8 Jan 2016

Five on Friday

A new year is a good opportunity to take up new interests as well as continue with old ones.  I've felt the need to get motivated about blogging and think about where my blog is going this year, 2016.  I had many photos and potential posts lined up during last year to share with you, but in the end only the minimum got published for various reasons, but mainly because of our lifestyle of travelling back and forth to Italy, lack of internet whilst in Italy and my eyesight problem that slows me down.
However, with a new camera and perhaps some drier weather I might get out and take some photos! The sun is actually shining today so I'm not going to linger on the computer for long, but instead will get out and enjoy the respite from the daily rain situation we've been having! Meanwhile, I hope your week has gone well so far. This week, being the first of the year, I'm joining in Five on Friday which Amy is continuing to organise.  Thank you Amy. Do pop over and say 'hello' and see what other participants have posted.



1. Above is my new header.
I've been struggling with this area of my blog for a while and although I was fairly happy with past efforts I just couldn't get the blog title the way I wanted using Picasa so I've been experimenting with PicMonkey and I'm happier with this latest header.  However, regular readers might find that I change the photos from time-to-time that represent our two country lifestyle and I get satisfaction from changing the background colours.  Does that say something about me, I wonder?  I do like a change now-and-then, although not drastic ones when it comes to Life.  I'm grateful that Life in general is one of quiet routine, but I'm always conscious that's not so for others and one never knows what is around the corner in one's own life or of our family. As always my philosophy is to take one day at a time and enjoy the moment. Enough said.

2.
These carnations and alstroemeria were bought before Christmas for a bargain price (two separate bunches £4) and they're still fresh after gradually opening their buds.




2.
The times when I've been out-and-about these last few weeks has been to indoor places such as the shops and the library, but before our daughter went back to her home in Berkshire we went out with her sister to a local antique and vintage emporium and had a good time browsing and finding some bargain items. My purchase was a nest of two tables that had been refurbished.  They had been painted white and the inset tops had been refreshed and varnished.  I do like the tops as the colours blend in with the furnishings in the rooms and the pattern of buildings is quirky.  I think it might have been wrapping paper that has been pasted on and varnished?  They were just what I had been looking for as occasional tables and will free up my old linen/blanket chest full of books that is being used at the moment as a large coffee table in one room.





3.
This is my new camera which my husband bought me for Christmas.  I wanted something with a better zoom facility, but was also light enough to take on our travels. A friend has this model and it was also one that other bloggers use.  Thank you Rosemary, who always shares some beautiful photos, for giving me the information which helped me decide to purchase this particular camera. I'm still experimenting with it. Of course, the result of a good photo depends on learning more about how to use a camera to best advantage so none of the photos on this post were taken with it. I think I will be using both old and new cameras for the time being.


4.
Our DiL gave me several books for Christmas and these are a couple of them.  I do find reading non fiction a quicker experience unless I get engrossed in a novel. I'm looking forward to seeing the movie of  the book by Alan Bennett, 'The Lady in the Van', although we rarely get to the cinema. Most of the novels I'm interested in reading are reserved through the Library Service.  I like contemporary novels, Man Booker prize winners etc., but prefer to wait until I can get them on loan at the library.  Do you have any recommendations?  It will be a treat to use the book voucher that I've been given by a grandson and I will probably get a non fiction book in the history genre.


5.
Our daughter, granddaughter and I were captivated by the ballet, 'The Nutcracker', that we went to see last night at the Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield.  Below is a glimpse of the glass canopy of the entrance to the theatre which was taken on one of my walkabouts in the city centre last Autumn. I'll write more of last night's experience another time with some more photos of the Lyceum Theatre and Tudor Square where it's located. 





Meanwhile,  I hope you have a very peaceful weekend and I'll speak to you soon,
Linda :)

50 comments:

  1. We inherited the same nest of tables some years ago and I always said I would paint them and have never managed to find the time, other projects have always sneaked in ahead, but now seeing yours you have motivated me...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's satisfying to get out the paint brush and refresh small items of furniture so I hope you find time to do a makeover with your tables. I'm pleased that I found mine as I wouldn't have had the imagination to add a patterned top.

      Delete
  2. Enjoy using your new camera. The great thing about digital is that you can take as many photos as you want to get it absolutely right. It would have cost a fortune in the old days getting them all developed. Glad you enjoyed the ballet, it's years since I've seen one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I shall enjoy using the new camera. We try and go to the theatre during the Christmas holidays. This time it was special as ballet enthusiasts have been waiting for the St. Petersburg Company to come on a tour in the UK.

