Saturday, 25 August 2012

Project #366 Week 34

The week started in bright sunshine and finished in driving rain. We had a huge thunderstorm, directly overhead at one point. Maybe the summer is coming to an end!

Sunday 19th August 2012
 Today we did our bit for the Walk for Marc, by playing music at the end for them. On returning home I found Maisie asleep in the garden and disturbed her when I took the photo, poor cat! Miles came to dinner as usual and the we relaxed in front of the tv.

Monday 20th August

This is my short day at work and normally I like to go home and have a coffee before doing anything else. Today I arrived home to find that Cairis had invited her friends round. They are a really nice wholesome group, who enjoy playing board games around the dining-room table. They do drink me out of tea, but that's a small price to pay:-) Half a dozen six-foot-tall young men stood up to say hello. I decided to make myself scarce and went down to the garden centre, where I had my coffee in peace and did a little shopping.

Tuesday 21st August

Today Cairis mentioned that it was her friend's birthday, and the gang wanted to organise a party for him. She asked if we would mind eating out, as we live on the outskirts of town, making our house the most central location for their evening.

I picked M up from his office and we went down to the Yacht club for a drink, then dinner in a local pub, and back to the yacht club for a nightcap. We did our best to stay out and let the kids have their fun. Eventually we sneaked in and up the stairs to our bedroom, where we watched something on the ipad and went to bed.

Wednesday 22nd August
Towards town
Away from town
The painters had been busy. When I got home the house had had a first coat of the yellow paint. At first I thought it was a bit sharp, but I'm getting used to it now. It's hard to know what it will look like until it is finished, really.

Thursday 23rd

A very busy day at work. This is almost the end of the week, and I had certificates to write for the students who are leaving, and a couple of interviews to finish for the October course. I was pleased to be inside as the rain was rather unpleasant. I feel sorry for the people running the Hobie Cat championships, as the weather is not conducive to having a great time. The sea was wild, with white horses and water breaking over the wall of the hermitage at the back of Elizabeth Castle.

Friday 24th
Urban seagull
Yippee, the end of the week. I now have a week to prepare for my September course and then it will be all seasons go! I just got home before a monstrous thunderstorm! It was right overhead, which is slightly uncomfortable when the house is surrounded by metal scaffolding poles! Both cats were inside, cowering under the table, and even Cairis looked happy to see me home:-).
In the evening we braved the weather to go out to the pub to play music. Carl was in hospital, having his hip repaired, so we were a small, but select, group and it gave us a chance to try out some new tunes. Cairis mentioned that she would quite like a tablet, or something, for her birthday, which is coming up in a few weeks.
Saturday 25th
We started the morning by popping up to the tech centre to look at the tablets available on the market. Cas doesn't want an ipad as she hates everything Apple! We went to see what else was out there- and I think she is leaning towards the Google nexus!

In the afternoon I had to go to La Mare Vineyards to set up for a wedding ceilidh in the evening.The weather is still wild, and we are hoping that our fiddle player will make it back on the ferry from France in time. If she does, she will probably look very green! The vineyard is a lovely setting, although it is nicer when the sun shines.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Project #366 Week 33

It was one of those funny weeks again- we had fantastic weather at the beginning and end of the week, but it was a bit so-so in the middle. Not much happening outside- I've got lots of preparation to do for the upcoming course and I'm still interviewing for the October one:-)
Sunday 12th August 2012
 A busy day today. I spent the morning clearing out the recycling and decorating the utility room wall with some stickers I found. They cost the grand total of £0.99p, but really brighten the space up. The room is long and thin- it was the original kitchen of the Victorian house, but we use it for messy things such as cats, recycling and washing! In the afternoon I managed to knock my iron over and break it:-(

Monday 13th August
We were supposed to be doing a tech session as part of our CPD, but we were given some bad news about the health of one of my colleagues, so no-one was in the mood, and we all went home. I bought a new iron on the way back from parking the car on the top floor of the supermarket. It cost an arm and a leg! On returning home, I saw that the builders had decided to advertise their presence by fixing their sign to our gate.

Tuesday 14th August
Today was a bit grey- so I did some ironing- to test the new appliance, and to minimise the mountain of ironing in the laundry. The builders had taken the door off and were doing what they could to tidy up. The painters were now in evidence and they were doing what they could  at ground level, as the scaffolding is not due for a few days yet.

Wednesday 15th
On the way home  I smiled to see these beautiful sunflowers. They were so tall that you can see they almost reach the windows on the second floor of the house. They are so cheerful that you can't help but smile. I have never tried to grow sunflowers, although they do look easy to grow.

Thursday 16th 
Today I did some work in the garden. It has been a little neglected of late, and we needed to empty the side passage for the scaffolding to go up. It has been a very dry year and we are not supposed to use our hose- pipes at the moment. I decided to plant lots of sun-loving plants so that it wouldn't matter if it was hot. Good call! All the plants are growing like weeds.

