Sunday, 30 April 2017

Peace...




www.allposters.co.uk

Father, Mother, God,

Thank you for your presence during the hard and mean days.
For then we have you to lean upon.

Thank you for your presence during the bright and sunny days.
For then we can share that which we have with those who have less.

And thank you for your presence during the Holy Days.
For then we are able to celebrate you and our families and our friends

For those who have no voice, we ask you to speak.

For those who feel unworthy, we ask you to pour your love out in waterfalls of tenderness.

For those who live in pain, we ask you to bathe them in the river of your healing.

For those who are lonely, we ask you to keep them company.

For those who are depressed, we ask you to shower upon them the light of hope.

Dear Creator, You, the borderless sea of substance, we ask you to give to all the world that which we need most.....PEACE.

Maya Angelou
(4th April 1928 - 28th May 2014)

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Busy busy busy!


Gosh, Adrian and I are busy bees at the moment!  We have had yet another big clear-out, this time in the dining room, as our handy-dandy handyman Steve started decorating in there this week.  It hasn't been so difficult with the furniture as it was when the living room was decorated as there isn't so much of it 😉  At the moment the china cabinet is in residence in the living room and the sideboard is in the hall!

We decided that we would donate the dining table and chairs (they went to the Sue Ryder charity's furniture store) and replace them with a smaller set.  It was a nice pine table and chairs but really was too large for the room and boy was it heavy 😮  Our neighbour has a 4' diameter round dining table which extends to an oval when extra seating space is needed, and it fits really nicely into her dining room.  She has virtually the same amount and size of other furniture in there that we have, so we will be buying the same size for our dining room in due course.

Whilst Steve is busy decorating, we are equally as busy clearing out the lean-to.  It's become a terrible dumping-ground for all and sundry these last few years, and has turned out to be a rather mammoth exercise!  I keep all my spare cleaning, etc, supplies in there and have been horrified at how much I have accumulated ~ there were four unopened bottles of surface cleaner along with six or seven more that have been started on to one degree or another 😲  Plus I found numerous multiples of other things like window-cleaner, oven cleaner, etc, etc ~ I think it's safe to say that I won't be needing anymore cleaning supplies for quite some time to come!  We haven't finished out there yet but are making good progress.  There is one thing I think I will have to do fairly soon, though, and that is to crochet myself a few more dishcloths.....once I've sorted through my humungous yarn stash and found the cotton double-knit that is LOL
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Sunday, 23 April 2017

Peace...




www.allposters.co.uk

Father, Mother, God,

Thank you for your presence during the hard and mean days.
For then we have you to lean upon.

Thank you for your presence during the bright and sunny days.
For then we can share that which we have with those who have less.

And thank you for your presence during the Holy Days.
For then we are able to celebrate you and our families and our friends

For those who have no voice, we ask you to speak.

For those who feel unworthy, we ask you to pour your love out in waterfalls of tenderness.

For those who live in pain, we ask you to bathe them in the river of your healing.

For those who are lonely, we ask you to keep them company.

For those who are depressed, we ask you to shower upon them the light of hope.

Dear Creator, You, the borderless sea of substance, we ask you to give to all the world that which we need most.....PEACE.

Maya Angelou
(4th April 1928 - 28th May 2014)

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Peace...




www.allposters.co.uk

Father, Mother, God,

Thank you for your presence during the hard and mean days.
For then we have you to lean upon.

Thank you for your presence during the bright and sunny days.
For then we can share that which we have with those who have less.

And thank you for your presence during the Holy Days.
For then we are able to celebrate you and our families and our friends

For those who have no voice, we ask you to speak.

For those who feel unworthy, we ask you to pour your love out in waterfalls of tenderness.

For those who live in pain, we ask you to bathe them in the river of your healing.

For those who are lonely, we ask you to keep them company.

For those who are depressed, we ask you to shower upon them the light of hope.

Dear Creator, You, the borderless sea of substance, we ask you to give to all the world that which we need most.....PEACE.

Maya Angelou
(4th April 1928 - 28th May 2014)

Thursday, 13 April 2017

I just can't stop myself!


I'm sorry if all these garden photos are starting to bore you ~ but I'm so pleased with how it's looking now that I just can't stop taking photos LOL

I emptied out the planter above and put the plants in the new border.  I just bought one new shrub to replace them, a hydrangea paniculata "Vanilla Fraise".  I moved the geraniums from the raised bed next to the planter, along with the daffodil bulbs that have now finished flowering.  The geraniums sulked for a few days but are starting to look perkier now 😉 


I can't remember what the pretty pond plant above is ~ it lives in the same little nature pool as the loosestrife.  This is the robin's favourite spot for bathing 😊


I do love hostas but haven't always been successful at keeping them safe from the dratted slugs.  These beauties are in the raised bed with the nature pool and so far are doing okay.


