Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Snap #39 | Grand Central Station

Helena has a new photographic theme for 2016:
Snap, a visually linked group of 2 to 4 images.
Grand Central Station doesn't look much from the outside,
but the inside?
It's pure architectural loveliness.

If you hop over to Journal of Curious Things, you can read about
Kirsty's tour of the station ... and note that we took near identical photos.  
You can see more Snap images here.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Is It Really Just Me?

Living in London can mean that a person becomes immured 
to everyday rudeness and unpleasantness.
Most of us at some point will encounter Mr. or Ms. Rude when travelling on the Tube.
It's pretty much a given.
Last week, however, I encountered Ms. Rude on the school run.
I won't bore you with the details of what exactly transpired between us,
but suffice to say, within 20 seconds I had been called a cow 
and a rude middle-aged woman.
{Let me tell you, I was more offended by being called middle-aged ...}  
She, by the way, was probably in her early twenties 
and had no compulsion in insulting me in front of The Boy Child,
who was left wide-eyed and clinging to my hand.
She failed to see the irony of me pointing out that she was the one using unpleasant language. 
When he'd recovered, The Boy Child gallantly offered to call the police
and have her arrested.
  If only.

The reason for telling you this story is because I'm left wondering 
what's happened to every day good manners and politeness?
I can be direct, but I never deliberately set out to be rude.
I hold doors open for people.
I give up my seat to anyone who looks more in need.  
I say please and thank you.
People tell me that I'm old-fashioned.
Like that's a bad thing.
But it can't just be me, can it?

Further reading: Jaime from Angloyankophile has two excellent posts worthy of a read:

Monday, 28 November 2016

A Visit to Roald Dahl Country

To the countryside and specifically the village of Great Missenden.
It was the home for 36 years of Roald Dahl
and it is also home to the Roald Dahl Musuem and Story Centre.
 The village isn't that big and you can see most of it in half an hour.
 But it is very pretty.
 We spent around 90 minutes in the Museum.

We also climbed the hill to the cemetery
for Roald Dahl's grave   
and glorious views of the Chilterns.
Which I didn't photograph.

Friday, 25 November 2016

What Caught My Eye #5

"To forget one's ancestors is to be
a brook without a source, a tree
without a root."
~ Chinese proverb             

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Finding the Words

The Boy Child's teacher died at the weekend.
I wanted to tell you about her, but I can't quite find the right words to her justice.
Instead, I'm sharing the contents of the note we sent to her husband*
{which with hindsight, doesn't read as fluently as it might}
~ taken in June 2016 ~
Dear Mr S.,
We were deeply saddened to learn of Mrs. S.'s death.  It was our great privilege to know her, albeit for far too short a time.  She was a lady who showed love, compassion, grace, humour and generosity to all who had the good fortune to cross paths with her.  Mrs S. gave hope to hundreds, probably thousands, of children with additional needs, and their parents, that a fully-inclusive education was possible.  That hope is her legacy.
The three of us will remember Mrs S. often and with great fondness.  Please know that you, your sons and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.
With our love, Ruth, The Brainy One and The Boy Child xx     

There's a lot of truth in the saying, "no-one forgets a good teacher."

{*Mr S just so happened to be the Headmaster of The Boy Child's previous school} 

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Snap #38 | New York City from High

Helena has a new photographic theme for 2016:
Snap, a visually linked group of 2 to 4 images.
 Looking South from the Empire State Building.
 Looking North West from One World Trade Center 
Looking East to the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges
from One World Trade Center.
 Looking North from the Empire State Building.
You can see more Snap images here.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Craft Room Revamp Complete

The remnants of Storm Angus was doing its thing
outside the window as these photos were taken yesterday afternoon.
Generally, as a rule, I love living in the UK, but on occasion,
such as taking photos indoors in November light,
I quite fancy a spot of, say, Arizona sunshine. 
Know what I'm saying?
The revamp of my craft room is complete.
And I love it!
 I deliberately chose a smaller desk for blogging and scrapbooking,
as it means I have to be tidier in order to be productive.
This desk is, in fact, designed to be a dressing table. 
 This retro sideboard is quite possibly the
 most beautiful piece of furniture I have ever purchased.
There's two shelves waiting to go up on the wall and I still have
to find a home for a few things, but otherwise, that's it.
The biggest realisation has been that I may have to scrapbook less,
as I {we} are running out of album storage space.
Which is too terrible to even contemplate. 

Monday, 21 November 2016

Los Pequeňos

Los Pequeňos are doing so well that they are
now sharing an incubator.
How cute is that!
They are 4 weeks old today.
They now have names.
They are identical and we can currently only tell them apart
because the younger one (by a mere minute) is
still on oxygen.
There is some talk of them being home before Christmas.
What an amazing gift that would be.  
We are all so, so grateful to the dedication and skill of all the staff
who are caring for them and their parents.

