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Saturday, 31 December 2011

Good Riddance 2011

I didn't want 2011 to leave us without a final post. I can say with all honesty that this has been the worst year of our married life. Even more so than the years that we have suffered serious ill-health.
For 2012 I am going to choose "one little word" (is that Ali Edwards?); I have thought about several including positive, change and happy. Narrowed it down to positive and change, because happy can't be guaranteed, can it? Now when I think positive I also think happy, so have ruled that out too.
Change. My word for 2012. I need to change everything about what I became this year. I need to be happy. But I also need to be organised, positive, healthy and ME! I lost my way, and sad as it is, because I lost my way I think DH and DS1 have lost theirs too. So I'm going to cut the word out in vinyl and put it on the wall in the kitchen so we'll all see it whenever we go in there.
I have some ideas where I'm going but need to formulate a proper plan because I want change for the whole family. And it also needs to be Baby Steps, because change can't be an overnight thing, can it?

Some things I have no control over. Work; I have little control over this - it is what it is, but I can change my attitude and try to make it a bit more interesting. DVLA; no control what-so-ever! They will send R's licence back, with or without the Class 1, in their own time and make their own decision about his eligibility. What we can do is keep looking for 7.5 tonne permanent jobs, and investigate other things that R could do. Home; is what I can change. Little steps to cleaning, tidying and organising, clearing clutter, etc. Making it a happier place to come home to after work. DS1 - I need to help him look for work that will fit in with his college. DS2 - I'm hoping he will come home from visiting his GF in the States with a better frame of mind, and I can help him with some voluntary work which could lead to paid employment or even going to college to get A levels so he can look seriously at University.

Watch this space! Feel free to give advice. Wish us all the best for 2012. And anyone willing to pop by tonight and see in the New Year for us because we are all crap at it..... :-D

Happy New Year to you all. I sincerely hope 2012 is all you want it to be.

Speak soon. Jude.x

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

St Pancras Christmas Tree

It's made of S'Lego!!!! How cool is that? I've not seen it in the flesh, so to speak (should that be in the plastic, I wonder?) but two friends have and are more than impressed...... I googled it so forgive the link
but it's so worth it. I'm hoping to get either DD or DS2 to go and get some photos for me.
If you can go and see it I'm certain it would be worthwhile. I'll see if I can attach one of the photo's from the same website........

Photo from the Demotix website and taken by Craig Shepheard.


Do go and look if you are anywhere near London over the next few weeks. I think the lights are going to be switched on on Thursday 24th Novemeber.

Speak soon. Jude.x

Friday, 11 November 2011

We will Remember

Why do I wear a poppy? I’ll tell you if I may,
Because I believe remembrance is... not only for one day.
I wear it for the fallen, and for those falling still
For those who come back broken in body or in will.
For the parents, spouses, siblings where bereavement takes its toll.
Whose pain will never leave them, it eats into their soul

For the wino on the corner, of his old...life nothing’s left.
Now he wishes when in battle he had died a hero’s death.
For the lad who loved a kick-about in the park with all his mates,
But now his legs are held together with pins and metal plates

For the selfless men and women whose final journey home
Is in a Union flag-draped coffin on comrades’ shoulders borne.
For all those marching proudly In Remembrance Day parades
My poppy’s worn in gratitude for the sacrifice they made.


























We will remember them. 

xxx

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Crafts and weekend break

Hello.
At last I crafted! :-D Friend was going to be helping out at a Halloween event. He was dressing up as an undertaker, so I thought he'd need a coffin! I cut this on the Cricut, using an SVG made by the very talented Bird. Here is the Link to her site. Check out the rest of her stuff though. I do have a go at my own SVG's but Bird is very talented and has some great ideas, that I will look at properly and use, soon. These coffins were really easy to make up after the Cricut had cut them out. Bird had even added fold lines so you don't have to guess.
Here are the photo's. Sorry about the colour - taken in the morning with bad light because of the rain.



















