Thursday, 31 March 2011

Coooeeeee, I'm home

Hiya, I'm back. I've walked me little legs off, ha ha. The weather has been grand, nice and warm, even had my shorts on for a while. There was a bit of rain yesterday, bet I'm the only rambler who uses a brolly. I had two long days on Tues/Wed, set off at 9.30am and returned to the hostel ten hours later at 7.30pm. Make a meal and collapse in a big arm chair in front of the tele.

Again I had my own room and a bathroom next door. There was me and a chap in on the Monday night, then I had the hostel to myself for the next two nights. The volunteer wardens were there, but they had their own quarters at the other end of the building. It was like living in my own mansion. Fabulous, the heating was on, radio in the dining room, books to read, tele with me in control of the remote, everything I needed in the kitchen, just perfect.

I'll get the pictures sorted, but I have to warn you, there are lots of churches. Catch you tomorrow.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Sunday - a day of bimbling

It's been nice weather today up here in my corner of North Lincolnshire. I could have done without losing the hour though, the day seems to have whizzed by rather quickly. Me and Henry met Karen and her four dogs on the hills this morning and they all had a romp about together, it was bedlam. On the village green we have a host of golden daffodils, and some anti social, brain dead, yob type imbecile, has broken some of the flowers off. They think it's funny to go around kicking them. So rather than leave them lying on the ground to wither and die, I picked them up and brought them home. They look pretty in my kitchen window sill.

There was some signs of movement inside this tent this morning. It was down the bank in the woods, at the place where I fished out all the rubbish the other day. Goodness knows how they managed to sleep last night, drunk probably. I wonder if they pitched it at the top of the bank and it slid down to the bottom during the night, ha ha, that would be funny.

I potted up some more seeds this afternoon, Henry was mooching around the garden. I think he must have disturbed my resident frog, as it suddenly appeared. Looks a bit fat I wonder if it's pregnant. I always have a few frogs, strange though because I don't have a pond. Perhaps they come out at night and take a dip in the frying pan/bird bath on the lawn.

Making a bid for freedom, lovely frog.

This afternoon me and Henry walked to Normanby Hall. He likes it there because they have a duck pond and he likes to jump in for a swim.

Just got to throw a few things in a bag and I'm ready for off. Don't forget to put the light out and lock up when you leave.

Now I'm a movie maker :o)

Just playing around. My camera will record moving pictures and sound. Let's see if I can get it to work. I can't find the instruction book so it's a case of press a few buttons. My first movie star is Henry.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Too hot to handle ;o)

This one's for Albedo ;o) I was 27, borrowed a lorry from my employers which we turned into a float for a carnival. I sprayed my yellow boots silver, and wore purple hot pants. As you can see, I was towering above my mum.

Bet you've never seen a lorry driver like that, ha ha.

Keeping up appearances

Take a look at me as a teenager in the sixties, didn't I look the same as everyone else of that era? I was pop music mad, lad mad, fashion mad, makeup mad, and hair mad. I wanted to be like Cilla, Sandie, and Lulu, these are my attempts at trying to fit in with the crowd.

Own dyed black hair, with a hairpiece. Pink satin mini dress. Black eyeliner. Pity my toothy grin let me down, ha ha.

Blonde wig. Wrap around dress, orange top and brown skirt, ruffles round neckline.

Own dyed black hair with half wig, wide headband to disguise the join. Black satin long sleeved blouse. Brown imitation suede mini skirt with matching waistcoat laced up the front.

Black half wig, back combed and laquered, typical sixties style. Red patterened satin long sleeved mini dress with white collar and cuffs.

Hair and wig perfectly styled. White lacy blouse and black mini skirt, plenty of eye makeup. Didn't I look fab.

No one knew though, just how much I struggled inside my head. I hated my face, thought I was ugly, no, I knew I was ugly. I tried very hard to fit in and look like my mates. I wanted boys to like me, but they laughed at me. I went through agonies. It was only much later on in life that I realised I suffered from Body Dismorphic Disorder, and thanks to the internet I have been able to read up all the information there is about it. It never goes away completely, but now I can manage it.
So where am I at now? What happened? Who is this strange woman I see?

