Friday, 10 December 2010

Bloggers Community Photo Challenge Entry

Read these directions below from the CommunityPhoto Challenge Organisers

This month's photo challenge is LIGHTS! We have beautiful holiday lights all around us. You can venture out and capture city lights or even towns lit up at night. You can use anything, it's not just holiday lights.
The Challenge starts today, and ends on Dec. 23, 2010. You have 2 weeks to post.
Remember you have to post your image on your blog, come back here and click on blue button on the bottom of this post. SELECT your image, NOT your profile image, the image you are submitting for the challenge. Follow the EASY directions.
Voting will start on Dec. 23th(only one week to vote)

Try to link to this challenge on your blog post.
Have fun!

The first one is my entry although I found it difficult to choose one from the five.
I took these at the beginnng of our snowfall.
The Lion is almost indistiguishable but I reckon he looks quite snug in his white blanket.
What do you think?
Good luck to all the competitors. Why not try entering it yourself?
All the best!
I'm looking forward to having a look at the other entries.
Take care!

The Lion In Winter
This is my entry.

This Lion looks like it is trying to garner heat from the lamp.

A snowy mantle.


Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Some snowy photos in December

The pond wearing a mantle of snow and lit by a watery sun low in the sky.

From my bedroom window out over the rooftops to the fell tops beyond.

Outside my bedroom window.

Blue skies and snow.

The view from my bed.

The woodland behind the garden.

How can anyone be allowed to feel poorly when confined to bed with a sore throat, a burst eardrum from a silly infection, and a cough; when there are views like these to 'die' for.  I used that word on purpose.  lol
Here I am ..holed up away from the freezing temperatures, when all I would love to do is be out there enjoying the scenery and the warmth in the sunlight.
It is bitterly cold in the shade, which I experienced yesterday when I walked to and from our surgery to get some antibiotics for myself.  I don't like taking my car out as I live at the top of a hill.  A neighbour said not to worry, if you think you are going to slide out onto the main road on the ice without stopping at the bottom of the hill, just put the car into reverse and that should stop the car.
No fear!   I don't thinkI would want to put myself into that situation!
Though...I wonder if it works?

I thought I was being well organised by baking my Christmas cakes, mincemeat pies and Christmas puddings in advance prior to Christmas shopping.  Now I am holed up here because of the snow and my 'bug'. That'll teach me to try and get ahead of myself.  Life, and its happenings' is a great leveller.  lol
Hope anyone who pops by enjoys the photos. I'm going to enjoy an nice cup of tea which Bryan brought for me in bed.  I will get him trained up perfectly  before long.   hahaha!

Stay safe and well everyone.

God bless!

Jeanie x

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Another entry from Jeanie.. at long last!

Well as you can see by the photo I AM STILL ALIVE!   LOL
I have been visiting Blogs but not found the time or the inclination recently to add to my Blog.  Writers block I suppose.  I know some of you have experienced the same over the years we have known each other.

Recently we had a little tootle 'around the block' the other day, where to our surprise, the chickens and geese have been moved from alogside the tarn!  Instead of seeing them all, and their coops, there are now some raised beds where, we presume, the tenants are going to grow vegetables in the near future.  I  always looked forward to approaching the gate to the tarn when out on our walk. The hens and cockerel always rushed to greet us, expecting food I suppose.  We never ever fed them, but presume others may have done so from their 'road runner' actions towards us.
Below is a photo of the tarn where sheep are now grazing.  There are a few coots and ducks using it, but not as many as there has been in the past.  I miss our little feathered friends.  They wore such variable plumage giving each one its own unique character. Although and old photograph, this is how it now looks. Sheep quietly grazing.  It is still a beautiful view but  sheep never ever rush up to greet anyone.  lol

Autumn Walk aroound the Tarn 032

I took delivery of a piano tuition book and a Yamaha keyboard stand this morning. 
I intend to have a wee go at learning how to play the piano.  My grandson Ben, who is nine, already brings tears to my eyes when I listen to him play his piano for me over the phone.  He is learning so fast!
They will be arriving this Sunday and staying until Wednesday as it is half term.  Samantha will be arriving on Wednesday, before they all leave, and will stay until the Friday or the Saturday. So, next week will be a busy family orientated week.  I am looking forward to spending lots of time with them all.  Lots of home baking will be on the cards from now until then.  Especially Ben's favourite, chocolate caramel shortbread.  Or 'Millionaires' shortbread, which is its other name.
I might just make some fudge too, as Rachel and Samantha love fudge.
Bryan has been spending the past few weeks in the attic re-arranging the train track, building more models and adding more scenery too.  It is all being done lovingly, so they have a nice surprise when they get here.  Matthew and Ben just love granddad's train track.  It is the highlight of their visit.
We also hope to pay a visit to our 'local zoo whilst they are here. (About 16 miles away).  One of the Sumatran Tigers has given birth to a cub, without the keepers even knowing she was pregnant.  If we go I will try and take photos of the little 'surprise' cub and place them on here.

