Friday, June 30, 2006

day out to eastbourne

I had just the most wonderful day yesterday. Cynthia invited me over for lunch, and Merlin came too! Cynthia and Mike have 2 dogs, so were happy to have Merlin as well. We had lunch on their gorgeous patio overlooking the fab garden in hot sunshine, and then Mike had to go out. Cynthia and I took the dogs for a walk up the hill almost right outside their front door. The view over Eastbourne was perfect. It really was a perfect summer's day, with a nice breeze once we got up the hill. We had time for a cup of tea when we got back, and then unfortunately it was time to come home!

Cynthia and I met in the first year of our degree in Neuroscience at Sussex University. Unfortunately, Cynthia left after the first term, but we have kept in touch, and see each other once or twice a year. It must be 8 years since we met!! Whenever we meet, we always have loads to say to each other, it's great!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Garden centres

Gosh! This is turning into as much of a gardening blog as a scrapping blog! It's really making me think (for ther first time ever) about what is flowering in my garden through out the year. I have been taking quite a lot of photos lately, and yesterday, I wrote a list of all the flowers out atm. It was suprisingly long!

Anyway, Mum and Dad and I love going to garden centres. I usually see them on a Thursday, and we often go somewhere for lunch. We really like going over to Ditchling, where there are 2 fab gcs in close proximity. One has a piano player in the restaurant! They both have excellent plants, good variety and quality. We love to just wander round and talk about what plants are there. We're not so interested in all the other stuff that gcs sell nowadays, pottery, books (actually, Dad can usually be found by the books).

Today, we went to Shoots on the A24 just north of Worthing. We both bought gazanias, 10 for £1.99! They are quite small, but will grow - I'll feed them well. I also bought lush red petunias to go in my low pot. We like going out that way (another favourite is Old barn, further up the A24) becasue we can drive home along the 'back doubles', little country lanes, and then through Steyning and over Steyning Bowl and down into Sompting. It's quite bleak up there, but you could see a long way today. (Must suggest a dog walk up there). On a clear day you can see Beachy Head one way, and IoW the other!

Monday, June 26, 2006


We had a fab day out at Beaulieu Motorcycle World yesterday. I took over 70 photos, and can't resist showing you a few of them. These little Hondas are the noisiest bikes. They really scream! This is right at the beginning of the circuit. It was only a small circuit, which included riding round the arena. It was so easy to see everything, and to get really close to everyone and all the bikes.
Here's Sammy Miller and Phil Read, 2 famous riders of the 50s and 60s. Sammy has a motorcycle museum in the New Forest and always takes bikes to meetings like this. Maurice is in total awe of them, and just stands and gazes at them in wonder! His boyhood heroes!!! They must have a great time going to all these country events. They look like really nice blokes, in fact, I was telling my Dad how nice Sammy looks, and he said he met him a couple of times when he was in the motorcycle club in Coventry, and yes, he is a great guy!
Some of the vintage bikes entering the arena. I like this photo becasue of the guy in the front all blurry cos he's going so fast!!!
Phil Read's MV Agusta
Sammy Miller and Phil Read in the arena.
I love the bike at the back. It is an Aerial, and has a beautiful wicker picnic basket on the back! The BSA at the front is ridden by a lady who obviously doesn't like riding fast! (A lady after my own heart)

These 2 pics are the wrong way round. hunky Jason Finn is a trick trail bike rider, and did some fabby stunts includding a stoppy just inches away from his mate Craig's important bits! He then bunny hopped his way around Craig. They both looked absolutely gorgeous in their tight motorcycle outfits, it made my day!!!

Saturday, June 24, 2006


Eeeek! We have mice in the larder. When I went to get a little packet of pretzels (Waitrose low-fat!!) to nibble with my glass of wine last night, they were all open. Lots of little nibble marks ie mice!!! It's not the first time we have had mice in there. Well, I have spent the morning moving everything out, scrubbing it, laying a mouse trap, and putting everything back in. At least it is neat and tidy. One thing I never know what to do with is plastic food containers. I never find one the right size for what I want, and they sit there in a huge untidy pile. I am going to throw them away!!! They are so cheap nowadays, that I can buy more if I ever need any.

DH is watching moto gp, I am on here wondering what to do, the weather is gorgeous. I should go outside but I have a whole pile of ironing to do, and I'd like to do some scrapping.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


I've been learning Spanish for 3 years at an adult education class. I have been going on a Wednesday 1pm - 3pm, with Maribel as my teacher. Maribel has been a fantastic teacher! She makes the lessons fun, and I have never been bored (which I can get with languages!). This year it has been a particularly great group, I feel as though we have all got on really well! I decided to learn Spanish becasue I know a little bit of German and French (O-level! plus some adult education years ago), but I didn't know any Spanish. After 3 years, I would probably be able to order things in a restaurant or shop, but might have trouble understanding the reply! They talk so quick, and the words seem to meld together into one long mumble.

