Wild October – Week Three

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Virginia Creeper

This week I have been out and about a little bit more than in previous weeks. While going for a coffee with mum, doing some temporary note-taking work and meeting up with a friend for lunch, I kept one eye looking for signs of autumn.

Slowly but surely Liverpool is becoming enveloped by autumnal colours. I took a leisurely walk around the University of Liverpool campus and visited Abercromby Square. Though still looking verdant, the tree tops are slowly turning golden. I also came across a Barbara Hepworth sculpture and one by Hubert Dalwood.

Since I have been getting up before the sunrise this week, I have seen some lovely skies.

Though the days (and especially the mornings) have that bitter chill to the air, there are still plenty of honey bees visiting the salvia.

On Thursday I met a friend in town. As I was standing waiting for the bus, a robin sat atop a gravestone in the nearby cemetery and sang to me sweetly. I just wish I had taken a photo of him, his presence filled my heart with gladness.

My friend and I took in a visit of the World Museum, which boasts a planetarium among its many assets. This got me thinking of the northern hemisphere’s night sky in autumn.

On a clear night looking north most people can identify the Plough, (Ursa Major), which points to the pole star, Polaris.

Looking south, the square of Pegasus is deemed the main autumn constellation. However, for me, the most autumn constellation is Orion to the east.

October is also the time of year for the Orionids, the remnants of Halley’s Comet. This meteor shower ranges between 16th – 26th of the month, peaking on the 21st.

And finally, I have found some informative resources on the Forestry Commission website. Follow the link for activity packs, mindfulness poems and an interactive map, showing the changing colours of various forests in the UK.

I’ll end this week with a recording of Tchaikovsky’s Autumn Song. Have you been following the changing seasons? What, if anything do you like about this time of year?

Christine x

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My Weekend Starts….Here..! :)

Phew! What a week! I worked a full three and a half days! Believe me, my body has not been used to doing that for a good many months!

I worked my three days at the Royal Liverpool Hospital, meeting many company representatives and people who work in the admin side of Supplies and Nursing in the NHS and on Wednesday I ‘chief’ invigilated my first ‘big’ room exam! I usually specialise in ‘extra time’ exams for students with disabilities but this morning from 10am to 1pm I ran and conducted a medical exam for 20 students! To say I was amazed at myself that I could stand, talk and direct more than 20 people is an understatement. I really did not think I had it in me to stand before people and talk aloud! I am more stronger, more confident than I give myself credit for. I am surprising myself more and more as this year progresses. I always thought myself as shy but maybe I am now, finally coming out of my shell to fulfill my potential???

But today is Thursday and I have Friday and the weekend off! The UK is supposed to see some sunshine and summer like weather again, so I am hoping to spend tomorrow sunbathing before cheering on Andy Murray in his Wimbledon semi-final! On Saturday I hope the sun continues to bask down upon us and my family can enjoy a BBQ. Well that is what I have planned anyway!  🙂

Below you will find two videos I have uploaded to my YouTube channel recently. One is of baby Goldfinches I videoed on Tuesday evening around 7pm. They were making a right racket and the rest of the ‘charm’ were all eagerly gobbling the sunflower seeds on offer in my garden.

The second video is of my Bengalese (Society)  Finches, Chocolate (female) and Romeo (male). This is the first video I have made of Romeo since Caramel passed. (I still miss her.) I think Chocolate is cursing my name as since getting Romeo, he has not left her alone! It is pleasant of a morning to sit listening to him singing. Now, Thursday evening as the sun sets, it is nice to see them finally bonded and sitting on their rope swing together.

Hope you all enjoy the weekend wherever you are! 😀

Well I Didn’t Expect that to Happen!

About two weeks ago, I  got an email from Randstad about an Access to Work booking for a client who worked in the Royal Liverpool Hospital. The work entailed reading and replying to emails, taking minutes in meetings and general admin duties for their client. I was umming and ahhing about the post for about a week before I sent in my CV. ‘What the hell’ I thought, ‘it’d be better than going on the dole!’

Then last Wednesday I had a meeting with the lady in the Trust whom the work was to be for and she seemed nice. You can imagine my surprise when about two hours after the ‘interview’ I got an email saying I was successful and the lady wanted me to start the following week!

I have now had my first three days of work in the Royal and I have thoroughly enjoyed it! It has been diverse, different from the work at the University, but ultimately I still get to meet and work with lots of people. I have been working from 8.30 in the morning ’til 2.30 of an afternoon, so beating the rush hour! I hope that the work continues to keep me occupied over the summer!

I am now sitting back and relaxing, enjoying a nice glass of pinot grigio and looking forward to a restful day tomorrow, then wallpapering in the dining room over the weekend, in the final push to get the house ‘ship shape’ before we move in!

During dinner time this evening I noticed six Goldfinch adults at the sunflower heart feeders in the yard and amongst them there was a baby Goldfinch! My first of 2013! I have not been seeing many Goldfinches lately so maybe now they have weaned their young they are starting to show them the feeders? See below for a video of the newcomer!

 

Rose Wine, Jagger Bombs and Me Do Not Mix!

