A warm welcome to all my visitors,

Thank you for taking the time to come and look at my blog, I really do appreciate it. I would love you to leave me a comment, even if it’s just to say Hi. It means I can come visit you!

All my designs are original, so copyrighted to me. If I have been inspired by someone elses work, I have named them in the post, and where able, I have provided a link.

Please feel free to use my designs for inspiration, I just ask you to credit me, and provide a link back to my blog.

Thanks, Shaz XX

Wednesday, 20 April 2022

WOYWW 672 - May have finished a thing....

WARNING picture heavy post below ;)

 ok, so this is desk related this time, and only because I was sat at it while designing the front garden.

To the right is an old picture of before 

As many of you may remember, the front garden (still don't like to use my) was ripped out at the start of this year ready to store the motorbike, and due to the not finding the brick I liked and the cost (OMG) it had to wait for both price and availability.

 So let's start with requirements, first off I had to have plants again so, I had to have a planter, a wide sweeping entrance to swing the bike around on, and of course somewhere to charge the motorbikes' battery.

And this is what I came up with...

The plan for front garden

Materials collected
Last week with the help of my youngest brother (Tim) we collected all the required materials that were going to be needed (one tonne of sharp sand, half a tonne of  building, 4 bags of cement, 350 bricks, 9m2 of blocks)

 Thanks bro, love you loads 👍

Then my younger brother (Rob) and I spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday (mainly Rob as I don't have a clue when it comes to block pathing) set to work to transform the old front garden into the above image.

Friday 15/04

Today we ripped out the last of the old wall and installed new footings, start the many tip runs to remove rubbish (like the old wall) etc

It was then time to start erecting the new wall and plan on cable runs for the internet, and where the planter was going.

Saturday 16/04

Today saw the wall be finished

By the end of play, the wall was finished and all but two pieces of coping had been installed, the Virgin Media cables had also been re-buried in conduit.

Sunday 17/04 

Today was all about the grading and levelling and block pathing, the installation of the bike anchor  and of course the planters final shape.

This went down faster than I expected to be honest, mind you my brother had done it for over 20 years and had his own business until the toll on your health (back and hands) became too much.

By the end of play it was all down, including the cut-outs for the air vents (cus the house needs to breath) and all the remaining blocks and rubbish moved.

Monday 18/04 
So now it was down to me to finish up as the previous few days were all about my brother Rob and his amazing work in the block pathing and brick work.

So first up due to the time of the morning was to and plants to the new planter and water them in, the plants are a mixture of ones I have moved from the front back in January, and some new.

Fuchsias, and trailing plants are reused, new additions is a rose called 'at peace' (not going to lie, I had a moment in BNQ when I saw and realized had to buy it, another when I planted it) it has always had flowers and planters in all the years we lived here for, and for a second thing, the off-white flowers will contrast nicely not only with the fuchsias but also with the other flowers I added Pinks and carnations, both of which were Sharon's favourite flowers, I also some pansies and other annuals.

Then it was on to job 2, the painting  and Job 3 the outdoor (Wi-Fi because I can, and it makes sense) power outlet and re collect my bike.

So that was my Easter weekend and with the enormous help of my siblings the front garden is now done, I am going to add another planter to the right-hand wall but one that is movable as we always had one there and I think it needs more flowers.

So that's my picture heavy catchup, head over to our Julia's at the stamping ground and check in on actual crafting being done.

Shaz and a Wolf cus why not :)

And finally....

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

WOYWW 668 - A not so quick catch up

Only a mini update (yeah right, grab a packed lunch and an extra cushion), well it's been a month since I posted,

 Why does this sound like a confessional?

Anyway it just would not feel right not posting, as on Saturday 19th March we have just had the first anniversary of our beloved Sharon's funeral, the day (like it or not) we laid to rest my soulmate Shaz silverwolf, enabler extraordinaire, and the one person guaranteed to have an answer to any question you have or, may not have considered asking.

I had been toying with ideas on what to do to mark the occasion, possibly another meal like I had done the month before that marked the anniversary of Sharon's passing.

Below is a picture taken after the aforementioned meal 
Taken 13/02/2022

Back row right to left.

