Wednesday 30 April 2014

April Happiness

Five things which have made me smile this month...
1. This sign. Found in the Students Union at Bath Uni.
Silly sign in the Students Union at Bath Uni
2. A fab perk of the job - a drinks reception here!
Roman Baths Drinks Reception
3. Seeing lots of these guys all around campus.
4. An lovely anniversary meal at a little cafe called Tiffanys in Llandudno.
Hot chocolate at Tiffanys Llandudno
5. This picture. I wanted a photo of the flowers we had in our holiday cottage and Andrew decided to snap me instead. It's a bit of a silly picture but I really quite like it!
Me with daffodils
What little things have made you happy this month?

The Midweek Hop - Bird is the Word

Three music videos on a theme...
(inspired by Desmond Carrington's 'The Music Goes Round')

This weeks theme is...Bird is the Word
Inspired by well, birds!
Chris Evans played track number 3 yesterday morning on Radio 2 and we thought nope, we haven't had bird-themed songs yet :-)

1. Bird Dog by The Everly Brothers

'Bird Dog' entered the chart on 12th September 1958 reaching Number 2.

2. Birdie Songs by The Tweets

'Birdie Song' entered the chart on 12th September 1981 reaching Number 2.

3. Surfin' Bird by The Trashmen

'Surfin' Bird' entered the US Billboard Hot 100 chart on 13th November 1963 reaching Number 4.
Happy listening!
(and I challenge you not to have "bird, bird, bird, b-bird's the word" in your head all day...) :-)

Tuesday 29 April 2014

Blog Every Day in May (aka I must be mad...)

Anyone remember last year I took part in Rosalilium's Blog Every Day in May challenge?
(you know the one which started off with my dad having a stroke on day 1?)
And then again, I forgot what hard work it was and signed up to Blog Every Day in November?
(the one where the first two weeks was Carnival season?)
Blog Every Day in May with Rosalilium
Well, guess what, Blog Every Day must be a little bit like childbirth because yup, I've signed on the dotted line to do it all over again - and this time, the first day of the challenge kicks off with me being in hospital for my IVF egg collection operation.
So yep, join me for a month of madness, late night blog posts and articles tenously-related to what the actual topic is about.
I know Michelle from Life Outside London and the lovely lady behind Not So Simples (really sorry, I'm not sure what your name is!) have both signed up. And Angela - you know you want to...!
Pop over to Rosalilium's site to sign up - there's a form to fill in and a downloadable Google calendar of suggested topics - see you on May 1st!

Monday 28 April 2014

This Weekend at the Duckpond

We have mostly been...
Bird-watching - these two lovebirds perched on the garden wall at the back of our house. It was pretty clear what Mr Pigeon was after - Mrs Pigeon didn't seem too impressed though!

Pigeon lovebirds

Baking - some cheese and onion bread in the breadmaker. We ate it for Sunday brunch, freshly cooked with caramelised onions, tomatoes and sausages.

Home-cooked bread
 Home-cooked bread with caramelised onion, tomato and sausages

Bashing - down the wall in the front garden; the widening-the-driveway saga continues each day...

Driveway wall

Binning - a large amount of paperwork; several years worth of bank statements and associated financial bumpf went into the shredder and lots of other (non-personal) bits and pieces went into the recycling. It's astounding how much paper you seem to accumulate over the years!

What did you get up to at the weekend?

Thursday 24 April 2014

52 Lists - Things I'm Grateful For

The week's prompt is all about things you're grateful for. I think there's so many things we should be more appreciative of; things which most of us just assume we have. Far too many things in this life are what's known as an 'unexamined privilege' and we should all be truly grateful for what we've got.

(If you fancy a fairly easy academic-type read, this fabulous article by Scrodinger's Catbox looks at all the privileges we take for granted - it is slightly biased towards the 'fertility privilege' but is still a very funny and accurate read nonetheless.)

Finding Andrew (or rather, finding someone who actually wants to share the madcap adventures I like to attempt - see above)
Living in a time of relative peace (compared to the last two World Wars)
Having all my limbs, mind and mental capacities (although some would say that's questionable...)
The miracles of modern science and medicine
Having a roof over my head and food on my plate
Being able to read and write and having had a free (to the age of 18) education
A wonderful free National Health Service
A society which doesn't thrown people like my brother (or anyone else with a disability) into an asylum

What things are you grateful for?

This post is part of Ema's (Made in Hunters) 52 Lists Project
For a full list of all the other lovely bloggy people taking part, visit Scarlett's site (WorkRestPlayLove) for a nosy!

Wednesday 23 April 2014

The Midweek Hop - Being English

Three music videos on a theme...
(inspired by Desmond Carrington's 'The Music Goes Round')

This weeks theme is...Being English
Inspired by St George's Day

1. An English Country Garden by The Muppets

'English Country Garden' was popularised by Jimmie Rogers in 1962 reaching Number 5 but this version of the tune by Rowlf and Fozzie from 1977 is much better!

2. Britannia Rag by Winifred Atwell

'Britannia Rag' entered the chart on 9th January 1953 reaching Number 5.

