About Me

My photo
Worcester, Worcestershire, United Kingdom
Born in the year of the Coronation, I'm a Baby Boomer. In April of this year I decided I too would have a Diamond Jubilee celebration and completely change my life and that of my Husband's in the process

Tuesday, 31 October 2006



Where on earth did the last week go?I’ve had a lovely time but phewwwww…….. was it busy?


I don’t know what’s been happening in the world, I’ve barely had time to keep an eye on Journals, every time I’ve signed on I’ve had 60 emails, or more!


Catherine & Isabella arrived on Monday night and I met their flight at Birmingham Airport at 8.30pm. The little love had been no trouble on her first flight. She had a bottle for take off, to prevent ear problems. Went to sleep for half an hour, then woke up when the ‘PINGGG’ happened to announce some turbulence and spent the next half an hour talking to the overhead light.


As soon as she saw me there was a slightly puzzled ‘don’t I know you look’ followed by a big smile. She is just the best natured 4-month-old baby I have ever known, with smiles for everyone.


Tuesday was a family get together at my Mother’s house and the best bit was that Mum’s cousin, Joan, was over from America. Joan adores Catherine, so what fantastic timing that they were both in England together.


Wednesday was getting Catherine’s hair fixed, plus some shopping and Thursday, Flo flew over to join them.


Friday, we all went to Bath to have lunch with Mike’s daughter Sue, her husband John and their two girls Chloe and Abigail. It was Sue’s 38th birthday and we lunched in the Pump Rooms. OMG! If anywhere was ever more English, well I can’t imagine where it is. Chandeliers, high ceilings, a pianist playing and camp waiters in long aprons, it was heavenly. It was quite expensive compared with a Pub Meal but £108 for 8 meals and drinks didn’t seem OTT for the experience.


There are windows overlooking the Roman Baths and you can sample the water, which I didn’t think tasted too bad but it’s warm yeuchhh! If there is one thing I don’t drink its warm water.


Friday night I made Pate and sausages rolls, with sausages from our ‘Best in Britain’ butcher in Malvern, his award winning sausages taste like Christmas Dinner and are just wonderful.


Saturday was absolute madness, I did a buffet for20 people and at 12.30 they started to arrive. Apart from the Prawn and the Salmon sandwiches everything was ready and for once I can say the kids actually chipped in and helped AND their partners. We sent Mike to the shops for last minute items, as that’s what he does best.




We partied all day and then when the older family left, Catherine’s friend arrived from Stoke, with her husband and son Jacob and my sister with partner Malcolm, his daughter Bec and boyfriend Steve.


This fibre optic pumpkin was from the market.




Isabella wore her Pumpkin suit that I bought her and looked so cute.



We had roast pork baps and homemade soups. Watched Fireworks in the garden and had the opening ceremony for the gate Mike hung a few weeks ago and I just haven’t had time to mention.




Mike is not a handyman, in fact the only thing handy about him is that I can usually find him lying next to me in bed. And that can’t always be guaranteed as he often wakes at 6am and gets up then.


Mike is a Bodger. He will have a go at DIY but isn’t very skilled, so Bodges things. But…, for once he  did something right. Our old gate was falling apart. I ordered a new one, off the Internet and fully expected to have to get a man in to hang it but no! Mike thought he’d have a go and he did it. It opens and shuts, like you would expect a gate to do and SEEMS quite secure. So, it was worthy of an official opening ceremony and the pictures can be seen above but here is one showing just how proud he was of his well-hung gate. There is a pub near here called The Gate Hangs Well and so obviously it quite something in the male world to get it hanging right.


Sunday was a quiet day, thank god. In the evening we went for an Indian Buffet in town, which isn’t town, it’s a City but that doesn’t work does it? You can’t say I’m going into City tonight can you? Anyway, it was a fabulous meal.


Monday, it was back to school and in the evening I took Catherine, Flo & Isabella back to the Airport.


Today, Halloween has been lovely. Morning was spent at school and in the afternoon Mike & I went to Batsford Arboretum, just outside Moreton in Marsh, in the Cotswolds. The photos I took were lovely and I will post them later in the week.


