Monday, 17 May 2021

No hope.

Good morning. In the news this morning. . . . . . from the Guardian. I don't like the Guardian very much, same as I don't like The Sun or The Mirror, or any of them for that matter. I click on news items which might interest me wherever they might appear and whoever might have written them. All to be taken with a pinch of salt. 
The headline, 'Catastrophic' : Sierra Leone sells Rain Forest for Chinese fish plant. A £39 million deal struck by the Government of Sierra Leone with China to build an industrial fishing harbour on 250 acres of beach and protected rainforest has been criticized as a catastrophic human and ecological disaster, by conservationists, land owners, and rights groups. I do despair. Once again it's about money. The richest are the enemy, they will not be happy until all the little people have been obliterated. Read the article here. 
That article fits in very nicely with a documentary film I watched the other day. Thank you to the reader who sent me the link. I was not going to put this here, (there is a link in the Research page), but I have changed my mind after seeing that news article this morning. 
This has to be the most depressing, heart breaking film I have ever seen. It needs to be shown world wide. Each and every one of us has to make changes or the world will not survive. The video was made a year ago, it was posted on yoootooob and was taken down hours later. The reason was that it contained four seconds of copyright material, which has been removed. That was an excuse of course. It has since been reinstated. 
Please be aware that there is some very upsetting footage towards the end of the video. This has really affected me. 
I will leave you to digest that if you are interested. If it is not your cup of tea, pop back at a later date when the subject matter will have changed. 
Thank you for popping in. We'll catch up later. Toodle pip.   ilona

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Light-painting photography tutorial.

Good evening. I have recently come across something called light painting, and it's fascinating. Patrick featured it in one of his videos where he is exploring in a tunnel and twirled a piece of burning steel wool around in a circle. You set the camera up on a tripod, with a slow shutter speed, the result is stunning. 
Another light painting video came up on my sidebar so I had to have a look. Now I am hooked. Eric and Kim have made lots of videos, they are fantastic. Here they show how the technique is done. They use a variety of locations, the pictures taken when they are near water are best because of the reflections. Have a look at this. Eric shows the moves in the daylight so you can see how simple it is. All he does is wave a light stick about while Kim holds the pose very still. The pictures are usually shot at dusk or in the dark. Who would have thought that you can paint a picture with a light tube. 
Here is a useful web site if you fancy having a go. Lots of tips and tricks. 
I've had a nice day, it's been sunny. Thanks for popping in. Toodle pip. 

Saturday, 15 May 2021

Comments are optional.

Reading all the comments that have appeared on John's blog after he announced that he was taking a few days off, has made me realise how happy I am that some of my readers have fallen by the wayside. I suspect that is because they don't like what I say, which is fine by me. 

A few years ago when people were clamouring for money saving tips, and how to live frugally, it was a massive job for me to give people exactly what they were looking for. I put myself out there, passing on what I had learnt, trying to help others with their budgets, on television, radio, newspapers and magazines. The pressure was on to know all the answers, and share them. 

Years previously I was in a similar situation, being the only female lorry driver around. All of a sudden I was the star of the show, everyone wanted to know me. I started the Lady Truckers Club because I wanted to help other women get into the business. I built a support network. I put myself out there, and for a few years all I was doing was driving full time and running the club. I didn't have any time for anything else. 

John has built up an army of followers with his imaginative and sensitive writings. His compassion for the human race is admirable. He shares every aspect of his life, and people want more, the pressure is on him to keep going. 

I do not want to be in that position. When I see how dependent people are on their daily dose of life in a Welsh village, with outpourings of sadness when it comes to a halt, I find that quite worrying. 

I can only take so much responsibility for other people. When it reaches the point of saturation I have to stop. I have to pull up the drawbridge and say no more. I will only give so much. Ok, it is nice to know when someone cares for me, when someone values what I do, but I don't need constant reminders. 

The pressure to perform can be overwhelming, the only way to cope with that is to step back, have a breathing space. If I got a hundred comments from people saying they miss me and can't wait for the next blog post/video, I would be running for the hills. I don't want that. 