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Saturday the 18th May was my brother, Stephen’s wedding to his partner of five years Stacey Griffiths. The ceremony was at St. Georges Hall and the reception afterwards was held at the Head of Steam.

My mother, brother Daniel, his friend Paul and myself and David were supposed to be at the hall for 3.10pm, the wedding being at 3.30pm. However, with David taking time to get ready, (he was under the weather with a cold) and then taking a scenic route to St. Georges, we arrived at the hall at 3.25pm! Then as there were no signposts as to which room the ceremony was to be held in, we wandered around the floors, going up and down the lift to floors one and two before finding the right room. I had visions of us knocking at a door and there being another wedding in progress…  ‘and if anyone knows of any lawful impediment’… ‘opps sorry wrong room.’

We arrived just in time! Unfortunately where I was sitting I could not get a good view of the ceremony so the footage is rather dismal. The ceremony was lovely though with two readings given by friends and family. My two nephews Nathan and Aaron alongside two bridesmaids brought up the front while Stacey looked the beautiful bride in a cream silken dress. The ceremony lasted about 20 minutes, we spent more time getting all our pictures taken!

At nearly an hour later, we all headed over to the Head of Steam which was across the road from the hall. The only down side to the venue was that it was a function room attached to a pub and the only toilets in the entire building were annexed to the pub, so we had to walk through a seething crowd of revellers every time we needed the loo and then they were disgusting! There were only four cubicles for the girls and none of the toilets flushed, so you can imagine the smell after a good few hours. It was not pleasant.

The function room was done up with balloons and bubbles. The wedding cake was delightful and the buffet catered for every diet. I loved the fruit salad, mmm pineapple and strawberries! 😀

What became my undoing was that our table with my mum, uncle Malcolm, aunty Dot, cousins, Sarah and Michael, myself and David were given a complimentary bottle of rose wine. My cousin Sarah and I noticed another two empty tables with bottles standing proud and we managed to bend the arms of Malcolm and family friend Paul to go and obtain these bottles illicitly before anyone saw us! So all in all it was a cheap night out for me, where I paid for nothing!

After 7pm the DJ arrived, the wine was flowing (I drank for about 5 hours!) and I had my first taste of a Jagger Bomb! It was very sweet and sickly, I don’t really see the appeal. My mum had to leave after 8pm as she was baby minding Nathan and Aaron so it was just me and David with the rest of my family who drank and boogied until we decided it was time to go.

We left about 11pm, slightly chatty and giggly with the wine I had consumed, (yes we drank all three bottles of wine between four of us! ) but feeling fine. It was come 3am when I awoke and could not get back to sleep my mind flashing up screen caps of the day and the music thumping in my head. It was after 6am when I first felt nauseous and I became acquainted with the toilet bowl (oh hello old friend!). I felt hungover until 8pm that night and I think it was only down to the medicinal ingredients of good old lentil soup! Thank God for lentil soup!

I am really not one to indulge much with alcohol, but I suppose it was the situation, the people I was with and the knowledge that the wine was FREE that tipped me over the edge. I had no sympathy from David nor any of my family for the self inflicted pain the next morning. I think it will take my body a good few days to really recover sufficiently, I am feeling knackered now as I go back to a full weeks work of exam invigliation for the University of Liverpool!

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Charmed!

Today, Sunday my back yard was awash with the golden flash of wings from 18 Goldfinches! 18! There were all squabbling over the three sunflower feeders I have and flew in from a neighbouring tree opposite. They were funny to watch, swooping down upon the seeds, but what a racket they made!

Yesterday, David went walking in Cumbria with his work colleagues so I stayed at home, in the warm, away from the cold rain and wind. I enjoyed a nice bottle of Pinot Grigio and a Shahi from our regular curry house Saffron! It went down a treat. 😀

With work at the university starting again, my days are busy going back and forth too lectures. I have two students who are studying Law and a student I am mentoring who is studying American History.

Two weeks ago, Mum and I went to the Odeon cinema in Liverpool One to see The Hobbit!

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I did not have much hope that I would enjoy it as much as Lord of the Rings as I was unable to get through reading the first chapter of the book! However, from the opening scenes to the end, I was hooked! I loved the film! The cinematography, the acting (even the Dwarves) and the score were all wonderful! It was great to revisit Hobbiton. I love Bag End! I so could see myself living there! 😀 I can’t wait for the second film in the trilogy now! 🙂

Normal Service Resumes :)

Back at work today after the long weekend. I, feeling much more like my ‘old’ self got to work to find my student, not feeling very well. We have got on so well over the summer that I do worry for her. Hope she recovers soon.

News of today was that the new front door has been delivered. How sad of me to get excited over a plastic door and fancy glass! lol, I just hope that the fitters tomorrow won’t drag the job on for too long! The house will look very strange when the door has been replaced! 🙂

I must apologise for my last blog, I had taken a bit of a knock and unfortunately sounded like I was a crazed woman! I apologise if I offended anyone. 😦

Regarding going back to writing as a few people have commented I should. I need to clear my head first and then maybe, just maybe I may start prose writing again??