26 June 2018

Randoms


Easier to park than a car 

Nearly home


The wheat is turning

Blackberries are flowering and budding

Right beside me as I was having breakfast under the gazebo

A shady place to relax

Piano in a field!!
Walking with the Ramblers. 
This piano had been dumped about half a mile along the lane!! bizarre

~Be well, and, if you're in the UK stay cool! ~
Polly x

22 June 2018

Lunchtime Concert


Today's concert in the Cathedral was Duo Dolcissimo. Sophie Aynsley Piano and Fiona Jones Oboe.
These accomplished musicians treated us with a delightful programme of Schuman, Dring, Ravel, Saint Saens, Albinoni, Mozart and Morricone.  
I broke with habit and had a salmon sandwich instead of cheese and pickle! 
I still had a frangipani tart though :-)

Time for a browse around the shops.
It's sad and worrying that so many of our high street shops are struggling or going into administration. 
Poundworld was desolate with half empty shelves. M&S didn't have anything at all that came near to inspiring me. I've been saying for years that they just don't understand what their customers want. I thought they had cracked it with their Per Una range, but that didn't last long.
Went into TheWorks for some art things, they didn't have what I wanted. "Look online" said the sales assistant. I think that's part of the problem, so many people shop online now, 
shops don't need huge stocks of everything.

I bought some oranges and mangos on the market and caught the bus home. 

The weather has cooled down a bit, I just have time to prune the roses, water the baskets and tubs 
and tidy a small border before Rufus will be asking for his dinner!

~Be well and have a good weekend ~
Polly x


15 June 2018

A Good Read

Mr Mercedes by Stephen King
Retired cop Bill Hodges is haunted by 'the Mercedes' massacre, a case he never solved. He spends his depressed and vacant retirement sitting in his lay z boy watching rubbish day time television and thinking about killing himself, until that is, he receives a letter from the Mercedes killer.
Brady Hartsfield lives with his alcoholic mother. He is the insane perpetrator of that crime. He drove a Mercedes into a crowd of people, killing eight and wounding fifteen. He enjoyed the feel of death under the wheels of the car as he ploughed through them, and he wants to experience that rush again. He is preparing his next massacre. 
Hodges accidentally teams up with two unlikely allies and the three very divergent characters are facing a race against time to find Hartsfield before he kills again.

I have been a  fan of Stephen King for years and have never been disappointed, I think he is a genius writer. This high suspense race against time thriller is excellent.
~Happy Reading ~
Have a good weekend
Polly x

10 June 2018

This And That Catching Up

Oh dear, I have neglected my blog and I'm sorry for not visiting my favourite blogs. I do catch up on you all, but don't always have time to comment.

I see Rufus got his paws on the laptop again and brought you up to date with what I have been up to. He would have to mention my bowls matches defeats! I wouldn't describe myself as one of my clubs' best players but I do have times when I play well. I won my club's ladies singles competition last year and was in the winning team in the fours competition. I don't know what happened with the summer league singles matches, I think it was a combination of hot weather, hot flushes, and trying too hard! 

Rufus mentioned wanting some photos of their walking friends, so here they are


 Charlie and Norman 


Rufus, Norman and Ellie               Ellie, Buster and Norman


Treat time, and bribery to get them all together! except Buster,
he had found something interesting to sniff nearby!
Ellie lost her tail in an accident

I have been busy with dolls house work, the bathroom is nearing completion and I have made a start on the main bedroom. 

Painting (art not decorating) has taken up a fair amount of time because of my determination to get it right. Some I am pleased with, others have gone in the bin. The experts say don't overthink it, and I tell myself not to but then I do! When I do just do it without overthinking I am pleased with the result, like this one. 


I wet all the petal areas one by one then just dropped a tiny amount of pink in the inside and tipped the paper to let it run to the edges. I then built up the darker areas bit by bit. It can be difficult knowing when to stop. When it came to the leaves I built up the colour gradually and thought I had overdone it with the veins, but I think they look just about right. I might frame it.


I followed an online tutorial for this one and was quite pleased with it until I noticed the perspective of the pot's proximity to the window! I will keep it though, we learn through our mistakes.

And of course time spent keeping cool and reading. My current book is 'A Fine Balance' by Rohinton Mistry. A hefty 614 pages! It has been on the bookshelf for a long time, I think it's one that I inherited from number two daughter when she emigrated to Australia. I enjoyed his 'Such A Long Journey' and am thoroughly enjoying this one so far. 

