Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Blossom in Durham

A bit later than Somerset:  my S.I.L's tree in Peterlee.

Monday, April 20, 2015

I must go down to the seas again.

"I never hear the west wind but tears are in my eyes,
For it comes from the west lands,
the old brown hills,
And April's in the west wind, and daffodils"
John Masefield 1878-1966
 Easter Sunday at Porlock Weir - a perfect day.
 Everybody loves Porlock Weir - the perfect place to stand and stare.
 Right across the water is Wales and my ship mate Dylan.
 I'm afraid w took a couple of stones for my fountain.
 Children were mesmerised by the potter and he let them have a go.
Alice made a new friend and ended with a hairy anorak.
Our French son gave me Julian Barnes's book 'Levels of life' which is ultimately about his grief at losing his wife.  I was startled on opening the book to see the dedication; 'For Pat'.
Pat was his late wife and her name - Pat Barnes was my maiden name.  We both married in 1979
I found myself relating to many of the feelings and experiences he has had since his bereavement. One instance was when he was dining with three friends who had been close friends of his wife for many years.  When he mentioned her name no one picked it up.  He mentioned her twice more and still they did not continue the conversation.  He reckoned they had denied her thrice.
This has happened to me a number of times.
I was talking about this to a friend and she said,
"Oh they probably didn't want to remind you of him and upset you.'
I found this astonishing.    Remind me?  Do they think I could possibly ever forget him? Don't they realise that the lost loved one is always with one - certainly with me - two and a half years on. When I hear a noise when I'm typing I automatically think 'Oh that's Al  in the bedroom.  It's a positive presence and a great comfort. Perhaps because I still live in the home we made together - every room - every part of the garden is still full of his presence and I wonder if I would lose that if ever I moved?
Tell me what you think.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Why I continue to blog.

This morning I got the following email:-

Hi Pat. I came across your blog when researching my family on the web. Im in my early 30's and now i have 2 children, have suddenly become desperate to learn all about "where i came from"! Rather strange, but there we go. I loved your post about Mick Dillon, back in 2006, when he died. He was my great uncle and Dennis, my grandad. If i dont find much, im just happy that i read your lovely memories of them. I dont remember my grandad, but what you said about him, made me smile (and want to cry a little!) Thank you! Nicola x.

It took me a while delving in the archives until I remembered to use Internet Explorer.  What I wrote then was quite true but the memories of the fifties came flooding back and I was able to share some of them with Nicola.

This isn't the first time this has happened and so far I have been fortunate in the feed back.

Now of course I am way, way behind with what I meant to do today.  That's Blogging for you.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Easter Visitors

 The Stellata was out
 The garden had been given some definition
 The magnolias popped out
 There was work to be done:  two old beds for the dump.  Great idea to use the balcony rather then trail through the house.
 Thar she goes!
 Since the grandchildren were toddlers we have visited the Cider Farm.  It never palls. but the kids were sad old Cynthia the pig was no more.
 There are goats,
 very exotic hens - I expect Granny Annie will know what they are.
 Now in their early twenties swings are still fun.

Tom, Jenny and Alice - no missiles:)
 This is where the cider is made - I think.  There is a video explaining the procedure.
 I imagine this is where it is stored.
 The shop - full of goodies and all kinds of cider and to  the right is a nice caff where we shared Andrew's bacon sandwich and tried not to think of Cynthia.
 It's an owl.
 The pigs are so ugly they are beautiful.  I used to think the same of the young Tom Jones

 Aren't curved paths inviting? 
 We had lunch at one of my favourite pubs - the Crowcombe Arms.  We had my 80th there.  Andrew said he didn't think we would go again until my 90th!!!  This was an interesting bar with the original cattle stalls and to the left the bowling alley-  but the table was already booked.
 So we move to this bar overlooking the garden.
 Three generations - alice , Tom, Andrew and Pat.  Super lunch.
 Easter Day Jenny organised an egg hunt and there was great rivalry between the grand- kids.
 Careful on those steps!
Tom was the winner.  Actually they missed one and Karen the gardener found it this morning and I graciously allowed her to eat it:)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Random Warminster.


We called in at Frome.  You could say a river runs through it.

We spent quite a lot of time in Costa's ( not sure about the apostrophe - it's in the sense of Costa's shop) watching the world go by.  This is the quiet before the deluge of mini- skirted school girls;.  How can they afford it?  In my day it was two pen'orth of chips with salt and vinegar.
Three generations.  On the right Betty the day before her 92nd birthday.  In the centre her daughter Jane and on the left her grand-daughter Natasha.  The service was VERY slow - we were the only customers but Betty didn't suffer in silence so all was well in the end.

A very old Warminster church.  Next time I'll enter.

Jane decided the fence needed a fresh coat and colour.  I suggested we did a Tom Sawyer and tried to engage passers-by and allowing them to help.  No charge.

This little lot have all been knitted by Jane - all with their own characters.  No wonder her grand-daughters think she's smashing. 
One of the treats was a film: 'My old Lady' with Maggie Smith. Kristin Scott Thomas and Kevin Kline.  How apt I thought.  It was even apter.  In a nutshell ' he's in the will - she's in the way.'
Mathias quickly learns that the apartment is a "viager" — an ancient French system for buying and selling apartments — and that he will not actually get possession of the apartment until Mathilde dies, and that he, in addition to that, owes her a life annuity of € 2400 a month. All this is a surprise to him, since his father never told him and he had language problems with the French lawyer. 
As a life tenant myself there are similarities except in my case - happily - the heirs are caring family.
Worth seeing with that cast.  A bit drawn out towards the end but I got the ending I wanted and Paris is always a joy.  The film was held in a sort of town hall with tea and biscuits and a jolly chatty audience.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Week in Warminster.

 There was music
 Cats - this is Sid who thinks he owns the joint.
 Good food.
 Facing west.
 Cat 2 - Zoot - a gentler character
 My DIL has an appreciative grand-daughter
 Lunch at The Royal Oak Corsley
 I know I have just had a birthday but don't rub it in.  A brilliant idea but I really wanted venison faggots with caramelised onions in red wine and it wasn't on this menu.  However the sweet waitress had a word with the chef.
 and I got my venison.
It might not look very pretty but golly it was good.
More later.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Another Birthday

I was going to ignore it on line but there are no secrets on F.B.
My old friend Parsnip remembered and sent me this beautiful photo so I had to share it with you.

I must say I am slightly miffed to have to share a birthday with Mother's Day.  Now I can appreciate what it must be like to have birthdays  at Christmas - for EVER.

Tomorrow I'm off to the Wiltshire family - sans tablet so will be silent for a few days.  K.T.F.xox