Saturday 25 February 2017

Project 365 week 8


Lilly is a strange little dog. Only ever eats when I come in, will not eat otherwise. Does not matter whether I go out for an hour or twelve, eats her food when I come back in and not before. Here she is eating the breakfast I put out twelve hours ago.

Silly Lilly eats her munch


My camera has been playing up lately and as I took a 3 year no quibble swap out policy when I bought it I took it back and changed it. Sadly two years later  they did not have the same camera. So as I had little choice in the same price range then I took this one, the best of a bad bunch. Not as high a spec as the last one but hoping to get some good pictures from it.

my new camera


Been working on my quilt this week, pinned it out ready for the quilting part of the project. Had to use the bed as without moving furniture I do not have a floor space big enough.  Since then I have sewn seams and unpicked seams, this morning  Saturday)  despite the time I have put in it is no further forward

one completed quilt top pinned out

Watched the kids for an hour as I popped in to see DD1 on my way home and she did not look to good. So sent her to bed for some peace and quiet. What a nice mummy I


Went and sat with the kids while DD1 went and registered the gruesome twosome for nursery in August. Was suppose to be watching the other two later on while daughter did a parents session in the nursery with the twins but Dinky was being sick and they both have diarrhoea so they cannot go. They were very quiet and did not move much.

two quiet toddlers


Watched the kids while DD1 went shopping. The twins still not feeling good so I gave them half an hour of tv while they sat on the couch, I never give them tv time but even I could appreciate they were not well.

Spud was asleep but did not seem to bothered that mum was not there when she woke up. I got plenty of smiles. She sat on Bob's knee and he played peek a boo with her which she loved.

We had originally been going to Stirling today but this got cancelled last minute. Thankfully as we would never have made it anyway. The snow brought devastation to the area with the M8 and the M80 at a standstill for over 5 hrs. We do go prepared for such probabilities with food and snacks in the car as well as hats gloves and spare jackets but even so 5 hrs is way to long to be stuck. We never saw any more than a fluttering here.

one sleeping Spud


Normally on a Friday afternoon I watch the wee ones while DD1 runs Bob to Centrestage for his drama, but she was still feeling crappy so I dropped him off instead.

Had a notion for a chicken and leek pie since I had some chicken left from the other night. So here is tonight's tea, was served with some carrots. Not the prettiest picture but tasted very nice.

chicken and leek pie


There has been no keep fit this week. My foot is killing me and I am struggling to walk. The last few days I have been putting my shoes on the minute I get up hoping the support from the insoles will help rather than walking round with bare feet until it settles. Yesterday I treated myself to a new pair of boots rather than trainers, these will also offer ankle support as well as my feet in general. Need them to be hard wearing as I am heavy on my feet. Wanted them to be fully breathable as they are often on for twelve hours at a time and for the next few weeks even longer than that. These are advertised as isogrip ( guaranteed 500 miles in the sole) and isodry. A bit more expensive than I would normally buy but I need to get this pain under control or I can't work. To put the cost into perspective I will earn the cost back in my overtime shift tomorrow, so cannot really complain.

Mountain Warehouse Hurricane boot. 

Saturday 18 February 2017

Project 365 week 7


Minky had had an out of hours visit from the on call GP due to him struggling to breath. A course of steroids will hopefully help.

I made some flapjacks, melt equal amounts of margarine and golden syrup in a pan, add chopped dried fruit, I used figs raisins and apricots. Add twice as much oats as margarine. Stir it all together. Cook at 160 oC for twenty minutes. Cut in tin while still warm and then tip out once cold. A nice soft flapjack.


DD1's birthday, 21 again, she was not feeling well and was not interested in celebrating it in any way at all. No gymnastics as our schools are on half term.
DD2 is coming down for a few days and wanted to book an en-suite room, jokingly told her it was booked ( we don't have one) and so we decided to make her one. An on suite is not as posh as and en A bowl of water, face cloth and soap, a potty and toilet roll.


A nice wee win from a tweet.


Took the twins out to the park for a while so DD1 could get an hours sleep as she has had a few rough nights with the kids being under the weather. Bob did not want to come as he was not well either. It was too cold to stay out any more than half an hour, but went back and played for a while and left daughter asleep.


A bit of emergency babysitting this morning while DD1 took Bob to an early morning doctor appointment. How can you not love these cute faces. Met up with a friend for a catch up.

Dinky was getting dressed and thought this was hilarious. Spud just walks towards the camera and Minky wanted to show me the robots on his tee shirt.

Dinky, Spud and Minky


Have had Ziggy and DD2 down for a few days. Is nice to see them as they live a few hours away. She is such a happy wee thing and makes happy noises all the time.

Ziggy being her usual happy self. 


This turned up in the post yesterday. Had fancied going but could not afford to, so this is a much appreciated win.

winning letter

Have been working away on my quilting, three quarters of the edge done but need to make a few more stripey squares to finish off the 4th edge. Apart from walking the dog no workouts done this week as my foot is very sore, going to have to prioritise a new pair of trainers come pay day.

