Friday, 19 July 2019

Rocking Your World Friday - 29th of 2019

Good morning lovely people 
tis Friday time for

So first up is said 18 year old and his girlfriend having a fantastic week away and arriving home safely last weekend always a positive. 

 Next up achieving a year without drink, most pleased with myself if I'm honest, now to sort out the next health challenge! 

Having a catch up with school friends, we left 30 years ago which really is ridiculous because it feels like two minutes ago.  There are normally six of us, but Mary Anne was poorly so just for 5 this time, but we had a fabulous afternoon putting the world to rights, catching up on news and having a thoroughly lovely time 

They came bearing gifts which was very naughty which included these beautiful flowers from Faith Marie

and these which smell utterly divine from Karen 

I feel very privileged to have these life long friends at my side.  

And I chose to document the day in my current favourite creative way 

I spend the morning baking with hubby 
Tis grand and reminiscent of our Christmas mornings 
Mary Anne unable to make it, migraine rules her out
I'm sad for our super six become five

I extend the table and lay out a white table cloth and harlequin runner
Purple platters adorn the table 
The smell of peach muffins permeate the room
We continue on
Making scones both fluffy and lemon drizzle 
After twelve I plate up sandwiches and pop them in the fridge.
The teapot proves illusive much to my dismay 
I quickly straighten my hair but clip it back again as I'm working with food

Faith Marie is the first to arrive,
I attempt and fail at instructions for pulling on the drive
She pulls it in square and we abandon it in favour of tea and chat 
She arrives with bottles of non alcoholic fizz, houmous, olives and tasty breadsticks 
And a summer bouquet filled with sun and cornflowers 

We sit nattering at the breakfast bar drinking tea
Bernie arrives chauffeur driven and confirms she has the lurg
She brings clotted cream and fudge gifts from her hols in Devon

Felicity next to arrive; the cul de sac now almost full 
We've got room for one more on the drive 
Karen the last of today's motley crew lands perfectly in the final spot
She comes bearing gifts a huge bouquet of the sweetest smelling lilies and marshmallows and stawbs

Raucous discussions as I pass back the scanned letters to their original owners 
Little glimpses of life from an era apparently long since past 
Faith Marie's postcard antics the subject of much giggling 
Including the hospital visits, her stay at the Louvre and how skylights can make your skin yellow 

Eventually we sit at the table munching on sandwiches and get tipsy on alcohol free wine 
We talk of jobs and lives 
Bernie is back dealing with the transport industry 
Karen about to commence a new role as a diabetic nurse 
And Faith Marie a head teacher no less

The conversation includes wild weeing and the joys of teaching primary children about vulvas 
A 500 mile motorway journey with no toilets
A man overboard bag containing pink lacy children's dresses
Inheriting new positions in the office of the granny variety
Pole and lap dancing Co workers 
Giant African snails
The odd she wee
And a sex ed lesson by faith Marie to a group of 5 year olds

The conversations and humour continue
My face hurts from laughing 
The bottle of fizz rapidly disappearing 

We chat of children and hubbies 
The clock is cruel as it races along 
But we make the most of it
Sharing photos of loved ones from graduations 
And them settling in at uni

Malachite arrives home and is bemused by the conversation
Double entendres whether unintentional or not prove entertaining and sometimes enlightening 
It's good to know that we haven't changed a bit despite the years

Bernie's hubby arrives to whisk her away and the girls start to make a move
Faith stays for a while longer
Filling me in on her plans for the week 

The house is quiet once more
I potter around the kitchen 
Filled to the brim with happiness

Thanks girls I needed that
Until the next time my beautiful friends
May the road rise to meet you
may the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm across your face
The rain fall soft across your fields and until we meet again
May God keep you in the palm of his hands

And finally today, said 18 year old got confirmation of his place at University - pleased beyond belief. 

And that my lovely people is that, I hope you've had a grand week, if you fancy joining in pop a post together come back and link up so we can come and visit. 

Friday, 12 July 2019

Rocking Your World Friday - 28th of 2019

Good morning lovely people, I hope I find you well, tis Friday time for

So first up a picture from the end of last week, sometimes it is nice to acknowledge when you've had a good weekend and we definitely did.  So I posted this to my instagram account in acknowledgement.  I captured the photo just to clock the positive blue skies. 

So first up a lovely evening sat out in the garden on Friday, enjoying the warm summers evening and an al fresco tea. 

After all the work we did on the garden the year before last, we really didn't make the most of it last year, but we are trying to make up for that this year. 

Hubby surprised me with these, which were a lovely surprise

Saturday and me and hubby headed off back to the county town of Stafford, where we both lived for 14 years.  I'd booked us tickets to the play at the castle and a hotel for the night as well as a booking at the first restaurant he ever took me to. 

We headed off just after 9am and trundled down, we don't bother with the motorway, pointless as you end up stuck in traffic.  So we go the scenic route.  We arrived and parked up with time to spare.  Got the key to the room (even though we were very early) and headed off to the castle in what appeared plenty of time. 

