Thursday 30 January 2020


Good morning, everyone.  Yesterday was a pretty quiet day which was nice.  I managed to catch up with the Great Pottery Throwdown (some amazing creativity) as I knitted and the ironing basket is now empty.  I did put the washing out in hopes but the forecasted wind never materialised so it just hung there, limp and soggy, for four hours before I noticed it had started drizzling slightly so brought it in and dried it on the rack.  Oh, well - I tried!

Pottery went loads better this week.  The first candle stand had had its first firing and I set to making the second one which is a bit taller.  Thankfully, the clay was not so wet and soft this week and therefore so much easier to handle and, to my delight, the art department now has a machine that rolls out slabs of clay.  Brilliant!
Here's the fired one which now needs glazing . . .

And here's the one I made this week.  It needs to dry out and be tidied up a bit before firing.

Today I have plenty to get done this morning before driving over to Dad's later on.   So I'd better get going, I think.  Have a great day.  xx


Good morning to you.  It's not so cold this morning, thankfully, but it's not expected to be as sunny as yesterday either.  A shame.  However, a moderate breeze should see the rest of my washing dried enough to iron and air so that's OK.

Reliable Jeff turned up to give my garden another little haircut so now it's looking neat and tidy again.  I do love it when the bulbs start coming up; the snowdrops are doing well and there's lots of intriguing little spikes peeping through the soil.  I don't have a great variety - just snowdrops, hyacinths and daffs of various kinds as well as tulips )a few) and bluebells later on.  Oh, and a tiny little clump of scillas which come up year after year and never seem to spread.  I hope they come up again - they are such tiny, shy little things and such a glorious blue.

Image result for scillas
(borrowed from Google Images)

Later on, I had a most enjoyable hour or so chatting to Christine over a cuppa and some knitting, catching up on all her news and sharing mine.

Then I did housework, etc, until it was time for governors' meeting which was quite interesting, well worth the time.  For obvious reasons, I can't talk about the contents, but I do think we make a difference, we're not just yes-men.  We have six meeting a year (every other half term) plus the visits to school for various reasons and purposes.

Today I have a great stack of ironing to get sorted, some washing in the machine to hang out and a spare bedroom to sort out and get ready for the next visitor, whoever that will be.
There's one tuition session and then pottery - cheers!  Must sort out my pottery bag - I think the tools and equipment needs to be shared amongst two bags as it can be hard to find stuff.

Wishing us all a happy Thursday.  xx

Wednesday 29 January 2020


Good morning!  Beeb was right again.  Yesterday was cold but beautifully sunny and what a cheering sight it was too.  Today, they say, will be very much the same - excellent.

Yesterday turned out very pleasantly.  SW was good and I was slimmer of the month which was unexpected and very pleasing.  Motivating too.

Then I came home and set to with my knitting - or, rather, my sewing up.  It's finished now, what I was making) so I've started on that lovely variegated yarn which is knitting up very nicely.  WIth all the hand knits I have, I'm not going to feel cold for years to come!

Tuition was fun, as usual, and there was no need to run me home yesterday; it was still sunny and quite bright as the days are noticeably longer as the sun sets later.  Beth came round at about six (with a bunch of flowers for me) and forty minutes later the taxi arrived so off we set.

It was lovely.  We both started with cocktails, something I hardly ever do, so it was goodbye to dry January for the evening.  We had olives with garlic bread, then a pizza and finally a dessert while we talked and talked and talked.  A really super evening, thanks very much, Beth.

Today starts with Jeff at eight thirty, moves on to a cuppa with Chris over the road at eleven thirty and finishes with a governors' meeting at six, so I must look out all the paperwork.  It between times, I must take advantage of the fine weather and get some washing done and out on the line.  Beth has stayed here overnight and, I think, will be doing some sorting out of her office/workroom.  I have plenty of black bags, if needed!!

So that's that for today.  Have a great day, everyone.  xx

Tuesday 28 January 2020


Morning, everyone!

It's too dark to see what the weather is doing and, as I have towels wrapped around hair and body, there's no way I'm stepping out to check!!  However, the Beeb says that it's dry, skies are clearing and we may very well have sunshine for most of the day so that's cheering!