                         I must away and have a wee practice at the piano keyboard.

This is Rachel, my lovely DIL, Amy Grace, Matthew and Ben, dining out on Ben's birthday.

love to all
Jeanie  xx

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Sharing a brilliant video with you all

My thanks to Sal of...
Follow the link to her wonderful journal and webshares.

Don't forget to turn off my music first before you play the video.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Autumnal Thoughts in a poem by Ted share with you.

Sunflowers at Brockhole


The Seven Sorrows
by Ted Hughes

The first sorrow of autumn
Is the slow goodbye
Of the garden who stands so long in the evening-
A brown poppy head,
The stalk of a lily,
And still cannot go.

The second sorrow
Is the empty feet
Of a pheasant who hangs from a hook with his brothers.
The woodland of gold
Is folded in feathers
With its head in a bag.

And the third sorrow
Is the slow goodbye
Of the sun who has gathered the birds and who gathers
The minutes of evening,
The golden and holy
Ground of the picture.

The fourth sorrow
Is the pond gone black
Ruined and sunken the city of water-
The beetle's palace,
The catacombs
Of the dragonfly.

And the fifth sorrow
Is the slow goodbye
Of the woodland that quietly breaks up its camp.
One day it's gone.
It has only left litter-
Firewood, tentpoles.

And the sixth sorrow
Is the fox's sorrow
The joy of the huntsman, the joy of the hounds,
The hooves that pound
Till earth closes her ear
To the fox's prayer.

And the seventh sorrow
Is the slow goodbye
Of the face with its wrinkles that looks through the window
As the year packs up
Like a tatty fairground
That came for the children.

I miss the's raining today...again!

God bless..
Jeanie xx

Saturday, 11 September 2010

You will never forget where you were when....

My thanks to my dear friend Sal for allowing me to copy the following poem and tag.


You say you will never forget where you were when

you heard the news On September 11, 2001.

Neither will I.

I was on the 110th floor in a smoke filled room

with a man who called his wife to say 'Good-Bye.' I

held his fingers steady as he dialed. I gave him the

peace to say, 'Honey, I am not going to make it, but it

is OK..I am ready to go.'

I was with his wife when he called as she fed

breakfast to their children. I held her up as she

tried to understand his words and as she realized

he wasn't coming home that night.

I was in the stairwell of the 23rd floor when a

woman cried out to Me for help. 'I have been

knocking on the door of your heart for 50 years!' I said.

'Of course I will show you the way home - only

believe in Me now.'

I was at the base of the building with the Priest

ministering to the injured and devastated souls.

I took him home to tend to his Flock in Heaven. He

heard my voice and answered.

I was on all four of those planes, in every seat,

with every prayer. I was with the crew as they

were overtaken. I was in the very hearts of the

believers there, comforting and assuring them that their

faith has saved them.

I was in Texas , Virginia , California , Michigan , Afghanistan .

I was standing next to you when you heard the terrible news.

Did you sense Me?

I want you to know that I saw every face. I knew

every name - though not all knew Me. Some met Me

for the first time on the 86th floor.

Some sought Me with their last breath.

Some couldn't hear Me calling to them through the

smoke and flames; 'Come to Me... this way... take

my hand.' Some chose, for the final time, to ignore Me.

But, I was there.

I did not place you in the Tower that day. You

may not know why, but I do. However, if you were

there in that explosive moment in time, would you have

reached for Me?

Sept. 11, 2001, was not the end of the journey

for you. But someday your journey will end. And I

will be there for you as well. Seek Me now while I may

be found. Then, at any moment, you know you are

'ready to go.'

I will be in the stairwell of your final moments.

