Sunday, 24 May 2015

Streets of Winchester

Did I fancy a trip to Winchester on Saturday G asked.
The answer was, of course, yes I do.
G is a regular visitor to the record fair held in Southampton but fancied having a mooch around one held this weekend in Winchester.
On the way to the hotel where it was being held G took us on a little detour to show us the offices he'll be working from in October. He works not far from home at the moment and this move will mean a longer working day and two train journeys. 
But we live the station and once in Winchester the offices are a short walk from the station so those things are definitely two pluses.
The offices look to be as good as offices can be, it was the row of houses we walked past I liked the look of.
Castle Terrace is a row of three storey houses and all looked well loved.


When we got to the record fair I decided not to go but take a wander down the road it was in, not one I had walked along before. In just a few hundred yards I saw....

a magnificent wooden front door


stained glass windows in subtle tones


a beautiful letter box inside the hotel



a giant sized pair of pine cones


something which is possibly a griffin?



and a very obliging blackbird who sat on the wall just long enough for me to take his photo.



G left the record pair empty handed this time, which is good in some way as he'll have more money to spend when he goes off to a rock festival in a couple of months time.

It was a beautifully warm day so we made our way to the cathedral grounds where we sat and ate our lunch.



Another hour later we made our way back to the station, retracing our steps the way we had originally come.
Past the Elizabeth Frink sculpture of a man on a horse


to the Age Concern charity shop where we had made a purchase earlier in the day. 
I was very pleased to find a fairly large wicker fish bowl shaped light shade. It's amalgamation of a couple of shades I had seen recently and had been considering as options for our hallway.
I grabbed it as soon as I spotted it and when I showed it to G he said he liked it (bonus) and as it was £3.99 (bigger bonus) I bought it. 
Thing is although it was light it's a bit big and quite delicate and they couldn't find a bag big enough to put it in and so we decided leaving it in the shop and collecting it just as we left was the best option.
S then found her own solution to transporting it home safely.


Monday, 18 May 2015

Donkeys and Drawers

Going into town at the weekend for a spot of clothes shopping isn't my idea of fun.
But as my 10 year old daughter is growing at such a pace right now it's something which needs to be done.
To make this task just a bit more interesting we decided to combine it with something much more fun.
Just before midday me, G, S and S's friend L-R drove into town, left the car in the multi-storey and hopped on a train.
Five minutes later on arriving in Totton we hopped off again.
I had packed plastic cups, plates and cutlery so for picnic supplies we made our first stop Lidl (I know, exciting or what!).
From there we went to the local recreation ground as being held here was the reason for our trip, a donkey derby, an event now it's 20th year organised by the Eling Sea Scouts.
Before going in we settled down next to the play park where S and L-R played for ages. They ate some food, went and played, popped back for more food and then played again. Where we were sat the ground gently sloped away from us and this provided excellent downhill rolling opportunities for the girls as well.


We did eventually make it over to the donkey derby and watched a couple of races before S said she didn't feel so well.
Possibly a combination of the heat, the food and the downhill rolling.
Who knows but she didn't look too bright so we made our way back to the station.
The photo above was taken pre feeling groggy.


Feeling off colour meant that she was in no mood for the clothes shopping part, so all that's still to be done.

Sunday we were going to go to the car boot but S wasn't in the mood and we had all slept in a bit longer than we normally do so decided to give it a miss. My sister sent me a text me later in the morning to say we hadn't missed much so I'm glad we hadn't bothered to race round getting ready and went for the more leisurely pottering.

There is always plenty to do at home and I wanted to try and finish a project I had started a few weeks back.
In our bedroom we have a plain wooden chest of drawers which I had wanted to paint. We bought it years ago from Argos, I can't find it on their website, but this is the bedside cabinet from the same range, just imagine it taller with six drawers.
This photo doesn't show the true colour it is now, it's greener and brighter in real life, but I'm really pleased with it. Some of the drawer fronts need anther coat but it's nearly finished. Our bedroom has been an ongoing project for a while now and it's still a way off being finished but at least this little job can very soon be ticked off the list.


