Friday, 30 September 2011


This post was brought to you by 52 Lists in 52 Weeks

Note: I'm no longer obsessed with it! I've nearly completed it, but have been so busy I've had to set it aside for while before I come back to it and (I hope!) complete it. But it was definitely my obsession as of 12th September!

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20th September: I had a bit of a tummy bug :( Lunch consisted of dry toast and water! :( Luckily I felt rather better by the evening, and was well enough to take The Boy to Scouts...

Detail: ma(i)ze

Thursday, 29 September 2011

For The Doctor

This post was brought to you by 52 Lists in 52 Weeks

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19th September: I took this book with me to read while we were away at the weekend, and finished it the evening after we got back. I don't normally read historical novels, but I quite enjoyed this one! And the film was on over the weekend, too, so I've taped it (well, V-plussed it) so will watch that when I get a spare evening. If ever I get a spare evening....

Detail: mark

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Happy Mail

Once again, I'm taking part in a Mail Art Exchange organised by Ginger :) She randomly allocated who you would send to and who you would receive from, and I was fortunate enough to receive something special from Miriam just over a week ago (it was waiting for me when I got back from a weekend visiting family - I've been meaning to share it with you ever since and to thank her properly, but life got in the way!)

Would you like to see it? :)

I love all the map details - I adore maps! 

How cute are those stamps?! With 'Happy Mail' captions dotted everywhere! Love it :)

And inside was this fabby collection of gorgeous goodies: A little tag book with paper bead trim, a matchbook with the cutest little cupcake motif, a rather wonderful Goethe quotation* and a butterfly tag with a sweet note on it :)

Many, many thanks Miriam - I love my little package of goodies, and I love the packaging, too! And thank you Ginger for organising this exchange once more xx

* The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers and cities: but to know someone here and there who thinks and feels with us, and though distant, is close to us in spirit - this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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18th September: On the Sunday morning we visited The Aunt and The Uncle, and The Tomboy had a wonderful time playing with their The Dog! :)

Detail: belgian

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Why, hello there! :)

Hey, strangers :) Gosh, it feels like a loooong time since I've been able to sit down and do a 'normal' blog post! I've kept thinking that things would calm down and I could get back into the blogging routine, but it just hasn't happened and I think I need to accept that it possibly never will!! Hooray for Project 365 posts, they do at least mean that my blog still recognises me...

Anyway, here I am, and I do plan to get round your blogs very soon. To save what remains of my sanity though I'm going to declare another 'blog amnesty'; I'll try to visit new posts from now, rather than even attempt to catch up on the posts I've missed. That being the case, please, please tell me about any exciting and/or important news that I've missed! I'm extremely grateful to Carrie for contacting me to let me know about poor Deb's recent illness, and to Jo, Lizzie and Clair for telling me about the bloggers' weekend away in time for me to sign up! And thanks also to the lovely people who have emailed and left comments and just kept visiting while I haven't been able to return the favour. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it - I love you all! xx

In our news, The Boy is settling in well to his new school, loathing PE, but doing very well with his music. The Tomboy is working very hard and enjoying being in Year 5. The Doctor has finally slowed down a bit after working all summer and then coming home to a conference he'd organised and several weekend talks.

Me? The beginning of this year has been busier than ever, and being away for two weekends in September didn't help (though both weekends were lovely). All the rushing around and not getting enough sleep and coming into contact with new germs (classic new school year thing!) struck me down with a tummy bug last week, which I shook off pretty quickly but then I promptly picked up a nasty cold. Bleh! (And indeed snuffle and cough.) But I'm getting there! My papercrafts class for adults is running again this year (first one today, in fact) and I've got some interesting classes and some interesting new responsibilities at school.

I've been noting down my lessons for Learn Something New Every Day, too; I've been tweeting mine, but I plan to put together a mini book with all the lessons at the end of the month (didn't end up using the pretty dinky notebook, I shall save that for something else). I've also been recording something The Boy's learnt each day, and I had hoped to work on pages for his LSNED album, but my photo printer has stopped working and the problem appears to be fatal :( My to-do list therefore includes getting a new photo printer, but I can't afford that just yet :(

Speaking of lists, I'm rather behind in sharing mine for the 52 Lists in 52 Weeks project! I must get organised and photograph them and get them on here! Look out for those soon, and a LSNED round up, and a few other bits and pieces I haven't had the chance to share yet :)

And finally! Here's a little something we noticed over the summer. There were many differences between England and America, as you'd expect. Some were very big differences, but this one was very small:

Crisped rice cereal in America is flatter than crisped rice cereal in the UK! (The particular brand of crisped rice cereal that we bought in America was, anyway, so I'm making a sweeping generalisation from that....)
Right! That's enough wittering from me :) I'm going to put the kettle on (anyone for a cuppa?), make sure I've packed everything I need for today's papercrafts class, and look forward to reading all your new posts from....... NOW! xx

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17th September: We spent the weekend visiting the town where I grew up, and seeing various family members there. On the Saturday morning we met up with The Brother and The Nephew and went to feed the ducks and swans :)

Detail: childhood

Monday, 26 September 2011

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16th September: Gosh, we had some heavy rain showers over the weekend! One just as I needed to collect The Children from their schools...

NB You might want to scroll down cautiously if you're arachnophobic!

Detail: rescue

Sunday, 25 September 2011

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Imagine photo here!

