96/365 Check out my new baby!

So what do you go shopping for at a Car Show? Well a Sewing Machine of course *smile* I saw this darling on one of the jumble stalls and it kept talking to me all day until I went back with The Negotiator (A.K.A The BF!) who managed to get me a great deal on it. Although I bought it primarily for it's beauty, it also looks in good working order to me, and I am planning to recondition it and use it! My grandma had one really similar to this, and both my Mum and me wish so much we hadn't got rid of it for that "nice new electric one" because they are nothing but trouble and always break down, whereas this little beauty is 100 years old and still working, and looking gorgeous too! 

94/365 Vintage Styling

Loving this keyring the BF bought me, vintage style is where it's at for me at the moment!!

93/365 The holiday unpacking and washing marathon starts!

I love holidays. I hate both packing AND unpacking! (In the 1930’s I would have had a maid / valet to do this for me! Haha!) But WHY do I love holidays? The few years before this last one, I barely took a holiday, and if I did it was a week off at home, or a weekend away with friends, all of which recharge the batteries to some extent. But this last year and a half I have vowed to go away for a week every quarter, sometimes expensive exciting international holidays like Iceland, sometimes a week away cheap ‘n’ cheerful style like the previous week in the Lakes. Maybe I wouldn’t feel the need to do this as strongly if I didn’t do the job I do, there is no doubt that after 3-4 months of continuous work there, my soul is starting to wilt and the frequency of migraines gets ever closer together! It’s a job that I mainly love, but is also to put no finer point on it is all consuming, and after a while it’s easy for “Work Jules” to become a permanent fixture, even at home. Then it’s time for a holiday and to remember who I really am outside of targets, quotas and reporting lines.

I love the juxtaposition of thoughts that a holiday brings, before I go away, normally I am sick and tired and terminally fed up of routine, my house, my job, my kitchen, cooking, shopping, washing, everything! I love rocking up somewhere new, and having to learn new things, eat new food, deal with new weather conditions, sleep in a different bed, not have any chores to do. But give it 7 – 10 days, and I am ready to come home, and when I come back, I Love LOVE LOVE my little house! My own bed, being able to just have some toast for lunch when I want to! tea, having a whole wardrobe of clothes to choose from, going to a shop and seeing the food that I am used to and like, being able to heat the house the way I want, having my own stuff around me etc etc – you get the picture, ALL the stuff that wound me up only a week ago!! (To say I am a person of extremes is no exaggeration as you can tell!)

And I think that’s it, my mind, at best an intelligent, curious, interested beast, at worst an absolute pain in the neck, never ceasing, restless, obsessive analyser of everything NEEDS some “time out” on a regular basis, needs to shut itself up by contemplation of all new things / people / places / events / challenges / food and experience. Then I come back home calm and refreshed and fully appreciative and grateful for everything and everyone in my day to day life. (And with a new love of feathered friends in this particular instance!) God bless holiday time. Amen x

P.S. You can see the full Lake District Photostream top left now!

92/365 The last half day

Ahhh we are so sad to leave! We squeezed the last drop out of our last day, we drove through forests and moorlands and got up close with sheep! We had a picnic in a wood, and finished with tea at a National Trust garden overlooking the Lake, back home now, and ready for lots of SLEEP! It's been awesome! And my favourite part?? (after spending quality time, and adventure time with the BF of course...) was....wait for it..... THE OWLS!!! Who knew eh? *grin*

91/365 Planes, Trains and Automobiles (well substitute boats for planes and you're about right!)

Rainy day today, and we were a bit tired (well i was anyway!) so we did lots of sitting on various forms of transport and "oohing and ahhing" at the scenery, touring the easy way! We started at the Lakeland Motor Musuem (where i correctly identified a MacPherson Strut!) Then a bus to Lakeside, steam train to Haverthwaite and back, and then boat to Bowness and back. Then a FANTASTIC dinner at the number 1 restaurant in the locality as voted by Trip Advisor, Fellini's, which was oddly a vegetarian restaurant! It was an amazing three course dinner with some wine in a really beautifully decorated dining room! YUM! we don't want to go home tomorrow!!!

90/365 The day i fall in love with owls!

Particularly this gorgeous chocolate brown Eagle Owl, i WANT one!! Check out the look in his eye! who's gonna mess with him?? No one! *grin* We drove the Hardknott Pass today, which was as "hairy" as the sign predicted! We drove to the coast, Ravenglass and Eskdale and spent a great afternoon at Muncaster Castle, the most haunted castle in the UK (no i didn't feel a cold "presence" !) They had wheat free cake in the tea room (get IN!) and then we got to see lots of owls really close up, and I fell in love with them! 

Interesting (to me!) owl facts: A collection of owls is known as a parliament. The feathers around their eyes can be adjusted in order to sharply focus sounds that come from varying distances onto the owls' asymmetrically placed ear cavities. They have stereoscopic eyes which permit a greater sense of depth perception necessary for low-light hunting. Owls can rotate their heads and necks as much as 270 degrees in either direction. As owls are farsighted, they are unable to see clearly anything within a few centimeters of their eyes. The smallest owl, weighing as little as 31g and measuring some 13.5 cm, is the Elf Owl. The largest owls are two of the eagle owls which may reach a size of 60 cm long, and have a wingspan of almost 2 m and an average weight of nearly 4.5 kg. Most owls are nocturnal, actively hunting their prey only in darkness. Several types of owl, however, are crepuscular (how much do you love that word, go on, say it out loud!!) which means they are active during the twilight hours of dawn and dusk.

