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Time marches on!

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

lt was officially the first day of autumn yesterday and the weather seems to have changed and dull today!
The weathermen reckon on an indian summer, beginning friday it's supposed to hit 73 degrees and last until october, l hope they're right.

We've already begun putting the borders to bed for winter, clearing all the dying flowers and foliage, been doing it for a couple of weeks now.
There are a few patches of colour left in the lavateria, wind anemones and fuchsias but the autumn seems to have hit early (they reckon by three weeks) and we've already picked our gages, plums and apples, brambles and gooseberries.

We do leave the teasels, pelargoniums etc to seed up for the birds to eat and the bright orange chinese lanterns are making one corner glow.
The bright red of the ice plants is yet to come, they're just beginning to get their multi flowered heads to colour.
While the white phlox and christmas roses are throwing out their leaves ready for flowering in december so it won't be too bare.

I shall plant up some of the finished summer tubs with winter pansies too, make the patio look bright and cheerful, and some with wallflowers to bloom through the winter months.

There are loads of tomatoes weighing down the trusses but they are slow to ripen, normally l'd have been picking them for a couple of weeks now but they're still mostly green.
On the other hand, the courgettes did exceptionally well, we were snowed under with them, and the marrows are huge!
Sadly no butternuts or patty pans, we think there weren't enough bees to pollinate's been a bad years for insects and butterflies again.
But the corn-on-the-cob is beautiful, so crisp, sweet and tender.
The cabbages are already hearted up and the turnips are huge!
Mother Nature gives with one hand and takes with the other...she's one fickle lady!

The cherry tree is already lovely shades of orange, yellow and red and the flocks of goldfinch, chaffinch and hedge sparrows are beginning to return to the garden feeders.

The hedgerows have berries in abundance this year unlike last when the migratory birds flew in to nothing!
The hawthorns are laden down with red berries, they aren't usually red yet!
And the elderberries are smothered in their dark purple fruit, already the birds are gorging themselves on them.
The dog rosehips shine brilliant red and orange against the dark green foliage of the hedges but the poor blackthorns have hardly any of their juicy little purple sloes!

The schools go back today too, l'm going to my sons for the day but the grandchildren will be in school so it will be a bit different to the last few weeks, just the littlest one at home.

The summer has been glorious, lots of sunshine and warm balmy days, let's hope the little indian summer arrives before the 'season of mist and mellow fruitfulness' does.
Autumn has her place but she's arrived too soon!

l can't remember who sang it but one line of a song sticks in my mind: 'the summer's over, you gotta move on'.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WILDASTER 9/2/2014 12:25PM

    Our schools started today too, most of the large tomatoes are still green but we have a few weeks left for them to ripen.

Nice to get the yard ready and know things are done and ready for the winter too.

We have had many bees, butterflies, moths, and an abundance of FLIES. We planted many flowering things that attract the bees and butterflies in the last 5 years, it seems to help.

Nice blog!

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ONESPOTLEFT 9/2/2014 10:46AM

    o say it ain't so summer can't be gone already. I like to watch the birds eat the dead flower seeds so my garden is messy but still blooming. I am blessed to have flowers almost every day. some times I have to look for them but they are there somewhere.

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ECONLADY 9/2/2014 10:42AM

    Love your writing! The imagery is wonderful. I'm enjoying the cool mornings, but we hit a 100 degrees yesterday, or at least my car did.

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HICKOK-HALEY 9/2/2014 4:17AM

    I heard where it had cooled down your way. We are seeing signs of Fall, and that is early for us too. I am curious as to what our winter is going to be like.
One article said we might have a El Nino, someone else said we are going to be warm. I am rooting for El Nino. I hope your winter isn't real cold. emoticon

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l can't believe it!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

l've said l can't believe it and yesterday l couldn' wouldn't quite sink in!

But this morning it's still true!

Yesterday l was crowned Slimming World's 'Woman of the Year'!
Little ole me!
'Woman of the Year' ...who'd have believed, l certainly didn't!!

l'll start at the beginning...sorry it might be a bit of a long blog!!

When l decided l needed to lose weight l, in my wisdom, thought l could do it on my own and l did for a while.