Matt -  my brother-in-law (Sharon's sister, Karina's better half)
Ant - my stepson & Sharon's eldest (green beard)
Royston - my older brother 
Steve - my brother-in-law (my little sisters' hubby)
Mandi - my sister-in-law (Royston's wife)
Tim - my youngest brother 
Ellen - my little sister
Rob - my younger brother 
Me  -  aka the Hublet 😄
Rebecca - sister-in-law (Ant's wife)
Mikey - stepson (Sharon's youngest) Green beard (it is a thing)
Donna - Mikey's girlfriend

Front row
Dot - mother-in-law (Sharon's mom)
Karina - sister-in-law (Sharon's little sister)
Louisa - Stepdaughter (Sharon's little girl)
Jess - my granddaughter (Louisa's Daughter)
Sue - my mother
Roy - my moms boyfriend

But then I came across a last-ride that I felt I just had to participate in, this was for a young girl that passed at just the age of 3, she was born with down syndrome and anyone that has every known anyone with DS will know how loving and giving they are, and, just how much joy they bring to a household.

Daisy or little Duck as she was affectionately known as, was the daughter of west Mercia police colleagues Paul and Sarah Severn, Paul's brother (Matt) reached out to some bike clubs in the hope that they could put together a last ride to escort the hearse to 'the Vale crematory' in Pershore (a stunning crem) and helped organize the ride. I felt I had to go, how could I not? I have explained previously as to how I feel about participating in last rides, that it helps me feel like I am making a difference, I suppose we all feel this way, every one of us that goes out of our way to try and lessen the pain for someone else. Having mentioned this to my youngest brother, he too wanted to come along, this was his first last ride. Being the nerd that I am I captured the ride on camera (a GoPro) so that I could share it with the family, so the desk that I share is actually my desk, or more specifically the project that I have been working on as a result of the ride.

The result of that work is the video below, in the video my little brother can be seen leading the way as to the rally point where we meet the rest of the riders, and get a feel for just how big this ride was going to be.

Be warned the entire ride was 1.5 hours of footage, this through the magic and witchcraft that is editing the video is now a little shy of 26 minutes.

I did something I have never done before at one of these, and that was staying for part of the ceremony, to learn a little about Daisy, while I don't regret staying as it was broadcast outside, it was hard, really, really hard, but not something I regret.

On an equally memorable, and in so many ways more personal note

While typing this up today, I received a message from Greg the bass player from one of my all-time favourite bands 'The fallen State', this is the band that dedicated the song 'Nova' to Shaz at a previous concert.

Well, they have a new album that drops on Friday called Between Hope & Disillusion, and well, check out the text on the inside cover x
The fallen State

Suffice to say, I got choked up on it, and still am, what an amazing sentiment thank you guys x

So that's my not so quick catchup, head over to our Julia's at the stamping ground and check in on actual crafting being done.

A blog post is not the same without a picture of  The bird...

And finally...

Sunday, 13 February 2022

How has it been a year?

First off I want to thank you all for the cards, your messages of both support and encouragement and I would like to apologise for the lack of replies &, thank yous, I could say I have been busy, but that would simply not be the whole truth although to a degree I have been.

In all honesty for the most part, that has not really been the truth, since Christmas, I felt lost and numb, going through the motions, and a lack of motivation.

I think in part it was the dread of this month we now find ourselves in, and what it means, as some of you had previously read, the weeks from Christmas onwards until now last year where simply hell.

So I don't think it has been any surprise, (least of all to me) that the lead up to today has been looming on the horizon like a dark cloud, edging its way ever closer.

While I was always of course going to find myself reflecting on the days leading up to Sharon's hospitalisation, the horrible days, the painful days, those I am sure will dull with more time.

Having moments of reflection has not been all bad,  the last chats we had had, the meals I cooked for her  (she went on an omelette phase) and then believe it or not, the last thing Sharon insisted on the night before  she went into hospital was a Whites lemonade ice lolly, she lay in bed with it and wore more than she ate as it was melting and dropping off, she gave me 'that look' for finding it amusing ha ha
It is not like I am going out of my way to remember these things, they are flooding to the surface, in resounding waves.