Friday 17th

The end of the week, at last! It has been a long week, with everyone at work subdued, and not much else going on. Today the scaffolding arrived. It was up by the time I got home. We look like a matching pair with Tom's house on the other side of the road. His roof is finished, so it won't be long now.

Saturday 18th
6 years ago a young 19-year-old died from a rare type of bone cancer and his father has raised money for the Teenage Cancer Trust ever since. Today would have been the young man's birthday and his father organised a series of sponsored walks for the weekend. Earlier in the year he had approached us to see whether we would play for them at the end of the walks on both days, and we said we would if we had enough musicians available. We sent an email out to the gang who jam with us on a Friday in the pub, and were able to cobble together a band of 10 of us who were free to play. As the father is Dutch, everyone was given an orange t-shirt to wear. We didn't get ours until the end of our Saturday stint -so we have them for the Sunday instead:-) The sun was shining and we were there to create the ambience at the finishing post, along with some food stalls and cancer charity stalls. It was fun, and I hope they raised lots of money.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

project#366 Week 32 - Carnival!

They say it never rains on the Battle of Flowers, and that was in evidence this week. The weather got warmer and warmer- starting in the mid 20s and finishing on Saturday with 30 degrees. This was the week that many people in Jersey had been working towards for months, and they probably hadn't slept much for a few days too.
Sunday 5th August 2012
Today the battle committee started to put up the familiar towers along the Avenue where the parade will take place. They added flags, which fluttered gaily in the breeze- all of the Parishes were represented, and those were interspersed with the flags for the battle itself, and the leftover bunting from the Queen's Jubilee celebrations earlier in the year. The towers were beginning to look a bit elderly, so this year we have some brand-new ones.
Monday 6th August
Today was my short day at work.After the usual meeting, I did a couple of interviews for my course in October, and then went home for a nap! Yes, I know, that's the sort of thing that old people do- but I had a good reason. The band had been invited to play for a party in the evening- and it didn't start until 10pm, so it was going to be a late one! The director of the Arts centre, a lovely, flamboyant man, was having a civil partnership celebration with his long term partner on the stage in the Arts centre and wanted us to play for dancing later in the proceedings. The evening party was held at the Donkey Sanctuary, as the lady who ran it was also having her 60th birthday, making it a lovely joint celebration. Our first civil partnership:-) After we had finished it was really dark and some fire dancers appeared. Everyone was mesmerised by their art. Unfortunately the photo didn't come out as well as I had hoped, but you can just see the face of the dancer on the right.
Tuesday 7th
 This morning the builders turned up to start work on the outside of our house.Of course, the first stage is destruction, and I was shocked to see that the garden wall had actually been held together with little more than Victorian sand! Thank goodness we decided to bite the bullet and get the job done professionally.
Wednesday 8th
This is the day, evening before Battle and as a family we have always gone for a tour round the floats to watch the last minute sticking-on of the flowers, and to enjoy the atmosphere.We started with our own Parish of St Saviour, which had an American theme, and then moved on to St Martin, Grouville, St Clement and finally we drove down to Meadowbank, where several floats were all being built in the large packing-shed which is made available to them at this time of year. The work that goes into each float is amazing, and requires many dedicated volunteers. There still seemed to be a lot of work to finish before the parade, and I'm sure that some of the float builders would not be going to bed.

Thursday 9th

Let Battle commence! 
The first battle starts with the traffic.Jersey roads are very narrow, and some of the floats were extremely long. The first ones arrived at their destination around 6am in order not to disrupt traffic too much. I had to tackle the ones coming from the West on my way to work. Everyone is very tolerant in the morning, so it isn't really a big problem. At the end of the day, when I want to go home, I don't feel quite so charitable:-(.
I had to work all day, so missed the parade, but it was a rip-roaring success, and people who did go had a lovely time.Jersey Battle of Flowers 2012. The floats stayed in town in preparation for the next day's evening parade,the illuminated parade.
Back at home I was pleased to see that the builder had started to rebuild the wall, and reinforce it.
 Friday 10th
Today was the hottest day of the year so far. This is about the only time that working in a cool granite building is a pleasure. ( In the winter you need about three pairs of socks). The house wall is coming on now, and the scaffolding is due next week, so that the main walls can be painted. The builder asked me to go to the paint shop and find some colour charts so that they can organise themselves.I'm thinking about going yellow this time, as the red faded really fast. Perhaps a more delicate colour will last longer.I just have to convince the others now :-)
Saturday 11th
New door furniture
I added my piece to the disseminating of information for ELTchat(see previous post). Saturday is usually a busy one, but it was so hot that M and Cairis went sailing and swimming in the sea in an effort to cool off, and I did some housework and went shopping. In the evening we enjoyed watching some of the Olympics on TV, and were delighted for Mo Farrah when he won his second gold medal of these games. This is the final view of the old door. It is going to be replaced next week with one which is more in-keeping with the style of the house. We had to decide where to put the letter box, and we have decided to have a box on the wall as we often get larger letters than the little letterbox can cope with. This often means things such as photos finishing up bent!