Thursday, 30 April 2015

Nice Stuff... for Free

.1. Walks with my camera and dramatic distant views.
.2. Sunny mornings in the conservatory (with a book from 'Books for Free' in Droitwich.)
.3. Kind teenagers, who still hold doors open and genuinely care.
.4. A couple of hours chatting quietly with a very ill friend.
.5. Designing the first of a few personalised leaving presents for the colleagues who really matter.
.6. Some fabulous quality and condition 1960s fabric from my Great-Aunt's stash
(in a bag of fabric from my Mum last weekend)
.7. Kind words from Parents at the recent concerts.
.8. Cuddles from Husband... and Cat
.9. The prospect of a Bank Holiday weekend...!
To be honest, I'm a bit tired and fed up at the moment.
Mark is being an absolute rock...
I do love him!!!!!

Sunday, 26 April 2015

A little bit of vintage style..

This weekend ...'Cinders' went to a Ball!!
Ladies... here is my 'frugal' vintage outfit for the evening...
The dress was Roman Originals clearance 18 months ago - I paid £15 for it.
The jacket was Alexon clearance 10 years ago
In this rather severe-looking 'selfie' you can see my jewellery a bit more clearly.
My earrings are 1950s vintage from a little stall in Stratford upon Avon
(a couple of pounds because no-one else buys screw or clip earrings nowadays....).
My necklace is also 1950s from a market stall in London in 2003
(in the days before vintage was stylish and this sort of thing was seriously cheap).

This bracelet is one of my prized vintage possessions...
It's an American Coro design from the 1960s.  I bought it on e-bay for a couple of pounds.
The bag is from the 1940s.  I found it in a vintage clothes shop in Welshpool last August.
Mark bought it for me as Christmas present and I often take it out in the evenings.
(It looks amazing with one of those £10 Primark dresses, heavier vintage jewellery, a little black jacket, black leggings and boots)
We went to a 'Summer Ball' in the function suite at Worcester Cricket Ground.
There were about 150 people there so the event raised £1900.00 for the local cancer hospice.
It was great fun catching up with people that we haven't seen for a while.. and getting to know a few new people too.
I've got to admit that I was shattered this morning though...
I'm not great at late nights really...!

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

A little 'foodie' secret...

When I was a little girl in the early 70s I loved Angel Delight.
My favourite flavour was Lemon and Lime - which we seemed to be able to buy in the shops near my Grandma's in Manchester, but was completely un-obtainable in the Oxford area.
We used to bring packets home after family visits (along with Vimto cordial and the odd bottle of Dandelion and Burdock...)
In the 80s I was quite fond of 'Tangerine Orange Yogurt' flavour.
Does anyone else remember that one?
However my long term loyalties have always belonged to Butterscotch flavour..
Then one day, for no real reason, I stopped buying it and I haven't bought a packet of Angel Delight in over 20 years.  On Monday evening I stopped off in Aldi on the way home and bought one (along with cat food and other bits and bobs).  It's sat in the cupboard waiting for me to find the right moment for a foodie trip down memory lane....
Have you ever 'broken' a big foodie memory by buying the modern version?
PS - Mum is starting to feel much better.  Thank you for all your kind comments on my last post.  Dad's tablets are also starting to take effect... so hopefully they are both over the worst.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Still Here...

...but things are a bit frantic!
My Mum has Shingles.. My Dad also has such a severe chest infection that they have given him 15 days of medication BEFORE they are prepared to x-ray his chest.. They are staying away from Mark because my dearly beloved has never had Chicken Pox.  I'm doing everything I can to help - while still keeping my distance from Mum's spots.
In the meanwhile Mark has also gone 'shed construction' crazy and it's largely my fault.  He put up the new one quickly and easily last weekend.  I then suggested (in the great spirit of living frugally) that he should up-cycle and reconfigure the good wood from the old shed in a 'lean to' one the north side of the house.  This was a fairly narrow alleyway only used by the neighbourhood cats. Now it's a 16 feet long shed for Mark's scaffolding and the enormous stash of car parts that he seems to have collected (big stuff like full sets of wheels, gear boxes and engines!)  He's really happy.... but I've got a bit fed up with all the banging and crashing!!!
School has settled down into the usual routines.
I've got a concert tomorrow night and one next week as well.
Year 7 reports and attainment grades for all year groups are due by the 29th.
I'm also scaling the usual small mountain of marking.
Today I took my baby harp into school so that I could share 'Professional Practice Strategies' with my Year 10 pupils.  It's the first time that I've ever taught this part of the curriculum in this way.  The pupils assured me that it worked well - because they could look at the strategies objectively when they were observing an instrument that they'd never seen up close before.  I'm glad they found it helpful...
I've also spent some time with a Head of Music Department colleague from another South Birmingham school.  He is currently struggling a little with the Verification process for the Level 2 Btec.  He 'borrowed' a load of my teaching resources earlier in the year... and I was delighted to hear that they had resulted in some really good grades for his pupils.  As a result I have decided to approach Pearson, who publish all the teaching resources for Btec, and see if they are interested in my work (a little bit of extra income for next year!)
Last week (on Tuesday) we also celebrated my older niece's 18th Birthday.
Next weekend we are going to a 'Ball' in the new function room at the Worcester Cricket Club.
I just hope that I can stay awake!!!!!!!!