Author unknown.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Samantha's Graduation photos....etc

Samantha was awarded and upper 2:1 Degree for her Bachelor of Arts Qualified Teacher Status Primary Education Degree, with Maths as her specialism, on Thursday 15th July at 10.00am in Carlisle Cathedral Cumbria.
I think it will be obvious how proud I am of her, and all the hard work she has put into this degree over the past four years.
Apart from doing a full time degree and raising her children, she never studied at home until they were in bed. She also did holiday cottage work in the summer season to bring a bit more money into the home.
I don't know how she managed it all but she did and Thursday 15th July was the proof of all that hard work.
She didn't aim for a first degree but got close to it nevertheless.  Her reasoning was that it would take all her attention from the children and that was not negotiable.
It was worth my having been diagnosed with breast cancer just to see her, at last, fulfill her destiny.
She was with me on the day I was given the diagnosis, as Bryan couldn't drive, just in case I was unable to drive back home again.  The previous week I had to drive thirty miles back home after being given a biopsy and that, I can tell you, was traumatic to say the least!
Outside the hospital, after the diagnosis, we hugged and talked.  I was happy to think that at least I had seen all my grandchildren born, with the exception of Amy Grace.  I had a very dear friend, I told her, who died of cancer and she never got to see her first grandchild.  There are blessings in life that you can find, even if one has been given devastating news like I had then.
This motivated Samantha into looking at her life when she thought.."Why not live the life I want right now?"
She missed out on entering the Charlotte Mason University of Cumbria at first, as her school qualifications needed updating.  So...a year at college got her the exam results for her to try again. She ended up being accepted this time, making Mathematics her specialism.
Her Maths teacher told her at school that she would never ammount to anything in maths, so her degree has 'cocked a snook' at her, whilst prooving her wrong into the bargain.
Samantha never forgot that teacher and promised that she would always look for the best in every child if she qualified.
Her 'last placement' headmistress, the staff, as well as parents, sang her praises. Straight away they gave her 'supply teaching work' for a week following her placement.  Sadly there is no place at that school for her, but she was told they would have her back any day.
The children adored her and she them.
She was also invited to their end of term staff dinner.
Below are some of the photos taken on the day of her Graduation.  There are some of her Graduation Ball too.
It was St Swithin's day, the day she recieved her degree. By jings didn't we know it!.  It sounded like a battalion of Irish dancers were tap dancing on the roof of the Cathedral.  Good job we were all inside at the time.
The 'Parade' of students managed to get inside on time too.
Thank the Lord!

Have a peek at the photos....

Samantha leaving her graduation inside Carlisle Cathedral.

Iain (Samantha's husband) with Samantha's 'study buddy' Steve.

Two of her tutors.

Outside the hotel where the graduation ball was being held.

Samantha looking like a film star at her Graduation Ball.

Samantha's best friend Clare had her mum make this.  She went to the trouble of using a diabetic recipe too.  Bless her!

Proud Mum and Dad.


I wont be around much this summer as we have a lot of visitors coming for their holidays.
My ex-sister-in-law is coming for a week this Monday and Samantha, hubby children and friend  with child will be coming next weekend to see the RAF Display Show here in the Lakes.
No doubt she will stay over for a few more days and then I expect my son to come and visit with his ' Little Munchkins' too.
I have not long said goodbye to my old schoolfriend Maureen who visited me, for the third time since my diagnosis, from Australia.  We had a brilliant re-union, putting my diabetes aside, we celebrated all the long weekend with her favourite tipple champagne, catching up in the lovely sunshine she brought with her.

Hollie..Maureen.. Ryan.. dressed up and playing to the 'audience'.  lol

Maureen and Bryan.

If you don't see me around much this summer.. I will be back again in the Autumn.
Stay well and happy.
God bless!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

My Entry for Blogger's Community Photo Challenge

It was my birthday in May and these are my birthday flowers from my daughter.
I thought I would make this bouquet a late entry in The Bloggers Community Photo Competition.  The theme is  'FLOWERS'.   It can be any kind of flower photo as long as it has flowers as the main subject.
Hurry along and take a look or make an entry at the last minute, just like me.
It's great fun and  such a pleasure to see all the other entries too.  Get your skates on!

If you click on the photo, and then again when it opens in another window, you will see the flowers in close up.

Friday, 18 June 2010

The Midnight Hour


(c)  Ted Hughes

I imagine this midnight moment’s forest:

Something else is alive

Beside the clock’s loneliness

And this blank page where my fingers move.

