Thursday, 1 December 2011

And so it begins - -

- - Journalling Christmas - - The first prompt came this morning  - - along with my tickets for my Christmas Markets trip to Munich!! How apt and appropriate was that? And to REALLY get me into the Christmas Spirit - C and I have just put up our decorations in the Library - se we are doing Christmas here big style!! FOUR trees we have - a large 6ft one, (which we decorated - all the others are decorated by the children) -  a table size one at 4ft, a small "Breast Cancer" 2ft tree and a teeny tiny desk tree. As the library is such a large space it works out just perfectly.
As well as Shimelle's brilliant class - the wonderful Tim Holtz has posted the first of this Years 12 Tags - I do really want to have a play with the tags -but somehow time runs away with me - and another wonderful teacher out there who is also doing 12 Christmas Projects is the delightful Laura Denison of Following the Paper Trail - - so we really have no excuse NOT to be inspired!

Of course there is always the scent of pine to make me feel Christmassy ( not that I need much help!!) as the real trees are also due to be delivered today as well - so all in all I think I have lots of scope for a first page in my Journal! I just wish I was at home and could play instead of being in work! It does so get in the way of fun!
I will have to try to post my pages later - along with a recipe.

Thanks for stopping by.

Bannaghtyn J x

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Home made Mincemeat - - -

- - - for your mince tarts.
Of course - nowadays there is no meat in the mixture  - but traditionally A mince pie, also known as minced pie, is a small British sweet pie traditionally served during the Christmas season. Its ingredients are traceable to the 13th century, when returning European crusaders brought with them Middle Eastern recipes containing meats, fruits and spices. I only ever eat them at Christmas - and I always make a wish when I eat my first one of the Christmas season. I used to make my own mimcemeat when my eldest daughter was small - but haven't done so in recent years - working does put a bit of a stop to one's gallop in the kitchen I find. I do enjoy it though - so thought I would share my recipe with you dear readers.
This is my method -  -however should you be teetotal - the alcohol can be replaced with good quality fruit juice.

Homemade Mincemeat 
 8oz Bramley Apples (or any other cooking apples)
4oz shredded suet
4oz  each of raisins , sultanas, currants, mixed candied peel
6oz soft dark brown sugar
Grated zest and juice of one orange and one lemon
1oz chopped mixed nuts
2 level teaspoons mixed ground spices – (cloves, nutmeg, allspice)
¼ level teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 small glass of sherry or 3 tablespoons brandy
Wash, Core & chop apples into small pieces (no need to peel  them)
Chop candied peel  and mixed nuts finely  if necessary
Add all ingredients except brandy to a large bowl and stir til thoroughly mixed together
Cover with clean cloth and leave to stand overnight in a cool place to allow the flavours to develop.
After that pre-heat the oven to gas mark ¼, 225°F (120°C).
Cover the bowl loosely with foil and place it in the oven for 3 hours, then remove the bowl from the oven. Don't worry about the appearance of the mincemeat, which will look positively swimming in fat. This is how it should look. As it cools, stir it from time to time; the fat will coagulate and, instead of it being in tiny shreds, it will encase all the other ingredients.
When the mincemeat is quite cold, stir well again, adding the brandy. Pack in jars that have been sterilised (see below). When filled, cover with waxed discs and seal. The mincemeat will keep for ages in a cool, dark cupboard but I usually find it has all gone by Christmas!! I leave it for about a week before I use it - but it can be used immediately.  

NOTE: To sterilise jars, wash the jars and lids in warm soapy water, rinse well, then dry thoroughly with a clean tea cloth, place them on a baking tray and pop into a medium oven, gas mark 4, 350F, 180C, for 5 minutes.

I am hoping to include Recipes in my Christmas Journal this year - so if you are happy to share links, dear readers - please do. I am doing my very best to catch up with my blog reading - and am almost up to date - when I intend to try to comment again  - I will be glad to have some heating soon!  Thanks for stopping by.

Bannaghtyn - J xx

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Stormy weather - -

- - has battered my island - so much so that the ferries have not sailed since yesterday lunch time!! Dark and dismal doesn't even come close to the way it looks outside! The rising wind is wuthering  over my head above the skylight as  I type - and the rain is horizontal! Needless to say it is raining in  - the bucket is catching the drip - which is intensly annoying to my colleague and I!
It is a Craft Club day for our specila children today - but with  the very high winds we have hunted out a whole batch of previous years Christmas projects - paper snowflakes, Snowman decoration, paper Angels - all of which we are going to encourage all the other children to do at lunch time. We also have a Poster Competition - for a fund raiser for them to enter - with a small prize on offer - so hopefully they won't be too manic  - the wind really does seem to upset their equilibrium. Well - I don't care for it myself I must admit - not as wild as this anyway!
Thanks for stopping by -

