365 ~ Hipstamatic Week 16

This week I chose the Jalisco Histapak which consists of the Chivas lens, which adds cool contrast even in dark conditions, and the Estrada 83 film, which is a grungy film with a tatty border.

Sunday 16th April
It didn’t rain today though there wasn’t any warmth in the air, we did bits of housework and Phil mowed the lawns which are in pretty poor condition having been overrun with moss.

cold mowings.

Monday 17th April
Back to work, and busy as always on a Monday. It was a sunny day, not that I had chance to appreciate it until I got home and saw the view from our bedroom window is getting it’s spring greens.

Spring greens

Tuesday 18th April
It’s been a while since I got a chance to take a picture of Teddy the boss’s doggy. The little chap has been ‘done’ now but it hasn’t calmed him down any, he’s still as mad as a box of frogs. So cute and happy though.

Teddy Boy

Wednesday 19th April
The sun was out again early doors, and as the light crept up over our garden fence some rays started touching the new leaves on Mum’s plant, so I got my shot done before I even went to work.

Pieris Forest Flame

Thursday 20th April
We had an appointment to take Winnie to the vet today which was quite traumatic for all of us. She might be little but she can up up a good fight when the cat box beckons. We managed to get her in, and then to the vet, the howls on the car journey break your heart and mind. When we got there she wouldn’t get out of the box of course, so another palaver, and when eventually she did come out, she squashed herself right up to me and stuck her head inside my jacket as if to hide. But she suffered being examined, then the vet prescribed painkillers, and gave us advice on stuff we already knew. She went back in the catbox no problem, and was quiet as a mouse on the way home. Back home and she was right as rain. It was also our 11th wedding anniversary and Phil had booked us in at Bellini’s, which I hadn’t been to before. It wasn’t a cozy romanic place by any stretch, and reminded me more of a canteen. It was quite busy and noisy, and we wondered how long we’d have to wait for service, but it was all very timely and the food was really good. I liked their ceiling deco!

Hands across the sea-ling.

Friday 21st April
Phil at work this morning so I did some chores and had intended to take the Pentax out on it’s inaugural session, but it was cold and grey and I had no enthusiasm or motivation for it at all, so I did the washing instead and did a Winnie shot. She seems a little better today.

Winnie

Saturday 22nd April
It’s really annoying when my work days have all been nice weather, and my off days are damp and miserable, the best today has to offer is a concrete sky and muddy greens. It’s been raining all day, but not proper photographic rain, just a continuous fine mizzle. Phil was at work again for the morning, so I read my book and drank tea, and cuddled the cat.

when all else fails..

Another week gone, and I think this combination worked reasonably well, gave a little bit extra without being too arty farty.

Fingers crossed for some nice weather for me next week! Onwards!!…..


πŸ“±πŸ˜Š

Hipstamatic 365 out~takes

I’ve been taking more than 1 shot a day most days, so figured I’d do a monthly post of the outakes I liked best. Which probably will mostly be of the cats.

Liddy in her giant Christmas coverall PJ thingy.
Cal at South Shields
Winnies latest new-place-to-sleep
Lord Vincent
Winnie
Winnie on the roof
Sunrise

C’est tout!

Tales from Fraggle Towers ~ November 2022

The end of November is nigh, and I’m noticing more and more Christmas lights up in towns and on peoples houses. Asda are already awash with Christmas tat.

Far too early IMHO, 2 weeks is enough for me! Oh well, to each an apple. November didn’t start too well as I’d really hurt myself at the end of October. I got up from the sofa and twisted so as to trap a nerve in my back, and ended up incapacitated for a week. Couldn’t drive so couldn’t go to work, and sitting down or standing up was quite horrendous. I had planned to visit my lad Ben and Grandson Lewis on the following weekend and really didn’t want to cancel, but by the time it came around I was all better. Big relief. Nurofen and paracetamol combo to the rescue!

Off I went down south and as it was Guy Fawkes night, we went out to Milton Keynes to a Firework display, but first went for dinner at one of the Wagamama restaurants which has Asian fusion food based on Japanese cuisine. I think it’s supposed to be hip and groovy to eat there, but neither Ben or Lewis enjoyed what they ordered though they did their best, and it’s good to try stuff out of your comfort zone. I ordered Pad Thai, which is slap bang in my comfort zone so I was fine πŸ˜ƒ.

