Thursday, 31 March 2011

Sticks ...

... are all this boy needs.  I hope with all my heart that he continues to be a child who is content with the simple pleasures that life offers him.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Yesterday & Today: Week 13

The final week of this brilliant class.  Ali's suggestion was to decide which week had been your favourite and create another LO using the same principles.  I chose week 4, the week which dealt with how to tell those difficult or emotional stories that we all have.  In week 4, I created a DLO about my brush with breast cancer.  In week 13, I've created a single page about the unkind comment my Gran made when she knew that I would have to wear glasses.
That memory is a story that I have long wanted to get down on a page; I just didn't know how to go about it.  There was also a sense of disloyalty to my Gran.  I believe that she loved me, but I also believe that she found it almost impossible to show her love.  Or at least, she did with me.  It saddens me that I don't have any memories of my Gran where she was openly loving and demonstrative towards me.  She always compared me to my sister and cousin, and it was always unfavourable.  You know, I used to blame my sister for that, as if she had somehow engineered it, but, as she pointed out to me fairly recently, it wasn't her fault that Gran behaved that way.
And talking to my Auntie, who was also the recipient of unkind and cruel words, last month helped to clear some stuff up.  We came to the conclusion that Gran didn't always mean to be unkind, although sometimes she did mean it.  She just didn't know any other way to be. 
And technically, this means that the Yesterday & Today class is complete.  But I know that this isn't the case, because I shall be adding pages to the album as I remember family stories or memories that I want to document.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

New Shoes

It was one of those afternoons.  I didn't leave the house with the intention of buying new shoes for DS.  We left the house because DS had an appointment to have his hair cut.
Here's what happened:
  1. Catch bus to shopping centre ~ check.
  2. Call in at bank for cash to pay for aforementioned haircut ~ check.  Card refused.  Call bank's central office on courtesy phone.  Answer security questions twice.  No reason for stoppage, account reset.  Get cash.
  3. Go to hairdressers ~ check.  Now late for haircut by a few minutes.  Hairdresser not there, as called to an emergency concerning his son.  Three ladies there, twiddling their thumbs, but none available to cut DS's hair.  Leave salon in a huff.
  4. Call in at kitchen shop for cake gift boxes ~ check.  None to be had; want them for teacher gifts next week.
  5. Go to Starbucks.  Order cake.  Vanilla latte arrives minus vanilla.  DS gets a biscuit as a reward for not playing up in either bank or hairdressers.
  6. Call in at shoe shop, just because we're passing.  Boys' shoes in sale.  DS's feet have grown almost half a size.  His new size available in the sale.
  7. Catch bus home ~ check.  Bus stops on main road for 10 minutes while we wait for idiot UPS man to come back and move his van. 
  8. DS allowed to choose a film once we are home; he chooses Toy Story and is very happy.  I am in need of a stiff drink!
  9. This post fulfills prompt 7 of Blogging For Scrapbookers ~ tell the whole story.

Wit Or Wisdom: #13

Hey, that's me on there!  Do you think they have me pegged as "that-slightly-odd-woman-who-regularly-photographs-our-board"?

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Census 2011

Have you made a start on your Census form yet?  I plan on filing ours on line, but am also filling in the paper copy and will be filing that with my family history stuff ~ my descendants will thank me for it in the years to come.
Why not do the same?

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Yesterday & Today: Week 12

Week 12 was all about the stuff of life ~ the type of stuff that everyone collects throughout the week: receipts, flyers, shopping lists.
~ Starbucks, recipts, flyers and appointments ~
 ~ Hand written shopping list ~
 ~ Arrival of the devine Project Life~

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Celebrating The Every Day

My life runs on a similar schedule pretty much every day, and I sometimes feel that it doesn't make for exciting blogging.  But then I remind myself that the very name of this blog flags up the possibility of routine and, dare I say it, monotony.
So, with a nod to today's prompt from Blogging For Scrapbooking, I am celebrating the every day ...
 1) Story time with Grandad; always a delight.
2) Remembering that what is mundane to me is extraordinary to DS.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Music To My Ears

A perfect accompaniment to this week's Spring-like weather.  I can actually feel my spirits rise when watching and listening to this.  An added bonus is that DS loves it, too. 
How amazing would it be to be somewhere and have a flash mob happen in front of your eyes?
This post is brought to you in association with One Little Word and Blogging For Scrapbookers, prompt 3.

