Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A match made in Heaven

I’ve been having a bit of fun with Picasa 3, making collages from my
latest photos of the grandkids. Here's one of them, that's on my
Desktop at the moment ...

0310 collage 2

Here are some yummy treats, made with some help from Mini during our
stay in London...


Her mum L told us that Mini’s been very against mixing with the boys
in her nursery class … that is until this week, when she’s been
befriended by a boy called Barney. Barney has been sitting next to her
in class, and occasionally they’ve held hands together.

L sent Mrs C a text message today with the news that Mini had filled
the washing machine with dirty clothing, had added some soap powder,
and then had set the machine going on the right setting. When Mini
told Barney about this, he suggested she could come round to his house,
so he could show her how he uses the Dyson (vacuum cleaner).

L. said in her text: “A perfect match!”

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A long weekend

Mrs C and I will be spending this weekend in London with our
daughter L and her family … her partner J and her two little
children, Mini and Little D. We really looking forward to it,
and for me it will be a welcome break from the endless sorting
out of things here (mainly my own clutter), other jobs around
the house, and work for my local U3A.

J has a tiny laptop/ notebook which he takes to work with him,
so I will have no access to the internet for about 12 hours
on a weekday … which is not a bad thing, as I’ll spend more
time with the women and children instead. Being a
computer-addict, I’ll spend an hour or so getting my “fix”
around everyone’s bedtime.

The next few days are going to be cool and wet in London,
though we should see a little sunshine on Friday and Saturday.

An Englishman likes to know these things in advance, so he
can pack a brolly and take suitable attire with him, to match
the weather prospects. “Be Prepared” is the Boy Scouts motto,
which is something I’m fond of saying (jokingly) … though I
was never a boy scout. I never joined the Scouts as I didn’t
like the thought of having to attend church on Sundays, or
going on parades, though I would have liked learning how to
tie knots better, and to have earned some money for local
charities by doing “a bob a job”. Had I been bought up in
a more traditional family, I could well have signed up for
the Scouts (a junior version of officer training) leading
to a career in the Armed Forces or the Police Force perhaps.

As regards the latter, I was inspired as a kid by reading
the Sherlock Holmes stories to become a detective, and as a
teenager, watching the James Bond films, to become a
philandering spy and man of action.

Hmm … missed opportunities there … I blame the totally
inadequate careers advice we had at school,(though to be
honest I never had the intellect to be a top detective, or
the physique and the chat-up lines to be like James Bond).

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sisterly feelings

We had our two of our grandchildren staying with us the best part of
yesterday (our usual Friday stint / treat). Mrs C took Little A with
her on the bus into town in the morning, for a wander around the Vicky
Centre, while I looked after her brother J at home.

A enjoys her bus rides, especially when sitting on the upper deck of
the bus. Mrs C enjoys having chats with her about A’s life at home.

Here are a few of her comments:
“I lub Daddy and Mummy, and Daddy and Mummy lub me.”
“Daddy and Mummy made me, and Daddy and Mummy made J…y.”
“Daddy and Mummy lub J…y, but I don’t lub J…y … he’s my brother.”

All my photos arrived from Snapfish this morning in a large cardboard
package (similar to the ones that Amazon uses). I half dread opening
up packets of prints, as I'm often disappointed with the quality of the
colour. However, I'm over the moon with the colours in this latest batch
... a fantastic colour match to what I can see on my computer screen.
I award Snapfish five gold stars, for high quality printing and very
speedy service.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

For the times they are a changin'

I wrote out a couple of large cheques this morning to pay our central
heating chap and our roofer, for major repair jobs we've had done
recently. I noticed in the cheque book stubs that I'd only written
one other cheque since Xmas ... all our other payments had been made
in cash, online or by using our "flexible friends".

Just yesterday, I ordered a load of photos online from Snapfish,
paying the £30 bill online with our credit card - one which gives
us a little cashback - using cheques never gave us any cashback.
Mrs C had a brilliant idea to make up photo-albums for each of our
grandchildren, based on a selection of photos from my Flickr site.
This job took me / us 2-3 days to select them and then to find them
in my large CD-Rom collection.

Anyway, coming back to my main theme, it won't be long before writing
cheques will become obsolete ... which is what the banking industry
is planning to do, as you may have read in the press.

