Monday, 30 April 2007

Paul Temple and the case of the blog swap and the Sunburned Librarian

I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! Wasn't the weather brilliant (more on that story later!) I'm so grateful to the lovely bloggers who participated in the swap we've just had. I feel terribly guilty that I only sent one out as everyone else has sent me one (lovely people!) I do have to beg extreme circumstances what with Mum's party and all, however you should look out for little surprises dropping through your front doors soon! Here they are in all their glory! What a talented lot you all are!

So to you lot - I'm holding aloft a cup of my best Royal Blend Tea and an organic oatcake biccie!
I will never lose my page again!
Gill@ The Red Rose one
Allison @ The Purple Floral one
Susan @ The Yellow and Orange Embellished one
Wendy @ The Classic Black and White one
Special Thanks to Jo of course for organising it all!
And on to the next part of the post...
Today people I'm am all a-glow... I'm creating my own little furnace with the heat generated by sunburn. Sophers and I went to visit some friends who live in a BEAUTIFUL little house in Wales. They have done all the work on it themselves and they have done a magnificent job. They are friends we met through mbira camp and we are very glad to have met them. They put on a lovely spread and provided a great place for us to gather and play. So thanks Eve and James, we'll be back!

Isn't concentration a wonderful thing - thanks Sophers.... I'm going to get one of your "mbira face" too!

Here ends yet another long post! I hope everyone else had a good a weekend as I did!

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Where have I been!!!

Apologies for the long absence - I've been a very busy girl and away from anything resembling a computer!

Well it has been an exciting time. My Mum has now become a retired pensioner lady! (she still doesn't look it!) Her retirement/birthday party went off with a bang. She really enjoyed herself! She has refused to let me post a picture of the lady herself so I'm afraid you will have to put up with other pictures from the evening!

First of all the cake..... now let me explain... my Mum was a very talented and experienced Tissue Viability Nurse and part of her job was to put maggots in wounds to help heal them. It sounds barbaric I know, but they are in her words "natures little surgeons" and are brilliant. A friend of hers from work made the cake, we thought it might put people off but it has all gone!!!!

And a little close up..... (not for the squeamish!)

My gorgeous sister and I spent a long time thinking and making of decorations including 28 bunches of flowers in glasses and inkwells and teacups and jugs with little luggage labels welcoming everyone place on traycloths and napkins and hankies on the tables, as well 20 metres of bunting!

My gorgeous and talented florist of a sister, the oft mentioned Sophers!!!

Her floral handiwork

and a few pictures of the room and assorted decorations!

Oh and finally, part of the deal with Sophers that allowed me to post a picture of her was that I had to post one of here goes, here I am with my friend Louie, we have been best friends since the age of 4 and we are hoping that it will continue into our dotage! (I'm the strange looking blonde one not the glamorous brunette!)

I hope you have enjoyed my mammoth post! I'll have to start catching up on my blog reading now!!!

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Sometimes I wish I had an outdoor job...

Its a bit chilly here in Scouseland this morning, but the sun is out, the sky is blue (there's not a cloud to spoil the view) I must stop this cue for a song malarkey! I'd love to be outside just for a bit longer today... still it will have to wait for my lunchtime trip to Azkaban..... (otherwise know as Aberkan) or colloquially as El Kilo given that you buy the fabric in the bargain basement by weight! If I find a bargain I'll post about it tomorrow!

Just downloading these photo's make me wish for the weekend again, these were taken across the road from my parents house.

I love blossom and I'm always surprised how far it flies when the inevitable winds will catch it later on this month!

I've been collecting conkers from this tree for YEARS, now I think I prefer the candle stage!

Ahhhhh, what a lovely weekend it was, bring on the next full of partying with friends and family!

Monday, 16 April 2007

Of mice and men......

Wasn't it a gorgeous weekend (pity about the grey today - well in Liverpool anyhow)

We got my Mother's presents, which she is just going to have to wait for (she's like a four year old when it comes to presents!!!) Then as all good plans have a way of doing, the rest of the days plans evaporated into lying on the grass in mum and dads garden, singing "what shall we do with the drunken sailor", "in my liverpool home" and "the black hills of dakota" with mum and sophers and then mbira and hosho playing (I think we worry the neighbours ever so slightly!!), drinking coffee and munching on Eccles Cakes. So the charity shops of Liverpool were safe for one more weekend! Then Sunday was spent cleaning and much more enjoyably having a fab dinner in a friends house (thankyou!) and drinking too much wine..... and now.... back to the working week!

I'm afraid this is going to be a photoless post as well... (I forgot the camera lead.....) So I'll have to post extra ones tomorrow.

Friday, 13 April 2007

Oh what a beautiful mooooorrrrrrnnnnniiinnnngggg!!!!