We got home at dusk and then had a succession of Trick or Treaters. I am exhausted, so am going to bed now.


Apologies if I haven’t commented on your Journal, I just haven’t had time, hopefully things will be back to normal now. I will put more pictures on later.





Sunday, 22 October 2006

Everyone seems to be doing this, so I decided to have a go.


1. Grab the nearest book. If you are currently reading something, that'll be fine too.

2. Open the book to page 123.

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the text of the next 4 sentences on your Blog along with these instructions.

5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet I know that is what you were thinking!

6. Tag 5 people

Well I won't bother to tag five people - as I say above do this if you like and leave your link in the comments below.

So here is the book I grabbed, The Black Country by Edward Chitham.


He prided himself on being a plain speaking man; he intended when he went up to Westminster to reform the church, make the Bank of Englandthe servant, not the master of the people and curb the power of the "selfish obligarchy of the landlords who ruled the country with a rod of iron and made the agricultrual districts one vast truck shop."Despite these proud and hearty words Mr Fryer sat in one Parliament only, thereafter retiring tho his country seat at The Wergs, his coat of arms duly granted him i 1825.


By the mid-nineteenth century the Black Country had earned its name, though no one knows who first christened it. Dickens, writing in the Old Curiosity Shop in 1841, called it a Black Region "where not a blade of grass was seen to grow, where not a bud put forth its promise in the spring., where nothing green could live  but on the surface of a  stagnant pool. Dickens was of course a specialist in the  Macabre and on his visits here he must have been pleased to store up visual memories, whic he could refashion  into descriptions for his novels.

One Day Until Catherine & Isabella Arrive!

School was demented; I hardly had a second to speak to anyone, what with the Harvest Festival on Thursday and Parent Consultation Friday, it was tough.


But now I’m  off for a week, what bliss. I have so much catching up to do around the house and Catherine & Isabella arrive tomorrow!!!


I did my entry for the Mass Blog and included in it a link to this Journal so that, if anyone ever manages to find it, they will see my son dressed as Britney Spears! Ha, ha.


Someone asked about the ‘Full Monty Year’ and I have to say, yes he and his two friends, Chris and Chris did do the Full Monty routine, from the film of the same name. Not just once but twice!


Each year they would decide on something to amuse the staff for the Christmas Dinner. I chose not to go to the dinner and disco as I didn’t want to cramp his style but then they decided to do at again at the Canteen disco. I’m pleased to say that modesty got the better of him at the end, probablt because people kept saying, " Your Mum's here," So he kept his pants on. I was going to say pulled out at the last second but given the subject, thought that sounded a bit distasteful. However, one of the Chris’ was obviously so pleased with his physique that he danced around starkers for a good five minutes and he wasn't very accurate about keeping his hat strategically placed.

There weren’t many sausages on sticks eaten that day!!!


Tuesday I met my mother’s cousin Joan, for lunch. She is over here from Adams, Massachusetts. It’s her family I have been researching our Welsh/Belgian side for. It was lovely to see her again and she is really pressing for Mike and I to go and stay with her. She has a wonderful apartment in a converted Mill. I think it’s time I plucked up courage for the flight and I will aim to go next year.


Hello! …..What’s that I hear? Sounds like a chicken to me.


I can’t believe this; I just heard a gentle clucking from the hall. I’d been downloading photos so I had the camera to hand.



Hmm, Emily seems to have taken a wrong turn here, I thinkshe may have been looking for the bathroom. I've heard of Chicken in the Barn, or even Chicken in the Basket but this is ridiculous.


Something that has been annoying me this week is Spam. No, not that pink tinned meat (?) that people lived on in the War. The email variety. Is anyone else getting this sort of stuff, which is somehow getting through my filters?


The photon

A non-chalantly geosynchronous support group laughs out loud, and a cashier behind the blood clot almost recognizes a fire hydrant. The football team living with a rattlesnake pees on a thoroughly twisted scooby snack. Indeed, the buzzard underhandedly caricatures some crank case. The hydrogen atom behind an anomaly is overpriced. Most people believe that the stovepipe can be kind to a satellite, but they need to remember how secretly a bartender inside a ball bearing hesitates.


