The Open 2015

IMG_4040I can’t believe that this has been and gone already! Did you see any of it on TV? Here is my Old Man doing his bit as a referee, and loving every minute, even in the rain. Well, he is a true golfer, so a bit of wet weather doesn’t really bother him…his groupie, on the other hand, ( me!) prefers to spend her time in the warmth and splendour of the R&A tent that we are allowed in. Of course, I did follow Him around, dodging through the crowds and trying to be in sight as much as possible without distracting him from his duties. This can be quite a challenge for those of us who are “upwardly challenged”…one drunk chap told me even dwarves are taller than me – oh the intellectual chat around the course!

I had, as usual, a fab week being entertained by the R&A, both before the competition started ( visiting Falkland Palace and Balgove Larder for lunch), and during, enjoying meeting up again with other wives from all over the world.

We were put up in the halls of residence by the R&A, in Agnes Blackadder Hall for us – she was the first female graduate of St.Andrews. It brought back some strange memories of uni life – tho we never had a double bed ( I’m sure they have got smaller!) nor an en suite! Such luxury…yes, I know, I’m so old! Breakfast in the refectory showed Hubby what he had missed by going to Oxford, both food-wise, and rubbing shoulders with your fellows first thing in the morning… Putting makeup on first thing is more difficult without my lenses in, I must remember that!

Each evening we were offered a three course meal with the guests of the R&A in the Old Course Hotel. This is a chance to meet the other referees, wives, and those involved behind the scenes in this amazing event. A couple of nights saw us skip off into St.Andrews for pizza and time together, which was lovely.

Lots of walking meant my impression of a pregnant woman started to recede, and wearing waterproofs allowed me to sweat off a few lbs put on the night before…I’m going to admit to at least one 99 ice cream too…well, it had to be done!

Sadly we had to miss the final day thanks to a holiday booked in Italy and the awful weather that delayed play. We left St.Andrews at 4am to fly back to Gatwick, swap suitcases and clothes, and then fly off to Pizza to help Hubby relax on the second week of his summer holidays. The final was very exciting as we caught up on our iPads, and we will have to plan next year’s holiday very carefully as the 2016 Open is at Troon in Scotland again…fingers crossed for a sunnier one.

Commended Picture

LizBisson_windowlightportraits_04Last night was the Photoclub, and the first I have managed in a couple of weeks, one way or another. Oh it was worth it!

Our assignment had been Window Light Portraits, and I had a lack of willing subjects. i managed a couple of hours directing Hubby where to sit, which direction to look, and getting Son to move the reflector to up light H’s face, before Hubby started to tell me what I was doing wrong…always the point at which I know he has had enough, and just before I have!

Son only lets me take pictures of him that will never be published! Such a shame as I LOVE snapping him at odd moments…all mothers do with their children, get over it!

There were some fabulous pictures submitted and we all had fun. However when I was editing mine I had a real problem with what I saw in my pictures…the woman I was editing is not the one I see in the mirror! This is the difference between a 2D and 3D image, and how our brains work. Who IS that older, hooked-nosed woman?? I’m sure its not me! And is she who the rest of you see?

It doesn’t really matter, does it? No; but of course it does! I admire the woman who does not care who the World sees as she is confident in who she is. Occasionally I am that woman. Certainly in my dress I wear what I want rather than what anyone else wants me to – “It’s My Style, and I’ll were it if I want to”…so why do I cry over some pictures? Inside I love my lines, creases, curves, etc – they are the story of Me. Its just Vanity creeping out of her cave in my head. I will listen to her, but in moderation…the main voice will still be the younger, more confident gal…she just needs to shout more often!

Lx

Ulterior Motives

Hm, why are you reading this?

Why are you doing that/saying that/taking that picture??

Do you think about the ulterior motives of others. or just take the World as you see it? I am wondering this because, knowing I don’t like my photograph being taken ( another blog) Hubby has started taking mine. Love him to pieces, but the devil in me is wondering WHY???? He hasn’t done it for years!

Knowing the darling man as I do, it is probably he is liking my camera…well, he paid for it! He isn’t really an Ulterior Motive sort of chap…but it doesn’t silence The Evil one in my head…

So I am wondering – Those who suspect others of Ulterior Motives, are we the ones at fault? Is it something lacking in us, apart from trust? A lack of self-confidence is probably my fault here.

We shall see! I’m going to ask him at the weekend!! (eek!)

