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Monday, 30 January 2012

Concert invitation

Not a chatty blog this time, just a plug for this concert taking place in Twickenham in March.
 As you see it is in aid of Pancreatic Cancer UK and in memory of Gemma Harrison who died in August 2010, aged just 27 from this terrible illness. Martha completed the London marathon last year in memory of Gemma and to raise funds for Pancreatic cancer UK.

Please forward the flyer around to all your friends and family, indeed to anyone who you think may wish to come. The church is situated on A316, the feeder for the M3.

St. Augustine’s Choir and friends, Feltham Choral Society,  Ashford Baroque Ensemble
Conductor – Caroline Pugh
Saturday 10th March 2012
St. Augustine’s Church,
Hospital Bridge Rd, Twickenham TW2 6DE
Mozart – Requiem
Soloists - Katherine Pugh, Louise Knight, Philip Buckmaster, John Kipps
Mozart - Piano Concerto in A
Soloist – Philip Buckmaster
Parry - Blessed Pair of Sirens
Tickets - £15 available from:
020 8894 3764 &  07736 909673
Discounts - 3 for £40,  4 for £50,  under 16 - £5
All profits to

Wednesday, 25 January 2012


Well, have learnt more about the design of blogs and how to move material around, I suppose that fulfils my aim of acquiring more knowledge and skills.

So, a productive day in that all the ironing is done and all marmalade has been made for this year. The last two batches were slightly different, the third one of about 15 jars I have called L O L - Lime, Orange and Lemon and the fourth and final batch of about 14 jars is Oranges and Lemons as there are more lemons than one would usually use. These last ones need lids on the jars, both sets require labels, the design of which are in the hands of Ian, although we subscribe to the KISS principle in labelling our produce (keep it simple stupid!)

The other day (one of Ian's favourite expressions, always suitably vague as to which day is meant) I praised Freecycle and am reminded when we put waxed circles on top of the marmalade that the circles were another Freecycle gai. Not sure whether it was two or three packs of 200 circles but we have certainly used a number of them, always puzzling why some one would give these useful discs away.

However, we have advertised items for others benefit - including our furniture nearly a year ago, TVs have gone to be viewed elsewhere, many years ago I gave a huge tin of buttons for some one to use for craft work, copies of Vogue went to a fledgling jewellery designer.

Oversleeping means we are eating our breakfast long after the Breakfast TV has finished so I have succumbed to such programmes as Wanted Down Under and the property shows. Not that I have any intention of emigrating or moving house but certain aspects of these shows puzzle me. Firstly, why is the beach such an attraction? I know one can sit on the beach, sunbathe, read, play volleyball or beach cricket but most of these activities can be done elsewhere in considerable more comfort? Why is the beach so important to emigrants when viewing properties down under? Another puzzling aspect, is none of the people in the shows ever carry a bag, or if they do they are never shown with a bag or a jacket. No mobiles. Why? Surely a lady carrying her handbag, maybe a guy with a rucksack looks more natural if they are out for the day, or looking at the work opportunities? If I am out without a bag, say to collect our newspaper it would be because I'm wearing clothes with pockets to take my puffer, handkerchief, the voucher, keys, any way will be out of the house for just a few moments.  

The family would say this is one of my problems, everything has to be realistic. Apparently I am hopeless to take to the films, I say things like "that would never happen", or "that is the wrong train colour for the West Country", "no one wore clothes like that then" etc. Nothing new about this, when I was a child my father bought me one of the early copies of the Enid Blyton magazine. I remember it was a February issue, there was an illustration of a girl wearing a short sleeved jumper, for me that was impossible in the winter. Well in a house where the only heating was the Ideal grey boiler in the kitchen and a coal fire at one end of a long narrow room it was always going to be cold in 1950s winters so the integrity of that magazine was damned!

I said nothing changes, in my 1962 diary for 25th January I noted "Did crossword. Hard." Same today, we couldn't complete the quick crossword in the paper, we have decided we must look at the completed cryptic crossword on the iPad to see the mind set of the compiler.

Now must go and check the bread dough, it is taking a long while to prove so I fear a late night and thus a sleep in and late breakfast again.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Bath, marmalade, thoughts

Still excited about the Liebster Award, have tried to put it at the side on the advice of Perpetua.

