Thought for the Week

"A hug is a perfect gift - one size fits all and nobody minds if you give it back."

'F is for ... '


I know I'm cheating here, but I couldn't decide which photo's to use.

So here a some shots I took last season...

... and here are some shots that I have taken in the last 2 weeks. The lads are playing a couple of 'friendlies' in preparation for the start of the season.

Last year was the first time I had tried to capture sport in photographs, and the first couple of matches I did as a way of practising in case 'movement' came up for our exam.

After much piss taking by the lads, and providing them with bucket loads of amusement in renaming me David Bailey, it wasn't long at all before I heard

'Did you get that?' after every goal or heavy duty tackle!! It even came to be a standing joke that if I didn't capture it with the camera, it simply didn't happen. Therefore, when one of the defence, the captain no less, scored a goal off a corner the team all denied it back at the pub...

'What goal' they all said!!

I also learnt, very quickly, that to capture the moment you have to be permanently ready, and learn the art of anticipation. If you wait to push the shutter button until you see an interesting shot, it's too late, the moment has already happened.

I also learnt 2 other very, very, important things last season:

1. Even if the lads are NOT on the pitch ... be ready!!!

2. Never, never, ask for water, it doesn't always come in a bottle!!!

Fun at the Fair

As promised, here are a couple more of the photos I took on my travels last weekend for Wednesdays 'F' word, that I won't now need either!!

I am putting them up, not because they are technical works of art but for no other reason than I think they are fun! Ooh, another 'F'!!!!

So remember people, when you're on a ride, be careful whose pointing a camera at you!!!

Something a little light-hearted to go with it...

Irish Diet

An Irishman was terribly overweight, so his doctor put him on a diet.

"I want you to eat regularly for 2 days, then skip a day, and repeat this procedure for 2 weeks. The next time I see you, you should have lost at least 5 pounds."

When the Irishman returned, he shocked the doctor by having lost nearly 60 POUNDS!

"Why, that's amazing!" the doctor said, "Did you follow my instructions?"

The Irishman nodded..."I'll tell you though, by jaesuz, I t'aut I were going to drop dead on dat 3rd day."

"From the hunger, you mean?"

"No, from the f**kin' skippin", the Irishman said.

Bath Time

Following on from yesterdays post, here are a few of the photos I took at the Hythe Canal. There are a lot of ducks there, and as I was walking back towards the car, the sound of splashing caught my attention. Apparently, it was bath time in Duckland!

One of my favourites:

Tomorrow I will post a few photo's that I took at the 'F'air on the green near the canal.

In search of an 'F' photograph

The sun shone today, about time, so I decided that whilst G was playing golf I would take my camera on a little trip out. My mind has been trying to come up with something for next Wednesday's "F is for..." post, so off I went in the hope that I would find some suitable, interesting photographic opportunity to fulfill it.

5 minutes away from my first destination, the beach (where else), I remembered that I already had a plan for 'F', told you I had a bad memory!!! Not one to miss an opportunity to photograph anything that moves, and everything that doesn't, I continued on my quest anyway.

These are a few of the shots that I took, some of which I could have used for Wednesdays post! I hope you enjoy.

'Flight' of the seagull

Fishing related

Flowers on the bridge at the location of another of my favourite places - The Royal Military Canal at Hythe.


The GCSE Results were sent out yesterday!!

As some of my longer term visitors will know I took a GCSE in Photography last year and I have been anxiously awaiting the results.

We received this email this afternoon from our tutor:

Dear Photographers,

Well done on the fantastic results this year!!

What a clever lot you all are.
I've never had quite such good results from a GCSE group before so give yourselves a pat on the back, and keep making pictures!!
Sorry no news on A/S level yet but we have had 35 gcse applications so hopefully will be able to split this into gcse and an AS group

Well! That set the mind wondering, as we hadn't actually had them through the post, I expect they will hit tomorrow.

So, cheeky, impatient, exciteable madam that I am, I emailed him back and asked him what I got.

The suspense was killing me!!

He quickly replied...

that I got...


