Tuesday, 28 August 2012


Here’s my latest foray into art inspired by Ode to Nature by Alisa Burke


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Not sure about the colours, maybe I like the black and white version best.  Great fun though!

Thursday, 23 August 2012


My One Little Word for the year is RESOURCEFUL (see Ali Edwards for more information).  I recently revisited my word and wrote some new goals for the rest of the year.  I want to discover my inner resources and to see just how much I can do! 

One way of doing this is to exercise more, and see if and by how much I can improve my fitness.  I am going to the gym, and enjoying it!  I never thought that I would say/write that!!!   Being resourceful, I found an old pair of Lucy’s trainers and have leggings and tops from previous exercising.trainers 001

I have been doing Pilates type exercise on a Wednesday morning for a few months and encouraged by my improvement, I decided I’d try Boot Camp!  I’m just coming to the end of my first 4 weeks, exercising 3 times a week at Infinite Fitness.  I am so lucky that the gym is literally 5 minutes walk from my house, that Jason our Boot Camp ‘commandant’ makes the classes such fun, and that I go with 2 friends.  All things that encourage me to keep going.  On top of the 3 Boot Camp sessions and Pilates I am still walking the dog twice a day and try to do an Aquazumba class occasionally. My goals are to do a proper sit up from lying flat on the floor and to run about 1.5 miles, down to the sea and back.


Another way of discovering my inner resources is to notice and be grateful for the beauty and joy in everyday things. I made a daily note last month of things that ‘made me smile’, and then found this class, Ode to Nature!  Thanks to Alexa, on whose blog I found the link, and who has written brilliant blog posts about the class.

I’ve been collecting things!  I’m keeping them on the kitchen windowsill at the moment.  (Excuse the dirty window!!!)  Flowers from the garden, shells, pebbles and seaweed from the beach, leaves, feathers and pine cones from my dog walks around the local streets.

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Alisa has some wonderful ideas for recording these finds, with photography, sketching and painting.  So I thought I’d have a go!  I was pleasantly surprised at my results:

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I’d love to do a series of ‘still life’ framed photographs for my home.

I am not an artist, and never really tried to sketch or paint, so was really thrilled with my watercolours of the shells!  I found an old watercolour set and some water brushes, and picked one of (the many) watercolour paper books I have, and now I’m hooked!  I want to learn about painting and sketching.  I love the way it makes me really study things.  I love trying to make the right shapes and colours.  I love trying to capture the way the light falls on things.  Gosh I have a lot to learn!

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Alisa suggests using a field journal, and to sketch, take rubbings and stick things straight into the book.  Here’s my leaves from the garden, and a work in progress of a flower I found on the beach.  I think it is a wild mallow.

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My goal is to practice sketching and painting, and to keep up with a field journal.  It makes me study things, find the natural beauty in things and to live in the moment.

Now that summer is drawing to a close, I can’t wait for autumn to continue my Ode to Nature.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Scavenger Hunt update

I’ve been doing Ok with Rinda’s scavenger hunt.  It’s been great fun trying to find all the subjects and I’ve even enlisted DH to help!

Here’s what I have so far:


This is the end of Worthing Pier this weekend.  It was the International Birdman Competition.  It’s a competition to see who can fly the furthest under human power.  People make some sort of flying machine and launch themselves from this platform built at the end of the pier.  There’s a prize of £10,000 for anyone who manages to travel 100metres.  Sadly, most jump off and go straight down into the sea!  The winner this year flew about 85 metres.  The beach is crowded with spectators and it brings a real sense of fun to the town.

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Not a brilliant photo, might try again next time I hang some washing out!

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Here’s my new flower border where our big pine tree used to be.

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This is the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch railway at Dungeness.  See this post for more photos of our day out to Dungeness.

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Another photo for our day out to Dungeness.  These are the ‘acoustic mirrors’.  They are giant concrete structures built in the late 1920s with the aim of magnifying the engine noise of enemy aircraft flying in from across the English Channel. They were not particularly efficient and were superseded quickly by radar.

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Photo of Morris dancers at Parham House, Storrington.  Mum and I visited the garden show there, and these dancers were in the courtyard.  The man in front is playing an accordian.

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I made this clay model when I was about 12! She’s a rather ugly angel don’t you think!

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10 A HORSE (see my previous post from the Natural History Museum)


Maurice and me on a dog walk.

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Maurice and Merlin on a walk up to Cissbury Ring on the South Downs just north of our town

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Hope this counts!  This is my library.  Just recently I have organised the books by colour, and I love it!

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Of course this one had to come from our day out to the Olympics!  Here’s the volleyball match between USA and Serbia.  That’s the USA team jumping high to block the ball.

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Another picture of the Morris dancers at Parham.  Love their flower garlands!

