Wednesday, 26 March 2014

I don't KNOW what I'm doing with blogging - but I like it!

I admit I have been laid up with a rotten cold for the last day or two which has allowed me to snuggle up on the sofa and dip into blogs all around the world. What a crazy madly interesting world we share! People lead lives SO different from mine, and yet there are such coincidences in peoples experiences too! 

I don't know how to add links to anything and I must say sometimes I read one person's blog post.... and then read posts from all the blogs on their sidebar! So an eclectic mix.... and that way leads to similar bloggers, with one thing or another in common.

For me, I am drawn to creative blogs like Lucy at Attic24, or Penny at Planet Penny and their "favourite blogs" have led me to many others like Little Woolie or Rett at a shoebox of photographs. I LOVE the colour, but then find what keeps me going back is the glimpses of real family life.

I just add to my reading list and waste spend hours working my way through to see who has posted recently. There are just too many on that list now to make any sense. I am drawn to people with dogs, with grandchildren, who knit, sew, crochet, quilt. Many of the bloggers have been teachers like I suppose there are similarities in personality.

Then there is the serendipity approach...when I first wrote my blog (ShirleyGoldenDoodles) about the puppies, just about a year ago now...I accidentally clicked on the button that said "NEXT BLOG" and believe me that took me to places I never imagined! I discovered the weird and wonderful, and found an international world of people living lives like mine in Australia, USA, Romania, Russia, Holland, Brazil, Singapore etc. 

Then there are the blogs with the most beautiful photography which draw you in, people like Debbie at Serendipity Patch, and Chronicles of a Country Girl, and I have to mention Documenting Delight...I have fallen in love with a baby called Florin!

Photographs really draw you in, they do tell a thousand stories.... and I feel I can't join in as I've ruined not one but three cameras in the last couple of years and am having to make do with a very basic camera on my phone. I have a tendency to drop things or leave them in bags with milk or ratatouille (don't ask!) I really do find it hard to put photos up on blogger, spend way TOO MUCH time trying to get the pictures WHERE I want them!

So, peeps, please accept my humble offerings in the manner that they appear.
Spring has finally sprung, new life thank goodness.

Frogs! Yay! Noisy, happy, busy frogs..... no more slug pellets! 

My gorgeous son is about to make me a Granny again! We have about 4 weeks before he becomes a daddy! To a girl, or boy, we don't know yet! I'm knitting every colour under the rainbow!

There WILL be plums! Golden juicy plums.

It took me four days wrapped up against all the thorns to get 30 feet of brambles under control.... but the jam will be worth it, and a great excuse for a bonfire! 

If you are wondering where the Art comes in? Well, in my last post I think I mentioned my lovely husband had a birthday. I managed to buy him a fabulous card with one of our favourite places in the world on it. Do you like it? The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square is just 30 minutes away from where we live on the train - and he gets there for free! I just need to drag him away from the allotment. Or Pinterest! But that's another story.....

So peeps, what makes you visit a blog? Let me know.... how can I make this better?  Mary Xxx

Saturday, 15 March 2014

A granny? Me?

Hello Peeps, have been very, very busy this week.....

We have driven over 500 miles to welcome a beautiful baby into our family, a girl after two gorgeous boys so all the more exciting. Nancy is over 9lb in weight and 54.5cm long so a BIG baby! 

Here I am sharing the joy with one of Nancy's other grandparents, and the joy really is how we all feel.... I never imagined that marrying a second time would bring me a wider family, and the fact that M is my husband's ex is irrelevant, we all get on so well. I share 5 grandchildren with my husband, though sadly they all live in Halifax, West Yorkshire. We have to travel up every few weeks in order to see them - but it's always worth it.....if exhausting!

Both brothers are already besotted with their little sister, and here they are showing us her "soft skin like butterfly silk" to quote Sonny aged 5. 

Isn't she just adorable? 

So, how can I follow that? Well, more excitement that's how... I have been inspired to learn to crochet in the last few months by discovering blogs like Attic24 and Planet Penny. I came across a post by Oran on Misty Mountain and was HOOKED! So here is my second Tadah Moment......