I decided that I would either give up at the end of this year, or really go for it, and take the GCSE course next year. But I do hate doing homework! I try to fit it in around scrapping and computer. If I did the GCSE I would have to spend a dedicated afternoon or morning to it, but do I want to? Anyway, when Maribel said she was leaving I decided to give up. But then a couple of weeks ago we had Marita, a supply teacher, who was brilliant! Much as I like Maribel, it was exciting to have a different style. So now I don't know what to do......... I quite fancy doing an art course instead, but I'm not sure whether they have the right course for me.

Anyway, we had a fantastic night out last night to a local Spanish restaurant, Capprichio's. We all had tapas, and then coffee. A few had beer, a few had red wine. Of course, I suffered from the rich food, and felt dreadful for a couple of hours this morning, but I made myslef take the dog out, and then felt like toast and coffee. I feel better now, just tired and a bit hazy in the head!

I made Maribel a starbook of Worthing. I loved doing it, I used up all my scraps of Junkitz salsa papers, so it is really bright and zingy! But I felt quite nervous giving it to her, what if she didn't like it? I needn't have worried, becasue she loved it, and so did everyone else in the class! Phew! Here is a pic.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

More circle journals

I promised my mail art buddies that I would post this one on my blog. I had trouble uploading photos yesterday, so here goes. This is a scraplift CJ. The owner has included lots of magazine pics for us to scraplift. Each person has to choose the next mag pic to scraplift. I really enjoyed doing this one, getting out all my stamps, stickers, rub-ons, chipboard and there are one or two hand cut!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


I love doing swaps! 2 recent ones were a garden embellishment swap which I hosted and a calendar tag swap. There were some fab things sent in with the garden swap, I was really impressed. I laid them all out on the floor last night and took a photo. There are primas, rub-ons, buttons, ribbons, charms, metal embellies, die cuts, brads, eyelets, stickers. I need to start another project, a garden through the year album. I've taken quite a few photos in May and June, they will have to have 4 pages, Dec and Jan will only have 1 page each! I will use the calendar tags in it I think. We started a calendar tag swap months ago, but the host fell ill, and we didn't hear anything from her for months. Someone else hosted another swap, (becasue some people hadn't sent in their tags,) so I remade my tags for that one. Then the original host sent my tags back to me! So yet another host jumped in, and so I have 2 beautiful sets of calendar tags! It's lovely to see peoples' ideas and work in real life.

Friday, June 16, 2006

My garden in June

Well, I remained fairly well focussed, and did a lot of my list yesterday. I'm going to try and do the mail art this morning before going to lunch with A and S.

I took these pics of my garden yesterday. There is quite a lot of colour at the moment, and the roses have been spectacular this year. The purple clematis is called 'Polish Spirit', so reminds me of my late FIL, who was Polish. It is incredibly abundant, and lasts a very long time! I love it. The gravel path goes all the way round the edge of the garden, (this is the bit we gravelled in half term) then the borders slope down to a sunken lawn. There are steps at each end. These steps look gorgeous coverd in the pink rose petals, but are lethal! They are uneven and very slippery becasue they get gravel on them, and the plants are in the way at the moment, until the rose fades and I can cut it back. I have lots of foxgloves that just reseed themselves wherever each year. I must take a photo like this with drops of water on, I think it will look great!

Thursday, June 15, 2006


I love making lists. It makes me feel really good when I cross things off my list!

Here is my huge long list for today, let's see if I can be focussed and get most of it done:

write to people who have overpaid (4)
banking (means going into Worthing, maybe have coffee, buy a magazine!!)
buy envelopes and send 2 letters from Monday

plant petunias I bought yesterday
what to do with tomatoes, pepper plants that Mum gave me

Mail art
At the very least, post the ATCs I have already made
catch up on 4 weeks projects!

finish and post Mj's page
look on wikipedia for ideas for Myths and Legends CJ

Finish Maribels star book

Order dog food (done already!)

