this and that

Weekly Photo Challenge

I’m always looking for patterns. They are all around us – sometimes in places you least expect – but always obvious once you see them. These zigzags were spotted whilst on the hunt for ‘broken’ lines. Can you see those too? Not sure what the challenge is? Take a look here – then spot the zigzags over on Just Snaps and discover UnBlipped

Where I am today!

Well, truth be told – I’m not sure! Where I am, that is.

Some of you know that the months of July and August are Journal months! Prompts are being posted here and as a result some amazing pages have been produced. There are also various blog posts around the interweb that relate to the prompts, and it’s an exercise that I think I will repeat later in the year. Today I decided that instead of writing in my journal I would write a blog post in answer to the prompt – which, selfishly, is aimed specifically at TODAY – as it is my birthday!

The prompts were written (and scheduled) before the event started. It’s the only way I could consider doing it – this post, however, has only been written within the last few days. I was hoping that something would ‘slip’ and I might have an inkling of something going on!

As a family we don’t really celebrate birthdays. My other half, who is so good in so many ways, almost always forgets. Our son and family will be away on holiday – and our daughter will be busily working – Friday is her busiest day of the week. So, I will probably be celebrating on my own, but who cares – I won’t actually feel any different to yesterday and instead of another year – it’s only another day for which to be thankful.

When my mother reached just a little less than the age I am now she made the decision that she would start to count backwards. That means that as far as she is concerned she is 24. I’m beginning to wish that I’d done the same – I’d almost be reaching the prime of my life ;)

Anyway, back to the purpose of this post (yes, there really is one) which is to answer the prompt.

In the good old days of my childhood my birthday invariable fell in the week of the Summer Bank Holiday. Yes, I really am old enough to remember that once upon a time the Bank Holiday was the first, not the last, Monday of August. It was also usually a fine and sunny day. Now it isn’t just my imagination that’s telling me that – it’s the fact that my birthday party was usually a picnic at Newlands Corner – and I can assure you that Newlands Corner was no place to be on a wet summer’s day when there were a number of children to entertain.

(I would have added a photograph here to show you the beauty of the place, but as it was taken from a spot owned by the National Trust I have refrained and this link will have to do instead. Apparently the NT claim copyright of all photographs taken of or from any of their properties. That might just be hearsay – but I’m not about to risk one of my photographs – it might also be useful information for you too)

Our car was large. It was old, and probably an Austin. No seat belts and no upper speed limit on the main roads – but we rarely travelled above 30. The roads were twisty and with a car load of children – always on their best behaviour, of course – and a massive picnic it’s honest to say that it wasn’t the most comfortable of journeys….

And so, on this particular occasion, we arrived. Children went off to play amongst the trees and the adults (just Mum and Dad) prepared the picnic. Sandwiches, sausage rolls, stuffed celery (my favourite – just bite-sized chunks of celery stuffed with grated cheese, nothing fancy), scones, birthday cake……

The cake was often a marbled cake – vanilla, chocolate and raspberry – but on the occasion I have in mind to everyone’s horror IT HAD BEEN LEFT BEHIND!

Someone was not happy

Me!

Hearing everyone sing Happy Birthday (please don’t do that now, though, – apparently that is now under copyright to Disney, so be warned…..) while I munched celery just wasn’t the same, even if the cake was safe and waiting for our return home.

I am ashamed to say that I sulked.

I sat in the car and sulked

Everyone else had a really good time

But I sulked………………….

However, the cake WAS waiting when we got home. They all sang that song again (I won’t mention which one, just in case ;)  ) and gradually I began to realise how stupid I had been.

I won’t say it was the LAST time I sulked – but I didn’t do it very often – and I honestly can’t remember when I did it last. One thing is sure, though, even if I’m at home washing dishes as you read this – I’m not going to sulk today….. I’m just going to enjoy whatever I’m doing because in truth I have a pretty good life each day – and today?

Well, it’s just another day, isn’t it……?

Happy Birthday to all other celebrants today – especially this one :)

 

In celebration – or – What do you want to know about fracking? – or – how to reach 1000 without even trying.

Has the title put you off? It’s a bit long, I admit. But if you are honest there is probably something there for everyone!

Here it is! the 1000th post. I never thought I would get here – so this is being written with a touch of amazement. Of course, I haven’t kept count, but dear old WordPress has done that for me and it was completely painless. It only seems a short while since I moved from the blogger platform and I have to say that blogging here has been very much easier and more enjoyable. Thank you so much for joining me on my journey – there are over 1000 of you, and that amazes me too.

I thought I’d ‘celebrate’ by having a serious discussion. What do you know about fracking? Well, last night I made a really momentous decision. Let me tell you how it came about…..

From time to time I give talks to various groups. Last night we visited a local one, and it’s safe to say that many of the members are friends and a few are customers too. This doesn’t make the talk any easier, however, a talk is a talk – and you have to give value for money when people are making the effort to come and listen. Just as we were about to leave we had a phone call. It purported to be from a marketing company – and they were asking us to invest in a scheme for fracking…..

Now, this may be a lucrative enterprise, fracking may be safe etc, etc, etc but frankly fracking was the farthest thing from my mind and I was quite angry that they had called. In fact, I ‘festered’ almost all the way to the venue. In truth, though the journey wasn’t very long, so in reality I didn’t waste an enormous amount of time on the subject, however, I did make a decision!