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So now I have to get:

A roadside stall selling something, a fountain, a bride, a church, a movie poster, an outdoor stairway, and a swing hanging from a tree. I’ve already got some ideas, so come back soon to see what I’ve found.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Glad we made the effort…

to go to London in this hot fluffy humid weather!  We wanted to go to the Scott’s Last Expedition exhibition at the Natural History Museum.  Maurice and I have long since been fascinated by Captain Scott and his ill-fated expedition to the South Pole, so when we were offered free tickets from Maurice’s employer, we decided we’d take a trip to London.

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But… we kept putting it off for one reason or another, and like everyone else avoided London over the Olympics.  The exhibition is ending on 2nd September, and due to other commitments, our last hope was yesterday. But then…. the weather forecast was for very hot humid weather, up to 32 degrees in London!  Eeek!  I do not do well in hot weather, and Maurice wasn’t so keen to go if I was going to complain all day (LOL!).  But then we realised that the trains would be air conditioned – in fact, sometimes they are too cold!, and hopefully the museum would be cool, maybe a little of that icy wind from Antarctic for atmosphere!

Well, we made the effort and we had a wonderful time.  Although it was hot and humid outside, we hardly felt hot at all, just a little on the underground, luckily only 2 stops, and waiting for the train home on Victoria station.  The exhibition was very well done.  The central part was the size of Scott’s hut in the Antarctic, with the floor plan drawn out for where the beds etc were.  There were lots of artifacts from the expedition, and they were showing film taken during the expedition.  Two things stood out for me, the hardship that the men suffered during the months they spent in the Antarctic, especially over the long dark winters, and the pioneering scientific research they did into weather, geology and wildlife.

Here’s some photos from the Natural History Museum:002

It’s a lovely building with some fabulous architectural details.  The main hall is filled with this huge replica of a Diplodocus dinosaur.  It is incredibly long from the tip of it’s nose to the tip of it’s tail!

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We spent a little bit of time after the Scott exhibition looking in the ‘Cocoon’, which is a fabulously interactive display of collecting and classifying.  Look at this gorgeous collecting case full of butterflies!  I’m doing an online class Ode to Nature at the moment, so this exhibition really inspired me!  More details on that class on another blog post later in the week!

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I was also on the look out for photos for Rinda’s scavenger hunt.  Here’s my horse!  natural history museum 009


And a photo of me with a symbol of my nation.  This is Victoria Railway Station in London with union jack flags flying a plenty due to the Olympics!

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I have a few more photos to show you and will do so in another blog post later this week.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Bereft now the Olympic games have ended!

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We’re all a little bit unsure what to do with ourselves here in the UK now the Olympics is over!  But what a great games it turned out to be!  I don’t usually watch so much sport, but have been glued to these games!  Here’s some of my highlights:

  1. Jessica Ennis wining the heptathalon despite the enormous pressure on her
  2. Usain Bolt winning 3 gold medals
  3. David Rudisha new world record in 800m, what lovely style!
  4. USA women's 100m (I think) relay team new WR (Love the name: Carmelita Jeter)
  5. Mo Farrah winning 10,000m and 5,000m, and his mo-bot!
  6. The wonderful support and noise the crowds gave, and how grateful the athletes were!
  7. The whole GB cycling team (not to forget the rowing team)
  8. That women were allowed to compete in every sport and that every country included women in their teams
  9. Nicola Adams winning the first women's boxing Olympic gold
  10. Tom Daley winning the bronze in the diving and being so darned happy about it!
  11. Going to see the volleyball, being there at a real Olympic event!

That was going to be my top 10, but  I just read out my list to Lucy and she said 'not the volleyball then', so I just had to add another one!!!

Monday, 6 August 2012

Storytelling Sunday–Sporting Prowess

OOps! A day late, but never mind, here’s my story for this Olympic month of August 2012'.

I am inspired by the wonderful tally of gold medals (now 16!!) that it got me thinking about our sporting prowess.  The only really sporty one is Lucy.  Maurice does a little running, and once ran a marathon, but Lucy was an England Champion!

Lucy and her cousin Izzy started to play volleyball when they got to high school.  Thanks so much to Freda Bussey, the PE teacher who loved volleyball and got them playing to such a high standard.  They won the under-16 England championship in 2008.  We all trooped off to Bath University to support them.  They were the under-dogs having been well and truly beaten by the other side previously.  But they won!  Wow, we were so happy for them!


Here’s the moment they won:DSC_0030 - Copy

Team photo with coach Freda Bussey:DSC_0056 - Copy

Lucy and Izzy holding the cup.

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Sadly, Lucy doesn’t play any more, but Izzy does.  In fact, Izzy’s friend Megan just missed getting into the England women’s team this year!  Watch this space, she will surely be a future star.

Freda was well and truly recognised for her great work for volleyball when she was picked to be an Olympic flame torchbearer.