Or, how do you like this one?


Hi look

Would you turn her loose again the way she is? was all he <galaxy. For all we know she is still on the way. The

way of being a bit of an entomologist myself, if you will

the room. All this meant he was due for early


Is anyone else getting this sort of nonsense? Does anyone know what the purpose is? I keep reporting it as Spam but I’m wondering now if it’s a nutter that has read my Blog and thinks I might be interested in the machinations of their deranged mind. If this is the sort of reader I’m attracting, I think I’d better stop now. The worrying thing is I actually found some of it funny. If I ever find they start to make sense, I shall have to increase my medication.


Yesterday we had a lovely day out and I have some truly wonderful photos. No credit to me, it’s all down to the light and subject matter.

I won’t put them in the page, apart from one as a taster, as that means reducing them and they need to be seen clearly.




This is Baddesley Clinton, a moated Manor House , the earliest part of the house and  the moat were built in the 15thC.


I think they will be of particular interest to any American readers as it is English countryside and history at it most vibrant, colourful best. The light this time of year, on a sunny day, is amazing.


I took Mike for lunch at the Saxon Mill, just outside Warwick, where we had an excellent meal, although not cheap. £9.50 for Sausage and Mash sounds expensive but it was a bit special and with a red wine gravy. No, I will not call it Jus. It’s gravy.


Mike had a Pork Terrine and French Fries. But it was so comfortable there with a roaring log fire and big squashy, leather sofas. We had to drag ourselves away to go and visit a couple of National Trust properties, Packwood House and Baddesley Clinton.


I did the same thing with my friend Sue a few weeks ago and I wanted to take Mike there as it made such a lovely afternoon.


We went to Packwood House first and then on to Baddesley Clinton, which has a Tea Room in a converted barn and their cakes are wonderful. Sadly they didn’t have the Carrot Cake, which is the best I’ve tasted anywhere.


Please take the time to look at the photos at the top of this entry.


A picture I took of Merlin this week, he didn't seem too happy that I caught him sleeping with this dog.



Oh Mum! Leave me alone!!!


Time now for me to put the finishing touches to the Guest bedroom, Catherine & Isabella arrive tomorrow. Did I mention that?



Thursday, 19 October 2006


I've had some new visitors here this week, they have come to my Journal via CarnivAOL.

For those who don't know about it it is a Blog that Paul Little hosts and he features Links to Journals. You have to email him with a Link to an entry that you would like featured and he will publish it.

Unlike the directory  Kate is doing, this is just Links to a specific entry, so something that you feel is of particular interest to a wide audience.

He asks that those featured spread the word, so here is the Link. I'm just off to read some of the other featured entries this week.



Tuesday, 17 October 2006

A Busy Week

Time is something I seem to have very little of at present.


Last week at school I spent most of it preparing for our Caretaker’s retirement on Friday. He had been at the school for 20 years and will be missed.


Each year made him a card, which was to be worked on, in some way by each child. In Year 4 it was decided to do birds. Children were given a bird profile, which I drew for them and they then coloured it in. The teacher I work with had two large pieces of card and it then somehow fell to me to turn it into a large card.


I cut out trees for them to sit on and printed leaves and cut them out to make the whole thing more realistic. I’d love to be able to say I knocked the whole thing up in an hour or two. It actually took three evenings and various bits of free time at school. I forgot to mention, I had to cut all the birds out too, as they were too intricate for the children.


I saved a few birds to use as a border in the inside and expected the children to all just sign it…….but NO!!!  Teacher has a brainwave!!!! I can draw some more bird profiles, photocopy them onto different coloured pastel papers, cut them out and then each child can write a personal message and then I can glue them in the card.


Can you see MUG printed across my forehead?


I got it finished at 1pm, which just gave me time to dash back across Worcester, to let the dog out and then rush, helter skelter, back in time for the leaving Assembly at 2.30.


