Friday, 30 December 2011


I made sure I took the camera with me
on our morning walk on Wednesday.
It's been wet and muddy here,
so the hounds have not had a run for a few days.
But we took a chance that it wasn't too muddy
and gave them a run.

I knew it would be a good opportunity
to take some pictures of the hounds running.
I set the camera to take multiple shots.
It tends to be a bit of a pot luck,
with plenty of blurriness
with unexpected focused bits .

In the afternoon,
as it started to get dark,
we took a trip into Bernkastel.
We had planned to do this before Christmas
and visit the Christmas Market.
But because of my cold,
we didn't.
It was my birthday
on Wednesday,
so it was a good reason to go out for a while.

The Christmas Market had finished,
but the market place was still decorated with Christmas lights.

We had a leisurely walk around,

looking in shops,
and taking photos.
I played about with some of the different settings on the camera.
This last photo was taken on a night setting with a longer exposure.
I deliberately moved the camera around to get a blurred effect.
I like it.

Something I'm not so pleased with is the countdown to my next birthday.
In a years time
I will be 60.
It seems such a monumental event to me,
something I will have to get used to.
I'm sure lots of people reading this will have celebrated a sixtieth birthday
and they are fine with it.
Maybe in a years time
I will have come to terms with it.
I am planning to mark the occasion by having a party.
That should help.


Sunday, 25 December 2011

Happy Christmas

Greetings to you from us and the Hounds
may you have a wonderful time over the festive season.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Wading Through Treacle

I've been back almost a week,
and I've had a cold
most of that time.
Which is really strange for me
as I haven't had a cold in years.
I haven't been outside the house for almost a week,
in an effort to stay out of the wet blustery weather we've been having.
Poor Mike has been walking the hounds on his own.
I think I got it from travelling on
planes, buses and trains,
while I was away.
Hopefully it will be gone soon,
but today,
I've felt as though I'm wading through treacle.
Being full of cold,
I haven't felt like taking any photos.
So here are the last few from my UK visit.

The day before I left to come back to Germany,
I met my daughter in Newcastle
and we went down to the quayside.
in an effort to be a bit smarter,
I wore my boots instead of my usual trainers.
By the time we got down to the river
I was footsore.
It wasn't so much like wading through treacle,
more like stepping on marbles.

But we continued over the bridge to The Baltic.

Where we visited the Turner Prize exhibition.
Although I enjoyed the visit,
I can't say I understand modern art.
But it was nice to spend more time with my daughter.

I wrote this yesterday
but didn't get round to posting it-
blame it on the cold.
We had snow overnight.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Book Love

My Grandson loves books.
Last week we went to choose some books for his Christmas present.
We did the same last year.
He will be seven in January
and is progressing from the picture books to the smaller books
with less pictures and more writing.
In fact when he visited us a couple of months ago
it was the smaller books he brought with him.
So he's been reading them for a while.
He likes mysteries
and you can see him here reading the first book in
Enid Blyton's the Secret Seven Series.
Today he will be the narator in his school play.
What an honour!
I'm just sorry that I'm not there to see him.

While I was over in the north east staying with a friend
she invited me to her great niece's first birthday party.
I chose a book as a present.
I forgot to take a photo of it before I wrapped it up.
The book is called
'The Pig's Knicker's'
and was illustrated by my blog friend
It's a colourful book
with lovely illustrations.
You can see it here.

I love books,
don't you?

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Fruit Cake and Cheese

I arrived back in Germany yesterday,
to an extremely wet and blustery day.
The weather has been the same today.
So how better to spend it than
sitting inside,
where it's warm,
catching up?
And to accompany us,
a piece of
fruit cake and cheese.
One of the cheeses is
one of our favourites,
and one of our favourite places.
The other is
White Stilton with Cranberry and Orange Whirl.
Very nice!
It's the kind of cheese we don't see in Germany,
so it's a real treat.
I brought it back in my suitcase.
The fruit cake is the Christmas Cake
I made the day before I went to the UK.
I sliced the top off ready for icing
which allowed us to try it.  