Lx

Good Days, Bad Days, we all have ‘Em

“Its raining, It’s pouring, the Old Man is Snoring…”

Guess what the weather is doing here 😉 Today I don’t mind as the garden really needs it. I have been busy weeding, planting & changing things for an Open Day here next Tuesday for our local hospice. I had forgotten how lovely it can be working in the garden; weeding used to be my ‘thing’, but my soil is not great and we are inundated with Ground Elder. I am not alone ( my garden is not that big or great!) there are 3 other gardens in our road, and we have all been busy bees this spring.  In fact I am mildly dreading Hubby seeing the bill for some of the work I have had down…all entirely necessary!! He said it looks much better..oh dear!

Meanwhile a family friend is going through hell having lost her home and her husband to a heart attack in the space of a week. This puts all things into perspective, doesn’t it! It is his funeral tomorrow and I know it will be awful for his wife and three boys, no mater what folks say about it being a celebration of his life. My heart goes out to them, and apart from helping make tea, move belongings to rented accommodation, I don’t know how to help them. My best offer is hugs…and they are all very tall, and I am rather small!!

SO, whatever sort of day you are having, someone somewhere will be having a worse one, I promise you. Give thanks to whoever you think you should for this.

Lx

 

 

Oh The Relief! OR Always Check Your Diary Properly!!

What a difference a few hours makes, eh?

Firstly I have managed to lose 1/2lb at the weigh-in last night…not as much as I said I would but better than nothing; and I went with two friends which made the trip more enjoyable!

Secondly, and more importantly, as I hadn’t heard from my expected guests as to what time they would arrive I checked the official site for Cottages4you. What a huge wally I am!!! What I thought was a booking on my calendar on my iPhone was in fact some random thing from Facebook!!!

The relief! Then the realisation as to what exactly has been causing me most of the anguish over my trip. How stupid of me!

Of course, in my joy I stuffed my face with my whole 15 sins allowance with hi-Lite bars ( The Rocky Red, if you MUST know!), and I now have a sugar headache, but I DONT CARE!

So, I am taking a mug of tea back to bed, reading a bit more of Terry Pratchett – and how sad was the news he died yesterday: lets not get weird that I was just mentioning him…ok?

So, see you laters, dear reader!

Lx

 

Passing quickly

Another day, another blog…P1090238

This morning I woke with this heavy feeling again, but forced myself out of bed and drew back the curtains. There, in the beautiful blue sky, hung the half moon. It was only just a new moon in my mind, and I remembered that time passes, everything changes, and this heavy feeling will go too.

Last night I decided not to put the TV on ( don’t faint), and instead reached for one of my favourite authors, Terry Pratchett. My mother hated his genre as she didn’t understand it, but for me it is pure escapism with many life lessons thrown into the mix. You may have heard of his Disk Novels…I picked ‘Pyramids’ this time, but usually identify with a character called Nanny Ogg…you can do your own research on her!

LizBisson_05_MovementIs there an author or a book you go to when feeling out of sorts? When younger it always was Agatha Christie for me, giving me a warm glow that the baddie would be caught in the end either by Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple, my two guardian angels. I shall chose to think my guardian angels and others are looking over me now…in fact I’m pretty sure they are probably yelling at me to pull my socks up and get on with IT!!!

Hope your day is a glorious one.

Lx

Mild Panic

I’m having one of those weeks…you know the ones: no confidence, suddenly want to cry, no weight-loss, difficulty getting up in the morning…need I go on? No, don’t leave this page!!! It gets better, promise!

Next week I am going on my very first trip away with relative strangers and without my husband. EVER! That I can remember!

I am driving myself up to the Lake District, which I have never seen before, and joining a photography course run by Andrew Newson  who runs the “Photoclub-in-a-Pub” I go to once a month. I am staying in a B&B, Powe House, which I have never done before. I Will see an old friend afterwards, and then drive towards Liverpool and hopefully will meet our newest Grandniece, which ( yes, you’ve guessed it) I have never done before!

Now, explain to me why this 56 year old should be so nervous about doing things she knows she can do, and when it doesn’t matter what happens so long as I enjoy myself???

A little bit of me thinks this is good practice for when (God Forbid yet please) or if I am left alone…always supposing Hubby dies before me of course! He will be fine without me as he has his GOLF!!!! He is always popping off on his own, on business and golf committees etc and knows he can cope.

