curiouswombat: (skye)
2014-05-13 11:48 pm
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More Skye...

This post is going to be rather picture heavy, and it is still only the view from the windows of The Two Byres where we stayed.

Firstly a couple to show you the house, so you can see why we had such good views; The Two Byres... )

And under this second cut are a selection of pictures taken of the views through the windows over the week - the light changed so much that we all kept going for our cameras and clicking! Lots more pictures.... )

We actually did do more than gaze out of the windows - I have more photos to post over the next few days!
curiouswombat: (skye)
2014-05-12 08:52 pm
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Home

I'm home from my trip to Skye. Had a lovely time, all the travelling arrangements worked perfectly - and I am really tired! I know, I've just had a holiday... I think it was getting up at 7.00 this morning that had that effect.

However - here is just one picture to give you a quick taste of where we were;

Skye 2014 a086

That was the view from one end of the living room of our self-catering 'cottage'.

There will be a lot more pictures over the next few days.
curiouswombat: (Travel)
2014-05-01 08:26 pm
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Speed Bonny Boat...

Actually, the bonny boat will certainly be speeding as our big boat is having her biennial refit and bottom inspection. So tomorrow, bright and early, D-d and I will be speeding across the Irish Sea in Manannan - which can be bumpy if the sea is rough, so let's keep our fingers crossed...

Where are we off to? Why over the sea to Skye, of course! But first we have to go over the sea to Heysham, then we have to get to Lancaster railway station, and from there to Glasgow where we will have a few hours to potter around.

We stay on Friday night at The Millennium Hotel - chosen especially because it is close to the railway station from where the train goes, at 8.20am on Saturday, on one of the great railway journeys of Europe - up to Fort William.

We get to Fort William at lunch time, pick up a hire car, and head up to the Skye Bridge - and we get to Skye somewhere around 2.30ish.

We are joining [livejournal.com profile] dougalsservant and another friend and her husband, and staying at The Two Byres. We should eventually reach the Two Byres mid afternoon, about 34 hours after leaving home!

I will have my tablet, and my camera - so there might well be a couple of posts and there will, eventually, be pictures.

D-d was in Dublin last night - she had to go to a meeting there for work, and flew back to the island this morning. And she is not staying for the whole week on Skye as she is flying on from Glasgow, with friends, to go to Copenhagen as they have tickets for the second semi final of the Eurovision Song Contest, on Thursday, and are staying in the city until after the final. So she will go to England, Ireland, Scotland and Denmark within a week!
curiouswombat: (Spring)
2014-04-28 09:29 pm
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A Spot of Spring Colour

A few more pictures taken with my phone as I go through the working day.

I know some of my friends are heading into autumn now, and some will be further through spring than we are, whilst some of you are a bit behind. For the latter, think of these as a promise of things to come.

Cherry blossom...

WP_20140428_006

And bluebells...

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Now a picture of the bluebells in situ...

WP_20140428_003

Guess where both the cherry tree and the 'bluebell wood' are?

At the edge of the carpark at our local hospital! You walk under the cherries and between the bluebells to get from the carpark to the hospital itself. And it always makes me slow down a little and take a couple of deep breaths.
curiouswombat: (Anya)
2014-04-27 10:10 pm
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Supporting Charity....

A young man whose family attend our church is a teacher in Nottingham, and his school is involved with a charity in Uganda.

We have asked what we can do to help; raise money perhaps? Actually, said Richard, a collection of clothes really would be useful. He is going out in July, and others also do, regularly, and they take a suitcase or two each.

Whilst football kit for young boys is greeted with glee, there are actually two things that are especially useful.

The first is basic school uniform, as parents have to pay school fees and send the children in uniform, or the child will be sent home. So plain black or grey trousers and skirts, plain white school shirts, and school shoes, are very useful.

That is more or less as you would expect. But there is something else which is really prized, and much needed. Before I tell you what, think back to how they get these clothes there...

They need bras. Many of the women in the poor areas cannot afford bras. And as those of you who are female will know, unsupported breasts can be downright uncomfortable, to say the least.

So I have just been checking my underwear drawer so that I can help to, literally, support Ugandan women!

And I still get the giggles at the idea of this rather serious young man carrying a large suitcase full of bras as his main luggage :)
curiouswombat: (Noggin)
2014-04-26 09:13 pm
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Vikings!

I seem to have been out almost every evening this week, or had someone here - and mostly it has been a week of being a very committeed Christian - and yes I did mean committeed!

