Monday, 30 April 2012

Holiday to Orkney: Part One!

The week-before-last Adrian and I travelled up to Orkney to visit Beverly.  It was a journey of epic proportions, my loves!  We started on the Thursday evening by catching a local train into London King's Cross.  Then it was a short walk along the Euston Road to Euston Station to catch the sleeper to Inverness.  We had the day and night in Inverness and then caught the early train on Saturday morning for the 3 3/4 hour journey to Thurso.  We then had a short taxi ride to the ferry terminal at Scrabster for the 1 1/2 hour ferry crossing over to Stromness ~ finally we were in Orkney!  It was then just a 30 minutes bus ride to Kirkwall, where our holiday cottage was located!  Then we did it all in reverse a week later LOL

I must admit that I was very stressed-out about the journey; as I mentioned here, my back was playing up again before we left home, and was very painful and stiff.  I was so worried that the journey would make things worse.  As it turned out, though, it was nowhere near as bad as I had feared, although it was very tiring.


Adrian and I had inter-connecting compartments on The Caledonian Sleeper ~ which were very "cosy", as you can see!  I hadn't been quite so concerned about this part of the journey actually, since I knew that I would be able to lay down in the bed. 


More views ~ photos above and below ~ of the sleeper compartment.



This is the engine which took us to Inverness ~ although I don't think it was the one we started out with at Euston as the train splits into different sections at various points on the journey.


I couldn't get far enough back on Inverness station to get the whole of the engine in one photo!




This is the holiday cottage we stayed in, in Kirkwall.  There was a little group of cottages, which looked as if they had been built in recent years.  It was lovely and spacious inside, very clean and with a well-kitted out kitchen.  We are planning to go back again next year and are hoping we will be able to book one of these cottages again :-)

As the cottage had two bedrooms Beverly was able to stay with us all week.  Here she is with the little cutie~pie that she looks after.  Niamh's Mum, Cate, dropped her off each morning on her way to work and then picked her up again on her way home :-)


Niamh will be three in June and she is such a bright little girl.  Her language skills are incredible and sometimes you forget that she is still only a little tot.  Considering the to-ing and fro-ing she did during the week we were there, she was pretty well behaved on the whole. 


Niamh didn't want to sit next to Uncle Adriancot (this is what she has always called him!) to have her photo taken but she was happy to sit on my lap.  She "shared" a piece of her cookie with me ~ oh, the joys of soggy biscuits LOL


Niamh likes to pose for photos and is very good at saying "cheese" :-D 

Whilst I didn't take a humungous amount of photos, I guess there are quite a few so I will finish this post here and upload the others tomorrow!

A Monthly Make for 2012: April


My April Monthly Make for 2012 is crocheted and knitted dolls' house rugs, my loves :-)

What with one thing and another, April has been a decidedly unproductive month.  Still, I did manage to do a little experimenting with knitting and crocheting these dolls' house rugs/mats.

I found the yarn in my stash minus the labels, sweetie~pies, so I'm afraid I can't tell you what it is ~ although I have an idea it may well be something like 25% wool/75% acrylic.  I liked the look of it and thought it might make rather good natural-looking rugs. 

The two moss stitch knitted ones have come out best; the stitches in both the crocheted ones look too big and out of scale.  If I remember correctly, the yarn was labelled as double-knit but it seemed quite thin to me.  I used old imperial size 10 needles to make the moss stitch rug and mat; I believe this is the equivalent of 3.25mm/US size 3.  It worked out quite nicely, giving a firm texture but not too stiff. 

Now that I have tried this out, I shall definitely be making more little rugs and mats ~ especially since I have plenty of odds and ends of yarn in my stash to use up! 

Start the week with a quote...

image from The Graphics Fairy




Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Prayer for World Peace

Dove of Peace ~ Giclee print



We pray to the great Spiritual Power in which we live and move and have our being.
We pray that we may at all times keep our minds open to new ideas and shun dogma;
that we may grow in our understanding of the nature of all living beings and our connectedness with the natural world;
that we may become ever more filled with generosity of spirit and true compassion and love for all life;
that we may strive to heal the hurts that we have inflicted on nature and control our greed for material things, knowing that our actions are harming our natural world and the future of our children;
that we may value each and every human being for who he is, for who she is, reaching to the spirit that is within, knowing the power of each individual to change the world.