Yesterday held no surprises.  Knitter Knatter was spend undoing and re-kitting certain efforts but generally they are doing very well, bless them.
When I walked to tuition (just down the road) it was spitting with rain but by the time the hour was over it was throwing it down so one of the adults very kindly dropped me back in their car.  I was very grateful for that kindness; I'd have been soaked otherwise.

Today should be pleasant.  It is Slimming World group first thing and then, assuming the Beeb weather forecast is accurate, I want to spend some time planting bulbs.
I know that sounds odd and no, they aren't summer bulbs.  Last time I was at Hyde Hall, I bought some crocuses (I don't have any in the garden) and some tulips and I had a free gift of some scented narcissi.  I did mean to get them out in October/November but didn't.
On the bags it says best before the end of this January and a bonus is that I can see where all the other bulbs are as they're all coming up now.
So they're going out and, as they are already starting to shoot, maybe I will get a few flowers and, at the very least, some green colour where there are currently bare patches of soil.
Fingers crossed.

Later on there's a tuition session and after that Beth's coming over and she's treating me to a meal at Prezzo for my Christmas present.  We're getting a taxi there and back so I daresay something chilled, dry and white may be consumed and Slimming World won't get a look in!

And in between times, I have a jumper to stitch up and another one to get on with.  Also, Beth's staying the night so I must just check her room is OK.

It should be a nice day, hopefully for us all.

Monday 27 January 2020


Good morning.
The Beeb was right - we did get some very hazy sunshine in the morning.  It first came out as I was having breakfast so I popped upstairs to get properly dressed but, annoyingly, it had clouded over again by the time I came back down.  Oh well, thought I, never mind, but out it came again so I went straight out, having decided to take a stroll around Oaklands Park.

Oaklands is a smallish place, just outside the town centre and where the Chelmsford Museum is sited.  It's the sort of place to take the kids to what with the museum and two playground areas as well as a few tennis course, a cafe and adequate loos as well as car parking.

I sauntered right round the perimeter (as much as I could for mud) before going into the museum, partly to look around and partly to warm up before going back to the car and home.  I took some photos, of course, and here's a few.

 The Essex Regiment Museum is housed within the main museum and there are military reminders dotted all over the place.

 The old house to the left and the new block to the right.  They merge together pretty well, despite being very different in style.

 A carved 'totem tree'.

 There are a few 'scupture' thingies dotted around.

 In past times, this was a walled garden.  It would be lovely if they brought it back to its past glory.  As it is, it's a shut off waste of space, sadly.

 There are a few flowers out but it will look a lot nicer later on in spring and summer.

 A tram of the past.  Its sit up straight style led it to be called the 'toast rack tram'

Something to do with Crompton ( can't remember what) who was an electrical engineer, inventor and industrialist who was based in Chelmsford after his return from India.

It wasn't long after I got home that the clouds thickened and, indeed, it was already feeling a lot colder towards the end of my walk.  Then it started raining and by four fifteen all the curtains were closed to shut out the increasing gloom.  I'm glad I seized the opportunity to get some fresh air when I could.

I noticed that my snowdrops were looking rather nice so took a few photos.  I thinned them out a couple of years ago and they weren't great last year but it was worth it as they're coming up better this year.

Today is a normal Monday so it's knitter knatter club at twelve thirty followed by helping out in FS and then tuition.  Enough to keep me busy and out of trouble without being too much.  Before then it is planning, washing and drying, housework generally - the usual, in fact.
May the day go well for us all.  xx

Sunday 26 January 2020


Good morning.  First of all, a slightly belated welcome to new(ish) followers and thank you all who make comments on my daily ramblings.  I do love to get comments and yours are always so positive (I delete all the spammy stuff!).  They and you are truly appreciated.

Yesterday was embarrassing.  I know I remembered that a potential parent and student were coming round because I mentioned it in yesterday's blog.  However, after the usual early morning routine things (meds, emptying the dishwasher, getting meals prepped for the day, etc), I settled down to making some beeswax wraps from some fat quarters.  It's absorbing and strangely satisfying, slowly moving the iron over the parchment and seeing the wax underneath the top layer gently melting and being absorbed into the cotton.