      Delete
  3. I'm glad that you enjoyed the ballet..... and it must have been great to see some blue skies in Sheffield after all this rain! I also use picmonkey for all my photo editing. I like the fact that it's free and simple!! Jx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Blue skies were welcome today! I'm gradually getting used to PicMonkey editing!

      Delete
  4. Loved the tables, I have a few projects like that I would like to achieve this year. Love your header.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All the best with your projects this year and may it be a good one for you and your family.

      Delete
  5. Hi Linda, I love your blog header and the photos. I'm sure you will enjoy using your new camera to capture lots of fun times. The tables are a great find. Enjoy your weekend, Pat

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Pat. Happy weekend to you :)

      Delete
  6. Your blog header is lovely and I like the look of your new camera. Thank goodness the sun is out today, we too have been visiting indoor places but today after a hospital visit we went for a walk around the lake. It was lovely to get out in the fresh air:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Rosie. Yes, it was good to get out today. It was very cold and windy, but I knew that from being out last night at the theatre. I wrapped up well and enjoyed a time in town in the fresh air!

      Delete
  7. Nice header. Getting out and about is always a good idea. It helps us focus and find direction. Have a great weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Tammy. Enjoy your weekend whatever you're doing too :)

      Delete
  8. a new camera is always a reason to rejoice.. good find on the tables and fun looking at what you did not buy. i am fiction all the way and hubby is non fiction, i love movies he loves documentarys and history..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well you are the camera girl with all the tips on making photography fun, Sandra. My husband enjoys watching movies on the television whilst I often sit and read!

      Delete
  9. Your header is lovely. I’d like to change my header which was placed by my daughter when she helped me create my blog – I am always afraid to do something wrong, so I have not changed it. Nikon makes great cameras. I have 3, a small one that is always in my purse and the large one when I go out – I take multiple photos and only keep the best and on trips I’ll also use my Sony to have a variety of shots. I had not heard about The Lady in the Van but just saw that Maggie Smith plays in the movie, so it must be a good one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Vagabonde. The whole set up of a blog page can be tricky. I adjusted the width and then needed to fit in the header with a wide enough border to fit in the blog title with a font that I liked. At last I think I've got it to my satisfaction. It sounds as if you enjoy photography too. Your blog is always full of interesting photos as well as information.

      Delete
  10. Five lots of lovely! Your new header is great, it is nice to change these things up isn't it. I find picmonkey good for that sort of thing too. I hope that you enjoy your new camera and that you get some great photos - I am sure you will! Thank you for joining Five On Friday this year! Happy weekend! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Amy. I've wanted to join Five on Friday for a while, but had to write some posts before Christmas about Italy that took a long time to sort out. I hope you have a good weekend yourself.

      Delete
  11. The Nutcracker is such a Christmassy ballet, such a treat. I haven't managed to see the lady in the van either so I shall have to wait for the DVD. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can tell you that the performance of 'The Nutcracker' didn't disappoint. I will probably wait for the DVD of The Lady in the Van to come out too. Meanwhile I shall enjoy the book.

      Delete
  12. Your new header is very smart Linda - I am often tempted to give my blog a new look, but still the original remains.
    I am pleased that you got yourself a new camera, or should I say your husband. I do hope that it lives up to your expectations. It always takes a certain amount of time to get acquainted with a new one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Rosemary re. the header and of course your information about the camera. I've had some advice on the different settings so I'm sure I shall find it easy to use in time.

      Delete
  13. Really like your new header, I need to figure out how to get more than one picture at the top of mine. Loved the Alan Bennett book The Lady in the Van, I understand it's been made into a movie now with Maggie Smith.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I used the collage facility on Picmonkey. I then chose one called 'ducks in a row' I think and from there I chose downloaded photos from my photo file to fit into the squares. Finally I added a wide border. Alan Bennett is a good dramatist and I'm sure I shall enjoy reading about his encounter with the lady in the van. Having seen a preview of the movie I'm sure it will be good especially as Maggie Smith is in it.

      Delete
  14. How much traveling is not always time and opportunity to its regular lead. I like the headline and they are certainly pictures of the places where you were. Regards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Giga. It's good to hear from you. I enjoy reading about your travels and seeing your photos of places that are new to me. All the best to you too.