Too Much Information?

Yesterday, Shimelle's Blogging For Scrapbookers prompt talked about the dangers of putting too much information voluntarily out there in cyberspace.  I've mentioned this before, I know, but when I began blogging DH made it very clear that he didn't want to be identifiable in any way and we both agreed that DS shouldn't be, either.
But what about when it comes to scrapbooking?  Should we just go ahead and have everything visible on the page, for anyone who happens along to see?  No, of course not.  Some pages are intensely personal, some pages tell family stories and some pages tell the story of every day.  We get to choose what can be seen and what can be hidden away.
Illustrating my point is this LO about when I met Mel last month:
I know where Mel lives, I know the names of her The Children and I obviously know the location of where we met.  But I also know, like me, Mel does not want identifiable facts about her life on her blog, or on anyone elses.  So you get to read the bare bones of our meeting up, while the real story is tucked away behind the main photo.  And I get to not betray the trust that Mel has placed in me.

Project Life

Project Life.  Bring.  It.  On.
Amazingly, my kit has arrived from Canada!  It took just under 2 weeks from ordering it to receiving it ~ incredible.  And incredible it is; I truly have to say that I think it's the best ready-to-go-kit I've ever come across.
I'll leave it to Becky to explain her own mindset to Project Life.
Roll on April 1st.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Blogging For Scrapbookers: Revisited

You may have noticed that Shimelle Laine is re-running her hugely popular Blogging for Scrapbookers class again, followed up in April with a new and up to date sequel.  As Amy put it so well, Shimelle's online classes are some of the best around. They are economical, they provide access to class materials, message boards and forums forever, they are exceedingly friendly and supportive and Shimelle really knows how to teach, how to convey information and to inspire through words and pictures.

And it was through BFS that I came to know most of the ladies I chatted with on Sunday.  I never would have crossed paths with them otherwise.  Scrapbooking really has broadened my horizons, both literally and metaphorically, and for that I shall always be eternally grateful.
I scraplifted Shimelle's LO from yesterday's BFS prompt and came up with this.

Initially, I thought that it might need a title, but now that the journaling is in place, I don't think it does.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Using The Internet For Good

There's a whole world of filth and undesirable content floating around in cyberspace.  There's also a whole world of wonderful stuff floating around in cyberspace and one such place is here.
The lovely Deb at Paper Turtle (and her equally lovely daughter Carrie) has been organising a few of us to get together for an International Skype Crop.  And this afternoon, 3pm UK time, was when it happened.
And at the risk of sounding like a teenager, it was so cool!  Amazing!  As well as Deb and Carrie, I chatted with Denise (who I have met in real life at 2 Scrapagogo Retreats.  We sat opposite each other.) and her pal Deb (who has a beautiful hair style ~ I want mine to look like that), Mel (that's twice in less than a month I've been able to chat with her), Karen (a new blog friend for me ~ hello) and Rhona (who I also chatted with one-on-one via Skype before connecting up with the others).
We chatted for two hours.
It was the highlight of my weekend.  Thank you, ladies. 

Friday, 18 March 2011

Thankful Thought: No. 2

The wonderful Ali Edwards has added another template to her Thankful Thoughts series, which you can see and download from here.
It's been a tough week here in suburbia ~ lots going on and none of it suitable for blogging.  However, I do have a thankful thought this afternoon:
We may still have more questions than answers, but it is plain to see that {DS} is headed in the right direction.

52 In Black & White: Week 11

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Yesterday & Today: Week 11

This week has been a challenge, I can tell you! Seven photos of me, taken one a day over the last week.

Here's what I learned:
~ It's now obvious that I wear the same few clothes over and over, despite a full wardrobe.
~ Regardless of the time of day, the light in our kitchen is rubbish.
~ There's no denying that I have a large nose.
~ I do not photograph well.

I hate it when Blogger won't play ball with photo positioning.

