Be yourself

Be true to you...with a little help
make the connection
say what you feel
and smile, more

Word for 2011

My word of the year is TRY.
I give up too easily,
I don't start because I think I'll never finish,
This year if it looks interesting,
if it looks worthwhile,
if it's something I always wanted to do,
well, this year I'm going to TRY
and lets see how much more I can achieve

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Join the (plastic) dots.......

On the day before the day before, how are you doing people?  New Year's Eve tomorrow, so in the lull before the party are we thinking of our world and how to make it a better place?  Or just how to get by, without too much fuss?  Maybe.

Stone, wood, water, sun, sky.  Plastic.  
Plastic leaches.  Plastic leaks.  Plastic links, insidiously,  inexorably, to everything on this planet.  The way we use plastic, and the way we disuse plastic affects everyone.  Everyone.  Human and non-human animals.  Everyone marine terrestrial or aeriel.
 Lookie here at what the oceans have to cope with.  Sarah at The Daily Ocean collects beach trash, everyday.  She hopes to
 raise awareness for how much Plastic Marine Pollution is out there, that the solutions start with us right here on land, and that everyday we can make choices in what we consume and buy that can add up to make a difference.
Great spirit!   
 Find out some scary stuff and a way out of dependence on plastic by joining with the fake plastic fish to find ways of living plastic-free.  
Take a look at excuse me.  Ahem, *blushes* but a point worth making.
And stop with the plastic bags people, please;) Tim Minchin (hero*sigh*) advises us to
Every little bit matters, join the dots, we're all connected.
Thanks for listening
Bye for now
pamela x

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Happy birthday babe......

I learned of this children's book on a blog (of course, now I want to find which blog I can't remember!  If it was yours, please tell me).  Anyways, I thought that some of you might like it today especially.  

On the night you were born
the moon smiled with such wonder
that the stars peaked in to see you
and the night wind whispered
"life will never be the same"

Because there had never been anyone like you
ever in the world

excerpt from the lovely book by Nancy Tillman

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Pretty perfect really......

Happy Winter Solstice to you all!  
Just in case you hadn't noticed, today was the shortest day, that was it - zip - gone!  
All hail the new year.  
So, happy :) sad:( or too stressed to care, how are you feeling?  Is it true to say that the shortest day is also the busiest given the very nature of this seasonal silliness?  (apologies for all who may take christmas very seriously, no offence meant). 
 Usually the female in the house *groans*, who has all the extra work eh?  
These days I don't have much of the stress since, being an oldie I've given up on many seasonal traditions.  Re-invented things to suit myself (and him indoors).  Give gifts to the very old (our parents) and the very young (our grandchildren) take a walk up a hill on christmas day, somewhere wild and wonderful with a bit of luck:)  
Back to a cosy house, a 'feast' of jacket potato and bean casserole, maybe a bit of pud.  
 Job done. 
On any other day I'm most likely to be seen......
trailing around the place 
with my trusty backpack and walking poles
getting stoned..........;)
Castlerigg Neolithic Stone Circle
hanging out with the birds.....
Saltburn's historic Victorian Pier and Industrial Teesport
from Huntcliffe
 sharing a cup of afternoon tea with little friends 
"don't forget mine" says Eeyore
"gosh Tigger", says Piglet, "why do you always look so surprised?" 
 and maybe getting a few unfinished projects ......
Paddington Bear Number Quilt
.......... finished:)
Willow's welcome home bundle November - 2009
*sings* it's a grand old life for us *sings*
Have a happy life friends 

Friday, 17 December 2010

Baggage and should I share.........?

Hi folks.  Brrr chilly old day.  Ice is back on the inside of my windows.  A bit of sun would be nice!
Following yesterday's post about change, and quotes, and words that can act as backgrounds for behaviour,
and thanks for all your amazing comments by the way:) golly, you are a.m.a.z.i.n.g!
I've been busy and working on my PLAN.
Instead of launching into the obvious"I will write a book" "...earn a fortune" etc, I'm looking at what's stopping me doing the important stuff before now.  And how I'm going to deal with it.
Here's a clue, what if you were to change what's normal for you and make a new normal?
Figure out what the issues are, unpack them
and learn how to deal with them.
No need if your normal is totally blinking brilliant.  But mine's not so there you go!
 If you want advice from people who are good at this stuff look here or here or here
Which led me to wonder 'should I share?'
Do you lovely people in blogland really have to know me and all my less-than-perfect,
what I'm really like (oh the horror) reality
or would you rather not?
A series of pages are developing *points to top of page* if you're brave, take a look
Otherwise, you could just wonder, as I am right now

 who needs this many bags?

bye for now
pamela 'making changes, one bag at a time' lol

Thursday, 16 December 2010

What's in a word?

