Thursday, May 21, 2009

News from around the Globe - 21st May 2009

Well, the postman came again today and brought with him a lovely little parcel from Stampmaiden, Linda in Los Angeles. Linda had enclosed 3 ATCs that I had picked from her blog and one extra too:

Winged Queen

The Player

Party Chick

Snap out of it!

Aren't they absolutely wonderful? I don't know how you do it, Linda.
Then Linda also enclosed a little bundle of cards for me to use with ladies' faces on them, as she knows I like to alter them, change the hair colour, etc. What a star:

And wrapped around with this delightful piece of lace

I love bloggers and blogging.

Jim sent me an email from the UK. He's in Worthing for a few days (back midnight Saturday). He has had a visit from Ali and Poppy this afternoon and sent me this fabulous photo:

How besotted is he? I love the look on Poppy's face. Well done Ali for taking such a good photo.

I had recently emailed my sister in Bungendore, Australia as I hadn't heard from her since I sent her birthday presents for May 7th, including an ATC I'd made for her. She emailed me today to say it had arrived and that she'd taken it to a CWA meeting (Country Womens'
Association). One of her friends said, 'Oh, you've got an ATC'. Trudi, my sister, had never heard of them. They were impressed, apparently. She is also an amazing quilter and sent me a photo of her latest. I am just gob smacked:

Do please click on it and enlarge it to see the exquisite detail. She takes after my mother in the sewing skills department.

Trudi's oldest son Adrian has a son Cameron and it was his first birthday in May too. She and Tony travelled to Melbourne, where Adrian and his wife Jo live, for a few days, and sent some photos of that occasion, too.

Proud Dad Adrian with Cameron, aged 1
Adrian almost died aged 2 with meningitis and septicemia. As you can see, he pulled through thankfully. It was a heart stopping few days.

My sister Trudi and Cameron

Trudi also sent a photo of her twin granddaughters (my great nieces) and one older sister Sammy, all in the bath together!! Both Trudi's daughter and youngest son have identical twins:

Katelyn and Heidi

Casey and Zoe

Sammy in the middle!

My 5 great nieces

I met them all last March. They insisted on calling me Great Auntie Gina with a huge emphasis on the GREAT!!

They all have horses and lots of land and have a brilliant life as far as I can see.

Phew, now what else? It was a friend of mine's 60th birthday a few days a go and I sent him a congratulatory email. He used to live a few doors away from us (us being me and my then husband Peter), with his lovely wife Sylvia. This was in Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, UK. Sylvia and I struck up a friendship immediately, as did Ben and their daughter Hannah, who are the same age. I have some wonderful photos of them as little ones. Colin's email made me very nostalgic for those days of small children, school fetes and Christmas entertainment.

I'm sure Colin won't mind me quoting a bit from his email:

What a lovely surprise to hear from you. Thank you so much for remembering my birthday. Sixty? Blimey, we must have taken a short cut somewhere along the line! As Bob Dylan so rightly observed - 'Time is a jet plane, it moves too fast'.

Nevertheless I enjoyed a lovely day - I was working here but received a lot of cards, messages and gifts that made me feel happy but also brought a tear to my eye because I missed everyone, especially Sylvia. I think Sylvia - despite being so far away - had worked a bit of magic to ensure I didn't feel too forgotten! In the evening I went with a few friends for a drink, really low key stuff - I didn't want a big party, it didn't seem right without Sylvia by my side. Despite describing me as more of a party pooper than a party animal Hannah is planning something for when Sylvia is back, a joint celebration, so that is when I intend to really rock out and do that Funky Chicken one more time!

I enjoy my life here in Liverpool, although there are times when I wonder quite how it all got to be this way. It's been far lonelier this year because not only has Sylvia disappeared to Doha but my wonderful friend and constant companion, Denver, died at Christmas. She was sixteen years old and I miss her dearly.
(Denver was their adorable dog. )

I did enjoy looking at and reading your blog - what a fab way to become acquainted with your family and home - what a great way to communicate - you all seem to have a lot of fun and be very happy together - that's wonderful, I'm so happy for you! And my goodness - along the way you have clearly become a computer wizard! How do you do all that stuff? I'm mightily impressed. I think I'm doing well if I can log in without purchasing a 1959 Morris Minor, a holiday in Benidorm and a year's supply of Viagra.

