The 50 Picture Project

I’m still doing my Mirror project, and had a fettle on in the garden.  All the flowers are gone now, except this yellow one which came late to the party.  

The Last Hurrah

We have a frequent visitor to the garden since the mice moved in under the shed. We call him Mr.Fluffy. So far, he hasn’t caught one. A bit of a poor show really. 😀

You’re looking the wrong way!!

Autumn has definitely arrived here, at least in my garden, I’d much appreciate the weather god giving me a nice day to go find some coloured trees. 

Autumn & Raindrops.

This isn’t a mirror shot, but here’s Mr.Fluffy in large.

If I ignore her she’ll go away..

Wistful Wednesday

Once upon a time there were 2 sisters, called Storm and Skye, who were surrogate children to a nice lady called Alicia, who couldn’t have children of her own. She treated them like princesses, the best toys, the best quality food, they even had their own bathroom.  Because she lived on a main road though, the sisters were not allowed out to play, but they were happy and loved.  Then after 5 1/2 years, a miracle happened for Alicia and her husband and she found she was pregnant. Pop! Nine months later out came a little baby boy. It didn’t take Alicia long to realise she couldn’t give the same amount of time to the sisters as she had before the baby came, and so with a heavy heart she got in touch with the adoption centre to see if they could find a new home for them.

Just at the same time Mr. & Mrs.Fraggle were looking at the adoption website and saw a picture of Max, who looked well cool, so went down to see if they could have him home with them, but sadly Max had been already chosen by someone else, so they sighed, it was not meant to be, and went home a bit forlorn.  The next day they got an email from the centre, which included pictures of Storm and Skye, asking if they would be willing to take on the sisters.  They were beautiful, the Fraggles fell in love, and arranged to pick them up in a couple of days.  Mrs. Fraggle went to collect them while Mr. Fraggle was at work.  She couldn’t believe the amount of stuff that came with them! Bags of toys, blankets, portable toilets (with lids) boxes of food and biscuits, and a heart-breaking letter from Alicia telling all about the sisters habits and how hard it was to give them up.

The sisters soon settled in, and Skye decided to be Mr.Fraggle’s best pal, and Storm was Mrs.Fraggle’s.  They all lived so happily together, and bit by bit the sisters gingerly went outside into the garden, and at last experienced the great outdoors, though they never went far. Now and again Storm would be a bit sick overnight, but heartily ate everything she was given. After a while though, she was being sick every night, and started eating things she shouldn’t. Medical intervention was swift, and the Fraggles learned she had an inoperable tumour and didn’t have long to live. Storm had only been with them for 6 months at this point, and was only 6 years old, so you can imagine how shocked and upset the Fraggles were.  They looked after her and kept her going for another 3 months, but in the end Storm was too poorly to carry on. Mr.Fraggle had to take her to her final goodbye on his own, as Mrs. Fraggle was away that weekend.  Skye was a bit quiet when Storm didn’t come home, but soon went back to her nutty ways, and though she was always Mr. Fraggles special pal, she also tried to make up to Mrs. Fraggle for the loss of Storm. She entertained them daily and missed them when they were at work.  Then, after a while, she stopped being entertaining, and slowed right down, no more chasing the laser light or having mad half hours careering up and down the stairs. Sometimes she wouldn’t eat anything for a day or so, sometimes longer, and sometimes she would be sick and eat weird stuff.  Medical intervention again, and another tumour that couldn’t be cured.  The Fraggles were devastated.  Skye was only 6 & 1/2, had only been with them just over a year.  So yet again they carried on, looking after her, cuddling her whenever she came for comfort, and finally she too, was too poorly to carry on.  Mrs. Fraggle had to take her for the last goodbye, as Mr.Fraggle was working.

That day was a year ago today, and there isn’t a day goes by when I don’t think of Skye, her little cute and silly face looks out at me from my computer screen, and both their pictures are on all the pages of the calendar in the kitchen.  It has been an unending undercurrent of sadness in our lives that is nowhere near ending as yet.  One day in the future we’ll look back on all her antics and  just be happy to have known her and her sister, but that time is not yet here.

