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Monday, 30 December 2013

At the turn of the year

These days after Christmas celebrations and before the new year have an odd feeling about them, neither holiday or work day, there appears little traffic in our suburban street, certainly few of the regular Park-and-Ride commuter cars are around; our offspring, Daughter in Law and Outlaw Son all are working. (Daughter phoned in her lunch break, she was surprised how busy she had been today, unexpectedly so). Radio and TV schedules change, news bulletins are shortened, often it is one film after another, or compilations of past programmes or events jumbled together.

In my twenties I often worked, it was easy for me, I was single, living at home whereas other staff would want to go up country to their families. Before New Year's Day was a public holiday, the London Gazette containing the New Year Honours had to be distributed amongst the top people. When I think back to the shelves of bound volumes of the London Gazette, the piles of copies waiting to be bound and how rarely they were consulted the world of the Internet seems so green. The library had bound volumes of The Times too, even though by then it was available on microfilm. I remember asking the Chief Librarian why we didn't have microfilm copies and he boomed at me "We can't ask Lord Mountbatten to look at a microfilm"! Presumably had Mountbatten asked to see an issue of the Thunderer a librarian would have had to carry the volumes to him, as far as I know it never happened. Thankfully, even then I could hardly lift them.

One of my many Christmas gifts was a new spiral bound note book, all very girly and pink which is me (I hope), said notebook is to be used to help me structure all this free time I have but can waste. So, at the back I have a page headed up Blog ideas, have remembered to date it and write on the top line Even with lists I try to date everything, cannot remember who or where this was installed into me. Blog ideas all seem very positive and relating to the season so I shall include these ideas and thoughts. When asked if we had a good Christmas I answer very positively yes, because we feel this year the gifts we gave were a surprise and a success, I love giving pleasure and happiness to family and friends, I worry about finding the 'right' gift to match the person.

Christmas Day was family, this year our turn to spend the day with our adult children and other halves at my cousins, a traditional time when the only TV programme watched was the Queen's Speech, instead games included a beetle drive with coloured plastic beetle parts and a 1930s game - Plus and Minus. I remember my father talking about this, cousin must have inherited the family set,

Lots of adding up, taking away and laughter from the youngsters.

Boxing Day found us, with daughter and her young man in Richmond, walking past a very fast flowing River Thames before managing to climb through the Terrace Gardens to take in the View, the only one legally protected. Quite cold weather, no cows in Petersham Meadows, the mist there was quite noticeable. The Terrace Gardens is another one of the places that has been part of my life for ever. I took my first photos here, with my Kodak Brownie 127, I was about 10 or 11 and have enjoyed snapping ever since.

As I have organised my Blog Ideas I shall close this, maybe read more of book given me by my daughter, Listening to the Light: how to bring Quaker simplicity and integrity into our lives by Jim Pym. So appropriate, especially after attending the Quaker funeral and Memorial Meeting for my cousin this year. Also need to move on Winter in Madrid by C. J. Sansom for reading group, this book is not holding my interest at all.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Christmas Greetings

Hello everyone,

Just a last minute blog to wish all readers of my ramblings a peaceful, joyful and healthy Christmas and best wishes for 2014.

Was going to write lots of profound thoughts, but daughter and her young man are nearly here after being delayed by floods on A31 in Dorset so this will be very brief.

Important message to all knitters who like me take knitting with them everywhere. I left mine on a table at a coffee morning, the 300th hexipuff was lost! Fortunately after phone calls, super Wendy dropped knitting bag back to Pixie Towers. Now I keep one of my cards in with my work so if I'm careless again it can be returned. Since then have made 306 hexipuffs, my target is to finish the whole quilt by next Christmas.

Arrangement in our fireplace is from our local florist, we keep decorations to a minimum, just tree and Christmas cards displayed between books in our hall bookshelves.

