Friday, May 31, 2013

A Catty Friday Smiles

Nearly forgot it was Friday ...not sure where the  week has gone. ...but I had to join in with Annies Smiles on 'A Stitch In Time'
I quickly raided some shots I took a few weeks ago ... hope they make you smile .. well, the cat lovers will I think.

 KRIS and ROSIE in deep conversation
 RUSTY loves his mummy Vicki
 WANDA steeling Smudge's shot ...wish I could have got the expression on Smudge's face ...but I will leave you to imagine.
Sorry its so short this week ...but maybe thats a good thing.!!
For those who were part of WOYWW4 ...wasn't it  a great blogging get together on Wednesday.

Take Care xx.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Week 208.... Happy Anniversary … WOYWW is 4 Today

I have been a rubbish member of the Woyww family this year ….so little actual crafting as Mojo packed its bags and went off on a gap year. Instead you have suffered  me cooking cakes , showing off the grand kids and loads of photos of places and animals ….not forgetting the wedding.
Mojo still is not actually back …it has sent some postcards to my brain …but I just had to join in this week.
I cant believe it is four years since JD had the idea and a little band of us started to link up….now look how many there are …who would have thought. It has been amazing seeing what everyone has created over the years …or not in my case this year….but most of all I love visiting my friends and hearing a little about their lives, as well as their crafting. Learning techniques and being inspired by others is something I also gain from being part of this family …and knowing that if I want to vent or moan …or share a problem…there are a select group that are there at the end of an email …thank you ladies …you know who you are.

This is where I tried to encourage Mojo to return …

   You may see the beginning of an ATC in the right hand corner….
I have to make at least  two, ASAP, one for the swap and one for dear Annie (A Stitch in Time) …who sent me one and said I could swap when ready. I was good and only opened it as the clock struck instructed.

 It is so you Annie …I love it and the poem too …so clever …I will photograph the ATC and share it next week. Thank you so much …it is really appreciated … no one else could have made it ... I will always know who sent it, with out even turning it over.

I have however been messing around with an experimental sort of tea bread containing apple and other unusual  dried fruits, and it was not bad …and as usual Kris and Robbie eagerly ate the spoils, as  after school snacks.

 Here’s your slice  ……

So glad to be part of this …even if I only just manage one  swap…. I will visit as many as my ankles and back allow … sitting without moving, is the problem…..hopefully at least 50 will be visited but I hope more over a few days .
A big thank you to those who leave  comments here…it means so much.

Take Care xx

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Jake and Ben

I seem not to be able to leave anything alone ...I need to fiddle ...especially photos.
This is the twins last Nursery photo ...they are 5 in June proper school beckons.
I cropped it, gave it a halo and turned it into black and white ...and I quite like it I thought I'd share it with you.

Take Care xx

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Friday Smile …not that it was at the time.

This is a smile with no photo…..sorry

Just imagine …I was sitting  at the computer, having a browse through on line shops …that I really should not go near, as they make me spend money I don’t have ( thanks Carmen for the sale link!!!). …. when I heard DD’s key in the door, followed by ….
“What the ????….. Why are  there bits of ?….”
“Bits of what???? ….where???…..” I retorted with irritation
“Broccoli ??? Raw broccoli?? ….in a line …no …a  trail leading towards the kitchen “
“OMG ….the broccoli thief has struck again.”
Sadly the camera was not at hand …and I was too angry to think about it any way….hence me asking you to imagine the sight that DD was  met with.

Never thinking that Barnaby the cat, would decide to go fishing ….I had prepared the broccoli ready for supper, and covered it with  water, in a deep bowl. It had not crossed my mind that…even if he had been tempted to fish, that he would carry off the spoils ….only to find it was actually raw. Obviously, he had kept going back ….just in case any of it was edible…..every last piece had been removed from the bowl…..ah bless him…..Grrrr …
You may wonder how I knew who the culprit was ….his  paw was wet ….and he has a record!!.

 Hope this made you smile did me the end.