Skye & Storm kittens, photo courtesy of Alicia

The laydeez




Thursday Thoughts

Woke up to this today!  We haven’t had proper snow up here for  7 years, so it was a bit of a shock.  The last time was bonkers

Yoyo in the snow 2010

but I don’t think it’s going to last this time, it’s almost all gone now.  It was nice to see it, well at least I thought so, but most people don’t seem to like it.  Our country seems to have lost the ability to cope with snow, more than a day of it and schools, trains, the roads come to a standstill.  People don’t know, or haven’t been taught how to drive in it.  When I was growing up in Yorkshire every winter would have weeks of snow, I think they still get more of it there than anywhere else in England, and Scotland gets the main share of it being the Northest (yes it IS a word, it’s in Fraggles Dictionary) part of GB.  Ah well, icy roads in the morning will cause a bit of chaos, then slush and rain and then back to rainy normal winter.

Tomorrow night is the Camel Parade in South Shields which I did attend last year but only managed a few decent shots, you can see them HERE  but am (weather depending) going again tomorrow evening and hopefully this year will do  better, I managed not to get a decent shot of a camel last time. Or the drummers. And my fireworks were a bit dodgy 🙂  so fingers crossed for a better result.  At least now I know what to expect and get in position, there were a lot of pushy people getting in the way last time so I will need armour plating this time!

I was going to give y’all my thoughts on Trump’s latest fiasco, I mean, why is he having a pop at us??   WTF was all that about?  But I won’t, because really I can’t stop sniggering about the fact that he mistakenly sent his tweet to our Prime Minister initially to a lady called Theresa May Scrivener, who had 6 followers , then had to delete it and send it to our PM Theresa May.   Ms.Scrivener lives in Bognor Regis (how awful is that name for a place) a seaside town in the south of England, and of course now she is being interviewed by the press and now known as ‘the wrong Theresa May’.  (honestly I’m laughing whilst I’m writing this! 😀 ) Her responses to the interviewer from Associated Press are a joy,

“If I wanted to be famous, I would have gone on ‘X Factor,”  –  “It’s amazing to think that the world’s most powerful man managed to press the wrong button,” she said, adding, “I’m just glad he was not contacting me to say he was going to war with North Korea.”

Ah the mind boggles.  I keep thinking, what would you do if apropos to nothing in your life, you got a tweet from POTUS to say he was going to war with North Korea?

I wonder how many followers Ms.Scrivener has now .  He managed to increase Britain First’s followers by lots of thousands. I bet they’re over the moon.

I know it’s not funny really, but if you didn’t laugh sometimes, you’d face~palm yourself so hard you’d knock yourself out.   To cap it all, at the end of his tweet to the PM he says, “We are doing just fine!”  Yep, you’ve not long had the worst mass shooting, a Right Wing fracas where someone killed a girl by running her over, Tillerson is about to be dumped, your son in law is under investigation over your Russia collusion, and your people are even more diametrically and vitriolically opposed than our Leavers & Remoaners, yep, you’re doing fine Trumplestiltskin, doing fine. 🙄.   Whatever I think of our politicians, and it isn’t good thoughts people, not good at all, even our worst (Boris, Rees-Mogg, Davies, Gove I’m looking at you) are not in Trump’s league of stupidity , incompetence, and national self-harm.  But close enough.

So that’s me not giving my thoughts on Trump’s latest fiasco. 🤪

Laters Gaters







Thursday Thoughts

My first thought is it’s Wednesday!  But I have learned about a useful feature of WordPress which is ‘scheduling your posts’.  So you can schedule a post! Yay!  It is apparently for people who can’t bear to be missed while they’re on holiday, or have a regular post they do (like say.. a Thursday Thought or Friday Film post, for example 🙂 ).  So as I a) can’t bear to be missed, haha, and b) have a regular Thursday post, I am taking advantage of this useful feature.

I’m going away tomorrow, so won’t be here to post on the day.  I’m off to somewhere I’ve forgotten for a work thing.  Brenda my boss is picking me up and footing the bill for the hotel as we have this thing called ‘CPD’.  Continuous Professional Development.   The National Health Service staff all have it too, so Phil also goes through all this.  It means that if you work in health matters, you keep doing training and courses all the way through your working life, so the public/patients/clients can be kept safe with your wonderful array of underpinning knowledge.  Basically if you’re in the NHS you attend a course of some sort, in the learning facilities of the hospital, sometimes do a test of some sort, and then ‘reflect’ in writing, on how this will affect your practice  going forward.  For the NHS staff this is a complete bind, as they are already overworked and overstretched, (and underpaid). So , lots of them give up home time with the family and stick their heads in books, or online training, or writing, etc etc.  For some, like Phil, CPD came into effect when they’d already been doing the job for 20-30 years, so being taught to suck eggs by a fresh faced ‘educational facilitator’ elicits Orc-like feelings, commonly known as ‘stress and bloody incensed’. But they still do the work, have to, in case they’re audited – their job depends on it.

