Friday, 30 November 2007

Unforeseen blogging break over

Well, that was a bit of an unforeseen blogging break...Having been deprived of blogging during my week of training, I came home to have the power supply for my laptop met an unanticipated demise. I was fully expecting my laptop to die completely, as it is barely held together - it's a wonder it actually works. But no, it is not dead, just the power supply which I bought just under a year ago. I was oh so glad when I remembered the whole legislation on faulty products which tends to mean that even if you don't have a receipt you can return them and get a free replacement, which I did yesterday. The kind lady checked inside the box to see if everything that was meant to be there, was there, and it was, with what I thought was an added extra. When I bought my last power supply, there was no plug, and it was not your average fixing (don't know the proper lingo - sorry). It turned out that I needed a kettle lead, which needless to say, is rather short, meaning that I always had to be within a metre of the socket I was plugged in to. So it was to my initial delight, then slight indignance when I discovered that my new power supply had all the parts - some little monkey had obviously stolen the last one that I was entitled to. But because I didn't realise at the time (idiot for not reading the box and 'contents'), I suffered more stress than was necessary. Ah well. That is far too many words about a power supply.

There is a lot to write about but I am already behind schedule for all the things I have planned to do for today, so I must leave it there and go to market to buy some cheap fruit. Love it.

Friday, 23 November 2007

thinking about fair trade...

Sorry for the lack of blogging - one thing I didn't think about when I signed up to NaBloPoMo was that I wouldn't be able to blog while I was away on training in Wimbledon, as has been the case this week.

It was a good time, as is always the case, with some quality teaching. I usually come back from training feeling refreshed, as it gives me the rare opportunities to get a good night's sleep - I had 10.5 hours on Wednesday night.

On the journey home, we got to talking about fair trade - Adam said how he actively avoids buying fair trade because it's not 'fair' and you're giving money to a corporation. I'm not quite sure that I understand this logic, as surely it's better to be giving your money to a corporation that is paying their workers a fairer wage than other corporations...As we were discussing this and I was trying to put across the benefits of buying locally, I got a bit lost, and ended up thinking that this - buying ethically, the impact what we buy and where from has on the environment, businesses and people - is something that I really would like to be more knowledgable about. If anyone would like to share any information with me about any of these things, I would greatly appreciate it - I will of course also make my own efforts to find out more. For anyone who is interested in these issues, I came across the 100 mile diet recently, which I like the idea of...

Photo: Taken by the road on the way to the local shops...

Saturday, 17 November 2007

photo time

I had fully intended on posting yesterday but the day ran away with me, and after an evening spent doing a million press ups at a circuit training class led by a Rastafarian dude with the longest dreads I have ever seen (I reckon they measured about 1.75metres), followed by a dinner party with some lovely lovely friends, I ended up getting to bed rather late.

I spent yesterday having coffee, baking and doing my assignment for this month, which is illustrated with photographs - perhaps one of the most fun assignments I have done. I thought I'd make this mainly a photo blog for today to give you a wee glimpse into what I have been up to recently.

Bonfire at Sand Bay, Weston-Super-Mare


Tiny tiny cup cakes for a friend's hen day

A walk in Eastville park

Birds in flight


Flurry...

Thursday, 15 November 2007

i love tins

A couple of my friends got married a few weeks ago and to save money, they made it a bring and share affair, so there was a whole array of foods. As I was one of the last people to leave, I helped clear up and to my delight I found a whole unopened tin of chocolates. Today, we (me and my fellow year-teamers) finished the last few chocolates, and I sat there with the shiny empty tin in my hands and delighted that I had another tin to add to the ever growing collection on top of my kitchen cupboards. Out of the 20 odd tins, we have only been responsible for eating the contents of just one tin - the wedding one. The reason I have so many is because when I started baking for my church, people kindly donated their spare tins to me, and since then, there has been a steady flow. I'm going to be baking for church this Sunday, and I am very excited because baking for church means I have the perfect excuse to try out a load of new recipes.

