Thursday, 31 October 2013

What a week ...

... weatherwise!  Monday we had the worst storm, wind and rain wise, for many a year.  Winds of 99mph were recorded not that far from us but the storm passed over the North Sea to Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands were the winds were recorded at around 120mph.  There was a bit of damage in our area but not that much.  Hubby's shed lost some of it's roofing felt, which is now being dealt with, and a fence panel, which was already loose, became looser and that has been dealt with.  Other than that there's not been a lot going on of any note.  

I did sell my bow again and for a LOT more than it sold for originally.  Quite a bidding war went on at the end.  An American was after it and he was determined but not quite as determined as a Brit was.  Good to know there were people out there that new the worth of the bow and I know, because of that, it's gone to a good home :)

We've found the guys that did most of the work in our house back in the early to mid 90s.  We have been more than pleased with what they did and we've called them back to deal with what we want doing now.  Just wish we'd found them last year when we were after having the bathroom remodelled.  They did the bathroom in the first place and we would have been more than happy to have them redo it.  Didn't happen but now we've found them again they're not getting away again!  We have a long list and they can deal with it all ..... new floors, new woodwork, decorating .... a complete transformation.  We've made a start as we've had a new boiler and a new gas fire with surround fitted over the summer.  Don't think it will be complete by Christmas but we're in no hurry.  Would rather time and care was taken as it has to last ... at least, the flooring does.  I can go shopping for wallpaper and then furniture.  Excited!

Now, what photos?   Way back in August 2012 a group of us went to a beading class in Fareham.  Squished into a very unsatisfactory space as a workroom with access to an old outside loo we were given beads, needle, Fireline and an instruction leaflet and pretty much left to get on with it. Fine for those experienced in this type of thing but pretty much useless for those of us that weren't.  Anyway, with a little lot of help from our friends, for some of us, we produced a beaded necklace that was actually quite pretty.  Could see ways it could be improved but I was pleased with my effort ....

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Monday, 21 October 2013

Photos today ...

... from the weekend in Cardiff :)  An excuse to stop 'working'.  I'm packing boxes still.  Well, packed really.  Just got to access some electrics to disconnect the wall unit and 'tis all ready.  I've heard from one of the Americans several times over my bow.  Even an estimated shipping cost of £50 ($80) hasn't put him off and he says he's going to bid and hope he wins .... "it is a beautiful bow" (his words, not mine).  Hope he bids well enough to prove that - or at least that others bid as well and it gets bid up.  He knows what it is ... hope other's do to.  Anyway, on to the photos - a small selection but WARNING .... PICTURE HEAVY - LOL!

The first few need no explanation .... but just in case -

 ... and after Dr Who?
Norwegian Church - and arts centre
Merchant Seaman's War Memorial
Pierhead Building - National Assembly of Wales 
Torchwood entrance (yay!) and the Millennium Centre
The mad women
The view from Kim's front garden ... beautiful!  A stunning area to live.

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Sunday, 20 October 2013

Where does ...

... the time go?  Just noticed it's 2 weeks since I last blogged.  Mind you, with my blogging history over the past year or so I guess that's just a blip - lol!  2 weeks, now what's happened in that time?

I had to say goodbye to a flower stem.  Not just an ordinary flower stem ... an orchid flower stem.  A plant given me by #1 son and his wife for my birthday in 2012.  I kept it on the kitchen windowsill once it finished flowering last year and thought I'd throw it away, as is usual, once the leaves had died.  They didn't die and in December I noticed a 'thing' growing out of it.  Thought it might have been roots but #2 son looked and told me it was the start of a flower stem, so I left it.  A couple of weeks later another joined it.  By the end of February, beginning of March, there were buds and those buds got larger.  On the 3rd April I took the first photo of the first, fully open orchid flower.  By the time I went to Italy on 15th April all buds were open on both stems and I had a grand total of 11 flowers!  I've never, ever been successful in keeping orchids alive and this one wasn't exactly looked after.  An egg cup full of water occasionally, when thought about, so very occasionally, and I ended up with more flowers than when originally given me.  2 stems instead of 1 and a full 7 months of bloom instead of 2 to 3.  It's now back on the kitchen windowsill and I'm hoping for a repeat performance :)
The first flower
The 2 stems, with buds and the first flower
In full bloom :)
I've also said goodbye to a lot of my archery gear.  I've had to admit I'll never shoot again so it was listed on eBay and all bar 4 items sold except .... the bow buyer ended up being a real waste of time and an eBay policy abuser so I reported him and he left me unwarranted negative feedback.  Reported him again for that and eBay removed it but I've had to put the bow back on sale.  I've stipulated UK only postage as it's really, really expensive to send overseas however I'm getting enquiries from the US and Italy and it's now got a bid from somebody in Australia!  They've not even been in contact so I hope they get out bid as I have a feeling they won't be too happy with the shipping costs if they win and I'll have another problem to overcome.  Just shows though, the quality and reputation of the bow I'm selling.  They're no longer made but were - and still are - considered to be one of the best bows ever made.  Just wish the bids would reflect that - lol!

