Sunday, 6 October 2013

Storytelling Sunday - -The Gift

Welcome, welcome  - - Did you realise it's the first Sunday in October!! (How did that come around so quickly?) which means of course that is Storytelling Sunday over at Sian's place - where a group of international "yarn spinners" gather to exchange tales. This year Sian asked us to seek out those things that are precious in our eyes - and full details can be found at High in the Sky - and share their story - and oh my what interesting stories that has lead us too! For myself, my items have triggered lots of memories I am glad to have noted down, but this month I couldn't think what to write about, but sitting in my "crafty place" I noticed something whose story does need to be recorded.

The seat on the kitchen settle, the one built into the alcove by the Rayburn, is warm and comfortable and my fingers are busy with the cards I am making for two of my friend's birthdays later this week. Outside the window is the trill of birdsong and the flurry of wings as the small birds flit between the feeders in the garden. As I finish my second card and turn to restore my photos to the folder I catch sight of the box that lives on the settle.
It is only a matter of 16 months since it became mine, a gift from R---. She brought it with her when she came to see me in late June 2012, yet it will forever trigger this memory - -

A March evening - 2001
The knock at the door was unexpected - - we hadn't lived here at Ballamaddrell very long, and didn't know anyone who might call on us at this time of an evening. I went to the door and opened it to find two (slightly apprehensive and a little giggly) schoolgirls - - strangers to me definitely - though I knew they must be pupils at the Secondary School where I worked - and were probably about 14 . They looked at each other, then chorused " Can Ben come out?"
My son poked his head through the lounge door into the hallway "Can I go out mum? Please?" What else could I say but  "yes"! I realised that the girls must have been in his class in what was to Ben then, a new school - - and it made me happy to think that he was finding friends - he seemed to have a gift for it - -
That was the first time I really met R--- and A----, they "called for" Ben every night after that. A---- was his first "girlfriend" and R--- became one of his best friends, certainly his best friend among the girls in his circle of friends, though he remained on good terms with A---- even when they ceased to be an "item". When I think of R--- knocking on our door, I have to smile as she was the shyest child imaginable - they must have given each other courage on that dark March evening.

So - though R--- gave me the box when I lost my boy, with it's memorabilia contents of tickets, programmes, festival IDs etc that he had attended with R---, A---- and the rest of his amazing group of friends - - and I can't open its secret lock without falling apart - so you will forgive me if I don't share the contents - - - seeing it reminds me of that March night - when two young girls knocked on the door because they liked my son. So it is a doubly precious gift -  for the memory it brings to mind and for what it contains..... And with that thought - I had better make a pot of tea - - - I can stick the bits back on more successfully then

Thanks for dropping in - there will be so many stories around today - do pop over to High in the Sky to read more.

'til later,

Bannaghtyn,  J x

Friday, 4 October 2013

Going Postal - -

- - with Julie at Notes on Paper. I know Julie has hosted this themed blog series a couple of times - and I wished I had known  - but I hadn't really discovered her blog so wasn't able to join in. However star that she is, she is hosting again!!
I have always loved post, real post I mean, not bills! - and anything connected to it, from my very first "Post Office" set - does anyone else remember those cardboard boxes left by Santa Claus containing a mini shop?  I had Post Offices with mini mail, rubber cancellation stamp, ink pad, tiny envelopes and teeny tiny stamp sheets - to real stamps(I collected them for a while!), airmail stickers, cancellation marks and so on, that I really did feel I wanted to a part of this - this time round. I still steam stamps off my mail - especially decorative ones, and am fortunate that my island home has some really attractive stamps - so I can save some unused ones too!
I belong to a craft group here - and a few of the members like to swap ATCs each month, we always have a theme and though I don't always join in, I did this month as for our last meeting the theme was "Recycled" - so I recycled stamps - here they are.  
Thanks for dropping in, don't forget to hop over to see Julie's postal posts - she is sharing some wonderful ideas. I hope to have a few more postal influenced items to share before long.

'til later,

Bannaghtyn, J x

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

My Month in Numbers - September 2013

Welcome, welcome - - so very nice to have you drop by. I haven't been around much this month, and for that I do apologise - the change in the seasons has upset my hard won equilibrium somewhat and the turn of the year here, as we head to the darker and shorter days has been unexpectedly hard for me.  Summer has played fast and loose with us I fear, fickle lover that she is , and abandoned us overnight. The golden days have given way to misty mornings, grey, cold, damp - heavy, gloomy skies and rain bringing with them thoughts I know are fruitless, the "why didn't I - - - " kind yet I can't make them go away - - - -

However enough  - this sudden change has me longing to hunker down in front of a cosy fire with a good book - Any recommendations anyone? I am trying to get back into reading at home,(I have only read whilst on holiday of late years) - but now - a quick round up of these September days

Julie - of Notes on Paper - invites us to record memories of our month - in numbers - so for a full explanation hop over to her blog here - she will not only have numbers of her own to share but also others around the globe who also record a month in numbers.

Straight into this month's Communal Count -
I was 4 when I started at All Saints Mission School - - which was a small Infant school, attached to the Mission church - I think I was there 3 or 4 years before moving on the the separate Junior School - -  when it was demolished I wept, and at that time I was a mum of 3! - the site it was on is now a small housing estate complex - so my number relating to this can't be completely accurate - but it is the best I can come up with for this aspect of the Communal Count - and depending on which port we have to dock - I now live 147 or 165 miles away from my primary school.

And 1 pint of milk costs me 60p - - but I forgot to keep track of our consumption!! Doh as Homer Simpson would say!

1 - online class - Shimelle's Learn Something New --- which I have participated in from the beginning - though this last couple of years my lessons have been very hard won and so are for my eyes only - - but I will post a photo of this years album in a separate post.

2 unexpected dinner guests - twice (does that count as a number too??). As you may know The Artisan loves his outdoor sporting activities - especially his climbing - and on the Monday of the week following our return from holiday went off for his usual hour of exercise before the daylight disappeared - - to meet up with 2 Austrian climbers - here, on our little island. I am sure you can imagine his pleasure in having someone to "show round" - - - - - so he invited them back for dinner! Actually they are two charming (and handsome - who doesn't like a bit of eye candy? )young men,  Dominic and Kimi - and it was lovely to have them visit with us.

1 book - with 3 novels within - read - whilst on holiday of course - and the said book was mentioned here. It was fun to read it whilst in Sicily - the setting for these books - as I am sure some of you may already know, which of course leads nicely into - -

7 days in Sicily - mainly in the beautiful Taormina - which remains charming in spite of it being a tourist "Honey Trap". From the bus station there we were able to visit other smaller villages high in the mountainous region around Mount Etna, all equally charming - though so very small that one to two hours was plenty long enough to enjoy the stunning views and quaint little streets. I truly have spent a week "Exploring with My Camera" - - I tried hard to remember (and learn) all I had read in the manual - and have been pleased with some of my shots. I also tried to practice using my phone to take photos - and again feel I have made a little progress with framing my shots better. I did invest in an App - as recommended by Kat Sloma and feel it was a good buy, and having been using the tips she offers and found them really helpful. Here a couple of holiday snaps which are likely to make it into my album

 And finally - we saw 6 geese in the middle of the road in Purt Ny Hinshey! I am not sure why they were sitting where they were - but I couldn't resist taking their photo as they looked so funny!

Thanks so much for stopping by - don't forget to hop over to Julie's blog for more number crunchers - she will make you most welcome and perhaps you might like to join in yourself?

"til later,

Bannaghtyn, J x


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