As a result, I forgot to watch the clock and eleven my visitors knocked on the door and I was STILL IN MY BED CLOTHES!!!!  Eeeek.  I suppose it could have been worse - I could have just had a towel wrapped round me!  And of course, the living room was really messy with squares of cotton, bits and bobs, ironing board, iron, plastic bin bag protecting the table, etc.

Oh, my!

Fortunately, they were both the jolly kind so I dashed upstairs to get dressed super-speedily and when I came down, we all had a chuckle about it.  I know it would be OK when I said 'I'm really sorry, I was making beeswax wraps and forgot the time' as if it were the most normal occupation in the world and mum didn't blink an eyelid!  I think I'd rather not know what she said to others later, mind you!

And the outcome is that I have a new student.  I've actually taught this child before, when I was in my first year of retirement and did a three week cover of a Y1 class.  A very pleasant child and I know we will work well together.
It's really nice that people are talking positively about what I do - all my students apart from the very first one have come to me by word of mouth.

After that little contretemps, the rest of the day flowed much better, thank goodness.  It was so gloomy and damp that I stayed inside in the warm and did some inside exercise.  I finished the wrap-making and tidied up before settling down with knitting, book and telly.

I had some vague plans about getting the train to Colchester today and having a wander round, this being one of the items on my get-out-and-about list.  I looked up the trains and, unfortunately, there's no train between Chelmsford and the station I want (Colchester Town) at the weekends as it's a sort of off shoot of the main line, presumably for commuters.  The main line station is on the outskirts and too far away from the interesting bits!  I looked into a two day stay at the in town Premier Inn but very quickly realised that it was a very silly idea.  A day return is under a tenner, using my railcard so it would make much more financial sense to 'commute', using bus into town and train.  At the other end, the interesting bits are all within walking distance of the Colchester Town station.
So that's something for half term - a visit on the Monday and again on the Tuesday, if I would like to.  Fingers crossed for good weather now.

The weather forecast isn't great for today.  Light rain and a moderate breeze, says the Beeb, with the vague possibility of a bit of tantalising sunshine for an hour around midday.  Well, I will wait and see and, if the sun does poke its nose through the clouds, I will seize the opportunity.  Otherwise it's another day inside - good for the knitting anyway!

This dull and dismal weather, while not exactly getting me down, is becoming very boring.  Where's the sun?  Or snow?  On anything else really (apart from high winds)?  I really shouldn't complain - I'm snug and warm and retired, all very positive things so I'll put on my happy face and enjoy the day.  I hope you do too.  xx

Saturday 25 January 2020


Morning!  Welcome to the weekend.

Yesterday started off early so I decided to do something that irritated me for ages.  I took all the tins down from my tinned goods shelf, sorted them out and put them back in an organised way.  I ought to do that more often really as, to my shame, there were some jars of stuff right at the back that were so past their date I'm surprised they didn't explode when light reached them.  That was the bad thing.  The good thing is that now I know what's on that shelf, things are in order and I have plenty of choice when it comes to the Slimmer of the Week basket at SW.

After that, I picked up my prescription and then hopped a hundred metres down the road to Aldi where I stocked up for the week.  I won't go hungry now!
On the way back, and honestly, only just out of my way, I stopped off at Hobbycraft and had a most satisfying look round before finishing the journey home.

After unpacking and putting away, I did homey things until the cleaner arrived.  I do like to give her a clear run so I set out on my walk, thankful that the drizle had ceased and, while it was pretty damp underfoot, the air was dry.  I decided to walk down the main road to the traffic lights at the bottom and back and then to go up to Morrisons as there were a few things Aldi didn't have.  All in all, I was walking (or on my feet, anyway) for an hour and a half, which I was pleased with.

I had a message to say that my student had a bad cold and was staying off school so she was cancelling tuition.  Quite right too and I hope they feel better soon.

And I slept so well!  Lovely!

Today I have a meeting with a possible 'parent' but apart from that the house is clean and tidy and day's mine.  I'm getting on well with the beeswax wraps and need some more plus I'm making a few for friends as well so I'll get that done at some point, get on with my knitting and, perhaps, go out somewhere.