We managed to get away last weekend. In the caravan, just North of York. I can really recommend using the Park & Ride. I'd have hated driving into the city and trying to find somewhere to park. The journey on the bus took about 20 minutes, so comparable to our local service from the village into town. In York it cost us £2.30 each. At home the journey is now £3.50!
We went to the Railway Museum. Sorry! But there it is! I love steam trains. And the older diesel/electrics did seem to have something about them. Especially when I found one that I'm sure must have been running on the line which, when we were little, we used to stand on a bridge and wave to the driver and guard.... and call them very rude (well, rude for 7 and 8 year olds at the time) names if they didn't wave back! :-D
This steam train was built at the works in the town we used to live in.
 This is the left side - do they have terms, like boating, with trains? You know - Port and Starboard? No idea! Anyway, this is still the left side of the train. lol. (Photo's of trains were taken by R not me by the way.)
And the right hand side has been cut away, so that you can see all the workings; how the water is heated to produce the steam, to make the train run. See. I knew all that (Dad and two brothers - what did you expect?), but to see it like this is amazing.

Spent most of the day here. Aching feet and a need to eat took us into town to find a meal, supermarket and bus back to the Car/Park & Ride.
Following day we went back because I wanted to go to the Minster. Didn't realise it was going to cost that much to get in though, so I didn't.



I knew R wouldn't want to go in anyway, so it would have only been me, but this was supposed to be a cheap weekend away. I did go inside and have a look around the entrance area. I was also disappointed that I couldn't just go and find a place to sit quietly.
I haven't been here since I was very little either. We were surprised at it's size and location. We used to live near to Winchester Cathedral, and years ago not far from Salisbury and it's Cathedral. They both have grassed areas around them, where you can sit and picnic, or whatever. York just has paving and seemed very close to the shops. Winchester and Salisbury Cathedrals both seemed to be bigger too? Maybe it's just my memory playing tricks? Anyway. It is still a beautiful building regardless.
It was nice to get away in the caravan and just relax away from everything, for a few days - dogs, kids and stress! :-D
Found a Paperchase in York too! Bonus!!! Treated myself to a diary and a journal for my birthday. Then shopping in Asda I found some leather look journals and bought a couple. Tonight someone on UKScrappers mentioned "Wreck a Journal". I have so got to have a try at that. Don't want an original one because no way could I splatter food into any book, or take it into the shower, but when I googled it there are other ideas out there, so one of the Asda journals is going to (hopefully) become a Wreck.... Watch this space.....
Have the rest of the week off work now so hoping to relax and play at crafts; and maybe wreck a journal. :-)
Speak soon. Thanks for reading this far.
Jude.x

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Good times at last?

The good news is that R's work has been constant. :-D He's been doing silly hours (3am starts silly!) but he's loving it...... Barmy, but there you go! I checked up today and it's been one year and one week since he got paid from his last job, so we've spent exactly one year trying to survive on just my wage. Phew! It's been hard, but we made it!
I did make the mistake of going shopping today. lol. "Please don't make me go shopping on a Saturday! You won't like me when I get angry". Yup! I apparently got a bit aggressive because I was queuing at the Paper/Tobacco/Lottery tills and one girl was trying to run three tills, with more than a dozen people not knowing which till to queue at. I got bored of waiting but as we were leaving there were 7 members of staff stood around the main tills. (I'd gone straight through the main till - there were no queues at those tills!) so I felt obliged to say something.... DS1 wandered off and pretended he didn't know me..... hehehe!
The other good news is that R has sent off his licence for his HGV, so that could be back soon. It might not - he could have to go back to the Consultant to get his Blood Glucose readings confirmed; but after 8 years without it we can at least see the light at the end of that very long tunnel. Common sense finally happens in the UK!
DS2 is very happy too because it looks like it's all systems go for him to go out to Los Angeles for Christmas to see the "lovely American Daughter". If R's licence comes back in the next couple of weeks we could even afford to help with getting his ticket earlier and he could be out for Thanksgiving too.
And of course a list of crafting goodies for him to get while he's out there. Now do I need a "Smash" book or not? Or maybe two? I think I need to watch some of the video's out there before I decide if I need any at all? :-) I think the new Project Life will be on the list - I've had the idea that my genealogy stuff could work with Project Life.
I am feeling a need to really get back into crafting - at long last. I thought crafting was what helped me stay happy, whereas what has happened is that I've discovered I need to be happy to craft. Odd. I can't say that the depression has gone, but it is certainly easing. So who knows what I'll manage tomorrow and Monday?