Anyway, the point of me writing about my tins was that when I was delighting in the new addition, I unconsciously spoke my delight aloud, at which point Adam (fellow year-teamer) said, 'why do you want so many tins?' then proceeded to find the answer by texting the ask anything line. The reply he got back was 'Hannah wants so many tins because she's trying to collect enough to be able to melt them down and build a passenger liner out of them. Good luck to her.' I thought this was a much more amusing than the real reason - that it is yet another tin to fill with delicious things.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

nodnodnod

Well, for once, rather than having difficulty in thinking for a title for this post, I had the opposite problem - too many titles! I went for nodnodnod because it is most fitting with where I am at now. It's the end of the day and time for bed, but as I'm meant to be posting daily, and actually have some things to write about today, I thought I could spare 10 minutes before sleep completely sets in.

I've just got in from childminding. School pick up was a highly eventful affair today. I won't go into the details, but lets just say I had to do a whole lot of consoling, reasoning, running and rounding up of children, and managed to make one of the girls late for her dance class. The first half of the pick up had gone fine - I had to pick up the youngest an hour earlier than his sisters. As we went back to his friend's house for some juice, he ran alongside his friend, excitedly talking about how he was 'running at the speed of life' which I thought sounded quite exciting!

The second sister who is 7, was so tired and fed up that for the last part of the journey home she complained about how I was making her walk half a million miles and that we still had 100 miles to go, making the whole journey 2 million miles. (Which even to my poor maths brain does not quite add up!!) It was going to be absolutely futile to even think about disputing / correcting this 'fact' about the distance of the walk home so instead I somehow managed to turn the conversation round to talking about this 7 year old's dream house. She really got into describing the detail of this house to me, and it sounded truly wonderful - especially the rooftop garden where you could lie and watch the stars (with a protective cover in case of rain).

The rest of the evening went smoothly, and I ended up spending the last part of the evening doing something which is becoming a bit of a frequent habit for me - falling asleep sitting on a sofa while reading. The only thing is, I tend to do this when I don't have my head resting on anything, so I end up replicating the motions of a nodding dog, but am too emmersed in a dream state to do anything about it. Last week when I was babysitting for another family, I even managed to fall asleep whilst in the middle of texting, and dropped my phone. So I picked it up again, only to promptly drop it again!

The cycle ride home was oh so very cold. It was the type of cold that leaves you struggling to catch breaths because your chest has tensed up in defiance against the cold, and where your ears start off feeling like they're burning then progress to just really hurting because of the bitter wind rushing past them. My journey home is almost completely downhill, and the only respite from this attack on my ears came when I had to cycle up a bit of a hill - not something I would normally call 'respite', but in this instance it was. I am so thankful that I have a lovely warm home to come home to.

Monday, 12 November 2007

stampstampstamp

This is just a very brief blog for today as I probably won't get another chance to write before I go to bed, and I need to at least try and post every day for NaBloPoMo.

Today has been a rather quiet day in the office as far as work goes, but I did get to buy 200 stamps and stamp a whole load of envelopes - hence my stamp covered hand - which I did love doing, as sad as that might sound. But I love post, and as sticking stamps on post is an integral part of giving and receiving post, I relished this otherwise mundane task! (Apologies for the quality of the photo - it was taken using the camera on my phone.)

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Today has been another lovely sunny day, and as it definitely feels this Autumn is drawing to a close and winter is on it's way, I wanted to get outside and appreciate the carpets of leaves and sunshine through the trees before they go again until next year. So, I hopped on my bike and went to Eastville Park, which is lovely - not anywhere near as exciting and beautiful as Abbots Pool where I went for one of the best Autumn walks ever last Sunday, but good all the same - there were swans on the lake which was quite cool.

I snapped away with my camera - If the photos are any good I'll post some but that'll have to wait until they're developed - the joys of film SLR's. Then I sat amongst the swirling leaves and started reading my new book club book, which I will post about once I've got stuck into it. Right, I'm off to have dinner with some lovely friends.