In the Private sector, CPD is the same, but not. Your company pays for you to stay in a nice hotel, manufacturers give lectures on the tech of their latest products in a nice conference room and give out free notepads and pens with their logo on, and a choice of sparkling and spring water bottles free coffee and pastries at break time, and nice lunch provided.  They’ll also pay for lush dinner out in the evening and sometimes that includes drinks, which is not a good idea really for my profession, they like a drink or two. Or several when it’s free.  You still do the work, have to, in case you’re audited, your job depends on it.

I know lots of my colleagues will love the chance to get together and talk shop, it’s a nice break from the norm for them,  independent private sector audiologists are usually one man bands, and the weekend training sessions with extra’s are a chance to be with their peers, and do a bit of networking.  For me though, I’d rather be at home with my hubby.

I haven’t any new photo’s, but one of my pals says, if in doubt, do a cat, so here are a couple of pictures of my boys Herky and Yoyo, they’re both in the pet cemetery that is known as ‘the garden’ now, one day I’ll tell their story.








Thursday Thoughts

This week I have been thinking about moles. Not the one’s that live underground, but the brown, raised bits of skin that some people have lots of, and some people don’t.  I only have four, had them all my life and they’ve never changed in appearance or done anything weird.  Last week I discovered a new one, and it is not like the others, I don’t like it, so I’m off to the doc’s tomorrow to get it checked out.  Of course I’ve googled, and am reasonably certain it’s just a growing older thing, but in my younger days I was a sunbed user and sunbather when ever possible, so need to put my mind at rest.  If only I’d known back then how ultra violet rays can harm you, I would have shunned them, which I have done ever since it became a thing. Fingers crossed I didn’t do myself in!

I’ve also been thinking about Game of Thrones TV programme, as it’s back on the TV next week, and Phil and I have been with it since the beginning.  I am one of those who read all the books, and have been really happy with how  the TV series has adapted them for the small screen, and overtaken George RR Martin with the story, as he is taking a long time to finish the series of books. It’s now become cool to never have seen it, as it always does when something is very hyped and very popular, but this has been a quality series from the beginning, and the ‘cool’ people have missed out on TV excellence, a rarity in my view. Stunning scenery and filming, great characters, sublime acting, and an alternative history in which all sorts of allegories to the real world can be found if you want to, well maybe not dragons, but hey! DRAGONS!!  🙂

I have also been thinking, unexpectedly, about travelling again.  Not too far this time, a 250 mile drive down south next Friday, to dogsit my sons Staffy, Lola, as he and his girlfriend are going on holiday to Amsterdam and can’t find anyone local to do it.  As it’s his birthday I’ve stepped up to do it.  Phil is on nights the week I’m there so can’t come along, so I will have to amuse myself.  There are a few National Trust properties nearby so at least I’ll be off out photographing, and the temperatures south are usually better than here so that’s a bonus.  I have a couple of friends I can hopefully visit too, so it won’t be too bad.  The only thing is that the weekend I go is also the weekend of the Sunderland Airshow, and for various reasons I’ve never got to see it although I’ve lived here 13 years, maybe am destined never to do so!

The Happy Eater tree hasn’t had any exciting visitors of late, just the usual band of spuggies, blackbirds pigeons and collared doves.  The bullfinch hasn’t been back that I know of, but I did spot a lady chaffinch one evening

Whilst I was birdwatching one afternoon I spotted something under my car, which is parked next to the tree

so I banged on the window as it’s obviously lying in wait to snatch a birdy, but got an ‘I’m just here, minding my own business’look’

he sauntered off nonchalantly after a while. Nothing to see here folks 🙂

My shout out to great blogs this week is going to Sarah, Choppy & Schooner, who can be found at Travels With Choppy, click through the name to the site.  Sarah lives with Choppy the dog and Schooner, her chap’s cat, the photo’s and jokes she tells with them will make you laugh.  They live in Wisconsin but also travel, and there’s never a dull moment on the blog.  Sarah also writes travel books which have great info in them. Tell her I sent ya!


Thursday Thoughts.