BUT…. it was all worthwhile. Bob and his wife both said privately they liked the Year 4 card best of all.




The Head Teacher (Scary Monika) asked who had made the card, as she was so impressed with it. So I felt satisfied ,as my hard work had been appreciated and that’s all I ask.


I now feel I must clarify ‘Scary Monika’.  She has the LOUDEST voice and then we get told off for raising our voices, when we didn’t think we had. She has the most unusual dress sense, sometimes elegant, sometimes bizarre. When I bumped into her in the Video Shop and asked about giving me a job . She was wearing a black beret with BLAH! BLAH BLAH! written all over it in white letters. Now that was out of school and I don’t mind quirky. I was somewhat fazed to find she also wore it at school, with her Doc Martens!


She told me a tale of going clothes shopping in a Charity Shop and took off her coat to try something on and then heard a mother and daughter talking. The mother said ‘Oh No! For God’s Sake! You’ve bought some rubbish in the past but that is the worst thing I’ve ever seen.’ Monika looked round to see that the daughter was trying on her coat!!


I’ll never forget the morning I was collared and sent to one of our ponds with a fish net, she wanted me to catch a frog and put it in a jar to demonstrate her talk in assembly. The week before there had been the biggest frog Gang Bang you could imagine in that pond. Unfortunately it is right by the window on the way into the hall. The children were mesmerised.


 When I got sent to look for one, do you think I could find one? No of course I couldn’t. I think it was fair to say they were all shagged out and had gone to recuperate. But I was made to feel it was my fault there wasn’t one!


Back to Bob. He had a lovely time in the Assembly and he bought the school a Giant Redwood tree to be planted in our grounds.


There are different threads to the week and I find it impossible to write this on a day-to-day basis, I have to write on the different topics.


I am a Pagan at heart and this week we had our cleansing bonfire. I just don't feel right it we don't have a good fire to mark the end of the growing year.


 Mike keeping an eye on things.


This week a very difficult decision had to be made.


My rescue Persian cat, Willow, produced five kittens, of which we kept two, Merlin and Morgan. They were the runts of the litter, mouse sized and bottle-fed, I never thought they would make adults. The three other kittens were much larger and healthier, the largest being the ginger and white one, who required a little assistance being born, due to his size.


My son Simon and his girlfriend at that time, Lucy, decided the ginger one was for them, well Simon did really, mainly due to them having the same hair colouring. Simon had just joined the Royal Navy as an apprentice Artifficer and so the kitten was named Tiff.



Tiff as a baby. This just doesn'tjustice to the beautiful cat he became.


Simon and Lucy have long since split up but Lucy is still a family member. She told me a couple of weeks ago that Tiff had been constipated. Thin for most of his adult life was now getting thinner and off his food. He went in for blood tests and the result were bad. It turned out he had very small kidneys and they were now packing up and he was only five years old!


The appointment was made for Thursday evening and I went to meet Lucy at the Surgery.


Tiff was the most beautiful cat. I don’t have any photos of him as an adult, which is such a shame. He had his mother’s round flat Persian face but with ginger tabby markings. Like Merlin and Morgan, he had huge round eyes but in him, they were the same colour as his coat. In those last few moments of cuddles I thought how like a lion he looked, with his flat nose and golden face.


He died so peacefully but it doesn’t make the loss any easier.   


Moving all of Simon’s unwanted possessions into the loft and making the room into a guest room, suitable for Catherine and Isabella, have filled up other spaces in the week. That also meant me searching round for a decent travel cot, which I found and bought tonight.


The final thing of note this week was last night. I can’t adequately describe what a good night it was but I’ve been humming all day.


We went to see 80’s icons, Go West, here in Worcester.


We have this wonderful venue in Worcester and I would have shared a photo but I’m appalled that there doesn’t seem to be a single one on the Internet, I shall try to remedy that.


The Countess of Huntingdon Hall is a chapel built in 1773 and which became redundant in 1976. It was to be demolished but a group of people campaigned and money was raised to turn the building into an Arts venue.


