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Friday, 3 February 2017

Why Raise A Princess, When You Can Raise A Warrior - Intrigued? Take a look at my latest Post....


Most of my 'older' bloggy friends will know that I love Quotations, and I'm always looking for new ones to add to my collection. I have a beautiful, (and, yes, boys can be beautiful too), kind and loving eight year old grandson, but I am also blessed with two delightful granddaughters, along with my two very special daughters. Notice that I'm trying not to use the word 'beautiful' too much here, although they are just that, both on the outside AND the inside.  

It is such a different world for all girls now, from when I was young. These days, if they want to, they can do anything, and go anywhere. So, today, my Post is in honour of young girls everywhere - go out there and shine!! I hope you will enjoy the Quotations I have found for you today, all courtesy of Pinterest....









 I think this next one has to be one of my favourites....


So let's raise a glass to strong young girls and young women everywhere. Meanwhile, I wish you all a very happy weekend, and I look forward to seeing you again soon. ❤. For those of you who take a look at my Featured Posts, there is a new one up today, where I give you a little taster of my Summer garden here in heavenly Devon.  Just click on the link on the right hand sidebar.  Bye for now. 

Thursday, 2 February 2017

An Italian Theme For You Today ....

If you love opera, and you also love Italy, as I do, you have really missed a stunning spectacle if you haven't been to the Verona Opera Festival.  (Even if opera is not really your thing, you could not fail to be moved by the ancient setting).  

I went a few years ago with a friend, and as it was her 'special' birthday, we decided to do it in style and opted for the best seats in the house (Poltronissime), where the Italian men wear their tuxedos and the ladies wear long evening dresses. 


Before entering the Arena di Verona, it is a good idea to eat at one of the many restaurants in the small streets that surround the Amphitheatre. This way, you can really make the most of the charged atmosphere, whilst doing some serious people watching at the same time.  There are lots of gorgeous, designer shops for you to feast your eyes on (I particularly remember the Louis Vuitton shop, which was immediately opposite the ancient Arena).


Once inside the Arena, be prepared to be blown away by the sheer scale and magnificence of it all.  The Arena sits 20,000 people, from the best seats on the floor of the Arena, right up to the unreserved places on the upper (very upper!) stone galleries, where you are perched high on the topmost ramparts of the original Stadium, which was built in 30 AD.  



When one thinks of opera, the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, the Sydney Opera House, and La Scala all spring readily to mind, but you will find that Verona combines a quite unique setting with productions and performances of a consistently  high standard. Where else could you be watching, on a hot Summer's evening, a performance of Aida, as I was, when at the start of the second act, immediately behind the stage, a huge, full moon rose majestically  above the ancient stone walls, and literally hung in the dark sky, surrounded by glittering stars, for the remainder of the  performance!


The Italians really do have a love and flair for the dramatic performance, and they are a very demanding audience, which seems to bring out the best in performers and musicians alike. When the audience is appreciative of a certain Aria, they will stamp their feet, cheer and clap, so that, even though the performers are in the middle of an Act, they will perform the Aria again, to even more spontaneous applause!

It really was a magical experience, and one that I will never forget. 

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Out With The Month Of January - In With The Month of February


Hello there once again. It's rather lovely, isn't it, to think that January is out of the way for another year.  I must admit, I did rather enjoy turning over the Calendar this morning, from a snowy, wintery scene to a photo of banks of snowdrops....


Our National Trust properties in the UK are lovely places to visit in February and March, as they have delightful woodland walks, which are full of snowdrops and other early flowering bulbs.


February, of course, is the month of love and romance, with Valentine's Day falling on the 14th of the month. All around the world, flowers, gifts, and tokens of love ❤️ are given to loved ones, all in the name of Saint Valentine. Not a bad way to be remembered down through the years, is it?!  I know that a lot of people will be reading this, and thinking "stuff and nonsense!"  Others will be thinking "but we shouldn't need a special day to show our love to someone. We should do that every day."  Of course, that's true, but it's a dreary old time of the year, so I see no reason not to make the 14th February a day of celebration. 

Yes, even at my age, I'm still an old romantic at heart. My two favourite black and white films are "Now Voyager" starring Bette Davis and Paul Henried, when Bette, as Charlotte Vale, says to Paul, as Jerry, ......wait for it....

