Wednesday, 30 June 2010

X is for…

…X-ray! Sorry, I know it’s lame but I do have a tenuous link in as much as our future daughter in law is studying to be a radiographer which will mean, that, among other things, she will take x-rays!

That is it for this week (I’m still away – this week I think I’ll be in Neosho, Missouri, hopefully Number 2 son has arrived by now, if not I hope he’s behaving himself at home!!)


airport xray I may or may not have been subject to airport x-ray as I left the UK!

:::::Thanks for visiting – sorry I can’t call back this week:::::

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

W is for …

…Woodbridge, a small town not far from home which has a more villagey feel to it. This is short and sweet as I’m setting a series of posts to auto post while I’m away (I think I’ll be somewhere in South Dakota as you’re reading this).

A couple of weeks before we left for our holiday the friend that I call Julie joined us for a trip to Woodbridge and a stroll around the town and a mooch amongst the shops. We chose a weekend where quite a lot was happening and I snapped these people performing a Morris Dance, take a look at the link for a real explanation – I know there are several dances and that they all have meanings but I’m afraid I can’t explain it to you.


John took a photo of Julie and I because, as she rightly pointed out, we hadn’t had a photo together since the children were small which is a considerable time ago!


Check out the other W posts at Jenny’s blog!

:::::Thanks for reading, I’m sorry I can’t return the visit this week:::::

Saturday, 19 June 2010

The first time

I’m liking this Saturday Centus stuff! Shame I’ll miss the next few weeks :( I’ve tried to link in with my previous efforts and am actually enjoying finding out who ‘I’ am – does that make sense? I mean I obviously know myself but I’m still getting to know the ‘I’ in my story for it is not the real me! There are back links here, if you want to see what happened previously – I’m feeling a bit like a time traveller now!

Anyway – onwards, cut the waffle, this week’s prompt is in italics – don’t forget to pop over to read the others.

It was Fathers Day, 1984, when I heard that voice in the hallway, my mother pulled me closer to her. I was four years old and the apple of her eye. It had always been the two of us and that was the way we liked it. We’d bake, sew, read and draw, spending all our time together when we could. On the night’s she worked, I went to a neighbour who cared for me as one of her own.

The voice moved closer, her grip tightened around me. “Honey” she said, “ Meet your Daddy”  I looked up into his bright blue eyes and smiled at him for the very first time.

And the winner is…

…Tracey! I entered the numbers in the wonderful Random Number generator and it picked number 11 which is my lovely neighbour Tracey.

Thank you all for entering – maybe I’ll be invited to do another one soon!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Just a gentle reminder…

…don’t forget to enter here for a chance to win a voucher for £50 or $50 to spend on line – go on, you know you want to!!
Closes on Saturday at 09:00 BST.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

V is for …



…vacation – yes I know it’s not been very long since the last one, but it’s been three months since we last went away and I owe to my poor old weary body – and brain – to take a break.

This time we’re off to visit the friends that I described in this post here, the lovely Missouri Arkles. this will be the fourth time we’ve visited with them since way back when  it all started but this year we’re going to be doing something a little different – we’re heading off on a road trip! We’ll fly into Kansas City via Chicago and they’ll meet us at the airport with the plan to head to Mount Rushmore and the surrounding areas for a week and then back to their home in the south of Missouri in time for 4th July!

The plan is for Son2 to join us a week or so later. I say plan because he has unfortunately fallen foul of the US immigration system by deciding that he would like to visit the US for a year. He couldn’t wait to apply until we came back, despite well intended parental advice, and has had his application turned down, all because he couldn’t prove he had a job to come back to after his year is up. As a result he had to reapply for his ESTA which permits us to travel on the Visa waiver programme for up to 90 days and, you’ve guessed it, this was refused as well. However he has a small glimmer of hope, after speaking to a very helpful person at the Dept of Homeland Security, he can apply for a Visa again but with more preparation. Trouble is, he now has 14 days jury service which leaves him very little time to get to the US Embassy in London for another interview – and another big dent in his finances.

So Vacation and Visa all in one post – fingers crossed everybody please, he is desperate for his holiday and even more for his year out!