Of course it was raining on and off so traipsing over to the firework display wasn’t that great as it was in a park and things got a bit muddy. There was a big fairground which was heaving with people and long, long queues for the rides, which none of us fancied doing, but Ben and Lewis wasted some coins in a mini amusement arcade.

A fee but no win

We waited in the field for 45 minutes before the fireworks started, and they lasted 20 minutes. They were not all that spectacular but the end bit (you can see below) was pretty. Anyway, getting rain sodden didn’t stop me enjoying being with my boys.

crackley fireworks.

Back home we’ve had nearly 2 months with silly internet. We decided to swap over from Virgin to BT, for various reasons I won’t bore you with but not least because it’s faster and cheaper per month. It has taken 7 visits over 10 weeks, by several teams of internet fixerupperers to get us connected. They’ve had to dig up the path that runs past the front garden, dug holes in our front garden, spent hours on the phone back to base and finally yesterday got us connected and we are back online.

BT men at work.

BT were very good whilst this was all going on and gave us a mini hub that was basically a sim card in a case. It was enough to use the computers but no good for streaming, and it dropped out every now and then and on rebooting had to have a megalong password put in. So annoying (I know, 1st world problems) but they didn’t charge us for it, so I can’t complain really, even though I just did.

Mini Hub

Achievement of the month… I made dumplings for the first time ever and they were OK at least. Phil tries to make them quite often and fails dismally everytime, so I volunteered to have a go and ta-daaah!

Dumplings.

Work has been as usual, mostly busy though this week it’s dropped off a bit, that happens around this time of year, and this year paying for wax removal might not be a priority. I pulled the longest pair of skin ribbons I’ve done so far out of one ladies ears, one out of each, amazing! They remind me of shedded snake skin.

Skin ribbons.

Phil has been busy repainting the woodwork of the landing doors and skirting boards, as well as upscaling the banister. Looks nice. To celerate we went off to Jarrow and chose a new stair/landing carpet, which will be fitted in a couple of weeks. It’s from the same people who carpeted the house 20 years ago when it was new. Nice to see a local family run firm make it through all the mad stuff.

Horned Helmets!!!

After all that hard work the past 10 days have been a pain literally for Phil as, not to be left out, he trapped a nerve under his shoulder blade. He’s been fannying on with a tens machine, which did do some good when it worked, but couldn’t sleep too well and finally went to the Docs yesterday and got himself some strong painkillers, which gave him a good nights sleep. He’s doing better today, at least I’m not getting hourly reports of the pain level, and he’s unplugged himself from the tens, so fingers crossed!

I bought an indoor cyclamen back in October, it’s doing well but I can’t get over it liking cold weather and no sunshine. It’s pretty.

Cyclamen

Lord Vincent and Winnie have been stuffing their faces since the weather has turned cold, and don’t go out so much when it’s raining, but both are doing OK.

I found this and it made me laugh, so true!

I didn’t do much photography at the beginning of the month, but had a play around trying ICM (intentional camera movement) shots

Windy window
Gee tarrrr

I love how ICM photographers make artistic work with it, but somehow it just isn’t for me.

Sophie is back for a couple of weeks, and we went out this weekend, so there will be a post on the Universe blog in the near future, though I will wait until the film shots come back as there are not many digitals. Not sure how long that will be as the post office are on strike until Friday. Along with half the country. Good to see people fired up and taking action at last.

So that’s about it for November 2022, the year is nearly over just Christmas to get through and then we can all start again!

Stay tooned!

πŸ“· 😊

Tales from Fraggle Towers ~ October 2022

It’s been a funny old month here at Fraggle Towers with health issues to the fore. Phil had his Corona booster and Flu jab at the beginning of the month and was not well for 3 days, I had mine later on in the month and apart from one day being wierd got through that Ok. But I’ve had a couple of visits to the Doc’s for blood tests and other stuff. Then just this week I twisted somehow getting up from my sofa and did something to my back, with the result that I’m having time off from work. Can’t remember the last time that happened, and if I was able to drive I’d have still gone in. Sigh. Getting old and decrepit is just no fun. I seem to be improving anyway, fingers xt.

Winnie has been to the Vets as she has chronic cystitis they’re trying to get to the bottom of and she’s now on a daily dose of Loxacam which seems to be helping. None of this stops her being as mad as a box of frogs! Out in all weathers and doing a cracking job of rodent disposal.

Winnie Up.

