Monday 30 June 2014

June Happiness

Five things which made me smile this month...
1. Meeting lots of fabulous bloggers at the South West Blog Social and meeting Katie for lunch out at Farringtons Farm Shop.

Lovely ladies at South West Blog Social
2. The lovely comments left on our 'Up Advenuture Book' blog post.
3. Buying heaps of tickets for theatre and comedy shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
4. Glastonbury Festival!

Elbow at Glastonbury Festival
5. A BBQ with both families in our back garden
(luckily we managed to schedule it just before the rain arrived for Pilton!).

Family BBQ
What little things made you happy this month?

This Weekend at the Duckpond

We have mostly been...

Working - at Glastonbury Festival all weekend stewarding a lane and farm in Pilton village to help raise funds for our Carnival club.
Glastonbury Festival staff ticket
Spotting - wildlife and rainbows. Between the 30 or so of us working, we also managed to create a 'nature table' - the things you do to make the time pass quickly!
Rainbow over Pilton

Wildlife in Pilton village

Nature Table
Yawning - during our shifts, 8am to 4pm on Friday and then two overnight shifts Saturday into Sunday and Sunday into Monday from 12am to 8am. Trying to go into the show as well though meant that we got a total of 4 and half hours sleep over a 48 hour period.
Dancing - to lots of bands; Goldfrapp, Public Service Broadcasting and Kasabian were particularly brilliant!
Kasabian at Glastonbury Festival

The Black Keys at Glastonbury Festival
Dodging - the torrential rain and thunderstorms and enjoying the sun when it shone!
Relaxing at Glastonbury Festival
Walking - I don't know how many miles! Our little lane in Pilton village is about a 2 mile round trip and we have to walk up and down it for each 8 hour shift plus the show site is not exactly small so I reckon we certainly must've got some exercise over the last few days.
What did you get up to at the weekend?

Sunday 29 June 2014

The Last Thing I... Tag

This tag comes courtesy of the lovely Michelle over at her fabulous innuendo-laden blog, Life Outside London.
Go check it (and her) out - you won't be disappointed!
(Leona from Oh Leona and Chelsea from Love in Modern Life also did this tag earlier - both equally lovely ladies with very very funny blogs!)

The Last Thing I...Tag
(I'm working at Glastonbury Festival (aka Pilton to us locals) this weekend so I'm basing my answers on yesterday at the show)

1. Who did you last talk to?
My sister in law who works at Glastonbury with me. We went into the show about 4pm on Saturday, stayed til 11pm and then came out to do our second shift in Pilton village from 12am to 8am Sunday morning.
2. What was the last outfit you wore?
A mixture of leggings, tshirt, skirt and raincoat in the festival and then lots of layers being put on from 12am to about 3am and lots of layers being taken off from about 5am to 8am! Round about 4am, I even had on a fleecy winter hat, gloves and a scarf.

3. What was the last thing you ate?
Rubbish to keep us awake overnight. Cake slices, crisps, pasties, bananas, bacon rolls and some homemade Raspberry and Banana Cake.
4. What was the last thing you drank?
Water and cups of tea (although not too much as the portaloos in Pilton village aren't the best toilets in the world!).
5. Last sport you played?
Walking up and down a lane for 8 hours stewarding in Pilton village (walking is a sport, right?)
6. Who did you email last?
 Probably someone at work just before I left on Thursday afternoon.

7. Which one of your friends did you talk to last?
The other 3 people in our Carnival club who were working on the same shift as us overnight.
8. What was the last thing you watched on TV?
The end of Arcade Fire's set on BBC2 on Friday night. We actually watched them inside the festival but missed the last bit of their performance as we had to get back out before 12am so when we got home we watched it on TV.
9. Last blog you checked?
Umm, my own? Only whilst doing some editing, just to make sure it was all looking fine and dandy.