Now I need to tell you about the trip to Bath, this event took place on Monday 16th January and if you were in the UK you will know it was a very chilly and dry cold day. Way back in November last year on our local Freecycle site I spotted an offer for return tickets from Twickenham and Bath. The kind person offering them had the wrong date, apparently it was cheaper to reorder and give the tickets away. There was the condition too that the tickets were linked to Senior Railcards, so no problem for us there. Don't know if any one applied, but we were so lucky to receive them just before Christmas so January didn't seem a blank prospect.

Everything went so well, we travelled on the earlier train from Twickenham as we didn't know our way around Reading station. That turned out to be easy peasy so plenty of time for a hot chocolate before train from Paddington arrived. Reserved seats around a table, so good. Of course train journeys give an ideal opportunity to work on hexipuffs so now I have completed 82.

We met with my friend at Bath station, as her birthday was the next day we had arranged to meet up so we could take her out to lunch. Bit disappointed with my choice, the Brunel Brasserie in the Royal Hotel right opposite the station. Apart from the fact there were only two other diners, A. chose the dish of the day, which was chicken based, when eventually the food arrived it was duck on the plate. Meant a long wait for A. for her meal, we'd had ours served, fortunately I am a very slow eater, the mixed grill was a much larger serving than the chicken so there wasn't much difference in our finishing times. So, we won't be going back to that venue, although the food tasted fine, thought it would be a change from the usual chain meals, good as some are.

Interesting to potter around the Highgrove shop in Bath, especially as there was a sale on. Didn't actually buy anything but viewed some lovely glassware. We are attempting to clear rather than acquire. Also found Wool, a yarn shop and although they didn't stock the yarn I  wanted, I did buy some sock yarn in greeny, browny random shades which will make loads of hexipuffs and balance out the colour scheme a bit.

Back home it is marmalade time, in between bashing the keyboard I have been leaping up and testing the rolling boil that is the preserve on the point of setting. This third batch is a different mix of fruit, a LOL (lemon, orange and lime) - Martha suggested the latter. The finished product doesn't seem to differentiate between the different fruits.

First batch here:-

To me marmalade making has been part of my life for ever, whilst cutting up the fruit I just think, often about the other times in my life when I have been doing this, and when my mother made it when I was a child. Even though I know that today one can put the spare fruit in the freezer to make at a later date this seems 'wrong' to me and so I have three more pounds of fruit to slice and cook. On a wet, cold grey day like today that is an enjoyable task and certainly not a chore.

Marmalade makes a good gift, often instead of wine.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Wow! I have won an award

Came back from a most enjoyable session at Richmond local studies, dealt with illustrations of Petersham Road, Richmond. I'd travelled by train to be near the optician to see whether my new specs were in early. They were and so the world looked sharper and brighter, even more so when I heard that Martha had phoned to tell me that I had won a blogging award. 

This is what I found about the reward:-

Liebster is German for dearest, beloved or favourite. This award is bestowed on blogs with less than 200 followers but deserve more attention.
What a great way to support fellow bloggers you admire!
Here are the rules that come with this award: 

  • Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
  • Link back to the blogger who awarded you.
  • Give your top 5 picks for the award.
  • Inform your top 5 by leaving a comment on their blog.
  • Post the award on your blog.

 So, firstly I have the great pleasure of thanking Perpetua, another librarian, for nominating me, her blog is 

Since yesterday evening I have been considering the five blogs that I will choose, frantically checking that none have over 200 followers and, in no particular order these have popped out of the woodwork.

Ray Barnes is a lady in Buckinghamshire, whose blog Daydreamer I admire for the honesty in her writings. If I met her in real life I think I would like to give her a big hug for being so open about her feelings. Today I was laughing with her about her views of adverts!

There is a very serious librarian in Alaska at . I just love her enthusiasm and how different librarianship is in Alaska. All those teens using the library -wow.

There is no way I can leave out Z, a virtual blogger who has become a real life friend and her amazing blog Razor-blade of life.

I'm assuming the rules will allow me to include a blog that is complete, it is A trip abroad in 1920. It is the journal of Fannie Drummond, a widow who came to England and Europe with a group of women. Ninety years later her great great grand daughter published the journal online, fortuitously the days of the week lined up in 2010.

Keeping to the librarian and knitting theme, Daisychains ramblings about knitting, books, gardening, history and anything else is a good read. A tenuous link here is that Daisy married her OH  on the same date as my son married. This was all before I rediscovered knitting and thus Ravelry.

Right, think I have ticked all the boxes for the award, so will post this blog. Promise I will tell you about last Monday's trip to Bath but meanwhile need to prepare supper for Martha is coming home for the weekend. I suspect some Mummiekins and Martha times.

