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Just a few jottings - - Random ramblings, occasional crafty creations & nature notes included. Trying to "Design a life I love" - succeeding I think -----.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Sadly neglected - -

-- of late is this place. There have been a lot of changes I am learning to deal with - writing is not a comfortable as it used to be. Maybe one day I will get back my joy in life. I will have to try. J x

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Fog - -

- - this morning - which makes it warmer - but at what cost? Visibility is not good - Manannan has spread his cloak thick this day and I would guess that there will be no mail plane - at least not until much later today. Pity - as I was hoping for my Crafty Individuals parcel to arrive - but hey ho "ce la vie" I guess. Not a good start when I got to work either as C backup has failed - hopefully it is just the tape and not the drive - better see if the new tape is running I think.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Blogging for Scrapbookers

 - - I took this class in 2009 - and did love it as I managed to blog a little and scrap a little more regularly - but I have sadly fallen by the wayside - and my blog has been sadly neglected of late! and as for scrapbooking - just don't ask! I don't want that to remain the case - so here I am  - and as mum says - if at first you don't succeed try, try, try again!
 I have done some crafting - made mini albums, cards, ATCs - even run classes - and joined in with classes - but don't seem to get many photos in albums or journalling done. That I am hoping to change - realistically!! so I don't overface myself and then give up, and maybe somewhere along the way I can find the old mojo!
Anyway here I am - ready to try again - and attempt to blog at least a couple of times a week - and try to make my posts a little more interesting.

Thanks for stopping by.
Gura mie Ayd J x

Friday, 24 December 2010

December 24th

Christmas Eve on the island - and it is still freezing - the snow is clinging to my little island home as if it's never going to leave. I have never seen snow on our beaches before - inches deep as well!
However my home is cosy and warm and my guests slept well last night - the turkey is cooked and ready for tomorrow - and the ham just needs finishing in the morning when we do the vegetables. Mum is finishing the trifle and we have Belgian waffles with caramel sauce, chocolate sauce or raspberry sauce as an alternative pudding.
There are so many stories & legends associated with Christmas Eve that I really could have filled a book - but this time I thought I would include the rhyme linked to the game of Snapdragon. It seems to be very out of fashion now - and indeed I don't think we have ever played it - but I do know that you splash a large bowl of raisins with alcohol and light it, then sing the rhyme as you grab a handful to eat. I'm not quite sure how you decide a winner - if there is one, that is!!
Christmas Eve no longer has the same sense of anticipation as it used to - all our "little ones" are now grown, so stockings don't have quite the same magic any longer - and as our family is scattered there are fewer presents under the tree - gifts have been dispatched to catch the Christmas post. And with all the snow the UK has been hit by there has been widespread disruption. However I d think everything arrived safely - so can sleep easy in my bed.

The Story of Snapdragon
'Here he comes with flaming bowl,
Don't he mean to take his toll,
               Snip! Snap! Dragon!

Take care you don't take too much,
Be not greedy in your clutch,
               Snip! Snap! Dragon!

With his blue and lapping tongue
Many of you will be stung,
               Snip! Snap! Dragon!

For he snaps at all that comes
Snatching at his feast of plums,
               Snip! Snap! Dragon!

But Old Christmas makes him come,
Though he looks so fee! fa! fum!
               Snip! Snap! Dragon!

Don't 'ee fear him, be but bold--
Out he goes, his flames are cold,
               Snip! Snap! Dragon!'

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, 3 December 2010

December 3rd

Once more December has sneaked up behind me - overtaken me and is off and running - and from now on in I will be playing my inevitable "catch up" with all I have to do.  All the same I love this month in the year - after all it is the anniversary of the biggest upheaval of all - that 2000+ years ago the Son of God arrived on our earth to live his short life as a human baby, boy & man and in the process leave the rest of mankind with the gift that is Christmas. Well it has always felt like a gift to me - it is magic, mystery, gifts, wrapping,cards, candles, special secrets, fire light, good food, love & laughter. Why should we be exempt from a bit of upheaval too?
As you know, actually I enjoy the upheaval -  I have always loved Christmas, with its trees, evergreens, bright berries, and all the other fripperies which go alongside. I adore wrapping my parcels, decorating my tree and the rest of my home, preparing the Christmas foods, having guests - and being one! sending & receiving cards, being with my family, and just the general hustle & bustle of making & planning my Christmas. I do hope all your Christmas preparations are coming together smoothly.
I have been thinking about Christmas past as I go about my preparations fo rthis year and I know I am blessed, as in my mind's eye, when I look back down my years I see only happy memories. So many of them - far too may to mention each one individually -  but wide ranging  - from Christmas in hospital with a new baby to preparing our "Works Christmas Buffet" for many years, Christmas on an island to Christmas in the English Lakes, Christmas in school to my many golden childhood Christmasses at home and at Granny's, for me the magic never fades. I hope you too are looking forward to another very happy Christmas season.
Anyway - to play catch up for another year - there have been few major changes to our life again this year - Rhiannon is in her second year at University and still enjoying it and hopefully working hard towards her degree. I am sure she is - she knows that it is an opportunity she can't afford to waste. She will be home for Christmas in the next couple of weeks - so I am so looking forward to seeing her again. She towers above me now - looks "down" on her little mum these days! Lydia is still living and working in Sheffield - after a few difficult months I think life is beginning to be kind to her again - at least I do hope & pray it is. She is still horse mad - and dreams of a job working with them, so perhaps next year will be the one in which that particular dream comes true. Ben is still at home, though has got a few travel plans in the pipeline.
Both my girls will be coming to stay for the holiday season - as will mum & dad - well they come for a week - at least they do as long as there are flights on & off the island, so I will have a cottage full of guests. We have been hit by snow - very unusual I assure you - and as I write this letter it is still bitterly cold and the ground frozen, hopefully it will have warmed up by the time mum & dad are flying in.

