Sunday 30 June 2024

Sunday evening, 30-06-24 and a 3-E update

Evening, everyone.  The last day of June is nearly over and the weather seems to have resorted to Typical British Summer - cloudy, slightly damp and not that warm.  Not oodie- chilly but definitely warm cardigan!  The egg chair is under wraps again - that's a shame - but I can still sit in the garden room and be dry so that's nice.

I took a few photos . . .

The tomatoes are still a work in progress but looking very happy.
The End Is Nigh for this particular cucumber - maybe tomorrow, depending on whether I need it or not.

The new Broomfield Coach Trip newsletter landed in my mailbox and now I have booked a trip to see the Nutcracker in January.  Lovely ballet!

I had no specific plans for today so I decided to update my freezer audit.  It just gets a bit disorganised at times and I forget what's there and what's not there.  It doesn't take long now everything is in baskets - I just take one basket out at a time and it is so much more manageable.  I'm so glad I took the time to do a big sort out and reorganisation just before the garden room building started.  It's been such a time saver ever since and, because it is so easy, it gets done.  😇

At the beginning of the year and after my 3-Cs of last year (Contentment, Consistency and Confidence), I settle on three E words for 2024.

As we are now at the end of six months into 2024, I thought is was time for a brief update.  I thought I had done one three months in but can't find it.  Not to worry.

Energy:  Well, for my age, I think it is going pretty well.  I have spells of feeling lethargic, like anyone, but generally I think I approach my life with a fair bit of both physical and mental energy which keeps me cheerful and up to date with things.  And I'm still really enjoying the fitness classes.

Enjoyment:  It's been a good six months really. 
I've been enjoying my coach trips no end and I've had plenty of opportunities to catch up with friends over lunch dates, either at home or out.
At the moment, I am deriving much enjoyment from my little garden.  I was sitting in my egg chair the other day, first thing, coffee to hand and thinking how much I love my outside space after so many years of trying to get it 'right'. It's not perfect but it's mine and it's pleasant.  Working on contentment last year has had ongoing impact, I think.

Economy:  This was a biggie after a very, very spendy 2023.  It doesn't mean watching every penny (although I check do my account every day and keep my spreadsheet up to date) but it was all about making the best with what I have.  It has become a bit of a habit, knowing where everything is going.  That's exactly what I wanted.
I am very happy to splash the cash on those enjoyable coach trips instead of paying for cleaners.  I am so used to housework, etc, now and I am very glad it stopped although not for them and the company, obviously.

So, all in all, I'm pleased with how things are going.  Did you choose some words (or something else) to focus on in 2024?  How are they going?

Time to shut down the computer so I will say goodnight to you all.  Sleep well and see you next month.  xx

Saturday 29 June 2024

Saturday evening, 29-06-24

Evening, everyone.  Hasn't it been a beautiful day today?
It started with a coffee and book in the garden before driving over to Writtle Tea Rooms to meet the others for our occasional meander - not into town from Tower Gardens to the coffee shop and back again but through country pathways around the back of Writtle College.  It was really lovely.  Warm, sunny, not too hot . . . just perfect.
I took some photos so here they are.  No comments, just the photos.

We had our refreshments outside under a sunshade.  I really enjoyed my sparkling water with ice and lemon - most refreshing.  However my tooth is a sensitive bunny and, even though I was careful, It started off after a while.   It didn't help that the pollen count was astronomical and, despite the meds, I was sneezy and bunged up.  All together now - aaaaaaahhhhhhh.
Never mind - only two and a half days to go.  Woo hoo!

I slept part of the afternoon away which was lovely.  It's not been too hot, just very pleasant, a perfect summer day (apart from the pollen).

How has your day been this fine Saturday?

Nighty night, everyone.  Sleep well and wake refreshed.  See you tomorrow.  xx

Friday 28 June 2024

Friday evening, 28-06-24

Evening, everyone.  Just a quick one today.
It's not been so warm today, especially this morning.  No grumbles, just saying.  My bedroom should be lovely and comfortable this evening.
I'm leaving the egg chair uncovered overnight so it has better not rain!!

I did the usual Friday bits and bobs.  Slimming World first and then I rushed off to do some food shopping which I am taking off July's budget because that is when I will eat it.  It's all swings and roundabouts anyway really - what's left over either gets saved or it runs into the next month so it's playing with numbers and just keeping up to date.

I got a reference written for a friend and sent it off so I ticked that off the list.  And, to be honest, that was about it. 
Oh - and only one tooth-twinge today.  Yay!!
(By that, I don't mean a little hurt, I mean an ache that goes on a bit and gets worse.  Only one is really good.)

So - the kitchen is tidy, tomorrow's meals are planned and it is time to chill.  Have a lovely evening, everyone.  Take care.  xx

Thursday 27 June 2024

Thursday evening, 27-06-24

Good evening, everyone.  It's been such a delightful day today, weather wise.  Not so hot and with a refreshing breeze to keep things manageable.  Hoping tomorrow is the same.