Travellers are here, byeeeeeeeeee

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

News and a puzzle to me

Christmas preparations in this house don't real commence until after Adam's birthday tomorrow. Though he won't be here, we had a visit from him and his wife at the weekend, nothing much has been done towards Christmas, except the cake is cooking very slowly at Gas mark 1. For a couple of days the fruit has been soaking in the brandy, (Zoe, I didn't check the brandy was okay, as my understanding is that brandy lasts forever), so this afternoon I weighed and measured, mixed and put cake into tin, as usual Ian had wrapped the outside in newspaper, he's a dab hand with the knots.

Here's the adding black treacle stage, after the butter and sugar has been creamed together. The recipe came from my Stork book of Home Cooking, acquired it in the sixth form at school, it has been used for many Christmas cakes and for my wedding cake too. Great source, there is a chart giving quantities for different sizes of tins, plus all the measurements are in imperial.

Ready to go in the oven now, then the best bit, bowl licking, although its not so good nowadays as the plastic scrapers mean the bowl is wiped clean!

Thinking about food, why do all events, meetings, gatherings etc. all assume that all participants need to have food and drink at all times? History Society, tea and coffee served beforehand; Ian had a rehearsal of the U3A choir, with the orchestra, so members were asked to bring cakes etc.; then at the concert, more food and drink. HIs painting group meets for just two hours, it seems much time is spent organising teas and coffees plus the washing up rota and remembering the tea towel along with the paints.  All knitting groups I have attended seem to require refreshments, yes one group meets in a community centre and by buying a coffee one is helping financially, fair enough. At the local archive where I am a volunteer, again one is encouraged to have a tea break, it is not as if we work a  full day, sometimes it is just a couple of hours on a project, in which case I feel obliged to make up the time I spent in the staff room knitting and drinking coffee.

All this shows I'm a three meals a day girl, in fact can smell supper cooking so will end on that note.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Thinking about things

Didn't mean to leave it this long to post some thoughts, but have been out and about doing things, like local studies volunteering, knitting group at local U3A, lunching with friends, including a former housemate visiting from Melbourne, reading group, plus routine domestic chores like climbing Mount Ironmore, a Mummy-and-Martha day in Town.

An overheard conversation in Oxford Street John Lewis on this occasion made us both crack up, we were in the furnishings department, a young guy with wife was heard to say in an exasperated voice "Oh no! Not cushions!" We wonder what cushions had done to him for him to be so against them.

It was on last Monday morning when I was off to Reading Group that problems with big diesel car started. Well, the car wouldn't start, horrible grinding noise. Abandoned big car and went in little petrol car to discuss the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, well we discussed for all of 10 minutes and spent the rest of time catching up on all the news. I suspect most Reading Groups are like this, especially so if they are held in members' homes, I've never been to any other but maybe there is much more analysis of the book in a library setting.

Our good family owned and run local garage collected the car, apparently the problem was the battery, which was replaced, additionally we asked for a service as the car hadn't had one for a while, like 15 months.  That is the conundrum. We don't drive it very far or that often so the battery, which supports all sorts of electronic whizzy gadgets, doesn't have a chance to really charge up, especially as much of our driving is in town traffic jams. We try to be greener, using public transport more, train journeys down to Dorset are less stressful than driving back in the dark and rain, but then not using the car for long journeys means they don't run so well. Nothing like a long steady run to clean the engine and charge the battery, especially so in a diesel car. Neither of our cars are new, little car is a N registration, big car is 04, but both are low mileage so no point in changing them for newer models. Two litre diesel is not a good town car choice, but in a previous life it was Ian's company car.

Other conundrums that could cause me to wonder; why does the road and pavement sweeper come just before the refuse collection so that all the rubbish that inevitably blows from our multitude of boxes is blown around for another week?

On that note, time for bed.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Kneller Girls

Life has been busy, it follows that blogging takes a back seat so a brief account of events last Saturday (2nd November) will serve a record.

Way back in August had a phone call from Hazel, a classmate who now resides in Bondi announcing she was coming to England again so would I arrange a gathering of Kneller Girls on her first Saturday here. It wasn't till I saw announcements of Rugby International dates that I realised that it would not be possible to meet up in the local pub as we did last time so dear Ian suggested we host a gathering here.

