Friday, 17 October 2014

Lake District in Autumn

Last Sunday my friend Anne and I took a bus trip to the Lake District to see the autumnal colours.  It was a beautiful day, warm, sunny and good company.

 Me and Anne trying out a selfie, bit blurred.

That was until we got to our lunch stop at Grasmere when a great big cloud came down the mountainside and hung over the village.

Grasmere is a pretty village, very touristy though and dedicated to the poet William Wordsworth who had a cottage on the edge of the village.

Wordworth family graves, the church behind them is 13th century.  Such a pity the whole thing is covered in pebbledash.
 There is a small park dedicated to daffodils where the paving around it is made up of plaques with names on them.  Didn't have a chance to find out anything about them.

 Sarah Nelson's shop of the famous gingerbread.  Didn't buy any as I must be the only person who doesn't like ginger.

  The trees are beginning to turn to their autumnal colours but I think if we had gone this weekend instead of last weekend the colours would have been much brighter.  They were still mainly green.

Naturally as soon as we left Grasmere and were back on the coach the day returned to its sunny self.

We stopped for afternoon tea just outside of Kirby Stephen at a pub I can't remember the name of.  It was something like The Woolly Ram' but don't hold me to it.  It had begun to get cold again by this time so it was with delight we managed to find a seat in the bar where the fire was blazing.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Lottery winner

I am still alive, sorry its taken me so long to get round to blogging.  I've been doing a lot of hand sewing on 'the wall hanging'.  It is turning out to be a real labour of love as I did all the machine stitching on a batik fabric stabilised with a medium weight iron-on interfacing.  It needed to be stabilised otherwise all the rows of machine embroidery stitches crumple the fabric.  It is well on the way to completion now, just got a few more embroidery stitches to add by hand and then do the beading.  After that it can be mounted.  As Marc and Alix are going to do the mounting themselves I will take photos before I give it to them.  It is very purple and green.....

I won the September postcard lottery and so far I have got five cards, Alice sent me two...

Door from Alice and the Congratulations card from Miriam

Got this cat card also from Alice.

And these two from Jane (top) and Jacquie (bottom).  The bottom card is a similar concept to 'the wall hanging'.

Been a fairly quiet time with the exception of taking my sister to see a Neurologist on Friday.  At last a diagnosis has been reached of Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.  This is a brain disease that affects people in different ways.  It just depends on which bits of the brain's wiring has been attacked by the inflammatory process and in that process destroyed the nerve coverings.  Unfortunately Lesley has massive amounts of damage all over her brain and as you can imagine is very disabled, mainly mentally.  She does have problems walking and seeing but isn't really safe.  It is probably more difficult for us (her family) to cope as Lesley is quite unaware that there is a problem and refuses to accept that she can no longer drive!!  It's a headache.    We just hope that help is put in place to keep her safe very quickly.

Monday, 29 September 2014


I found another payment to Paypal using the same reference and mandate numbers.  I rang my bank this morning, who were very helpful and refunded the payment.  They gave me the contact number for Paypal so I could speak directly to them, which I did.   They went through my recent purchases and advised me which sellers related to each debit and I agreed I had indeed purchased items from these people.   I asked whether it was company policy to lump everything bought under one payment reference number.  They agreed it was odd and also agreed to look into it.  From our conversation that the undisputed item was one purchased and delivered by courier.  The disputed ones are all downloads.

They refused to close my account until they are certain the suppliers have been paid.  But my account is at zero and has been for some time.  I won't be using Paypal again at least not until I get an explanation as to why all the deductions have been made under the same payment reference number and attached to a direct debit which is clearly for one item only.

In the meantime Buster and I are going for a walk to cool down.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Been a frustrating day

At least yesterday was.  Don't know if anyone else has come up against this problem but.....  I buy quite a bit of stuff on line and as a rule use Paypal.  Recently they offered a delayed payment scheme, you paid after you had received the goods, which I thought was sensible.  So at the beginning of the month I purchased an item and opted for this method  On checking my bank statement, which arrived yesterday, I noticed something very odd.  One of the Paypal reference numbers, and my direct debit mandate number had been used five times.  Only one was for the correct amount.  I checked my bank account, the mandate number referred to the correct item and had been completed.  I checked my account with the seller, same again, checked with Paypal and only one item was referenced against my debit - not the five stated on my account and had been completed.