Unfortunately in my infinite wisdom we followed a 'walking route' on google maps and I promptly got us lost.  So lost that at one point we did wonder if we would actually make it on time. 

Anyway after finding the path with the tallest nastiest nettles you can imagine and getting lost in the farmer's field we did actually make it on time. 

This was the beer tent, hubby was definitely ready for a drink when we got there. 

this was the set of the play. 

This year opting for one set of seating, meaning the set was much closer.  They set the play in 1950's New York.  It was the main play I studied at school so remember the play intimately.  Hubby however didn't know the play particularly and we've never seen it live together, although I remember if from year's ago at school and we have both seen the trial scene in a 'pocket' version.  He needn't have worried as they did an awesome job of putting the play together and making it truly engaging. 

This is the logo for the Shakespeare festival in Stafford which I love

The second half started like this and the famous casket scene

In the evening we went for a meal, as part of the dessert they provided us with this as they knew it was an anniversary celebration (which I thought was really lovely of them). 

Hubby caught this photo of me

And I returned the favour

After the meal we went for a wander, it really has some pretty places in the town

And then we chased the sunset which was stunning

Sunday we headed back, passing Chartley Castle, I did a temping job for the owners way back when, they lived in the hall in the same area. 

We decided to have a Chatsworth stop off

I loved the summery flowers

It is looking seriously lush and they are expanding the walkway in the central part as part of a garden development plan. 

We found a new sculpture which made me giddy

Grabbed a selfie

Enjoyed the grotto pond

Got up close to the Barry Flanagan hare

I loved the astilbe plant

We also found Britannia in the grotto, another new sculpture

We had a lovely day and we both really enjoyed it. 

And then we got home and enjoyed some more sunshine

So overall a fabulous weekend was had. 

This week the house has been unusually quiet, said 18 year old has been away wish his girlfriend and her family in Cornwall.  It has been lovely to see glimpses of their week and I'm looking forward to catching up with them when they get back.

I managed to clear down the annual accounts and I wrote the financial procedures in their entirety in a single day, so as you can imagine I've had a productive week. 

I hope you've all had a fabulous week, if you fancy joining in pop a post together, come back and link up so we can come and visit. 

Friday, 5 July 2019

Rocking Your World Friday - 27th of 2019

Morning lovely Rockettes (and Rockers if there are any), I hope you've had a splendiferous week, it is time to clock the positives and the silver linings for it is time for 

So first up apologies to those blogs I normally comment on I've had fun and games this week trying to get my comments to stick, I've finally managed it tonight but it was a hell of a game - so many apologies, I read your posts last weekend! 

Anyway next up answering a few questions, the pre-retirement course is just that - pre-retirement he has a few years to go yet and intends on retiring (or semi retiring) at 60, but he wants to know his options now so he can plan.  I unfortunately don't have a pension pot to ... well you can fill that gap yourself and being 10 years younger than hubby I doubt I will ever retire.  Anyway the course was interesting although they seemed  more interested in 'selling' their products than actually preparing him.  

Said 18 year old has now officially finished college, passed his course and well and truly ready for the next chapter as he is off to uni in September to do interior architecture.  He is off for a week away with his girlfriend from today so the house will be mighter quiet (although probably a lot tidier).  Thank you for all the positive comments they are very welcome and he loves to read them. 

I didn't share the photos from the sculpture park with you here are a few from the latest visit

First up a textile artist

The new outdoor and underground exhibition 

I liked this one

and the statement

I also quite liked this one

It was lovely to see some new art and take a lovely walk around the park. 

Hubby volunteered last weekend, to help them take the boat down to a venue last Saturday during the morning he sent me this fabulous image once they had moored up. 

I collected him at lunch and we decided to do some jobs around the garden. 

When I was young my Dad got hold of an old school double desk.  He spent time doing it up in the run up to Christmas and I received it as a main gift, I used it for many years and then it was used by my sister and brother in turn. 

A few years ago it came back into my possession and it has languished in the loft for some time. 

As we've been having a sort out, I realised that it has no sentimental value for my son and that in time he would probably dispose of it. 

It certainly had seen better days, but I wondered if we could upcycle it so I could enjoy it once more, but in a different way. 

Hubby took the hinged pieces of so we could clean both the lids up and the metalwork 

We then spent a glorious afternoon in the sun painting it with external chalk paint designed for garden furniture. 

This is how it looked after the paint job

We then lined the interior of it with heavy duty rubble bags (with the necessary vent holes so it doesn't end up waterlogged when it rains)

On Sunday we headed out to get some compost and some plants for it, it looks a little bare at the moment, but I'm sure the plants will come along. 

I can see the desk from the kitchen window, hubby has put brackets on it to prevent the lids coming down and crushing the plants in high winds.  It is so lovely to have it back working again. 

The rest of the week has been busy with work and sorting old paperwork out, I'm finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel but it has been some time coming. 

I hope you've had a grand week, if you fancy joining in pop a post together, pop back and link up so we can come and visit (and hopefully comment in a more timely way).