It is not the actual holding of an event that is wearisome, it is the correspondence, contacting people beforehand and awaiting responses. It has to be said that emailing has helped, it seems to encourage prompt replies. I have attempted to track down long lost members of our class, each reunion has seen new faces. This resulted in a girl, who whilst she couldn't attend, sent a list of the names of our form when we were equivalent of Year 9, along with photos. 

I'm not putting photos or names here from our gatherings, but we spent time attempting to identify the teachers in this picture, taken about 1960 - 61.

All went well on Saturday, we had plenty of food for I had taken an easy option and asked a local catering firm, Hampton Hampers to provide a buffet lunch. Really pleased I did, took all the worry and stress away for although we do have enough, even china plates, cutlery and napkins were included. 

Photographed before we removed the cling film, have used some of the cheese that wasn't eaten to make a quiche today. I think we may have slightly over ordered but I hope no one left hungry. 

Although I think I enjoyed the day, have said I won't organise again, but will ensure contact details are sent to everyone, certainly I don't want to lose touch, others have said the same. Must get on with updating address list, I am surprised how lacking I am in energy after this. Maybe because we don't entertain it was harder; we are so unused to having people, even family to stay, also I worry that it will be a disaster, or no one will come. Daft I know!

Friday, 18 October 2013

The back garden at Pixie Towers

For some time Ian and I have been pondering about our garden, a tidy up was needed,  rearranging possibly, some fresh thoughts on how it should look. We needed to ensure a little privacy but also ensure that the kitchen received as much light as possible, it's been made the darker by next door's ugly extension.

Looking down the garden, the ground below the non productive apricot tree is always dry however much rain we have for example, these trees block the light to the house.

The end needs a tidy up, to the right there are brambles, this year with few blackberries, in a small garden these beds don't add anything to the beauty.

This poor Fatsia Japonica is suffering from lack of light and space, apart from which we cannot pass it to reach the compost bins, to the right mini jungle comes to mind!

Fortunately for us, friends had recently had their garden redesigned, they were full of praise for Kingston Garden Services who carried out the work so we emailed them. We described our problems, added photographs and the next day had a call to make an appointment to look around. Notes were made on the printed out email, much helpful advice was given.  Once we received the quotation we accepted; yesterday was given as the date for the work. Was not to be, in a phone call on Monday we were asked if the work could be done the next day, Ian agreed so a very efficient team of three worked from 8am to 3pm, taking away three lorry loads of vegetation to be chipped and reused.

Work in progress, initially the guys used our mower, the very young lad had never seen a push along hand mower before although it wasn't quite up to it so their more powerful model was called into action.

The clear path now the plant has moved to the far left hand corner, the bare earth on the left is where there were dips in the ground so the grass should grow through, grass seed was added so if the pigeons don't eat it all we should  have a good quality lawn. The tiny birds haven't realised the new location of their feeders, given time they will so we can watch them from the kitchen window.

A view of the right hand side of the garden, there is newly laid turf as well where trees and bushes were moved or removed.

From a slightly different angle, looking a little more washed out here even though these three pictures were taken at the same time of day on Wednesday after the rain.

Finally, a view from first floor window, giving an idea of the end of the garden with the big table and bench on the paving, plus an aerial view of the grass growing through.

We intend to add more colour into the beds, at present the garden is fifty shades of green.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Fun afternoon

Today Ian and I decided we'd been indoors a little too much, it is so easy to stay at home, read, knit (me), study maths or paint (Ian) so we decided to take advantage of the dry afternoon and our Kew membership.

We were in for a treat, so rather than my attempts to describe the pumpkins and squashes and then the tea party by the glass house I will download the photos. to give an idea of the IncrEdibles Festival in these Gardens.

In the Waterlily House,is the Pumpkin Pyramid, four metres high with 75 different types, including one called Munchkin.

We could have purchased squashes or pumpkins, instead we bought eating apples, £1.00 for six, a Norfolk variety, grown in Berkshire and hadn't been sprayed.

