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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 -----.

Thursday, 29 March 2007


R had a hospital appointment today (she has an invisible brace, which secures a tooth that she has had re implanted) - just a check up and now longer needs to go again for 12 months as the treatment is really helping! This was good news indeed and the x-ray showed the bone has definitely attached itself to the jaw successfully. Gary (her orthodontist) was very pleased with the progress.
We have had interviewees in at school today to look round and maybe one of them will be K's replacement. I am curious to know how it went as we left at lunch time to come to the hospital.
Coming home again it has turned into a Manannan's cloak day - the mist has come down with a vengeance and the grey, lowering clouds are full of rain, and by the time we reached PE it was raining properly.
B has been for a job interview as well but was unsuccessful.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Spring Pressies!!

So lovely - when I got home this evening to find a very pretty green spotty envelope waiting for me!!from Jamie, in NYC - she is so kind - sent some lovely goodies for my Springtime Journal - so I must post some of my pages and incorporate these lush treats into todays' page. Thanks Jamie. Will add pics later

Monday, 26 March 2007

Monday - and Spring has arrived in earnest.

Spring really has arrived on my island home. The weather has given us a perfect spring weekend, with blue skies and sunshine and a freshness in the air so that the very air smells of rebirth and renewal. The Saturday trip to the Curraghs was a really lovely day out and because there are so many trees with bare and almost bare branches it was so easy to see all the animals. On Sunday it was UKS Castletown Croppers all day Spring crop and 17 of us met to share classes, challenges and fun. It was a really good day and most enjoyable for me when the class was over! Special thanks have to go to Scrapdolly and Anso for sharing the instructions for the Exploding Box on their blogs - the boxes looked really nice, as you can see from the piccie here.

The daffodils are going over in some places but here in Castletown they are dancing and nodding in the breeze.It was so lovely at lunch time when I was out that I didn't want to go back in to school - especially as there is not much natural light in my office.The sun was sparkling on the water in the harbour and the swans were weaving their stately way between the yachts moored in the harbour. My time in the sun was over all to soon though and I had to dash back to get in in time! I do so lose track of time here!!LOL

Saturday, 24 March 2007

Golden Day

A golden day – D and I went out for a drive as it was such a beautiful day .Spring has truly arrived on our island – glorious sunshine, blue skies a soft freshness in the air; blossom everywhere I turned – the golden trumpets of the daffodils crowning the hedges, golden gorse, covering the slope of the hillside and a carpet of green and gold on the roadside –the starbright faces of the celandine lifted to the sun shining like newly polished coins as we pass by.

We stopped in Peel as usual – D wanted to show me another piece of metalwork he has created, so we walked through the town to the harbour so he could show me. He really is an artist in his own way – and I never knew what a good craftsman he was until we moved over here. Examples of his skill in metalwork is now scattered over the island – and I love that he is proud enough of his work to want to show me each time another item is fitted.
I get a small bubble of pride inside each time I see yet another one of his designs – from massive mansion gates to small wall decoration like this. We walked round the castle before heading back to the car to carry on.
We took our usual route, but because of roadworks it was a bit difficult to get to the coast road but we managed it in the end, fabulous coastal views as we drove along. Finally heading on to Ballaugh where we stopped at the Curraghs Wild Life Park. The Curraghs is a wetland area with lots of different animal habitats representing various marshy and wetland areas around the world, with the appropriate wild life, so there are capybara, rheas, flamingos, Humboldt penguins,scarlet ibis, red pandas, tamarins, lemurs - so many I can't remember them all! A long time since we have been round so we decided to go in and have a couple of hours here and have our lunch in the cafĂ©. So glad we stopped off – a perfect day for watching the wild life – so few leaves as yet that it was easy to see the creatures and we have some great photos – especially of the red pandas, the otters and the enormous variety of bird life; - all very busy showing off and pairing up for the season!!
Quite a lot of new arrivals since our last visit, and new enclosures. Had a really lovely time.

Friday, 23 March 2007

A First Spring Day

Woken by the sound of birdsong – the blackbird I think, such a delightful ripple of music pouring from his throat, trills and chirrups put together in his own inimitable way – as only a blackbird does – liquid gold for the ears. An absolutely beautiful morning – clear blue skies, with not a cloud in site – a glad to be alive day - a truly fresh spring day with just a hint of breeze making the daffodils dance in the school flower beds. The drive in with D this morning was not long enough – it was just so beautiful, the sun turning Gansey to a sheet of silver – a very low tide this morning as well, so not many gulls around, just a couple - soaring overhead in graceful swoops, and as we passed Kentraugh I was quite shocked to realise that their daffodils were actually going over and are past their best – and it's still so early in the year. We are still getting the odd very cold snap – only for a couple of days at a time I know, but we have had sleet, snow and biting winds in the last 2 weeks, so for the daffodils to be looking so dead is a bit disconcerting. Crazy seasons!

