Monday, 28 September 2009

Sunny Saturday

As Saturday was such a lovely sunny day I had my camera close at hand for any opportunities that might arise.
It's surprising how long a spider's web will last if left undisturbed. They look so flimsy. This impressive specimen has been filling our window for a couple of weeks and I wondered how well it would photograph. Unfortuately Mr Spider was not in residence at the time.
I thought this random collection of items on a window-sill might make an unusual photo. It's just made up of odd items gathered on days out with the family. We've had some of them quite a while and while most of them are perfectly worthless I'm reluctant to throw them away. There are fossils and stones, coins and a Z shaped scrap of wood.
While I was outside later showing my father holiday photos on my camera we saw this hot air balloon fly over at quite a great height.............

..............followed not long after by this one.

The area where we live is quite popular for these flights to take off and land so we see them quite a lot. There have been more recently as the good weather conditions have been more suitable and I expect they have a back-log of bookings from the 'summer that never was'!
Back soon
Bye for now
Teresa x

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

A Rest in Rhodes

Rhodes. Above is the entrance to the hotel which is just along the coast from Faliraki. It was lovely and clean with wonderful, tasty food and excellent, friendly staff. Although quite a large hotel with lots of guests there was no shortage of sunbeds or space to lounge.

The second evening saw the hot, sunny weather turn to drizzle and then later to a torrential thunder storm. It was quite spectacular sitting in the huge lounge area listening to a Beatles tribute band with the lightening flashing starkly behind them. Above is the sea the morning after the storm. It was very different from the tranquil blue of the rest of the week but the weather was still warm and we were able to get out for another beach walk.

We walked north along the beach path and coastal road ending up at a lovely little harbour for lunch. (Top picture)

When we got back to our room one afternoon, there was waiting for us this card and gateaux from the hotel which was a lovley surprise. The tour operator we booked with must have passed on that it was our 25th Anniversary. With all the scrumptious food in the hotel restaurant it took us 4 goes to finish this but it was delicious!!

One day we took a boat trip to Lindos and were whipped up terrifically by the wind on the 2 hour journey. I made a mental note to travel inside the boat on the way back! Lindos itself was well worth the trip and the sort of old, traditional place we like to visit with a maze of narrow, white streets where it's easy to get lost. We were well rewarded for the walk up the hill with the view of the harbour where our boat waited to take us back.

The Acropolis was busy but covered a much larger area than I realised. I was amazed at the some of the unsuitable outfits the tourists were wearing to climb around such a precarious ruin. Suffering from a slight case of vertigo (which I often get from flying), I was a bundle of nerves, especially on the steps and steep paths, but enjoyed the visit just the same.

Back in Lindos we enjoyed another lovely lunch at a roof-top restaurant from where we could see this lovely church roof and the view beyond.

We decided to visit Rhodes Old Town in the evening when it was cool enough to walk around comfortably. Beyond this entrance was a hive of activity. Many shops and restaurants all vying for our custom.
All in all we had a peaceful, relaxing time and I managed to read 2 books and 2 magazines. The vertigo from the return flight wore off in a few days and my black eye from the fall has almost gone!!
I haven't caught up on housework yet because I was back at work the day after we got back and then straight into singing at harvest festival services. We did 2 last weekend but I have my own Church's Harvest this Sunday and will stay for the lunch after.
On the stitching front, I started a little crochet project before I went away and hope to have something to show soon.
Bye for now
Teresa x

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

The Finish Line Was Within Sight but.........

The weekend was going so well. Saturday morning was spent at my quilting club AGM where we were also given our next monthly quilt block pattern (called Drunkard's Path). After lunch I took the Cinder Toffee I made and went to the Church Fete to man the cake stall. Despite the dull weather there was a reasonable turnout and the cake table was empty by the end. I then went home to cook a nice steak dinner for my OH as a treat for his birthday. I finished off by making another batch of damson jam which turned out more successful than the first due to the fact that my OH bought a thermometer for me.

