried, granulated yeast.
Take a look at these beauties. They are about 25cm long and utterly delicious.
My best ever bread, I think. I put some of my smoked garlic salt in to lightly flavour it. We had it with minestrone soup and Johnny whipped up some cupcakes for pudding.

Happy birthday to the divine birthday girls. Best wishes for another amazing year! XXX

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I'm not too pleased with myself because I forgot to take any photos today. We went out for brunch to the Thyme Cafe, then did some shopping. John wanted to buy The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo book after we watched the DVD last night. It was a gripping movie, and I'm sure the book will be even better. He bought that, plus the next book The Girl who Played with Fire, so that was good. When we got home and got a bit of housework done, we headed outside to line the new raised beds because they are made of treated timber. Then I got rather engrossed in a bit of gardening- sorting out the bed along the back fence. I got a $5 plant of Sally Holmes which was good value. I had her in my old garden and she was a wonderfully prolific rose, flowering first and finishing late. I bunged her in with a tiny delphinium I grew from seed, plus the two fat pink oriental lily bulbs I got cheap. Plus I threw in a couple of clumps of dahlias that have been lurking down the back for ages. Then our friend B came to visit. Then the crafty neighbour with the twins popped in for a while too. By then it was tea time and dark. Too late to take photos outside. Bother. I'm watching The Lovely Bones. The girl is still alive, but it won't be long before... Oh dear. But discussions of evil people don't belong here, so no more of that.
Have a lovely week, my lovelies. Have some chocolate for me as I'm trying to avoid it. Hopeless I'd say.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cat Bums and Presents

The title says it all. The focus of the day has been getting Monty to poo, and organising presents for the July batch of birthdays. We got our wee niece, Lucy, a cool educational noise-making toy. She will be 1 year old next week. We also went on a hunt for other things, plus I did some more work on the birthday quilt. It is almost done. I need to finish the two short sides of the binding. I did the machine sewing bit today. I wish I had a photo of the wee lavender heart I whipped together today, but the little camera doesn't work at night adequately.

Mr Cat decided not to poo for a few days, and because he has a bowel condition called mega-colon (the name says it all), we have to keep him moving regularly. He's not keen on kiwifruit or metamucil, so sometimes I have to resort to an up-the-bum treatment. Today's effort netted exceptional results- at least 15cm of poo. Sorry if you're grossed out, but it was a great victory around here. He is resting comfortably on my knee now. Miss Dog is in disgrace because she stole a piece of my delicious homemade pizza when I was distracted dealing with Monty. The result was much raucous screeching of "drop it you furry b__ch!" and various other insults. She is down by my feet trying to look invisible at the moment.

Tomorrow I will take some photos as I've got a few things to show you. The school week went pretty well. I was even a little amused when one of my teacher assistants scarpered at morning tea time yesterday. He just took his bag and vanished. We weren't even having a particularly challenging day! I have to say I have felt like running for my life at times, but I have always managed to resist the lure of home during a school day.

By the way, Johnny has finished my gorgeous new raised beds. I bet you won't sleep tonight because you'll be so excited about seeing the photos tomorrow.

Monday, July 19, 2010

One day in...

I survived the first day of term, and I have the energy (just) to update my blog. I have just spent a wee while finding some batting and lining for a bag I am going to make to keep my laptop in. It is going to be exceedingly girly and pretty. I'll have to start it tomorrow. I'm in the planning stage, trying to work out how best to turn a fat quarter into a computer pouch.

School was fine. Some playdough and glue got eaten. No one complained about my salmon sandwiches. Only one explosion from someone after lunchtime play hadn't gone well. Glitter and rubbery letter stickers ended up all over the floor. Calming words, a visit to the toilet, and a hair brush got things settled down. I had my cello lesson at 5.00pm which was good, although I played like a complete moron because I haven't practised since last term. It won't take long before I am dancing across the strings again (hmm, don't know about that!). Johnny spent some more time working on my new gardens. He couldn't wait to show me what he had done, but I had to look with the torch because it was dark when I got home. He was looking at one of my vege gardening books tonight!!!!! Maybe he will want one of the new beds to plant things in.

I have to go and do a bit of school work on my very staid looking school laptop now. Hopefully I will get some of Meg's binding put onto her quilt. The 31st is coming faster than I can hand sew around the perimeter!