Hope you have all had a good week.

Sunday 12 February 2017

My Sunday Photo week 2

Spotted while out for a walk through the woods with Lilly and hubby the other day.
Lots of signs of  Spring around with snowdrops out and daffodils getting ready to bloom.

Can you spot what we spotted? Photo taken with my phone as my camera is playing up.


Saturday 11 February 2017

Project 365 week 6

Fitted in my workouts again this week. Some nights I do not feel like it but once I motivate myself and get started I enjoy it. I am now doing 40-45 minutes a time, this is up from the 20-25 minutes I started off doing. Not bad in 6 weeks.


Off work on holiday this weekend. So I spent some of the time quilting. Started off by making a hundred what they call half square triangles. Took me longer that it should of done as I made a few wrong ones.


A walk round the fishery.Lilly really likes it here. Gymnastics run with Bob and then home and did a workout.


Did some baking. Had been sent a few bits and pieces form Cake Angels to use with a Valentine theme, so here are my offerings. #sp


Been busy working on my first full size quilt. It still needs an edge and at this stage not sure what I am doing. I have been a lot fussier with this one, More accurately pinning the pieces together and if the squares did not match up then I have been unpicking the stitching and resewing them.


A cold but sunny day, took Lily a walk round the woods. The snowdrops are all beginning to come out. Have to say we all came back filthy, it has rained here for days and the fields are totally waterlogged. Poor Lily had to have a change of water in the sink to rinse all the mud off she was that filthy underneath. Hazards of a dog so low to the ground I suppose.


I went round to watch the twins while DD1 took Bob to Centrestage. SIL3 had volunteered to pick Bob up and bring him back to save daughter hanging around. So as she was going to be  away for less than an hour I kept Spud as well as the twins. She is a happy wee soul and quite good at amusing herself. Think this is the first picture I have of the three of them together that I have taken in a long time.


I spent two hours the other day sorting out my material cupboard. Have cut the pieces into smaller sizes to make them more use able and easier to cut up on the cutting board. Also sorted them into colours so they are easier to match up when making an item.

Wednesday 8 February 2017

High street shopping - has the time come to say goodbye?

Hi everyone! Auntie H here, sorry I've not posted anything for a while, it's been a busy few weeks. (how on earth can it be the 8th of February already?!) I've got a few ideas for posts which I'll be bringing to you over the next few weeks.

Today I'm going to discuss high street shopping: has the ease of online shopping and better accessibility to large shopping centres sealed the fate of high street retailers everywhere?

Now I personally don't shop in my local town nearly as often as I used to. Working an office job means I find it far easier to shop online, at the click of a button I can have my goods delivered to my door (for no extra delivery cost most of the time.)
Growing up with technology becoming more readily available and huge advances being made in the form of the Internet, smartphones and tablets, when I need something the internet is usually the first place I look. My days off are generally planned around seeing my family, doing shows and spending some time with my OH, not wandering around the shops trying to find what I'm looking for and giving up in frustration when I just can't find it.
I find on the occasions when I do venture out that it's difficult to get everything I need in just my local town. There's always something I need to venture further afield for.
There is an area in my town called Ayr Central which is partially covered and houses several big retailers like Primark, New Look and Debenhams. There is also a Costa and Subway so you can enjoy some food and drink while you shop. Ayr Central is about a minute (if that) from the main high street but it's like 2 different worlds. Central is new, fresh and modern whilst the high street is rundown. We have a large number of charity shops, pawnbrokers and discount stores (not to mention the empty shops all boarded up) This puts me off when I do visit, it's like a vicious circle: people spending money elsewhere causing shops to shut down, and then the volume of boarded up shops and lack of variety putting people off from shopping in the town.

Ayr High Street - boarded up
Now Ayr is not all that far from Glasgow and East Kilbride. In October last year a bus link was made available from Ayr to Hamilton via Kilmarnock and Silverburn. Silverburn: a place where you can spend an entire day and not get bored. Plenty of shops, different eateries and a cinema, all under one roof. Indoors, so the weather doesn't bother you, and extremely easy to get to. Why go out in the pouring rain to several different towns to get what you need when it's all there for you in one place. Same goes for East Kilbride shopping centre. Glasgow City Centre has several shopping malls, easy transport links and entertainment in the form of buskers up and down the streets.

I can see why high street retailers are struggling. How can they compete in a world of technology and shopping centres? In a report by PwC (Pricewaterhouse Coopers, a multinational professional services firm), in 2016 they revealed that in the first 6 months of the year an average of 15 shops closed everyday all over the UK. 2656 shops in total! The numbers are astounding, but is there really anything we can do to help? Or has it gone too far to save? Would retailers benefit from offering more online services and shutting shops? Can they survive in the dog eat dog world of the Internet and maintain the same amount of jobs? And what about all of our independent shops, the ones which sell comics, retro items, unique gifts and more. Those are my favourite to visit, the ones which make me actually want to go to the high street. Family run businesses like butchers and bakers.