Bannaghtyn  - J x

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Making Progress - -

- - well I sure hope I am! Life does seem to be settling back to a more placid and even keel - only  the boiler now needs to be resolved - and even that is "in progress" as they say, as the Rayburn is on its way to the island now! Hopefully the heating guys can get it installed and running for us before Christmas - - and as you know - I do so love this most magical season of the year! LOL
I did so enjoy the crafting day - it did indeed prove to be the boost I needed - espacially as it was my birthday (a bit iof a special one this year) weekend  as well - so we had double reasons for celebrations & yummy cakes!
The Remember December album was a bit of a hit with our members - (always a relief - as any of you dear readers who prepare anything for others will know).Foolishly I forgot my camera this year - so don't have a "groupshot" of a completed project - but as always it was so exciting to see every individual take on the basic instructions we started with!!

Here a couple of the inner pages - it's quite likely that this album might get used for this year's Journal Your Christmas - with Shimelle - however as I am also going to the Christmas Markets in Bavaria again this December - I might save it for that. The papers are primarily Graphic 45 "Christmas Past" - though there are also a few oddments that just went with the colour scheme. I am really happy with the way it has turned out as I have lots of places for small photos, journalling etc - and plenty of pockets for memorabilia.
Thanks for stopping by.

Bannaghtyn  J xx

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Long Time - - - No Blog - - -

- - - as life has really thrown me some curve balls this year, and finding time for ANYTHING other tha daily living has proved well nigh impossible for me. I signed up for two classes with Shimelle - and never got to even go to the forum - for one off them I haven't even found time to read the emails! As I am a longtime fan of Shimelle's classes and find them totally inspirational I feel very down about it. However - I do know that every class is still available to me to go back to so hope that is what I will be able to do.Onwards & Upwards!!
It seems it is my time to have a myriad number of problems - which alone are easy to cope with - but when they come all at once seem insurmountable - -  none of them unusual - the kind of thing we all face at different times - elderly parents, health issues for children and partners, boilers breaking down , unexpected flash floods - -  just all at once and all costly in financial terms - - LOL - but I am getting there - That's life I guess.

I am going to an all day Craft event on Sunday - so that is my glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. The thought is keeping me going and having had stuff to prepare for it has been the saviour of my sanity. Anyway - here is a photo of what we hope to achieve. Thanks for stopping by.
I do hope life has been kinder to you -

J xc

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Crowd Control - - - -

- -  seems to have been my lot this morning in the school hall. Today the annual "photo shoot" took place - with the official schoo photographer in for the morning. It was slightly manic to say the least, as for school staff to link up the photo with the student's records they need to be in a certain order!!! So today I have learned that a large percentage of our new intake do not understand the concept of alphabetical order!! And I used to think that Lower school were easier to deal with!!
However it is over for another year - and it is a distinct possibility that it will be my last crowd control session - at least I hope it is as Its very hard on my voice and my feet!! I seem to have to walk miles - and its only in the hall!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Long time - no post

- - as "real life" has got in the way somewhat. But heyho - that's the way the cookie crumbles. I haven't been able to particpate in online classes I signed up for and even create much sadly - but hopefully I might make it to Shimelles's "Learn Something New Everyday" even though I am a little behind. Keep you fingers crossed for me!
Til later

Bannaghtyn J x

Friday, 10 June 2011

Words of Wisdom - -

The lovely Shimelle is once again encouraging us. As you probably know dear readers - I am an alumni of many of Shimelle's classes - and my most recently completed class - Beyond Blogging for Scrapbookers has been an enormous boost to my confidence and I hope improved some of my blog content - (and I really would highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't taken the class) so today - thanks to Shimelle who has so kindly invited us to participate in her latest sortie into blogland - it's 10 on the Tenth.
Oh cool thinks I - so exciting - I can share my holiday snaps - er no! - still taking some of them!!
I can scan 10 pages from my last album - er no! not at home - remember???
I can list the books by my bed - er no! on that one too - can't remember ten titles!!
so all these ideas are not too practical for this month -  so being on holiday - today I share with you - -