Sunday, July 18, 2010


The end of the holidays is here, and I have just been in my craft room mucking around with that helpless feeling that if I start something it will just go in the WIP pile, to be forgotten for a long, long time. Bitter experience tells me that once school starts I will be stressed, exhausted, depressed and struggling to keep on top of everything. Why do it? I ask myself the same question all the time. I guess the answer is that once you have a permanent teaching position you cling onto it for dear life. The money keeps us from worrying about money too much, and the holidays are great. Plus dear Johnny says he would find it hard to go to work if I wasn't and it wouldn't be fair. All I want to do is grow vegetables, keep my garden pretty and make beautiful things. I have Monty and Miss Dog for company, but I guess I would miss all of the people contact that teaching provides. I am proud of what I do for a job, because not everyone could or would want to teach people with intellectual disabilities. But it can be horrid at times.

I really hope that this time it will be different, and that I will be able to get a balance mentally between work and home life. It is pretty grim going to sleep thinking about the problems to deal with at school, then waking up early, thinking about school. Thinking about school all day and not being able to switch it off. I'd much rather be thinking of new ideas for my crafts or garden. These holidays I have been particularly good at compartmentalising school- giving it a bit of attention, then letting it go and focusing on friends, family and fun things. A big achievement for me because I struggle with an anxiety disorder. I think Johnny was so impressed that he rewarded me with my new vege patches for the Vegetable Empire. He has been a wonder, creating, at his own risk, two of the new beds for the potager patch. He has emerged with a sore back and legs, plus a couple of painful hand scrapes. But the gardens are so beautiful! He has started the final two and says he will work on them after school. I can already see the corn, tomatoes, handsome beetroot, and all kinds of lettuces. Oh, and red onions - I grew beauties last year. Plus carrots because they are nice and deep.

I hope to try to blog during the week. Wish me luck.

My pledge: I will do something creative, no matter how small, every day.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Busy Bees

Wow, what an amazing husband I have! He has been making me four new raised vege plots to add to my current seven- yes, that's eleven raised vege patches all for me!!!! Plus I have the border gardens. I call it the Vegetable Empire. The new beds will be sunnier and are arranged to look more like a potager. As you can see in this photo, we still have to paint the fence and make the garden along the back look pretty. We have decided to make sure the backyard is beautiful by summer this year.

Here are the fabrics that I got at Primroses on Wednesday.
I absolutely love spotty fabrics and thought these two pieces would come in handy. The upper two pieces of floral fabric reminded me of Cath Kidston fabrics. It is heavier and more textured than the usual quilting cottons. I got busy today and made myself a new bag.

I used a pretty vintage green flower button with a red centre as a trim. It is a perfect match, but a little bit small.
I almost lined it with two soft green damask serviettes (napkins), but when I ironed them the pattern was divine lily-of-the-valleys and I thought they were far too pretty to be lining. So I used this navy gingham instead. It doesn't quite match, but I'm happy with it. There is a pocket on the inside and one on the outside.

I like the ric-rac trim. Believe it or not I've never used it before and I did such a neat job of sewing it on. My new bag went on its first outing tonight with my lotus cushion quilting project inside, which I worked away at while visiting Mrs. CT.

I'm quite excited because Miss S is coming to visit tomorrow. John is going to work on my raised beds. He says he wants to get the job done tomorrow. I can't wait to see them all beautifully planted up.

It is the last day of the holidays tomorrow. I think I have made the most of them, even though I'm sad they are almost over. I feel like I really discovered my passion these holidays.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pottering around

We have had a couple of busy days. We had lunch with our crafty neighbour and the twins yesterday, then S. and I went on a mini quilt shop crawl and visited Primroses and then Cottonfields. Of course our purses didn't come away unscathed, but our spirits were high. John stayed at home, but for some reason was happy that I was heading out to feed my current craft addiction. I got some fabric, lace and trim, red felt for a Jan Constantine project, plus some spray on basting glue. My quilting aunt used some of that to help me set up the geranium cushion project below. When I asked at Primroses if they sold it, the lady (who, by the way, was wearing one of the most hideous pairs of trousers I have ever seen- like turd smeared animal print jeans) said "we don't sell that here" in rather a condescending tone. Maybe it was just because they are a tiny shop, but I got the feeling she looks down on such things. Anyway, the jolly ladies at Cottonfields were only too happy to sell me a spray can of the stuff, and I set to work joining the layers for the lotus cushion below. The fabrics are Kaffe Fassett fabrics that I think are particularly delicious. I wanted to use them as whole panels, so have hand quilted them in matching tones around the edges of the images. What a fun thing to do. Well- for me anyway as I love hand sewing. It is a bit hard to make out the quilting in this photo. Curses to the little camera! As you can see, where I am, Monty is.