Make father's day card
buy father's day presents (DVD of the fastest Indian if it is out yet)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Somerset Lodge, Petworth

Just had to upload these pics of the beautiful garden we went to today. I picked Mum and Dad up at 11.30am, we went to RSPB at Pulborough for lunch, stopped by the craft shop in Wyelvale grden centre (where I spent far too much money considering all I wnated was gold brads!), and then on to the garden at Petworth. WE met Mum and Dad's friends there, and wandered around slowly. When we got to the vegetable garden, the owner started chatting to us, what a lovely man! She does most of the gardening, he does the making of fences, trellis, and all other garden structures. Dad was made up when he let him look in his workshop! Highlights? The vegetable garden, all little tiny plots surrounded by box hedges, and the path lined with old fashioned roses - just the right time of year to see them.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Tuesday evenings

I always feel a bit low on a Tuesday evening. It should be wonderful! I get everyone's tea done early, DS goes to YC and Insight group, DH takes dd dancing and goes to see his mum, and I have all evening to myself, once I've taken Merlin for a walk.

But I can never get motivated to do anything! I'm trying to do a CJ entry tonight. What I really want to do is sit here and chat on the internet! How sad is that. Anyway, I have done some of it, I keep running up and down the stairs for the computer, for the journaling. (Actually it is quotes) I'm going to hand cut a title, and print the rest out on strips of card. Might stamp one of the words.

If there was something good on the telly, I could watch that. But it's only football. WOrld cup.

I don't stop eating either. I keep going to the cupboard for snacks, crisps (they are low fat!), ryvita minis (quite nice but expensive!) or waitrose reduced fat pretzels (really yummy, but in too small a packet, so have to eat at tleast 2 packets!!)

I might go and pour myself a glass of wine, having bought 9 bottles today. And I remembered to put one in the fridge.

Right noone has emailed so I'm going back downstairs to decide what to do handcut title in.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Day out in London

I had to go to London for a training day for the charity I do voluntary work for. What a stinking hot day to have to go!! I caught the 7.50am from West Worthing, not too bad. It wasn't too busy becasue it doesn't get in until after 9am, so I suppose most working people have already gone. Underground to Highbury and Islington, very hot. Then I had to catch a BR train 2 stops to Dalston Kingsland. The train was delayed, so I was late for my training day. Only 15 mins, but I think that was the most relevant 15 mins of the whole day to me!

HQ is not too bad, and the room was quite nice, but far too hot, even with 3 fans. There were lots of people aquashed in which made it hotter. The training was not really relevant to me as a volunteer (eg trade union membership!), but some of it was quite interesting. The other people on the course were really nice, friendly and welcoming, something that must go through the whole of the charity!

Journey home was a bit of a nightmare. UNderground was hotter than ever, and very crowded. I panicked a bit at one point, wondering how I was going to get out of the train as people stood all along the carriage. I waited 1 hour on a hot Victoria station when I realised too late that I could have caught an earlier train to Haywards Heath and changed for Worthing GRRR!

By the time I got home I felt light headed, nauseous (from the motion in the new trains), and incredibly over heated. I got off at Worthing and walked, just to get off the train!

It was incredibly nice to get under a cool shower, and drink a glass of wine. By then, I fancied something to eat, so heated up a WW meal from the freezer. N and L were out, DH was on a conference call, so I had time to relax and chill out.

WE took Merlin for a walk along the beach, and then sat in the conservatory with a bottle of wine. LOVELY!! N came in and sat and chatted to us, which was great. L had a friend to stay, but did come and talk for a bit.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Circle Journals

My Favourite Photo CJ front cover

My entry in Pets CJ belongs to Hollybo UKS

My entry in Beach CJ belongs to Ellsese UKS

My entry in My favourite place CJ belongs to Ladyscrap UKS

My Favourite place CJ belongs to Ladyscrap UKS

I love CJs!! I love scrapping on the small pages, experimenting with different ideas and techniques and seeing other people's work in the flesh.

My first Cj has not long returned to me. It was with UKs and the theme was My Favourite Photo. The work in it is fabulous, and I keep looking at it again and again.

I've not long joined another UKS CJ, this time my theme is Family. Stupidly, I forgot to take a photo of it before I sent it on.

My next CJ is with my team on UKS, the Scrapettes. We are sending each other pages rather than the whole CJ, to save on postage and stop loosing any in the post. Trouble is, we don't get to see anyone else's work in the flesh! My theme this time is 'Garden'

My next CJ is with UK stampers. I am a bit nervous about this one, cos I don't think I'm very good at stamping - I'm still a bit messy. Might have to practise alot!! But, having said that, I am so looking forward to seeing everyone else's work and learning some new techniques. My theme is colours.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


I've always dabbled in hobbies.

I've done photography, including my own B&W developing, and an advanced photography evening class (full of older men who knew exactly what they were doing!! Me, I was lucky if I loaded the film in properly!) where we had a beautiful model to photograph. We have always kept nice albums, usually one per year, but special holidays have merited their own with a bit more writing and memorabelia.