I rather fancied a trip to Ingatestone Hall but it's closed at the moment so maybe I will pop out to Danbury Park, another place I am ashamed to say I have never visited.  It depends on the weather really - I'm not going if it is wet.

Have a lovely day, everyone.  xx

Friday 24 January 2020


Good morning!  So here we are at the end of another working week (almost).  It started out gloriously sunny and frosty and is finishing up dull, dismal and damp, which is a real shame as that bright, cold weather was very cheering and invigorating, I found.

Yesterday was all about family with the family lunch.  To my delight, Dave (son) and Anna turned up.  Apparently, Dave had said they were coming but I had picked up that they weren't!  Silly me.  It wasn't a problem - I just got some broad beans out of the freezer to add to the veg-fest and decided that if the paprika chicken seemed to be going too quickly, I'd stick to vegetables.  However, there was no need for such self-sacrfice as there was plenty to go round with enough of the casserole and rice to make up two lunch-sized portions for the freezer.

It was a lovely time.  Lots of chat and laughter as we ate buffet style as my table really isn't big enough for seven!  All too soon, Dad left to get home before gloom set in and others left for their traditional pub crawl in London while Beth stayed around for a little while before she also went to do her shopping. 

It was a very happy day and, in a funny way, I was glad pottery was cancelled as I was pretty tired.

Today is back to normal, whatever normal means.
First thing, I am setting off for the surgery to p-p-pick up my p-p-prescription and then to Aldi, a hundred metres down the road, for my weekly shop.  On the way back, I might stop off at Hobbycraft as I go more or less straight past it.  Just for fun, you understand!

Then it's home to prepare for tuition, changed from yesterday, and to make sure the house is tidy for my lovely cleaners.  I'll definitely do some sort of exercise today as I missed yesterday's.

So not a very exciting day today but pretty pleasant all the same.  I hope you are having a good one too.  xx

Thursday 23 January 2020


Good morning, everyone.  First of all, thank you for the lovely comments yesterday; they were truly appreciated.

Sharon came round as expected and an hour later I felt a new person.  Although I have never done this, I can understand why some people have their hair done more regularly.  It is such a good feeling and a very relaxing time.

Beth was round too as Sharon does her hair at the same time.  She couldn't stay for long afterwards biut we did have time for a chat and to arrange my Christmas present as Beth is taking me out to dinner.  We've decided on Prezzo - we both like Italian, it's easy to get to in town, it has a really great vegetarian menu and it's not outrageously expensive.  I'm so looking forward to it!
(woo hoo!!!)
We have decided that we really ought to have a mum/daughter meal out together once a month.  Nothing lavish, just local, but there's some nice little eating places around here that don't cost a bomb so we're spoilt for choice.

Just before twelve I popped off to Lindsey's for my hour of personal torture - I mean, training.  I'm well into the swing of it now and she's starting to introduce more challenging elements.  I can certainly feel my arms this morning!

I rushed home again for a quick lunch before my friend, L, turned up for a cuppa and a chat and we talked pretty much non stop for over two hours before she had to go.  It was lovely and we will repeat the experience but maybe at the Flyer next time.

By the evening I was so, so tired.  I kept nodding off so, in the end, I went up to bed at just after eight and slept the clock round until just before five this morning.  I rarely sleep as long as that and now feel most refreshed!

Today was going to be a very busy day!

Some of my family are coming here for lunch.  Nothing posh but it will be lovely to have them all round and I've made a big casserole which, with rice and veg, will fill us up nicely.

Then it was going to be tuition but, because I wasn't sure of timings, I have moved that until tomorrow.

Then it was going to be pottery but I had an email saying that because of tutor availability (I presume they meant unavailability really) there would be no pottery this week.  That's disappointinmg because I wanted to see if I could have another, more successful go at the candle stand.  However, they've tacked an extra session on the end of this term so that's OK.

As it turns out, I could have done tuition today after all, but I'm not going to mess the parents about by changing it again.  Anyway, it means I can get properly cleared up after the family has left rather than shoving it all in the kitchen and shutting the door.