Sparkpeople helped enormously, everyone on my friends list became just that...friends, good friends and over the months l became complacent...

Eventually most of the weight l'd lost seemed to slowly make it's way back on to my body and logging in daily to Spark became just a way to chat to friends...very nice, but not what it was intended for!

Back in October of last year l was told l was allergic to artificial sweetener and when l removed it from my diet l seemed to lose just under a stone in weight without even trying. This spurred me on to motivate myself and get back into weightloss mode.
l went on to lose another two stones but over Christmas and New Year l once again became complacent and put on five and a half pounds.
l couldn't seem to get back to it and faffed around for three more weeks before deciding to join a slimming club near my home.

lt's called 'Slimming World' and l'd heard good reports on how it wasn't really a diet more a healthy way of life.
l looked into it, it was called 'Free and easy' and sounded quite simple to follow.
l joined the class mid January of this year and Jackie, my consultant, proved to be first class at keeping me on track.
From day one l was hooked, l found the whole thing simple.
There are no calories to count and nothing you can't moderation!

Consequently over the last nine months l've now lost a total of seven stones seven and a half pounds!

A couple of weeks ago in class we were asked to nominate, by secret ballot, anyone who inspired us to be made 'Woman of the Year'...they do have a mens one too...but this was just for women.
We had to say why we'd nominated this person and give reasons as to how they'd inspired us as we lost weight.

Well, Friday l got a 'phone call from Jackie to say l'd been nominated and would l like to stand. l didn't have to but if l did could l please bring with me to the next class some of the clothes l used to wear before l lost weight and would l stand up in front of the class and say a few words about myself and what losing weight has meant to me...she advised me to make a few notes and ended up with 'please don't tell anybody you're through'.

lt's a big class, around one hundred people attend.
Over the past few years l've had very little confidence or self esteem and at first when l joined class l would just sit quietly at the back, like a little mouse, whilst others talked but as the weight came off my confidence began to reappear.
l moved on to the front row!
l joined in!
l began giving my opinions on this and that, sharing recipes and dishing out tips and encouragement.
l became part of the class, not just a spectator.

lf Jackie had asked me to stand up and talk about myself four or five months ago l'd have immediately said 'no way' but l didn't even think about it when she 'phoned, l just said 'yes!'

So yesterday morning armed with my notes...which somehow had turned into a little speech...and my 'big' clothes l parked my behind on a seat and waited with the rest of the class whilst Jackie read out the list of nominees.

There were seven of us, all very worthy nominees we were told.
We were each presented with a certificate and a beautiful pink rose just for being nominated.
Everyone clapped us as our names were read out and l could feel myself losing confidence by the was getting jittery, l had butterflies in my stomach, clammy hands, l felt like l needed the toilet and really wished we could just get on with things!

Of course, Jackie started at the opposite end of the room, working her way around through the nominees in turn.
l sat spellbound listening to people saying how losing weight had changed their life, how they'd got their confidence back...all the while mine was ebbing their health had improved and their general wellbeing and what they did now that they didn't or couldn't do before.
Lots of tears, clapping, cheering, whistling, foot stamping as their stories emerged...
So inspirational.
l thought l'd definitely no chance at winning the title!

Then suddenly it was my turn!

Jackie called my name and l shakily made my way to the front.
Jackie could see l was jittery and put her arms around me whispering 'Just be your lovely self".

Well, l tried!

l started off with how much more confident l'd become.
Explaining if Jackie had asked me a few months earlier l couldn't have stood in front of the class like this.

Then l showed off my 'big' clothes, fitting myself into one leg of the trousers which l also explained used to be tight on me, and donning the, not sure how many times, outsize top which used to be my favourite.

l went on to all the things l could now walk up a flight of stairs without stopping for rests halfway up and again at the top'.

How l could walk around town without having to find a seat every ten minutes to counteract the knee and back pain.

How l could get down on the floor with my grandchildren...and get up again!

How my doctor had said that before l began my weightloss journey my body mass index was so high l was classed as being severely obese and now l was down to not even being obese at all, just overweight....l still have about three more stones to lose...

How l was off all medication, even my blood pressure was fine!
How fit and well l felt.

