Thursday, 31 July 2014

Lovely Southend-on-Mud

Here I am in the town of my childhood visiting Mama and Papa Lovelygrey.  It's so good to be beside the seaside,  just a mile away from Mum and Dad's house.    I'm not a kiss me quick type of girl though. So the Golden Mile of Southend with its arcades and amusement park does not appeal. Instead I head towards Thorpe Bay and Shoeburyness where the landscape is a little more au naturel.  Here's  East Beach, my favourite, where I had a lone walk on a rainy Monday evening.


There's plenty more pristine beach in the military zone at the end of the public one. Surely it wouldn't hurt just to nip through? Hmm perhaps not.  I like to take a bit of risk but even I'm not that reckless.

These modernistic apartments with their big sky estuary views are way nicer than they look in this gloomy picture.  If money were no object and I could have a pad near my parents I think I'd buy one.  I contemplated hanging about outside and seeing if I could use my allure to capture a lonely investment banker.  But then I remembered that nothing good comes of gold digging!



Over to my friend  Calamity Jane yesterday for an evening of eating, drinking and giggling.  Her son has been messing with her ornamentation and she's not tall enough to pop those letters back in the right order!  





Gerard Butler got killed off  during our cinema trip yesterday in his role as Stoick the Vast in  'How to Train Your Dragon 2'. Boo hoo! Surprisingly good for a kiddie film, especially one with a number at the end of its name. That lump of yellow gunk at the bottom of the picture is my lemon ice. I'll never make it as a food photographer.  If you look carefully  there's more of it down my T-shirt.   Also big lump under eye is bite as I got bitten to death by gnats in spite of copious citronella candles.  Those little buggers seemed to have evolved to like the smell. And there's supposed to be way more of Lou in shot!  Truly bad stripy selfie that was best of rotten bunch  to commemorate post movie feast of legendary Rossi Ice Cream,  a Southend yummy staple.  I blame it on new phone's camera.
After sitting in a dark room watching animated Viking an evening stroll was on the cards.  Mama Lovelygrey and I promenaded along the seafront at Thorpe Bay.  That thing on the horizon is a mulberry harbour near the wreck of SS Richard Montgomery, a wrecked warship full of explosives.  If that thing ever blows it will take the town with it.  Good job it's carefully monitored and with my klutzy tendencies I'm not allowed anywhere near it.  Can't even keep ice cream in its cone and off clothes after all.


In the far distance you might be able to spot my beloved pier, the setting for so many good memories over the years.  An early morning stroll with a  train trip back is scheduled before the daytripping hordes arrive. There was a time where I wasn't partial to my hometown but it's grown on me.  I hope you can see why!

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Just A Question





I don't claim to be even a teeny little expert in world affairs especially not what goes on in the Middle East.    It all seems very complicated.  Or is it?  As a ordinary human being all I want is a peaceful, happy life with my loved ones with as little conflict as possible.   Laughing, talking, eating together,sharing ...... you know, the simple stuff.    I thought that's what everyone desired. Warmongering totally perplexes me but perhaps I'm looking at it from the perspective of someone who doesn't have testosterone coursing through my veins.  Or wherever else it courses.  Physiology isn't a strong point either.

I shared this report by Jon Snow on Facebook and perhaps some of you have seen it there doing the rounds.   Last night I watched Louis sleep and felt blessed that  my son lives in a safe, secure environment. That this simple right is denied to other kids is heartbreaking.  I feel moved to do something about this horrible state of affairs but wonder as a regular working single mum  if I am powerless.  There are much bigger more powerful fish in the sea who don't seem to see things my way.  But if sharing this clip to raise awareness is helpful so be it.  I just want to ask a question of our politicians too.  After all I've had way more regrets for not speaking up rather than for voicing what's on my mind.  So here goes.

'Excuse me if I'm being really dumb here but why are there no sanctions over Israel for these atrocities against children?'

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

364 Days Later

On the 29th of July last year I intended to resume my running habit after a few years off.   It was the pain from Morton's neuroma in my feet that put paid to that before I had customised insoles made.  Instead, poor old crock that I was,  I  mis-stepped on the staircase and re-inflamed the damage to my knee that lead to March's cruciate repair operation.  I thought that might be the end of any Speedy Gonzalez like activity for the rest of my life.