Too many words not enough pictures,
 Crete 2015 pre op holiday
Crete 2015

I was sure that Thursday 9th February would have broken me, as it was going to mark the day that I had no choice but to call the ambulance again, but this time, unbeknown to me, it would be the last.
But, do you know what? 
Surprisingly it did not, in part I know that Sharon stayed here at home with me for as long as we could really allow, this I know, I also know that there was nothing more that, I or the medical profession could do, other than to make her final days as pain free and as comfortable as possible surrounded by her loved ones. 
Please note, I write this a little selfishly as much for more own benefit as yours x x

But more often than not I find my mind (when I allow it to be) is pulled to happier times, for us we were fortunate in being so 'in tune', the only dark days were cancer related, there was no real no arguments, that does not mean one of us was more dominant that the other, but more of how truly in sync we were.

  You all have seen us together, that was no act, that was 24/7 - 365 so I have no end of pleasant memories of moments filled with more love that you could pack into a cheesy Hollywood or hallmark movie, and all the 'firsts' as we called them, new places we both visited, new places to eat, new experiences 'firsts'.

I am waffling again aren't I?

We all remember Sharon for different reasons, for me at least,  it is for her eyes and the way her smile began inside of  them, the way she would look at me brings me comfort and always will.

We truly were genuinely lucky to have found each other.

The love on Sharon's face comforts me

Lunch time today I have arranged for a meal for the family, this way nobody needs to spend it alone should they not wish to be, this is at the same pub we had our post wedding/pre wedding reception meal at, it felt only fitting, although time will tell how I feel on the today.
Tears is just salt water, so I am sure it will add to the flavour of my dinner?

Yesterday I spent creating a video tribute of pictures and video footage that most of you have never seen, the backing song is one from 'Bon Jovi' that goes by the name of  'always' the reason will become obvious at a point in the video if you watch it, it is uploaded as an unlisted video on Youtube x

I have also booked the tomorrow off  work, I had contemplated booking the 9th & 10th off  but it has helped keep me focused on something other than my thoughts.

Take the time to hug each other, tell  your loved ones what they mean to you and remember, be like Shaz....use gratuitous amounts of glitter in all that you create.

Wednesday, 9 February 2022

WOYWW 662 - Not a desk, but a check in

Ok while I can still focus, I have wrote 2 blog posts, this one for today, and another for later in the week.

As you know I passed my motorcycle test at the back end of last year, I spent a few months researching  motorcycles, creating a list of must haves and nice to haves and driving miles to find some to look at and or sit on....

Then I would change my mind when I get there rinse and repeat ha ha

 I looked at different styles, Harley Davidson cruisers types, and the more practical tourer types that are more comfortable for longer distances, as you can see below, the practical side of me won ( I need my creature comforts) so...

So I introduce you all to my trusty steed, a 2009 BMW F700gs, this has all the safety features like ABS, traction control, comfort modes, touring screen and heated grips (a must with Raynaud's disease) to name a few of the included features that will assist in keeping me safe and comfortable while I ride.

BMW F700 gs

I will be honest, this has helped me no end mentally, let me explain why...

I find myself completely drained and found myself wanting to just get out the house on more than one occasion, I would then feel guilty for the way I felt (mad I know), before I had the bike I found myself hating going out in the car, or more specifically going on long journeys, these were horrid as the seat next to me was empty, a constant reminder of how alone I felt. 

With the bike that is a none issue as it is completely different, so when it gets too much I can just jump on the bike and ride to clear my head as long as I am back in time for work, or its a weekend, I can be out for hours. This bike has also allowed me to attend more last rides which I find incredibly rewarding.

Lets just be clear here, one does not simply just jump on a bike, you get kitted up and this takes planning  (ATGAT all the gear all the time) I just want to be clear on that point.

 So to that end, my brothers have been helping me make the front of the house work as I have no garage or drive storing a bike, so the focus switched to the front of the house while the weather has allowed.

We 'had' planters and there will be a new one in due course to that end all of the previous  plants have been relocated on a temporary basis while the work is done.

