Sunday, 30 August 2009

Currant buns and a crafty Sunday.




Today was a really nice, sunny day here in Rheinland. For some of our politicians the sun won't be shining as there are county-parliament elections today, and some will probably be very unhappy over the results this evening. I decided to have a crafting day. Yesterday evening I started covering paper for a mini album, and after my morning coffee I got to work on it and spent 6 hours filling the pages. The time went by in a flash, and it is always a good feeling when a new piece is finished. As I wanted to craft, I decided to make my meal this evening - later on I will make hot chilli chicken wings - and thought a currant bun would do for a morning snack. I had lots of boxes and tins full of crafty bits and bobs spread out through my flat, and made a firm resolve to clear everything away when my album was finished. I kept feeling peckish while I was crafting, so I took a second bun, and a bit later number three, because I felt really hungry. After finishing I really did clear up. Sorted all my bits and pieces, paper to paper, buttons to buttons etc. And then as I looked in the button box, what did I see? A bit more than half a currant bun, must have put it in there while I was rummaging for the right button. And in the paper box - same story again. Half a currrant bun, still fresh. And the third one turned up in the kitchen, on the coffee-maker, just minus one bite. At least I now know why I was still hungry, and am looking forward to my evening meal. Perhaps I will use a plate this time, as I don't want to be finding bones in the wardrobe tomorrow!

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Happy Birthday B!!



Today is the birthday of my best friend B. Happy birthday, have a lovely day, thanks for being my friend and a part of my life!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Donna's Challenge - 25 things about me!



1. Name: Valerie-J

2. What are you most afraid of? SPIDERS with hairy legs, snakes, creepy-crawlies.

3. What do you drive? I drive other people mad

4. Have you ever seen a ghost? OMG NO!!

5. Where were you born? In bed, at home near the Tower of London

6. Ever been to Alaska? No

7. Croutons or Bacon bits? Croutons

8. Favourite day of the week: Monday, it's chicken-from-the-takeaway-day

9. Favourite restaurant: Chinese or Indian

10. Favourite Flower: Roses

11. Favourite sport to watch: None really, but if it has to be, then tennis.

12. Favourite Drink: coffee in all variations

13. Favourite Ice cream: Vanilla and caramel

14. Disney or Warner Brothers: Disney

15. Favourite fast food restaurant: Chinese/Thai/Indian takeaway. (Donna, now I know that KFC is NOT a fottball club!)

16. What colour is your bedroom carpet? I don't have one, just a little beige rug

17. How many times have you failed your driver's test? Never, passed first time.

18. What do you do most often when you are bored? What does "bored" mean?

19. Bedtime: Early - mostly early morning.

20. Favourite TV show: House, Donna Leon, Tatort

21. What are you listening to right now? "Stern TV"

22. What are your favourite colours? natural colours, autumn colours, pinks and greys

23. How many tattoos do you have? None that I know of

24. Do you have any pets? Not anymore

25. If you could own any animal what would it be? – a big shaggy dog

The Bishop and the students


In the list of 100 things which I saw on Tracy's Blog and copied off SusieJ's blog, who copied it off Donna's blog, who got it off her daughter's blog who..........I mentioned that I once hitched a lift with a bishop. I had been studying Theology and Psychology for about 3 months, it was round about Christmas time and I was invited by a fellow student to go home with her to Durham over the holidays. I was thrilled, as I didn't fancy the idea of staying on in college over the hols, but neither of us had more than a few shillings....not enough to buy a train or even a coach ticket.
So we decided to hitch-hike. We were both scared stiff, even back in the 60's we had heard lots of hair-raising stories of what might happen to girls who did such risky things. We packed our bags and took the bus to the edge of town, and at first rather shyly, we put up our thumbs. We were hoping to get a lift quickly, as it was cold, and we had a long journey in front of us. A few dubious looking cars and lorries drove slowly past us, but didn't stop. Then a Bentley drove by, stopped, and reversed. An elderly lady was sitting next to the driver. Both were well dressed and groomed. The lady said, " My husband and I don't approve at all of young ladies - she meant us!- hitch-hiking, but we don't want to leave you standing here, either. Put your bags in the boot and get in!" We couldn't believe our luck, and scrambled onto the very comfy back seat. We introduced ourselves, and started chatting to one another. They asked us what we were studying, and asked a lot of interested questions. We were proud to have a chance to show off our theological and psychological knowledge, and tried to impress them with lots of important sounding phrases. At mid-day, they stopped in front of a beautiful country pub, and said they wanted to have a spot of lunch, and asked if we wanted to accompany them. Red-faced, we had to admit, that we didn't have enough money, and they told us that we were their guests and they would be honoured to invite us. We all had a lovely lunch, and were soon chatting as if we had known each other for ever. They told us that they were visiting relations north of York, but that they could take us that far, which was a good part of the way for us. At York, the man got out and said he had to "disappear" for a moment and went into the station. We thought he needed the loo. After he returned, he said they would have to leave us there, but he would give us his address in case we were ever in his neighbourhood. He took out our bags, gave us an envelope and drove off, waving and smiling at us. In the envelope were 2 return train tickets to Durham, and his card, with his name and occupation - he was the Anglican Bishop of N. He and his wife must have amused themselves heartily over our naive theological tales. They were elderly then, and must have long since died. I hope they are enjoying their well-deserved place in heaven, and I will never forget what they did for us in that cold December more than 40 years ago.