Hello everyone, hope you're having a good day, whatever 'a good day' means to you ;)
Today I'm feeling quite self-satisfied with my technical prowess *grins smugly*. 
Being one of those new bloggers who finally realised she was never going to start a blog unless she settled for 'start it NOW and learn as you go, don't wait until everything's perfect' which obviously included the skill-set to actually design and run the flipping thing.  That wasn't a proper sentence (duh, writing skills Pamela!).  Sorry.  Point is I was far from happy with the end result.  Definitely a work in progress
Of course some skills you pick-up without realising you're learning anything.  Follow on-screen prompts.  Click-click ahh!  Others come with a bit more effort.  So I've been fiddling for more than a few days.  Not musically, you understand.  Tweaking.  Re-arranging and adding gadgets, seasonal greetings, info about me and the like.  
I'm wanting, desperately, to change the colours/fonts/banners aka the look of the thing too.  And take better photographs.  But that takes more time.  And I've heard scary stories about whole blogs disappearing into cyberspace if you do too much too soon.  Oo er.  So those can wait.  
But what I really wanted to sort TODAY was the 'blogs I follow' bit.  Somehow only a dozen or so were on show.  And I'd had several bashes at rectifying it.  Because I follow a lot of blogs.  And I like to share.  And I didn't want to appear rude and exclude anyone.
So anyway, job done:)  Apart from the ones I follow that I don't follow directly through blogger.  Obviously.  I'll get onto those directly eventually.
On a different note,  I've been thinking about quotes and mottoes.  I notice many blogs carry a 'quote of the day' or and inspirational saying.
In my life one has been very useful and got me through some rough sh stuff.
I don't know who it's attributed to.  But anyway, it helped me, made me stop and think, and/or changed my actions.
treat every obstacle as a stepping-stone
Simple eh?
A couple of others -
does your face light up when your kid walks in the room?
That pulled me up short (I'm thinking it's Maya Angelou right?) at a time when all was going downhill.  Me against them scenario.  Bless!
I think that applies to a whole lot of relationships or scenarios.  Think about it.
And how about ........
your lack of planning is not my emergency!
I only just learned the last one.  Shame.  Could've used it A LOT with my teenage/twenty-somethings back then.  *Sigh*
Could you use it now with someone?  (I'm not saying you shouldn't help-out of course I'm not, but y'know, you've got a life too, agreed?)
I've also been thinking ahead about changes to come and how to 'be the best' I can be (apart from recognising zombie-danger of course!).  Lots of motivational thinking out there.  One great idea here on Christine Kane's blog to change the approach on the resolution front and choose a word.  One word becomes an emblem of the game-plan for the year.  Read her post from 2007 and then again this week if you're one who fails to keep her new year's resolutions, like me.  Don't give up!  Get smart!
  I've chosen my word of 2011.  'TRY'.  That's it!  I'm holding that thought.  On serious issues, plans, and fun.  I'm going to TRY.  And not have the pressure of MUST (....lose weight, de-clutter, learn whatever).  I think this is the way for me, motivational, and mindful.
So there you have it.  Technically accomplished, wise and smart;)  Lol!
How about you?  Any mantra guiding your day? 
And what word would you choose?
Love to hear from you!
pamela x
and for a bit of fun (aka 'life')
from the Channel Four comedy series 'Black Books' - Bernard: [selling a book]
"Enjoy. It's dreadful, but quite short"

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

It's that time of year again!

