Saturday, 31 March 2012

Day 31 - Where I Relax

This is our new(ish) sofa which replaced the threadbare Habitat one we'd had for 25 years.  I was sad to see it go as it held so many happy memories but I have to admit that this Cavendish sofa from Derwent is so much more comfy.  It's even worth the weeks we spent agonising over style, the size and fabric.

Well, that's it. The last day of March and its photo challenge.  Thanks to Fatmumslim for setting it and to all of you who have been following it, with special reference to Kay at Just Humans Being who has been particularly supportive in her comments.  

Friday, 30 March 2012

Day 30 - Toy

This is Poop from the children's TV series Yoho Ahoy which didn't last very long but which really appealed to me.  My daughters bought me this cuddly several years ago.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Day 29 - Feet

Under the dining room table.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Day 28 - Trash aka Rubbish

Rubbish to humans, a feast for my worms!  Nom, nom!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Day 27 - Your Name

It's in there somewhere ... and I've just spotted a spelling mistake!

Monday, 26 March 2012

Day 26 - Key

I love rambling and I love OS maps.  They are an essential item on any holiday packing list.  I'm already planning a suitable walk for Easter Monday, including the requisite lunchtime stop at a PH!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Day 25 - Breakfast

I should have reminded myself of today's subject before I ate my breakfast this morning.  Luckily I still had the packaging!

We have a rule that we do not eat hot cross buns before Ash Wednesday  or after Easter Sunday.  So we eat as many as we can manage within those few weeks.

These Waitrose buns were alright.  I hope to bake my own on Good Friday.  The ones I made last year were soft and spicy straight from the oven but didn't taste nearly as good the next day.  The trouble is that I can't remember what recipe I used or where I put it, so I'll have to find another one this year.  Any suggestions?

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Day 24 - Animal

You have to look closely to see them but I managed to catch a few worms before they sought cover under the rotting vegetable trimmings and shredded paper.

When we bought our wormery a few years ago I fretted about losing them to frost, but although they are less active during the winter months they have survived and continue to provide us with the softest and richest compost for the garden.  And they've slimmed out bin to boot.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Day 23 - Moon

Or lack thereof!  Yesterday was the new moon and there is nothing to be seen in the night sky but a handful of stars.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Day 22 - Kitchen Sink

This is the photograph I've been dreading.  It crept up and caught me on a day when I had no time to tidy it up.  So here it is, warts and all!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Day 21 - Delicious

It's 10 days since Hermann came to live with us.  This afternoon I divided the bubbling batter into four portions.  Two to pass on to friends, one to keep and one to transformed into a Friendship Cake.  Aside from the flour, sugar, oil etc the recipe is fairly flexible.  I added cubed apples, broken walnuts and dried cranberries.  It went down well with the ladies who knit & natter this afternoon.

PS Just noticed that this is my 250th post.  If I'd realised earlier I would have added a few candles!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Day 20 - Before / After



I hate dusting and hoovering but I do like ironing.  Most of my clothes are cotton or cotton blends and I wouldn't dream of wearing them unironed.  I admit to ironing sheets, pillowcases and tea towels - but not underwear!  Of course I have to be entertained as I work - preferably the radio but the telly will do.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Day 19 - Funny

OK.  It's not hilarious, but it might just bring a smile to your face.  Anyway, it was the best I could do today.

You'll notice that we're still in our bathroom with its seaside theme.  The wooden fishing boats are from St Ives.  The lighthouse on the tile is my own creation.  The starfish was purchased from a local artist whose name I cannot recall.  The green fish was made by a friend's daughter.  The blue soap dish came from a charity shop and the ducks were a present to their dad from my daughters, to match the duck I bought him many years ago.  She's called Mabel.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Day 18 - A Corner of My Home

Our bathroom has a seaside theme and the pictures on the wall are of my favourite seaside town, St Ives.  The large print and the two small cards are by Rachel Cockerill.  Innumerable artists have tried in their own way to capture the spirit of the place, but for me she is one of the best.

I can't remember who painted the fourth picture but it features my favourite agapanthus, which will always be associated in my mind with lazy summer holidays.

