“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ....Oscar Wilde

Sunday 26 June 2016

My Sunday Photo... Cheers

It's been a rather strange week. 
Celebrations for our 37th Wedding Anniversary whilst having the uncertainty of what will happen in the coming months with the results from the EU Referendum.
Sometimes it's good to just sit still... take a deep breath and appreciate what you have. 
I hope you have a wonderful weekend and thanks for visiting my place. 
 As usual I'm linking up with  'My Sunday Photo' with Photoalife and Mersad over at Through my lens,

Friday 24 June 2016

Brighton, Australia... PPF

I have to admit that I'm reeling today from the outcome of our EU Referendum, along with many others no doubt. We are on the cusp of many changes in the coming months for sure. 
It also looks like there may well be a Scottish Referendum because of this result... so uncertain times lie ahead. 
We never envisaged so many changes when we made the decision to leave Australia three years ago and I'm wondering with hindsight, whether we would make the same decision if we had to make it now.  

Whilst preparing for forthcoming visitors this weekend and not having had any time for artwork, I thought you might like to see a piece of art that we bought when we lived in Melbourne.
We bought the painting below from the St. Kilda Esplanade Sunday Market and actually watched and talked to the artist. 
It was brilliant to watch her work. 
It's a beach scene of Brighton with Melbourne city skyscrapers in the right hand corner.
The beach huts are so colourful... I love them.
I'm so happy that I bought this painting, because we've had visitors come to stay with us from Melbourne. It's a little reminder of home for them, as it hangs over the bed in the guest bedroom.
When I look at this painting I'm immediately transformed back there.
I'm not sure if the artist still sells her work at the Sunday Market... but if you are ever in Melbourne and find a Sunday morning free, then I recommend a visit. 
It's a craft fair and there are so many stalls selling lots of interesting things.
After being up late last night watching the drama unfold... I think I need to lie down for a wee while.
Obviously I can't go into this bedroom. 
The tea and coffee making facilities are already ready and waiting. 
(I'm linking to PPF as usual. Thanks Eva and Kristin for hosting).
Have a great weekend everyone and thanks for popping in. 

Thursday 23 June 2016

Big Day All Round

Well what kind of photo do you expect for our 37th Wedding Anniversary?
I could include all of the usual jokes about '... and they said it wouldn't last' etc, but basically I think we've done okay.
It poured torrential thunder rain on our actual wedding day and my Rolls Royce wedding car actually broke down on the way to pick me up... which meant that I was over ten minutes late arriving. 
But someone whispered to me with a cheeky wink, that it is lucky to have rain on your wedding day. 
Bless them for trying to make me feel better.
As you can see today is glorious and the sun is shining beautifully.
There's the thinning hair (shh don't tell him)... and the odd wrinkle , but that just shows that we've lived, laughed, matured and changed together.
Oh don't get me wrong, there have been times that it's been touch and go, but when you think all that life throws at you sometimes, then it's not surprising. 
I read or heard somewhere once (and I'm thinking it might have been Maya Angelou) that if a person smiles every time they see you, even if you've only just been into another room, then that shows that they truly love you. 
I smile every time I see my hubby smile at me. when I come into the room.
I always remember those words.
I hope it continues especially now that he's retired and we're together so much of the time.

Today (once hubby comes down from the Romeo and Juliet balcony) we'll be wandering to the Polling Station to vote in the EU Referendum. 
We'll take Muffy with us... if we can manage to move her from her latest hot spot.
She's supposedly the Safety Officer on this job keeping an eye (well nearly an eye open) on all of the proceedings.
So Happy One Month Retirement for tomorrow and Happy 37th Anniversary to us for today!
We have visitors coming to stay this weekend, so we will be celebrating then. 
Good luck to everyone that we get the right decision for the best for all of us in the Referendum.
Happy Thursday to you all.
Keep smiling!

Wednesday 22 June 2016

Neesie Natters News!