Hello lovely people, how is it going with you hohoho;)

I don't know what it is about me and December.  Some of my many and most stressful house moves and medical dilemmas always seem to gather momentum as Christmas approaches.  One memorable year we moved into a newly purchased house on the sixteenth of December.  The 'chain' meant we had to leave our home, no option.  So we arrived with small children and all our effects to find the occupants still packing!  We were carrying boxes in as they filled and carried theirs out.  Eventually they went, having given up on half their furniture and belongings.  We couldn't move for other people's stuff.  And no time for cleaning or decorating.  Hanging paperchains on greasy walls.  Yeaurgh!

Several years back I'd had surgery at the end of Michaelmas term just before the Christmas break and hoped I'd be recovered before the commencement of Epiphany semester.  Struggling to shop,  deck the halls and trim the tree, not to mention hobbling around the kitchen hoping that wrestling with heavy baking dishes and their contents wasn't delaying my body in healing or doing me further harm (reader, it was).

Well folks, this year is double jeopardy.  Three weeks post-op I'm deemed able enough (by general consensus, to whit 'no-one else is going to do it'), to recommence work in the batcave' (with deep voice - dum dum da!) with a view to getting it habitable i.e. moving-in condition, by next thursday.  Yup.  Day before Christmas Eve.  A two-day moving experience (oh,yes that would be Christmas Day and Boxing Day) and then we're off south until New Years, to visit children and grandchildren.  Weather permitting (cue hysterical laughter).

This is only my second day up.  And not in pyjamas.  I've had to wear clothes.  Brush my hair.  Put boots, coat, hat, gloves and scarf on.  Walk to the bus stop, travel into town and meet-up with my driver at the diy emporium.  Bathroom tiles and trims were selected.  (more) Wallcoverings of several varieties purchased (we couldn't choose so will decide in situ and return rejects for full refund.  Or donate to Freecycle).  The shed is arriving on Friday.  The hob which is (apparently) lost-in-transit is being attached to gas supply very soon.  Man-who-does-tiling promises to 'work through the night' in order that bathroom fitter may (finally) finish the job (started the day of my op November 24th) on Monday.  Carpet fitter arrives Tuesday.  Wednesday we pack.

Ok, you're getting the picture, right?

So all I've got to do in five days is (hobble around) wall-prepping, painting, pasting, wallpapering, cleaning and finishing living room dining room kitchen utility stairs landing hall and grand daughter's room.  And hoping all the exertion doesn't delay my body in healing or cause me further harm.
Reader, *dramatic sigh* stay tuned;)

And don't worry.  I'll be fine.  And it'll all be worth it in the end;)
Just don't ask me how my festive preparations are going, ok?

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Zombies........and then some

Hello folks,
Time for a change around here.
*Sigh* Y'know, the internet is a wonderous, fragile, fascinating and dangerous place.  Oh yeah, you knew.  Enough said.  On a positive note, I've being learning about zombies.  And how to battle against them.  And then some.  Let me share....................

Over the past few weeks I've had a great deal of time to kill (awful expression that, killing time).  And yes, you're right, I could have spent it crafting or reading or writing.  I was just too unwell, drugged-up and unmotivated and, truth be told too absorbed into travelling the blogosphere to do owt else (a northern phrase - owt=nought=nothing).  I'll go as far as suggesting I had a bit of an addiction phase going on.  As in, morning starts: wake up, turn on computer check blogger, before tablets toilet teeth tea toast.  Hmmmm.

I've been all around the world.  I've visited (sometimes leaving comments, oftentimes just ahem lurking) blogs in many countries, in most continants.  Virtually.  I've gained insight, nay, witnessed the most amazing, or heartwarming, or heartbreaking, sorrowful, joyful, or mundane, prosaic lives and lifestyles, stories and events.  I've wanted to share.  I've mentally composed posts.   I've wanted to write about blogging, and about blogs.   I've thought about this alot.  Blogging is a very thought-provoking pastime.

I started off with craft blogs.  Colourful, inspiring, technical, helpful.  I wandered into home-making, small-holding, arts, literature, all things vintage, frugal, green and minimalist.  All have a hold on me. Learn new skills, get ideas, find validation.  But I wanted more.

