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, 3 November 2021

WOYWW 648 - Check in time again

In a variation the wise words of our Julia..

         Its kinda all about me! 

And that is exactly what I have needed, so, since I last touched base with you all, a few things have happened, I kind off broke again for a bit, some touching things, and a personal goal realised. 

I have layers and walls like most, and sometimes, unintentionally, they come down.

Work has been a great distraction, but next to family, music has been what has been getting me through those dark moments, favourite us songs, are now reserved to when I can process them, these songs I let-in when I can handle them.
To add context,  a verse from my favourite song of all time.

Its too late to be there
When a life is lost, It brings you to your knees
And I need a moment, to gather my thoughts
About our loss
How Indescribable it seems to be.

This song is 'Nova' by the band 'The Fallen State', one of the songs played at Sharon's funeral service.

The all about me bit :) 

So, for those that have not been following on social media, or missed the last couple of posts, or forgot, its a thing I do it all the time, so I had been taking motorcycle lessons. 

Long story very sort, Shaz refused to go the back of a bike with 2 wheels, I had one for a couple of years before we got together and I felt it time to get a full licence, so, there was 4 things you needed to accomplish in order to gain a full license. 
CBT, Theory test, Module 1 & Module 2.

It was the dreaded Module 1 that I was hung up on as I kept putting my foot down, well I managed to pass that on the 29th of September with just one minor fault picked up, 1km/h below the required speed limit for the avoidance test.

Well Monday this week (01/11/2021) I had my module 2 and I only went and passed it first time, and yes I am immensely proud of myself for doing so too :) 

Happy hublet

So a huge shout out to RMT motorcycle training in Redditch for their patience and training.

So back to the music, and the later bit.

The music scene like many others have been struggling over the last 2 years, so the first chance of supporting them and going back to concerts I was all for it, with the aforementioned band being top of the list, although a couple of concerts have been had before the one mentioned below.

Sunday night, the day before my mod 2 bike test, the band 'The fallen State' was playing about an hour away in Cannock, it was the last gig of the tour, I had bought tickets for the family to attend and attend most did, some had the dreaded lurgy (I still have man flu, I kinda forgot to mention that bit, I am still very much full of flu) but 6 of us poured in.

So 4 bands played that night, all for just a TENNER! with the fallen state headlining, 3 songs from the end and the band slows things down, being at the front i can see the set list, and know what song they are about to play next, I have a lump in my throat and dry mouth already.
Then Adam (the lead singer) dedicates the song to Shaz and another that is a local to Cannock, you see, ever since we first saw them as support we connected with the band and the music, so they too where close to us both. 

A thank you goes out to Rae Robinson for taking the video and for allowing me to use it.

With mobiles phones out with the torch's on we all song our hearts out, and me right at the front doing the same, but with tears streaming down my face.

You will see in the video my younger brother made his way to the front to pop an arm around me,
Love you bro, it only broke me a little I promise x 

With Halloween just gone, it would be rude not to share a picture of our Shaz at the Halloween crop from 2015

Head over to our  Julia's for the latest gossip and desk goodness over at the stamping ground 

And finally....

Sunday, 10 October 2021

Wedding anniversary pride


Wedding Anniversary 

Exchange of rings

12 years ago today in the presence of our loved ones Shaz and I exchanged rings and vows, it was unusually warm for the time of year.

The vows we exchanged where the traditional ones, we had thought of writing our own but decided against it, those vows we honoured, not because we felt bound by them, but instead because we lived by them for the previous 18 years, we loved, honoured, respected and trusted each other unconditionally.
The faithful part goes without saying, we where the love of each others life and always will be, on reflection we had a relationship that you often only see in movies.

I am not going to do step by step account of the day or the places we have seen over the 29 years we had together, you have all seen and followed along over the last 11 years on this bog and via the Facebook posts.

I spent the days leading up to today dreading it, losing sleep over it, waves of grief coming back all over again wondering how I should feel, especially if someone was to wish me/us happy anniversary because, well, quite simply it isn't or wouldn't be with her physically here with me.

But, now that we arrive on this day I don't just feel sad, lost, and miss her with all my being, but I also feel pride that Shaz chose me, blessed that we was able to spend the time together that we had. I also  have the love of my family and friends, while it is not the same as i always had that, it is enough.

My blog posts are often too wordy, or two picture heavy so I will leave it here with a new And Finally 

This is a video clip I found from 2010, my brother had arranged a 60th birthday party for my mom at his house, I was waiting in the lounge for Shaz to get ready so we can leave, I had our camcorder at the ready as I was going to to record the evening and give it to my mom as a DVD ( I did, I am thankful that I did as there are many great videos of us together in it) anyway back the video below.

I have no idea why I did, but, I decided to video Shaz as she entered the lounge, she saw the camera and well, check out her reaction to it....

And finally ...