My tooth behaved itself a bit more - just two sessions that responded quickly to minimal pain killers.  What I dread is infection so the fact that it's variable and responsive eases my mind considerably.  Yes, I am a wimp!!

I went to personal training early, rescheduled from yesterday afternoon and it was fresh and not too sweaty.  A really good time chatting to Lindsey as I worked.

Then Chris came over and we sat in the garden room with good coffee and plenty to say and it was great.

Later on, I was reading through the report I needed for the Teams meeting scheduled for late afternoon when I message pinged through saying that very few people were able to make the meeting so it would be rescheduled.  So a bit more me time!  I had to write the report anyway so it isn't wasted.

As it's nearly the end of the month, I had a good look at my finances and, despite dental fees and other stuff, it makes for better reading than the end of May.  Phew.

So, really, it has been a nice day all round.

Thank you for your lovely comments on yesterday's post.  What a great bunch you are - hugs all round.

And finally - will I be able to pick this at the end of next week?  Fingers crossed.

Good night, everyone.  Sleep well.  xx

Wednesday 26 June 2024

Wednesday evening, 26-06-24

 Good evening, everyone.

Today, I have been remembering my lovely dad who passed away on this day 2021 (and that's me about five or six years ago too - goodness, I have aged since then!).

I still miss them so much, my dear Mum and Dad.

Anyway, moving on, today has been dominated by sorting out upstairs and then getting up to date with my Governor's monitoring visit reports for SEND and Phonics.  I used to be so good at writing reports but I'm out of practice now so it took me ages.
Thankfully, Lindsey texted to say would I like to go to personal training early tomorrow morning when it will be much fresher.  It has been quite hot again today so I accepted with gratitude.
So I managed to get the reports done and sent off.  Phew.

Have a great night's sleep, everyone, despite the heat.  xx

Tuesday 25 June 2024

Tuesday evening, 25-06-24

Evening, everyone.  It's been a bit of a scorcher here today but not too hot to do some washing, line drying and ironing.  I love the smell of ironed line dried clothes and bedding.
I also washed my oodies and they are now away.  I doubt I will need them again until the autumn (fingers crossed).

Chris and I walked down to Groove in a really pleasant little breeze.  Ditto back again afterwards.  The actual class was very hot and sweaty and one had to focus on the fact that it was good for one!!
Once back, the day just passed doing the usual stuff.  I didn't clean upstairs so have that to do tomorrow and I'm not sure I can stay awake to watch Sewing Bee - not to worry, it's on iPlayer anyway.

I now have my fans out, one in the living room and one in my bedroom so that should keep me comfortable tonight.
How has it been your way?

All the best, everyone, sweet dreams to us all.  Remember to up your fluid intake at the moment.  xx

Monday 24 June 2024

Monday evening, 24-06-24

Hello again, everyone.  It's been a scorcher here today.  No complaints - it was nice not to feel chilly - but I might dig out the fan and set it up in my bedroom tonight.

I took another photo across the garden fairly early in the morning sunshine.  Here you go . . . it's definitely all looking summery now.

And here's a promise of plenty of tomatoes by August.  I just love tomatoes anyway and garden picked ones are simply the very best.

Well, the day started off with Circuits.  Some of the stations were outside and some inside - I did prefer it inside to be honest, in the cool shade but it was all good.  There were six of us today which was jolly.

Actually, no - the day started off with an exchange of messages with my friend who was going to come and stay for a few days.  We have had to reschedule but no worries, it will happen at some point.

Once home from Circuits, it was the usual routine - breakfast and then housework.  Downstairs today, upstairs tomorrow.  Then it got warmer so I was glad to take it easy and read/knit.  

I had two parcels.  One was the Slimming World Kitchen meal box (and they are really very good indeed) and the other was some printer ink.  I used to get through loads of ink when I was always printing out resources for tuition sessions but not now so, when the black print started to get patchy, I found I didn't have any replacements so ordered some.  What I have now will last me for ages so that's good.

I'm now relaxing after dinner and cleaning the kitchen.  I'll pop out shortly and water the garden and then it is wind-down time.  
I hope the warmth doesn't create any sleep difficulties for any of us.  Take are, sleep well and stay cool.  xx

Sunday 23 June 2024

Sunday evening, 23-06-24

Evening, one and all.  It has been a gorgeous day here, so warm and sunny.  I can almost hear the plants cheering in the sunshine.

This evenings photos are the runner beans which are going great guns now and will be climbing round the canes soon . . .
. . . and the little pot of mixed leaves before I thinned them out.  I had the thinnings in my lunchtime salad, feeling very gastro-posh.  They were nice too with some flavour despite their smallness and newness.  It will be so very nice to pick my mixed leaves for my salads soon.