I spoke to my bank and they agreed it was very odd and suggested I speak directly to Paypal.  The bank very kindly returned the monies, which were for very small amounts, to my account.  I contacted Paypal to let them know that unauthorised payments had been made on my account.  They categorically denied this and declined my claim.  I wasn't actually making a financial claim as my bank had already returned the money to me.  But they refused to look into the matter any further.  I asked them why they don't have a record of these transactions (apart from the original legitimate one), to whom did they pay the money (who was the seller etc).  And if they do not have a record of these payments to themselves why not.  So far they haven't replied.

This has seriously destroyed my faith in Paypal with whom I have always been happy.  I will see what happens next.  As I said previously, I am not out of pocket as the bank refunded me without question.  However I am concerned that Paypal security may have been breached, particularly in relation to their reference numbers linking to a direct debit from my bank account.  This has only happened since I took up the delayed payment option.  Has anyone else had this problem?  I understand that when breaches have been made it is normal for the perpetrators to withdraw small amounts at first then progress to larger amounts.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Birthday Postcards

I forgot to post photos of the birthday postcards I received from my friends in the BQLPC group. Here they are, Top to Bottom from Helen, Jane, Inge, Marian, Jacquie,Plum, Miriam and Jan.
Thank you ladies for a lovely set of cards.

At the moment I have finally begun work on a wall hanging for Marc and Alix using couching, embroidery stitches, hand and machine along with beading.   So far I have couched the threads and have begun the machine stitches.  I hope to finish this today so I can sit down and listen to tv while I embroidery and bead it.  It doesn't look much at the moment but here's a sneak preview.

When its finished it will be 1 metre by half a metre and mounted on a canvas board to be displayed in their living room.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Mystery Weekend

Not a mystery any more,  We set off on Saturday morning and after a pleasant spell on Otley for the mid morning break we arrived in Skipton for lunch.  After which we stayed in a lovely hotel just outside of Wakefield.   Next morning we set off for a day in York.   For me it was a bit like taking coals to Newcastle as I am very familiar with both places, Keith and I went there quite regularly.  But Anne had never been to either Skipton or York before so was delighted.  The good thing about being familiar with the places is that we didn't waste time trying to find the best places to visit.

 We ate lunch at Bizzy Lizzies down by the canal side.  Great fish and chips and a lovely view.;
 Anne poses on Lendle Bridge, below is the River Ouse.  It was very quiet that day with not a lot of activity on the river but great views.
 York Minster is stunning but there was a service going on so we were not allowed inside at the time of our arrival there.   We went to the Treasurer's House which is round the back of the Minster.

 I would have liked to have had another look inside the Barley Hall, one of the many Guild Halls in the city.  It's a while since I last visited but Anne was getting tired and as she has heart problems I thought I'd have a return trip another day on my own.
Part of the ruins in Museum Park,   Love the arches I must do something with this photo.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Bit of a sunshine and shadows day

Yesterday was my birthday and as we shared a birthday Keith's too.  It felt odd and wrong somehow to be celebrating a birthday without him there to share it with me.  So it was a difficult day, lots of ups and some downs. Two of the ups was the arrival of flowers from Marc and Alix. They are currently on holiday in Turkey and had arranged for it to be delivered before they left.  And being taken out for dinner by Sy and Julie, where we were joined by the rest of the family.  It was a lovely time and Flynn kept us amused.

The flowers I received are lovely but I somehow think they would look better either without the yellow saucer of without the vase.  But I love sunflowers.

Flynn and Matty deciding on what to eat, doesn't Flynn look like a real boy now with his hair cut.

He loves to draw and if you are wondering what he is drawing we were told it was a flower, a plane, a helicopter and the Gruffalo's feet.
Julie was teaching him to whistle without much success.
Although he enjoyed his chicken dippers he liked Julie's spicy side salad better. 

I'm missing my 830 which went in for repairs and service last month.  I'd been sewing quite happily and had come to the end of what I was doing.  I pressed the cut thread button then realised I'd pressed the automatic needle threader button by mistake.  I cancelled the action but the needle threader sprang out and instantly wrapped itself round the needle arm. I could not persuade it to return to its proper position.  I rang my dealer and following their expert's advice tried to disentangle it, to no avail.  It was decided that as it must be close to service time I'd send it back to them and they'd do the repair at the same time.  The general feeling was that as it was close to 5 years old the needle threader was probably at the end of its useful days and needed replacing.

I haven't heard from them since they picked up the machine on the 29th July so yesterday I rang David Drummond for an update.  He  told me when they put the 830 on the bench opened it up they realised there were several problems and immediately sent it back to Bernina. David declined to say what the problems were as he didn't want to commit himself, sounds expensive to me.  He hasn't had any feedback from Bernina but was going to chase it up.  Has anyone else had the same or a similar problem with their machine?