Good Morning Everyone... today I'm thinking I should open with a trumpet fanfare because I have a big announcement. 
My news is that I now have a 'Neesie Natters' mobile phone APP!
Here I am hanging on by the skin of my teeth, to all the technology that is out there, but I managed it.
It seems logical that this is a nature progression to have my own App. 
More and more people use their phones for everything... other than making toast, so it only seems right that this is the way to go. 
I don't normally like adverts on my blog, but with this app it will enable you to be part of giveaways, coupons for great deals and to be up to speed with all that's happening on Neesie Natters. 
The Android App button is on my sidebar and all you have to do is press and you're away.
Once you have the app you can just press the three little bar lines on the left hand side of the screen and that opens all the different files ie posts, coupons and you can comment etc.
I hope you'll give it a go. 
I'm still trying to get comfortable with it, but once I do I'm sure we'll have lot's of fun. 
For this weeks treats especially for you... please scroll below and see the coupons listed.
(I will try to have a separate page for these offers once I am able to change all of the HTML overload which apparently I have behind the scenes of my blog... I'm contacting Blogger to help, so hopefully that will happen soon).

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you find a coupon (or hopefully more than one) that will be just what you're looking for. 
Happy Wednesday!

This week's deals!

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Saturday 18 June 2016

My Sunday Photo... Tits

I don't really want to dwell on the horrendous wet, cold and even foggy weather that we've been experiencing lately...  as the sun finally appeared for the last hour of the day, I'm just grateful that it remembered us at all.
We have had several of our bird boxes occupied which has been wonderful to see.
The parents have been so busy and incredibly attentive... a perfect tag team as they take it in turns to feed their young. 
But as the weather closed in I must confess I did worry if they would survive.
I placed suet balls, sunflower seeds (with their husks removed for ease) and meal worms in an attempt to help keep both the parent birds energised and hopefully the baby birds fed. 
There certainly wasn't any insects or caterpillars out in that torrential rain.
I'm hoping to see lots of babies emerge in the coming week, as the weather forecast says we will reach dizzy heights of 14 degrees! 
Woohoo... bring it on I say.
Gone are the days when I'd long for 26/28 degrees... I'm happy to get any double digits now!

Here's a little chap... the Coal Tit that came on the feeder just outside my kitchen window, 
 The Blue Tit has definitely got a brood in a nest box and he (or she) is part of the awesome tag team that I mentioned.
 Here's a shot of the little chap carrying out his parental duties with such tenacity and vigour. 
I also saw one of the woodpeckers that I featured last Sunday. 
It was feeding it's young on a nearby tree. 
The baby woodpecker is quite bigger than the parent bird, but maybe it's not surprising with all of the peanuts it was eating!
So that's what's happening around my neck of the woods as it were.,. I hope you liked seeing my little visitors. As usual I'm linking up with  'My Sunday Photo' with PhotoalifeWordless (on Tuesday at image-in-ing) and Mersad over at Through my lens,
Have a wonderful weekend wherever you are. 
I hope the sun shines for you.
Have fun and I hope to see you again soon.

Friday 17 June 2016

Rain, rain go away...Please! PPF

Can you believe this weather?
Especially if you live on the East Coast of Bonnie Scotland!
We have had five days of torrential incessant rain, wind and fog, and I for one have had enough!
Although I'm not impressed with this thing called 'summer' so far, I'm determined to find a positive. 
With all of the wet weather at least when I finally get to go out into the garden once again, the huge weeds that have appeared will be easy to pull up (or that's my hope)
I did spend time working through my email in-box over the last two days and I've managed to answer over 100+ emails! 
I had intended to visit everyone once I'd answered comments on previous blog posts, but I'm afraid that was a step too far. I just couldn't manage it. I'm hoping you'll forgive me and now that I've caught up I'll be able to pop over to your blogs to see what I've been missing.
There's always the added bonus when there's a little extra time for painting and that's just what I did, although once again it's unfinished work.
I thought I'd paint something with reference to Father's Day, which is this coming Sunday in the UK.
I would give anything to spend a day with my Dad... having had him taken away from us all too soon... when I was only 16 years of age. 
So if you have a Father/Dad I hope that you will spend some time with him, tell him you love him and hug him as tightly as you can. 