WOOHOO, I am chuffed to bits. Finally I have the A grade I was cheated out of at school, and I have been looking very much like a cheshire cat most of the afternoon.

I had SAR training tonight, the second part of the first aid, and I officially passed my First Aid at Work course!!!

'E' is for ...


I don't know where my love of elephants came from, but somewhere, sometime, somehow, I grew very fond of them. I think they are just so big, strong and so amazingly powerful, yet they look so calm and soft-hearted and docile. Almost like they are being very modest about just how strong they are.

This collection of 'Tuskers' and 'Henrys' has grown over the years, and now totals somewhere in the region of 100 as a guestimate. They have been given to me for birthdays and christmas' by family and each one comes with it own name!

I have stopped physically collecting them now, since I have run out of room to display them, but it doesn't stop me looking at them in the jewellers window everytime I walk by.

My Better Half - pt2

Following on from last Mondays part 1 which can be read here... and ended:

..... That was the first time I really saw his softer side. He liked to keep this personality trait well under cover. He didn’t like people to realise that it existed and rarely displayed it in public.....

At some time in the next couple of months, whilst we were at a small, village located disco, a friend of mine, M, took a shine to G. My boyfriend and I gave them a little encouragement, shall we say, and they started dating. For me it was great, I figured that if he was dating M, I might get to interact with him more often. Strangely, I don’t remember ever feeling jealous, although I was fully aware of my own feelings for him, I had a boyfriend, and a son to consider, and I knew that nothing would ever happen between G and I. I also knew that I would never do anything to orchestrate a situation, or allow him to guess that I had any kind of feelings for him whilst I was committed to another relationship.

Theirs was not a not a match made in heaven. I remember hearing G comment on the fact that the beer goggles he was wearing the night of the disco were the worst he had ever worn. He didn’t fancy her in the cold, sober, light of day. They did continue to see each other for a short while however, and during this time M house sat for a neighbour of ours on the estate we both lived on.

One empty house, two young couples, a couple of the group of friends from the pub, plenty of beer and a bit of whacky baccy!!! (Give me a break, we were all young and foolish at some point!) We layed on the floor drinking, smoking and playing some silly board game. I can’t remember which one, I just remember that at some point G’s feet and mine were occupying the exact same area of carpet. My gut reaction was to move mine. He didn’t even seem to be aware of the contact. I immediately kicked myself and gradually engineered them back to where they had been. Just that smallest amount of contact had made my heart flutter and I remember telling myself that I was just being a stupid, flighty, teenager who should know better. The beer continued to flow and the joints continued to do the rounds. I had rarely drunk so much lager, I wasn’t really all that keen on it, and I had never mixed alcohol with the occasional smoke I had tried in the past. I began to feel slightly unwell. Then the doorbell went. M answered the door and came back to report that my sister was on the doorstep and needed to speak to me.

My journey from the living room floor to the front door is possibly one of the longest, most difficult journeys I have ever endured. I crawled to the living room door and then willed my legs to work before I was visible from the front door. I felt sea sick. The room was spinning. I was having a hot flush. My legs wouldn’t support me. Somehow, I made it to the front door and spoke to my sister. The moment I closed the door, I stumbled back to the others, declared I felt extremely unwell and collapsed in a heap, how very sophisticated!! My boyfriend just laughed at me. G told him to be serious, as best you could after smoking that stuff anyway. He got me to the window for fresh air, and gave me lots of water to drink and offered words of comfort. His care only served to further the feelings I was already harbouring and how I wished he would always be there. I always felt safe with him around.

Eight months later, I was single again. My boyfriend was not cut out for family life, had no wish to be a father, then or since in my mind. He had treated our son badly, but details are not necessary, this post is not about him. He had come back and given it a try, but at the end of the day, he was just too selfish for it ever to succeed. He announced it was over again, after which I discovered that he had been seeing someone else for the past month. Second time around, I wasn’t devastated like I had been the first time. He had done me a favour really, and the more of life I saw, the more I realised I’d had a lucky escape.