There is a restaurant and the most unique, live music venue of anywhere.


The building has been preserved in its chapel form, with pulpit and organ still in situe. Guests are amazed by the intimacy. It can’t seat more than 400 and the furthest you can be from the stage is about 60 feet.


We’ve seen Steve Harley, Belinda Carlisle, Colin Bluntstone, Rod Argent, Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac) Mike D’Abo (Manfred Mann), Joan Armatrading and The Christians perform there. All of them have rewarded us with a superb night’s entertainment and all have commented on the ‘special ness’ of the venue.


Last night was no exception and I think it will be days before I wake up without ‘We Close Our Eyes’ running though my brain. Which is strange, as, until last night ‘Call Me’ was my favourite song by them. Peter Cox had the most amazing voice and I’m pleased to hear he hasn’t lost any of it.


As I sat there, I glanced at a memorial on the wall and wondered what Elizabeth Baldwin, who died in December 1893, aged 88, had to think about it. I hope she was enjoying it because I certainly was.


Finally, whilst clearing out Simon’s room I came across this photo and I have no other reason for including it other than, today is Mass Blog Day.




This is a picture of Simon at a Christmas Dinner when he was working with me. He and his two friends would dress up and entertain the rest of the staff. ( I don’t want to talk about the Full Monty year!!!) This year they were Britney Spears and you can see him with his boss and one of his work mates. I like the thought that I will submit this as part of the Mass Blog and he will be forever more recorded in the British Library as a cross dresser.


We have this game of trying to outdo each other in  the embarassment stakes.


Beat that Simon!!!!


Saturday, 14 October 2006

Brain Wave!

Thanks to Kate for this link

I did the test and here is my result. I think it sums me up pretty well.


***Your Brain's Pattern***

You have a dreamy mind, full of fancy and fantasy.
You have the ability to stay forever entertained with your thoughts.
People may say you're hard to read, but that's because you're so internally focused.
But when you do share what you're thinking, people are impressed with your imagination.

What Pattern Is Your Brain?

Have a go and see what type you are.

Nifty Footwork


Here we have Abigail & Emily demonstrating their nifty footwork. This is especially for Susie.


I hope to do my weekly entry tomorrow, it’s been a sad week.


Friday, 13 October 2006

Merlin's First Film Role.


Please note how perfectly Merlin follows my directions in this short clip, turning to look at me when asked and then looking to his girlfriends when I ask where they are. Its as if he understands every word. LOL. I'll put a clip of his girlfriends dancing tomorrow. He's very odd, he's obsessed with the chickens, he's the only cat who is. He will follow them around and sit watching them for hours. 

Wednesday, 11 October 2006

Worrying News

I don’t think I like the sound of THIS!!


AOL UK has been sold off to The Carphone Warehouse; they are the ones that have been having such a problem coping with their new Broadband system.


Where does that leave us, will we still be able to link to our Jland friends in America and elsewhere?


I don’t want to be sold off!!!!

Sunday, 8 October 2006

I hope I get this right this time. If not I give up!

This is a short clip I filmed on the way out, it shows Eric, with a young friend, or grandaughter. I thought it was lovely, seeing him enjoying himself after all his hard work.

Harvest Home



I really appreciated the comments on last week’s entry, thank you.


I’ve recently found a new Journal, which has some wonderful tales in it of Terry’s Polish Mother and Grandparents. She certainly deserves a wider audience, please visit and say Hi.  Bowl of Cherries


I have to say the children in my class are not what I first thought. They are now showing their true colours and they are the worst class I’ve worked with. They are the worst class the teacher has worked with. They are so bad the supply teacher on Wednesday afternoon refused to work with them and had to send for help from the Deputy Head. Twelve of them had been so awful, they were taken out and whipped! No…… sorry, that was just wishful thinking, they had Behaviour Slips, which go in their file and they missed all their breaks on Thursday.


We are now on a get-tough campaign with them, I hope I am able to report an improvement soon. Thank goodness half term break is coming up.