Wise words - - - that I would like my children to remember. I have been collecting words all my life and those of you who have visited me more than once will probably know of this passion of mine. Sadly I am not sure I have passed it on to my children but I have included these quotes (along with lots of others) here and there through the albums recording their lives that we call scrapbooks - in the hopes that  they may just take the occasional note of them, enjoy the scraps of poetry or just the music of the words themselves. I hope you enjoy some of them - feel free to make use of them in your own albums if they appeal to you.
  • A Bag of Tools -
Isn't it strange that princes and kings
And clowns that caper in sawdust rings
And common folk like you and me
Are the builders of eternity.
To each is given a bag of tools,
A shapeless mass and a book of rules;
And each must make, ere time is flown,
A stumbling-block or a stepping-stone.. RL Sharpe
  • Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.. Albert Camus
  • Reach for the moon, for if you fall you will land amongst the stars.
    • Friendship isn't a big thing - it's a million little things.. Anon
    • Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.. Henry Van Dyke
    • Never look down on anybody unless you're helping him up.. Jesse Jackson 
    • Sing as if no one is listening, Dance as if no one is watching,  Laugh til you ache with mirth, Love like there's no tomorrow and live as if heaven's on earth.
        • You can dance anywhere, even if only in your heart.. Author Unknown 
        • Music is what feelings sound like.. Authur Unknown
        • Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.. Maya Angelou 
        I am sure there will be many more interesting posts on this today in blogland - find them here. As always, its lovely to have you stop by.
        'til later
        Bannaghtyn J x

            Sunday, 5 June 2011

            Tea Party at the shop -- Storytelling Sunday

            The shop was busy - it often was on a Saturday morning - and the small girl trotted purposefully after her granny as she went from the kitchen to the shop to serve her customers. She watched shyly from the doorway, wide eyed - as granny weighed potatoes, sliced bacon, weighed sugar or added home made cakes to paper bags for the women coming in for their weekly shop.
            A steady stream of customers meant that cheerful banter was tossed back and forth over the counter - the housewives wanting groceries, men buying cigarettes and tobacco, children with halfpennies and pennies for weekend treats - Black Jacks, Fruit Salad (8 for a penny), Spanish and Kali (2oz for tuppence), Cadbury's Chocolate, Frys Five Boys, Shoelaces or 2oz of peardrops, sarsaparilla tablets, Uncle Joe's mintballs or caramels. To the little girl watching from the doorway between the kitchen and the shop it seemed like whole world came to granny's shop on a Saturday morning.
            Soon it would be time to close - when she knew she would be able to have friends come to play with her in the backyard of the shop. It was a very large backyard - a rarity amongst these narrow streets surrounding the land which had once housed the mill - now blitzed -  and the little girls of the neighbourhood loved to play there, even though they were all older than J-------. They were accustomed to skipping on the cobbles, or making swings on the arms of a lamp post, however the yard was flagged - smooth and level - where they could play "house" and have tea parties, in what felt like luxury! There was a very large gate - it kept the boys out so they couldn't tease or get in the way with footballs!!
            The shop bell tinkled and the door opened again to reveal two children, a fair child about 8 years old and a younger dark child with black curls and deep brown eyes, perhaps about 5,  followed by a smiling woman, her hair in a turban made from a scarf - "Here they are Janey." she said pushing the children forward slightly. "Oh hello Nellie" said granny - "come on in then" she beamed at the children as they scampered round the counter to the back of the shop and through to the kitchen. J------- squealed with delight to see them and hurriedly gathered together her dolls, crayons and a miniature tea set - thrusting them into the older children's hands as all three scampered outside - to find a small table and chairs already waiting for them.
            The table was soon set - and much fun was had on that Saturday afternoon over fifty five years ago, as the three little girls, 8, 5 & 3  played with dolls, teddies, colouring books and crayons and had a tea party - totally enjoying the sunny afternoon, the sanctuary of the yard - (the boys with their football could be heard at the other side of the gate) whilst the gap between their ages just disappeared. . . . .

            I was that 3 year old - and I can no longer remember any further details of that afternoon captured in this photo - I only remember that Aunty Nellie lived across the street from my granny's shop and that she was Elaine's mummy and that Kathleen lived next door to them and her parents were - I think - Irish. My granny's shop is no more -  - nor is the mill land - not even the streets remain - yet I was aware of such a strong sense of community there. I remember Maydays, the May Queen, a Maypole, costumes made from crepe paper, Whit Walks, Bonfire Nights - all community activities that all the street seemed to be involved in - yet I moved away from this area when I was 5 years old.
            What a street party there would have been for that Royal Wedding in April this year!

            Thanks for stopping by - this post is brought to you courtesy of Sian's Storytelling Sunday
            and this months stories can all be found here.  

            'til later

            Bannaghtyn J x

            Tuesday, 31 May 2011

            He wore - -

            - - blue velvet --da-da-da - - -played on the radio this morning as I was coming in to work - listening to the words triggered a memory. - - - the Artisan was wearing a blue velvet jacket the very first time I saw him. It made me smile so much - blue really is his colour - it matched his eyes! Actually I think his eyes sre getting bluer as the years go by - if that is possible of course.