Thank you for popping in. Comments are optional, if you feel like it, if you don't that's ok. Have a nice weekend. Toodle pip.   ilona

Friday, 14 May 2021

New direction

 Good Morning. As a Creator for Yooootoooob, I get monthly newsletters with how my channel is performing, with hints and tips for growing my audience. Last month I got 33 new subscribers, total views of 22.2k, and 139.5k of minutes watched. Not that this means very much to me, I do it as a hobby. In fact the smaller the audience the fewer comments I get, the less time I have to spend moderating and replying. Some yooootooobers reply to hardly any comments because they get thousands of them on each video they release. Impossible to keep track of it all. 

I don't mind that my videos are not polished, I don't have the time to spend hours editing them. There are some mighty impressive videos out there, which are just as good quality, sometimes better, than the documentary programmes put out on main stream television. 

Anyway, I'm rambling again and have gone off the main subject of this post. In the Newsletter this morning, one of the topics is, 'Celebrating Earth Day all Year Long'. I think we all know what Earth Day is, it happens once a year, it pushes Green issues, sustainability and suchlike. 

Yoootooob say that in honor of Earth Day, check out our curated playlists featuring Creators who have been working overtime to make our planet a little more green. I click on the link to check out this playlist. 

Here are some of the titles. 

SUSTAINABLE BEAUTY BRANDS that you should know. Eco conscious brands to support. 

SUSTAINABLE LIFE HACKS, Tips to start low waste living.

ZERO WASTE AND HOBBIES. Tips for sustainable painting, gaming, and exercising. 

BRANDS YOU SHOULD SUPPORT. Sustainable and ethical clothing brands. 

16 PLASTIC FREE TIPS FOR BEGINNERS. How to be more sustainable in your daily life.

ARE ELECTRIC CARS, really better for the environment? 

THIS IS THE MILK that you should be drinking. 

Each one of these is an advertisement for tackling climate change. All good because we need to go in that direction. Can you see where this is going? We are being nudged, or should I say pushed towards saving the planet in small steps, in preparation to the big plan of forcing us to comply with new legislation. Boris has a ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, and he needs to get us all on board to make it work. The last paragraph of his report.

This marks the beginning of the UK’s path to net zero, with further plans to reduce emissions whilst creating jobs to follow over the next year in the run up to the international COP26 climate summit in Glasgow next year.

Getting people on board has worked well up to now, we have had plenty of practice over the last year and a half. All he has to do is keep up the momentum. The new normal may not be normal. 

This is not all Boris's plan of course, there are many more world leaders in on it. The driving force are those with the money, the richest people on earth. I shall be interested to see what comes next. 

A bit dull outside, a new idea for an art project, a dog walk later. Enjoy your day. Thanks for popping in. Toodle pip.   ilona

Thursday, 13 May 2021

Afternoon walk

Hooray, the weather was good all day. I am cheating with these photo's they are from last week. There was mostly blue skies today with a few fluffy clouds. The usual five mile walk, with a sit on the bench. It was very pleasant. 

It's past 8pm and the sun is still shining. I'm going to go outside for an hour to do a bit of weeding. We'll catch up tomorrow. Toodle pip.  ilona

Making stuff.

Good morning. It's sunny outside, I hope it is here to stay. I found a piece of rope in a drawer that I don't go in very often. 
So I turned it into a bowl, with some green wool. I have two more pieces but I shall use them later . I want to move on to something else now. 
Cutting out five shopping bags. The easiest way is to lay the massive piece of fabric on the floor. I have a template cut out of thick wallpaper. No measuring, just cut the fabric round it. Trim some off the top to make the handles. These are all finished now. They will be on my table when we do the Village Boot fair. 
Might get a walk in this afternoon if it stays fine. Thanks for popping in. We'll catch up soon. Toodle pip.   ilona

Wednesday, 12 May 2021


Hello. Funny how one leads to another when flicking around yoootooob videos. I was watching Patrick Dickinson's exploration of abandoned railway tunnels, and river tunnels. He puts on his waders and sloshes his way through underground rivers. 
Inside one tunnel he pointed out the amazing reverberations of sound. The way echo's bounce off the walls and return almost a minute later. 
Then I found a video about the worlds longest echo tunnel. the Inchindown oil tanks at Invergordon Scotland. Which led me onto abandoned echo domes. 
And now I have found a whole lot of exploration videos for all sorts of abandoned buildings. These will keep me going for a while. Here is an amazing cathedral. Watch to the end when they ring the bells. 
I'm going to do an extra Billy walk today because we were cut short yesterday by heavy rain. Billy was not enjoying it neither was I. Sunny so far, hope it stays like that. 
Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon. Toodle pip. 