Finally some photo's: First three are the new lock gates going in.  £20,000 worth! Another set is needed further up the canal really, but one set at a time. These are for the lock where the canal trust have their new base, so a bit of PR here I think?
Here are the one's that were taken out:



The top gate is in. The guys are just making final adjustments before they unhook it from the crane...... If the hinges aren't connected properly you're not just going to be able to get in the lock chamber and lift this thing back into place. :-)


The bottom gates in place:


And finally, along with the rest of the country we've been enjoying the late summer heat wave. Or not enjoying in my case (I hate heat and sun; the early morning temperatures were plenty enough for me). I took this first photo at about 7am, and the temperature was already over 16 degrees C (61F) by the time I'd finished work this particular day it had reached well over 30 degrees in our sheltered little spot on the canal.

But the advantage of the weather is that the insects seem to have had a second chance and the result is this next photo.... getting good at this now! :-D


It is raining at last. Very little, in this area at least, this year. The boat crew had to cancel the trips last week, and when we told people it was because of lack of rain they look at you as though you've been living in the Sahara desert for the last 6 months. Seriously - we've had very little rain this year. Sad as I am, after 9 years of working alongside the canal I've started to judge the amount of rain we get by the water levels in the canal. Haha!
Any more good news? Oh, yes! I've just booked up for us to go away in the caravan in a couple of weeks. Not the site I would have liked (CAN anyone tell me how to get a booking for the CC Rowntree site?) but not too far out of York. Not been there for years, it's going to be my birthday weekend, so I thought - what the heck, I really need a holiday, even if it's only a long weekend. So I booked. Need more practice with the manual camera settings before I go though.
Well that's it for now. Wish me luck with the crafting. If I manage to actually do anything I'll post again soon.
Thanks for dropping by - especially if you managed to get this far........ :-) Speak soon.
J.x

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Job news!

He has a job! A temporary agency job, but a job! It's an on-going contract, starts at 4.30 (with a half hour drive first) but we're now hoping this will see us through until the DVLA know how to re-issue his HGV licence. The money isn't brilliant compared to what he used to earn - barely above the legal minimum, but it's more than he's been getting in JSA (erm, nothing!) so result. At last! Such a relief. :-D *BIG cheesy grin* In fact HUGE cheesy grin. So why am I not jumping for joy too? Relief at something does very strange things to your mind/stomach, doesn't it?
Off shopping now to get him some boots, clothes and lunches.
Speak soon.
xxxx

ETA: Except that "on-going contract" doesn't really mean on-going.... :-( What it does mean is that the agency has an on-going contract to supply drivers when the company need them; and that the need can change, not on a weekly or even daily basis, but seemingly hourly! Ah well. R did a days work. He said it was hard (after a year of not going out to work) but that he enjoyed it. The agency called about 6.45 pm to say the company wanted him back. They then called about 9.00pm to say it was cancelled! It now seems that the agency called at 4.45am - to say they wanted him after all maybe? Who knows! We didn't hear the phone. xx

Friday, 23 September 2011

I lurve Autumn

No photo's, no long rambling speeches. Just saying! :-D
xx

Monday, 19 September 2011

Playing with camera settings

I've been reading Shimelle's camera school and finally taken my camera settings out of Automatic. It's a bridge Fuji 2750 that was bought for DH but that I've "stolen" because of the scratch on my camera lens. I'm loving it...

Here's what I took over the weekend:

First is the by-wash on the canal. The moving water has always stumped me and been out of focus. The settings on this were ISO 100 and aperture set at 9.00.

And then this one. The settings were at ISO 400, aperture 4.8

I'm so pleased with this. Once I really get used to using the settings I hoping it will look even better.
And then these:
The settings here were: ISO 64 and aperture 3.1
Then this one which is too dark (there was one that I couldn't even see the flower........ ISO was 100 and aperture was 6.4.

