Saturday, 31 August 2019

It's filling up......slowly

This is the state of play as I posted previously. There are 50 buttons here. 

And this is how it looks this morning at 102 buttons.

If anyone who has already guessed and wishes to change their mind they can, just once. There will be no more pictures until it is finished. Anyone in the world can take part. How many buttons will there be in total. The nearest guess will be the winner. In the event of a tie, there will be two prizes.

A reminder to the International Walking Group members, it's the last day of the month, and tomorrow, the 1st of September is check in day. Let us know how you are doing. I'm just going to go out now and do one last walk to top up my miles.
Toodle pip.  ilona

Friday, 30 August 2019

How to have a Brilliant Life, by Michael Heppell. Book review

The title of this book caught my eye on the library shelf. Had to borrow it, didn't I. I have skim read it, and now re visiting the sections which interest me most. It's a reference book which can be picked up at any time to refresh the memory, and oh how I need plenty of refreshing, ha ha.

Michael Heppell is one of the top professional speakers in the world, a best selling author, and an extraordinary trainer who works with big companies, sports professionals and high performing people who want to have a brilliant life. That's what the blurb says inside the front cover.

A lot of what he says is what I have touched on here in the past. There are chapters on Money, Health, Relationships, Career, and Personal Development. There are charts to fill in, questions to answer about where you are now, and solutions on getting to where you want to be.

A brilliant life doesn't happen by chance, it is something you have to work at. If you sit around waiting for something to happen, the chances are that it never will. This book is a recipe if you like, it gets you thinking about what your next move might be, how to make the changes that are needed to take your life forward to the next level. Achieving a brilliant life will be the ultimate goal.

A few tips I have picked out, and agree with.
Don't live in the past, learn from it but don't dwell on it.
Don't leave it to chance. Have a strategy and write it down.
Do build passion. The more passionate you are about your vision the more energy you will find to put into it.
Do believe in yourself, self doubt will hold you back.
Don't quit.

My life has had it's ups and downs, but I have always managed to drag myself back up again. I am not down for long. I sometimes wish that I hadn't got into some of the crappy situations that I did, but there is no way to turn the clock back. I only look forward with optimism now, knowing that the mistakes I made are in the past, and my life is going to be more brilliant each day I am lucky enough to be alive.

One quote in the book did make me laugh. In the chapter about creating the saving mindset, number 14 says use your library. But still buy my books. Ha ha, no I won't be doing that.

Toodle pip.  ilona

Thursday, 29 August 2019

You've got to laugh

Yesterday was a button day, as you know. I like a bit of entertainment while I'm sewing, sometimes I put some music on, found on yooootoooob. I listened to half an hour of The Shadows, that brought back memories of the sixties.

Then I thought a bit of Radio 4 will keep my brain occupied, let's find out what's going on there. The 5PM programme was full of what Boris has been up to. Naughty boy has been to visit the Queen, to ask her if he can shut the whole Parliamentary caboodle down for a while. Go on off you go, schools out, now go off on your holidays. You would think everyone will be pleased at that, being given a few extra days off.

But no, not everybody is, some of them are frothing at the mouths and spitting feathers. Not that I understand the nitty gritty of politics with my limited bird brain, but extra days off, whooooohoooo.

The consequences of his actions are now all over the media, insults and trolling are coming thick and fast. The whole thing is like a circus, I am finding it all very entertaining. People throwing their dummy out of the pram, screaming and shouting, like a pressure cooker about to spout forth a whole load of hissing hot steam.

I am quite liking this man, Godfrey has a way of telling it how it is. He makes me laugh.

Weather is looking a bit better today, might spend some time outside.
Toodle pip.  Ilona

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Guessing game.

The button thingy is underway, and I have an idea. I took a photo this morning, there are 50 buttons on here. I counted them out of curiosity, when trying to work out how many I need to fill the heart. Why not have a competition I thought, offer a prize to the person who guesses the correct amount. If not spot on, the person who guesses the nearest number. If there is a dead heat, there will be two prizes. A goody bag full of bits and bobs. 
The heart measures 11.25 inches across at the widest point, and 9.5 inches down the centre top to bottom.  
The buttons are different sizes, from tiny to quite big. I am mixing them up and mounting them as close together as I can, trying not to leave any gaps.