As ever this is linked to Jenny’s Alphabe-Thursday – pop across for a look at the other entries.

:::::I’ve set the coming weeks to autopost – I probably won’t be able to visit as I’ll have limited internet access ‘cos I’m not taking the laptop, so if you’ve visited me and I don’t repay the visit I apologise in advance:::::

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Long time no chit chat

Where does the time go? Apart from the obligatory memes I haven’t posted anything general for ages. It’s been busy chez Sparkle, John has returned to work after six months of leisure. He’s joined the staff bank at the hospital  and has spent the last two weeks working his socks off in the medical records library – it’s really hard graft, he’s used to a more sedentary work life so it has come as a bit of a shock to him. But I think he’s enjoying himself – if that’s the right word to use.

This of course means that I’ve lost the housework fairy – he was really getting quite good as well *sorry John – no offence meant* which results in a mad rush at the weekend to catch up with everything – sadly the reduction in income means that I can’t commit to having a lady who ‘does’ again!

I’ve spent most of the afternoon setting auto posts for Alphabe – Thursday (it’s the only one where I know in advance what I need to do!) as we’re off on holiday again next weekend and I don’t want to get into Mrs Matlocks bad books for not handing in my homework (yes, I can hear you all, I know I’m mad!). I did however spend a little time in the garden giving it a bit of a spruce up before we go away. Last year I sent off to the daily paper for a 'Free for every reader’ offer of ten dianthus – they arrived as tiny little plugs of plants that I didn’t notice the postman leave on the front door step. I managed to resuscitate them but only had a space to plant five of them – I wish now that I’d put the others into pots and grown them on. The photo below shows why – I am amazed that they have grown so well from such humble origins.

007 I decided to cut all that were blooming because they would be gone by the time we came back anyway, the darker pinks have been in flower for about six weeks already. The Salvia in the background have been in the garden for about five years but this is the best year I have had from them.

And I just have to share this beauty with you – it greeted me first thing this morning, yesterday it was just a tight green bud, such a shame they only last a day or so – especially with the strong wind we’ve had here today!


I think these must have been gifted to me by a very generous bird as I have never had this colour poppy in the garden before, I normally just get a gorgeous pink.

In case you haven’t already entered (or even if you have) don’t forget to enter the giveaway that I am hosting for a £50 voucher – click here for more details – please enter, I feel silly only choosing from a few people plus you don’t want to see Janet winning again now, do you?? (Sorry J – only joking!!)

I’m off now *sigh* another week at work beckons, but at least it’s the last one for a while. Have a good week all!

Saturday, 12 June 2010


Saturday Centus time again. The prompt is in italics and I’ve cheekily picked up on a couple of previous efforts (here) and (here)

It’s true, the smell of freshly mowed grass can stay with you for years, for decades, as I walk along the smart street with it’s neatly manicured front lawns, trimmed to almost perfection, I’m transported back to the days before all this.

Before the trauma that led to me walking away from all that I held dear, my mind is muddled my memories blurred but I know that I have to knock on that front door. It’s been three months since he walked out of the cafe without saying a word. This time there’ll be no running away. Not by him. I will be strong, regardless.

Looky looky – it’s a giveaway!!

Earlier in the week I received an email from CSN making asking me if I’d like to host a give away for a voucher for £50 to spend on one of their websites – or I could write a review and have something myself! Well, I’m a generous being so I thought I’d share this you, dear readers.

CSN have amazing on line stores one is for lights and another for everything from furniture to cookware. I love this Norfolk Lamp – it would be lovely outside my front door! I also like this really simple cake stand – plus of course a whole lot more!

To win you will have to leave me a comment on this post and next Saturday (19 June) at 09:00 hours (BST) I will enter you all into the wonderful random number generator thingy and find a winner. Even if you come across this and are not linked to blogger or google, etc you can leave me a comment by choosing ‘Anonymous’ (I’ll relax the rules for this one – but please, dear lovely Chinese person do not leave me links to your, frankly, very unpleasant website – thank you!) but, for heavens sake, please leave me a way of identifying you – such as your Twitter @ name or just a plain and simple email address – you should be OK we’re all friends!