Through the window I see no star:

Something more near

Though deeper within darkness

Is entering the loneliness:

Cold, delicately as the dark snow,

A fox’s nose touches twig, leaf;

Two eyes serve a movement, that now

And again now, and now, and now

Sets neat prints into the snow

Between trees, and warily a lame

Shadow lags by stump and in hollow

Of a body that is bold to come

Across clearings, an eye,

A widening deepening greenness,

Brilliantly, concentratedly,

Coming about its own business

Till, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox

It enters the dark hole of the head.

The window is starless still; the clock ticks,

The page is printed.

I just enjoy reading Ted Hughes poetry.  It is out of this world!  It is intricate and full of depth of meaning.
This poem of his reminded me of a late night 'Fox Thought' which helped me to write a poem of my own.
I had originally intended to write my poem about Bryan my husband.  What he meant to me down the years and the things I admire about him.  I even got as far as to read some of it over the phone to my son and he liked what he heard.  Then strangely, one evening I was burning the midnight oil, trying to chisel away and improve on my original  poem,  whilst using the concept of a box and what was inside or outside it;  When I seemed to be taken over by another hand and I wrote the following poem.
Perhaps it was the fear of death through my having cancer at the time, which pushed the words out of my head and onto paper.  Who knows?  I do know that I didn't sit down intending to write it.
I suppose you could call it my 'Comfort' poem.
So here is my 'Fox Thought' poem.  No way am I classing it in the same league as Ted Hughes poem above.  I am just borrowing on the concepts and theme of his as to how mine came about.

The Box (c) Jeanie Kirkby 2006


Do not be afraid to hold this box,

Hewn by an immortal hand.

Hold it. Feel its life force

Springing from its sides.

Turn it and see your life

Before time stood still.

Be not afraid to turn it again to see how in spring

you ran laughing and playing

With your childhood friends;

In the park after dark

Climbing trees. All this you’ll see,

And more, when you hold the side

With the mirrors of infinity.

You see there is no need to be afraid.

When there, before you, on another side

Is a chimera of your family appearing,

And reappearing, throughout life’s ages.

Happily unaware of time slowing

Down, throughout your summer and autumn.

Do not be afraid to see through the leaves

Of time and look at what you had before

Time stood still.


Slide the window of the world open

On its other side, and smell the winter snows.

Bone chillingly cold as they rasp at the door

Of life and death.

See how they glow like crystal tears.

Do not be afraid to open the lid

And breathe in the scent of heavens

Warm welcome to you as a spirit of the universe.

Do not be afraid as the roots of the box

Disappear and you are revealed as a

Shimmering surge of the nuclei and atoms

Of all that you are and were to man.

You will see inside the box, as you lift the lid,

His world lays waiting for you to step into.

Do not be afraid.

All will be as you have known it.

Love Jeanie xxxxxxx

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Manchester Museum Of Science and Industry

Manchester Museum of Science & Industry

                  Was a great Easter Holiday Expedition for us ‘old bods’ and our ‘little munchkins ’.

An early rise to catch a 7.55am train had us catching a taxi at 7.30am making sure we shifted our bodies out of bed early enough.

It’s only a couple of minutes up to Windermere train station but the older we get the more we need to make sure we are on time for any appointments. What an affliction when you could really do with a longer lie in bed having run around like a blue tail fly keeping the ‘ munchkins ‘ entertained for 5 days prior to the trip.

Eyes glued almost shut we arrived in our snug station waiting room. It was surprisingly warm and its benches had umpteen, sitting huddled over each other, sleeping oriental bodies waiting for their train too. The children began making loud theatrical whispers about them, as if trying not to waken them up, when they really meant to waken them up. I know them so well!

“They might fall off the bench”. Or “will they miss their train grandma whilst they sleep?” Another question” have they slept there all night?” were a few of the questions we had to hush down to a more polite under the breath reply in answer to their questions. Sheesh! Give me strength!

I was already brain dead before the day began.

If I have to be up really early in the morning I might as well stay awake all night as I clock watch until the crack of dawn, then fall asleep half an hour before I am supposed to wake up.

We changed at Oxenholme for Preston and then onwards to Manchester Piccadilly. Instead of going that far we got off two stops before as we were told that was much closer and not far to walk to the museum. Now that’s the kind of advice I like to hear.

This was to be my third train journey since the 1960’s.

My second one was to Cornwall to visit my daughter who had moved there just five weeks previously. She was homesick and needed Mum.

Bearing in mind that my first ever journey down from Glasgow to the Lakes was on a corridor less train in the early 1960’s, it was a giant leap for me to be on a train which needed buttons to push so the doors could be opened and closed.