I also got round to planting out some bedding dahlias, a nicotiana something-or-other and some foxgloves that Val gave me.  I know they are invasive and with poisonous seeds but I do like them and never had them when the children were little - and I include Alex in that.  So I have only just got round to it.  I was chatting to Val when we were at the garden centre saying I would like to look for some plants and she said she had loads coming along so she would give me some.  Very kind.
She brought them round on Thursday and now they are in the middle bed and we will see.

I had intended to try and last out without going shopping this week but I just had to as the
 salad and veg stuff was pretty much all used up.  I popped round to Morrisons first thing and now I'm well stocked!
I did the gardening I had planned and I popped over to Beth and Alex with the box of washing/ironing so that's all done.

There's been a bit of toothache today but, actually, not nearly as much as yesterday, so it seems to be easing off.  One good thing - it has stopped me nibbling between meals, even at fruit, in case it starts up again.   Nine days to go before it gets sorted.

Well, that's about it so I will get this posted and then start the evening wind down.  I hope we all have a great night's sleep.  Sweet dreams to you all.  xx

Saturday 22 June 2024

Saturday evening, 22-06-24

 Evening, everyone.
It's been a funny old weather day today - rain, sunshine, and when I opened my curtains this morning, the most beautiful rainbow I have seen in the longest while.  By the time I rushed downstairs and grabbed my camera, it had gone and the rain was starting.  Can't have a rainbow without some rain as well as the sunshine - a fact of life as well as of weather.

Anyway, not the best-weather day this week but it's supposed to be lovely again tomorrow.

Just one photo from the garden today - I think baby cucumbers are just so very cute and there are so many on my two plants.  They all seem pretty healthy too which is nice, although I expect some will drop.

The mixed leaves I sowed are growing nicely too.  I need to pinch some out now but, maybe, in three weeks or so, I will have garden leaves and garden cucumber in my salads.  The tomatoes will probably take rather longer.

I had a very lazy day today after a busy week.  I'm just a bit worried about the toothache which comes and goes; I just hope it doesn't turn into an infection.  At the moment it is OK but it's had a few rebellious spells today.  Thank goodness for meds . . .

I caught up with the finale of Doctor Who - people are saying it was a bit of an anti-climax but I really enjoyed it.  Proper Doctor Who with just a bit of mystery going forward into either the Christmas Special or the next series.

What I haven't done yet is caught up with Sewing Bee - must do that tomorrow!

If you spotted the Tardis, well done.  If not - bottom left hand corner (ish).

Good night, everyone, and sleep really well.  Sweet dreams.  xx

Friday 21 June 2024

Friday evening, 21-06-24

 I was going to write 'welcome to the evening of the longest day of 2024 but that was yesterday and I missed the chance.  OK, so - welcome the evening of the first getting slightly shorter day!

Yesterday (Thursday) was a very pleasant day indeed.  Good weather, warm but not hot and I enjoyed the trip.

We set off at eight and arrived in Wroxham just after ten.  I had a very pleasant lady sitting next to me; good to chat too but not over-chatty.

When we got there, we all piled off the coach and went our separate ways.  I decided to tackle the shops first and then find the Miniature World.

As I went past the water, there were so many swans, a real colony of them, plus cygnets and other water fowl.

Wroxham is dominated by one name - Roy.  Roys has a food hall, a sort of Matalan type shop, a rather nice supermarket and theml over the road, a department store and a garden centre.  Oh, and a filling station too, I believe.  I really enjoyed looking round them all (except for the filling station!)
Then I set off for miniature World which was a sort of warehouse type building housing a variety of miniature railway layouts from around the world plus some dolls' houses, Scalextric type stuff, old toys and model boats.  Here's a few photos:

Spot the Tardis.

In the afternoon, we all gathered for the boat cruise along part of the Broads.  The chap in charge gave us a potted history of the Broads and all about the water fowl and the various boating activities.  There's some serious money tied up in houses and boats along the banks in Wroxham and I sort of coveted - but not that seriously!  We sailed along for an hour, then turned and sailed back again.

A few photos.

The famous Norfolk reed beds.

It was lovely - yes, there was a bar on board and some people got very talkative, but it wasn't too hard to block it out and just enjoy the peace of the river, the birds and the sunshine.

And then it was onto the coach for our journey home, very slow for the first part around Norwich but fine after that.  Home by half past six and I slept so well.

Today has been a bit busy, I suppose, but pleasant all the same.  I went to Slimming World first and then popped into Morrisons to get some flowers.  After breakfast I got on with some housework which has been sadly neglected this week.  This afternoon, Sharon came.  She's started working again after losing her husband and it was so nice to see her again - the flowers were for her from me and Beth.
I did some washing, line drying and ironing and finished ironing Beth and Alex's clothes too so I think it's been a very useful day.
And just to cap it all, the new Pinch of Nom book landed on my mat early evening so I am looking forward to having a good read through this weekend.

