Friday, September 28, 2012

Its Getting to feel a lot like Autumn!!

This week has seen a change in the weather, its suddenly become quite autumnal. I love stepping outside first thing in the morning and breathing in that damp leafy smell. It always reminds me of the time I was expecting the children, trips to the hospital and the odd beautiful sunny day . 
This year we seem to have had a nice week or so and then straight into autumn. 

So this weekend I am going to try and finish off a few projects that I have started over the holidays. The conservatory where I spend most of my time is clogged with 'stuff' !!
Back at the very start of the summer I found this lovely comfy chair on the local Freecycle. Originally it had brown paint work, so I rubbed it down and painted it cream to match the other furniture. I decided to have some covers made for it. They arrived a couple of days ago so tonight I fitted them.

I am really pleased with how it looks now. Pretty and bright.

I still like the patchwork quilt which I will leave hanging over the back, but it gets so cold in here I will end up using it to keep me warm!!

This week has been a busy one, I don't seem to have had time to turn around. I have spent a large amount of time at one school or another. Beth had meeting regarding preparation for her GCSE's It was good to hear what we would be trying to do to try and support her through the process. Today that has started, its cost me fifty quid in revision guides, I hope they work!!!

The school where |I am vice Chair of Governors had Ofsted this week so I was in there two evenings this week as well, I don't think I have had any evenings free!! Next week is shaping up to be a busy one as well!!!

Beth has continued with her usual accident prone ways, I had a call from the school to say that they thought she had broken her finger, so Tom picked her up and had it checked out at the hospital, luckily its not broken but it is horribly swollen and a scary shade of purple now. It had happened when she was opening a door the same time as someone was pushing it from the other side. I think she has her own cubicle there.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Going for a drive!!

Yesterday We went to The St Marys School (Bishops Stortford) Car Show. 
My friend Debbie and I had a stall and we sold some of our jewellery. Beth was really helpful all day helping set up and selling on the stall, so when she spotted the 'have a go at driving' stand, she wanted a go. It was a costly £2 for two times around the playground. So Tom took her over and she had a go. She really liked it and was keen for me to take her for another go.

So I took her over and she had the same instructor this time I was in the back seat ! She did very well and remembered how to start the car, hand break, accelerator the lot. This time she drove around 4 times, got her money worth!!! 

On talking to the instructor he said that they have the facility to take youngsters our to an airfield to give them practice long before they can have a driving licence. Beth really wants to learn to drive so perhaps we will let her have a go!!!

Debbie and I set up our stall to sell some of our jewellery. We did quite well with our sales, although it was a long day. We also had a tent set up with pottery painting and we had quite a few people turn up and have a go. We started off slow but by mid afternoon we were in full swing and busy!!

By the time we cleared up time was getting on. It was a great day and we learnt a lot!!
It was lucky that we were able to borrow a tent from the scouts and that we were able to call on the help of Tom, Malcolm, Beth,Georgie and Sam !!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Unexpected visitor and a crop of potatoes!!

This year we had a go at growing some potatoes in a barrel type thing  that we kept at the bottom of the garden, it was all a bit hit and miss because we had a wet summer and we thought that they would stay fairly well watered but when we got back off of holiday the hot spell that had taken place had reduced the greenery to brown stalks, so we decided to harvest them, not really expecting too much as the original potatoes planted were in my opinion a bit dodgy!!
So I was really pleased to see that we had a reasonable amount, enough for a couple of meals. Next year we will pay more attention to the watering and start with better quality potatoes!

We were surprised last week when moving the recycling bins to be faced with this little snake, I say little, it was skinny but around 2 foot long. It was quite a shock finding it there particularly as we didn't know what it was.  Beth said she thought it was a corn snake so we looked it up on the Internet and asked on face book and everyone agreed that it looked like a baby corn snake. They don't live outside so the advice was to bring it in and tell the RSPCA. so we went back and of course it had disappeared!!

