Home Archives
Monthly Archives

February 2010

This weekend

This weekend

by Clare Mansell

This weekend the British forces Animal Rehoming Centre near us held a clean-up morning. One way or another we are becoming quite involved with BARC. Our neighbour Laura works there, Jim has just taken on a role as vice-chair of the committee, and of course it’s where Bella came from.

So we spent Saturday morning doing a very small part and helping out with the clean-up. I was assigned the job of painting part of the cattery and befriended a lovely cat called Trio, who helpfully decided to sit on me whilst I was doing the painting.

A visit to BARC also provides the opportunity to stock on some home made jam which is sold to raise funds.

Presentation really is everything isn’t it? I love the label on this and its little fabric hat. I should also give a nod to my wonderful ‘Nifty Fifty’ Canon lens which I used to take this photo. I confess I had it for many months without fully grasping its capabilities, but now I have been introduced to the finer points of bokeh, it has turned into an essential bit of kit.

I also had a craft swap this weekend. The aforementioned Laura took a shine to my cushions last weekend, so we struck a deal, she got her own…

And in return I got one of Laura’s lovely mosaic pieces…

I only realised after we did the swap just how appropriate it was to swap patchwork for mosaic, both of them being the art of reusing leftovers to create a new piece.

4 comments
0 FacebookTwitterGoogle +PinterestEmail
It rained…

It rained…

by Clare Mansell

We have had rain at last. So all the desert dust that was hanging around in the atmosphere is now streaked down our windows and splattered all over my car – but at least we can breathe safely again!

The dogs are not enjoying the wind and rain though. Macy was sulking at the top of the stairs this morning. Although I think maybe she was just guarding the upstairs from the Little Dog and Oscar the Pointer who is staying with us for a week. They have been running round like maniacs, and Macy doesn’t always approve.

This photo also shows off our nasty army issue carpet. It comes in 4 colours. Depending on the quarter you are allocated you either get beige, blue, green or terracotta. I dream of getting the beige one day… Well actually I dream of a life entirely devoid of carpets – but that’s a long way off, the army are obsessed with it – So for now I just dream of having a colour that vaguely matches the mud the dogs bring in from the garden.

This weekend I need to crack on with some sewing. Do you remember the springtime colours? Those squares of fabric are taking shape as my first snowball quilt. I need to get it finished soon because the next project is my parents quilt and I have just 4 weeks to complete it before I go back to the UK for Easter. I am also doing a craft swap with my neighbour Laura, she’s taken a shine to the cushions I made last weekend… why are there always more projects than time?

3 comments
0 FacebookTwitterGoogle +PinterestEmail
The Falklands

The Falklands

by Clare Mansell

A place very close to my heart has been back in the headlines again this week. A British company is drilling for oil off the Falkland Islands, and the Argentines have once again claimed sovereignty.

When the Falklands first hit the headlines in 1982, families across Britain had to get their atlases out to work out where this British overseas territory was. In the three decades that have passed, a whole new generation has grown up unaware of where these astonishing islands are, but there’s a very good reason why I am not one of them…

Four years ago next month, I was sent to the Falklands on a six month detachment with BFBS. I was fresh off civvie street, I’d never worked with the military and I’d never been that far south. I boarded the 16 hour flight from RAF Brize Norton with a great deal of trepidation.

What I found was a beautiful unspoiled wilderness with the most stunning beaches in the world, a welcoming local population and the most incredible wildlife.

Yes, it is cold (sadly it’ll never be warm enough to properly sunbathe on those perfect beaches) but it can also be bright and sunny – When I arrived in March, the end of the Falklands summer,  it was 20c.

Of course there is another reason the Falklands are so special to me. A few weeks into my stay there I met my husband, Jim.  We had gone to school in the same county, but had to travel 8,000 miles from home to meet each other.

As the debate over sovereignty rumbles on, they’ll be many who question why Britain continues to exert its claim on the Falklands, and others who remember 1982 and will be quick to drag out old cliches about the “barren windswept islands.”

Frustratingly, there will also be repeated errors by journalists who insist on calling the capital “Port” Stanley (one error, by one journalist, repeated a thousand times) and there will be many who fail to understand that there is not one island, or two, but in fact an astonishing 778, that make up this South Atlantic archipelago.

If you find you are part of one of these conversations, you can now say that you know a girl who thinks the Falkland Islands are one of the most magical places in the world, and desperately wishes she’d bought an SLR camera, and taken more photos to prove it…

6 comments
0 FacebookTwitterGoogle +PinterestEmail
A busy weekend…

A busy weekend…

by Clare Mansell

This weekend I made cushions. The first one on Saturday, the second one on Sunday. In between I spoke to my mum and told her what I was working on. She said “Did you back the front and put a zip in?” and instantly I regretted short-cutting. So I made the second one today with backing and a zip.  I now have a pair of subtly non-identical cushions. One with a mother’s influence, one without.

We also had another gift of lemons, some as big as grapefruit and all with stalks and leaves attached; beautifully fresh. Jim came home from work on Friday with a carrier bag straining under their weight and a freshly printed recipe for lemon cake…

It was delicious.

The best lemon-related idea I could suggest was more lemonade… We’re are drowning under the stuff. A bottle will accompany each of us to our workplaces tomorrow…

And of course, we took the dogs for a couple of long walks. In Cyprus, dogs are banned from beaches, but each municipality is legally required to designate a dog friendly beach in their area. Although this has been a legal obligation since 2003, only one local council (Ayia Napa) has actually nominated a beach.

So we’ll keep our side of the deal, when they keep theirs….

Call in back for the competition winner tomorrow night…

6 comments
0 FacebookTwitterGoogle +PinterestEmail
Waiting for rain…

Waiting for rain…

by Clare Mansell

It’s not all sunshine and lemons in Cyprus you know…

A huge cloud of African dust is currently hanging over the whole island, swept here by a winds and a low pressure system over Morocco, and now just hanging around waiting for rain to bat it out of the atmosphere.

The dust concentration in the atmosphere is apparently over 4 times the safe amount, which is providing the Cypriot newspaper with plenty of material for horror stories about the potential dangers to health.

 

Light rain is forecast on Sunday, which will clear things up, but which will also mean that all the dust currently suspended in the air, will end up smeared down our windows, and all over my newly washed car… oh well.

PS – I am LOVING hearing all your Valentines stories. It seems like the stereotype of couples having a romantic restaurant meal is not true in almost all cases! Keep them coming and I’ll pick a winner on Monday…

3 comments
0 FacebookTwitterGoogle +PinterestEmail
Newer Posts

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More