And finally this one where the aim was to get the raindrop in focus and the background out of focus - almost achieved! :-D The closest I've ever got so I'm delighted with this - wonder how far I can enlarge this? The settings were: ISO 64 and aperture 3.1 which, as I'm sure you've noticed, are the same as the first one and I think my other problem is that my hands have a tendency to shake when I'm taking photos, if I have nothing to rest on. I don't know what the answer is. I've thought, obviously, about a tripod, but don't want to have to cart one around with me everywhere; although you can get smaller ones I don't think I'd get some of the spontaneous photos if I had to set up a tripod first. I do try to tuck my elbows in to my body and it does seem to help a little. I know I have a long way to go yet, but do feel that I am finally getting there. It's odd because when we used a film SLR camera I had no problems!
I've taken a fair number of photos this week and beginning to feel like I need to scrap some of these, so who knows! I may even have some crafting to share next week!
I've been feeling more positive the last few days. Nothing in particular has changed, so I don't know what's happened to me, but I'm trying to find something positive in every day. Even if it's something as simple as a visitor thanking me - it's positive, isn't it? It's a good thing? It's not life changing on it's own, but added together over the week it can only be good?
Thanks for dropping by. Please feel free to leave a comment?
Speak soon. Jude.x

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Just sharing a couple of photographs

Morning
Really need to be upstairs getting ready for work, but wanted to share these photos with you. After months of hardly any rain, in what is supposedly the coldest summer since 1993, although I remember quite a few days where it's been so hot when I got in the car I've had to open all the windows and wait for the car to cool down before I could bear to drive home, we finally had rain. This is memorable because the canal was getting very short of water; not helped by kids opening the paddles on the lock gates and emptying both the Tapton pound and the following week, doing the same at the Bluebank pound! We have them on CCTV, the EA told police they committed some offence or other, but we still don't hold out any hope of them ever being caught! :-(
Anyway! Here's a photo from the day after a whole night of heavy rain. There had been nothing over this by-wash for about three weeks, so we were almost jumping for joy at this sight!

And then on Tuesday night DS2 came down wanting the camera.. He went outside and took this photo. I was almost expecting Will Smith to come walking down the road dragging an alien in a parachute! Look at that cloud. Doesn't it remind you of "Independence Day" just before the alien space ship appears from the cloud? LOL Wishful thinking maybe? :-D Unfortunately yesterdays weather didn't bear out the old saying "Red sky at night....." Yesterday was very dull and overcast!
Anyway. Must go and get ready for work. Thanks for looking. Speak soon
Jude.x

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Bank Holiday Weekend Waffle!

First Bank Holiday Weekend this year that I haven't worked. Could have really done with the overtime I'd have got, but if I'd had to go in the bathroom once more I think I might have slit my wrists.... not that the blood would have been noticeable or anyone would have found me for months! :-) It was baaaaaad! Why do (MY) men not see the dirt? It's taken me most of the day - although admittedly I have stopped for 3 cups of tea - I needed a break! The floor area of this bathroom, by the way, is about 5' x 5'............... :o
I have a chicken in the oven for tea. Not decided yet what to do once it's cooked. R will probably be happy with chicken and chips, as will DS1. DS2 will be happy with pasta, sauce and chuck some chicken in it. Me? Actually I fancy rice - fed up of potatoes, and certainly chips; sometimes I think that's all R can cook! :-(  I could do a Roux sauce and throw the chicken in that. R would eat that with chips or mash. But we are getting into the realms of a bloomin' hotel restaurant again.
I've been doing some more on my family tree. Getting stuck now. I really need to get some certificates to get any further. One family seems to have appeared out of nowhere in the early 1840's! No births or marriage for the parents. Maybe they weren't married? Or married to other people? If I could afford the certificate for my GGgrandmother I'd find her mothers maiden name and hopefully that would give me a clue to follow.
R had an interview last week, for a driving job. I'm a bit annoyed as the employer interviewed everyone who applied based on ...."If people take the trouble to apply the least I can do is meet them" Unfortunately the same principle doesn't apply to letting people know they haven't got the job. Financially we really needed it, but as it was based over an hours drive, on the motorbike, away from here I'm a bit relieved. We're still waiting to hear what the system is going to be for R to get his Class 1 back, but are hopeful it's going to be soon.
The rain we have been needing for the canal finally arrived this week. We had got to the point that the Trip boat cancelled their last two trips last week, but everything seems to be fine again. And yet some people at work are now complaining that there is too much; as it's the same person who blamed me for letting a boat use the canal I've decided to just ignore him as much as possible. I could complain for England, but he would still beat me; he'd complain for the world and win gold - and get told how clever he was to win! :-p

And a couple of photos. We've had this little fella a year now. Look how he's changed!