 Many have remarked on hedgehogs and swimming ….those native to this country do, but if they cant get out or get tired ,they will drown. This is why wildlife and hedgehog societies ask that a small plank of wood is kept in ponds and pools …especially at night …for the hog to climb up on and rest … and something too, at the edge of the water, to allow an escape .
Our pygmy hedgehog Holly, loves water but they have no sense of self survival ….they can not be left in the bath, even for a minute, as they could just stop swimming and sink…
 Sorry could not resist some shots of Holly on her wheel .(click to enlarge)

So ….‘til next weeks Friday’s Smiles, over at ‘A Stitch in Time‘.
Take Care xx

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My frustration with the pears that refused to ripen.

About four or so weeks ago I bought a bag of pears …they were rock hard but that is better than them being already ripe and ending up mushy and binned before they are consumed. After a few days I checked them …still hard as hard could be. I continued to check them every day but the only change was that their skin colour was mellowing.. After about two weeks of daily checking , I actually forgot about them as I just kept topping up the apples which now sat on top of them. I only remembered them when I had nearly run out of the apples, and saw them lurking at the bottom of the bowl. I carefully picked one up, expecting it to be quite mushy by now …but it was as hard as hard could be ….still.
I grabbed a knife and quartered it …hoping it was edible …maybe it was  meant to never be a juicy, succulent  fruit …maybe it was more like an apple …but even they go soft…eventually. Well … if I were desperate I might have eaten it …maybe … but I was  determined not to waste the remaining six.

I peeled quartered and cored them … with difficulty …and cooked them slowly in water which I had added a little lemon juice and sugar to …when soft enough to allow a knife point to pass through ..just …I turned them off and left them to cool.
On my return I tasted them …to my amazement they were delicious and soft ….like a very good quality tinned or bottled fruit ….last night we had them with chocolate custard and they were yummy….who would have thought.

Now I have two questions ….is this a brand of pear that is known to others out there…just not me ….or are these a batch of pears that found their way on to a supermarket shelf rather than continuing their journey to a cannery….I suppose I will  never know. 

Take Care xx

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday smiles ...Holly the hedgehogs first swim in the bath.

Its  Friday ... and Annie’s Smiles are here again ...on her blog…A Stitch in Time …I wondered what to bring to the table this week …and then I remembered Holly’s antics in the bath, at the end of last week.
 She has had practice baths, in the bathroom sink, but this was a proper one,  to see if she liked swimming.
DD set it up with the addition of  Robbie’s  Play Mobil car ferry,  a few stones and  large shells …we found that the depth of the water had to be right  for her to actually swim …and then off she went…..

 She tried climbing the side, to get on to the car ferry ...and succeded ...several times

 Then she found it was easier to use the end
 Hope her antics made you smile ...if not ....
.... here is one of me and Jake …at the wedding ….yes I know I said there would be no more …but this is classic …not a good one of either of us but …..

……I was trying  not to laugh while I was comforting the little drama queen...yes I know it was cruel of me ....after all he did feel it was the end of the world because he could not have a large slice of the cake then and there …and it was  not fair that Mummy and Daddy seemed to be cutting it without him.
 I really think he will be an Oscar winner of the future.

Take Care. xx

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Happy Couple …Graphic Novel Style

 This is the last Wedding Post …promise
Knowing the couples love of graphic novels and comics …and Emma’s for Japan …this amazing shot was created by the Wedding DJ …. .look closely...especially at the hands ….it really looks drawn and that it jumped from a graphic novel page.

 When Emma and Steve thought about a photographer they really did not want formal poses but under the pressure of family, they gave in to a few …these we are waiting for still, which can only be expected as the photographers  Mum passed away on the wedding day, after a long illness.
He was brilliant, trying to do his job and letting nothing show but in the end he had to leave and, with their blessing, left guests to capture the mood of the party …but what they did not expect was that the DJ would step into the breach. While still doing a fantastic job as a DJ, he managed to capture some amazing ‘party’ shots. (Just Click for a better Look)

 Whats Going On


Take Care xx

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Belfast ...The last post of the trip.

Be warned ...this is a long post…more like a book!!!… but I hope you enjoy it …its one of those posts that you need to have a coffee and something yummy at hand …you know what I’m like when I post anything with a little history behind it.

