Tuesday, 15 December 2009

A new scrap room in the house

I must be the luckiest person. When we moved to this house, we have a spare room that quickly became the scrap room designate. 'A' helped put up the shelves and the new lights whilst I painted the room.

The painting took a bit of doing as the room was initially lavender. It even came with an ensuite, also painted lavender with a purple sparkly floor. The room was decorated 10 years ago when the little girl it belonged to was just 7 hence the purple sparkly floor. I am not mad keen on purple so the first job was to paint the room something else. In fact, I tried various shades of pink but went back to my trusted "Croquet" from Crown. I have used this same shade in 3 houses now LOL. I am not very adventurous.

As you walk in, I have a dining table from Ikea sitting right in the middle of the room. This table is great as it is big and yet folds away when we have guests staying. The curtains were made 3 houses ago and have been altered along the way so at least that was one short cut for me. This room is south facing and can get quite hot in the summer so I might need to rethink the window treatment.
I have a sofa (bed) behind the table with some favourite cushions.
Against one wall, I have fitted some shelving from Ikea. On top of the shelves I have various boxes that I didn't get a chance to clear and sorted. Most should fit in the boxes down below. I am aiming to clear the top ( soon, I promise myself ). When 'A' saw this he said, "I thought you'll have some shelves saved for my papers". LOL.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Christmas shopping

Are you done ? I am still at the early stage. We went to a farm shop on Saturday so the turkey is ordered. If nothing else, at least we will have something to eat LOL.

I placed a big order on Amazon last week but unfortunately it was sent to the old address. The good news is the parcel is safe with the courier so I won't be out of pocket. But due to this county not being covered by HDNL, the parcel is going back to Amazon. Next time I won't be using 1-click! You'd think we live in the stick.

I am asking for this,

Save 40% on the cost of a year's subscription to Scrapbook Magazine.

For a limited time Scrapbook Magazine is offering 40% off the price of a year's subscription. Scrapbook Magazine is the UK's longest running and number one scrapbooking title and is packed full of inspiring projects and ideas.

Subscribe to Scrapbook Magazine today and save £14.36 a year.

What do you think ? Isn't that a great price ? At least that is one less parcel to stay in to wait for LOL.

I have a number of things on at school this week. H is doing a christmas concert on Wed and Thurs so we are quite busy but next week A has booked a day off so we can go shopping together. Rigby and Peller has just opened in town ( complete with pointy bra!!! ) so I want to check that out. We probably won't because he will be dead embarassed.

Monday, 16 November 2009

The Wicked Cybercrop

Did you join in ? I was going to, I even bought the mystery kit but sadly we had a house full of poorly people and any thought of scrapping remained just that. I am not sure I could have glued anything straight anyway.
I am delighted to have been asked to design a class. Did you see this ?

Having just moved house, I was sorting through my stash and found myself to be in possession of a lot of ribbon scraps. This layout puts those scraps to good use.

I also managed to do the pre crop challenge. We were challenged to create a LO is the theme of "Home is where the heart is". So here it is, a LO about our 'old' house that we've just sold.

I hope to catch up and do a few of the classes once the coughs have departed LOL.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Layouts from Exhall

I have had a couple of people asked to see these layouts. I have ran out of space on UKS so here they are. I must remember to clear some space on my UKS gallery before the cybercrop. If you haven't seen it...I am doing a class for the CC. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Sneaky for Exhall

I am getting excited about the crop at Exhall this weekend ( and even more nervous LOL ). Here are some sneaks of my classes. Claire did the image for her mailing and I think it is rather COOL.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

It is almost half term

Where has the time gone ?

I have been busy meeting other parents at school, going to various parents' evening, taking up upholstery, fitting out my new scrap room, doing the garden ( well, A did most of this! ), making curtains, sewing a Greek toga for H...

I have also been asked to do classes for a couple of crops YAY. Claire Wheatley (Weetabix) has asked me to do classes for her crop in Exhall (Coventry) on 25th October. I am so excited to have been asked, thank you Claire. If you go to Exhall and you see one nervous person at your crop next week, please say hello! The classes are ready, I just need some sun to photograph. I am not at liberty to disclose information about the other crop though LOL.

All the news are great but a bit dry without some pictures, right ? So here are a couple of LOs that I can actually share.

