Sunday, 24 April 2011
As previously stated, I can't get to grips with this system and the lack of Alerts makes it so hard to keep in touch. Jean has just posted and that prompted an AOL Blogger friend to get in touch with me. Which in turn made me think I should post a few photos, then the few folk that remember me can see what I've been up to.
For a start, I was 58 last week, that's a bit scary!
My Grandson, who was just a scan photo last time I posted, is now 21 months. He is adorable and so funny, I've never know such a sense of humour in a child his age.
Isabella is beautiful but sadly living back in Germany, her Daddy is in Engineering and just couldn't get a job that paid enough here, having moved to England just as the recession started. She is now bi-lingual, in English and German but like her Daddy speaks with a slight American accent. She does ballet and is very artistic.
Mike and I had planned to retire to Wales this year but due to the sad death of my Step-father, earlier this year, we have had to put that plan on hold. Mum is 82 and until she can find herself somewhere in her Village, that is more manageable and start to pick up the threads of a single life, there is no way that I can move away.
The Chickens I had , the original ones were for my 50th birthday, have now all passed on. As we were planning to move, we didn't replace them. Now we are staying put, I have had four new girls as my birthday present. This time I have had pretty ones, different types of Hybrids. Here they are, in their run, they have to stay in for about a week, to get the hang of where they need to go at night.
But my very best thing right now is Robin. The other man in my life, he sings to me all the time I'm in the garden and follows me about and he eats right out of my hand. I think he is a serious contender for my affections.
I took these myself, this morning.
Well, if anyone remembers me and happens to read this, I hope all is well with you. I shall try to read a few Blogs now, although I always keep up with Andy & Jean, as they send me an e-mail when they have posted.
Happy Easter. xx
Thursday, 17 September 2009
The Gathering is a gloriously happy weekend with like minded, organic, often veggie, music loving, people loving escapists, who for three days can dress as oddly as they like, put flowers in their hair and chat away until the early hours of the morning, with people they never met before.
One young man insisted on walking me back to my tent, even though it was only 20 feet away and thanked me for making their evening. I have no idea how I did that but it probably made my year! It's just that sort of event, I suppose it's a throw back to 1968, The Summer of Love.
My sister has already told me she is planning to go next year and I think we may need to get in early with our tickets because 2010 will be the sixth year and I think word will be spreading.
Here is a little taste of the times I had my camera with me. The music is from Endless Knot, who are fabulous live. They got me dancing for two hours last year in my wellies. This year I was in flip-flops, next year, who knows but they have been invited back. I can''t wait.
Thursday, 14 May 2009
I’m embarrassed to find I had comments on my last entry that I hadn’t seen, so thanks for those and I’ll try to catch up with you all but life has been very busy here.
You know me, I like to illustrate my Blog, this one is no exception.
Well, I’m expecting a second grandchild, which is exciting. This time it’s my son who is adding to the family and the baby is due in July. With his usual impeccable timing, he’s got himself sent to America for three months and won’t be back until the end of June. So poor Tori’s been languishing, alone (apart from bump) up in the wilds of a very wet Scotland.
To break the time alone tghere for Tori, I drove up there last week and we did lots of girlie things together, like tearooms and shopping and of all wondrous things the weather took an amazing turn for the better and we barbequed on two evenings, just chatting in the garden and meeting the neighbours. It was a very relaxing time.
But I had a surprise up my sleeve. As Simon is away while all this baby developing is going on, Mike and I offered to get a 4D Ultrasound scan done, so that Tori could then send the pictures to Simon. Tori jumped at the chance and it was a very special moment, to have Simon on the phone as he opened the link to the photos. He’d no idea what we’d done and then he came out with his own surprise, he’s flying home for a few days at the end of this month. And all this was when he’d just returned from the beach, where he’d watched the Space Shuttle launch. The wonders of modern technology!!!
Thanks to the scan, we were able to confirm that this baby will definitely be Edward, my father’s first name and he looks very much like Simon, even though on some of the picture he appears to have a moustache, LOL!! (It’s just a shadow)
Life in here in Worcestershire just seems busy, what with Mike and I working at home. Getting the garden sorted and keeping on top of things at the allotment.