I'm really looking forward to today.  You have a good one too, OK?  xx

Tuesday 21 January 2020


Good morning!

Yesterday's walk round Roxwell was really lovely.  Bright sunshine and, as I was well wrapped up, it wasn't cold despite the fact that there was frost and ice in shadier spots at midday and beyond.

I parked in the village hall car park by the village sign and set off first right, then back another way, then through the churchyard and up
where I used to live and then back another way to the car.  All in all, it took about an hour, longer (and further) than I had expected.

I took photos, of course.

The village sign, new since my day, but then I did leave in 1985, over three decades ago.  In a way, it's remarkable that so many things have remained the same.

I think this is called the Mill House.  Roxwell brook runs past it so it could have been a working water mill at some point.  Something to find out.

There's a whole row of fenced off paddocks and the 'official' walk that I didn't do goes along the side of them.  There are stables there too.

The building in the middle is Duke's Farm.

Taken just because it's pretty!

Where I used to live.  It goes back quite a way and the garden is to the side (left).  It's had quite a lot of work done to it since then.

This used to be a fantastic restaurant called 'The Farmhouse Feast'.  It's very old and inside the floors were uneven, the stairs rickety and the beams at head level so you had to be careful.
It was such a treat to eat there.  Five courses for a set price - hors d'ouvres, soup (served in a tureen), main, dessert, petit fours and coffee, all for a set price and wonderfully cooked.
Such a shame it is no longer there, although the building is still called The Farmhouse Feast.

I was very sad to read this.  The village has a school, a village hall, a scout/guide centre cum reading room, a pre-school and a church but, as from the end of last week, no village shop.  I hope it does reopen again soon.

I rewmember I used to take my two, as children, down to spent their pocket money.  They never had any problems with numbers that total ten!

And finally, St Michael's and All Angels.
I got it wrong.  G. wasn't buried there, he was cremated but there was a memorial urn.  I couldn't find it; maybe when C left the village, it went with her.  Fair enough, I have no problems with that at all.
Or maybe I just didn't look in the right place.

I was able to sit and think for a short time - it was a good experience.

Today is another busy day.
At half past nine the lovely Sharon comes to do my hair and make me feel human again.  Then I have personal training from twelve to one and at two a friend is coming round for a cuppa and a chat.  I should sleep well tonight, don't you think?

Have a lovely day.  xx


Morning, everyone.  There's another hard frost outside and it's jolly cold so fingers crossed for another lovely and sunny winter's day today, just like yesterday.  It's so lovely to get some settled weather again.

Yesterday was a good day.  I got my indoors walk done plus some of Lindsey's workout as well so that started the day off well.  At knitter knatter club, one of the girls had got her huge ball of yarn into a right tangle so I spent the time unravelling it for her, something I always find strangely satisfying and very relaxing.  You have to be patient and take is slowly and gently as any hasty tugs will result in a tighter tangle.  I remember when I was little, Mum used to buy her yarn in hanks which I had to help her roll into balls.  I enjoyed the actual winding but found holding the hank between my two little hands made my arms ache.  Anyone remember doing this too?

After that and doing my bit in Foundation Stage, I popped over to Morrisons as I'd forgotten to get peppers in Aldi and can't manage without peppers!

Then it was tuition which went well.

So, as you see, a good day!

Today is a thing sandwich.  The bread and butter is SW group first thing and tuition late afternoon and the filling will probably be a walk in Roxwell.  It won't be as long as the Writtle walk because Roxwell is a smaller village and it's a road through village rather than set inside a surrounding road/roads.

I actually know Roxwell - I lived there for two years between London and moving where I am now and that's where my marriage finally cracked and broke so, in a way, not all happy memories, but it broke my heart (again) to leave as I'd always wanted to live in a village.   It's pleasant enough with a pretty church (hope it is open) and enough parking outside the village hall.  I just need to check that I can actually go a certain way - it might be a public footpath but it goes right through a farm so I need to be sure.