Wit Or Wisdom: #10

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

One Little Word: March

The idea with One Little Word this month is to be proactive.  To put your OLW to use, to make it work for you.  Given that my word is better, I wasn't quite sure how to go about this.  And then it came to me.  This month I have put plans in place for a weekend trip to the city where my Grandad was born 107 years ago.  No more talking about it.  No more saying, "I should do ..." and more of saying," I am doing ...".  I have been proactive about something that has just been a dream for years.  And anything else that happens relating to this trip during the rest of March can just be added in.  
I've asked my Auntie along on this trip.  She did all the legwork for this side of our family history and all before the days of the Internet.  Back when you could spend all day in a records office and not find anything you were looking for at all.  Back when you went cross-eyed from spending too long in front of a micro-film reader.  My Auntie is just beginning to get involved with scrapbooking, after years of making cards, so I thought I'd make her a mini-book, using Ali's Scrapbook On The Road as my inspiration.  Like December Daily, the idea is to have all the foundation pages ready to go before your trip so all you have to do is add the photos, journaling and memorabilia.  Simple.  Better.
The icing on the cake is that this trip will give me the opportunity to meet Sian: you know what her OLW for 2011 is?  Reach.
Proactive is good.  Proactive is better



I heard today that the country town of Wootton Bassett is to be awarded the prefix of Royal, an honour approved directly by the Queen.  It is through this small town that the British Forces repatriate our war dead from Iraq and Afghanistan.  The local people have gathered to pay their respects on far too many occasions, in all weathers, since 2007 and long before the media arrived in full force to beam such personal loss and tragedy into our homes and lives.  Wootton Bassett is a town I know well, as it is the nearest town to the large RAF base where I was stationed in the mid 1980s.
Our Prime Minister said today that Her Majesty had agreed to the tribute as "an enduring symbol of the nation's admiration and our gratitude to the people of that town".  Mr Cameron told the House of Commons: "Their deeply moving and dignified demonstrations of respect and mourning have shown the deep bond between the public and our armed forces."
An honour long overdue.  Some of you may feel that on occasion my blog is perhaps a little bit too pro-military.  You'd be right and I make no apology for that.  The British have an unbreakable covenant with those who choose to defend the freedoms we enjoy.  And it's no good saying, "but I don't know anyone connected to the Forces."  Because you do: the guys who empty your bins when the binmen are on strike and the guys who drive your ambulances and fire engines when ambulance men and firemen are on strike.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Setting Them Free

That box of books?  The one mentioned here?  It's been cluttering up left in the spare bedroom for a few days and with the impending visit of my FIL looming, (he will need the space, can't afford for him to trip over them) I thought I'd take action and set a few of them free.  I randomly selected two books...

... and then randomly selected two of my followers as the recipients.  In the next few days, this lady and this lady can expect a parcel in the post.  Both books have been registered with bookcrossing so you will be able to add a leg to your book's journey.
If you'd like to be included in the next round of set-a-book-free, within in the next few weeks, I should think, just leave me a comment.  Overseas readers welcome, naturally.  With luck, we'll end up with something akin to Sian's Pass The Book, hopefully.  The list of titles available can be seen here.  I'm looking forward to getting to grips with All Quiet on the Western Front, a book I have been meaning to read for years, and Dissolution by C. J. Samson.  I am currently reading Dark Fire by Samson with my book group ~ it's terrific and keeping me up far too late in to the night.

Wit Or Wisdom: #9

~ I love that even when there is nothing to say, there is something to say ~

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Yesterday & Today: Week 10

This week was all about everything I have learned.  Ali had suggested journaling on an A4 sheet and then printing without any margins.  My printer was having none of that, so I've adapted my DLO in order to get the look I wanted.
Do you like my Chinese dolly?  She used to have a baby in a sling on her back, but someone stole that when I foolishly left her in my school desk overnight many years ago.
It took me a while to compile a list of things I have learned over the years, but once I got into it, I was away.  A few things I have learned:  I have learned to stand up and be counted.  I have learned that it's pretty terrific to have a sister.  I have learned that I'm neither an early bird nor a night owl, I'm somewhere in between.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Thankful Thought: No. 1

The uber-talented Ali Edwards has begun an occasional series about Thankful Thoughts. Check out this post here for more information.
And without further a do, here is my thankful thought:
I am so lucky that DS has such a loving extended family.  We might not see them very often, but they are so full of love when we do.
How proud of myself am I?  You are looking at the very first image where I have successfully added an overlay.  Whether it happens again will remain to be seen!  And you know what I'm thinking?  A perfect long-term project:  6x4 photo on one side, with words from the blog post on the other.