Catherine and Flo have been having a tough time, as he is now on a three day week and because of that, Catherine’s done well, producing posters and now has a few cleaning jobs, to help supplement their income. Ten more people were made redundant this week where Flo works. He wasn’t one of them, which is a relief but still it’s upsetting. You can’t help but feel for the ones that have lost their jobs.
Mike’s son, Dave and his fiancée Sam, did the London Marathon. Sam’s Dad has Leukaemia and they chose to run for Leukaemia Care. We are so proud of them.
Mike and I celebrated our Silver Wedding Anniversary in April. We had thought we’d have a party but as Simon was away, yet again, we’ve decided to have a ’Do’ in October, when hopefully, they will be able to come down here, to Worcester and introduce Edward to all the family.
We went away for a night of absolute luxury, in Wales and although we only stayed away the one night, we managed to make it a two day event. It was just fabulous and well worth spending what would have bought us a week away somewhere else. When we went into the room, there was a bottle of champagne, on ice and a card from all the staff, congratulating us on our anniversary. So remember that, if you are ever booking somewhere, just let it slip that there’s a special occasion and you might get a free bottle of bubbly!! 25 Years! Wherever did that time go and to think people said it would never last! Our room was the old library and we had a wonderful view of the River Usk from the windows. We slept with the huge drapes shut but with the sash windows open, so that we could hear the river in the distance.
We’re down to one chicken now, she did have another name but due to her bossy and aggressive behaviour, she’s now Attila, as in Attila the Hen! We can’t get any new ones until she’s gone, she’d just peck them to death but when she does go, I’ve seen what I want, they’re called Bluebell Rangers, ha ha, how camp does that sound?
I think that’s all for now, although I’ve probably forgotten loads.
Hope all is well with you. xx
Friday, 9 January 2009
I've had a nightmare signing into here but I think I have it sorted now. I've been trying to keep up with my favourite Blogs but I've fallen by the wayside there too. Bloody AOL, I can't forgive them for writing us off like that.
Working from home for Mike has been far more time consuming than I imagined but it's been worth it. I love having my time at home and not wasting 40 minutes every morning travelling the four miles to school. Not to mention the Road Rage, the swearing, finger gesturing and horn blowing it was a disgrace and I think the citizens of Worcester will be glad I'm not doing it anymore!
To be able to roll out of bed at 8am, grab a coffee and catch up with the Breakfast news, followed by a shower and pull some clothes on while the computer warms up and then pop out to the chickens, or feed the cats, or set dinner on to cook inbetween work is just bliss. Although it probably doesn't help to make me any more organised, the reverse is probably the case.
Isabella is growing fast and has developed into a very amusing child, given to the odd tantrum. She started pre-school today and had a small paddy at break time when the children went to the table for their milk and biscuits. She didn't know what was happening and her mentor had just taken another child to the loo. So she started crying and refused to be consolled and wouldn't touch her milk and biscuits. When Mummy collected her, the first thing she said was , "IIII, dddddidn't hhhhave any milk. Sniff! Bless.
Mike and I were enjoying our first day off for two weeks and had a trip to the Snowdonia National Park. I'd discovered on the Internet that I'd never been to Blaenau Ffestiniog, if you mention it to almost anyone, they seem to know it has a Light Railway. Even my daughter knew that, which astounded me. Mike and I have been to places nearby and because the name was so familiar, we thought we'd been there also. Only when I saw photos I knew we certainly hadn't.
On the way we stopped for a coffee and to do some shopping at Harry Tuffins, his supermarkets are legendary in the Welsh Marches. If you've never been to one, well, how can I describe it. Like a warehouse that has all the shops you'd find in a town, only it's under one roof, they aren't all as big as the one at ChurchStoke but, honestly, we nearly didn't go any further, we could have walked round there all day. There are so many things you didn't know you hadn't got! LOL We had the oddest feeling of having been dropped in a parrallel universe!