Left picture -  after the bed and front wall is partially removed 
Centre picture - mistakes were made (not guilty this time) but my brother was not aware of the cable.
Right picture - 2 tonne of type one stone arrives and I needed to move it into the hole (do I look like I am built for manual labour?) anyway mission accomplished in under 2 hours.

Yeah, about the telephone and internet cables, eh, yeah, a thing happened, but not to worry, I fixed it ha ha, it will get a proper fix before it goes back underground with water proof connectors and a water proof gel filled box, I fully expect it to be damaged in the removal of the front wall and I will need to do another repair or replace the cable.

Yes, very much a work in progress...

Next weekend (weather permitting) the path leading up to the front door along with rest of the front wall will be ripped out and new walls built. 
The plan is to block path almost all the area with locking anchors concreated in at the front and rear wheel locations to secure the bike too, I will also run power for the trickle charger allowing room for a smaller smaller planter on the left as we look at the image, with a wider gate on the right.

So this bike means come the spring and summer I am up for visiting family and friends in person, but of course not without a heads up xx

I am going to keep this post short for me (not true, well kind of is, I cropped it so there is another to follow) 

As always do head over our Julia's at the stamping ground for the latest gossip and desk goodness.

And finally...

Friday, 31 December 2021

A year in review


A lot has changed over the last 12 months, I think it is fair to say that this year has not been our/my best “when two become one” it was never going to be really now was it!

My life this is hard to do, how the fk do you guys do this every year? anyway, this may prove to be beneficial to me.

So then, things that I am grateful of, things I am proud off and things to look forward to in the 2022. 

So let’s start with grateful

My family & friends
You have all been my rock and I love you all dearly, losing Shaz was hard on all of us, and still is, she will always be a part of our lives, so thank you all for the check ins, the meals, the time and the chats.

Music has always been a huge part in my life, both the live scene with concerts and the digital one, It is music that have kept me sane this year, a large home with just my own noise is kind of hard you know?
Being able to see bands this year despite covid, bands who’s members you can call friends has been important to just get me out the house, a reason to travel again; ‘The fallen State’, ‘Ashen Reach’, ‘Mallen’, & ‘State of Ember’.

While at the same time this year I discovered some new ones, as tends to be the case with live shows; ‘Mad haven’, ‘Ethryfield’, ‘ Raven breed’, ‘Haxen’ & ‘Dead man’s Whiskey’ you guys N’ gals rock!

Things I am proud off in 2021
I am proud of my accomplishments at ‘Netcom Training’ to see my students flourish when they leave us is kind off hard to put into words, rewarding does not come close, to say it feeds my ego would be some what of an understatement.
So yes I am incredibly proud of my accomplishments at work.

Passing my motorcycle test.
This has been on my bucket list for about 30 years now, but as Shaz and I went everywhere together (work and play) and she refused point-blank to get on the back of a 2 wheeled motorcycle I could not justify the cost of the lessons etc as I would not buy a bike if it did not get used.

 So, this one, this one was for me! thank you RMT in helping me with this, this meant so very much to me x

Things to look forward to in 2022 

(This one I thought would be difficult, but it seems that is not the case at all)

Come spring I plan on spending time on two wheels, visiting friends all over the UK and in time in Europe too, being able to travel further afield for concerts and attending more ‘last rides’.

Live music
This stands to reason, there are new albums being released, so new tours that will follow, and lest not forget festivals. 

On a side note, I have made bread and butter pudding using Sharon's recipe two times now and both times it came out perfect, oh and a few days ago trifle as was traditional every Christmas Shaz would make at least one.

Sharon's Bread and butter pudding recipeOne trifle with double angel delight

It stands to reason I wish you all the very best of health for the coming year, do the things that make you happy, tell loved ones that they are indeed loved, and capture moments on video not just photographs, memories may fade  or indeed fail you, but pictures & video can last forever.
 (terms and conditions apply, you may lose data if you don't back them up, just saying)

An End of an era

An end of an era

I write this with a broken heart, that only time can heal My beautiful, wonderful wifelet Shaz (Silverwolf) passed away peacefully in the ea...