Monday, 19 August 2013

And I'm done - PSH

18. Your local pub/bar/coffee house or tea shop.

I thought this would be hard because I was thinking of a place where I regularly go as being my "local". The problem here being that Mr M and I don't drink. Now we are not anti alcoho, although I do intensely dislike what it does to people, I don't leave the house unless I am with Mr M and he cannot walk into the city centre anymore because of his knees so coffee houses and teashops are not on our radar, at least not here. How was I going to do this one. I asked Mr M.
He gave me the look - sorry, The Look

"We'll take a picture of the OWL" he said. So we did

Now you might notice that the pub is not called the OWL it is called the Royal Mail. That's because the name was changed in the 1990s when the Royal Mail paid for the outside to be painted so all the bits that are now black were pillar box red. To say thank you the brewery changed the name. It used to be called
Aaah, see I know what you thought.
Now I'll tell you a bit of a tale that is quite embarrassing for me but it even makes me laugh.

When we first moved into our house, just up the hill from here, we used to regularly meet up with my cousin and her husband and go out for a drink - Mr M had coke I would have lemonade or water. Louisa would say "We'll meet you in the OWL" but we never got there because we would stop at the Old White Lion on the way (I thought) and there they would be so we would stay there instead of going to the OWL. This went on for a couple of years until one evening as we trudged back up the hill to home I paused and gasped "Why don't we ever get to the OWL?" Mr M stopped, paused and turned. "What do you mean?" he asked. Well Louisa says she'll meet us in the OWL and then we always stop in the Old White Lion and she is there so we stay there, we never go on to the OWL... Where is the OWL?"
He tried very hard, I'll give him that. He struggled manfully to keep a straight face but it was too much. He grasped the pole of the no waiting sign at the roadside and laughed so hard no sound came out and his face went very, VERY red.
I had an inkling that I had said something that was going to echo down the years. I was right. When he finally caught his breath, and it was several minutes before that happened, he managed to whisper "Three Letter Acronym"
As I write it I can feel the flush of embarrassment creeping up my neck and across my face. "Oh bother!" I said, "Of course!" I said "I should have realised!" and then I could see that this was going to be something to talk about for years and I could also imagine my face. Thank heavens we didn't have phone cameras back then!

So that's me done with this year's Photograph Scavenger Hunt. My thanks to Rinda for setting the challenge. I really enjoyed seeking out the pictures and giving it my own personal slant. I have made a mini album and told the story of each picture on the pages.As I won a prize last year I don't want to be considered this year. I have really enjoyed it and look forward to next year.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

More pictures for PSH

21. A photograph of you with an artistic tool or craft supply (you cannot substitute this one)

1. Open air market.

Those of you that have been here before know that most of my photography is done at speed. Not haste but speed, usually around 40mph because that's what Mr M slows don to when I say "OOOH Picture!" Mostly I get a hedge or a tree or a green blur, but sometimes, like when we were going through Ledbury today, he is forced to stop because the traffic lights are red. 
He leaned back, I leaned sideways, used the zoom a little to cut out his arm and tummy and managed to catch these few stalls before the lights went green and we were off into the wild blue yonder... or something. It took three goes to get that picture because the first time a car went the other way - nice car too. The second one a bloke with a cigarette in his mouth was walking along and that darned delay between pressing the button and a digital camera responding meant that he was right in the middle of the picture. Third time lucky with that one.
The picture of me with my newest toy - the Bigshot - was taken by Mr M up in my craft room. so I am surrounded by craft supplies and stuff - gorgeous stuff. If you look carefully you can just see the turquoise edge of an 8x8 album sticking out above the Bigshot. That's the album that contains this years Scavenger Hunt pictures.
How clever is that? getting a picture of the album IN the album. Thinking about that is threatening to make my brain ache so I am going to stop - OH, oh, We weren't travelling anywhere for that picture because Mr M took it. We stop for him to take pictures. I might just have to start driving again, just to make him try and take pictures at 40mph... nah, too much like hard work.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

A Fisherman - Scavenger Hunt again

Today we had one of our days out with the Bluefunnels. We did the Quantock Hills Treasure Trail and during the course of the trail we had to stop near a reservoir to find the answer to a clue. While we were finding the answer Mr M noticed that there was a man fly fishing just down below us.