Friday, 28 June 2019

Rocking Your World Friday - 26th of 2019

Good Evening lovely people

I apologise profusely for my tardiness but it has been one of those days if that makes sense.

Anyway without further ado it is time for 

So said 18 year old had his show at the local university building (it's new so the college made use of it).  It was fantastic to see all the different work from the students, not just on the course said 18 year old is doing but also the level 2 course, the foundation degree course etc. 

As you will recall said 18 year old's piece actually looks awesome at night

It looked fundamentally different in situ, although we giggled as he left all the lights on, so they would have flashed away until the batteries flattened

His other piece ended up with people joining in and filling out the discs, it will be interesting to see its return when he collects it this week (together with his results)

Said 18 year old's girlfriend had done a final piece around Japan and decided on textile art.  The fabric really was stunning, she'd used a puff paint for the writing through screens and it was so effective.

I also loved these pieces by another student, such an eclectic mix of materials to create the items 

We went up to YSP last Sunday which was brilliant, I spotted this piece of art created by an artist in conjunction with a local school.  The intention is that the wax bricks will be chipped away until the pieces encased are 'rediscovered' although I'm wondering if the 30 degree temperatures tomorrow might scupper that idea somewhat. 

Hubby went on a pre-retirement course at the beginning of the week, it raised more questions than answers and as he is 10 year's older than me it is going to be a mighty long time before I can join him.  Mind you I don't think I will ever retire as I probably won't be able to afford to. 

The rest of the week has been a mix of work and sorting.  We finally have the loft cleared.  There are a few items that need to be sorted and I'm digitally archiving some items which is taking forever, but I'm making progress and it is fun to read letters from 30 years ago.  

I hope you have had a fabulous week, if you fancy joining in do a post, pop back link up and we can come and visit. 

Friday, 21 June 2019

Rocking Your World Friday - 25th of 2019

Good Morning and a Happy Solstice to those that enjoy this festival, today being the longest day of the year. 

time for 

So first up is this another fantastic night out at the theatre, we had a brilliant evening with pre-theatre dining.  The local production was really well acted and left me quite teary in places.

Then there was this - finally! 

A dry enough day to hang a washing line out.

Hold up a minute

Sorry another washing line moment, another line out as the sun is shining brightly today and I need to catch up with the hefty washing pile

First up grabbing some quality time with hubby, we just stopped and grabbed a coffee and had a chat 

despite the fact it was rather wet and dreary outside

Next up a fabulous craft day with my Mum down at our local craft store.  It was lovely to have a natter and a catch up 

This is what we made

We were supposed to create one of each but I took the spare tags from the industrial binder we made and some chipboard hearts to keep me busy (it slows me down as I'm a speedy crafter).  These were the order in which we made them and strangely the order of my preference.  Including using the lava paste in the third set.

Sunday and it was Father's day 

Said 18 year old arrived with these as we sat drinking tea in bed, he was off to work bless him 

We then decided to venture out to the newest additional to the National Trust, Wentworth Castle, unfortunately you can't go around the house (it is a college for adult's re-entering education).  But the gardens are always worth a wander.

The story is that the entitled heir of Wentworth Woodhouse (which is on our doorstep), did not inherit Wentworth Woodhouse and it was given to a cousin.  In direct rivalry the rightful heir bought and extended Stainborough Hall renaming it Wentworth Castle. 

The view from the front of the house are stunning.  The gardens having been shut for two years are a little wild, but I'm sure they will soon bring them back to their original glory. 

The other side of the house just as pretty (albeit not as big as Wentworth Woodhouse)

The original Victorian conservatory was renovated a few years ago and brought back to life.  In its heyday it actually had electricity installed before Buckingham Palace and was said to glow at night with fairy like lights inside. 

The plants inside have still been cared for

The fernery still pretty, but the stumpery a little overgrown.  The rain started when we were wandering but the tree cover helped. 

We managed an atrocious selfie.

The rhododendrons looked fabulous

Got a piccie of hubby

We sat a while to enjoy the Earl's seat, in the valley below the Argyll statue built by the owner of Wentworth Castle as a tribute to his Father in Law, on the skyline Keppel's Column built by the rival cousin as a folly at Wentworth Woodhouse, it must have smarted!

I loved the colours in this flower bed

This monument a tribute to a woman who helped develop inoculations for small pox back in the 18th century. 

Loved the colour of these

At the top of the grounds is Stainborough Castle, built by the owner of Wentworth Castle as a playground for his four children, a miniature walled castle, with four towers and a miniature grand hall.  Now in ruin, it is still an amazing sight!

A view from the triple arched gate on the way back down

And the sun monument with a very fitting beam of light

Some of the beds were still very pretty

So we had a fabulous visit and I'd love to go back to sit and sketch or paint one day during the summer. 

The rest of the week has been busy with work and sorting items from the loft, so not very interesting, but very necessary. 

I hope you had a brilliant week, if you fancy joining in pop a post together, pop back and link up and we can come and visit.