Sunday, 27 January 2013

Sunday 27th January 2013

Do you love snow or hate it? That flutter of excitement when you see the first flakes and swirls...magic! Even if you know it's a disrupting pain if you have to travel..and all the worry of loved ones getting home safely..there's still, always, always, the joy of the snow.

We had one decent fall of snow last weekend and my daughter went out early to Church Island, close to Menai Bridge, and took the two photos below..she had gone out, still in her pyjamas but with coat on top, in too much of a hurry to catch the dawn to dress. Of course, at times when you look dishevelled you always bump into someone you know..she suddenly came across her (slightly posh) violin teacher from school and orchestra..oops!

The photo above shows the tiny church and you can just about see Britannia Bridge in the distance.

This sunrise picture is from the same spot but taken at a different angle, with Menai Bridge in the background this time.I love the sunlight on the snow.

I stayed at home and made pancakes with maple syrup for my daughter's return.I didn't have any wellies that were waterproof to go out in the snow properly myself, though I had taken a snap of Snowdon from my front step the day before. So pretty, the mountains always look like a world apart, a painted backdrop, when it snows. 

Last week my daughter had another training day in Llandudno so I drove over with her and spent the day mooching about, shopping, walking on the seafront  enjoying the wintry sun and the seagulls..

..and indulging in my recently-adopted hobby of looking up! Here are a couple of pretty metalwork features..they weren't necessary, but were very decorative, which I think is admirable.You just know that the people who made them put love into their work.


I went to Conwy this week with my other daughter..she needed to practise driving on (and getting on and off) the busy A55 we combined this with a trip to the Royal Cambrian Academy in Conwy. There was an open exhibition which was worth seeing, though sadly of course I couldn't take photographs. 

We walked down to the harbour area at the mouth of the River was absolutely freezing, face-numbingly so, so we lingered only long enough to take a photo of the boats and the "Smallest House in Great Britain".

Back in the town we came across this water trough featuring Llewelyn Ab Iorwerth who founded the Conwy Abbey, in 1184 A.D. (He did look rather like Freddie Mercury which took away a little of the gravitas!)

At last I've had time to use my Christmas lovely new Janome sewing machine. I'd had my old machine for about 35 years and it had more or less given up on me so I felt it was about time to put the poor old thing out of its misery...hearing it struggle (possibly the belt slipping?) was painful and it was frustratingly slow, especially after having worked on industrial sewing machines which positively whizz along (and take your finger too if you're not careful!) SO, new project was to sew muslin drapes for my big living room window...six yards of white muslin..lovely to sew on my new machine but hellish to iron!

...and here they are ,up in the window, serving as a backdrop to these beautiful spring I love tulips and primroses.. Happy Sunday everyone.xx

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Sunday 6th January 2013

Hello..look what is still flowering on my front steps! A tub of gorgeous fuchsia flowers..proof if it were needed that we're having a very mild winter so trying very hard NOT to tempt fate here!! 

Happy New Year to everyone,albeit a little late! 
I have mixed feelings about the start of a new year..always feel rather sad especially thinking of those who are leaving behind loved ones that have died and feel they are moving into another year without them. It always feels like a time to reflect on the year's achievements and possible failures and also to do the traditional thing of making resolutions, or at least plans, for the coming months. 

So, has it been a good year for you? I have had a mixed year myself..
Positive stuff:
~I've finished my college course and gained qualifications to enable me to teach essential skills.
~I've learned to crochet at last!
~my parents are still alive (which at aged 80 and 81 is no mean feat)
~I went to London and two Creative Stitches shows and gained lots of artistic stimulation and pleasure from these trips.
~I managed to still be employed despite the recession.
~My daughters both left university,one with a first class degree and the other with a first class in her Master's degree.(Time to join the real world girls!)
~despite the wet summer I managed to have a garden filled with flowers...

Negative stuff? Well perhaps it's better not to dwell on that but at least make plans for a better year... my resolutions include:
~making more time for the garden and doing little and often instead of reaching June and busting my back in frantically digging my vegetable patch! 
~making time for my art which will mean being a bit more selfish and not always being at everyone else's beck and call (sound familiar to any parent out there?!)
~taking my health a bit more seriously and listening to my body more instead of having a bury-my-head-in-the-sand attitude towards my well-being.
~making more time for friends and people I care about instead of putting them off in fear of worrying about how tidy the house is or what they will think of my chaotic garden or worrying about having the energy to cook for them,etc etc. In other words I need to relax and let them take me as they find me and believe in the power of my amusing company instead!! I know all this in theory..I just need to make myself put it into practise!
~learning to say "No" to the demands of people instead of giving in for a quiet life. Enough said!

This week I took my daughter to her new job to save her the stress of a long 37-mile drive on her first nerve-wracking day. The reward for this was I had a day to myself until I needed to go and pick her up. I settled on spending it in Llandudno as it wasn't too far away from her and there's always loads to do there. I spotted this lovely crib scene in a cafe of the nicest I've seen : 

This reminds me, my uncle sent me a link to a wonderful youtube video of some children making the funniest nativity it if you can make the link below work for you (you may have to highlight it & right-click it?) ....

As I had time to fill I found myself taking more notice of the buildings in the town and took a few pics...funny the things you spot when you look up..

The windows on this Victorian-style pub, which has stood here since 1898, are just beautiful...

I always make time for a bit of a walk along the seafront if I of those esplanades that, even on a dull January day, call out for the return of the sadly-missed Watercolour Challenge television programme..

Time for bed I think..wishing you all a good year ahead and peace in your hearts. xx