Sunday, August 09, 2015

20 years ago I did something foolish ...

... and as a result my watch stopped working.
Now this wasn't just any old watch bought cheaply from the local jeweller or department store.

It is a Tissot with a stainless steel housing that I bought in Switzerland in 1972.

I can't now remember how much it cost me, but it was pricey for the time.
I had saved my meagre tips when working in the dining room of a hotel in Arosa and used them for this luxury.

It replaced the basic Timex I had been given aged eleven when I started at secondary school.

Fast forward to the summer of 1995, and we were on holiday in British Columbia.
Touring around Vancouver Island, it was late afternoon and we were in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve between Tofino and Ucluelet.

We walked out to the coast, and gazing at the Pacific I indulged in one of my favourite activities, beach-combing.

I saw a pretty stone or shell, I can't now remember which, purple in colour.
I reached out to pick it up out of the sea, forgetting that I was wearing my watch.

Disaster, although I hastily removed my hand from the water and tried to dry it off, it stopped working.
When we got home I took it to a jewellers to see if it could be revived, and was told it wouldn't be worth it.

So, I bought a basic black Casio digital watch, no fancy leather strap this time.

Fast forward once more to 2015, and now I own another Swiss watch, a Mondaine once again purchased in Switzerland.

The Mondaine was just out of it's 2 year warranty when it seized up as we were travelling home from a five week visit to Australia at the end of June.
Taking it to a shop in Derby resulted in gaining a new movement, which was cheaper than I had expected.

When retrieving it, I asked whether they could take a look at the Tissot.

So on Friday when I had other errands to run in Derby I picked up the Tissot and put it in my bag.
I had finished everything else and went in to the jewellers, and told them the story.

The young man I was speaking to said, "There is nothing wrong with it!".
He handed it back to me, and apart from the date being the 27th rather than the 7th it was fine.

I've wound it each morning since, and it is keeping time.
Why it slept for 20 years is beyond me.


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Oh, it's 2015 and I'm typically slow in updating

So, as usual things I wish to post about occur to me when busy in the garden, or when I'm walking or cycling around the place.

Now, I was thinking of sharing some images from the cold spat we had just before New Year, but the connection between camera and computer seems suddenly to be lost.
So, imagine if you will, a couple of centimetres of snow that fell on Boxing Day early in the evening.

The next few nights brought heavy frosts, and ice crystals materialised on the snow, most notably on the edge of the bird bath.
By New Year's Eve it had all melted away, but not before we had enjoyed many walks on the crunchy (rarely seen) white stuff.

The first weekend of the year saw me joining some knitting friends at the youth hostel in Sheringham on the North Norfolk coast.
I love to be beside the sea, so took every advantage to nip down to the shingle beach to hunt out some interesting pebbles.
The wind and the tides were high so the seas were dramatic.

The following weekend saw me near the sea once more staying with friends in the Wirral.
The coast was a bit disappointing in the drizzle, no shingle, just dull sand.

Changes are happening at the Art Room as we gradually continue with the development of our premises. Last summer we had toilets installed in the lace factory. We now have connecting doors from the education room into the larger part of the lace factory.

But this week the view from my studio window has changed as the local council had all the trees outside trimmed back.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Another birthday exchange

I hadn't taken part in any exchanges for a while, so was pleased to remember to sign up in time for a birthday exchange via Ravelry.

My exchange partner was Alice, born on the same day, but in the USA and as far as we can ascertain a few hours earlier than me. I have photographed the contents of the parcel she sent a couple of times to show the colours with only partial success. Purples are so hard to depict.
For whatever reason I have been unable to rotate the image, but seen from sideways on the treats look so good.

The shawl is knitted in the most perfect purple, and the weight of the beads at the bottom makes it hang beautifully. It has been much admired already, and will be worn so much, as it goes with so many of my clothes.
There are marvellous additions to my stash, purple and brilliant green yarn, and a lovely purple project bag.


Friday, May 23, 2014

Derbyshire Open Arts this bank holiday weekend

Once again it is suddenly the end of May, and tomorrow several of us at Long Eaton Art Room will open our studios to the public. We are open from 10.00 - 17.00 on Saturday, Sunday and Monday 24th - 26th May.