Monday, 13 April 2015

Back to the Grind....

Today was the beginning of my last term in teaching.....
(and - I'm afraid to say - I was in a filthy mood!)
The problem was very simple...
I'd had far too much fun on my holiday and was sulking -
not very mature!!!
Here are some more collages from my holiday scrapbook...
starting with Glastonbury Abbey, which I visited with my parents last week.
More images of Glastonbury, the Town and Tor.
(You can see my travelling companions at the top of this collage..
the local bear at the bottom of the page shared the rest of the town's 'hippy vibe')

Mum, Dad and I also went to Wells (left hand side of the this collage)
The cathedral is amazing and deserves a post all of it's own.
I also had a lovely morning on Saturday wandering round Croome Park with
my friends (and former teaching colleagues from Redditch in the 1990s).
Lastly there's a photo of Mark and youngest niece in the process of building
the new shed...
I wasn't mentally prepared for a 5-45 alarm call this morning.....
or any of the other 'silly school stuff' that plagued me today.
I've also been 'knocked out of kilter' by the fact that one of my friends
has been diagnosed with a serious heart condition.  He will have major
surgery in the next few weeks.  I know that heart surgery is fairly 'routine'
nowadays... but I will still be happier when we have reached the other side
of this particular episode.
12 weeks and 4 days....

Monday, 6 April 2015

Pages From My Scrapbook

I'm hopelessly behind with posting at the moment - so here's a quick up-date from the holidays in the form of the latest three pages from my photo scrapbook.
The first collage shows the beautiful interiors at Wightwick Manor.  We visited this lovely National Trust House near Wolverhampton when it became clear it was too wet to walk round Ludlow last weekend.  I am a huge fan of William Morris designs and Pre-Raphaelite I couldn't resist taking photos of all the details.  The blue and white china caught my eye because it is a piece of original Royal Worcester 'Hanbury' design from the 19th Century.  Royal Worcester re-issued it briefly in the mid-1990s (without all the fancy cut-away) and we bought a set from the seconds shop.  I still love it and use it daily.
The second collage shows the outside of Wightwick Manor (when it finally stopped raining!)  The rest of the page shows a walk that we did on Wednesday morning.  We took the car to the pretty little village of Ombersley then followed quiet country lanes in a six miles circuit.  Most of it followed a slight ridge and there were fabulous views to the south and west.  Any health benefits were offset with coffee and cakes at Checketts.  (The small nutty/chocolate combination was mine, the large lemon curd cake was Mark's!)  I couldn't resist taking a picture of the village garage because it looks just like a film set.
Lastly we spent Easter Saturday at Thruxton Race Circuit.  The green car is a 1960s Marcos which is currently being raced by the nephew of some-one we know (through our ownership of the 1990s Marcos Mantulas).  Mark was keen to get there early so that we could watch the qualifying as well as the race.  It was bitterly cold (I wore a T-shirt, jumper, fleece and my thickest winter coat and was still frozen) but it was good fun to get our racing season started.

Tomorrow I'm going away with my parents for a couple of days. 
We are going to stay in Glastonbury, which means that we can also explore Wells and some of the surrounding countryside.  Mark is working this week so it will just be 'parent/daughter' time.  I'm really looking forward to it.  The weather is supposed to be dry, if a little cloudy, and Thursday's forecast is very good at the moment.
Hopefully the weather next weekend will also be good - Mark is going to replace the garden shed; my youngest niece is spending Saturday with us and my (11 year old) God-daughter from Geneva is also arriving on Saturday afternoon for an over-night stop with 'Auntie Jan'.
Photos to follow!