Cool specs eh! Ha ha. I still despair, but hey, this is what I am stuck with, I'd better stop wasting my life worrying about what other people think of me, and get on with it.
What has prompted me to bring this subject up again? I read in the Daily Mail, I know, crap paper but it's free, an article about Girls Aloud star Nicola Roberts. I don't know much about her singing but she is a pretty girl, or should I say was a pretty girl. Whatever has she done.
Apparently she hasn't had much confidence because she always thought she was the ugly one in the band. I know how she feels. But I am shocked at the lengths these so called stars go to, to tweak what nature has given them, in their quest to fit into a celebrity lifestyle. All I had to do was wear a wig, and put on plenty of slap.
Nicola didn't have ugly teeth, she had a pretty smile. But now she has gone and spoilt it. Her mouth is full, and I mean very full, of pure white, every one of them perfect, piano keys. They are veneers but look like dentures, and they look horrible. Her hair is different, her eyebrows are different, she didn't need all this. There are 450 comments on the article and almost everyone says how awful she looks. Silly, silly girl.
Then I see pictures of Katie Piper, the girl who was so viciously attacked and had acid thrown in her face. She has had to endure hours of surgery, in a bid to put her face back to some kind of normality. But what a lovely girl she is now.
This obsession with looking good really upsets me now, I quite happily walk round like a slob. I chucked my bra away ages ago, ha ha. I'm at that certain age where I am proud to be different, I can be who I want to be, don't have to pretend any more. Thank goodness my name isn't Hyacinth Bucket, the posh woman with the posh house, in Keeping Up With Appearances. I keep up with no one.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Mad as a bag of frogs

I have finished another bag and taken it into the Arts Centre, that's ten of my bags they have in there now. This one is of the same style as the blue one, I haven't forgotten that someone wants a tutorial, I am working on it. The colours in the photo are pretty much the same as they are in real life, the fabric is a lovely aquamarine green, and quite thick and non crease. It has a layer between the bag and the lining.

The flowers are cut out of tea shirts, sewn together inside out leaving an opening in one of the petals, then turned the right way and finished off with very small hand stitches. Red beads for the centres.

I put two rows of stitching along the top edge to make the handles more secure.

I think I may have solved the cat food pouch problem. The pouches are too thick, that's why the bags are so difficult to make. I think I can take the back off them without damaging the whole pouch. Should make it easier to get it under the foot of the machine. I'll give it a whirl when I get back next week.
I picked Henry choc lab up this afternoon to bring back here. My friend Helen has a pond and it has loads of frogs in it, doing what frogs do at this time of the year. There are great lumps of frog spawn along the edge. It will be interesting to watch their progress. If they all hatch out into tadpoles then frogs, there will be hundreds of them.

I'm sat here with a glass of wine, a gift from Helen, winding down after the hard week I've had ;o) Isn't it lovely now it's spring. I'm so pleased that I am lucky enough to live in a village. I have the perfect life, I never want it to end. Cheers

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Catching up with jobs

That's another four loads of compost from the church today, these three beds are ready for planting now. All the paraphernalia you see lying on the top of them is to stop the dear little kittys from using them as a toilet. I got some plastic trellis from the pound shop last year, this is ideal for laying flat. When the plants start appearing they can grow through the holes and I will remove it when they get too big. I kept some of the branches I cut from my hedges a couple of years ago, spread out they also act as a barrier.

There is a horrible pong at the bottom of my garden. Last year I cut back some nettles and put them in a big bucket and let the rain fill it with water. I read somewhere that this makes a good fertiliser, I've been chucking some on the beds, it really is a foul smell, yuk. My own compost heap is cooking away nicely, helped along by my widdle. I don't have one of those plastic thingys, it's just a pile in the corner behind the garage. Makes it easy to keep turning it over.

I had a phone call from Severn Trent Water today. Apparently Anglian Water should have informed them when I had a water meter fitted in 2007, they didn't. So I have been paying twice for my sewerage water to be removed. There is a little windfall coming my way. I should have spotted this mistake before, tut tut, write one hundred lines, I must be more vigilant. Never mind, the money is coming back to me.

I must say though that getting a water meter was a good move. Even with the veg watering in the summer, it is still a very cheap commodity in this part of the country. I know I should get a water butt fitted, but I save a lot of water by only bathing once every two weeks, and using the water for other jobs. That reminds me, Monday is bath day and I will be at the hostel, so that's a saving. I only do a load of washing when my clothes are dirty and I have a full load, I wash pots in a bowl in the sink, and only flush solids down the loo. Every little helps said the old woman as she peed in the sea. My mum's favourite saying, it always makes me smile.

Must dash, I've got a bag to finish and some maps to print out. Bye the way, if anyone is around the Bourne area, that's near Stamford in Lincolnshire, next week, give me a shout and we can meet up. I'm aiming to walk 15 miles a day mind, so bring your boots :o))

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Relocating worms

I spent the morning making a cat food pouch bag, rushing it a bit because I said I would take one in tomorrow, and it all went wrong. I made a right pigs ear out of it and lost interest. Why should I be stuck inside on a nice sunny day like this.

So I went to the churchyard with me wheelbarra and loaded it up with compost. Basically it's rotting leaves and grass cuttings, with some tree clippings and hoss muck. I didn't touch the pile last year because it was too fresh, but now one year later it is humming. I didn't like the look of the soil, too many stones in it, and a bit like lumps of clay, so I had the compost instead. Lots of luverly worms to relocate.