I thought that I'd try to create a loose painting for this piece. 
Anyone who knows me knows just what a challenge this is for me.
If you missed my post last week of my gin bottle painting then click here

Here's my initial sketch for this week. 
I realise that the tightness comes as soon as I touch the paper with a pencil. 
It restricts me, but I've yet to master painting without a pencil!
I under painted as usual, as now I realise what a difference that can make (thanks Tracey)
I used my favourite Kuretake Japanese paints.
I've still got quite a bit to go with this painting, but I know I'll not be too precious with it. 
The lettering is completely wrong and I've winged it considerably on the smaller writing by just putting some squiggles in. 
I thought I'd just show you one more photo today.
This is a large jar that sits in a corner of my patio windows. 
There are two, one either side, but it appears that we have a leak!
This happened yesterday and it's the same again today.
It's very disconcerting listening to dipping water! 
Well that'll be another job to keep newly retired hubby amused!
Locating the leak source and fixing it... at least the plants are safe for now.

I've got some very exciting news to announce soon.
I'm still working on it, but once it's sorted I'll be sure to let you know.
In the meantime, have a wonderful weekend and I'll look forward to seeing you again soon.
(I'm linking to PPF as usual. Thanks Eva and Kristin for hosting).

Sunday 12 June 2016

My Sunday Photo... The Greater Spotted Woodpecker

We are having an abundance of bird visitors right now. 
I'd love to show you them all up close, but unfortunately I need to purchase a zoom lens first. 
It's been on my 'to do' list since Christmas, when I was presented with a new camera. 
One visitor that I'm particularly pleased to see returning this summer is the Yellowhammer. 
I haven't managed to obtain a decent photo yet, but here's the RSPB website if you'd like to see details plus a little video... click here

Yesterday I thought that we had lost one of our Greater Spotted Woodpecker friends, because I found one little fella on the floor looking slightly dazed. 
(I'd cleaned my windows the day before and as usual the birds seem to want to wreck my handy-work by flinging themselves straight into them, leaving a perfect imprint on the glass). 
I checked the little chap hadn't broken his neck or wing and retreated to watch, whilst ensuring that the neighbours cat didn't come calling. 
After quite some time when he hadn't moved, I thought he might need some water, so I carefully approached... which made him take fright and he flew away... off to the woods.
Note to self: Don't bother cleaning windows... that way I'm doing my bit for nature! 
That'll do for me
Here's he is or possibly one of his relatives!
As usual I'm linking up with  'My Sunday Photo' with Photoalife, Wordless (on Tuesday at image-in-ing)and Mersad over at Through my lens
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, full of fun.
Thanks for popping by and I hope to see you all again soon.

Friday 10 June 2016

Birds and Booze... PPF

It seems to be all happening this week... well all except painting that is, but at least I managed to start a sketch. I'm not sure if you've heard of the BBC programme 'Springwatch' especially if you are situated outside of the UK, but it's airing at the moment and there's been some brilliant footage.
They have live camera's and it gives you a chance to really see nature up close and personal 24/7. Some scenes a little too close for my liking, but they're brilliant all the same. 
Here's a link if you'd like to take a peek - click here
They featured Puffins one evening and I'd heard that they are near the endangered list and since then I just can't get them out of my mind... so I started to draw them.
(I'm hoping that you can see this as it's really quite light)
There's a bird sanctuary not far from here, with the cliff tops crammed with wild birds and their nests. I keep saying that we must visit whilst the puffins are nesting. 
By the way, did you know that a young puffin is called a 'puffling'. 
Now you've got to agree that's rather cute.
Anyway, I've got to be on my game today... moving swiftly on because my hubby has purchased a huge beast of a garden tool, that has the potential to strip a whole woodland in one sweep never mind a feed weeds from around the perimeter of our garden!
I can virtually hear my plants gasp in horror and lean away in terror.
Heaven knows what damage he could do wielding that baby!
Don't worry... I'm going to be standing well back and wearing full safety gear and I'm not even going to be anywhere near. 
I'm taking no chances!
I may even need a stiff drink by the time he's finished.
None during for obvious reasons!
Talking of needing a stiff drink reminded me of my painting of a Bombay Sapphire Gin bottle 
(other gin's are available) 
I painted it a little while back, so maybe some of you haven't seen it before. 
My son has it on his bedroom wall and objected to me taking it down... so I took the photo in situ which wasn't the best idea... but there you go!
I'm linking up as usual with Eva and Kristin as usual over at PPF
and to Alexandra's Sunday Sketches 
Thanks for hosting once again ladies.
I hope you all have a wonderful safe weekend and thanks for visiting my place.

