Saturday, 28 June 2014

Exciting Friday

On Tuesday 24th June I was honored when I realized 
my name had been drawn out of the hat in
Katie's giveaway at Just Pootling

I was even more excited when I got home from work last night to a little parcel with my name on it.

Inside were

all my lovely gifts from Kate and a little card congratulating me on winning her giveaway.
How nice after a long and busy week at work.
I have already got my thinking cap on for a project to use the 3 balls of grey Rowan 4 ply.
The dishclothes look too nice to use so at the moment they are still in their little bundle until I can bring myself to undo them.
I'm saving my teapigs and when the sun does decide to reappear I will make myself a lovely cuppa and savor every sip whilst sitting in the garden with the bumbles and the butteflies.

I have already christened my cup and saucer and I had just started reading John Greens'  The Fault in our Stars and considering the content of this novel, for anyone who doesn't know it is based on two teenagers coping with cancer and is now a major film and as this is an area I now work in, I think the words on the bookmark are most apt.

I'm undecided yet where I am going to put my badges 

but I'm looking forward to picking a project to use these aren't they just adorable.

So that was my lovely exciting Friday.

So thank you Kate for picking me as one of your winners.

There are now only 3 sleeps (as number 3 would say) until I will be picking the winners to my own anniversary giveaways. So if you haven't already entered you still have time to pop over here and leave a comment to enter.

Meanwhile have a great weekend

and don't forget to catch up on Tuesday to see who my winners are.


Sunday, 22 June 2014

How quickly they grow

Not so long ago I was showing you Mabel sitting on her nest in the Honeysuckle.

and then we soon discovered these little babies 
they are never at their cutest at this stage are they but their parents loved them

so much that they soon grew into more recognizable little Blackbirds 

All too soon they were becoming too big for the nest

This was them on Saturday afternoon

and whoosh they were gone.

they are still around the garden mainly hiding in the shrubs but this is one of this is one of the boys who decided to be brave and visit the bird bath for a little wash and brush up and a drink.

There have been yet more visitors to the Willows 
which meant taking the four paws for a walk down past the duck pond

and what did we see 

Yet more gorgeous babies 

and lastly there are just nine more days till I pick the winner of my giveaways

So if you haven't already entered then pop over here
and leave a comment to enter.

Have a lovely sunny week one and all


Thursday, 19 June 2014

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Blue

No no I'm not talking about a wedding.

Before I get started on the Somethings I have a little confession. Nothing bad just that it is so busy at work at the moment and we seem to have a constant stream of visitors to The Willows. I am so behind with my blog reading and commenting  but I promise I will catch up soon.
So now that's out of the way lets get to my Somethings. 

My something old is my film of the month 

This is a story we all know well I'm sure of a young Jewish girl Anne Frank  who goes into hiding  in June 1942 with her family and  other members of the Jewish community in Amsterdam.
Aged thirteen when she went into hiding, Anne kept a diary in which she confided her innermost thoughts and feelings, movingly revealing how the people living under these extraordinary conditions coped with the daily threat of discovery and death.
With help they manage to stay hidden for 2 years until they are discovered in August 1944. The story is told by Anne's father Otto who is the only survivor of his immediately family. Once it was Anne's death was confirmed he went on to carry out Anne's wish to have her diary published. 
I read the book at school when I was about 13 the same age as Anne was when she went into hiding. It is on my list of books to revisit later in the year.

My second old is my return to school read which this month is

Cider with Rosie written by Vintage (Laurie) Lee
A wonderfully vivid  memoir of  childhood growing up in the Cotswolds village in a time before electricity or cars a very charming and entertaining read..  This was one that my older sister did for her A Levels.

& yes I have a third old which is Solomon Northup's memoir of his life as 'Twelve Years A Slave'

I downloaded the original book to my Kindle for 40p 

In 1841, the educated musician Solomon Northup, a free man living in New York who is cruelly deceived by the promise of a job in Washington, is drugged, kidnapped, and sold into slavery. Once Solomon arrives in New Orleans, he is given a slave name and soon realizes that any mention of his rights as a free man is sure to bring cruel punishment or death. Denied his freedom and ripped away from his family, he spends twelve emotionally and physically grueling years on a Louisiana cotton plantation enduring the hardships and brutalities of life as a slave. When Solomon eventually finds a sympathizing friend, a daring rescue is attempted that could either end in Solomon's death or restore his freedom and reunite him with his family.

Solomon Northup was a renowned fiddle-player who was kidnapped and enslaved for twelve years before he was rescued by an official agent from the state of New York.

Having read this one I can see why Steve McQueen made it into a film.  I think the film will bring the story to life so will have to pick up the DVD soon. 

My Something Borrowed - is the latest novel 'The Storyteller' by Jodi Picoult borrowed from my book swap buddy in the office.

For seventy years, Josef Weber has been hiding in plain sight.

He is a pillar of the local community. 

He is also a murderer.

When Josef decides to confess, it is to Sage Singer, a young women, who trusts him as her friend. 
What she hears shatters everything she thought she knew and believed.

As Sage uncovers the truth from the darkest horrors of war she must follow a   twisting trail between terror and mercy, betrayal and forgiveness, love - and revenge.

Absolutely brilliant book one that I couldn't put down until I had finished it. 