Lord Vincent is hale and hearty, and in between patrolling the perimeter of our bit of the estate and eating for England, he spends most of his time on the bed ~ not one for rain and cold weather. He can’t even be bothered catching a mouse.

Lord Vincent

It’s been great having Sophie back in the country and we’ve had a couple of outings which has given me a good bit of fodder for the Universe Blog and for Fraggle film, though I’m still waiting to receive the scans back for that.

Work has been so busy, I’m getting through 40 people a week on average and I only work 2 & 1/2 days, so it’s full on, but I still get 10 minutes here and there to have a bit of lunch or take Teddy for a quick trot around the carpark. He is such a happy little soul and makes me smile.

Teddy, my BFF

Tonight is Halloween, and all the Grandkids turned up to go out trick or treating, which really is ‘begging for sweets’ apparently, but most of our estate get involved so I have sweets at the door ready and I get to take pictures, though use my iPhone now as the Fuji freaks people out 🀣. Phil and Shelly went with the kids to do the rounds and I stayed home to answer the door. Liddy and Livvy made a good effort at dressing up! Phil tells me that one house had made a fake cemetary on their front lawn, and another had a spooky figure that spoke to the kids as they got near to it and made them jump. Another had a giant spider across the front of their house. ALl good fun and the kids loved it.

Liddy ~ a dead bride 🀣
Livvy ~ zombie schoolgirl (I think!)

The boys are ‘too old’ to dress up being 11 and 12 (pfft!) but are happy to have the sweets of course! To anyone moaning about copying the USA, or commercialising Halloween, or begging for sweets etc I agree, it’s true and I don’t bliddy care, as having the grandkids round laughing and being happy for a daft evening is fine by me. One day they’ll be in their teens and this will just be a memory.

Some neighbourhood kids

Not sure who he’s supposed to be, ? Pennywise
???
another Pennywise I think
who knows?
Jail bait. πŸ˜„

So that’s the end of the 10th month and we’re going into Outer~Christmas Land now, as people are mad for it up here. I’m off down South at the weekend to visit with Ben and Lewis, fingers crossed my back has recovered as it’s a long old drive, and I’m dreading sitting still in the car for 5 hours doing it in case it sets it off again, but am thinking pink thoughts, like that’ll help.

Back next time with a November round up so stay tooned!

Tales from Fraggle Towers ~ Sept 2022

Into Autumn now, the tree leaves are beginning to furl and change colour in places, though nowhere near photographic delight yet. Sophie is back (I think) for a while, but has family health issues to contend with now, involving her spending a lot of free time in London with her Mum, so we won’t be doing many photo outings because obviously priorities!! Hopefully this weekend though, weather permitting.

The first week of September was just quiet but then in the second week our Queen died (which if you haven’t been living under a rock you couldn’t fail to know). I think everyone except ardent royalists were fed up to the back teeth of all the relentless radio, newspaper and TV coverage, which wiped football out (haha, tee hee, sorry, not sorry) I imagine soap operas and other things were cancelled as well but I wouldn’t know about those as we don’t do much TV. More annoying was any news about anything else going on in the world was completely ignored. Even more annoying was having my blood work appointment cancelled when they decided to Bank Holliday the funeral. I didn’t even get a free day off work as that was my holiday week! Pfft!

We have been entertaining the troops ChΓ©z Nous, firstly we had Cal and Liddy for a sleepover

Liddy snug as a bug

Liddy saw this on our dining room ceiling and wanted to know what it was

it’s possibly a Daddy Long Legs spider or a Harvestman spider, not sure and I don’t really care so long as it”s gone!

We also had Paul and Lorraine over for dinner, a Persian banquet, which I hadn’t tried doing before, but it all came together quite well. The Ottoman Puffs went down extremely well, and whilst they may resemble sausage rolls, really they are not. In spite of having sausage meat in them.

Ottoman Puffs. Really!

It was a good night, good food, plenty of liquid refreshment, a lot of laughing and music. Phil entertained us with his bass playing, but Paul let the side down by forgetting his guitar.