With little time to explore Belfast , the answer, for us, was a tour bus. There is so much to take in, from what you see and what you hear from the guide, especially on this tour, that you need to do the trip at least thrice before thinking where you would want to jump on and off to see more …something for a future trip…and sadly I did not get as many decent  shots as I hoped for …Hoorah I hear you shout. Click on them and they will enlarge.

We had two and a half free days to fit in things that would interest us all ….and that included shopping. As you can see on the previous post about W5, that took up one of the days and the half went to  Kris’ shopping day ...note the Build-A- Bear box !!

 so that left Tuesday for the trip …. and grown up shopping too.

I feel these photos only give you a tiny taste of what Belfast has to show you….the recent history and the beauty ….there is so much of both …but for me I started to understand more of what I had watched on the news all those years ago. I still want understand more  so I shall have to read …and read both sides …. from the beginnings of  the division and before …and then I still will only just begin to understand.
 I have to say it is a complex city but there is a strong feeling that most never want to return to the horror of ‘The Troubles’ which lasted three decades, yet  some cant quite feel totally safe, even today.

 Flags fly on some lamp posts to remind you which part of the city  you are in …mainly for tourists …as locals would know.

 The dividing Peace Walls, which often began as make shift barricades, eventually towered 20 foot above street level but although many have gone, some communities want theirs to remain for safety. and  some are there to remind all of us to ‘Give Peace a Chance‘ and are a canvas for those who want to speak with a brush …creating quite a tourist attraction.

 There is so much I was totally unaware of and I had no idea that there were actual gates erected across some streets and later, doors in the ’peace walls’. In recent years gates and doors have been opened during daylight hours and some permanently.
I was surprised to read that in fact many walls were erected after the cease fire in 1994 to prevent sectarian street fights and  intimidation  and I found it unbelievable how close the two sides lived  to each other and that a road could be a divide, one side unionist with decorated kerbs of red white and blue  or  republican, accordingly painted in their colours of green white and gold.  Shankill (unionist area) and Falls (republican), now had meaning.
 I wish I had managed to capture more of  the amazing murals that were from both sides. The first is of Bobby Sands ....and all have stories to tell, behind the art.

 This is The Crumlin Road goal   …so often talked about on the news back then
 And the high exterior fortifications of a police station brought home,a little more, what it must have been like.

 I would love to have had more photos of this section but you might have got bored.

 Harland and Wolff  had played a large part in  the  creation of jobs in Belfast …at it peak it employed 35,000.
Harland, not yet 30, was a general manager of a small ship yard on Queens Island when  he purchased  it in 1858 … his then assistant Wolff,  became his partner.
 The ship yard built many famous ships including the ill-fated Titanic…1911 and the HMS Belfast …. 1938, now moored on the Thames ,London, having been saved from the scrap yard.
This is the Titanic Building where one can relive the story of the great ship from its conception to its discovery on the sea bed.

The decline  for the company, began in the late 60’s but they still erected two huge gantry cranes …. Goliath in 1969, a mere 315 ft and then  Samson, in 1974 at 348 ft. …not sure which is which in photos.

 The company had been an innovator in the early years, hugely productive in the years between, so, when the need for the type of ship they built was no longer there, they turned to design, construction and restoration of such things as bridges. Now it  is a dry dock which includes Samson and Goliath  and supports a small work force but  those magnificent  cranes are now  actually Historic Monuments which  will  tower above the city for the years to come.

This is the beauty that is Belfast
 The original Belfast Castle was built in the 12th century and was  situated in what is now Belfast City Centre. It was burnt to the ground in 1708 and is now marked only by street names.
It was decided to rebuild but this time on the out skirts, on the slopes of  Cave Hill  …now the Country Park, almost 400ft above sea level  The building of it began in the early 1800’s using  the Scottish Baronial style and was completed in 1877. It is probably more of a mansion than a castle, but has a commanding  beauty as you catch your first glimpse. This is one stop I want to make next time I visit.

This beautiful country side is part of Belfast Castles estate and was used in some of the filming of ‘Game of Thrones’

Queens University Belfast was founded by Queen Victoria in 1845, although its academic foundations go back to 1811 ... its doors opened for students in 1849which makes it one of the 10 oldest universities in the UK.