10. Last game you played?
 Trying not to fall over in the mud on site!
Anyone reading, consider yourself tagged!

Friday 27 June 2014

52 Lists - Your Life Essentials

52 Lists - Your Life Essentials

Recipe for a Happy Life...
Start with a large dollop of good Theatre and add in a liberal helping of Comedy.
Scatter in a few Steam Rallies and Fairgrounds and then gently fold in one yearly tablespoon of Carnival.
Stir some Books and Libraries together and add to the mixture along with an handful of Ducks.
Sprinkle over some decent Music and and top with Laughter before gently cooking til old age.
Always best served with a slice of Cake and the Other Half!
What are your life essentials?

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 25 June 2014

The Midweek Hop - Bug A Boo

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

This weeks theme is...Bug A Boo
Inspired by National Insect Week (23rd to 29th June 2014)

1. Butterfly by Charlie Gracie

'Butterfly' entered the chart on 19th April 1957 reaching Number 12.

2. Love is Like a Butterfly by Dolly Parton

'Love is Like a Butterfly' entered the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1974 reaching Number 105 but reached Number 1 in the US Country chart!

3. Bo Weevil by Teresa Brewer

'Bo Weevil' entered the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1956 reaching Number 17.
Happy listening!

Tuesday 24 June 2014

A Photo Every Hour - Sunday 22nd June

This month, Jane's photo an hour challenge fell on a Sunday, rather than a Saturday. For me that was a day of meeting new and old friends, a bit of housework, a bit of relaxing and lots of enjoying the sunshine!
9am - The day was started with a bacon and egg breakfast sandwich, complete with a dollop of tomato ketchup.
Breakfast sandwich
10am - We'd left the washing on the line all night (just to make sure it was absolutely dry!)
Washing hung on the line
11am - Andrew had gone off with his lorry to our local heritage railway station so I tackled the mountain of washing up from the previous day. We do have a dishwasher, albeit a broken one - and my handyman hasn't got round to fixing it yet!
Messy washing, crockery and cups
12pm - I popped up to the railway station to see some friends (who were also there with their own vintage lorry) and also pick Andrew up to take him for lunch.
Lorry at Midsomer Norton Station
1pm - At Farringtons Farm Shop we met up with Katie and Tom who were over in this part of the country for the weekend and had lunch together in the farm shop cafe.
Lunch at Farringtons Farm Shop
2pm - After lunch we went for a walk round the farm surroundings and spotted these waddling ducks!
Ducks at Farringtons Farm Shop
3pm - Back home and trying to tackle some cleaning. Andrew's sister is staying with us this weekend for Glastonbury Festival so I need to have a bit of a tidy up in the spare room.
Spare bedroom needs a tidy up
4pm - Attempting to style up some things for my blog post, 'An A-Z of Me - B'
Blog picture snapping
5pm - Dinner that evening was a Cheesy Sausage and Veg Bake - the 'veg' consisting of pretty much all courgette!
Dinner ingredients
6pm - While the courgettes were sizzling on the stove, I tried to catch up on some blog reading.
Blog reading
7pm - Dinner is served; just before you bung it in the oven, you pour cheese sauce all over it which results in one very cheesy dinner!
Sausage and veg cheesy bake
8pm - And a little something I made earlier for pudding, Jaffa Drizzle Loaf
Jaffa drizzle cake
9pm - I've been showing Andrew the mad world of the Braithwaites over the last week or so. Anyone remember the series? It was fab and utterly crazy!
At Home with the Braithwaites DVD boxset
10pm - Still just about light outside!
Light nights
11pm - My current read and a cuppa before bedtime
Book and tea before bedtime

Pop on over to Jane's blog, Is That You Darling to see when July's photo an hour challenge will be held!

