9 May 2012

This Morning ...

Where to start?

Shall I ...

or go back to bed and try and get rid of these ...



Edited to add - I have heard talk that haemorrhoid cream can help with lines under the eyes but daren't  have a go in case I break out in huge weeping pustules!  Have you ever tried it?

4 May 2012

From The Pens Of Babes

I just wanted to thank you all for the wonderfully kind comments regarding Blondie Son's creative writing achievement.

Sadly he didn't make it through to the final 50 of the BBC Radio 2's Breakfast Show 500 Words competition.  He is not at all disheartened and, to be perfectly honest, is hugely relieved as he loathes any sort of attention!

His mum, on the other hand, is not the shy and retiring type and has decided to publish his entry here on her own little piece of the internet for posterity ... and because she is as proud as punch and she can!

The final 50 stories can be found online here.  Do have a look if you get the chance.  I've only read a few of them so far but it really does warm my heart to see how talented and creative our children are.

May the 4th be with you all ...


The going was tough. M'aiq wiped his sweating, feline brow and looked up towards his destination. The temple stood, dark and mysterious against the sunset. The trek had been long and punishing. At first there had been five of them. They decided on the spur of the moment to visit the temple after a long night of drinking games. Skooma had never been M'aiq's strong point. Yet, here he was now. The last man standing.

Fe'tiq had been the first one to go. He had been jumped early on by a frost troll. He didn't stand a chance. After that, the expedition had stopped being fun and games. It was serious. Malir and Jt'e had slipped on the treacherous mountain path they had had to traverse. Cr'she had gone last. They had been trekking through the Alik'r pass when they had been ambushed by bandits. They had taken down most of the depraved humans before Cr'she had been overwhelmed. She went down fighting. M'aiq was doing this for them.

His sensitive eyes sensed movement in the undergrowth ahead of him. A group of bandits preparing an ambush. He unsheathed his razor-sharp claws and rolled stealthily into the shrubs lining the road. He moved silently up behind the group. There were remnants of a fire, as if they had extinguished it when they saw him. He studied the thieves. One of them seemed very young, 14 at the most. M'aiq could have taken them with his eyes closed. He could see the fear in the boy's eyes. He spat on the ground. There had been enough death for one day. He moved silently past and rejoined the road once he was sure the bandits had stopped searching for him.

By this time, the large orange sun had set and the moon was casting a cool, white glow onto everything. It made the temple look breathtaking. M'aiq moved towards it carefully. His feline instincts detecting a trap. About two metres in front of him lay a barely visible wire. He carefully stepped over it into the sleepy temple beyond. There was an unusual purple mist drifting aimlessly along the floor. From the centre of the tower there came a scream. M'aiq abandoned his stealth and sprinted towards the sound. In the centre of the tower, a young girl was tied to a wooden post. There was blood running down her chest. He ran down to her and started untying her.

"What happened?" he asked in his rasping voice. A deep bellow erupted from behind him. He spun around to see a towering man walk down the steps behind him.

"You can't do anything now." he cackled. "She is the sacrifice."

Behind M'aiq, the girl starting coughing. He turned around to see that her eyes were no longer normal. They were full of the purple mist. There was a grotesque smile on her face; she was watching M'aiq with an eerie pleasure. 

"He is coming!" the man announced. "Behold... Vaermina!"

By Sam (aged 13)

2 May 2012

May Flowers

Hello you.

Apart from a brief glimpse on Monday, this fella (or rather his larger, hotter cousin) hasn't made much of an appearance around these parts for some time now ...

I bought him in Spain a year or two ago and still can't decide whether I find him friendly or a little sinister.  (Spot the ladybird?)  Still, he sits on the fence surveying the garden goings-on.

I'm really trying to find joy in the rain but am fast approaching saturation point.

I took the dry window of opportunity on Monday to have a proper poke around the garden.

We have a south-facing smallish town garden which is now officially lawn-free.  I'm no plant expert but I know what I like and I do try and get to know what I grow.

The Viburnum is always one of the first things to burst into flower.  This year it hasn't disappointed and is covered with huge fragrant pompoms ...

The Crab Apple tree (malus gorgeous) is in full blossom ...

The Polyanthus is like sunshine in a pot ...

The strawberry plants are flourishing and just starting to flower ...

Oh, and a note just for Nicki - my anemones are FINALLY growing!!! (I confided in Nicki that I suspected I may have planted the bulbs upside down because nothing had emerged after three or four weeks.  Note to self, learn patience.)

One of my favourite things about having a blog is looking back at previous years.  Gardenwise, I'm sure things were a little further ahead last year.

If I were to put a positive spin on the recent foul weather, I would have to congratulate myself on being reasonably up to date domestically!  When it's yanking down with rain outside, there's no choice but to stay inside and 'do stuff'.  Feel quite self-satisfied yesterday and fed-up with housework though, I indulged in a creative afternoon.  I'd previously bought some gorgeous linen-mix fabric and was itching to sew.

Regular readers of my blog will know that sewing is not something I do very often.  I am a very impatient raving perfectionist which is an extremely frustrating combination.  I sometimes struggle to transform the pictures in my mind to satisfactory reality.  I love to make small and neat items but, frankly, large things scare me!  However, I knew exactly what it was I wanted to achieve.  I took my time, measured everything at least twice and made this ...

A perfect cushion cover!  (Blondie Daughter needs a little work on her camera skills - this photo was the best of a bad lot, trust me!)

I say 'perfect' because every seam is painfully neat and spot-on straight and I even added lace!!!  I completely forgot to take a picture of the reverse which is a plain stone-coloured linen; the envelope closure trimmed with a teeny pink velvet bow.

I didn't use any sort of pattern, just tape measure and logic.  I'm so proud of it I could yelp!!!

I know Blogland is crammed full of wonderful seamstresses who could run up a perfect cushion cover in ten minutes with their eyes closed (and oh how I drool over your beautiful creations) but I'm sure there are just as many of you out there to whom it doesn't come quite so naturally, like me.

I'm on a roll now and am about to embark on project number two ...

... watch this space! ;-)

Before I go, I would like to make my annual mention of Madeleine McCann.  It will be five years tomorrow since she was abducted while on holiday in Praia Da Luz, Portugal.

The police have released this new age-progression image as a guide as to how she may look now.

If you see a young girl you suspect may be Madeleine, please contact the police immediately.  I have updated the link on my sidebar with the contact details.

Still hoping and praying for your safe return sweet girl.