We went to see Marlins vs NY Jets game in Miami. It was our first baseball game and J had to explain the rules and the scoring to us. Ok, he was a first timer too but he acquired all these playing on Wii Sport! Next is an H LO. We were on Hunstanton Beach and H was treated like a toy by his father and brother...they buried him, carried him, put him in the water....but as you can see, he smiled through it all.

Monday, 7 September 2009

First day of school

Both of my boys are at new schools this year. J has just joined a 13+ intake so he is with many boys in the same boat. Unfortunately H has joined Year 6 at a prep school, all on his own. It is a tough year to be moving school as it is the final year of school but I know he will cope well as he is a very sociable and likeable boy.

I haven't done anything with their photos but here is another "first day" LO that was in SBM Issue 40. I wanted to take on a slightly different angle to first day by extending it to first week. J's school was part of the town of the same name...in fact, the school was the town! School buildings were set out all over the town, much like a university campus. He had to do a lot of walking to get from one lesson to another. This LO shows some of the places he had to go and some of things he had to contend with. I have also included a map of the school and his prep timetable. He was very tired by the end of the week!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Summer 2009 update

Ok, that makes it sound as though summer is over. What do you think ? Are we due some more good weather ? The boys are due back at school this week and whilst I love having them home, I missed my creative time. Anyway, this is going to be a long post about the long hectic summer holiday we've had.

1) We completed on the sales and purchase of the new house on the first day of the holiday. The packers turned up the day before to pack. They continued on completion day and didn't finish till about 2pm. Luckily our buyers were not moving immediately so they were quite happy for us to take our time. I had to abandon the packers and A & J at home to go for my piano exam.
2) Can you take the heat ? The moving meant I didn't have time to get stressed about the exam. I persuaded H to accompany me and we headed to Dogsthorpe. I was sure the church where the exams were taking place would be easy to find. Not so, I had to stop at a corner shop to purchase a map. Luckily I managed to calm down and the exam went well ( except by the time I was doing the third piece, my hands were starting to shake from nerve! ). The good news is I passed with merit and even got full mark for sight reading YAY.
3) Catherine from the solicitors rang to say we have completed on the purchase whilst I was driving to Dogsthorpe so that was good news. I will be driving to Cambridge after the exam. The removers and A&J were already there when we arrived. The team of 4 strong men, with some help from us, unloaded till about 8pm. 'A' then went on an unboxing spree.
4) A couple of days in the new house and we went to Spain to see the inlaws. Andalucia was very hot and dry but fortunately not as hot as it had been the weeks before. I almost melt in the heat.
5) Then it was back to the UK where the weather had been less ideal ( but perfect for all my plants that are waiting transplantation ). We pressed on with the unpacking and making the house presentable for housewarming.
6) We had housewarming. It was great to see our Oundle friends. Now I just have to make sure I keep in touch as I am terrible at this!
7) A couple of good weeks in Cambridge. We took our bikes out and cycled 5 miles to the Grand Arcade, and 5 miles back. This was my first outing on the bike. I learned to cycle as a young girl but have never really cycled anywhere, least of all, on the roads. My bum was very sore after that but luckily it didn't hurt for very long and even better, I didn't suffer the same on subsequent trips.
8) The pool was finally ready for swimming. I had to call out to the pool man to show us what to do. At first everything sounded very complicated but I think we've got the hang of it by now. We took the opportunity to use the pool whilst the sun was out. H swam nearly every day. The next stumbling block will be to 'close' the pool for winter. I might have to get Richard out for that.
9) Next stop was Miami. A was working in Boca for 2 weeks so we took the chance to experience the sunshine state. We stayed in Delray Beach which is right next to West Palm Beach. Our hotel is at the end of a long road that is full of grand mansions, just opposite the beach. I didn't see anyone famous but I did see a man in the local Starbucks, writing a book. Could he have been a famous author ?
10) A was working from 6am till late so it was nice to able to have him go away to Orlando with us for the weekend. Yep, you guessed it, we went to Walt Disney World. We got to our Disney hotel around 8 pm Friday night and got an early night, to recharge for the weekend. We did Animal Kingdom ( dissapointing! ), Magic Kingdom and Downtown on Saturday. On Sunday we went to the Studio ( my favourite! ) and Epcot. I overheard someone say the Toy Story ride at the Studio is very popular and they tend to run out of fast pass so I persuaded A to get some passes. This was at around 10 am. and the passes were already running at 3pm. By mid-day they were all out of fast passes and the queue for that ride was 70 mins. At the end of the ride, we all thought, "that was fun but I would be p*ssed off if I queued for 70 minutes".
11) We went shopping at Sawgrass Mills outlet mall. This place was vast. People walked around the shops, pulling a suitcase to put all their shopping in. We weren't that organized and not that crazy buying everything up. I bought a couple of jeans for me, some jeans and t for the boys, a couple of Oakley's rucksacks for the boys and some shoes.
12) On the way back to Miami, we had some time to kill. We made our last shopping stop at Pembroke Pines where I managed a Michaels, JoAnn and Target. Hamish wanted to check out Club Penguin's toys. Unfortunately all the ones in Target have had the coin codes stolen. If you are not familiar with Club Penguin, each toy come a coin that allows you to unlock a hidden item from the Club Penguin online game. We looked in Toys rUs and their coins were all intact.
13) Then it was back home to get ready for school. I had loads of school uniform to tag. With my lack of sleep due to jetlag, it was quite difficult to sew straight or even to thread the needle LOL.