            The young man in the blue velvet jacket stood in the entrance hall - such a vast space - how was he supposed to find the meeting room of this club he had been told about? The stairs alone were grand enough for a stately home - and the doors and corridors off the hallway were just massive - and therefore intimidating. He looked round again then set off down the corridor past the stairs - hoping for a sign on a door which might help - nothing. Turning round again he returned to the main foyer - and set off in the opposite direction this time, just as the outside door opened with a flurry of cold air as several young men and girls entered chattering and laughing together, followed closely by a middle aged man and his wife, and a couple of tall and rather handsome young men. Richard and Nick saw him as they came in and headed straight towards him - slapping him in the back as they caught him up to him - "Hey good  to see you, come on up with us" said Richard and turning him round the three of them joined the other young people heading up the stairs. Richard & Nick chatted away introducing him to everyone in the group.
            A slight girl with long blonde hair had also noticed him as she arrived - and that first glimpse had been enouigh - she felt as if someone had just prodded her in the back - yet she was the last person though the door - whilst the voice in her head kept on repeating -"Well - what are you waiting for? That is who you are meant to be with, Well - what are you waiting for - go ON!" It made no sense - another feeling of being prodded in her back jolted her into movement - she turned round - no one there! "How odd" she thought. She shook herself slightly, shrugged her shoulders and tried to put the feeling of knowing a total stranger out of her head.and headed up the stairs behind the rest of her friends - -

            Sunday, 29 May 2011

            Moments in between - -

             - - a couple of  weekends ago on Amy's blog she posted a challenge to scrap the day - ON the day - I was going to have a shot at it - but life kind of got in the way so I didn't actually scrap any photos. However the challenge did set me off thinking about those kind of everyday moments - the moments in between the activity that fills our days in our busy lives - those big happenings in life, Births, Weddings  are all such big milestones - and we remember them so very well, but Amy's challenge was to scrap the other stuff - - so I found myself thinking of the mundane, the ordinary, daily life type of occurrences. Those that might be so ordinary  that there are no photos to go with any of my thinkings and from there it led me to a few very precious - moments ? not sure how to describe it best - feelings that keep me warm inside - I think - is the nearest I can get to putting it into words. Thinking about them made me realise just how important these thoughts are to me - and how frequently they pop into my head to make me smile inside- and I hope that I never ever forget them - so I am "scrapping" them here on my blog - just in case I do!
            • the smile in his eyes as they meet mine across a room
            • the feel of my daughter's hands in mine and my son's small arms round my neck
            • the strength in my dad's hugs when I was small
            • my grandad's whistle - (non existant really as he had lost all his teeth as a young man - so he kind of whistled through his gums!) and my granny's laughter
              • shared hugs with my mum, dad and sister known in our family as "piggy-mustards" (Don't ask me why my baby sister called a huge family hug by this title - but it stuck - and has passed into the family folklore to my own children)
              None of them especially exciting - nothing I could actually take a photo of really - but stuff I think I do need to record for me - so thank you Amy for the prompt - even though it led me down a slightly different path.

              thanks for stopping by.

              'til later
              Bannaghtyn Jx

              Tuesday, 24 May 2011

              Remembering Rhymes -

              - - do snippets of nursery rhymes ever float into your head when you least expect them to? They do mine and today I found myself thinking back again to times in our campervan. If you have ever had one you will know that the VW Camper really rather "plodded" along rather than zipped by - so getting to most destinations always took some considerable time. With children in the back I am sure you guess that keeping them entertained was a rather important part of our travel! One of the games we played was - see how many nursery rhymes you could remember. We all had to take turns and no one could repeat one that we had already sung! Oh how funny it was  - the Artisan was hopeless - well his children thought he was - because he always got the words wrong (deliberately? you ask - No he genuinely didn't know the words!) - and as for me - they would never let me finish mine! They always said I knew too many :(
              I don't actually know how many such rhymes there are - but we did once get to a 100 before the game palled and we moved on to I love my Love with an A - - - but that's another story.

              How do you entertain yourselves whilst travelling? And how many nursery rhymes can you remember?

