Wednesday, 30 August 2006
Monday morning saw me at Bristol Airport collecting Simon and Tori, who had just returned from a two week holiday.
The first thing I’d heard on the radio when I got up was about the bombs in Turkey.
I had been concerned when he said he’d booked a holiday there, I knew there had been bombs previously but what can you say, when it’s already booked?
The thing that worried me in the radio report was that it was a bus that had been hit at midnight, around the time I would expect them to go to the airport. I had no idea what resort they were staying at but it could’ve been the bus taking them to the airport they often call at a number of resorts on route.
Strangely, I felt quite calm about it and went to see what further news the television could offer. I then became fairly confident from what I heard that they couldn’t have been involved.
I feel so sorry for those and their families who were.
I picked them up on time from the airport and Simon then had to answer calls and texts from other worried friends and family.
Having left Turkey without being involved in the problems there, he then started, what he called, the day from hell.
He wanted to leave my house asap, as he was taking Tori to London and then driving on down to Plymouth, where he had a lot of post and paperwork to catch up on. But Tori wanted a cup of tea first.
Come on ladies, how many of you know THIS male trait? My son definitely has it, as does my husband, ex husband, son in law, brother in law and step father. It can't just be my family.
You’re going somewhere and we all like to look our best, so it takes us a bit longer than them. This means they have to wait a while. They then get agitated waiting and when you start to make a move downstairs, that’s it! They’re off. Like a rat up a drainpipe, in the car, ignition on and drumming the steering wheel with their fingers.
While they were waiting for you ,did they……..Lock the back door? Check the pet’s water and food bowls? Let the dog in, who had wandered off to investigate some bushes and could have spent four hours crying at the unlocked back door? Get the babies feeds together? Switch on the Answerphone? Pick up those vital documents that he is going to need at the Bank/Solicitor/Building Society, where you are going? Of course not! Far more important that he sit in the car, with the engine running, picking his nose.
It’s therefore no surprise that as Simon had to wait a few minutes whilst Tori had her tea, a sandwich and a cigarette. they had to come back twice. Once for Tori’s handbag and then for Simon’s mail!
Having got to London Tori wanted to get some food in and Simon drove her to the shops. Trying to park quickly he caught the kerb and split the tyre. He was very lucky to find a back street garage, which he persuaded to fit a replacement, even though the man was just closing. At 6pm on a Bank Holiday I think he was very lucky.
At 10.30pm , I gave him a ring to see if he was home yet. No, he was at Exeter, as he had stopped for a break and something to eat.
At midnight the phone rang. Where are you I hissed, trying not to wake Mike. He was at the flat. Unfortunately, in his haste he had picked up the spare set of keys to Catherine’s flat in Germany, rather than his own.
Simon managed three hours sleep in his car and we had to get up at 6.30 am to drive down to Plymouth with his keys! Thankfully the security guards on the gatehouse are friendly and said he could use their toilet if necessary.
Anyway, we had a pleasant day out, apart from all the driving. Had lunch at Cremyll, in Cornwall and went to visit Mike’s father’s grave in Ipplepen, Devon. It was the first time we had got back there since his stepmother’s funeral.
The church is 15thC but is covered in a strange rendering, which I think may be Victorian, it doesn’t look right. But there are some lovely old features, including the Rood Screen. There is a royal coat of arms above the door and it’s a big joke in the village. It dates from George I’s time. He upset the locals, I think it may have been to do with the Oath of Allegiance and possibly they were made to display the coat of arms. I forget the exact story. Have a look at the photo and see if you can spot the ‘extras’ the village people added.
I’ve told Simon to stay home and have a quiet time for the next day or two, he returns to work next week and I think he needs a rest before then. I know I do!!!
Sunday, 27 August 2006
I had to take a break from rubbish sifting in my house. I think I was in danger of appearing on a Life of Grime in a few years! You know the scenario, old couple found dead in their beds and when the officials are called in to deal with the situation, the rooms are just small tunnels amongst tons and tons of paper.
