Just being ME

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January Scavenger Hunt ...

Here are my entries for the January Photo Scavenger Hunt.

All but two were taken this month, 'specially for the challenge.

I didn't get two of the categories either.

They must have been well hidden!

an abandoned building - potting shed at Yalding Organic Gardens in Kent.

a stained-glass window - St Botolphs Church, Botolphs, West Sussex.

a goldfish - one of J's birthday cards!

yarn - bunny egg cosy!

playground equipment - playing fields, Clapham, West Sussex.

a tombstone over one hundred years old - Church of St Mary the Virgin, Clapham, West Sussex.

a reflective surface - greenbottles swimming!

something out of place - penguins on an iceberg in Portsmouth Harbour!

nature - a sparrow in hawthorn.

bubbles - a lava lamp!

The list for February is:

a bridge
something with stripes
a musical instrument
a big lorry
a round clock face
your shoes
a park bench
a newspaper headline
a postbox
heartshaped ...

so get scavenging!



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who you lookin' at ...

I'm never short of company in the garden.

Here's me thinking nosy neighbour cat was a tom, and it turns up wearing a pink collar!

Nosy neighbour cat was quite happy to sit in my composting area at the top of the garden.

One minute it was watching me, the next minute the Robin.

I fear that little bird is on borrowed time!



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baking is easy ...

I've had some days in lieu this week.

It's been bliss, and I've even managed to fit in a bit of baking.

I love baking, and when I retire I'm going to bake, bake, bake to my heart's content!

Look, two lovely Easimix bowls!

My step-Dad thought I would like them, after unearthing them in a cupboard - they were my Mums.
Like them, I love 'em!

Perfect for knocking up a nice gooey Sunday Best Chocolate Fudge Cake.
The recipe is from Mary Berry's Ultimate Cake Book.
No reason why you can't bake and eat one on a Tuesday, is there!

Mary Berry's Fast Flapjacks, of which the recipe says makes about 24.
I put the mix in a 9 inch square tin, and marked out nine chunky ones!
I am convinced that a recipe should not be a set of rules to be followed to the letter for a mind-numbingly uniform result, but when I hear someone praising a recipe because it always works, my heart sinks a little. I believe a recipe should be treated as a living thing, something allowed to breathe, to change its nature to suit our ingredients, our mood and our desires - Nigel Slater.


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what makes me happy ...

I must remind myself every day of what makes me happy?

It really can be something as simple as watching the birds in the garden.

I think every now and again I shall feature what makes me happy on my blog.

Just to remind myself.

How about you sharing what makes you happy on your blog?

Just when you can.

Copy and paste the above to your sidebar, and let me know if you'd like to join in.

You never know what makes one person happy could make all the difference!



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Clapham Woods ...

Clapham is a small village which sits on the South Downs in West Sussex.

It's where my Dad and step-Mum live.

We moved here when I was in my late teens, when my parents' marriage broke up, and my Dad left his life in farming.

I made sure to set aside a few hours on Sunday to go visit them.

I had the idea of also taking a short walk, with photos for the Scavenger Hunt on my mind.

Dad came along too.

First stop was the local Church of St Mary the Virgin, which sits at the entrance to Clapham Woods.

Clapham Woods is locally known as a place of unexplained mystery and unusual phenomena.

Can you believe these woods are listed amongst the Amityville Horror, and suchlike!

Are you someone who believes in fairies, or maybe sees ghostly apparitions?

Be prepared to be scared!

To be honest all I can see whilst walking through these woods, are how many beanpoles and peasticks I could make use of in my garden at home!

Oh yes, and dog poo some of which I was unfortunate enough to tread in, of which somewhat marred what had been a lovely walk.

If you're prepared to hang around long enough in the woods, there's a lovely bench made out of driftwood you can sit on.

In the tree above there was a large number of agitated birds.


Maybe time to get back for that second cup of tea!

This poster was pinned to the fence next to the village stores and tearooms.

It's for a talk to be held in the local village hall - Gardens of a Golden Afternoon, Gertrude Jekyll and her gardens.

Now that sounds more up my street!



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thank you for being a friend ...

A big thank you to everyone who was there for me on my last post.

I just needed to take off that brave face I wear some days.

Your thoughtful and caring comments mean more to me than words can express.

A cheerful friend is like a sunny day, which sheds its brightness all around - John Lubbock

Feel free to cut and paste the above onto your sidebar, to remind yourself what a lovely person you are.

I made it 'specially for you.



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grey, and no colour ...

I feel really down.

I cry all the time.

I see grey, and no colour.



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in a different light ...

I've been having a bit of fun playing with images of presents given to me at Christmas time, using Photobucket.

I have Glo to thank of Porcelain Rose whose very creative adaptations of her own photos gave me the idea to experiment.

The image above of a Little Book of Pins (from my lovely niece Laura) has been edited using the Popart button.

The image of wall graffiti (from my equally lovely sister-in-law Stella aka Florence Hope) has been edited using the Inkstamp button.

The image of this wonderful little sewing kit (from my friend Val) has been edited using the Old Photo button.

I think I am going to have some fun using all three!

Talking of fun, I am participating in the Photo Scavenger Hunt.

Having originally read of the challenge on Kathy's lovely blog Postcards from the PP, it seemed like a good excuse to start making headways with my new camera, and time for escapism from the humdrums of life too.

Basically you have a month in which to photograph each subject on the list set for each month.

Here is January's list.

an abandoned building
a stained glass window
a goldfish
playground equipment
a library
a tombstone over a hundred years old
your front door
a reflective surface (not a mirror)
something out of place

At the end of the month you display them on your blog, for all to see.



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Holiday Monday bike ride ...

Our starting point being home, we find ourselves on the outskirts of Shoreham Airport meeting up with The Downs Link heading north towards Bramber.

The path, originally the Steyning Line is used by both walkers and cyclists.

Robins, blue tits and blackbirds seen along the way.

I couldn't help but notice how spectacular the sun was looking behind the clouds.

Alongside the banks of the River Adur there's a most wonderful view of the East facing side of the church of St Botolph.

Arriving in Bramber we take the road into the historic village of Steyning.

If you love crafts or collecting antiques, bric-a-brac or bits for dolls houses, pints and pub grub or coffee and cake, I can recommend you visit.

There's beautiful Tudor, Stuart and Georgian architecture to take photos of too.

Coming out of Steyning, we meet up with the road which leads through the small villages of Annington, Botolphs and Coombes.

It's all up hill and down dale, so this part of the route is quite heavy going, for me anyway!

From the top of Annington Hill spectacular views of the Adur Valley can be seen, so it's worth going the extra mile.

Well that's what I tell myself, when I find myself puffing like a steam train!

This is the view of the church of St Botolph facing West. The oldest parts of the church being over a thousand years old.
We stopped here for a breather, drink and a banana!
There's more information on the history of the church here, and just who is St Botolph.
After having a very quick peek inside the church, we continue along the road which meets back up at Shoreham Airport, and then home.
A fourteen mile round trip.
Not bad going on a tummy full of mince pies and Christmas cake!
I'd like to return to take more photos of the inside.
Until then, I shall leave you to look through the arch window!