My thoughts though, kept turning to G. The pub we all used to frequent was across the road from where I worked and many times I wanted to ring G and ask if he would meet me for a chat and a drink. Given that I was just the ex-girlfriend of one of his mate’s I wasn’t sure that he would, so I hesitated to make the call. Eventually I plucked up enough courage to call him, and was very surprised when he agreed. He turned up on his motorbike, in his leathers, a Kawasaki 400 I believe it was then. Just to see him again made my heart turn cartwheels, but I had to remind myself this was not a date, it was just 2 friends meeting for a lunch drink.

Over the next few weeks, our meetings became more regular, and our friendship began to turn into something more. I would daydream about spending my life with him; I knew I was already falling in love with him.

We would meet at lunch breaks and share time together, just the two of us. This for me was precious time that I always looked forward to. Inevitably, the time away from the others in the group allowed us each to see the real person underneath the exterior that teenagers wear as part of a group. Not that either of us had ever tried to portray ourselves as something we weren't, or tried to hide anything about ourselves, but in groups at that age, there is a lot of bravado and scarcely little on the emotional front. I would sit and look straight into his eyes as he spoke to me, listening to everything yet hearing nothing. My mind was in another world, a world where we were not surrounded by other people, a world I knew I would never taste. Then I would go back to work with my head in the clouds. I consoled myself with the idea that even if I couldn’t have him as a partner I could have him as a friend, and that would be enough.

We would see each other sometimes in the evenings when I went to the pub with another of my girl friends and we would sit with G, my ex and others in a group, and hear those songs time and time again. Sometimes I would catch G looking at me, and wonder what he was thinking, there were never any clues in his expression. Maybe in hindsight there were and I was just to naive to notice them. He often used to buy me a drink because he knew how short of money I was, what little I had was spent on nappies and baby food, and day by day, I fell head over heels in love with him.

A couple of weeks later, he asked me if I would go out with him, I was on top of the world. I’m sure the word ‘yes’ flew out of my mouth far more quickly than it should have done, I just wanted to get in there in case he changed his mind!! In case he suddenly realised what he had asked me and apologised saying it wasn't what he meant. That was 3 weeks before my 18th birthday.

Our relationship, when it started, took off very quickly. I always knew that he was the one, always. In the early days of our dating, G was taxi driving for a living. He would often do a 12 hour day shift driving followed by 6 hours on the control desk. When he was driving, the controller would sometimes give him an 'urgent' job, and he would flatly refuse to do it because he insisted he had to pick me up in the morning and drop me at work. Free taxi, great. Even better than that though, I got to say good morning to him every day from Monday to Friday. I loved that 10 minute drive each day. I would float for the rest of the morning.

I remember one occasion when he had stayed over at mine. I was still living at home at the time, and my Dad's job meant he was up at 4am most mornings and out of the door by half past. G's taxi driving meant he would be up just before 6 and invariably I would be up with my son early too. G, back then, was quite shy around my family. My Mum always used to say he wouldn't say boo too a goose. (A few of you will see that there's a joke in their too!!) Just before 6am, the phone rang out at home. There were no mobiles then, only landlines, but it was most unusual to hear the shrill ringing at that hour of the day. Without a second thought, G picked up the phone, but he didn't say 'hello' like most people, he said, 'War Office ... who wants a fight'?

Within 14 months we had our first, beautiful daughter, and 3 months later we were living together. Later that same year we were married. Life was tough, very tough, but what got me through then was having G by my side, he made me whole and he made life worth living.

And today?

* He still has gorgeous eyes
* His smile still melts my heart.
* When he arrives home at the end of the day, I feel complete.
* When I look at him sleeping, I still think to myself, ‘How did I get to be this lucky in life’?
* Most of all, he still makes my life worth living.

Reason why I still love my husband No. 1

If you enjoyed this memory, check out my other Memory Monday posts from the link list in the right hand tool bar. I am attempting to add to this list more regularly, if you would like to join in, go ahead and put the button on your own site, then have a dig around your memories, you might surprise yourself with what comes out!