Just one more thing.  Here's the eye drops I was raving about, in case anyone's interested.  

I have to stop as I have an online chat coming up shortly.  Take care, everyone, sleep well and have a lovely, sunny day tomorrow.  xx

Wednesday 19 June 2024

Wednesday evening, 19-06-24

Hi, everyone, good evening to you.

It's been a lovely day round here.  The weather has been amazing -  warm and sunny with a refreshing breeze.

Diane arrived here just after nine so we went straight into town and started the morning off with a coffee before wandering around various shops, chatting and laughing.  I got a few necessities in Boots including some eye drops to soothe my itchy eyes which worked like a miracle.   

I also got myself some summer trainers in Next.  I tried to copy a photo from their site but it didn't work.  They're not really trainers, more a sort of casual summer leisure show.  The outside is a sort of while lace effect and it has lace holes but no laces as there's elastic across underneath.  I'll try to remember to take a photo so you can see.  I think they're really nice.

Once home again, Diane stayed for a coffee and then she went and I hopped off to personal training which was, as always, good.

It has felt quite busy this evening too.  I did some washing for Beth earlier on and got that off the line and sorted and then I got my jolly bag ready for tomorrow because . . .

. . . I'm off on another trip.  This one is to Wroxham and then a two hour 'cruise' on the Broads.  The forecast is for lovely weather so fingers crossed.  It should be lovely.  There may not be a blog tomorrow evening but there will certainly be one Friday evening.

Well, I am tired and I do need to be up early tomorrow so I will love you and leave you.  Night - night, everyone.  Sleep well.  xx

Wednesday morning, 19-06-24

Morning, everyone.  Really sorry again for last night's non appearance.  I'm getting very tired in the evenings at the moment and it might be connected with the hay fever.  After several years of only having it very lightly, this year it's back with a vengeance and it seems that when it's been worse, I am more tired in the evenings.
Anyway, apologies and thank you for bearing with me.

Things are getting a bit exciting on the vegetable front!

Baby tomatoes!!  Three of them in this photo but there are others.  All of a sudden, there they are.  It'll be a while, of course, before they are ready to pick but this current spell of warm sunshine should help quite a bit.
Baby cucumbers too.  After pinching out several male flowers, the ladies have decided to come along.  These may not mature, of course, they may drop off, but I got ridiculously excited all the same.

The babies are all on one plant at the moment.  The other has produced flowers by the dozen (almost) but all male.
And the runner beans are coming along well.  I'm sure you think I bang on about the runners far too much but they remind me so much of Mum and Dad.  They always grew a couple of double rows of beans each year and handed the over abundance out around the neighbourhood and to any family who chanced along!  There was always a box of them at the back of the church on Sunday mornings too.  It was only in the last few years of their lives that they didn't grow any runner beans.
I have neither the space nor the inclination to grow so many but, all the same, they bring back happy memories and there should be enough produce to share with Beth and Alex and, perhaps, with Chris.  They freeze reasonably well too.

On the other hand, the dwarf beans have just stopped.  Not sure why apart from having been nibbled a bit (I've sprayed them now) so I say encouraging things to them, I've sown a few more seeds and hope.
The blueberries are getting bigger.  There's not many, just eight little clusters, but they will taste great.
The strawberries are coming to an end but I've had several pickings and they have been great this year.  I will need to peg down the runners to get babies this year.  Usually I just try to cut most of them off.

Yesterday was one of those busier days.
Chris and I walked down to Groove, enjoyed the session - well, I did and I am sure Chris did too - and walked back again, chatting nineteen to the dozen.
After breakfast, I drove over to Beth's (she has the week off) and, while she and Alex sorted through several boxes of 'stuff', I shredded two boxfuls of very old and unwanted paperwork.  Shredding is quite relaxing really, I find.
Then it was back home again and into school for my other Governor's meeting, this time with the Sendco.  There was a lot more to talk about so it took rather longer.  Now I have two reports to write.  Ho hum.  Well, they won't get done today - or tomorrow!

Maybe it's not surprising I was tired, what with all that and hay fever.

Today is also full but should be nice.  Diane is coming over and we are going to have a girly morning in town.  I may spend but I will try not to spend too much.  I did have that appointment with the dental hygienist but I've rescheduled that now.  Finally, there's the usual personal training session with Lindsey which should ensure a good night's sleep.  Hope so, because I am out tomorrow.  But that's a story for tonight.

I hope you have slept well and today is wonderful for you.  Stay safe, remember the sunblock and the water, and see you this evening (I hope).  xx

Monday 17 June 2024

Monday evening, 17-06-24

Evening, everyone, and hasn't it been a nice day today.  It certainly has here, pretty much wall to wall sunshine and a great drying day.

I woke pretty early which worked really well.  I got plenty of meal prep done and dusted and two loads of washing on the line before heading off to Lindsey's for circuits.  She'd got all the stations set up outside and it was so nice out in the sunshine.  Quite hot but a good-hot not a bad-hot.