This has been a blue-arsed fly day, I was in Asda for 8.30am and home by 9.30, done loads of housework, & changed all the flowers in the house.  I was tempted by more lilies I do so love them, but £8 for 1 bunch  that lasts 5 days is a bit of a treat, 3 bunches of carnations for £2 a pop and last for 10 days is much more cost effective.  🙂

carnation day

Had my lunch, lovely chicken and avocado sandwich in my own home made bread, so yummy.

This afternoon I transplanted the rest of my seedlings, took ages!

Cauliflower City

It’s not just caulies, theres some coriander and chives and rosemary and mint growing in there, the tiny Broccoli only child is holding fast but not really progressing.   Just out of shot is my grow bag with potato’s growing in it. Am quite impressed with how they are coming along.

Potato Bag

So far no slugs or snails or bugs, might be a bit early for them to come out yet, but I am ready to go to war when they do. 🙂

 I started sprouting garlic cloves then found out it’s a bit late or too early to plant them out for a good result as they prefer colder weather, but I wasn’t going to kill them obvs, so I’ve planted them out anyway and put them in a shady spot, at least it’s practice for when I do it at the right time of the year.  🙂


My shed is looking spiffy,

some nice artwork on the wall by my friends Kathy in USA and Clare in Ireland 🙂

I made a start on Tigger’s face this get a better idea of it if you squint at it through one half closed eye, trust me 🙂

I find I’m quite zen when mosaic~ing, photographing, doing garden things, and am ‘in the moment’ as they say.  I concentrate on the task in hand, but it never works that way with housework. I suppose I’ve been doing housework for nigh on 40 years so there’s not that much to think about it. So instead I find myself mulling over the world, the universe, the election, or Trump or the family.  Today I had all the windows open to let air blow through the house, and as I was cleaning the West Wing 🙂 the door gently blew open and for a split second I thought Skye was coming through to see what I was up to.  Of course then the other half of the second kicked in and suddenly I felt the tears burbling up, managed to stop myself though, and I got to thinking about grief.  It’s just another word for pain really.  I remember when my Mum died in the hospice, I was offered ‘grief counselling’ but refused, I didn’t want to talk about my grief, and shut it away somewhere I couldn’t get to  in my brain.  I couldn’t, wouldn’t, didn’t think about her for two years or so after.  Guilt played a big part in that, I thought I should have done more for her, been there more for her, and I didn’t want to tell a stranger that. You’re not supposed to do that apparently, you’re supposed to let it out and all that, catharsis and self forgiveness etc. etc. etc. but I didn’t.  Not long after she died, Ben moved out to house share with pals, so now looking back I was an orphan and an empty nester in a short space of time. Lonely  times. So I moved up north to be with Phil and here I still am.  I can think about my Mum now, remember her good and bad bits (no-one is perfect, not even your Mum!) and smile at the photo’s I have of her and Ben, her and me, of her life before us, when she was younger, and there isn’t any grief now.  So maybe my ‘wrong’ coping mechanism worked out OK for me. I only miss what she is missing, on her behalf, she loved Ben and I think he suffered from her passing on more than I realised.

I am not a great fan of housework, and that in part is down to Mum who was always doing housework when I was a kid, or so it seemed, drove me mad as I had to help when I had nicer things to do! Then she’d do it all again the next day, and that was never going to be me, and isn’t.  My previous husband used to say I was allergic to the hoover, the current husband would probably agree, but I do more than he thinks I do, and nowhere near what a house proud housewife would 🙂 but when I do do it, its blitzkrieg!

Lessons of the day:

Housework makes you think too much

Garlic should be planted in cold weather

Gardening ruins your nails  :/ and you can’t transplant seedlings while wearing gloves.





Thursday Thoughts

The first thing I’ve been thinking about today is a 3 part series I’ve been watching on BBC.  It’s called Three girls, and is based on the true stories of victims of grooming and sexual abuse in Rochdale. It’s a hard watch, brilliantly acted by the 3 main young actresses and with the great talent of Maxine Peake taking the part of a health worker who worked hard to get police and social services involved to stop what was going on, to no avail at first.  The exposure of the grooming, sexual assault and trafficking of young girls in Rochdale – and how their case had been systematically ignored by the police and social services for years – shook the country when the scandal was made public in 2012. It eventually resulted in the conviction of nine men for serious sexual offences, including rape and human trafficking, inflicted on girls as young as 13 between 2005 and 2008. So not an easy watch, but on reading an interview with the lady who wrote the drama it became apparent the victims she interviewed wanted their stories told.  It IS an appalling story, but worth watching if you have the BBC Iplayer.  Link HERE

The second thing I’ve been thinking about is my shed 🙂 and today Frego made an appearance and is living there now, of course she came with Skego, and seeing them together affected me somewhat unexpectedly and I spent a good few moments weeping for the the loss of Skye,  I hadn’t realised I was still not over the crying part of missing her.

