Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Coffee with the girls today. W tried to imagine what it must be like if we were on the 14th floor in New York with no power - so no lift, no phone, no TV, no fridge, no cooker. Our thoughts are with the New Yorkers and our prayers.
Fifty odd years ago, when Jackie's daughter was moving into her first bed she wanted a quilt and the shot is of half ( now divided into two halves)of the quilt Jackie and her MIL crocheted for her. The little girl chose the colours herself. Jackie now has them as two very useful throws.
Joy was remembering when she and her late husband and two children lived in Rangoon in the early sixties where her husband was a river pilot and guided boats down the Rangoon river to the ocean. One Japanese captain used to dole out apples and wanted to know why Mike didn't eat his. Mike said he was taking it home for his children as they were unavailable. The next time he saw the captain there was a large bag of apples for the family and Joy still keeps a doll - a present from the captain.
We had coffee and shortbread - fortunately before one of the cats lovingly licked the shortbread left on the coffee table.
It's MTL's birthday on Sunday and three times today I have raced downstairs to answer the door bell - three presents for himself - all delivered by three different posties. My present has yet to be delivered. I must say Amazon could teach some of the other firms about delivery.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
It is quite a few months since I had the exciting phone call from Daniel Bunyard to tell me I was runner up in the Saga life story competition - out of 5,000 entries. The winner was to be published by Penguin and the two runners up each got £100.Daniel said he would like to have a chat about my story and maybe I could meet him up in
It is a while since I have travelled to the metropolis; the nearest mainline station is 30 miles away and the bus is a bit of a bone shaker. One way and another it was not going to be easy. We decided to leave it until after the Olympics. Meanwhile Daniel was very busy getting Tom Daley’s book out. For the whole of the summer I had done nothing book-wise beyond correcting a few typos.
I got in touch with Daniel again and to my delight and amazement he said he could probably come to Minehead and wasn’t at all fazed by the prospect of a bus ride from Taunton to Minehead, although when I questioned him later he admitted he had been reading and had begun to feel a little queasy prompting an homily from Pat.
Meanwhile he asked me to send the latest copy of my ms and he would have it printed out. I swear I heard a weather forecast which promised an Indian summer on Monday and Tuesday - but both turned out to be grey, gloomy and damp. Sorry Daniel.
Promptly at 12.30 the doorbell rang and with a deep breath I raced round the front of the house to avoid bringing him through garage, back porch and kitchen. I gasped when I caught sight of him – he looked fresh out of UNI but actually is in his early thirties. In spite of the weather he was very taken with the area and our house.
More as a joke than anything I asked if he would like a cream tea (our French son had suggested we give him the West Country experience) so back to the kitchen and more chat. Daniel said he would be in the gym tomorrow – he does cycle about10 miles into work each day and looks extremely fit.
I was really touched that he had gone to so much trouble and that I had had the benefit of his knowledge and experience for the best part of three hours. I had realised that my ms wasn’t as focussed as it needs to be and I was at somewhat of an impasse. Things are clearer now – I have a plan and it’s up to me to see if I can pull it off. Whether I manage it or not I know Daniel will help me in another direction.
He sweetly allowed me to take a photograph of him but my battery was flat. He wrote in the Visitor’s book:
It has been so lovely to meet you and thank you for making me so welcome and for being so open about discussing your wonderful memoir.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Friday, October 19, 2012
Not a spider in sight. They'll be back
Doors to a loo and garage
Door to Garage which is really the utility room full of white goods
Door to sheds. Enter at your peril.
Door to Kitchen and windows of old sculleries combined to make a shower room but presently
housing MTL's stuff.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
A Quiet woman
After my recent small success (runner up out of 5000 entrants in Sage life story comp) I was touched to receive warm congratulations from a number of old members of a couple of writing groups – now defunct – I used to belong to.
One of them – Doris Sloley had had her poetry book published and was going to be reading from it at our library on National Poetry Day. I decided to go and support her and buy her book which she obligingly signed.
Doris always emanated a warm tranquillity – quite rare in writer’s circles –and to me she personifies
Then she had a fallow period when she was aware her poetry didn’t come up to Keats or Tennyson and writing poetry was considered very eccentric. You didn’t tell anyone you wrote poetry.
She had an idyllic childhood on the farm with her beloved sheep and all the sights, sounds and smells of
Jenny Glanfield who encouraged and helped
Dipping into Bluebells, Rainbows and Sheep over the last week I have found this to be true. In
Doris’s words it is accessible. It is beautifully illustrated with Doris’s old photos underlying the verse as if one is
looking through the mist of the years
I askedHeartbreak, joy, sadness and humour are present in this book. What more is there?
Doris which was her
favourite poem and she said that was like asking a mother which was her favourite
by Doris Sloley
Pick me a bluebell, next time you go there.
Walk through the wood and on over the stream,
Up the green slope with grasshoppers singing,
Just where I, oftentimes go in my dreams.
