Friday, 30 June 2017

A Day Off

Some days, the only thing to do is take the day off.
So I did, and spent it with this gorgeous pair.
It was just what was needed. 

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Photography Scavenger Hunt | Link-up #1

is hosting the first of three link-ups today for this year's
Photography Scavenger Hunt.
(As she lives in Canada, you might want to wait until afternoon
here in the UK before heading over there.) 
Here's this year's list:

1) Something fuzzy
2) Bubbles
3) A web
4) A zig zag
5)  A seasonal relaxing space/item
6) A pipe
7) The inside of something
8) Rust or something derelict
~ The Boy Child's bottom, after sitting in my friend's wheelbarrow ~ 
9) A kite or balloon
10) Something yellow
11)  A toy only found out during June to September
~ That would be our BBQ ~
12) A wedding
13) A dome
14) Someone fishing
15) Something crafted from wood
~ Wooden sculpture at the water park
16)  A baby (human or animal)
17)  Circles or crosses in architecture
18) A fan
19)  Feet of man or beast
~ my feet ~
20) Something found under ground
21)  A plaque
22)  A dial
23) Something powered by wind
24) Seasonal food or drink
25)  A hat

(Items in blue mean that I've already posted them here.)
Another four down, but still a way to go.
I suspect #12 will be the most difficult for me, unless I can persuade Deb in invite to 
one of the two happening in her family this summer. 
Are you joining in this year?
How are you getting on?

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Happy Mail and Its Purpose

Someone told me recently that my sole reason
for sending reams of Happy Mail over the years
was because I wanted to receive comments about how kind I am.
That, apparently, I "only do things that give gratification."
Wow, don't hold back, why don't you tell me what you really think?
(I'm putting their comments down to a bad day.  We all have them.)
My reasoning for sending reams of Happy Mail is because it's fun.
It doesn't need a purpose.
I don't feel holier than thou when I drop mail into the postbox.
People like to receive unexpected cards and letters.
(My best friend's MiL writes around a dozen letters a week.
Mum was a prolific writer of letters).
I had a large collection of stationery - postcards, notebooks and the like -
that would never have been put to good use otherwise.

So, what's my point?
I wrote a few personal notes yesterday; a thank-you note
 and a hi-how-are-you kind of note,
and got to thinking about how some of those early recipients of Happy Mail  
have become friends, both via social media and in real life.
And I don't have a problem with that at all.
You could say I'm gratified
Isn't today's Happy Mail, in all its forms, merely a 21st Century version
of the old Pen Pal Clubs?

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

There Are Days

Ever have a day where you wish you'd stayed in bed?
Yeah, me too.
Yesterday was one such day.
Over the weekend, The Boy Child had revealed that 
he'd been the recipient of unkind words from a classmate.
Not verbal bullying, but unpleasant enough to cause concern.
Having emailed the relevant teachers over the weekend,
I then spent a large amount of yesterday in conversation 
with those relevant teachers about their course of action.
Even though they acted swiftly and appropriately,
I still felt an emotional wreck by pick-up time.

Here's hoping for a much better day today. 


Monday, 26 June 2017

This Weekend I ...

Another week has passed by without receiving any Happy Mail,
so we'll skip directly to the memo about the weekend.
It was my best friend's son's birthday on Saturday
and we marked it with a visit to the Cotswold Water Park.

I can't even begin to tell how wonderful it was!
There's a lot of truth in the expression, 
"friends are the family we choose for ourselves".

Friday, 23 June 2017

What Caught My Eye #10

"Avoiding the problems you need to face
is avoiding the life you need to live."
                                                                                               ~ Paulo Coelho  

Thursday, 22 June 2017

When The Plan Doesn't Work ...

None of what I have envisaged has materialised.
Scrapping has always been a form of therapy for me, but recent realisations
have seen me unsettled and in danger of losing my scrapping mojo
(not to mention my mind ...).
So for now, the photos are printed and housed in a variety of pocket pages 
and I've moved on to working on a birthday gift for my best friend's son.   
Which in its own way, is bitter sweet.
I also have begun a double page spread about the joy to be found last weekend.
So, one project at a time?
Or a case of this and that, as the mood takes you?

