Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Picture of the Week

Check out the mirrors on this bike......I tried to get a frontal picture but the traffic lights changed, so decided to take it looking through the wing mirror of our car.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Football at every turn!

Summer’s come to an end and the past few days have given us some hazy sunshine - Indian Summer I've heard, though we are having some rain today. The kids have been back at school for a few weeks now and with this brings the after-school and weekend activities that  require us to ferry them back and forth.  We've had unexpected growth in our house that produced an extra inch in my son's height, arms and feet and we are having to shop in the mens department to fit his 5ft 10 frame.  With all this training he has been doing these past few weeks we expect further growth and another trip to the store to buy some bigger sizes. 

I do marvel at the changes that are taking place literally before my eyes.  I posted a while back on how he is growing up so fast and is no longer the sweet little boy who used to want to hold my hand as part of the A-Z challenge called Growing


He has been attending training every week and wants to push this up to two – school work permitting and has also been doing his weights at home. 

Warm up before the game

Discovering he can watch American football on channel four and Sky sports one opened up another dimension, and he has been pre-recording the 1am programme to watch at his leisure.  We now have both Sekani with his  American Football and Alan not only watching English football on the tv he is also coaching 2 times a week for Aslan Football Club   – with the football season started August you can imagine what ‘joy!’ it has been in our house with cheers, roars and ‘yes’s’ with almost 24 hours of sports on the go!  I suppose I’ll have to get some ear plugs or schedule my creative walks and do some more photography, which isn’t a bad thing I guess....



Sekani played in a match on Saturday at Crystal Palace Stadium, there were lots of other tournaments going on from teams up and down the country.  They had to meet up at 7am kicking off around 10am and me and Alan were at the sidelines cheering him on till around 5pm.  I have a confession to make... I never thought it would be quite as exciting seeing them play, If I knew the rules I guess I would be better placed to know what was going on....Sekani said he will teach me, took lots of pictures and here is him in the throws of play - number 47.  (You hear me shouting in the background before I drop my phone).
video

and here as he attempts to block another player....

video

All in all I am not totally converted, but I might even be able to watch a game or two as I take a break from my art corner

If you can't beat them join them!

365 Days of Colour - Flower of the Day - 118 - 124

Day 118
Reflection
Look at all your achievements not matter how small, you have come a long way

Quote
Pay no attention to what the critics say; no statue has ever been erected to a critic. ... Jean Sibelius

Scripture
We all know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. ...Romans 8:28

Day 119
Reflection
Right at this moment you are enough

Quote
I learned to live many years ago. Something really, really bad happened to me, something that changed my life in ways that, if I had my druthers, it would never have been changed at all. And what I learned from it is what, today, seems to be the hardest lesson of all. learned to love the journey, not the destination. I learned that it is not a dress rehearsal, and that today is the only guarantee you get. I learned to look at all the good in the world and to try to give some of it back because I believed in it completely and utterly. And I tried to do that, in part, by telling others what I had learned. By telling them this: Consider the lilies of the field. Look at the fuzz on a baby’s ear. Read in the backyard with the sun on your face. Learn to be happy. And think of life as a terminal illness because if you do you will live it with joy and passion as it ought to be lived. ... Anna Quindlen

Scripture
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life ...Proverbs 11:30

Day 120
Reflection
Where there is hope there is love

Quote
Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go ....T.S. Eliot

Scripture
Commit your works to the Lord, and your plans will be established .. Proverbs 16:3

Day 121
Reflection
So many miracles have come from you

Quote
It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question. ...Eugene Ionesco

Scripture
Be strong and courageous... for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you; He will not fail you or forsake you. ...Deuteronomy 31:6

Day 122
Reflection
There are no microwave solutions to your dreams, just hard work, but it’s worth it!

Quote
All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward. ... Ellen Glasgow

Scripture
Wisdom and power are His. He changes times and seasons... He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. ...Daniel 2:20-21

Day 123
Reflection
Right this moment, everything is where it should be

Quote
All art, whether it pleases us or not, helps to add colour, excitement, joy, or sadness and, most often, a sense of awe to our life’s experience. ...Henry O. Dorman

Scripture
Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart ...Psalm 37.4

Day 124
Reflection
Love is the key, how much do you love yourself...

Quote
You’ve got to keep the child alive; you can’t create without it. ... Joni Mitchell

Scripture
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. ...Psalm 9:9

Friday, 23 September 2011

Time for Cake...

Alan blowing out the candles with my niece Symphonie looking on

Alan celebrated his birthday a couple of weeks ago and I had decided to get him a cake.  The local supermarket doesn’t have much choice of wheat free cakes so I went to the health food shop instead who had a larger selection, but nothing that visually looked like a ‘celebration cake’.  I ended up getting a Crimbles stem ginger cake, It didn’t look like a birthday cake so I glamed it up a bit and decorate it with some icing.  Not having done this before I wanted to keep it as simple as possible and got the ‘ready to roll’ variety.