So I’m having a relax on here, with a cup of tea and thought I’d put on a couple of pictures that I found, that made me smile and brought back happy memories.
This is from about five years ago when we had some snow between Christmas and New Year. We have quite a steep grassy bank that goes from the patio area to the main part of the garden. Our great nephew, who was 10 at the time, was visiting with his Mum and Mike’s Sister and Mother.
I suddenly remembered we had some sledges in the shed that had never been used since we moved back to Worcester from Wales. Although the snow wasn’t thick it was enough to sledge (fast) down our bank.
Gregory thought it was a good idea but then didn’t seem too keen. Unfortunately (fuelled by a little wine) Mike, Greg’s Mum Leo and I thought it was great fun and hilarious. We were at it until it was dark. At one point I thought Harper Dog, who was very excited by it all, might like a go. This is the photo, I’m not sure if he was excited, or terrified.
The next picture goes back to about 1971. We were at a 21st birthday party at my boyfriend’s parent’s house. It was a beautiful house, just outside Bridgnorth, called Stanmore Hall. I’ve been back in recent years when it had been sold and became The Midland Motor Museum. I think the grounds are now just used as a caravan park, I believe the museum has gone.
I am the one on the left and was obviously having some sort of hair and fashion crisis that year. My sister Valerie, on the right, was about 15 at the time. The little chap in the middle is Peter Powell who was a good friend for some years, later he was best known for his days as a Radio One DJ and marrying Anthea Turner.
I might put some more on another time, if I’m feeling brave. I never realised I looked such a sight in those days
Saturday, 26 August 2006
Trying to get back into a routine isn’t easy when you’ve let everything slide for months.
My house is full of clutter and rubbish (No! Not the smelly kind!) Post by the ton, interspersed with photographs and family history documents. There are piles of it everywhere.
I decided to blitz the house and started with the large dresser in the dining room. It has six cupboards and four drawers. The shelf parts I keep tidy with some favourite ornaments but that saying, out of sight, out of mind is very true. Having crammed the parts not visible with goodness knows what for years, they are now too full to put anything else in. The same is true of the writing bureau in the sitting room.
The truth of the matter is, they are full of stuff that we never use, or look at. There was 13 years accumulation in the dresser. Well it’s sorted now, as is the bureau and I filled a black bin bag with rubbish and the breakfast bar is now piled with items going to a car boot sale. (Don’t hold your breath on that one! I’ve been saying I’ll do one for the last two years.)
I bought some beautiful new bedding back from Ikea in Frankfurt, it’s a wine red satin cotton, with self colour flowers embroidered on the top part, with a love ly faux, fold over detail, which I can’t explain but it looks very luxurious. I bought the big square pillows and pillowcases to go with it. I can’t believe the price, the kingsize cover and pillowcases were just over £30 and the pillows £5 each.
When I got home I bought some new cream curtains and with the cream carpet and walls and the dark oak Jacobean style bedroom furniture and antique washstand, it looks really good. Mike was very impressed when he saw our ‘new ’room.
I'd been speaking to Catherine on the phone earlier and said I had to hurry, as I wanted to get the bedroom finished before he got home. She said "Oh, are you planning a 'Big Night' then?" We both had a good laugh about that. My idea of an exciting time in bed these days is......a good book!!
Autumn is truly on the way and I don’t mean because the weather has gone colder, it will more than likely go very hot in September, it usually does. No, the reason Autumn is here is because I’m sitting here by an open window and I can hear one of my Robins in a tree in the garden, singing his ‘Autumn Song’. I don’t know why they do it but it is the most hauntingly beautiful sound and they seem to improve it over the next few weeks, so that by mid September it’s a sound that fills my garden.
