Monday, 1 March 2021

March News

 Actually February's news but it's March and things are looking up!!  The best resume of my February is to look at the photos..... we had snow, we had sun, we had birds in the garden and the best bit is all the Spring flowers coming out.   We planted about 100 snowdrop bulbs a couple of years ago and we have one paltry flower .... admitted the bulbs were very dry, but they were a present so we planted them!  Crocus's are flowering and daffodils too - it just makes the place so much more cheerful.

Exciting things I've done in February - it's going to be a short list.  Photographing flowers and birds in the garden.  Walking in the local park.  Taking random photos in the house. Watching Biathlon and Andre Rieu on TV.   All these things are a reminder of life at the moment but March looks promising. 

East Grinstead where I live is famous for Archibald McIndoe and his pioneering facial reconstruction of burns casualties, mainly RAF in World War II.  He worked at the local hospital and if you'd like to read more my daughter wrote a piece for the West Sussex Record Office -  Queen Victoria Hospital Archive Project: the Guinea Pig Club and the people of East Grinstead – West Sussex Record Office (  The statue of him (top row) has been in town a few years now but this week they have also added a bench nearby as a reminder of all those who have lost their lives during the covid pandemic.   That's a photo for March!!

Yesterday was sunny again so we decided to venture out to our local National Trust property Standen.  The last photo shows the house which is closed at the moment but it was decorated by William Morris so very stylish!  The gardens are just starting to colour up - uplifting for the soul - even if it is still a little chilly.

Well that's all for now - see you in April!!

Elaine xx

Monday, 1 February 2021

February already


The question is where does the time go when we're all having so much fun.   I guess it goes slowly at the time but January has gone already.

I decided to do a Photo 365 challenge this year.  Having looked online there are loads of places to find daily hints and upload photos but none appealed so I'm going to add them to my monthly blog posts.  I've downsized all the photos but a bit tricky to get 31 photos on one A4 sheet of paper.  February will be better with only 28 days so 4 rows of 7 snaps.   I can't say I'm the best photographer but I try!   Most of the photos are in the house or from the house into the garden but a few are of the local park - just something that catches my eye that day, nothing too deep, just random stuff.  

As I said .... very random and very small but it beats writing a diary and hopefully I can keep going all year.   We really just need the weather to improve and then we can enjoy being outside a bit more.  The bulbs are coming up so shortly there will be more colourful flowers. The last photo shows a small bunch of cyclamen that I spotted in the local park!

I'm not sure that I have any more news, so will just keep my camera to hand and while away February. Stay safe everyone!! 

Elaine xx

Saturday, 2 January 2021

Happy New Year


Happy New Year to one and all!

For some reason I seem to have missed writing a post in December but then again what was there to write about - same old news etc   So now we are into 2021 - a new year, hopefully a new start on life and things can only get better.   We've got to stay positive!!

We treated ourselves to a new set of bird feeders plus mealworms, peanuts, niger etc to see what different birds we could attract.  We've had 3 blue tits, 2 robins, 1 goldcrest, 1 magpie, 1 blackbird, a family of sparrows and 2 fat pigeons.   We also seem to be atrracting a hoard of starlings - as soon as my OH fills the tray with a handful of mealworms and returns to the house, down swoop 15 starlings squabbling over them.  Well I think I've counted that many - they are on the feeder, on the tray, on the ground etc. I have no idea where they live,  where they are sitting but it must be close as they are obviously sat waiting for brunch!!

The other day it was cold but sunny so my daughter and I went for a saunter round the local park.  There were people everywhere but well spread out.  There were squirrels everywhere too - we must have counted at least 40 out and about.  Why is it that they seem to hide on the far side of a tree as soon as I get my camera out.  This one I did manage to catch eating his nut but there were 3 others chasing around the tree too - so fast as well!

Going back to the blackbird, we have a pair in the garden every year.  The male arrives first, and then about a month later we have a bit of snow.  The bird that has arrived was a little too brown to be the same male so I'm wondering if it's the baby from last year so maybe we won't have snow.

Snow makes everywhere look lovely and in this day and age of the pandemic I really feel it would be good to keep everyone in.  Anyway, to repeat myself, surely things can only get better. 

Stay safe everyone.

Elaine xx

Thursday, 26 November 2020

November News


I'd better write a post before the month is out otherwise it won't be November's news!   I was thinking I'd write on the 1st of the month to keep my blog up-to-date but the good thing is I've been busy.

Since the beginning of November I've been invigilating exams at the local school  - a few A level re-sits followed by over 2 weeks of GCSE mocks.  I'm in charge of the main hall so that's 240 students with more space for us.   Everything was going fine until last Monday when a girl tested positive for Covid so we lost 50 students overnight who were put in isolation.   We also lost a few more who probably told their parents they had to isolate to get out of doing the rest of their exams.   Sadly this wasn't the case as all their exams papers were parcelled up and hand delivered by staff.    I was amazed we got most of the exams done as I thought everything would go downhill!!