If you ever have the chance, the road from Dollgellau to Blaenau Ffestiniog, is stunning. We've done other Welsh Mountain roads that have been beautiful but they have been, on the map, the white, unclassified roads. This road is a green road, the A470, I think. so it's an easy drive and the views make you breathless. Cader Idris was wrapped around in a white mist, in the most brooding way, whilst all the other smaller mountains were bathed in glorious sunshine, backed by a clear blue sky.
When we reached Blaenau Ffestiniog, we were a bit concerned that we may not find lunch. It's a place that has suffered an enonomic downturn but there are still several shops there and we were delighted to find the Bistro, which was modern, clean, inviting, with lovely Welsh speaking ladies, who DIDN'T try to make us feel uncomfortable as English speakers. We had a gorgeous lunch of traditional Welsh Rarebit, with salad. Mike had a glass of red wine and I had a Coffee Mocha, with a very large brandy, all for around £15.
We then had a walk around the town. Where can you be in the middle of a town and see scenes like this?
I thought there was a black splodge on the photo and then realised it was a couple of birds flying over.
The town developed through the slate quarrying, which is so evident today and still continues on a much smaller scale.
On the way home way stopped to see the Aqueduct, just outside Llangollen. I walked across to take photos, it was a very odd experience. Mike stayed at the edge, he and heights don't mix! LOL.
This last shot is looking down to the valley of the River Dee, a very long way below!
I've been busy with my Black Country Website http://www.blackcountrygob.com/portal.php
The Gallery, which is my special interest now has nearly 700 photos in it, dating back to the 1850's and up to the present day. I'm trying to photograph as many old Black Country buildings before they are demolished. http://www.blackcountrygob.com/Photogallery/
I'm glad I don't go out to work now but there still aren't enough hours in the day. Hope all the old AOL Bloggers are well and I shall try to catch up and post comments over the weekend.
Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Well! AOL have just lost a customer. Tomorrow will be my first day working from home and my first job will be to sort out a new Internet provider.
Not only have I had to put up with interminable waits while I attempt to open my AOL emails, I have now received a missive from the idiots at AOL UK saying they are going to delete all our Journals with effect from 31st October. That's the way forward isn't it? Seeing as Blogs are becoming ever more popular.
So, I shall be finding somewhere else to write my occasional wafflings and doing it via, a faster and more efficient Internet provider.
Saturday, 20 September 2008
I am on the verge of a new life.
For the last twenty four years I have gone out to work. Until six years ago it was full time work. None of it was easy and much of it was working to tight deadlines.
While living in Cardiff I left home at 8 am , either travelling by car (nightmare) or train and bus (different kind of nightmare). I would return home at 6.15pm to a family that needed sorting with homework, scouts, difficult friends, dinner to be cooked, gardening and once a month returning home for a weekend with parents (Father who had had a stroke and was totally disabled) then there were other serious health issues in the family. Not to mention the logistics of two children that had to have a weekend with their Dad in Worcester and two other children that needed to come to spend time with their Dad in Wales.
When we moved back to Worcester life was not much easier. The children, who hadn’t wanted to move to Wales, now didn’t want to be back in Worcester.
Unfortunate choices in boyfriends and girlfriends led to court appearances for stalking/assaulting partners and ineffectual court orders left us, bemused, tired, frightened and fearful.
The stalking girlfriend ended up in prison, where oddly she was able to ring us, even though she was in prison for doing that same thing (270 time in one day alone) and all the time I was working for a large company that allowed workplace bullying. No, I will correct that, encouraged workplace bullying.This week some of the buildings from the company were demolished.! I don't think Mr Kay would have wanted his company to become such a blot on the landscape and a thorn in the side of so many.
I was signed off with stress for five weeks at that time and I was one of many in the company to be signed off with the same cause. I’d never heard of such a thing before.
Moving to work at school was a great relief but even that has become a stressful environment now.
It will be wonderful to not have to spend forty minutes travelling just over four miles. WORCESTER NEEDS ANOTHER RIVER BRIDGE!!!! And I won’t be a punch bag for children under the age of ten any more.
So, from the 1st of October, I shall be working from home and for the first time in a very long time I shall feel in control of my life. (I hope)
Two weeks ago I went for a weekend at The Mercian Gathering. A Pagan Festival. It was as Satanic as Morris Dancing or dancing round The Maypole.