Here is the gluing operation in the garage. The glue is great because it doesn't smell nasty at all.
I have also been busy finishing the quilting on the green and pink quilt. I just have to do the binding now, which I am a little concerned about because I have to be quite careful with the quantity of fabric I have. I am going to keep it top secret now until after Meg sees it in person. Let's just say I think it looks amazing!

Miss Dog would like me to share these photos of her ramble in the frost at the nature reserve. She is allowed off the lead at this time of year because the ground birds aren't nesting.
The photo above looks so chilly. But the sun was out and we had a wonderful stroll.
Today I had a lovely visit from my friend and ex-student Miss H. She and her mummy came for piano, a catch-up and cups of tea. It was so lovely to see Miss H as she looked so happy and well. It is hard to believe that she is 21. I found some photos of her at 15 and she looked just the same. Her mummy had news about the piece of land they have bought to build a house on, which is very exciting. They will be moving from the country to a house with a view over the city and sea. The house next door to us has started and the frames went up today. Johnny and I are trying to look on the bright side, as we have enjoyed having the empty section next door.

I'm going to spend some time at school tomorrow. Loud sigh.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Walking and walking with the walking foot

Progress has been made on the pink and green quilt today. We visited our old neighbours and had a lovely catch-up and lunch, then popped into Fabric Vision to grab quilting supplies. The shop is in winter sale mode and was crawling with all kinds of women hunting for sewing supplies and trolling through the pattern books. The lady who served me looked like she had sucked a lemon and didn't crack a smile throughout our transaction. I felt like ripping the very cool button necklace she was wearing from her throat because she didn't deserve to be wearing it. Anyway, I was very fortunate to find the perfect quilt backing fabric, and some extremely puffy batting to use on the green and pink quilt. When I got home I pinned it all together and did battle with the voluminous layers with the walking foot on my sewing machine. The result is pretty fantastic, and I have a bit of work to do to finish it off and then I will be very, very pleased indeed.

The delightful Hugh is on now with River Cottage Winter, so bye for now.

Ps We went to The Flying Burrito Brothers for tea. You should be very jealous.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Serious crafting

Now that my workroom is looking so good I decided to spend lots of time in there today and see if I could get some WIPs on the way to completion. I started these two quilts over two years ago (although it seems like yesterday). I had pieced the central panels of squares, but was putting off the borders because the lady at the quilt shop got the fabric organised and wrote instructions for me, and I had no idea how to follow them. So I panicked and added them to my collections of projects to complete. Today I decided that no matter what I did, it couldn't be worse than having the panels folded in the cupboard. I figured out my own way of measuring and cutting the fabric and got to work with my rotary cutter, iron and sewing machine.

This one is a big brighter in real life. I'll take a better photo when it is complete. I had a single fabric for the outer border but it didn't look right, so I pieced together a whole lot of matching fabric snippets and I think it looks fabulous. It is about the size of a cot quilt and will go on the back of the couch in the living room.
I guess you can peek, Meg. This one is a birthday present (I hope). It is a little bigger than the other one. It is so pretty with the green and pink border. The green has a fine white spot. I am thrilled with it (even all scrumpled).

Today Johnny persuaded me to venture out briefly to choose some pinboard from Mitre 10 so that I can make an inspiration board for my workroom. I am feeling a bit better today. We have been invited out for lunch tomorrow to our old neighbour's house, so will get Johnny to escort me to Fabric Vision to get some batting and backing for the quilts.

A big Happy Birthday to my lovely brother-in-law Ryan! You are an amazing, talented, creative, generally awesome friend and brother. We are so looking forward to Singapore. Yay!!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A tiny bit of crafting

I love Sundays. Sleep ins, visits from friends, gardening, cooking, crafting. Even better when we still have another week of holidays. Unfortunately I am still unwell. Johnny says at least I've got another week to get better before school goes back. Sadly not too many adventures happening with a throbbing head. Enough about that.

