Thursday, 29 November 2012

Fair Weather?

The local gulls enjoying the wet weather at the expense of human ability to exercise and have a game of soccer
November is nearly out of time and the contrasting month of December is round the corner.

I've been ill for a while which has laid me low and has had the effect of leaving me tired and weak, but well on the mend thank goodness. It's the first time in seven years I've taken time off work sick with what we call locally D & V. 

This all came in the week before our Mind, Body, Spirit and Craft fair in Hull. so this created so much more pressure and my three good friends who were organising the fair with me also came down with other illnesses so the additional stress that it created made things very difficult. Anyway four weakened people pulled together with some volunteer friends and we pulled it off. We had a successful fair with a decent footfall with most of the stalls reporting good business.

The Atrium in the Prospect Shopping Centre in Hull, set up and ready for stall holders to fill it up
One stallholder complained about not selling her fresh produce but there was little we could do about that, but overall, a success. Was the effort and stress worth the outcome? Well a lot of people were happy although the owners of the shopping centre did little to help or promote the event which was a shame and for a first attempt at a fairly large fair, I am satisfied with how things turned out. Of course there are always lessons to be learned and if there is ever a next time, I would do things slightly differently. I was asked to put some pictures on and here is a just a tiny selection to give you a flavour.

Tammy with her wooden hand carved at home mushrooms

Home dyed products

One of two live owls which attracted much attention and hugely enjoyed by all who observed and handled them
The weather here has been extraordinary with a lot of flooding in different parts of the UK through extensive and heavy rain showers. People in this area of East Yorkshire are still fearful of flooding following the devastating floods of 2007 and whilst we have a lot of standing water, there were no serious reports of flooded properties. As the weather now settles down for the rest of the week, the clear skies are going to lead to frosts and fog. There was a magnificent full moon last night peeping through the occasional rain cloud and this morning the car was fully iced up! For the first time since they were excavated, the many lagoons that were put in place in the area designed to take the overflow of water from full ditches have had water in them this week.

Full moon rising on Wednesday at dusk
Our building work is now complete apart from the skimming of our hallway and most of the new work is painted and decorated. Rooms are being moved around to be used for different things now and logistically it will all be done and dusted for Christmas.  

Chat soon


Sunday, 11 November 2012

Busy Times

What an extraordinarily busy week this week both at home and at work. 

There has been lots of tight time schedules to get the converted rooms decorated for delivery of carpets and furniture along side which I am a member of a small team who is creating and planning a Mind, Body, Spirit and Craft Fair in the city centre of Hull. This has been both time consuming and a different kind of task for me but although there have been hiccoughs along the way, with planning for as many scenarios as possible, it is coming together quite nicely.

The Prospect Shopping Centre in Hull has rented us the first floor, known as the Atrium into which we are fitting almost 40 craft stalls, therapists and psychic readers on Saturday 24 November 2012. Years ago, the Atrium was a food court with quite a lot of popular food outlets. The one man owner went bust a couple of years ago and it has lain unused ever since. The centre has stripped it out and it is now a wonderful large clean space and we are looking forward to our first event. If you are around that day, come and say hello.

I've done some travelling too for my work which all takes time, Wakefield this week, an hours drive away and Nottingham next week which is an hour and a half drive away as long as the motorway is clear.

On Saturday, my business partner Linda and I ran a one day course for Reiki students and got them through their first degree of Reiki by giving teaching on Reiki, its background, what it does and an attunement.  Hopefully, they will now go and begin to understand themselves better, start to self heal themselves and perhaps aspire to stepping up to the second degree and become practitioners and heal others. It's a wonderful gentle process dealing with the physical as well as the emotional self and I wish more people would use it.

Work remains as ever busy and the future for the workforce in my public sector job is facing a great deal of uncertainty This is due to unprecedented cuts in public spending including cuts on top of cuts in the financial settlement the Government is about to unleash for 2013/14 which unfairly targets public sector workers and services which the public come to expect and rely on. Difficult times ahead. I am resubmitting my application for part time working because I want to spend more time doing other things and in particular more dedication to my spiritual life. If I could afford to leave work and find a part time job elsewhere, I would. That's not being disloyal to my current job, the people are brilliant and the service very worthwhile indeed, but the pressure being put upon the service (not from the public) is unsustainable and will end up in tears for the nation.

The weather here is now autumnal with night frosts and not too many leaves left on the trees. Most of the leaves are in my garden! Ah well, it gets me plenty of fresh air clearing them up.

I hope you've had a great weekend, enjoy the coming week and keep warm.

Chat soon


Monday, 5 November 2012

Autumn Draws On

A beautiful late autumn sky first thing in the morning lit by a rising sun, a wonderful sight when opening the front door
Magnumlady came across the Hull last week to visit the sights and sounds and unfortunately I never got to meet her which was devastating for me and the lesson learned is, life gets in the way of too much and I need to learn to be able to say - 'I am cancelling this, I have something more important to do!' Perhaps I should pop across and visit the Sligo area, all ideas for places to visit gratefully received. I am very sorry Val.

Life marches on. My garage conversion is complete barring the painting and decorating, one bedroom is already occupied by my youngest son, the utility room and store room in in full flow and the front room (was a bedroom, now an additional lounge because my middle lad moved out quicker than expected) just needs a carpet and curtains and a settee, all due at the end of the week.

There was a frost this morning on the cars and grass and although there is no breeze, there is a chill now and a lot of the trees are already devoid of leaves, mostly divested in my garden! Still, I've got it down to a fine art. My leaf blower is both cumbersome, heavy and time consuming, particularly when you have to take the bag off every 30 seconds to empty it.  We have some big leaves, Norway maple for example so it's a pain in the... back to use it. I've now reverted back to the old fashioned method, raking up into piles and manhandling it into cubic metre bags using the old fashioned grass rake and a snow shovel. 

My brother in law next door composts his leaves which take two years to break down but I don't have any room to store it so the local authority waste site gets mine and I understand they compost it and give it away. I do compost all my kitchen green waste and grass clippings and that fills my bin completely. In a couple of weeks time, I will empty the bottom part of the bin of composted material, and pop it on the borders. I do find that actually it's not enough to feed plants next year although it does improve the condition of the soil. This summer, I didn't put any Growmore down (other feeds are available) thinking the compost would feed the plants but it wasn't enough. Coupled with the bad spring and wet summer, my bedding plants were a disaster for the most part.

Our method of keeping warm with a mystery pair of hands to the left trying to feel the heat (my son Ben)
On Saturday night, I had a few friends round for an evening with a buffet, a hot chiminea burning cut up broken wooden pallets. There were a few small fireworks. The atmosphere was cosy and friendly and I was delighted to have such good friends and one of my sons to share a few hours together with good chat, tea and coffee. The fireworks were really disappointing, lasting only a few seconds and despite there being a variety of fireworks, they all looked the same.

Spent Roman candles and burnt grass!
Only seven weekends to Christmas now and I have to buy a secret Santa present for a colleague at work that is both humorous and apt for the person, cost no more than £8. Any ideas (I can't say which gender - it might give it away).

I hope you had a good weekend

Chat soon