I trundled up and down the street four times, and spread it on two raised beds, then dug it in. I need to go and get some more tomorrow. I had some three years ago when I first built the beds, now they need topping up. Not bad for free :o)

After I finished washing the pots this afternoon, I thought of another use for the dirty water. Instead of putting it down the sink, why not use it once more for a really filthy job, washing the cat litter box. Look at the state of it, looks like kitty was rather loose while I was away and didn't aim very well.

So, out on the back yard, remove the soiled litter and transfer the cleanish litter to another container. Then have a good swish round with an old washing up brush that I keep outside just for this purpose. Chuck the filthy water straight into the outside drain.

Dry the box and refill with litter. Ooopsadaisy, ten minutes later we have a widdle. Bugsy always does that. Every time I clean it he has to be the first one to use it.

I use the cheapest clumping litter, you may remember I bought a load from Tesco when it was on offer. Theirs doesn't clump as well as Morrisons, so I mix it, that's why there are two colours in there.

This is what I do to remove the contaminated litter without throwing too much of the clean stuff away. Digging around just breaks up the clump and you end up throwing away too much as it all gets mixed up. Instead I tilt the box gently trying not to disturb the clump.

Then I carefully scoop it out with my little plastic spade.

Next shake the box so the surface is level, then you will be able to spot any disturbances when kitty uses it again. Cats don't like dirty litter boxes so it's best to remove whoopsies and widdles as soon as you spot them, and top up if any more litter is needed. All clean again.

I went to see if the pile rubbish and dog poo was still on the path where I left it. I'm pleased to say someone has been tidying up, and it is all gone apart from the broken TV set. I'm pleased I haven't got to pick it up.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Such a lot to do.

I can't seem to catch up with things, I've got loads to do, my fault for keep skiving off. You should see the state of the house and garden, I'm all behind. The cooker and microwave need cleaning, washing wants doing, carpets need Dysoning, and I can't see out the windows.

I have made a start on the seed sowing, but I need to get some more hoss muck and compost for the raised beds. I spotted a pile of soil in the churchyard where they have dug a couple of graves, wonder if they will let me have some of that. Must ask Graham the gardener.

I've been slacking a bit on the litter picking so I had a session this morning. I took two bags out with me and went into the woods at the back of the church. There is a path that goes along the backs of the houses, and a snicket, or ginnel, or whatever you like to call it, which goes from the road with all the posh houses, down to the woods. It's a polular dog walking route. I could see that there was quite a lot of rubbish been thrown from the path, down the bank into the woods, so I scrambled down there and filled my bags.

I was disgusted to see a wrecked TV set, a big piece of yellow plastic from a childs toy, loads of bottles and cans, and masses of bags of dog poo. Some people really are the pits. I was so mad about it that I picked it all up and hauled the rubbish back up the bank and left it in a big pile on the foot path so everyone could see it. I will leave it there for a few days, hoping it will make a few people feel a bit guilty, but I won't hold my breath.

I was hoping to get a free health check today. It was advertised in the free paper, they were having the sessions in the library, so I turned up at 2pm. Sorry, I was told, 'we have had that many people come along that we can't take any more, some have been waiting for an hour and a half '. They did it last Thursday but I wasn't here, and they will be doing it again next Tuesday, and I won't be here because I am going away again. Boohoo :o( I can't have a free health check.

Yesterdays bag is up for sale in the Arts Centre, and they have sold another cat food pouch bag. I have started on another, I can't churn them out quick enough.

I was hoping to get a map for my trip next week, but the library didn't have the one I wanted, neither did WH Smiths or Millets, so it's looks like I will have to print it off the internet. Another job to do.

I was on the phone this morning to Severn Trent Water, and Anglian Water, we have two suppliers here for the water and sewerage. My enquiry was because I think I have been paying to much to Severn Trent, they should have reduced my payments when I had a water meter fitted by Anglian, and they didn't. With a bit of luck they will owe me some money. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Back to front bag

There are two sides to every bag, the front side and the back side. Here's one I knocked up today, who says the back and front have to be the same colour?

I have several curtain samples, but they are all different, and not enough fabric in one piece to make a bag, so I picked out two contrasting colours. It has a cream coloured lining, with three layers on each side making it a thick and sturdy bag.

I shall be taking it to the Arts Centre tomorrow.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Day four. A walk to Ambleside

I can highly recomend Windermere Youth Hostel. It has 69 beds, from a room with just two, to a room with eight. I was lucky enough to get a seven bedded en suite room to myself. There is a very nice lounge area with big soft comfy sofas, a log fire, and books and magazines to read. Also a television lounge, a childrens play room, and a bar if you fancy an alcoholic drink. There is a large size dining room and a well equipped clean members kitchen. Meals and pack up lunches are available if you don't want to cook.

