Monday, 30 September 2013

September Happiness

Five things which have made me smile this month...

 
1. Finally, after 3 hours and 20 minutes of hanging around, getting into The Greatest Dog Show on Earth exhibition to see all 81 Gromits.
 
Gromit Unleashed exhibition


 
2. Getting a free ride on a fun house at Bridgwater Fair and taking my brother very slowly round - he certainly had his money's worth!

Fun House at Bridgwater Fair


 
3. Meeting up with my Uni friends again at Aberystwyth for the second study school of my degree - lots of drinking, a bit of studying and lots and lots of laughs.

Old College, Aberystwyth


 
4. An impromtu firework display (courtesy of the local country club) at the end of the golden wedding anniversary steam party.

Fireworks


 
5. A simple bag of chips and cup of tea shared with Andrew at a lovely viewpoint overlooking Bristol.

Tea and chips overlooking Bristol
 

 
What little things have made you happy this month?
 

This Weekend at the Duckpond

We have mostly been...


Visiting - Bridgwater Fair, a historic charter fairground which can trace its roots back to 1200 AD when a Royal Charter was granted to the town by King John. The first fair was actually held in 1249, although it looked a little bit different back then!
My parents met up with Andrew's parents for dinner and a look round the stalls, and I took my brother on several rides.

Bridgwater Fair




Building - a cupboard to house our boiler in the bedroom we're redecorating.

Cupboard housing boiler




Choosing - wallpaper for the bedroom. Take a look at yesterdays post to see what we choosing from...

Bird print wallpaper
Source: Ebay



Staying Up Late - I don't usually like featuring negativity on here but after we'd visited the fair on Friday night, some mindless idiot decided to vandalise 3 out of the 4 cars left in the car park. Thankfully our car was the one that didn't get touched but my dad's car had its windscreen smashed and all of us ended up staying up til 3am whilst trying to sort out insurance, recovery and deal with the police.
Even more thankfully, the car park had incredibly good CCTV and the local police force picked up the teenage yoof who'd done it early on Saturday morning.
By the time you read this he'll have already been in court!

Car with smashed windscreen

 

What did you get up to at the weekend?
Hope your Friday evening ended better than mine!
 

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Wallpaper Design - What to Choose?

We're renovating one of our bedrooms at the moment (you might have seen some of the demolition from my 'duckpond' posts) and the main part I'm playing in all this is choosing the wallpaper and paint for the room.

When we moved in 4 years ago, we'd bookmarked the room as a future nursery but as there's now a chance that won't happen (see here for an explanation) we decided to decorate it with what we want but also try and keep it fairly easy to change or adapt if we do ever need it as a nursery.

Havign browsed Pinterest, house magazines and lots of websites it seems pretty obvious that I'm drawn to blues and greens, and I also quite fancy things with bird print.

These are a few of our faves...
 
Wallpaper
 
1. Bird Wallpaper - Wilkinsons (£8.50)
2. Riviera Teal Floral Wallpaper - The Range (£9.99)
3. Birds of a Feather Wallpaper - Lancashire Wallpapers (£10.99)
4. Vintage Lace Dove Grey Wallpaper - The Range (£9.99)
5. Teal Bird Wallpaper - Next (£15)
 
 
 
And I also like this...
 
UK Bus Tour Wallpaper
UK Bus Tour Wallpaper from UK Wallpaper (£6.99)
 
But I have no idea where it would go in our house!
 
 
 
Eventually we've settled on this blue and green bird print paper for one wall...
 
Bird Wallpaper
Eden Bird Wallpaper from I Love Wallpaper (£8.98)
 
 
With a soft blue paint on the other three walls...
 
Blue Paint
Summer Tide Emulsion from Wilkinsons
 
 
 
We just need to buy everything and get on and do it now!
 
 

Saturday, 28 September 2013

A Vintage Home From Home

You all probably know by now that Andrew has a vintage lorry - a 1952 diesel Scammell lorry which used to belong to a fairground showman called Joseph Heal from Bristol. Back then it would've towed several trailers (similar to the one below) containing bits of fairground rides and also a showmans caravan.

Scammell and Box Truck
Source (left): National Fairground Archive
Source (right): My lovely sister-in-law
 

Now you might be able to see where this is going; we have the lorry but not the caravan. When we take the lorry to steam rallies we have to share a modern caravan with Andrew's mum and dad.
They're lovely people, but, well, it's just not the same as having your own space.