I will post one more photo later on as it starts filling up a bit more. That's all the hints you will get. This might take 2 - 3 weeks to finish, so you might like to wait to see how it goes before you make your guess. Only one guess per person, so be sure you have the right number before you post it in a comment. Entries accepted from anywhere in the world, and you can comment on any blog post from now till the closing date. I shall be writing all the entries down in a book as they come in. I will give you notice of when I am about to announce the winner, that will be the closing date. Good luck.
Toodle pip.  ilona

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

A little video about wot i am doing now ;-)

The buttons. There are rather a lot, don't think I will be using them all on this project. I've made a start.

Toodle pip.  ilona

Stupid people

Dear oh dear, the mentality of some people, it does make me wonder if they should even be allowed to have a dog. This came up on a local vets Facebook page yesterday. So very sad for the dogs, I have no sympathy for the owners. They don't deserve to have a dog.

Old Courts Veterinary Centre

5 hrs ·
Despite the best efforts of animal charities and Veterinary centres, the message still doesn’t seem to be getting through.
We are on our 5th animal of the day presenting with acute heat stress brought on by inappropriate care during this extreme heat. Two have died and three more are being treated.
Do not walk your dog today!!! Do not throw balls and allow them to run around the garden with children. They will NOT miss the exercise.
Feel free to share, even if this post makes one person double think their actions it will have been worthwhile!

It makes me cry. Poor dogs. Please copy and paste elsewhere.

Monday, 26 August 2019

Chop chop

Time for the chop. My hair really irritates me when it's hanging in my face and in my neck. I get to the stage when it has to go. I still don't go to the hairdressers, saving me money, saving me the inconvenience of sitting around in a salon, and ending up with a haircut which I don't like. All I do is hang two mirrors opposite each other on the back doors, angle them so I can see the back of my head, and chop away.

I start at the front with the fringe and sides, then pull up clumps with my left hand and trim with the right hand. Just keep doing that all over. Tidy the bottom up and hope that I've got a straight line across the back of my neck. Usually works out ok.

I've cut most of the red off now, leaving my mousy brown locks with a slight ginger tinge on the ends. Might colour it later, depends if I fancy a change. For now, it's fine, and it feels a lot better.

How are you coping with the heat? I haven't been out again today, far too hot for me. Just started on a new arty project, a lot of buttons to sew onto a piece of fabric. I shall go out and water the pots shortly, and do a two mile walk. The sun is going down.
Toodle pip.  ilona

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Bimbling around Belper

Day three of my little trip last week. I left the hotel at 9.30 after breakfast, and left Burton heading towards Derby. The area around Belper looked interesting on the map, so I parked up at Duffield and started walking along the Derwent Valley Heritage Way, towards Milford. The sun was against me again for taking photos. A lot of Derbyshire houses are built like this, on a hill with a terraced garden and stone walls. 

I chatted to a lady who was tending her beautiful garden, she said she had lived there for 44 years. When I came to the end of a track a dog walker was unloading his pack from the back of his van, six dogs of different sizes. They looked really keen to get going.

It was busy in Belper, a long time since I was last there. I used to do a van driving job before I became a trucker, and Belper was on my patch. I visited garages to sell car spares. I wasn't much good at selling, but I liked the driving.

The Memorial Park is nice and tidy with flower beds and lawns, and this amazing sculpture stands on a plinth overlooking the park. You need to stand back from it to admire the complexity of it. It's made from steel.

Close up you lose the picture altogether, it's just metal bars of different shapes.

If you click on this picture to enlarge it you should be able to read all about it. 
Flowers in the Memorial Gardens.

Flowers on the railings at the side of the road.

I thought this Mill might be open for viewing, but the only board I could see at the front was one advertising a restaurant.

The River Gardens are lovely.

The River Derwent which flows through the middle of Belper.