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

The Summertime Jane Austen Book Club

Be careful what you share on Instagram ...
Last week, I shared an image of a book I'd rescued from the Council Recycling Centre.
It was, I'm sure, just moments away from being pulped. 
Well, probably not, but you get the picture.
What kind of weirdo sends books to the recycling centre?
But I digress ... lovely Julie from Notes on Paper saw my post and 
announced she also had a copy of 
Sanditon, a Novel by Jane Austen and Another Lady 
(she found her copy in a charity shop, leaving me to point out again,
 what kind of weirdo sends books to the recycling centre?)
A few comments and an email later, and I find that I am now the co-host of 
The Summertime Jane Austen Book Club, or the Sanditon-along.
Would you care to join us?
~ image pinched borrowed from Julie's blog post
Here's how: 
We're opening the covers on Sanditon on July 1st 2017,
 and taking our reading at a leisurely pace throughout the month.

Grab yourself a copy of Sanditon by Jane Austen by any which way you fancy before July 1st.
Don't worry if you don't get it by that date - that's just when we're starting to read it, and chat about it in occasional blog/Instagram posts. Feel free to join in whenever you can,  but if you'd like the communal element try to get into it before the end of July. 

Check your local library catalogue - because good books are good, but free books are even better! 

We've had a quick look on Amazon (UK) and there are actually a few copies
Dip into eBay, charity/thrift shops and - apparently recycling centres are a good source
 of abandoned novels! 
And of course there are ebook versions available out there too. 
Basically ... however you can get Sanditon under your nose is fine with us! 

It's almost guaranteed that we will end up reading different versions as it seems several other authors have completed what Jane Austen started. But that's no problem ... it'll probably lead us to interesting conversations about the various ways the story is taken by its different writers!

Throughout the month share your Sanditon reading experiences with us via social media/blogs:
eg. Share photos of your copy, or your where you're reading it.
Let us know how/if you're enjoying it.

Use the hashtag #sanditonalong if you'd like us to easily find your post - and to find posts by others.
Feel free to tag me, @thestreetsofw5, or Julie, @withjuliekirkon Instagram, 
if you'd like to make sure we see your post!

Additionally you can: 
Tweet Julie @notesonpaper,
or leave a blog comment on this post, or any future blog posts we create during the #sanditonalong,
or posting on your own blog and letting us know,
or swinging by Julie's 'With Julie Kirk' Facebook Page.
Both Julie and I will be sharing how we're getting on throughout July.

So, how about it? Are you in?
 Disclaimer:  All credit for this idea belongs to Julie.
This is her brainchild.
She is super knowledgeable about the approaching 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's birth.
She'd been meaning to mark the anniversary in some way.
Calling me co-host of The Summertime Jane Austen Book Club is very generous.
Given that I can barely remember which Jane Austen novels I may or may not have read. 
But, as I said, what kind of weirdo sends books to the recycling centre? 

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

The Cruel Act of Ghosting

I'd heard about ghosting, but only in relation to dating scenarios.
Think Charlize Theron and Sean Penn.  
But last week, Thursday evening to be exact, the penny dropped.
Someone related to me, someone I share a lifetime of love and memories with,
has cut off contact without offering any kind of explanation.
That realisation has caused me a huge amount of grief.
Tears have been shed.
But here's the thing.
Why would someone deliberately set out to break off a relationship,
 when the other party has no idea what may have caused this to happen?
Pyschology Today reports that "one of the most insidious aspects of ghosting is that 
it doesn't just cause you to question the validity of the relationship you had,
 it causes you to question yourself."  The article notes that "ghosting gives you no clue
for how to act" and goes on to remind the reader that "... it says nothing about you ...
and everything about the person doing the ghosting.  It shows he/she doesn't have the courage to deal with the discomfort of their emotions or yours ... In any case they have sent you an extremely loud message that says: I don't have what it takes to have a mature healthy relationship with you.
  Be the better person, retain your dignity and let go."    
A similar article on the Huffington Post reached the same conclusion: 
  “Tell yourself there’s nothing more you can do, it’s not personal and accept what is ... and then go do something that makes your heart smile ..."
And although both articles do reach the same conclusion, neither currently offers me any comfort.