So get commenting – even something as simple as ‘Yes, please’ or ‘count me in’ will do – no need to wax lyrically about my generosity!! If you are not a UK visitor, I am sure that the lovely folk at CSN will oblige with a US dollar equivalent voucher so please all of you take part – you can enter more than once if you want to!

Friday, 11 June 2010

Soooo Funny…

I spotted this on a friend’s Facebook posting, had to share it!!!


Wednesday, 9 June 2010

U is for …

…Les Parapluies! OK I’m getting desperate now. When I got to thinking about U all I could think of was umbrella and that got me thinking about one of my favourite paintings, hence Les Parapluies or The Umbrellas by Auguste Renoir. I’m a great fan of the impressionists as a whole but I first came to appreciate Renoir when I bought Rod Stewart’s album ‘A Night on the Town’, I’ve also been lucky enough to see first hand Monet’s garden at Giverny in France and to attempt to replicate some of his paintings in photos.

So, I’ve digressed and perhaps cheated slightly – here are a couple of images to share with you


A panel from Les Parapluies by Auguste Renoir

night on the town

Cover of A Night on The Town – otherwise known as Le Moulin de la Galette also by Auguste Renoir

Of course I could always have written about my walk to work today under my umbrella in the pouring rain – hmph flaming June, eh??!!!!

Check out the other Us to see how desperate people are getting now that we are near the end of the alphabet!!!

Sunday, 6 June 2010


Saturday Centus time again! The prompt is in italics, courtesy of Mr Jenny!

I settled into the comfortable movie theater seat with awkward 3D glasses perched on my nose, a small tub of popcorn on my lap, and a bottle of water lodged into the seat holder, although it was dark I felt self conscious. I was not used to going out on my own and wondered why I had chosen a 3d movie. I needed to share my feeling of looking stupid with the glasses, but those days were gone.

The room was almost empty. I snuggled down in the seat and prepared to be entertained. I became aware of somebody sitting next to me. “Do you mind?” she asked. I shook my head. “I feel so stupid coming here alone, I just had to make an effort”she said. “I’ve never done this before”.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

T is for…

…Twitter!!! Described in various circles as the micro-blogging site and in others a complete waste of time, it was Twitter that first got me blogging.

140 characters is all that Twitter permits for each update although the clever amongst us simply update as many time as we need to to get our message across!

I started Tweeting (as us Tweeters/Twitterers call it) early in 2009. I found myself a few celebs to ‘Follow’ and some strange folk followed me  - I hadn't a clue who most of them were. One of them, a certain @jaydubblah, started following me because she thought I was somebody else but when she discovered my true identity, she stuck by and didn’t abandon me. Our virtual friendship has gone on to become real as regular readers will recall. Then there was @farctum who appeared one day having recognised me from my photo as an ex work colleague – I have to say that her avatar was not particularly flattering or easily identifiable because it was a green blob!

As I’m writing this I realise that there is so much that I could tell you about Twitter but I think, if you don’t already use it, you need to investigate it for yourself. I must warn you though of the possible side effects – one of which is smiling insanely to yourself when something tickles your fancy and you couldn’t possibly explain it to a non-tweeter!

So I’ll leave you with a couple of images of Twitter – the standard web version and, I think, the best way to Tweet Tweetdeck so go on, sign up, follow me!!! Oh – I’m @easternsparkle by the way!





I prefer Tweetdeck – you can see more of what’s happening!!

Don’t forget to hop over to see the other Ts at Jenny's!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Brighty, Stripey Thing

In answer to the question a few weeks ago ‘What will Sparkle do next’ here is the reveal!
I started with the intention of making just another blanket  to stow away somewhere for a rainy cold day and then had the bright idea of making a cover for the garden swing seat – all this blog-hopping inspires me no end! I like the way that the back looks like an old-fashioned deckchair with it’s stripy brightness! There’s a slight tension problem on the back but I think once I get some foam inside it’ll pull straighter  - but then again I don’t think it matters too much anyway!
It would have been lovely to show this on the swing but sadly the British weather has proved true to form for our holiday weekend – rain and clouds ruled!