A cold night last night, so I didn’t do much except curl up in front of the Chollagh with D and a blazing fire. The scent of wood smoke filled the room with its gentle fragrance, the flames flickering gold, green, purple and hot orange and the embers glowing red. It was so cosy and peaceful – my home wraps me up in its arms, metaphorically speaking, and I feel so safe and warm. I love my cottage so much – it is the most romantic house I have ever lived in, and it fits me like a glove.

I have done all the preparation now – at least I hope I have – for the spring all day crop on Sunday, just need to think about my own stuff now LOL – have no idea what I am going to do!! Collected the key at lunchtime when I went for the salad boxes for our lunches. Have printed out some pictures and a some journalling to go with it but will have to see what inspires me.

Oh so excited - just got a test email from the Design Collective - everything is moving forward as we get nearer to the start date!!

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Oh how I hate computers!! - Sometimes anyway!

22nd March
So hard to wake this morning – and it is a grey day today, though not raining at the moment yet it has obviously rained very hard as the roads are all wet, as is the gravel in the garden. Rain does bring beauty with it though, as it is only after rain that I can see all the myriad colours the gravel is made up of – slatey blues, smudgy browns, chocolatey browns, rust reds, honey yellows and the glistening white of the quartz. In the hedge the ivy is a deep, shiny green as if is has just been polished and the new shoots on the fuchsia – so small as yet – are bright, lime green and bursting with vitality whilst on the earliest of my flowering cherrys the leaves are bursting forth like blossoms. I catch a sudden movement from the corner of my eye - Jenny Wren can be seen flitting across the garden, and under the bench Robin Redbreast seems to be busy pecking through the leaves – grub and worms brought out by the damp perhaps? It’s lovely to have them here anyway – sharing my garden this way with the little birds is pure pleasure – a gift to me that belongs on my gratitude list in my journal.

More problems with our computer system faced me when I got in to work – so frustrating as I am sure I know what is causing it – the software added a couple of weeks ago – which is causing conflicts I am certain. Not been a good day workwise so now I am really tired. R is not very well bless her,she is feverish and very flushed - yet she is still fretting herself to flinders about her coursework deadlines.

I did remember to take the ATCs I made for the swap in to scan , so here they are. I know so little about them that I am not even sure that I have should call them ATCs - just that they are that size! More like mini collages I think. Hope the swapees like them! On a craft note - Shimelle has her new class details on here, so I think I might sign up again. I do enjoy her classes and do have COMPLETED albums to go with them!! LOL


Wednesday, 21 March 2007

The First Day of Spring = Computer Chaos!!!

Well it was a beautiful first day of spring - blue sky, sunshine, dancing daffodils, lambs in the fields. Everything as it should be for the time of year - until I reached work and then - - -
What a chaotic day it has been at work today! Our main admin server is not a happy bunny - it keeps on shutting itself down - and giving us no clue as to why!! Absolutely zilch in the logs - only one thing has changed - a new piece of software installed a couple of weeks ago - and the problems start from there( I think anyway) not sure the the engineers I have called in agree with me - but I think its significant - just doesn't FEEL right . I'm not techy enough to explain better than that - and bless them - the lads that come out often know how I mean, so put up with my "feelings"!Causing enormous problems in the offices and the kitchens as well as for the teachers and their registers!Can't save stuff back to the server, the secretary couldn't get to the weekly newsletter to print it out. lessons didn't get worksheets printed - you name it - we had it today. A (my colleague and fellow support worker in the IT office)and I are completely frazzled! Boy am I glad to be home!
Anyway - enough already! I have made my first ATC, did it last night whilst D was out and added a bit more in my latest journal - forgot to take them in to scan so will do that and upload a pic tomorrow. Its for our swap at the all day crop this weekend, on a theme of spring. I am a real "newbie" as far as ATC's are concerned so hope they will be OK. I'll have to wait and see. My journal is coming along nicely - though I haven't got a lot of completed pages - just lots "in progress" LOL. I am trying a different way of working though, by doing the same section on each page - IFYSWIM?
Seems to be coming together - so I'll stick with it for now!
So cosy in the cottage last night, I sat by the fire to work as the ATCs were so small - I love how I never feel alone in this home of mine. Even though the family were all out at the time, the soft ticking of a clock, the hum of the rayburn from the kitchen, the crackle of the flames and the soft whush sound as the wood settles as it burns are all so companionable - I don't need any others sometimes. It was a lovely couple of hours - peaceful and refreshing - I always feel rejuvenated after a a spell on my own in the house.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007