Nothing could be removed from the table, all the china had been screwed firmly in place, likewise the chairs were fixed but useable.

After seeing all this we went into the Princess of Wales Conservatory, I took these two pictures of orchids, to commemorate keeping our three alive, I think through neglect and finding the right spot.

I forget that although Princess Diana opened this new conservatory it wasn't named for her but Augusta, Princess of Wales, a grand daughter of  George II.

Friday, 4 October 2013


Walked into my sitting room/study/den/studio/bolt hole/spare bedroom after breakfast to find my collection of large format knitting books on the floor along with the Beaver and Tapley shelf. We hadn't heard them fall.

 The picture below shows the damaged wall caused by the fittings and the lower shelf, nothing was broken or damaged - just dusty.

Massive clear up assisted by James our Dyson, we made a joint executive decision that perhaps the books shouldn't return to these shelves so they have been moved  downstairs to the bookshelves in the hall. The photo albums meanwhile came upstairs to Ian's study/spare bedroom etc. as we have had A Clear Out. Just this morning Ian took a pile of books in his ex-company trolley bag to Kingston Oxfam bookshop where they were gift aided. It was fortunate for me there was Instant Expert Knitting by Ros Badger in the shop so he kindly bought it for me. Thank goodness it had a new safe home near the Vogue book.. 

In the afternoon Ian effected repairs, drilled, filled, painted so the two shelves can be filled up with treasures and stationery

The smaller format books remain on an adjoining shelf, below the new look.

For example the Art of Needlecraft by Polkinghorne (red lettering on spine) belonged to my mother, it has some beautiful, and sometimes unintentionally amusing, instructions for all forms of craft. The tea pot I bought for myself in Moscow, when I lived alone it was used, the paper weight with the old style British Airways logo dates from my days of working in BA offices in Victoria.

A lower shelf houses the scanner I bought with John Lewis Vouchers given to me when I left Book Data. The instructions were that I was to buy something for myself, not the family or home. Also I have my own printer a 6 year old lap top on which I'm composing this, Ian uses the all singing all dancing printer we bought when Martha was studying here. Mine is a Kiss model - (Keep it simple stupid!) 

Need to go and knit, have been enthused to keep on with hexipuffs, whilst sewing cardigan together and struggling with the wrap.

 More later .....sometime.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Florence and knitting

Life has been busy chez Pixie Towers so the blog has been neglected so a quick posting rather late as we went to a talk by Stephen Twining about Twinings and their link with Twickenham. I did say I'd continue writing about our Florentine holiday but that time has nearly passed but I will talk about knitting, especially whilst we were there.

My fears about taking my knitting through security checks at Gatwick were completely unfounded, maybe the wooden magic loop needles and the metal crochet hook secreted in a ball of wool didn't show on the x-ray but I was able to knit on the plane both ways. By the time we returned I had made nine hexipuffs, I knitted whilst queuing to go into the Cathedral, whilst having coffees and in other odd moments. One of these opportunities was when Ian climbed Brunelleschi's Dome, (I knew I would never manage over 400 steps, sometimes climbing one floor of a building is enough) so I sat in the courtyard of the ticket office courtyard and worked on a hexipuff. Inevitably I was joined on the bench, a lady spoke to me, she and her husband were from Philadelphia, but she was keen to stress her father was from Florence, they were driving north to visit family whilst in Italy.

Once rested they moved on, I knitted and people watched, a tall  young guy came to sit down, then asked me if that wallet was mine. I hadn't noticed a wallet at the other end of the bench, so I told him it wasn't mine but I knew whose it was. I popped it into my linen knitting bag, went to the ticket desk and asked if they handled lost property, they didn't want to know, I went outside, checked the queues and crowds for the Cathedral and the Baptistry. No sign of the lady in the red top and her husband with the walking stick, also by this time I was concerned Ian would return and panic if I had gone missing from that bench.