In July we had our WI summer lunch, delicious food and good company made for an enjoyable afternoon. And last week for our August meeting we went to Papermill Lock, a tea room on the bank of the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation. We had a lovely trip on a canal boat.

Little Baddow Mill House

 followed by a cream tea or cake and coffee (I had a cream tea)

I've enjoyed a few trips to North Weald market
and bought a couple of frocks there

this is the bargain I found in a charity shop in Fremantle last November. It has a lovely stretchy
panel at the back which gives a fitted look whilst allowing for expansion if I over indulge!

On probably the hottest day of the year my friend M and I went to the Booking Hall cafe at Rayne. 

It's the old railway station on the Fitch Way. It's said to be a lovely walk along the old track.

There are a couple of carriages that have been converted into a charming small museum. 

This one has a lovely little model version of how Rayne was as a working station.

The crops are stored
blackberries are turning red, I have seen a few black ones
soon be time for blackberry and apple pies and crumbles, yummy :-) 

Well that's me caught up with what I have been doing.
I hope to get round to reading what my favourite bloggers have been up to.

~Be well and have a good weekend ~
Polly x

7 June 2018

The Garden, The Dolls House, Decorating ... et al

Oh dear so many things I want to do but not enough time, so I see-saw between them.
With lovely hot weather interspersed with rain the lawns grow at an alarming rate so they have to be mowed.


Thankfully there's not a lot of weeding to do. I'm a "Let it grow" gardener. I would like to be a planner and architect but it just doesn't happen. The borders are full of blooms that just appear! The David Austen roses are doing well, they look and smell divine.


Isn't this just perfection


I like the shady canopy that the cherry tree creates at the bottom of the garden, but it's getting too big, it's going to be pruned in the autumn. There is a Forsythia and Ribes, and a few other nice shrubs underneath it that are getting swamped.

We are making good use of the gazebo. That's my breakfast on the table :-)

My new bistro set

and Buster laying on the hot patio!!


The old butler sink has been put to good use


Much as I love being in the garden I also enjoy working on my dolls house projects, like turning this plain wooden chest of drawers into something a bit special. 
More on that as soon as I have finished the dolls house bathroom!



I have taken up painting again, if I want to improve I need to practice, practice, practice

  
At our last WI meeting we planted baskets. The weather was glorious

and Jane was adorable

And then there is the decorating of the dining room (real life) that I started in April! yes April. 

But you see my dilemma - all of the above plus reading. This week my goal is to finish the dining room and finish my current book :-)

~Be warm and well ~
Polly x

5 June 2018

Car Insurance

Yes it's that time of year again. Insuring the car. I hate this job. It usually takes up a whole morning of my life comparing quotes. I have received six postal quotes and lost count of email quotes. 



They all start by luring you in with an amazingly low figure and wording such as 
'Here's what you MIGHT pay'
From as little as...'
You COULD pay as little as...'
From just £12* per month' 
But of course that's just advertising jargon. Once you start inputting details it all changes.
You want legal cover - kerching add £29
You want to protect your no claims bonus - kerching add £24
Breakdown cover? - kerching from £29.70 up to £60.26
Oh and what about a courtesy car - kerching £27, or for £34 I can have an enhanced courtesy car. And on and on........ until that initial sweet quote has doubled.

But of course we know that's how it works, there is very little difference between all the companies. I usually start with my go to default which is Comparethemarket.com, only because it was the first one I ever used years ago, and I did get a few 2 for 1 cinema tickets out of it. But even with the online sites you still might have to phone to confirm some detail, or the site isn't working properly and couldn't take a card payment. And oh what a performance that is. After you get through the legal jargon about what is expected from them and the customer you are then put on hold and have to listen to music interspersed with: 
"Thank you for holding, sorry, we are experiencing extremely high call levels at the moment, if you would like to continue to wait please be assured we are doing everything to answer your call as quickly as possible. Your call is important to us" Of course it is, you are hoping I'm going to buy your product. This continues for anything from 10 to 20 minutes until finally a person answers. 
I bypassed all of that this year and stayed with the same insurer as last year, they renew automatically. Phew, what a relief.
~Be warm and well ~
Polly x

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