DoodlesDumpkinsAward for me - WOW! and it is going also to; Sue Bubbles, Gina, SusieJ, I'm Maria and Crafty Tracy!


Valerie's Award


Conditions of this award:
1. You have to put it onto your blog.
2. You have to continue to make us smile.
3. You have to pass it on to 5 friends and notify them.
4. You have to say who awarded it to you.
5. You have to list 5 things we didn't know about you.

Condition 1 - done!!
Condition 2 - This will be a pleasure!
Condition 3 - will be done asap, with pleasure!
Condition 4 - I GOT IT FROM DOODLES DUMPKINS THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!
Condition 5 - this will be hard! OK, let's start;
5 things you don't yet know about me.....
(a) I am not normal.
(b) I am proud of not being normal.
(c) I studied theology, psychology and philosophy - which proves (a) and (b)
(d) I am retiring at the end of the year (my boss doesn't know it yet, either!)
(e) I am addicted to plastic bums (For strangers who may land on this blog by mistake explanations will follow in the near future!)

Wow, Doodles, now I have really let my trousers down! Thanks again for the award!
I am passing this award on to Sue Bubbles (The Crafty World of sue-bubbles), 'Cause she's been through a lot and always comes out on top,
Gina (to encourage her to start her blog!)and 'cause she keeps us all going, SusieJ (This Is My World),another lovely girl with a wonderful dog called Max, Hi I'm Maria (Scrappers delight)'cause she's a lovely girl and Tracy (Crafty Tracy). 'cause she has a big heart for animals.

2 awards for Doodles-Dumpkins



I got 2 nice awards this week: And I want to give them to Donna, because she had the courage to start a blog and made it so beautiful that we are already copying off her!
First the "Fabulous Blog" award. And these are the conditions attached - you have to thank me for giving it to you,
pass the award on to five other Bloggers, and list 5 things you are addicted to. Enjoy.
And here comes the second one! The "Honest Scrap" award
This also has conditions attached!
And now to the Conditions of the award:


you must thank the person who gave you the award, list their blog and link to it
you must list ten honest things about yourself.
you must put a copy of the Honest Scrap logo on yourblog.
you must select at least seven other worthy bloggers and list their links.
you must notify bloggers of their award

100 things( seen by Tracy,copied from Susie-J(thank-you-so-much-in-advance!) who coped from Donna who......thanks girls, nice idea:)

Highlights the ones you've done


1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band at school
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Been lost for words when answering a child's question often!
10. Sang a solo at school!
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a soppy girly film and cried all the way through
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetablespotatoes, carrots,beans& cucumbers
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked got a lift from a Bishop!
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Made snow angels
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise on the Nile
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud with my dog!
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts clas
s59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp (Terrible, just terrible)
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Been on the television
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

and I think I could add a few more when I have time, like taking sermons and funerals and other strange things!

Monday, 24 August 2009

Another Award - it's not manic Monday




I can't believe it - 2 awards on one day! This week has started better than the last one did.
Thank you CRAFTYTRACY,http://craftytracy.blogspot.com/ for thinking of me.And also for all those lovely doggy pics that you put up each day for me!

And now to the Conditions of the award:


I must thank the person who gave me the award, list their blog and link to it.(done!)
I must list ten honest things about myself.
I must put a copy of the Honest Scrap logo on my blog.
I must select at least seven other worthy bloggers and list their links.
I must notify bloggers of their award

I'll start with 10 honest things about myself:
1: I'm addicted to scrapping!
2: I hate housework and ironing!
3: I love craft-shopping
4: I'm addicted to coffee.
5: I don't have a lot of friends, but those I have I love with my whole heart
6: I love reading, and I'm addicted to the books of Peter Ackroyd
7: I love dogs , and am very sad that dogs aren't allowed in my flat.
8; I love music, good music of all sorts, but especially classical music.
9: I like spending time on my own and being quiet
10:I like walking along the Rhine and just watching the water.

The seven worthy bloggers will be chosen as soon as possible!
Thanks again Tracy, you are a darling!

Thank you Susie-J for my award.