The seagull is called Cynthia but, unlike her relatives in St Ives, she is not at all pesky!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Day 17 - Green

Green greens (with a smudge of purple!)

Friday, 16 March 2012

Day 16 - Sunglasses

Hmm.  I don't think I'll be needing these for a while yet!

Confession:  Circumstances conspired against me yesterday, so despite what it says at the top of the post this phone was not taken nor posted until Saturday 17 March.  Thank goodness for the over-ride button.  

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Day 15 - Car

Meet Kylie, named after the Australian superstar with the gold hotpants.  She belongs toa friend who is not averse to a little dressing up herself!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Day 14 - Clouds

The sky was uniformly grey this morning, but this afternoon the clouds parted to let the sun shine through for a while.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Day 13 - A Sign

Bubbles - a sign of yeast at work aerating my batter.  It's called Hermann.  No really!  It's the  German friendship cake mixture I received from my daughter's boyfriend's mother yesterday.  Over the next 10 days I'll be nurturing Hermann, stirring, and feeding him until he's ready to be baked.  But before he goes into the oven I'll be dividing him into 4 portions, three of which I'll be giving away to friends.   Hermann will live on!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Day 12 - Fork

On my kitchen windowsill I have a glass filled with disposable wooden implements - lolly sticks, kebab sticks, chopsticks, spoons ... and these forks.  Although designed to be thrown away after a single use I can never bring myself to do so.  Instead I slip them in my bag, wash them and keep them until I find a use for them.

The lolly sticks make very good markers for newly sown seeds and the chopsticks very good supports for peas shoots.  I suppose the spoons and forks would make quirky plant labels but today I fulfilled one of my long held intentions, when I took one of each, wrapped them in a plastic bag, and put them in my handbag.  One day they'll save me from having to use a plastic spoon and fork when I'm out and about.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Day 11 - Someone I Talked to Today

My younger daughter, who not only has the lovely smile you saw earlier this month, but who is also a a pleasure to talk to.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Day 10 - Loud

Forte = a musical dynamic meaning loudly or strongly.  This 'f' is from Vivaldi's Cum Sancto, one of the pieces Classical Gas is practising for our concert in St James Prior in May.  It's fast, and fun to sing.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Day 9 - Red

Acrylic paint in Paper Village, our local art and craft shop, run by the fantastically creative Vicky.

The shop is a veritable Aladdin's cave packed with paper, paints, beads, yarn, books etc and Vicky is always willing and able to offer advice on how to use them.  She also runs a variety of courses.  Well worth a visit. 

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Day 8 - Window

The view from the Velux window in our loft conversion.  I love being able to look out at the brick chimney stack with its chimney pot and aerials.  Unfortunately you can't see much more than rows of tiled roofs - and the sky, of course - which was a pretty dull grey this afternoon.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Day 7 - Something I Wore

These are my high street version of the overpriced designer boots.  And because I have small feet I was able to buy them from the children's department, which made them even cheaper.  If only I could do this with the rest of my wardrobe!

They are warm and cosy but not very comfortable over long distances when they make my legs ache.  I've had them a couple of years now but the heels are beginning to wear through so I guess this is their last season.

I become very attached to my footwear which I persist in wearing until they eventually fall apart.  I have fond memories of a pair of handmade red shoes and my blue Dr Marten's boots.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Day 6 - 5 pm

Or 17:00.  Time for PM on BBC Radio!

I'm a Radio 4 listener.  I wake to the Today programme and am entertained by the 6:30 comedy slot as I cook dinner.  On Saturday mornings I tune in to the repeat of Any Questions followed by Any Answers and on Sunday morning I decide on how much of the Sunday morning service I listen to by the quality of the hymns.  In between times there's PM, Woman's Hour, Excess Baggage, From our Own Correspondent, A Point of View, the Food Programme ... not to mention the Shipping Forecast!  My life would genuinely be the poorer without it.

One of my earliest childhood memories is of the strains of Lillibullero preceding the BBC World Service News every breakfast time, and so I was delighted when I discovered that my elder daughter recognised the testy John Humphry's voice from an early age.

Her younger sister is always pinching my radio from its shelf in the kitchen to entertain her as she sews or draws in the dining room.  But she prefers Radio 1 and never changes the station back when she finishes with it!   