We pray for social justice, for the alleviation of the crippling poverty that condemns millions of people around the world to lives of misery - hungry, sick, and utterly without hope.
We pray for the children who are starving, who are condemned to homelessness, slave labour, prostitution, and especially for those forced to fight, to kill and torture even members of their own family.
We pray for the victims of violence and war, for those wounded in body and for those wounded in mind.
We pray for the multitudes of refugees, forced from their homes to alien places through war or through the utter destruction of their environment.

We pray for suffering animals everywhere, for an end to the pain caused by scientific experimentation, intensive farming, fur farming, shooting, trapping, training for entertainment, abusive pet owners, and all other forms of exploitation such as overloading and overworking pack animals, bull fighting, badger baiting, dog and cock fighting and so many more.

We pray for an end to cruelty, whether to humans or other animals, for an end to bullying, and torture in all its forms.
We pray that we may learn the peace that comes with forgiving and the strength we gain in loving;
that we may learn to take nothing for granted in this life;
that we may learn to see and understand with our hearts;
that we may learn to rejoice in our being.

We pray for these things with humility;
We pray because of the hope that is within us, and because of a faith in the ultimate triumph of the human spirit;
We pray because of our love for Creation, and because of our trust in God.
We pray, above all, for peace throughout the world.

prayer for world peace ~ dr jane goodall

Friday, 27 April 2012

Beverly's Baptism


The day after Adrian and I arrived in Orkney, Beverly was Baptised.  We were so happy to be there to share such a happy and special occasion with her :-)


I'm afraid the photos are rather blurry ~ it wasn't easy taking them!

Everyone was so friendly at the Church Beverly attends ~ Kirkwall Baptist Church ~ and we were made to feel very welcome.  The whole service was lovely and although I know Adrian felt somewhat uncomfortable (he is pretty much an atheist), I would be very happy to join the congregation should we ever move to Orkney :-)

Thursday, 26 April 2012

The Thursday Poem

Young Woman Reading by a Window by Delphin Enjolras

Bloody Orkney

This bloody town's a bloody cuss
No bloody trains, no bloody bus,
And no one cares for bloody us
In bloody Orkney.

The bloody roads are bloody bad,
The bloody folks are bloody mad,
They'd make the brightest bloody sad,
In bloody Orkney.

All bloody clouds, and bloody rains,
No bloody kerbs, no bloody drains,
The Council's got no bloody brains,
In bloody Orkney.

Everything's so bloody dear,
A bloody bob, for bloody beer,
And is it good? -- no bloody fear,
In bloody Orkney.

The bloody 'flicks' are bloody old,
The bloody seats are bloody cold,
You can't get in for bloody gold
In bloody Orkney.

The bloody dances make you smile,
The bloody band is bloody vile,
It only cramps your bloody style,
In bloody Orkney.

No bloody sport, no bloody games,
No bloody fun, the bloody dames
Won't even give their bloody names
In bloody Orkney.

Best bloody place is bloody bed,
With bloody ice on bloody head,
You might as well be bloody dead,
In bloody Orkney.

There's nothing greets your bloody eye
But bloody sea and bloody sky,

'Roll on demob!' we bloody cry
In bloody Orkney.

Anonymous

This poem is said to have been written by soldiers expressing their feelings about being stationed at Scapa Flow during both World Wars!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Wednesday Weigh-in

Starting weight: 22st 7.5lbs (315.5 pounds)

This week: 22st 1.5lbs (309.5 pounds)
= - 3.5 pounds

Total loss: 6lbs

Wow, I've actually lost some weight my loves ~ even though Adrian and I have been on holiday!  I am so pleased to see this reduction, as I am sure you can all well imagine, sweetie~pies :-)

  We went up to visit our daughter in Orkney on the 12th April and got back on the 23rd, and I have to say that we really didn't eat terribly healthily whilst we were away!  Having said that, though, we did get plenty of exercise as our holiday cottage was a good 15-20 minutes walk (for me with my dodgy back) from the centre of Kirkwall, and was situated on a fairly steep hill.  My back was still very painful when we left home but by the time we got back again, it had eased considerably.  I can really only put this down to the regular daily exercise as we went into Kirkwall every day, plus I have been doing the exercises I was given when I was discharged from hospital a few years back.