I thought I would have a little play with taking some close-up photos of some of my plants.  These hostas have been nibbled on a little but are still growing well.


I have no idea what any of the hostas are called ~ they were given to me by a friend who was thinning out her collection.


This is my favourite, I think it is really beautiful.


This ajuga "Burgundy Glow" is so pretty.....


.....as is this aquilegia "Ministar".


See how delicate and fragile it looks 😊


This little sedum, "Cappa Blanca", sits in the soil and virtually glows!


I was so pleased to see that the peony has a couple of promising-looking flower buds this year.  I moved it last year so it's great that it feels happy enough in its new home to flower this year.


This is another aquilegia, "Winky", which is a bigger-growing and later-flowering plant than "Ministar".


And finally (you'll be pleased to hear, no doubt!), yes, this is indeed a dandelion!  I know I should just dig it out, but the flower is so cheerful especially in this particular border which is waiting for some TLC and new plants!  I'll just have to be vigilent and dehead it before it sets seed ~ after all, one year's seeds = seven years weeds and all that 😉
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Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Easily amused!


From this.....


.....to this 😃

 I confess that I found using this vacuum bag way more amusing that I really ought to have done ~ I even opened it up and sucked out the air a second time LOL

We've just bought a new wool duvet and mattress topper in the hope that it will help me to sleep better.  Our old duvet is relatively new, so I decided to keep it as a spare.  It's a king size duvet, so is rather bulky hence the vacuum storage bag.

I am still struggling with what I believe to be eczema, with patches of it all over my body and limbs *sigh*  I still wake up with hot flushes during the night, which in turn then makes my skin so horribly itchy.  I have had a letter from the hospital ~ only to let me know that I am now on the dermatology clinic waiting list though.

I am currently trying out some different skin care products as the ones from Pure Potions irritated my skin.  I am also on week four of drinking kefir daily ~ I will let you know how these latest trials work out soon!
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Little words of wisdom

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

A weekend of pottering


I had a lovely weekend, mostly spent pottering about in the garden.  I have been "robbing Peter to pay Paul" by taking plants from both the brick bed and wooden planter to put in the new border that Steve made last week.  I'll share photos of it soon 😊


Everything is growing so fast now.  Just look at how much growth the mint has put on already, in only 10 days or so!


The houseleeks are very cosy in this lovely terracotta wall planter.  They are really spreading out to fill it now.  Hopefully it won't be long before they are spilling over the edges.


I emptied out the sink and used the plants elsewhere in the garden.  The planting is much simpler now: rose "Nozomi"; saxifrage "Pixie Rose" and geranium "Alice".  The helianthemum at the front was a free plant with my order from Plants for Small Gardens.  I think it is "Peach Melba" ~ I'll try to remember to check next time I'm pootling about in the garden.


This is purple loosestrife, in one of the two tiny nature pools we have in the garden.  Actually, the loosestrife is the reason we have this particular pool!  The plant was originally in our fishpond but when we decided not to keep fish anymore, I didn't want to lose the loosestrife as it is such a lovely plant.  It grows to over a metre in height and has pretty purple-pink flowers for a long time during the summer.

The birds like to drink and bathe in both the pools, but "our" robin always comes to this one which is nearest the house.  He always seems to appear when I come out of the patio door to take care of his ablutions ~ I think he is something of an exhibitionist LOL    
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Monday, 10 April 2017

Groatie Bay: let's meet the prospective new shop owners of Angel House Galleria!


You have already seen the photo above in a previous post about the Galleria, but I thought I'd show it again just as a little reminder of the layout of the building.


James and Maretta moved to Groatie Bay from the mainland when they were first married.  They spent their honeymoon on the island and just fell in love with the place, the people and the way of life.  I'm sure you can appreciate what a huge undertaking it is for Peediekins to move from one place to another ~ no wonder then that so many choose to stay in the same town or village their whole lives!

James and Maretta have spent some time travelling around the world ~ they are really very adventurous for Peedikins!  When they realised that they both wanted to start a family, they decided it was the right time to marry and settle down.  They had both worked in the food industry before moving to Groatie Bay and were able to get a transfer to the local supermarket in the town.  When the idea for the Galleria came about, they saw that there was a good opportunity to start up a delicatessen to sell all those little "luxuries" that the local supermarket doesn't cater for.  Now that Catriona and Andrew are both at school, Maretta will be able to bring Elspeth to the shop for a few hours each week to help James.



