Thursday Thoughts

Mostly thinking about going away to Poland for the weekend!

Have been washing clothes and ironing them getting ready to pack,  decisions decisions as I’m only allowed 11kg 🙂

cleaned all the lenses for my camera and packed the bag

raided my ‘borrowed’ hotel toiletries for my wash kit 🙂

so tomorrow morning will be packing the bags and then in the afternoon off to the airport!

Am really looking forward to visiting with Eddy and Gosia  (blog at Several emails have been exchanged and the best news is Eddy has Yorkshire Tea which is my go-to medicine for the soul.  I’m looking forward to seeing Eddy in his lederhosen too, that’ll be a photo op for sure.  🙂  I think we have a day out somewhere planned for Saturday and a chill out day at Eddy’s on Sunday for the photographs to be taken (which is the purpose of the visit!).   We come home on Monday evening but are visiting Auschwitz on the Monday during the day.   I think I’m a little apprehensive about it, but Phil really wants to go as it was reading about this way back when that got him into WW2 history, and it means a lot to him to be able to see it.  So a short visit, but lots to do and see.

Phil is on a late shift this evening so I indulged myself in my favourite dinner,

sausage sandwich with white bread and burger relish (so not healthy :/ )

They’re probably full of crap but they taste so yummy and are my all time fave sausages, I heartily recommend them 🙂





Monday Mobile Moments

My first mobile moment is actually from yesterday, as it was Phil’s Tank driving day, a present bought for him by his son for Phil’s 60th last month.  The weather was cold and rainy, but that didn’t really matter as Phil wanted to see close up the accumulation of mud/grass/oil stains on the tracks of the vehicle for reference when he’s painting his models!

Of course this isn’t a tank as such, but an APC (armoured personnel carrier) but still fun to drive.  Unfortunately the damn thing had engine problems and kept breaking down every time it turned left, so Phil only got a 5 minute drive of it, but he was a happy bunny so a good day in spite of the breakdowns.   They are re-arranging the day so we will have to go back for the full experience.

Today is more ‘working on the shed’ day and first off we went to a new tool shop we discovered via the world wide web.  Usually we go to B&Q as it isn’t too far away, but when googling for rim locks we discovered them much cheaper at a store called Toolstation and there is one not too far away from us. So off we went and found it works on the Argos model, they have catalogues in store, you look for what you want, fill in a ticket, take it to the counter and the chap then goes and gets what’s on the ticket.  The difference in price is substantial, the same lock we paid £9.50 for at at Toolstation is £15.63 in B&Q.  Guess where we’ll be going for future purchases!

Of course, with my shed nothing has been straight forward, and fitting the rim lock to the shed door has resulted in many rude words emanating from Phil’s lips.  At least the rain has stopped and we have a blue sky above us now, and hopefully by the end of the day we can get in and out of the shed and lock it too. We live in hope. 🙂




Thursday Thoughts

Not too bad a week for me, work has been busy but fun, the shed now has flooring, and my boss gave me a beautiful wooden desk for it, just needs Phil to put it all together.  My herb garden is still growing nicely

and my mum’s plant is shooting off gorgeous red leaves in the garden.

My thoughts have been busy today, as well as the Easter weekend coming up (more shed work and trips to B&Q) we are having two of our grandkids staying overnight tonight so I have been sorting out bedding, doing washing etc etc.  But also we now have a trip to Poland to think about.  We are going over to visit with Eddy and his family and do some photo’s for him so he can use them to advertise his B&B.  The wonders of modern technology are such that emails have been exchanged with Eddy to arrange dates, the flights have been booked and paid for, on-line check-in achieved and boarding passes for the flight sent to my iPhone, all from the comfort of my little office. A far cry from my first ever trip abroad which involved traipsing into town and sitting for what seemed like hours in a travel agency going through all the options.  We are only going for a long weekend, travelling out on a Friday and getting back on the following Monday, but it will still be enough time to do the photo’s and see some sights. Phil is even more excited than I am as it was reading about Poland during WW2 when he was 14 that got him into history. And we are so looking forward to meeting Eddy and his family.   Eddy and his wife Gosia built their own home from ground up, and more or less living off the grid, you can read about how all that came about on his fascinating blog HERE.   I’m looking forward as well to seeing all the animals as there are cats and dogs and goats and rabbits.  I’ve ordered a travel tripod as mine is too big for flying with and extra memory cards to make sure I can do a good job.  This will be our first time away in a couple of years, we didn’t go away whilst we had Storm and Skye as one then the other got sick, so it is quite exciting.

I still miss Skye a lot, she pops into my head several times a day and I have to remember she’s gone.  There’s a quick flash of her in my brain when I travel home from work and think she’ll be there, before I realise it’s not so.  I still shed tears over it all.

But good things to look forward to, as well as our Poland weekend at the end of this month, we are also doing a week away driving from Calais to Eindhoven in October, with stops along the way to see stuff, and a model show in Eindhoven at the end, where Phil has been asked to be a judge and have a display of his models.