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

WOYWW 642 - check in and share of new found videos

 So I figured as part of this post is craft related (not mine but our beloved Shaz's It is only right I schedule the post for a Whats On Your Work-desk Wednesday, after all it is kind of Sharon's desk I am sharing on her behalf.

You see, I was updating Sharon's PC this weekend and while snooping around (as you do) I explored her craft drive again, this time I came across 3 videos that she hadn't uploaded to the Tube of You's (Youtube) yet, I have looked through the blog to see if they where here but could not find them.

They may have been uploaded and I have overlooked them, but hey, better to share them twice than not at all right?

The birds video folder

The folder named 'uploaded' is one I created after going through her YouTube channel amd matching videos, gratuitous plug for the channel is below๐Ÿ‘€

BIrds youtube channel

There were a few videos to sort through and ensure they have not been uploaded,  I have given them each a name and added date of the video to the title of the video, in time I will sit and watch all her videos properly to learn from her and of course to hear her voice again as I miss her so very much.
The ones that are scheduled to go live along with this post can be found below.

 Snowflake triple stamped card (recorded 05/08/2018)

Stencils & Stencil paste (recorded 10/12/2018) inspired by Lucy Ellis for (Sweet Poppy)

Foil embossing techniques (recorded 12/12/2018)

So now about me 

So what have I been up to?

Outside of working or working on work stuff (if that makes sense?) I have kept myself busy

First off I have to confess to having...well..... I managed to fluff my Mod 1 bike test, not once but twice by putting my foot down on the slow manoeuvres each time (different places), the first time (slalom) I expected it as I did not feel confident going in, the second though I have no idea why I (insert naughty word here) it up, but I put my foot down on the U-turn, something I have been going over and over and nailing almost 100% of the time.

My conclusion is this,

Shaz wants me to have more practice and is keeping me safe, I know I will pass when I am meant to so I am not that concerned, I have my next Mod one on the 29th so the third times a charm right?

In the interim I have the use of my nephews 1 year old 125cc bike on which to practice on, this I have been doing when the weather has been ok and sometimes when it has not been.

On that score I have joined a couple of facebook groups for motorcycles, one named 'Bikers of Worcestershire' and the other called 'Biker escorts UK

Now I know what you are thinking ๐Ÿ˜•

 Doug! about that last one!!!!!!

Well it is not what you think (gutter level the lot of you) this is an official group that organise group escorts/rides for occasions like Proms & funerals etc 

It was the latter of which that caught my attention.

As you know I fretted like mad trying to ensure that Sharon's send off was as perfect as I possibly could, ensuring I tried my best to ensure everything was as perfect as it could be.

Well when bikers passes, if they (or their loved ones) want them to have a motorcycle escort is where this group fits in.

 I  attended my first one last Thursday 16th September on my nephews 125, the bike size did not matter as even on the dual carriage ways a hearse does not travel fast.

Last ride for Peter

It was well organised with Marshall bikers on mahooosive trikes blocking traffic on slip roads and islands.
Tthis particular one was rather spontaneous as I only spotted it was going on an hour before they were due to start arriving for the meet, so I didn't have a lot of time to consider the fact that I would be returning to the Redditch Crematorium for the first time since.....


This was not about me, it was about making someone else's day as special as possible, something I will be doing again as many times as I can, and travelling further to do so when I pass my test.

In fact my next one I have booked the day off for, a young family man of 25 that sadly took his own life.

Anyway that is my check in for now, hopefully my next check in will be to say I passed my Mod one and have date for my mod 2

Head over to our Deskspert Julia for the latest gossip and desk goodness over at the stamping ground 

Just a random shot of Shaz from 2015 at the Edan project

Edan project July 25th 2015

That can only leave and finally...

Death works from home 

by the way, this was wrote on Sharons pc

Saturday, 14 August 2021

Doug's Check in time.

For the last few weeks I have been busying myself with revision for my goal of getting my full motorcycle licence, you see when I where a lad....

 (yup I am starting the story that way)

Between the ages of 16-18 I had a motorbike, (granted it was only a 50cc) there was an overlap because as soon as I was old enough I took driving lessons and passed my car test in July 1991 just before my 18th birthday, so I bought a car and enjoyed the freedom of the open road, as most of you know Shaz and I got together in March 1992 (34 weeks later).

Shaz loved the look and sound of a motorcycle but she flat refused to ride pillion on one, She was fine on a quad, although I had once managed to get her on the back of a scooter in Greece.

Fast forward a lot, as Shaz and I where inseparable, we went everywhere together, even work, so with me being sensible I could not justify the cost a motorcycle that would just sit there and look pretty. 

This brings us to the present, I am doing this for me, call it a mid life crisis (I think I have earned that right), with the exception of my kid sister my siblings all ride motorcycles so it will be nice to get on the road and do road trips with them and visit friends and family without the concerns of traffic. 

