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Sunday, 24 February 2013

Two days at Olympia

As I have been telling you all, the Who do you think you are show? was at Olympia this weekend, I trotted along as an Exhibitor. Sounds very grand, benefits being the Exhibitors' entrance is nearer to the station than the main entrance and there is a roped off area for eating lunch. On Friday I found I had gone to the wrong hall - the entrances are side by side - would a wedding exhibition have provided more laughs? We are talking bridezilla and meringue dresses here, one day of froth for one hopes a life time of married bliss.

Looking at the above I have used a capital E for Exhibitors as looks right and makes it sound important. Given the number of people with Exhibitor badges many must have been handed out. Anyway, yesterday  remembered the camera, with its new battery so here's a peep at the stand. There were two of us volunteers,  with the Heritage Manager and yesterday we were joined by the Archivist. Quite pleased to have been asked to help, there are a large number of volunteers working in Local Studies, although I'm not sure who else besides us two were librarians in a previous life.

Quite a few visitors to our stand were local people, many of whom didn't know about this treasure trove on their doorstep, nor did they know about the Building our Borough exhibition that closed recently. It is my understanding that some of the plans will be exhibited in the local libraries but of course it will be just those relating to the vicinity rather than the whole borough.

The free booklet that accompanied the exhibition, we gave them away on the stand as the website address is there so researchers can find out more online.

After lunch took some pictures of the scene from the balcony, after downloading I was struck by the beauty of the building which I assume may have been built in the 1930s judging by the interior of the adjacent car park. Not sure about the shocking Schiaparelli pink carpet, perhaps it was meant for the wedding show.

As our stand, number 36, was under the balcony it was not possible to picture it from above, however this gives an idea of the venue and the crowds. There were plenty of workshops but I hadn't planned to use the occasion for my own family research but to be available on the stand. However, has made me realise that I need to record information and organise paperwork even if I didn't buy any fancy folders and inserts.

An enjoyable if very tiring couple of days, missed seeing England win but a great result.

Sunday, 17 February 2013


Today as a change from meat and fish I decided to make a soufflé,  it is one of my signature dishes. Very boring I know but I use the same recipe each time from a British Egg Information Service booklet. Not sure how old this book is, the address has no postcode and the phone number is Gerrard 9200 so probably 1960s.  One is reminded to buy eggs stamped with the little lion. "Then you know before you crack them that they're going to be fine and fresh and perfect". 

The recipes are all in imperial measures, although I suppose "a dash of pepper or cayenne" could be construed as metric as well, the style is chatty and for me the soufflé recipe has proved foolproof.

Whilst preparing the ingredients I listened to a programme on iPlayer, mothers were mentioned and thus I was reminded that I used to cook a cheese soufflé for a light lunch when my mother came to my home, sometimes with my Godmother who was her friend from school days. Fascinating how food can bring back happy memories.

I am pleased to say the recipe worked well today, very filling but I suspect the quantities are meant for more than the two of us.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Goodbye Mustardland

The Archers

Just a word to say that I feel saddened by yesterday's news that the BBC is closing the Archers Messageboard down. It has been much more than just The Archers, it has become a means of help, fellowship, advice, amusement, friendship to many.

My memory goes back to about the year 2000, the background was blue then and my daughter, known as Groovy Pixie, introduced me to this lovely new world where people rarely used their real names, were often more open about problems, worries, doubts than they would be in real life. One of the boards, The Village Hall, was a support service for everything from health, addiction, family problems to cats, whereas The Bull was more lighthearted, one could find views on Remoskas, the right way round to hang loo rolls, Marmite, whether napkins or serviettes along with consumer and car advice. There has been romance, marriages between people who would not have met without ML.

The random acts of kindness of comparative strangers, known only by their posting names is legendary, one was helped to be by the bedside of a dying parent by relative strangers; a cat was transported from the northern regions of our land to East Anglia. Some one volunteered to drive the new owner to meet the cat and its staff way up north at a service station where the handover was made. We found a recommendation for a MOT garage for daughter from someone in Mustardland. The sadness of death of posters have met with help of all kinds, I do wonder how many other people have marigolds in their garden in memory of someone called Marigold who they would never meet in real life?

