Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Short Break in Transmission

A Short Break in Transmission

It’s been a good week: the new plumber is working out well and is only ten minutes away, Mick our handyman dropped in and removed rubbish from earlier jobs and we talked about fibre glass to finally fix the leaks in the garage roof.  It’s a bore when the post gets wet and not a brilliant idea with all the electrics.  I need to know more about the fibre glass solution, but where is Jimmy when you want him? Living the life of Riley 0n the Costas no doubt.

Talking of mail; I no longer get upset when a letter is addressed to MTL but yesterday there were two identical letters addressed with his name then “deceased” and:
“Important – only to be opened by the addressee.”
Words fail me.
 Of course I opened one, saw it was fairly relevant and then dropped them both into the solicitor.
 Oh good!   Chris our taxi man has just phoned to confirm my booking for tomorrow.  It’s quite rare – it seems to me – that people actually do what they say they will do.

I’m going to Cheltenham to see my dear old friend Margaret.  I’m a bit concerned about the journey – mainly finding my seat with luggage in the split second you have before the train chugs off.  Yesterday I bought an even lighter (weight wise) trolley case and am taking the absolute minimum although I’m tempted by my Kindle - being in the middle of a gripping novel “Apple Tree Yard” by Louise Doughty.

I’ve started trying to go to bed a little earlier – the snag is instead of getting up once at 5am to go to the bathroom, last night was 1am, 4am and 7am when I was wide awake and got up anyway.

There is a photo of Laddie below – Sheila’s sweet natured dog with one blue eye.  We had a bumble bee trapped behind the nets in the kitchen and Sheila promptly got her fluffy feather duster and gently eased him out all the way to the garden

Plants are watered – still time to see if I can fathom the switch- on lights.
Won’t be long.   Keep the faith.xoxox

Laddie with his one blue eye and a rose.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Trekking with Llamas

Last year our Norfolk daughter and her husband enjoyed an unusual holiday in the Black Mountains of Herefordshire.  Old King Street Farm has good holiday cottages with the option of trekking with Llamas or just exploring the beautiful countryside.  If you don’t fancy the trekking I can vouch for the tranquillity one experiences from simply gazing at them grazing in the field.  We did that when we visited Cricket St Thomas last summer (see May 2012)’

At the bereavement group yesterday Veronica talked about colour therapy and how – when she was suffering from depression after the death of both parents in rapid succession, just staring at intense colours for long periods gave her solace.  She took us through an exercise imagining all shades of yellow.  Oddly having just come out from under a dark cloud my mind, was misbehaving and jaundice and liver damage came to mind.  I did enjoy the imagining tasting things lemony and later Joy and I had lunch at the Bistro, with a freshly baked lemon meringue pie which was delectable.  I do remember being transfixed by the beauty of fields of a heavenly blue (flax?) on the Isles of Greece.

Back to the llamas: below you will see photos D.V. of Jane and Malcolm with Belas Knap (Jane’s) and Tintagel (Malcolm’s).  The llamas were  just babies when they visited last year and are still young to be trekking but both J and M have years of experience with all kinds of animals and the owner asked them if they would escort the llamas on their solo – sans other llamas – outing.
All 15 members of the herd are name after archaeological sites.

Jane said:
I forgot to mention that baby llamas are called crias and that there were 2 more - just a few weeks
 old - very cute:)
Llamas are very stately and tend to look superior- ly at you.
Contrary to popular belief , well trained ones don't spit (well only the girls and only at each
They have different characters and find their place in the herd accordingly.
Once weaned the young ones choose a mentor from among the older llamas from whom they learn.
Belas Knap has chosen Brodgar, the llama I trekked with last year.  He has won various rosettes at county shows but I don't expect Belas Knap knows that!
We will definitely be going back...
Once Malcolm loads his photos I will send you pictures of the new crias.


I believe one of the llamas has a blogJ

Photos below



Trekking wit Llamas

Malcolm and Tintagel

Jane and Belas Knap
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Friday, June 21, 2013

Drifting round Dorset

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Drifting round Dorset

Drifting round Dorset.

Dorset is a small county (1,024 square miles) in SW England, squashed in between Devon to the West, Somerset to the North West, Wiltshire to the North East and Hampshire to the East.
Some years ago we thought it was worth exploring and were not disappointed.

