Good Deed of the Day 21/12/15

Today’s Good Dead of the Day is a bit late. I’m sorry but it’s been a busy day reorganising my bedroom furniture, which I decided to do after clearing out my wardrobe for the good dead yesterday.

Today, I decided to also go through my kitchen pantry and donate a bunch of tinned food for Charity. I’m really enjoying putting together the clothing and food donation’s. It made me feel like a good person and I sure could use a dose of feeling better about choices I’m making as I’ve made heap’s of mistakes in 2015!

If your unaware you can donate tinned food at your local Countdown store so I took some baby potatoes, tinned chopped tomatoes and a couple of can’s of baked beans and put them in the trolley they’ve setup for charity.

The shop was busy. I didn’t remember to take a picture until I got halfway home plus I thought about Vlogging the trip but in Whakatane it get’s you stared at. I shouldn’t let stranger’s staring at me become a thing but my confidence level is nowhere near where I’d like it to be plus I don’t want some jackass deciding to be a jerk in the background.

My New Year’s Resolution is to Vlog and not let stranger’s potentially staring at me stop me from doing it, let’s see how that goes in early 2016!

I’m trying not to pre-plan tomorrow’s good deed and see what happens.

Karen 

Good Deed of the Day 20/12/15

Yesterday, I started my Good Dead of the Day. It’s a daily post about something good I’ve done for a stranger, a charity etc. I’m making this up

as I go along. It feel’s good to give back and trying to be a better person.

I wish I’d started doing this at the beginning of the year!

Today’s good deed is going through my clothing and shoes and everything that’s too big (I was much heavier than I am now) because I started running and exercising in August, is going to be bagged and put in a Charity bin, that also goes for my much loved sneaker collection that I’ve outgrown.

Tomorrow, I’ll take 2 bag’s up to the bin at and then see how many more I have throughout the week and deposit them.

If I have time today I’ll also be sorting through my linen closet and donating unwanted sheet’s, duvet’s, towel’s and blanket’s but I’ll include all the clothing, shoes and linen donation’s as today’s good deed.

I know what tomorrow’s deed is, please come back tomorrow to find out.

Karen

p.s I’ll re-edit this post with picture’s of the bagged up clothing so you can see I’m not making these deeds’ up. 

Good Deed of the Day 19/12/15

Hi,

I’ve decided to resurrect this blog because it’s my little space to write whatever I want and hopefully some of you from around the world will stumble upon it and maybe come back now and again to read what’s new.

I should’ve started this Good Deed of the Day on 1st January, but better late than never.

Today’s the first good deed day so let’s see how we go until 19/12/16!

I was on my morning walk and I saw a grandpa with two little kids probably between 3 and 5 and he was flying a kite for them on the river path. I don’t know if he didn’t see the trap’s or is even from the area but I felt compelled to let him know this area was not the best place to be flying kites that keep landing in the long grass beside the river because there are Rat Trap’s to stop the rat’s from coming into the park and houses along the river and in the trap’s contain rat poison.

I’d hate to think that the kite got rat poison on it and the little kid’s picked it up and then got sick and had to be taken off to hospital . It was a big decision to make to let the grandpa, who was a stranger know but I felt it was important to explain they should take the kite into the park which was right next to it and it was empty.

The grandpa was grateful and I felt happy I’d decided to say something and potentially (maybe) stopped one or maybe two of the kiddies, or even the grandpa from becoming ill and having to go to the ED with rat poisoning or maybe worse.

I think it was a very good deed but I’ll only count is as one, even though I potentially saved 3 people from rat poisoning!

I wonder what tomorrow’s good deed will be…

Karen

 

 

Roses in Bloom

I went for a walk in my village and I saw these beauties. I adore roses so I had to capture their beauty.

My favourites are the Lilac (top) and Yellow Rose. Only the yellow rose smelt lovely, the rest didn’t have a perfume.

Photos taken by Karen Wilson using an iPhone 3Gs. Copyright 2010.

Heythrop Park Resort, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, UK

From 14th to 16th May I was treated to a long weekend at a beautiful hotel in Oxfordshire called Heythrop.

It took 10 minutes to drive from the Entrance to the hotel, beautiful trees line the road, there were birds singing, squirrels playing and we opened the windows and the only noise we could hear was our car. The wind rustled the trees in the sunshine. From that moment on I knew it was going to be a fairly relaxing weekend.