Meets were organised, my first was in Kew Gardens, the unintended consequences  of which was that Ian and I became Friends of Kew. At that meet, I met a Mum who lives two roads from me, I used to see her taking her son to school some thirty years ago, we discovered she is a friend of a former colleague, another poster at one time which is how I learnt that the company from whom I had been made redundant was being gobbled up by a big international.

A central London meet was organised, on a Saturday in February one may see a crowd of people meeting at noon on the Wobbly Bridge before ambling to Tate Modern or in some years, the Royal Festival Hall, to eat cake, chat and maybe view the art work before scattering to either the Anchor or other watering and eating establishments. One couple come from Flyover country for the meet, just spending a few days in London for this event.

Of course there is a board to Discuss the Archers, given the dire and unbelievable story lines maybe the Beeb cannot take the criticism any more but new unmoderated sites are being established so PixieMum may go there. I may even choose a new moniker, but I like being Groovy Pixie's Mum.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Life in Suburbia

This Week: Saturday 9th February 2013

The weather ... wet, cold and grey. However bad it is I am pleased to say I made it out today to the High Street for the newspaper, prescriptions and a coffee morning. Even more delighted when I spotted a Filofax cover on the bring and buy stall. Ian uses these for his maths. notes, we have scoured the charity shops, this cover will hold lots of writings on mathematical modelling. Big thank you to Anon for donating it.

I am wearing ...  navy blue jeans style trousers, navy blue crew clothing cable jumper, warm cream blouse and the pink cowl.

I am reading ...  today's newspaper, have finished and enjoyed The vanishing act of Esme Lennox, so much that I may re-read it before the book group meet.
I am creating ...  another cowl in linen coloured Rowan big wool, will be deeper and squishier than pink Spud and Chloe version as it's already more than 29cm long.

I am watching .. plenty of TV programmes about trains, so enjoyable that I fancy train trips around the country when the warmer weather appears.

I am enjoying ... the benefits of Ian's membership of the Royal Academy. With a friend the two of us went to Town on Wednesday last to see the exhibition about landscape. Slightly disappointed, had expected more paintings rather than prints, felt the latter needed more explanation, especially the difference between etching and engraving. Even after consulting Wiki I am not too sure.  More important, can recommend the cakes consumed in the Members' Room before we went to look at electronic toys at JLP and Ian went off for an OU tutorial.
Much knitting was done on the train and tube.

From the learning rooms ...  the last couple of times I have helped at Richmond local studies the work has involved listing information from black and white photographs taken of productions at Richmond Theatre in the early 1950s. I suspect these were publicity shots. If I'd known, I'd forgotten the theatre had it's own repertory company so the same names occur throughout the years, including one Margot Boyd, who became well known when she played Marjorie Antrobus in The Archers. None of the online biographies mention her time in rep at Richmond so the work recording these names in the archive is so worth while for future researchers.

On the menu ...  chicken for supper this evening, not sure how it will be cooked yet.

On the calendar ... collection of our ancient fridge and freezer, we had advertised them on Freecycle and they are off to be spares for another family. The fridge was Ian's Mum's; the freezer was from my Mum so we have had the latter for twenty years. Now it's just the two of us, we can shop daily for fresh foods so the capacity is no longer required. All part of the decluttering ready for transforming the cloakroom into a shower room later this year.

A picture (or two) from last week ...

Started again with the multicoloured yarn, the 'yo' holes can be seen, also a picture of the blue shawl, this completes 31 non consecutive days of blogging about knitting. Readers may be pleased to know I may not attempt any more of these kinds of challenges!

The shawls have been neglected in favour of the quick knit cowl given the cold weather.
Off to have tea and Ian's home made bread pudding, comfort food.