Saturday, 29 August 2009

rare event

I got as far as making a card today. I still have lots of cardmaking stuff lying around the sitting-room and among that was a card blank and some paper ... so I decided the two could be put together. I was going to make an ordinary card and then realised the design on the paper had holly leaves, so this is what happened:

The background is in fact darker and the gold catches the light, so the lettering shows up better than it looks on the scan. I might well do more similar ones, as I have at last found a use for that holly border (one of those things bought because it might come in useful but has never quite looked right anywhere, until now).

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

grey blanket

That's what the weather looks like outside, and bright-eyed and bushy-tailed this morning I am not! In fact I am miffed because I woke up too early and didn't get back to sleep, so I'm short of it before I even start :(

Update for Friday: weather bright - self still short of sleep (own silly fault this time - late to bed!) gradually getting some study done but need to speed up on that. Nothing planned for Bank Holiday (except possible coffee and croissant breakfast) but sitting by the back door on a sunny day with some study on the go is a pretty good way to live: I like to study and it is my own choice to do so, so it's not like working on a day off. That said, you can feel you never get away from it (the wanna-be-theologian's work is never done) so this time around I hope to plan in a day off (probably Sunday) so I can come back to it fresh. The rest of my life needs a little attention too - as an adult student you don't have the luxury of a life cleared of everything else to leave you free to study and I need to be better at dovetailing it all in.

I've just recently noticed I have to switch lights on at about eight in the evening :( :( and that is not something to look forward to - a sad reminder that all too soon the long, cold, dark days of winter will be upon us. A month of it I could (just about) cope with, but one half of the year is definitely so cold and dark as to be a hassle (and sometimes the other half isn't as much better as one hoped). Mind you, it doesn't make that much difference to reading a textbook (unless it is as cold as it was last winter when I was still chilly with the heating on high)

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

some achievements

I've just realised I left you with my scooter seat up in the air. If you've been wondering, it is now (sort-of) sorted: the seat is at the right height, but I can't get the notch that stops it moving to work; if that is right I can't adjust the height - a bit of a mystery as I know the engineer put an extra notch in the right place ... and it doesn't appear to be there!!

Fortunately, I had the young lady who comes to do the garden coming anyway, and she was able to move the seat so we could drop the height, rather than having the engineer come out again. The garden is the one thing that is getting under way: I am so glad to have someone to do it who has some initiative and knows when NOT to use it! She does what is important and doesn't impose her fancies on me - hurrah!

I had a phone call from the other little Madam, which I didn't bother to follow up. She often rings just as she is about to board a train, so I answer, only to be greeted by a brief hello and then the noise of train doors opening and closing (which these days is as noisy as ever as the local ones beep loudly just before the doors close). As there is an indicator board ON THE PLATFORM she must know the train is about to come in: it is so very typical that she just doesn't think it through and realise she hasn't time. So I don't call her back - I might just be tempted to give her a stern declaration that she is persona non grata, with an explanation if necessary! (Should it prove necessary to do so, I will.) She would doubtless be very miffed to know my garden is being well looked after by someone else and I don't fancy the snide remarks (though again, now, I'd have no hesitation in telling her what's what).

Update to progress of study: I spent this afternoon falling asleep over a textbook! Still, I must have learnt more than I would have if I hadn't even looked ... and most of this one will be revision, so should be easier to get done.

However, I have now realised I have two textbooks to read for one topic!! YIKES! Good thing it's the topic I know best already, so if I can restrain myself from taking too many notes (!) it should be possible to cover it quite quickly.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Holiday-time birthday

It's now a week since I reported. As life goes on much the same way, there's not always much to say .... This week I actually made two cards I had been meaning to make for ages. They were for a friend and her husband: he is partially sighted so I needed to think of something he could see easily, with bold colour contrasts. It was her birthday on Thursday, so I just had to get them done by then (and I did, but rushed to the post in so much of a hurry I forgot to scan them first - so, sorry, no piccies ;( ) .

Earlier on I had got a present ready for the birthday girl: she has had a really rough time for the past little while as her husband has been in and out of hospital with quite serious health crises. I had ordered the pressie some time ago and so it was there ready to be wrapped up in pretty paper and sent to get there the day before her birthday. :) As she is a fellow card-maker, it was a set of co-ordinated materials for making Christmass cards (yes, we really do start this early!) for the sale she usually has for charity in September. Unfortunately she won't be able to have one this year, as she's been very much preoccupied with visiting her husband in hospital until now, but who knows, she might squeeze one in later .... and I've heard from her that she is inspired by my pressie :) :)

So now you know why I couldn't tell you before now .... although I don't think she has had time to read blogs just recently I thought it best to keep stumm. Here is a piccie of the bits I sent:

The ribbons at the back don't show up very well because the scanner light has reflected on the plastic wrappings :( but it should give you some idea.

The time is fast approaching when I will be returning to study, and I am all too aware of all the things I meant to get done this year and haven't!! Some delay is due to my slow decision-making (I like to get it right so it takes ages!) but most is due to the fact that I know what I want to do but what is available/in fashion doesn't fit.

This afternoon is scheduled to be a study time The first course residential is a month away on Friday, so I have four weeks - and four textbooks I want to read - yikes! (That doesn't take account of the ones I could read ... )

Saturday, 15 August 2009


I have just been reminded today is the feast, but I won't be celebrating particularly as I haven't any way to do so. It's also the twentieth anniversary of my dad's funeral (after which it took me about three years to re-adjust to feast rather than funeral). What a lot of hurried arranging that took! We had all of five days, as my mum wanted the vicar to do it and he was going on holiday.