I went to watch my sons footy team yesterday in their first pre-season friendly, of course my photos will also be used in 'F is for...' so I can't show them to you yet, but this adorable puppy was just the cutest ever.

Centenery Blog Post

It's official! I'm 100 today. No, wait a minute, I'm not 100, but it's my 100th post, and I'm glad that this is the entry to hit the mark.

We all have different reasons for starting our journeys in the land of blogworld. Mine was to counterbalance another side of my life which had consumed way to much of my time, thoughts and sanity, especially my sanity. A place to be light-hearted, to share some of my loves and concentrate on the happier parts of my life which for long periods in the last few years I had forgotten even existed.

I soon found that this world was a very friendly, accepting place, and for nearly a year now, I have enjoyed my time here. I have made some good friends, and my daily round of visits to the blogs I link to provide me with smiles, laughs, and tears of joy. Sometimes, tears of sadness too, for what you all write, is written from the heart.

It pains me to lose one of my new found friends, and I hate that sometimes this may be because of something that hurtful, destructive people have brought about.

Pauline, was considering walking away recently, but having re-read some of her posts, some of the posts that her blog friends have written and the comments that have been left over time, she has decided not to let the buggers beat her. Her decision to stay, in part, was due to Akelamalu, for which I am thankful.

In return, she has awarded me with the following:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

as a small part of the reason she is staying put. I'm not sure that I deserve it, I am blown away, and I am very honoured to be included in her list of friends.

Pauline, thank you honey. x

As a recipient, I would now like to pass this on to the following people; I know a couple of you have already been presented with this, but I couldn't possibly leave you out:

Miss Understood Who befriended me before my blogging days when anyone with any sense would have run a mile. She helped me deal with things in my life at the time more than she will ever know, and was solely responsible for me joining blogland. (So you know who to blame!!!) She has become one of my closest friends on or offline and I can't wait for October when we finally get to meet. Elaine, you are truly an inspiration to everyone whose life you touch. x

Paddy I know you don't go in for this sort of thing Paddy, but your writing, and the insight you have shared with me over time is truly inspirational... so I give this to you whether you want it or not sweetie!! x

Mike whose photographic wonders never fail to amaze me and constantly inspire me to try to improve my own efforts. I have been lucky enough to see some which he has not yet published, and they are amazing. x

Dan What can I say. Your posts are so full of humour, they always make me smile and your amazing selfless acts for good causes inspire me to remember what is good in my life and not dwell on what I cannot change. You are a daily reminder of just how much good there is in people in this world, and I love you for that. x

Walksfarwoman A relatively 'new' friend, but nevertheless my visits to your blog always leave me with much to think about. Your huge heart and 100% acceptance of people from all walks of life are an inspiration to all who drop in. I love that you always go that extra mile to make your entries interesting and thought provoking. x

'D' is for ...


Darts in a Dartboard, if only I had asked him to throw at the Double's instead of the Bulls Eye!

20 years ago, G and I used to play darts regularly for respective mens and ladies teams, and played for a number of years.

Last year, our pub started a darts team for the Wednesday league, which is now mixed so men and women can play for the same team. We bought a new dartboard and played a little at home.
In no time at all G was back on form, better even, than he used to be. He has twice if not 3 times hit 180 during a league game, and has had a few at home whilst practising too, bugger. It's like his darts have a homing device on them or something!

Me on the other hand, I can't hit shite with a shovel. My score's are about as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike.

Anyway, whilst I was upstairs last week, listening to the rhythmical thump, thump, thump ... thump, bounceout, thump of his darts it occured to me that capturing a Dart in flight with the Dartboard in the frame too would make a good post for today.

I have to tell you, that I have learnt this week that my mind is not safe to let loose on it's own. I have a really good camera, a little knowledge, and bags of enthusiasm, but do you know how hard it is to capture what my mind 'thought' would make a good shot? Well? Do you?

200 photo's later, I kid you not, and this is the best you are gonna get. The photo's are a little grainy because I had to hike the ISO setting up to 1600 in order to get enough light for a decent exposure, but it's this or nothing.

So 'D' is for ... Darts in a Dartboard.