Monday, 29 June 2009

I will be missing for a while

We are moving next week and I am going to struggle to post anything let alone create any layouts...I need to start packing my supply. The packers are coming on Tuesday next week to pack but I am hoping to sort my stash so it will be easy to find at the other end. Packers usually just throw everything in a box which might mix stuff up but boy, they are quick.

In the mean time, I have a couple of travel layouts to share.

This layout features photos from the city tour of Prague. We were driven up to Prague castle where we had a walking tour, then back on the mini bus to visit that church with the doll, followed by a walk across the river on Charles Bridge to the big square for the clock tower.

This layout is about a stop we made at a curio shop in Kenya. We were on a road that runs parallel to the equator and all the shops have this sign up. If you stop, the shopkeeper will show you how the water swirls in different directions depending on whether you are in the southern hemisphere or northern. Apparently this behaviour was documented and named after a western scientist but the Masais have always used this behaviour to navigate the vast Mara for centuries. What was even more curious for me was to see that the water stops swirling when you are dead on the equator, under that vast yellow sign.

Monday, 22 June 2009

class #8

This is my last layout for Doris Sander's Product Pizzazz 102. I have enjoyed doing her classes, always taking a slightly different view of those embellishments! For this class, she challenged us to make a frame for the photo. Mine is made from an assortment of tat that I seemed to have accumulated. The photo is of my boys and the welcoming party at a Samburu village in Kenya.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

I am doing a piano grade exam

EEEK! I wasn't going to do the grade exams when I first started playing the piano but after talking with another adult learner, I decided to go for it. All this happened just a couple of days before the deadline for application for this term's exam so I didn't have time to dwell and change my mind and all that... I think it is probably for the best, now H won't tell me what I can or can't play because "you are not even grade 1".

I have 3 pieces to play. The A piece is Gavot which I find the most difficult because of the change in tempo, especially those triplets! H also played this in his piano exam when he got a merit but I think he is a bit worried about the competition. Last night he said, "you'd probably do better than me as you've had more time". The B piece is Kummer ( meaning Grief ) which is a natural for me as it is slow and haunting. The C piece was going to be difficult to choose as this is what my boys call the "fun" piece, mainly aimed at kids. I picked African Dance because I wanted to conquer my fear of chords! Here's Gavot for now. I am struggling to upload more. They were 'taped' with the webcam but the camera is nowhere near the piano so, sorry, no visual, just sound.

I am doing great with scales...scales are wonderful because they are even, no mixture of crochet and minim and quavers and whatever. The sight reading is going to be so, so, but the aural could be a nightmare especially if I have to say whether the examiner is playing is 2 or 3 times. And I can't sing, big sigh.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Class #7

Photo of my boys enjoying a splashing time at Centre Parc...they even obligingly went up and down this slide posing, smiling for me until I got a good photo.

In this class, Doris challenged us to use pink for boys. I have used Cosmo Cricket's Girl Friday so can't be more pink than that, can I ? She also wanted us to think of an icon to fit the theme of the page. I have used my reversed scallop ( I think that is what it is called ) Nestabilities to make some masks that I sprayed with Maya Road Mist. Following on from my feeble attempt in class #5 at spray inking....I have been brave, haven't I ? I thought those reverse scallops look like water droplet + splash of paint = my icon. Next was 5 or more flowers...I don't use many of these so that was hard. Lastly, she said to copy an idea of layered embellishment. In one of the sample layout, she had chipboard swirls layered over each other...slightly jostling for space so I copied that idea. Normally my swirls would have sit neatly next to each other rather than over LOL.

