Friday, 27 July 2012

Going for Gold

Seven years in the making, today the Games of the XXX Olympiad commence in London. The excitement is building as the Opening Ceremony is about to take place. For the next 16 days, the World will be watching, all eyes on the United Kingdom as new records are made, medals won.

If I may, can I direct you to the blog of Do What You Love? Beth's post today is about her involvement in the 2012 Olympics back in 2005 and what it means to her, and how the seed of an idea led to International Inspiration and how 12 million children in twenty countries have had their lives changed as a result. Do click here, it's an incredible read.

Enjoy the next 16 days, they will change lives.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

This little girl

This little girl had a treat on Monday. When asked by her mother where she would like to go for lunch, she replied 'Yo Sushi, please'. 

Not only did the girls have lunch, they went shopping too.

She chose a pink dress with a ra ra skirt and a couple of sparkly necklaces and bracelets. To top it all off, she made a crown with my son-in-law.

She asked her mummy if she could visit her Auntie as she missed her. Sometimes she gets anxious knowing her Auntie isn't well.

Seeing her smile, made my younger daughter so happy.

And the funny face for Granny made me laugh out loud.

I hope someone is bringing a smile to your face this week.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Getting through the List

Hello, friends. The weekend provided an opportunity to take a couple more photographs to cross off my list. 

Luckily, the camera was to hand as I was in traffic passing the local library. Without causing any distress to traffic or traffic wardens, I managed to get this shot before moving on.

While out and about, I also popped into the cinema complex on the look-out for a movie poster. Not many films were advertised in the foyer, but I managed to snap this forthcoming film. I know nothing about it other than it stars Olivia Newton John (a member of staff told me when I asked!) who I last saw in Grease many moons ago. Let me know if it's worth seeing, won't you?  

If you are wondering about this List, check out Rinda's blog here; there's still time to join in the fun.

Wishing you a laid back Monday.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Scavenging about

The Scavenger Hunt continues as we head into the Summer holiday. My granddaughter's first year at school ended yesterday. Just how that year passed so quickly, is a mystery to me. Just occasionally though, time really can stand still, in a mystifying way, when you enter a maze or labyrinth. 

Over the years, I have sought them out and have never been disappointed. Some have lovely names, though it is their patterns that I am drawn to. I have a couple of books about Mazes and Labyrinths, and a really lovely little one published by Wooden Books Ltd that has a simple brown paper cover that I couldn't resist.

In 2011, the Stansted Estate opened their new Yew Maze to the public and as my grandchildren love to go there, I didn't need an excuse to take them to check out the Maze.

Being rather on the short side, I asked a passing gardener to take the above shot for me. I think you can just about see the breaks in the hedging. It certainly needs a trim.

One of my all time favourite Mazes is the one in Barcelona at Parque del Laberinto de Horta, mainly because it was such a surprise find. The Horta Maze sits magnificently in the grounds of an aristocrat's family home (now owned by Barcelona City Council) but below it is a heavily populated residential concrete jungle. On a clear day though, you can see all the way down the mountain to the sea. The Maze has many twists and turns but when I eventually reached the centre of it, there was a seat that offered up such a peaceful, reflective space, I could have sat there for hours.

The Horta Maze

Just one more find for the List is a roadside stall.

It may not be sunny here on the South Coast, but there is always time for Pick Your Own. Who can resist strawberries and raspberries at this time of the year?

Back again soon with more finds. Thank you again Rinda for organising this pleasurable Hunt.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Special Saturday

This month is rushing by and I have been spending a lot of it with my family. On Saturday, my daughter invited me to attend my granddaughter's end of term Ballet Show. How delighted I was to be there for not only did she dance like a dream, she also won a Prize. Her dance teacher was so impressed with her improvement this past year and the effort she has made to follow instructions and participate fully in the class, that she felt my granddaughter should be rewarded. 

The day took me back to when my girls were the same age my granddaughter is now and and the joy I felt watching them. It is such a special time. 

In other news, I have been working hard in my Illustrator classes and producing lots of paper and fabric designs. I hope to show you some of them soon. 