"Oh, Jerry, don't let's ask for the moon. We have the stars". It was in the days when the man lights two cigarettes and hands one to his love. I've actually just watched the clip in YouTube.... it gets to me every time!!  


The second film is the 1936 film, Camille, when Greta Garbo and Robert Taylor play the roles of Marguerite and Armand. I can happily weep buckets when I watch this film!! 


Well, I think I'd better end there, before I get too carried away!  I'm sure I'll be popping in again this month with some more romantic bits and bobs.  Do hope you can join me. At least it takes us away from what else is happening in the world right now 

Cheerio and Toodle-pip!

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Hold Close Those You Hold Dear....

It's a funny old life when you think about it, isn't it?  We're going along quite happily and then, all of a sudden, bop - our world comes tumbling down in an instant. 

Perhaps a family member or a friend becomes seriously ill, we lose a family member or a dear friend. Or, all of a sudden, we are faced with the prospect of a divorce that we never wanted. 

In many cases, we could lose a treasured pet, whose companionship had meant so much. 

Some people have even had to face losing a child, or grandchild, and my heart really breaks for those people. I simply can't imagine the hurt they have to endure for the rest of their lives. 

Or we could lose a friendship that was very precious to us, through misunderstandings that should never have been allowed to develop. Perhaps we took that friend for granted, or perhaps the other person simply got tired of us. 

All these things cause us immense hurt and pain, and we wonder how we will ever be able to cope. 

Some people struggle daily with pain, which makes it so hard for them to carry out even the most simple of tasks, which others just take for granted. 

A quote by C S Lewis always comes to my
mind.  Some of you may have heard of it ....


I think what he is saying is that there is no love without pain. But would we really choose not to have had that love in our lives?  Not to be able to treasure all the wonderful memories in our hearts? 

I have been blogging for over six and a half years, and all of my bloggy  friends have experienced any of those things I mentioned above. And yet....and yet.... all those people are amongst the most positive, encouraging and loving people that I know, which surely proves how indomitable the human spirit can be. 

Somehow we still turn our faces to the sun and look for good things ahead, and try to find peace in our hearts. 

This post is a little bit different for me today, but I hope it gives you food for thought, and, if nothing else, reminds you to treasure those you love, for none of us knows what tomorrow will bring. 

Take care my friends ❤️

Monday, 23 January 2017

Bright Days Here in Devon, But Even Brighter Days In Ibiza!

Hello everyone.  Hope you're all keeping well and that you haven't been brought low by any of the Winter bugs that seem to be doing the rounds. 

As I write this, I find it hard to believe that it's the 23rd January already.  Usually I find this month to be a long one, but I'm pleasantly surprised to find that, this year, it seems to be zipping by!  I daren't speak too soon, but perhaps it's something to do with the fact that we are having some really beautiful, bright sunny days here in deepest Devon, which always raises the spirits. 

This is a lovely quote, don't you think, and so very true ....


Those of you who have been following this Blog for a few years, will know that we can get some really miserable Winters....mild,  with that dreary drizzle which means that I can't even see the fields next to the garden, because of the low mist. Give me this weather any day, when you can wrap up and get outside in the fresh air and blow those cobwebs away. 

My eldest daughter is having an adventure at the moment. Her and her husband have decided to take an adult gap year, and moved to Ibiza for a year at the beginning of this month. Good for them, I say! Their daughter is  at University in Madrid, so this was an ideal time to do something like this. They absolutely love the Island, having been there many, many times on holiday over the past years. 

Here are a couple of photos of Ibiza...



My daughter and her husband....


Alfred, their little French Bulldog, is also loving the life over there!


The good thing is that I shall soon be exploring Ibiza for myself, as I am going out there to visit them for ten days at the end of April. 

Did someone mention the sewing machine??!!  Can you believe that the bobbin is still causing me problems?? Anyway, I shall not let it beat me - you thought that I would have created something wonderful by now, didn't you?!  

Well, I will say cheerio for now. Do leave a comment if you have the time - otherwise I'll think that I'm talking to myself over here. Don't answer that! 

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Memories... and how I'm going to be a little sewing fiend!!

For some strange reason, I suddenly thought, at the beginning of December, that I would learn to sew and use a sewing machine. Obviously I can sew on buttons, take up hems by hand, etc, but this was new territory for me. I had seen a machine in our local Supermarket, at an excellent price, so, being the little Aries That I am, I took the bull by the horns, and bought one.  Here is my new little friend ....


