Hello my friends. Well, I’m back from yet more gadding about – spent a lovely long weekend with Mr & Mrs D, then moved down to Buckinghamshire to spend some time with my second daughter and her family. Drove home through the glorious autumn Welsh scenery calling at the Ponderosa café at the top of the Horseshoe Pass for a meal. Yes, it’s the bikers’ café that is advertised on the internet! Great fun place, and great food. Fabulous views right across West to Snowdon, and North to the sea! Now I’m home and have been attempting to finish the last of my Christmas cards before thinking about the rest of my to-do list.
So my desk today…
Hmmm… well, there’s the edge of my lovely swivel chair, then at the far end of the room, down at floor level, some boxes and papers which don’t yet have a home, an open drawer which houses paper pads, up on the desk there’s a magazine, some dies, card blanks with their envelopes, box of sticky pads, an empty cutting mat with only my specs on them, a couple of sponge pads which I had been using on the last of the Christmas cards, tweezers, scissors, blade, DST, pointy tool and phone – yes, I’ve gone purple – must be something to do with my age. Pretty boring desk really – and I promise I hadn’t tidied up, simply got to the end of the cards I was making.
Apart from sitting up on my landing space, I’ve been busy sewing together a blanket for Uganda, and trying to work through some of my yarn stash! An impossible task, of course, as I still buy more… oh dear!
My stash buster blanket – and on the chair in the background a blanket made for a lady who occasionally visits our church and who gave me the yarn and asked if I would make it up for her. It’s ready for her next visit – in January!
A smaller blanket – for a cot – knitted by various supporters of our work in Uganda, and simply crocheted together.
So, that’s me today, folks. I’m unlikely to get to visit anyone very much until the weekend – I have a funeral to go to today (Wednesday) over in Cheshire, then the shopping, cooking, preparation and serving to do for Step Inside. I may well fall asleep when I get home after that mammoth on Thursday!!
Well, good morning my friends. Is it really a whole week already since we last met? How quickly it has gone. I don’t even have a desk shot for you this week as it looks so similar to the last one – not that it hasn’t seen any activity – it has! 30 more Christmas cards, a birthday card, and a “sorry you are leaving” card. Who would believe that the boxed pack of Thomas Kinkade images and papers could produce 30 completely different cards? I was amazed and delighted that the same image looked so very different when matted and layered with differing papers. Brilliant – I have made huge inroads into my stash of Christmas papers! So, my picture this week is of my Christmas box – nearly full – piled high with the cards ready to be written…
The box stands around 8 inches tall, so when it is full I know I have sufficient cards for the year. Yay! Nearly there.
So that’s me really this week folks. Short and hopefully sweet. I have a slow cooker casserole to prepare – we are trying something new for step inside this week to see if it is popular. As well as the soup we will have Beef casserole! Yummy. Then I’m off to see Mr and Mrs D then moving down to my daughter to stay with her and her family for a few days – so I shall be missing next week – but all being well I shall see you in a fortnight.
Hello my friends. Trust this finds you well, busy and having fun. Kelly told us last week about World card making day and about take your teddy to work day! So…
… this was my desk Tuesday afternoon. A great pile of Christmas papers, because I was having a card fest! Three teddies – two Steiff bears which John bought me at a church sale, and a pilot bear which I bought John when he had that flight for his 70th birthday. The pink piece of card is actually a card blank, the top of a pile, there’s my heat gun hanging up and half covering my little hangy thingy which went with me everywhere I caravanned, an empty cutting mat which is only empty because I had finished working for the day, and a pile of backing pieces for DST – it doesn’t recycle, so gets put into a different waste bin. There’s my daylight lamp and to the far right a photo of my lovely supportive family, out of date now by nearly three years – but they haven’t given me a more up to date one yet – I’m banking on Christmas!!!
I arrived home a week ago to a request from the hotel for about 20 more cards plus some Christmas cards; so I decided to use World card making day as a good start! Managed all 20. I was pretty chuffed. They are simple designs, many made from kits – five from a kit I received as my raffle prize at the crop in June – thanks Sarah! So here is Saturday’s efforts…
As I said – simple designs. I like to make something a bit more arty-farty sometimes – but they simply don’t sell in the hotel – I have to save those ideas for other occasions.
Tuesday was a free day (or so I thought when I got up!) so I thought I had best do some more card making, as I now needed a load more Christmas cards, having given some to the hotel…
The cards in the first of these pictures are all bagged and have gone off to be hopefully sold – the second picture are Tuesday’s cards – all made from a Joanna Sheen kit of Thomas Kinkade images. Oh my word! I really do like layers and straight lines, don’t I?
So that’s me this week, folks. Up to my ears in Christmas papers, and about to dash off to do the shopping for step inside. The soup is made – Sweet potato and parsnip this week… I’ll hopefully get around to you all sooner rather than later – depends how long it takes in the shops.
I think I should warn you that this post isn’t so much picture heavy – as picture obese!
But, first – hello my friends. It’s 5 weeks since I last posted, and I have been gadding about again for all but four days of those weeks. My desk.. well, as I only arrived home Sunday, with a mountain of washing, very little food in the house, and masses to unpack – it hasn’t exactly seen a lot of action yet!