Read a blog post.  Read the comments left.  Link to the commentors.  Read their blog.  Link to.....and so on.  Start to meet blogs I've visited already, commented on, sometimes weeks before.  But got there by a different route.  Sometimes I stand by my comments - hey! I said that woah! or sometimes I groan, I was too hasty! in my rush to leave a message and move on.  Sometimes I didn't remember visiting or commenting, like seeing a ghost of me, in the wrong place.

I've read a lot of blogs.

And slowly something less transient, more meaningful started to evolve.  Not just the serendipitous spider's web, but a shape of a change in the way I was thinking and reacting, mirrored in the blogs I found.

If this has happened to you then you'll recognise what I mean.  Some key points, maybe erm......

Personal reflection
Living with gratitude
Making changes
Being kind
Being kinder
Clearing space
Clearing more space
Releasing possessions
Releasing possessiveness
Getting rid of stuff

All from the same nursery.

The new year, twenty eleven, is nearly upon us.  Time for a change.
I need a plan.

  1. Deal with the zombies.  Start by identification. Find a plan here farbeyondthestars
  2. Build an escape tunnel.  Find a plan here Regards From The Balcony
  3. Eat real food.  Do this already.  You can find it here veganlunchbox and a gzillion other places
  4. Stop being a packrat.  Clear out clutter as demonstrated here  minimalistpackrat
  5. Creat your new life, discover your passion here
  6. Just care more as shown fantastically  here notesfromthefrugaltrenches

Don't want to be a zombie?  Me neither!
Twenty days.
What's your plan?

Monday, 6 December 2010

Rest and Recuperation.....and cats

Hello there you folks, struggling with the winter snow, or otherwise (comments box on last post, phew).  I'm on convalescence leave of absence.  Safely tucked up at my daughter and partner's house after a short seven mile ride last night.  They have just as much snow as us........ gosh!
 Introducing .........
 Angela the snowgirl!
We were woken last night by avalanches of snow and ice sliding off the roof
many have lost guttering, aerials and roof tiles
looks like a few more to come down I think
 Some christmas sparkles
 a few of these passed down from mother to daughter - with memories included
and keeping company with our feline friends Lottie and Norman, otherwise known as ....
 Hide and seek cats
 Snow panther
 Snow leopard
 Snuggle Puss
  and Boo! Puss 
 and very, very,
contented happycats:)
Just like me!
Bye for now xxx Pamela
Edited to add:
You're right.  I'm shamelessly attempting to attract cat people to come visit.  I've heard there are a lot of them about.  Lurking.  Waiting to pounce.  Lol.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Ice Cold in Zanzibar.......

Hello folks
I've been wondering how your weekend's progressing.  Having some fun, some down time maybe?  Let me tell you how things are around here......
  • Today I'll be I was mostly wearing fluffy dressing gowns (I have three, they take turns), pyjamas (with useful pockets), cosy bedsocks, and spotty slippers.  All in the pink.
  • My favoured accessories were faux fur covered hot water bottles (two), variety of coloured hair bobbles (as one got lost in the bed I invariably found another) and an old towel, used as an impoverished improvised and rather fetching shawl.
  • Snacks have been provided.  These included mince pies, porridge with syrup, two pears, and a packet of crisps (the one's with the little blue bag of salt included).  I didn't open it.  The salt bag, not the crisp bag.
  • Entertainment was in the form of I-Player (I tried for cheery chappy Michael McIntyre but laughing caused a relapse in my condition), various Sudoku, blogging and watching youtubers frolicking in the snow.
  • Technical support was provided by Orange mobile, Samsung Netbook, and Cannon.  Oh, and an old and very scratched pair of over-the-counter reading glasses (3.5) from Boots the Chemist (a £5 bargain reduced from £25.  But no longer a bargain since they are too darned scratched to see through).  
Apparently it's a bit chilly out at the moment.

I'm nicely tucked up all cosy.  So that's alright then.  Smashing.  Sigh.

Pardon?  The title......oh yeah, sorry.  Here you go...