In reality I KNOW it will be fine; I can drive anywhere as I love driving; I’m not all that difficult to get on with (don’t say a word there!); my photograph is not bad and I’m going to learn more hopefully; if I can’t climb all the hills no-one will be cross with me!; I will love seeing my old friend again; and I can’t wait to greet the newest member of the family.

It is just occasionally, when I am on my own, I let things get me down. I am not alone in this, but I must fight it! I even talk to the house, or myself, out loud, after all I give such good advice! (OK, even I’m laughing at that one!) It is good to remember all we have achieved and survived to get where we are today; to give ourselves the pat on the back we deserve, and that hug which makes us feel we can do anything…even if we wish it was from our nearest and dearest.

SO! I will start packing away my gear and clothes, send emails to the relevant folks, buy ‘thank you’ presents for my two hosts, check the tire pressure, windscreen washing fluid, and put all my audiobooks onto a sim card ( or whatever they are called) so I can really enjoy the drives, and off I will go!

Wish me luck.

New Moon, New Beginnings

Happy Year of the Goat to you all!

I hope this new Chinese year is beginning well for you? I have decided to start with a few changes –

1. Change the kitchen doors

2. Change my Habits

3…..nope, that’s it for now! That’s quite enough to be going on with, I think. After all I seem to be propping up the economy single handed according to Hubby!

As I type a very nice chap is measuring up all the kitchen doors and draw fronts to change from our Ikea white to his “Oakgrain Muscle” …at least that’s what Hubby and I decided on last weekend…oh dear, how easy it is to change and waver as the light in the room changes, and the chap says something… I’ll put a picture in and you can see what I mean. Hubby says the best thing is to get an interior designer friend in to give us her advice on the colours, but I’m not changing the tiles nor the work surfaces, and the sample door fitted in colour-wise and style-wise…we are going to change to shaker-style doors…oh help, as I type I can feel myself wavering…but NO!!! I WILL STICK WITH WHAT I DECIDED!!! The new colour will match the dishwasher incase you are wondering…or at least be nearer to it.DSCF0390

On the personal front I am off to Slimming World tonight to enrol in the next bid to free my body from all this weight and flab! ( yes, I know that the flab will only go with exercise, thank  you very much!) I am in the grip of the Sugar Monster at the moment and partaking of the “new smoking” i.e. sitting down too much…Its all a vicious circle! However onwards with the next attempt!!

Meanwhile, the weather is changing again from the lovely Spring weather back to the Winter wind and rain. I must get more wood in…

Lx

 

Grateful but…

DSCF0388Today I went to Morfield Hospital for an eye test…my optician said there were parts of my eyes not getting enough light etc and he wanted to be sure it was all ok…there were hints of a cataract in one…you know the “chat”. Well, I’m over 55, and have terrible short sight.  As you can imagine all sorts went through my head, not the least was the thought “Oooo, I wonder if they will give me new internal lenses?”

DSCF0365

Luckily the hospital is not far form our flat so I zoomed up and, of course, took my camera with me and wandered round Old Street area beforehand; I always like to get to an appointment early for those “just incase” moments!

It was such a glorious afternoon even the tower blocks were looking attractive! Thoughts were entering my head about lack of sight, loss of sight…you know the feeling I am sure!DSCF0378The GREAT news is I don’t have glaucoma and only the vaguest hint of a cataract in one eye. There is some strangeness about the optic nerves in one but as I have such bad shortsightedness ( -8 and -8.5!) and stigmatism…I bet you are imagining all sorts now!… it was all to be expected. I will be checked again in 8 months time just to make sure its not getting worse, and its not expected to be. ALL GOOD!

But ( you knew that was coming!) there was that little bit of disappointment that I wasn’t going to get new lenses. Especially as now you can have fab refractive ones meaning no glasses at all, either for reading or driving! Ah well. Now’s a good time to practice thankfulness (and tell Hubby we still have to pay for contact lenses), to remember how lucky I am to be able to take photographs, and to enjoy all Nature’s glorious colours.

L x

Fingers Crossed!

article-2087332-0F7D56A800000578-448_964x640Brrrr – I know its Winter, but it still seems rather colder than usual. Maybe we have just been spoilt by last year’s wonderful heat.

I have my fingers crossed this morning, as last night the Cottage boiler decided to play up, not providing hot water for my guests. Mind you, they had the heating up as far as it would go, so perhaps The Boiler had decided to go slow! This has happened once before and the next morning it seemed to work fine…would it be wrong to pray for this to happen again?