I remember one glorious September day, a couple of years ago. It was one of those days when you get that wonderful hazy golden sunshine. The apples were ripe on the trees and the smells of warm, moist, earth and fruit and the more pungent,bitter, scents of leaves starting to turn colour, were filling the air. It was so still and quiet and then a Robin started to sing on an apple branch ,just above my head. The experience is one I shall never forget, it was so heady, I felt as if I’d had a glass of wine and a warmth coursed through my veins making me light headed. It was almost as if I was floating and somehow the Robin’s song became part of me, it was inside my head as much as it was all around me. I stood there for several minutes, entranced and hypnotised. I felt I never wanted to move outside that moment, yet it was as fragile as a bubble that could have burst at any time.
Autumn days like that are my favourite times of the year, much as I love certain aspects of all the other seasons.
Well, I’m waffling on far too much here. I need to get on with sorting out the rest of my house, which will no doubt take me weeks!
I’m very impressed with fellow J-Lander Rachel, who has lost three stone .....Actually, if she lost anything, it was probably in one of my dresser drawers, the rest of the world seemed to be in there! Anyway because she feels her success is due in part to support from other people, I am going to try and do something about my three stone that need to go.
Before I went to Germany I had got down to 12 st 12lbs. When I returned I weighed 13 st 3lbs. This is no doubt due to the Black Forest Gateau I ate, on several occasions, including two days when I had it for breakfast!
Anyway, I’ve managed to get back to 13 stone exactly this morning and I shall now do a weekly weigh in and post it here, even if I don’t have time to write anything else some weeks. Maybe that will get me a bit more motivated.
I had a lovely time in Germany and will write more and put some photos on later. Catherine and Flo do live in a beautiful place but I can see why they find it a bit back of beyondish, you have to drive over an hour to get to a city with a good selection of shops. While it might suit me at my age, I can see how they find it a bit quiet.
I will put one picture on here today. I took it last week, on Catherine’s 30th birthday. Of course I’m biased but I think she is so beautiful and little Isabella looks so pretty too for a two month old baby.
Catherine said they measured Isabella at the Doctor’s yesterday. When she was born on June 14th, she was 53 centimetres. She didn’t feed too well for the first month and when she was measured on July 20th, she was still 53 centimetres. Yesterday she was 60, that’s 7 centimetres in a month! I think she may take after her Uncle Simon, she already has the big feet that indicate height.
Oh well, back to the housework now.
PS. Just as I finished writing this, the heavens opened and for the second time this week we seem to be having monsoon type rain. At least it saves time watering all my tubs and pots.
Wednesday, 9 August 2006
Hardly any time to get anything done!
I went down to Plymouth on Monday morning, to stay with Simon and see his new apartment.
It’s about a three and a half hour drive from here. I set off fairly early and arrived at half past ten, I went through rain and fog and there was an accident near Bristol. But it was worth the trip, I had a lovely time.
It’s an amazing place to live and the views are wonderful. This entry is mainly for family who live elsewhere and want to see some photos, of course, anyone is welcome to see the pictures but I warn you, the views might make you a bit envious. I didn’t want to come home but on a grey, wet day, it might not be so appealing.
One of the other residents sits out on one of the benches every afternoon, just reading, chatting to people who pass by and sipping a glass or two ofwine,while enjoying the sea view and air. I think I could put up with that for a few months.
It’s amusing when the tour boats pass by and over the loudspeaker you will hear “ And this is the Royal William Yard, until the 1960’s, it was the Stores for the Royal Navy. It is now being converted into luxury apartments.” Simon quite likes being a tourist attraction!
On Tuesday we took my car and went on the Torpoint Ferry over to Cornwall, what a bargain, free to go and £1 to return.
I think the Cornish are in fact Aliens from another planet. For a start they talk another language and their place names are bizarre, to say the least. How about living in Narkurs? I have never seen so many middle aged men with ponytails and wearing kaftans or smock type clothing, is it where all the hippies went after the 60’s?.
I must go, as I’m of to Germany this afternoon, more pictures after then.