Once home, after a quick breakfast, I headed off into school with my governor's hat on to discuss phonics in KS1 with the phonics coordinator.  I've always been very keen on good phonics teaching, ever since I was a student in the dim and distant past so I really enjoyed hearing how it is tackled now (not that different to when I taught it eight years or so ago).
He's going to arrange a few dates for me to come in again and observe a few phonic lessons, something I'm really looking forward to.

Once home again, I hung out the third load of washing, got the first two in, got it all ironed, did some housework and generally kept myself busy.  A very satisfying day.  The only thing I need to do now is take everything up and get it put away - I'll do that when I go up at bedtime.

I took this photo this evening so the light isn't the best but the flowers are lovely.  
Sleep well, everyone.  xx

Sunday 16 June 2024

Sunday evening, 16-06-24

Hi, everyone.  Maybe the weather has turned because it has been pretty nice today with plenty of sunshine and a few gloomy spells.  Also, it has felt comfortably warm, thank goodness.

I didn't do much this morning but this afternoon I went over to Beth's to help her with a mega clearout she has started, coming home with a pile of ironing (now done) and some sewing to work on sometime this week.  Not tomorrow though, it's going to be quite a busy day, one way and another.

Has your Sunday been a good one?

Sleep well, everyone, and have a great day tomorrow.

Sunday morning, 16-06-24

Hi, everyone.  It's a morning blog because I was so very weary yesterday evening.  I had a great night's sleep though, so am feeling brighter again now.

I'm getting the occasional twinge from the bad tooth which makes me both very glad I only have to wait another fortnight-ish before my appointment and very careful about how I chew on that side, especially after carelessly biting on a piece of raw carrot and nearly hitting the ceiling.  Oh, that hurt!  😖

The tomatoes seem to be doing nicely.  No babies yet, though, and a bit of warmth and sunshine would help.  At least I don't have to water them that often.
Ditto for the ones in pots and the two cucumber plants.  They are different kinds and the expected height is very different.  All the flowers so far have been male ones so I have pinched them out.  Hopefully, it won't be too long . . .

As for the beans, after a slow start, the runners (left and below) have decided to get a move on and, assuming these all survive, there's plenty to feed me and probably some for Beth and Alex too.  We all love runner beans.

The dwarf beans though - after a good start, they have been nibbled to death by something.  Some are just a bare stem now, sadly.  However, it is not too late to sow more outside so I think I might plant some in pots and plant them on when they are bigger - or just plant some more straight into the pot and hope.  What would you do?

We had planned one of our occasional walks yesterday, some of my SW friends and I, and we met up in the car park at Tower Gardens.  And it started raining.  Now, we are not wet weather walkers, any of us, so we made a quick decision to drive out to the Writtle Tea Rooms and have a good old chat instead.
So we did and it was lovely!!
(and the rain hammered down so it was definitely the right decision) 
There's another walk planned in a fortnight so fingers crossed.

Well, better start my Sunday, I suppose.  There's a kitchen to sort out and I'm sneezing so must take my hay fever meds soon.  It's been a very sneezy, snuffly couple of weeks but my symptoms rarely last much beyond Wimbledon fortnight so the end is in sight!

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone, whatever you have planned.  Take care and stay safe.  xx

Friday 14 June 2024

Friday evening, 14-06-24

Evening, everyone.  
It's a short one today because I really haven't done all that much.  I went to SW group which was really good, came home, did some housework, carried on with catching up on sleep and generally chilled.  I took some photos and then deleted them before saving them which was a bit frustrating.  Oh, well . . .

Tomorrow might be a bit more lively, we will see.
Sleep well, everyone, pleasant dreams.

Thursday 13 June 2024

Thursday evening, 13-06-24

Good evening, everyone.

Well, where do I start?  Back to Wednesday, I think.  My friend, Jeff, turned up at around eight and half an hour later the overhanging tree from next door had been lopped back (it was touching the shed roof) and my brown bin was chock-a-block full.
I gave Jeff an item of garden equipment last year and, in exchange, he has given me a few sessions of working in my garden and this was the second of the two.
It's made a huge difference to the light down at the bottom of the garden.

A bit later, I dug out that bag I bought for one day jollies and used the list you lovely people so helpfully contributed to.  I'm keeping the list I made in the bag because some things had to come out.  Things like pain killers, wipes, tissues, etc, even an umbrella as I have several (blame Mum and Dad) can stay in the bag but other items like my sunglasses, purse, etc, will be needed from day to day.
And I'll say here - I am so glad I bought it - it was great!

I had an online exchange with Lindsey.  We had rescheduled personal training because of me going out but she had forgotten a prior appointment.  I can't make Saturday morning so we agreed to leave personal training for this week.