How l can now go into a shop and buy clothes straight off the peg instead of ordering them through a catalogue...l was so big even the big size shops sometimes didn't have anything to fit me!
l look at some of the clothes l own and think 'why did you buy's horrible' and the answer is there just wasn't anything else at the time so l just bought whatever fitted me!

l praised all my wonderful companions in the class and Jackie too, explaining how they all kept me going, how l loved coming to class so much so that l regarded them as my family.

And l finally ended up saying that someone had asked me last week which diet l was on.
l'd replied 'l wasn't on a diet, l was following a healthy eating programme.
lt was a way of life and it was going to be my way of life for the rest of my life'...

l'm afraid l cried through most of my talk, it felt very emotional so much so that some of the audience was crying too!
l ended up speaking in that squeaky little voice which emotion brings.
And when the cheering and clapping began as l ended l cried even more.
l don't do's just not me!
So you can see how much of a big thing it was for me.

Then knees shaking l returned to my seat to be told by my friend, Yvonne, that they could see my kneecaps going up and down l was shaking so much!

But everything calmed down.
lt was also a taster session too when members make their favourite recipe and bring it to class to share and swap recipes and tips.
There were lots of lovely goodies to sample and the class was also asked to vote for the winner of the competition in a secret vote.

Soon Jackie was announcing the winner.

My friend, Liz, is a constant chatterer, she was a nominee herself, and she was busy chattering away as Jackie started her announcement.
Jackie's used to Liz's constant banter but eventually turned to her and said in a mock stern voice 'Liz, will you please be quiet, l can't hear myself think'.
l turned to Liz and said' oooo! get her' and we couldn't stop laughing so much so that l missed Jackie announce my name!
She had to say it again and then say' Come on, out here, you've won!

Me! won...what's she on about?

Liz nudged me and Yvonne embraced me and suddenly l was crying again as the whole place erupted and l was listening to clapping, cheering, foot stamping, woo-hooing and whistles as Jackie placed a sash around me and l was presented with flowers, certificates and a silver star shaped award trophy before been manhandled into place for photographs.

lt was absolutely fantastic especially as l really had no inkling whatsoever l was even in with the smallest chance of winning.

lt was a total shock but so elating.

l'm still on cloud nine.

When l came out of the class l even wore my sash down the street when l went to meet my a few funny looks but l just smiled happily at probably thought l was loopy!!

My family and friends are over the moon for me.
l am too!

l'm so proud, so grateful, so pleased, so overwhelmed, so oooh! l don't everything!

l'm still walking around the house in my sash and feel so eyes keep tearing up too...must be going soft in my old age!

lt's going to make the final three stones I've to lose more accessible than ever now, got to live up to my new title!!

'Woman of the Year'.

l don't have many 'photos of me at my biggest, if l saw a camera l would immediately remove myself from the situation and just didn't have my photo taken.
This one here is when my son caught me unawares but you can see the difference between me then, nine months ago, and now.
l still have a bit more to lose but l will do it.

Me taken nine months ago before losing one hundred and five and a half pounds.

Me yesterday 12th August 2014 after being voted Slimming World's 'Woman of the Year'.

My sash, certificates and trophy award.

My mantra.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARILYN1260 8/15/2014 11:17PM

    Now I'm in tears :) You worked so hard to become slim and healthy and you deserve this award. As I always tell you, you're such an inspiration to all of us. Best wishes as you continue on your path of good health and happiness!!!

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CELLOPLAYER1 8/13/2014 7:53PM

    emoticon emoticon

What a wonderful story!

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MAINLADY 8/13/2014 7:16PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon You make us all proud Martha-Ann. You achieved what most of us haven't been able to do and you should be so proud of yourself. A well-deserved honor has been bestowed upon you. All I can say is "WOW!"

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ONESPOTLEFT 8/13/2014 6:59PM



you certainly earned it


don't quit now

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MOM2ACAT 8/13/2014 5:50PM

    Congrats! Thank you for sharing your journey with us, you are amazing!

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GARDENQE2 8/13/2014 12:29PM

What a wonderful reward for your supreme effort!
As you say, it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle change!
Speaking in front of a group, too. WOW!!