Hubby and I celebrated (is that the right word?) our 28th wedding anniversary on the 16th.  Not bad for a 2nd marriage that few thought would last.  Perhaps it won't but it's certainly gone longer than my 1st, which didn't quite make 11 years - well, not together anyway. 

I had my flu jab on the 17th and, apart from a couple of days of sore arm it's been OK but inbetween these last 2 events me and some of my friends had a weekend in Cardiff.  Now nicknamed, by Toni, the Apple Mangoes the core group that go on the Crafter's House Party went 'on tour' and all because of a throwaway remark made by Cally to Trace, who lives in Cardiff.

Trace arranged a 'crafty' day on Saturday 13th but we decided Cardiff was too far to travel there and back in a day so it had to be a weekend.  Cally and I drove down early, stopping at Greta's for a comfort break on the way.  Greta was going with Debs and Jackie.  (Strange not having her in my car.)  Kim was making her way from Sopley by train and Toni, with her daughter Sonia, were coming from Tamworth by car with them sharing the driving.  Toni is learning so a good experience for her.  Kim arrived first and made her way to the city centre to explore.  Cally and I arrived and made our way to the Dr Who Experience.  Debs, Jackie and Greta found the shops and a bar, where we all met, eventually, to have something to eat and Toni and Sonia arrived in time for the pyjama party at the hotel in the evening :)

Saturday turned out to be more of a chatting and bracelet making day than anything else although a bit of decopatch was done and Trace hosted an hilarious raffle which you had to be there to understand.  Suffice to say we all had aching faces from the laughter.  A brilliant day followed by a great evening in Frankie & Benny's made all the better by our server.  He joined in with the fun and put up with a bunch of women of a certain age being silly where many might not have done.  Good job Rob :)

Sunday morning, met up for breakfast ... at same F&Bs and we went our separate ways.  Cally, me and Kim spent a while in the Range, bought a little bit and started our homeward journey around 11am.  Cally and I were taking Kim home, hoping for good weather as it was cross country and part of the UK I'd not seen before.  Lucked out!  It rained and it rained and it rained.  From the moment we left Cardiff until just before we reached Cally's house.  Photos will follow ....

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Sunday, 6 October 2013

I'm tiring myself ...

... out!  I had a delivery on Friday.  I'd been considering buying a 2 in 1 cross trainer for a while.  Mentioned it in passing to eldest son, as he's got one, only to be told not to be too hasty as it was possible that his would be going.  Newly bought and had become a coat hanger, apparently - lol!  Anyway, said cross trainer was delivered on Friday, after my exercise class.  It's big!  It's probably quite a bit bigger than the ones I had been looking at.  Definitely more substantial as I was looking at folding ones.  This one's not.  They look easy.  They are not!  I can't even start with the recommended 'easy' start because of my breathing problems so I'm adapting them all to suit my capabilities.  I'm doing little but often so when I pass the bedroom I pop in and just do 4 or 5 minutes on the machine.  The walking bit I can only manage about 1½ minutes on the lowest resistance but I up the resistance on the bike bit and finish my 4-5 minutes on that.  I'm finding I put in roughly 6 sessions a day this way and I'm feeling a difference.  I plan on keeping it going.  It's easier with the machine permanently available.

Had a bit of stress over one of my sales last night.  The bow buyer raised a dispute with eBay saying that it's not in the condition stated in my listing.  He raised the dispute before even contacting me.  It was listed as used and had 6 photos, some of which actually showing where there were small paint chips on the riser.  Not sure what this guy was expecting for his money but worse, he won't tell me how it's not in the condition stated in my listing.  He keeps giving excuses as to why he can't tell me yet but says he'll be posting it back on Monday.  He also bought a brand new arrow rest that I listed and he's saying that's not in the condition I listed either.  It's brand new, in a sealed box, for heavens sake!  How can it not be?  More like he bought it as a spare for the bow, as I had it, and as he's decided he doesn't want the bow then neither does he want the rest.  Personally I think he bought the bow for himself and has found it's not suitable.  He sniped the auction at the last minute and hadn't asked any questions, although all the info he would have needed was within the listing so I'm at a loss.  I think he's trying to find a reason to return it that pushes it onto  me and not himself.  It's not that it's been damaged in transit either as I would have thought he'd have said.  There was a lot of correspondence going back and forth last night and every time I asked for more specific information which wasn't forthcoming.  The last message I sent pointed out that we were on eBay's time scale as he'd raised a dispute and that if he didn't answer the questions I was asking he'd probably have to answer similar to eBay if the dispute escalated.  This morning he had closed the dispute as 'I'd requested him to'!  I hadn't asked him to at all and our correspondence will confirm that.  Pity, in a way, as I feel pretty confident that eBay would have found in my favour just by looking at my feedback .... just as described, well described, excellent eBayer .... and not just for the items I've sold recently but over time.  Anyway, he can return it and I'll refund what he paid for the bow and I'll either do a 2nd chance offer to the person he sniped (who did ask questions beforehand) or list it again.  He won't be getting his postage back though and he'll be in for a surprise when he finds out how much it's gonna cost him to return it.