Class #6

I didn't get the chance to upload this last week...had to dash out to get the boys!

For this class, Doris challenged us to use some acrylic which I have here in the form of those little stars from Heidi Swapp...you might not see it though as it is not very visible. I altered them by punching holes to turn them into buttons and threading a couple of beads. Doris also urged us to tear, punch, crinkle, distress patterned paper which I did very, very lightly as I don't like to get too distressed. Finally repetition I covered by putting the four similar photos side by side to look like a family portrait.

I had loads of those cute edging from Sassafrass scattered on my desk, unused, almost unloved, so I decided to splash out and use a few on this layout.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Class #5

I have been playing catch up with Doris' classes. Today, I managed to do 5, 6 and 7. YAY! For class 5, Doris talked about font choice, spray inking, stickers. Fourth point was taking a simple shape and layering on it...I think I might have missed this point, eek.
The photos are from our trip to Keukenhof in the spring. We were too early for most tulips (except the earliest varieties ) but fortunately there were plenty growing under the glass house. There was even a wedding taking place and we saw the bride having photos taken amongst the rows and rows of tulip.
I've never been confident splitting up a long word over multiple lines but this time it helped that I think of Keukenhof as Keu - ken - hof when pronouncing it. I was not very brave with the spray paint the first time I tried it so it was merely a little squirt, no mask or stencil, simple.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Have you seen ?

my boys in SBM ? My issue arrived this morning and this is one of the layouts from that issue. I was asked to incorporate recycled stuff on my layouts. That was no hardship as I tend to use all sorts of tat on my layouts.

For this, my 2 Jokers, I have cut up fabric panels from A's shirts...no, not his current ones but his old ones that were really tatty at the collar and cuffs. I have been saving them for many years to make a quilt ( they are nice and soft egyptian cotton mostly ) but I never did make a start. I finally cut up some of them up, saved the buttons and discarded the rest.

I love this photo of my boys. J is always holding H a little to tightly and I suspect, in this one, J was also tickling H and trying to look cool at the same time.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Class #4

These photos were taken at the woods near here, covered in bluebell. I couldn't believe how many cars were parked there on the day we visited.
In this class, Doris challenged us to follow the rule of thirds, use specialty paper, scallop edges and yellow. I have always struggled to follow the rule of thirds to the tee so mine are always slightly off! Once I've sneaked in the yellow arrow, I had to balance it with another strong colour, hence the red leaves. Papers are from October Afternoon. I guess I can safely say now, my favourite colour combination is blue and green, any shades just not navy!

Friday, 22 May 2009

Class #3

I am on a roll now, hope I can keep this up.

You might remember an earlier post about my son having his first drive, I finally get to scrap it. In this class Doris challenged us to us a lot of colours and not worrying if something does not quite match so here goes. I have used grey 'cog' paper by CherryArte, some Urban Rhapsody by K&Co and that "very difficult for me" blue paper from October Afternoon. And then I added some orange ribbons. I have also used turquoise and brown journalling blocks to mat the circular photos.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Class #2

Ok, I am feeling mighty pleased with myself, I've done the LO for Doris's second class. This layout features photos of my guys playing on the beach at Seahouses, Northumberland last July. It was cold hence the fleece but that didn't stop us. I cut out the waves from a Fancy Pants paper. I added some of my own, cut from a page of Jane Austin and stitched using embroidery thread.
Can't wait to see what Doris has in store for us later today.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Time for creating again

I have to confess that I haven't created anything since my last post except for a few magazine assignments. This is mainly due to "the move". I had to keep my work area tidy and that seemed to have killed any desire to create!

I have joined Product Pizzazz 102 with Doris Sander to kick start my creativity. I know Sian and Helen had a blast on 101 and with their thumbs up, how can I not join ? Class 1 challenged us to think of the theme of the LO, to use at least 3 patterned paper from different manufacturers, to use chipboard and lastly to use some eyelets. I ticked all the boxes with this LO.