Cold and bright today. Beautiful blue sky with puff balls for clouds – all whizzing by as it really is very windy! The bay at Gansey was a silvery lake this morning when we passed, and the harbour in Castletown just glistens with diamonds as the sunshine bounces off the water. My kitchen had rainbows dancing on the walls this morning from the prisms and crystal hanging in the window – the first time I‘ve noticed them this year – a good sign as it means the sun is greeting my garden earlier and earlier each day. I think we do the clocks this weekend?? Not really looking forward to losing an hours’ sleep as we “Spring Forward” – but heyho – that’s life!
Some fabulous inspiration going on, on The Design Collective I mean. The fabby team has come up with some truly fantastic ideas for storing the PDFs we will be receiving as subscribers. I am definitely going to do at least 3 or 4 of the designs – if not all – each one is different so far – even though I don’t usually decorate/alter my folders. These are just so inspiring and attractive –do have a look if you get chance.
Hayley came round last night and we put together our final plans for the crop on Sunday. I hope it will be fun for everyone. We are teaching a class, and have a swap challenge, and a few ideas for spot prizes as well as allowing lots of time for scrapping our own stuff!! At least that the theory - this is our third all day crop – and they do seem to be well supported. We have 16 of our members coming, and would probably have had more if we had been able to give them a bit more notice. As it was we arranged this one a bit at the last minute as we didn’t want to go into the Easter Holidays; a lot of our ladies are teachers or work in schools in other roles - so may are off island at Easter.

Sunday, 18 March 2007

Mothering Sunday

Here we are = half way through Lent and it's Mother's Day - sent my mum some flowers and they have just arrived. Says they are beautiful. Lydia is to come down from Doolish today. Rhiannon has to work - she is doing a split shift today as the cafe will be busy being the day it is.
Very wild and windy and the waves are crashing in as it's high tide- they are just a constant flurry of galloping white horses, rushing and swirling - the spray stings my face and my lips taste salty!! Been along Bradda Glen on my walk- the wind is strong now and they have forecast it to get stronger and bring hail and snow as well - borrowed Ben's camera to take a few pictures so hope some of them turn out.

Thursday, 15 March 2007

The Ides of March

Today was the funeral, so it has been very subdued all day. The youngsters really picked up on the atmosphere and even our "sillies" were amazingly restrained. Not a lot of children went, only Ellie's closest friends, but her Head of Year and form tutor went as well as the Head, to represent the school. She will be missed and her family will have a difficult time ahead. Please add them to your prayers.
It was what I always think of as typical funeral weather - grey with a very heavy overcast sky, which did indeed turn to rain at lunch time. However the afternoon was beautiful, blue skies and cottonwool clouds! Almost as heaven was giving us Elli's smile back.

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

nothing much

I have decided to pay the first month sub for the Design Collective - exciting being in at the beginning of something new, and I am now looking forward to seeing how the forum and classes develop.
Afternoon off today and went for a massage - I could do this every day!! It was total bliss. I had the hot stones massage = relaxed totally! So believe me when I say if you ever need a stress buster this is the one to go for! Came home floating on air. Enjoyed my quiet hour at home before the family returned for tea and afterwards am going out to a quiz night.
Today has been a beautiful spring day with blue skies and gentle breeze, and the in the trees the hooded crows are attempting to nest build! The branches are still bare yet they are arriving one after the other with twigs in their beaks! Watching them from the window in school I had to laugh - the twigs just fell to the ground, so they are not very experienced at nest building obviously.