Starting top left of the desk; a wallet of cross stitch – taken away but not even opened; white make-up case – filled with necessary chargers; an empty camera case – the camera being in my hand at the time; a pile of mail and some birthday gifts – yet to be sorted; two packs of started but unfinished Christmas cards – I made them up before going away intending to colour them whilst away… failed!
I coloured a grand total of two. Both the bell design. Not touched the candle design yet…
So, basically that is me here on the North Wales coast today. If you don’t want to progress down the page, that’s just fine – we are supposed to be here for the desk. If you do want to carry on – then there are lots of pictures of my travels on Trip 4 of my Gap year!
This time I didn’t visit Nottingham to pick up the caravan – my elder daughter and family already had it down at the far end of Cornwall – at a site right on one of the best surfing beaches in the South. I “simply” drove down there and took over the van after their holiday. They wanted to show me how they had spent their time away…
This honestly wasn’t posed – they just happened to all catch the same wave, and come in toward me in a straight line! (sorry about the tilt on the horizon!) You would not believe how hard it was to get a photo of all four of them in one shot. I confess to simply putting the camera on “sport” and holding down the shutter!
A visit to Trengwainton gardens revealed a local school children’s scarecrow competition entitled “What I want to be when I grow up”. About 20 scarecrows – anything from a vet, through a spy, to a sumo wrestler – but I confess I loved this lifeboat man!
This view was one of my favourites – Looking out to Godrevy lighthouse – I think I came up to this headland and sat gazing each day. It was about a three minute drive from the caravan site, National Trust land, with an ice cream van… What more could I want???
A visit to Land’s End was essential – the day was glorious, I could even see the Scilly Isles out on the horizon 28 miles off the mainland. Longships lighthouse is around a mile and a half from where I am standing.
A visit to the Minack Theatre was something else on my list – literally hewn out of the rock on the South coast I was sorely tempted to stay for the afternoon performance. My daughter and her family decided to treat themselves to an evening performance – which they said was stunning – not for the performance, but for the way night fell, all the stars they could see, the view out to sea…
So then it was time to move a little upcountry – to Devon, and this was a regular feature from my caravan window! Whilst here I met up with Christine (Bishopsmate) and PJ, her hubby, and also Shoshi and her hubby. A hugely fun afternoon of food, drink, chatter and laughter!
Buckfastleigh butterflies were an absolute delight!
The Garden House was a great day out – still full of colour and shape – and as for the seedheads and grasses…
Bigbury on Sea is a delight. The hotel across on the island is extremely exclusive, and hence, extremely expensive, but is used in TV films as a classic art deco place – even one of the Miss Marple episodes featured it! The island is cut off at high tide twice a day – so there is a “sea tractor” – you can see it waiting to travel back to the mainland. It’s like it is up on stilts and rides high above the water.
Moving further North again I stopped in Gloucestershire. A meet-up with Julia was lovely – we spent ages talking, having lunch together, laughing, and then enjoying an afternoon tea! A visit to Slimbridge wildlife and wetland centre was a must. Established by Sir Peter Scott, it is full of glorious wildlife.
Avocets – black strip on the head and a great curved beak; Redshanks – small bird, brownish, with red/orange legs; and a Little Stint – black back, red legs; were all within about three feet of my camera lens. What a treat and a privilege.
This goose is almost identical to a grey lag – but for the yellow ring round its eye. There was a competition for the children to see if they could find him on the reserve – but, I’m sorry, I know he is extremely rare in Britain… but I just can’t remember his name!!!
A visit to Westonbirt Arboretum was a treat – and the autumn colours were really beginning to show – reds, yellows, oranges… another couple of weeks and they would be stunning – so long as the horrendous weather this past weekend hasn’t blown all the leaves off the trees!
So that was the end of my journeying – I thought I would show you my “country cottage”. The two seats are about 6feet long. To the left is the wardrobe door, and to the right is the edge of the “cooker” – two gas rings and a grill – but I never use the grill because it sets the smoke alarm off!!! Turning through 180 degrees…
…the dining room! These chairs are around 3ft 6 inches long. On the table is one of the jigsaws I have done whilst away, to the left is the kitchen sink and fridge, and to the right is the toilet compartment.
So, a few statistics for those who like bullet points…
Since April 24th, when I first picked up the van in Nottingham, I have … visited 17 counties in England and Wales, sleeping in all but three of them …. spent 103 nights away from home, all but three having been spent in the caravan …. actually travelled almost 1500 miles with the caravan on the back of the car, plus lots of “tourist” miles …. travelled by boat, car, bus and train …. done 33 jigsaws, read I don’t know how many books …. and have taken nearly 1500 photos.
This year has been the most incredible privilege – I have met WOYWWers, college friends, church friends who have moved away, new folk who have shared their stories with me, seen some glorious sights, and visited some lovely places. I have been privileged to have tea and hot chocolate (and cake!) in some fantastic settings. The caravan has done well. She is an aged lady, like me, built in 1982, so this was her 37th season. The car has responded well despite my very best efforts to burn out the clutch at the last site where I took a wrong turn and had to reverse, with the van on the back, up an incline! Phew!!!! That was scary. And now it is autumn – time to put the van away for winter – time to get ready to go visit Mr and Mrs D!!!!!
Night, night everyone! If you got this far you deserve a medal.