52 In Black & White: Week 10

~ Off-shore wind farm near where my mum lives ~

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Box Of Books

DH mentioned in passing last week that he'd won a box of books.  I asked him if they were anything to do with World Book Night (which Mel was involved in) and he confessed that he didn't really know.
The said box arrived this morning, quite early on, but as it was addressed to DH, I waited patiently for him to come home this evening.  And, boy, was I itching to get that box open in order to see what treasures lay within!
Just look at that!  All 25 titles from World Book Night!  Book lovers heaven!  So now you know what we will be reading for the rest of this year; but fear not, some titles will be offered up here on this blog.  After all, it's only right and proper that we pass on the titles.
BTW ~ we read The Reluctant Fundamentalist at my book group and the discussion was very lively.  So lively that it almost came to blows and 2 ladies actually stopped coming after that!  DS has appropriated Northern Lights because I told him that this story was behind one of his favourite films, The Golden Compass (known in our house as The Polar Bears).
That's it for now, I off to wallow in a box of books ...

Wit Or Wisdom: #8

~ 'Nuff said ~

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Project Life

I think that it has been clear that I have been looking for a year-long project to replace last year's 365:2010.  I am throughly enjoying Yesterday & Today at BPC, but that class ends at the end of the month (although I will continue to add stories and memories to it).  Likewise, One Little Word is also enjoyable, but ... it's not enough.
Cue a peek into my Stash Fund jar (I save up £2 coins in an attempt to end the guilt I feel when buying stash.  You know, because I've saved up ...) and, to my joy, it was looking fairly healthy.  So I've spent it on this ...
~ Project Life from Becky Higgins ~

Trouble is, I've had to order it from Canada, as there doesn't seem to be a UK distributor and won't ship outside of the US.  I emailed Becky asking if she has any plans to venture into the UK market, so you never know.  I know that Denise ordered this from the same site I used (thanks for the link, Denise) and hers arrived safely, eventually, so I shall have to be patient.  If I'm really lucky, it might arrive in time for an April start.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Yesterday & Today: Week 9

One of my favourite scrapping projects this week ~ recording all the details of your day.  (Remember last year's Week In The Life?  I guess it's something that Ali Edwards is also a fan of.)
As luck would have it, I chose the Friday of half-term week, when DS and I were at my mum's house.  A different routine for me and DS, my mum was sick (she was hit first with that awful bug) and an afternoon with my aunt and uncle.
I really like the effect of the half clocks up against the side of the title ~ something that I'd never have thought of by myself.
And did you realise that I am obviously still struggling with PSE9 and how it all works?  It would have been much quicker and far less fiddly if I could have worked out how the blur tool actually works. 

Storytelling Sunday

It's the first Sunday of the month, so that means Sian is hosting Storytelling Sunday.
The story from this house today is told by a Guest Blogger ~ please put your hands together for ... the young master of the house.
Once upon a time, a long time ago when I was very small, Mummy spent a lot of time and energy trying to teach me my Ps&Qs.  One afternoon, after lunch, I wanted to read a story (well, I liked to pretend that I couldn't read back then, in order to cuddle up with Mummy and listen to the sound of her dulcet tones).  I remember that I chose a Winnie The Witch story and tapped it on Mummy's leg in order to get her full attention (I think she was trying to finish her lunch or some such other trivial thing).
"Would you like me to read that to you?" she asked, rather stating the obvious I thought, but I kept quiet.
"Story," I nodded and tapped her leg again.
"Well, what do you say to Mummy?"
I looked at Mummy, rather blankly it has to be said.  What does she mean?
Mummy tried a different tack, "What's the magic word, {my name}?"
I beamed at Mummy and proudly announced, "Abracadabra!" 
Even now, I still don't why Mummy laughed like a drain, but she said it would make a good tale for Sian's Storytelling Sunday.
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