Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The Gallery 37: Celebrations

This weeks theme over at Tara Cain's The Gallery is "Celebrations".
I could have re-hashed some photos of my wedding, as I only got married seven months ago.  But I've already used those as part of a previous gallery entry.

Four years ago, I was celebrating a different kind of milestone.  I graduated from College with a BSc in Nursing.  It was a great achievement for me, as I left school after 5th year and got a job, instead of going to University with the rest of my school friends.  I had worked in two Doctor's surgeries after school and during holidays, so became permanent there, working in 8am-12.30pm in one, and 1pm-6pm in the other.  It shaped my people skills, but I felt useless, trapped behind a desk.

When I was 20 I decided it was time to realise my dream of going into nursing, and enrolled in night school every Wednesday after work to gain my Higher in Human Biology.  I had always toyed with the idea, but wasn't quite mature enough, or ready enough to commit to three years of studying! I was accepted into the Nursing Degree programme in 2003 and graduated in 2006.  Can't believe it's been four years!!

I love my job. Nursing was the best decision I ever made.  There's nothing more rewarding, and I am challenged every day.  No two days are the same.  I meet amazing people and their families, and there's nothing more satisfying than caring for those who are ill.


(Some of the photos are a bit blurry as they're photo's of photo's - I don't have a scanner.)



Class of 2006: Can you spot me?




Why not check out the other posts over at The Gallery.


More Snow!

We have had more snow overnight and as I am writing this the snow fall has just got a little bit more blizzard like! So another opportunity for more photos.  The only thing is, they're just photos of outside my front door.  I've not ventured out in the snow yet, but I'll maybe take a walk later on and get some better photos.











Edited to add: Official measurement* of snow fall




*Yeah... my ruler can  be official, right?

Monday, 29 November 2010

Update 2: Extra Easy Cardigan

So, I had taken a little hiatus on working on my cardigan, and at one point made such a large mistake that I  had to rip it out and started again. 

But I'm glad to say I'm making progress and it's coming on quite quickly.

This is what it was looking like on the 27th November:


I did a little work on it on my break at work on Saturday night, and realised I didn't take my stitch holder so had to be creative and find a makeshift one:



A biro and some sellotape really does the trick!!

And here's what it looks like today (29th November):



I'm not the best photographer, so these photos may not be showing the best of the cardigan.  It's not that small either, the sides just wouldn't stay flat for the photo!!

The way I'm going, it may be finished by Wednesday, or Friday at the latest.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Snow!!

I LOVE SNOW!!




And it's snowed overnight here! It must have started around 11pm, because when hubby came home from work around 10.30pm it was clear.

When I woke up this morning, there was a thick layer of fresh snow on the ground.  Lovely!



I think snow makes the world look like such a better place.  It covers the imperfections and makes everything look fresh and new.


Except my poor garden plants....



And my sunflowers which I really need to cut down now...



But the snow always puts me in the mood for a feel-good Christmas movie (I know, it's still only November), so I'll leave you with a clip from my favourite.

snow, snow, snow, snow, snow!

Monday, 22 November 2010

The Gallery: Black and White.



We're now into the 36th week of the Gallery over at Tara Cain's Sticky Fingers blog.  The theme this time around is Black and White.









Now,  I'm so tempted to use some black and white photo's that I've taken over the past year or two.  I thought, I could use this one:


I took this one when I was on holiday in Mallorca with my sister in October last year. But then I remembered that I was experimenting with the black and white function on my camera last year when we went to London and thought, well what about this:


Hmm, I liked it, but wasn't sure. Then I remembered fiddling about with the camera when we were out and about in Edinburgh, and thought about these two:



And I like all these photos, but they're all of scenery, buildings and places.  BORING!

However, Tara did say it didn't necessarily have to be a black and white photo, and I began to think a little bit outside my box.  I mulled over a cup of coffee...

What's black and white? What's black and white and reeeeallly cute?

What's black, white, really cute and my favourite thing in the world?

And then it hit me:



PENGUINS!!

So they're technically black, white and little yellow, but penguins are my favourite!

These little guys live in Sea World, Orlando.  Hubby and I took these photos on our honeymoon, and I had to be physically dragged out of the penguin section, as I could just watch them all day.  Penguins have been my favourite animal, ever since I was a little girl watching the penguin parade at Edinburgh Zoo.  Santa even brought me an adopted penguin a couple of years ago, and he lives in the Falklands. Very cute!

