Thursday, September 06, 2007

DIY & Sunflowers

We eventually started one of the many DIY projects we envisioned when we purchased the house back in March. I have spent the best part of the last week loathing and detesting someone I've never met. A previous owner of our house had some sort of mental breakdown/loss of reason/watched too many changing room episodes for their own good attack. They decided to plaster our walls in an Artex style while adding decorative beams TO THE INSIDE of the lounge, dining room and kitchen in some sort of misguided attempt to make out circa 1990's house into an inside out old cottage.

I must admit that it was one of the things that drew me to the property along with the very spacious lounge, dining room, kitchen, master bedroom & en suite that soooo many houses here in England lack (I'm from down under, I need my space) It is also located in a very quite, almost kid free cuddlisack (cul-de-sac to the uninitiated) backing on to a mass of playing fields that will never be built on. But I digress, now I HATE the country cottage look and long for clean crisp walls. Of course we had the plasters in for their opinion but alas the Artex effect is too thick just to plaster over. We could plaster board over it all but that would mean losing precious centimetres of length and breadth to my room and we can't have that. Also we would need to rip out the ceiling and start again. WTF! No way!

So the solution, me and He Who Shall Not Be Named started scraping it all off to reveal the lovely flat walls beneath the lounge and the ugly swirly artex under the ceiling (which is better than the current cottage look, believe me!) And, as I am not working, I have continued the torture while he is out earning all the dosh we need for future holidays, food, cat biscuits, other DIY projects, booze and our broadband connection.
Are we mad? Definitely
Will I be taken away and committed by the neighbours for all the cursing and mumblings that filter out through the open window? Maybe
Will we still be talking to each other at the end? Possibly
Will I have one arm massively more muscular than the other? God I hope not

Oh, then there is the clean up afterwards..........don't get me started on that - let's just say hooray for my Dyson

So to cheer us all up here are some pictures of some sunflowers I managed to secure from the local shop for only
£2.99. They were taken on a rare sunny day a few of weeks ago

I'm not a big fan of yellow, but on a sunflower it is joy
A close up of the centre of one of the flowers
To finish off even thought I know he is not a sunflower - A picture of Oberon about to pounce on an unsuspecting wheelie bin :)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Munich, Germany

We were in Munich around the time Pope Benedict XVI visited last year. Alas it was a few weeks too early for us to partake in Oktoberfest. We made our exit just before the Pope was due to arrive, otherwise we would have been stuck in the city centre surrounded my soldiers and worshippers - what a nightmare that would have been!

This picture shows the new Town Hall tower. It was a wonderful sunny day with an intense blue sky. The tops of the colourful flags are just above the dias that was in place for His Holiness, which of course spoilt my photo op for the entire Town Hall

Even though we were unable to enjoy the delights of the biggest beer festival in the world we still enjoyed a little of the atmosphere by visiting the HofbrÀuhaus for some beer and excellent food. Here is the oompapa band that was playing.
We had a picnic in the Englischer Garten or English Garden. Which was lovely, except for all the ravens that had no fear of us big pink things on two legs, so we were forced to feed them or become a real life version of The Birds. We were also intrigued by the nude sunbathers on the other side of the stream. Much to He Who Shall Not Be Named's disappointment most of them were middle aged men!

Here's a picture taken in the opposite direction to the nude pink/brown things from our picnic spot

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Grand Mosque, Muscat, Oman

This is one of the most beautiful Mosques I have ever seen, so here are some pictures
I find the picture of this arch soothing - a bit crazy, no?
The opulent chandelier inside the central dome

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Unknown Cat in Petra, Jordan

I'm using this cute guy as my avatar at the moment (better than a shot of my scary mug:). So, I thought I would do him some justice by giving him a bigger picture here on my blog. He was on our hotel balcony wall when we came back from seeing the sites of Petra.
He was lovely and so photogenic that I couldn't resist some camera action.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Kinver Edge, UK

I'm not a fan of walking ......or any exercise for that matter. I think of myself as subscribing to the anti-exercise movement. I don't like sports either, which in turn makes me feel a little un-australian. As a society we are suppose to love exercise and sports. We excel at growing tall in the sunshine and beating other countries at 'their' sports. I can't understand either of the rugby's, cricket bores me, swimming and athletics -excuse me while I supress a yawn. Tennis is all right in small doses, say once a year - except for all that unnecessary grunting, the mute button is my friend when Wimbledon is on. But I feel more than a little un-australian and I'll tell you why:

  1. Hatred of almost all sports and exercise (see above paragraph for pre-ramble)

  2. I'm not that tall

  3. I hate the beach...and the sun. Going to the beach is torture. You get sand places it shouldn't be, you are suppose to lie there cooking your skin in the HEAT risking cancer and the sea is like hot salty water. Why I ask you, Why?

