Tuesday, 18 February 2014


I like to think that my husband and I have a small degree of common sense between us, but this weekend has caused me to think again.

Our boiler broke. 

For five days we were without heat or hot water.

We had to cope with washing in a freezing bathroom with water hot from the kettle.

I cancelled an evening meeting last night because, quite frankly, I wasn't confident how fresh I smelled.

It wasn't until this morning, day six, that husband turned round and said,

'Would it help to switch the immersion on?'


(a clean) Andi xx

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

How times have changed

A friend of mine posted this on his Facebook page this morning.
  I loved it, thought you would too, so I'm sharing it here.

Andi xx

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!
Hope 2014 has started well for you all. 
My Christmas plans hit the fan.
At the beginning of December I was SO organised. 
I even started getting crafty and making things.
Cinnamon heart ornaments:
I hung them in garlands over the fireplace and the scent was wonderful.
I have the recipe but not the credit.  I'll try to find it before next December.
I also sewed two snowmen mug rugs from a free pattern by The Crafty Gemini.
The first was announced as 'the practice one'.  It went a little wonky:
The second came out better:
 I was happily sewing away and planning other projects for presents, when disaster struck:
This is my index finger after a trip to the minor injuries unit at the local hospital.  A split-second laps in concentration when cutting fabric and the rotary cutter slipped off the edge of the ruler and ran along the side of my finger. 
I don't mind admitting I said words I didn't know existed.
This was in the same week as my dishwasher decided to go on holiday.  A week's worth of washing up one-handed.
Then the heating broke down three days before Christmas.
Oh, the best laid plans of mice and men. 
 No cards were written, no mince pies were made, presents were bought instead of made.
'Christmas hasn't arrived at the Ledbetter's'
I'm not telling you all this to get sympathy (well, just a little over the finger) but to let you know this year I'm not going to get caught out like that and at the moment I'm well on track for Christmas 2014!
Have a great year folks.
Andi xx

Saturday, 7 December 2013


Hello, is anyone still there?

Firstly, apologies for being absent for so long.  Almost the whole year.  I am alive and well but my energy and enthusiasm for writing my blog disappeared.  I have continued to read your blogs with interest and getting lots of inspiration from them. Thank you for helping me along with a few projects!

Not a very remarkable year has passed and there's not much to tell, but I thought you might be interested in seeing some pics from the cruise I went on in October to Norway.  What a beautiful country with breath-taking scenery.  It was cold, but really not as cold as you'd think (especially wearing thermals).

This is the kind of view we had most days from the ship.
Cold, clean, fresh air.

When we crossed the Arctic Circle we were offered an Arctic baptism.  This is me about to be baptised by King Neptune.  He is about to pour a ladle-full of ice cubes down my back.  It was a shock, even though it was expected.  When I got back down to my cabin to change into dry clothes about twenty ice cubes scattered across the floor.

A Sami man in traditional costume and with a real live reindeer!

Imagine having to survive an Arctic winter when this is your home.

The northern-most post box in Europe

Tromsk cathedral
Built in the 1960's, a surprisingly beautiful building to come out of a decade not known for its inspiring architecture.
We were fortunate to be visiting while the choir was rehearsing.  I have a video but couldn't get blogger to upload it.

This is Mikael.  He spent the evening telling us about making natural medicines from the plants that grow locally.  He also taught us how to Yoik, which is the ancient Norwegian way of singing and, no, I don't have a recording of our efforts.
This kind of singing has only been allowed again since the 1950's after having been banned for hundreds of years by the Christian church because of its connections with the ancient, pagan ways.  The church will still not allow it to be used on its premises, but we were free to spend a pleasant hour or so stretching our vocal chords.

Here's something you might not have known - the reindeer that pull Santa's sleigh are FEMALE.
Yes, the male reindeer have their antlers in the summer.  Females grow them in for the winter.  So Donna and Blitzen (and Rudolph.  I guess the lyrics to THAT song should be changed) are GIRLIES.

This was a very special, magical and spiritual trip for me.  I am so glad I had the opportunity to visit.
Another post soon.  I want to show you my crafting efforts.
Hope all your Christmas preparations are going well.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Beautiful Boys

Every now and then I pick up old photographs from car boots or charity shops.  They are usually pre-1940 and always of people.

These three little boys have been in my possession for a number of years.  The photo was taken by E.I. Ellery of Truro, Newquay and Perranporth in Cornwall and the writing on the back says,

Wishing you a Very Happy Xmas
Horace Eugene and Thew(?)

I love that the youngest has his cuddly toy with him
and the eldest looks as though he may have been given his daddy's pocket watch for the occasion.  His body language is unmistakably that of the big brother in charge!

What a shame there's no surname to help find out more about them.  

I just hope they all made it through the war.


Thursday, 10 January 2013


Elsie decided to go her own way during our walk this morning.

She dived into a thicket after a scent or something and disappeared for over an hour.

The place was deserted, I was frozen and almost in tears when she suddenly came running from the other end of the path.  

She was filthy after digging and putting her head down rabbit holes and looked thoroughly pleased with herself.

She went straight home for a bath.

She's in disgrace.

I'm sorry I haven't updated for a long time.  From September onwards I had a lot of things going on and something had to give.  I'd rather spend time reading all your blogs than keeping up with my own.  Now things have calmed down a bit (excluding missing dogs) I may update more often - that is, as long as I've got anything worth blogging about.
(but it was good to get this morning's upset off my chest).

Andi xx

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Which would you rather?

A couple of weekends ago I made one of my infrequent trips on the London underground.

The train was crowded and there were no seats.

For the first time in my life I was offered a seat by a young woman of about 19 or 20.

I smiled and thanked her but explained I was only going one stop.


have I reached an age (early 50's) where younger folk will give up their seat for me?

That's pretty devastating.

Or have I put on enough weight to look pregnant?

That's pretty devastating too.

A friend laughed and asked which would I rather?

After deep consideration I decided I'd rather be old.

What would be your choice?

Andi xx