Tuesday 25 January 2011

very early signs of spring

Thought the film The King's Speech was excellently cast and acted.  I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it although some friends thought it too slow.

Monthly bolbie club came round again; surely a month can't go that quickly.

Had a few sessions of work.  Still can't get over finishing on time and going home without a load of marking and preparation.  Went on to Crown Point Shopping Park and the sun came out making the temperature above zero.  People were immediately evident coatless, wearing T shirts yet not cringing from the cold.  I wouldn't go that far but I did remove my hat!  On of the plant troughs sported a polyanthus in flower and  a purple viola has opened in a plant on my front step.  Surely a very early sign of Spring.

Did some voluntary work with another retired teacher.  We both agreed that retirement suits us.

Took my Auntie to see her friend on her100th birthday.  It was lovely weather and I was dressed ready for gardening.  When we arrived we found that they had arranged a surprise party.  As well as the birthday girl's nephew and nieces, the local councillor, the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Leeds plus the Lady Mayoress of Manchester were there.  It was too warm with my coat on and my Auntie dragged me into all the photos (not this one) wearing my gardening gear.

It was Ronnie's birthday this week and Louis surprised us by singing Happy Birthday in Ivrit.

It has been an expensive week with little to show for it.  Had my computer looked at and now it runs much better and had a new fuse box fixed as messing about with fuse wire isn't easy.

I can recommend the charity shops in Ilkley.  We bough a huge chinese vase (could be Ming, but can't read the chinese) and games of Draughts and Stacking Chairs.

 Cafe in Valley Gardens
   Went to Valley Gardens in Harrogate.  Some people were sailing remote controlled boats in the pool which was still icy in parts.  Titanic came to mind.  A little speedboat was grounded on the ice and someone sent their larger craft to the rescue.  Boys and their toys!  The kids cycled and 'scooted' as they call it and enjoyed themselves on the well equipped playground which even has a zip wire.  

Then to Ripley Castle tea rooms for Omelette and Chips.

Had my nails done for first time for ages.  Full of cold so been at home for a couple of days.  Not a pretty sight!

Saturday 8 January 2011

2011: ....... in with the new

Happy New Year

Babysat New Years Eve but was woken at midnight by a cacophony of fireworks.  Kids back at school/nursery and everyone is getting back to normal after, what has been for most, a very long holiday.  I'm not working until next week but have spent the week visiting dentist, hairdresser and supermarket; mundane stuff.

My pilates class has folded so I returned to Claire's group where I was welcomed like a long lost friend.

No improvement in the weather.  In fact we had a heavy snowfall on Friday.  Went with Val to York Designer Outlet and bought a couple of tops.

Garden looking sad but I felt better after watching Carol Klein's new series filmed at her garden at Glebe Cottage where I saw similar scenes.  What am I like, comparing my garden with hers!

Reading Old Filth by Jane Gardham; her descriptive writing is excellent.

Wednesday 5 January 2011

2010: Out with the old ......

Met up for lunch with some ex-colleagues in Otley.  There was still a covering of snow over Otley Chevin and the fields which made the sheep look grubby by comparison.  We (Martin, Sue and Pete, Janie and Lizzie B) started off at Wetherspoons and had lunch at Korks Wine Bar and Brewery.  Good choice of vegetarian food at a fair price of £8.95 for two courses.  Steve and Jean joined us for coffee.

Ben came for the weekend and brought us Grandma and Grandad mugs with Freya's footprint; priceless.  On Christmas Day we went for a walk in the park with the kids

On Sunday we spent an enjoyable  afternoon at Beryl's with the family.

Braved the crowds and weather and  went to the sales in Leeds centre.  Naomi bought for England and I ended up with a black T-shirt.  Ben's gone back to London en route for Sweden.  He's really missed his girls.

We had a trip out to Ripon, which could be described as an old market town but its cathedral gives it city status.  We parked in the square and, as both the pay and display machines were blocked, we reckoned it was free parking.  On emerging from Yorkshire Trading, we saw a traffic warden by Ronnie's car and hurried over as quickly as we could bearing in mind the square was like a skating rink.   After explaining that the machines would not accept our money, the warden agreed that we did not need to pay but we had failed to display.   We hadn't even tried to print a ticket without paying!  Call it Christmas spirit,  but no further action was taken.

We drove on to Ripley where we had lunch in the grounds of the Castle.

This tree was pretty in pink.  Will have a trip round the gardens in the summer.
Took the kids to the Canal Gardens and warmed up in Tropical World and Butterfly House.  Just the thing for a freezing cold day.

 Check the temperature!

This year's panto at Harewood Village Hall was Cinderella and, apart from the Ugly Sisters who didn't really need a mic, we had a good time.

Can't believe it is Freya's first birthday.  She had a party for her family and received lots of presents.  She is leading a jetsetting life there:

 Swedish Santa pays her a visit

 ....... horse riding

 ....... sledging

 ........ walking

 ...... watching TV?

Can't wait to see her!

Went to Harlow Carr with the kids.  A bit too muddy and icy to go in the maze and playground, but a pleasant walk.  From the bird hide we saw a squirrel had somehow managed to get to the tray of seed in the squirrel-proof  area.   Red Kites were again in evidence.

And that brings us to the end of 2010 and I wish all readers a happy and healthy new year.  I never fail to be amazed at the 'hits' from near and far.  I would love to know how you came to read it.

As I re-read my blog, I am reminded of  happy times and good fortune.  I have previously mentioned that it wouldn't be real life without its share of misfortunes, disappointments and challenges but I have chosen to focus on the positives.

I am not one for making resolutions for the new year, but I did say near the start of this blog that I would tackle the garden and try some writing this year.  I have also set myself the challenge of getting fit (and less fat!).   Perhaps my blog should be less eclectic.  Feedback always welcome.

“The sea is their grave but this Memorial sculpture is, in many ways, a headstone for the lost trawlermen”

I have always been impressed by the architecture in the centre of the maritime city of Hull, especially the old buildings with their carving...