Sunday, 12 August 2012

Painting, artwork and weather

Well it looks like summer may have arrived. Note I say may have, you never know, 2 weeks ago we had hailstones!

I have had the last week off work so I have been painting, cleaning and even managed to visit our local beach.  I have continued to watch the Olympics, the local area played host to the mountain biking section at Hadleigh Farm.  It was quite strange watching a familiar landscape on the TV.

I have included some pictures I took of Hadleigh when M and I visited it a few months ago.  I have also included some of my favourite artwork.
Briar artwork is mythological and fantasy based.  The artwork is often associated with Pagan religions and it features on many Pagan online suppliers.  The 2 examples I have chosen are entitled Diana and The Triple Goddess.

 I have this image as a greetings card, which I keep in my display cabinet.

                       The Triple Goddess

This is said to represent, Maiden, Mother and Crone. I really love how this depicts the different aspects to a woman's life, each stage being both important and beautiful.

I shall include some more examples of Briar in future posts.

We are now approaching mid August, traditionally another month and half of summer left, however with this unusual weather summer could continue long into October.  On the other hand I have already seen some fallen brown leaves so maybe Autumn is now on the way.  The next 6 weeks will be a very busy time work-wise, I hope to keep posting on a regular basis.  The plan is that blogging will help me de-stress!

Well I leave you with some pictures of Hadleigh.
Until next time.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Flowers, pools and other things

At the moment I'm at home watching the swimming (Olympics), my favourite sport.  I first discovered swimming while watching the Athens's 2004 Olympics and have loved it ever since.  At the moment Ian Thorpe is in the presenting box, he was competing in the games in 2004.  Also know as the Thorpedo and the guy the seals won't race against, he is definitely one of swimming greats. 

The weather today has been interesting, we have had; thunder and lightening, heavy rain and then hailstones!  

I have also included some photos from our trip to the park last week, mostly flowers. 

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Metal munchies

As the sun decided to come out today, M and I visited Chalkwal Park. We are only about 2 minutes from the park but have only been there once in over a year. Of course we walked passed the playground, where I spent numerous Friday nights during the summer with Guides.

Then we came across the cafe. The cafe has had a transformation in the last few years, it is now the headquarters of a group called ‘Metal’. Metal is a cultural artist group, here is their website.

Culture is not really some thing I associate with Southend but there seems to be almost another world inhabiting the streets I walk down.
While at the cafe I picked up some leaflets about local societies and groups, including a writers group, photography competition (which I’m considering entering), What’s On for Metal and information on the Southend Pier Festival.
Lunch consisted of a very good courgette and green pepper soup for me and a smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich for M. The soup was so good, I’m going to try and make it as part of my new cooking routine. The routine is not necessary about changing what I cook, just better planning and making use of time. Ideas including pre-chopping veggies and possibly marinating them in oil and herbs or spices and putting them in the fridge, so I can throw them straight into the pan when I get in from work. This will hopefully not only improve the taste but also mean that it will save me time when I get in.

Well I will be going now, but before I do I nearly forgot to mention that our table has finally arrived, only 6 months after I ordered it! We haven’t had any guests over for dinner yet, as we have been doing a lot around the flat including repainting the bedroom (bye bye hideous black, blue and gray flowery wallpaper). However we have lots of dinner part plans for the future.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Its been a while....

Well I've been away so long, blogger has changed completely.  The sun is starting to shine, I've been on holiday, we've got an exercise bike and our table is going to be delivered (hopefully).  We have plans to redecorate and we are finding new recipes for spinach!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

The never ending quest

I have to say I have never got hair styling quite right, or make up or choosing an outfit or many of the feminine daily tasks that seem to come so easily to most of the female sex.

I do feel as though I am some what of a social pariah for this, a feeling backed up by attempts to find helpful tutorial videos on you tube.  It would seem that the target audience for these videos are 16 year old girls, with titles like, great hairstyles for school and up-dos for homecoming, making me feel that I should have mastered doing my hair quite some time ago.

Can I use the excuse that you tube wasn't around when I was 16? Or I don't have time to learn?  No is the short answer to that one.

I did make huge improvements in the hair styling field about 4 years ago when I purchased an all in one styler, which is a straightener and curling iron all rolled into one. I have to say my hair really seems to come alive when I use the curling iron. It is now my weapon of chose when going out (some thing that doesn't happen that often), it is just a shame that it takes so long to use, a fact that means I can't use it when going to work, so I look my usual boring plain un-noticeable self when doing the 9-5. 

So searching you tube for videos for quick tips to getting great hair has meant that I am confronted by my insecurities, that everybody even annoying 16 year olds knows how to do their hair.  Everybody but me.

Well from now on I will make the time to find out this elusive secret.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

That was the month that was.......

February 2012
2 days left of the month.
Well I'm now 28, shocking I know. Birthday was a quiet one, M cooked a lovely stew and we spent the day in town.  Our table still hasn't arrived ggrrrr, I have written a letter of complaint (writing this made me feel like a responsible adult, so I will have to do something to counter that shortly).  As soon as the table is delivered we will be having lots of people over for cool dinner parties.
My Nan celebrated her 90th birthday!
My aunt and uncle got a new puppy, he is lovely, made M and I even more determined to get a dog when we have the space. 
We had a brief snow fall and now we enjoying some warmer weather. 

So all in all a mixed month.  Until next time. 

Monday, 13 February 2012


Today is my birthday, I'm 28.