I borrowed this view from Google Maps (thanks, Google)

There is a set four mile walk online that looks really nice but it will be terribly muddy at the moment so I will save it for later on in the year when things have dried out properly.  Today I can start off on that walk and cut it shorter by turning right instead of left at one point.  Or do an even shorter walk and spend some time in the church/graveyard where my ex is buried.  I haven't visited there for ages now so it's about time I did really.

It looks like being an interesting day, doesn't it?  I hope yours is good too.  xx

Monday 20 January 2020


Good morning!  It's another chilly morning so the heating is up!

Yesterday was lovely.  I did some housework, prepped meals, sprinkled beeswax and generally pottered around until midday when I set off for Writtle, armed with my map (not that I needed it) and camera, well wrapped up against the elements.  I just walked the route around the outskirts of the village, more or less, which took about fifty minutes of reasonably brisk stepping out.  In the winter sunshine, it was delightful and so thought a number of other folk too, doing more or less the same thing.  It was cold though.  The frost lingered in shady spots all day and I was glad of my extra layers.

Houses on one side and this on the other.  

Today is quite busy, once it gets going.  It's Monday so knitter knatter club followed by helping out, home for a late lunch and, finally, tuition.  I don't think there will be an opportunity to walk outside so I will do a half hour with youTube.  I want to look up other villages in the area (there are plenty) because it really was lovely walking around Writtle yesterday.

There's a way into Hylands Park from Writtle too - I might do that some day and spend some time wandering around Hylands.  That would be pleasant.

Have a great day and enjoy the fine weather while it lasts!  xx

Sunday 19 January 2020

A week in pictures

Wednesday:  Boy, did it rain!

Thursday:  such a lovely splash of colour.

Friday:   beeswax wraps kit arrived

Saturday:  a visit to Galleywood Common on a cold, sunny day.

Sunday:  making beeswax wraps . . .

. . . on a cold . . .

. . . and frosty morning.

A lovely walk around Writtle at lunchtime - the pond had started to ice over.

Monday:  I just caught the last glow of sunset.

Tuesday:  A dive into the past - where I used to live.

Saturday 18 January 2020


Good morning.  Yesterday was a jolly chilly day with a frost that lasted well into the morning and this morning looks like being the same as far as the frost is concerned.  I hope there's some sun as well; yesterday was a beautiful day.

After going on about it for a few days, I finally did get to Galleywood for my walk.  It was, unfortunately, very, very muddy so I stuck to the proper paths but it's rather lovely and will be beautiful in the summer when all the little pathways through the trees and on the grass are dry and negotiable again.  There's woodland and grassland, ponds and heathland and, while it's not huge, it's big enough for some good walks.
 I took some photos - here's just a few.

The church of St Michael and All Angels is on the common.  I had a walk around the outside but couldn't go in as it was locked.  I don't think there's really anything special about it in terms of architecture, windows, brasses, etc, but it looks like a busy and friendly church, serving the community.

On the way there I stopped off at Aldi and on the way back at Tesco so now I'm all set up for the coming week.

Today, I'm hoping to drive out to Writtle and have a stroll around what is a very pleasant village.  I've looked on the map and worked out a route that will take me around the outside roads of the village and a shorter on in case I don't feel like doing the longer one.
Apart from that, I have no real plans, I'll just take the day as it comes.

What are your plans for today?


Good morning!  As I drew my bedroom curtains last night, I saw a gritting lorry making its way down the road and, sure enough, there's quite a frost this morning.  Brrrr.  Mind you, that means clear skies and, hopefully, a good walk later.

I never did get out yesterday.  We had periods of sunshine but there was rain in the air and it kept clouding over so I decided it wasn't worth it really.  I did pop out in the car across town to pick up a parcel.  It was a beeswax wrap making kit - I cheated and decided that for the first go I'd get everything together.  All it contained was some parchment, some beeswax pellets and some cotton cloth (I wasn't expecting that!) with some really good, clear instructions.

I was quite concerned not to get any wax on the ironing board so I put down a towel followed by an old wooden board and did the necessary on that.  It wasn't hard and I still have loads of wax left to make more.

I've wrapped some cheese up in one and covered a bowl with another one and they've both worked well so I'm really pleased.  I wonder if Beth would like some.