Beth spent an age looking for it but it was no where to be found. I hope that it survives but I think there isn't much chance once the weather turns autumnal :(

This year we have had loads of pleasure out of our garden, we have been able to plant the border where the fir tree was and we have had mixed results. We have also learnt a few things about what to put where, so we will make changes next year. I am particularly happy with some Hollyhocks we planted, the sunflowers were disappointing and a new rose we put in has struggled. We will have to look after them and hope they are stronger next year. The plants that seem to survive whatever the weather throws at them are things likes lavender and rosemary they seem to love all conditions and all weathers!!

This verbena grew far taller than I had thought it would so its in the wrong place, it may have a change of home for next year!!

I put in a bird feeding table and we have seen loads of birds, we mainly seem to get the big birds, Magpies, pigeons and doves. They are so used to us now that we can sit around 5 feet away from them and it don't worry them!! It worries the dog who spends ages trying to catch one!! she has never got within 6 foot of one  they know just how close she can get before flying away!!

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Down In Kerry.

The second week on our holiday we spent down in Kerry, a very remote and pretty place, although with the weather that we had it was not easy to see the scenery!! We stayed in a place Called Ballinskelligs, which was really in the back of beyond. The beach near our cottage was very pretty and came complete with a wrecked castle. 

Driving in Ireland was something else, the roads are awful (mostly) and road junctions have loads and loads of signs, making it very hard to see where you should be going! One night we decided to head for  
Portmagee and managed to miss the right road, it was dark and we found ourselves heading up a mountain in the pitch black. The higher we got the worse the conditions got, low cloud turned into fog and I had to negotiate hair pin bends. It was so steep I couldn't get out of first gear! It was really really scary!! I have never been so pleased to get back to a road wider than 5ft!!

Ireland has loads of beautiful countryside and looking at the flowers bought back memories of visiting back when I was a teenager. I don't know of anywhere else where there are lilies and fuchsias growing wild . 

All the hedgerows were brightly coloured

It was like they had been planted on purpose, but researching it it seems the fuchsias were bought over from Chile in the 1600's they run wild and  have taken over the hedgerows.

The past weekend I have been in Oxford with Laura, she has been on  a team building event. Its nice to be invited as a guest, I get the chance to catch up with some folk I haven't seen for a while. While they were team building I went for a walk around the shops. Saturday night we all went to the dogs and we had a little win. We stayed at a lovely hotel with a spa and pool. I was able to go swimming early on Saturday morning (before breakfast!!) and also spent 20 minutes in the Turkish bath. I wish we had a pool nearby here so I could swim a bit more!!

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Giants Causeway

One place that I have always wanted to visit is the Giants Causeway, on the north coast of Northern Ireland, near to the town of Bushmills, for once the weather was quite nice but it was very busy so we decided to use the park and ride from Bushmills to the Causeway, By the end of the day that turned out to be a very good decision!!! Once we arrived by bus at the visitors centre we walked through and collected our 'hand held information device' and started the walk down to the causeway.

The scenery was stunning and walking the mile down to the causeway was quite gentle and informative, we heard all about the giant Finn McCool and how the causeway was really formed out of volcanic activity millions of years ago. It was certainly spectacular.

The rocks are really quite something to behold, there are thousands and thousands of columns and there were a fair few people down there lapping up the atmosphere.

I wore my trusty crocs which possibly wasn't the best thing to wear, gave Tom a few panics he was convinced I was going to trip over, but I remained in full charge of my feet!!! It even got quite warm and  had to take my coat off. (it was short lived!!)
We spent an hour or so down there looking around before deciding to head back to the top.

We noticed that the weather was starting to change and we didn't think we would get back to the top before the rain started again, so we spotted a bus heading back up and jumped on that. By the time we got back to the visitor centre it was throwing it down, a full blown downpour. We stopped off and had a cup of tea waited for the park and ride bus to turn up and hopped on that back down to the car park. There were loads of people who were soaked as they had parked miles away in one of the car parks at the top!!

We also visited the Mountains of Mourne and as you can see by the photo it was raining!

I suppose for me it was driving through places that I had heard of in the news when I was a teenager, this pretty seaside town is Warrenpoint, a place name that rag a bell, but I couldn't remember why, I googled it and found that it was the scene of one of the worse bombings involving the British Army. To look at it now you can't guess its background. 

Had a busy week at work, at least last week I had the benefit of the Bank Holiday, next week is back to the slog properly :(
Have a good week!