There was some ritual stuff, which was to celebrate the old Gods but it was just dressing up and , well, it’s hard to describe but it was just about loving the earth and the way the earth provides for us.
Nothing sinister and the whole weekend was about peace and harmony and love for the world we live in and the people around us.
There were talks and workshops, where you could learn how to make things like garlands,
(Hair care didn't feature much over the weekend and all over baby wipes was the best alternative to the muddy showers.)
or instruments and different types of healing. There was the Healing Tent, where you could go for free treatments in Reiki. Spiritual Healing, Reflexology, Indian Head Massage and probably other things that I have forgotten.
It rained most of the weekend apart from the time of the rituals.
Then it stopped raining half an hour before each event and started again soon after we finished. People said to us, "The Goddess won't let us down" and they were right, she didn't.
The rain and the mud didn’t spoil things at all. We just wore wellies and got on with it.
Saturday night was brilliant with two bands playing. Ehdless Knot were superb and I would definitely go to see them again. It was the first time I have ever spent the night dancing in my wellies. I had a fantastic time. Unfortunately Catherine was more tired than I was and she went to bed when the band had a short break at about 11.30. So when I went back to the tent at 12.30, she was fast asleep.
I then found I couldn’t remove my wellies!! Having worn them all day, they'd now become welded to my socks! No matter how I tried, they were stuck. I didn’t want to wake Catherine, as she was obviously tired and I seemed to be somewhat incapacitated by the wine I had drunk and the blackberry leaf cigarettes I’d smoked. Not quite sure why I did the latter, it just seemed a good idea at the time!!
So, at 1.15 am I was getting rather agitated about my still, tightly attached wellies and was getting a serious stich in my side from the contortions on the end of my camp bed. I had a pair of sharp scissors and was seriously thinking of cutting them off but as they were Hunter’s and cost £50, I was a bit loath to.
I then hit on the idea of kicking my heels viciously into the ground and thankfully they gradually they came free.
I had gone to the event with my sister, niece and daughter and we all agreed we had such a great time, we have to go again next year. Surely, if we could have a wonderful time in such appalling weather, it could only be better next year?
Last weekend was the annual Black Country Boating Festival and this year Mike was able to come with me. Again, like most things this summer, it was muddy underfoot but we still enjoyed it.
I’m off to see my team, West Bromwich Albion, play Aston Villa tomorrow. There will be a huge crowd, as it’s a local Derby. Just hope it’s worth the petrol!!
PS Here's a wedding photo from my last entry.
Monday, 1 September 2008
Yes, it has been a long time!
I missed my 3 year anniversary of George Mansions, that was on the 20th August. I’m not going to make excuses for the dearth of entries. It has been for various reasons but the chief one is I’ve been ill for almost the whole of the six week summer holiday. I’ve been suffering from a virus, at least, I think that’s what it was and I’ve been in a very dark place for weeks.
The school holidays started so well, the first week the weather was good and I spent hours at a time working on the allotment and was feeling really good, there were so many things I planned to do. On the Wednesday Catherine and I took Isabella to a Teddy Bear's Picnic in aid of the local Hospice. Isabella had a lovely time and went in the paddling pool.
The weather at the end of that first week was wonderful and on the Saturday night I went with my friend Lucy to the open air Bretforton Silver Band Concert. We took a picnic and watched the fireworks that went on until after 11pm. I don’t think I got a chill but somehow I didn’t feel right after then.
On the Monday Catherine phoned me from Pembrokeshire and said how wonderful the weather was and to get down there with my tent. So off I went, with the top down on my car. Got as far as Raglan and the heavens opened and that was it. Three soggy days in a tent and on the second night a gale blowing. Several tents blew down and I was woken at 1am by the inner part of my tent buffeting me and then I realised there were flashing lights , grown ups shouting and kids screaming. I’m thankfull that my tent withstood it all perfectly and Catherine’s had some small leaks but nothing too serious.