I have turned learning a new skill into a practical and beautiful bag for my laptop. I practiced new stitches, scouring the internet, even russian sites, reading old crochet books. It still needs lining and the ends stitched in, and a button or flower fastening - I can't decide which. There are loads of mistakes, at one time I found I was about 10 stitches short, because different patterns need more or less stitches but hey, who cares? Not me. I sort of added more or less in as I went along. I even found a use for granny clusters, to join it together at the sides and the final border. I never thought I would use granny stitch... too old fashioned for me. Ha! Ha!
One day soon, I hope to find time to make a note of what stitches I used for which rows but hey I was too excited to do it at the time. I used Planet Penny Rainbow Cotton and a size 4m hook. I know there are ripples, bobbles, stars, shells, 'V' stitches, blackberry and that difficult interlocking chain stitch. Probably others too. I have discovered that I love the mathematical side of crochet (and quilting) but that's another story. 

So could there possibly be any more excitement in one week? World book day at school where a young colleague thrilled me with her approach to the topic...

We spent the afternoon singing along to songs from Mary Poppins, so that took me back to my childhood, going to the cinema with my own Grandma to see the film at the "pictures."

There you have it, a week in the life of.... oh, but I didn't tell you about my husbands birthday, or going to the allotment, or my doodles, or my online felting and embroidery course. Maybe I'll leave something for next time.  Come back soon, and please leave me a comment. I'd love to know if anyone is out there.

Love Mary 

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Well hello peeps,

What a week, what a day today has been. Warm sunshine 20 degrees F - from 8.20am this morning to 5.40pm when I finally packed up at the allotment and came home. Had to put a sweater on IN the house! I've worn a loose sleeveless blouse all day and my skin has that lovely tight glowing feeling..... thank you Mother Nature for such a gorgeous, gorgeous day. Spring has sprung at last. Only 3 or 4 weeks ago I was dressed up against the bitter wind like this...
looking for any sign of green life


and today pure heaven and warm warm sunshine all day long and look!


Monday, 3 March 2014

Good morning! The sun is shining and it's a Monday but I'm still thrilled by the fact that I don't have to get up and go to work! I haven't retired but have cut down to just two days. I am loving it! The days ahead stretch out with possibilities, shall we go to our allotment, or into London to see an exhibition? Shall I pull out a book to read from overflowing shelves, or shall I do something creative with knitting or crochet? The choice, absolutely, for the very first time in my life is all mine.
I LOVED being a stay at home mum with four little ones of my own, and on the whole I have loved Teaching too, but now, now the time is all mine. 


So, looking out at the sunshine, and the blossom 
I am off to the allotment after the first pleasurable duty of my day..... can you tell what that is?

Yes it's those gorgeous doodles..... walk in the woods time, looking out for the bluebell shoots and those early celandines and maybe even woodland anenomes - one thing guaranteed.... there will be mud, glorious mud.

See you later peeps, I will be back!

Sunday, 2 March 2014

I'm still here

I look at this face, this young wife looking out of the photo and wonder where have the years gone? I don't look like this anymore, but inside I am still very much the hopeful, happy woman. The years aren't always kind, but the essence of me is still here and for that I am grateful. My life is rich, full, overflowing with interest and joy. I like where I am now, just beginning to take time for myself, for my creativity - always encouraged by my lovely Alan. At last those four fabulous young people have grown up and away, and yet I am so looking forward to being a Grandma. I am so proud of our achievements so far, the tough times that got us here have made us (me) the people we are. The best is yet to come to quote Van Morrison - and as Alan would say, together we are - Forever Young!

Should I? Is anyone out there?

 I constantly think I should restart my own blog, but I just lack the courage. It was one thing having the puppies as a focus, but who would want to read my journal? Are my life and opinions worthy of publishing? Who on earth would find anything worth reading?
A virtual friend on Planet Penny, has posted 500 posts and it really got me thinking. If no-one else reads it does it matter? I don't even have a camera, apart from my phone. But I'm not a photographer, I'm just me. I matter. If I asked maybe your answer would be to just go for it, give it a try. I do feel you would encourage me - and that's because I DO feel you are a friend. Nuts or what? I could stand beside you in a supermarket and not know who you are, but that just gives me a thrill really, to think about the people I do encounter. I suppose everyone of us has a story to share. This is mine.