After the cleaners had worked their magic, I settled down with my knitting and laughed my way through one of the 'Goes Wrong' plays that I have recorded (it's set to record the lot as they come up).  It was my friend, Alison, who introduced me to the first one a couple of years ago, Peter Pan goes Wrong, and these current ones are just as funny and, actually, very clever in their way.

It was an evening of laughs really because the new 'Would I Lie To You' programmes, cancelled before Christmas due to the general election (boo), are now being shown and the one I watched was well up to standard.

So a bit of a lazy day really but enjoyable.

Today, as long as it's fine, I will definitely go over to Galleywood and, as I pass Tesco, I will pop in there on the way back and get a few bits and bobs; not a full shop but enough to be worth popping in for.

Before then, I have a meeting with a potential parent (that sounds odd - I mean for tuition) so I need to dig out my old list of What To Say or, if I can't find it, make a new one!  I'm quite pleased as this is down to a recommendation from a former 'parent' and starts in September, when I will have lost one of my current students to secondary school so it works out really well.

And then, later on, I need to give my pottery bag a good sort out.  There's quite a lot in it now, enough to sort into two bags, one for tools and the other for the rest of the stuff - WD40, card, clingfilm, etc, etc. etc

I've been pondering over the pottery thing and now I'm sure that I should have dried the clay off a bit first.  You live and learn.  By the end of the session on Thursday, I was inclined to forget about the candle stand and make something else but I've changed my mind and will give it another go.  I might also spray the board with WD40 to stop the slabs sticking to the board too, as trying to lift them off also distorted the shape.  Worth giving it a go, anyway.

Well, it's time for a second coffee and then to start the day so I'd better get moving!  Enjoy your Saturday,  xx

Friday 17 January 2020


Good morning.  After a very wet evening yesterday, it seems to have dried up again right now so fingers crossed.

I've been looking at my 'treats' list and, after seeing something on Facebook from Lindsey, I've booked up for a spa day at the end of February.  What a gadabout, eh?  I've never, ever been to a spa so it's on the 'have an adventure' list too.

I'm also umming and ahing about some more time at Bury St Edmunds, when the evenings get lighter again so I have longer days.  A while in the future, I know, but having a few plans is fun.

Yesterday worked out well.  I had to laugh; just before the meeting started, we were all sitting down when the fire alarm went off.  At first it was thought to be testing the bell, then a practise but no, it was a proper alarm.  So out we all went and waited in the car park until it was 'safe' to go back in.  It wasn't a fire, of course, but I have no idea what started it.  After that bit of excitement, the meeting passed without further incident, thankfully.

Pottery was frustrating.  The candle stand I'm in the middle of making was fine - nice and dry and I was able to smarten it up before putting it on the shelf for drying and firing.  The unglazed Christmas decoration that had somehow slipped through the net got glazed and that, also, is out for firing.
Then I set to and started making the second candle stand but would it go right?  Aaarrgghh.  Part of the problem, I think, was that it was a new block of clay, very soft and wet, and the 'panels' wouldn't hold their shape properly.  By the end of the evening I had achieved precisely . . . nothing.  It all went back in the bag and next time I will roll out a slab and dry it for a while using the resident hair/clay dryer before cutting it out and patterning it so it won't squish out.  Hopefully, next week I will have one to glaze and I must get online and order some spherical candles to go on top.

Today is an absolutely clear day apart from the cleaner coming.  After making sure the house is tidy and ready for her ministrations, I hope to drive across town to Galleywood common and have a stroll around there.  If the weather doesn't behave itself, I might go back to Oaklands Museum and have another go around the historical part.  I want to do something that gets me on my feel anyway.

I'm also going to start the month at a view sheet again so I can check the balance of what I do - not too much of one thing and not enough of another - and also to make sure I build in some rest and relax times.  At the moment the next weeks aren't too crowded but that does have a habit of changing quickly.

But first - another coffee.
Have a great day.  xx

Thursday 16 January 2020


Good morning, everyone.  It's rather a nice morning with dry, pinkish skies and hardly a breath of wind.  Yesterday started off wet, then out came the sun over lunchtime followed by a very, very heavy shower later on and, I think, a damp-ish evening.  I guess we can expect just about anything in the winter.