Wishing you all a happy and productive week.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

More Scavenging

A trip on the ferry over to the Isle of Wight provided a few more Scavenger Hunt photographs. If you pop on over to Rinda's post today, she has some wonderful photographs taken during her recent stay in Northern Ireland. I love the supermarket one; what a great place to find a stick and ball. Did someone park it there while they shopped, or maybe left it there by accident? We will never know!

The Isle of Wight has a very fine Steam Railway and is a must with my grandchildren.

Osborne House, the family home of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert gave me the opportunity to showcase 'an historical landmark'. Though I am wondering if Queen Victoria's bathing hut should really be the Hunt's historical landmark. Imagine the tales it could tell... Sadly, I couldn't photograph it as the House was closing for the day, so hope this hut will suffice. 

I thought I would have difficulty with an outdoor stairway but these steps to the beach at Ventnor fit the bill perfectly and the hut above has steps leading up to it. It's amazing how I am finding things now I know what I am looking for.

Eye's peeled for a roadside stall.

Friday, 6 July 2012

On the Scavenge

A few more photographs to add to The Scavenger Hunt list over on Gallo Organico. 

I was invited to a concert last week held at Portsmouth Cathedral and remembered that the list contained a religious building. 


The Cathedral has many links with the sea and I love the brass galleon weather-vane that faces out to Portsmouth Harbour.

Another photo opportunity presented itself while I was parked in our local farm shop car park waiting for a passing rain cloud to move on to other pastures. This horse and foal came moseying along to see what I was up to.

I am so enjoying carrying the list around with me and am probably much more observant because of it.

By the way, the Concert was amazing. The ensemble was called VOCES8 and if you ever have the chance to hear them, you are in for a treat. Their voices blending together are extraordinary. 

Enjoy the weekend.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

The Boat Project

If you knew me well, you would know that I love the sea. Always have and always will. Perhaps it is in my blood for my mother's family were all connected to the sea in one form or another: from bargemen to Sea Captains. I am even named after a ship, the SS Irene, a sailing sloop owned by my late Great Grandfather. I was born in landlocked Manchester but as all of mother's family lived by the sea near Liverpool, I was a frequent visitor to that coastline.

When the family returned from Hong Kong in 1992, we were fortunate to be able to find a house by the sea on the South coast. I can see, feel, touch and smell the sea whenever I wish. How happy that makes me.

You may wonder where all this is leading? Earlier this year, in a boat-shed along the coast, I had the opportunity to witness a most unusual form of storytelling. A boat was being built 'from the stuff of peoples lives', a veritable floating collage of memories. The cry had gone out 'We want your wood', with the proviso that with each donation there was the story of how that piece of wood featured in that person's life. In the end, over 1,200 pieces were used to create the most amazing vessel. As well as the boat, there is a book that archives the stories and lives that made all this possible.

The Boat Project

There were donations from all walks of life: there's a section of Brighton pier, a Victorian policeman's truncheon, a 1960's hairbrush used at Pinewood Studios, pencils, hockey sticks, and even a piece of Jimi Hendrix's guitar to name but a few. The public voted to name the boat and eventually 'Collective Spirit' was chosen, a name that encompasses the teamwork behind the construction and the spirit of all who donated to this project.

with thanks to Tom Gruitt

During the Portsmouth Festivities, Collective Spirit has been docked at Gunwharf Keys in Portsmouth and today, she will leave Portsmouth Harbour with Dee Caffari, MBE at the helm and will sail along the coast, stopping at Hastings and Margate before returning to Weymouth in time for the London 2012 Olympics.

The boat's Captain, Major Mike Barham, REME, who has witnessed tough times in battle zones such as Afghanistan, says that sailing Collective Spirit is one of his biggest challenges to date. He says: 'There is nothing like her. I truly have never been entrusted with so much emotional value... she will never be just another boat'.

You can visit The Boat Project here. As storytelling goes, it's a unique one that has certainly captured my imagination. I hope it captures yours too.

Today's story is connected to Sian's Storytelling Sunday. You can see all the links here. We all have a story to tell. Why don't you join in and tell yours?