Wednesday 28 August 2013

How many?!!!!

Wow, I have just noticed my blog has recently racked
 up over quarter of a million hits!!!!

Writing my blog helps keep me sane, so huge thanks
to you all for visiting regularly to read my 
ramblings ... 

I can't tell you how delighted I am!!!

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Something old may turn to grey ...

Once Upon a Time, in another life more than thirty years ago, I knew a lad with his head in the clouds and his feet firmly on the ground.  He was a streetwise, ballsy Glaswegian rock singer, with big dreams and an even bigger heart. I was a shy, wet-behind-the-ears-fresh-out-of-school teenager, working in my first job for his management company in London. 

Owen Paul

Life was a roller coaster back then, far from conventional for either of us, so friendship cemented fast as we battled the elements of our young lives.  Then one day the wind changed direction and as is the way of life, blew me one way and him another... 

So, fast forward to Saturday night, Maidstone, in the here and now ... I was invited by Owen to hear him sing at a local venue.  My sister's family, my daughter Fay, Stuart and I, gathered to share an evening of music memories, friendship and laughter and I couldn't help but chuckle when my old friend sat at the microphone with his guitar, grinned and murmured 'hello Paula,'  as if thirty years was only thirty days ago!

Well, Mr McGee, isn't time a strange thing?! When I was a mere slip of an eighteen year old, I believed thirty years would take forever to pass, but apparently it slips by in the blink of an eye after all ... who knew eh?!

And in your own words ...


If you would like to know more about Owen's music, please visit his website below:

Thursday 22 August 2013

The Final Countdown!

I am so looking forward to my big day out in London on the 8th September but thanks to my gorgeous Polly pup, am way adrift with my prep this year.  In fact, to-date I have only one new bear sat on my bookcase waiting for 'Teddies 2013', which is definitely not enough for this prestigious show ... eeeks!  

My one lonesome bear doesn't have a name yet, but I hope you'll agree he is a fine lookin' fella.  As I have so little time to prepare left, my plan is to do what I think I do best and stick with big 'uns - that way, hopefully I should stand half a chance of drawing some attention to my stand ... eight or nine big 'uns will make far more of an impact than a similar number of Tiddler bears, that's for sure!

If you would like to come to the Teddies 2013 show in Kensington Town Hall on the 8th September, please visit the organiser's website below for full details.  It's always a fabulous day out for teddy bear enthusiasts as there are 1000's of stunning artist designed bears, vintage teddies and bearaphenalia for sale on the day.  It's a true teddy treasure trove, very friendly and above all, fun, fun, fun!!!

I will be exhibiting in Hall 2 on stand 75, so do stop by to meet me and my latest big 'uns if you can, we'd love to say hello in person and hugs are of course, always free!

Monday 19 August 2013

Bridging the Gap

The past few weeks caught up with me at the weekend.  Dancing, tippling (just a little in the spirit of  family celebration you understand!) dog walking, training and playing with Polly, curry nighting with my kids and working towards my show ... (all in all, just real life I suppose) had me yawning my way through Saturday and Sunday.  Stuart was no better either! There's no doubt we are much in need of a holiday to recharge our not-quite-as-young-as-they-once-were batteries.
Once the usual weekend chores (big yawn) were dealt with, we scraped ourselves together for a gentle stroll round Leybourne Lakes on Sunday afternoon, but in truth it was more of a trudge in the sunshine.  There was no Polly to keep us moving briskly this time, as she was enjoying a walk in Mote Park with my daughter and her boyfriend.  So it was just me 'n him, toddling along, on our tod.
Still, besides the fresh air and an orange ice lolly, our half-hearted outing did at least provide me with an opportunity to play with my new camera which was useful because it's a Panasonic Lumix FZ200 and I am somewhat bamboozled by it after my loyal Canon years!  I have been frustrated of late by my little pocket sized Canon Ixus 210, which is great for quick snaps outdoors but not so good when I want to take indoor shots in low light.  My Canon DSLR is brilliant for photographing just about everything, but fairly bulky and heavy with 600mm zoom lens attached, so less than ideal for carting around on walks.  So I developed a yearning for a 'bridge camera', something capable of offering a decent integral zoom lens and extra functionality to bridge the gap between my little point 'n shoot and my posh DSLR.
And I'm sure when I've learned how to use it properly, that's exactly what my Lumix FZ200 will do for me!  It's quite a bit bigger than the Canon Ixus, but not heavy and still much smaller than my DSLR.  I'm finding my way round all the automatic settings at the moment, but as you can see, it takes lovely crisp pictures.  It has a really good 600mm zoom, so I don't feel as though I'm missing anything by not taking my bigger camera out and about with me.  I won't be using it for my studio shots as I certainly don't want to retire my lovely Canon 450D, but I will definitely be taking it on holiday to Cornwall later this year ... can't wait to get out on those beautiful Cornish cliff paths with it!!!

Wednesday 14 August 2013

Polly's first Summer

Summer has been glorious here in Kent this year, so Polly has been enjoying walks in our local country parks ...

Last weekend we visited 'White Horse Wood Country Park' and 'Bluebell Hill Viewpoint' and had a lovely ramble across the North Down's way.

The fields had been threshed ready for harvesting and were gloriously golden.  There's a definite hint of Autumn creeping into our landscape and Polly has had so much fun in the late Summer sunshine bouncing around the great outdoors!
She's bounced her way through long grass and woodlands too, chased butterflies and even watched hang gliders take off into the clouds ... (mind you, she really wasn't sure quite what to make of those, so decided barking would solve the confusing problem of flying people!)

We have had some fabulous walks with our Polly and have thoroughly enjoyed watching her explore her new world in this, her first Summer.

Polly is maturing into a beautiful girl; she's bouncy, affectionate, loyal and clever ... and now I wonder how I ever managed without her!

Here's to many more country walks with Polly this year - not only has she become an important member of our family in the four months she's been with us, she also fills my days with fun and has made sure Stuart and I enter our fifties in far better shape!

Tuesday 13 August 2013

I wish you enough ...

The sun shone as we gathered at St Peter and St Paul's church in Aylesford last Thursday, eagerly awaiting my niece Leah's marriage to her handsome fiance Gary. As she stepped into the church on her father's arm, she looked absolutely radiant in her beaded gown and I couldn't help but wonder if someone had waved a magic wand during the night, turning my pretty little niece into such a beautiful woman ...

Celebrating this lovely young couple's union and commitment with my family and seeing the pride in my sister Fiona's eyes as her daughter confidently shared her happiness and love for her new husband, was a true privilege and very, very, special to me.

Leah and Gary, 
I wish you enough kindness for a long and happy life together.
There's no doubt, you two were made for each other.

With much love from,
Your very proud 
Auntie Paula xxx

I am happy to say Leah's childhood dream of becoming a beautiful princess on her wedding day came true for her ... check out this picture of her, aged about three, playing with her 'Barbie bride' in my living room!

Friday 2 August 2013

Dainty Bess

Here in the UK, it is high Summer and for me, that means roses! I love rose blooms, so my creation for the Guild's 'Around the world in four seasons' challenge is a typical 'English Rose'.  She represents a rose bloom named 'Dainty Bess', a lovely old fashioned shrub rose described as, 'An unusual old shrub rose  ... one of the loveliest roses ever bred'.

17" Dainty Bess

I am happy to say, Dainty Bess was snapped up very quickly by an eager collector in America and will be winging her way across the Atlantic to join her new hug next week!


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