Quote for the Day

Christmas is the gentlest, loveliest festival of the revolving year - and yet, for all that, when it speaks, its voice has strong authority.  ~W.J. Cameron

On this day 
1967 - Dr Christiaan Barnard carried out the first heart transplant on a human - Louis Washinsky - Cape Town, South Africa
1989 - George H W Bush & Mikhail Gorbachev release statements the the Cold war between USA & Soviet Russia may be coming to an end
1992 - Two bombs planted by the IRA explode in the centre of Manchester injuring 65 people. forcing police to evacuate the whole of the city centre causing widespread disruption.( I was in Manchester that morning but had returned home before the bomb detonated)
Feast Day: St. Lucius, king and confessor, end of second century. St. Birinus, bishop and confessor, 650. St. Sola, hermit, 790. St. Francis Xavier, Apostle of the Indies, confessor, 1552.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

and the weather outside is frightful - - -

Britain has been hit by the snow - and there is no denying it - we are not geared up for dealing with it. It is very early in the winter for us to have been hit by snow quite this hard - but it happens so infrequently that the skills needed to live with snow never get to develop. Already this week my little island has been affected, and our transport suspended - no buses all weekend, roads closed, schools closed on Monday - and now we have the big freeze. The rest of UK is still being covered in the white stuff.  Yesterday it was Sheffield & Hull Universities that were closed (my daughter texted me to tell me she was heading back home - no lectures! And my friend's daughter texted her from Hull with similar news).
Of course being in the British Isles - the weather is of great significance - simply because it is so changeable - and our discussions about the weather take place on an almost daily basis - where-ever you might work - and the Weather Forecast is an obsession with the Artisan!! Not a single day goes by when he wouldn't want to know the weather forecast - all his hobbies are outdoor ones - and linked to the tides and the weather and the wind direction - so of course it is of huge importance to him. Now me - If I want to know what the weather is doing  -  I look out the window!!  
If I could have avoided coming in to work to stay home and play I would have done, but today it is the school Christmas Fayre and we are having a stall to raise a few funds for our Library Clubs.It is going to be a busy day for us as we put together all our goodies for our stall - and I was so busy making chocolates last night for our Choc-in-a- Boxes that I didn't get to stick down my papers to my page for my manifesto. It is on my daughters desk - just waiting! I did manage to glue everything down on my Christmas ATCs for our crop swap though.

Quote for the Day 
Oh! The North Wind doth blow
And we shall have snow
And what will poor Robin do then, poor thing?
He'll sit in a barn to keep himself warm
And hide his head under his wing, poor thing!

December 2nd - -  on this day

  • 1804 Napoleon Buonaparte Crowns himself Emperor of France at Notre Dame Cathedral
  • 1956 Fidel Castro & Che Guevara land in Cuba -  to initiate the Cuban revolution
  • 1988 Benezir Bhutto is sworn in as  the first woman Prime Minister of Pakistan becoming the first woman to lead the government of an Islam dominated state 
 The Zodiac sun sign for today is Sagittarius -  a Fire sign, ruled by Jupiter & according to Greek mythology a Centaur - half man, half horse - though better known to us The Archer. 

It's Saint Vivian's Day - and she is the patron saint of those affected by mental illness, again something my family has had to deal with as best we can - and in that I know we are not alone. 
I know it is unlikely I will get to create any pages tonight - but hope to share when I do manage to get them done. 

Bannaghtyn,  J x

    Wednesday, 1 December 2010

    And so it begins - -

    - - that most magical season of the year I mean. You must be able to guess?? Of course you can - for today is the start of Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas for 2010, I am an Alumni of the class of several years standing yet I am filled with the same sense of anticipation and excitement that I used to feel as a little girl waiting for that Man in Red to come down the chimney! My favourite albums and a favourite time of the year!!!

    As in previous years I will use Shimelle's prompts - but try to add a little twist of my own. Last year in order to stay on task I took a photo every day in December, the year before I had only about half my pages with photos, and the two years previous to that I simply worked with the prompt topic.
    This year I thought I would try to include snippets of information about the day/date that interested me - a bit like an old fashioned almanac, with quotes: poems: other countries Christmas Traditions, poems or legends,odd snippets and scraps which have caught my attention : all related solely to the month of December- well thats the theory anyway - lets hope I can make it work!
    I am also really trying to post on my blog more regularly - especially as I complete my Journal

    Quote for the Day
    Christmas, children, is not a date.  It is a state of mind.  ~Mary Ellen Chase

    December 1st - on this day
    • in 1761 Marie Tussaud was born
    • in 1955 Rosa Parks is arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama
    • in 1971 it was my Wedding Day - the day I married my first husband - and it was also a Wednesday!
    • in 1990 the English & French halves of the Channel Tunnel meet up.
    It is also St Eligius Day - and as the Patron saint of Metal workers - he is quite significant for me as my husband is a metal worker, as was my Grandfather and my Uncle - and we have Smiths as a name in our family tree.

    I just need now to plan my "manifesto" for this year and hopefully tonight it will all come together so that tomorrow I have the first page in this years journal.I am planning on  making it as easy as possible so will keep it simple. Love Shimelle's print out for today!! I have just decorated the Christmas Tree in the school foyer - hope you like it!

    I love this season of the year!
    Bannaghtyn J x