Here is my flock of birdies with Mrs Chook. She is the nearest thing I am getting to the real thing as I'd have to get a divorce before I would be allowed fowl in the backyard. My five little birds are very pleased with their pretty wings. I just have to venture out to look for some appropriate sticks to create the top of the mobile out of.
Here is the finished daffodil heart. Sorry, not a good photo. My wee camera is a bit tricky with the flash. In fact pale things completely disappear in the blaze of dazzling light thrown out when the flash goes off. The big camera is not as easy to grab quickly for a bloggy session.
It sits nicely in the palm of my hand and will probably be hanging on a door handle before too long. I love making these little hearts. The embroidery takes an extraordinary length of time to do as the stitches are so fine so they would not be financially viable to make to sell. Fun to give as presents though. Plus I get to swish my fingers through my button collection. Oh how I love vintage buttons. I vaguely considered how I could sort them into categories today, but that would take the thrill of the hunt away. I put a tiny button at the top of the heart. Finding one small enough and matching is the challenge.
Today I had some help when sewing. Monty is deaf and virtually blind but he can always find me. It isn't particularly easy to manipulate the fabric and foot control plus avoid offending the cat while he curls up on my knee. Take a look at that grotty desk I sew on. It has a lot of potential but has some rather rude graffiti scratched on the top by generations of youngsters. It was rescued from a rubbish heap at a church, believe it or not. Who would have thought Sunday School goers would be inclined to immortalise foul language (and pictures!!!!) in the surface of a lovely old desk. I should feel ashamed because I've had it for years and haven't got around to giving it a lick of paint. This spring, I promise.

I hope to be in tip top condition tomorrow!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A week is quite enough!

Look what arrived in the mail today. Time to order some goodies for spring sowing. I'd be feeling a whole lot more optimistic if this cursed cold would vamoose. I think since it arrived a week ago it is now entering "overstaying it's welcome" territory. Especially since my throat is grimmer than ever. I tackled it with some Betadine throat gargle not long ago. On the bottle it says "do not swallow" and I am hoping the germy jims can't read. They got a good bath in it anyway.

Back to the gardening front. I managed a bit of weed eviction from the herb garden, planted some garlic (still more to go-I might pop it in among the roses) and also planted the bulbs I showed you a couple of days ago. The sun has been shining today. Our back yard is mostly shady for much of the day at this time of year, although the verandah and paved area are sunny. Vege gardening is restricted to very hardy things. But in the summer the back yard is my little piece of paradise, with sun streaming in all day. It was lovely to get outside for a bit of time today, despite the dreaded lurgy.

We are going out for tea tonight up the hill. Ruby has advised me to rug up warm. She has grabbed a panel of vintage fabric and a scarf I crocheted that I love but my skin doesn't. Ruby has no such concerns. She is wondering which of my necklaces she can borrow to enhance her look.

Since we are heading out I have got the bird wings ready for hand stitching as a little portable project. Tomorrow Miss Dog and I have to see if we can find the perfect pair of branches to paint white as the top of the mobile. Yes, I have decided to make a mobile. Since I don't have any suitable sticks and my paintbrushes and knitting needles are out of bounds I will hunt and gather.
Here is a wee WIP that needs my attention next.
It will be a little daffodil lavender heart. I made it using the new technique I discovered for making the cups a little more 3D. I'll show you once it is finished.

Now where have I put my "Happy Hooker" crochet book? I have seen some very exciting ideas out there in blogland and am keen to put my own twist on them. Sadly crocheting and knitting are not natural talents of mine, but you never get anywhere by dreaming rather than doing (although I do support a good sprinkling of dreaming for inspiration). I've realised that as lovely as it is to have piles of craft books, it is even lovelier to head out clutching or wearing something that you have created. I'm very inspired by the wonderful craftspeople out there creating every day.