Sunday 5 June 2016

My Sunday Photo... the one that got away!

Today I'm willing to show you just when things don't go to plan... I'm linking up this photo of Muffin appreciating the beautiful hot day we had today. In fact it was just like summer (at last) but this wasn't the photo that I intended to use. 
Imagine a beautiful blue sky, green lush fields, and a fantastic Red Arrow display flying right over you. Well that is what I intended.
Unfortunately, I was talking on the phone when they flew over. (Trust me eh?)
When I heard them I quickly dashed outside, grabbing my mobile phone and took a shot. 
This was the result.
You'll have to look very hard into the distance, just above the trees to see the last of the loop the loop trail.
I can imagine that you all have had that feeling of a particular photograph... the one that got away.
Please tell me you do... I might feel slightly better then.
It would have been perfect to have captured them flying over in fantastic formation!
They looked magnificent.

Here's a photo taken by Paul Collier from the control tower of Aberdeen Airport.
He's taken some amazing photo's if you'd like to see more... click here


As usual I'm linking up with  'My Sunday Photo' with Photoalife and with Mersad over at Through my lens and Wordless (on Tuesday at image-in-ing)
Enjoy your Sunday everyone.

Thursday 2 June 2016

Gerbera... PPF

Today has been quite a trying day when I think back. 
It all began at 5.45am when I was woken by a strange noise. 
No, it wasn't my hubby's snoring this time, but an insistent knocking accompanied by birds chattering. Obviously I had to get out of bed to investigate and I received a real surprise. 
The crows were back, tapping at their reflections in the window and chortling away. 
They weren't at the usual window or the mirror that we've placed back in the garden for just such an event. No, the two crows were perched on a small window-ledge of the family room. 
Which just so happens to be right under our bedroom window... which was open. 
This is the first time that they've come on to that particular window sill.
If they keep this up it could be early morning's for me from now on... heaven forbid they come on to our bedroom window!
Maybe I could use the extra time and get up and paint?

Talking of which, I actually got to play with my paints this week.
This is a Gerbera plant that I bought whilst out for Sunday lunch.
It's such a chirpy plant don't you think?
My own little ray of sunshine... which is just as well as the last few days have been really cold. 
The east of the country has been in stark contrast to the west. 
They've had fantastic weather and temperatures whilst we've had Baltic blasts. 
June... ha!!!
I decided when I started to paint this plant, that I'd use the under-painting technique that 
Tracey Fletcher King taught me whilst taking part in her Delicious Paint classes
At this stage severe doubt creeps in that you'll never manage to bring the painting to anything worth looking at... but you have to keep the faith and carry on. 
(Ha... that even sounds convincing to me)
I wasn't sure whether to use the white and black ink pens, but you know me I just couldn't resist. 
I just had to have a dabble.
I'm not sure it worked, but I had fun anyway.
The second trying part to my day, was finding my beautiful Jasmine plant that normally decorates around the front door of the house, lying bedraggled in the middle of the driveway.
Remember my hubby retired just over a week ago... well he decided that the jasmine was compromising the down spout and drain, so in his infinite wisdom decided to dig it out!
I'm being very restrained here and not putting in all of the expletives that were used this afternoon. 
I'll just say my hubby isn't a gardener and hadn't thought to consult me before attacking and massacring the poor innocent plant. 
A plant that has lived on this house for far longer than him!
Moving on swiftly...

I've finally decided to call it a day because I've just used the hose to water a few pots and that's the hat-trick for today. The hose leapt out of my hand at full flow and danced around like a possessed snake with the snake charmer playing his favourite tune. 
Thus, I'm drenched through! 
Oh well... here endeth the day I think... I give in.
I hope your day proves to be better than mine.
Have fun and thanks for visiting my place.
I'm linking up with Eva and Kristin as usual over at PPF

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