My feet were beginning to get a bit sore so I decided to call it a day and head for home. I got the bus back to my car. I really enjoy these short breaks, and it's thanks to Janet my cat/house sitter that I can get away for them. 28 miles in total I walked on this trip. It all adds up. 
Toodle pip. ilona

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Way down upon the swaneeee River Trent .....

Dear oh dear, not feeling so good today. Coughing and sneezing, must have picked up some germs somewhere. Today is going to be an easy day. I've got these pictures from the walk I did on Tuesday. I left the hotel after breakfast with my new OS map, and some snacks. 
The Trent and Mersey canal goes through Burton, so I made my way to the Shobnall Marina, (check out web site), where the canal crosses Shobnall Street. It was a lovely sunny morning with a slight breeze. As I stopped to take some photo's I chatted to the man who lives in that bungalow over there. It all looked very immaculately tidy. Lots of pot plants about. I think some of these boats have permanent moorings, they had their own little pot plant gardens. I'm not sure that I would like to live that close to my neighbours, with just a wooden walkway between. 

Out of the side gate and onto the canal, heading towards Lichfield. I won't be going that far, but the canal makes a nice start to a day walk.

I waited a few minutes for this boat to come out of the lock on the other side of the bridge. Makes a nice picture.

The canal runs adjacent to the A38 trunk road, so you are never very far away from the traffic noise. In some parts there are factories and warehouses on both sides, adding to the noise with their shunting lorries and fork lift trucks. 
Passing Branston I met a lady out for a walk with her dog, which immediately jumped up to greet me. She apologised but I said no matter, I love happy dogs. It's surprising how much conversation you can have with someone in ten minutes. I immediately warmed to her, being very similar to me in her outlook on life. She would be the sort of friend I would have if I lived here. 
I carried on, the canal comes very close to the A38 as it approaches Barton under Needwood. Here I had to cross over at Barton Turn to the other side via a small bridge over the top, to access the Marina. I have been here before with my sister and family, so no need to linger long. Just enough time to sit and have a bite to eat. 
There is a lot to do for day trippers, walks around the lake, shopping, cinema, and eating out. There are posh apartments if you want to live here.

I decided to get off the canal at this point, and turn left over the railway line and over the River Trent, towards Walton village. This is the bridge over the river. If you are lucky you might see some fun and games when a slightly larger vehicle decides to try and squeeze through.

Looking down as I walked over on a separate footpath, a swan family with six youngsters. 
I followed the road through Walton to Rosliston, found a bench and sat for a few minutes to study the map to work out my next move. If I make my way towards Swadlincote I could head back to Burton from there. Just as I got up to leave a man who had been washing his car at the house opposite came over to speak to me. He asked if I was going to the Forestry Centre, and said the road is busy with traffic, and he could let me through his back gate so I could avoid that. How kind people are. I went straight through onto the track, away from the road.

I didn't take any photo's here, because it was rather busy with families and children running around having a lot of fun. It's ideal for children, wide open spaces, things to climb on, and woods to build dens. I like this mural on the Visitor Centre. There is a good web site if you want more information. My sister takes her grand kids there.

I went to the shop to pick up a site map, and the man explained which path I should take to get out of the place. I headed for Caldwell. Following the road from there towards the A444 to Cadley Hill. Not an ideal route to take as it was busy with cars, but the most direct. By now time was getting on and I needed the shortest route back to Burton.

The riverside gardens at Stapenhill are always a delight to wander through. There are pictures elsewhere on this blog from a previous visit. I am standing at the top of the terraced gardens looking down on the swan.

Absolutely beautiful. When I was a mere nipper we came on the bus to spend the afternoon playing in these gardens.

The wildlife know that if they hang around for a while, someone will come along and feed them.

Nearly back. All I had to do was cross the bridge, call in at Tesco to pick up something for tea, and back to the hotel. Well chuffed with my walk, a bit of allsorts to look at, and some nice people to chat to. 16.5 miles. Another walk tomorrow. not as long because I will be driving home after it. Best study the map and decide where I want to go. 