Monday 23 June 2014

This Weekend at the Duckpond

We have mostly been...
Racking - our brains for answers to the questions at a quiz night on Friday evening. Between me and Andrew and his mum and dad, we came a fairly middling 7th out of 13th teams. Not too shabby, methinks.
Quiz Night
Baking - a chocolate and orange cake. It's called Jaffa Drizzle Loaf and the recipe is over on BBC Good Food's website. No reason really (do you need a reason to bake cake!?) - perhaps just the fact it was the weekend :-)
Jaffa Drizzle Cake
Enjoying - a spot of lunch at Farringtons Farm Shop and an ice cream for afterwards with (see the next one...)
Lunch at Farringtons Farm Shop
Meeting - the fabulous Katie and her lovely other half Tom for lunch. Katie blogs over at Hook Line and Sink Her and if you don't already follow her, you really should - she's very funny and always makes me smile (and she's just as cool in real life too). When Katie mentioned they were having a little trip over towards Bath, I suggested meeting up for a cuppa which turned into a lovely lunchtime get-together at Farringtons.
Thanks Katie (and Tom) for the company!
Meeting Katie and Tom at Farringtons Farm Shop
Full credit goes to Katie for taking the picture, thanks Katie!
Exhibiting - Andrew's lorry at our local heritage railway station's annual Midsummer event. They certainly picked a good weekend for it!
Scammell at Midsomer Norton Station
Participating - in Jane's (from over at Is That You Darling) photo an hour challenge for June. This month we all snapped a Sunday - pictures will be up tomorrow.
Discovering - the first few almost-ripe strawberries in our garden.

What did you get up to at the weekend?
Hope you all had a chance to enjoy the stunning weather!

Sunday 22 June 2014

An A-Z of Me - B

A-Z of Me - B

And on to the letter 'B'...

Birds - it's funny really, my parents are huge bird fans dragging me round every possible bird-watching site in the UK when I was a kid. I used to get so bored with it all but now (possibly turning into my mother) I'm not so clued up on all the different varieties but I do like watching them.

Butlins - ahh, the mythical magical fun palace I always dreamed of as a kid. We never ever went there see, so in my mind it was this amazing holiday park, a huge forbidden playground of everything a child could want. At University studying tourism as well, I researched the Billy Butlin story and the John Hinde photographs and became fascinated with the history of it all, the photographs making it look so unreal. I finally got my chance to go to Butlins when I was 24, a few months after we got married and it actually did live up to my expectations!

Bedding - Andrew says I have too much. I say nay. No girl can ever have too many duvet covers, right? Especially when Asda sell gorgeous sets for less than £15!

Blood Donation - One of my New Years resolutions back in 2000 just after I'd turned 18 was to become a blood donor. I only managed to go a couple of times before I went off to Uni and then it became too much hassle to find the sessions up north (I know, it's not really an excuse). Then I was on anti-biotics for a couple of years (meaning I couldn't donate), then moved house and every local session seemed to be when I had to work late, then we started trying for a duckling (again, you're not allowed to donate) and now being on and off various IVF drugs, I'm still not allowed to donate.
So basically I have a donor card that still carries my maiden name, almost 15 years of excuses and a huge amount of enthusiasm for a time in the future when I can actually donate.
I know, the road to hell is paved with good intentions and all that jazz...

Baking - fairly obvious this one, I like making cakes.
If you ever pop round for a cuppa, I'll usually have a slice waiting for you.

Books - kind of goes without saying but yep, I do like books. Doesn't matter whether they're old or new, reading them, finding new authors or stories, learning from them and the smell of them are all fab. Working in a library several years ago, we used to get a couple of boxes of new books delivered to us from the Library HQ every week; unpacking those boxes was just bliss!

Bones - no picture for this one but just a little anecdote that I have broked both wrists during my life. Thankfully not at the same time (my left one when I was 10 and my right one when I was 15) but fingers crossed that I've had my fair share of broken bones now!

What 'B' things sum you up?  

For the rest of the alphabet click here!