Yesterday though was a momentous day.  I decided to take advantage of the relative flatness of the Essex countryside when compared to hilly Devon and try out a bit of a jog.   So, with the blessing of my physiotherapist,  I donned these  lovely Brooks running shoes that I'd bought over a year ago to accommodate the insoles and headed on out.  A little sneaky trot in the quiet back streets near my Mum and Dad's home interspersed with a bit of walking.  Scout's pace I think it's called. Baden-Powell would be well proud.  It felt funny.  After all it's a long time since my body has experienced being propelled along by its own means at anything above walking pace.  Hell, it could hardly move on crutches four months ago!  It didn't hurt either my knees or feet though and that's very good news indeed.  I'll take it slowly for the time-being but am already wondering.  Could a half marathon be on the cards as part of my 50th birthday celebrations next year?

Monday, 28 July 2014

It's Good to Talk! Why Those Grateful Clouds are Back

The signs are looking hopeful  for my friend  Paul who had a stroke last week.  It's early days and rehab will be a long haul but M, his wife tells me that he is now sitting out and the strength is returning to his paralysed leg. Importantly he's speaking again.     Just hang on in there and keep chatting mate!  I'm looking forward to a time when I can banter with you soon. Apparently this is  one of the indicators that suggests that a full recovery is more likely. Excellent news indeed. Those agnostic prayers must be doing the trick!

And so with a heightened awareness of how fragile life is, I'm in an appreciative mood.  For these are days that are largely rich and fulfilling. So I will  embrace  them fully while they last.  No-one knows what is around the corner.    Here's what I've got to be grateful for at the moment.  Happily it's a long list.

  • The beautiful, beautiful summer that we're having this year.  Off to enjoy being by the seaside at my Mum and Dad's house in Southend for a few days.  The cozzie is packed!
  • The ability to be myself and not give a damn!     Bien dans ma peau as the French would say. Underneath all the kookiness that I accept others can take or leave  I feel that I'm pretty sorted.
  • Having a job that I love.  As I was told in a kind personal email from the head of faculty, lots of people with PhDs applied for the university lecturing job that I went for.  As such, I haven't even got an interview.  However, I'd already worked out for myself that the 'dream job' might not really be my bag.  Being cooped up inside without clinical contact time would probably have lead me to go a bit stir crazy and we can't have that for...
  • ...I'm healthier than I have been for years.  Even the dreaded hayfever is in abeyance. Exercise is a joy and my head space is a depression-free zone.  Sure there's a lot going on up there but it's all pretty   life affirming stuff.  None of that persistent self judgement that went on when I was ill.  Even when bad things happen I keep looking forward, get on with living and bounce back.
  • The fact that I mostly see others for the goodness in them.  It makes it easier to rub along with the world. 
  • Friends, family, especially Lou.  I talked about why they're brilliant  just a few days ago.  Many have been with me for yonks but this year there's been lots of new people on the scene who I  hope are going to stick around with me for a while.   
  • Dancing. I've discovered late in life now I'm not self conscious just what a joyous activity this is. Saturday night in Exmouth having a boogie with Disco Queen Tanya after a fantastic sea swim was immense fun.
  • The   ability to enjoy solitude.  I don't need others around me all the time. Yesterday was one such lovely day alone.
  • Contentment and lack of dissatisfaction.  I focus on what I have and not what is missing.  And money can't buy  much of what I value.
I know there will be times when I won't be so lucky. We all have times of suffering, heartache and stress. But I reckon that  if I get good at being thankful in times of abundance then gratefulness will come easier in days that are darker for me.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

1500 and Counting!



Yes, indeedy.   This is my fifteen hundredth blog post!  To mark the occasion I thought that I'd share another song by Ben Cocks, composer of the beautiful Brittany Ferries advert soundtrack that I've written about before. Loving this poignant track also as it captures a dream. Maybe when I've written another 1,500 posts there'll be someone around to stare out to sea with. Or swim in it with me like I did at  Budleigh Salterton yesterday.  Who knows what another four or so years hold?

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Brixham Blixen





"I had a farm in Africa at the foot of the Ngong Hills".


This is a shot of me, taken by Mr Metrosexual in his Brixham garden yesterday.   Supposedly I am doing a veritable impression of the Danish author Karen Blixen.  Tenuous I think.  There wasn't a lion in sight!

Friday, 25 July 2014

Praying and F.A.S.T.ing

Even though I view myself as an agnostic, I'm a really bad one.  I chat on a daily basis to the guardian angel that I believe looks out for me. Every so often, there's a conversation with the Big Guy too.  It's not looking good in the neutrality stakes.