Now I am tired, I must eat. Toodle pip.  ilona

Thursday, 22 August 2019

A five mile walk through my childhood.

I arrived in Burton on Trent around lunchtime on Monday, first visiting Uncle Stan's grave at Stretton Church. I decided to leave my car there while I went for a walk. Stretton is the village where I grew up, so it was a trip down Memory Lane for me. 
I remember being taught about Tutbury Jinnie, a train that ran between Burton and Tutbury. The train is long gone and the track is now a very pleasant country walk. It's a mainly sheltered walk through the trees and vegetation on both sides. The information boards tell the story.

More information about Rolleston Railway Station here
Coming off the track at Rolleston onto the road, I passed The Jinnie Inn. Jinny can be spelt with a 'y'. This was where Uncle Stan had his 80th birthday party. He had several of his paintings on the walls here, and often sold them.  

On into Rolleston village. This was the spot where me, my sister, and sister in law scattered our brother Stephen's ashes. His wife had brought them from India where he had lived for many years. Stephen played in this stream when he was a little boy.

I sat on a bench and ate my lunch, listening to the water cascading down the weir.

The Spread Eagle where all the family met on the day of the ashes. I remember visiting this pub many times when I was a teenager. 
I took the road past the church and walked to Tutbury. It has all changed since I was last here, now has a bypass. Re routing the main A50 from Derby to Uttoxeter means a lot of the villages no longer have heavy lorries driving through them. I remember this school, the first Forest of Needwood Secondary Modern school I went to. I think I was here for two years, then they built a new school at Rolleston, which is now a housing estate.

The Dog and Partridge is still here. A popular pub in a prominent position on the High Street.

I walked out of the village and just over the railway line into South Derbyshire is Hatton, the home of Nestle, the coffee factory. I was talking to two lads who were sitting opposite outside the Co op shop, eating their lunch. Apparently they still have a staff shop which sells cheap Nescafe and Cross and Blackwell tinned food to the workers there. This was where I got my first lorry driving job. The entrance has changed a lot and the factory is very much bigger than when I knew it. The access used to be down a narrow lane next to the pub on the corner. It is now opened up and is much wider and easier to turn in and out of.

One more landmark to look at before I head off back. Tutbury Castle. Sadly, at ten to five, it was not open. Strange that there was no sign on the big wooden doors giving the opening times. A couple of snaps from outside the boundary. The sun was not in the right place so they are not very clear. 

It was time to get back to the car, so I picked up the bus back to Stretton. I made a point of getting off near to where I used to live. Amazing transformation of what used to be a jungle with three kids running riot in it. It was so much fun having a garden where we could please ourselves what we did.

I checked into the hotel at 6pm, then went off to party. Five miles walked today, a longer one planned for tomorrow. 
Toodle pip.  Ilona

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

A lovely evening.

Did anyone notice I wasn't around. I went to the school re union, which was also Mr Brodies 90th birthday party. When I was there he taught Art, but he is a man of many talents and taught other subjects as well. I got in the queue to have a few words with him, he was in his element, enjoying all the attention. 
The event was organised by Ben Robinson, boss of Burton Albion Football Club, and was held in the function suite at the stadium. Ben was a year above me in school, and has done very well for himself in the sporting world. Such a nice down to earth guy as well. The funds raised went to their charity, Burton Albion Community Trust, and a short presentation was given about the work they do promoting health and well being to all ages. 
It was a two course meal, I had the veggie option which was a Quorn pasty with mashed potatoes and peas, and a very sweet posh pudding. I was stuffed.  
There was a lot of catching up to do. Luckily there were some people from my years, though they had to tell me who they were. It's very difficult to put names to faces you haven't seen for 50 years.

Following the meal there was a very entertaining magician who kept everybody in high spirits. After saying goodnight and goodbye to everyone, it was back to the hotel I had booked for two nights. I finally fell into bed at gone midnight. Don't know how I managed to stay awake, I had been up since 6am, and did a five mile walk in the afternoon around the area I was brought up in.

I have some photo's to post of the 28 miles I walked over the three days. See ya tomorrow. Toodle pip.  ilona