(Photo taken at Westonbirt Arboretum Autumn 2004)

Friday, 9 November 2007

bloggingandbooks


Ok, so to give myself a wee push in the direction I want to go in terms of blogging, I signed up to Nablopomo which is basically encouraging bloggers of the world to write a blog a day for the month of November, and in the process, meet lots of other bloggers with similar interests, which I find quite exciting, but also slightly scary at the prospect of just how much more of my time this has the potential to eat up, so I must be disciplined!

This evening we had bookclub, which I always love. This week we were discussing our thoughts on My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. I love the way she writes and how it totally draws me in to feeling the emotions of not only the characters, but how I might feel if I were in a similar situation. To write a book that can cause you to sob is quite amazing, in my mind. I really like books that are emotionally involving, I suppose partly because of the way it takes the attention away from my own life for a little while, not that my life is in anyway bad right now, but there is something wonderfully cathartic about thinking about someone else's life for a little while. (Regardless of the fact that it's fictional.)

I'd love to go into more detail about the thoughts this book provoked in me and why, but I think that may well take a little while as I would need to explain the premise of the book first, to make the picture a bit clearer for you, and right now what I actually need to do is sleep. Maybe that's something I'll write about tomorrow.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

precious moments

Yesterday after childminding I went to visit the family who I used to work for, as I haven't seen them since July. It was so lovely to be greeted by an excited squealing Madeleine even before they had opened the front door to me. It was bath time when I arrived so Celine and I sat by the bath chatting while Madeleine splashed away and got re-accustomed to me, as there was the initial confusion of knowing who I was but being slightly unsure of why I had disappeared and then suddenly turned up again. It didn't take her long to remember and when she did, she threw herself on me and gave me a hug in a way that only children can and told me that she missed me. Precious. After that she went a little bit hyper and bounced around the house on her little pink space hopper and showed me all her new exciting things, like her big girls' bed. When it was time for her to go to bed she threw herself on me once again, this time with a bit more force, knocking me over and not letting me get up. I feel so privileged to have had 2 wonderful years looking after Madeleine, and that there is still that familiarity there. I treasure moments like these.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

search for cinnamon

Yesterday I cooked for my small group from church. I was very much excited about cooking because I love to bless people with food.

I cooked sausages with spiced apple sauce. One of the essential ingredients in cinnamon. Bizarrely I had great difficulty in tracking any cinnamon down! There was but a few pinches of the good stuff in my baking cupboard so I tried visiting 2 Tesco stores, rang another supermarket, tried Sonni's my local cornershop and another corner shop down the road and had no joy! Fortunately I found some in the eleventh hour at the Boys' house so all was well in the end.

I'd love to write more, but time is not on my side just now as I need to go pick up the sproglets from school. (Not my own sproglets but the ones I look after, just to clarify.)

Friday, 2 November 2007

oh gosh

Well, in a slight moment of madness, I have signed up to another half marathon. It's amazing how we block out the bad memories to make plenty of space for the good ones. Or is it simply that the good ones end up outweighing the bad?

I definitely know that since starting training for the Bristol half marathon my mindset and attitude have changed - in a good way. I am more determined to persevere than I used to be and I suppose that is something that I want to grow more in in other aspects of my life and if you grow in one area of your life, it slowly but surely translates into other areas.

I never really used to read the blogs of people I didn't know, but recently I have been thoroughly inspired by some wonderfully creative people's blogs that I have stumbled across through blogs of people I know, and of people I don't. I am kind of amazed at the blogging communities that develop as a result of shared interests, but also quite excited at the prospects! I have yet to break into any of these communities - I guess because I feel my blog is somewhat lacking in the things that appeal to people about blogs, and also it isn't how I'd like it to be - a story in pictures. One day I'll have the money to buy a camera that is small enough to allow me to document life as I go...(Until then, if anyone has a digital camera that if for some bizarre reason you don't need anymore, feel free to throw it my way!)

For now, here is a picture of a place I love - Westonbirt Arboretum.