Yesterday evening I had seriously bad news.  One of my closest friends, who is 49, the same age as me and who has a twelve year old son, had a massive stroke. whilst on holiday in Cornwall. His wife, who also counts as one of my nearest and dearest, phoned me in tears with the news. My offer to drive down and support her was declined. She says that more people bedside at the hospital will serve no purpose.  I've reluctantly agreed. But I'm manning my phone day and night and will cancel my plans at the drop of a hat if she changes her mind and needs me there.

With a sense of helplessness I'm talking to that God who may or may not exist, using a personalised version of this prayer which seems to fit my belief system nicely.  There seems no harm in such a serious situation to hedge bets.





God, I don’t know if you exist.  And if you do, I have no idea whether you know what I’m thinking or saying, or if you care one whit about anything I need or want, or care about my friends, relatives, or any of these folk here.  But if you do exist, and if you do know what I am thinking and saying, and you care about what people need and want, please give us whatever favors you are willing to give us.  If you make it clear to me that it was you who did it, I promise to be grateful.



The paramedics reached my friend within the window where there is greater likelihood of a good recovery  even without the power of prayer.  It seems timely to share the F.A.S.T.  (Face, Arms, Speech, Time)  campaign video.  Doing so might mean that other people out there have a greater chance of resuming normal family life after stroke if their symptoms are acted upon quickly enough. It's the only practical thing I can think of doing at  the current time.



Thursday, 24 July 2014

Last Day Before the First Day

Today's a biggie for it's Lou's final day at primary school.  Now where did that time go?  One minute I'm dropping a very tiny tot off into reception class for a taster day.  Half of the other kids were crying and clinging to equally upset parents.  Lou told me to go away and not to worry as he'd be fine.   Yesterday I gave a lanky whippersnapper a lift to school and threatened to shout 'Love you Loulou!' out of the window as I drove off if a goodbye kiss wasn't forthcoming. He knows I mean it as I've done it before. So  reluctantly the world's most embarrassing mother was given a quick hug and a  peck on the cheek after he'd checked the coast was clear and not too many people were looking.  As a bonus I was told that I was loved.  I know that already but it's always great to have it confirmed!

Here's Lou earlier in the week at the  wonderful Crab Shack that overlooks the beach at Teignmouth.  We went there after school for celebratory seafood to mark the best school report ever and great SATs results.   For the first time ever my dyslexic child has writing skills that match the national average as well as higher scores in all other assessed areas. He loves to read, has an inquiring mind and is super hot at maths. It's more than I could have asked for. I'm as proud as Punch.  All that bad parenting  has paid dividends. And he's funny as well.  That's counts a lot  in my book.

It's my last day at work too before six days of annual leave.  Usually holidays are spent away from home and this is no exception. We're off to Southend next week to catch up with grandparents and friends.   But tomorrow we have a rare free day in Devon.   Moorland or seaside bound with a picnic perhaps? With only part of my mind on in tray clearance I'll be thinking today of something that's good to do to mark the first day of the last long summer break before the start of senior school.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

For My Friends

We freely lend and borrow stuff. We laugh, sometimes until our bellies ache and we are shedding tears. We're permitted to have other interests and people in our lives. We hold each other in sorrow and in glee. Our advice to each other can sometimes seem unpleasant but is given because we care. We keep each others' little lights lit up. We tickle and prod each other's fat bits. We feed each other spiritually, with food lovingly prepared and with the chocolate that is responsible for the blubber in the first place. We save up things to say and share but are not scared of silence in each other's company. We are together for big events in each other's lives but also make everyday happenings less mundane. We recognise and celebrate talents and strengths but also allow each other to be flawed human beings. We sometimes don't see each other for long lengths of time but our friendship still feels the same when we finally meet up again. We tell one another when we've been complete tits and are not afraid to argue or disagree because we know that we will be forgiven. Our time together is more valuable than our dearest possessions. I think you all know that.

PS: This is for my blokey mates as well the girlies. Thought I'd make that clear should the pillow fight picture suggest otherwise!


Tuesday, 22 July 2014

No Good at Art?

This is the time of the year when Louis, who does not view himself as at all artistic brings pictures home from school that I just want to display on my walls for years to come.  I laughed and laughed when I saw this one.  'Do you know who that is?'  said Lou. I think he was genuinely surprised when I answered correctly.

I'm loving the oriental flavour of this one and the intricate detail.  Now I don't think that this would be at all out of place in a modern art gallery with a slightly eye watering price tag. Shoot me down for being uncultured but I've seen worse at Tate Modern.