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Second Day in Cumbria

My sister has been putting up the Christmas decorations.
Even the family cat has her own Santa.
I was back in Carlisle this morning.
I took a couple of photos of some of the decorations.
This one is outside the old town hall.
The sun was catching the panels on the front and casting a coloured light
across the ground.
Yes I did say sun.
Most unusual,
as it usually rains whenever I'm over here.

True to form,
after taking these photos,
I went to the library,
and when I left it was raining-
very hard.

This evening we've been celebrating my nephew's 18th birthday.
It's been nice being able to share it with him.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

View from a Train Window

We flew through the dark,
being followed by the sunrise,
to land at Edinburgh airport,
still in the dark.
By the time
I reached Edinburgh city centre,
it was light.
I didn't have too long to wait before I caught the train.
It was the first time I got the camera out.
I missed photographing Edinburgh Zoo,
where two Giant Pandas had arrived on Sunday.
I also missed photographing
a camp in a park right in the middle of the city centre.
But I got to photograph
the big wheel that you see in the first photo.

It is part of the Christmas festivities along with
a Christmas Market.
I remember visiting Edinburgh a few winters ago
with a friend and my daughter.
My friend suggested we had a ride on the big wheel.
My daughter declined,
Once at the top,
my friend was having seconds thought too!

As Mike drove me to the airport this morning,
he commented that we were fortunate that there was no snow and ice.
But that was when we were in the valley.
To get to the airport,
we have to drive up a series of hairpin bends,
continually climbing to get out of the valley.
As we continued away from the valley,
we could see snow on the road and either side of it.
We were so surprised that we didn't recognise what it was at first!
But there wasn't as much snow as you see in the next few pictures,
taken from the train window.

The sun was shining too!
It looked lovely
and I couldn't resist taking some photos.
You can see the reflection on the glass in the next picture,
and a blurryness of the trees.

But the train stopped for a while a bit further on,
so I snapped away.

We're on the move again for this next shot.
It's lovely countryside.
It's in the lowlands of Scotland.

But as we crossed the border into England,
the snow had gone.
I found it colder than what I've been used to.
I met my sister at her workplace in the library,
and once she finished work,
we had a walk through the town.
She had some shopping to do.
We made our way to the cathedral.
Where the crypt sells some nice warming soup and cheesy soda bread.

Thanks to my niece
for the use of her computer.
I will have more photos for you tomorrow.
It's a good way for Mike to see what I've been doing.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Anticipate Precipitate

I fly to Edinburgh
to see this young man,
my grandson,
and his mother.

Here she is
taking a photo of
me taking a photo of her,
on my last visit to the UK.

I also hope to see my son.
But I don't seem to have a photo of him from my last visit.
Well I do,
it's just that my daughter is on them all,
and she won't like me posting them.

I will be going to the quayside
in Newcastle upon Tyne,

and crossing this bridge
to visit
That's the building on the left of those over the river.
The Turner Prize is being exhibited there.
The prize was awarded today to Martin Boyce.
It will be interesting to view the exhibits.
I haven't been to the Turner Prize exhibition before.
But I have heard quite a lot about previous
Turner Prize exhibitions.

On my last visit to the quayside,
two men stopped to ask me what this building is.
I told them that it is called the Sage
and is a music venue.
They were very impressed by it.

Well, it was May when I last visited the UK.
and the bluebells were flowering.

If I remember correctly,
the weather was pretty poor
the whole time I was there.
I think my flight got delayed on the way back
and I had to spend a few extra days there.
But the weather didn't improve.

This year seems to have flown by.
But some things don't change.
The UK had some of it's first snow of the season,
and it's turned very cold.
I had better pack some warm clothes.
Maybe I'll get some snow pics while I'm there.
Just as long as I manage to get back home
to Mike and the hounds.


Thursday, 1 December 2011

What's it to be, Fog or Sunshine?

A photo taken this morning from a first floor window.
I liked the mist weaving it's way along the tree covered hillside
The weather hasn't been able to decide what it's up to as the day has progressed.
We've had rain,
followed by sunshine,
and now strong gusts of wind
rattling those same first floor windows.