I would really really like a vintage caravan of some sort, even a shepherds hut would be okay, but for the moment (until we do some work on our garden and driveway) we haven't really got the space for anything.

Carters Steam Fair Caravans
Source: all my own pictures, taken at Carters Steam Fair in Victoria Park, Bath

 

I'll just have to be content with browsing and lusting after caravans and interiors on Pinterest!
 

Vintage Caravans
 Source: Mitchell and Dent

Vintage Caravans
 Source (top): Old Classic Car Forum
Source (bottom): Snail Trail

Vintage Caravans
 Source: Trade Me

Vintage Caravans
 Source: Vintage Festival

Mechanics Magazine
 Source: All Posters


Ha, if only!
 
 

Friday, 27 September 2013

The Bloggers Summer Swap

Back in July I signed up for the lovely Rhiannon's Bloggers Summer Swap. Rhiannon blogs over at The Sparkly Panda (go check out her blog, she covers all sorts of fab things!) and thought a summer-themed swap would be a good idea to keep the sunshine-y feeling lasting that little bit longer into September.
 
We were all instructed to aim to post our packages in the first week of September and mine popped onto my doorstep midweek.
 
 
It was a brilliant DIY bunting kit from Hannah over at Dainty and Ivory and she'd included some lovely little bits like 'handmade' labels and a dolphin wind chime.
 
Bloggers Summer Swap
 
 
She'd spotted on my '32 Before 32' list that I wanted to make some bunting for my conservatory and thought that would do nicely - and she's completely right! :-) I'm looking forward to putting together my bunting over the winter and then I can hang it up ready for Spring and Summer next year.
 
 
 
I was paired with Georgina from Working Welsh and my package to her was a bright and cheerful box of summer sunshine. I scouted around for yellow items that would travel easily and eventually ended up with:
Pantone Yellow Mug, Tea Towel (used for wrapping the gifts), Maryland Cookies, Mr Kipling Lemon Slices, Wispa Gold Chocolate Bar, Caramel Highlights Sachet, Narcissi Bulbs, Hair Clips, Carmex Lip Salve, Toblerone, Jelly Tots, Tunnocks Tea Cakes, Quavers, Original Source Shower Gel and an Ice Cream-shaped Ice Cream Scoop.
 
Phew!
It sounds like a lot but I just kept finding little things to include and in the end I didn't know what to leave out so I just used it all.
 
Bloggers Summer Swap
 

I wrapped it up and decorated the box with ribbons and bows, making sure to include a little card saying 'hello!'
 
Bloggers Summer Swap
 
Bloggers Summer Swap
 
 
I really enjoyed taking part in the Summer Swap and I think Rhiannon is planning on doing a Winter themed swap later in the year. Might be worth keeping your eyes peeled over on her blog if you fancy taking part!
 
 

Thursday, 26 September 2013

All Done Pooch

I assure you, this really is the very last Gromit Unleashed blog post!
 
Our nation's faithful pooch has featured rather a lot over the last few months but this is the last round up - the one where we finally managed to bag Gromit number 80, simply titled 'Gromit'.
 
Gromit Unleashed

Gromit Unleashed
 
 
 
The Greatest Dog Show on Earth exhibition also had a selection of 'New Breeds' on display - smaller Gromit statues which I don't think anyone had seen before, decorated with themes such as Blackpool, London, one which I think was to do with cycle paths and one which was a beach scene. I managed to get a mug shot of all of them (albeit some at funny angles) and my favourite 'New Breed' was the one decrated with colourful beach huts.
 
Gromit Unleashed
 
 
 
I'm not sure what any of the 'New Breed' names were but here they all anyway...
 
Gromit Unleashed Gromit Unleashed
Gromit Unleashed Gromit Unleashed
Gromit Unleashed
 
 
 
 
And here's the sneaky 81st Gromit the organisers sneaked in...
 
Gromit Unleashed

Gromit Unleashed
 
 
He hasn't got a name yet and the Gromit Unleashed organisers are running a Twitter competition to name the woofie. He's decorated with tourist postcards and tourism organisation stickers so I think any holiday-themed ideas would be appropriate - 'Woof You Were Here' anyone?
 
 
 
Plus one last Gromit thing - Yankee Candle sponsored the 'Newfoundland' Gromit and to help raise even more money, they've created a new frangrance and range of candles specially for the Gromit Unleashed campaign. 100% of the revenue is going to the charity for Bristol Children's Hospital - Wallace and Gromit's Grand Appeal which sounds pretty damm good to me. The range is called 'A Child's Wish' and is inspired by the innocence of childhood summers.
It's available to buy from the the Yankee Candle website.
 