But on Thursday D-d and I met up to do something purely for pleasure. (Poor S2C was at work that evening).

We went to the cinema within The Manx Museum to see the live broadcast from the British Museum of their Vikings Exhibition. Our island was a central part of the Kingdom of Mann and the Isles, and there are even a couple of pieces on loan from our museum to the BM for this exhibition.

The whole event was very interesting - and made even more so by the prominent position, in the crowd of reenactors at the end, of one of our local guys; noticeable by the three legs on his shield!

We completed our evening with an Indian take-away eaten at her flat; a good evening all round.

D-d and I are off, on Friday, to meet up with [livejournal.com profile] dougalsservant on another part of the Kingdom of Mann and the Isles; Skye. And I can tell you that not only was it was probably a lot easier to plan the journey when the Vikings did it, but it was probably much faster to simply row, or sail, up the great highway of the Irish Sea than it is going to be for us using modern day transport!
curiouswombat: (Tindómë)
2014-04-24 10:19 pm

The valinor Trail, Chapter Twenty Six; Heading Home

I've been out for the evening - I'll post about it tomorrow or Saturday, perhaps.

But in the meantime, S2C has finished picking this through for me.

The Valinor Trail, Chapter Twenty Six
Chapter rated 13
Words; 2950
Disclaimer as Chapter One.


Read more... )

All comments gratefully received - including pointing out errors!
curiouswombat: (Spring)
2014-04-21 07:46 pm
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A Little Easter Colour

Easter Sunday is a day of joy! I started the day with coffee in bed, because I have a good husband - then I got up, put a large chicken ready to go in the oven so that said husband could put it on to cook whilst I was out, and gathered up all my bits for Sunday School.


We have been considering 'Christ the superhero' and had a prayer, and colouring, related to that theme, and then we thought of small kindnesses and small braveries... as epitomised by Saint Veronica who was brave enough to step out of a jeering crowd to carry out her small act of kindness in mopping blood and sweat from Jesus' face. This is a level of bravery and kindness an eight or nine year old can cope with in real life.

Then we went on to think about the way in which we incorporate the pagan symbols of new life into our celebration of the resurrection. And to put that theme together with the small kindnesses by making something for ourselves and something to go and give to someone else at the end of the service.

I have put pictures of the, very colourful, outcome of this under this cut... )

The chicken dinner, followed by the Very Chocolate Trifle (a layer of chocolate chip muffins soaked with a little chocolate Bailey's, a layer of cherries, a layer of vanilla custard and a layer of chocolate custard, topped with whipped cream and served in small bowls) was good.

We visited Mum in the afternoon to take her her Easter Egg and a couple of large fairy cakes from Saturday's baking, and then D-d had another complete dinner before going home as it was so good!

I have a Lindt Egg, and a Thornton's one. I have eaten just a few of the chocolates D-d chose to go with the Thornton's one.

Today has been a beautiful day, the temperature actually reached 20C. And I have finally (don't laugh) tried taking pictures with my phone and downloading them onto the computer - I was finally told by D-d that I still needed a cable to do this - they didn't actually 'do it wirelessly if only I knew how' :) I know, I can be very tech unsavvy sometimes!

To celebrate this moment of enlightenment I've taken a few pictures in the yard, using the phone, which are under this cut.... )
curiouswombat: (Brooch)
2014-04-18 10:27 pm
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Good Friday.

This morning I went to church; a joint service with a local Methodist church.

This is from that Service. As much for me to remember, but I think it worth sharing.

We come here today to remember a man. A man…
who had dreams,
who had those dreams shattered,
who needed time to think and pray,
who knew he was likely to die for what he believed…

A man of extraordinary religious insight.
A man who did die - a cruel death.

On this day we look at the cross, and we remember…
the betrayal of friendship and its consequences,
the casual cruelty of Roman authority and execution,
and how unreliable others proved to be in a crisis.

On this day may we also remember
that religious bigotry, cruelty and unreliability
are still a part of our everyday lives.

On this day, then, may we learn some new precepts for living…
do not avoid contact with suffering, or close your eyes before suffering;
do not maintain anger or hatred;
do not say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest, or to impress people;
do not live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and nature…

On this day we remember. (Edited – M Dobson, M Morwood, Thich Nhat Hanh)
curiouswombat: (Galadriel 2)
2014-04-15 07:31 pm
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They Say Three Things Make a Post...

I have three things to share with you - One is inspirational, another makes me just want to beat someone's head against a wall, and the third is a gloriously silly WTF moment!


