Monday, 30 June 2008

Red Letter Day !

Wow!! Just published my last post and noticed that my visitors' counter has hit 2, 000 !!

I think the last visitor was my fellow ' adopted countryman' Brigitte, who left me a lovely message about quilt shops in Paris ! Ne tu inquietes pas, Brigitte ! Je n'irai pas a Paris san ma carte Visa !!

Thanks to EVERYONE who has visited the Blog - I never thought I would have this many visitors in just 6 months when I started out - Wonderful !!!

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Not A Quiet Sunday !!

Yesterday was a good start to the new regime with an excellent day as far as the calorie intake went and plenty of exercise planned and unexpected ! The planned walks started early in the morning and passed without any drama but the evening walk was quite another story !!

I had groomed Megan, fed both horses and set off on another circuit leaving DH to stand guard whilst Megs finished off the bits in the bottom of her feeder (we have to do this otherwise Wranez chases her off and gets double rations !!)

Coming back down the hill to the paddocks ,there was the most fearsome commotion and all I could see was this melee of horses kicking the daylights out of each other, and the solid galvanised fencing, in the field next to Megs !! Panic stations set in as I saw one of the horses clear the fencing (from standing !! some jump!) and set off down the lane at a trot !! Now, normally horses will stop to graze as soon as they get over the initial thrill of escape - but not this one ! Oh no, she makes straight for the very fast main road some quarter of a mile down the lane with nothing to stop her and with me in persuit screaming my head off at DH to pass me a bucket of feed to use as bait to catch her !!

Now I don't run very fast these days (!!) and I had horrible visions of a major accident when this animal cannoned onto the roadway in front of a vehicle before I could reach her. Luckily just as she got to the end of the lane she spied an opening into a field of young maize and veered into it. After trampling down several rows of corn, she shot back out onto the lane, but by this time I had caught up with her and managed to tempt her close enough to grab her headcollar . She was having none of that and as I am a little shakey still on the old pins, I slipped the lead rope back off (coward that I am !!)and used the bucket of feed instead to coax her a step at a time back up the lane !

Eventually we got her into an enclosure, with much pushing and shoving and shaking of food buckets and, more importantly, avoiding the back legs which were a bit prone to kick out - I have a very healthy respect for horses' hind legs since I collected 3 broken ribs plus a punctured & collapsed lung from getting in their way !!

Unfortunately, she has a very nasty deep gash down her nearside back leg, and several smaller wounds on the other side too. Don't know when this happened, whether is was during the kicking match or when she cleared the fencing. DH eventually went off to alert the owner and we left him with the vet stitching up the leg. Today she is feeling very sorry for herself and very, very lame - Poor Girl !!

So on top of my scheduled 3 kms for the day, I must have at least managed another 2 racing up and down the lane !!

In between all the excitement yesterday, I managed to make a big hole in the number of Chunky Churn Dash blocks still needed, and now have just 12 more left, so all the block will be ready to put together by the end of today. I also managed a couple of Civil War Diary blocks, and will be trying to stick to 2 a week until I decide I have enough for a 'large' twin, which is about as big as I can manage!
Smallpox - CWD
Sweet Pleasures - LL
I 've also finished piecing the top for 4SQS - Summer swap but now need to get some more quilting thread on Thursday as the one I have doesn't quite look right to me ! Next in the pipe line is Minature Booty Quilt Swap - Round 2 and I think I have that sorted in my own mind now
so that's another step forward. (Big Breath!!) All that's left now for July is my FPC swap with Brigitte and Sharon and after that, my time is my own !! (Well at least until something else comes along !!)

Saturday, 28 June 2008

The Time Has Come......

.......the Walrus said
To talk of many things ! (Lewis Carroll)

Now the whole world knows what Alice saw Through The Looking Glass and all the wonderful adventures she had, so now I am going to share what I see in my looking glass - Argh !!!! Who's that Fatty ??? Over the last 6 months the weight has crept up and up and now it really has to be SORTED !!!

I've lots of reasons as to why this is happened and it all started in December when we lost our 4 legged friend of over 12 years, Bess, our lovely cross Border Collie/Labrador .

Me and Bess braving the elements!

Bess took very good care of us and made sure that we walked regularly, at least 3 times a day whatever the weather, and soon let you know if she thought you were slacking !! Now we no longer have Bess I am ashamed to say that we have turned into fair weather walkers and somehow even then it doesn't seem the same, so any excuse not to go is jumped at .Then came the bronchitis which dragged on and on followed swiftly by the most dreadful weeks of rain and storms that even Bessie would not have gone out in (!!) Hospital next and just when I was getting into a routine of doing the obligatory post-op walking, an infection in my leg ! Now you know my reasons (excuses??) for being a couch potatoe & all the comfort eating and I am sticking to them !!