In the first photo he's 2 months old, in the second he's a year old. His personality hasn't changed at all. Still as mad now as he was then. He's not grown very much as you can see. He is so like a dog we had a few years ago; like a miniature version except that Max was mostly brown with a bit of Alphies ginger colouring. Just like Max, Alphie can jump about five times his height, from the floor using all four legs straight up, flops on the floor on his side and uses his legs to push himself round the rug; chases cats (although Alph hasn't climbed a 6 foot fence yet) and protects us and "rounds us up" when we go out for a walk.
Thanks for popping by. Speak soon. Jude.x

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Crafting..

Morning! And what a beautiful one it is too! The sun is shining; there are wispy clouds in the sky; but I have to work today! :-( Lets hope we don't get 'orrible kids in today who run riot while "mummies" sit outside drinking tea and gossiping! :o Kids were touching everything in the VC, standing by the customer counter passing their hand over the reflector to add up the numbers (well, I would have let two or three go, but I reckon they added 50 between them before I saw and stopped them - it's our justification for being there, and false numbers doesn't help because it reduces the "spend per customer"!) then I saw that they were hanging onto each other while they tried to reach the water in the canal! Was it so wrong of me to hope that one of them fell in?!!
Anyway! Enough. Had a fairly good week for a change. We had an art event and made our own version of a Well Dressing; Google if you don't know about Well Dressings; they are special to Derbyshire! We used clay, but tissue paper instead of flower petals. A colleague was running the event but I drew the pattern for her. It's a boat on the canal, and I think the kids got carried away with grass and flowers but we are really pleased with how well it turned out. See for yourself:


And then I was asked to make a card. For a young lady who likes ACDC, Queen and works in a perfume shop! Blimey! That wasn't easy. But the guy I made it for seemed pleased enough with it.

The album covers were downloaded from the internet. The figure is a free "Litle Musings" by SJ, a while back. Click the word Musings to go to her website. I love her stuff, and once R is working again will be buying lots of her digital images. The figure was purple originally, but I think my printer must be out of an ink - probably blue - and it came out this deep pink. I was going to bin and start again, but realised that it would go perfectly with this colour card, and the album covers I'd printed. So happy mistake. But must remember to go and check those ink cartridges before I try to print anything else.

The other good news is that R has had an interview this week! Yay! In many ways I hope he doesn't get the job! Yes, I know he's been out of work for 9 months now, but we aren't costing the country anything because he no longer gets JSA. But it would mean a journey of an hour each way every day. That's on the bike, if he took the car (when the weather is bad I sometimes get the bus and he uses the car) it could be upwards of an hour and a half. The shifts are weird too - one week it seems he'd work 4 days, then the next two weeks 6 days and then..... well! I'd lost it by then and have no idea. I do know that it'd work out we only had a weekend together about every 6 or 8 weeks, with me doing alternate weekends. But. It's a job. With his Class 1 licence imminent I do think maybe we'd be better just hanging it out for another 6 weeks. A Class 1 job would be much better for him (he gets back problems). And more likely to find something closer to home too. I think he'll take it if it's offered though.... he's a useless housewife! :-)
Need to go and get ready for work. Speak soon.
Jude.x

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Back again!