              Thanks for stopping by
              'til later

              Bannaghtyn, J x

              Saturday, 21 May 2011

              The hands of time - -

              - - - moved steadily round the clock face, eating yet more of her precious minutes, she knocked once more on the shop door - still no answer - other premises were beginning to show signs of life as it crept up to 7.45am - the newsagent was positively busy - and the green grocer was putting out his stands - whilst across the street - a light went on in the one shop that might be able to help her. " Please, please be willing to open" she thought waiting for a gap in the traffic to dart across the road. She could see a figure moving inside as she hurried to knock on the door - the young blonde women opened the door looking slightly bewildered -
              "Can I help you?" she asked
              "Oh I do hope so, I had an appointment over the road - but she hasn't turned up - I know it's a bit cheeky - but I don't suppose you could do my hair could you?  Please? Please?"
              "You mean now? Right now? I'm not open yet!" said the shopowner
              " Please - - If you could - -  I don't know what else to do -- please - - - I had an appointment with the hairdresser across the road - but I think she has forgotten me - she hasn't turned up  - I know it is an imposition   - - I don't have much time - -  Please ?Please? -   It is rather a special day for me you see - I would so appreciate it - and there is still no sign of life over there" The young woman realised she was babbling stupidly even as she pointed across the road and looking at her watch - -   "You see - -  I am getting married at 11am."
              "Oh my - what time? of course I will, come on in - what do you want me to do? Do you have a veil? Or a hat. My name is Karen by the way" bubbled the younger girl - - -

              That's how I met the young woman who did my hair for the fourteen years I lived in that area. She decorated my hair with flowers on that day and I felt like a queen - and it rained  - - as I arrived to marry the man I have shared the last 25 years with -my beloved, my friend, my rock, my partner, my mate, the father of my children, he is my everything and I love him now as I did then and yes I would do it all again  - - and it didn't matter a jot what the weather did as he has always brought me sunshine!. Today is our Silver Wedding anniversary - - and it is raining! Do I care? No, not in the slightest.  - - - only I just would really like to know where all that time has gone - because the hands of time never stop moving do they?

              Thanks for stopping by,
              the first part of this story can be read here

              'til later

              A day for - -

              - - making memories. It had to be didn't it? Because today was the kind of day which doesn't happen very often in anyone's life. They woke to pale gray skies and the threat of rain - but that didn't really matter -  what did was getting all that needed to be done fitted into the limited time they had, getting the house ready for anyone who might wish to come back, getting herself off to her appointment, the little one up, bathed and dressed in all her finery, getting ready themselves - - -
              Rushing about madly she shifted furniture around to make space in the small front room, spread a clean cloth on the extended table and get out cutlery before heading out the door to her appointment."I'm off now " she called up the stairs - a muffled answer floated down - she had to dash or she would be late. They were opening especially early for her so she had to be there!
              Running along the road she felt a few spots of dampness on her cheeks - "Rain, rain go away, Come again another day - - - - - " danced through her head in time to her steps as she hurried along the road. There was a brighter sky comimg in- -  so hopefully - - - - The bus arrived at this moment so she got on and paid her fare, just a 15 minute ride and she would be there. She checked her watch - time was really tight actually.
              Reaching her destination she left the bus and crossed the road to the shop,  pushed the door handle to go in - only to find it resist her with a vengeance. It was locked - she knocked briskly, and waited fully expecting Trscey to open the door to her but got no response. ~Oh NO, the voice in her head almost screamed, she's forgotton me -- she knocked again this time with real desperation - still no response - what was she to do? how long could she afford to wait to see if anyone arrived? She felt a  little foolish now - standing outside THIS shop at 7.15am on a Wednesday morning - even the one across the street was all closed up, I'll wait 15 minutes she thought as she wandered disconsolately towards the bus stop, wondering what she was going to be able to do herself if no one turned up to open for her? - - - -

              To be continued - -
              Til later

              Bannaghtyn J x

              Friday, 20 May 2011

              Today I am liking -

              - that the swallows and swifts are back in such numbers

              - the scent of Mayblossom in the air - it smells like summer did when I was a little girl

              - sunshine and blue skies after days of fairly heavy rain (all our weather has come from the west this week!)

              - it's Friday, the streets are full of birdsong and I have a weekend to look forward to

              - Wall & hedgerow festooned with flowers

              'til later

              Bannaghtyn J x

              Wednesday, 18 May 2011

              Quotable Women - Five favourites

              My fondness for words - so very obvious here as I am sure you will agree dear reader - means I find myself collecting those I like, squirrelling them away for future reference, trying to remember them, to live by their wisdom, to be inspired and to just enjoy the sentiments.