So where am I in this?
  • 29th June -  I passed my Theory test
  • 23 July -  took my CBT (you cant fail this, but they can insist you need more training if they don't think you are safe) I was perfectly ok with it.
  • 29th July - full day on a 125cc
  • 31st July - Full day on a 650cc when we got back my instructor was like, I want put you in for your Module 1 test, he was obviously happy with how I was with it.
A motorcycle licence  needs 4 things CBT, Theory, Mod 1 and Mod 2

So what next?
 22nd August (next Sunday) I will be practicing manoeuvres ahead of the test 
 25th August (the morning off) I will be having a go of my Mod 1

Then it will be training for Mod 2 (no dates as yet for this) kind off depends on what happens on the 25th.

So what else have I been up to?

Well the back garden is on hold at the moment, my focus is shifting to the front one, there is a reason for that, in the short term I will need a secure location to store the motorbike as we do not have garage, so the front garden it is securely anchored down until I can sort out the back.  

Work begins on that next week.

But on a more personal note. 

This month has been particularly hard for me, as it has also it has also been for our family too, as most of you know Shaz and I shared our birthday (which is/would be today) so the last few weeks has been really (insert naughty word here) tough.
The reason is not just that it would have been our birthday today (yes I know it is still mine, but I wont be celebrating that for a while) but it also marks 6 months since we lost Shaz.

How the (insert naughty word here) has it been 6 months already?

So this weekend we will be toasting to our beloved Shaz, consuming lots of Gin in the process, I can feel the hangover already ๐Ÿ˜ฌ.

 I had considered maybe organising a wake, but I will be honest with you, on reflection I would not be able to cope with a wake after this amount of time, I don't think family could either.

Instead when we get on top of this (insert a fresh new naughty word here) human malware that is Covid 19 (or what even number we get up to), we will when it is safe to do so organise a crop or two instead, we can eat lots and lots of cake.

A gratuitous snap taken back in 2014  I give you Bird-ception,  a bird, on the bird, while holding a bird :)

And finally

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

WOYWW 629 - Doug does dirt

Warning picture heavy post inbound 

So its been a while, I have been mainly working and spending time with family, I have have also been preparing for my coming motorcycle theory test at the end of the month as well as doing some much needed repotting of house plants.

It is the repotting and the reasoning behind it which is the focus of this post, you see last year during all that heat we had, my office gets incredibly hot, it is an east facing large window.

So I present to you the window, along with a predicament, (this picture is from August last year btw and most of the plants are now just a wee bit larger), well that centre window needed to be openable.

I bought a portable Air con unit and the pipe (think tumble dryer hose) needs to go through that centre window, and loads of the cacti and succulents are in need of potting on so they are going to take up more window space.

 I give you exabit A, my poor pot-bound African spear plant, 

desperately in need of a new pot. 

So after spending a while in thick rubber gloves and repotting, I achieved my end goal, the windows got cleaned on the inside (not letting onto how long that has been) and the Velcro window seal is in place, the window as you can see is closed, and takes very little to open it again. 

The ducting goes out through a (Velcro'd on) material surround to stop the hot air coming back inside again, and it works very well, has a zip and attaches to the inside of the frame it has been bliss to work in here of late.

Seems like a lot of work for our summers, well yes and no, I have 2 servers in this room that kick out a fair amount of heat, this exacerbates the issue

And I kinda have to work in here for all day.

Some plants simply did not fit back into the window, I needed the space, so bottom left Rubetia Heliosa , one that I have had for years in my window and one that should not really survive this long for being grafted, I have had no choice but to move it into the kitchen window, it has had a soil change and is now back in flower again so fingers are crossed. 

The centre picture is ( I think a kind of a jade type tree is a Crassula, and is a succulent) this is now in the downstairs loo right above a radiator.

The (left plant) in the Right hand picture, this is now in the dining room, the Left hand plant is the one pictured above that had the repot and yes that is a cable tie around it keeping the leaves from snapping, it is close to 3 ft tall now. 
The ornaments were mothers day gifts to Shaz from her son and daughter in laws over the years.

The one in the centre of the same picture (the bunny eared one) is a stowaway we brought back from the Eden project, it is a prickly pear (according to google lens)

Into the garden next, some stunning climbers, if I remember I will update with the names of some of these.
On the left we have (I believe is a clematis Copernicus?) 
In the centre we have a clematis called Josephine, I believe it is the first year the rain hasn't beaten it to death while in flower.
On the right is indeed a Dave Austin, it is a climbing rose called (Rosa Spirit of freedom) and is in full bloom at the minute, it fills the trellis and is all over the kitchen window and roof line.

Well that is me for a bit, head over to our Julia's Stamping ground, and share your desk, also apologies for how long it is between posts, real life gets in the way sometimes x

As the summer solstice has just been and gone, this one is a rather fitting picture of us from 2014

And that just leaves the and finally...

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...