Again, so many thanks to Perpetua for the award.

Edited to show links to links to websites, wasn't quite sure whether I should give just title to blogs but have tried my cut and paste skills.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Fifty years on

Yesterday was the first meeting of the year for the local history society, and it was so suitable for January, looking back and forward. The Society was founded 50 years ago, 1962, so after the food, readings from the local paper for 1962 we had a quiz about events in 1962, and then each decade after that, with just one question for 2002.

Coincidentally I have my diary for 1962, it is a Boots scribbling diary, foolscap size with all sorts of information at the front. I have learnt today that a Hawker's Annual Licence costs £2 and expires March 31st.
There is a useful table showing amount of income per calendar month, week and day, at any sum per annum. The highest amount per annum shown is £10,000.

Wednesday 10th January was a school day, my entries about school  includes "Assembly. Did not last long.   Had Algebra in Science 3. Did ordinary exercises. Had French conversation and dictation. Liver for dinner. Miss D*******n has not marked exams. Started Switzerland. Nor had Mrs C*****y marked them. Did soil. Dull!"

Weather was coldish, sunny, fairly windy, rained at night.

I am aware how childish it seems, yet legally then I could have left school at the end of the previous term. In fact, some girls did, barely 15 years old, no qualifications yet there was plenty of work available. Sometimes I wonder if the extended academic world is the right one for everyone, perhaps more old fashioned day release, learning by Nellie, an emphasis on doing rather than acquiring skills would suit more than encouraging so many into higher education. My mother used to say that we should be qualified in 'something' so we could earn our living. My sister turned out to be very good at shorthand typing, as you may know mine was the world of librarianship. Handling, finding, disseminating information, still enjoy learning some thing new, even if it is 50 years out of date.

Where the entries are interesting I may include extracts from diary throughout the year, but there will be a limit to my views on the lessons.

Last Saturday  we popped over to Kew Gardens, so now I can show you Ian's photos, so cheering to see the snowdrops near the Orangery. Good weather for a brisk walk and some fresh air.

That's all folks, back sometime.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Healthy new year to all

Just a quick catch up because as usual I have delayed reading book group tome and I need to hurrying through it for Monday 9th meeting. Book is For whom the bell tolls so far as reading it to see if the pace speeds up and if my interest grows. Will need to curb hexipuff addiction until book is read.

It was a good Christmas, best thing about it was that we avoided all the bugs and germs, but other highlights include being with wider family on both Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Traditional pursuits included a Scrabble game with 4 of us on Boxing Day when the final score ranged between 119 and 112. It was a good natured game, with guidance given at the end on how I could have come second.

Yes, we went for it! We invited people in for tea and cakes on New Year's Day and some came. Others had good reason why not, after all we started the invites just a day before - very last minute. I think it was a success!  The noise levels of talk and laughter were loud at times - that was good and okay as neighbour was present.

Ian waiting for guests to arrive. At least we were ready, and so was the food.

Not that much consumed, so we are eating it up, especially attracted by the addictive cheese biscuits made by Martha. Ian's renowned chocolate brownies were enjoyed.

Since Christmas we have been SORTING OUT. To me it should be in capitals. Progress has been made. Ian is now aware he has other jumpers than the red one he's wearing in the picture. We have sorted his shirts and jumpers, a charity shop today has the benefit. I have a dilemma, I have loads of clothes, some I have had a long time, some I am bored with, but I feel guilty at passing on good things when there is no reason why I should not wear said garments even though I no longer like them, they are out of fashion, are tight round the middle etc. I think it is upbringing, can hear my mother in the background still. Does one's upbringing ever stop influencing behaviour? I think flat sharing, learning new ideas and ways, having children and the social contact they bring, contact with colleagues all affect one's way of handling situations but upbringing for me is still the strongest.

Paper work is the next big thing. There is an ominous pile, one item has gone back to be filed, the local rag for last April. Ian wanted to know why it was kept; showed him page 4 where there is photo of Martha with her London Marathon medal.

One item of lovely post, a new photo of Kristine whom I sponsor through Village Africa and a report where I learn that she was doing well in her subject [but] she prefer sports.

If anyone wants to support a child, and help the village, may I refer them to . They are on Facebook.

Well, need to get on with domestic stuff, to release Ian for study. Also, the plumber is returning today, our bath/shower water still will not drain away, gurgle noises are heard, other times the water drains so so slowly.

More thoughts another time