              • "For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone. People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others." - Audrey Hepburn
              • "Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people." - Eleanor Roosevelt
              • "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Maya Angelou
              • "Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn." - Harriet Beecher Stowe
              • "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away." - Maya Angelou
              I would be delighted if you have a favourite quote you could share with me.

              til later

              Bannaghtyn  J x

              Wednesday, 11 May 2011

              A Prom to remember

              It has been a very busy week for me this week. Last Thursday was the official start of Study Leave for our year 11 students - - they have the Record of Achievement Ceremony and in the evening it is their “Prom” Ball. As is usual for me, I go along to take some snaps for the school plasma display – and though I can’t show you any other than this of these photos, but I am very pleased with how they have turned out. So are many of the young people in the shots – as I seem to have spent my week printing out copies for them to take home to various relatives. They all look so very elegant , handsome, pretty, beautiful, stunning and excited – and so very grown up!
              The highlight of the event for me was seeing two of our Special Unit children arriving in all their finery – A -------- who spend his life in a wheelchair was looking particularly handsome in his “James Bond” outfit , he also struggles with language – but he made sure we understood who he was dressed like and his excitement brought tears to my eyes. C------- of course looked just like a Princess in a beautiful royal blue gown, silver shoes and bag and a diamante tiara in her hair. A------- had brought a beautiful bracelet as a small gift for C------- and she couldn’t wait to wear it.
              They both had the most wonderful evening - - - the rest of their year group made sure they could get to the dance floor and included them both in the entire party atmosphere. Mum’s collected them at 11.45pm – and when asked if she had enjoyed the Prom, C-------- said “Yes – I keep thinking about it in my head, and when I do, it makes me happy”.
              When her mum told us yesterday it brought tears to my eyes. She told us when she came to Crafty Corner – and it made my day.

              I have a lovely photo of the two of them - so a page is calling out to me. Just wish I wasn't at work today!!

              The Prom
              Our last year now has flashed right past, schooldays are over now at last.
              One more thing before we go. The Prom – a night for us to show,
              How we can do you adults proud. Though we may get a little loud!
              We’ll do our best to keep it fun, for staff and students, so each one
              Will smile when this they look back on. We just wish the sun had shone.
              We look so fine and scrub up well. In Tux and ball gown – Can you tell?
              Just who we are? As we arrive in coach and carriage down the drive!
              We laugh and giggle and admire, each and everyone’s attire.
              The hair, the nails the polished shoes. Excitement , Cheers - and then we choose
              The friends with whom we’ll go inside, for here we can no longer hide.
              From Paperazzi mum and dad, whose pride in makes us so glad,
              We made this effort to come here, to celebrate our final year!

              'til later

              Bannaghtyn Jx

              Tuesday, 10 May 2011

              An Island in Bloom - - -

              Such a beautiful, blossomy time of year - I do so love flowers - If you have any flower photos to share please link them in here - I would love to see them,

              'til later
              Bannaghtyn Jx

              Thursday, 5 May 2011

              A Mini Album - -

              - - which now belongs to my elder daughter.
              The theme is home and family - and the photos inside are a random selection of family photos.

              A bit of detail.
              There are lots of pockets with tags - with photos and journalling scattered through the album.

              And this lady was the inspiration - she shared it on You Tube quite a long time ago now.

              I was pleased with the way it all came together. - the papers are all 7 Gypsies - but I can't remember the collection - sorry!

              'til later

              Bannaghtyn Jx

              Wednesday, 4 May 2011

              I seem to have spent - -

              - a considerable amount of time in the small square of earth outside the cottage door this last weekend - this small woodland clearing has felt like my own secret garden since we moved here. It is tucked away - enclosed on three sides - and is a flight of ten steps below road level, warm and sheltered, full of bluebells, aquilegia, california poppies and lavender - it is my own small sanctuary of tranquility and always full of birdsong. All the little birds were in and out of the hedges - but robin was flitting and bustling about so busily, feeding nestlings I suspect, cocking a bright beady eye at me to make sure I was behaving quietly - that I found myself thinking of this -