The photos are taken in Samburu National Park, our first stop on our safari. My journalling says, "Our first stop on this long journey. I can't forget the first sighting of giraffes, bobbing along in the horizon." I love to leave my RifRaf chipboards bare and in this case, coupled with a little spotty ribbon, it is perfect for my theme! The trees in Kenya are frequently bare and skeletal and if you are lucky, you might see a leopard sitting in the branches. The cool map paper is from Julie, thank you my dear.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Under Offer

We have been busy for the last few weeks decluttering the house before we dared call the estate agents in. But that hard work has paid off. The estate agent came on Monday, the first viewing was on Saturday and we had an offer the following Monday. I am very pleased but slightly apprehensive about where we end up next. A doesn't want to look until he knows what is happening with his job. The uncertainty is killing me. In the mean time, if you have a good suggestion as to where to live for easy access to south Cambridge ( near Addenbrookes ), please let me know.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Second installment at Banana Frog

I made another appearance at Banana Frog yesterday with a couple of safari layouts. I love their Greenwich Park stamp set, especially that cute deer.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

First drive experience

We gave J a driving experience at Rockingham for his 13th birthday present but because they were booked up, he didn't get to do it till last weekend. He got to drive a Mini Cooper S around the roads on the Rockingham estate for 45 minutes. Well, not 45 minutes all in one go. There were 2 others, 16 year olds in the car. They took turns and did 15 minutes of left turns, 15 minutes of right turns followed by 15 minutes of parking. He had a brilliant time...I think all those driving games on the XBox helped. I was quite amazed that he managed pull away without stalling. At the end of the experience they got given a score sheet and he got a B for everything except for the use of rear view mirror for which he got a C.
First, he just had to pose for the official photographer but I sneaked this in.
Just to prove that he drove. He indicated.
and he turned left.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Guest designing for Banana Frog

I am guest designer for Banana Frog this month. I have designed a few layouts using Banana Frog stamps. This is the first of 3. All are about my safari to Kenya.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

18 years later, who would have thought...

It was our 18th wedding anniversary at the weekend. We didn't do anything special besides eating the remnants of the chocolate from Valentine's day but we started on one major move in our life. We are planning on moving house and the decluterring has begun. I tidied up 2 bookcases in the living room and managed to fill up 6 boxes with books. Now the bookcases are looking really smart, I wonder why we don't have it like that all year round LOL. Next stop, that bomb site I call my scrapping area.

I did the LO to celebrate our anniversary, admittedly I did it months ago to make SBM deadline. The photos were taken in a photo booth in Glasgow coach station around the time of our wedding. We used to go up to Glasgow to see A's mum and dad and even got married there, in East Kilbride registry office. Funny that I should still have these photos, A should have the other 2 from the strip of 4.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

The Who-dunnit cybercrop.

Did you do the cybercrop on UKS last weekend ? I had every intention to begin with. I needed to go to London a quick meet with some old friends from school on Saturday afternoon. But because of the terrible snow, A had to change his travel plans and didn't get back until Saturday morning. We met up in London and ended up staying the night.

I did "No Metronome" for a class at the cybercrop. Did you get a chance to do this class ? I realise it is probably not doable in 1 hour but it is difficult to achieve the balance between something to teach and something attractive within the setting of my own style. If you have any comments, please let me know.
I also did "Unusual Suspect - A Whodunnit Tale, Venetian Style" as a precrop challenge. Papers are BG Urban Prairie. The title is done by drawing around Tim Holtz Alphabet masks using white pen.

Next is "He Understands", the tale of my handbag. This is another precrop challenge, done with the Mystery Kit from Sarah's Cards. The American Crafts Teen line isn't my usual choice but so perfect for my bright bag.
I was sent this last week,
I am currently busy working on some projects for Banana Frog as their guest designer for March. I also have a Scrapbook Magazine assignment to complete, meaning, I have plenty to keep me busy for a couple of weeks.

