Monday, 31 October 2011

Samhain ( Halloween) /Birthday

For those who asked on my last blog post, it is pronounced sow'een/sow'ein. Today is also beloved's birthday. He has been throughly spoilt with presents, money and a large cookie cake - he's already snaffled at least half of it! He says he has had a great birthday. Samhain is a significant festival in the pagan calendar (I use this term as an umbrella term) and represents for many the new year, rather than 31st December. It is the time that the veil between two worlds is at its thinnest, with Samhain being the time to think about life and death and those who have died, with the opportunity to honour our ancestors, family and friends who have gone before us. For some, an extra place will be laid at the table for dinner for those who we wish to remember. I didnt do this tonight, mainly because we didnt sit at the table today - on our laps-special birthday meal. I did stop earlier and remember my grandmother and my father-in-law and the times I shared with them.

This time is also the time I consider to be the new year and as such I contemplated the year that has been and the year that will start and my hopes, dreams and expectations. We dont really 'do' Halloween in the commercial sense. I have carved a pumpkin with T, mainly as this is fun and T enjoyed it and I think they look great with a candle in glowing merrily away. Thats about as halloween as we get in this house. I did try taking a photo of the pumpkin when it was dark - it is sitting on my kitchen windowsill, but the photos didnt come out very well. I look now to the coming year and all that this will bring.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Half-term

I have been at home since yesterday with T for the half term - we have not done a great deal. Just been at home, walking in the park and curled up on the sofa. The weather has been dismal with rain, rain and more rain! I am getting through my winter preparation with washing the fleeces etc. I still need to get a winter coat for T, but we get paid at the end of the week and so I will get him one then. It is Beloved's birthday on 31st, we are not doing anything particularly special, but I will cook him a special meal - whatever he wants and I have bought a present for him and got him a cake. I want to make 31st special, not only for his birthday, but also as it is samhain. This is my new year and a time to remember those who have passed - the veil thins between the two worlds. I will also get some treats in - we might get trick or treaters, I hope so, I always like seeing the kids dressed up. At the moment, I am making an altar and will post some pics once its done.
Blessings for Samhain

Monday, 17 October 2011

Winter preparation part 2

After my last post, I was all fired up to work my way through the house and garden preparing for winter. It seems that winter will be hear early with the weather forecast predicting a freezing downturn as of tomorrow. Unfortunately this past week I have been unwell with a stinking cold and have not had the energy or inclination to do much. Unforeseen circumstances have meant that the money I intended to use to buy T a new winter coat, wellies and slippers has now had to be spent on something else. As the coat is the priority, T is going to have to wear his old coat until we get paid at the end of the month. I've stuck it in the wash and it has come out ok, decent enough for T to wear. I'm slowly working my way through the other winter washing, such as the fleeces and I'm hoping to get out in the garden this weekend. We have not yet had the heating, although beloved has switched it on to check it works. We are planning to keep the heating off for as long as possible, with the rising prices due, I'm dreading what our energy bills will be next year!
Bright blessings x

Monday, 10 October 2011

Winter preparations

The brilliant weather we had at Brighton Breeze seems a long time ago now and there is a chill to the air. On many blogs and forums there is much talk of winter preparations, my attempts over the years have always been haphazdous and this year I would like to be more organised. I am making a list as to everything that needs doing ( I know I am a bit late, but I still have time before the big freeze that is predicted - I hope!!).

Clothing
  • Wash winter coat and repair - there are several small holes in my coat I'm hoping to patch-up - I wont have enough money to buy a new coat, although its been washed so many times, I think the warmth has been washed out of it!
  • T needs a new winter coat - this takes the priority over mine. I will buy something that is big enough to go over several layers.
  • Wash my fleeces - I have two which have plenty of life left in them
  • Check we all have hats, scarfs and gloves - need to check T's still fit him.
  • T needs a new pair of wellies - grown out of the old ones.

House
  • We have loft and cavity wall insulation already
  • The heating will be on a timer. probably a couple of hours in the morning and a couple in the late afternoon/evening. At the weekends, we still stick to the same timings and just wrap up more when the heating is off, unless we get artic conditions.
  • Leaving the heating off for as long as possible, we havent had it on yet and trying to aim with it off for at least the rest of the month.
Car
  • Beloved will in the coming month do a mini-service and a through clean and check things like the antifreeze.
  • Check all the tyres are legal etc
Food
  • I am planning to start stocking up, especially on things like UHT milk. Last year there were a couple of times when I couldnt get to the shops.
Garden
  • Finish tidying/weeding
  • Store the garden furniture
This should not take that long to do, over the next couple of weeks. There is nothing more I can think of and if it is that cold then we will just have to tough it out!

Monday, 3 October 2011

Brighton Breeze

There has been a distinct lack of the VW scene in the dub household this year. We did go to the show at Stanford Hall in May, but nothing since. At the weekend, particularly given the fantastic weather, we decided to go the Brighton Breeze. Its one of the last shows of the season and all the vehicles line up along the seafront. We have been before in 2009 and always wanted to go back. For pedestrians like us it is free, took a picnic and only cost us our petrol. Here are some photos.
Brighton was glorious in the brilliant sunshine.
Check out this cute little caravan being towed by a camper.
Beloved and I loved the tiki inspired artwork on the bonnet and the fake wood detail on the sides of this beetle.
There is always at least one 'Herbie' beetle at any given VW show.
Great paintwork on the front of this van.
I love beetle cabriolets and this was the perfect weather for them.
Vans were the vast majority of vehicles present at the show, this seems to the norm at the moment in the VW scene. Everyone wants a camper van = extortionate prices!
We all agreed on the paint job on this van - very cool.
This was one of my favourites.
Beloved was smitten with this van - bit too 'bling' for me if you know what I mean.
Beloved was also taken with these 'chopper' style bikes, the one on the left particularly as parts of the bike were painted to look like wood. dont fancy the set on the bike on the right!
This bike got a lot of attention from everyone. In all a good show and I think one of the highest turnouts of vehicle, in large part due to the weather, although it would cost you £40 to show your vehicle! If you click on the photos you will get greater detail.