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

A walk in South Yorkshire.

Hello. I made this video on Sunday because I wanted to check the uploading time. A bit disappointed that it has take five hours to upload a ten minute video. Last week it took eight hours to upload a 20 minute video. This is all rather baffling. Is it because I am using a much better camera now. Or is it because my broadband is slow.
Anyway, it's only a bit of waffle. Got to take a dog out now. Thanks for popping in. Toodle pip.   ilona 

Monday, 10 May 2021

I can see a rainbow.

 I wasn't going to post again tonight, but. . . . . . . . this is the dinner I have just scoffed. 

And. . . . . . . this is the rainbow that briefly made an appearance.  

That was exciting. Now I can get on with my bag making. Toodle pip.   ilona

Let's go for a walk.

Good morning. I was going to put this out last night, but Oscar had other ideas. He has been in the habit of coming into the house early evening, scoffing his dinner, then demanding to be cuddled. I put a small pet bed quilt in front of me on the desk so I can carry on with what I want to do on the computer. This renders my left arm useless as he lays across it. Typing with one hand takes ages so I gave up. At 10pm he decides he wants to go out, but by that time I am too tired to do anything. 
It started off raining yesterday morning, but brightened up a bit later on. I got my arse into gear, had an early lunch, packed a snack for later, and went off in the car to look for pastures new to explore. 
I have been to Haxey before, as my well worn map shows, but there are some paths I have yet to mark off as 'done'. I parked in the designated dropping off point for the school, a side road which isn't in use on a Sunday. Two others had done the same. 
Walking into Haxey the huge church stands proud in all it's splendour. For such a small village it sure is a massive building. The grounds are beautifully kept, the grass is manicured and the borders around the edge of the building are planted out with a mixture of flowers and small shrubs. 
I would have liked to spend a few minutes inside, but as with most churches these days it was locked. 
At the back of the church is a path leading to the graveyard. I will take a few minutes wandering around there, and sit on a bench. 
As you can see it has turned into a gloriously sunny day. 
This grave caught my attention. All nicely decorated with pretty colours. Very girly. On reading the headstone it is for a baby who lived for only two days. It brought tears to my eyes. Someone has been coming here for the last seven years to keep this tidy. As I sat on the bench a mum with two young children and a dog came into the graveyard. They went straight to it, hesitated for a minute or two, then left by the other exit. I wonder if that was their daily ritual. 
The sky was by now clouding over, and the air was quite muggy and warm. I started off with a jacket in the rucksack, just in case, but didn't need it. 
I crossed Warping Drain, and a railway line, and headed towards the river. A lady caught up with me, going in the same direction, her dog was very keen to keep going at a fairly brisk pace. We walked together for a short time, it was nice to have a chat. We parted at a junction and there was a brief chat further on with a couple walking their two dogs, one very big and one very small. 
I could hear a strange cracking noise as I got close to the river, it became louder as I walked towards it. Sounds like a gun. I hope I was not going to come across someone shooting at animals. I reached the river and saw a man crouching on the opposite bank. I was relieved to see he had a target set up and was aiming for that. 
The River Idle is not very wide. I walked alongside it for a while. Then it was time to head back by a different route. There wasn't a designated footpath, I walked along the verge between two fields and came out on a road. 
I crossed back over the railway line, and Warping Drain, by this footbridge. 