The third thing I’ve been thinking of is the things that are growing in my garden.  I have a plant I bought to put over where Yoyo and Herky are buried in the garden, I can’t remember what it’s called.  It hadn’t really done very well over the past couple of years but this year it’s really doing well, and the first flower is out, with lots more buds about to come out too.

My cauliflowers are beginning to pop up but are so tiny yet, can’t believe they will grow into big round veggies

Whilst topping up the bird bath I noticed some tiny blue flowers behind it under the leilandi hedge I’m thinking they are Forget-me-nots,

and under the other end of the hedge I found a little purple flower but have no idea what it is

This morning saw some nice weather so I put some washing on, and then all of a sudden the room went dark, had a look outside and saw this

dodgy Iphone pano

and decided not to hang the washing out, which was just as well as that big grey monster dumped all over us.

Still this evening we were treated to this

which kind of made up for the earlier stuff. 🙂

Done thinking now, time for a glass of wine and finish watching a DVD documentary we are doing at the minute,  which will also be written about at some point.

laters gaters




Thursday Thoughts

I guess most of you reading this will know that our cat Skye got too ill to carry on at the weekend, and on Tuesday the trip to the vet happened, bloody traumatic but I’m sure those with pets will know the score on that one.  I don’t want to bang on about how much it hurts, or how many tears I cried, or how I howled over her when I got her back home, that about covers it. Today Phil dug a hole next to where her sister Storm  was buried in the garden last year, and we put Skye in the ground. I have no more tears, the pain is screwed up inside me and there it stays, I have a fair bit of practice at that.   Skye was Phil’s special friend and today has been hard on him.

But I want to remember her as she was before she got poorly, a slightly bonkers, incredibly friendly, loving cat, beautiful to look at and so damned cute. We miss her so much already.  ❤

Monday Mobile Moments

My mobile moments today are not really very mobile, and mostly consist of cuddling the cat.  Skye isn’t well now, she’s only eating a tiny bit and didn’t manage anything yesterday, she’s weak and wobbly on her legs so we made the decision that it’s the right time to let her go.  That cost both me and Phil a lot of tears, and they are not far from my eyes today.  The vet didn’t have appointments today so tomorrow morning will be the time for our goodbyes.  I came home from work at 3 this afternoon and she came for cuddles when I sat at the table, and that’s all I’ve done. It’s all I want to do. One more night with our beauty.



Thursday Thoughts

Spring is nearly upon us, only 11 days to go to the vernal equinox on March 20th, it can’t come soon enough. We’ve had a few sunny days which has been great for Phil who is using his 2 week holiday to insulate my woman~cave, so much to do to get it up and running, can’t wait for it to be finished so I can move in and start doing mosaics again.

 We’ve also had our lounge/front room/parlour (whatever you call it) decorated, washed the curtains and had the carpets cleaned so it looks lovely and clean and bright now.  The sun doesn’t get in that side of the house so I wanted white walls to make the most of the light.

We don’t really have plastic shopping bag lampshades, 🙂 they were for protection from the ceiling paint.

However busy we are, our main thoughts are with Skye, who is still not giving in, but isn’t eating enough and isn’t getting around so much, she mostly curls up in her space and sleeps, but oh she still wants her cuddles and purrs away when she’s snuggled up with me at the table where I read. What we can’t get our heads around is that she’ll be obviously hungry but won’t eat the cat food we put out, we try her on different ones, and when it’s something new she will have a good feed, but give it to her the next time and she won’t have it. Today I gave her some tinned salmon and she yummed it up, but now won’t have it again. It drives us mad. She’s not drinking water (never has!) but she likes cream, so we buy her pots of that! Salmon and cream I ask you!! We keep discussing taking her to the vet but I keep coming across the thought that you do that to ‘put them out of their misery’ but she isn’t miserable when she’s snuggled up and purring or sleeping, so it doesn’t feel right. So hard to know what do do for the best, for her best.

waiting for snuggles by my iPad

checking out the woman~cave

Yesterday I bought some flowers to photograph, shot them this afternoon and used various processing techniques on the photo’s to give a different feel to each one, I love doing flower pics 🙂