He did return shortly, I told him what had happened, we opened the wallet using the bag as cover, there were credit cards, driver's licence giving a Philadelphia address, cash and best of all, a paper holder bearing the name of a hotel. Briefly, Ian and I had another look around for the couple before returning to our hotel so they could locate Hotel Ambassador. Fortunately it was near ours, but the couple, C and J were in a partner hotel also nearer so we walked there. As they hadn't  returned the desk clerk gave us paper and an envelope so we could write a note, identifying myself as the knitting lady, we couched it in terms of I believed I had something they had lost, enclosed my card and the card for our hotel, a map showing its location and left the envelope with reception.

We returned to our hotel, Ian went off to buy ice creams, as he returned the room phone rang, it was C, she was so relieved her husband's wallet had been found. He'd missed it whilst in the Baptistry, they'd returned to their hotel rather slower than us, received my note before they had had a chance to cancel the credit cards. C came to collect the wallet, sat on our comfy sofa, explained J wouldn't carry a man bag as it wasn't done in America for a guy to have a bag, especially one across the body. We tried to explain that it was common practice in Europe. (Subsequently I have noticed the local teenage boys going to school near here seem to do just this) C declared she would be taking care of J's wallet in future!

What have we learnt from this? One, carry the card of the hotel in which you are staying; two, continue the practice I learnt as a commuter, namely look behind you when you leave a train, bus, seat anywhere to check nothing missed; thirdly, be friendly and a bit nosy for if I hadn't asked C and J from where they came I wouldn't have been so sure it was his wallet; fourthly if you are a knitter take it with you and count your stitches one by one (and your blessings). I suppose I should add that good has come from the fact I cannot climb stairs otherwise I wouldn't have been in the right place at the right time and I wouldn't have a new friend on Facebook.

As there are no photos recording this I shall add the first picture of the Rowan wrap I have started, 2 ply wool on 5mm needles so a steep learning curve. Progress will be slow, with a 16 row pattern to follow.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

What we did on our hols.

Yes, it seems a long while already since we went to Florence, two weeks ago we arrived there, returned five days later. Whole trip was brilliant, everything was right.

Travel: we went from Gatwick South to Pisa, flying with Easyjet, from Pisa fast train to Florence about 50 miles, took about an hour through the countryside.
Some five minutes case pulling walk from station in Santa Maria Novella Piazza was our hotel, Rosso23 was amazing, we couldn't believe the size of our first floor room

The length of the room was 21 paces from window to the far wall; had air conditioning, clean towels and bedding every day, fresh soap daily even if not needed, excellent shower, easy to understand lever fittings and plenty of hot water.

My only criticism, and it is a very minor one, the flat screen TV was mounted on the wall above the fireplace so it could be watched only from the bed rather than from the armchairs or the sofa. Not that it mattered, some days we didn't put it on, we didn't take our iPads or switch our phones on. We survived!

and then the views from the balcony overlooking the square

 Had to have this photo, there was scaffolding - Ian said it was new scaffolding too - where another hotel in the same chain (Whythebesthotels) was being refurbished although we were never aware of any building noise.

 There was impromptu entertainment in the square, a singer with a mic and a guitar singing rather 60s/70s songs, none the worse for that.

The church occupied a much larger area than was apparent from the balcony, to the right there was an enclosed garden, well some grass with bushes around, and then cloisters went as far as the red tiled two storey building in the distance.

Rather than attempt to describe the hotel here's the link ....

Breakfasts offered a good choice, same menu each day, we'd been advised to have a good breakfast so found we needed little at lunchtime except say an Americano with a pastry or a small filled roll. Breakfast, for me, was fruit with plain yogurt, although there was yogurt flavoured with Nutella or coffee; then different hams, Brie and another continental cheese, rocket, cucumber and tomatoes. Then there were pastries, one called have cereals.  To drink, fruit juices and coffee with great variety of tea bags on the table, hot water available but we never had any tea whilst in Italy at all, Americanos gave us our caffeine fix.

Will write more about our adventures later ...with a few more pictures as didn't take that many.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013


This Week: 3rd September 2013

The weather ... still sunshine, keep meaning to sit out in the garden more, am sure I will regret not soaking up the sun.