Sunday was the day of the Cardiff 10k so we got up early to get there and park before the car parks were full and the roads closed. We mingled with the crowds and tried to keep warm in the chilly wind knowing we would soon warm up once we got going.
Rhodri Morgan started the race and my OH spotted Kathryn Jenkins at about 8km. I struggled a little from the 4.6km water stop as my weaker left leg started to show signs of tiredness so made an effort to lift it more to avoid scraping my toe as I ran. Things were going well until I saw the finish line about 30m ahead and was motivated to put on a spurt for the end. The rest is a bit of a blur as I found myself sprawled on the road looking up at the sky and gasping for breath as I had been winded in the fall. What I did remember was the crowd giving a collective gasp of horror as I hit the ground. My OH, who was just behind me, threw his water bottle down and tried to catch me - he told me after that I said something like 'I'm falling' as I went down but I don't remember that.
I am very grateful to the doctor and nurse from the crowd who came immediately to help and stayed until the St John's Ambulance people arrived, and grateful to them for their thorough check of my injuries and for escorting me over the line so I could collect my medal. Altogether, I am left with scraped hands, a bruised knee, shoulder hip and cheekbone and a black eye. Add all that to the large bruise on my thigh I got last week climbing over a stile after a run and I think I may get some sideways glances while sunbathing on holiday next week (or maybe my poor innocent OH will get the glances as people can jump to the wrong conclusion!!)
My daughter came to see us in the afternoon and to give my OH a cake she made for his birthday. It's the first large cake she's made in her present oven and only the second one she's ever made so the effort was truly appreciated. It honestly wasn't as wonky in real life as it looks in the picture and it was a lovely, delicious treat after a trying day.

Later in the afternoon I went to a singing rehearsal and luckily, the performance of The Witness has been postponed from next week so no one had to learn my songs to take my place while I'm away.
So, an eventful weekend has ended and I'm ready for a holiday to recover. We're going out for a family meal tonight for my OHs birthday and then away soon after to Rhodes as a celebration of our 25th Anniversary.
My picture taking isn't improving much but I'll try and get a few to show on my return.
Bye for now
Teresa x

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

The Thread Shed & August Update

My OH hasn't really taken me seriously when I've mentioned that I plan to eventually start selling my homemade stitched products. He's rolled his eyes as I continue to accummulate piles of vintage, second-hand, thrifted and donated fabric and notions. However, when he saw the most recent zipped pouch I made he was quite impressed and suggested, with no prompting from me, that I get labels to identify my work. As it was something I'd been considering anyway, I ordered a small amount from Woven Labels UK to try.

I'm pleased with how they look; not too new and shiny, and a bit vintage to suit the sort of materials I want to use. The Thread Shed is what I've decided to call my garden shed where I'll do the sewing, when it's ready.

To change the subject somewhat - I recently took the plunge and listed some items on eBay to sell. I've bought/won many items over the last couple of years but been a bit apprehensive about selling. First, I had to get a new camera to take reasonable photos because I know it makes a big difference to selling success. The setting up of an account and getting used to what to do the first time also takes time and put me off getting started. But it's done now and I was quite satisfied with the outcome.

I listed 2 pairs of shoes, a set of tablemats and a book (see photos). People started 'watching' the shoes almost immediately and both pairs sold. Whoever bought them got bargains but I was pleased to get rid of them and to get a little profit in return. The tablemats also sold and winged their way to Austria. I wasn't happy with my description of the book , but couldn't think of how else to promote it. Consequently, it didn't even get any watchers. I'll probably list it again, once I've organised a few more things to join it.

August Simple Living Update
Getting rid of clutter was one of my downshifting aims listed on this post. I've made progress on the rest of the list too. The only item I've not managed to do anything about is visit the library. The spend recording list is progressing; food shopping costs are down 20 - 25% each week; garden produce has been used, preserved or given away (with a pot of jam and tray of homemade custard slices given in return - yummy!!); the £2 savings jar is filling up and I'm getting through my pile of unread books (just finished Tess of the D'Urbervilles and started Cold Mountain - going to take I Capture the Castle on holiday soon).
The few days away in Tavistock and buying a sewing machine bumped up the spending somewhat but a small amount of passive/non spending earnings was made including from ebay, various cashback cards and vouchers totalling £30. I haven't yet made anything to sell but have saved by giving homemade presents.

The weekends are normally quite busy for me but this one's going to be manic. It'll involve a church fete cake stall, singing practice, quilting club meeting, 10k run in Cardiff and a birthday.
Will need a holiday after that - Rhodes here we come!!
Bye for now
Teresa x