So that's my entry for the gallery this week.  Why not check out the other entries over at Sticky Fingers?



Wednesday, 17 November 2010

The Gallery: Before and After

This weeks Gallery theme over at Tara Cains Sticky Fingers Blog is "Before and After".  And I had just the pictures in mind.

I thought: if I'm going to embarrass myself, I'm taking my sister down with me!  


Me "Before"



Me "After" (26 years later)



Sis "Before"
Sis "After" (30 years later)


Us "Before"


Us "After"

Why not check out the other entries over at Sticky Fingers?

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Mo-vember: A very worthy cause!



No I'm not growing a moustache!!  I've just donated some money to those taking part in Mo-vember for the Prostate Cancer Charity.


They are an amazing charity who provide one to one support, support groups, information and research to help men suffering from prostate cancer.



Over 36000 men in the UK are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year, and a few years ago my Dad was one of them.  Thanks to my Mum's eagle eye, she spotted the signs and symptoms, and checked his blood (she's a nurse).  She told him she was checking his thyroid, as we were going on holiday as a family the next week, and she didn't want to worry him, or me and my sister.  He was officially diagnosed when we came home.

He underwent radiotherapy and hormone therapy, and is now on the mend.  It was a very stressful time for Dad and the rest of the family, especially as he was only in his late 50's when he was diagnosed.  He had to retire on grounds of ill health at 58. 

He joined one of the support groups, when he was diagnosed, and is now a volunteer for the Charity.  Thanks to their support, my Dad is well equipped to face life head on again, proving that there is life after cancer.  He volunteers at information stands, and events held by the charity, helping other men through their journey and raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer. 

Just last month he was invited, along with other volunteers, to Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh for a reception honoring the volunteers and the Charity for all their hard work.

I'm lucky to still have my Dad around, and still in reasonably good health. Without the research, information and support the Charity give, others may not be so lucky.

 Please donate to them here.  It's a very worthy cause.


And boys, be sure to be on the lookout for signs and symptoms, you can find them here: Prostate Cancer: Signs and Symptoms.

Thank You!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Update: Extra Easy Cardigan

I started working on my Extra Easy Cardigan two days ago.  I think it's coming along quite well, and is shaping up quite quickly.  The only thing I think I would change for next time is the wool.  At the moment I'm using Robin Aran with Wool in red.  Next time I think I'll opt for a chunkier wool, just because it's feeling a bit thin.

Here's the progress so far:


Thursday, 11 November 2010

Lest We Forget

November 11th is a special day, for it is Armistace Day, the day of remembrance. It is when we stop whatever we are doing at 11am and stand in silence to remember those who have fought wars for our freedom.


The day was officially commissioned by King George V in 1919, and has been observed every year since.

I don't come from a military family or anything but Armistice Day means a lot to me. My fathers great uncles were killed in the First World War. They were only young men, who went to war in the belief that they were making a difference for their country. They served in the Cameron Highlanders.  I wear my poppy with pride for these men who died, and my great grandfather, and my other great uncles who came back from the war.

John Peacock died on the 26th May 1916, and is buried at Loos Cemetery.  His brother Joseph Peacock died on the 16th July 1916, and it is unknown where his body is, so his name is etched on the Theipval Memorial. 



My dad took the photo below, and you can see Joseph Peacock's name on the memorial (between Paterson and Pearson).



One name in a wall of thousands. 


Really makes you think. These people went voluntarily, in the belief that "it would be over by Christmas".  We've never had a major world war in my lifetime, not one that has affected me directly anyway, and I dread to imagine there ever being one.  I do not think that there would be as many civilians willing to go to war, as there was in the First and Second World Wars.  They were unaware of the horrors that waited for them over there. Such awful loss of life.

My dad is very interested in the 1st World War, and has visited the battlegrounds, war sites, and memorials in France many times.  It's my dad's influence that has sparked my interest in the First World War, and the poetry, human interest and such surrounding it.  He went over to France 2 years ago, for the 90th anniversary of the end of the war, and he got some amazing photos. 



One of my favourite First World War poems comes from Laurence Binyon, (1869-1943)who worked as a curator for the British Museum.  He was too old to fight in the First World War, so he joined the Red Cross as a medical orderly and served with them at the Western Front.  Part of his poem "For the Fallen" is read at every cenotaph on Armistice Day.


For The Fallen



With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.
Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.



They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.
But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.









Lest We Forget

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