Meet my Better Half

I first met G 23 years ago, as a friend of my then boyfriend, and I was attracted to him almost instantly. Back then he had long hair, gorgeous, piercing eyes and a smile that melted my heart from the very first time I saw it. He was easy to talk to, but I never flirted with him, I was much too young and innocent to do such a thing, I’m not even sure that I really knew how to flirt at 17.

I had seen G a few times at the pub we all used to frequent. The multi-panelled glass doors at either end of the building led straight into the only bar. A single, large, undivided area that arced from one end to the other. The dark wooden bar, highly polished and shining like new at the start of every shift wrapped around the centre of the private, landlords quarters and the staff quickly became familiar faces. The heavily patterned carpet bore a history of countless scars from spilt beer and cigarette burns from those who had either drunk too much and dropped them, or had no inclination to fight their way through the crowds to find an ashtray and decided the floor would do. The walls were pale and windows down the length of the outside wall flooded the place with light during the day.

We always sat at or very close to the same small, round table. The order of the day varied little. Table - check, stools - check, cigarettes and lighter on top – check. This was quickly followed by pint glasses and/or shorts. The table we claimed as our own was to one side of the bar, ensuring that it was conveniently close at hand. A couple of feet behind us was the jukebox which was never quiet. It was the mainstay of the entertainment for the evening and it churned out hit after hit. This was in the days when vinyl was still used in jukeboxes, there was none of these electronic music centres then. It always fascinated me to watch the arm coil back, spin round, tilt onto it’s side and extract the next record to play. Just beyond that was ‘the mens’. Why is it that, even today, you can bet your life on the fact that the men’s will be the closest and the ladies will be at the farthest possible point from where you are sat?

No-one had a great deal of money, but somehow it never seemed to matter, we used to meet up and have a laugh; life back then seemed so easy in retrospect. We could come and go as we pleased, was answerable to no-one, and bore none of life’s scars that inevitably became etched on our souls in later years. Hardly a care in the world. My greatest concern at that time was whether I would actually get asked for I.D. in the pub. I was underage. Very purposely, I used to sit with my back to the bar in the hope that the staff wouldn’t stand in a quiet moment and actually wonder about my age. No matter how long I had been frequenting the establishment, I always thought I wore a guilty look, and would go out of my way to avoid eye contact.

Whenever G was there he always looked so fresh, always wore clean, freshly laundered clothes, courtesy of his wonderful mother, and above all else, he always smelt intoxicatingly delightful. He had no airs and graces, with G, what you saw was what you got, and for me that has always been a very attractive quality in a person.

The guys used to put songs on the jukebox, and then sing along to them at the top of their voices. When I say sing, that may be a slight exaggeration, and just me being kind, but the words were the same as those emanating from the jukebox, at least whilst you could actually hear them they were! Within a few bars their voices would drown out the artists version completely, and the entire pub, would hear their very own rendition for the umpteenth time.

One of their favourites was David Bowies, Let’s Dance. For those of you who don't know the song, this is the chorus:

If you say run, I'll run with you
If you say hide, we'll hide
Because my love for you
Would break my heart in two
If you should fall
Into my arms
And tremble like a flower
The guys rendition was always very lively, very loud and the last line was always the same:
And tremble like a floooooooooooooooooo ... WAA
at which point they would simultaneously raise their glasses from in front of their chests to arms stretched above their heads with gusto on the final 'WAA'

Another of their all time favourites, which still makes me smile to this day when I hear it, was 16 Tons by Ernie T Ford (lyrics).

Still at the tender age of 17 I fell pregnant, my boyfriend couldn’t run away quick enough.

When I was single, and pregnant, I continued to visit the pub with a girl friend, when time and money would allow. At the end of the evening, G would walk the two of us back to hers, and then continue up to the bus stop and wait with me to ensure I was safely on the bus before retracing his steps to go home himself. I often wished he had shown some interest in me, had perhaps flirted with me or shown some indication that he liked me more than I thought, but he never did.