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Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Come With Me

About 5 minutes drive from where we live there is a very reasonably priced flower shop and it's here I tend to go when I want some plants for the garden.
The window boxes at the front of the house need sprucing up and there are a  few pots in the back garden I wanted to plant up too.

Today the sun was out and it seemed a good day for spending time in the garden and making the most of being outside. So instead of nipping to the shop in the car I decided to walk to the shop.
I took my camera with me and here are a handful of  things which caught my eye on the way.

I love honeysuckle. The heady scent, the shape of the flowers, it's rambling nature. When I worked for Royal Brierley I bought a few pieces from their honeysuckle crystal glass range.
This honeysuckle is growing over my neighbour's fence.


We've been to many a summer fete on the green outside the local church. And many a jumble sale inside the church hall. 


What is it about old post boxes set into brick walls which is so appealing?


Graffiti on a wall by a railway bridge.


I knew I wouldn't be able to walk home again after buying the plants, but that wasn't a problem as just across the road from the shop is a train station.
Loved the chipped and stripped paint on this door at the station.


I only had to stay on for one stop and then hop off at my local station. Lots of stations on the local lines have this oak leaf motif on the metal work.



Once home I found the postman had been and continuing the floral theme of the day, he had delivered a CK catalogue in the prettiest envelope ever.



Monday, 11 May 2015

VE Celebrations

Saturday afternoon G and I went into town for our city's VE Day celebrations.
The local website held details of a party arranged by the Royal British Legion to be attended by veterans and anyone else who wanted to come along was invited too.


The event needed to have trestle tables, chairs and bunting and this was the job of the army cadets.
One of the cadets was my cousin. I've never seen her in her uniform before and I didn't know she was going to be at the event so it was great to see her.


The swing band played all the great Big Band songs you would hope to hear, In the Mood, Pennsylvania 69000, Little Brown Jug and many more. Just before they took a break they played The Conga. Huge long snakes of us wound our way around the square. The local newspaper photographer was there and he took a great photo of my cousin and her nephew, just ignore me behind them!
It was really good fun.
When the band returned after their break a singer joined them. She sang A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square so beautifully.


Lots of people were up dancing, but this couple were the first ones and they looked great.
There was a really lovely atmosphere at this event and I'm so glad we went.



Sunday, 3 May 2015

Time to Meet

Yesterday was a real treat of a day.
One that was possible because of the wonderful world of blogging.

I have been reading and enjoying Penny's  blog for years. We live fairly close to each other and kept saying we should arrange to meet up.
Then a couple of weeks ago she wrote a post about being busy readying herself for a special event.
Penny is co-manageress of her local charity shop and they were taking over the community centre for a day to hold a Here Comes Summer sale.
Well the lure of a long awaited meet up combined with day out and a rummage was too good to miss.

Me, G and S met Penny at the community centre where after a browse around the sale (and a purchase was made) we were able to sit and chat a while.
Penny was so welcoming and friendly and completely lovely.
Like good bloogers we had G take our photo together at the community centre, Penny looked fabulous in both and I looked well, quite frankly, hideous. 
Thankfully we saw each other again later in the afternoon in the charity shop, where we also got to meet Penny's daughter Jess, and she took another much nicer photo.
The charity shop is a real little treasure trove full of all sorts of goodies and all three of us left with something. G with more vinyl, S with 3 books and me with a lavender scented heart to add to my sister's birthday gift.




The community centre is only a short walk away from the shore so that's where we headed next. By now it was nearing lunchtime and so the  Needles Eye Cafe was our next stop. Here S discovered cheesy chips for the first time, we shared a bowl between the three of us. A welcome addition to our very tasty baguettes.



Yesterday's wasn't filled with blue skies as you can see, there was a blustery breeze as we walked along the front


but we could still make out the Needles over at the Isle of Wight.


Although this version of the Needles in one of the shop windows was much clearer!


S kept busy clambering over the rocks where possible and practising some shot put moves with another much smaller one.