We had our trip to Scotland which I posted about a few days ago, click HERE if you missed it (looking at you Dix) and Phil has a brand new car which I drove to get us there. So much tech in new cars! There’s a huge screen on the front dashboard with buttons under it for Sat Nav, audio, and other stuff I didn’t bother with. It has automatic straightening if it senses you veering off the road (!) and beeps at you for this, that and the other. It’s a Nissan Juke and so quite big but only has a 1L engine, so you would think it slow to drag the weight of it about, but you would think wrong, it goes like the proverbial poo from a spade. It was a nice comfy drive, 6 gears no less, but I wouldn’t swap my 500 for it, it has no character. It was a sunnyish day so I took the scenic route up the A697 through Coldstream. Glorious scenery the whole way, passing by lush green hills and rolling fields of crop type things. Or grass. Whatever, it was totally green. Our hotel, The Murrayfield is only a long stones throw away from the stadium and was very nice. It’s restaurant ‘The Bothy’ was quite pricey, which we wouldn’t have minded if there’d been anything on the menu we’d really fancied, but there wasn’t, it all sounded a bit Masterchefy so we wandered down the road and got some good Scottish fare from Tang’s Take Away.

We snuck it back into the hotel and had it with some vino delecto and watched Andor, a Star Warsy series on Disney + that was much better than I thought it would be.

The cats are still assassinating the local rodent population and when we got back from Scotland on the Saturday evening there was a fair amount of bird poop to clear up as Winnie had a lady blackbird trapped in the conservatory. It was a bugger to get it to escape as she kept dashing into the big umbrella plant we have in there, and behind the furnitures, and the whole performance would probably suffice as a Youtube comedy sketch had anyone filmed it.

Of course I have cat pictures…

Winnie has taken to coming in to my study when I’m blogging and I have to quickly shift the keyboard so she can lie down for tickles. Her claws get stuck in the mat I have down to stabilise the keyboard so I’ve replaced it with some beautiful patchwork placemats (that I hadn’t been using as I don’t want to spoil them) that my friend Connie from the Adventures in every day life blog kindly sent me from over the pond, and Winnie is happy with them, and I get to enjoy them every day now.

Lord Vincent does not like the rainy weather, and spends most of his time asleep!

So September is just about over, and it’s chucking it down with a hoolie of a wind going on whilst I’m writing this. I was going to write about the sad and horrendous state of government here in the UK, but this chap says it so much better. There are 2 swear words in it so if you’re a puritanical type you’ve been warned. He’s a comedian ostensibly, but this isn’t funny, and it’s the truth of things here.

And so, on to October, fingers crossed for some sunny autumn days with lovely colours to photograph, preferably not on days when I’m at work!

Stay tooned dear reader!

Tales from Fraggle Towers ~ July 2022

The beginning of July didn’t start out too well for me. Whilst walking Teddy (the dog at work) around the block I stepped on a manhole and fell down a drain, which is a sentence I didn’t expect to ever write, but there it is. The Manhole looked fine but the setting of it was secretly broken, so when my foot went on it the damned evil thing flipped over taking a fair amount of my shin skin with it and I ended up half in half out of the drain it covered and in a world of pain. I’d managed to hold on to Teddy’s lead and got us back to the office, missing one of my clogs which had deserted me for the dark deep comfort of the aforementioned drain. Iodine and dressings were applied from an out of date 1st aid kit and I’d just about stopped shaking when my next client arrived and I got back to work. In fairness my boss asked me if I wanted to cancel my clients and go to the walk in centre, but the thought of sitting in there for 3 hours was prohibitive when I knew I’d be home in a couple of hours and Dr.Phil would sort me out.

Don’t look at the photos if you’re squeamish BTW.

the injuries
Dr.Phil in action.
shutting the gate after the horse has bolted.

4 weeks on and my left leg is just about healed now and hasn’t needed dressings for 10 days, but the right leg still has a stubborn hole in it that’s taking it’s time, so everynight we are still cleaning and dressing it, but that’s fine, it didn’t get infected at least.

We had a 2 day heatwave here where temperatures went to 33-35 degrees C, though it went on longer in the rest of the country. We closed down at 2pm at work on the 35 day and went home. I will never moan about cool, grey days ever again. (That’s possibly going to end up being a fib.) Phil and I sat in the coolest room and wilted through the afternoon until it cooled down in the evening. It’s still getting pretty warm this week, but it’s bearable.

That reminds me, my MOT is due this week and I’m going to enquire about having my air con fixed. Driving isn’t fun when you’re being roasted.

Half way through July I went for a lung scan. Both Phil and I were contacted by Gateshead Hospital to see if we would like to have lung screening, and we both did so it happened. 4-6 weeks for the results. I’m quite amazed really, our NHS is on it’s knees but it still keeps going with the screenings, boobograms, poo sticks, cervical smears, lungs, prostates, you name it, they’ll screen it. It makes sense financially of course, catching things early means less long term costly treatment. Anyway results in 4-6 weeks, and then we’ll know if our hedonistic unhealthy youth and mid years have done for us.