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Glorious Day

How many shades of grey does it take to turn the sky to pearls and the inside of an oyster shell? I only know it was so many I couldn't count them. I don't think I realised there were quite so many shades of grey, but this morning coming in the colours in the sky ranged from steel grey to silver and the light was almost silky in texture. It's turned into a beautiful day as well. Fresh and bright when I was out at lunch time. Brightness really warms the grey stone that the buildings are made from and softens its harsher tones so the the town looks so much prettier. It is attractive even in the worst the weather can throw at the island - but in the sun - so welcoming.
This evening it was so beautiful I had to go out for a walk before the light went, and I could just see the Mountains of Mourne - very hazy and faint across the bay. The sun was behind clouds and the rays streamed down from behind, edging them all with gold; a single shaft of sunlight made a golden sword just shimmering under the surface of the water and out in the bay other rays spread pale and wide, scattering diamonds all over the sea.I stood a long time just leaning on the wall - drinking in the glory with my eyes, before the winds chill forced movement on me - I headed home.

Monday, 12 March 2007

Busy, Busy ,Busy - -

A rather hectic day today. Had an upgrade to run on one of the school systems - so a few little niggles to sort out afterwards. More tomorrow as well but so far so good. Got my welcome email too from The Design Collective - so exciting - to be in at the beginning of a new venture! Am really looking forward to seeing what is coming up - the sneaky peaks are looking so tempting!!A lot of lovely, talented UK ladies sharing their talent with such generosity of spirit - Can't wait to a proper subscriber - I registered in my lunch time at work!!

Sunday, 11 March 2007


Finally got around to adding a few more pictures of my current "work in Progress" - the colours are much clearer really - and it is more green than blue - I just don't seem to get them to look right though I have tried - these are the best the scanner can do!

Catch up time

Had a craft day today. Made another tiny book and have worked on my journal so hope to take some pics.

Saturday, 10 March 2007

Glorious Sunshine - and pressies!

It has turned in to the most glorious morning. The sky is blue and the sun shines so the world looks doubly beautiful today. We have driven into Doolish to get stuff Rhiannon needed and all the Manx Hedges are crowned with gold. The daffodils and gorse are in full bloom, and primroses peep shyly through the grass and as we pass by the flowers dance and curtsy in the breeze as if waving to us like royalty. In the distance the sea is a gleam of silver and sparkling diamonds - a day that makes me feel glad to be alive.I should maybe explain that a Manx hedge is a dry stone wall which has turf laid over and down both sides and is often left to Mother Nature to colonise in her own inimitable fashion - with sometimes a little assistance from the Commissioners and farmers whose land they are on. They are one of the delights of a spring drive anyway.
When we got back there was a package from America waiting for me - from Barb on the Fancy Simple blog. Really scrumptious goodies as my little prize for a Trendy Tuesday entry.I will try to upload a picture (blogger isn't playing at the moment)later. I haven't done much with the quotes this last week or so - so must get back into the swing again. I find it makes me think and is fun.

Thursday, 8 March 2007

A beautiful morning -

Sunshine and blue sky on the way in today, though the sun is still so low in the sky that it is makes driving difficult as we drive straight towards the rising sun. Very low tide in the bay yet there is just one patch of water shimmering gold as the shafts of light from the suns rays stream down like the spotlight on an old Hollywood film.
Heartbreaking news when I came in – one of our year 10 students – Eleanor – died last night in Alder Hey Children’s hospital. She has been ill for a considerable time – and the doctors and specialists didn’t seem to know what was wrong as she seems to have been referred to so many consultants. As you might imagine the school is flying the flag at half-mast and everyone is very subdued and down. Living on a small island as we do, everyone knows everyone else, have family links, are close friends and as her family is a well known and well liked part of our southern community we have a lot of distressed and absent children. Her younger sister is a pupil here so it has affected a wide part of our school community, not only Ellie’s year group and as a staff we are deeply upset. Life sometimes seems so very unfair, she was a lovely, smiling girl, popular with both staff and her peers – she will be deeply missed - God must have needed another angel. I will have to stop as I can’t see what I am typing through my tears.
On a brighter note – I had a lovely email from Artsymama – I took part in the Spring Swap she was hosting, something I have never done!!! I have been a little apprehensive hoping she would like the mini book I made – and this morning checking my email was one to let me know it has arrived safely and she DOES like it – such a relief – I am never sure that my work is good enough – or would be liked by others (as in some ways I will admit to being very conservative in my artistic taste – I really do like fresh and pretty – though not too “cutesy”. I know I don’t think of myself as arty in any way and very often don’t “get” some of the “Altered Art” stuff I see around – am I’m getting old perhaps!!!) I think I NEED to do something creative tonight – still feel quite down.