Have you ever been on the receiving end of a ghosting?
Have you ever been the person doing the ghosting?  

Monday, 19 June 2017

Memos: Mail: Me

This post should really be called Weekend Round Up,
because I have nothing to report on the Mail: Me bit.
I do, however, have a few words to say about our weekend.
The weather was glorious and we spent two days outside.
Los Pequenos spent time with their Great Granny 
{who is an extremely active 85-year-old, but tell her I told you her age, will you?}   
There was BBQ both days, alongside Summer drinks.
There were parts of my flesh exposed that would never normally 
see the light of day in West London.  
And there was a certain young man who delighted in being wet through.

How was your weekend?

Friday, 16 June 2017

Summer Manifesto

The Summer holidays are a little over four weeks away now,
and I've been busy making plans.
A summer manifesto, if you will.
And, of course, like the best kind of manifesto,
it may be subject to change at short notice, I may drop plans
without offering any explanation and I may even do a complete U-turn ...
The Boy Child has agreed to complete a Project Life style Summer diary,
so I tweaked the basic list of summer plans into something a wee bit more scrapbooky.
As you do. 

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Framed Venice Snapshot

A mini noticeboard-type frame ...
 Some of my favourite iPhone photos from Venice ...  
A scrapbooking element, naturally ... 
 And I'm done.
When I'm bored of looking at it, I can easily update it.
That's what I call a win win. 

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Holiday Wardrobe

Do you have items of clothing in your wardrobe
that you'd only wear when on holiday?
Until recently, I'd have laughed at that question and said, "No!"
My holiday wardrobe is pretty much the same as my summer at home wardrobe;
namely years old linen shorts and scoop neck t-shirts. 
But then I purchased an off-the-shoulder top
that I knew I'd never wear in London.
But in Venice?  Absolutely.
Especially when paired with a pair of shorter-than-I'd-usually-wear shorts
(purchased last year and unworn), and The Brainy One's hat.

How does your wardrobe differ between home and holiday?

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Photography Scavenger Hunt 2017

The Photography Scavenger Hunt has a new host this year:

Here's this year's list: 

1) Something fuzzy
2) Bubbles
3) A web
4) A zig zag
5)  A seasonal relaxing space/item
6) A pipe
7) The inside of something
8) Rust or something derelict
9) A kite or balloon
10) Something yellow
11)  A toy only found out during June to September
12) A wedding
13) A dome
14) Someone fishing
15) Something crafted from wood
16)  A baby (human or animal)
17)  Circles or crosses in architecture
18) A fan
19)  Feet of man or beast
20) Something found under ground
21)  A plaque
22)  A dial
23) Something powered by wind
24) Seasonal food or drink
25)  A hat

The hunt runs from 1st June until 30th September.
There is no formal link up to Mary-Lou's blog.  
 If you have a blog, she hopes you'll share your finds on these three dates;
 June 29th, 
August 2nd
  September 30th
You can, of course, share when ever the mood takes you. 
 No rules, although Mary-Lou hopes you won't use any photos taken before June 1st.  
Will you join us?