In the last week I went on a course to Rotherham to learn how to use a new ear irrigating machine. It was an NHS run course rather than a manufacturer’s course which I’m more used to attending. The differences made me smile, on a Manufacturers training course you get put up in a nice hotel, have Danish pastries and coffee before you start the course in the morning, nice buffet lunch provided, free pens and leatherbound folders for your notes. On the NHS course it was get yourself to the course, coffee and biscuits, bring your own lunch, paper and pens 😊. That’s how it should be though, can’t have the NHS buying our lunches! The course was OK, the teacher went over a lot of stuff I already knew from my original training, but nice to see what I’d forgotten, and apart from an NHS audiologist and an RAF nurse, the other people, were GP practice nurses or receptionists wanting to add this string to their bow and didn’t have that depth of knowledge. I stayed in a Welcome Inn the night before, cheap and no breakfast included. To amuse myself I did a photo shoot which I’m entitling “Cheap Hotel”


I’m using the new machine at work and loving it, though I forget to take my foot off the pedal sometimes and shoot water everywhere. I’ll get the hang of it.

A lady came to my clinic to have wax removed a couple of weeks ago, but I found an earring~back in her ear instead. πŸ™„ Don’t wear earrings to bed people!

Finally, the cats of course,

Winnie in the heatwave days

a real gone cat

and Lord Vincent found some cool shade

So July, on the whole I’m glad it’s over and we’re in to August. I’m looking forward to taking the grandkids out for a day shortly, to the zoo and see the snow leopards. Also my birthday’s coming up, always good for a nice dinner out courtesy of Phil. Sophie is back for a weekend and bringing her hubby Mentat with her and we’re all going off to visit Raby Castle, Phil too. Hopefully I’ll keep upright and have a good month!

Stay tooned!

😊 πŸ“±

Tales from Fraggle Towers ~ April/May 2022

I’ve been rubbish at keeping up the monthly Fraggle Towers posts, but hey-ho, life and all that. Anyway here is a potted update on our doings.

April saw Phil and I attend our first gig since the Covid thing began, and we went into Newcastle and met up with Phil’s son Carl and his Missis Karly, to see the band Stone Broken, which I’m sure you’ve all heard of 🀣. Phil and I started out in our regular pub Rafferty’s on Pink Lane, which has cheap alcohol and a floor your feet stick to.

Rafferty’s

The venue was The Riverside, which is beside the river Tyne (not being funny, we have a Lakeside pub that’s nowhere near a lake πŸ™„) a small venue which gets packed. I must admit to a certain amount of trepidation at being stuck in a room with a few hundred people, none wearing masks. I had one on, but it seemed overwhelmingly pointless as I had to remove it to have a drink so ended up maskless too.

Family outing

Newcastle at night is lush for photos

Tyne at night
The Bridge and the bridge.

The Band were great

Stone Broken

and a good time was had by all, plus we didn’t get Covid and die, so result!

Phil and I went back there in May to see a brilliant American Southern Rock/Soul band, Robert Jon and the Wreck and they were fantastic.

Robert Jon and The Wreck

We’ve been checking out a couple of local restaurants we hadn’t been to before, the first one was pretty poor food-wise, though a nice looking pub, in a lovely setting near our wildlife reserve. It was cheap, which was probably why we got oven chips and frozen veg with our main course, Phil had a microwaved pie (soggy pastry) and I got away with scampi which it’s hard to ruin really. Won’t be going back.

The Cock Crow Inn at Hebburn

The other one is called Le Olive Verdi and is a lovely Italian restaurant on the top floor of The Pelaw Inn, had a fab dinner, steak in 3 peppercorn sauce and it came with fresh veg, not cheap, but worth the money, and we can walk there so it’s all good and we will be returning.

clock at Le Olive Verdi

The cats:- Lord Vincent has been his usual zen self, eating, sleeping, sitting under bushes and plodding about.

