Thursday, 28 June 2012

A Scavenger Hunt

One of the things I have been reminding myself to do recently is to remember to have my camera with me more often than I do. Yes, I have a mobile with me and can take photographs with it but I do not have the ability to download them. You see, my technologically brilliant younger daughter is back in her own home many miles from me. When she was living here, there wasn't a problem. A small request and it was done. 

Luckily, she left me written instructions on how to download photographs from my camera and I am now able to join in with Rinda's 2012 Photography Scavenger Hunt over on Gallo Organico. Yipee! Below is the Hunt List.  


1. A pier
2. A clothesline
3. A border
4. A roadside stand selling something
5. A train
6. A historical landmark
7. A person playing a musical instrument
8. A person dressed as an angel or a statue of an angel
9. A fountain
10. A horse
11. A shadow 
12. A maze, labyrinth, or trail.
13. A library
14. A person playing with a ball.
15. Someone dancing.
16. A bride.
17. A church, chapel, cathedral, mosque or temple.
18. A movie poster
19. An outdoor stairway
20. A swing hanging from a tree (or a hammock)
21. A picture of you standing with something that symbolizes your nation.

I have been taking my Granddaughter to school and picking her up a lot over the past couple of weeks while my elder daughter is extra busy at work. In the school playground is this seat. Every time I see it, in my imagination there is someone sitting in the chair reading a story to the children. I was delighted that the sun shone sufficiently to award me with a shadow today. The person sitting there can be in your imagination. 

Why don't you join in this fun summer project? I am going to have my eyes open wider than I normally do while I go on this hunt. An outdoor staircase may be a challenge!

Have a great day.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Birthday Girl

It is my eldest daughter's birthday today. Happy Birthday darling!

 Her Christening in October 1976. Are those the largest glasses you have ever seen?

When she arrived in June 1976 four weeks prematurely and bearing her first tooth, I always knew she was going to take life on at a fast pace. My husband had a case in the Court of Appeal and had dithered about whether to leave me. I told him there was still another month to go, and not to worry. We lived in Yorkshire at the time so it meant an overnight stay in London for him. My mother came over from Manchester to spend time with me and as she was getting ready for bed said, 'Call out to me if anything happens'. I have often wondered if she had some sort of premonition.

What happened next was a comedy sketch in the making. At around 2:30 a.m. I awoke mum to tell her that my waters had broken. She was in shock. I went to telephone for an ambulance, rang my husband and took her up a cup of tea. I then packed a bag and when the ambulance men arrived, they had to calm my mother down, she was so upset. It was her first grandchild and I believe she was so anxious that the baby was early, she couldn't control her emotions. She tried to climb in the ambulance, but wasn't allowed to accompany me. Off I went to hospital and throughout the labour, I continually called home but there was no reply. So there I was, giving birth but worrying about mum. Although it was June and very hot during the day, that night there was a freak frost and I had the image of her falling over and no-one around to find her on the pathway. All ended well. When my husband arrived back from London the next day, she told him she had been wandering around the garden unable to sleep and hadn't heard the telephone. How different it was back then in the 70's. Only my husband would have been allowed to come with me to the hospital; no mobiles to enable me to be in constant touch; and because I was in bed, only a trolley pay phone as a means of reaching home. I had to borrow some money from one of the nurses to use it!

The Christening of my first grandchild

When my daughter delivered my first grandchild, it was in my home with her husband, myself and the midwives. It was such a privilege to be there. I sense that my own mother would have loved that feeling too, for she loved being a grandmother as much as I do.

And on this special day, my daughter is still in the fast lane for she has a Festival to run in Portsmouth and the family celebrations will have to come later. I am so very proud of all her achievements and how, even when things get tough she still manages to overcome difficulties and give to whatever she is involved in more than one hundred per cent. I admire the empathy she shows to those less fortunate than herself, her unflagging energy, the friendships she maintains, and her love of family life.    

Have a fabulous day dear daughter. You are so very special. We all love you.