Thing 1. The first thing is an article posted by the BBC World Service. It just wonderful, inspiring, fascinating - and also has some of the most wonderful photographs I've seen. I could just look at THIS for ages.


Also - I have just got to include something like that into a story somewhere.

........

Thing 2. This is about a very, very, ignorant man who actually managed to make it to being Mayor of Swindon. There have been reports in a number of the newspapers, and on the BBC, about him being asked to apologise for something he said in a 'semi-public' place - i.e. a training meeting for councillors.

What he said was shocking in itself - what was worse was that he really didn't seem to understand why he was asked to apologise. Read more... )
.........

And Thing 3; Today I got an e-mail from Amazon about something that was part of an order I made a couple of days ago, explaining that

Unfortunately, due to delivery restrictions on such items, we won’t be able to send you this item and have cancelled it from your order. This is because this item contains flammable, pressurised, corrosive, environmentally hazardous or otherwise harmful substances classified as dangerous goods under the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Air.

Although the amount of these substances in these products is usually quite limited, these products need to be transported in a certain way to ensure that they are handled with care and are therefore assigned to a specialist carrier. Unfortunately this means that we can’t dispatch this to any destination outside of mainland UK.

We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused and hope to see you again soon.


What do you think I might have been ordering? It sounds dangerous, doesn't it?

Actually it was a bottle of Avon Skin so Soft in a non-pressurised pump action bottle. I only added it to the Amazon order as there wasn't anything else I wanted from Avon at the moment.

That seems pretty silly in itself - but the rest of the order arrived in the post this morning - including this... Which is a high pressurised container of a rather more likely substance to be any or all of the above!
curiouswombat: (Rohan)
2014-04-06 05:17 pm
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New Recipe for April, and Wonderful 'Rohirric' Wiki.

Starting with the second part of my subject line, [livejournal.com profile] gillo posted a link to þā Engliscan Wikipǣdie!

This is not a Wiki page about Old English - it is Wikipedia written in Old English/Anglo Saxon. Anyone interested in languages will love it - as will any of my Tolkienrim friends with an interest in the Rohirrim.

Secondly - I have continued with the 'new recipe a month' project. This is another one from all those Good Food magazines D-d treated me to last year. Nothing very complicated, but certainly tasty and worth repeating, this month I made bacon & ricotta oven-baked frittata.

Very easy to make, clear instructions, and it came out just as it should. Look.... )

My back is a lot better now, too. I am still treating it with a lot of care though.
curiouswombat: (Spring)
2014-04-05 09:43 pm
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Random picture.

One of the paper-white narcissi in my garden was blown over and snapped its stem, so now I have it in the house in a small vase;

pattern 008


I don't suppose it'll last long as it has been in bloom for a good week outdoors already, but just for now it gives me pleasure.
curiouswombat: (Bake on)
2014-04-03 06:28 pm
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That cake - it worked!

This is the cake from yesterday's post, now it has been cut into;

WP_20140403_003

It was clearly a hit - she passed on an e-mail that said "Full marks to your mum – epic cake!"
curiouswombat: (Bake on)
2014-04-02 10:33 pm
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Cake under Construction

Tomorrow is D-d's birthday. We are going out for a meal and so she won't be home to have cake.

But during conversation on Sunday, when she took me out for lunch, I managed to volunteer to make her one to take to work with her. And then there was this, well it was more a pattern than a recipe, that I wanted to try...

So under the cut is a step by step of cake construction. Read more... )

It's a good job I did it last night - my back is playing up this evening and I really wouldn't have had the patience.
curiouswombat: (Mums are like buttons)
2014-03-30 06:54 pm
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Mothering Sunday

I've had a lovely day - with chocolate, a visit to my own Mum, and being treated to an excellent lunch at Milntown.

I just want to share this with you all, not just the Mums.

I have it noted in my files as being passed to me by [livejournal.com profile] bojojoti, and we used it in our prayer notes in Church today.


To those who gave birth this year to their first child — we celebrate with you.

To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you.

To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you.

To those who experienced loss this year through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away — we mourn with you.

To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.

To those who are foster mums, mentor mums, and spiritual mums – we need you.

To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you.

To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you.

To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you.

To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience.

To those who lived through medical tests, school tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst.

To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you.

And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you.

This Mothering Sunday, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.

by Amy Young
curiouswombat: (Haldir)
2014-03-27 09:13 pm

The Valinor Trail, Chapter Twenty Five; There's Always a Morning After

This is probably the penultimate chapter - unless the characters get some hare-brained ideas over the next couple of weeks!