Lord Vincent

WInnie has been on a killing spree. I came downstairs one morning to find a dead mouse on our dining room mat, it wasn’t mauled, just looked like it was asleep. A few days later Phil found a dead blackbird in the TV room. Then one day whilst Phil was at work she came running past me with something in her mouth, I chased her upstairs to the bedroom where she had something under the bed which was tweeting. It must have got free from her and hid as she came charging around to the other side of the bed whereby I picked her up and evicted her. I couldn’t see anything under the bed and it’s too heavy for me to move so I shut the door and left as I had to go out for a couple of hours. When I came back I could hear a constant tweeting from behind the bedroom door. I opened it and something ran very quickly under a chest of drawers, so I left it alone again. Still could hear the tweeting. I tried again a couple of hours later and this time it ran into the bathroom.

Tweety Pie

I shut the door and waited for Phil to come home. Phil managed to pick him up and gently carried him into the bushes over the road, where, we hoped forlornly, his mother would hear him and come and fetch him, but Lord Vincent had sneakily followed Phil outside and as soon as Phil’s back was turned, well, need I go on?

Finally I came downstairs one day and saw

😳

which was a bit of a shock. I couldn’t believe Winnie had managed to catch this big magpie and get him through the catflap without a sound or feathers being every where and thought he must have managed to get himself in through it. But then when I checked our hedgehog camera, well… you need to set it to a slow playback speed to see it as she’s fast as fek! Keep your eyes on the top right corner right at the beginning.

So she dropped it through the catflap and it must have got away from her pretty quickly. Her ambition is boundless and I dread the day she decides Woody the wood pigeon is her next victim.

Even though she’s lethal, she’s still cute.

Killer Queen

and also makes us laugh

It’s all gravy.

Work is still full on, and I’m busy as a tree. Little Teddy is worming is way into my affections and I take him out for a walk when ever I have 10 mins spare, which is about twice a day. He mainly sits with Lynn our office manager barricaded in as he’s apt to escape.

Teddy and Lynn

Phil’s Giant Tank is coming along, and this weekend is his clubs model show, so I’ll be attending on Sunday to photograph the competition tables and winners for the club’s Facebook page.

phil’s giant tank.

Entertainment-wise I haven’t seen any movies I’d recommend, maybe The Contractor as it has a good cast- Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Kiefer Doodah. It’s a serviceable action movie, but nothing new. Bird Box with Sandra Bullock started out well, and she was great all the way through but there were too many good coincidences at the end. Phil wanted to re-watch Oblivion with Tom Cruise as he got the blueray but we gave up before the end as we’d had wine/whisky and couldnt get our heads around what the fek was going on. I’ll wiki it one day. πŸ˜ƒ

TV has been better, we got through to the end of Ozarks and are currently in the last season of Better Call Saul, both have been outstanding. We are now rewatching the first 2 seasons of Das Boot as the 3rd one is out and we forgot a lot of 1 & 2 as it was a couple of years ago, looking forward to seeing the 3rd, it is excellent.

Reading, well I’ve read all 47 of Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe series twice, and am starting again at the beginning, I just love these books. I have bought other books in the meantime, but as yet I can’t let go of Wolfe to read them instead. A strange addiction!

That’s all folks. More tales from Fraggle Towers to come, eventually. If/when I remember!

πŸ“· 😊

Tales from Fraggle Towers ~ March 2022

Yep I’m a couple of days late with a ‘tales’ post for March, but c’est la vie. March has been a busy month for us with Phil doing a make-over of our dining room.

stripper
paperer

We had a new floor done too, I can’t remember why but I like it so not to worry.

job done

New music equipment was purchased at the beginning of the month, well not new, Phil rarely buys new as it’s mega bucks for what he wants, he waits until new stuff comes in and then buys stock that’s getting sold at a bargain price in order to make room for the next things. We went off to Stockton on the River Tees for his latest aquisitions, a phono cartridge pre-amp and a regulated power supply. He tries to explain to me what these things do but I just can’t. Anyways we got lost getting there or rather we didn’t but just couldn’t see it, as the building entrance faced the river and the car park didn’t. We spent some time ogling the amazing music systems they had in their upstairrs showroom

ogling
more ogling

and I took a couple of pictures out of the window,

River Tees

The cats have been their usual selves, Lord Vincent has been loving the sunshine we had last week

LV

and Winnie has been bonkers

Boxed Winnie

WInnie has learned how to get up on top of our conservatory roof, and the other morning I woke up at 7.30am to her meowing. Couldn’t see her in the room but when I opened my curtains

let me in!

there she was shouting to come in. Not best pleased as I wasn’t going to work that day so getting up at 7.30 hadn’t been the plan. Sigh.