      Delete
  15. I like your new header very much! How did you create it on Picmonkey? And how did you install it? I'd like a new one! Your camera is great! It will be lovely to see you use it!!! Xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Kezzie. I've explained how I created the collage on PicMonkey in my reply comment to Macn'Janet. When I installed it I went to Blogger Layout, chose my collage that was in a photo file then clicked on the option to place the header 'behind the blog title and description' and 'shrink to fit'. Hope that helps.

      Delete
  16. What a lovely catch up post Linda!
    The small tables are so useful - I'm keeping my eyes open for another set as when it's my turn to host mahjong we all need one for our teacups.
    I checked your books read last year - the nature one about a walk through England sounds like me. I read very little fiction but I can recommend a New Zealand author Linda Olssen "Astrid and Veronika". Linda was born in Sweden but spent most of her life in NZ and now lives in Stockholm part of the year.
    I love the sound of your new camera!
    Shane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Occasional tables are always useful to have in the sitting room.
      I do enjoy reading travel books that include information about the history of a place. That one I've just read touches on places in the south of England that I know. The author writes about his walk along the ancient track, the Icknield Way, from Dorset to Norfolk. I shall look out for the New Zealand author you mention. At the moment I'm drawn to books about the Scandinavian culture and the historical relationship with other countries including the British Isles.

      Delete
  17. Good luck with your new camera! I love the look of your new tables. Hope you have a good weekend. Barbara

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Barbara. I'm looking forward to using the new camera. I'm hoping the better zoom will be useful. Regards, Linda.

      Delete
  18. Your new header looks great. I have still the same header from the beginning in 2012. Sometimes I like to change it, but it took so much time to make it in that time that I almost does not dare to start a new header. Wish you a lot of succes with your new camera..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, I'm sure I shall enjoy using the new camera. Your header featuring your beautiful roses is perfect for your blog.

      Delete
  19. It feels good to look back on a week and think of the little blessings all around us. Your new header looks so nice. Perhaps some day I will get a proper header on my blog but for now I am just happy to get my thoughts down. My husband gave me a new camera last Christmas and I have had a lot of fun with it. I know you will too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Gloriade. I hope the week ahead is a good one for you.

      Delete
  20. Hi Linda, I like your blog header and I agree it's good to change it up now and then. I need to do mine and get rid of the Christmas tree on it! I love the Nutcracker and so do my daughters, it's so Christmassy. Good luck with your new camera, I hope you get used to it soon. Thanks for visiting my Five xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Alison. I like the way you've included a vintage postcard as a background in your header and look forward to joining in Five on Friday again.

      Delete
  21. It sounds like you have been having a lovely time with family. Your new camera looks great...I got one two years ago for christmas and I am still playing with it to work out all its features...modern technology is a wonderful thing!!
    Bob certainly has the right idea.....just like my Alfie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Tanya. Thanks for dropping by and I look forward to catching up with you via your blog.

      Delete
  22. Hi Linda, great shots! I also love taking pictures all the time. Nutcracker is my favorite story! Wish you good time with your camera!

    Sandra xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. A performance of the 'The Nutcracker' is good entertainment for all the family with wonderful musical vignettes and character dance as well as the classical ballet moments. It's good to hear from you, Sandra.

      Delete
  23. Anch'io cambio spesso l'intestazione del mio blog e la tua mi piace molto. Complimenti per la tua vita così piena di eventi e d'interessi. Ti auguro un sereno anno
    Emi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grazie mille, Emi. Un nuovo anno felice per voi e la vostra famiglia.

      Delete
  24. I love your new header. How lovely to have a new camera, yes, they certainly take a while to get used to them, but it's fun too. Glad you enjoyed the ballet. Your tables are lovely, quirky too, I must say I do enjoy quirky!!! I don't know if you've read Hilary Mantel, I did enjoy all her recent books.xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Dina. The new camera seems easy to use although I'm using old and new at the moment. The new one is smaller and lighter and it'll be good for when we travel. I've read Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies and enjoyed both. The television drama production of Wolf Hall was good too.

      Delete
  25. I love the new header, Linda. I've never even tried to give my blog a pictorial header, but you're giving me ideas. The new camera sounds good and I look forward to seeing what it produces.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've recently thought of having a plain header, but I'm fairly happy with this new one.

      Delete