We did walk our legs off in Cornwall and enjoyed it immensely, but since then I am back in the old habit of walking as little as possible, usually about 15 minutes a day when I go to see Megan first thing in the morning. I don't think this is quite enough (!!)- so the new regime starts today, not tomorrow - today !!

I think the next few weeks will have to see a lot of this

Longer walks (at least 5 kms a day) with no shirking should help and maybe dust the cobwebs off the bikes and try a bit of cycling !!! Any other suggestions will be very welcome as I really have to be positive about this or no trip to the UK in September (DH putting his foot down with a firm hand - Hah !! ) and that would mean no more visits to all those lovely quilt shops this year and that would be tragic !!

Another incentive to loose weight is a day trip to Paris and a visit to Sacre Coeur and Montmartre, the one part of Paris we haven't explored yet . It would be nice to be able to wear something reasonably 'smart' for the trip instead of the baggy T-shirt that hides a multitude of sins. It's only 2 hours and 10 minutes from Rennes to Paris by train, and the TGV (High Speed Train ) tickets are booked for 28 August so that gives me something like 9 weeks to get going!! One major problem in all this - I hate lettuce !!!!

Friday, 27 June 2008

More Mini Quilts !!!!

But this time, it is for me !!! Look what arrived in this morning's post

Spring At Last

This little beauty arrived from Wil in the Netherlands, just up the road really !! Sorry the photo is so dark (another grey but dry (!) day today ) and doesn't show the up colours very well, but it is just so bright and cheerful and guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. It even has a little ladybird crawling up one of the leaves !! Now - how did Wil know that Spring is my favourite season and daffodils my favourite flowers !!!! (Well, I am Welsh after all !) The daffodils are actually '3D' and have little bead seeds in the centre, such a lovely touch !

Thank you so very much, Wil , I am now off to find the right spot for it !!

Now - when is the next one due ???????

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Mini Quilts

The only sewing I've managed to get in over the last week is to finish my mini quilt for my partner in Another Little Quilt Swap Please go look at the site, there are some amazing quilties winging their way all over the world at the moment, they make my offering look like a poor relation !!! This is just a tease, as I would prefer it to arrive in its new home before posting a full photo.

Going in the post today to ................... ???

I've also made a good start on the 4 Seasons Summer quilt, again just a little peep !

And to finish off, a postcard from Brigitte for our private swap - This month the subject was 'parrots' and isn't he a fine fellow !!. I am late with my card I'm afraid but will try my best to get it away before 30 June , Brigitte !

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Final Stage !

I expect by now everyone is bored (!) with reading about my holiday, but I promise this is really the last post. I could not tell you about leaving Portsmouth on the ferry, very aptly named the 'Bretagne' !

Sailing out of the harbour into the Solent, passing remnants of the Royal Naval fleet (all undergoing refurbishment in this area so no official secrets being shown!)

Nelson's flag ship ' Victory'

HMS 'Warrior' - the first iron hull vessel. Rescued from being used as a floating dock and now fully restored .

the Spinnaker Tower , taller than both Big Ben & the London Eye

and out passed the Isle of Wight , our last glimpse of the UK ! By this time the light was really bad, so no more photos (!) just time for a light meal and a glass of wine before turning in, knowing that 7.30 the following morning we would be back in La Belle France !

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Back to Wales

The second half of the holiday started as we crossed the Severn Bridge on Saturday afternoon, back in Wales again after nearly a year !! There are 2 bridges across the Severn these days, I prefer to use the original Severn Bridge rather than the newer Second Severn Crossing Centre simply 'because' . Having said that the original bridge is now a protected 'building' and reached the grand age of 40 in 2006 ! Just imaging how many vehicles have crossed the Severn in those 40 years !! When it was first opened the toll was 10 pence for each crossing, today's toll is £5.40 !! You can see a great photo of both bridges here .

Saturday night saw a gathering of the Jones 'clan' for a meal and general catch up in the local pub which then continued well into the night at our daughter's home nearby!

Sunday, well ,we just chilled out in the morning then spent the afternoon with friends on their hill farm just above Chepstow ( the town now claiming some kudos as the place where J K Rowling of Harry Potter fame grew up !). Monday we went off to Hereford , visited the cathederal where there is a chained library and the Mappa Mundi.

into the town centre and the Old House( built in 1621 and now a small museum ), then into Doughty's where you already know I spent lots of money !!!

Then we spent some time visiting old haunts down West Wales and in particular the Gower coast. I will let the photos speak for themselves !

