Monday, August 29, 2011

I know the face but...

Last night I was looking forward to Drama of the Week
-David Hare's Page Eight on BBC2
I had heard it had a wonderful cast with Michael Gambon, Bill Nighy
Rachel Weisz and Alice Krige to name a few. The story was quite gripping and elegant and then suddenly I saw a familiar face. As a student nurse in the forties I met a little seven year old who captured my heart. He came from a warm, loving family and they welcomed me into their home and treated me like an elder daughter. They came to my wedding and later when the little boy became an actor I loved seeing him on stage. I haven't seem him for many years and when I saw him last night it was like seeing his late father again. My little boy was this fine distinguised looking man.

Bruce Myers by Geraint Lewis.
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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Is it still Sunday?

We were up at 4.45 am to see French son off - MTL put the alarm on 15 minutes early! Our visitor is now safely back in Tours.
Yesterday F.S drove me to Taunton to help me find the mobile I had set my heart on - the local shop with the not very helpful assistant is closed for refurbishing. Mobile phones appear to be doing a roaring business - every shop was buzzing with activity. At last we tracked one down where I could use my sim card and pay as I go. There were some complications which meant I had to pay for something Ididn't need but it all seemed worth it in the end. It has more facilities than I want but is an improvement on the old one and more user friendly. Now I have to R.T.F.M.

The shiny surface seemed to be blemished but F.S. told me it was a protective cover I can peel off. He has also mended our ailing phone so Australia was loud and clear this am. Swapping the filters seemed to do the trick.

I had never noticed this old-fashioned sweet shop before.

We had lunch at the County Stores and F.S. approved - lasagne for him and smoked salmon and scrambled egg on toast for me..
He gave me this beautiful orchid which is in fact more the colour of Shiraz. We have had some torrential downpours but last night had a last champers sitting in the sun and my pork chops with a crumble of onion, sage and breadcrumbs with apple sauce was relished.

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Short back and sides for the Magnolias

In the Spring

Yesterday with the axe man

View from my bedroom - he looks balletic.

Shorn of its tresses

Now we can see the hill again

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Gone Fishin'

Well not really but if I'm quiet for the next few days it's because our French son is here visiting. No promises mind.
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Monday, August 22, 2011

The Wildest Dream -Everest - the top of the world

Geoge Mallory nd his wife Ruth

Natasha Richardson and her husband Liam Neeson.

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“Because it’s there.”

Ever since my parents took us camping in the Lake District – just before WW2 broke out - and we climbed Helvellyn, I’ve been dotty about mountains, so watching The Wildest Dream last night was a no-brainer. It is a documentary in which climber Conrad Anker, an American, follows in the footsteps of George Mallory the British climber. The object of the expedition was to ascertain whether Mallory reached the summit of Mount Everest in 1924 before Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tensing Norgay in 1953.

In 1999 Anker discovered the body of Mallory 75 years after the fatal expedition. The question was did Mallory climb the dreaded Second Step and thus be the first to conquer Everest?

All of his belongings were found intact except for a photograph of Ruth, which he had promised to leave 'on top of the world' if he succeeded. The absence of the picture has led to speculation that he might, after all, have reached the summit, and that he and Irvine - whose body has never been found - fell on their descent.

Anker and Leo Houlding replicated the dress, hob-nailed boots and equipment that Mallory had used.

Mallory met and fell in love with Ruth at Charterhouse. They married in 1914 six days before WW1 broke out. He served in France and they had three children.

In 1921 Mallory joined an expedition to Everest to explore routes up to the North Col. He discovered the Rongbuk Glacier – the route now most often used by climbers.

On another expedition in 1922 they were forced back at 26,985’ and later an avalanche killed seven Sherpas. Mallory was torn between the blind ambition to be the first on the highest mountain in the world and the distress it brought to his wife and children.

In 1924 he knew this would be his last chance to achieve his ambition and promised Ruth he would leave her photo on the summit. The fact that the photo was nowhere to be found, although the rest of his belongings were intact, makes his reaching the summit a possibility. Doubt was cast as to whether Mallory had the climbing skills to conquer the Second Step but eventually Anker thought it possible.

The programme is narrated by Liam Neeson and the letters from Ruth were read most movingly by his wife Natasha Richardson. Only later did I discover it was the last film she did before her tragic death in a skiing accident.

Another moving moment was when Anker’s wife said she knew what it was like to be married to a climber who didn’t come back. Her late husband had climbed with Anker and was tragically killed. When Anker was trying on the ancient climbing clothes of the twenties his wife asked her young son if he would wear those clothes, he said no because he wouldn’t climb Everest.

Altogether I found it a moving and inspirational film. See photos below.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Together Again!
Just for Joy and Jackie's birthdays Margaret came to stay
for a few days. After a delicious lunch - my B& B pud had cherries and chocoloate- we were just about to leave for coffee at mine, when the waitress offered to take a photo. Back home we exchanged gifts
but the birthday girls were not allowed to open them until the day. They watched the video my son made and laughed in all the right places. Joy who has had a difficult time recently
looked better thatn I have seen her look for ages.
L to R Jackie, Joy
Pat and Maargaret.

The owl's view. Something Mike of Mike and Ann said made me realise that on a moonlit night with curtains open, the owl would look straight into the mirror and see the reflection of the American Oak and think it was ahead of him

I can't emulate Ponita's skill at shooting through a mirror.
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Follow the link

Someone else had the same owl experience but with a far better window image - here is the link:
Thanks to Dandelion. I'm green with envy.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Owl's Well

There was no corpse so he must have got away with it - feeling a little foolish no doubt
Sheila spotted it first and thought Pat will have to get the window cleaner again, but when the sun shone she saw the clear imprint of an owl - wings outstretched - the head shape and blank holes where the eyes and feet would be.
It's not the Milan Shroud but we were pretty excited. I usually leave the curtains open in the evening. Why would he fly towards a light? We often hear him but so far no sighting. This is the best the camera will do - so much better in the flesh.

Then nightly sings the staring owl Tu who; Tuwhit, tu who - a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
Love's Labour's Lost.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

The ones that got away

Through balcony window. Note church tower - if your eyes are good enough and MTL's arch
Of course I meant fuchsia not freesia.

This is the name I don't know

The roses that were here before us.

Potentilla moonlight

We love this and used to have the indoor version - plumbago.


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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Another fine mess!

Because blogger published the copy minus the photos - and I didn't discover until late in the day when my commenters gently mentioned there might be something wrong - I apologise humbly.
Could we perhaps make it into a game whereby you match the words to the pictures?
The first one is myrtle - quite late this year. I'm just going to stand in the corner now. With a drink. A votre sante.

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