After about 3 months, my boyfriend and I got back together. I learned a week later that G had wanted to ask me out, but because he knew my boyfriend wanted to come back, he held back and didn’t say anything to me.

My son was born 5 months later and when I was in hospital, G visited me with my boyfriend and another mate.

Not only did G have beautiful eyes, and a smile to die for, he was what I, and many people since, describe as a man’s man. Very broad, well built, and no sign of a feminine side within a hundred mile radius. Hands like shovels. Most often seen in those days in a biker’s jacket, jeans and sometimes with the boots too.

When he came to visit that day in 1984 at the hospital, he strolled into the ward, very casually, with the other two. His bike jacket was still zipped three-quarters of the way up, despite the heat in the maternity ward. He clutched his crash helmet in one hand and his with tussled hair and a slightly rugged, unshaven look he seemed pleased as punch to be visiting. An outsider might have been forgiven, at first glance, to have mistaken him for the father. I often wonder, looking back, if my memory is clouded by the way I see him now, or maybe I remember his visit that way because I already had feelings for him I was unaware of. Peering out of the top of his jacket was a gorgeous, soft, toy monkey, which played a soothing tune when you wound it up. He just stood there, with this thing gazing at me from inside his jacket. I lay in bed, hardly able to move after my caesarean, barely able to even pull myself into sitting position. I had absolutely no makeup on and had slept for all of a couple of hours that night. I must have been a real sight.

That was the first time I really saw his softer side. He liked to keep this personality trait well under cover. He didn’t like people to realise that it existed and rarely displayed it in public.

(This was a long post, so I have split it into two. Second part next Monday)

In the Garden

G went off this morning to play golf and I was sat here feeling subdued. I had a lot to say, but no words to convey any of it.

The weather was glorious, so I wandered into the garden and I could hear the bees busily collecting pollen from various flowers and shrubs. I grabbed my camera, put the long lens on and went on the hunt for said bees.

With a severe lack of words, I leave you with the results of my garden wanderings:

I photographed this yellow buddleja globosa for the "B is for ..." entry, but I wasn't happy with the photo and settled for bark. this one is much more interesting, if I had captured this i could have had "B is for ... Bee and Buddleja"!

This plant came in a packet of mixed seeds I got as a freebie for ordering from a plant catalogue. The seeds were varied and unlabelled. This one is gorgeous, I have grown it from the seed, and every year, without fail, it erupts into flower. Can anyone tell me what it is called?

2nd Meme of the week.

1. If you could remove one evil from the world what would it be ?

Cancer. It is such a totally destructive illness, even though it has a higher survival rate than it did 20 years ago. I would be surprised if there is a single person that doesn't know, or know of, someone who has or is suffering at the hands of this cruel illness.

I personally, have already lost a very good friend to it, he was 42 years old and from the time he was diagnosed to the time he died, it was just 3 short weeks. I have also seen breast cancer come down my mothers side of the family and have been told that instead of a 1/11 chance of developing it as for most women, my odds have dropped to 1/4. If I could rid the world of only one evil, it would be this.

2. What is your most enduring memory of your teenage years ?

Oh my goodness. Just one memory? Gosh this one's tough Pauline. It has to be either giving birth to my first child or getting married. Both were done waaayyyyyyyy back when I was still a teenager and they are two of the most enduring memories of my life. I can remember every single detail of both occasions with crystal clarity... no mean feat when I can barely remember what I had for dinner last night!

3. If you were to leave everything to one good cause what would it be ?

I have to say that I wouldn't leave everything to one good cause. I believe in looking after my family first, and if I didn't have any, I would share it around a few good causes. However, if I had to choose just one, I guess it would be the County Search & Rescue team. I already give my time, both for search operations and fund raising efforts, so it would make sense to leave it to them. They get absolutely no funding from government or local councils and run solely on the goodwill of its members and donations.

