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Thursday, 21 June 2012


Yesterday was another day out of the routine, I mentioned the coincidence of dealing with material exactly 100 years old, but other events were interesting to us too.

A phone call awoke us at 8.45a.m, after which Ian jumped into the shower, I started working through my inhalers, was disturbed by the front door bell at 9a.m. Help, it was David who had come to replace the central heating/hot water programmer, he was a little early as we had been told late morning or even early afternoon. Once the very quick change from our complicated antique programmer to an easy peasy one was completed, David sat and drank tea with us, me in dressing gown & PJs. It wasn't until I offered him toast and marmalade that he finally went, so we had a late breakfast. I suspect he didn't have too much other work, but to arrive so early threw me and it took a while for me to feel settled so I flopped around in PJs for much of the morning. Could manage just two or three clues in the crossword too. Eventually it was decided to lunch in Richmond before I went to the library.

There had been a Facebook mention that Gloriana was moored near Richmond Bridge, we were fortunate that there was no difficulty getting close so able to take these pictures. Only downside was the windows caused reflections so some pictures not so good, I suspect it may have been safety or bullet proof glass.

Main impression was how small Gloriana was, how fortunate that one can go so close to take pictures. Afterwards we had a quick peep into The Water Gallery, Jan Steele's gallery housed in one of the boat houses. I was reminded how infrequently we visit the tow path, again somewhere on our door step yet we forget to go there. The cold and wet weather doesn't encourage one to go far, also I don't like going alone and Ian is busy with his maths.

Well that's my reason any way.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012


As you may know, I am one of many volunteers at the Richmond Local Studies library, one of the projects on which I am working is recording the details of the illustrations that the collection holds. The catalogue for local studies is here: .

Today I was looking at this photograph

and noticed that is was taken from the Richmond and Twickenham Times dated 20th June 1912.

Yes, exactly 100 years ago today. What a coincidence. This local newspaper was owned by the Dimbleby family until recently and was a treasure trove for local history. It has in a way been part of my life, my birth was recorded there, I was once on the front page in a story headlined "Penfriends meet after 10 years", and if I was wanting to plough through the microfilm records I could find other family events recorded there. When I was at Liverpool Library School my mother dutifully posted the paper to me each week. Today, like many local newspapers it is a shadow of its former self, hardly any news and no longer a record of the local community.

The feature in the century old paper was about the queue at the boarding point for the motor bus, this queue was holding up other buses and traffic in Hill Street. The bus was a 37 going to Isleworth, today there is still a 37 bus route across the bridge going through Isleworth today and thence to Hounslow. There was another photo from the same publication date showing two buses passing each other on Richmond Bridge, the article commented that the buses were forced into the gutter because the bridge was so narrow and when it was wet weather the water and mud splashed onto the bridge. These buses were a 37 going to Herne Hill and a 27 going to Twickenham. I suspect that many of today's London buses follow similar routes to these, I remember the 27 route, I think it went to North London. Perhaps there needs to be a massive overhaul of the routes that buses take.

The bridge, opened in 1777, has been widened since 1912, but it was amusing to me to come home by bus across that same bridge which still seems narrow for modern buses and vehicles. It still affords one of my favourite views, that of the River Thames, the Hill topped by the Royal Star and Garter Home.

As you will have gathered, it doesn't take much to please me, a sense of history, a view and today a little warmth and sunshine. Even the traffic jam from St Margarets to Twickenham meant I knitted half a hexipuff on my way home.

Oh, and I didn't show you the photos taken today of the Gloriana which was moored just below Richmond Bridge. That will be another post.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Bargain hunting

Yesterday Ian and I went to a car boot sale near daughter's flat, think we should have left earlier as by the time we actually entered the field punters were leaving and sellers were packing up. On the other hand, perhaps this was a good thing, for the above 17 knitting patterns and 1930s book cost the great sum of fifty pence. Both patterns and book are so vintage, but still interesting. Other great buys were a box of drawing pins for 5p, two trays of plants for £5, Ian bought an enormous book of calculus - wouldn't you have guessed it would be maths - plus a smaller book titled The Joy of Numbers, also a Rose Elliott low calorie vegetarian cookery book, a corner shelf, still in its wrappings and with fixings and so right for a plant in our porch.

 We boobed slightly on the one pound iPad transparent cover, thought it would be useful for Martha's but apparently it's not quite right. However, will protect the screen clean when she isn't using it. We have been to few car boot sales, say two or three, but this was not pressurised or scary, lots of kid's clothes, ancient paperbacks, odd collection of china but above all pleasant and friendly stall holders, even if the stall was just a blanket on the ground. Afterwards we rewarded ourselves with delicious coffee and millionaires shortbread at the farm cafe before a few purchases at the farm shop.

 Main thought about the weekend, was when we go anywhere, like this car boot sale, or the local shops is that is is very unlikely we will meet any one we know. Very liberating,coupled with the fact that no one knows where we are, even our son had forgotten we were away cat sitting. No pictures of the moggies, they hid from us under the sofa most of the time. They are still young, so maybe they will become less timid.

I took the photos of the patterns and the book with my iPad, wrote the above but failed to cut and copy the photograph across, even emailed it to myself and tried to copy across from that. Now back at PixieParent Towers have transferred photos to lap top and downloaded from that. Feelings of frustration when I cannot work out how to use iPad. I know, if  all else fails, read the instructions again.

Must get on, clothes to unpack; laundry, well it is Monday, and all the catching up from three enjoyable days away.