This is my first award and I am very proud of it. THANK YOU SO MUCH SUSIEJ!!I am really thrilled and a bit at a loss for words, which doesn't often happen. There are some conditions attached - I must thank SusieJ, for giving it to me and pass the award on to five other Bloggers - will be done in the course of the day- and list 5 things I am addicted to. Well, that's easy:
Scrapping, buying stash for scrapping, going places where there are craft stores to buy stash for scrapping, drinking coffee and eating chocolate (which I try to reduce to a minimum)
Thanks again SusieJ

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Girls Day out
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Frankfurt, here we come....

Yesterday we had a crafty day out. After the catastrophical past week it was lovely to have a real fun girls day out! The store was well filled with stash and bargain hunters, but only women . expcept for one man who was at the stamp-sale cash desk, working with an inner peace which almost sent me to sleep and the tempo of a foot-weary snail. Crafting really seems to be a girl thing. Craft stores usually have those ugly little plastic baskets in horrible colours. OK, good enough for a few stamps or some embellishments. But - I'd better say this quietly- they are all magically prepared!! They are able to force things to jump from the shelves into your basket, and they just refuse to go out again. The spell only gets removed when you get to the cash desk and the assistant passes her magic wand over them. This causes red lights to appear in her little machine, and before you can say Mary Poppins, you're are being hypnotised to pay a lot of money and then take your pretty little goody bag back home with you. And I know from my own experience and from confidential discussions with other scrappers - this basket-springing-scam is being practised all over the world, even on the Internet! Actually, it's even worse there, as these shopping trips always take place in the middle of the night, where we get manipulated by crafty elves to get up and start buying. And 2 days later, when the parcel comes, we have no idea what's in it, so it's always a lovely surprise!

After we had spent all our money for the coming month in that lovely shop we moved on to more basic things, like tanking the car and then tanking ourselves at McDonalds. Don't much like McD, but they have got better over the years, and it was a nice place to sit and eat. And I mean, McD were not responsible for the screaming kids who came in from time to time. But I still don't understand why some Mums change their children's nappies on the table instead of using the bathroom, where there was a baby corner just for that purpose.

My friend B who drove us to Frankfurt in her lovely dark red sports car had arranged a meeting with one of her scrappy friends there, so we had a nice natter together. Regine makes lovely little BIA and other albums, and brought us each a pretty diskette album, lovely idea and a wonderful surprise, as I had never met her before. She was a very friendly and chatty scrapper, it was nice to meet her.

At abou 5 p.m. we started off on the journey home, its about 270 kilometers each way. The weather was gorgeous, so the car stayed open, and we were able to race topless over the motorway on the way home.I love it when the wind blows round my ears and you can see the clouds scudding by, when the car brumms under my backside and we drive really fast, it's the teenage dream re-lived. B is a very good driver, I would drive to the end of the world and back with her.

Well, we didn't need to go soooooooooooo far yesterday. We made a stop on the way back in Bad Honnef, a very pretty little town on the romantic part of the Rhine where the castles are high on the mountains and not far from the famous "Loreley Cliff", made immortal for ever by the lovely verses of Heinrich Heine


"Ich

weiss nicht was soll es bedeuten..."






But for us both it was a little trip down *memory lane* as both lived there at different times in the past, and as my favourite Café (Nottembom) was still open, we sat outside in the mild evening air and drank an iced coffee to get strength for the last lap of the journey back to Düsseldorf, where the great Poet Heinrich Heine was born. And back home I spent a lovely evening sorting my memories and stash . Thanks for a lovely day out, B!

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Soap in my eye and early birds which did not catch a worm