Unfortunately I now have a cold and really feel rather unwell ~ I felt so bad this morning that I had to go back to bed!  I slept for a good four hours and feel somewhat better this evening.  What with feeling so poorly and the horrendous weather we've had today, I'm afraid the doggies and I haven't been out for a walk at all but my plan is to get out walking again every day.  Hopefully that, combined with proper sensible eating, will see the numbers on the scale continue to drop downwards!   

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Prayer for World Peace

Dove of Peace ~ Giclee print


We pray to the great Spiritual Power in which we live and move and have our being.
We pray that we may at all times keep our minds open to new ideas and shun dogma;
that we may grow in our understanding of the nature of all living beings and our connectedness with the natural world;
that we may become ever more filled with generosity of spirit and true compassion and love for all life;
that we may strive to heal the hurts that we have inflicted on nature and control our greed for material things, knowing that our actions are harming our natural world and the future of our children;
that we may value each and every human being for who he is, for who she is, reaching to the spirit that is within, knowing the power of each individual to change the world.

We pray for social justice, for the alleviation of the crippling poverty that condemns millions of people around the world to lives of misery - hungry, sick, and utterly without hope.
We pray for the children who are starving, who are condemned to homelessness, slave labour, prostitution, and especially for those forced to fight, to kill and torture even members of their own family.
We pray for the victims of violence and war, for those wounded in body and for those wounded in mind.
We pray for the multitudes of refugees, forced from their homes to alien places through war or through the utter destruction of their environment.

We pray for suffering animals everywhere, for an end to the pain caused by scientific experimentation, intensive farming, fur farming, shooting, trapping, training for entertainment, abusive pet owners, and all other forms of exploitation such as overloading and overworking pack animals, bull fighting, badger baiting, dog and cock fighting and so many more.

We pray for an end to cruelty, whether to humans or other animals, for an end to bullying, and torture in all its forms.
We pray that we may learn the peace that comes with forgiving and the strength we gain in loving;
that we may learn to take nothing for granted in this life;
that we may learn to see and understand with our hearts;
that we may learn to rejoice in our being.

We pray for these things with humility;
We pray because of the hope that is within us, and because of a faith in the ultimate triumph of the human spirit;
We pray because of our love for Creation, and because of our trust in God.
We pray, above all, for peace throughout the world.

prayer for world peace ~ dr jane goodall

Thursday, 19 April 2012

The Thursday Poem




Song of the Flower XXIII
I am a kind word uttered and repeated
By the voice of Nature;
I am a star fallen from the
Blue tent upon the green carpet.
I am the daughter of the elements
With whom Winter conceived;
To whom Spring gave birth; I was
Reared in the lap of Summer and I
Slept in the bed of Autumn.

At dawn I unite with the breeze
To announce the coming of light;
At eventide I join the birds
In bidding the light farewell.

The plains are decorated with
My beautiful colors, and the air
Is scented with my fragrance.

As I embrace Slumber the eyes of
Night watch over me, and as I
Awaken I stare at the sun, which is
The only eye of the day.

I drink dew for wine, and hearken to
The voices of the birds, and dance
To the rhythmic swaying of the grass.

I am the lover's gift; I am the wedding wreath;
I am the memory of a moment of happiness;
I am the last gift of the living to the dead;
I am a part of joy and a part of sorrow.

But I look up high to see only the light,
And never look down to see my shadow.
This is wisdom which man must learn.


Khalil Gibran
(6th January 1883 - 10th April 1931)

Monday, 16 April 2012

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Prayer for World Peace

Dove of Peace ~ Giclee print


We pray to the great Spiritual Power in which we live and move and have our being.
We pray that we may at all times keep our minds open to new ideas and shun dogma;
that we may grow in our understanding of the nature of all living beings and our connectedness with the natural world;
that we may become ever more filled with generosity of spirit and true compassion and love for all life;
that we may strive to heal the hurts that we have inflicted on nature and control our greed for material things, knowing that our actions are harming our natural world and the future of our children;
that we may value each and every human being for who he is, for who she is, reaching to the spirit that is within, knowing the power of each individual to change the world.

We pray for social justice, for the alleviation of the crippling poverty that condemns millions of people around the world to lives of misery - hungry, sick, and utterly without hope.
We pray for the children who are starving, who are condemned to homelessness, slave labour, prostitution, and especially for those forced to fight, to kill and torture even members of their own family.
We pray for the victims of violence and war, for those wounded in body and for those wounded in mind.
We pray for the multitudes of refugees, forced from their homes to alien places through war or through the utter destruction of their environment.