What I didn’t bargain for was how much I would enjoy decorating the cake.  I guess it was about being creative, so with the icing, a bit of imagination and colour, anything is possible!
I got some lettering, hearts, sprinkles and got to work.  I even made a mini version of Alan reading his favourite book....the Bible.  I was so surprised at how easy it was and how effective it can be...I know I'm by no means an expert now!.  I improvised a bit and used marmalade to stick the icing but it added a lovely taste to the stem ginger pieces in the cake, in fact it tasted delicious and if you get a chance you should check out some of Mrs Crimbles products. They have also got gluten free recipes.
Taking a stroll down memory lane I thought about growing up as a child and the baking my mum would do...... Mum would bake her famous Fruit Cakes - a moist to the touch cake with flavours that complimented each other in a taste explosion in your mouth.  She baked when we were little and carried on up until around 2000 when dementia began to take hold.  She would put all the ingredients together effortlessly without recipes, holding the secrets in her head.  The cakes would come out perfectly all the time. 
We would argue as kids who would get the bowl or the spoon that that she used to mixed the ingredients as you knew this would taste equally divine, the bowl was the preferred option.  In those days we didn’t have problems with salmonella poisoning or we never heard about it.  I remember us getting excited with anticipation as the baking smells wafted through the sun drenched kitchen, the exotic smells of the nutmeg, mixed spices, vanilla essence and the wine soaked fruit that made the cake so moist.  We longed for it to be cooked and knew mum would let us taste a slice of the not-yet-cooled cake.  When she wasn’t baking cakes she made cupcakes, buns, breads, pies, you name it she could put her hand to it.  When I left home I tried to continue the baking family tradition, but as life took over, the tradition dwindled.  Every now and then I feel the urge to bake and have my sultanas and raisins pre-soaked in wine waiting....

I guess now that I can no longer eat wheat I will experiment with the other flour products you can get, and try out some of the recipes from my book, maybe a cake from scratch is due.....
My son’s birthday is coming up and I’ve brought some supplies to have a go with the baking and decorating, so then I’ll be able to taste the cake as well, will let you know how I get on!

Monday, 19 September 2011

365 Days of Colour - Flower of the Day 111 - 117

Day 111
Reflection
It is important to set boundaries

Quote
Stop the words now. Open the window in the centre of your chest, And let the spirits fly in and out. ... Rumi

Scripture
Peace I leave with you.. My peace I give unto you.. let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.. John 14:24


Day 112
Reflection
You can do it.

Quote
You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face And show the world all the love in your heart. ... Carole King

Scripture
For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations... Psalm 100:5


Day 113
Reflection
What do you want more of in your life, make plans to receive.

Quote
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. ... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Scripture
I am coming soon. ..Revelation 3:11

Day 114
Reflection
To someone else in this world you are a miracle.

Quote
Anyone can escape into sleep, we are all geniuses when we dream, the butcher’s the poet’s equal there. ... E.M. Cioran

Scripture
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me ..Psalm 23:4

Day 115
Reflection
There is a fine line between expectation and anticipation

Quote
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. ... Ambrose Redmoon

Scripture
He who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully...11 Corinthians 9:6

Day 116
Reflection
Sing your song....someone somewhere needs to hear it

Quote
Learn something new. Try something different. Convince yourself that you have no limits. ... Brian Tracy

Scripture
Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do... John 14:13

Day 117
Reflection
Look back, You have come a long way...this is not your destination

Quote
Artistic growth is, more than anything else, a refining of the sense of truthfulness. The stupid believe that to be truthful is easy: only the great artist knows how difficult it is.
... Willa Cather

Scripture
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me... Philippians 4:13


Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Visit to Kew Gardens


Went on a trip to Kew Gardens recently for my birthday, we were blessed with a hot and sunny day, with a cool breeze attached. It’s a place that I always wanted to visit, but for some reason known only to the dark corners of my mind I chose not to, giving up some reason that doesn’t make sense.

Anyway, my son agreed to come along with me, which was a shock and I waited as we walked through the grounds for him to tell me how bored he was and when were we going to leave..... He is at the age where going out with your parents for some reason isn’t ‘cool’ ‘Do you have to laugh so loud he pleads on occasion with me?’, there is an increased list of things parents do that embarrass them.

Sekani laughed at me as I went from plant to plant, showing my excitement, it was equally as enjoyable having him accompany me, and I threw smug glances at other adults who would look at him. He allowed his interest to remain throughout the long walks, my photograph taking and excitement at the close up pictures I was getting, I was proud to have him on the trip.

We went on the Xstrata Treetops Walkway the view from the tree top walks were amazing and looking down through the grating extremely scary, but if you don’t look down it’s fine we got an amazing view of the grounds.