The track then took me into the village of Westwoodside, Amazingly I happened to come across the dog walking lady again. That was a coincidence. I got to meet her rather nice husband as well. 
From there it was just a matter of walking from Westwoodside back to Haxey along the road. Clouds were looming and I hoped I would be lucky. Not so, it bucketed it down. I didn't bother to get the jacket out, I would have got soaked just putting it on. The brolly was handy so that would have to do. I was fine, The rain was coming from behind and I marched on. It was a shower so no harm done. 
I nice afternoon out and seven and a half miles walked. I need to do some work in the garden today, and maybe make a start on the five shopping bags I cut out yesterday. Plenty to do. Thanks for popping in. Toodle pip.   ilona

Sunday, 9 May 2021

Buried treasure

It's raining. I think I will do a spot of housework today. Mayze is very enthusiastic when it comes to tidying her litter box. Even with two boxes she manages to scatter the grit over the edge. She has always used the smaller one but the scattered grit was worse than this. I thought that putting the big one alongside it would solve that. Nope. I keep the dustpan and brush nearby. 
Enjoy your Sunday. Catch ya later. ilona

Friday, 7 May 2021

Eight of the best. (Edited)

Eight out of 26 photo's taken last night of the sunset. I went to Home Bargains to stock up on cat food, it was 8pm when I came out. I thought there might be a nice sunset and it might be a good idea to hang about while it developed. I drove around looking for a good viewpoint. There is a lane at the back of the Industrial Estate. 
I sat in my car and watched it, waiting for the moment. In my line of vision is a Power Station, belching forth steam from the cooling towers. It drifted in the breeze for a short distance then disappeared. A heavy dark cloud hung low over the sun making it even more dramatic. I tried different positions and zoomed in a bit.
At 5.30pm today. A different picture.

The background is fuzzy as it focussed on the pylon and turbines. 

Getting darker now. 

I walked past this spot today, it was 5.30pm. What a difference three hours make. 

I rang the camera shop this morning and the nice man talked me through how to alter the settings. I hope the videos will load much quicker now. 
I finished the green floral bag this morning, the one I showed on the video. Now I am going out for a walk. I got caught in a massive thunderstorm yesterday. Thunder, lightening, hailstones, the lot. It was quite exciting. 
Thanks for popping in, Toodle pip.  ilona

Coffee chat with Mayze

I'm up with the lark this morning. I made this video yesterday, it's on yoootoooob now. 
I was out shopping last night, cat food from Home Bargains. Pleased I took my camera, I was hopeful for a good sunset. It was spectacular. I'm sorting the photo's out, more about that later. For now I have some moderating to do, and emails to reply to. 
Catch ya later. toodle pip.   ilona

Thursday, 6 May 2021


 Good morning. Bright and sunny here, there is a crispness in the air. Two days of no walking so I have some catching up to do. I see several people walking around the village on a regular basis. One lady walks with her friend, sometimes alone. I said to her once why doesn't your hubby join you on a walk, he would enjoy it. She said, no he won't do that, he likes his tele and his beer. She is slim, him overweight. A year has passed and he is dead, she is still walking. True story. 

I don't spend a lot of time looking back, things that have happened in the past can't be changed. I concentrate on today, and what I can do to get the most out of life. Just lately I have been thinking about the direction the world is going and I don't like what I see. They call it progress, but things are changing at a rapid pace. 

People talk about the good old days, but there were hard at times as well. People were supported by their local community, people mucked in together. There has always been conflict and disease in some parts of the world, caused by clashes in religion, race, and the unequal distribution of wealth. There will always be the have's and the have not's. And now the plan is for everyone to be the same.

The problem is that the custodians of the New World will not be the ordinary people, it will be those who are the wealthiest. Up to now those with the largest amounts of money have called the shots. It is they who have led us right down the garden path, it is they who will lead us into oblivion. 

As I see it we need to get back down to our grass roots. Small local communities helping each other. Globalisation is not the answer. We have seen the influence of those in power as they inflict their one size fits all regime on the world. They ignore the individuals needs and rights. They bulldoze their way through society, dividing and driving a wedge between the rich and poor, so that people blame everyone else for their predicament. 

The world is not one group, it is many groups, with many levels of poverty and wealth. If the elite want to sort out inequality and make the world a better place for all they must use their wealth to level things out. But they will not. Amazon will grow bigger, robots and artificial intelligence will become normal, and food production will be dominated by the big players. 

It is the elite with the money who are destroying society as we know it, and people are going along with it. I hate to say this but we need to start back pedaling. People need to adjust their expectations of what they want from life. Do they want to be permanently hooked up to a screen as they are already, or do they want human face to face interactions? Do they want every single thing they buy delivered to their door, so they never have to step outside? Every Amazon purchase is another nail in the coffin for small businesses. 