There's been a lot of fog and mist over the last few weeks.

These photos were taken two days ago.

Then yesterday we got some lovely sunshine.
This photo was taken in the morning.
I loved the long shadows.

In the afternoon,
I did some gardening.

Here's that same village I showed earlier,
only in sunshine.

Well, which do you prefer?

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Settling In

I hope you forgive me for doing another 'doggy' post.
But looking through photos from Tuesday,
this first one made me smile,
and I couldn't resist including it in today's post.
Jess is on the right and Arthur on the left.

I don't intend turning this into a doggy blog,
(though Mike has had thoughts of doing his own dog blog).
But I know that Jess's previous owner and friends at the kennels
(do take a look at their website if you have time),
look in here to see how she's doing.
I haven't been posting regularly.
So here's a brief update.

Most days after the morning and afternoon walks,
we go to our bit of land
so the hounds can have a run round.
Jess is very playful and she enjoys running after a ball, frisbee
or other toy.

I liked the way Jess and Arthur were facing the same way
but I couldn't get close enough before they moved.
So it almost looks as though she is on top of Arthur in the photo above.

Jess was interested in someone jogging by
and ran up to the fence
and had a jolly good bark.

Well Mike is due back from the UK this afternoon.
He had another brief trip over there a week earlier.
Before he went, you could see that Jess was besotted with him.
While he was away though she followed me everywhere I went.
She's been the same this time.
She particularly likes hanging out in the kitchen with me when I'm busy.
But I think that's due to hoping she might get a tasty snack or a drink of milk.
But when Mike arrived back,
she was a bit wary of him.
Though I should explain that he was in his motor bike suit,
and he had someone else with him.
It took a while for her to get used to him again,
then he was off again.
I wonder what she'll be like when he gets back today.
I will let you know.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Foggy Starts

I took these photos on Tuesday
after an early start.
Mike and I were up at
3.45 a.m.
so I could take him to the airport
for his flight to the UK.
 Rufus looks as though
the early start tired him out.

It was foggy on the way to the airport,
but this eventually lifted
and we got some lovely sunshine
later in the day.
So I took the camera with me on our afternoon walk.
I tethered the dogs while I took a couple of photos.
Unfortunately, my foot got caught in one of the leads
and I fell flat on my face.

After the walk,
I took the hounds to our bit of land so they could have a run.
The next three photos show Jess and Paddy having a run together.

Rufus and Arthur seem more interested in a hole under the fence.
They were fixated on it.
Maybe they were watching for a mouse or something.

The weather has followed the same pattern since Tuesday,
foggy starts followed by sunshine.
Somehow the grey seems to be in for today though.

I have a bad back for a while
which restricts time spent at the computer.
But for some reason it's worse this week.
It's not helped by the photos not loading,
it takes an age.
Which is why it's taken until today to post this
and why I haven't been visiting everyone as I'd like to.
But I'll get there.
In the meantime,
I hope you are all enjoying a little sunshine wherever you are.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Say Hello to Jess

Last Friday,
I drove to Liege in Belgium to meet Mike off a train.
He had a very special reason for me to go and meet him.
He had gone to the UK a few days earlier
to meet for the first time, and collect,
our new greyhound.
Isn't she gorgeous?

Here she is with her 3 new brothers.

She seems to have taken a bit of a shine to Paddy.

You can see how much smaller she is.

She is settling in very well
and making herself at home.
Last night she made me laugh.
Mike was already in bed
and I was on my way to bed
when she came trotting through
and pounced on Mike's slipper.
She carried it off,
jumped on the bed,
and put it next to him,
where she had already put
one of my shoes.
Here she is on her own bed
with a bone.

We think we will be able to take her lots of places,
as she doesn't seem to mind other dogs.
She isn't too sure of loud or unusual noises yet,
but I'm sure that's only because it's all very new to her.

She even came to one of the wine festivals with us.

She has been on lots of different walks with us.
And seems to be enjoying her new life.

I'm sure you will be seeing lots more of her.