15th September: I had a LOT of marking to do! Two of my classes this year are particularly big, and I teach them both on the same day.... The photo shows my notes to feedback to the class teacher about how well the pupils had understood the concepts we'd covered, so includes lots of children's names.

Detail: dated

Saturday, 24 September 2011

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14th September: The Doctor and I went to visit friends who had their little girl while we were away. Oh, how I love other people's babies! :)

Detail: Tiny

Friday, 23 September 2011

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13th September: Haircut day :)

Detail: woggle

Thursday, 22 September 2011

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12th September: I spent the morning preparing my week's classes - I was due to teach time, multiplication by multiples of 100, and sorting items according to different categories, amongst other things!

Detail: Breezy

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

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Imagine photo here!

11th September: The photo shows the notice sheet from our church, with many names, contact numbers etc that I need to keep private.

Detail: Packed

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

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10th September: The Boy has been saving up all summer so that he could buy some Warhammer figures. Today was the day that we took him to a local shop to choose them - and very happy about it he was, too!

Detail: block

Monday, 19 September 2011

Scavenging hunters....?!

Time is nearly up! So I'd better get on with my third batch of photos for Rinda's Summer Scavenger Hunt :) Here they are:

#15 was graffiti art (not just graffiti and not just a wall mural). I have to confess to being rather unsure what exactly graffiti art is, but decided just to keep my eyes open for anything that might fit. I spotted a newspaper article about Banksy back in July, so I snapped that in case of emergencies...

That's my hand, which technically means that a team member's in shot, right? ;) 

Then, in Los Angeles, The Tomboy spotted this. I tried to explain that it wasn't really graffiti art, but she said to me 'But Mum, it's graffiti, right? And it's all layered with stickers and things like that collage you do, and that's art, right? So it must be graffiti art!'

The poor Black-Eyed Tomboy!! I really must tell you about that black eye some time!

And then, when we went to Venice Beach, I got lucky :) On the beach there's a special art wall, and artists can apply for a permit to paint there. Their specialism? Graffiti!

Here's one little section of it

Here's a work in progress

And here's a completed section...

...with me!

A building made of metal or glass was required next. I saw many of them, but didn't actually manage to photograph that many somehow - *doh!* There was The Lowry, though, that we visited in July:

That's The Doctor's head, turned just slightly towards us, along the bottom edge, second from the left. Do you see him?

And then, in LA, there was the Disney Hall. home of the Philharmonic :)

 I read that it was originally highly polished, but that the glare was dangerous for drivers and reflected too much heat into nearby homes so it had to be sanded and roughened!

#17? Rain :) We actually only saw rain once during August (and The Doctor missed it even then, it was such a short-lived shower!) but we spent enough of July and September in the UK to see plenty of it here....

Could this be my most flattering self-portrait yet?!

My glasses show evidence of the rain I'd just been out in

Looking out into our rainy garden

Trying to keep sheltered from the rain!

Hoping that I still had an 'emergency umbrella' in the car...

I was a bit thrown by #18 at first: A person sketching or painting outside their house. You see, at first I read it to mean that the person should be directly outside their house - but when it dawned on me that actually the person just needed to not be IN their house, I found many opportunities to get a shot :)

This lady kindly agreed to let me photograph her sketching in the Lowry. Sadly, I should actually have asked permission of the Lowry staff, too - turns out I wasn't supposed to take photos in there, I'd missed the sign, oops...

No signs to worry about here! This mother and daughter were drawing sculpture in Pasadena. They were very happy to be photographed, and thrilled with the shots I emailed to them :)

This cartoonist was drawing at Newport Beach

And here's who he was drawing!

And then this chap was drawing the aforementioned graffiti wall at Venice Beach

I don't think I was the only one to find #19 a challenge, either! A beehive or an ant farm with live ants?!

But I'd reckoned without the observation beehive at the Kidspace Museum in Pasadena :)

It was fascinating to see the bees so close!

One of The Children agreed with me - the other was decidedly less keen.... Can you tell which?! ;)

And then, bonus! We found an ant farm at the ScienCenter in LA, too!

Nearly there then! But #20 was a real stumbling block for me. It was 'A handmade roadside memorial or shrine'. I had little chance of seeing the latter, and I felt rather uncomfortable about the former. I really liked Rinda's post about this, where she explained what seeing such a memorial means to her. Nevertheless, I didn't feel quite right about it.

I had one go at photographing a memorial as The Mother drove, but I wasn't sorry that it didn't turn out too well. (It's the blur of yellow to the left.)

What I've done, and I'm quite happy for this not to be counted in my final total, is that I've photographed an art installation I saw while exploring Santa Monica with The Creative Beast. It very much reminded me of a roadside shrine or memorial, and it was indeed by a road. Here it is:

Two women came and dismantled it while we were watching! So I saw the demise of the installation, too

So that just left me with one more item on the list - #21, A rooster - which is American for cockerel, right? ;) I spotted a few of those!

This little chap was for sale in Mothercare

These two stood entinel on the kitchen windowsill of the house we rented in Pasadena

The Boy's friend was part of a sculpture in a gallery at The Huntington

And this last little guy was on the wall of the kitchen of the people we met on the Metro in LA, who invited us to dinner

And so I'm done! 41/42, or 42/42* if Rinda's feeling kind about my misgivings about photographing a memorial. And my completer/finisher, OCD personality is satisfied :)

Thanks Rinda for all the fun this has given me over the summer! xx

(* It's out of 42 because I entered the over-achiever's category, so needed photos with and without team members, in case you were wondering!)