If you want to retain your individuality get rid of your smart phones, and start using cash locally for your purchases. That would be a good start. 

My stomach is telling me to eat. I have mushrooms and eggs on toast for breakfast. Might chuck something else in the pan. I'll cut you loose. Have a nice day.   ilona 

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Just clouds.

I managed to get a walk today while the sky was blue. The white fluffy clouds hung almost motionless, hardly a breeze to be felt. I gaze at them for a few minutes and my imagination takes me to another land far away. I feel as though I could walk up that mountain over there. Clouds are fascinating. 

 As predicted the sky darkened soon after I got back. Heavy rainfall fell but was gone again after a few minutes. 

I am looking out of the window now and can see the sun going down behind the houses. There are clouds of white, and all shades of grey. It will be an interesting sunset tonight, but not a spectacular one. 

I am having a glass of wine after my dinner. It was three cheese and onion croquets, a potato in the microwave, iceberg lettuce,  three small mushrooms, four slices of cucumber, with an onion and garlic dip. Simple and very nice. 

Thank you for popping in. We'll catch up tomorrow. Toodle pip.   ilona 

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Small bag to make, with instructions.

Another windy and wet day, and more sewing. This time it's a smallish pouch which could be used in a variety of ways. Closed it is 7 inches by 5 inches, and has a boxy bottom. This is the first one I made, it is so simple. There is very little stitching involved it could be made by hand as well as machine. A strap could be attached to the tabs on the sides to hang it around the neck, or a thin belt could be threaded through them. It could be a purse, or even a camera case.   
This one hasn't got the tabs, I forgot to put them in. A wide loop could be added at the back to thread a belt through it, to make it a bum bag. 
I added velcro to fasten the flap down. You could have a loop and button, or a press stud.
The boxy bottom is achieved by some clever folding, no stitching required. 

If you feel like having a go, it only takes about an hour to make. Make a few notes when you first watch the video, then go back to it for reference. Thanks to the yoootooobers for putting these bag making instructions out there. 
It looks like we are going to have a Boot Sale in the village, a lot of people are interested. I shall be joining in, if the weather is nice. 
I did a late Aldi shop last night, not as late as I normally go because it was a Bank Holiday and they changed closing time from 10pm to 8pm. It was raining so that keeps people at home. As usual the shop was almost empty, one other person came in and picked up a basket. I was the last one to be chucked out at 8pm. I just made it back to my car when the heavens opened and the rain lashed down. I filled up with petrol at a convenient 24 hour garage nearby. As I arrived back home the atmosphere was very mysterious. The rain had almost stopped, there was a heavy mist hanging in the air, and the sun was glowing through the haze. A perfect rainbow could be seen over the houses.  
I think I might need to take my chances and go for a walk now as it's stopped raining. Still windy though. Thanks for popping in. We'll catch up soon. Toodle pip. ilona

Monday, 3 May 2021

3 different bags

Good Arfternoon, it is cold, it is wet, so I am staying indoors. Yesterday I made two fully lined bags by following yoootooob videos, today I have made another one. There are several different ways of constructing them. Makes a change from the simple shopping bags that I normally make. This one has a plain white lining and is 13 inches by 12 inches. 
This one has a floral lining and straps with a trim around the top. It is 12 inches by 14 inches. 
The first one I made has a plain red lining with a floral trim around the top. It is 15 inches by 16 inches. 
If you want to make the last one here is the video on how to do it. Make notes in the beginning on the sizes of fabric needed, then stop start the video as you move through the stages. It's simple to follow. 
Now I'm going to look for another video to make another bag. This is why I don't make sewing tutorials, there are plenty out there to choose from. No need to re invent the wheel. Are you keeping busy on this Bank Holiday Monday? 
Tattybyes, C U L8TER.   ilona

Sunday, 2 May 2021

Big spender

There was a notice come up on our village page about a Boot Sale in a neighbouring village, so I went to have a look today. More out of curiosity than to buy something. It was like what you would call a garage sale. The sellers set tables up outside their own house and the browsers either walked around or drove their car to each location in turn. 
There was a map but I didn't need one. I know the village well, I used to deliver the Parish Newsletters there. It started at 10am but I didn't notice the advert until gone 12 o clock, so I was a little bit late arriving. 
Everyone was very friendly, nice to have a chat with a few people. It was due to finish at 4pm, but I noticed that some were packing up early. I bought a few small items for a grand total of £1.40. Some of them were charity stalls. The notices said everything is free, a donation would be welcome. 