We pray for suffering animals everywhere, for an end to the pain caused by scientific experimentation, intensive farming, fur farming, shooting, trapping, training for entertainment, abusive pet owners, and all other forms of exploitation such as overloading and overworking pack animals, bull fighting, badger baiting, dog and cock fighting and so many more.

We pray for an end to cruelty, whether to humans or other animals, for an end to bullying, and torture in all its forms.
We pray that we may learn the peace that comes with forgiving and the strength we gain in loving;
that we may learn to take nothing for granted in this life;
that we may learn to see and understand with our hearts;
that we may learn to rejoice in our being.

We pray for these things with humility;
We pray because of the hope that is within us, and because of a faith in the ultimate triumph of the human spirit;
We pray because of our love for Creation, and because of our trust in God.
We pray, above all, for peace throughout the world.

prayer for world peace ~ dr jane goodall

Thursday, 12 April 2012

The Thursday Poem



My Holiday
I love the cheery bustle
Of children round the house,
The tidy maids a-hustle,
The chatter of my spouse;
The laughter and the singing,
The joy on every face:
With frequent laughter ringing,
O, Home's a happy place!

Aye, Home's a bit of heaven;
I love it every day;
My line-up of eleven
Combine to make it gay;
Yet when in June they're leaving
For Sandport by the sea,
By rights I should be grieving,
But gosh! I just fell free.

I'm left with parting kisses,
The guardian of the house;
The romp, it's true, one misses,
I'm quiet as a mouse.
In carpet slippers stealing
From room to room alone
I get the strangest feeling
The place is all my own.

It seems to nestle near me,
It whispers in my ear;
My books and pictures cheer me,
Hearth never was so dear.
In peace profound I lap me,
I take no stock of time,
And from the dreams that hap me,
I make (like this) a rhyme.

Oh, I'm ashamed of saying
(And think it's mean of me),
That when the kids are staying
At Sandspot on the sea,
And I evoke them clearly
Disporting in the spray,
I love them still more dearly
Because . . . they're far away.
Robert William Service
(16th January 1874 - 11th September 1958)

Monday, 9 April 2012

Start the week with a quote...

image from The Graphics Fairy




Courage can't see around corners but goes around them anyway

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Easter greetings!


image from The Graphics Fairy


Hoping you all have a wonderful Easter, sweetie~pies (((hugs)))

Prayer for World Peace

Dove of Peace ~ Giclee print


We pray to the great Spiritual Power in which we live and move and have our being.
We pray that we may at all times keep our minds open to new ideas and shun dogma;
that we may grow in our understanding of the nature of all living beings and our connectedness with the natural world;
that we may become ever more filled with generosity of spirit and true compassion and love for all life;
that we may strive to heal the hurts that we have inflicted on nature and control our greed for material things, knowing that our actions are harming our natural world and the future of our children;
that we may value each and every human being for who he is, for who she is, reaching to the spirit that is within, knowing the power of each individual to change the world.

We pray for social justice, for the alleviation of the crippling poverty that condemns millions of people around the world to lives of misery - hungry, sick, and utterly without hope.
We pray for the children who are starving, who are condemned to homelessness, slave labour, prostitution, and especially for those forced to fight, to kill and torture even members of their own family.
We pray for the victims of violence and war, for those wounded in body and for those wounded in mind.
We pray for the multitudes of refugees, forced from their homes to alien places through war or through the utter destruction of their environment.

We pray for suffering animals everywhere, for an end to the pain caused by scientific experimentation, intensive farming, fur farming, shooting, trapping, training for entertainment, abusive pet owners, and all other forms of exploitation such as overloading and overworking pack animals, bull fighting, badger baiting, dog and cock fighting and so many more.

We pray for an end to cruelty, whether to humans or other animals, for an end to bullying, and torture in all its forms.
We pray that we may learn the peace that comes with forgiving and the strength we gain in loving;
that we may learn to take nothing for granted in this life;
that we may learn to see and understand with our hearts;
that we may learn to rejoice in our being.