I've been doing some investigating.  Coming back from my exercise class yesterday I found a visitor trying to get in the front door.  It nearly made it as well, until I found something to move it further away.  I found this .....

It was humungous!

  Very pretty in it's colouring but huuuuuuuuuggggggggggggge! (see my left hand digit finger?)

Apparently it's a privet hawk moth caterpillar.  It was probably looking for somewhere to bury itself so that it could pupate,  Not a lot of luck in our front garden as it's laid to gravel with membrane underneath it.  It would find somewhere eventually as we've a few plants so there are spaces in the membrane.  It digs deep to pupate and in June/July next year will emerge as one of these .....

Britain's largest moth.  As large as the one I saw in Cyprus 2 years ago (pictured in my Cyprus photo book [page 39] and also a hawk moth)

We've no privet in our garden, which is it's primary food source, and there's none near so the only place I can think it came from was our lilac bush as that is one of it's food sources.  It's only privet, lilac and ash and lilac is the only thing close.  If the daft thing had gone down to the base of the bush it may have been able to bury itself there.  Anyway, there's no sign of it now.  Perhaps I should have kept it and given it a pot of soil to bury itself in.  I might have got to see the moth next year ....

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Thursday, 3 October 2013

Bank balance ...

... has increased quite healthily.  Perhaps not quite as much as I'd have liked, overall, but it's increased and that's the main thing.  Archery stuff was looked on favourably and all bar 4 items sold.   I got silly money for some of it.  Way over what the item could be bought for new in some cases.  Things I thought would command a really good price didn't get quite as much as I'd hoped for but other items got a lot more than I would ever have thought.  Even my quiver, although good quality leather and not a cheap item when bought, sold for more than I was expecting.  Really surprised me as I was going to throw it out but thought I'd put it on for 99p and see what happened.  Surprised me 'cos it had my name on it.  I'm hoping the person who bought it really did realise that as her name was Jo.  She's either bought it as a present or she didn't notice, despite pointing it out in the heading and the description.   Still, her problem if she didn't - lol!  Anyway, it's either all on it's way to new owners, received by new owners, or waiting to be collected by new owners.  It's been a busy few days trying to find suitable packing, trips to the post office, arranging couriers and making appointments.  I'm acting as sales manager for hubby who has some items for sale relating to air target shooting.  He's never sold on eBay himself and it's looking likely he'll not be doing it any time soon himself.  I'm having to answer questions, Best Offers and the like.  He's now found some more 'stuff' he tells me!  I think he needs a lesson in listing and selling - lol!

Photo books have been received and to say I'm pleased with them is an understatement.  I've now got another Christmas present - granddaughter's prom record - and a photographic record of 2012.  I've started cleaning out the files for 2013.  Italian holiday photos have been sorted and uploaded to the relevant site, so I've a smaller selection for that book.  I've also cleaned the files for 2012 ready to go on disc.  Unfortunately the discs I want (archival ones) are out of stock at the moment so they'll have to wait.  Think this photo business is going to be a life time's work as I'm trying to get them in order, clear out the rubbish ones and put them to disc in years.  A lot of work just from the digi photo side without those that go back pre digi and need scanning and sorting.

Not sure what pics to add to this post - there's just so many ...

Last June our next door 'forever' neighbours moved.  They were living next door when we moved here in 1988.  How long before that I don't know.  They were left a property in a flatter part of the area so they had it modernised and moved there ... they are both well into their 70s and one has knee problems the other, hips.  It made sense.  Property was bought by a guy for his daughter, who subsequently moved in 3 weeks later, after it had been modernised.  The new occupant is a young, unmarried Mum with a toddler (and now another on the way).  A few days later we met another of the new occupants and who has become a very regular visitor.  Not always welcome, I have to say.  Not when she finds the open fanlight window in our bedroom and visits at 1 o'clock in the morning!  I think she thinks she has 2 homes.  The one where she can come for a cuddle and peace and quiet and the one where she gets fed.  She doesn't here as we've tried not to encourage her but that may change come November as we've now been asked if we'll feed her while the neighbour goes on holiday ... as she visits us anyway - lol!

Honey ... making herself comfie on hubby's wheelchair.  A British Blue - I think.

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