Friday, 25 July 2014

Melted Milk Tray

A lovely kind person gave us a box of chocolates the other day as a thank you for something we had done for them.

Unfortunately it was late when we got home. We were tired and we forgot that we'd put them in the boot of the car and they got left there for 2 days... in remarkably hot  temperatures. 

This is the result...

Mind you they were still delicious!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Sunlight through the Trees

I can't resist woods and sunshine. It's so bright and green yet cool and shady in there. So inevitably there will be photos.

These are from the walk I took last night with my husband and son about an hour before sunset.

There's a river near us and after following the path beside it, it enters a woodland area.

Horse Chestnut and Oak trees everywhere.

It's deliciously cool when the day has been too hot to be allowed!

The sun reflecting off the river adds a lovely sparkle.

And , believe it or not, I did not funk up these colours. The path really looked purple in the evening sun.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

1st World War Commemoration : Balloon Release

The school I work at decided to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1st World War with the release of red balloons on the school field. The PTA worked very hard to make it an event the children understood the significance of and which would be involving for all the children, no matter how young.

Every balloon had a label with an email address to let the school know how far they had traveled.

Parents were invited to come and join in, as it was just before the end of the school day.

It was a beautiful, blue-sky day...

The wind took them easily away in minutes...

And an email arrived that same evening to say one had come down in St Ives in Cambridgeshire which, according to Google, just over 100 miles away northwards.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Making Thank You Cards

It's that time again... end of term and presents and cards are needed for all those concerned with the welfare of the offspring. So I decided to make cards rather than buy them.
This term the school has taken him sailing at a club that runs sessions for the disabled and he has LOVED it! So when it came to the theme for the cards... it had to be sailing.
I just happened to have these...

They are see-through stamps that you peel off and stick onto a clear block in whatever way suits your whimsy.  

This block is bit grubby but serves as an illustration of the idea. the ink pad I'm using is perfect for this technique as it's water-based and designed to be water soluble for a short time after you've stamped it. That means that you stamp the image, then dip a paintbrush in water and you can spread the ink from a the image to colour it in.
Like this...

and this...

It was great fun and makes for a more personal (not to say quick and easy) card.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Steps and Staircases

I can't resist taking photos of steps and staircases so here are some of the best from last week's London trip.

1. A beautifully shiny escalator

2. A curvy staircase in the Tate Britain building
 (there was the slowest ever person going down it and I had to wait and look nonchalant till they were out of sight, so that they didn't feel hurried).

3. A different staircase at Tate Britain, looking like an Art Deco cave

4. And lastly just one of the many staircases peppering the south bank of the Thames. The enjoyment was not knowing what was at the top (:loads more bridges).

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Westminster Abbey Will Eat You!!!

I had never been to Westminster Abbey before so on my recent London photo trip, I thought I'd go and see at least the exterior of it (more queues to enter it than I wanted to stand in ).

It has lovely fancy architecture and twiddly bits but... doesn't it look like it's going to eat everyone who comes towards it???

Not generally, I mean, but this part in particular as you walk closer...

Like a large, ancient, kingly face, similar to the ones you'd see on a Lord of the Rings building to scare those who enter...

Open wide!

(or is that just me and an over-active imagination...)

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Views of St Paul's Cathedral

While in London I went to see the outside of St Paul's but the queue was so long that I decided not to wait to go in. Here are some of the pictures around it that I did take...

I didn't realise the front even looked like this as all people ever talk about or show is the dome.

Huge pillars along the front entrance.

Sneaky tantalizing peeks of the building before I even got near it,

and eventually seeing the dome that is so famous. I think the sun shone rather unexpectedly at that moment and made it appear much cleaner than it usually looks!

Here's a quick atmospheric peek at the chapel near the entrance while  I was debating whether to go in. I'll go back in an off-peak season and try again I think.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

Before I went up to London last week I looked on the internet to see if anyone had some tips about good places to go and take photos. After a while I came across a site called Nomadic Pursuits. It covers other places as well but my search directed me to London as that's what I'd asked for. It suggests some really good places to stand to take interesting pics and here are the results...

I have taken pictures of Big Ben and the houses of Parliament before but not from here and it was lovely!
Of course there has to be the colour-down version as well.

And then I discovered accidentally that there's a view on Big Ben from the other side of the river that has the London Eye in as well!! Happy days = )

In case you want to checkout the website, here's the link. Thanks!

Monday, 14 July 2014

London Old and New

Actually I'll confess these are all new, but some of these views look so old and historical that Its hard to believe they were only taken last week.

Sometimes I like the colour turned up, today I fancy it turned down. This is a part of the Thames that has Battersea Power Station about to come into view. Only the 4 towers are visible at the moment.

This is a development in the same area but, with the colour turned down, looks more like a building scene from the 1930's. 

And lastly, check back with yesterday's blog to see the futuristic version of this photo... today its the old fashioned version that looks like somewhere in New York from years ago to me.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

London Skyline

I escaped from the housework and the chores on Tuesday and just went up to London on the train to wander all day and take photos of places I have never seen before and came across by accident.

Here's a set of views near Vauxhall.

Ohh I want a wide angle lens. Just imagine what I could take with a wide angle lens!

This is such a grand building that it looks like it should be on an American waterfront or maybe somewhere palatial for rich Maharajahs, not on the muddy Thames.