Owls are one of the few birds that have been found in prehistoric cave paintings, and have been both revered and feared throughout many civilizations from ancient to more recent times. Mythologically, in many cultures Owls are seen as harbingers of death and doom. The owl is often a guide to and through the Underworld. The owl is a symbol of the moon, the night and the feminine. The owl is sometimes called a cat with wings; in fact in China the owl is called the "cat-eared hawk". One of the magical key abilities of the owl is discovering truth through the illusion and external appearances.

Ancient Egyptian Queens and Princess used the owl as their emblem, the letter 'M' in heiroglyphics was an owl, linking Hathor, Isis, and Nephthys to the owl. The letter 'M' to the Egyptians means wisdom, secret Goddess knowledge, having and/or keeping a secret. In Hindu Mythology, the Goddess Lakshmi's (Goddess of Wealth) travels on a barn owl and thus it is considered lucky if an owl resides near your house.

In Greek mythology, the Goddess Athena, was associated with the owl, wisdom, the arts, and skills, as she had a companion owl on her shoulder, which revealed unseen truths to her. The owl had the ability to light up Athena's blind side, enabling her to speak the whole truth, as opposed to only a half-truth. This also links with the lunar, feminine aspect of Athena as "reflective light", the wisdom given to the world as opposed to the direct knowledge of solar illumination.The Welsh have a Goddess, Arianrhod who shapeshifts into a large Owl, and through the great owl-eyes, sees even into the darkness of the human subconscious and soul. She is said to move with strength and purpose through the night, her wings of comfort and healing spread to give solace to those who seek her.

In magical lore the owl has a dual symbolism of wisdom and darkness, they are symbolically associated with being psychic, occult matters, instincts, and clairvoyance, the true ability to see what is happening around you. The owl can see that which others cannot, which is the essence of true wisdom. Where others are deceived, the owl sees and knows what is there. The power of keen, silent observation to intuit a situation. The owl teaches us that it is safe to look at what we may consider to be the darkness of our own souls, and that in that darkness we may find much food for growth. Food for thought!

89/365 Stone Circles, Slate Mines, Lakes and more Lakes!

We visited Windermere, Grasmere, Thirlmere, Derwent Water, Buttermere, Crummock Water and Loweswater - so that's 7 lakes today! We took an hours tour in an underground slate mine (so amazing, like an underground cathedral!) And got all spiritual at Castlerigg Stone Circle. The weather today has been everything from sunshine, wind and rain to hail and sleet! It's beautiful, and adventurous, we are LOVING it here! We finished off the night with too much red wine and a viewing of "Withnail & I" which is even more hilarious after our few days here *grin* "We want cake, and the finest wine known to humanity!"

88/365 "We're not from London you know!"

For anyone who LOVES the film "Withnail & I" as much as I do, you will immediately recognise the title of this post and know where i am for this week! The Lake District! Whoop! 360 miles of driving yesterday brought us here, despite not being in our Lodge and ready to roll until 5pm we didn't let that stop us getting a good 3 hours of exploring in. The weather as you can see was "interesting" but so far we are stunned with the beauty of this wonderful place, and feel like we are in an entirely different country to the congested roads / Tesco superstore / blocks of flats / M25 / stressed out South!

87/365 A walk in the park...

A walk in the park in Sunday Sunshine with my Beautiful Wonderful Mum. Perfect  *big smile*

86/365 First day of holidays! wooo!

For the First Night of our Holiday / Date Night we went here
This is the outfit i wore

We had dinner here

We walked around a little bit

We saw some Royal Windsor in action

Then it got dark

And we checked out the Royal Windsor Wheel

And i took alot of photos

We took our photo

We danced in the morning the next day!

Because that is how we roll!

85/365 “Dipping below Safe Operating Levels”

This is a phrase the BF has coined to describe me when I am tired / hungry / thirsty / hormonally challenged, in the same way that a piece of complex engineering has several measures and dials which must be in safe operating levels to continue working correctly. It makes me laugh every time he says it, because it couldn’t be MORE true that when any of these crucial measure are “off” for me, I do have a tendency to revert immediately to the status of a grouchy toddler, loose all sense of perspective and become irritable and petulant. It’s a reminder to me that looking after myself does affect my mental and emotional state, and not just the other way around. I think the BF wishes sometimes though that I had a set of dials like on this beautiful classic car dashboard in the photo, as that would make the operating levels much easier to monitor…..*grin*

84/365 Next doors cat AKA Bovril

Looking pretty suave with a "Blue Steel" look Zoolander would be proud of.....

83/365 And RELAX!

Had a right old mare at work today! Why is it sometimes its not the clients that make life so hard but the people who are supposed to be on the same side as you?? But anyway... trying now to come home after a hard day, and instead of mainlining chocolate and wine, to chillax with a spot of photographic creativity. I would love to say I was deliberately going for this look, but really it was an exposure mistake, but i do like the effect! 

82/365 Because he is just so Legendary!

And cute, awesome and wonderful, and he can cook too! That's what you call a keeper!

82/365 Flower Power!

I set myself up a little "studio" at the weekend to take some close up flower shots...