Recently my artwork has moved in a slightly different direction. I’ve been working for some time on a project re Alzheimers, and that hovers and hoovers around my brain all the time. Topics that include broken images, scribbles, scrawls, incomplete sentences – I’m sure you get the drift – have been uppermosts in my thoughts every time I lift a pen or paintbrush. This page from my sketchbook (which is one of the things I showed them last night, by the way) gives you an idea

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Now, you may look upon these as scribbles. I, however, view them rather as stitch marks or ideas that might lead to stitch marks. but you can call them whatever you like for the time being.

The journey to a talk, no matter how short, is a very important part of my preparation. Most of it has happened before we leave – but I don’t use notes and the message must relate to NOW, even if I’m talking about something that I made a while ago. So the fracking conversation moved towards the back of my mind before very long. I began to think about the sequence of laying out my samples, the demo bits (I don’t always demo, but it was an integral part of this talk) and then I had a flash of inspiration!

Scribbles!

Scribbles were no longer part of my design process! My scribbles were to be renamed FRACKLES! Which meant that now my samples were now samples of FRACKING!

This morning I did my 15 minutes of creativity – and I thoroughly enjoyed my Fracking. However, shortly afterwards I had a phone call.

Him ‘Good morning madam, I represent xxx one of the oldest marketing firms in the City of London’

Me ‘Oh yes, and what are you marketing today?’

Him ‘Have you heard of fracking’

Me ‘Oh yes! And I’ve just been doing it?

Him ‘Really? How have you been doing it?’

Me ‘Now you really don’t think I’m going to give my secrets away to a total stranger, do you?’

Him ‘But I’m really interested’

Me ‘In that case, I’ll admit that it’s one of the countries most underused recreational pastimes and I’m looking for investors. Are you interested in becoming one of my financial backers?’

The phone went dead.

And all due to to Fracking!

(Please leave a comment below – it might just win you a Fracking Sample

 

It’s official!

My heart sank when I discovered that this summer is full of sporting events that are to be televised. I’m still getting over the Olympic Games – and we must be about half way towards the next occurrence. Anyway, nothing along those lines is in the least of interest to me – so I have been offering an alternative in the way of Journal prompts etc. I’ve been writing and drawing and painting and dyeing and sketching and sewing…… well, you get the picture ……. my form of sport is to walk and watch and look at nature and my surroundings, I don’t need the added impetus of competition which seems a total waste of time to me.

Anyway, the latest (non)event to be added to our screens is the games of the Commonwealth. I didn’t watch the opening ceremony – in the same way that I didn’t watch of any other (non)event, and nor did my other half, which surprised but delighted me. As a sports fan, however, he has dipped in to the viewing from time to time and today he made a very surprising statement.

‘These games are about as interesting as watching paint dry’

Well, there I would have to differ, because I think that watching paint dry can be one of the most exciting occupations :) However, if he’d asked I could have told him not to bother in the first place. Some people, though, have to discover things for themselves ;) ;) ;)

(Just my personal opinion – if you want to watch that’s fine by me – but try watching paint, it might just bring a little more joy to your life)

Not too late to join in with the journaling, by the way, you can find out more here

Oh, and my next post on this blog is number 1000. How on earth can I celebrate that? Ideas below please.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Summer-Lovin’

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For this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge I’ve chosen a pair of flip flops. A pair of size 14 flip flops! Not mine – but our son’s. It isn’t the flip flops that I love – it’s the son ;)

Don’t miss the one from Just Snaps too.

Anyone got any scissors?

I did warn you that this blog gave me permission to write about anything and everything. So, here’s another ‘anything’. I came across this blog yesterday when I was looking for some information. The answer wasn’t on this page, but this was

Design by Satu Maaranen

 

There are another couple of outfits by the same designer there, so pop over and take a look if you feel so inclined.

I love the fabric. I’d love to cut it all up and rearrange it – those that have followed my #summerjournal will probably understand what I mean – but the one thing I know for certain is that I won’t be wearing any of it.

Which brings me to the point really.

When will people actually realise that because it is in the shop – it doesn’t really mean it’s wearable? And frankly, if that means that I’m an old fuddy duddy, I really don’t care!

(But I do   L O V E   the fabric!)

A touchy subject

If Scotland votes for independence we will still be able to call ourselves the UK. We’ll just put an ‘Un’ in front of United (Ununited)!

How long will it take Alex Salmond to change his name to Stuart?

How long will it take him to declare himself king?

I have heard that they are oiling the gates at Traquair House.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Containers

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Not a very original container, but the contents are unusual. Stitched shells by my friend Fay, and also the real thing. Spotted on Saturday. Full details of the Weekly photo challenge can be found here. Just Snaps has a different interpretation.

The end of a quiet Sunday

We are expecting noise this week. We had some last week – but not as much or as regularly as last week. This slideshow will give you an idea of what we might hear (ignore the mark on the lens – too late to remove it)

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Hear? Yes, we’ll hear them. It’s Farnborough Air Show, but I won’t bother watching. I prefer to see the practice – and that’s what we had last week. So today we have been making the most of peace and quiet.