And this is gorgeous too.  Paper cut outs on a painted background.  Now I think that's called multimedia in the right circles.  All that's left for me to do is to find the right places around Lovelygrey Cottage to display my new found artwork.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Older People: Not Just Gardening and Knitting You Know!

I promised a week or so back that I'd tell you about the last essay that I wrote.  This rather apt cartoon reminded me  that it's about time that I came up with the goods. What I found out was that older people have sex! It is not just the preserve of young people with super fit perfect bodies as certain sectors of the media would have you believe.  Granted they don't have quite as much as the whipper snappers out there but there's still quite a lot of frollicking going on.  And lots of the articles that I read inspired hope, with personal accounts about how sex allowed people to maintain intimacy and closeness. It's not often that academic reading invoks any emotion at all. I was very touched.

I also found out that the late great Gary Kielhofner, who's as famous as it gets in the world of occupational therapy, didn't think that sexual activity was an occupation or in common parlance, a meaningful activity. He described it as something that we do to meet a biological need. For once, Gary I'm going to have to disagree.  That's just plain dumb.  I'm sorry that  you're no longer with us to argue back!

So if someone is diagnosed with dementia and has an active sex life it seems right that they should continue to do so in the interest of maintaining closeness etc,etc?  Well it's not as easy as that.  UK law is clear. Once a person loses capacity to consent then a person engaging in sexual acts with them becomes the perpetrator of a crime, even if they're a loving partner.  It's shocking isn't it?  However, it's not as simple as changing a law that was after all put in place to protect the vulnerable.  As we all know sex can be abusive.  In the case of someone with dementia, for example, would it still be a given right for a long term partner to expect sex even if the person does not recognise them anymore?  The Alzheimer's Society Factsheet Sex and Dementia  gives useful advice but doesn't seem to go far enough in explaining how consent can be given or indeed proved.  As my Masters study is meant to translate into practical action, I'll bring the topic up with the charity and see what they say.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Chagstock 2014: In Pictures


Howdy partners!  I would have blogged yesterday but there wasn't any reliable internet connection .  Well what do you expect in a field on the edge of Dartmoor?  It is largely Hicksville UK after all around these parts of Devon and not some big fancy connected up city.  Data connection is patchy to say the least. Anyway it isn't such a bad thing to have a break from technology at times. It frees up time to dance, listen to music and drink beer. Here's the first of my pictorial record of  the cowboy themed Chagstock 2014.  That's my son on the shoulders of Bean, Morris Man extraordinaire and  one of Lou's latest grown up mates.   He's a guy with good taste as his other half is Ibiza Queen Vikki, my new partner in crime as both mental health team occupational therapist and dancing diva.








Here's my half hearted attempt to get with it as a cowgirl.  Good job  I had an appropriate shaped sunhat in the van!  You may have guessed that dressing up really isn't my bag.  A line of owls had to do instead of a sheriff's badge.



The sunset on the first evening was rather lush.  I think that's why I took this picture of so many random strangers.







Like every other kid in the country, Lou's into the Loom Band craze.  He made all us girlies in our group a bracelet to set off our natty festival bands. In all honesty I prefer something classier in the jewellery stakes than lacky bands but it's the thought that counts.







Here's Lou again with a hobby horse that he borrowed off some bloke that he'd never met before.  The hat advertising cider was purloined from Bean. Honestly the kid has front.


Wall to wall partying gets a bit much for some people.  Wimps!  Dad wasn't really asleep. We got his permission to post this cute shot.
And we mustn't forget the music for that is what we were here for!  The Hatherleigh Ukelele Band were the biz.  Steve Knightley, one half of Show of Hands didn't disappoint.  And I have a new one for my musical favourites list.   For the second week in a row there's pictures from a front row vantage point The Chagstock bunch are more sedate and I wasn't quite as squished as in the Newt Fest crowd.  This is the amazing Moulettes.  I was blown away by their musicianship and beauty of the compositions.  Check out Songbird that near moved me to tears.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Hippy Outside Happenings

Festivalling again this weekend at Chagstock.  Whoop, whoop, whoop! Listening to music in a field is one of my favourite occupations.  Actually listening to tunes anywhere is pretty much up there as far as I'm concerned. I've been having a little Genesis fest in the car lately.  The band were favourites from years gone by.  Here's a link to Phil and his mates for anyone else who fancies a bit of  soft rock reminiscence.

