Monday 30 June 2014

A Summer Recital

I don't think that I have mentioned it before, but I started piano lessons in January. I've always wanted to learn to play, but never had the opportunity.

Saturday was the culmination of five months of lessons when we had a musical recital. I was asked by my teacher if I would be willing to participate and I sat on the fence so to speak for quite some time. I finally decided to give it a go during this week's lesson. 

To say that I was nervous getting up in front of a crowd of people is an understatement.  My hands were shaking so much that I could hardly play and I just got through my piece as best I could.  My audience were kind to me, but I was relieved to get it over with!  I just wish that I'd had the confidence of the seven year-old who was totally unperturbed by the whole experience.

We were called back to the front at the conclusion of the recital and each participant was presented with a rose and a card.  A kind, sweet gesture on a first performance.

Tuesday 24 June 2014

Postcard From Niagara Falls

The last post showed you the Falls during the daytime.  Once the sun sets, they are lit up with coloured lights and the scene is transformed.

Sunday 22 June 2014

A Room With A View

We were in Ontario for a few days where I attended a conference in Niagara Falls.  This was the view from the window of our hotel room.  Although I did not spend a lot of time at the hotel, I was drawn to the chair by the window and this ever-changing view.

The Horseshoe Falls are on the Canadian side.  The American Falls on the US side of the Niagara River can be seen in the distance.  The lower part of the photograph is Ontario and the other side of the river is New York State.

As this was primarily a business trip, we did not have time to enjoy much in the way of sightseeing.  We missed out on the famous boat trip to the foot of the Falls (though we have done this in the past and I highly recommend it), but did make a quick trip to the Table Rock Visitor Centre via the new Niagara Falls Incline Railway.  Standing close to the thundering water, we could watch as it descended over the edge of the Horseshoe Falls. 

We've been here numerous times in the past when we lived in Ontario, but there is a power and majesty about this place which draws visitors from across the globe and I never tire of seeing it.

Monday 9 June 2014

Things That Make Me Smile

Seen on a desktop background last week.  I must admit that I laughed out loud when I read it!

I searched for it online: I have no idea who to credit with producing it, so I hope that they don't mind my sharing it.  Thank you, whoever you are.

Have a great start to the week.

Sunday 8 June 2014

Gardeners' World

It has been a busy weekend in the garden, as we spent both days tidying up and planting.  Although it is not huge, there is enough work to keep us busy throughout the season, mainly due to the fact that it was neglected and full of weeds before our arrival.  We still have the finest crop of weeds in our street and they grow at a phenomenal rate,

I still dream of my cottage garden, but it has taken a long time for the dream to become a reality and I have yet to achieve it.  These yellow flowers were in the garden before we moved here, but I don't know what they are called.

This year, I've been concentrating on building up a stock of perennials, as I have mostly grown annuals in the past, so the garden lacked structure.  I picked up a tip from a gardening programme to include fruit bushes in a flower garden in place of shrubs.  As I had some which I planted in the back garden when we first arrived, I decided to move them, as they did not seem to like their situation.  Having had no fruit last year, they are now both flowering and I have high hopes of some red and white currants this summer.

These white flowers appeared today.  Again, I have no idea what they are and when later this evening, I went outside to have another look, they had closed up for the night.

Chives grow profusely and spread everywhere.  I mostly leave them to grow where they will, as they fill up the gaps and their flowers are so pretty.

This is the view of the same bed from the opposite side, looking towards our drive.  As the plants are only just beginning to grow, there are still large gaps, but I'm hoping that it will fill out in a few weeks.

Saturday 7 June 2014

In The Garden

It has been a busy day in the garden.  I wish that I could claim that this beautiful blossom was on our trees, but I spotted it at the garden centre.  That is the thing about planting.  No sooner did I get started when I realised that I needed to go out and buy some seeds, as well as stock up on some herbs, as mine did not survive the winter.  Not too many herbs are hardy enough to return in spring after the kind of weather we get.

Anyway, it was a pleasant diversion for about an hour.  I didn't spend too long browsing, as there was a lot to do at home. 

It is a shame that I couldn't just sit down in that inviting chair and spend a quiet time with a good book....back to work at home, where we planted our vegetable garden and I potted up the herbs together with some that I've grown from seed.  It has been such a cold day that I'm wondering if they will survive tonight ~ it feels more like late autumn than late spring/early summer.  I was glad to go indoors and thaw out in a nice hot bath!