Hi there.
Thanks to everyone who pops by to see what I've been up to. It's rarely anything very exciting is it. But it's how my life is at the moment, and I am beginning to think that it's just a temporary blip in the grand scheme of things. I actually managed to drag myself, and R out of the house today. It was the "Official Grand Opening" of the canal trust's new building - very much "how good are we", but hey! Why not? There were the usual long boring speeches that no-one could hear, and probably wouldn't have listened to if they could - some people could 'drone' for England and win Gold... :-D We also have a bit of a wander along the canal, and it turned out to be a lovely way to spend a couple of hours on a Saturday morning.
Some photos to share again - taken with R's camera because of the scratch on mine. I just don't know what to do - I feel so bad that I didn't look after mine properly and now I can't use it. :-(
So here we go. Some of these will be in the August pages in my diary (which I've shown before and is similar to the Smash! books that are all the rage just now), just haven't decided which ones yet. Which are your favourites?

Here's Alphie playing at parrots - sat on R's shoulder! :-)


And Florence who used to do the same during thunder storms and now acts like a disapproving elderly Aunt - definitely not amused!



 My garden. I couldn't even begin to show photo's of the whole garden this year - as friends will know, it's been a bad year emotionally, and it's the garden that has really suffered. But every now and again I look out of the door and see things like these, which prompt me to get out and do a little bit - even if it's only 10 minutes.
This is a Patio Rose, and one of the first plants I bought when we moved here. Isn't it pretty?

And R took this photo. The "boys" didn't know what it was, or that the "eyes" aren't actually eyes, but marking to scare off predators. It's an Elephant Hawk Moth Caterpillar. Isn't it magnificent? Go and Google the Moth too.

And Then... a baby Ladybird. Honest. This ugly little thing turns into a Ladybird..... Amazing! Not sure if it'll be clearer if you double click because I always reduce (pixel-wise) my photos to discourage them from being stolen. It's there roughly middle of the photo, just to the left of the leaf, on a little piece of wood.



And then the opening. Sad.... I know who everyone is in this photo. Guys in Purple are my colleagues - and one of the bosses in the Khaki, wearing sunglasses, at the back. Then there are boat crew, local councillors, Trust members and the mayors driver! LOL



This is where we went for a walk. R not very well so we didn't go far - probably only about a mile, but it was nice to get out because I wanted to not because I had to for work.
It doesn't look it, but the canal towpath is actually very busy - I think I got lucky when I took this.

That's it for now. Thanks for looking. Back soon. Jude.x


Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Updates

Hello
Thanks for dropping by. Busy time at work and still not crafted, but I'm feeling more positive recently! :-) R's licence is back, with the 7.5 tonne category, You'd think that would be good news, but it seems that every job is through an agency and "has just been filled"!!! However we have appealed to our MP to help with the quest to get his Class 1 back, and he (or his secretary anyway!) has written to the Director at the DVLA. It's been 3 weeks and still no news, but Hey! we didn't really expect them to help; but no doubt they will expect our vote come the next election? You get R's licence back soon and I'll vote for you chum - even if I thought you were the devil in a suit  Oh! Hang on..... You're an MP; you ARE a devil in a suit:-D
Anyway, I was 'surfing' the other night and came across something that DID bring a smile to my face. It was a recording on the BBC from Westminster Hall, and a debate about Drivers and Diabetes. An MP was asking a question about one of his constituents (so where was OUR MP? Huh? Where the heck were you when this debate was taking place? You really HAD better have been doing something more important.) and the Minister of Transport said that this guy would be able to get his HGV1 back in October...........  October. That's only 2 months. If we can just manage for another 2 months we'll be OK. Not sure we can manage, but I'll have a bloody good try.
Anyway. Other things... First something that makes me smile every morning when I fill the kettle:
No explanation needed... I can almost smell these as I'm writing! :-)
The next thing is the canal. A marina is being built and the canal restored up to it. A volunteer group spent 2 weeks building the new lock that will be beyond the marina. So here are the photos from a couple of weeks ago:
This is the North end of the new lock . Nowhere near finished of course, but we're all pretty excited that it's got this far. Only 6 months ago it seemed it was never going to happen.
This will be the bridge over the canal, just after the lock, and then around the edge of the marina.

