I managed that and duly followed my daughter’s instructions about being able to leave my bags safely. Needing the loo off I went, pushed the button, entered and did what I had to do. Imagine my surprise when someone opened the door as I was about my ablutions.

“EXCUSE ME!” I called out as I straightened up.

The door closed quickly and luckily I didn’t see his or her face and they didn’t see mine. Much to my blushes. I began internalising about how I could walk back to my seat cool calm and collected.

What the heck! If I waited long enough then they might not know if it was me or not. (I hoped).

I got to my table seat which I shared with a young couple and noticed my handbag was where I left it.

“Hmm that’s good!” (Thinks me. Samantha was right that I could leave my bag safely).

When recounting my escapade to my daughter she rolled about the floor.

“You left your handbag!”

“What were you thinking Mum?”

“You told me it was safe to leave your bags” I said.

“ S’truth! Give me strength!

“You had your **** in the air when the toilet door opened?”


“Oh well… at least I got there and back safely. How was I to know that you had to hit another button to lock the door?”

I’m not safe loose!

I guess I have been closeted in the ‘back of beyond’ for too long.  Sigh!

Anyway it cheered her up. lol

I digress…we were on a train to Manchester …
Memories were rushing back as to the fun and games the children and I could get up to this time.              Was I worried? Yup! I shadowed them everywhere

Even to the loo where I could educate them on ‘how to lock the door’.

Grandma’s know everything you know…wink! wink!

I still lost Hollie but that story is yet to be told towards the end of the trip and in another entry.

Below are some of the exhibition displays taken around The Science and Industry Museum.

What a place!

You can walk for ages around the site. In and out of buildings, which once were the homes of the various industries we were about to learn about and see. I huffed and puffed up and down the various floor levels. I didn’t mind as there was ‘treasure’ on every floor. We rode on a train passing the station in which was the venue for hands on learning of topical arts and crafts for visiting children, as well as being a museum for all sorts of things to do with trains and stations.

It was amazing to take in all the ingenuity of the Victorians and their inventiveness, as well as seeing textiles and machinery from early industry up until the present.

It is such a large place that we still hadn’t seen it all by the time it closed at 4.30 that day. We had spent six hours touring the site.

Another visit will be on the cards in the near future.

This textile screen or curtain above had glass inserts inside the net and material.

I liked this innovative idea.

This picture doesn’t truly show the ingenuity of this coat. It is made from real thistledown (the wild flower) attached to very fine threads and sheer net.

It was breathtaking!

Children’s Pottery Display In the Cabinet

A demonstration of what it was like in the cotton mills. Some children as young as five were employed to crawl in between the looms, whilst they were still running, to remove the fluff which might stop production. Occasionally a child would be killed by getting caught in the fast running machines.

The noise was horrendous!

It doesn’t bear thinking about why parents were forced to make their children work at such a young age! What dire straits they must have been living. It just beggars belief.

Towards the end of the afternoon we paid a visit to the Planetarium in the Air and Space Museum. Was that the best of places…yes!

On sitting down on the tilted sofas, so that we could look up and view the night skies, my old body heaved the biggest sigh, having been on my feet most of the day.

My near neighbour agreed with me that this was the best part of the day. She had three children with her. You don’t realise how far you travel and how long you are on your feet until you sit down at times like these.

I tried to stifle a yawn or two but eventually became engrossed in the names of all the planets above me and how they got their names.

All the children were mesmerised.

Some of them were real boffins and knew all the star names.

These textile tapestries were made by Manchester primary school children.  Out of all the exhibits I loved these the most.  The work in all of them was amazing!  When they were all put together...there were more of these photos,,, they took up a large expanse of wall in the upstairs textile area. On looking closer I noticed that they were maps of the area around their school and places of interest too.  They all interlinked with each other too.
There was the zoo and the airport.  Parks, churches and mosques. Theatres, rivers.  A wonderful depiction of what Manchester is all about.
Well done to the teachers and the pupils!

Above is an actual ceramic tile in which the inventor has embedded lacework.
What a clever idea!
Yes it is glazed over to protect the material.  How clever is that?

We had a 'tootle' along the short railway line on this little steam train.

I had to put this bicycle, see above, for Julie. 
It is made of wood and I guess if she rode one of those for a while she would want to put back on all that wonderful weight loss she has managed so far.  One needs one's comfort on a bike ride Julie.  lol
More photos to come another time.
We are off out for the day to a lovely seaside town tomorrow.
Hope the weather is as nice as it has been today.

Love Jeanie xx