Reading this over before blasting it off into the wild blue yonder (I ask myself how does all this stuff get from here to there without disappearing? There surely is magic afoot.) I think I sound a bit miserable - Hannah says I am a curmudgeon - so I must counter that impression and say that I do have my moments here in Liverpool. In the last year I have danced on stage with Yoko Ono Lennon, sang 'Yellow Submarine' in the Abbey Road studios with Cynthia Lennon, sat on a sofa chatting with Sir Paul McCartney and just two weeks ago Bob Dylan was my guest here at 'Mendips'. Amazing really - from time to time I have to pinch myself!

It stops me in my tracks when I see photos of Ben or Hannah walking into the room after being away. I still have such vivid memories of them running up and down the road between the houses laughing and shouting, so eager to play. We are so lucky to have been so blessed. Love, light and peace always,

Well, it's such a lovely email I put it all in!! Sylvia is a teacher and, as you can see, is currently away. Colin was also a teacher but gave it all up to look after John Lennon's house in Liverpool. Colin is from Liverpool!!

It's wonderful that all the 'children' (now 25), still keep in touch, mostly through Facebook. I love seeing photos of them all and seeing how their lives have developed. Hannah was working in France for the magazine Elle. I think she's back in the UK now and deciding what to do.
Here is Colin's 60th birthday portrait!

'Colin gets his bus pass'

Finally, back to Ireland and our garden! I have worked hard today, popping form one job to another. I had some more planting to do. I planted the new bottle brush, a lovely acer Jim bought before he went away and 4 fuchsias in the same bed. I put a whole wheelbarrow of manure on the acer bed as the soil is almost solid clay. I did some weeding too. The arboretum has an outbreak of thistles, so I dug quite a lot of those up. At one point I looked up at the sky, which had been sunny, to see this:

Sure enough, ten minutes later and the rain poured down, accompanied by the odd rattle of thunder too. I managed to get the wheelbarrow back under cover and headed inside. It was about 8pm so I gave up for the night.

I did manage to take a panorama of the front garden, taken from the house. I hope you like it:

Do click on it to enlarge. Can you see BlackJack? He sneaked in just in time.
Well I hope you've enjoyed your trip around the world, albeit only a virtual one!


Stampmaiden said...

Gina, I'm so glad your ATCs arrived safely! Looking forward to playing in the ABC swap. I'm in! LOL!

Anonymous said...

Hello Gina, I love the ATC's Linda sent to you - how pretty! I showcased the ATC you shared with me today. Many of my blog friends are new to ATC's too. Trudi's quilt sure is magnificent. The photo of Poppy sure is sweet - I believe red is her best color! Love the photo of Cameron and your great nieces too. My very favorite photo is of your front garden. How pretty! Nalley and I enjoy your pretty flowers and trees so much. Hope your back is holding up ok.

BT said...

Thanks Linda, I'm so glad you've joined. I think you will get my 'A' as it's been sent to the lady who's had to drop out and they're posting it on (also in the US).

Hello Mildred, aren't they wonderful. She is so clever. I must come to your blog in a minute. Poppy does look lovely in red, doesn't she? Just like a poppy!! I'm glad you like the front garden photo. I thought it came out quite well too. It's drizzling today so I may have an inside day to finish off Kitty's quilt and do some cleaning up.

Leatherdykeuk said...

lovely ATCs and I think you make joiners far better than I ever did.

Jason said...

Wow, great post. Huge! I had to make notes. lol

Great pciture of Poppy and Jim. Jim looks like he's wasting away, too much gardening and running about!

Lovely to see the Oz pics, the girls look adorable.

The cloud pics are amazing. I have one as my wallapaper. They look like one of your moods sound. ;-)

The "joiner" is excellent. It shows how the front has come on. Look great.


Heather said...