This is where I was Exceptionally Brave. I am not tall. I used to be 5 feet one and threequarter inches tall, but as I get older I am shrinking. This meant that while I could see the fisherman there was an awful lot of frondy grass waving about between me and him.
"Stand on there," said Mr M. I looked at there and realised that he meant me to step up onto a little wall. The little wall that was built to stop idiots falling down the slope and into the reservoir.
I gave him the look - sorry The Look. You know the one, it says 'You must be....... joking!'
He gave me a look. "No," he said, "step up there then onto that flat bit, I will hold you."
That made everything alright. So I stepped up there and then onto the flat bit and took the picture and was helped safely down again. We took the answer to the clue back to the car and drove on to the next place to find the answer to another clue.
We completed the Trail and I crossed another picture of the list.

Only three left now

Saturday, 27 July 2013

More for the Scavenger Hunt

5. A Sunset. Took this from the doorway of our caravan. not a particularly inflamed sunset but I like it.

"Stand there! No, over to your right a bit. I want to get a picture of the tall policewoman and her van. Miss Em is delighted with the recent purchase of her fishing net and we were just off to try it in the sea

We went to Manor House Wildlife Park, just outside Tenby - or as we say in Welsh Dinbych-y-Pisgod. The Meerkats were all sprawled out in the sun except one who was up on the tree stump on duty. They changed places every so often and took it in turns to be on guard duty. 

A quick check of my list tells me that I seem to have only four left to find..... I wonder which one I will fail on this year.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Someone or something taking a nap - PSH

This is my baby boy - well my youngest son. He had keyhole surgery on his shoulder last Tuesday and seems to think that because he is home and can walk about that he should not still have pain and should be able to "be back to normal". I have explained that after invasive surgery your body has to recover from the trauma and that ten years ago he would have been kept in hospital for a week, but what do I know? I am just him Mum.
He thinks that sleeping all the time is wrong. I sigh to myself and explain that your body can only do so much and to give it chance to recover it is ok to sleep, because then your body doesn't have to waste energy keeping you awake and doing things it can concentrate on healing -But what do I know? I am just Mum.
He says he keeps getting hot all the time, I explain it is the weather and having 30 degree temperatures means that everyone is feeling hot just as he does - But what do I know? I am just Mum.
I say "do you have pain?" he says yes.
I say "have you taken the pain killers?" he says no.
I roll my eyes and explain that they gave him the pain killer for a reason and I wonder if he knows what that reason is. He looks at me like I am speaking in tongues. "They are to stop the pain so you can sleep" I say, and we immediately go back to "Sleeping is wrong"
Then he finishes his drink of water, taking two pain killers because I gave them to him and stood over him in a threatening (but motherly) manner, and within 20 minutes was sound asleep again.
You would imagine that someone over 40 who has served in the army in Bosnia and in Northern Ireland would be able to cope but because he is living with us again it's just like he has regressed into a teenager. It's a good job I love him - but that's cos I'm just Mum

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Scavenger hunt 3. City Hall

3. City Hall, Capitol or other similar civic building.

This is our Civic Centre. That's its real title. It was built in the 1930s as you can see by the style - you can't actually see the entrance because that is below the level of the car park boundary. Mr M did stop for me to take this. Wasn't that kind? the Tower was not added until the 1960s and there were those who thought it ruined the building. I think it just shows that the council at that time had too much time on their hands as they were desperately trying to get our town recognised as a city - and that didn't happen until 2002.

We had hoped to take its picture from the other side but since they built the new Court building they have totally spoilt it AND when we drove past I realised that the trees in the car park on that side totally blocked the view of the building and all we could see was the tower sticking out of the tree tops.