What do you think? Can our high streets be saved?

Charity shops are suffering too

Saturday 4 February 2017

Project 365 week 5


Worked a straight through shift today, no break in the middle, beats sitting around for two hours between shifts and finishes at the same time so a win win really.
When I got home from work Lilly did not rush to meet me, I got a very feeble wag from the couch but that was it. Hubby said she had not been right all day. Unable to jump up on the couch or our bed and could not get up or down the stairs either. Something not quite right.

|Lilly looking sad


Took Lilly to the vet. Took him a list of things we had noticed that was different about her, symptoms if you like that may or may not be related but might help to get a bigger picture. She is running a temperature but he could not find much else wrong. He gave her a very thorough check over, listened to her breath etc.  He took some bloods that I posted so they would get lifted tonight and the results back tomorrow. Also gave her an antibiotic injection.  Wee horror did manage to get up the stairs after we came back.
Sadly this meant Bob did not get to his gymnastics.

Hollowpark Vet
the blood tests results we posted away


Blood results show she has an infection but thankfully nothing more sinister. She still has a temperature but lower than yesterday. So he gave her another antibiotic injection, and gave me a sample bottle to get a urine sample from her.  She is a poor eater at the best of times but tonight's tea was spewed on my living room carpet. Still needed help up the stairs and just went on her bed in the corner.

Got three twenty minute workouts done later on in the evening. Rung the changes and finished with a yoga one.

one sample bottle 


Neighbours must have thought me mad following Lilly round the garden with a frying pan trying to stick it under her and catch a sample in it. Managed to get a dribble, but was dribble enough. Her urine was clear and her temperature normal. She is feeling better today and is managing up and down the stairs and in and out the back door. Even ran to meet us when we got back from the town earlier. Nice to see her on the mend, Another antibiotic injection and 4 tablets, 1 each for the next 4 days.Pit them in her food he says......hmm she is not eating so going to be difficult.

antibiotics for Lilly


How do you get a tablet into a dog that is not eating? Luckily I managed to get her to eat about a sixth of a tin of tuna with her tablet on it, but she would not eat any more.
Have not seen the twins properly for a while. So I walked down to get them, took them to the park and then brought them up to see Granddad and Lilly and to play up here for a while. Gave my daughter a break if nothing else. Dinky is making noises by banging her wellies on the slide and laughing and Minky is copying what he sees the bigger children doing.

fun in the park


Bob is back at Centre Stage doing his rehearsals for the show later this year. So I said I would watch the twins save them having to go. So we went to the park and then they did some arts and crafts.Dinky managed to get quite a bit stuck on her person shape, Minky was more interested in cutting up the foam shapes. We then read the library books they had got this morning.

having fun


Was not happy with the diamond quilt shape I made last week, I had lost the point off of the diamonds, so practised another one this week and was a lot happier with the result. The materials together are a bit OTT but it was a quick way of refining what I was not happy with.

no cut off corners 

Thursday 2 February 2017

A year with my camera Month 1

Decided this year to join in with a year with my camera. #AYWMC

Week 1 was a basic introduction to what it is all about and what we wanted to get out of it and we had to take 12 pictures in 1 day to show what an exciting life we lead and share it on instagram acount under  #1day12pics and you will find mine here if you want a look

Last week was learning about how you camera sees everything as 18% grey and adjusts your black and white accordingly.

The idea of the course is designed to teach us how to take our camera off of auto and learn how to use it. Our next three weeks is learning about exposure.

This week we are learning about aperture size, what our camera can do and how to manually adjust it.

So having downloaded the manual for my camera I learnt that the f stops on my camera go from a  minimum of f3.2  to a maximum of 7.3.

I have learnt that the lower the number the larger the hole ( apeture)  and the more light it lets in.

My homework for the week is to learn how to change the size and  take the same picture on 3,2 and then 7.3 and see the difference.

This did not work well with my camera at all.  I tried it outside

at 3.2

at 7.6

indoors at 3.2

indoors at 7.6, you can see the flowers if you look hard. 

Week 4 is about shutter speed. The project for the week is to understand what it does and learn how to change it.

My camera goes as high as 1/2000's, this is the fastest shutter speed and this should help to stop blur on a moving object. But this only lets in minimal light so we are to experiment with taking it back down until we get a picture.

My slowest speed is 16 seconds. But we have only to experiment at 1/2 or 1s.

 As today is a windy day I thought I  would make use of this wind and use the flag and the bush in the neighbours garden as it is moving in the wind.

half a second pictures -  too bright and blurry

1 second pictures way to bright and subjects unrecognisable

and at the other end of the scale 500th sec

and 1/1000th of a second. The picture is darker but the subject is stopped. 

and lastly 1/2000