The image above is the one I submitted to go in the brochure back in January.
It was just hastily snapped with my fairly basic digital camera, and then cropped.
The small porcelain pieces wee posed on a sheet of slightly faded black paper, which provided the perfect foil for them.

I was pleasantly surprised towards the end off March to be told that my image was one of six chosen to go in a listing in Craft & Design Mag.

This afternoon when I left my studio I had these pieces set up, but the rest of my display may get changed in the morning.

Sadly, the weather forecast is for more showers so we cannot predict how many people will turn out.

Long Eaton has a strong presence this year, with the Art Room hosting artists 163 - 169.
Just up the road Helen Hallows and David Hallows are also participating, hosting some exciting artists.

More details can be found in the Derbyshire Open Arts brochure.

I am looking forward to seeing some of you over the weekend!

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Friday, September 06, 2013

... changes ...

... are taking place.

This week saw my hair tamed, just in time for the weather to cool down.

Haircut on Wednesday; so the weather changed to cool and damp on Friday via some warm weather on Thursday that saw too much sweat trickling down my back for comfort.

But much more importantly, thanks to the NHS I had a change of hearing aids yesterday.
I'd had my Spirit 3 aids since June 2006, although over the years separately both had failed and been replaced.

The new aids, Spirit Zest are purple once more, and even smaller than before.
This time you can't see the innards, so not quite as exciting to look at.

So far, after just over a day the sound seems to be better.
It was not only drizzling as I cycled in to town, but a bit windy, so now I have some idea what the wind blowing on the microphones will be like.

Otherwise, there is a definite cooling in the air today, and I needed to wear a jacket to cycle to the shops this afternoon.
Looking at the forecast we may  be in for temperatures in the teens from now on.


Monday, June 24, 2013

An hour's drawing distilled

A last minute decision on the morning of May 30th had me cycling over to Elvaston Castle to join in a drawing workshop.
I hadn't cycled that way for years, and was glad of the map facility on my phone. 
It was a cool somewhat damp day, which made the journey easier. 
3/4 hour after leaving home I arrived and was very glad that I was wearing multiple layers as I could strip down to cool off.

I settled down with my favourite fine drawing pen and a sheet of A4 paper, and looked around at the various natural items laid out for inspiration.
The gall on the windowsill above was one of the first to catch my eye.

Later on as I cooled off I roamed the room seeking inspiration, and found this great seedcase, possibly from a verbascum or eremurus.

Towards the end of the hour this was my sheet.
Next I needed to apply the scissors and censor my work.

A handy square of black paper helped in this matter. 
I selected items that could be cut out without losing their integrity, and came up with this arrangement.
The images were a hotchpotch of different scales and both from birds and plant material.
(I have no idea how, if at all, my drawings might get used in the inspiration for archways in a garden there.)

I enjoyed myself on the way home taking more time on my journey, stopping off in Draycott to visit the Beetroot Tree gallery. 

My only regret of the day was that two days later I was told of an app that I could have used to track my journey on my phone.

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Saturday, June 08, 2013

This week's garden favourites

A few minutes ago I was inspired to go round the garden with a camera. I am waiting for some laundry to finish, and this was a fun way to pass the time.
Firstly, right at the back door, and now fortunately elsewhere, a hardy geranium. I think that this is Geranium oxonianum thurstonianum.
Then one that I haven't been able to identify yet. We call it "small white", although it is slightly off white. It grows like mad and seeds itself everywhere, but is easy to identify at a young stage.

This allium is nearly through with flowering, but has been looking splendid for the past couple of weeks.

Phacelia gets sown as a green manure in our raised vegetable beds, and I always try to keep it growing until it flowers. The form of the flowers and the scent make it one of my favourites.

I think that this is a Tiarella. It is an unassuming plant that has spread to a few locations over the year. The tiny flowers start off cream and turn red with time/pollination? 
We have finally established flag irises in the margins of our pond.

The small maple tree we moved in 1995 has more flowers on it than ever.

The first few of these poppies are out, and as you can see a snail has climbed into the centre. That doesn't worry me as then it isn't eating my salad leaves.

Our viburnam is just getting going.

We have aquilegias all over the place, and frequently pull them up.

Blue flowers don't photograph well for me, but the form shows even if the colour is distorted.

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