I am wearing ... East linen summer dress, sleeveless, much turquoise and marina blue design.
I am reading ...  for reading group the book is Notes from a Small Island, enjoying reading this again, hadn't realised how political it is in places and becoming a little dated, or rather historical. When this is completed will pick up Barbara Pym's Quartet in Autumn, also have a copy of Pride and Prejudice as have read only Northanger Abbey. That was a set text for O level, we analysed it out of existence, I remember a phrase about a curtain that seemed to move and fuss about a laundry list, so many years later I aim to catch up on Jane Austen.

I am creating ...   Hexipuffs, have made 247; also am sewing up cardigan called Gabrielle from Let's Knit magazine in 2010. I haven't used the recommended yarn, but instead that given as a Christmas present with a fiendishly difficult pattern so tinked it and found Gabrielle instead. Now just need to make the border. Chance to practice my picking up stitches skills.

I am listening ... to Ian talking to daughter who has just phoned home, sounds a cheerful call.

I am watching ... British Bake-off; Who do you think you are and last evening especially enjoyed the first programme of three - Robert Peston goes Shopping, enjoyable as I have lived through the changes in shopping although didn't shop in Chelsea Girl.
Also, can anyone tell me why on news and current affairs programmes when there is a male and female presenter, the man sits on the left and the woman sits on the right. I know it is round the other way in the studio but from the viewpoint of the viewer.

I am enjoying ... Pilates class, I moved myself from the beginners' class which have been attending for nearly 6 months to an intermediate class which is held at a more convenient time of 9.30am rather than midday, also the same teacher takes a class on Thursday evening, as her method of instruction makes sense to me I intend to attend that too.

From the learning rooms ... Ian's course doesn't start till next month.

On the menu .. Need to be a bit more organised about this, but we have cleared much of the freezer, chucked some rather dubious foodstuffs and now have little in there except soya beans and chicken pieces from last Saturday's Farmers Market. We are becoming old fashioned, shopping every few days buying fresh foods as we need them. It helps we have a greengrocer and an artisan baker recently set up shop in our HIgh Street. We generally make our own bread, but it is fun to try different breads and cake. The greengrocer has our support, we do find that one cannot buy large quantities, the fruit and veggies need to be eaten within a couple of days. Not quite Waitrose quality, but reasonable and nearby.

On the calendar ...nothing planned; keep meaning to go to Kew Gardens, to take a boat trip on the Thames. Met up with former housemate on the South Bank last Friday, I was amazed how the whole area has changed, I felt like a tourist in my own city again, so much that it had more impact than the Press Photographers exhibition we had come to see. More visits to this part of London needed methinks.

Thanks to The Bookworm for I have used her template for my blog. 

Monday, 26 August 2013


I had intended to bring you a post about our trip to the Royal Academy on Friday when we saw exhibitions about Sir Richard Rogers and Sir Hugh Casson. Also, I was going to mention that I felt like a tourist, especially when I saw a bus destination given as Clapton Pond. I'd never heard of it, made me realise just how little I know of my own city and how we tend to stay in the familiar, mainly western sector.

I digress, for I thought I would sync my iPad and laptop, then I thought of the thousand  or so pictures and decided to have a cull. After all the deletions according to my iPad I have 2,461 photographs still on there and on my laptop, dating back to May 2007 when Ian bought the lap top for me. Many of the knitting and yarn photos are on Ravelry, why am I keeping them in two places? After such a clear out I'll give you a couple of pictures of my favourite library, not one in which I have worked, but one I could have joined if I'd been the sort of person who needed a London bolthole.

 The Reading Room of the London Library above, and below, the stacks where one could sit all day and be in literary heaven.