We pray for these things with humility;
We pray because of the hope that is within us, and because of a faith in the ultimate triumph of the human spirit;
We pray because of our love for Creation, and because of our trust in God.
We pray, above all, for peace throughout the world.

prayer for world peace ~ dr jane goodall

Thursday, 5 April 2012

The Thursday Poem



Spring Wind in London

I blow across the stagnant world,
I blow across the sea,
For me, the sailor's flag unfurled,
For me, the uprooted tree.
My challenge to the world is hurled;
The world must bow to me.

I drive the clouds across the sky,
I huddle them like sheep;
Merciless shepherd-dog am I
And shepherd-watch I keep.
If in the quiet vales they lie
I blow them up the steep.

Lo! In the tree-tops do I hide,
In every living thing;
On the moon's yellow wings I glide,
On the wild rose I swing;
On the sea-horse's back I ride,
And what then do I bring?

And when a little child is ill
I pause, and with my hand
I wave the window curtain's frill
That he may understand
Outside the wind is blowing still;
...It is a pleasant land.

O stranger in a foreign place,
See what I bring to you.
This rain--is tears upon your face;
I tell you--tell you true
I came from that forgotten place
Where once the wattle grew,--

All the wild sweetness of the flower
Tangled against the wall.
It was that magic, silent hour....
The branches grew so tall
They twined themselves into a bower.
The sun shown... and the fall

Of yellow blossom on the grass!
You feel that golden rain?
Both of you could not hold, alas,
(both of you tried, in vain)
A memory, stranger. So I pass....
It will not come again

Katherine Mansfield
(14th October 1881 - 9th January 1923)

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The Weekly Weigh-In.....


...is temporarily suspended, my loves :-(

I'm having problems with my back again and to be honest I just don't have the energy to be thinking about "dieting" right now.  I saw my GP last night who said that it is a muscular thing but I'm worried ~ as I'm sure you can well imagine.  I hurt myself last week, bending over the bath to wash my hair, and it just doesn't feel any better whatsoever.  Hence the visit to my GP yesterday.  I have also made an acupuncture appointment for Thursday evening, so I'm hoping that will help.

Things were going so well; my back was healing and I was really pleased, as was Dr C (who I see for the acupuncture) when I last saw him only two or three weeks ago.  What is really worrying is that we are due to visit our daughter, who lives in Orkney, soon and it is a long journey up there ~ not least because we are going by train. 

Oh well, I shall just have to cross my fingers and hope for the best ~ healing thoughts would be very much appreciated, sweetie~pies!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Start the week with a quote...

image from The Graphics Fairy




Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realise they were the big things

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Prayer for World Peace

Dove of Peace ~ Giclee print



We pray to the great Spiritual Power in which we live and move and have our being.
We pray that we may at all times keep our minds open to new ideas and shun dogma;
that we may grow in our understanding of the nature of all living beings and our connectedness with the natural world;
that we may become ever more filled with generosity of spirit and true compassion and love for all life;
that we may strive to heal the hurts that we have inflicted on nature and control our greed for material things, knowing that our actions are harming our natural world and the future of our children;
that we may value each and every human being for who he is, for who she is, reaching to the spirit that is within, knowing the power of each individual to change the world.

We pray for social justice, for the alleviation of the crippling poverty that condemns millions of people around the world to lives of misery - hungry, sick, and utterly without hope.
We pray for the children who are starving, who are condemned to homelessness, slave labour, prostitution, and especially for those forced to fight, to kill and torture even members of their own family.
We pray for the victims of violence and war, for those wounded in body and for those wounded in mind.
We pray for the multitudes of refugees, forced from their homes to alien places through war or through the utter destruction of their environment.

We pray for suffering animals everywhere, for an end to the pain caused by scientific experimentation, intensive farming, fur farming, shooting, trapping, training for entertainment, abusive pet owners, and all other forms of exploitation such as overloading and overworking pack animals, bull fighting, badger baiting, dog and cock fighting and so many more.

We pray for an end to cruelty, whether to humans or other animals, for an end to bullying, and torture in all its forms.
We pray that we may learn the peace that comes with forgiving and the strength we gain in loving;
that we may learn to take nothing for granted in this life;
that we may learn to see and understand with our hearts;
that we may learn to rejoice in our being.

We pray for these things with humility;
We pray because of the hope that is within us, and because of a faith in the ultimate triumph of the human spirit;
We pray because of our love for Creation, and because of our trust in God.
We pray, above all, for peace throughout the world.

prayer for world peace ~ dr jane goodall