My internet connection was still playing up so I went back on line, they sent me an email with instructions, I followed the instructions with crossed fingers and, lo and behold, it's all hunky dory again now.  I was most relieved.  Well done, Virgin.  I know they don't always get it right but my experiences have been pretty good and I like to be quick to praise.

And then, out to the pick up point for the coach.  I was very early but I would rather be early than late.  The coach arrived on time, we all piled on and I had a seat next to a very pleasant lady.  She wasn't very chatty which was fine by me because nor am I really, blog to the contrary, so after exchanging a few words of introduction, we got out phones/kindles/etc.
It is very nice coaching through London (I'd hate to drive) in the rush hour but it was very, very busy and I was so glad I had a sort of picnic meal rather than having to find somewhere to eat - which would probably have been one of the eating places inside the RAH.

Not the best photo, sorry.

It was pleasantly mild and I turned all student-y and sat on the Albert Memorial steps to have my 'dinner'.  It was lovely - there was a great vibe and everyone looked and sounded happy.  On the grass there was a group of what looked like 'posh' young men playing croquet and behind me there was a line of young teens, all wearing similar tracksuit tops and with very smart hair - the girls had their hair up, ballet style so I wondered and I was right, the school name on their tracksuit tops was in the programme for small non-dancing parts.
They were an absolute credit to their school - sitting, chatting, laughing and 100% well behaved.
(you can tell I was a teacher!)

I had to take this photo, didn't I?
Inside is such an impressive space
I'm always impressed by the ceiling.  Those upside down umbrella sort of shapes are all about sound quality but they look rather good too.
It's hard to see clearly but this is the view I had of the performing area.  It was a ballet in the round - in the oval really - and we had a brilliant view.  Not too close, high up enough to get the complete picture but close enough to see facial expressions and movement detail.  It was brilliant.

I couldn't take any photos of the actual ballet, of course, but it was brilliant with the well known choreography adapted to take account of giving an immersive experience and the fact that the dancers had a lot further to travel on stage.  Sixty swans there were - it was breathtaking at times.  Minimal scenery, great use of a smoke machine for the two lakeside scenes, really atmospheric and, of course, that music.  Just wonderful.
I had the best time ever.

I got home around half past midnight and woke at around six so today has been bleary eyed.

As always on Thursday, I had a good old natter with Chris over coffee and the rest of the day has been pretty much spent keeping warm (it's cold again and I turned the heating on) and snoozing intermittently.

One economical thing I did was make the decision not to renew my National Trust membership.  I am very sorry about that but there just aren't enough HT places round here to make it worth the money and £69 is a lot to spend and not use properly, isn't it.  I nearly cancelled last year and then decided to see how the year went and I don't think I have used it once.  A shame but there you go!

So that's the last two days and they've been really good.  I have pretty much a free weekend now that my friend is coming in a fortnight instead so I can get the house back in order again and then chill.  Nice.

Enjoy your evening, everyone, and have a great day tomorrow.

Tuesday 11 June 2024

Tuesday evening, 11-06-24

Hello, everyone.  It's turned all damp outside after a dry but rather chilly day.  I've been wearing a winter jumper and felt just comfortable, no more.

It was the first Groove class of the new block this morning and a couple of the routines were a big blast from the past - anyone remember Do Wah Diddy Diddy by Manfred Mann and the Swinging Blue Jeans' Hippy Hippy Shake?   Great fun all found.

A little while later I found my adulting hat and set off for the dentist.  This time it was an extremely good looking young man - he looked young enough to have just left school but he was a 'doctor' by title so he couldn't have been.  He was very, very nice, very gentle, very reassuring and I no longer have a painfully sharp edge.  OK, I still have an edge but it's rounded off and doesn't hurt in the least bit, thank goodness.
The only treatment I need is that tooth and he reckons a filling is all that is needed.  There's a bit of decay there but no hint of infection and, as it is sensitive, the nerve is still good.
Everything else is in good nick which is nice to know at my age.

I have an appointment for the beginning of July!

An annoying thing is that my internet connection/equipment/something is causing issues.  It all went down this morning, then it came back up again but while my desktop has connection fine, my laptop, my kindle and my phone don't recognise any connection.  That's a real nuisance - the phone is OK with 4G or whatever it is called, but I can only get YouTube and iPlayer on desktop and phone, not on smart TV, laptop or Kindle.
They said see if it is back tomorrow and get back in touch if it isn't.  Hmmm . . .

I just hope the connection to the desktop stays OK or I will be annoyed.

Anyway - there won't be a post tomorrow in any case because I am swanning off to London in the afternoon, to the Royal Albert Hall to see Swan Lake.  I'm so, so looking forward to it and I'll tell you all about it on Thursday.
Until than, have a lovely Wednesday and Thursday, stay safe and have fun.  xx

Monday 10 June 2024

Monday evening, 10-06-24

Hi, everyone, how are you?