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4ANEWME2DAY 8/13/2014 10:27AM

    You gave me goosebumps!! Wonderful!! Way to go!! Congratulations!!
All that good stuff!!

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ECONLADY 8/13/2014 10:17AM

    That is wonderful! I'm so happy for you! Congratulations!

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Tuesday fun

Thursday, July 31, 2014

l had such a great time in the local park and garden with my daughter-in-law, her friends, my grand children and their friends last week that we've decided every Tuesday will be a fun day through the long and, hopefully hot, summer holidays.

My daughter in law has talked with her closests friends and they've agreed that every Tuesday (her friend is not working on Tuesdays) they'll all meet up for a family fun day and l'm included!
Why three bright, thirty something, young women would want an old lady like me tagging along l really don't know, l mean l don't even get to do a lot to help out, they look after me!!
But l'm assured they do and l've been really enjoying myself...l do help out where l can!

Since losing a lot of weight and finally feeling well l've realised just how much fitter and healthier l've become...l actually feel 'thirty something' when l'm with them...and about 'sixish' when l'm with the

All the children are a delight to be with and last week it set me off reminiscing about my childhood and my own children's childhood but none of that any more, l'm living in the 'here & now' and looking to the future...

This Tuesday was fabulous...
A day on the beach...sun, sand, sea, crunchy sandwiches, ice cream and fun!

My gorgeous DlL wouldn't even hear of me taking anything, though l did bring sweets, crisps, a homemade cake and chocolate for the kids!.

When l arrived at her house she'd even packed me a beach towel along with my lunch...a different lunch to theirs too!
All my healthy programme food...she'd made me savoury rice with lean boiled ham, red peppers, tomatoes and grapes...all packed up in a lovely food container complete with fork. There was a yoghurt, a persimmon and an apple for dessert too and a bottle of iced water to drink...isn't she the most gorgeous girl?
So busy with her family, there are four children, and still time to look after little 'ole me!
Love her to bits!

Her friends arrived laden down with bags, we packed as much of it as we could under the baby's pram, allocated who carried what and we all set off to stroll down to the beach which is only about fifteen minutes walk away at a two year old's pace.

The sun was not too hot and patchy, light cloud made it a very pleasant day.

The route took us through the local park so there was a short impromptu stop for a go on the swings and seesaw before we wandered on through the holiday boarding houses and hotels which line the seafront and then suddenly, the sea appeared all shining and sparkly in the sunshine.

The tide was right out so gave a wide expanse of beach for us to use.
There were other families spreading out their towels and putting up their deck chairs but we found a lovely spot quite near to a cafe and toilets so not too far to walk if they were needed.

We spread out our covers and put up the wind breaks, spreading our belongs behind us before getting the kids stripped down to their swimming cossies they were already wearing under their clothes then divesting ourselves of any unnecessary clothing everyone was liberally slathered in sun cream and sun hats put on before we all settled down in the sunshine.

The bigger boys set up a cricket pitch and were soon engrossed in a game...not quite English rules and a much smaller pitch but no falling out!

The bigger girls decided to bury each other in the sand, taking it in turns to become a mermaid, sitting down their legs were covered with sand which was then sculpted into a fish tail before being decorated with stones and shells they'd gathered. They played very nicely and took turns at being the mermaid.

The two littlies and the baby were quite happy building castles and playing in the sand.

After lunch the baby went in his pram for a nap, the big boys decided to go for a swim, the girls paddled and the littlies jumped the tiny waves as they broke on the of them, only just two, was fearless and would have been in up to her neck if l hadn't kept a tight hold on right little water baby.

l enjoyed my paddle with them as their mams relaxed and soaked up the rays to top up their tans.
Good old grandma eventually got something to do!

After paddling l took the girls for a walk along the high water mark to see what had been washed up by the tide, they found pretty shells, worn smooth glass fragments in many colours and unusual stones and were so excited when l found a mermaid's purse.
They could hardly believe it!
A mermaid's purse!