This is a fairly new thing round here, a bigger village is doing one in a couple of weeks time. It's a good way to pass things on which are no longer wanted. A good opportunity  of getting some walking in as well. A quick look at the church while I was there. 
I wonder if they might start something like this in my village. Maybe it will catch on. 

Billy was waiting with his harness on when I got back. He really looks forward to his walks. I bought him a teddy to add to his collection, only 10p. 

Thanks to those who have checked in with their walking miles, it's good to see that people are still keen on this challenge. Anyone who hasn't done so can check in at any time, just go to the page and send a comment with your progress report. 

Thanks for popping in. Catch ya 2morrow. Toodle pip.   ilona

Saturday, 1 May 2021

Happy Mayday

 Good morning. The sun is back, that's a relief. I had a little potter in the garden yesterday in between showers, that was all. No walking. I did some washing which had to be brought in and draped over a drying rack. I shall hang them outside again today. There is a heavy knitted hoodie/long jacket which my friend gave me. I want to add some colour to it with some patchwork trimmings, or maybe some embroidery, haven't decided which.

I found some more rope, it's white and clean, so I am making another bowl. I fancied making a lined tote bag so I cut out the fabric last night, maybe I'll sew it together today. I found a pattern on yoootooob which looked pretty simple to follow. I don't normally follow patterns, but in this instance I can't be arsed to make one up myself. Brain fog. 

If the weather stays dry I will be off out for a walk this afternoon. I finished April on 348 miles, so I am ahead of target. How have you done? How is your walking going? This is where members of the International Walking Group check in so we can cheer each other on. 

Pics from the archives. I know, it's not autumn but I like these. Local park. 

It's a Bank Holiday weekend, enjoy. Thanks for popping in. Toodle pip.   ilona

Thursday, 29 April 2021

How to make plastic flowers

A new batch of flowers has been made. Colour to decorate the garden. Easy to make if you want to have a go. Follow the instructions on the video, ask me questions if you like. 
For decorating borders or pots. 

This video took seven hours to load onto yoootooob, even after I altered the settings on the camera. I need to look into this. In the past it has taken between two and three hours. 
It's a bit dull today, a dog walk is planned for this afternoon. It's the last day of April on Saturday so check in day for the International Walking Group will be on Sunday. A third of the year has gone already, the target is 333 miles. Have you reached that. I look forward to hearing from you. 
Thanks for popping in. We'll catch up soon. Toodle pip.   ilona

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Blue sky again today.

 Hello. A few pics from my walk today, I did eight miles. Beacons like this are dotted all over the country. This one hasn't been lit for a long time. 

Although it looks very sunny, it was very windy. I put a big jacket on. At times I was too warm, then the wind came and I was glad I had a furry hood to keep my head warm. 

One of my favourite spots, overlooking the river. The tide is out and the sandbanks are visible. 
There are a lot of yellow fields at the moment. 
This is a very strange house, it's very tall and narrow. It's a bit neglected, I'm not sure if anybody lives there, or if it is part of the house next to it. 
I took a photo of this pylon once before. It looks like there is a sun shining in the middle of it, but the sun is behind me. It's a metal plaque that the sun is bouncing off. 
You might remember me mentioning these cabins in a previous post. It's a day centre for children with learning difficulties. They have now got a garden, with a lawn, decking and seating area, and flowers in pots. 
This hare ran across the path in front of me and stopped in a field. A chance to see if I can zoom in and get a pic. It was a good distance away. I am liking this zoom lens. 
Another opportunity to play with the zoom. This is about half a mile away. A bit grainy but still quite a lot of detail. 
The video isn't ready yet, so that will appear tomorrow. It's taking a long time again, even though I have altered the settings on the camera. 
Thanks for popping in. Catch ya tomorrow.  Toodle pip.   ilona