And to finish- a tip from my very talented aunt who gave me a junior masterclass in sewing last year - ironing is just as important as the sewing for a successful result. So there. Works for me.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Getting Crafty

Good morning Mr Montgomery! As you can see he is saying "Good morning" as well. He always has things to say. Of course he knows I'm about to flip him onto his back and kiss his furry tummy. He would like everyone to know that his poor little leg is feeling much better, although he can still drum up a bit of sympathy with his pitiful limp.
Last night I had the brilliant idea to start some bread. I've recently started experimenting with making a biga or sponge with flour, water and yeast the night before baking to get a bit more flavour into my bread. The longer it takes to bubble away the better the flavour, apparently. Once I got the dough kneaded and happily rising we zipped off to the supermarket and look what I found!!!!!
The Country Living goddess was smiling on me. Look at that divine cover! Roses and vintage goodies. Perfection. I popped it on my sparkling piano for the photo shoot. I spent some time cleaning my workroom today, dusting, cleaning up Monty's mess (we share the room and he isn't keen on cleaning- see preferred activity in top photo) and digging out some of my many unfinished projects. These fabulous little birdies from Cath Kidston's "Sew" were crying out to be finished.
Here they are now, plump and starting to see the world through their brand new eyes. I have to give them some wings next and then decide whether to make them into the mobile, or hang them on top of each other.
And I know you were dying to know how the bread turned out. They made me smile in the oven because they reminded me of shark snouts. I made my first ever batch of mushroom soup from scratch to go with one loaf for lunch. It was good even though I made up the recipe. I had to use button mushrooms because the big flat brownies were ridiculously expensive today. I am thrilled to have a stick blender now. It makes yummy soup. Especially leek and potato.
Oh, oh, oh, Glee is on shortly. Are you ready to sing along Miss Dog? Oh dear. No. Well, clamp those furry Labrador earflaps down hard because Mummy is getting ready to join the cast with gay abandon.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sickly critter

Well, I didn't join the Airforce today. We made it to the Thyme Cafe, had brunch (eggs royale- like eggs benedict but with smoked salmon- mmmmm) and that was enough for me. Back to bed for several hours of fetal position, feeling sorry for myself, wishing the Codrals would work, general sick lurking. Now I'm up though, and sustained by a feed of these from my own garden.
The rather small yellowish looking vegetable to the left is my version of Romanesco broccoli. Those extraordinary specimens available in the supermarket are on steroids. I am very proud of the sprouting broccoli and hope it will sprout again now that I've taken the top out of it. Our course the rainbow chard is spectacular, but you can't go wrong with that!
Time to get inspired. Take a look at these beauties:
The Country Living is the New Zealand version of this month's edition. I could pay twice as much for the air freighted version, but it is out of season anyway, so why worry? I think it is a particularly divine magazine this month, and I should know, having what seems like hundreds of back issues lurking all around the house. I am eyeing up lots of the projects in the Cath Kidston book. I made the "free bag" provided with the book a while ago. I absolutely adore Cath Kidston fabrics. They are scarce here. The Jan Constantine book has lots of gorgeous things too. I love craft books. You wouldn't believe how many unfinished projects I have around here!

I got these goodies in the end of season sale at that bargain (crap) hunter's paradise "The Warehouse." I did the same last year and the bulbs came up beautifully, so grabbed a few more to pop in. I have literally thousands of bulbs in my new garden already. Sad to say it all looks a bit miserable at the moment, but before I know it they will be up and flowering merrily.
Just to remind me that Spring is around the corner I brought this primula in. I should have groomed it before the photo, but remember I am poorly.
Monty and Miss Dog certainly know what to do on a dreary day. Monty is as close to the hearth as he can get and Miss Dog is basking on her blanket, sneaking as much of her body onto the fireside mat as she can manage without attracting her father's wrath. Monty and Miss Dog are very good friends, thank goodness. Miss Dog can be jealous at times, and has to be given a curry up for getting a bit too lively around Monty occasionally. She likes to put her snout onto Monty when he is snuggled on my knee sometimes, especially when she is hungry. She knows it will get a reaction.
Yes, Miss Dog really is that shiny. They are on the awesome rag rug that my wonderful sister made for me. By the way Meg, if you have time you could paint me a quirky Monty picture like little H. has in his room for my birthday. Miss Dog could feature too. I really must look for some more things to go on our walls. They are as bare as a hotel room.

Blogging on the couch makes me very happy!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Legolas rides again!