Jigging about isn't the only thing that I've been doing outside.  In fact at this time of year its my preferred place.   I don't want to be cooped up between four walls if I can help it.  Dr Betty, my friend who is a clinical psychologist is also a wannabe yoga teacher.  She asked if she could come to Lovelygrey Cottage earlier in the week so I could critique a class that she was going to run for her colleagues. Yoga mats, blankies, a very melodic Totnesian windchime and her wonderful hand beaten singing bowl were all transported into the garden. Me and Lou did the poses whilst gazing at the house martens that fly loop the loop round here with the smell of night scented jasmine wafting around.  Lou took it surprisingly seriously and told me off for the wind breaking which is all part of the yoga experience.

And if 1970s music and a bit of hatha isn't enough to bolster the  hippy image that I don't really want, this should do it.  The picture is of my meditation spot last night.  It's a view from a hut in Yarner woods, part of East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve.  Taking advantage of the fact that I was probably the only person up there I ensconced myself in a carved wooden armchair and focused on my breath whilst administering a bit of reiki for I have been attuned to do this.  I'm sure all that fresh air renders all that healing activity even more effective!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Blue Thursday

I've woken up sad this morning with good reason. It's made worse too because it's partly a consequence of my own actions. Sometimes life works out that way,  Even those of us with a natural 'Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm' disposition can shed a tear sometimes.

In spite of what some of the popular writing on positive psychology  says,  sadness can be the most appropriate response to a situation.  In fact when the proverbial brown stuff hits the fan  it's maladaptive to shove things to the back of the mind and continue on laughing manically.  I've reminded others of this in therapy this week. There's a whole gamut of emotions that are part and parcel of human experience.  Happiness is not the right state of mind all the time.  For the moment, I'm just going to have to personally accept that.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Socks

You have to be on the ball as a parent.  Take your eye off the kiddie action for one second and there's bound to be trouble.

Lou has been wearing socks to bed.  They're similar to these ones from Asda. Goodness knows why as we've been having a near heatwave but I accepted the state of affairs as an oddity of an eleven year old boy.  After all, they have a lot.  Last night though it dawned on me that the flash of the orange on the toe was familiar.  A bit too familiar.  In coming back from the beach yesterday evening I'd also caught a really noxious feety whiff when he'd taken his shoes off in the car.  It was quiz time.

'Did you change your socks today?' I asked.  After much probing and prompting the heady truth came out.  Ignoring loud remonstrations the offending articles were wrestled off his feet.  In doing so I thwarted  a World Record attempt for continuous sock wearing.  He'd had the same ones on for two weeks!  No wonder the washing basket has been light.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Just Finished Reading: Remarkable Creatures.



After writing about Mary Anning back in May I've been itching to get down to Lyme Regis to find the  dinosaur that has my name on it just falling out of the cliffs of the Black Ven.  I've been too busy though.  Instead I've had to make do with reading Remarkable Creatures by Tracey Chevalier. Thanks Aril from Gnat Bottomed Towers for recommending it.  It was right up my street.

It's a historic novel based on the life of the  fossil hunter that seems very well researched indeed.  I was fascinated by the idea that one of the ways of travelling to London in the nineteenth century was a sea trip via the English Channel.  Now there's a trip I'd like to do, but perhaps on a modern day yacht.  Anyway if you're after a good holiday read this may cut the mustard.  It has a seaside theme after all!

Monday, 14 July 2014

That's Ade That Is!

Drinking beer from a selection of 100, cooking up mini feasts in the motorhome and  listening to great music with lovely family members is up there in the ways that I like to spend a weekend. Oh and dancing as well.  Do you know that I never used to do that?  But in my middle aged years I've discovered that I like a bit of an outrageously flamboyant  boogie.   At least it counters some of the calories from the ale.  There was lots of laughter too.  The sight of men dressed as bananas coming out of the urinals really tickled me but then I've never had a particularly sophisticated sense of humour.

Anyway this is the picture that I took of Ade Edmondson on Saturday night at the Newt Festival in Somerset.  Yes, Vyvyan from the Young Ones now heads up the folk-punk band The Bad Shepherds who play an amazing array of weird instruments including one I'd never seen before.  I found out afterwards that the strange bagpipe type thingy that didn't have a mouthpiece or a bag was a set of  Uileann  pipes.  Very pretty sounding and nothing like the bagpipes at all when you come to think of it.

The photo is  blurry because it was well dark in there and also in the middle of the front row right up next to the stage I was getting well squished.  It was taking all my guile to survive the crush so my mind wasn't completely on getting a David Bailey-esque sharp shot.  I'll be back front stage next year without a doubt.  It was a great little festival!