It's Tuesday today. Probably will be all day. The sun is shining and the birds are singing - so what? I am not in a good mood today. Went grumpy to bed and got up grouchy, not even the coffee tastes good. OK, I forgot it and now it's cold, and that is never the same. Went for a shower. Nearly broke my neck because somebody left her dirty clothes from yesterday next to the bath tub, so I had to trip and slip as I got out of the shower, Managed to get soap in my right eye and up my nose today, well, 2 parts of me will be clean now. It's especially annoying when it's the right eye, as that's the *good* one, the one I can see with, so it's like having both eyes closed up, which is why I stepped on the dirty clothes from yesterday in the first place. And because I was in a hurry as I was only halfways dry when the doorbell rang. Nobody ever rings my bell unless they need something, they've come from Telecom and want to sell me a contract which is even more expensive than the one I have, or they want to save me from going to Hell like the Jehovah's Witnesses. I always feel a bit sorry for them, they were persecuted under Hitler in the "Third Reich" and many died in concentration camps and were tortured. And the 2 old gentlemen who stand by the little bridge over the moat in our little township and offer their "watchtowers" are always very friendly, and smile and nod when they see me wobble by on my bike. But what the hell do they want from me at 8:30 in the morning? A postman bringing a pile of stash will be forgiven if he disturbs my morning ablutions, but these 2 bony, toothy and flat-footed ladies not! I only opened the door because I thought it was the postie. And there they stood. Very long and very thin, wearing pleated skirts, neatly patterned blouses and ugly, sensible shoes. I was *dressed* in a back to front pyjama trouser, a towel round my head and the other towel tucked around my upper bits which Newton has changed so much in recent times. They just stood there looking, smiling politely. I stammered out "Oh, I was expecting someone else!" They exchanged knowing smiles before telling me that they were there to tell me about my last chance to find a place in heaven. Sounded like an an advert for a last-minute trip - "Be an angel, come to heaven". By this time I was really getting mad, the water was trickling down my legs and making a pool on the floor, goodness knows what those ladies thought it was! I kept calm. "Ladies, as you can see, I am not yet ready for visitors, and would like to be able to get dressed in peace". "Don't worry," came the prompt answer, "We can wait", as they beamed at me with heavenly lights in their eyes. Well, it must have been the soap in my right eye making me especially ratty, because then I shouted so loud that the whole house must have heard it, "S*d off and leave me alone!", went in, and shut the door.After getting dried, combed and dressed I went down to the letter box to get my post. 2 bills, a catalogue with cardigans for ladies over 190, a furniture prospect and, wait for it - a copy of a JW magazine, with a little note attached. "Sorry if we disturbed you, we can gladly come back another time. You always meet twice in life". Ladies, not if I see you first!!!

Monday, 17 August 2009

Just another manic Monday


Well, it's Monday again. Another week bringing lots of possibilities. Chances to see and do interesting things, to do more crafting, to meet nice people, to go out, to stay home, to do h****w**k, not to do h****w**k, to get stung by wasps using chemical warfare - the possibilities are infinite, the means to do them mostly not, which limits the chances straightaway. On the other hand, the more chances we have the more difficult it is to choose. If you have the choice between 2 different things, it's just this - or that. If there are 12 or 20 or 200 different choices, it gets much more difficult, as anyone standing in front of a well-filled wardrobe or shoe-shelf knows: the more the merrier and the louder the heart-rending call, "I've got nothing to wear!" There used to be a radio programme in England about which book and which record you would take with you if you were on a desert-island. I always found it impossible to make a choice. Today, you can take your multi-tasking cell-phone and memory stick and have whole libraries of books and music at your service. But at the same time, the greater the choice, the greater the emptiness, because we are not able to see an unplanned day, an hour with nothing to do, five minutes without music, voices or other people as a chance to look inwards at ourselves and to contact our inner feelings. Perhaps it's just that that we want to avoid at all costs. I remember hearing a song - I don't know who sang it - "We're busy doing nothing, working the whole day through, trying to find lots of things not to do. We're busy going nowhere, isn't it such a crime? We'd like to be unhappy, but we just do not have the time!" That about sums it up, a sort of compulsive business even when we are just doing nothing. Have a nice week, and take a few minutes now and then to really do nothing and not even think about it!

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Good morning sunny Sunday!


I am beginning to think that that wasp which stung me yesterday must have been carrying a fully loaded KO hypodermic syringe under it's left (or right) wing ( I am purposely stating *left* and *right* wing as I do not want anyone to think I am trying to be political) . I am used to stings irritating for a few days or causing allergies, but this one just knocked me out. After having slept all afternoon on my wonderful recliner /rocker, I half woke up for a couple of hours, tried to do some typing which had more mistakes per square inch than high pixel photos have dots, and then staggered off to bed and slept for another 8 hours. Woke up because 2 birds were having a loud argument in the tree in front of my window. I don't mind them using my tree, I don't mind them singing and chirping and laying eggs and doing all the other little birdie things which are natural to them - but why the hell does it have to be at 7a.m. on a Sunday? All I ask is a little consideration, or that they argue in front of the neighbour's window, for instance. (Sorry, W., if you're reading this, no offence meant, you like getting up early anyway....) Anyway, as I was up, I wanted the day to start positively. Went to the bathroom, washed my hands, and smiled at my self in the mirror. At least, that was the intention - who the hell was that wrinkled old hag-bag grinning at me from under hair that looked like it was the site of a bird's fighting-ring? And what was that big red mark on her neck? It couldn't have been Dracula, he chooses young and crispy gals - it could only be the sign of the wasp! OK, decided that this experiment with smiling in the mirror should be put off to a better time, like when I can't find my specs or when I have already had at least 3 bottles of pro-secco, I tend to see better then. Well different, at least. Wobbled on to the kitchen, still under shock, and made my first cup of coffee with my "Dolce Gusto" machine, the best thing I have ever bought, that is for sure. Always makes lovely coffee, no mess, no fuss, it was made for me! So, reached the safe haven of my computer table without adding to the pattern on the carpet and wrote my morning greetings on the forum, before starting the same on here. And if there is one thing I do not want to see today, it is a wasp!