There are washing machines and dryers if you should get wet or muddy while out, and a drying room where you can get your boots dry for the next day. Found this pic of my bed.

This is the view from the terrace, a little bit misty today but you can just about make out the lake in the distance.

The dining room overlooks the terrace. It's lovely to sit and watch the birds on the feeder, and a couple of squirrels that came to pinch a few nuts, ha ha.

My day won't be as long today as I have to drive 150 miles back home later, but a walk to Ambleside should just fit in nicely. I walked up the road to Troutbeck and took a path on the left, Nanny Lane. A bit of a climb up, but lovely views when I stopped for a breather. A little bit of chatting to a couple with a little dog, everyone is so friendly. A woman overtook me with her little dog, and I wondered if she might be going in the same direction. I kept her in my sight, because sometimes I can get a little confused and lose my way on the fells. Eventually I got to the top at Baystones and caught up with her. Another cheery conversation with a complete stranger, mostly about walking and dogs of course.
We decided to walk together for a while and made another stop at Wansfell Pike. Here is me looking at the map, it's a bit misty. We chatted to some more people, and Merle and Tilly took another route down. Tilly is a puppy and cannot be expected to walk great distances yet.

Amazing, just as we were about to set off, the mist lifted and Lake Windermere came into view.
Here I am following the path down to Ambleside.

A quick look back to see where I have been, that lump right at the top of the picture.

Almost in Ambleside now.

This is Stockghyll Force, a very high waterfall which brings many visitors to the town. There is a very pleasant walk through the woods alongside it.

This is the lower part of the waterfall.

After a bimble round Ambleside, and a sit down on a bench, no rain today thank goodness, I set off for Skelghyll Wood. There are several vantage points along here for a good view of the lake.

Here they have chopped the tops off a few trees and restored the view which has been blocked for a few years. A good idea I thought.

Ahhhh, there it is, now we can see you.

The shortest route back and I have clocked up 8.46 miles today, giving a total of 43.56 for the trip. I arrived back at the hostel at 4.30pm and set off at 5pm. Timed just nicely to pop into my local Tesco for a few reduced items. Got to get my bargains you know, to save up for the next trip.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Day three. Over the hills to Kentmere

Oh What a Beautiful Morning, I sing that song when I wake up to sunshine. It's sunny today just as it was on Wednesday, are you ready for the next installment of the virtual tour.

As I can see the hilltops on this sunny morning I think I will make my way over to Kentmere. Out of the hostel and turn left up the road towards Troutbeck. Here I am approaching Townend, lovely isn't it, oh the joys of being alive. Just imagine, ambling along with not a care in the world, the day is my own, let's have a nosey around and see what I can find.

There is a National Trust house here, also named Townend, with links to Beatrix Potter, but I must have had a lapse of concentration in my relaxed state, and I missed it. Not to worry, I might have been too early for the opening times, and I don't pay to go inside these places.

However, it was free to look at the outside of this interesting building. It looks a bit like a house and livestock shed all in one. There's a ramp leading up to barn doors, possibly for herding the sheep into the upper part of the building, with rooms down below and at each end. A man told me it was built in 1666.

The Post Office is a beautifully preserved building.

Strolling along the long narrow road through Troutbeck I came across this chappie going about his daily business. You don't see many coalmen any more.

There are three drinking troughs built into the walls along the way, with running water from the spout. They are named after saints, and were provided for the horses which made the long journey to Patterdale.

I took a peek over a garden wall, what a beautiful view they have.

I left the road and dropped down on the right onto the main A592, and came across Jesus Church. It was built in 1736 on the site of an old chapel. A lovely place to spend a few quiet moments inside, and sit outside on a bench for a bite to eat. There is more information on Troutbeck here......
Just after the church I turned off from the road to head up into the hills, and took the Garburn Road, a wide track. This is the view across the valley, you can see Troutbeck spread out along the road on the other side. Below is a caravan park with wooden type log cabins.

Still climbing, there is a lot of loose rocks which look like they are about to slide down the steep slope.

The views are getting better, a few clouds have come over but it's still dry.

Garburn Pass into Kentmere is very eroded, steep gullies with lots of loose rocks and stones to pick your way over. A lot of looking down at your feet. Here we go, on the way down, this bit isn't too bad, looks like they have filled some of it in.

A little bimble around Kentmere, it is very small only a few farms, houses, and a church, then set off back through the wood and down the side of Kentmere Tarn.

Anyone fancy this old tractor for a restoration project?

I thought this was a jolly sign as the path went through the middle of the factory buildings.

Who's a handsome boy then, come on give me a smile for the camera, ha ha.

I took the track over Hugill Fell to head back through farmland, and joined the road at Broadgate Farm to Longmire and across the two wooden footbridges to the hostel. This was my longest days walk at 14.42 miles.