We are also using our video machine less and less these days, thanks
to the brilliant catch-up service we're getting with the latest TV
technology ~ BBC, ITV and Channel 4 I Player available now with our
free Freeview box from Virgin Media, and also via Broadband internet.
How amazing is that! Yesterday, I saw an advert promoting watching
football matches on your mobile phone... that's something I wouldn't
wish to pay for ... I'd wish to see it on a much bigger screen.

At the weekend, Mrs C and I went to an interesting exhibition at the
Djanogly Art Gallery at Nottm University. It was all about looking
"Without from Within", though windows mainly. I particularly liked the
ones by Vanessa Bell and Raoul Dufy ... lots of gorgeous colour in the
paintings. I have used this framing technique for some of my photos in
recent years ... I'll use it more often.

Here's one of my holiday snaps which I took with this idea in my mind ...

window on the sea

Here's a Mini story ... she and her mum were sitting in Costas in
Wimbledon's Centrecourt this morning. L had bought her some mini-
sized Easter eggs. Mini offered her a yellow one, saying: "This one
is same colour as your teeth!"

Friday, March 12, 2010

Holiday snaps

I’ve just updated my Flickr site with another 8 pages ~ full of family &
holiday snaps. The current page includes a few of myself and my sisters,
and the next few pages contain photos I took during our holiday in
Gran Canaria.

Here are a couple of sunsets …



One of the most popular tourist places on the island (on the south west coast) …


Here’s a fantastic coastal view (on the west coast) …


Fancy a souvenir?


Who stayed here (in Las Palmas)?


Lots more photos of Gran Canaria on Flickr.


Sunday, March 07, 2010

In the past week ...

I’ve been even more busy in the past week, catching up on a backlog
of work for my local U3A and our county organisation (after getting
back from holiday) …

Preparing reports to give to my last meeting at the latter (last
Handing over the county website to a colleague.
Preparing a long shopping list of IT equipment for my local U3A,
including laptops and a new digital projector (we’re putting in for
a National Lottery Award soon).
Preparing a talk about how to set up our existing equipment, plus
an intro to using Open Office to create text documents and PDFs
(I’ve started using PDFs for website use, which will save me a lot
of time).

I’m hoping to cut back on U3A activities, so I can spend more time
with my family and on other interests, such as family history and
photography. With the latter in mind, I’ve joined the photography
group of another U3A in the area, to improve my skills (and with
view to setting up a similar group for our U3A in the next year
or so).

On Friday we looked after our grandchildren all day, Little A and
her brother J.

A loves making cakes with Mrs C, and here is what they made…


On a previous visit when her cousin Mini was staying with us as
well, Mrs C and A made some similar buns.

A said to Mrs C: “I think Mini would like a plain one.”
Mrs C: “I think Mini would like a plain one but she might like one
with chocolate on top.
A: “I think Mini would like a plain one.”

Mini chose a chocolate one, when A offered her some cakes to choose
from. Little A. looked disappointed.

Mrs C spent a good part of yesterday putting together a veggie
goulash and puddings for our family gathering at tea-time. I ferried
one of our daughters, S, to and from a counselling workshop she
attended in Nottm., and I also spent some time sorting through
dozens of holiday photos (1GB), some of which I’ll be putting up
on Flickr soon.

Yesterday evening we drove over to the other side of Nottm, for
a brilliant harp duo concert which featured one of my daughters, L,
and her friend, K. Here’s a photo of L, which I took a couple of
years ago, followed by one of S (photo taken by one of her friends)




Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Back from our hols

Hi folks, we're back from our hols in Gran Canaria ... we set off just
over a week ago from a very snowy East Midlands Airport ... the flight
was delayed by 3 hours - the time it took to clear the runways of snow.
We had really fabulous weather in GC ... mid to late 20 deg Centigrade
every day apart from last Saturday which was cooler with late afternoon
drizzle. We hired a car (Renault Twingo) to motor around the island,
re-visited several places we saw on our last visit there (about 6 years
ago), and generally had a relaxing and enjoyable stay there. The outdoor
swimming pool was lovely and warm by late afternoon, so we swam a bit
as well.

(It's very rare that I swim outdoors ... as most pools especially in
the UK, are far too cold for me. I recall diving into an outdoor pool at
Roundhay Park in Leeds, when I was a young teenager, on a hot summer's
day. It was bl...y freezing - ice cold. I shot out of the pool as fast
as I jumped into it.)

I'll get round to putting some holiday pics onto Flickr later this week.
I've got some lovely sunsets to show you.