Just a bit chilly.
Hope you folks are staying nice and snuggly.
pamela xxx

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Monthly Resolution - December

Hello lovely people
I hope you're all keeping yourselves toasty warm, or comfortably cool, depending on your location and disposition;)
December the first.  What about that then, an entire month passed by - just like that!  Back on the first of  November I gave thought to resolve something new at the start of each month.  Before a new one, look back at the old.  Let's see, I said I would
  • compile an IMPORTANT INFORMATION station for our new house, in the form of a loose-leaved folder with an index and plastic pockets.  All the quotes, contact details, receipts, etc. in one place.  Organised.  And...... 
  • put together the scraps of fabric/paint colours/favourite magazine pictures into MOODBOARDS for each room (probably) in a separate folder.
So my resolution was to use my new system AT ALL TIMES to better project manage the ongoing house move.
Did I do it?  Hmm, yes to the first.  Not really, ok then, no, to the second.
The house file turned out very useful on a whole host of levels

All the info at my fingertips.  Easy to add to.  Easy to find.  "Pam...Pam!..Where are the *****!!! meter readings?"...."Why, in The House File darling, just check the front index" (chortles;)
Some issues.  Not always good about returning a plastic pocket to the main folder after use, say at the carpet shop, or B&Q.  Some receipts have never made it from pocket/bag/car to relevant folder.  One or two quotes and notes laying about the place instead of safely tucked away.  And very difficult to have to cart the large folder back and forth between two houses on a daily basis (on the bus, flask, sandwiches, etc).  But I'll continue to use this system.  After I've given it a tidy-up.
The moodboards?  Great idea, never got past that stage, sigh.  Hence I continued 'carrying a picture in my head' which, combined with my magnetic attraction to bargain bins and bashed paint tins means I've ended up with a bit of a mish-mash on the home decor front.  Sounds horrendous I know.  Hope to pull it all together after a bit of a rethink and a few bold ideas.  Watch this space.
Ok, so I've resolved this month to  conduct an eco/resources audit.  Involving a sit-down and sort-out of finances, money-savers, carbon/wasting/saving, and so on.  And to do this every month.    Ambitious?  Hmm, maybe.  Sounds a bit vague, short on detail?  You're right.  I've done a fair bit of thinking/reading/research on this one but hey, I'm six days post-op, still on pain-meds, and cranky, ok?  I'll get it together soon and tell you more about it.  Couple of examples do come to mind though.......

  1. at the checkout the bill tops £40 and you say "oh! I've got a voucher (save £8 when you spend £40)'"  Sigh.
  2. at the checkout the bill tops £40 and you say "oh! I've got a voucher (save £8 when you spend £40)'s...expired...yesterday"  Sigh.
And yes, both these examples are out of my chaotic and useless very recent past (aka November).
It can't go on.  Must do better.  Or see headteacher for punishment.
So there you have it, my resolution for December is to get a grip on the finances and resources by holding a Monthly Audit, collecting all necessary paperwork, coupons, vouchers, etc (hey - I could use another loose-leaved indexed folder yeah! Call it 'Money-Saving Central') to make sure they don't go to waste and so Save Our Money.
Lets see how it goes.  I used to be so good at being organised, kind of lost my way.  And with that thought, I'll bid you  a Happy December darlings.  Oh, except to add, I'm back in the kitchen, creating mayhem again soup and dumplings.   Sorry you just get the before/during picture, I got all the after, yum:) (He got the washing-up lol!)

Byebye for now, pamela x
P.s. thanks to Sherri (for being super organised), and all you Frugal Bloggers, for inspiring me into action.  

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Polite Notice: snow chains compulsory

Just a thought, but after seeing the country grind to a halt, slithering in snow,  I couldn't help but hark back to last May in northern California.....................

Donner Pass at 7,700 feet.  Road cleared to go.

Well, seems like a good idea to me - get those chains on U.K!