Today started off very wet and windy.  Cold too.  Then the sun came out, then it rained, sun, rain, until early evening when it cleared up properly.  It really doesn't feel that warm though, even in the sun.

The first circuits of the block was really good.  There were just three of us - two were on holiday and one couldn't come.  It was a lot of fun though with 30 second activities and then move on quickly.  I really enjoyed it.

I tackled my guest room today and got it all ready for the weekends.  However, my friend and I have had to reschedule so she's coming in a fortnight, at the end of the month instead.  Not to worry, these things happen, don't they?

Bean count:
dwarf beans        6
runner beans        10

Don't they look cute?

This one is short and sweet - I hope your day has been great and that tomorrow is the same.
Sleep well.  xx

Sunday 9 June 2024

Sunday evening, 09-06-24

Good evening, everyone.  Have you had a pleasant Sunday?
It started off beautifully warm and sunny here and I decided to dress pretty with a summer dress rather that cropped jeggings or similar.  That was nice - I don't often wear dresses or skirts nowadays.
Then I sat outside in the warm sunshine with a book and my coffee.  Sheer bliss.

It's a shame the sun didn't stay around.  By the afternoon, it was cloudy and not nearly so warm so I stayed in.  I had a really nice online chat with Alex and watched telly.  A day of rest really.  I'd intended to do some weeding but didn't really have the inclination so - didn't!

The week ahead is rather good.
Lindsey's classes start again tomorrow.
I have the dentist on Tuesday which I wouldn't necessarily call good but I'm hoping he can do something about that sharp edge, even though it's officially a check up.
On Wednesday, it is the trip into London to the RAH to see Swan Lake.  REALLY looking forward to that.
On Thursday it's the usual coffee and chat with Chris and my order from Slimming World Kitchen should arrive.  SW has ventured into the meal delivery service, like Hello Fresh and Gousto, and I'm giving it a go to see if it is any good.  It's expensive - aren't they all - but if it's good, I might make it a monthly treat thing.
And then on Friday, a long time and very dear friend is coming to stay for a few days.  I haven't seen her for ages so that will be so good.

It should be a great week.

Bean count:
dwarf beans     still 6
runner beans     now 9 (just)
I won't continue with this much longer.  It was meant to be a light hearted reference to the fact that I have issues with bean germination.  Not this year though, by the looks of things.

Well, time to catch up with Sewing Bee.  Enjoy the rest of the evening, everyone, and see you tomorrow.
Sleep well!  xx

Saturday 8 June 2024

Saturday evening, 08-06-24

Good evening, all.  Had a nice day?

It's been good round here.  For a start, the weather was pleasant.  Sunny morning and afternoon although it did cloud over around lunchtime.

I met up with Beth and we headed off into town, first of all to the Cotswold shop to have a good look at the bedroom furniture Beth really liked.  She took some samples of flooring too and, after a lot of discussion and trying things against other things, she made some decisions and a very pleasant lady priced it all up for Beth and discussed all sorts of related stuff with her.  
This is the range she's choosing from:
The furniture looked really nice against the walls so Beth found out what colour the walls were painted and that, I think, is what she is going for.  It's callen ammonite and is a Farrow and Ball paint, although she might see if there's a Dulux match.

Then we headed into John Lewis where we spent a most enjoyable half an hour in the Jo Malone area where Beth very kindly treated me to some perfume, the English pear and freesia scent which is very pleasant - very light and summery.  So very kind of her.
Then we went up to the cafe where I treated her to a cheese scone (hardly fair exchange but never mind) while I was very good and had a black coffee and the apple I had brought with me.

After a trip to Tesco to get some stuff for tomorrow, we headed off back to Beth's and then I came home.  It was all lovely and mother/daughter-ish and we both really enjoyed the time.

And that was the day over, more or less.  I still haven't watched Sewing Bee so that's a pleasure for tomorrow.

And, finally . . . 
dwarf beans     6
runner beans    8
Yes, really!

Good night, everyone, sleep well and have a lovely day tomorrow . . .  xx

Saturday morning, 08-06-24

Good morning, everyone.  Apologies for yesterday evening - it's the usual excuse of tiredness.  Will explain below.
But first . . .

Bean count:
dwarfs     6
runners    4!!  
All of a sudden, bang on fourteen days, the runners are cooperating!  That's made me happy!  I need to buy some canes soon - I don't have any tall enough - unless there's some in the garage.  Must check.  

I woke really early yesterday morning - and when I say really, I mean even for me.  Twenty past two!  And I could not get back to sleep again.  So that was a great start.  The hay fever has really hit now and the sharp tooth wasn't helping.  I wonder if the chemist has something I could use to cover that sharp edge.  I might go and ask.

It was quite a busy day too.   Slimming world first and it wasn't a great result but there you go!
I did a load of washing which dried nicely on the line which means that I have two loads to iron today, most likely this morning.