              - - - " and there, lo and behold, was the robin swaying on a long branch of ivy. He had followed her and he greeted her with a chirp. As Mary had skipped toward him she felt something heavy in her pocket strike against her at each jump, and when she saw the robin she laughed again.
              "You showed me where the key was yesterday," she said. "You ought to show me the door today; but I don't believe you know!"
              The robin flew from his swinging spray of ivy on to the top of the wall and he opened his beak and sang a loud, lovely trill, merely to show off. Nothing in the world is quite as adorably lovely as a robin when he shows off--and they are nearly always doing it.
              Mary Lennox had heard a great deal about Magic in her Ayah's stories, and she always said that what happened almost at that moment was Magic.
              One of the nice little gusts of wind rushed down the walk, and it was a stronger one than the rest. It was strong enough to wave the branches of the trees, and it was more than strong enough to sway the trailing sprays of untrimmed ivy hanging from the wall. Mary had stepped close to the robin, and suddenly the gust of wind swung aside some loose ivy trails, and more suddenly still she jumped toward it and caught it in her hand. This she did because she had seen something under it--a round knob which had been covered by the leaves hanging over it. It was the knob of a door.
              She put her hands under the leaves and began to pull and push them aside. Thick as the ivy hung, it nearly all was a loose and swinging curtain, though some had crept over wood and iron. Mary's heart began to thump and her hands to shake a little in her delight and excitement. The robin kept singing and twittering away and tilting his head on one side, as if he were as excited as she was. What was this under her hands which was square and made of iron and which her fingers found a hole in?
              It was the lock of the door which had been closed ten years and she put her hand in her pocket, drew out the key and found it fitted the keyhole. She put the key in and turned it. It took two hands to do it, but it did turn.
              And then she took a long breath and looked behind her up the long walk to see if anyone was coming. No one was coming. No one ever did come, it seemed, and she took another long breath, because she could not help it, and she held back the swinging curtain of ivy and pushed back the door which opened slowly--slowly.
              Then she slipped through it, and shut it behind her, and stood with her back against it, looking about her and breathing quite fast with excitement, and wonder, and delight.
              She was standing inside the secret garden."

              This extract for The Secret Garden - by Frances Hodgeson Burnett was still is a favourite book of mine - it is still in print but if you might like to read a bit more it can be found online here

              Do you have a favourite book from your childhood which you still class as a fovourite? Please tell me I'm not the only one!

              Thanks for stopping by.
              'til later

              Bannaghtyn J x

              Monday, 2 May 2011

              Simple Pleasures

              Such a beautiful day - treated myself to a few bluebells fmom the garden. The cottage now smells wonderful!

              'til later

              Bannaghtyn Jx

              Sunday, 1 May 2011

              Twenty years ago today

              She really didn't feel like herself at all - fretful, worried, tearful - not what she should be feeling like anyway. Why, oh why she asked herself, before finding tears welling yet again - no reason she could think of - she should be filled with happiness - she knew that, - it wasn't as if this was the first time she had been in this situation. So why did she feel so low?? Perhaps because the 4 year old was so obviously wanting mummy - and he couldn't have cuddles here, perhaps it was because the older one had been so ill just recently? She only knew she didn't feel right being here - she needed to be at home.
              The woman with the trolley was suddenly at her side - "Are you OK J-----?" she asked gently. Her wise eyes took in the younger woman's face - the brightness of the unshed tears, and the tension in her body, and she nodded to herself before smiling kindly at the woeful figure "Milk in your tea?" she said pouring a cup and placing it on the table in front of the girl, adding two biscuits to the saucer. "Drink your tea and have your elevenses" she said "I'll be back shortly".
              The younger woman stared at the tea cup - maybe it would make her feel a little better - she picked up the cup and moved over to the window. Trees filled with blossom and blue skies - it looked like it was going to be a beautiful Bank Holiday tomorrow - and here she was, stuck in this room! She sipped her tea - "I want to go home" she thought again and once more tears welled in her eyes "I want to go home". A murmer of voices caught her attention - - looking up she saw two figures walking towards her - the woman from earlier, with a man. Oh dear - I wonder what he wants this time, she thought - she made a effort to smile - really he was very kind - "Good morning J-----" he said , "How are you today?" J----- answered in as cheerful a manner as she could - "Doing quite well I think". The man picked up a clipboard and began to study it carefully - he looked again at the older woman with him - "Are you sure it would be the best thing to do?" he asked her. "Absolutely certain" she answered briskly.
              The man put the clipboard down - "Well - since it is such a lovely day - and as Sister assures me that this is the best thing to do for you - I think you should call your husband and get him to come along to collect you and your new daughter - and take you both home" he smiled at the young woman sitting on the bed, holding the new baby in her arms. "But make sure you get plenty of rest now" he said as he turned away.

              Sister looked at the young woman and smiled - "I think this just might prevent the Baby Blues" she said shrewdly - "Let's get baby dressed now shall we?"

              She was quite right - it did prevent the baby blues - which I hadn't suffered from before with my other children - and I am eternally grateful to Sister M---- not only for recognising its start - but for persuading Mr C-------- that I really should be sent home. Because you see - the older one was just recovering from, and the 4 year old was just starting with - the chicken pox. And much as they both loved daddy - they both wanted mummy as they hadn't been allowed into the maternity hospital to see her.

