Saturday, 30 January 2016

A walk in the woods


I am stripping very old wall paper from our hall today. I am really quite ashamed of our 
hall. We have lived in the house 15 years and we have yet to decorate the hall. 
Sadly, the hall looked pretty shabby when we moved in, badly applied wallpaper, which 
overlapped in places and painted a dirty beige. Over the years we have even stuck photos 
and Christmas decorations up using blue tac which then took away some of the paper 
when we tried to remove them!! So you can imagine how bad it looks.

Anyway, this morning while stripping paper the sun just kept calling me to go outside, 
to go outside and enjoy the bright day. So that is what I did!

We live in a town in  the Midlands: our house is almost at the top of a hill. 
The hedge at the bottom of our garden marks the boundary for the town. 
This is the view of our back garden (goals, rebound nets and washing lines included!). 
My destination was the wood at the top of the picture. You can just make out a greenish
path working its way diagonally across the field from bottom left.

 So I'll take you with me on my walk into the wood.

This area will be a carpet of blue once the bluebells are in bloom. 

I'm pretty sure this tree must be home to some of the woodpeckers we see in the garden 
(green and lesser spotted). They are such shy birds. 

For some reason we always walk round this wood anti-clockwise, 
today we 'branched out' and walked it clockwise! 
We can't be accused of not being adventurous!

Reminders that we are not far from urban life. 

A short diversion into the science park. 

I must come back when the daffodils are in bloom.

What a super place to sit in the summer at lunchtime and contemplate...

Back into the woods. 

The sight of this tree brings back memories of the children and how they used to love to climb on it and make the horizontal branches wobble.  

Tiny homes for tiny woodland folk.  

We are very lucky to have such a beautiful wood so close to explore and enjoy.

And for completeness, here is the view from the front of the house. 
We can see right across the roof tops of town to the countryside beyond. 

It always feels like we live in a house which has its front in town 
and its back in the country!

I hope you enjoyed that short walk, making the most 
of the winter sun and our local wood. 

Wishing you an enjoyable weekend.
Has it been sunny with you too? 

Monday, 18 January 2016

It can't all be good...


'An enjoyable few hours spent in Sheffield on a beautifully sunny afternoon, 
all in the company of elder son.'

'A late afternoon, wintery walk up to The Outwoods - when we came out of the woods
 it looked like Christmas lights were on in the town spread before us.' 

As some of you may know, I reduced the number of days I work each week a few 
months ago. 
There have been some unforeseen benefits of this.

1. I drink fewer coffees. 
At work, a mid-morning trip to the coffee shop provided me with a bit of exercise and a bit of a treat too to keep me going through the rest of the day. Sadly, a bag of crisps often accompanied my coffee purchase - not a good thing for either my expanding waistline or rising blood cholesterol!

2. I've cut my wine intake
I have never drunk copious amounts of wine but I did find that a glass or two, several times 
a week was a particularly satisfying way to relax. I'm not proud of this; it is just the way it was. 

I think in celebration my liver is having a party, but obviously an alcohol-free one and 
most probably a slumber party!
 It's having a long-awaited and well-deserved rest from alcohol!! 
It is said that when you reduce your alcohol intake your skin improves, so in a couple 
of weeks time I'm hoping to look 20 years younger! ;-)

3. I've bought fewer magazines
As with the wine, I've never bought many magazines, but again a bit of a treat for me was
to browse the shelves of the newsagent, viewing all the craft and home magazines, 
dreaming of all the projects I would start (and finish!) when I had the time. 
And sometimes feeling that I could justify spending £5 for a magazine as 
"I'd worked hard this week"!

Magazines are pretty extortionate in price now aren't they? 
It's not uncommon for magazines to cost £8 - and I can't help thinking I can buy a 
book for £8!

4. So, as a result of 1, 2 and 3 above, I'M SAVING £££s

So all in all, this is looking very positive. 

But it can't all be good can it?

I am finding it hard to stick to my resolve to cut my spending on yarn. Again, I don't think I'm outrageously extravagant but I do have a few balls sitting in bags waiting to be knitted. 
And at the moment I'm so tempted by more sock yarn! 
And I can't help thinking that I can justify buying a couple of balls because of the 
amount of money I'm saving on coffees and wine! 

Oo, I can't decide between iceburg, frost or delphinium......

(this is 'iceburg' below)

Well, writing this post has distracted me from the wool website for a little while 
(thank you!), I'm now off to tidy the kitchen and then to bed, 
so delaying hitting that 'checkout' button for another day.

I hope you have been enjoying the wintery weather and the 
excuse it brings to snuggle up in front of a fire.
Best wishes