Friday, 18 November 2016

What Caught My Eye #4

"Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp,
or what's a heaven for?"
'Andre del Sarto': 
 Robert Browning,1812-1889

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Pocket Scrapping | The "they're-pretty-dull" Photos

In an ideal world, all my photos would be magazine worthy.
The reality is, of course they're not.
Not even close.
Where I want to include them in our albums,
 I've found the most effective thing to do is print the images in mixed sizes
and reach for a divided page protector, chipboard embellishments and Project Life cards.
The latest batch receiving this treatment is the shots I took of
It's a quick fix, but it works.
Photos + words = scrapbooking.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Snap #37 | New York City's Streets

Helena has a new photographic theme for 2016:
Snap, a visually linked group of 2 to 4 images.
New York City isn't all glass and chrome.
A few steps off an avenue will bring you to the city that moviegoers
 around the globe will recognise instantly. 
 The Upper East Side (around the high 70s) is full 
of elegant apartment blocks and townhouses.
A fair few had gone in for seasonal decor.
 Some streets (those around E18th St.) wouldn't look out of place
in London ... rows of neat terraces and window boxes.
    You can see more Snap images here.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Scrapping with Big Bird

Of all the photos I took during our visit to New York City,
which one is my favourite?
Yep, the one of The Boy Child with Big Bird.
As our American friends like to say, go figure.
 And because it's my favourite, it made sense to have it on top
of the pile of New York photos waiting to be scrapped.   
Do you begin with the photo you like best
or do you scrap your photos in chronological order?  

Monday, 14 November 2016

Making Progress

When it comes to decorating, nothing seems to happen
 as quickly as you might first think.
and I'd thought that by today, I'd be back up and running.
Yes, the painting is all done and the new carpet has been laid.
The new curtains are up, with added bunting for contrast.
Two new pieces of furniture have yet to arrive
and the IKEA shelves are sitting on the carpet.
But my new light shades make funky patterns on the ceiling,
so, you know, there's that. 

Friday, 11 November 2016

What Caught My Eye #3

"Here's to the child
and all he has to teach us."
                                                                      ~ Anonymous

Thursday, 10 November 2016

One Photo | Twenty Words

"Like a song through the trees you came to love me

Like a leaf on a breeze you blew away."
~ Forever Autumn by Justin Heyward

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Snap #36 | The 9/11 Musuem

Helena has a new photographic theme for 2016:
Snap, a visually linked group of 2 to 4 images.
The 9/11 Museum in Lower Manhattan
is humbling, emotional and truly inspiring in equal measure.
 Most of the museum is underground and under the 
actual footprints of the Twin Towers. 
 The external access of these stairs saved scores of lives
 that day in September 2001.  They survived reasonably intact;
 the damage you can see occurred during the clean-up operation.
This steel girder was the last thing removed from the World Trade Centre site.
The city's police and fire departments were invited to add their company details,
and relatives of the dead were able to write memories of their loved ones on there.
    You can see more Snap images here.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

December Daily | Foundation Pages

As the redecoration of my office began yesterday,
I am temporarily homeless, crafting wise.
I have set up camp in The Boy Child's playroom and as
Internet access via my PC was/is non-existent, it was/is an ideal opportunity
to pull out my box of Christmas scrapping supplies
and make a start on the foundation pages for this year's December Daily.
I'm using a 6x8 album from Echo Park
and the patterned paper is a mix of Echo Park and Simple Stories.
 I'm using assorted page protectors and have a brief outline in place
for the first few days of December: the tree, Elvis the Elf
and our annual Christmas drinks party.
 I've made a 6x8 pocket to house The Boy Child's Santa letter (when he's written it).
The remaining days can be switched around to suit whatever happens on a particular day.
December Daily: my favourite project of the year. 

Monday, 7 November 2016

Memorandum Monday

Monday has rolled around again, and that means it's time to
join in with the lovely Sian and
 share something that I've learnt over the weekend.
Tree plantings are emotional things.
That's not something I'd ever considered before.
I mean, you never see HM The Queen looking misty-eyed 
as she plants her gazillionth tree.
The tree in question was planted at the Royal Hospital Chelsea
in memory of our much-loved and much-missed Grandad Paddy.
You can see what Sian discovered over the weekend here


Friday, 4 November 2016

What Caught My Eye #2

"You can't use up creativity.
The more you use, the more you have."
~ Maya Angelou

Thursday, 3 November 2016

The 'Before' before the 'After'

Earlier this year, I said to no one in particular that I planned 
to overhaul my office/craft space.  I wanted, really wanted, a WorkBox ...
until realisation, and not to mention price, hit home.
WorkBoxes are not designed for British houses.
They are enormous and my space is roughly 2.7m by 2.7m.
So, back to the drawing board and start from scratch.
Luckily, I am able to pass on my desks and bookcases to a friend 
who is about to move into a new flat.
Redecoration starts next week and I already have a new carpet, curtains, blind,
 desk, set of 6 drawers and a corner bookshelf on order.
Melissa recently overhauled her craft room and I was so envious.
But then she lives in Texas, where houses are much bigger than those in suburban West London.
So I will contain my envy and be content knowing that I am able to have a space
to call my own and one that will no longer, hopefully, be cluttered and unwelcoming.    

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Snap #35 | The Chrysler Building

Helena has a new photographic theme for 2016:
Snap, a visually linked group of 2 to 4 images.

The Chrysler Building in Manhattan is my favourite building
in all of New York City.
From ground level, however, it's never viewed at its best.
Get up high and use a long lens, that's my advice.

 You can see more Snap images here.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Scrapbooking on the Road

I'm all for having The Boy Child practice his handwriting as much as he can.
He usually has other ideas.
However, he doesn't mind writing a holiday diary 
if he can use the 3x4 journal cards from Project Life
He wrote most of the cards while we were in New York City
and finished off the last two at the weekend.
  I wrote most of our journal in NYC,
which meant I just had to add photos and embellishments.
I used different sizes of page protectors and even ran a few through
my sewing machine in order to get the size I wanted.
We now have a cute 6x4 mini journal; a perfect size for The Boy Child to handle
and another one to show off store in my basket

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