Wednesday, 3 June 2015

The Merry Month of May - - - in numbers

Hello friends and welcome - - I have been  - - as you know pretty much absent from the blogosphere for many months - - but an unexpected, and lovely email from Julie gave me a much needed prod - -  
As you probably already know Julie hosts her Month in Numbers at the end of each month and as May has had a few activities I would like to remember I participated in - recording them this way seems a good place to start.

  •  2 craft club meetings instead of our usual one, this month - the first time we have had to do that - and all because my island home hosts the TT Races - which this year take place between 30th May to 12th June - meaning that road closures in the evenings would prevent our members being able to attend for our monthly "crafty get together".
Picture from IOM TT Official Site
We didn't want to miss our June meeting entirely - so we moved it back to May! Good job May was a long month, eh? This year we have had card making workshops as a theme, with cards made using a different folding technique each month, which is proving rather fun.
"June's" card designs

a sneak peak of July's design
  • 4 days of the month were accounted for by taking a trip with my sister to visit mum & dad. 
  • 1 of those days we spent taking mum out to Chatsworth House to visit the part of the gardens. It proved to be a lovely day - including the weather, which is always a bonus.

  • 1 trip to Ikea - perhaps not of great note to those of you who have access to such stores on a daily basis - but for us islanders - a bit of a treat - and it is all too easy to get carried away, as everything seems to be such a bargain!! Our last day was spent in Liverpool - shopping - and enjoying the vibrancy of the city with sand scuptors and street entertainers - and that can't be bad can it? before getting the evening ferry back to our island.
  • 6 friends who helped to make up a team of 8 people to try to solve a Murder Mystery - Murder in the Alps was performed by a local group - WASP - who offer their services as the entertainment for Fundraising Events, for local good causes. We managed a 2nd place for our team - and won the raffle. It was a really great evening,  good company and great entertainment - what more can ask of an evening out?
Photo from WASP Official website
  • 29 years of married life - The 21st day of the month saw us celebrating with a trip out and lovely lunch - more details here - but this is the waterwheel in the grounds of Milntown.

I am not quite sure where all those years went to  - - - -
  • 6 performers - who made up the Flamenco Dance company who entertained us royally - on the 28th day in fact,  when we went to our lovely Frank Matcham designed theatre to see traditional Flamenco music and dance performed to the highest standard. I was so pleased that the theatre, though not full, had a considerable audience ,who all seemed to enjoy their virtuosity - and at least one of the dancers could be classed as "eye-candy" for the ladies - just a little something to add to mine and my daughters pleasure in the evening!
 I'll finish here - thanks so much for dropping in - and don't forget to head on over to Julie's Notes on Paper for her numbers - it's always worth a visit.

'Til later,

Bannaghtyn, J x

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Sunday Scribbles - Notes from a small island

Hello my friends - and welcome,
I have neglected you so badly of late - so do please forgive me. I really hope all is well in your worlds - with all your friends and loved ones keeping well.

Early summer has arrived here on my little island and it is just festooned with flowers, in spite of the north winds – everywhere I look the hillsides are clad in gold as the gorse opens its flowers to welcome the sunshine, even though it is still accompanied by those cool - not to say cold! winds - the warm spicy perfume of the gorse is carried on the air and combined with the scent of the sea embodies the aroma of summer here on this little island, whilst the sky itself is so intensely blue that the only way to describe is cerulean - - - just a great pity that it isn't warm!!!

As I say,  it has not been as warm as previous years  - but my cottage garden is a lovely place to sit - it really is a suntrap, and I often have no idea just how cold the wind is until I climb the steps to head to the village. I can't remember a May that has been so cold since we moved to the island - and have often had to return home to put a coat on within minutes of leaving the sunny sanctuary my garden has proved to be. I hope your sunshine might have a great deal more warmth in it than ours.

My garden is looking pretty well really - though it is not what you would call tidy, as I am one who likes the jungly look!! I'm not a very good gardener really - being more of the "pop it in and hope for the best" kind of planter! The Manx Palm is now pretty big - we have had it some 12 years now I think, and the old milk churns we found in the garden when we moved in are filled with  French Lavender, summer bedding and pansies, so we have lots of flowers. The Clematis on the shed is in full flow - with the massive blue flowers all beginning to open, though I can't say the same of the Pink Clematis climbing up the cottage walls - it is way behind, no flower buds even - which gives an indication of how cold the winds have been, since it is at the base of our steps - the only place the wind gets into the garden really. The Honeysuckle has fared better as it does have flower buds, and we have added red lupins in big pots and Pinks too this summer and they to fill the garden with perfume. The flowering cherry has finished pretty much but the Wygalia is in full bloom so it fairly hums with bumble bees, surrounded by trees as we are, the garden is filled with birdsong - and robins, chiff chaffs, bluetits, great tits finches, thrushes, blackbirds and sparrows are regular visitors to the feeders.

Last weekend was our Wedding Anniversary - so we took the coast road to Rhumsaa - to spend a little time in a much larger garden than ours, as we visited Milntown. This is the nearest house to a "stately home" that we have - - and the grounds are truly lovely - indeed it is one my favourite places to visit. We strolled round the grounds and gardens at our leisure - we almost had them to ourselves since the other visitors viewing the garden were few at that moment - (most seemed to be having having lunch in the cafe) though there was a gardener about. I was able to chat with him to find out the name of a shrub I have in my own garden - I was delighted to finally find out its name - since we inherited it when we moved in -  and learn something of how best to prune a "Wygalia". Fortunately for us we hadn't done too much damage with our lack of knowledge over the last 12 years!!The house is open for tours and as well as the beautiful gardens it has a lovely cafe -- where we had a delicious lunch after out wander round the grounds. It was so warm in the courtyard - a testament to how sheltered it is from those cold winds we have here, that we elected to eat "Al Fresco" - we could imagine it was really summer - there is something so English about lunch and tea in a garden isn't there?

Well I feel as if I might have wittered on long enough - I don't want to bore you as I can't really call my outings and my so very English obsession with the weather exactly exciting! I hope all is well with everyone - and as always it is so kind of you to call, so thanks for stopping by.

'Til later

Bannaghtyn, J xx


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