We also visited the Palm House – and saw all the tropical plants, Princess of Wales Conservatory which had a variety of plants, the Japanese Gateway and Pagoda.
 
 

There were not as many flowers as I had expected, probably due to the season, but it was still a feast for the eyes and the rose garden and palm house held some delightful blooms. 


We stopped off for a snack, recharging our batteries and off we went again, there were some things that I thought could have been better thought out, like signage around the grounds, and the Marine life seemed a bit sad and poorly maintained.

There was so much to see, in the 4 hours we had (it closed at 6pm) we still only saw a fraction.  I think you need a whole day to get round everything and have the necessary stops in between.  All in all an enjoyable trip was had by all, and I would definitely go again. 

This is him at the end of the day all walked out just before the the park closed at 6pm.
If you have not yet been you should definitely put this on your ‘to do’ list.  If you have been what was your favourite part?

Monday, 12 September 2011

365 Days of Colour - Flower of the Day 104 - 110

Day 104
Reflection
Let it be...

Quote
Grace fills empty spaces. ... Simone Weil

Scripture
I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you ...John 14:18


Day 105
Reflection
Do not settle for less than you know you are worth

Quote
Oh earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you. ... Thornton Wilder

Scripture
O gives thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His loving kindness is everlasting... 1 Chronicles 16:34

Day 106
Reflection
Know your worth

Quote
The end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. ... T.S. Eliot

Scripture
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.. Hebrews 13:2

Day 107
Reflection
Let who you really are be present in this moment

Quote
The butterfly counts not the months, but the moments, and has time enough. ... Rabindranath Tagore

Scripture
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe ..Proverbs 18:10

Day 108
Reflection
Get into alignment with who you really are...

Quote
The important thing is this: to be able to sacrifice at any moment what we are for what we could become. ... Unknown

Scripture
This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us... 1 John 5:14


Day 109
Reflection
If you could glimpse just 10% of your ability that you are not sharing you would be overwhelmed

Quote
One hundred percent of the shots you don’t take don’t go in. ... Wayne Gretzky

Scripture
Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God ..Matthew 5:9


Day 110
Reflection
You are never alone God will never leave you or forsake you....

Quote
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike. ... John Muir

Scripture
For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways... Psalm 91:11



Monday, 5 September 2011

365 Days of Colour - Flower of the Day 97 - 103

Day 97
Reflection
Accept your blessings

Quote
If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s. ... Joseph Campbell

Scripture
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble... Psalm 46:1

Day 98
Reflection
Nurture that idea, help it to grown, give it enough time to flourish

Quote
The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice. George Eliot

Scripture
...We have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in his sight.. 1 John 3:21-22

Day 99
Reflection
Friendship comes in different packages and at unexpected times, be open

Quote
Really healthy soul of man/woman/artist has all colours; Healthy soul is as rainbow. ... Yaroslaw Rozputnyak

Scripture
...the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved .. Matthew 24:13

Day 100
Reflection
It is time to forgive and move on

Quote
Everything in the past died yesterday. Everything in the future was born today. ... Unknown

Scripture
My grace is sufficient for thee; for My strength is made perfect in weakness... 2 Corinthians 12:9

Day 101
Reflection
You have everything you need to make a start

Quote
One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar. ... Helen Keller

Scripture
Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you... Isaiah 41:10

Day 102
Reflection
God wants more for you than you can ever imagine

Quote
All anybody needs to know about prizes is that Mozart never won one. ... Henry Mitchell

Scripture
...with God all things are possible.. Mark 10:27

Day 103
Reflection
Exercise patience

Quote
The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet. ... Frederick Buechner

Scripture
As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him.. Psalm 18:30

Sunday, 4 September 2011

365 Days of Colour - Flower of the Day 96

Reflection
Ideas have to start from somewhere

Quote
If a man is to be called a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven played music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well. ... Martin Luther King, Jr.

Scripture
Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness... James 3:18

Saturday, 3 September 2011

365 Days of Colour - Flower of the Day 95

Reflection
Invest in yourself, keep moving forward

Quote
Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens. ... Carl Jung

Scripture
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His loving kindness is everlasting..Psalm 118:29

Friday, 2 September 2011

365 Days of Colour - Flower of the Day 94

Reflection
Patience is the key

Quote
Fear makes us feel small and uncertain, uncomfortable and separate. Fearlessness expands and creates possibilities. ... Helena Tiainen

Scripture
The Lord will fulfil (His purpose) for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever.. Psalm 138:8

Thursday, 1 September 2011

365 Days of Colour - Flower of the Day 93


Reflection
Do not hold on to negativity instead shine a new positive light in your life

Quote
Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh, and the greatness which does not bow before children. ... Kahlil Gibran

Scripture
No longer will you have the sun for light by day, nor for brightness will the moon give you light; but you will have the Lord for an everlasting light..Isaiah 60:19


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