Thursday, 30 January 2014

Good behaviour

In my class I give the children ticks if they are behaving well or working hard. Sometimes I let the a child put ticks on for the rest of the class. If they have three ticks next to their name they get a smiley face sticker which they collect for rewards.
I've been very well behaved recently.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Swiss details

More photos of my trip to Solothurn in Switzerland in December. It is a truly beautiful town and there were many, many little details that caught my eye. I really liked the knitting gnomes in the window f the opticians (this town seemed to have more than it's fair share of opticians, hairdressers and shoe shops, also lots of cake and chocolate shops).
 The bike on the river bed caught my eye because it was the only piece of litter I saw at all, I was also impressed with how clear the water was and saw several fish swimming through the river.
The graffiti art of the bears was on the side of the venue where I went to the gig and was such a different aspect of the town compared to the baroque old town.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Noro, the world of nature


I've always admired noro yarns when I've seen them in shops, the natural fibres and gentle transition of colours are really beautiful. I have a fairly large yarn stash however and noro tends to be pretty expensive, so until now I've always resisted. Last weekend in Buxton we wandered into a yarn shop and they had a special offer on all noro yarns and I finally gave in and bought myself a couple of balls.
It really is beautiful, I've gone with Aya which is a cotton, silk and wool blend, this colourway is really lovely with blue, silver, purple, brown and green together.
I've started making a neck warmer using a starburst stitch pattern from Crochet Workshop by Erika Knight, I'm enjoying crocheting it but I'm also wondering about ripping it and making wrist warmers instead. What do you think?

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Oh Isaac!

It's no secret that I am more than a little bit enamoured with the band Hanson, in December I saw them at 3 gigs in Manchester, Cardiff and Solothurn in Switzerland. One of my hopes for the tour before I went to the shows was that I would be able to get a picture of myself with Isaac. In my many years of stalking seeing Hanson I'd never achieved this. I have photos of Zac with me and Taylor with me and I also have a couple of group pictures but Isaac had eluded me. I was determined that 2013 would be the year of Isaac.
Manchester was a wash out. Due to incredibly high winds the planned walk that Hanson often does before shows (to raise money and awareness for  various poverty relieving causes like well building, setting up schools and funding ARV drugs and research) was cancelled and as it didn't seem likely they'd be around signing afterwards, I left soon after the show
Cardiff was much more successful. The day was bright and beautiful and the planned walk went ahead without problem. I targeted Isaac to walk near, we had an interesting chat about the rise of AIDS in Brazil and India and how denial of the issue makes the problem worse.
I asked to take a picture with him, he took my camera and snapped this beaut!
 Unfortunately my fixed camera with attached 1.8 lens is not great for selfies so I handed it to a girl wielding a DSLR hoping she'd know what to do
 The resulting picture is quite sweet but has the wrong focus so not really great.
Another girl I got chatting to later at the show sent me this of us posing together which is pretty sweet.
I had a really great time in Cardiff, I'd never been to the city before and was really pleased to be able to complete the list of British Isle's capitals, having previously visited every other capital. My youngest cousin is at uni in Cardiff and I had really lovely day hanging out with her, the show was at the student union and she came with me to see Hanson play that evening.
After the show we waited around for Hanson to come out and sign and met both Isaac and Taylor. I don't find the flash on my camera to be particularly reliable so I asked a girl I'd been standing with to take a picture with her iphone.
I'm really pleased with these pictures apart from the slightly odd red eye that makes it look like I'm not looking at the camera but instead off to the side.
A week later it was off the Switzerland for the Solothurn gig. The Walk was cancelled there too due to the sub zero temperatures (not sure what they were expecting in Switzerland in December) but they came out after the show and I got a couple more pictures. Apparently I'd handed my camera to the only drunk man there, I know a DSLR can seem like a tricky thing to use but even on auto, the pictures are quite weird

I'm really pleased to have all these pictures taken with Isaac and even if none of them are as clear as the photos I have with Taylor and Zac taken with point and shoot cameras, the amount of effort involved in these pictures makes them worth much more to me

Monday, 20 January 2014

Buxton Pavilion Gardens

On Saturday I felt the need to get out of town, to see new things and explore new places, with my friend Kathleen I took the train to the spa town of Buxton. We hadn't gone to do anything special and spent the afternoon simply wandering around, popping into shops, playing in the park and eating in cafés.
Buxton has the most beautiful Pavilion Gardens which are free and contain a fantastic conservatory full of lush greens and bright flowers. When you walk into the conservatory, you're met with the warmth and smell of a more tropical climate, perfect for chilly, damp, grey days like we've been having recently.

The Pavilion would also be a great place to visit if it's raining or if you have mobility problems as there is quite a long way to walk inside with no steps. There are cafés and shops and art galleries as well as all the flowers to admire.
We weren't incredibly adventurous but it was a lovely, refreshing day trip

Monday, 13 January 2014

cold hands

The past week has been mad. I started a new teaching job last Monday, it's always hard to start something new but the combination of inky dark mornings and afternoons, feeling like there were more and more things I didn't know about each day and changing from my holiday habit of sleeping in each day till 10.30 meant that work took all my thought and energy.
I have to leave the house at 6.10 to get the trains I need, I'm feeling daylight starved, break duty almost feels worthwhile. I'm glad to have a job though and hopefully this week will be easier, I'm a bit more sorted and at least I know the children's names.
These pictures have been making me happy, my mum and brother sharing sock for gloves in the afternoon sunshine and my sweet, grumpy cat wrapped up in the end of my duvet.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Solothurn, Switzerland

Around 30 km East of Bern, on the banks of the river Aare, nestled beneath the Weissentein Jura Mountains lies the fairytale perfect town of Solothurn. With spires and onion domes, carvings and reliefs, Solothurn has beautiful and intricate details at every turn. I'll be sharing more of the details in another post but one of the thing that struck me was the roofs, as Solothurn rises from the Aare towards the mountain the view of roof tops and tiles at different heights creates a patchwork of tiles.
In the middle of December I spent a lovely day and night revelling in the finery of Switzerland's finest baroque town. Waking at 3am to get a taxi before 4am and then arriving in this cold, damp beautiful city was magical. It was thrilling to be somewhere so unexpected so suddenly.

The reason for my visit to this specific town that I'd never previously heard of, was due to my favourite band, Hanson, playing there. I've been overseas to see them play before but not for many years. There was also two different challenges for me. I'm currently trying to visit 30 countries by my 30th birthday and Switzerland had not been ticked off my list. I also wanted to go away completely by myself. I really like travelling but usually go with a friend or meet up with someone there, this time I planned everything by myself, though I did make friends when I was there.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Bright and Breezy

 I love bright days and clear skies, I don't mind the cold or the wind so much a long as I can see plenty of sky.
Walking yesterday with my brother and mum in the grounds of a local stately home we were treated to clear views and lots of light. There was also a very dramatic moment when an air ambulance flew over us and landed near by, apparently someone had fallen badly and the ordinary ambulance had to call for back up, I hope the person is now recovering well.