How am I supposed to get anything done when there are lovely blogs like yours to visit? The ATCs and goodies are great as is your sister's lovely quilt. Lovely family photos, especially the one of Jim and Poppy, and the little lovelies in the bath. Jim will be impressed by all your hard work and the front garden is looking beautiful, unlike those very menacing and scary clouds.

Carol and Chris said...

Those ATC's are absolutely beautiful!! (I especially like the Winged Queen) You are a lucky lady!!

The quilt is stunning....your sister is a talented lady!!

hehehe, love the pic of your great nieces :-)

C x

BT said...

Oh thank you Rachel. They are lovely ATCs aren't they? I love the way that everyone's are so different. Thanks about the joiners, but I don't think so!!

Jason, you made me laugh with your note taking!! Jim is very thin, I told you he was, but I'm sure he's fine. He has a fast metabolism.

I think that cloud photo might be a bit depressing! Don't leave it as your screen saver for too long!! I literally ran inside to get the camera, it was so striking. I'm so glad I discovered those 'joiners'. They give a much better idea of a larger area. They never quite fit together, but good enough! Sorry it was a long post, I had lots to write. What about Colin and his hob nobbing with the stars??

BT said...

Heather, I'm sorry. I know just how you feel. I can spend hours, literally, going around all the blogs. Then I click on one of the commenters, oh, another lovely blog! And so it goes on!! Glad you enjoyed it anyway. Today I might have a rest from the blog!

Hello Carol and Chris. So glad you liked the post. My sister is one talented lady. She does cross stitch that is so tiny I can hardly see it!! Those girls are gorgeous, and Poppy of course!

jinksy said...

Spectacular rain clouds you have there...

The Weaver of Grass said...

So that is where our big black clouds are coming from today!
Love that panorama at the bottom - your garden is really coming along nicely isn't it.

Twisted willow said...

Meetings in London all today. Can't believe I stuck it working there for 20 years. Can't wait to get back to the open spaces. Looks like the garden's coming on a treat. The photo makes me look scrawny round my neck, Jason, cos I'm pulling on Poppy's hand and it's making the tendon in my neck stand out. I'm a healthy 183lbs!

Bea said...

Lots to read and fun too.
I tried to click on the picture of you and your kids but it wouldn't get bigger for me. :(
Great picture of the little girls and grandpa and Poppy.
That storm sky in black and white is worthy of enlarging and hanging on your wall. I LOVE IT.
What a nice email from your old friend. I remember saying I didn't want a fuss when I turned 60 and so I didn't get one.
Kinda surprised me that for once in their lives they actually listened to their MA. humph
lol My black cat is Cleopatra. My orange/red tabby is Lewis and of course, you've seen pictures of Murphy. lol

Bea said...

BTW. I don't really do ATCs anymore. I burnt myself out about five years ago making tons and tons of them.
What I do enjoy making are art postcards. I can send you one if you would like.
email me

BT said...

A woman of few words, Jinksy!!

Sorry Weaver, we send them all on after we've 'enjoyed' them!! The garden is looking good, but getting overgrown already.

Bea, no problem re the ATCs. Glad you liked the clouds. They were spectacular. Lovely names for your cats, unusual.

Bella Sinclair said...

Gina! What I wouldn't do to have a garden like yours! Woweeeeeee, it's a stunner! You so obviously put a lot of work into it. I know it's constant maintenance, but it's a labor of love.

Great photos of the family, and what a wonderful family you have. Even though everyone's scattered, it's nice that you keep in touch with everyone. So many twins! And to see all the girls in the bath made me smile.

BT said...

Bella, lovely to see you. My family are indeed scattered but it is good to keep in touch. My brother is pretty hopeless though. I'm glad you like the garden, but it does seem to 'get away' from us in the summer!

Jason said...

You look fine Jim, juts like you'd ben working hard in the garden. ;-)If only I should have the problem!

Colins tales sound great ma.


DK Leather said...

~grin~ ace post. LOVE the twins (and Sammy) in the bath and the Poppy pic especially!

BT said...

Thanks J, he's ok! Thin is good!! Ha ha!..

The girls in the bath are great, aren't they? I don't think there'd be much room to wash!!