Friday, 11 July 2014

Different Tracks

The area around Haytor is definitely my favourite place for a little jaunt at the moment.  As I live on Dartmoor's doorstep it's an easy ten minute drive  from the house.  For the second time in a week, I was up there yesterday evening.  The Scouts were doing a bit of litter picking in the area and it would have been the waste of a good opportunity for a wander if I'd headed back home after dropping Louis off.

This is part of the granite tramway beyond my beloved quarry where I sat for a while on a rock by the . Yep, it looks like a railway from the Flintstones and I reckon it's pretty unique.  It was built to take stone away from the quarries dotted around the area to the nearby canal at Stover.  Romantic as it looks now, it must have been a very harsh environment to work in.

Depression in my adolescence and early teens robbed me of the chance then to achieve my potential.  I was very bright and the world was my oyster.  Yet I nearly failed my first degree and had to build my life over again. Whilst following those stone lines last night it dawned on me how my life could have turned out very differently if that hadn't have happened.  Yes, I might have got a dream job in my early twenties and flown high.  Many of the people that I know from my university days achieved those heady heights.  But would I now be happier?   Somehow I doubt it.


Thursday, 10 July 2014

Key Trick

Please forgive my absence.  Since Sunday I have been beavering away on my essay, sometimes during the wee small hours of morning.  There has been little time for much else - aside the regular day job that is. This must be what some people's regular existence is like.  I'm glad that my own life usually has a bit more balance.

But yay!  the mammoth work is done and dusted. I'll share what I've written about another time. But for now I've had enough of it so I'll share a handy little hint instead.  Have you ever had the problem where the battery is a bit flat in your car keys and they refuse to work.  Or you've wandered away from your motor without locking it and remember when you're a bit too far out of the key's range. That's my usual trick seeing as I'm a dippy mare.

Anyway if you hold the key against your head and then press it, you should find that it works again. Your body acts like a great big aerial amplifying the signal.  Okay, you look a bit of a tit doing it but trust me.  It works!

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Old Louis Make!

Working hard on that essay!  It's a bit sad when snippets of housework become light relief.  Anyway, I took a picture of the windowsill by my desk at work yesterday.  This is my 'Family Garden' made by Louis at nursery when he was about two.  I'm amazed it's survived this long!

Friday, 4 July 2014

So Live It or You're Better Off Dead.




It's definitely that time of the year that's really busy....but mostly in a good way. To cap it all the weather has been superb so far.  There's still not much time for blogging as I've too much else to get on with, fitting fun stuff around essay writing.  Life's too short to sit at a laptop all the time.

So, after you've watched this little video, of  a favourite song from the  lovely Passenger that  Lou and I often caterwaul along to in the car, get out there  and live life in whatever way is meaningful to you.  

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Big School


Counting the nine months that he was in my tummy, Lou's been in my life for pretty much twelve years to the day now.  His arrival was at a time of  my life when I was thinking that I needed a new challenge. Boy did I get one!  And today he spends the day at  the new senior school that he'll be starting in September.    How time has flown!


Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Not My Own Work




My head is on other things aside blogging this morning. I was beavering away even before making my morning cuppa and have loads of other bits and pieces to do before heading off to work.  So I thought that I'd drag up one of the inspirational snippets that I've nicked from the Internet. Ah, this makes perfect sense! I've been meaning to share it for a while.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Finger Frog

It may not be surprising to others who have tried to raise pond life at home, that the tadpoles that we collected the other day all died.  A hole accidentally got punched in the side of the big glass bowl they were in and mucky pond water cascaded all over the bedroom carpet.  Our guests had to be transferred to emergency quarters,  a flower vase containing tap water. Apparently chlorine does them no good at all. Seemingly perky when I went to bed one evening, I came down to find that they'd turned a nasty beige colour and were floating on their backs. 'Perhaps were just asleep?' suggested Louis hopefully when I broke the news and told him that I'd tipped them out into the garden to be recycled back into the food chain.  Hmm! I don't think so.

We popped back up to Haytor quarry yesterday evening as I fancied a stroll and Louis was keen to annoy some more aquatic life.  I drew the line at bringing anything back to live at Frog Murderer Cottage this time.  Those slim chances of survival in the big wide world are probably better than in our hands.  Anyway we found this little fellow who'd successfully made the transition between tadpole and frog.  How cute is that!


I can't resist showing off another shot of the quarry taken  in the evening light.  We had it to ourselves yesterday.  Whilst sitting on a rock and navel gazing whilst Louis paddled and chased newts, it occurred to me again just how fortunate I am to have such beautiful places on my doorstep.