Inside the foyer of the building are a series of murals that were painted in the 1960s by Hans Feibusch there is more information and a picture of the Murals here

I like that our Murals are done by an artist that also did murals for Port Meirion.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

A Windmill? PSH again

Today we nipped the 21 miles up to Ebbw Vale to deposit the account books and papers that I found in my Dad's box and cupboard. We spent a happy hour talking to Frances Younson one of the Archivists about the stuff and then filled in the forms and moved on to Costco.

I love Costco because they always have things I desperately need. Today I just had to have a box of Chocolate and oat Nature Valley bars. My youngest son, for reasons that I won't go into, is now living with us again and he as discovered that there is a lot of satisfaction in a couple of those bars when he is driving his HUGE truck across the country every night.

I nearly had a picture of some fishermen but as usual by the time the camera was switched on and I had pointed it out the window we were three miles past them.


On the way home we came the pretty way along the levels - this is the coastal flat land that is only dry because of the sea wall - and I was ready. I knew the windmill was there, I had the speed judged to the millimetre and I got this

I could say that the cloud behind them looks like two people kissing...... but I think I'll just go with the windmill. I am quite pleased with this one because I managed to avoid photographing the bird poop that was on the window by sheer good luck. I didn't notice it until after I had taken the picture and I was sure that it would be perfectly in focus and right in the middle of the picture - Phew!!!

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Scavenger Hunt - More pictures!!

We spent the day with the Bluefunnels, See here how they got their name We gave them a Treasure Trail for Christmas, take a look at the website and they said we could all do it together. We kinda hoped they would say this because it looked really good. It was a Spy Mission type trail - it explains in detail on the website - and was a mostly driving trail in a figure of eight around the Forest of Dean. I managed to get two pictures for the Scavenger hunt at the same time!so here for your delection are
Number 13. A Fence
By the time we stopped here my legs were two inches shorter than when we started but I was brave and trudged along behind Mr and Mrs B to collect the clues. This is Parkend, by the way. Nearly at the end of the trail and we were all showing our unfitness. Mr B had a knee replacement in March so  he did amazingly well. Mrs B is staving off the moment when she has to have a knee replacement. Mr M hasn't even seen the GP about his painful knees yet and I am just over weight.

Number 8. A Tower
The tower looks like a lighthouse. It is in Cinderford and commemorates something but my mind has gone a complete blank so I will need to look it up on Google before I do the page for the album.

Wwe both love being "up in the Forest" and we only mean the Forest of Dean when we say that. I could happily live in any of the towns there and probably a lot of the villages too.

We stopped in Coleford to find clues for the trail and had lunch in Kaplan's cafe restaurant. We can highly recommend it. Mr M and Mrs B had the Roast Dinner and Mrs B said the carrots  were cooked to perfection. Mr B had the steak and kidney pudding and chips and declared that he was in heaven. I had plaice and chips which was also perfectly cooked and the fish was really moist and delicious.
All in all a fabulous dday for completing a Treasure Trail and getting two more pictures for the PSH

Monday, 24 June 2013

Going through Dad's papers

I keep going back and doing a little bit until I just can't stop being emotional and then I shut up the cupboard and leave it for a while. I spoke to the nice man from Gwent Archives recently at the FHS Open Day and asked if they would be interested in the books and stuff that I have from my Dad's company. He said that simply from a social history point of view they were always interested in day books and accounts and anything that gave insight into the small businesses that were in the area. All the stuff remains the property of the family but it will be stored in the archive and be available for research so Into The Bag my Pretties, you are going to Ebbw Vale!