Monday, 5 March 2007

Wild and Windy Monday

A wild, wet and windy day today, huge banks of dark moody grey clouds rolling across the sky suddenly spouting squalls of rain - splattering, stinging cold water in my face, the wind whipping my hood off, and my hair across my eyes – no sun anywhere and the stinging rain and rising wind make it hard to make any progress across the street! I get back to work feeling quite breathless, battered and bruised (metaphorically speaking) as if I have just gone 10 rounds with Mike Tyson!!

I have actually felt quite cold all day, so was glad to see Doug was lighting the fire already as I got in. The wind is wuthering in the chimney tonight as I sit in front of the fire typing this and I think I am finally warming through.
This is page 2 of my latest scrapbook/Journal. I had to include these photos on the second - this is the birthday gift I sent to Jules - who celebrates her second birthday on the second of March.The colour has not come out properly - I need to scan it I think so will try to remember to take it into work to do. The page is pale green and yellow with a couple of lavender coloured accents. Because the first 3 days were so springlike I titled the page In like a LAMB - laughing now at how wrong I seem to be!

Sunday, 4 March 2007

Grey Days and Rain

Well it is a truly dreadful day today - grey and rainy and just miserable weather. A day for indoor activities! Going to get some scrapping in hopefully.
Hayley comes round this afternoon to make our plans for our next all day crop at the end of the month. We have todecide what we are doing for the class, and have to think out our supplies to make up the kits.
Edited to add
We have a couple of ideas for some fun challenges and games so will see how it goes. Tuesday is our monthly crop night, and we hope everyone will sign up and pay so that we know how many kits to make up and how much paper etc to order. It was lovely to get together with Hayley – I really enjoyed the afternoon.

Saturday, 3 March 2007

Lunar Eclipse

The sky is so clear - pinned up with stars - and the view of the lunar eclipse is just amazing - there is just a tiny sliver of silver light at the top of the moon and the rest of it is bronzy - just fabulous - it will be gone totally in seconds I am sure, and I bet the guys at the Observatory have taken some absolutely fantastic photos - I tried - but mine are useless!!

Sunny Saturday Morning

Well it really poured with rain last night - and this morning I woke to the blackbird's song and azure blue sky above my head through the skylight! March has come in like a lamb - I think - not sure, as it is much windier than I expected. Spaldrick Bay is peacock blue, the waves topped with fluffy white ripples of foam, dancing and sparkling white in the sunshine. Tiny puffballs of cloud scud by in the blue brightness overhead and I want to shout and sing for the pure joyousness of the day. The wind whips my hair round my face yet the sun is so bright I need to shade my eyes in order to see the beach and in the surf there are two jet skiers enjoying the gloriousness of the day.
In the field across the road the rabbits are out in force - at least a dozen of them their white scuts disappearing in a flurry as the tractor come through the gate.
I have added another page to my my new journal - will upload a picture later.

Friday, 2 March 2007

First Page

The first page in my journal. I have chosen Time as my main theme to run through it. Time to Dream. Time to Celebrate. Time to Enjoy. Time to Live. Time to Remember. Time to Love - I hope I can keep it up so that Spring really comes through.

Thursday, 1 March 2007

St David's Day and the start of my new journal

Happy St. David's Day!!!
Not being Welsh I didn't wear a daffodil - but we have had leeks with tea tonight!!:) :)Have another lovely packet from my friend Jamie. I will post some pictures later if the light is good enough.

Beautiful blue skies and puffs of cotton wool for clouds all scudding by in the wind today with white tops to all the waves.In the school garden, tucked away in a corner, we have primroses in bloom, and I am sure I am the only person who appreciates them, as the garden is so neglected these days. It is a hangover form when the school was able to offer Rural Science as part of the curriculum - which was perfect for a predominantly farming community that my island home is - but NOW we MUST follow the National Curriculum!!! Academia is not for everyone - and it is time government realised this - the Manx education system was at its best when they provided the education that it's community needed!! Sorry - this is just something I feel passionate about.

All the halyards on the yachts in the harbour at lunch time were rattling in the wind and it was wuthering when I got home this evening, so it has been a windy but a bright and sparkling day. It's a cold evening with the sky pinned up by stars - but there is such a feel of peace and tranquillity in the air.
Kevin, a work colleague is leaving us - promotion for him but he will be missed in school, so it has been a day of mixed feelings - pleased and proud of him ( he's like another son) and sad and almost tearful as he will be leaving us. He is such a good teacher! I hate change!!!
I have also made my first page for my new journal - I will scan it and post a picture tomorrow. I am doing this with Jamie and a few other ladies, and todays prompt is here, so if anyone else feel like joining us just post a comment on the blog.
Be back later.