Monday, 16 September 2013

Call it a breather

Well you didn't get much respite.  I gave up Clavering mid July and, guess what, here I am again.

My theory that I could keep up with folk without 'C' didn't take into account my rubbish memory and very spasmodic contacts with various people; so after just two months I no longer know who I told what to and spend more time tracking down old conversations before answering the new one than I did writing Clavering.  Hence my return.   I'll start with a quick diary catch up from my last proper posting.

I seem to have left you on a bit of a cliff-hanger which, being me, I can no longer recall what I was wittering about so - here are pretty much diary events to get us back on spot:


............began with our water butt (complete with hard struggled water) getting stolen from the lotty.  Some really cheesy folk around.

flying in over the Rockies
On the 3rd we flew out to Vancouver to visit my sister, her husband, her daughter and partner and their delightful toddler.  The bonus was that my son and grand-daughter (pretty much the same age as my great-nephew) had flown across from Calgary to see us all.  You can imagine our first meal together at my niece's house was just lovely - huge thanks to all of them - such a joy.

We stayed three days taking in the obligatory ice cream parlour for Ken - Huge???  this was something like ice cream heaven.

Ken and I then drove across to Calgary for the second
Rockies wherever you look
part of our visit with my son and family.  He and L flew home a couple of days after we left. There is a long drawn out saga of a broken down-rental car which I won't regale you with other than it took 17 hours to replace it!  Do not break down in the boon docks is the moral of that story.

We did a route from Vancouver to Calgary which we hadn't done before taking in Princeton, Grand Forks, Creston and Fernie, arriving in Calgary on the 9th.

We spent the next four days in a hotel with my son and his family.  They had sold up and had up- sticks and were on their way to live in Newfoundland.  We all left on the same day but we were able to take them to the airport in the morning as we didn't leave until the evening.  So, back to Manchester for us and a return to life for two.

On the 25th we spent a very nice evening helping my husband's daughter-in-law celebrate her milestone birthday (not saying which one!)  We joined her family for a meal and a Tasmin (yes, that is spelled correctly) Little concert at the Bridgewater.  It has been a few years since Ken and I had done that.  It is like remembering two other people - dressed up properly in shoes that cripple eating out and going to a whole concert series for the whole season as we did way back when ....

So with all the usual meals out, gardening and dollhousing we wander off into 


Last ten minutes of the show
My DH show for the month was the one at York which is one of my absolute favourites so I had a lovely day there shopping and mooching and talking to all and sundry because I was covering it for the magazine.  We came home via The Fleece (Ripponden) - a favourite watering hole.

A few days later my daughter and her partner bobbed down for three days, which is just the best.  It is always lovely to spend time with her and S.  Meals out, ice creams - she is another fan of the frozen stuff - and a chance to catch up.

In wanders July.........

On the 6th we did a local open garden that we do each year - Davenport Farm - just a reminder here, if anything garden or dolls house peaks your interest (there are some odd people out there) you can always find out about it in the appropriate blog).

The next day was a show - also on our doorstep in Bolton - so I had a great first weekend in July.

The minster dominates every street
15th - 19th we stayed in Maggie's Mews, Horncastle - very, very highly recommended - lovely place and quite an interesting area to go at.  My little chum, D, joined us so we had loads of giggles and chatter especially following our visit to a theatre in a pub to see the Titfield Thunderbolt - bit of a contrast to our visit to Lincoln Cathedral earlier in the day.  Fun-filled five days...... and we did very well in the quiz!  That's another story. to another favourite garden on the 21st - Jefferson's - this time with our regular chums P and S.

We seem to have galloped on at a great rate into....


My daughter and S. came for her usual birthday visit.  A nice five day stay which gave us tons of time to do what we do best - eat and natter.

The Crown, Hopton Wafers

The day after they left we were off to Shropshire for three nights with P and S.  It was fine and as always we packed in (even more) food and chatter.  

In retrospect we all decided we prefer to rent somewhere rather than 'do' hotels.  We are certainly becoming 'old-fogies'.  We like the idea of sitting around your own place, coming and going and doing your own thing. We like the comfort of a home away from home rather than a 'serviced' stay somewhere.

We did squeeze in Ken's 68th birthday while we were there which was lovely.  He always seems to be 'on holiday' somewhere for his birthday.  This may be because of a combination of an August birthday (rather than my November one) and the fact that he is our 'travel agent'.

The Hideaway
P & S went home and K and I travelled on to Woodhall Spa for a couple of days to 'cover' a DH show.  Woodhall Spa (and its environs) is a great place to visit, full of interesting things, starting with the venue of the show for example - the Petwood Hotel. This was where the dam busters were billeted.  We stayed in Woodhall last summer so we had done a lot of the area and our visit to Horncastle the previous month was also on its doorstep.  We still had a great couple of days thanks, in part, to the delightful little apartment we found.  

Finally, here we are in 


The first (!) DH show for the month was in Stafford so it was just a day trip there and back.  We are going to Miniatura at the NEC next weekend and staying over for a couple of days so I can do both days - for myself and to cover it for the magazine.  I will be picking up stuff from there to 'finish' Chocolat. 

A week ago my 81 year old aunty was hospitalised after a fall which, of course, is not turning out to be simple so that is taking up some of our time right now and I seem to be overwhelmed with stuff to do.  Along with the usual keeping on top of the garden and the lotty I am forever racing around and trying to keep the doll house plates spinning.  Right now I have three incomplete articles on my desk due out this month and the realisation that there is also one or more every month to come until May 2014: then there will be a major project I have in mind as well as any other 'commissions'.  I also have to work on a complete 'task' each month on Chocolat until we leave - working right up to the last week.  My involvement with the hobby brings with it a zillion blogs and major and minor commitments to other people and groups.

I decided this wasn't enough to send me crazy so I have just volunteered to do a garden 'thing' with the local Youth Group.  This consists of 15 'youth' aged 8 - 14.  That is a broad spread of age and gender to pitch things to.  With the added dimension that we can't go any actual gardening until next April it may prove a real challenge (aka worry).  I start next Tuesday - I may let you know how it went.

Meanwhile, I am back in Clavering so you can all keep up, BUT this time round I have no intention of beating myself up every time I don't do a Clavering at the end of a calender month. Posts will be even more hit and miss than they were before.  I'll try to come here only when I have something to say.  (!!!! I know, I know)

For any of you that suffer with anxiety - or worse, misdiagnosed depression - here's a link to terrific article my daughter sent me:

I saw this Observer article and thought you should see it:
Get the Guardian and Observer iPad edition by visiting

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