  4. I hate beer

  5. I have to admit that when I first go home to visit the accent grates on me a bit. I know, I'm ashamed of me too

  6. Going back to number one and I'll say this quietly I like watching soccer. Though Australia did make it to the last World Cup, something I was very proud of. By the way, we were robbed by the cheats that are the Italian team.....that's all I'm going to say on the subject because I have been known to 'get nasty' when riled up about this
So what has this got to do with Kinver Edge I hear you ask - well we went for a walk there yesterday and it wasn't that bad. Thinking about posting about it made me think of the above and well whatever happens to be at the front of the cue in the mess that is my brain needs to be expressed first.

The edge allowed great views of the Staffordshire countryside. Great rolling hills and lots of green. The UK might have 60 million people in it and be seen to be bursting at the seams, but I for one thank whoever there is to thank that most of the inhabitants of these isles are concentrated in congested cities. It's great to go out and see space.

Even though I enjoyed some of my outing it was still exercise so I was concentrating so hard on putting one foot in front of another without becoming angry* that the camera rarely made an appearance. However I did get a couple of shots and here they are:

On the site are the Holy Austin rock houses where people lived until the 1950'sA thistle.......and it's purple :)

* I get angry when I have to do anything remotely exercise like - it's stupid I know but I feel like a little kid who's being punished for something. He Who Shall Not Be Named loves climbing mountains and hills and spends hours badgering me into it. By the time I get to the top I'm ready to explode - I just don't see the point. Sure occasionally the view will be nice, but this is England so most of the time the weather is shitty and you can't see a thing. I'm meant to feel a sense of 'achievement' or something, but I always feel somehow cheated.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Things in my Backyard, UK

Out of the English drizzling rain of the last few weeks came a day of glorious sunshine
so out came the camera
(then the lawnmower)
mushroom, England, sunshine
I love mushrooms, their shape is so pleasing to the eye
I saved it when I mowed by leaving a little patch of uncut grass around, like a little mushroom shrine
then my cat Oberon hunted it down and killed it

flower, daisies, England, sunshine

I love daisies and feel like such a murderer when I have to mow the lawn :(

flower, purple, England, sunshine

I don't know what this flower is but I love the way the light works in this picture and it's purple - who doesn't love purple!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Pisa, Italy

Pisa, travel, Italy one of my 'arty' shots of the Cathedral

Friday, July 13, 2007

Darwin, Australia

Darwin, Australia, Palmerston, train

I took this while visiting the clan in 2004 at the recently open but looooong awaited train station in Palmerston.
I did have to photoshop out a whistling street lamp that just happened to be passing, I think it was trying for photo action

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Jebal Aktar, Oman

Oman, Jebal Aktar, cables

Along with trees I love to take pictures of textures
these are some wire cables we found while picnicking on the mountain side

Monday, July 09, 2007

Petra, Jordan - to celebrate being named one of the New 7 Wonders

Petra, travel, Jordan, Indiana Jones
Our 'Indian Jones Moment' (albeit after our day at Petra as I was too overawed to take a good shot when we came through so took this one as we were leaving!)
Petra, travel, Jordan Petra, travel, Jordan Petra, travel, Jordan

My first ever attempt at Photoshop - there were lots of annoying tourists on the sand in the bottom right hand corner - how dare they ;)

View the other New 7 Wonders of the world here

Friday, July 06, 2007

Omani Fort, Bousher, Muscat

Oman, Bousher, Muscat, Travel, Middle EastIf you like shopping Dubai or Abu Dhabi are the places to go, but if you want friendly locals, amazing landscapes and a vibrant culture - go to Oman.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Purple Flower, Bodelwyddan Castle

flower, macro, Bodelwyddan Castle

Monument Valley, USA

travel, USA, monument valley

Friday, June 29, 2007

Yallingup Point, Western Australia

australia, Yallingup, tree, travel

I love taking photos of trees and wood, I think it's because they can look so creepy and skeletal yet be so beautiful


tia, cats

Oberon's nose and mouth

oberon, cats


I like to take pictures

I have a blog that is neglected

Merge the two


Friday, February 09, 2007

Where have I been?

A bloggers holiday?

I read this in many posts, though most are only a holiday of a month or so. Really I've been on a blog abandonment stint. You get all fired up, you create the blog, swear faithfully that you will post every day....then every other day...once a week....once a month.

Then the whistling in your mind starts. The kind of whistle where you know there is something you should be doing but instead you are trying to ignore it. Then something distracts you, a new interest - perhaps downloading movie scripts, searching for exotic recipes, creating words by closing your eyes and hitting a few keys and coming up with 'jfkeo' then googling it to see if there is any other reference to it anywhere on the web. Which there are! How about another shot 'ueiroh', nope nothing that time. See how easy it is to be distracted? But it keeps the fledgling blog out of your mind.

And once you have forgotten there are the virtual tumbleweeds that roll through your blog on winds of loneliness

..........tumbleweed.....................................................a circling vulture.......................another tumbleweed...................................

Very sad, like an abandoned puppy with big eyes and a sad expression, just hoping someone will came and pick you up and give you a cuddle.

So that's what this is: a blog cuddle

Hopefully to be followed by a couple more cuddles and then perhaps I'll let the blog move in and give it daily affection