Wednesday, 15 July 2020

So much love in this house

A man who loves animals is the best kind, says me. Big guy was in a bad place, his world fell apart, he was on a downhill spiral, then something happened. He discovered he had an affinity with little dogs. Now he has rescued numerous chihuahua's and he is in doggy heaven. He knows them all by name, he is patient with the damaged dogs, he puts them right, they get any treatment they need, he is their daddy. Some will be rehomed, but he is very choosy about picking the right people to adopt them. Look what happens when he returns to the house after a day or two away. 

There are lots more videos about the dogs, how they came to be with him, and how he has nursed them back to full health. I love a happy ending to a doggy story.  
Thanks for popping in. Toodle pip.  ilona

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Here's another one.

Hello. I made a little video today. Would you like to see it. Here it is. 

That's all. Toodle pip.  ilona

Carols quilt

We have some talented ladies in our Crafty Club. Carol does some exquisite embroidery and is very fond of stitching small squares together. She started this before lockdown, now it's finished, and it decorates her bed. So if anyone is looking for some embroidery inspiration take a look at Carol's work. She used to teach arts and crafts so she knows a lot about the subject. 
All it takes is an hour a day to make a few stitches on a small piece of cotton, and added together they make a fabulous quilt. If you didn't want to take on such a big project these squares would make a very pretty cushion cover. 

She uses beads and sequins and ribbon and wool to create small masterpieces.

There are some fantastic ideas here for small embroidery. Thanks Carol for bringing it in to show. 
Tuesday morning and I have a lot to do today. Thanks for popping in. Toodle pip. 

Monday, 13 July 2020

New camera arm...prototype 2

I have been searching high and low for a small hinge so I can cut the coat hanger into two pieces and make it foldable. But no luck, I can't find one small enough. I've got bigger hinges but nothing the width of a coat hanger. 

Then I found a long screw that isn't really a screw because it has a flat end. Must be a part made specifically to assemble a piece of furniture. Anyhow I tried this in the bottom of the camera and low and behold it was a perfect fit, the thread must be an exact match. This is better than the other screw which only went in a little way, and wasn't really safe. 
My idea was to drill the hole in the coat hanger a bit bigger so that this new screw could secure the two things together. But then I still had the long coat hanger arm to contend with. 
Another search through my junk box and I found a chrome handle. I remember buying two of these years ago when I made a cart to push around and sell my wares in the town centre. I was going to become a pedlar selling hand made soap. I built a smashing cart, but it didn't happen, I changed my mind. 
Using one of these handles might work. By jove I think this might be better. The long screw is fixed tight into the handle so it won't swivel. 

I know the camera isn't as far away from me but maybe it's better because I won't have to talk so loudly for the microphone to pick up my voice and my arm won't ache so much. I can have a firm grip on the handle so that might help to keep it steady. 
It's brain numbing this inventing lark, but it's fun.
I have two tents, and I only need one, so yesterday I set them both up on the lawn to compare and decide which one I want to keep. The bigger one is about 35 years old, a ridge tent which is a bugger for one person to put up. I used it a few times. The smaller one is newer, I bought it at a car boot sale a few years ago for £10, it is much easier for one person to put up. I will keep this one. So I put the bigger one on our facebook page, for sale. someone is picking it up later. This is part of my de cluttering strategy, not keeping hold of something I no longer need or use. 
Cheerio for now. Toodle pip.   ilona

Sunday, 12 July 2020

Invent and make, or buy........