Chapter Twenty Five; There's Always a Morning After
Words; 2,430
Chapter Rating; PG
Disclaimer as chapter one

Previous chapters are here.

Read more... )

As always, please point out any errors (I think I got east and west right this time!), and comments are always exceedingly welcome.
curiouswombat: (notes from a small island)
2014-03-25 04:22 pm
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Douglas Head (mostly).

I've got a whole week off! This is just to use up my annual leave before the end of March, which is the cut-off point for our work 'year'. So a week to do things like spending an hour in the dentist's chair, this morning, and having my hair cut on Thursday. I didn't do the weekend shopping as usual, as I knew I'd be able to do it when the supermarket was quieter on Monday.

As it was a lovely morning yesterday I decided to go for a walk up Douglas Head before going to Tesco (very close by). And I remembered to take the camera so I have a few pictures

Under this cut... )
curiouswombat: (notes from a small island)
2014-03-23 09:16 pm

Sunday PicSpam.

A miscellany of pictures...

Last night S2C went to pour himself coffee only to find it had gone cold. The heating element had gone on the coffee maker. So, this afternoon I went out and bought a new one. Less convenient than the old one, which had a removable water reservoir and so was easily filled. But, of course, that was such a good idea that they don't make them like that any more...

But the new one is very pretty...
Look.... )

And now a picture I took during the week. This is of a boat in the boat repair yard in Ramsey...

I think they have their work cut out.... )

And, again totally unrelated, yesterday was Messy Church. Our theme was 'family' as it is so close to Mothering Sunday. I was doing the food related activity, and had children making portraits of family members using small shortbread biscuits, butter cream, and lots of coloured fondant!

S2C and D-d in biscuit... )

And a few pictures of the ones the children made, and their cards for their Mums;

Under this one... )

Bet you wish you had your portrait in shortbread and icing!
curiouswombat: (B2MEM14)
2014-03-22 02:16 pm

Where Is Love? A Returnverse Tale.

At last I can post my B2ME story here as it has now been unveiled!

So;

My prompt: The turning of the year brings feasts and holidays. It's time to enjoy the bounty that was saved for the winter. Create a story or a work of art featuring a Winter seasonal food. Bonus for including a recipe.

And I was prompted to write what is, basically, a Returnverse Gap-filler.

This is the story of a small elfling arriving in The West expecting to be reunited with his parents... Or further adventures of The winter Elfling from In The Winter Garden.

Word count approx 6,000
Rated G.

Read more... )

Writing this has taken me a little while, which is what has delayed the next chapter of The Valinor Trail - but that should be posted within the next week or so, too.
curiouswombat: (Chaos and Panic)
2014-03-20 09:00 pm
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Technology is having a bad week around here.

OK - this is a quick résumé of my week at work starting last Friday.

Friday; computer in community hospital won't let me access my patient notes. Techie is nice middle aged lady who understands why this is a problem, recognises the cause of the problem, gets someone else to remotely fix it. Hurrah!

Monday; encounter identical problem at main hospital - however I was prepared, had written down name of person who corrected problem remotely on Friday, and managed to contact them so they were able to do the same fix. Cause is, apparently, a system update.

Tuesday; into my own office to find I can't log onto the system at all. Neither office-mate is in so I eventually try one of their computers to find it isn't just my lap-top... ring our own admin support to discover entire government system has crashed. Can't even ring patients as I can't access notes or schedule for the day - do some sorting of paper stuff, and some shredding. Finally enough of system restored for me to do some proper  work about 10.30 - good thing our bit is regarded as a priority - other bits, like the courts, were down much longer, D-d tells me later.

Wednesday; into office to discover the programme that handles my patient notes is down - something to do with Tuesday's 'fix' I gather. However, I knew where I was going and who I was going to see, so just went. Called in at Mum's at lunchtime as I was nearby - she is convinced, after conversation with GP surgery (also on government computer system...) that the receptionist blames everything on computer problems and actually doesn't do anything. Reassure mother there really WAS a computer problem. She is unimpressed; a bit of paper was all you needed in her day...

Today; into office, everything works! Until about 9.30 when we get a message via the intra-net to explain that the main Isle-of-Man internet link to the rest of the world has been damaged and we are, basically, cut off from the outside world... Takes until 13.40 to mend, and then there is an enormous backlog - but at least it didn't really interfere with work!

Goodness knows what it will be like tomorrow....