Many thanks to all well-wishers, I'm on the mend, s-l-o-w-l-y, and don't make me laugh!  Outch!
pamela x

Edited to add
Yes it's no easy thing I know.  Over in California we did see long laybys especially for putting on/taking off tire/tyrechains.  Notices indicated they may only be required for a short distance but were compulsory.  The roads over the high passes in the High Sierra had deep channels gouged out by the heavy trucks with chains.  Even in the south above Los Angeles in the mountains we were in snow (and 'Thunder Blizzards') at 5ooo feet and on the drive down to the valley floor we passed many vehicles heading upwards, stopping to put on their chains.  When we reached the first set of traffic lights at the bottom  of the mountain all the cars pulling up (including us) shed a small avalanche of snow each off their roof as bemused locals wearing shorts and sunglasses strolled past in the midday heat (32c) lol!  Very memorable!
I remember the Blue Circle wagons from when I lived in Weardale.  We were snowed in up a number of times up at Tunstall Valley (so beautiful, sigh) and it was the Water Board vehicles that used to clear that road eventually for access to the Resevoir and Treatment Plant, if I remember rightly.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Snow Joke and Gratitude

Hello folks how's it going with you this week?  Sorry about the slowness to post.  I'm back now after short respite.  

Wowza.  Britain experiencing the EARLIEST WINTER snowfall for 17 years.   That'll be in autumn then, chortles;)

Lots to write about but let's go for a story in pictures eh? 

Leaving Durham City (my driver had a two hour tailback on the motorway to get to me, a twenty minute journey normally) firstly negotiating the icy sign of gritting activity here

Passing shot of Durham Cathedral under glowering skies...........
City streets deserted as the nearby motorway groans under thousands of vehicles going nowhere. The traffic jam extends north, past the angel of the north and the Metrocentre and into Newcastle).  Looks like the gritting lorry got through here ok though.

And Durham Castle, part of the University and steeped in tradition

Both sit on an 'island' promentary surrounded by the River Wear, part of 'The Land of the Prince Bishops', county Durham's tag-line to attract the tourists land of the prince bishops

Dormant life under snowy blanket

Redwing or Fieldfare?  

Back home and greeted by sweet cyclamens under their fluffy duvets

Err, who left the bikes out? going nowhere-else for some time I shouldn't think.....
Cold-snap here for awhile apparently
And this was just the first snow-shower, gulp:( Pretty though

So there you are, travel today only if ABSOLUTELY necessary.  Well it was......
There's no place like home.  And hospital isn't it.  Although my visit to short-stay surgery did give me the opportunity to write lists, LOTS OF LISTS.
Six and a half hours sitting in dressing-gown and slippers in a draughty waiting room gives time for plenty of planning!  I managed to detail at least fifty thrifty must-do's concerning lamps, planters, wall-hangings, window-dressings, mobiles (the hanging-from-the-ceiling variety not the where-did-I-put-it-this-time or the forgot-to-charge-the-bl****-thing-again variety) all doable whilst lounging about on enforced no-lifting-carrying shopping bags, laundry or cooking FOR THREE MONTHS type rest. The key theme is 'Be thrifty, use what you have' to make new house beautiful.  Easy.  Have been hoarding REALLY USEFUL stuff for years.    

And after surgery a sleepless night, usefully occupied by drafting  proposal for future research and writing-to-earn-money

Here's hoping.

And if you'll indulge me, I'm dedicating today's blog posting to all the nursing and surgical teams working their magic to put me right.  With extraspecial thanks to an amazingly dedicated night nurse M and a wonderful post-op recovery nurse S (sadly we learned this morning S slipped on ice trying to get to work and has broken her arm) get well soon darling and thanks for your skilled and loving care :)

Bye for now, stay safe
pamela x

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Why 'Magical Meadows'...?

Hello folks, how are you going?  Hope the week's going as you'd hoped;)

Edited to add - I'm so sorry for the fonty sillyness below.  Grrr.  Font gremlins.  Please bear with me, I'll try and clear it up soon, but not right now - or I'll miss my bus;)
Edited (much later) to add - let's try this again, and yes, I missed my bus anyway, sigh.

A couple of people have been asking why I chose to name this blog as I have.  I thought you might be curious too.  I know I often am when I'm a bloggy visitor.  Sometimes the answer appears self evident, sometimes it takes a couple of visits and the penny drops.  Sometimes, well, darned if I care -  just enjoy!

I set up this blog on the spur of the moment.  Been brewing in my mind for sometime.  Put on hold until I 'had time' to 'do it perfectly'.  But (a bit like bloggy lurking, flitting from link to link, you're not sure why or how you got where you got) there came a tipping point when I blinked and the deed was done - and so easy! (no 'cooling off period' ho ho) (and not perfect either, hey ho).