Yesterday I was rooting around in my boxes of bits and bobs, tools, screws, and metal bits, things that might come in handy for something. I need a longer arm when I am walking around making a video, because holding the camera in my hand does not keep it steady. It's hard to concentrate on the camera when I need to look at my feet. So what's the solution, a longer arm.
I suppose I could buy something that is made for the job, but you know me, I try and make things with what I have already got. After about an hour or so, fiddling around with screws, trying to find one which fits the tripod hole at the bottom of the camera. I eventually found one, now what? What can I use for an arm, and how can I fix it to the screw which fits the camera. 
Throughout this process I thought what the heck am I doing, it is now two hours since I have been messing around with this. Should I give up and take the easy way out and just buy the extension that I need. I stuck with it, hands now filthy with all the searching through mucky junk. Frustrations building up, I know what I need but I can't find one. Let's try this, or, maybe that will fit. 
Eventually I cracked it. A wooden coat hanger, a hole drilled into the end of it, a piece of metal from a door bolt, a piece of rubber, and two screws. 

Not perfect because I can only point the camera forward. Carrying a coat hanger with me is not very convenient, the extensions made for the job are telescopic and collapsible. Well I'll give it a try and see if it makes any difference to my shaky videos.
Throughout this I wondered at what stage do I give up. Is it worth the effort. Why not look through a catalogue and buy one? But where is the fun in that. If we gave up on every problem we have and threw money at it to resolve it, then that creates a need to earn more money. By choosing what we spend our money on means we can create opportunities to be inventive, with the added bonus that it exercises our brains. By giving in and buying and not trying to solve our own problems, we become robots. 
I know this is in contradiction to my recent post about spending money at Go Outdoors, but I cannot make a decent waterproof jacket and trousers, and I definitely can't make a pair of boots which will last three years or more. So, the message is, invent and make when you can, buy second hand if you can, but buy new only when you can afford it. 
Time for breakfast on this sunny Sunday morning. Toodle pip.  ilona

Saturday, 11 July 2020

Laugh out loud Saturday, with Andrew and Lee

Hello. This is a barrel of laughs.  
I have mentioned before that I am following Andrew Ditton on yooootooob, caravanner and traveller to fabulous places. I recently came across this comedy video, he has a crazy sense of humour, and is a fan of Morecambe and Wise. Andrew has re enacted the breakfast clip with his friend, Lee. Take a look at this. They have done a brilliant job, and in some respects I think it is better than the original. 

Looking like a nice weekend, I've got camping on my mind, so a lot to think about. In the meantime have a titter with Andrew and Lee. 
Toodle pip.. ilona

Friday, 10 July 2020

That's very nice.

The Directors chair is finished. It is updated from a scruffy black one......

To a pretty purple and greeny yellowy one. 
The purple paint is a Crown matchpot from the Scrapstore. I've left the bottom black and painted it with acrylic. It's been given a protective coat of varnish. 
I had to back the fabric, also from the Scrapstore, with plain yellow as there was only just enough. 
The fabric has purple in it, so it matches perfectly. 

I am not a fan of rubbing and sanding down wood, so I won't be moving over to furniture restoration. This was nice to do, mainly because of the family connection, my Uncle Stan sat in this, but I wouldn't want to do anything bigger. 
It's been nice weather most of the day, and just as I wanted to go out for a walk, the heavens opened. It's sunny now while I am eating my dinner so I had better go out when I have finished this. 
Thanks for popping in, Toodle pip.  ilona

Thursday, 9 July 2020


I thought I would dig out a few pictures to remind myself of some of the lovely places I have been to, people I have met, and a few of the highlights.  
East Ravendale. Lincolnshire. I imagine this to be a natural cathedral.
Edale Derbyshire. Helicopter picking up bags of stone to deposit them on Kinder Scout to build up the path on the Pennine Way. 
I can remember the exact spot I took this one. Close to my village. There are pictures on your doorstep if you look. 
Arriving at the Humber Bridge on the last day of a seven day walk. 
A glorious sunset, one of many. You can't have too many sunsets. 
Fabulous Windermere. I must go to The Lakes again. 
My yacht. Parked at Canary Wharf in 2012 for the Olympics. Owned by an Australian businessman. 
Going to a fancy dress party with my friend Julie. 
Henry and Rocky. We had lovely walks together. 
Bamford. Derbyshire. 
Grandma's house where I spent most of my summer holidays as a child. 
I painted the snow on my front garden. 
Just for a change, I went red. 
I think I had better stop there. I must have posted thousands of photo's over the twelve years. 
 I hope you like them, my filing system is terrible, they are all over the place. I'll sign off and say Goodnight and Toodle pip.  ilona

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

All kitted out.