Many thanks to CrystalWitch who reminded me of the Leslie Sansome Walk at Home clips on YouTube.  I found them, chose the half hour one and enjoyed that very much so I was well on top of my exercise yesterday.  It means I can her my half hour done everyday without being at the mercy of the weather.  Great!

After a damp drive over to Billericay, J and I went off to a place called A S K which turned out to be a really nice Italian place with a very wide range of choices including, to my delight, four 'lighter' dishes. I'm glad it said the comparative 'lighter' rather than 'light' because I don't call 550-ish calories light, but I went for a 'small' (ha ha) pizza and salad and it was really delicious and a perfect amount.  The salad was more than a token salad too with lots of fresh, crunchy vegetables.  Really nice!

Between that and plenty of talking, gossipping, discussing, the time passed rapidly and it was a lovely time.  We've fixed up a few more things to do - J is interested in doing the Queen's Walk with me and ages ago we promised ourselves we would visit the National Gallery and the Portrait Gallery which are side by side but we never got round to it.

Also, I've mentioned Blake Hall before, where I go to get fabric (And Sew-On) and yarn/patterns (Sconch).  Well, J informed me that if you go further back on the property, there's a pottery shop that sells things like small pots of glaze, etc, so we're going to take a trip there, have lunch at the very nice cafe and then raid the pottery shop.  I hope she's right as I've looked on the web site and can't find any mention of it.  However, a trip to Blake Hall is always welcome, whatever, so it's on the plan of Things To Do!

It was sunny when I left Jackie's but on the way home it got darker and darker and the heavens opened.  I was glad not to be outside!

It was a really pleasant day.

Today I really need to do some tidying and sorting as things are getting more than a bit out of place.  Fortunately, I have nothing in the diary until three fifteen when I need to stroll to school for a meeting.  After that, it's home for a quick meal before pottery time!  Yay!   I will enjoy that very much indeed.

So today should be satisfying and enjoyable and I feel good about it.  May your day be as good in its own way.

Wednesday 15 January 2020


Good morning.  Well, we did get that wind although it was quite a bit later than predicted.  I brought the wind chimes in, not wishing to keep the neighbours up with their concert performance but I can put them back out as soon as it's light because it's calm again now, just very wet.

Jeff turned up and worked magic on the garden.  The last of the old flowers from last year are now in the bin (must remember to put it out this afternoon for tomorrow) and I can see the bulbs coming up.  They should be lovely in a few weeks.  Also, he mended one of my outdoor wooden pots, which was falling apart, wich I'm glad about as it's one of my tomato pots.  Yes, I'm starting to think tomatoes again - I always have sungolds but which others will I try this year?  I do like a variety.

As he finished, off I went to Slimming World, the first time at the Tuesday morning group and enjoyed myelf very much indeed.  I was well pleased to be slimmer of the week and now feel all encouraged!  Nice.

The rest of the day passed quietly with a good tuition session and I might possibly have got myself another student for September, but I'm not counting any chickens!  As I will be losing one, that would work very well for me.

On to today and the main thing is that I am off over to Jackie's and we're going out for lunch.  Jackie says there's a nice Italian place close to her where we can go so I am looking forward to that very much.

Apart from that, it's a quiet day but it's supposed to be rainy.  It's on days like this that I wish I had a treadmill so I could have my brisk walk without getting wet.  Perhaps that's something to think about in the future.

Well, that's about it.  Have a really good day and I hope everyone is safe, well and undamaged after the strong winds.

A week in pictures

Wednesday:  where the Christmas tree stood.  It's very bare now.

Thursday:  so nice to get the washing out on the line - shame about the rain later though.

Friday and Saturday:  Ooops, forgot!

Sunday:  Good old Hobbycraft.  This is for a simple jumper, the yarn doing the talking rather than the pattern.

And a walk out through Chignall St James.  Blustery wind but plenty of sunshine.

Monday:  a walk around Admiral's Park

Tuesday:  it may be raining but it was worth getting slightly damp to take this photo of the snowdrops, just starting to bud up and flower.  These are in the back garden and it really lifted my spirits to see them.