So on with the housework before the kids arrive, Happy Easter peeps!


Thursday Thoughts

After crazy brain week last week 🙄 things are now back to normal, I’m back to being incensed at everything going on in the world, the madness of politics and politicians, and reading the newspaper daily is just a rollercoaster that dips but never seems to rise. I’ve had a nice week though, busy but productive at work, and had a photo outing with Sophie on Sunday, we went to Newcastle as Sophie wanted to shoot the bridges, and had a wander up the Sunday Market on the quayside. That’ll be a Fraggle report eventually.

My stepdad was in the RAF, and when Mum married him we moved from Yorkshire and then moved a few times to different airbases, Lincolnshire and Norfolk mostly, before I left home to do nursing in Luton Bedfordshire, eventually ending up at Hemel Hempstead hospital in Hertfordshire, so uprooting and moving on was a big part of my younger life, and has never really phased me. I spent 20 years working at Hemel Hospital and also ST.Albans when they became a Trust together, and lived in a few different flats and houses. That 20 years saw me married, give birth, get divorced, get medically retired, retrain as a sports massage therapist, do odd jobs to keep going, became a deputy matron of a care home, and mostly lived a life of chaos and uncertainty but somehow managed. My Mum got cancer and she didn’t live near me so for 2 years of that 20 I spent a lot of time driving up and down to visit her, and when she had 3 months in Addenbrooks hospital, a long way away, I visited regularly and my son was my source of strength at the time and came with me on all my visits. In 2004 she died and my lad left home that year too.  In spite of all the chaos and difficulties, I had friends and good times, my garden was Bar-B-Q city most weekends, with the neighbours hopping over and guitars and singing going on and I still found a lot of fun in life.

When I moved up here to be with Phil in 2005 I left all that behind,  it didn’t phase me, I was used to moving on.  My life changed when I started living with Phil, he has a fairly big family and friends from his younger years and work have known him a long time. I still sometimes understand I don’t always really fit in. I don’t have a group of friends to hang out with, or even my son who now has a son of his own, I rarely get to see them. I miss that, and after crazy brain week was feeling that isolation a lot.  But I have Sophie to go out photographing with, and Brenda, my boss but friend also, she makes me laugh and is so kind too.  My mum always said ‘count your blessings’ and those are two of mine.  I am blessed to have my life with Phil, and I love his family, especially our bonkers grandkids.  It’s been good to come back to that.  I love the scenery up here, the beaches and the North Sea, the castles and landscapes and history.  Newcastle is a beautiful city with amazing architecture ancient and modern, and getting out to see it with Sophie did me the world of good.  Plus the metro was shut for repair so we had to go on a bus! Very exciting as I hadn’t been on one since being a teenager! 🙂


Sophie & me


1000 miles day9

“Hey Frags how was work?”
‘OK but am a bit out of sorts today. Bad bout of insomnia last night and also seem to have a cold/cough’
“Oh dear, well we’ll do a bread and butter walk, clear out your cobwebs”
‘OK Frego, I found some bird seed I saved from my last trip to WWF Washington, shall we go and feed the ducks?’
“Ooh yes! That’ll be fun.”

“Is that a supermoon do you think?”
‘Don’t think so, but I know what you mean, it does look bigger than usual’

‘Maybe because it’s low in the sky’

“Not as low as the sun though!”

‘No, and I do like a low sun!’

‘I’ll throw the seed Frego, you take some photo’s’

“This is the only white one!”

‘OK home we go, it’s getting dark and even colder’

“Haha look at the little doggy Frags”
‘He’s a cutey, I saw him just come out of the horsey place.

‘There used to be feral cats behind this fence, a couple of gingers, I think the people in the horsey place put food out for them and they catch rats and the like”
“I can see one Frags!!”

‘SO did we do enough?’
“Yes spot on!”


1000 miles day 8

“Hiya Frags, ready to go?”
‘Yep where are we off to today?’
“Well I spotted a cycle path on the outskirts of the estate the other day, so I thought we’d explore that.”
‘OK let’s rock’

“Pigeon post!”

“That’s a long straight path Frags”
‘lets get on the go then’

‘Curly ivy’

“Oh blimey Frags, good job we’ve got our hiking boots on!”
‘Try and go round the outside’

“Take a picture of me on this mountain”

‘Oh good, signposts’

‘I do like curly old ferns’

“Lovely day today Frags”

“Look the moon, that means it’s a dark night in Australia”
‘I guess so!’

“Oops gone past our turning, but nice walking back into the sun”.

“Lovely sparkles on the little stream Frags”

‘Oh we’ve ended up back at the wetlands!’

“I bet that’s the same moorhen as yesterday, all the others are in pairs except this one.”
‘Hmm not sure about that! There’s quite a few about.’
“Don’t argue Frags, I know it’s him.”

‘Beautiful reflections Frego’

“Yes but where are these ripples coming from?’

‘From your lonely pal!’

“It’ll be lovely here when Spring comes and all the trees have leaves again”
‘Can’t wait!’