So, not a great deal of preparation (none!) on design or content.  And the title.............?

A bit like the character in a movie, a spy or somesuch (grrr, I can't think of a single example....) when caught in the wrong place/wrong time scenario and forced to give name, searches her surroundings and fabricates an alias from a neon sign, shop window, newspaper headline.  Still with me?

When blogspot asked for blog title I rolled my eyes, muttered curses, thought briefly 'I give up', and then realised my eyes had rested on a pile of mags and periodicals nearby.  You know what I'm talking about, 'How to live your dream in a (flippin' mind-numbingly expensive) Country Idyll', 743 7,430 ways to get organised and save time (yes I know - don't read articles like this!) a zillion tips to save money (likewise - don't waste money buying mags like this!).  Also, more usefully, our county's Wildlife Trust (do subscribe - save important habitats forever!), other conservation eco-mags, etc.etc.......

Resting on the top of this aspiring, inspiring and eclectic mix was a delightfully pretty paperback publication entitled "MAGical Meadows...and the Durham Magnesium Limestone".

Job done.  I claimed it at once.  Typed 'MagicalMeadows' into the relevant name/your/blog box clicked once and launched myself into the bloggysphere.

Ahh you say.  Lazy girl.  But let me tell you, there was good reason for my choice.  It wasn't only panic-buying!  It is where I live.

I love where I live.  The north-east.  It's an area discounted by many as boring, industrial, post-industrial, lacking character, lacking imagination.  Actually, it has everything.  Rich in history.  Spectacular scenary.  Wonderous wildlife.  Everything.  (well apart from some tasty vegan eateries and a branch of Wholefoods, but hey,  nowhere's perfect).

Pass through with a stranger's eyes, what would you see?  Take a look.  Small 'ex-mining' pit villages, hemmed between motorway, mainline railway, 'A' roads and backlanes.  Rows of back-to-back terraced streets, allotment gardens, churches and chapels.  Post-war (i.e.1950's) 'New Towns',  market squares, factory units, charity shops, community halls, quarries and mine-workings.  Supermarkets, shopping malls, pubs, clubs, war memorials and schools.  Sounds quaint? or grim? Both or neither, depends on your perspective I suppose.

But underpinning all - geology.  And linking all, on the surface - natural 'corridors'.

Little pockets of wonder -  bird sanctuaries, ponds and streams, copses and woods, hills and moors, and meadows.  Here comes the sciensy techy bit ........ 
“MAGical Meadows are the wildflower-rich grasslands found on thin soils overlying Magnesian Limestone rock.  In the UK Magnesian Limestone is restricted to a narrow band which stretches northwards from Nottinghamshire into Durham and Tyne and Wear.  The geographical position of the Magnesian Limestone acts as an ecological bridge between the chalks and limestones of northern Britain.  As a result magnesian limestone grassland contains unique assemblages of both southern and northern calcareous (lime-loving) plants.  Many of these plants are close to or at the limit of their natural growing range including Bee Orchid (Ophrys aptifera), Bird’s-eye Primrose (Primula farinose) and perennial Flax (Linum perenne).
Completely unique to east Durham and Tyne and Wear is the magnesian limestone grassland community containing Blue Moor-grass and Small Scabious (Sesleria caerulea – Scabiosa columbaria).  This community is not found anywhere else in the world and is both nationally and internationally important.”
Described as rare, valuable and unique, this habitat has been exploited and industrialised for millenia.  Species have perished, lost forever, more still at risk.  Conservation is imperative.  The quarries and their surrounding lands are crucial, little oasis in a desert of industry, at risk of infill with waste and effluent.   
There is no more beautiful, breathtaking or peaceful habitat on a summer's day.
And it's where I live. 

So there you are, just in case you were wondering.  And even if you weren't;)

Thanks for visiting.

pamela x

P.s, love to know, how did you choose your bloggy home? 

P.p.s., underpinninglinking ..... hey - it's a patchwork thing!  Even more apt, for a crafty sort of lass wouldn't you say?!

(say hello to 'Radio Blanket circa 1994, thrifted yarns, made up as I went along, all on a circular needle).
Edited to add - the second edit worked, result;)