4. What was your greatest treasure as a child ?

Probably my clarinet. I wanted to have private music lessons at school but to do that I needed my own instrument. Money was always very scarce in our house when I was growing up and I knew that my parents would never be able to afford to buy me one. One bright summers day as we were walking through the gates of my school to attend the summer fete, Dad announced that when we left there we were going to collect my new clarinet!!! I was so taken aback I almost cried (and that wasn't a cool thing for a 12 year old girl to do in front of her mates at school). Dad had worked so much overtime to earn enough to give me the opportunity to own and learn to play the clarinet. I don't play anymore, haven't for years, but I still own it, and I still get it out occasionally and admire it, and what it took for Dad to get it for me.

5. If you could choose anyone at all, who would you invite to dinner ?

My Dad. I miss him terribly since his death. If I could have anybody at all to dinner, it would be him. There are 3 questions I would like to ask him and I would like to tell him how much I love him, just in case he ever doubted it. Then we would catch up on what's been happening since he left, and when I tell him all about the grandchildren he last saw as infants, his chest will expand with pride, just like it used to do for me and my siblings.

'C' is for ...

I couldn't decide what to photograph for this weeks entry, and procrastinated for so long that as of yesterday evening I still had no new shot to blog and I had to go to a training night which would take the rest of the evening!

On my way home from work, the sky was a lovely bright blue and the abundance of white, fluffy clouds depicted the bright summers day we'd had perfectly. I thought I would photograph the clouds for today and check which sort they were, cirrus, cumulus etc.. they all start with 'C', I thought maybe it would give Annie a run for her money trying to find the words I'd missed... lol. Then I began to think maybe that was a little lame and sort of last minute so whilst I got my kit on for training I put my thinking head on.

OK, thinking head. I'm a woman, I can multi-task right? hmmm. My journey to our HQ last night is about 45 miles and on the way I pass three of those big commercial chimneys which churn out smoke. You know the ones, massive round pots that look like they have been pinched in the middle, the ones that they often bring down with explosives when they have been de-commissioned. C is for Chimney.. yes, that would be more interesting.

I set of in the car and about 5 miles before my these the sun was beginning to sink in the sky, and the clouds were a little black. As the sun sank it was illuminating the clouds outline and I had this urge to photograph them, but there was nowhere for me to pull up and get out of the car so I continued. When I got near the chimneys, the vegetation, and the fencing around them prevented me from taking the sort of shot that I wanted, and the ones I took were not much to look at. From that point I could no longer see the gilt edged clouds either.

A little further down the road, I pulled into a layby, and although the suns shift in position had changed the overall appearance of the dark clouds, it was still a gorgeous sight and so, after all that, I have photographed:

'C' is for clouds

Just for Annie, I even included the Carriageway with a Car on it.
Have a great Wednesday everyone.

Factoid Meme

I've been tagged by Evening with this Meme. I was initially thrilled, this is my first ever tag, but now I'm not sure what I am going to share with you, as I scratched long and hard to come up with my 100 things entry.

1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

OK, here goes my factoids...

1. I love quizzes/tests/puzzles that require a logical approach to answer, but I am absolutely useless at general knowledge quizzes.

2. I always enjoyed school, always loved learning and I still do. I went to an all girls Grammar school, and loved almost every minute of it. The bits I disliked were the cruel an constant jibes of a small cell of girls who gave me a hard time continously because I worked so hard.

3. I was fiercely competetive in sports when I was at school and a member of the netball, tennis, rounders and hockey teams. I have since learnt to lose with dignity!

4. My last job was for a commercial vehicle hire company with a fleet of 200 vehicles ranging from vans to 38 ton units. I could recall the licence plate number, make, model, and body type of every vehicle on the fleet and tell you which customer had the vehicle on hire and when it was due back. Now my memory is shot to sh**

5. I was born in Lincolnshire, on an RAF Base where my father was stationed at the time but have lived in Kent since I was 4 years old.

6. I had my first child at the tender age of 17, and could never have coped without the support of my parents, they were just the best.

7. I love my garden and my greenhouse. Neglected due to other committments when I should have been seed sowing, I am now without my fresh salad & veg's, which I hate, but I have enjoyed my cherries, and the plums have just come into their own.