52 Lists - Things You Want or Need To Let Go Of

This week, things you want or need to let go of.
52 Lists - Things You Need to Let Go Of
Well, quite literally...
Another six bags of shredded paper
An assortment of scrap metal and old radiators currently sat in the garden
Various broken things which can't be recycled or upcycled
A sofa with dodgy springs
Probably half my wardrobe of clothes I don't get round to wearing
Lots of bad digital photos
(the blurred ones, the one with someone's hand in the way, the unflattering ones, etc, etc)
Three bags of stuff that've been waiting for their trip to the charity shop for 2 months
An large cabinet, a CD rack and a display stand (again, waiting to be taken to the charity shop)
An 1970s back boiler in our living room, still fitted in the fireplace, even though it hasn't worked since 24th December 2012 and was condemned a couple of days later
What things do you want or need to let go of?
(either literally or metaphorically!)

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!

Thursday 19 June 2014

Our Up Adventure Book

"What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger"
That’s the cliche, isn’t it?
(as immortalised by Kelly Clarkson and then brilliantly ripped off by the awesome Frisky and Mannish).

So yup, if you hadn't already guessed, second round of IVF treatment – an “excellent response” according to the doctors – but still no second little line, still not pregnant, still no baby.
I guess that makes me even stronger than before, right?

 In reality though...
Do I feel like a failure sometimes? Of course.
Are we going to give up? I don’t effing think so! Not just yet anyway.

 (in case anyone wondered about adoption, it is something we’ve talked about (and might still do) and I thoroughly admire anyone who’s taken that road. It’s a difficult decision, there’s a helluva lot of investigations, problems, red tape and paperwork involved quite apart from the things you have to come to terms with personally – I just don’t think me or Andrew are ready to take that path yet).

Our second round of treatment left us with one positive thing though – in our little sanctuary of a fertility clinic, we have a teensy tiny microscopic little embryo that’s been cryogenically preserved at -196°C. Once you’ve had one embryo transferred back into you, if there’s any leftover that are absolutely tip-top quality, the clinic will freeze them so you can use them at a later date. The procedure for a ‘frozen embryo transfer’ is a lot less hassle, still with medication (but no needles, yay!) and about £4000 cheaper than a complete cycle starting from scratch.

So we’ve decided to give that route a go after the summer – we can both have a bit of a break, we’ve got a lot of things on over the next few months and I expect my hormones are probably shot to pieces after all the drugs anyway.

Of course, there’s always a chance that won’t work either and at some point you have to face reality. That takes some getting used to, the idea that you might be elderly and sat round the dinner table at Christmas just staring at each other. We haven’t got (or have any chance of) any nieces or nephews so it really would be just the two of us. Even if we went down the adoption route, there’s no guarantee we’d be approved or even have a child matched to us so a life without any little feet is something we may well have to think about.

You know the Disney film Up? (Of course you do, you’re all bloggers or blog-readers). We can’t watch the first 30 minutes without shedding a tear and there’s been many a time I’ve felt like Ellie in that scene with the doctor at the hospital. The one thing they do have though, is their 'Adventure Book' with all the wild and wonderful things they’d like to do.
We thought we’d put together something similar. I have a notebook I’ve been hoarding since the age of 15, just waiting to do something magical with and if we were going to let our imagination run wild, there’s a load of things we could include.
Up Adventure List

I need to sit down and take some time to cut and paste and colour in all our ideas but we’ve made a start gathering some things from magazines, leaflets and various places.

Our Up Adventure Book Ideas

Maybe I won’t even need to finish it.

It’s just a silly harmless idea really - but it kinda helps.

Wednesday 18 June 2014

The Midweek Hop - On Yer Bike

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

This weeks theme is...On Yer Bike
Inspired by Bike Week (14th to 22nd June)

1. The Pushbike Song by The Mixtures

'The Pushbike Song' entered the chart on 16th January 1971 reaching Number 2.

2. Bicycle Race by Queen

'Bicycle Race' entered the chart on 28th October 1978 reaching Number 11.

3. Silver Machine by Hawkwind

'Silver Machine' entered the chart on 1st July 1972 reaching Number 3.
Happy listening!
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