This is my tent
The next weekend was the Hen Day & Night of an old friend. I went to her first wedding 20 years ago. By day we had a minibus out to the Cotswolds for a country wine tasting experience. I have to say Carolyn, it was certainly that!! What a laugh!! Carolyn had booked it through the Internet. There was no charge, they just hope you’ll buy some of their products.
We arrived and the minibus driver thought he’d taken us to the wrong place and got out to check but no, it was the right place. How would I describe it? Overgrown, disused, derelict? Yep that would be about right.
The owner looked like he was prematurely old, or, was quite youthful for someone who was old. Can’t be sure on that one. Ageing hippy would describe him well and his socks and sandals were the topic of conversation for hours to come.
In the evening we went to a Ball at the Worcester County Cricket Ground , a beautiful setting, where Catherine and I got dressed up in posh frocks and then got quite drunk. I danced for hours, something I haven’t done for years.
Above, my usual, frozen, hurry up and take it pose!
I found at the end of the evening I was being chatted up by a chap with no front teeth. We’d been looking at him earlier when he was ’Dirty Dancing’ with someone that looked old enough to be his Dad in drag!!! Don’t know what happened to him/her. But we’d been told the chap with no teeth was Hungarian. When I found he’d joined my table I asked him where he came from, he replied Dudley, which nearly caused me to choke with laughter. He didn’t help matters when he apologised for the way he looked and explained ‘I’m in between teeth’. Actually, I know someone else from Dudley who has no front teeth, I wonder if it’s the latest thing back in my home land?
On the Monday it was obvious this slight unwellness was getting a grip and I’ve suffered from a sort of gastric flu, which turned into a sinus and chest infection ever since. It really turned bad when I went down to Plymouth the following Saturday, I was only a bit sniffley then but of course it was the second weekend of Factory Fortnight and it took SIX bloody hours to get to Plymouth. I normally do it in under three! But I had a lovely dinner out with Simon and Tori, even although I couldn’t taste much of it.
Then, coming back on the Sunday, I think it was while I was parked in the fast lane of the M5, somewhere near Weston, I decided to get out and get a magazine from the boot and my bottle of Conovia Cough Medicine and much to the amusement of the vehicles parked around, I started swigging cough medicine from the bottle. It was at that moment that I realised I was really not very well and was wondering about the possibility of getting the Air Ambulance to come and get me out of that five mile car park. So that was another six hour journey back home.
The following weekend was Caroline’s wedding, that was a blur, couldn’t taste a thing. I hardly knew where I was. The wedding was at 4 and we went home at 8.30. But she looked lovely, as always. I would show you a photo but for some reason AOHell won't upload any photos from the day!!!!!!
Since then I got worse and now I am slowly getting better.
So that was my miserable summer. I could mention the weather but that’s a topic best avoided.
Actually, it wasn’t all doom and gloom, I did manage a day out last Sunday with Lucy. It was our annual girlie day out and I was determined to go, dead or not!
We had planned to go to West Wales but I knew I couldn’t cope with the distance, so we went toTyntesfield, only an hour away (well it is with my driving <LOL>) . I think it was a bit mind over matter because I felt fine mostly, only half way round the house I had a little sit down and fell asleep!! I don’t think anyone noticed though. <LOL>
Then we went a couple of miles down the road to Clevedon, a great favourite of Sir John Betjeman . It was a little windy but some rare sunshine too. We walked along the restored Pier. What a treat, it doesn’t have the usual amusement arcades. Every plank has 3 brass plaques of names of people who donated to the restoration. Not to mention larger plaques over the benches. You could spend the day reading the stuff that’s there and some are famous people, like John Craven, from his Newsround and Mike Read. Some of the comments are really amusing. Marriage proposals and all sorts
There's a two story building at the end of the Pier and as we approached it, we were delighted to find it was the Pagoda Tea Room, with a balcony that ran all the way around it.
They offered Cream Teas. Well, it would have been rude to decline, wouldn’t it?
Tomorrow I go back to school. I don’t feel at all rejuvenated but I shan’t worry about that because I shall be handing in my notice. At last I have the job of my dreams, I shall be working from home doing music research and at last, without it being in the slightest bit scandalous,….I get to sleep with the Boss!!!!!