Added book to Ravelry so thought you should all see it too.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012


Isn't technology fabulous?

Have just been doing some family history, well it started whilst  looking for something else in Photo Gallery on my lap top, when I came across saved items from Baptism and Burial records in Plymouth for the middle of the 19th century to do with my great grandfather, one James Runnalls. The same Christian names were used for at least 4 generations, James or William as far as I could see.

To the 1901 census, where there was a house number and street rather than a house name, to Google maps and found the house in West Hartlepool. Victorian property, bay window, although no sash windows now. How great to see the house where my grandfather lived. My mother said her grandparents moved around a lot, (can see that from my researches), shortly after West Hartlepool they came to Richmond (Surrey). I've found at least two addresses in Richmond where they lived, don't need to rely on Google for these as I can go and see them.

It is lovely to that the records line up with information given to me by my mother, such as the fact they called their houses Holmleigh, that is recorded on their 1911 census return. My mother used to make lampshades, we have a mirror with a hammered pewter surround she designed and executed, boxes she painted and decorated, she knitted, embroidered, we learnt to crochet together and I am sure her talents were from her paternal grandmother.

Photograph of my great grandparents taken in 1920s, I think somewhere in Essex.

At some point I need to pull all this information together, put all the BMD and other records in a file with information given to me by my mother when I was young.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012


It is about time I found a moment to continue to tell you about our doings, but will be brief.

The two firsts were our visit on Sunday to Sandringham, in spite of visiting Norfolk many times had never gone there and our second first was travelling on the Woolwich ferry. One hears about the Woolwich ferry so many times on traffic broadcasts in London, yet have never crossed the Thames this way. We had done so as we needed to avoid the M25, our radio kept chipping in with horror stories of jams so we made for the South Circular instead and were pleased to do so, for its familiarity, interesting townscapes and relative emptiness.

Just a couple of pictures from the ferry. The reason we had returned from our Norwich hotel via Suffolk and Essex was because we visited my relatives who had moved five weeks previously from northern Suffolk to southern Suffolk.

It was lovely to catch up, admire their new home, and to lunch outside as the weather was still very hot.

Back to Sunday, at Sandringham. Very impressed with the organisation and facilities for visitors, as well as the house and stables itself. Very good service and food in the restaurant, went around the house where the staff were so jolly, helpful and pleasant, before seeing the vehicles in the stables and then wandering around the gardens. Couple of pictures, but I am sure a google for Sandringham will show and explain it all so well.

Tuesday marked the end of an era, for at the end of the week, for the Val Taro wine bar and restaurant closed. The bar was situated in Orange Street, near the rear entrance of the National Gallery and has been the venue for about 6 years, maybe more, for a lunchtime gathering of librarians who have worked at Ministry of Defence during their careers. The restaurant owners, Sergio and Luciano have been very generous to us, bottles of wine and liquers were on the house, there was no rush to move us away as we chatted and gossiped. It was true last Tuesday, unfortunately I do not have pictures of the bar without our party and it would not be right to put their photos here. The restaurant didn't appear to have a website but there are references online.

Right, need to deal with domestic things, like food, ironing so will stop these ramblings and let you have a peep into our lives.

p.s. took a photo of these flowers at Sandringham, really thought they were lovely, could some kind soul identify them as they would be lovely in our front garden?

Friday, 1 June 2012

Venturing east.

This past week has been different from our usual round, last Friday lunchtime we attached the new toy to the windscreen of the Silver Streaker before setting forth for East Anglia. We planned our route but it was fascinating to hear what the lady inside Garmine had to say. If we dared to travel in a different direction from the one she had barked at us, we then were bombarded with 'recalculating' as she succumbed to our wishes. All in all though, we decided that a Sat Nav was A Good Thing When Going to Strange Places. Ian looked at the on screen map, when I drove I was watching the speed, what time we would arrive and how far before the next instruction.

As the M25 was closed from Junction 27 where we would have joined the M11, we were glad of old fashioned map books and Garmine's assistance to guide us across country roads to Newmarket where we stopped for afternoon tea. Motoring is much more pleasurable away from motorways, less fraught, prettier landscapes and away from the South East of England the roads are less crowded. We stayed at The George, a Best Western hotel in Norwich, designated a 3* by the AA but in our opinion not of 3* standard. However, the difficulties we encountered were rectified by the pleasant staff; we had no complaints about the food and service either. The buildings, with their fixtures and fittings caused us to query the classification.

However, this did not spoil our enjoyment of the weekend, the reason for which was to attend a lunch party at the beautiful home of the blogger known as Z. .

It was absolutely delightful, great food, especially the puddings and Z made a scrumptious risotto, prompted I suspect, by my comment to her how much I love risotto but don't have much luck when I make it. Typical of the kindness and thoughtfulness of Z. There was more kindness from another Blogger who has kindly offered to look at Ian's grandfather's clock mechanism. For all the negative gibes one hears about the Internet we otherwise would never have met and enjoyed the company and talents of such lovely people.

It is the small details that one recalls after a good time, here the Sage is tickling the underside of a day old chick who was unperturbed by the attention and cameras.

Even the weather was right, so we were able to wander around outside, so good to breathe in fresh unpolluted air, Ian was taken with the chimney of course.

Given the time I think this is where I have to say "To be continued" . I started this so I would be tired enough to sleep, and that is working. Continuation of these ramblings will explain why I wanted to tire myself out, the link between Sandringham and the Woolwich Ferry, and why Tuesday marked the end of an era.

Good night all.