I should point out here, that I last used a sewing machine 56 years ago when I was at School.  That sewing teacher never liked me!! I still have nightmares about trying to thread the bobbin.  I suppose I never really had the need to sew, as my dear mum was a trained Tailoress, even going up to London for her training. I've often thought that this must have been quite daring for a young woman, travelling to the Capital from down here in Devon at that time, as we would be talking about the early 1920's. 

Mum made all my clothes until I was well into my 20's. I always loved the little outfits she made for me as a little girl, from little sun suits for the beach, shorts and t-shirts and pretty dresses. 




I can still remember a shocking pink little number - the suits were always fully lined - with a  straight skirt and jacket. I wore it with a navy blouse, and matching shoes, gloves and handbag. Can anyone else remember when we wore matching shoes, gloves and handbags?!  The following photo is not the deep pink suit I'm talking about, but you will get the picture !  Please excuse the hat - I was attending a friend's wedding 😳.


Anyway, all mum's clothes that she made were as beautifully finished on the inside as on the outside. I have so many childhood memories of going into Remnant/Fabric Shops with mum, and I can still remember the smell as we were surrounded by all these bales of colourful materials.  We would browse the materials, zips and buttons and I actually really enjoyed doing that. Then the Assistant would take the big rolls of material down from the shelves and unroll it onto a long wooden counter, with a tape measure running along it.  The material would then be cut off to the required length with a large pair of scissors.  As a little girl, I would take it all in, and be utterly entranced by the whole performance!  I still have mum's treasured tin of buttons of all shapes and sizes.  When my mum passed away, there were so many rolls of material in all the cupboards, many bought in the Sales.  I MISS YOU MUM ...


Then we fast forward to when my youngest daughter was a teenager.  She always wanted to get into fashion, and eventually took a Fashion & Textiles Degree at University, and so the sewing began in the family once again.  Actually, I always remember my dad's mum sewing as well.  Her husband was killed at a young age in the First World War, and so my Nan also became a Seamstress, in order to support her two young children. 

So, here we are back at the current time, on a rainy day last week, when my daughter came down to give me my first sewing lesson.  Lo and behold, that dreaded bobbin raised its ugly head again!  When I finally started sewing, I was actually pleased with the result and managed to sew all around the various shapes that my daughter had drawn for me, in a relatively neat fashion. 



As part of my Christmas present, my daughter brought me a very helpful book, so I'm hoping to perhaps start on a simple little project soon. 




Watch this space!!!  Hope to see you again soon.  

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

January - Time for a little nurturing!

I'm always looking out for new quotes that I haven't seen before, quotes to inspire and encourage, and I came across this one recently. I think it will become one of my new favourites!


I like to think that most of us try to nurture others as we pass through life, but sometimes, you know, it's important to also remember to nurture ourselves.   Perhaps January is one of the best months for us to do this, as we await the return of the longer days.

At this time of the year, whenever the sun appears, or it's a bright day, forget the housework and the ironing - go outside, look around and appreciate the beauty of the day. If you're able to go for a walk, so much the better. 

If you're confined to the house on these darker days, play some of your favourite music whilst carrying out your chores and dance around the kitchen! Become that young, carefree girl you once were - the girl that is still inside you somewhere.  Sounds silly?  Try it, and I guarantee you'll end up with a smile on your face 😊. One of the songs that will always do it for me is "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor! 

Write down a list of things that make you happy and then try to do at least one of those things every day.  

My friend in Green Bay brought me a Blessing Bracelet as one of my Christmas presents and I really loved the idea behind it. I truly believe that if you take the time to count your blessings every day, then life does feel so much better. For me, a blessing can be a simple thing, such as finding a parking space in a crowded car park, meeting a friend unexpectedly when you're out and about. How many times do we say, it really is the simple things in life that can make us feel at our happiest. 



I find that if I take photos when I'm out and about, this makes you take more notice of things around you, and you might notice something special that you might otherwise have missed. Just sayin' ! 😊😉

Well, I seem to be rambling on a bit here, and I'm sure you have more important things to do - such as having a dance round that kitchen!  Go on .. be wild, and don't forget to crank up the volume!  Anyway, I'll finish off by saying .....remember to be kind to YOU.