The first Viking raid occurred in Dorset in the eighth century and the Black Death
entered England at Melcombe Regis in 1348.  During the English Civil War Cromwell crushed a band of vigilantes near Shaftesbury; the Duke of Monmouth’s doomed rebellion began at Lyme Regis, and a group of farm labourers from Tolpuddle were instrumental in forming the Trade Union Movement.

During WW2 Dorset was involved in preparations for D- Day and the harbours of Poole and Portland were two main embarkation points.  Lyme Regis featured in both The French Lieutenant’s Woman and Jane Austen.

#1 -#4 Compton Acres – ten acres of historic gardens created in 1924.

#5 Chesil Beach is a pebble beach 18 miles long and runs North West from Portland to West Bay.  It is separated from the mainland by an area of saline water named Fleet Lagoon.  When the children were toddlers we stayed with my BIL when he was Harbour Master. The house was next door to a Borstal and my boys were fascinated to see the Borstal boys marching out every morning.  You could see from their faces what a hard life they must have had.

#6 Abbotsbury is a swannery – quite pungent - and the only place in the world where you can walk through the heart of a colony of nesting Mute Swans.

#7 Thomas Hardy’s cottage of cob and thatch built by his grandfather.  Here it was that he wrote The Greenwood Tree and Far from the Madding Crowd

Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray; 
Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.'

Thomas Gray


#8 The beautiful Dorset coast.

#9 Clouds Hill was the former home of TE Laurence.  It is now a museum.  He rented it when he was in the Tank Corps in 1923 and bought it in 1925.
He wrote:

 Nothing in clouds Hill is to be a care upon the world.  While I have it there shall be nothing exquisite or unique in it.  Nothing to anchor me.
In 1935 he left the RAF to live there.  A few weeks later, aged 46 he came off his bike on a slope near the cottage, suffered severe head injuries and was killed.

 The cottage reflects his personality and his connections with the Middle East
Somewhat spartan he slept on the floor in a sleeping bag marked MEUM – mine.  His guest would sleep in one marked TUUM – his.  His guests included George Bernard Shaw, Robert Graves and EM Forster.

In 1965 the guest sleeping bag was stolen - around the time of the film Laurence of Arabia.  Thirty six years later it was returned – from Belgium with a note that simply said This is yours.

# 10 The grave of TE Laurence

Monday, June 17, 2013

Out and About

Out and About

To avoid the frustration of finding blogger won’t post my photos with dialogue I’m doing then separately (hopefully).  Bear withJ

#1 The Isle of Arran – Scotland – MTL with his ever present yellow rucksack.

#2 A village on Arran? Corrie?  Goat Fell in background.

#3 Two charming Arran residents.

 #4 Sleepy Arran.

 #5 Goat Fell 2,866’.  Probably the last mountain we climbed – a relatively easy scramble.  Also known as the Mountain of the Wind.

Arran was such a beautiful place and we delighted in venturing out after dinner to spot the wild life: deer, seals and a golden eagle which excited me so much I lost one of my shoes, rushing in and out of the car.  The local Bobbies did their best but I never saw it again.  On the ferry boat we saw Billy Connolly with his mad eyes.

#6 Outside our cottage in Farnhill Yorkshire.  The other half of the village is Kildwick and you can see Kildwick church top left.  Round the corner was the village shop and P.O.  alas no more) with whom we shared a back yard.  The cottage had a stone roof. Behind the wall is the Leeds / Liverpool Canal and it was amusing to see disembodied heads floating past.

#7 I thought this old kettle which I found on Bossington beach - Somerset had a certain charm, but was discouraged from taking it home.

#8 MTL at Bossington.

#9 Greece – possibly Ithaca – oh why didn’t I label everything?  Note the famous Greek light.

#10 MTL –Ithaca with yellow rucksack.

Sorry I slightly beheaded MTL whilst scanning.  Emended photo lower down.

Out and About










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Out and About

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Random old photies

Princess Anne at Royal Bath and West.

A touch of Hay Fever

A Nurse's Reunion at Witherslack

Paxos, Greece
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Random old photies

MTL off to a Gaudy at Oxford.

Near Poros , Greece

# 1 son marries in February.

Darling Bridie
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