And then the canal where it's already extended and in water:




Here I go again with reflections! :-) But isn't it lovely? Look at all that water! Not long before there are boats on there... We're hoping for a Festival round here, next Summer so "the heat is on" to get it finished..
This is the next section along, which the Canal Trust work party are currently working every day to try and get finished by the time the marina is ready to "be watered". It hasn't helped that a couple of weeks ago someone broke through 2 gates, which had chains and padlocks, past a dozen houses down a VERY narrow road (don't tell me they heard nothing!) drove 250 yards alongside the canal (after it had been raining) in what must had been 2 fairly large vehicles and stole £3000 worth of coping stones that would have formed the top edge of the canal wall. Toe-rags. Thieving Toe-rags. You can just see them piled up on the left of the photo below the container. The thieves came in from behind the container.

To the right of this photo is an area that has become a lovely nature area - there is some hope that it can remain once the canal is finished and the by-pass completed.

Do you see the ducks? Mallards and coot on here. Definitely some May-fly and I've been told sightings of grass snake, so already a lovely wildlife area.
So moving along nicely. It'll be another half mile of restored canal by the time it's completed at the end of the year.

As you can see though, the camera lens IS quite badly scratched. Any ideas for how to fix? I know I'm going to have to have a new camera eventually but am not going to be able to afford it for a while. AND the children bought this so if there is a quick, easy and cheap way to continue using this one???? Please?

I'm still reading other peoples crafting blogs and have seen stuff recently that's got me thinking about doing some scrapbooking again. I just need to tidy up my craft area, that seems to have more junk belonging to others in the house, than my craft stuff...... Anyway, will post it if I do it!
Thanks for stopping by. Speak soon.
Jude.x

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Hello.... it's been a while!

Some photos of what we've been doing! First of all... I MADE A CARD!!!! One of my colleagues has just had a little girl (well, his wife obviously...) so I made this for all of us to sign and give to him:

The image is from the Pink Gem website. Janet sometimes does free images and this one was perfect for the card, so many thanks to Janet for sharing her talent. Just hope Richard and Toni like it.






The lovely Stephanie was going home at the beginning of June and I wanted to show her MY Derbyshire. Born and brought up in the north west of Derbyshire Longshaw and Ladybower were the obvious places to take her. My big bruvv had just started working for the National Trust and was at Longshaw on the day we went, so we spent a few hours with him there. This is the view from his workplace.... A couple of days later we went off to Derwent  and Ladybower Dams and this photo must have been taken in roughly the same place as the one in the previous post of me with my lovely Dad.



And then this one is looking from the car park down the reservoir towards the Ashopton bridge.


Finally I couldn't go and not show you this photo of Alphie.....

 When he's having his tea we put him in here, so that he doesn't eat Florence's tea as well - she's getting on, bless her, and doesn't eat as fast as he does. Because it has been so warm, the board we'd normally use to keep him in, was at the back door, so Matt found this little piece of off-cut worktop. Alphie could step over it. He could probably get between it and the door frame, but he stands there crying because he can't get out! Cruel, but funny!! It won't be long before he has it "sussed" out so we're making the most of it! :-D
You can't see it in these photo's, except maybe the Longshaw one,  but I've scratched the lens on my lovely camera.... I know it often costs more to replace the lens than buy a new camera, but my lovely children clubbed together to buy this for me - it's a bridge camera, so not a cheap point and shoot. Anyone have any ideas please? I love it. Don't want to replace it, and feel very, very guilty because I always keep it in a little bag and have no idea how it got scratched....... Help?
O.K. Time to go and get ready for work. Speak soon. (And when I say speak soon, I am talking in the "grand scheme of things") :-) Thanks for reading. Jude.x

Friday, 17 June 2011

Fathers Day


Following on from and idea on Facebook, I am posting a photo of me and my lovely Dad. I only have a couple with the two of us and this is my favourite. I (obviously) don't remember this being taken, but do know that that is the Derwent Dam in the background. Hasn't changed much; was there last week, must get the photos off my camera and post them so that you can see! Oh! Except that now you couldn't get a car on that grass.






Happy Fathers Day for the 19th, to all the Dad's out there. Dad I still miss you after all these years. Love you. xxx

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Dear Blog..............