Howzabout this then. I splashed out on some new gear yesterday. My right foot was getting a bit damp  when I walked through wet grass so I though it was about time to get some new boots. Go Outdoors has a very large selection of footwear, and I was lucky that they had what I wanted, a pair exactly the same. These Berghaus boots are so comfortable, and accommodate my bunions perfectly. These are £93. My other boots will be fine for dry days, I like to have several pairs for different types of walking. 

I have a new jacket, and a pair of waterproof overtrousers, both of which I needed. My walking kit was getting scruffy, I've had it for a long time. The old jacket will be used for dog walking, and the waterproof trousers I had before were never much good anyway. So that's me ready then. I also bought a pair of wellies, and some other camping bits and bobs, tent pegs, gas for my little stove, chemical for the Portapotti, and some bungee elastics. Everything I need for £183. 

After Go Outdoors I called in at Aldi on the way back and did my food shopping. Very quiet again, I am going to stick to the 7 - 8pm times, it suits me. 
Did anyone see the sunset last night? I was out at 10pm for my walk. Not particularly good shots as it was a long way in the distance and I had to zoom in. 

I've been working on the Directors chair refurb today. The frame is painted, and my friend gave me a tin of varnish but I'm not happy with the result. The varnish is like treacle and hasn't gone on very well, it looks streaky. I'm going to sand it down and get a new tin of varnish. 
That's me done, thanks for popping in. Toodle pip.  ilona

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Join me for a chat on the bench

It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring, he went to bed and so on and so on. I've been filling up the brown wheelie bin with garden waste, now I've had to come in. I've made a start on tarting up the Directors chair, I think it's going to look fab. I collected a couple of picture frames from a woman who was advertising them for free in the village. Square wooden frames, I can do something with them. 
It was a much better day yesterday for a walk, glad I went, took the opportunity while it was fine. 
The rain is not going to stop so I'll go to Go Outdoors and buy some things I will need for camping. Waterproofs and wellies if this rain is going to keep on. 
Thanks for popping in. Toodle pip.  ilona

Monday, 6 July 2020

Today was a very nice day

Monday morning and Crafty Club has started again after a four month break. We can now use the Village Hall. The tables are well spaced out with gaps between them, two people at each table. We can only talk with the people close to us, it's difficult to have a conversation altogether without shouting. Everyone must use the sanitizer on entering and leaving. The kitchen is closed bring your own drinks. We will have to get used to the new way of doing things. 
I went across the road and had a coffee with my friend after. She has a big kitchen so that's alright. She was keen to show me her garden, it looks great, She spends most of her time in the garden. 
After lunch I went a walk. Passing the Bowls Club I see they have started up again. It's limited to four players at any one time at the moment. 
The allotments are looking very full, plenty of fruit and veg growing there. 

Last week the path down the edge of this field was waist high in weeds. Thankfully someone has been down there with a machine, and now it's easy. Despite the threat of rain, there were a few spots, it was a very pleasant walk. I made a short video, it's too late to up load now, so I'll do it tomorrow. 
The sun is still out so I'll go outside and do a bit of hedge trimming with the shears. Catch ya tomorrow. Toodle pip.  ilona

Sunday, 5 July 2020

And another one.