Cue the only falling out to the whole day and 'nasty' old grandma had to confiscate it and say 'she'd found it so it was hers'

A mermaid's purse is actually the egg case for a small shark called a lesser spotted dogfish, the fish attaches the case to seaweed by long strands at each corner and it eventually breaks loose after the young have developed and left the case.

The day seemed to go so fast, a blur of suntan cream and fun!
Soon time to pack up and head for home.

Lots of foot rubbing with talc to remove any left over sand, dressing little sun warmed bodies, finding shoes and socks as the big boys took turns to hide behind the windbreak and dress themselves, terrified anyone would see them there was lots of 'hold it up grandma' and 'stop watching me' and 'where's my underpants' as they tried to get dressed in the tiny little triangular cubicle they'd fashioned from one funny!

Then a stroll along the harbour top to the locally made ice-cream stall and it was cornets all round!
Everyone wanted vanilla except one of the littlies, she wanted bubblegum turned out to be bright blue...and so did she by the time it was
Mine was handed to me, l was pushing the baby in his pram and immediately he was all smiles, waving arms and noisy shouting.
l gave him a taste on my finger expecting a face from the coldness but no!...he loved it and he suddenly became like a little baby bird, all open mouth and telling me to 'hurry up grandma, l want more' in his baby language.
ln the end l didn't get any except for a lick around the cornet as it began to drip!
l gave in and handed him the cornet which he took enormous pleasure in slurping on, sucking the goodness out of the cornet until it had disintegrated...he even cried when he'd finished it wanting more...
Nine months old he is!

Back home, the friends departed, the girls went in the bath, the big boy in the shower, the baby was sleeping and my son, bless him, was home from work and cooking pasta for us all.
My DH turned up and we all had a wonderful tea together.

l can hardly wait for next Tuesday, we're going on a train ride!!

The baby playing

Pretty mermaid

Taking a breather

Fun in the sea

Anyone for cricket?'s the princess pose from the Disney films!

The littlies enjoying lunch

The girls took such delight in helping to bury big brother!

Blue tongued after bubblegum flavoured ice-cream...not to mention her lips, chin and t-shirt though that did match the ice-cream colour!

The baby slurping on the cornet

Mermaid's purse...the egg case of the lesser spotted dogfish, a type of small shark

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Wow! emoticon

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MARILYN1260 8/1/2014 9:29AM

    What a wonderful day you all had. I'm so happy to read about the love and fun you share with your son, daughter in law and wonderful grand children. I noticed your weight loss in one of your previous pictures. Keep up the good work. Hugs,

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ECONLADY 7/31/2014 2:30PM

    Sounds like a great day! Enjoy!

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WILDASTER 7/31/2014 1:02PM

    What a wonderful day! Next time you go out for your Tuesday date have one of the older boys take a picture of you with your daughter in law, share the memories of the fun for years to come. These days are such a blessing.

I have never seen a mermaid's purse, quite interesting.

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ONESPOTLEFT 7/31/2014 6:37AM

    love all the details of the how the children entertained themselves and the beach treasures you found...never knew about the shark sacks

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Memories are made of this...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

l don't seem to have blogged in a long time, time to get back to it.

The weather is glorious, wall to wall sunshine! emoticon
And the predicted heatwave is set to stay around for a while at least!

The schools have just broken up for their six week summer break and six weeks is a long time for littlies so my daughter-in-law is finding ways to keep them entertained.
She said 'Things which are free or cost little are paramount when money is short'.
This statement took me off down memory lane to my own childhood and also when my own children were both cases money was scarce...nothing much changes does it?

l was brought up in the fishing community of a large seaside town, a little village in it's own right, but when l married l moved to the country, to a small village (l'm still in the same place now) both places were where everyone knew everyone else and looked out for each other.
There were lots of extended family and friends who all mucked in together, it was nothing to have extra children to tea or sleep over, they'd just appear on the doorstep to play and as long as mam or dad were told where they were they stayed!
My kids did the same and when we went anywhere it was usually with an extended group of kids and adults.
Such camaraderie is hard to fine these days with everyone busy rushing around or working and you don't see extended family groups so much anymore, there aren't many children wandering the streets like we or ours did...too busy indoors on computers!