Talking of sunshine, it’s been a mad month for the weather. Last week was like summer, and then this week we got snow and sleet in between some sunny bits. I’ve been out walking a few times with the Contax Aria, with Sophie away a lot more than she used to be there are now several weeks in between our outings, so walking out into the nature bits around where I live is a substitute. Not a great one, but better than nothing.

Phil’s sister Annette had her 70th Birthday last weekend and 13 of us went out to a local restaurant, The Lakeside (there’s no lake anywhere near it) where she had booked us in for a celebratory meal. When we arrived they had no record of the booking. That was a shock and Annette told them she’d spoken to a chap but didn’t know his name. The place was really busy too. Have to applaud the manager and her staff though, they apologised profusely and went straight into action, managed to find enough tables to cobble together for us to sit at and we were sorted and our orders taken within 15 minutes. Not a bad meal either which Annette’s husband Brian paid for which was lovely of him. Afterwards we went to their house for cups of tea and some birthday cake.

Birthday girl

Annette rang us the next day to tell us that she’s booked another local restaurant, The Green, for Brian’s birthday meal in a couple of weeks time. They asked her why we hadn’t shown up for the booking she made for the day before. 🀣🀣

My Happy Eater tree is in full bloom now, it’s strange to see the bees buzzing about on it in the middle of a snow shower.

The Happy Eater Tree

Unfortunately we seem to have aquired a herd of Magpies who are going through the bird food at a fast pace. I’ve counted 7 of them, ‘seven for a secret never to be told’, which I won’t because I don’t know what it is. Anyway I’m not keen on them but everything needs to eat so I keep topping it up. Sadly the cats are no deterent as Winnie barks at them from the windowsill and Vinnie sits under the tree but they know he’s there and wait until he goes indoors.

I drove over to the coast at South Shields the other day, managed to photograph the sea with a weather front coming in.

Incoming!

My boss was off sick with Covid last week, the guy who works for her the 2 days I don’t had picked it up and then, as he stays over at Brendas when he works for us (he lives in Scotland) she was the next in line. So far I haven’t had it, nor our office manager, we dodged a bullet there as they say.

Well that’s about it for March, I’m glad we’re into April now and looking forward to Spring springing and getting out more.

Tales from Fraggle Towers ~ Feb 22

Most of my photography is being done on film, but I’ve still managed a few iPhone shots, mostly of the cats.

Winnie has a thing for sticks of any description, and apparently spaghetti is in that classification. πŸ™„

sticks

Winnie and Lord Vincent don’t really get on, Vinnie is quite cool and doesn’t bother with her, but she hisses at him and sometimes jumps on him when she’s going past him, but the conservatory seems to be a no-mans land, or at least there’s a truce for there. Yep I know the windows need cleaning!

Another picture of Teddy from work, he’s ao adorably cute but SO yappy, which I’m not too keen on.

Yappy

He’s a cross between a Pomeranian and a Pappilon, whatever they are, and won’t get much bigger than he is.

I took some time out from work towards the end of the month and travelled south to see Ben, Lewis & Charlotte. It was Lewis’s 12th birthday last week but he was on half term the week before when I visited so I could spend more time with him.

That’s Ben’s ‘not another photo’ face!
Happy day!

They have been adopted by a cat who lives in their neighbourhood, Mrs. Miaow~miaow.

Mrs.Miaow~miaow.

It was nice to spend some time with them, but the driving there and back was a nightmare in the bad storms. I stay in a little annexe to a converted chapel as Ben’s house only has 2 bedrooms and I like my own room and bathroom and managed this time to mix up my leaving day, so I was turfed out on Wednesday afternoon when I thought I was staying until Thursday. πŸ™„ I ended up just driving home from 9pm and getting in for 1am.

We’ve only done 2 movies this month, Spenser Confidential, Mark Whalberg, which was a good action romp for a Saturday night, and The Counsellor with Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz and Cameron Diaz. Directed by Ridley Scott we were expecting great things, but it was a bit of a damp squib really.

Phil has started on the redecoration of the dining room, and though it isn’t a huge room, it’s where the cabinets with CD’s, model tanks and a few preciouses live, so they have all had to be emptied and packed away. Steaming off the wallpaper starts tomorrow, thankfully I’ll be at work!

The weather has been fairly abominable, Storms Eunice, Franklin were mega~windy and rainy, I did my night drive up the country whilst Franklin was doing it’s thing, and I think we were supposed to have a Gladys too and we might have but if so it got lost in the news about Putin invading Ukraine. It’s been a sunny couple of days this weekend though so there’s that. But yes, Ukraine. Scary times and it seems to be escalating god knows where. Nothing to do but wait and see, but it’s hard to think about anything else. So that’s how February ends.