On arrival at the front of the hotel I was impressed by the how grand it was. My first thought (when I cheated and looked it up on the internet, before leaving home) was oh this is a little like Jane Austen’s “Pemberley”. I read it is an estate with conference rooms, vast gardens, a golf course, lots of little walking trails, a restaurant, a bar and the most important thing to me – it had a Spa!

Entering the inside of the hotel and walking past reception is a grand seating room with lots of chaise lounges and a Yamaha piano. At first as there was no-one sitting at the piano but I could hear music so I thought they were playing a Piano music cd but once I got closer to inspect the Cupid Clock Fireplace next to the Piano, I noticed the keys started moving themselves. I haven’t seen a piano do that before – except when it worked on a telex type roll of paper that was fed through a machine, but this one had a small computerised black box under the piano.

Also in the Grand reception room I discovered the biggest and most gorgeous pink Lilies. I thought the droopy things were cute and the colour of the Lily spectacular. I couldn’t get over how opulent this hotel was and the best thing about it was 3 days and I didn’t have to cook or do any cleaning. I had 3 days of leisure.

We then headed for the bar for a drink whilst our luggage was taken to our room by the Porter. It was quiet and floor to ceiling windows of the stunning gardens made it delightful. There were conversations by other patrons but everything was low quay and very dignified. I thought I might be out of place with jeans and a blouse but the other guests were wearing the same thing, smart casual and it was afternoon and we’d traveled a long way. So we slowly walked to our room and got lost a couple of times, the hotel part of the resort is vast. We found a maid and she walked us to our room and asked her to phone her if we wanted extra pillows, blankets, bathroom soap etc and chocolates. I could get used to being waited on.

After a brief unpack in the room and a look outside our window (we were right opposite the deserted golf course) and as far as the eye could see there was lush green grass and trees and we had a west-facing room so the sun was going to set behind the trees right outside our window. We had a bit of a rest and then we went to the reading room. It was amazing. Immediately I was drawn to the wallpaper and the fireplace, it felt so homely. My idea of heaven for an afternoon of piece and quiet to read a book.

The book I was reading at the time. I know its not highbrow but I didn’t want to bring a big thick book with me. I spent a couple of hours reading, there were too many other things to do and the weather was cool and sunny so I went on a long walk before dinner around the gardens to look at different trees etc.

At 6:15pm we went back to our room to freshen up and change for dinner. I didn’t want to be the only person looking out of place in the restaurant wearing jeans. I changed into a pair of black trousers with a mint and black lace blouse. Now all I had to do was not spill gravy on my clothes. When we arrived in the restaurant the Maitre d showed us to the convention section of the restaurant, so much for sitting near the window which is what I was hoping for. We thought it would be an ala carte menu but it turned out that because it was Friday it was a hot buffet. The food selection wasn’t very good, there was hardly anything freshly cooked to eat and as soon as the hot plates were delivered the male conference guests dived on the buffet. I ended up with a very small salad if you could call a few cherry tomato’s, some pasta with pesto on it and a few lettuce leaves a salad. There was an abundance of olives – which is a shame because I don’t eat olives.

The main course was a choice between fish and roast beef. I went for the roast beef and found it overcooked and chewy. I did enjoy the Yorkshire pudding though and had never eaten one so big before but it was the most delicious part of the main course, along with the oven roasted baked potatoes.

Here’s the gorgeous Orchid table decoration.

and my Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding.

I didn’t fancy the desserts. There was a not so appetising fruit salad and also a chocolate cake.

My husband knew some people also attending the conference he wanted to catch up with so I went back to the room and had a luxurious bubble bath and make myself comfortable on the bed to read my book. I was tired and didn’t know I’d fallen asleep and woke up at 1am and my husband was nowhere to be found in the suite. Our room had a lack of wifi internet and mobile reception which the hotel said was due to the thick limestone walls so I got dressed and headed to the bar. I found him there, laptop option working and chatting with people I’d not met. I sent him a text message which seemed to work in the main part of the hotel to meet me outside the bar. He invited me to join the group for a few drinks and the bar was closing in 1 hour but I politely declined and after assurances that he’d be 30 minutes I went back to the room. A short time later I’d fallen asleep again and he woke me up because he’d forgotten his room key.

The next morning I woke up at 7am because there were electric golf carts buzzing around and the sound of balls being hit on the green which was across the path from our fully open window. I looked out to see a couple of golf carts and a few men in their golf clothes wandering the green and a couple driving to the next hole. I think it was either a 9 or 18 hole golf course. I don’t play golf although it is a sport I’d love to give a try one day. It then started to sprinkle with rain so the men piled into their carts and drove to the safe haven of the golf club.