I've only ever seen these buildings from the other side as the train approaches Waterloo, not from the back. The swoopy bits on the top always make me think of the heads and eyes of Praying Mantises. With a few computer jiggery pokery twiddles on the colour, they look very futuristic.

And an arty one to finish with!

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Paris in a Box

You know when you intend to do something, get quite excited about doing it, collect the things you need together... and then don't get round to doing it? Until ages later?

Well this is what happened to this project and now I can't remember if I've shown it to you. I don't think so but forgive me if I'm repeating myself...or maybe you don't remember either!

I was given a box frame for my birthday last year by my sister, who knew I was planning to go to Paris for my half century! So while we were away I was hunting for things that could go in it to create a memory of the weekend. The box is about 1cm deep so things had to fit in that constraint.

Here it is with the postcard at the centre, the birthday candle (champagne bottle) and badge bottom left and the Tardis and Doctor Who cocktail sticks
 that were on my 50th birthday cake.

There are a couple of pieces of money and a concertina-ed mini map of the area we stayed in and a few shiny charms that were given me for scrapbooking but were too chunky.

The metal horse and the 2 china figures came form the flea market we visited on Sunday morning just before we came home on the Eurostar. The china figures were part of a mixed and odd collection of figures I bought and have plans to do little scenarios with so I'll keep you posted. These two were a Pierrot and an English business man by Big Ben.

On the roads and the bridge by the real Eiffel Tower you could buy little metal models of the Eiffel Tower in all colours of the rainbow on keyrings. The guys selling them were obviously not meant to be trading as, whenever an armed policeman came into view, they raced like an Olympic track event over the bridge in a mass of jangling merchandise till they were at a safe distance where they stopped, bent double to catch their breath and laugh till the coast was clear to return to their pitches.

Friday, 4 July 2014

The Winkle King!

More Hastings history. Not funicular railways this time but a fascination with winkles! In the fishing museum there is a model of a man wearing a suit made from silver painted winkles. He is the Winkle King.

This is a Google pic cos I didn't take one at the time. His name is Slogger Hoad I believe and his throne is there too.

There'a  whole Winkle Society there and a beautiful shiny metal statue a couple of metres high in the street to commemorate this grand tradition.

Famous people from history have been members and have had to abide by its rules and traditions.

For a glimpse in the Winkle world, try what Wikipedia has to say...

The Winkle Club is an internationally famous charitable organization formed in 1900 by Hastings fishermen to help the under-privileged families of Hastings Old Town, in East Sussex, in the south of England.[1][2]
The Winkle Club headquarters, located at the Fishermen's Institute, opened in 1882. The building was given in trust for the use of Hastings Fishermen; the ground floor area, now used as the bar and clubroom, was initially used by the fishermen for making and repairing their nets.
Apart from some specially selected local residents, Winkle Club members have included some very illustrious personalities such as the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen MotherLord MontgomerySir Norman Wisdom and Sir Winston Churchill.[1]
Each Winkle Club Member (or 'Winkler') carries a winkle shell which they must produce when challenged to 'winkle up'. Failure to do so results in a fine which goes towards local charities.

Well, you learn something new every day, but I bet you didn't expect to learn THAT! To visit their official website go to

Tuesday, 1 July 2014


While we're still on the subject of Hastings (see the last 2 days of blog posts), I mentioned a while ago that the B&B we stayed in served the BEST BREAKFAST EVER! Now is the time to prove it...

Firstly... the jam comes in mini cauldrons

Secondly the orange, apple or pineapple juice is served in stone goblets and the napkin rings are encrusted with 'jewels'

Thirdly this is the breakfast menu...

Breakfast Menu

  • Kellogg’s Cornflakes
  • Home made Muesli
  • Kellogg’s Rice Krispies
  • Porridge
  • Fruit Yoghurt
  • Fruit juice (Orange, Apple, Pineapple, Grapefruit)

Full English Breakfast

    A choice of:

  • Pork sausages
  • Pork and Leek sausages
  • Pork and Apple sausages
  • Pork and Ale sausages
  • Pork and Cider sausages
  • Lamb and Mint sausages
  • Beef sausages
  • Vegetarian sausages
  • Home made Fish Cakes
  • Grilled Bacon
  • Fresh grilled or tin Tomatoes
  • Fresh Mushrooms
  • Poached, Fried or Scrambled egg
  • Baked Beans

Toast served with the following Homemade preserves:

  • Orange Marmalade
  • Lemon Marmalade
  • Strawberry Jam
  • Plum Jam
  • Pear, Cinnamon & Ginger Jam
  • Gooseberry Jam
  • Blueberry Jam
  • Apple & Ginger Jam
  • Apricot Jam
  • Rhubarb & Ginger Jam
  • Mixed Currant Jam
  • Seedless Raspberry Jam
  • Seedless Apple and Blackberry Jam

All served with a choice of Tea/Coffee, Butter/Margarine, Skimmed/Semi Skimmed milk

and fourthly this is what it looked like when the full English breakfast arrived...

The vine tomatoes were oven roasted and in summer are grown in their own garden. The mushrooms were cooked in butter. They cater for all sorts of diets if you give them notice (including me and soya milk and our son with a no yeast no sugar diet).

Honestly, its not just us that thought breakfasts there were fab, I read back pages in the guest book and EVERYONE says so!!!

Check it out 
or pics of our stay