Monday, 12 June 2017

Memos: Mail: Me

Even though the lovely Sian has begun her Summer blog break,
I'm still planning on boring letting you know what sort of things 
have made it into my Monday roundup of recent happenings.
The most exciting thing in months to land on the doormat 
has been our tickets for Wimbledon.
We came up in the Ballot and secured 2 seats on No. 1 Court for
the first Friday of the Championships.
Super excited!  
This year, we entered the public ballot for only the second time
and were surprised to be successful.
Back in 2006, we'd scored 2 seats for the first Friday on Centre Court
at our first attempt, and as neither of us are particularly successful in raffles and the like,
it's must be a case of "you've got to be in it to win it".
I can also now reveal that two of my Instagram photos 
have been picked up by magazines, one national and one local,
which I'm pretty chuffed about.
If only I could turn them into paying commissions ...
     As for the weekend,
The Boy Child and I attended Autism | Early Birds at the Science Museum,
where you can see from my extremely amateurish video, he had a great time.
I can't praise both the Science Museum and, latterly, the National History Museum
enough for putting on these events.
The Boy Child really enjoys them and I/we get to relax a little in a setting 
where both the staff and other families completely understand 
the unwanted presence of autism in our lives.
That we get up earlier on these Saturdays than we do during the week is by the by ...   

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Month in Numbers | May

Was May marvellous?
Let's take a look ...
4: the number of nights we spent in the beautiful city of Venice.  We all loved it.
  The food was pretty popular, too.
49: I have no idea how it has happened, but I now appear to be just one year 
away from my half century.
1 and a bit: that's the number of Pimm's bottles that may, 
or may not, have been drunk during the month. 
35,271: the size of the crowd at the Women's FA Cup Final
at Wembley.  A record attendance and we were part of it.
Who knew that watching a professional footie match
could be so exciting?
Birmingham City 1: Manchester City 4. 
20,247: it's no wonder the plantar fasciitis has flared up again, 
given that I regularly put in more than 10K a day ...
and some days, the total is as high as this.
Thin soled shoes are out and perhaps I should consider wearing trainers ... or not.
   Month in Numbers is the brainchild of Julie
and you'll always find a warm welcome over at her place. 
 Not to mention entertaining posts about a varied list of topics.
Go on over, stop by and say hello.
You can see my previous Month in Numbers here.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Venice Photos | A Specific Album, Single Pages or Both?

Yesterday, Mary-Lou left on a comment on my post about my finished Traveler's Notebook:
"Very nice TN & what a fun trip it looks like.
 Will you do full scrapbook pages for some of the most memorable moments?"
The easy answer to that is, "No, not this time around", with the reason being that I am aware
that we are simply running out of album storage space. 
I did make a double page spread early yesterday afternoon for our 2017 album, 
and I love how it turned out..
(Am I allowed to sat that about my own work?)
I'll make another 12x12 double spread for The Boy Child's album,
and a few smaller pages around the 9x9 size, which I'll put into an album
I picked up at the Store of Utter Gorgeousness a while ago.
It may be that I'll miss creating a 12x12 album of specific travels,
or it may be that I'll be satisfied with my current plan.
We'll see.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

The Post Holiday Traveler's Notebook

We were fortunate enough to travel to Venice, Italy for four nights 
during the recent half-term holiday, and I was able to journal 
in my Traveler's Notebook (TN) most evenings.
 It's looking satisfyingly fat, which pleases me no end.
 As most of the TN was prepped before we'd even left home, 
the journaling was the biggest job each evening.
 Along side journaling pens, I'd packed two spools of washi tape,
which I used to attach the small Instax Mini photos and small 
embellishments to then pretty up those photos. 
I made pencil marks on some pages for specific images, so that once home,
and photos were printed, I could remember where I wanted certain photos to go.
If I'd change anything about the TN, I'd cut the journaling pages slightly smaller.
As the TN got thicker, the journaling pages didn't sit as cleanly as I'd hoped.
A small thing, but still one to bear in mind for the next TN.     
Because, you know, there's bound to be another one ...

Monday, 5 June 2017

No Room in My Heart

Yesterday, when I woke up, I was afraid.
For that brief moment in time, I was afraid.
Deep in my soul afraid.
But then I gave myself a metaphorical shake.
I have no room in my heart for fear to blossom.
I have no room in my heart for hate.
I don't ever want to have room in my heart for fear and hate.
I choose to live my life as I always have.
In a city where we welcome the world, regardless of colour of creed.
Love will conquer fear and hate.
Love always win.
Maybe not today, tomorrow or anytime soon, 
but one day, love will defeat hate. 
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