I decided to make a cup of tea which you could do in your room and then I’d slowly woken up enough to feel ravenous and freshened up and as there was a breeze I wore a cardigan. Breakfast again was in the same restaurant, another buffet but they were serving cooked breakfasts. I decided to eat a little bacon and a scrambled egg along with a couple of sausages and toast.

My husband had to get ready for the Conference which was starting at 9am so after a full put of coffee I headed back to the room to grab my book and camera and head off on a walk around the garden. Unfortunately, the grass was still wet from the rain but I managed to find several quiet spaces to read outside.

After about 30 minutes or so it started to get windy and I decided to go inside and take advantage of the Library, unfortunately it was closed. The sign said they were setting up for a wedding being held in the room that evening. I knew there was a small quiet room between our room and the reception via a long corridor so I pulled up an old fashioned comfy chair and read there for a couple of hours. There were a lot of friendly people who stopped to chat and interrupted my book reading so I decided the only place to get through my book was in the room. I again was so relaxed I didn’t realise I’d fallen asleep and my husband was on a lunch break and suggested as all the other conference attendees were heading to the restaurant that we go as well.

Lunch consisted of finger sandwiches, salad, cold pasta and fruit. I ate a couple of small sandwiches – you know the dainty kind they cut into 4 slices in one sandwich and serve with morning and afternoon tea. I was still full from breakfast so I finished up and then my husband and I went for a 15 minute walk before the conference started again. I went by a few conference rooms on the way back into the hotel and met a few people my husband introduced me to, some of which I’d met before and had a chat with them but then it was time for everyone to take their seats for the various talk sessions scheduled that afternoon. Time for me to hang out at the merchandise area for a while and then go find out about Spa treatments.

I was planning my Sunday to be a complete Spa day but when I phoned the Spa to ask about turning up to or having to book spa appointments they told me they were completely booked out. We had seen a huge tour bus arrive after lunch full of Japanese tourists and I guessed that any free time in the spa had been booked up by people from the tour. The only appointment available was on Monday at 1pm but we were leaving around lunchtime on Monday so for this trip, I’d have to forgo the spa treatments I dreamt of having. I should’ve booked the from home before we left on the Friday but the conference organiser said there should be no need to book.

I spent the next few hours wandering around the inside of the hotel and afternoon tea time having a cappuccino in the bar and read more of my book. I then went on a stroll around the other side of the gardens and hotel and there wasn’t much to see except grass and more golf course so I went to the room to give myself a pedicure and spent the next few hours resting, reading, enjoying another cup of tea and waiting for my husband to be finished for the day and dinner time so we could freshen up and go to dinner. Little did I know the conference took a break for dinner and then had evening talks after dinner up until 10pm.

After dinner which again was very disappointing (I couldn’t complain about it because it was free). I found the menu lacking in choice. More fish, this time a dried out chicken breast served with lemon and puy lentils and a barely there salad consisting of wilting lettuce, cherry tomatoes, onion, cold pasta with pesto and olives. I took a couple of apples back to the room with me for munching on whilst reading. My husband was back at the conference and wandered into the room about Midnight. He’d been catching up with some delegates in the bar.

Sunday morning awoken again by electric golf carts, birds singing and car boots closing. A few people walking by the hotel at 7am with less than perfect manners and feeling slightly ill with heyfever, I craned my neck to the left corner outside the window and saw in the distance a rape (canola) crop growing. Usually, I’m allergic to grass pollen but I’m also allergic to rape, it looks pretty and I like to take pictures of it but it plays havoc with my eyes and the smell isn’t very appealing.

I meandered around the inside and outside of the hotel. The library and drawing room were now accessible.

Drawing Room

Drawing Room wallpaper

Library

Library fireplace

It then started to rain so I spent more time inside reading, although I didn’t quite finish reading my boo. I went for a couple of walks outside (in between rain showers) and noticed there was a certain lack of female company, the ladies there were already in groups. I kind of enjoyed being on my own for the first few days but now I was becoming bored. I could’ve caught the shuttle bus 10 miles into Oxford city centre but decided not to. A decision I knew I’d come to regret.

Sunday night again in the restaurant same old tough food, lack of choice. I ate a little and made a hasty retreat to the room for some Sunday night tv, a cup of tea, some reading and an early night. My husband bought me a chocolate bar and so I enjoyed that for a late treat and then drifted off to sleep.