Monday, 5 March 2012

Day 5 - A Smile

My younger daughter has a rather lovely smile.  She says it's the same as her Dad's and she's probably right.  She looks like him, while my elder daughter takes after me.  A well balanced family. 

I would have taken a better photo had I been able to do so in daylight but school and work precluded this so I've had to make do.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Day 4 - Bedside

I don't have a bedside table,  Normally this pile would have been on the floor, but I've been engaged in a bit of spring cleaning lately and it has been moved to sit atop a stack of Ikea storage boxes.

The collection includes my battered Bible (an RSV which I've had since I was a teenager), Kazuo Ishiguro's Remains of the Day (I am an admirer of both his writing and the film of the same name), Through Wood by Alison Swinfen which I once used for a woodland meditation, a graphic biography of Darwin(?), a copy of the Liberal Democrats' manifesto reduced to 10p which I bought for a laugh, Jim Crace's Arcadia which I've struggled with (having enjoyed Quarantine), a notebook, last year's lectionary, a book on happiness which came free with the Observer, my glasses and a badge which I found during my cleaning.

I wonder what these random(?) items say about me.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Day 3 - My Neighbourhood

This is North Street Green, a pocket handkerchief-sized green space, a few minutes from where I live.

It is the site of the annual Best of Bedminster (BoB) Show, an urban fair celebrating the local community.

It is also one of the sites of the annual Upfest, an internationally famous urban art festival.  The wall on the left hand side of the photo is the outdoor canvas for this vibrant art form. 

The tree is in full blossom and there is  a blanket of crocuses (crocii?) in its shade.

Spring has sprung!

Friday, 2 March 2012

Day 2 - Fruit

Three tomatoes from last week's Riverford box.

I cancelled this week's delivery on account of the backlog from last week.  How this has happened in a week when I've given up meat for Lent and should be eating considerably more vegetables, I don't know.

Actually I do.  It's the usual suspects - cabbage, celeriac and beetroot.  They're always last to leave the box and sadly, on some occasions, only to be transferred to the compost bin!  I'm going to have to arm myself with a sheaf of recipes to solve this problem.  Any tried and tested ideas will be gratefully received. 

Life without The Big Four

On 2 March 2011, following the second application for permission to build a Sainsburys megastore at Ashton Gate was approved by Bristol City Council, I vowed never to darken the door of any of the Big Four (Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda and Morrisons) again.  Although there had been no conflict of interest in my campaigning, the arguments revolving round the scale of the development, I finally decided that I no longer wished to support businesses who I believe exercise a detrimental effect not only on our high streets but on our way of life.  One year on and I am pleased to report that, with one exception (when helping my daughter to stock her cleaning cupboard in Glasgow) I have succeeded in my resolve.

Does this mean that I no longer frequent any supermarket?  No, I'm afraid not, but I have switched my loyalty to those whose ethos is more acceptable to me and where I try to restrict my purchases to items I can't easily find/afford elsewhere.  Every couple of months I place an internet order with Waitrose and in between times I pop in and out of our local Co-op and Aldi.   

So where do I buy most of my food?  Well, I'm fortunate enough to live within walking distance of two thriving high streets.  My meat comes from a butcher, my vegetables from an organic box scheme, my milk is delivered by a milkman, my bread comes from one of three bakers, my coffee is bought and ground in the deli where I also refill my cleaning product bottles.  A weekly market keeps me in fish, local cheeses and speciality sausages.

There have been compromises and a way to go before I'm happy with where all my food comes from, but I'm satisfied that I'm heading in the right direction.

To read Henry Porter's damning indictment of supermarkets in last week's Observer click here.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

March Photo a Day Challenge: Day 1 - Up

I've been following Little Green Shed's progress in Fatmumslim's February Photo a Day Challenge and have decided to give it a go myself in March.

This is the ceiling of our local swimming pool.  It's an old Victorian baths and, although in need of repair, retains its original charm, which I prefer to a sleek shiny leisure centre.  And I'm not the only one.  It has featured in recent episodes of Sherlock Holmes and The Inside Men.

There are current plans to renovate the pool, including exposing the original windows to allow the pool to be bathed in daylight.