A….

I have mixed views about social media, I use Facebook and Instagram. Mostly to keep in touch with family as most of them live far away from me so it’s an easy way to share info and see how they are doing. I hate all the ‘rubbish’ and fake news you have to endure to keep this contact.

The one I like the most, but probably use the least, is Instagram, I enjoy taking photo’s although I’m not the greatest at it, and love seeing other peoples photo’s, and what they are doing. One of the people I follow is an account set up by a lovely lady, @fatmumslim, she runs a photo a day challenge every month, and I’ve tried to complete as many as possible but never managed a whole month (yet). So every month she posts a list and anyone can join in with the #fmspad

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This month is an easier challenge as it’s alphabet based. So I thought I’d combine it with some of my posts on here. As today is the first, the letter is A and I thought I’d share my photo’s and reasons.

Two of my aunties, who have been an important part of my life, Audrey was my great-aunt and I lived with her for a time. She was a lovely person, she gave good hugs too. And my auntie Avis, who we lost earlier this year and has left a huge whole in the family. Again a lovely person who never failed to make us laugh.

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Alex, my baby brother. Always an inspiration and a fantastic role-model for Oscar. He never followed the ‘norm’ and often followed his heart but this lead not only to his dream job but also his wonderful wife.

Lastly no A could be complete without my allotment. It’s my haven and little slice of heaven on earth. Today I harvested the first, and only apple from my tiny tree.

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If you are on Instagram then why not have a look and join in. What A’s are important in your life ?

I won’t be posting all the letters on here, unless you want me too but will keep you updated with how the challenge is going.

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My Liverpool

Liverpool is a busy city, full of people, noise, music, eating and drinking. Sometimes there’s so much going on that we fail to see anything.

I’ve always loved the museums and galleries but sometimes you just need to grab a camera and walk around the streets.

Liverpool has many beautiful places but a short walk away from the bustle of the shops you’ll find yourself in the Baltic triangle, home of the creative people in Liverpool.

So on a cold and icy winter day I took a walk around to show you some of the artwork on display.

Sometimes you just need to ignore the noise and look around.

Where have we been ?

We’ve had a few adventures so far this year. We started the year with a visit to Chillfactore snow park in Manchester. We had a snowboarding lesson, which Oscar loved and did really well but I couldn’t stay upright (I have enough issues on flat, dry land) then we had an hour of free play on the luge, downhill tubing and sledging. It was freezing when we arrived and I was gad we had wrapped up warm but within a few minutes both us were sweating and had to remove a layer or two. I was a little expensive but as a special treat and a day to remember it was worth it, we laughed a lot.

As usual in school at winter time plenty of bugs meant both us spent sometime in bed feeling dreadful and as a result of Oscar missing a few days of school he missed a lesson he had been looking forward to for weeks, cooking a pineapple upside down cake. So we made one at home, it was a great success and both Oscar and Grandpa loved it.

We had a very busy week away at half term, but I’ll do a separate post about that. Then before we knew it Light Night had arrived again, the yearly arts event in Liverpool when galleries, museums and many other buildings are opened up to the public for arts events, it’s good fun and we get to do and try lots of new things and see inside buildings that are closed to the public. I took the ‘proper’ camera out with us this year and Oscar took some really good photo’s (I took the top 2 on the left and bottom right)

I have also started knitting again, keeping it simple as some new baby boys (not mine) are arriving soon so pram blankets for the autumn/winter time are in progress.

Lastly we had a night out at the Liverpool Echo arena to watch the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team, what a fantastic night. We laughed, danced, sang, cheered and at the end got to meet the players. We will be returning to see them again and would recommend it to everyone, even if you don’t know anything about basketball. A really good show and amazing skills.

 

An enjoyable start to the year, things are about to change but hopefully it will be better for us in the long term. More to follow…

 

Erddig

A lovely sunny Saturday and a need to be outdoors meant a good time to give the new camera an outing.

I decided to try a new (to me) National Trust property, just over the Welsh border in Wrexham is Erddig Hall and gardens. After driving along some narrow country lanes I arrived at the entrance gates and drove up to the car park and some farm type buildings. However I was in for a surprise.

I was a little early and the main house didn’t open for another hour so I made the most of the sunshine and had a walk around the gardens, this was when I saw the house itself. It is beautiful, as are the gardens.

Inside the house was even more surprising, the family was very unusual in that they really cared about and for the servants.

Not only did they have portraits and photographs of the servants, with individual poems written by the family, most worked for the family for many years and when retired had a pension paid to them, some are even buried in the family cemetery.

They were also vegetarian and tee-total although did provide meat and beer for guests and were well known for hosting parties. I had a very informative tour of the ‘below stairs’ servants life followed by a self-guided tour of the rest of the house, although other tours were available.

Back out into the sunshine for another wander around the grounds and the stables to see the donkey’s then it was time to head home.

It was a lovely day and I will return again for see more of the grounds and learn more about the house and family.

New hobby – my new camera

After months of being solitary I decided to do something that will get me out and about more and make better use of my National Trust membership.

I bought a camera. I wanted something a little more than my phone camera but maybe not as advanced as a full DSLR, so after a little research and chatting to people who know about these things I bought a Panasonic Lumix FZ200 bridge camera.

The timing was perfect as I had a couple of weeks before our London trip (you’ll have seen that by now) to practise and learn a few of the settings beforehand.

So one sunny Saturday, with a fully charged camera, I set off to my nearest National Trust property and a well known and loved place, Speke Hall.

Here are a few photo’s of the memorable day …

Not bad for a first attempt and felt much easier than I expected. So it didn’t feel too bad using it whilst in London. Here’s a few (unseen) from that week away.

I’ll keep you updated with how it’s going and what new places I discover.