I can go back, myself, if I want but
If I return to the place that I knew,
All of my memories will crowd in and then
I shall be sad- but it’s different for you.
You haven’t known the fun of haymaking,
Watched tadpoles wriggle and dart in the pond,
Helped to ‘head out’ a corn rick by moon light,
Rode through the fields to the moorland beyond,
Run to a meadow where lambs were playing,
Skipping and racing in boundless delight,
Climbed up the hill where we would go sledging
In winter when all was coated in white.
Is there a tree, still, in the old orchard?
Can you find lanes where wild strawberries grow?
Are there blackberries, now in the cow field?
Do you hear calls of a distant curlew?
I want to keep all these memories of mine
Locked up in my heart, unaltered by time.
Doris now lives in the pretty
– so near and yet so far. On a lighter
note; village of Monksilver
Compliment – or Not
It was all a long, long time ago
And I’ve no regrets, not now.
But did you have to give my name to
Your pedigree Friesian cow?
This is a book I shall be keeping close to hand. Available from Amazon £9.99
Friday, October 12, 2012
I found these in the attic. When we sold our cottage in Yorkshire I couldn't bear to get rid of them as Mary my MIL did them. They are the reason I waxed lyrical about the lamp shade in Hawkchurch. The Lamp, of course is much more delicate.
It has been like this all week. My new laawn mower is meant to be tried out in the first week. In this weather?
Thursday, October 11, 2012
The last of the Break
We decide to wander NE and find the Windwhistle Inn at Chard as we had eaten very well there last June. En route we drove gingerly through a flooded area and as we didn’t stop once we were through, I determined to take a photo on the way back. Amazingly on our return a couple of hours later, it had virtually dried up. The Windwhistle Inn didn’t let us down (the same name as the cottage)
We stopped at a rare village shop somewhere north of Hawkchurch and bought a few goodies including some delicious nutty bread. I had asked for sliced – for the toasterand felt a bit chastened when the nice man said they never stocked sliced. After tasting the bread we knew what he was talking about. These shops are worth their weight in gold and long may they continue.
The area around Chard and Crewkerne was our stamping ground when we were house hunting in the early eighties.
Another day we drove to Broadwindsor –but there was nowhere to park and the
We back tracked – found the turning and embarked on narrow lanes which seemed to go on for ever. We have done this a number of times only to find that the
at the end is now defunct or closed for lunch!
This time we were lucky – a lovely spot, an Inn with a buzz and a super lunch. The drive back was full of delightful views
and glimpses of the coast. At one point
we stopped so I could take a photo of a small hill and noticed – tucked behind
the stile a woman sitting on the ground and frantically trying to comfort her
dog – a greyhound who was having some sort of crise de nerfs. I didn’t want to disturb them so took a quick
shot and left. Maybe the sign on the
gate had upset him.
All too soon it was time to go home so we cleaned, packed and ate at our local The Old Inn. Certainly this was one of the cottages we would happily revisit in spite of finding ourselves on a strange road coming home. Our orienteering skills seem to have gone to pot somewhat.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Monday, October 08, 2012
Sunday, October 07, 2012
Saturday, October 06, 2012
Friday, October 05, 2012
The Gripes of Wrath
Saturday was promised to be fair and so it was. I fancied a trip to Lyme Regis to revisit the Cobb where Meryl Streep, in billowing cloak, agonised in The French Lieutenant’s Woman. We left our narrow lanes for the hectically busy A35. Sadly we missed the unobtrusive turning to Lyme Ragis. The road became quite hazardous; double white lines in the centre and speed restrictions of 30mph and 20mph which – being us - we slavishly followed.
Thence began a nightmare of non stop blaring horns and bully boy tactics. Out instinct was to get off the road as soon as, but we were trapped. I have to confess I did feel a little wrathful myself, but commonsense prevailed and at the first opportunity we drove off the road. I do have some sympathy with the young bloods who know exactly what they are doing, feel safe to bend the rules and are incensed by the old geezers holding them up.
However I must point out that if this type of driving becomes the norm we oldies may well give up the struggle to be independent and have to rely on others - which will be costly and possibly use up any inheritance you may be expecting. I exclude our off spring who are kindness itself, and encourage us to be as independent as possible.
Once MTL was back in the driving seat I asked him to explain why we hadn’t got a ticket and ran down the hill. Fortuitously I bumped into the ticket inspector and he explained that new £ coins didn’t work. One of the few times when I was rendered speechless. It looked such fun down by the sea – hustle and bustle, lots of super eating places and a sparkling sea. I decided the Cobb must be way further along the coast so settled for the very photogenic place I was in.
Back up the hill we drove on up- through Uplyme and back to our village – bloody but unbowed and discovered the joys of eating at our local - The Old Inn.Back at the cottage we discovered a lovely painting of the Cobb over the fireplace. So that will have to do.
See photos below.