Lord Vincent

Corona Chronicles ~ 9

It’s been a few weeks since I did an update, so here’s number 9. I’m now in my 8th week back at work and it’s not letting up. I’m getting through 48 patients a week, and have got a routine down pat now. Masks are compulsory of course and I’ve got used to wearing one for most of the day, though when I have a plastic apron and my headlamp on I get uncomfortable and hot, but I’d rather that than be unprotected. So far no virus detected so although I’m certainly not blasΓ© I’m also not too worried.

Phil is more worried as it’s so difficult in the full bifta, with face shields, masks, gowns and xray lead gowns to cope with, he is dreading a 2nd wave.

We have had an entertaining 4 weeks at home however. At the beginning of June Sophie got on a plane and went to Spain to visit her chap Mentat. They hadn’t seen each other for 3 months due to the lockdowns first there and then here. She was only going for 2 weeks and asked me to have her 2 cats whilst she was away and of course I said yes. Then the flight she was on got cancelled but they gave her an earlier one so that made it 3 weeks, and then her home flight was re-arranged for later and we’ve ended up with them for a month! Today when I get home Phil and I will return them.

They are a funny pair, Vinnie is HUGE and just wants to eat and sleep

Vinnie

and Winnie is small, doesn’t eat a huge amount and is mad as a box of frogs, chasing balls, up a height, here, there and everywhere!

Winnie on top of a door πŸ™„

They’ve been no trouble, well maybe there was an incident when Winnie climbed the curtains

πŸ˜†

and a few times we couldn’t find her

🧐

they like sleeping a lot, especially in the sunshine

πŸ’€

and Winnie loves being in a box

or in a plastic bag

but her favourite spot is our Herky’s old place of preference

Vinnie really liked Phil

πŸ™‚

and he can do the cute thing too

and he made us laugh as he is too big for the cat toilet Sophie provided and has to stick his head out the door!

πŸ˜‚

It took Vinnie 2 days to come out from under our bed when he first arrived, but Winnie just got straight into everything. We’ve had to keep doors and windows shut as she is an escape artiste extraordinaire, which hasn’t been easy, so am looking forward to opening up the conservatory again when it’s warm. But we will miss them when they’ve gone home, it’s been so nice to have pets for a while.

But no, we won’t be getting our own, we still haven’t forgotten the trauma of Skye & Storm, and are not ready to be open to that again, and maybe one day we’ll be able to go on holiday again too!

Talking of which, it’s my birthday next month and it’s traditional to go away for that. We’re going to stay in Jedburgh for a couple of nights, a place not too far away but somewhere I’ve wanted to take my camera for a long time, so will look forward to that.

The garden wildlife is still ongoing, not as many hedgehogs as there were in spring when it was hot, but June and July have been pretty dismal regarding rain so the Hedgeies probably have enough natural food, the bugs and stuff. We have had an unexpected visitor though,

He was a bit of a surprise!

And that’s all my news!

Days 126-133

I’m back, did you miss me? πŸ™‚ Although I had internet I had real problems uploading pictures to WP and embedding them from my SmugMug site, so have saved them all for one post. Normandy was gorgeous, and where we stayed was just fabulous. Of course I’ll be doing posts on it over on the other blog, but for now I must update the 365!

Our first day out was to Mont Saint Michel. There are a lot of steps to climb!

Day 126 ~Mont Saint Michel

Our next day out was to Dead Mans Corner, and to a British war cemetery, this one is at St Charles de Percy.

Day 127

Day 128 was spent visiting Arromanches, the American cemetery at Omaha beach, and the Overlord museum.

Day 128

Day 129 was our last day there as we had to leave early the next day, so we stayed local, and I took some more pictures around where we were staying.

Day 129

The sun comes through the front French doors in the morning, and so does Fatcat.

Day 130

Day 131 was our first day in Folkestone and I wandered round taking pictures while Phil was getting set up for the model show.

Day 131

More of the same on Day 132

Day 132 ~ The rather grand Grand Hotel.

Today we are home again, and getting back to real life. Phil won a silver medal for the tank he had in the show at the weekend, which was rather good.

Day 133

Back to work tomorrow, :/ I had a great time on holiday! πŸ™‚