I'm totally rubbish at updating you, aren't I? No idea why you are still speaking to me - you must feel soooo neglected? Sorry I've not been by to see you, but I've been so busy. And not with crafting either.... I've worked every Bank Holiday since Easter, had visits from, and made visits to, some lovely friends and family. The lovely American daughter is coming to the end of her visit and is still speaking to us all, so we can't be that bad. "The" licence and all the relevant medical forms are now with the DVLA to make their decision; nothing more we can do now, except wait and see if they think he should have his LGV back, a 7.5 tonne or neither... If it's neither it's going to be a bit of a disaster after all the effort put into jumping through their hoops, and research into how to appeal to the European courts. Fingers crossed it all works out. If he gets his LGV, this months overtime (mine) is going on a spending spree - with me - not spent anything on myself since last September, so it's gonna be mine; all mine! mwhahahahaaaa... Card and papers, and card, and paper, and paper, and..... you get the idea? :-D
Anyway; Speak soon.
Jude.x

Monday, 25 April 2011

I've done it at last.......

........made a scrap page, that is! :-)
Following the advice of Rachel to have a clear out and look for some page maps, I had a tidy up and then trawled through some of my favourite crafters blogs. As soon as I saw the one on Shimelle's blog I knew I wanted to use the sketch. Well..... my take on it!!!
And lets face it - it's not my best page; it's not the best photo - either of Philip and Steff or of the scrap page; it's not the best "take" on a sketch. BUT I SCRAPPED! And I am beginning to feel more positive about doing some more now. I'm not going to look closely at the page (for now) and analyse it because I know things aren't straight, the letters aren't perfect, etc. etc. I am just happy that I have finally got here.
What? You want to see what? Oh! The page? Here it is:


Aren't they sweet? They call each other "Honey", hence the title.

Oh! And they were just about to start making a cheesecake (the most deeeeeelicious cheesecake you could EVER imagine eating) because Philip's Godmother was coming to visit for the day. Been trying to wrestle the recipe out of Steff, but she's a bit coy about sharing. Might have to hide her suitcase, so she can't go home, until she does share. :-)

Thanks for reading.
Back soon. xx

Monday, 18 April 2011

At last!!!

At last I've finally done some crafting - nothing spectacular, but it's a start..... Thanks to the lovely Rachel at "Rewarding Memories" for your comment on my last post. She suggested that I have a good clear-out, which I did; I rediscovered my Project Life journalling cards,  pulled out this years diary, printed off some photo's and this is the result:









I'd put pockets in the diary (I made it because I couldn't find one I liked!) for notes and stuff and the Project Life journalling cards fit, the photo's I just cut down a little bit to fit into the pockets. So, like I said, not strictly crafting as I'd define it, but it is a start. I've found a sketch for a scrap page that I quite fancy having a go at too - just have to decide which photo to use. So thank you so much Rachel - it was the clear out wot dun it!

And now a (rhetorical) question..... How long does it take the DVLA to process a driving licence? In Rodge's case, so far, 6 months, 1 week and 3 days...... so far...... Well, to be fair, it was back in his possession for 2 days in that time. How am I so sure about the length of time? Because 1 week and 3 days ago his JSA stopped. Apparently I am earning and am supposed to keep him now (and the 2 adult sons too apparently) Wish someone would tell me how! 
The licence went off for it's 3 year medical update on the day he was "laid off". It came back briefly sometime in January with a medical form that needed to be completed if he wanted to apply to get his HGV1 back (insulin dependant diabetics now get them back on mainland Europe just by applying) and they will then "consider his case". Now why they couldn't have told us that 6 months, 1 week and 3 days ago when he called and asked............ 
He is unemployed because the DVLA are, apparently, short-staffed. How ironic is that? But even worse, in all that time, all the times he has called, only ONE person has cared and tried to speed the process up! Oh! And I'm sure you know that without physical sight of a driving licence, an employer is no longer allowed to employ you. (He has worn vertebrae so is restricted in the work he can do) 
Please keep your fingers crossed that the licence turns up soon, with the HGV entitlement returned to him - he's rubbish at housework and I'm fed up with chips for tea.... :-)
Back soon with some real crafting. Thanks for reading this far. And if you work at the DVLA in the medical section - pleeeeeeeeease send his licence back with his HGV SOON... lol
Jude.xx




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