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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.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

After the gardens

After the visit to Lost Gardens of Heligan last Sunday week, Ian and I were not too sure how to spend the evening, so after examining the map book we chose to visit Mevagissey for an evening meal, it was sort of on our way back to the hotel.

Quite a touristy place, none the worst for that, with the usual shops selling 'stuff' with vague links to the sea, one can tell the stock by the design and layout of the store without going in. Lots of pale blue distressed wood, blue glass jars, floaty scarves and striped tops.

Around the harbour were plenty of Kodak Corner opportunities, it must be clear from this blog we hadn't done our homework about locations around Looe, it didn't help that after borrowing a guidebook from the library it was then left at home. This is why we need to go away more, obviously learning not to forget stuff is not the only reason for a holiday. Someone, not sure who, suggested we compile a packing list. Sounds like practising beforehand, spoils the game. If we had done that years ago we would never have become so familiar with the Solihull branch of John Lewis.

I digress, we were looking for somewhere to eat, Ian looking around a less picture postcard view of the harbour,

before we spotted the Central Café, Fish and Chips, Eat in or Takeaway. Well we ate in, sorry no picture of this very traditional establishment, many photographs of the Royal Family covering almost all of the twentieth century adorned the walls, tea had to be the drink of choice, but I was impressed that one could have poached fish instead of in batter. Having chosen that, the standard piece of fish appeared rather small without a battering but the huge quantity of chips made up the calories.

Final chapter of what we did on our holiday will be relayed another day, for I have been invited to have a cup of tea and a biscuit in a garden as it is sunny and warm today, so will change into a dress and sally forth. I am more a skirts and dresses person than trousers anyway so no hardship.