They don't know the joy of being outside all day, rock pooling, building sand castles or dens, playing catch, paddling in streams, climbing trees, picnicking in fields only going home for tea or bedtime.
Society has changed so much this easy lifestyle has all but disappeared.

There are more houses in our villages now, parents work and children are in daycare but back in the days when my sons were small most mothers stayed at home so l could quite happily let them wander and know they were safe.

A favourites of both my sons as they grew a little older and could go out by them selves was what l called 'Follow that trail'.
l'd devise a short route then write a ten point list of little rhyming clues that took them around the village (if they followed it correctly) usually ending up at grandma's house where l'd meet them and we'd have a cuppa with her or the local shop for a couple of pennyworth of sweets or an ice-cream...l'd agreed with Mr Symon, the owner, what the end product was, pay for them and he passed it over to them, they always thought it was so great getting free them a few years to figure out what l'd done!!

Another favourite way to spend a day was to go for a bike ride...sometimes l wish l could still ride my bike but due to arthritis and a once broken kneecap l just can't manage a full revolution of the pedals...last time l tried l fell off and broke a toe!!

We'd set off on our trusty steeds, saddlebags bulging with our packed lunch and bottles of water, a plaster or two, maybe a few sweets and an old blanket to sit on.
The lunch would be something simple like a pile of jam sandwiches, boiled eggs, cheese or home made savoury slice or egg & bacon pie with fruit to follow and just plain old tap water to drink...everything was home made, simple, cheap and nourishing.

Even from the age of about three my youngest son could manage a twelve to fifteen mile bike ride, of course we had frequent stops and we were out all day but the joys of nature, fresh air, and fun filled the days.
When you look back it's funny but the days were always sunny or maybe we blank the rainy days from memory though l do remember rainy days as we used to go walking then. Dressed up in wellies, rain coats and hats and maybe an umbrella...but they were a bit of an inconvenience which no one wanted to carry!
lt's much more interesting walking in the rain with puddles to jump in, rainbows to kill (petrol spills made rainbows on the ground and the kids loved them) and slugs and snails out foraging...yes! my boys even liked slugs!

Both my boys enjoy nature, when you have a mother who loves wildlife etc you don't have a choice but to learn so we frequently stopped as l pointed out insects, flowers etc.
You can blame my love of nature on my dad, he was a fanatic too!

They learned to handle wildlife, see the beauty in a spiders web, feel the tickley legs of a beetle on your arm and, in one case, the teeth of a little vole in your look on his face when it bit him was classic and when he said to it 'l was only trying to help you up the kerb little vole' l so wished l'd had a camera to record his face...but back then we couldn't afford one and l was yet to turn into the possessed camera nut I've since become!

Some days were swimming days, with what seemed like half the children of the village with us!
l suppose because I was at the village school and the children knew and respected me l was the obvious choice for fact it'd sometimes turn into a nature lesson!

We'd go down 'becksies', the local name for the stream which runs through the village, it's actually a tributary of the river Hull and winds its way through the countryside in small streams with an ambling pace which makes it a good place to catch newts, sticklebacks, tadpoles etc or watch ducks, a kingfisher as it flashes along above the water to it's favourite fishing perch or sand martins with their nest excavated into the bank above the waterline.

We also used to see water voles but they're now an endangered species though l do watch one in a spot where not many people know they are (there's an otter's holt nearby too)...fascinating creatures and so sad they're in decline from the pesticides which wash down into the stream from the farmer's fields.

The farmer who's land the becksies runs through dug a large hole out under some trees and made a pool for the children to swim, he'd hung a long length of thick rope from an old ash tree which dangled across the centre of the pool, children loved to run and make a wild leap for the rope to swing way out across the pool letting go in mid air and splashing into the even used to do it myself!

We'd picnic through the day and return home tired but very happy, rosy cheeked from the sun and fresh air and...all for free!