I went round to a friend's for lunch.  She lives in Hutton so that meant a drive down the A12 (not my favourite road) and getting held up by pothole repairs bu we shouldn't complain - at least they are being done.  A had a lovely time with A though as we had a lot to catch up on.  She told me a much easier way back home again and that's the way I will go from now on.  There's a lot of road improvements on the A12 at the moment and that's causing hold ups and would have stopped me getting off in the usual place so I'm glad to have been given an alternative.  It's country roads, not as fast but so much more pleasant.

Come the evening, I had a scheduled online chat although it was hard to keep my eyes open at times so I decided to keep this until Saturday morning.

The sun's shining at the moment, as it did much of yesterday, so that's nice.  I have the ironing which I can do while watching the new Doctor Who and, if time permits, I haven't seen this week's Sewing Bee although I do know who was eliminated (no surprises there).
I'm due at Beth's at 12 and we're walking into town - well, I'm walking and she is wheelchairing - to look at her favourite bedroom furniture choice in The Cotswolds Company - we're lucky enough to have a shop - and she says she also fancies a cheese scone in John Lewis!!  I will try to stick to coffee and will take an apple in my bag, I think.

I'm hoping to do the usual evening post but, if not, I'll be back Sunday morning.  Until then, have a great day with plenty of sunshine.  xx

Just to add a bit of colour . . .

Thursday 6 June 2024

Thursday evening, 06-06-24

Evening, everyone.  

Today's bean count:
dwarf      5
runners    0

It was another sunny start to the day and, after I had opened up the garden room in preparation for Chris coming over, I took photos.  This one makes me feel really happy.  

It's just as well I had the happy moment because as I was brushing my teeth this morning, I suddenly felt a sharp bit - the corner had broken off one of my back teeth.  It doesn't hurt - I mean the tooth doesn't hurt but I have a very sore tongue which is a bit of a nuisance.
I've booked an appointment with the dentist for next Tuesday, the first they had for a non emergency.  Hopefully, it will be OK until then and the soreness of my tongue will have eased off by then.

Poor old Lindsey didn't have a very good journey back from Ibiza so SET this morning was cancelled.  OK by me, it just gave me a bit more time.
Chris and I sat out in the garden room for our coffee and chat.  It's going to be really nice in there when (if?) it gets hot and it is nice and shady.

Then I set out to Longacres to meet up with Val for lunch and a wander around the plants.  I bought some bedding dahlias and a nicotiana sylvestris which is half hardy so - we will see.  We also looked at paint in B&Q because I need to start thinking about what colour I want so that when Ray does start, I will know.  There doesn't seem to be exactly what I would like at the moment which is a bit of a pain and those cards that had about five related shades on them don't seem to be a thing any more which is a shame.  I'm glad I am starting to think about it now.

This afternoon, the camera charger and new batteries arrived so we will see if it solves the problem.  Fingers crossed.  One of the new batteries is now charged and in the camera, the second one is charging and when that's done, I will charge the old one.

I meant to get the blue room ready for my friend coming next weekend but didn't get round to it so that's tomorrow's big task.  I'll be glad to get it done because I did dump a few things in there when they cleaned the carpet, meaning to sort them out, but didn't.  
I will tomorrow plus planting out the new flowers.

I will love you and leave you now - have a restful evening and a great night's sleep.  xx

Wednesday 5 June 2024

Wednesday evening, 05-06-24

Evening, every one.

I wandered outside for my early survey of the 'estate' (I wish), camera in hand and snapped things that made me feel really happy.  No order, just as I got to them.

The most-certainly-not-dead fig.  It won't fruit but I love those leaves.
I'm going to make this my banner photo for a while.
Hard to see but the cucumber is flowering.  Male flowers, I expect, they usually are first of all, but it won't be long, I hope . . .
Blueberries - there's more, not loads but enough to enjoy a few at a time as they ripen.  
It's been stunning this year.  New flowers opening (at the top) and there's still new buds coming along.  
Several tomatoes are flowering.  No visible babies yet but give them time.
I don't usually photo the herb/foliage bed from this side - it's nice.
The tumbling toms - trouble free and very prolific.  And flowering . . .
Terrible photo, I just couldn't get it in focus.  Never mind - the first dwarf bean!  Woo hoo.

(and by this evening there were two more - gives me hope)
I dearly love pinks and these have given pleasure for years and years - decades, in fact.  The wall repair didn't bother them at all.
And the heuchera.  Such a lovely colour.

What didn't make me happy is that my camera is playing up again - or I am hoping it is the battery or the charger.  Buying a new camera is a bit of a stretch right now so I have crossed my fingers and ordered replacement battery and charger in hopes.
The problem is that the battery drains after taking around ten photos and then it only charges for about five minutes or so before stopping.  So it could be that, don't you think?  It was doing something similar during my cruise but that could have been the very cold weather because at home it was OK again.

Sleep well, everyone.  Wishing you a cosy bed and gentle dreams.  xx