The area where we live is reasonably clear - a lot of people are still working from home and not travelling to London.  Also Gatwick Airport is very quiet so lots of people have been made redundant.  Not really good economically but it keeps interactions down.   

So roll on Christmas....we've decided not to rush to the shops and buy Christmas presents this year.  We're already looking forward to Easter, maybe buy presents then and visit friends and relatives. 

Take care everyone.

Elaine xx

Sunday, 4 October 2020

October's Thoughts

Another month has gone by and at least I have something to write about.  We actually went on holiday - well 5 days away with the caravan at Bognor Regis - but it's the getting away from home rather than where we actually went.  The caravan site was between a dual carriageway and a new retail park under construction - admitted not idyllic but the site had loads of mature trees and we could still hear the birds twittering.    We had a saunter round Chichester, visited Selsey Bill (heard of it, nothing to see) and a couple of afternoons on the beach and at Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve.  Luckily we picked the one hot week so all was good.

My daughter who has been working from home since March had a week off so Saturday we went to Wakehurst Place which is the country garden owned by Kew Gardens in London.  It was busy at the top but we wandered down the hill to the lake and back up through the woods where it was much quieter.  I think we did 5miles - it was freezing in the wind, but dry!

Thursday we went to Sheffield Park Gardens - it's renowned for it's Autumn colour.  It was a bit early for the best colour but it was a lovely sunny day so we went.  Another 4miles through the gardens and out into the woods where again I think we saw 2 couples.   Oh and we had an ice cream aswell - probably the last one of the season going by this weekend's wet and windy weather.

Next week I'm hoping things will get back to normal - I have exams to do.   When I say normal I mean as best we can.  I'm in a small room with just 2 students - it's usually baking but apparently we have to have the windows open so today is searching out the winter jumpers.

So that's my September.  Hope you are all well and coping with life.  If you can't do the major things, then enjoy the small things!

Elaine xx

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Where does the time go?

I can't believe its September already - where does the time go?   I kept thinking I should write a blog post but then what should I write about.   I've tried to pick a theme but to no avail.  So today is the day to waffle about nothing.

Seriously life does seem to be getting back to normal but with less spontaneity - you go can go places or eat out but only if you remember to book in advance etc.  I did get out to meet a few friends that I haven't seen since March and we had a visit to school on exam results day as our Exam Officer retired.  I've been invigilating for 14yrs so will now be on my 4th Exam Officer - we'll soon have the new one trained to our way of doing things, assuming they ever do exams again.  Who knows what will happen!!

Other than that we've been gardening and walking although that was curtailed by a week of 34 degrees heat followed by the week of rainy stormy weather.  It seems to have settled down again.  Our touring caravan sprang a leak over the winter so it was a little damp in one corner.  We've had that fixed now so can go on holiday but where do/can we go and will the weather hold.  Who knows - watch this space.

Other than that I've been working on my family history and writing my life story.  I have no idea if anyone will be interested to read it but I don't care - I'm doing it for me.  I started out 17yrs ago as my Dad wanted to know if we were descended from Hugeunots - I'm still not sure........but will keep looking.  I've definitely got back to a marriage in 1718 but am temporarily lost.

Anyway thats my September post...maybe I'll be back before October!!

Take care everyone

Elaine xx

Monday, 27 July 2020

Another week, another post

I'm not sure why I'm writing this post but I am purely to try and keep my blog going.  Nothing has happened in the last couple of weeks but maybe in the future something will happen that is worth writing about.

I might be typically English and discuss the weather - a mixed bag really, some hot, some windy and some rain which the garden definitely needs.   I bought some snapdragons earlier in the spring but one by one they are just going limp and I don't know why - too wet, too dry who knows - but on a swift visit to Homebase I bought a big fuchsia which has filled 3 holes and so far, so good.

This week is wear a mask in the shops week - after hours of searching online I bought a pretty mask but its far too small.  We ran out of bread so I had to go to Sainsburys on Saturday.  What with it chucking it down with rain outside, wearing a mask, steaming up my glasses inside and out, it wasn't a pleasant experience.   So this week is spend more hours searching folksy, etsy etc for another mask that hopefully fits.

Not sure I have much else to do.  I've arranged to meet a friend for lunch in 2 weeks time- we haven't had a good long gossip since February so that's something to look forward to.  In the meantime I shall watch the baby blackbird having flying lessons.  The parents have been going into the honeysuckle bush regularly with mouths full of grubs and last week I could hear the chirping.  This morning the baby was out being chased from washing line to bench to bird feeder by mum - get those wings going!!    I shall try and get a photo.

Anyway I'll stop rambling now.  Stay safe everyone.

Elaine xx