The scooter saga has not yet ended: the engineer left the seat too high and I am perched uncomfortably on it. Unfortunately I don't know how to adjust it and can't do it on my own ... but I will have to do something because all the angles are wrong and it digs into my thighs! It is just so annoying I didn't realise until I tried to get onto it several hours after he'd left.

Otherwise I have a birthday present to get wrapped and, still, my application to start studying again in September to sort: most done, but I have to collate the bits of information from three written texts so I don't inflict the same information on people twice (or, worse, three times!). My brain just does not want to play ball.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Back in business

For some time my scooter has developed a habit of disconnecting itself: it always has tended to when bumping up a kerb or onto the tram, and I just reconnected the key, likewise when it later took to doing it on the flat for no apparent reason. However, coming home from Mass on Saturday I had it do so and then had to spend ten minutes or so persuading it to start again - not something I want to happen when I'm crossing the road! (All too soon we will have colder weather and I don't want to be hanging around then, either!)

Fortunately I was on my way home from the Vigil Mass so hadn't to go out again. I rang the engineer on Monday and he came yesterday to fix it. He had to take it away because he said the chassis was bent (!!) and he would have to straighten things out. I cannot imagine how that could have happened: anything dramatic enough would have been something I would have felt (coming off a kerb at the wrong angle, say, would have de-stabilised the machine and I would have felt it tipping - mega-scary!) and remembered. I can only think that it might have been when I was going over a ridge for which the machine was overpowered and someone gave me a helping push: I am careful not to force the machine or go at an angle, but if someone gave a strong shove to one side and not the other, or maybe one of the little wheels at the back got caught ....

The net result was the manufacture of a new connection to the batteries as the one on the machine as it comes does have a tendency to disconnect: that is the advantage of having the engineer come and service it. I also have a new set of batteries so I can venture forth to the doctor and to Birmingham without fear of running out of steam. It's not so much that I run out of steam, but that if I am nearly doing so I don't get enough warning from the battery gauge: I have got stuck before (usually on the ramp up to the door). That is no joke if it is tipping it down or freezing cold: I have to get off and push it the last little bit up to the door. I have now got wise to the fact that the gauge errs very much on the optimistic side (most are pessimistically set) and I need to turn for home the moment it starts going down.

Otherwise I have done a little study (but must do much, much more) and have yet to send my application in to Maryvale ... and there is financial muddle to sort out, too. (Just how do you contact the CAB? I could do it on my own but as it involves officialdom I want to be sure to do it right)

Friday, 7 August 2009

Red letter day

My intentions to rein in the eating out didn't last long! I had a phone call from my niece to say was I free (on Wednesday) so we went out to lunch at a local small restaurant - both thought our meals delicious. Followed up with a dive into M+S where I had my first girlie shop and then went on to shop for food and finished up at a pub enjoying a cocktail in late afternoon.

It was a special treat to have time with Isabel: I could have spent much longer talking to her as we only skimmed over topics and her obserations are interesting.

I still need to get stuck into study: unfortunately I have discovered I will have to sort out a financial muddle, which will take too much time but must be done. I have yet to sort out a proper routine: practical before lunch, study afterwards and no swanning down the High Street!

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Feast for priests

This year having been declared a Year for Priests and it being the feast day of St Jean Vianney (patron saint of priests) I turfed out to Mass this morning. I just about missed the rain afterwards by diving into Sainsbury's for necessary groceries and then had brunch and a coffee (on special offer at the coffee shop). Siesta and study next ...

Monday, 3 August 2009

Apple sauce!

I now have only half a glut of apples! :) Took some along after Mass yesterday: I had promised some to Fr Ashley (ex-Anglican assistant priest with a family to help him eat them ;) ) and some went to the person who often does coffees at evening meetings who (unlike me) has room in her freezer and time to make apple sauce. I had to wait quite a time to speak to her as she was rehearsing Schubert and I didn't want to interrupt. I waited until her accompanist had left (and therefore until the person who barged in to speak to her while he was still there had finished, too) but I got my reward in that my apples found a good home. It amazes me how garrulous women of a certain age will barge in to hijack your conversation ... I was taught better manners than that: one would have thought they might even have known the days when children were seen and not heard ... experience suggests otherwise. Fellow-customers at Sainsbury's were consequently 'treated' to me humming Heidenroslein as I collected my groceries ...

I went to Mass later in the day and afterwards had pizza (congratulations to Pizza Express for introducing a 'light' pizza!). How lazy can you get? Too lazy even to use the microwave at home it seems!! In my defence, I would have been delayed by having to wash up first and just didn't want to wait. That makes this last week one that has been way too expensive as regards eating out, due to the local summer festival and my own celebration of 31st July, but not to worry. This week will not continue in the same vein: I have to stay in and study!

For the moment I have to stay in one place as much as possible: I have pulled a muscle in my back/backside and it hurts when I move. So no flitting around the house doing this and that - sitting studying (and a dose of paracetamol and codeine) is just what it needs. I don't entirely understand why it's so bad as I haven't done anything particularly strenuous, but must have moved awkwardly somewhere along the line ....

There will be no distractions chatting to people either: the rest of the family are all away in France and out of contact (not even available on Facebook!) I only know what they are doing due to fb ....