Seaside days were wonderful too, we'd beg a lift into town with anyone who was going to work. We're only five miles from the sea and we'd choose a secluded little cove where we'd rock pool, swim, sunbathe, build sandcastles and picnic to out hearts content.
l'm a fisherman's daughter so love the coast as much as the countryside.
My dad and mam taught us about the sea, it's wildlife and tides so l passed that knowledge on to the children.
There's nothing so satisfying as turning over a stone to find a little fish, a crab, a sea anemone or a starfish or seeing a fossil in a rock or popping bladderwrack seaweed after their flotation bubbles have dried in the sun...l have a piece in my shed window which must be forty years old, it's a brilliant barometer...dry to the touch if the weather's going to be fine but damp and cold if the weather's going to be wet...these are all happy simple little things which l still indulge in whenever I get the chance!

We'd spread our blanket on the sand, pile our belongs around it, divest ourselves of our clothes...we always had our swimsuits underneath ready but sometimes we forgot to take the underwear we'd need to come then the children would build themselves a speedboat in the sand.
This was a passed down ritual with me and my siblings, my dad's idea for us to each sit in our own little boat to eat our lunches and l carried the idea on with my boys...they also have carried this on with their children though one of the girls always makes herself a princess castle with a's convinced she's a princess!

We'd rock pool, paddle, swim, play rounders or cricket or just snooze and sunbathe.
Most times we'd choose a secluded cove for the day but sometimes we'd end up in the main town with holidaymakers crowding the beach and on those occasions instead of a picnic we'd eat chips (couldn't afford a fish!) out of newspaper, all golden brown and hot, covered in salt and dripping with vinegar...burning our tongues and fingers as they looked so good we just couldn't wait for them to cool!
Bliss indeed...I can almost taste them now as l'm writing this!

And then we'd have an ice-cream...the one indulgence which cost us really but worth it!
There were three flavours back then, vanilla, strawberry or a new fangled lemon one which was made in a big machine that whipped it up with air.
As the machine's handle was pulled the vendor turned the cone so it formed a swirly ice-cream peak on top of it.
l only tried it once but it wasn't like the good old fashion thick and creamy ice-cream, it was so full of air it didn't last and tasted all airy-fairy!
l felt l'd been cheated so soon reverted to the classic vanilla and if funds could run to it we'd get the lady to stick a chocolate flake in it..a '99' as it was called, invariably the flake was eaten first!
The sun melting the icecream so it dripped down the cones we'd lick around them with fervour and finally nibble the cone down until the last little bit was popped into the mouth with a sigh...pleased to have had it but sad it had gone!

ln later years my sons found a novel way of earning a bit of extra money.
Those were the days when lemonade bottles had a deposit of three pence on them, large jam jars three pence, small jam jars two pence.
They discovered people didn't always return them for the deposit and found many discarded bottles and jars around the town and villages.
They'd make forays out on their bikes, finding them under hedge bottoms, under benches, bringing them home to give them a quick swizz under the tap and return them to the shop to collect the deposit.
They spent one whole summer just doing that and made enough money to fund a trip to a 'Lazer Quest' where they fired paint balls at each other...not my idea of fun as they returned covered in bruises where the paint balls had hit but obviously theirs, each to their own!

Myself, l loved the harvest when l was required to take the 'llowance' up to the men working in the fields.
l'd pack an old wicker basket with the food, cover it with a red checked cloth and walk up to the field the men were working in.
l'd find a shady spot beneath a tee and set out the food on the cloth.
There'd be apple pies, sandwiches, savoury pasties, big chunks of cheese, peeled onions, apples and crusty bread spread thickly with butter and jars of home made piccalilli and chutney together with big flasks of hot tea and cold water or sometimes a cold beer or two.
The men would descend on the feast lounging in the shade as they devoured the food and drink...grateful for a few minutes respite from the sun and hard work.
Then returning to their work, l'd pack up the remnants of the feast but leave the flasks and water in the shade for the men to quench their thirst and stroll back home through the lanes...l loved that time and miss it a lot.
l occasionally get to walk by a harvesting field but it's not the same with one man high up enclosed in a combined harvester cab and another driving a corn cart...sadly mechanism has taken over and those idyllic sunny summer days of hard work and fresh air are gone.
l realise l'm looking at this through rose tinted spectacles and todays way makes life much easier for the farmer but it's not so pretty and traditional which is a shame as the pace of life has more than quadrupled and the sunny days in the sun are no more!