Sorry.... I'm in a singing mood today. I do sing quite often. As far as Sophers and myself are concerned EVERYTHING is a cue for a song. I'm really looking forward to the weekend now. We are birthday present shopping, doing a little bit of charity shop trawling and then going to have a picnic, play mbira and take photo's in the park as the forecast is for 24 degrees tomorrow! won't that be nice!

I'm leaving you today with a very unsuccessful photo of one of my fave things (I still can't quite get the settings right on the camera....I'll have a better play tomorrow!) I bought it on a visit to my Aunt and Uncles house in the Loire Valley, at a little brocante market along the river bank. It was a steamy hot day and after we had spent our Euros on vintage buttons, ribbons and pressed glass we sat in dappled shade and drank coffee and ice cold water outside a cafe in the town square watching the birds chase crumbs dropped by the other patrons..... mmmmm I wish I was back there (although in slightly cooler weather!) bliss

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Every Picture Tells a Story

Its countdown time for my Mum. She is retiring 6 days from today and celebrating her 60th Birthday a few days after that. I unfortunately cannot post here about what we are getting her or anything that can be considered as surprise as she sometimes checks this blog and has been known to comment too (hello mum!) I should have kept it a secret until afterwards, still you can look forward to the pictures that tell the tale of the descent into lunacy that will be the retirement / birthday party we are having next weekend!

I was working on my bookmark design for the swap I'm participating in last night. I found a great book to send with it too, I'll hopefully get things finally made and sent off this weekend! It was such a pleasure to collapse into my chair with my sewing box (see below) that I love which was a present from my lovely siblings Sophers and Bertie. I hope that you all had a lovely evening too.

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

I wish I was here....

I'm really not awake today, I wish I was all cozied up here with a book and a pot of tea, but there is too much to do.

OR at Mum and Dad's with the lovely Hamish

I swear he posed for this photo, the others (two more) just walk away when they see a camera, but Hamish does tricks. He also limps for sympathy when you don't pay him enough attention but he is lovely and purrs if you walk into the room and look at him, bless! He basically is..... well think along the lines of a slightly less intelligent Snowbell from Stuart Little!

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

The 3 B's

B no 1... BONUS! As far as I'm concerned, Easter is a nice little 4 day holiday bonus to enjoy the sunshiney weather, which this year we got and it was lovely!

B no 2... BUNTING! I've now completed 20 metres of the stuff and I'm hoping this will be a bountiful sufficiency....

B no 3... Baby Brother.... this really is an excuse to post a picture to embarrass my brother, so here he is all painty from helping my sister (who would beat me with a stick if I posted a picture of her... other than her mbira playing hands that is...) paint my Mum and Dad's living room!

So.... what did anyone else get up to this Easter?

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

One of my favourite things!

One of the great things about my Grandparents ability to horde, was that they had so much great stuff!! This tin advertising sign (with movable date!) used to be in their shop. I've left it on the date that it was on when I got to have it (when we were clearing the house and store for sale) and it now hangs on my living room wall. I love the lettering and the fact that it advertised "for expert opinions on world affairs" in the teeniest of little Welsh rural villages where quite frankly you would want to move to escape the rest of the world and live in hamlety gorgeousness with your garden and barn and sheep and cows in the field opposite and little apple orchard.

I did get lots more including a Welsh dresser which I'm sure I'll post about in the months to come!

Meet Doris

I'd like for you all to meet Doris! Doris is my Librarian action figure (with realistic shushing action!) who sits and looks over me whilst I work. Doris was given to me by my cousin who picked her up on a trip to the states. Isn't she great! She's even based on a real life Librarian by the name of Nancy Pearl.

I'd also like to thank you all for your kind comments on my photo's! The mbira sounds almost unique, a little bit harpish, a little bit windchimish... I really can't think of how to describe it! If you check out amazon, they let you play excerpts from some of their mbira cd's!
Wikipedia has this link
And this is our teacher Chartwell Dutiro

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Da da DAHHHHHH!!!!!!

Here it is, my first post with pics!!

I have posted before about my attempts to learn mbira... well this is what mine looks like. It is a Zimbabwean instrument and it sounds amazing! I have been learning since last May when I went to my aunts house in France for my first mbira camp. I've been this year to one in Scotland and hopefully I'll manage to get the Devon one too!

This is the "action" shot of Sophie (my sister) who also plays to demonstrate how it is held. What you can't see is that the little finger of her right hand is placed through the hole to help hold it in place! (please excuse very untidy living room floor - we had been magazine reading and knitting and eating lovely things from the farmers market!)

Oh and here is a bad photo of some brilliant fireworks I saw along the Mersey last Thursday!

see.... I told ya - I'm really not David Bailey!!!!