 
 
Hope you've enjoyed all my glorious Gromit adventures, the other round ups can be found at:
 
Woof Woof Hooray (13th September)
 
 

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

The Midweek Hop - Bonjour, Ciao, ¡Hola!

The other half's guest post - three songs on a theme...
(inspired by Desmond Carrington's 'The Music Goes Round')
 
 
The legendary 'Wurlitzer 1015' 1946 Jukebox


 
This weeks theme is... Bonjour, Ciao, ¡Hola!
(Hello - French, Hello - Italian, Hello - Spanish)
 
 Inspired by European Day of Languages (tomorrow, September 26th)


I work with hundreds of students from all across the World and the blend of different cultures and languages that I hear daily at work is just fascinating!

Sadly I haven't got the knack for languages (my friend M though, is amazing at languages and pronounciation) - the most I can do is a few different hello's, thank you's and goodbye's!
 
 
1. Quando Quando by The Kessler Sisters


Sung in a number of languages - we think one of them is German, anyone know the rest? 
'Quando Quando' is from around 1962 but other than that, we don't know much about it, whether it was a chart hit (for the sisters) or not. 


2. Tous Les Garcons Et Les Filles by Fran├žoise Hardy


Watch out for the gratuitous legs and stocking shots!
Tous Les Garcons Et Les Filles' entered the chart on 25th b June 1964 reaching Number 36.


3. J'Suis Mordu by Johnny Hallyday


The French version of Elvis, rocking out to Elvis' 'I Got Stung'...
'J'Suis Mordu' was the B-side to 'Souvenirs, Souvenirs' which entered the chart on 3rd June 1960.  



Happy listening!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Freecycle - Yay or Nay?

I've been an avid follower of Freecycle for quite a few years now but for some unknown reason, have never actually got round to either posting something or collecting something. I get the emails, scan the offers, think "ooh we could have that" and then do absolutely nothing.

So at the weekend we posted our very first ever item on our local Freecycle (a curved towel rail which was going spare after changing our bathroom around) but the end result left me feeling a little cold to be honest.

We described it, measured it and even photographed it, and had a reply fairly quickly. The guy came round to collect it this evening but rather than saying "thanks" or "oh, great", the first thing he said was "oh, I thought it electric".

Now this is the advert - and nowhere in it have we mentioned that that the item is heated or electric so I don't really know how he managed to think it was a heated towel rail.
Surely even if the item isn't what you expected, you just say "great thanks"?

Trash Nothing ad
 
 
I'm hoping that not all people on Freecycle are like that and that our bad experience was just an unfortunate one off - but it doesn't really fill you with confidence for listing other things!

Do you use Freecycle? Are people mostly nice or are there some awkward characters out there?

(and apologies for having a bit of a rant, sorry about that)
 

Monday, 23 September 2013

This Weekend at the Duckpond

We have mostly been...

 
Queuing - to see The Greatest Dog Show on Earth exhibition housing all 80 (plus one extra) Gromits from the Bristol's brilliant Gromit Unleashed trail. It took us 3 hours and 20 minutes but it was well worth it.

Gromit Unleashed queue



Studying - well I had to make the most of those 3 hours somehow!

Gromit Unleashed - studying in the queue




Enjoying - all the Gromits, housed together in one big happy kennel.
I did a post about it yesterday (which can be found here)

Gromit Unleashed exhibition

Gromit Unleashed exhibition




Thrifting (and Eating!) - on the way back from Bristol we stopped off at our local "lazy" (2pm start) car boot sale for spot of thrifting and a delicious slice of cake from the tea caravan.

Tea and cake at a car boot sale




Demolishing - part of one of our bedrooms; a cupboard which used to house our old boiler (before it decided to conk out on Christmas day morning last year). The room looks so much bigger now and on top of that, I get to browse for paint and wallpaper!

Bedroom cupboard demolished
The obligatory before, during and after shots...




Watching - Frome Carnival, part of South West England's annual Carnival season.
This is now pretty much a part of almost every weekend until the 16th November; I'm going to write a post all about it in early October (for anyone who doesn't already know about our spectacular illuminated Carnivals) but I'm sure by November you'll all be completely bored by it.

Frome carnival procession



What did you get up to at the weekend?
 
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