I will wait until I see signs of life and then go and ask…or should I wait for them to come to me? Oh, the decisions…This is the one side of being a holiday cottage owner that I hate!

I suspect I will have to cancel going to art this morning…

UPDATE – The Boiler is dead!

The wonderfully understanding couple in the cottage have said they will soldier on with heaters, and boiling the kettle for hot water…they even said it wasn’t my fault, which made me feel much better.

So, I am waiting for my Heating Engineer to come back with a quote for a new outside boiler, and a shed to put it in, plus labour etc… wonder if my Hubby can lend me the odd £1000… “Darling…” ( smiles sweetly, puts his favourite meal in the oven, James Bond on the TV…) GULP!

I wonder if it is easier for folks on their own, who are their own bosses so to speak, to cope with this type of thing? Probably not. Counting my blessings here as fast as possible!

L x

Can I Take Your Picture Please?

I have just completed the most difficult of our PhotoClub assignments ever… We had to take portraits of strangers, talk to them, get their permission and find out something about them.

No problem, I thought! I’m the type who will talk to anyone, anywhere, about anything. My chidden used to tell me off for doing it; my husband finds it very amusing/embarrassing. I’ll manage to do this one standing on my head!

Oh how the mighty fell!

There is something so very personal about taking a portrait of someone, let alone a stranger. The old adage of taking a piece of their soul seemed to spring to my mind. Let alone posing as a photography student! Which I am. Honestly. I even had cards made to prove it, and give them a link to here… I gave 1 away!

After spending most of the month getting over this ridiculous chest lurgy I eventually managed a day in London and headed up to Borough Market to see who I could find. My nerves got the better of me and I kept forgetting to ask the subject’s name, or tell them mine, and certainly forgot to give them my card!

Eventually though, despite getting to grips with my fab new camera, I managed to meet some wonderful folks who let me snap them…

"John & James"
“John & James”

These two great chaps were already laughing over their morning coffees when they agreed to let me snap them. I was so grateful I forgot to ask their names…

Haley
Haley meanwhile was showing her friend Roxanne round London. 

These are just a couple of my favourite ones…tomorrow night I will get to find out what our teacher thinks…

Lx

New Year New Me?

Is it too late to wish you Happy New Year? I hope not, as this was the week my new year was going to start…as it is I’m just getting govern this dreaded lurgy that is going around for the second time…so I may say  my new year will start next week!

Anyway, did you have a good festive time? I would have if most of it had not been in bed, but it didn’t stop the Men dragging me off on a plane to ski! I managed two mornings of brief skiing before the body reacted and told me not to be a bloody idiot. It was lovely to have our Son guiding and teaching me and I felt so safe in his hands. I even managed to get down a ridiculously icy slope that otherwise I would have scaled on my bum ( I’m not a proud skier!)

Then New Year’s Eve I told Hubby that that was my lot. I wasn’t fit to ski any more and was just going to walk the rest of the holiday. He accepted that without making me feel guilty about the cost of the ski pass or anything, which was fab!

New Year’s Day saw a strange change in me.

Since the funeral of a school friend in the Summer I had been experiencing a lot of anger and almost complete loss of faith ( well, who was I angry at if not God?). AS I walked through the beautiful, peaceful snowy landscape I thought of my friend. She seems dot be walking with me as she loved the Alps, and I felt this complete warmth fill me. And it was complete – since then I have felt so much more at ease with myself, my men, my life. I have looked after myself as this lurgy came back. I haven’t felt guilt about staying in bed, eating chocolate when I want it, not doing any of the things I thought I would…helped in this by my Fabulous cleaner who I regard as a friend and my hero! I even allowed our golf guests to look after themselves rather than rushing round like a mother hen and taxi service.

Is this a new me? I hope so. I feel very grateful to my old friend for visiting me, and helping me. She was such an amazing woman when alive, and she is obviously using her wings to still help others.

So, when I am 100% better I am hoping to continue this complete, warm new life…just to warn you! With my new camera which Father Xmas gave me I shall be showing you all why afab world I ( and you ) live in…I even have cards to give out to those who help me in my pictures – subjects who allow me to capture them etc.

I have also decided to put more things in the holiday cottage – dressing gowns, shower caps and spare toothbrush sets. All from staying in the fab self-catering apartment we used this time. Those were the things we had/ didn’t have that struck me. Hope they make  difference for my guests.

Right, I’m off to take another antibiotic and continue my recovery.

L xIMG_0051