Haven't conquered the world yet, but it's early days.  

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

when I were a lass

I have just seen a comment on You Tube that really sums up how nostalgic I have been feeling recently:

"I like to think Britain in the 90s was exactly like pulp videos" 

Perhaps it's because my birthday is coming up soon, but I seem to be constantly seeing or hearing things that leave me thinking of my teens and early 20's.

My journey to work seems to be full memory joggers. From the picture shop that I used to walk past on my way home from school, where my friend would point out the white dress photo of Marilyn Monro 'that's a classic' (this had even more presence to a 13 year old girl than it does to a nearly 28 year old woman). To the road that another friend used to live on, the church hall where I spent nearly every Friday night for over 10 years. The train station that I used to walk pass on my way to college.

I am wondering if it is possible to have a late twenties life crisis? Here's a secret I'm some what reluctant to reveal, most of the time I don't feel like a grown up at all. I'm still that confused teenager, who feels self concious when she gets on the bus, (why does everyone feel the need to stare at the new passenger?), who still can't get the hair and make up right, who stills gets embarrassed about asking where the toilets are when she goes out to the pub.

So 28 in a few weeks; my new philosophy is cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

It’s the Good Life

I was watching Gold today on TV and there were a couple of episodes of one of my favourite shows; The Good Life.  This was a BBC comedy series about a couple from Surbiton who decide to turn their backs on the rat race and become self-sufficient.  They turn their garden into a small farm, growing all manner of veggies, keep chickens, goats and pigs, make their own electricity, weave their own clothes and even make their own transport.

This series was made in the mid seventies, a time when self-sufficiency was becoming more and more prevalent.  It was one of many shows the BBC made that addressed certain topics such as self-sufficiency, 9-5 working, alternative energy supplies and society as a whole.  A show that had these topics at its very core was, in my opinion; Survivors (the original 70’s show not the pathetic remake of a few years ago).  It was at times a depressing show but this could be attributed to the fact that it dealt with many issues that society was not willing to discuss. 

However today I’m going to include a clip from The Good Life, this is from the very first episode; turning 40 makes Tom Good look at life in a whole new light and thus a fantastic series is born.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

The non-appearing sorting hat

Today I discovered that the secondary school I went to used a house system. I know what you are thinking, why have I only just found this out now, I left 12 years ago. Well according to an encyclopaedia beginning with W, the letters that the classes were given; A,C,F,M and R stood for the names of the houses; "Annay", "Clairvaux", "Fountains", "Melrose" and "Rievaulx". These were, according to W, abbeys that St Bernard was associated with.

During my entire 5 years at “St B’s” I never recall being told about these houses. As far as I was concerned my class was just 7F, then 8F and so on up until year 11. Never once did we refer to our selves as Fountain House. I have to say had I known that I was in a “house” my interest in school probably would have increased. As it was I hated my time at secondary school. Up until year 9 I struggle with the academic work, but without a doubt the biggest issue I had was being bullied. This quite frankly made my school life a misery. The effects of this bullying are still with me today; confidence is some thing I have always had problems with. I have no doubt this is partially the result of being called ‘weasel face’ and other insults.

Of course it is of no matter now, however I wonder what else went on during my school years that I never knew about or never noticed.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Titles are very hard to think up

Status Update:
Cooking Pasta

Is this cooking ironically? No.  Am I feeling upset? No.  Am I pissed off about some thing that happen today involving someone that is one of my 'friends' and therefore making a statement about how out of order they are being, but not being brave enough to mention their name, but still using a social network to embarrass them and let the world know that we have had a row? No. Am I looking for fake sympathy from an entourage of fair weather friends? No.  I'm just cooking pasta.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Today while at work.......

I made up the following:

"It's the world of the beautiful people; pure skin and tainted hearts"

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Play Time

M and I are still in awe of the fact that we can get youtube and 4OD on Xbox.  Today’s delight has been a programme about the 50 greatest toys.

As you can imagine it meant our evening was full of pointing to the TV and shouting I remember those, and mine’s still in my parent’s loft!

The top toys for me were:

                                                                  Sylvanian Families


Teddy Bears

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Another year ends........

So today is New Years Day, 2011 is over.  It has been, for me, a year of changes.  The biggest (and best) being leaving the family home and moving in with M.  This has, without a doubt changed my life.  
Having our own home means of course; washing up (it never ends), Hoovering, trying to remember when bin day is (Christmas has really confused that) trawling round second hand shops (I have to confess that we have managed to get some truly great bargains and been very fortunate to have a generous family with gifts and ‘hand me downs’).
I continue to work at the college, it has been an exhausting year and I have to confess to being quite drained.
Another addition to my life is of course this blog, writing this has been most enjoyable, helping me take stock of my life, encouraging me to take more pictures and improving my writing skills.

We didn’t go on holiday this year, the summer weather didn’t really arrive and it didn’t snow for Christmas.  I continue to read about Paganism and Wicca, I have been to see one of my favourite musicians live (Kate Rusby).  I have discovered that my choice of music is no longer mainstream so I can’t just pop into HMV to treat my self to a CD, and as this is the only music store we seem to have, I think online shopping is the way to go next year. 

M and I have loved being adventurous with our cooking, we have discovered that stews can be great tasting and cheap to make.  Butternut squash makes a great addition to Korma and chilli con carne still reins supreme.

Tasks for next year include; having more people over for dinner, getting more exercise, hopefully earning a bit more money, going on a little holiday and doing lots more reading.