While I was sorting through the cupboard I opened an old envelope and discovered it was full of small envelopes and in those were lots of old postage stamps. Some with Hitler on some from germany before WW1 some Canadian ones with Queen Victoria and loads from the Netherlands. Now what I need is a stamp expert :(

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Scavenger Hunt 2. A Theatre for the performing Arts

We went to the dentist yesterday. Well what else would you do on your wedding anniversary?.......... beg pardon?...............Really? you go out to a real restaurant for a slap up meal? Gosh. We'll have to try for that next year.
When your anniversary falls in the middle of the week and it just happens to be one of the days when Mr M is working an afternoon shift (2pm to 10pm) it kind of mucks up any dreams a person might have about some quality time together.
Mr M had a dentist appointment at 10 am and as the dentist is 30 miles away I decided to go with him. That way we could chat in the car and while he was being poked with sharp instruments I could nip up the road and take a picture of the Savoy Theatre and Cinema.

This sweet little theatre claims to be the oldest working theatre in Wales. It has its own website and really is the most delightful little building. The two guys standing in the entrance smoking did not enhance its photogenic qualities but I didn't have time to shove them out of the way.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Starting the Scavenger Hunt


I made an excellent start to the Photographic Scavenger Hunt on the very first day. We went to Tyntesfield, a National Trust property and they were having a 1940s day so I managed to get these. 
4. an airplane. This is a Dakota, I know
becuase the man told us

20. a dinosaur

10. a bench that is outside

12. a cloud in the shape of binoculars

bonus item. sundial

9. something clearly out of place. Mr M
wearing Miss Em's hat

14. Stained glass or mosaic

7. A sign that is intentionally or
unintentionally funny.

The Dinosaur we found in Morrisons. More updates soon.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

The Great Big Swap of very small things - Thrilling!

I am taking part in Sian's Great Big Swap. I thought it would be fun to pack up some small things and send them to someone and to receive some from another person.

I had no idea how excited I would be when the package came through the letterbox. I was bouncing! I care fully opened the wrapping and inside I found a beautiful postcard and three - note that - three small envelopes each with a name on it.

I opened the one that said Ann - cos that had to be for me. So many small things diecuts and frames and labels and paperclippy things oh and a teeny tiny key.

I can't wait to see what is in Miss Em's envelope, but I have to contain myself until she comes home from school this afternoon.

The one for Miss Kay will need to wait until either she gets to me or I go out to her. Still, it will be an extra thing that she doesn't even know about.

My thanks to Helena for taking the time to package everything so beautifully. I am thrilled and can't wait to do a page or three...... although I feel a need to hang onto the things for a while and just grin at them. Oh aren't scrapbookers just wonderful?

I will be posting my parcel to Alison on Saturday, when Mr M takes me to the post office so it will be winging its way to Spain next week.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Embellishing pages

I have been thinking a lot about this lately and yesterday I went into the craft room for the first time in three weeks!!!
I am a worrier, you see. I have my precious photographs, some of them taken more than a hundred years ago and I want to ensure that my children and grandchildren know who the people are.
My granny kept her pictures in an old tin "ditty box" that my Grandfather used when he was in the navy in the war - we are talking World War One here, by the way.
When I asked a conservationist how to store the pictures she went into elaborate detail about archive quality boxes and layers of acid and lignin free tissue paper. She continued with suggestions about temperature controlled storage rooms and not allowing sunlight to touch the pictures. By this time my eyes had glazed over and my brain was giving up the will to listen. I thanked her and did nothing. I had to go to my favourite camera shop so I asked "Young Mr Davies" - Old Mr Davies was having a day off. YMD is my age so not really that young, but I digress. YMD said "How are they stored now?" I explained that my Granny had this tin Ditty box and they had been kept in there for all my mother's life and mine. "Leave 'em where they are," he said if they haven't deteriorated after 80 odd years then they won't deteriorate now.
So I asked him about scrapbooking them. "As long as you make sure the papers are acid free and anything you stick on the page is with a safe glue and is acid free - stay away from pages of books from after 1920 as they are dreadful!"
SO my thought is this. When people use old book pages or "found items" for their pages how do they know that these items are safe to go against a precious picture?
I also worry about how the albums from a lifetime are going to be distributed amongst my three children. Should I insist that they are kept together and moved around the families every four months? should I make albums with the photos of the pages for each child and then put the real ones into the local archives or should I stop worrying and trust my children to pass on the information and albums properly...... sigh