Another bowl finished, using the rope I found at Orkney. I think I'm getting the gist of this now, I'm finishing off the loose ends a bit better. The rope is very stiff, hard to manipulate. A nice soft cotton rope would make the job easier. 
This one has a slightly bigger base than the previous pink one, and the sides are straight up rather than a gradual gentle curve. 
That's four made now, all experimental. I'm going to move on to something else now, don't want it to become a chore. I will make some more later on. 
This is my new wild flower meadow aka the front garden. I haven't mowed it for a few weeks and I am quite liking the natural look. I will leave it like this for a while until it becomes a complete mess, then tidy it up with a trim. Perhaps I will leave it longer between mowing in the future. I'm not a fan of immaculately tidy gardens. A little bit of shagginess is fine by me. 
Now I'm going to take Billy for a walk. It's blowing like crazy again today. I've been out on the back garden sanding the chair down, the noise of the wind in the trees is deafening. 
Crafty Club starts again tomorrow, so Monday mornings will see me back in the Village Hall with the ladies. Socially distanced of course. We are using the big room with everyone spaced out, and we have to take our own drinks because the kitchen is out of bounds. Those who want a hot drink will have to take a flask. I usually take juice anyway. It will be nice to get together again. 
Thanks for popping in. Toodle pip.  ilona

Saturday, 4 July 2020

A walk on the wild side

Hello. It was a bit windy yesterday. If I want to make a video outdoors it is often impossible because the camera picks up the wind noise. I thought I would give it a go on the other side of a hedge alongside a field. It might give me enough shelter, and it did, until near the end when I walked out onto the track and found the wind still raging. Please be aware that the last few minutes are me shouting over the noise. I really ought to be getting some new equipment so I can make better videos. 
It's still a bit windy today, I might go out, haven't made my mind up yet. 
Have a happy Saturday everyone. Toodle pip.  ilona 

Friday, 3 July 2020

Moving forward

History is a funny thing, we all have history. I couldn't see the point in studying history at school, why would I need to know what happened in 1066, the only date I remember. I sat at the back of the class while Mr Major waffled on, his words went in one ear and out of the other. Years later I took a coach trip of school kids to the site of the Battle of Bosworth. I walked around a field with them, reading the plaques, the teacher explaining what it was all about. To me it was just a field, like any other field. 
Sitting in a classroom learning about what happened a long time ago did not appeal to me at all. I was only concerned about what was happening in my life, here and now. Thinking about what I would do when I left school, exciting times of living as a teenager in the sixties. The importance of living, as opposed to being dead, became my focus for the future. I was intent on living my life in the best way I could, and that did not include continually revisiting the very distant past. 
Some may say we learn from the past. That might be true in some circumstances, where humans have made a complete and utter balls up of things. I have made a few bloopers, where I've thought I won't do that again, and blow me down, I did. History has a habit of repeating itself. We should learn from the past, but often we don't. We can't go back and rub out the past, it happened, it's gone. 
My blog covers about twelve years of my life. In that time I have moved on. Someone asked me for some more videos showing my bargain hunting shopping, I explained that I no longer search out the best bargains in lots of different places. My circumstances have changed, yes, I still like to get the best I can for the price I can afford to pay. But I do this mainly in one supermarket and one shop now, because for the sake of keeping myself safe I don't want to put myself at risk by being close to others. Also the frugal habits I have learnt over the past years are now paying off, I can afford a comfortable life on my pension. 
It is my belief that being stuck in the past causes a blockage in our thinking, which in turn stifles our creativity. Everything evolves, everything moves forward, and we have to find a way to move forward with it. I remember a saying I read somewhere, what's the definition of madness, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Things will never be different if people are not willing to leave the past behind and move forward. 
Erasing history altogether is not the answer, what's happened has happened, but as long as people are stuck in a timewarp, the human race will never make progress. I urge you to free yourself of the shackles of time, and strike out in this brave new world. Look to the future with hope, do not look back with despair. 
That's all for this damp Friday morning. Toodle pip.  ilona

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Cat wants to come in.

I happened to have the camera handy, a short video. Oscar cat pops up at the window about twenty times a day, I have to stop what I am doing to let him in. He spends a lot of time outdoors but always comes back for food. He is an independent cat, knows what he wants, and it's a waste of time trying to teach him any kind of routine. He wants food, he comes and tells me, and I jump to it. 