Ian has been doing the same but with paper, filing or shredding. This sort out stems from the end of about eighteen months solid study, there was an overlap last October between one course ending and another beginning so all these domestic paperwork piled up. Running a household today is like running one's own business, on the 1st day of the month we read our electric and gas meters, the numbers are entered onto Ian's iPad, instant calculations compare our usage with last year's. If we don't do this on 1st of the month we lose our Nectar points, a small consideration when planning our diaries, next item on the agenda is car insurance, although we shop around we usually end up with what was Frizzells and is now LV, but each year with much negotiation so we aren't penalised for loyalty. It is not loyalty, it convenience. I insured my first car with them when I was 21, I paid £150 for a 7 year old Morris 1000; the fully comprehensive insurance was £42.10s.

I digress. Need to sync the iPad and to sleep.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

August days.

At the end of my last blog I mentioned that Ian and I had spent a week apart, he had gone north to Nottingham University for an OU residential school MSXR209 -  mathematical modelling. Previous to this there had been an assignment prepared, to be marked by the other students; then long days of work from 9am to 9pm, a group presentation interspersed with not very good meals and then since his return work on the second assignment which was posted today.

Now it is holiday until the beginning of October when a course with the number 365 starts, this time it is for 30 points, not 60 as in previous years, so we may be able to go out and play sometimes. My life is all holiday in some ways, don't have to worry that the man coming to look at the boiler today didn't make it, tomorrow will do, it is so lovely not to stress about using up annual leave for this sort of thing! I know I'm fortunate to have Ian to share household management, his absence made me realise just how much of the day to day burden of living he does. Just going out for the paper each day was a major exercise, locking up the house, setting alarm, remembering the voucher, checking whether I needed food, decisions made without recourse to discussion.

I wasn't lonely, I'm happy with my own company for I lived on my own for a couple of years and house shared with others who were away much of the time. Maybe it was the realization that I''d never been alone for so long in this house where we'd lived for over 15 years, for over the last 5 years we've been home together during the day too and we just missed each other so much. Ian was surrounded by students and tutors; I had invites, afternoon tea in the garden from one friend, morning coffee in the garden from another and a visit to Sunbury walled garden with friend and her grandchild but it all felt strange to be without shared companionship, our habit of us both having the same thoughts or ideas, just a look and we know the other's thoughts. Has made me appreciate even more how fortunate I am, that I must cherish this time we have together, remembering the story of the rich fool, 'This night your soul will be required of you'. We had that scare nearly 19 years ago, Ian had a DVT in his lung, to quote the nurse "We've jump started him" so every moment since then is precious and we don't like being apart for too long.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Boat trip and other ponderings.

Just a quick mention of our last day in Cornwall, we went to Fowey as one of the other guests had recommended a boat trip from there.

With more preparation I think we would have known to take a ferry rather than the long drive up one side of the river valley and down the other, but so what, we were on holiday but it was a relief to discover a large car park with a bus service into the Fowey. even better, we Ancients didn't have to pay for the bus ride.

Like many places the eating establishments and shops provide much revenue for the town, certainly these were a little more upmarket than most in Looe; not all Looe's shops were tat, I found a pink Radley bag to wear across  me, (not quite sure how else to describe this) but it means handsfree, plus no need to find somewhere to put the bag down and risk it being taken.

I digress again. Eating, another fish meal for me and an enormous Pizza for Ian at The Bistro, French cuisine with a British twist from Glynn & Karen Wellington.  Apart from a wobbly table because of the very old uneven floor,  all was good and they were happy for me to have a starter as a main meal, certainly very generous portions.

This  Monday was our wettest day, but the rain stopped as we started our river cruise, Ian and I were the only takers so we could ask questions of our boatman without upsetting any other punters. There were many boats moored that one wonders how often they are used, but the colourful sails enhanced the scenery.

Daphne du Maurier's home above.

Added in the train photos, these wagons are carrying the china clay, think it was going to the Potteries. Good that rail still takes goods traffic, perhaps that should be encouraged, I was surprised to see a goods train on our local suburban line this week.

Of course, after all the fresh air one needs tea and cake and these were supplied at The Well House, a building dating back to the fifteenth century. The other attraction, apart from good teas is their dog, Frank, a very well behaved black labrador.

Now Ian has returned home today the next blog will be about our week apart.