My Something New - was the second novel by Susan Elliot Wright - 'The Secrets We Left Behind'

She has built a good life; a husband who adores her, a daughter she is fiercely proud of, a home with warmth and love at its heart. But things were not always so good, and the truth is that she has done things she can never admit. 

Then one evening a phone call comes out of the blue. It is a voice from long ago, from a past that she has tried so hard to hide. Scott knows who she really is and what she has done. Now he is dying and he gives her an ultimatum: either she tells the truth or her will. 

And so we are taken back to that long hot summer of 1976 to a house by the sea, where her story begins and where the truth will be revealed.

Having completed by bookshelf challenge I felt I deserved a little treat. Yet another one completed in record time as even the book swap buddy has finished this one now. 


My Something Blue is - The Girls In Blue' by Lilly Baxter

When her home is destroyed in a bombing raid over London, Miranda Beddoes is forced to take refuge with her grandparents down on the Dorset coat. With both her parents doing their duty for king and country, Miranda longs to do the same. She joins the WAAF and is soon working hard to help win the war.  Despite her determination to dedicate herself to her work, Miranda falls for charismatic fighter Gil Maddern - a man known for his reckless and passion for flying. As the battle rages in the skies above them and she learns that Gil's plane has been hit, it is only the friendship of her fellow girls in blue that keeps Miranda going as she waits for news.
This was essentially a love story with a few twists and turns along the way.  I really enjoyed this one, just goes to prove I'm still an old romantic at heart and even better this is another one from my yet to be read bookshelf

and of course today is also the first of my anniversaries.
I have been part of the health service for 25 years today so of course we celebrated in the office with a nice cup of tea and a slice of very chocolaty cake.

I even managed to save two pieces to have with D when I got home,
and yes that is cream on top and a glass of wine  so the diets out the window again still there's always tomorrow.

So that just leaves me to remind you about my anniversary giveaways

 if you haven't already entered my anniversary giveaways yet then pop over
and leave a comment to enter. 
Not left a comment before not a problem all are welcome to enter. 
It's always nice to have new bloggers visiting and even better when they leave a comment. 
Both my NHS anniversary giveaway & my Bloggianniversary giveaway winners will be picked on Tuesday 1st July. 



Having sat patiently watching D and I eating our cake they soon sat to attention when they realised it was 9pm and treat time all that is except Buster who obviously hadn't realised the time. 


Sunday, 15 June 2014

Anniversary Giveaways

First of all apologies that it's taken me a while to get this sorted. In my defense there was a slight hiccup with one of my goodies and it took a couple of days to sort out.

So what was the significance of these


& these

theWI INSPIRING WOMAN                     

My Anniversary Giveaways that's what.....

Just to remind you on the 19th June I will have been working for the NHS for 25 years and on the 1st July will be my blogging anniversary and I think both of these things are worth celebrating.

So why Sunflowers & Poppies?

Well over the years I have worked with many lovely people (some not so lovely) and made many great friendships.  Nearly two years ago now we lost a friend and colleague to ovarian cancer.  Fran had been a Paediatric Macmillan nurse for 30 years and had helped and supported many families in what is undoubtedly one of the most difficult times. When she realised that her cancer was incurable Fran being Fran planned everything to the last detail. Her favourite flowers were Sunflowers and she gave us all a packet of seeds and asked that we grow them in her memory.  The photograph is of the first Sunflower I grew from the seeds she gave us.
the Poppies?

With it being the centenary of the starting of the First World War and the 70th anniversary of V.E Day  and of course my sons return from Afghanistan I couldn't not have Poppies really could I. The photograph is of the Poppies that grown in my garden.

So what are my giveaways?

Well they are hidden in here....

In the Sunflower giveaway you will find....

Two balls of Woodlander wool which I have to tell you knits and crochets up beautifully.
A Tibetan Silver Charm Bookmark of a Sunflower
A packet of dwarf Sunflower seeds called 'Big Smile'
An A6 Notebook 
1m of Sunflower ribbon
Two Coasters

In the Poppy giveaway you will find....

1m of Poppy Ribbon
An A6 Notebook
A packet of Flanders (Corn Poppy) Seeds
One of my crochet Poppies
Two balls of the WI inspired wool sold exclusively in Hobbycraft.
Two Coasters


 of course the Jute bag which you can use for your WIP or a stash bag a bag to nip to the shops or to take to work.

So if you would like to enter my two giveaways all you have to do is to leave me a comment.
If you haven't left a comment before NOT A PROBLEM  all are welcome it's always nice to have new people it gives me lots new blogs to visit and new blog friends.
If you have a preference to which giveaway you would prefer simply leave the word Sunflower or Poppy at the end of your comment if you would like to be entered for both then leave the word both at the end of your comment.
I will pick the 2 winners on the 1st of July to give everyone a chance to enter.

Good Luck one and all


Saturday, 7 June 2014

What happened to the sunshine and another little clue

Last weekend we had lots of sunshine and not a dark cloud in the sky.

there was hooky time in the garden

and yes you have discovered my secret yet another WIP

There was time to catch up on my reading

and time for relaxing in the sun

and even some cuddle time with dad

So what of this weekend you're asking well we've had thunder storms since four but just as I am writing this post to you the sunshine's appeared once more.

and what of the giveaway clues I promised you.


well here they are just for you

Have a good weekend won't you and I'll catch up again next week.