8. When we moved to our current house 4 years ago, we extended the driveway and block paved it. G laid all the sand, and I laid all the blocks in a herringbone pattern. I am a woman of many talents! ;p)

Right then, I tag:

Mike (coz I know how he loves these)
Laney (because she loves sharing about herself)
Denise (because she feels hurt if she misses out on a tag)
Paddy (because Paddy, I would love to know a little bit more about you)

Orgasm 55

So, it's Friday again, which can mean only one thing. Time to scratch my head and wonder what the heck I'm gonna do to come up with a 55-fiction that is actually worth the blog space it takes up, and thats not very much!!

I couldn't decide what to write about, so I took a look at the suggestions (thx guys) which were made after I requested topic ideas on a previous 55. This one was put forward by the lovely Laney, next week I may well take another from the list.

If there are any readers out there, new or old, that didn't help out with topic ideas last time I asked, please, please feel free to do so here!!!! I need all the help I can get!!!

His urgency was clear, he wanted to release his passion that instant. She was just beginning to climb the last, beautiful mountain, knowing she would soon achieve what every fibre in her body had been aching for.

At that moment he released a long, satisfied sigh. Her climb cruelly and abruptly halted.

Bastard she thought.

Disclaimer: I would just like to point out, to all my readers, that this is part of my Friday 55-Fiction, and as such bears no resemblance to my real life ...
Why I'm still in love my husband, reason no. 26

Matchsticks anyone?

I am stuggling today, to stay awake and concentrate. Work is very quiet, unfortunately, and I am in serious danger of dropping off to sleep!

Yesterday was a busy day in the office, worked like a beaver. In my re-ignited efforts to lose weight and get fit, I left the office at 5pm and drove straight to the gym.

Quick warm up on the bike, followed by some stretches, then straight onto the arc-trainer. Gee, that little sucker really works you.

10 minutes later:

I don't think I can do the full 20 mins today, I'm knackered already

Dont' you dare give up half way through

But, honest, I can't make ANOTHER 10

Of course you can woman. Dig in there.

Ok, maybe just another 5 then. Shite. Can I make another 5?

Shut up and get on with it.

5 more minutes go by:

Oh My God.

Now What?

I'm getting off... right now

Stay where you are woman, you're nearly there now


No buts. Remember that chinese you ate? Well it's not gonna shift on it's own now is it?

Damn you brain.

Finally, after the full 20 minutes, I got off and moved onto the next piece of equipment. A whole hour and a half I was having these conversations with myself. Who needs a flippin conscience anyway? lol

When I finally got home, I was a sweaty mess. I was about to jump in the shower when I got a text. Expecting it to be from one of my girls, I grabbed my phone to read it.

Hell. A call out for Search and Rescue. I paused momentarily, trying to evaluate if I could find enough energy to go on the shout. It was in my own home town, which is quite unusual, most of the call outs are about 50 miles away. How could I not go? Someone somewhere was in trouble, and their families needed them found, and quickly.

I responded that I would be at the R.V. point in half an hour. Threw a cup of tea down my neck, had a quick lick and promise in the bathroom, kitted up and left home again.

The search took place in a very steep banked, woody area and I so wished I had not listened to my conscience at the gym. This was a whole weeks work-outs in one hit!! lol.

I finally arrived home at 22:30, I jumped in the shower and that was about as much as I could manage, still in need of my dinner, but too exhausted to cook.

On the other side of the coin, think how much that outing is going to help my diet this week!!! Every cloud has a silver lining!!

'B' is for ...

'B' is for... BARK

I have a White Poplar Tree in my garden, which is very mature, and the bark has a very rough texture.

It splits easily, which provides a huge amount of housing for the woodlice and a myriad of other, unmentionable creatures.

The birds love it though. I use this tree to hang my bird feeder and fat balls in so that they are well fed. I love having the space to be able to sit out in the sun, relaxing, and watching the birds flit from bush to shrub and tree to tree.

What I love most about the bark on this tree is the way the lichen grows on it. With that and the bark, and the dark colouring from beneath the splits, the trunk is a kaleidoscope of colours. It reminds me of coral on the sea bed, it's beautiful close up.