I've kept diaries in the past, and dabbled with the idea of writing. I enjoy getting to grips with a subject and writing about it as per essays at university.

I've dabbled in sewing. It's along time since I made anything to wear (Probably a baby dress for Lucy!) But I always make my own curtains, and recently have started using the sewing machine for LOs.

I've cross stitched. About the time I had DS and DD, cross stitch was very popular among my friends so I amde lots of cross stitch baby cards, Christmas cards, and samplers. I always prefeered the 'heritage' or 'vintage' look to the 'cute' look. Just recently when I was ill with flu, I caught up on an old project, and Elizabeth Bradley cushion 'Auricula'. It is absolutely gorgeous. The colours are divine, and there are lots of subtle shades. That's why it has taken me so long! It is a winter project though. I have now finished the pattern, and am beginning to stitch the black background. I must have bought it about 10 years ago!

I dabble with my garden. When we lived on the sea front, I spent alot of time researching what would grow in the salty air, and planted the front garden accordingly. When I drive past now, I can see my planting has matured nicely despite the sea winds. Since moving here I have not made the time for gardening. We have ahuge garden here that is quite overwhelming. It was very overgrown when we got here, and it's only now that we are beginning to get it under control. Each time I go out there I am overwhelmed with the enormity of the things that need doing, and consequently can't start anything! I need to break it down into small chunks, and when I do that, I manage to get something done. I love visiting gardens, especially the RHS garden at Wisley, which I managed to get DH to last week. I really want to visit Christopher Lloyd's garden in Kent, and Sissinghurst, and some of the NT houses down in the West Country.

Family History has become a big hobby lately. I volunteered to be part of the committee of the AIFHS, and have done treasurer and now membership. I love being part of the group, and doing the admin side of things. I like the fact I have streamlined the m/s process, kept the letters and emails up to date, and am simplifying for later years. Trouble is, it does take time from researching my own family history. I have found out a lot about the Fumagallis , since Giovanni (paternal GGgrandfathercame to England in the 1870s. I have tried to come forward from him, with quite a bit of success. Recently another of his descendants joined the society so more present day Fumagallis. I have also researched quite a bit on the Vanstone side (maternal grandfather), and have found a huge amount by contacting others on the internet. And I love researching WW1 and grandad's experiences. I recently started a heritage album (combining 2 hobbies) of Grandad with his photos from the early 1900s.

I love to read. I try and read each night in bed for 30 mins or so. I chat with others on the internet to get ideas about what to read, and have read some fab books lately. Some of the Richard and Judy books have been good. I'm currently reading 'A Short History of Tractors in the Ukranian' by Maria Lewyckya. It is absolutley hilariuos!! But that could be becasue I knew an East European old man (FIL), who was Polish, but had the same turn of phrase as the old man in the book. Makes me read it out loud to DH (much to his annoyance if he is trying to read too), and laugh out loud!

I always come on here thinking I'll just write a little bit and spend ages, and write ahuge long missive! Who on earth would want to read it? So i will leave my biggest and best hobby to another time -SCRAPBOOKING.

Monday, June 05, 2006

week off work

Dh had last week off work as holiday. It was the kids half term holiday. Actually, we didn't do anything with them all week! But we are pleased because we got some jobs done.

DH and DS put down gravel on the path, a job that has been waiting to be done since last summer, when we put down the old carpets to stop the weeds growing through. It looks fab now! But it ha made the other side look a bit thin, so we really need another load of gravel to top dress the other side and the back.

Another job was painting the kitchen. We had a new floor put down earlier in the year, and we weren't too sure whether the yellow really went with it. Also, they don't so that yellow anymore, and there was only 1 coat on the wall where the boiler was replaced. So we decided to go pale cream, and it looks fab too!

I also took DS out shopping for new clothes, 3 new pairs of trousers, new trainers new pants and socks. He likes to have the same as he had before, not a man who likes change!

We had our day out on the bike. DH had to take the BMW in to the garage in Guidford for some tweaking, so we went to Wisley for the day, and then on to Guildford cathedral. Very nice until we got to the garage and they hadn't done all the work M wanted doing. So we waited in the ****** garage for 1 hour for his 'man' to come and explain!!! We took N and L out for a meal to 'La Difference', a place we used to like going to 20 years ago. WEll, the food was OK, and very cheap, but it was like walking into your granny's front room, and full of old people!!! Not quite your hip, cool and innit place teenagers like.

And we saw MIL for her birthday, and my mum and dad on Monday.

All in all a great week!!!

(But..... I am pleased to be back to normal now, spending time on here catching up and doing my housework and AIFHS stuff!! Boy, I am a person who likes routine really!)