Broden and Nessa have lived in Groatie Bay all their lives, and are childhood sweethearts.  The opening of the Galleria, and the Groatie Bay Arts & Crafts Guild offering the job as Manager to Broden, has been a godsend to the Quinns.  

Despite gaining extremely good exam results, Broden decided to leave school at 16 and immediately started working for his uncle on his farm.  He was very happy there and learned lots of skills, both practical and business-related.  Unfortunately, shortly after Nessa became pregnant with Isla, Broden was badly hurt in a nasty accident with a fork-lift truck.  For a while it was touch-and-go as to whether he would be able to walk again but thankfully, following a couple of major operations and after a lot of intensive physiotherapy, he is now out of  a wheelchair and mobile again, albeit with the support of a walking stick.

The Groatie Bay Arts & Crafts Guild members decided that it would be much more beneficial for all of them if their work could be on display in a prominent place in the town.  The items the Guild members produce will be available for purchase from the new shop.  There will be lots of information for customers on the work of the members of the Guild as well as other events going on in the town.

Since Nessa is herself a member of the Guild (she knits and crochets beautiful blankets using locally-sourced yarns), I am sure that she and Isla will often be found in the shop keeping Broden company.  


Effemy is also a local Groatie Bay girl and is an old school friend of Broden and Nessa.  She and Nessa both had Saturday/holiday jobs at the Groatie Bay Garden Centre whilst they were at school, and Effemy especially enjoyed working with the flowering plants.  When she left school at 18, she decided to train as a florist.  Effemy also loves everything French ~ her maternal Grandmother is French ~ so she decided to do her training in Paris, living with her Grand-mere whilst she did so, and was lucky enough to find work in a rather lovely florist shop in the city.

Much as she loves Paris, her Grand-mere and the beautiful shop she worked in, Effemy was very homesick for Groatie Bay and her family and friends there.  When Nessa wrote to tell her about the plans for the Galleria, she immediately contacted the Town Council to see if there would be an opportunity for her to have one of the shop spaces.  She was so thrilled to find that her application was successful and is looking forward to taking the next step in her floristry career with a shop of her own.  


Tabitha has lived in Groatie Bay for 12 years, having moved from the mainland to look after her great aunt, who was seriously ill.  Tabitha hadn't been particularly close to her aunt but she was her only surviving relative, and she didn't want the old lady to spend her last few years in an elderly persons home.  As it turned out, the two of them got on very well and found that they had a surprising number of interests in common.  They were both a little sad that they had not got to know each other better earlier but they made the most of the time the aunt had left.  With Tabitha's loving care, her aunt's remaining years were happy despite her illness; she eventually passed away peacefully three years after Tabitha came to live with her.  Tabitha made some very dear and close friends in those three years, and when her aunt passed away and bequeathed her little house and its contents to her, she decided to stay in Groatie Bay as it now felt very much like "home".

She has worked as a carer in Hackland House Residential Home for a number of years, and although she loves working there, she would really like to be self-employed.  Since one of the interests Tabitha and her aunt shared was a love of antiques and vintage/vintage style pretty things, she decided to apply to the Town Council for a shop space in the Galleria selling such items.


Rhona and Annys are mother and daughter.  Whilst Annys was born and brought up in Groatie Bay, Rhona moved there from another small town on the island when she married her husband, Ewan.

Rhona loves to cook (and in particular is well known for her delicious baking) and before Annys came along, she was the assistant chef in the Groatie Bay Hotel.  She has always wanted to have a little tea room and when the Galleria idea came up, Ewan and Annys both encouraged her to apply to the Town Council.  Annys is about to start a college catering course and is eager to work alongside her mother in the tea room when she has completed it.  In the meantime she will work there on Saturdays and during the holidays, so Rhona will be advertising for a waitress to cover the hours Annys will be at college.

So there it is, a little potted history of all the folk who will, in due course, be fulfilling their dreams of having a business of their own in the Galleria.  Hopefully it won't be too long before I have more news and photos to share!

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Sunday, 9 April 2017

Spring marches on...


Aren't fritillaries just so sweet, with their delicate little nodding heads!  


This is an everlasting pea, lathyrus vernus "Rainbow".  I was intrigued to find that sweetpeas have a perennial little low-growing cousin.


Just look at the lillies!  What a difference only a week or so makes!