Lastly ...if you are still with me ...this is The Big fish which stands by the Donegal Quay and was designed and sculpted  by John Kindress, an Irish multi media   artist. It was created to celebrate the regeneration of The River Lagan and is clad in ceramic tiles which are decorated in text and images that relate to Belfast’s history. Inside it is a Time Capsule, which might one day aid  scholars of the future, in their quest to know more about those who lived there in 1999.
Told you  it was a long post .... but I hope those who have managed to read it, have enjoyed my day on the Tour Bus....and the added notes 
Take Care xx

Friday, May 10, 2013

A Friday Smile

 I had forgotten these two shots until I down loaded all the Belfast phtos ...A bored five year old waiting for the boat to cast off ....only his legs moved back and forth for almost  10 minutes.

The same, not so bored five year old ...proud he now has his Tae Kwon Do unifom....a little big ...but at that price, he can grow into it. 

Now I'm off to link with Annie's Blog at 'A Stitch in Time's...the lady who started this lttle group of bloggers who like to share what brings a smile to their face.

Take Care xx

Thursday, May 02, 2013

The 4th Belfast Post ....W5

 W5 is Ireland's award winning science and discovery centre at  the Odyssey, Belfast …and is an amazing, interactive, experience for all ages  
W5 stands for … Who? What? When?  Why? Where?   

It is so much fun.
 It captured the imagination and interest of a 5 year old,  a 40 year old and a 66 year old …. and held it all day…with snack breaks of course….not bad I thought.
 I wish we had taken more photos …although you are probably relieved … but we were so enthralled with everything we kept forgetting.

 This was one of the pieces that allowed you to make as much noise as you wanted  to
 Jay playing ....ooops .....solving a problem !!

 Kris having fun with  one of the strength tests
 With each  floor, the more  demanding the tasks became but as everything can be handled , even Kris was not bored because you could have fun just playing with all the things. Many tasks defeated Jay and me and some we eventually understood but  all were so much fun.

  This wonderfully huge window looked out onto this
 The views were stunning from the were those when we took a walk around the building for a breath of fresh air, before going back in.


 The yellow crane is one of a pair that I will blog about on the last post next week you will be glad when I finish these  trip posts.

If you ever go to Belfast with children ....visit here will not regret it.

Bet you are glad I kept forgetting to take photos.

Take care xx

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Woyww 204….….a desk not for showing ....yet.

Firstly I have to confess that my good intentions to tidy and sort went by the wayside last week ….so lets just pretend last week never happened….please ...and I will start again with good intentions to complete the task.
 I haven’t crafted  in any form either…not really sure where the week went …but  I thought I’d try a baking experiment yesterday…I tried to invent a Chocolate Banana Cake  ….well I had to do something with those really really  ripe bananas ….and I had waited in all morning  for the boiler man who never came ….not surprising really …. he’s not due to do the service until Thursday.!!! ...senior moment I think.

Sadly the cake was a bit of a disaster…. heavy  and just edible …nice flavour though …but the kids thought it was yummy after school, with a glass of milk….bonus.

…but then its that sort of week … on Monday a broken ball cock …smaller than a marble …caused water to drip through the ceiling from the hot water tank in the loft. ... obviously there had been an undetected problem for some time….I wonder what  today will bring????

I am determined to get on with the reorganization of my room, now my knee, that I hurt while I was away, is at last improving. It was the pain in the joint that also stopped me doing things but it is feeling  better today.

The only problem now, is that my brain is in over drive. I have had time to think…while getting in the zone to attack the chaos.  I want to scrap and make ATC’s …and do some tapestry and Zentangling … jewellery making too ….and maybe some knitting …..and bread making … but it is all going to have to wait until the room and desk are sorted ….. tidyish  maybe ????….NO it has to be sorted THIS week. I do hope Mojo stays around though.

Take Care.xx

Ps I still have two Belfast posts to blog …look out for one in a couple of days … it's on W5 …the most amazing interactive discovery centre for kids … of all ages.