Well, less rambling on l really came to tell you is l did spend an idyllic day yesterday, with my daughter-in-law, the grand children, her mam and three of her friends and their children.
We went to the local park, spread our blankets and lounged in the sun.
The kids played nicely on the park equipment and we supervised as the swung, slid and see-sawed away then we ate a wonderful packed lunch and lazed around as the kids played chase and generally enjoyed being free before strolling back home to the garden where the kids cooled down in a paddling pool of water (l did have my feet in we adults sat around and gossiped as we 'chilled' as my daughter-in-law put it!
A free day out and very enjoyable...we're planning a beach day next...and I just can't wait! emoticon

My youngest grandson enjoying his pool

The girls in their pool

At the park


My daughter-in-law & friends

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HICKOK-HALEY 7/27/2014 7:13PM

    I love reminiscing. I remember the days we would drive up to Santa Barbara, to my Aunt and Uncle's house. We would go to he beach or out on the boat fishing. Those were the days. Your Grandchildren are cute!

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MOM2ACAT 7/23/2014 5:00PM

    Glad to see you back blogging again! Great blog today, really enjoyed it!

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ECONLADY 7/23/2014 11:50AM

    Great pics. Thanks fir sharing!

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ONESPOTLEFT 7/23/2014 6:58AM

    a step back in time to a childhood unlike today's busy battery operated world

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A stitch in time...

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

I hit another milestone on my weightless journey today.

I'm really happy with the way things are going, I've been clearing out my wardrobe after losing five dress sizes and needed something new to wear which didn't make me look like a 'bag lady''ve donated five big sacks of clothing (there'll be more eventually) to The Yorkshire Air Ambulance Charity, they do a fantastic job and always need funds!

I've a lot to lose, still have a way to go, so when I began I decided I'd award my self a little something after each ten pounds lost, just a little incentive to me from me to keep me on the right track, so...this week, another ten pound reward!

I decided it doesn't have to be anything big or important so it's usually something which I don't actually need but do covet.
This time I chose a little sewing machine for the dolls house I'm renovating.
I saw it couple of weeks ago and promised myself if it was still for sale I'd buy it at my next weightless was so I have!

I'm really pleased with it, it's so cute and I know I should really be getting on with making furniture etc first but I couldn't resist it.
You see, it reminds me of my gran.
She had one pretty similar and a little box for her sewing equipment too, just like the box here and she kept it in the same place next to the treadle under the machine when it wasn't in use.

I have started on my furniture.
I've already made a little table, two beds and a three piece suite frame which I've padded ready for covering.
I've made curtain poles and curtains too.
DH has brought me bits of wadding and materials to use and I'm enjoying it immensely.

Here's the little sewing machine which reminds me so much of my gran.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARILYN1260 4/24/2014 9:18AM

    Congratulations on your weight-loss! Absolutely love your little sewing machine!

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CHANTENAY 4/2/2014 9:52PM

    The sewing machine and cabinet are darling! Congratulations on so many successes! I hope to be able to do the same some day. Your idea of giving yourself a little gift as a reward is a good one.

emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/2/2014 9:52:30 PM

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CELLOPLAYER1 4/2/2014 7:32PM

    Congrats on the weight loss!

The sewing machine is cute!

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ECONLADY 4/2/2014 10:31AM

    Congrats on the weight loss! The sewing machine is adorable!

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XME501 4/2/2014 9:52AM

    Oh, Martha,
Just love it. I have a treadle sewing machine that i love to sew on - except that right now the cord is off, Need to have my son-in-law put it back on for me.

And congratulations on your weight loss. That is absolutely awesome!!


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ONESPOTLEFT 4/2/2014 6:59AM

    I learned on a treadle at my gamma's house and yes a great incentive to reward yourself every 10 pounds. I thought about taking some of my upscale clothes to the consignment shop now that I retired I stay in my garden clothes most days

emoticon and get to your goal weight

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HICKOK-HALEY 4/2/2014 6:42AM

    Congrats on another 10 pds. emoticon
You made a wonderful choice for your reward. I love the little sewing machine, and the fact it brings back fond memories is great. I can't wait to see the doll house once it is finished.

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