              Today is the twentieth anniversary of that day - when we brought our new baby daughter home - the day before the May Day holiday. This post is also part of Storytelling Sunday - hosted by Sian at From High in the Sky.
              Full details can be found here
              Thanks for stopping by
              'til later

              Bannaghtyn J x

              Friday, 29 April 2011

              A Royal Wedding Day - -

              - - I had no plans to watch, we had no street party or celebration planned - as I had got completely fed up with all the hype that seemed to be surrounding it - and I always feel that weddings are family occasions, I wasn't going to bother - - however I did watch, from just about the time Catherine Middleton arrived at the Abbey - and she looked so serenely beautiful - - aglow with happiness - - that I watched in spite of myself. When she arrived at his side - and he told her she was beautiful (I can lip read) tears welled in my eyes. I really didn't expect that I can tell you - since I have never been tearful at previous weddings ever! However I do wish both of them much joy & happiness. I also hope that any of you who had parties had a wonderful day.
              I really like Carol Ann Duffy's poem written in honour of the occasion - she has to of course - being the Poet Laureate - you know of my passion for poetry. She visited our local Art Festival in 2009 and it was wonderful to hear her read her poems and put the emphasis where it mattered. I heard her voice when I read this in the paper today.

              Thanks for stopping by.
              'til later.

              Bannaghtyn J x

              Thursday, 28 April 2011

              Thursday Thoughts - -

              As I took part in the communal - My Day in Photos in my Beyond Blogging for Scrapbookers class yesterday - Wednesdays Words had to go on the back burner - so this week - just for a change - we will have Thursday Thoughts instead.

              If you have visited here before you will know already of my fondness for poetry -and just occasionally I scribble a few rhymes of my own. I'm not especially good and I rarely - in fact never, share them - but after the post yesterday showcasing my island home I thought of this which I did for National Poetry Day this year - the pupils had to guess which staff member had written it and we displayed it in the Library along with other information to be discovered in a small competition - with a prize of course. It's not Shakespeare - but the children particularly like the rhythm of rhymes - and it does express my own thoughts of what makes up Home - so I hope you also quite like it also.

              Home is where the heart is,
              Isn’t that what they say?
              It doesn’t have to be a house,
              If you think another way.

              New baked bread’s aroma,
              The taste of apple pie,
              The sound of a gurgling baby,
              In daddy’s arms so high.

              For home can be an empty beach,
              Standing looking out to sea,
              Watching for that lonely boat.
              Bringing you back here to me.

              Or a crowded shopping centre
              On a Saturday afternoon,
              Spending time with special friends,
              Stirring tea with a silver spoon.

              It's flickering flames of firelight
              On a winters day,
              Or family hugs and laughter,
              When silly games you play.

              And barbecues and picnics,
              On a sunny weekend walk.
              It’s Christmas, birthdays, happy dreams
              And candle light - and talk.

              Home is never just a place,
              Whatever you may say.
              Home is where the heart is
              Near - - or far away!
              J.M Hall

              'til later
              Bannaghtyn J x

              Sunday, 24 April 2011

              Easter Sunday

              a beautiful Easter Day greeted me when I woke  - - blue skies & sunshine - warm air and birdsong - not the kind of day for staying indoors. The Artisan struggles to entertain himself indoors at any time - but there is no way he would want to be indoors on such a lovely day. Usually this would mean he would be off climbing but today we took a picnic to Ni-ar-byl for lunch. He did have an ulterior motive - because the first basking shark of the season was seen at Ni-ar-byl only a few days ago - but of course he doesn't think I'm aware of that!
               We took the coast path

               The drop to the shore is incredibly steep in places - and the path very narrow but the views are breathtaking

              The sun is warm on our backs,  the gorse scents the air with that spicy, almost vanilla aroma, whilst under the hedges  - shy purple violets, delicate lemony primroses and sea pinks peep out through the grasses - as we climb the path to the headland the first swallow I have seen this year skims the path just in front of us, almost touching the small lavender stars of squill. The path turns sharply and below us is the beach. Steps lead down through the field of grass, which I think they use for thatch, to the hush of waves on the empty shore. It is quite some time since we came here, and a commemorative bench has appeared in between times - so we take advantage of its perfect position to eat our lunch, listen to the sound of the sea and watch - hopefully - for basking shark.
              Sadly we watched in vain - but nevertheless Troie Vane is a perfect picnic spot - only a short way from Ni-ar-byl  - and from here it is very easy to see how Ni-ar-byl got its name - translated it means Road of the Tail of the Rocks - they really do look like a dragon or lizards tail in the water - favourite place for us to come even in winter - though we never come to this beach in winter as I don't find the path easy even at this time of year.  A lovely way to spend Easter Sunday.

              Thanks for stopping by.

              'til later,

              Banaghtyn J x


              Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...