Monday morning again breakfast in the restaurant. Food looked unappetising but I ate some toast and had a yogurt and apricots. I couldn’t face the runny eggs or the charred sausages again. I then went for a last walk and back to the room to pack my bag and put it in the car. Another read for an hour or so and then went to help pack some boxes up and move them to the car which we were taking back to the office in Maidenhead.

Leaving Oxfordshire and driving through hamlets and winding country roads and finally heading onto the motorway, it absolutely pelted with rain from the time we left and all the way to Beaconsfield where we stopped for a WC break and I grabbed a take-away coffee at Starbucks.

Overall had a pretty nice relaxing weekend. It could’ve been better if my husband and I were there for some time out away from home together but I’m not complaining. We both enjoyed our stay there very much and have already talked about going there before the end of Summer for a long weekend.

We found out, sadly during our stay, that the hotel has been sold and in the Autumn it’ll become a Holiday Inn “gasp” they plan to keep the building but gut all the rooms of furniture and make it a more modern feel which is totally wrong for the grandness of the building. I guess they were losing money and its a shame that Holiday Inn feel the need to modernise the interior to the extent of making it hospital clean rather than invest in some key pieces of furniture and textured wallpaper and prints to hang in the rooms to give them a home away from home feel. I for one don’t want to stay in a hotel that is unsympathetic to the rest of the grounds on the estate and not in keeping with the grandness of the building. It’s such a shame that its going to lose its charm.

Magne F Alpha-Beta Photocards

I like the Norwegian Artist, Magne Furuholmen aka Magne F. I’ve been to two of his London Exhibitions. The first one was in 2006 called Monologues at the Paul Stolper Gallery when it was in Luke Street and the second one was at the new Paul Stolper Gallery premises in Museum Street called Alpha-Beta in October 2009.

I have not yet been able to afford to buy one of his art prints but I did buy the vinyl cover he designed for his album “A Dot of Black In the Blue of Your Bliss” in 2008, which is a one of a kind album cover and its No. 217 of a 300 Collection.

Here’s my album cover:

Last night I learnt there’s a new Collection for his Alpha-Beta work, which are coloured postcards. As soon as my friend gave me the link I bought one. It was only £22.00 and his artwork sells for considerably more.

Here’s more information about it:

Alpha-Beta box set by Magne Furuholmen

This very special box set features 30 large square postcard prints by artist and musician Magne Furuholmen, presented in a custom made box, and including a one-off tracing paper text piece designed by the artist.

You can buy the Magne F Alpha-Beta Photocards from the Polite Shop here.

About the box set

The set features 30 148mm square postcard prints, including the 26 letters of the alphabet along with 3 Norwegian characters and an exclamation mark. Reproduced using high screen lithographic print on extra thick silk postcard stock. It is supplied in a hand finished custom box along with a special one off multiple by Magne, featuring a Nabokov quote.

Polite also have a Blog here.

If it wasn’t for Dorien Petersen I wouldn’t have known about this so thanks Dorien.

Kangatarian

I like to stay in touch with what’s happening at home in Australia so I try and read news.com.au, smh.com.au and/or theage.com.au everyday.

Today, I read a story about Kangatarians. Kangatarians are people who only eat Kangaroo meat and claim its due to environmental, ecological and humanitarian grounds. Click here to read the story published 9th February 2010 on the Sydney Morning Herald’s website.

What do you think. Will Kangatarianism catch on in Australia?

Do you agree with the reasons to eat only Kangaroo meat, or do you object?

Have you ever tried Kangaroo meat?

I’ve eaten it a couple of times (to my knowledge). However it might be more because my parents would know I’d cause a fuss and so they probably wouldn’t have told me if I was eating Kangaroo.

I remember making a fuss about eating Kangaroo and the first time I ate it was a piece of my Husband’s steak when we were on holiday in Melbourne. It just tasted like normal red meat to me but it wasn’t cooked the way I like a steak cooked. My husband prefers it rare, whereas I like it medium-rare.

I guess I’ll just have to try it again and I also found a recipe for Kangaroo Lasagne by Ben Christie, which is tempting (if I can get Kangaroo meat in the UK) I will definitely try to get steaks and the mince for the Lasagne.

The Kangaroo Lasagne recipe is from Ben Christie‘s website.

Follow Ben on Twitter.