Harper, bless him, has developed that really smelly, old dog smell, so he had to go in the bath today, with half a bottle of Johnson’s Baby Shampoo.  He smells much better now but is so peed off with me. He walks off if I go near him and keeps giving me the dirtiest looks.


Willow is also cross with me, we had to deal with the tangles on her legs and back end. She is the sweetest, most docile cat you could wish for, until you try to groom her that is and then I’m afraid she’s about as loveable as a bag of vipers. The scratches and bites I’ve had in the past are the reason she had the tangles now. I got to the stage where I couldn’t bear to deal with her. But, we have bought a new electric hair trimmer and all those tangles have been whizzed off and we will be starting from scratch (excuse the pun). As the hair grows back I will have to persevere and keep brushing her. She does look funny though, rather like a Standard Poodle, with a lion cut.


We went to see The Yeoman of The Guard on Tuesday night. Haven’t been to a Gilbert and Sullivan since I lived with my parents and I remembered this one had a song I really like. (I have a song to sing Oh!) Well the music and singing was very good but for heavens sake, can’t they get some young people to join these Operatic groups?


The handsome, young Colonel Fairfax was 60 if he was a day, short and squat and made up like a pantomime dame, in a vain attempt to make him look younger. As for the young maiden, daughter of the Constable of The Tower, that fell in love with him. Well, she had a fabulous voice but could only shop at Evans and was at least 40.

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with these things, after all, I’m 53 and fat but I don’t go round masquerading as an lithesome 18 year old virgin…. well not often! I might get away with it at the College for the Blind but I’m probably not allowed to say any of this, as it’s not PC.


I apologise for being ageist, fatist and visually imparedist. And while I’m at it, for implying old dogs smell and that Poodles with that haircut look silly, or that I might possibly inflict corporal punishment on children.


I love this time of year, the colours and the satisfying feeling of ‘All being safely gathered in’. We picked our Blenheim Orange  apples today and we have the usual glut of tomatoes, so I shall be making soup. Oh! And a Happy Thanksgiving on Monday 9th October to my Canadian relatives and anyone there reading this.


Last night was the Harvest Home at the farm Mike’s family lived on in the early 19th Century. It was just what I hoped it would be and more.


The Barn was laid with rows and rows of trestle tables, with bales of straw to sit on and a huge log fire roared at one end, filling the barn with the aromatic scent of wood smoke.




A Cider Press, with layer on layer of apples in cloth bags being squeezed, so that they were giving off their wonderful aroma.



The women from the village and local farms baked apple pies, I can honestly say I have never seen so many in my life and there was a large cauldron of hot custard to go with them. In addition to the pies was roast pork and roast lamb to slip into fresh, new, bread rolls.  And that was all washed down with locally brewed beer, cider and perry.


A lady sitting just inside the door demonstrated spinning wool, on a New Zealand style of wheel.


 She told me things I had never known about spinning, like, the name of the length of the fibres in the fleece are called the staple and that the wool from the diverse parts of the fleece are used for different things, as the quality varies.


The Morris dancing was excellent


but the best thing was the atmosphere, everyone was having such a lovely time, in such a fabulous setting.


Eric, the owner of the farm, (on the left)


asked Mike if he would do the reading in the Harvest Service, which was held in the barn before we ate. It was  a reading from Genesis and I think the ghosts of his ancestors must have inspired him because I have never heard him perform better.


Eric told us that his beautiful horses, pictured in a previous entry, had come second to the Beamishteam in a ploughing match that day but they had won several cups during the season. Eric is such a generous, kind man and to open up his home like that, when he had so much going on was truly selfless. The setting up of the barn must have been a huge task.


After the food, there was entertainment of music and singing



but as we had about an hour’s journey home, we only stayed for the early part. I would have liked to stay longer.


While we were picking the apples today, we  looked for Mike's glasses that he lost when we picked the other tree a couple of weeks ago. They haven't turned up yet but at least he didn't lose his Reserve pair.




 I can't find who sent me the Fall Fairy but I didn't want to waste it, so it's here anyway. Thank You, whoever you are. x.