What's the weather like where you are today ? After 2 weeks of snow, the sun is out and the sky is blue. It is starting to warm up and the snow is melting. I had to go out this morning and like most of the cars I saw on the road, went at 20 -30 mph down the country lanes. I pleased to say I survived the journey but I saw at least two minor accidents on the way back. A is working out in Colchester this week and he is reporting flooding.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Scrapbook Magazine Issue 35

The new issue of Scrapbook Magazine is out and here is one layout from the article I did, "Everyday Inspiration". This layout is inspired by Marvel comics. I found an advert for "Tang Orange" in a Spider Man comic, featuring Pele. Do you remember him ? I think he is saying if you drink Tang, even you too can turn into an amazing footballer...LOL. I cut out the image of Pele and stuck it on a panel that I water coloured to which I added my own speech bubble. I also made the journalling and title panels using watercolour.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Save the Elephants

I have a particular fascination with elephants, perhaps because of their size. I love how graceful they seem, despite their size. We saw many herds of elephants at Samburu during our last safari in Kenya. (I've just found out that safari is Swahili meaning long journey, how appropriate! ). They seem to just glide across the vast African plane. I also find that it is one animal I have scrapped the most.
Imagine my delight to find this series on BBC last week, The Secret Life of Elephants. It was on BBC1, the final and third programme is on 28th January at 9pm. If you love elephants as much as me, you can find more details on http://www.savetheelephants.com/.

Now, let me tell you about a standoff we had with an elephant. This elephant above wasn't from Samburu but we spotted him in Masai Mara. He (we assumed it was a bull elephant as he was alone ) was on a path, walking towards us. Usually the animals would walk away but he continued walking towards us. He was less than 50 metres away.

He started looking aggressive and appeared intent on staying on the path. We stopped to see if he would walk off, he stopped to see what we were doing and decided to proceed on the same path. We were getting scared at this point and our driver decided to put the car in reverse, we reversed for a bit, bearing in mind that the path is small and windy, we couldn't go very fast in reverse. He kept coming so our driver drove off the path, into the bushes. Fortunately, the elephant continued on the path and walked off.

If you have experienced aggressive drivers coming the opposite way from you, down a narrow road, you would know the feeling. Except in this case, of course the elephant had the right of way! During the 2nd programme of The Secret Life of Elephants, Saba had to get into a car to frighten off a group of elephants from her own team who was putting on a tracking device onto an elephant. We could see immediately see how much courage it took to do such a thing and was grateful that during our own encounter, the elephant was just standing his ground.

Friday, 9 January 2009

First layouts for 2009

After the Christmas break from scrapping, I was itching to get back to it. My boys went back to school on Monday and I have been busy since.
The Kenya layout was inspired by the thumbnail on Flikr. I captured the thumbnail on Flikr as a screen shot (by pressing ctrl-Printscreen). An unsual, subdued colour combination for me but I think which suited the safari photos best. The photo of my little boy with his binocolurs look as though he is having a closer look at those tiny photos.
Treehouse was a happy coincident. I was sorting through my paper scrap box and pulled out the four patterned papers ( at the top of the layout ) in one handful, the BG scarlet letters, BG Blush, WRM Whiteout and BG Periphery. I thought how they the all go so well together and went to work on this layout immediately. I didn't even cut any of them up.
Detour has been in my pile of page kits to do. It wasn't working out until I replace the background cardstock ( from Bazzill Kraft ) with K&Co Wild Saffron.

Lastly, Day Out was inspired by a layout by Maggie Holmes in CK.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Kenyan Safari

We've just got back from a week long safari in Kenya. We took in 4 national parks, Samburu, Aberdare, Nakuru and Mara in that week and boy, was that tiring. I didn't realise how long it would take to travel between each park because they looked quite close on the map ( a very small map! ). Unfortunately the roads are not very good, I got neck ache from being bounced about during the 4-5 hours drives each time.

The pain of travels were soon forgotten when we arrived at each of our lodges. Each one is a calm oasis in the wilderness. Our rooms provided a cooling welcome and have very picturesque settings. Also fortunate is the fact that they are located on higher ground where top temperature was only 26 C.

We took nearly 1000 photos. A and I filled up my 2 x 4Gb CF cards that we had to buy another one from the gift shop. You can see a selection in my Flikr gallery but here are a few of my favourites.

I am pleased to report that we saw the Big 5, the Elephants ( plentiful in Samburu ), the Leopard ( once at Samburu ), the Rhinos ( Black Rhinos at Treetops and Masai Mara ), the Lion ( mainly at Masai Mara ) and the Buffaloes. We learned from our knowledgeable ( and very fast driver ) guide, Rashid, the difference between a leopard and a cheetah, the feeding habits of the big cats, the name of all sorts of antelopes, that White Rhinos are not indigenous to Nakuru, that Black Rhinos are very shy etc.