3. The Village Green Preservation Society by The Kinks

'The Village Green Preservation Society' is from the album 'The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society' and was released as a single in America in 1968.
Happy listening!

Tuesday 22 April 2014

A Photo Every Hour - Saturday 19th April

April's Photo an Hour Challenge was set by Jane (from Is That You Darling) on Saturday 19th - a good day to choose because of the Easter holidays!
My Easter Saturday panned out a bit like this...
8am - as always at the moment, my day starts early with IVF drugs and injections.
IVF drugs
9am - Breakfast was on the way, we had Chicken and Cheese Quesadillas!
Chicken and cheese quesadillas
10am - About to head out for a bit of sightseeing and the view from our cottage window had not a cloud in the sky.
Blue skies and gorse
11am - I actually missed the 11am shot and ended up taking this at 11.30ish, mainly because I was too busy trying on and buying dresses from a charity shop for £2.50 each!
Chaity shop dress
12pm - After buying up several things, we walked back to the car through the churchyard of St Cybi's Church in Holyhead.
St Cybi'c church, Holyhead
1pm - Then we stopped off at Asda on the way out of town as I needed to buy a card for our wedding anniversary on the Monday.
Anniversary card
2pm - We ended up in Rhosneigr where we stopped for a delicious ice cream which we ate on the beach.
Fortes Ice Cream
3pm - We headed up towards South Stack in Anglesey but it was absolutely packed with everyone else doing the same thing so instead we thought we'd go back and have some tea and cake in our cottage.
View from near South Stack, Anglesey
4pm - I unpacked some of the morning's purchases...
Charity shop dresses
5pm - My brother and dad popped round to our cottage to collect us on the way to the holiday park swimming pool.
Swimming costume
6pm - We were actually in the pool at 6pm (which I couldn't really photograph) but when we got back at 6.30pm I remembered I hadn't yet unpacked this little tulip basket I picked up earlier that day.
Bath Omnibear in Tulip Basket
Sticky Apple, Sausage and Bacon Recipe
8pm - Dinner is served!
Sticky Apple, Sausage and Bacon
9pm - I know, I'm very sad. I thought the holiday would be a good chance to catch up with some coursework reading for my degree.
Journal articles
10pm - Treated myself to a bedtime snack of Harry Hopalot before listening to my IVF relaxation CD and falling asleep!
Tea and Harry Hopalot Chocolate
Hop on over to Jane's blog to see when May's Photo an Hour challenge will be - it's always great fun!

This (Long) Weekend at the Duckpond

We have mostly been...

Holidaying - with the other half, the parents and brother and one small bear in Angelsey in North Wales.
Wasn't it a lovely sunny bank holiday weekend?
We spent the time mooching round charity shops, beaches, countryside and car boot sales.
Bath Omnibear in North Wales
Stumbling - upon some Arcopal Scania dishes to add to my collection (£3.99 for a set of 5!)
Arcopal Scania Crockery
Eating - lots of food; not Easter eggs but quite a few cakes and ice creams were had.
Ice Creams and Cake
Visiting - the famous Cob Records store in Porthmadog in celebration of Record Store Day on 19th April. It's a bit of an institution across the world; it first opened in 1967 and my mum and dad used to visit it in the late 60s and 70s. They stock pretty much anything and everything - CDs, vinyl, DVDs and even videos and cassette tapes. We were quite restrained this year and only bought two CDs (Betcha Bottom Doller by The Puppini Sisters and Seasons of my Soul by Rumer) but we have been known to come out with several bags of stuff in the past.
Cob Records, Porthmadog
Celebrating - our 7th wedding anniversary on 21st April. The 7th one is copper so we took a walk round Angelsey's Parys Mountain - also know as Copperopolis or Copper Kingdom. It's an impressive site; to begin with it looks just like any other quarry hole in the ground - and then you remember it was all dug by hand back in 18th and 19th centuries!
Parys Mountain, Anglesey
What did you get up to at the weekend?
Hope you all had a lovely Easter!

Sunday 20 April 2014

100 Happy Days #10

The tenth and final instalment of my attempt to catalogue 100 Happy Days... :-)
Friday 11th April

Polka dot ballet shoes
Finally packed away the winter boots and got out the summer ballet shoes (still with tights though!)

Saturday 12th April

Perfectly-cooked healthy lasagne - that night's dinner plus 2 portions in the freezer :-)

Sunday 13th April

Blooming flowerbeds
A little bit of light weeding reveals a blooming spring flowerbed...

Monday 14th April

Asda strawberry dream chocolate bites
The parents dropped by the previous evening and donated us this packet of very tasty chocolate treats!

Tuesday 15th April

IVF drugs
Definitely a happy picture - getting my hands on the next stage of my IVF treatment!

Wednesday 16th April

Holiday packing
All packed and ready for an Easter mini holiday.

Thursday 17th April

Sun and gorse bushes
The view from our holiday cottage for the weekend.

Friday 18th April

Easter kitchen apron
Easter kitchen apron!

Saturday 19th April

Arcopal Scania crockery bowls
Found some more Arcopal Scania crockery in a charity shop.

Sunday 20th April
Easter chocolate
And the final picture - Easter chocolate!
Previous instalments can be found here...
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