After we had waved cheerio to Penny and Jess we made our way to Lymington.
G was looking forward to visiting a vinyl shop he had heard about but was dismayed to find it closed.
However there was a branch of Oxfam and in there he found a copy of  an album he had been wanting. The strange thing about that is that the sleeve inside belonged to another album.
An album he owned already but which was missing this original sleeve.
He was really chuffed with that find.



We all liked the window of the Marie Curie shop. The mannequin was clothed in a dress made from an old map


and hanging up next to it was a swimsuit. Again made from a map with added floral decoration.


People of a certain age may know who I am talking about when I say this bird sculpture we saw reminded us of Professor Yaffle.


We did our day trip by public transport. One bus and three trains each way. It does sound a bit convoluted but it was incredibly straightforward. 
There was much more to see in Lymington and we plan to go back in the summer, on a day when the record shop is open.




We had a great day out exploring somewhere new and meeting up with Penny was the cherry on the top.
We hope to meet up again at some point, this time in Southampton for a perusal of the art gallery or maybe the Sea City museum. 
Thank you Penny for meeting up, it was a treat to meet you, and for introducing us to where you live.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Watching and Reading

Saturday morning I woke up at the normal weekday time which isn't good for the beauty sleep I need but was helpful in getting me out the house nice and early to go on a birthday gift buying mission.
We have a branch of The Range quite close by so this is where I headed and found this metal jug.
My friend I likes very pale and muted colours and when I saw this I knew it was something she would like.
I thought it had the look something you would easily find in Laura Ashley and as she is a big fan of that style I thought it would be ideal.
Her reaction today when I gave it to her told me it was, phew.


G needed to make up some flexi and decided he would go into work for a few hours on Saturday afternoon. I pottered about doing this and that and then when the ironing could be put off no longer I put on my new DVD and did every last thing from the pile whilst getting caught up in the stories of the 4 ladies who had gone to spend a month in a castle in Italy owned by Michael Kitchen. I have never read the book, but have watched the film countless times and I love, love, love it. I used to own it on video and recently bought the DVD so I could own it again. What better movie to watch in April than Enchanted April. And Michael Kitchen is in it, have I mentioned that already?


A while ago I was trying to recall the title of a book I had read and enjoyed as a young girl in Junior school. All I could remember was it featured a girl who found half a coin on the pavement which granted wishes and there was an adventure on a flying carpet. I googled various words and phrases and found Half Magic. Well there is no flying carpet and although the girl finds a coin it is a whole one which grants the wisher half of their wish. I must admit the odd thing from this book was vaguely familiar but I think my memory must have muddled a variety of books I read as a child. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it, but I shall give it to S to read now and see what she makes of it.


Sunday started with a leisurely breakfast in bed whilst watching the last episode of Wolf Hall. We recorded them all and have watched them over the last fortnight. What a superb series it was, totally captivating. 



The reason we could have a lazy breakfast time was because there was no car boot for us to go due to the weather.
When it was time to get dressed the change in weather influenced my choice of outfit. Due to the drop in temperature out came the warm stripy tights which were a perfect accompaniment to my new brown cord skirt, a 50p purchase at the car boot the week before.




Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Day Tripping

Yesterday G and I had a little jaunt out together on the train.
We went to Petersfield.
It's somewhere I've been waiting to visit for a while and G suggested he book a day off and we go on our own.


Just down from the station I spotted this sculpture and said 'oh look at that lovely sheep'. In my defense I was looking at it head on at first and it is only the size of a sheep, it's not proper cow size. When we got closer and I got my camera got G said 'here goes the start of many photo taking stops for the day'.


Petersfield has a very pretty and bustling town centre


and in the centre of the centre is a statue of William III dressed as a Roman Emperor.


One of the reasons I wanted to go to Petersfield was to pay a visit to the museum and the Flora Twort art gallery. I checked online at the weekend and unfortunately both are closed on a Monday, so I have to save these for my next trip there.


Snippets of things which caught my eye during the day.


After a brief stop for lunch we made our way to the Heath and then took a very slow amble round the 22 acre pond. 






The sun was out and the sky was blue and being in such surroundings made a perfect end to a relaxing day out.