Archery. Oh yes I wanted to be Maid Marion, Arwen or possibly Legolas himself. And I was. I got three bulls eyes. It was my first proper go and after a few instructions I got right into it. Look at that business-like hairdo and the arm guard. I'm not sure how to aim properly because the little man told me to keep both eyes open, but when I did that I could either see two targets or two arrows. Hmm. Still, I got better with practise.
Here is my partner in sport.
And take a look at my target. For a start I didn't get any on the target paper. It is quite hard on your fingers and I thought my shoulder would protest, but after a few shots it was fine. I can't wait to have another go. It is a shame that it isn't the kind of sport you can just practise in your backyard because you could kill someone with a stray arrow. There are enough dead people over the back fence already!
In the afternoon Miss Dog and I popped out for a romp around the nature reserve. It was a bit dim and dreary, but the flax silhouettes were quite striking.
Miss Dog was pleased when I started poking around in the bushes hunting for fungi. These basket fungi are rather alien looking. I wanted to find a perfect one, but it is a bit late in the season.
Of course Miss Dog would have to find the only water hole in the entire park. It isn't usually there but the weather has been really wet lately. The smell of rotting vegetation filled the air after she had stirred up the mucky water. I told her in no uncertain terms that her father would not be impressed.
These lovely plant labels have appeared all over the place since our last visit.
Tomorrow we have plans (pretend) to join the Airforce and visit the Airforce Museum. Last time we went there was with John's Dad, who has since passed away. He was in the Airforce and loved anything to do with planes. I saw the Concord with him, and the huge Antarctic planes like the Starlifter.

Monty says his poor leggy is still hurting but he seems to be OK. Relaxing by the fire has made him happy today. He says he would prefer not to visit the nasty vet unless he absolutely has to.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Winter White

A month early, but my birthday present is sitting here on my lap. My beautiful new laptop in frosty winter white, so different from my work one. Now that we have wireless internet access I can prowl the internet at will. I have been visiting a few treasured blogs and am writing the first wee update on my one. The keys feel like cream as I type. I even have a Cath Kidston trim on the top of the Google Chrome toolbar. This laptop is quite petite and doesn't have a disc drive, but is more powerful and functional than a notebook (the computer kind). It is a Toshiba one, which is encouraging because my school one survived a serious assault from a wayward student a couple of weeks ago, so it should be tough.

Poor wee Monty has a very sore leg. He is limping in a piteous manner. The pain seems to be in his shoulder and came on suddenly, so he has possibly pulled a muscle. We have a direct line to the local vet, so he will be bundled off down there if there is no improvement tomorrow. I'll give him a touch of cat painkiller to help him sleep well tonight. Important because he sleeps in the big bed with us, and I don't want to be disturbed. I've got a cold. Grrrr!

So what else have I been doing? The school holidays started on Saturday. I realised that I had a cold on Friday night, and was determined not to let it ruin my long awaited "Adventure Holiday." Now your idea of an adventure holiday may be different from mine. I decided I wanted to do some different things from usual and make the most of every day. I have not included bungy jumping, parachuting, mountain climbing and learning to fly a helicopter on my list of things to do. However visiting the art gallery, shopping for my laptop, going on some day trips and exploring my creativity are high on the list. I also decided that I would like to go ice skating, go to an archery range, and possibly skiing. We shall see how things go.

On Saturday we went to the Arts Centre for a look around. I love the felted items, especially the pretty felted Agnes Foss goodies. I have one of her pansy brooches. She is now making rose ones. She also makes divine purses and hats. We wandered down the road to the Art Gallery, which was interesting, as always. There was an extraordinary display of sculptural works. I wonder how an artist can fund big, complex, high tech works and where he/she stores them. We also saw some disturbing photos. Sorry I've lost the artist's names somewhere in the grey matter.

On Sunday we travelled south to Geraldine to visit our neighbours at their sweet little holiday home. Geraldine is a gorgeous town with some lovely shops and scenery. We wandered around. I laughed hysterically on the playground when Mr B spun me around on the spinny angled table - a sort of modern merry-go-round. We went for a big trek in the forest, which was fascinating. I now know what possum nibbles on trees look like, and know more about their habits and lifestyle. I also saw some very interesting fungi. I also now know that doggy poo gets so furry in the bush that it looks like a little grey animal.

On Monday I had a professional development day at school. Sigh. Oh well, I learnt a bit and had some good laughs and a seriously good lunch.

Today I got my new computer. SO EXCITING!!!! So I will say au revoir and goodnight. I wonder what adventures tomorrow will bring.