HelenEdith's Blog

The minutiae of my life, plus website updates and book reviews

Archive for December, 2007

Entry for December 29, 2007 – post-Christmas shopping

Posted by HelenEdith on December 29, 2007

I’ve been down with a chest infection since before Christmas.

The last thing I did before succumbing was to have the tyres replaced on my car – and not before time! I took the car for a little drive up the road afterwards, and the brand new tryes were still a bit slippery, and the car’s rear end wiggled as I turned out of my road. I was entertained at how far back the white van following me kept after that!

We cancelled Christmas. We weren’t in a fit state to celebrate it, wouldn’t have enjoyed a Christmas dinner, and didn’t want to bring Stephen’s Mum here and pass on our germs.

Today we went out and did our grocery shopping – and also picked up some items for Stephen’s Mum. I set a new and regrettable record at the petrol station: it cost over £60 to fill my tank! 😦 In fact, the petrol station cost me a fraction more than the supermarket did.

Last Christmas I got all behind, and I’ve been doing two photo albums for Jessie (Stephen’s Mum) this year. Today I delivered the 2006 album to her. If you want to see what’s in it, click here.

I’m still printing the 2007 album, and have run out of Epson Photo Paper. My Epson Stylus Photo 1200 printer has also decided that after eight or nine years of use that it’s earned its retirement, so I’m chasing up and down the stairs sending my pictures to Stephen’s photo printer. I might use a different paper to finish printing and hope that the pictures won’t look too different with a change of paper – I’ve got away with a change of printer OK. I possibly don’t really want to get in more stocks of Epson Photo Paper, as a replacement A3+ printer will give better results on a different paper in the Epson range. Stephen did suggest getting another 1200 on eBay, but I’d like to have a printer which will print to archive standard, as then I could sell prints with a clear conscience – something I’m not prepared to do with prints from the 1200.

We enjoyed calling on on Jessie and I think the cats enjoyed seeing us. Sam apparently welcomes my visits and now enjoys being made a fuss of by me. Fluffie and Mollie took the opportunity to occupy my lap – well Fluffie had the lap and Mollie had my chest to be quite accurate. In fact, I could have done with Mollie not putting her paw exactly where she put it… 🙂

The picture is one I took at Christmas time last year and included in Jessie’s 2006 album. These reindeer were to be seen on the roof of a much-decorated house in Hayes Lane.

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Entry for December 16, 2007 – Maidstone Winds at St Margarets, Barming

Posted by HelenEdith on December 16, 2007

I had an outing with Maidstone Winds today. They invited me along to augment their bassoon section for a Christmas concert held in St Margaret’s Church, Barming.

Barming is a village near Maidstone in Kent, and the church is down near the banks of the Medway at the end of quite a long lane.

The rehearsal was due to start at 1pm, and I think I got there with about five minutes to spare! We went through the whole concert programme, most of which was music I’d never seen before. Surprisingly, the hardest piece of the lot was a rather elaborate arrangement of “Jingle Bells”!

We had about 40 minutes between the end of the rehearsal and the concert, which started at 4:30pm. There was a single toilet at the church, so queueing up for that was top priority! Then I put my jacket on and went out to my car, where I retrieved my black trousers and put them on under my black skirt, as I suspected that I might be in for a cold evening otherwise. I had a couple of oatcakes to keep the wolf from the door, grabbed my camera, and went back into the church for a couple of “I wuz here” pictures. The camera’s shake reduction did an admirable job. I’ve included the best picture I took above, but you can view the others here: Helen Stephenson’s Pictures of St Margaret’s Church, Barming.

We were served mince pies during the interval, and they even had some Sainsbury’s “Free From” ones that I was prepared to eat. 😀 The whole concert was a mix of good band music and Christmas music, and we finished off with Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride” as an encore piece.

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Website update: Windsor & Eton Pictures

Posted by HelenEdith on December 1, 2007

I took the day off last Thursday to go to Windsor to meet an American friend who was in Windsor on business.

The weather was nice and I deliberately arrived early so as to have time for some photography.

One thing I hadn’t realised was that Eton is just a walk across a footbridge away from Windsor. I couldn’t help but realise it when I crossed the footbridge and a big Christmas banner proclaimed “Welcome to Eton”!

Anyway, I got a few late afternoon pictures, photographed the sunset and the twilight and found some pretty Christmas lights in Eton to take pictures of. I made sure I got the obligatory picture of Windsor Castle, too!

My pictures are here: Helen Stephenson’s Windsor & Eton Pictures, 28th November 2007

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