The bergenia have pretty flowers.  I love the way the flowers stand so tall (well, relatively speaking anyway LOL) above those "elephant ears" leaves 😊


I gave this little standard lavender a good trim this year.  It is full of fresh green shoots.


This raised bed is all planted up now.  The alpine plants in there will soon spread to smother the bare soil with their little leaves and flowers.


The wire bird is standing guard over the little ones in the houseleek pot.  I will really have to get the table painted this summer!

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Peace...




www.allposters.co.uk

Father, Mother, God,

Thank you for your presence during the hard and mean days.
For then we have you to lean upon.

Thank you for your presence during the bright and sunny days.
For then we can share that which we have with those who have less.

And thank you for your presence during the Holy Days.
For then we are able to celebrate you and our families and our friends

For those who have no voice, we ask you to speak.

For those who feel unworthy, we ask you to pour your love out in waterfalls of tenderness.

For those who live in pain, we ask you to bathe them in the river of your healing.

For those who are lonely, we ask you to keep them company.

For those who are depressed, we ask you to shower upon them the light of hope.

Dear Creator, You, the borderless sea of substance, we ask you to give to all the world that which we need most.....PEACE.

Maya Angelou
(4th April 1928 - 28th May 2014)

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Groatie Bay: Angel House Galleria


So here it is, Captain Jack's Folly in all its glory!  It's a perfectly nice house but just wouldn't be suitable for my dolls' house "town".  It was given to me by my parents ~ I think my Mum just lost interest, so Dad didn't get it finished.  The interior decor that he did does not fit in with what I have in mind for the various shops, so it will be changed quite considerably.

Externally, Dad used brick and stone-effect paper on the walls, which I don't like at all.  Some of it is starting to peel slightly, so I think I will try to remove it altogether.  I will also remove the strip of wood beneath the windows on the ground floor, as I will be using just one finish rather than the two Dad has used.  The house is a pretty hefty beast so I want to clad it with lightweight materials; I am thinking of using Richard Stacey brick slips from his Versi range, in yellow/buff, which I will continue around the sides of the house.  I am happy to keep the upper floors as a simple painted finish, although I may well change the colour.  The roof will be tiled with Richard Stacey Versislates, and I am considering putting in a couple of simple windows in the roof on the right-hand side of the tea room.  I am thinking that the frames could be painted in a shade of grey to blend in with the slates so that they are less obtrusive.

I realise that these changes are not very in keeping with a Tudor look, but after all it is very much a mock-Tudor building and Captain Jack had to use what materials were available locally 😉


As I have already mentioned, internally there will be a lot of changes to the decoration.  The layout is fine, although I will be replacing the existing stairs with right-angled ones: 


stair kit from Dolls House Direct
It's not easy to see from the photo of the house but the stairs on the ground floor are really close to the front wall, and are not in the least bit realistic!  Right-angled stairs will sit further back from the front of the house, and I'm hoping that I will be able to fit a toilet beneath them on the ground floor.  I won't then have to use up space in the tea room for a toilet.

I am also going to replace the doors with something like this:

door kit from Susi's Miniatures
  I will only be using doors on the ground floor ~ one exterior door to the upper shops in the Galleria, and one each for the delicatessen and the arts and crafts guild.  I will have to re-jig the windows for these two shops to accommodate the doors, but it will mean that they won't need doors inside the building (which will also make having a toilet on the ground floor much more feasible).  The upper floors will be open-plan, with the doorway into Tabitha's shop made a little wider.

Internally, all the woodwork and ceilings will be white; the stairs and upper floors will be stained.  I have some vinyl floor tiles leftover from our real-life house, which I will use throughout the ground floor.  As for the decor of each shop.....well, I certainly have a lot of ideas swirling around in my head but I think I had better get all the basics done before I commit to any of them LOL


Thanks to Christopher's research into the life of Captain Smith and Lady Constance's suggestion of turning the house into a collection of little shops, Angel House will now be used for the benefit of the folk of Groatie Bay, just as the Captain had wished.


By a stroke of good luck, Lady Constance's son, Sir Peter Buchanan, is an architect.  When he heard his mother's idea for how Angel House could be put to use for the community, he offered to donate his services for free in drawing up plans for the redevelopment of the building.  As you can imagine, this went down very well indeed with the town council 😉

Well, it all sounds very simple written down on here but I know that I have a lot of work ahead of me!  I will share photos as the project progresses, and will give you a little background to the folk who will be having their shops in the Galleria in an upcoming post. 

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