Oxwich Bay

Three Cliffs Bay
Worm's Head
Don't know why it is called Worm's Head, looks more like some prehistoric monster rearing out of the sea to me !! You can walk across the causeway onto the penninsular at low tide and we have been know to do this and make it onto the 'head' !!

There is still more about the holiday to come (!!) but Blogger is driving me nuts this afternoon
refusing to upload photos and generally messing about, so I am now off to lie down in a dark room to recover !! (My way of saying that I am off to do some sewing !!!)

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Holiday ' Spends'

To say the bank balance suffered slightly (!!) when I hit the LQS on my travels is putting it mildly, but as I explained to DH " You have to realise how much postage I am saving by buying as much as I can whilst I am here !" By the look on his face, I don't think he agreed with my logic :-)

I found 2 shops in Cornwall, one in Redruth thanks to Gina and another tucked just around the corner from our cottage in St Just( No! not planned at all !! - don't think DH believed that either!!) Whilst in Wales we went off to Hereford to visit Doughty's , which was such an Alladin's Cave I didn't know where to start !! Then , also thanks to Gina, we went to the Busy Bees shop located in the Tredegar House Country Park where the staff were so friendly & helpful I ended up spending too much yet again !!! So...............
and more fabric........

a layer cake ........
and some books !!

Didn't I do well ????? I also managed a whole stack of magazines, but haven't bored you with those !!
Last, but not least for today, just want to say 'Thank You' to Amy for my little quilt from the Minature Booty Quilt Swap

Sorry the photo is so dark, but would you believe it is raining today (!!) and the light isn't very good, and another 'Thank You ' to Karol-Ann for sharing some of her colourful South African fabric with me - just because I made her smile !!!

I may have mentioned that I spent 10 years living in Southern Africa, so this little gift has brought back many wonderful memories !!

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Wanderer's Return !

Well, here I am , back in France at last ! It has been a lovely break, and 'wandering' around most of the West Country and South Wales meant I didn't have time to get bored with any one area. I must be one of the world's worst fans of one centre holidays as I do get bored so quickly and sitting is still is really not an option!! The weather - well what can I say ? Except for a couple of hours during our week in Cornwall the sun came out every day for us, no heatwaves by any stretch of the imagination, but pleasant sunshine just the same.

There's lots to share, so perhaps it will be better if I do this over a couple of posts instead of a looong story, so - where to start ? Cornwall is just Cornwall, nothing changes a great deal except that we saw a lot more tourist 'attractions' than in our previous holidays. I know I am getting older, but I do fail to see where the attraction is dragging children around theme parks when you have beaches like this one at Sennen Cove for them to play on, have times really changed that much ? (Yes - I know ! I sound just like my mother now !!! )

Our little cottage at St Just, the most westerly village in the UK, was just 1 mile from Cape Cornwall but I think that was if you were a crow (!!) as it certainly was rather longer by foot. During our week we walked from St Just to the Cape via the coastal path several times

and I even managed to make it to the top , and was it ever windy up there that day but a great view across to Lands End . I did take some photos across the bay but they didn't come out very well - mind you it was 6 miles away !! But we did walk from the Cape to Lands End (and back!!!) via Sennen cove during the course of the week and managed some better shots, like THE signpost...

..the first & last house

...and Cape Cornwall from Lands End, you can just make is out in the distance !
DH went up in a light aircraft for a flip and these are his contributions to the Blog (!)

Mousehole village & harbour

Porthcurno beach with the Minnack Theatre on the left
of the shot

....and of course Lands End !!!

No visit to Cornwall is complete without some mention of the tin mining legacy. In fact, the story has it that the last thing that Cornish miners emigrating to the 'New World' saw as they rounded Cape Cornwall was the Wesleyan chapel at St Just, and we found these remains within sight of that same chapel so thought they'd be just right.

That just about rounds off my 'potted' holiday in Cornwall, but there is still more to say about the rest of the trip , but for now its back to reality and the never ending grinding of the washing machine and the ever growing stack of ironing! Sewing ?? Maybe tomorrow for just a little while ..Ah Well!!!!

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Quick Hello

Well, our first week is over and we are now in Wales ! The weather has been very kind to us so far with only one afternoon of rain! The little cottage we rented in St Just was delighful, and the walks and views just breathtaking - I really had forgotten how lovely Cornwall is!!

I have only managed one LQS so far, but aim to rectify that this coming week (!!). Nothing to report on the sewing side I'm afraid, I have been so tired after all the walking we have done that by evening all I've wanted to do is collapse! We had one glorious day on the beach at Porthcurno, but only managed to get our feet wet as the water was extremely cold - there were a number of braver (!!) people around who were swimming, but not for me I'm afraid , for me to get that wet the temperature has to be at least 25 degrees !!!