I took Heidi cat to see David the vet this morning as she has been vomiting quite a bit. Humans are still not allowed into the building, there is a window open to the right of the front door, check in there, a receptionist sits just inside at her computer desk. Then wait and the vet comes out. Tell vet what the problem is, and he takes the cat inside for a check up. 
Then he brings cat out and tells you what to do next. I have some more liquid medication to put on her food to stop the vomiting, it works up to a point. He also gave me four tablets, with instructions to give her half a tablet if it gets any worse. She has to stay on her chemo tablets for her blood disorder. It is something we have to live with, all we can do is monitor it. Watch her poo, check the pinkness of her gums, and be aware that she could throw up at any time. As long as there is a long enough time for most of her food to go through her and the waste matter to come out the other end, she should be ok for a while longer. 
This was my uncle Stan's chair, Aunty Pat said I could have it when we emptied the house. It was destined for the skip. It's a strong and sturdy chair, I will have a go at tarting it up. The canvases can be removed, I will paint it, and make it look good again. Needs some coloured fabric. 
Thanks to the Walking Group members for checking in yesterday. I think the numbers might be tailing off a bit, but those still taking part are doing extremely well. Anyone who wants to check in, you can go to the page at any time. 
After a wet night I can see a bit of brightness coming over, so I will go for a walk after a bite to eat. Thanks for popping in, Toodle pip.  ilona

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Walking group check in. 6 months into the challenge.

Here we go again, the first of the month, and check in day for the International Walking Group. How are you all doing? It's been a mixed bag of weather here in the UK. Too hot to walk, too wet and windy to walk, and too many people about. We have to place restrictions on where we walk, looking for the safety of quiet areas, choosing times and places. I am lucky that I can walk at night under street lights, best time for me when others are tucked up in their beds or watching TV. I can walk out of the village on tracks along field edges, along quiet country lanes, and hardly see anyone. It all takes a bit of organization, and flexibility, to get the miles in. Half way through the year and I am on 521 miles. I'm pleased with that.
So how are you all doing? I know you all have your own targets, some of you are doing the 1000 miles challenge, but whatever you are aiming for it's best to have a target of some kind. That way it gives you something to work towards. I know I keep going on about this, but some walking is better than none. Don't forget, you are doing this for your own health, you are not doing it for me, no matter how much I keep plugging it. Your walking is not for the benefit of my health, I can look after that, it's for your own health. The responsibility for your health is down to yourself, and how much effort you put into it. 
So let's hear it from you, give me the numbers. Tell us how your challenge has been going, the highs and lows. Are you winning, or are you struggling. We are a group, time to support each other. 
A photo from the archives, the wonderful Malham Cove in Yorkshire. It's a magnet for tourists so I won't be going there anytime soon. There is a steep path on one side up to the top, the view is fabulous. 

Now to get breakfast. More blog posts in the pipeline. Over to you. Toodle pip.   ilona

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

A closer look at Hidden Treasure.

Good morning, grey skies again in North Lincolnshire, but not raining.....yet. I made this video yesterday about how I made Hidden Treasure. Some of you may have read the post and seen the pictures I put out the other day, so skip this if you don't want to see my mush or hear me droning on about it. The choice is yours, dear reader. 

I always take a still picture before I film to check if the camera is set up right. I look a bit washed out against the yellow wall. Roots are coming through, I need to do something with the hair soon. 
I still have some Orkney rope left so another bowl is under construction. This time wrapped with red hairy wool, and stitched together with white wool.
When it gets to this stage I need to decide how big it's going to be and when I should start curving the sides upwards. For the first two I used the colander as a mould. Shall I carry on a bit longer with the flat bottom or start curving now. I might use a bowl with a bigger base, time to decide. 
Last shout out to the International Walking Group members, it's check in day tomorrow. Six months have gone already, are you on target, or are you struggling to keep up. I have passed the 500 mile mark, not by as much as I would have liked though, it's been either too hot to walk in the daytime, or, in the last few days, too wet. Let us know how you are getting on tomorrow. 
Cheers for now. Toodle pip.  ilona