“Ah my favourite sheeps are still here”
“Sheeps, silly, there’s more than one obvs”

“Let me get some of them”

“They’re so cuddly. OK Frags, home we go!”

4.07 miles

1000 miles day 5

“Hiya Fraggle, are you ready to go?”
‘Yep, where are we off to?’
“Well it’s a beautiful sunny day out there, but really cold, so I thought we’d do a longer version of yesterday, around Wardley, so we can get back in the warm ASAP.”
‘OK, lead the way’

“Don’t you love it when the sunlight picks out the tree leaves Frags?”

“I love this bent old fence with the circles, that’ll be a good one for Fence Friday!”

‘Well I like this horses head one, totally bonkers for a semi-detached house on an estate’

“Ah look, these berries match my jacket!”

“And this bush!”

‘Talking of bonkers, this is rather tropical, surprised it grows so well up here’

‘Pretty flowers’

‘I like the footprint in the cement here’

“Get a shot of the butterfly fence Frags”

“How do plants grow in cement?”
‘I have no idea Frego, maybe because the mortar is porous so holds water well, not sure really.’

“Haha look at our shadows!”

‘Men at work, maybe fixing a TV ariel’

“Whoops there goes the neighbourhood!”

‘Yes I heard a lady in the shop complaining about it, but I rather like it’s chutzpah myself’

“Well Fraggle we can turn here for home or go back the long way through the woods, what do you think?”
‘I think we’ll go the long way, I’m good yet’

‘This is the bridge I crossed the other way on Tuesday, I took one in B&W, but I’m liking colour today’

‘Look Frego, two for joy’
“Yep like me and you Frags”

“Look Frags I’m walking on thin ice!”
‘No change there!’

“What’s that building?”
‘Wardley Colliery, it’s falling to bits now’

“Ah, backlighting shots Fraggle, the sun’s low now”

‘It’s getting really cold now Frego, lets get home and have some hot chocolate.’
“Yes, that was a good walk wasn’t it?”
‘Indeed I quite enjoyed it!’

3.72 miles

1000 miles day4

“Hey Frego, long time no see! What have you been up to?”
‘Just got back yesterday from 2 months in sunny Legoland, it was awesome!’
“well Happy New Year, and to what do I owe this pleasure?”
‘Happy New Year to you too. I was reading through your blogs last night and thought I’d best come over and sort things out.’
‘Well what were you thinking with this 1000miles thing!? You don’t even LIKE walking!’
“Well I need to get fit this year, and I like being out with my camera”
‘Hardly the same thing is it? Well you’re committed now so we’d best get on with it. You’ve started off on the wrong foot if you’ll forgive the pun.’
“Not sure that’s a pun but no matter, how do you mean?”
‘Firstly you are old now and haven’t done any regular exercise for 20 years, so charging off to do a 6 mile trek in adverse weather conditions after only doing 2 days of 3 miles is hardly the way to ease yourself back into it is it?’
“I’m not bloody decrepit you know!”
‘Hmm lets see, day 2 falling over grazing your elbow, bruising your coccyx and pulled muscles in your arm, day 3 walking so far against a strong wind you couldn’t get up and walk properly after you got home, I rest my case mi’lud’.
“I’ll get better at it!”
‘Yes you will because I’m going to take charge now and do the 1000 miles with you, and we’ll do it sensibly. I have it all planned out.’
“Oh god. What’s the plan then?’
“As you seemed to manage 3 miles on the first day without killing yourself, that will be our minimum walk, UNLESS it’s really bad/miserable weather when we can just walk around the estate to keep things going and make up some miles when the weather and your fitness level improves.”
‘Well that was what I was doing yesterday to make up for today which I knew would be a shorter one’.
“Yes and look how that went! We’ve a long way to go, and plenty of time, so lets just get you gentled in for now.”
‘OK Frego, not going to argue’
“Good. Now Secondly, you gave up your big Nikon so you could easily carry around the little fuji, so what are you thinking sodding about with the iPhone?!”
‘I have photo apps I want to play with!’
“So play with them indoors, I am NOT being seen out with someone who uses a phone for photography. A phone is for making telephone calls and texting. Unless you are Mrs.O who is a marvel with one, but you are not. Your pictures on the blog are OK but really, crap quality compared to your fuji. You’ll be taking that with you in future, you know it makes sense and you’ll enjoy the walking more.”
‘You’re so bossy.’
“You need it. AT least you have managed to get good walking boots. Now get them on and lets get round the estate and see how far that is.”
‘Sigh. OK Frego’

“The tree from May is looking forlorn without it’s leaves”

‘Yes but nice reflection of it in the swamp’

“Nice red berries, and you can use some depth of field now instead of like that iPhone shot you did on the 1st day’
‘OK OK!!’

“Oh look at the sunlight catching those apples, seems strange to see them on a tree without leaves”
‘Got them’

“See, quality not quantity. That was a nice little walk, cold but refreshing, tomorrow we might go a bit further, I’ll let you know when I come back in the morning. See ya Frags”
‘OK Frego’

1.93 miles