Sunday, 17 June 2012

All the fun of the Fair

On a very blustery Saturday, my granddaughter's school held their Summer Fair yesterday. The wind did, however, keep the rain away and we were thankful for that.  Most of the proceedings were held indoors but the bouncy castle had been set up in the playground.

The grandchildren had a wonderful time for the wind kept lifting up the castle  and they were catapulted across it whenever they tried to stand. They both wanted their faces painted; my granddaughter as an angel and my grandson a tiger.

Attempting to look scary

The dolls and teddies quite enjoyed having tea with an angel and a tiger.

The father of the day award must go to my son-in-law who stood outside for 3 hours cooking sausages and hamburgers to raise money for the school PTA.

And this gives me the opportunity to say to him and father's everywhere, Have a very Happy Father's Day!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Bad Day/Good Day

Let's start with the bad day, then things can only get better...

It rained heavily all Sunday night. Switching on my computer around 8 on Monday morning it said this

Mostly cloudy? The reality was this

My driveway was completely flooded and looked like a lake. A phone call from my eldest daughter confirmed that all roads in and out of the village were flooded and having struggled to drop my granddaughter off at school, there was no way they could get my grandson to nursery. Could I look after him? Of course I could. So he and I had a splendid rainy day indoors pretending to be Cloudbabies, one of his favourite tv programmes at the moment. He said that it's really for babies, and he is 3, but he likes it and I agree. Anything that sets the imagination going, is fine by me. We had lots of baby blankets on the floor (pretending to be clouds) and we hopped around them. 

When I arrived back from Kent recently, I had a parcel awaiting me. Alison of Life in the Slow Lane had sent me Mail Art. I was overwhelmed by her generosity.

How delightful is that? She said in her accompanying note that 'art is not her forte' but I would disagree. The Mail Art Exchange is the brainchild of Ginger over at Ginger's Life of Spice. You can read about here. The theme for this Exchange was Words and I think that Alison has captured the concept beautifully. How did she know that I love notebooks and quotations? It's a dream gift!

Have a good day. x

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Time for a Party

The Jubilee weekend was amazing. The whole country seemed to be celebrating with river jaunts, street parties, concerts, parades, lighting of jubilee beacons, fly pasts, church services and enough bunting to wrap up the United Kingdom. We had our own celebration. It was this girl's birthday.

My younger daughter's Christening in 1978 with her three godparents

Because she is unable to travel, all the family went to her home and we had a wonderful time. The Jubilee celebrations added to the occasion. On the night of her birthday, there were village fireworks framed by her windows as though the show was put on specially for her. She was delighted.

Having her sister and family there was so special. She misses them hugely. She spent so much time during her illness at my home and saw them all the time.

We decorated the house

Her niece and nephew loved the bubbles given to them by her husband's parents

And even the moon put on a great show

Happy 34th birthday to my dear brave sweet girl

We all love you. x

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Greeting Royalty

This weekend is for celebration and I can think of no better way to take part in the fun than to join Sian and her merry band of followers for Storytelling Sunday. I am sure there will be some extra special stories to be told in connection with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. You can link to them here.

It is remarkable to me (where did the years go to?) that I was 6 year's old at the time of The Queen's accession to the throne. I don't have many family photographs of that time but here I am in 1951, aged 5.

I am at a street party in Widnes, visiting my grandparents for the Festival of Britain. I am the girl in the corner of the photograph (nibbling away!) with the enormous bows in my hair. 

Over the years, I have seen the Queen on a few occasions - at a distance, of course! Seeing her up close was in 1986 when she visited Hong Kong. The girls and myself arrived early at Star Ferry and had a prime position overlooking the harbour as the Royal Party arrived on shore. The pomp and ceremony was amazing. A band played and whipped the crowd into a frenzy. We loved every moment.

Two members of the family have had the honour of meeting Royalty. In 1954, dear Uncle Freddie, when he was The Town Clerk in Kampala, Uganda had the pleasure of receiving the Queen. Luckily for our family, he was a very keen photographer and recorded the occasion in a Family Album. 

This tour was very early on in The Queen's lifetime of Commonwealth visits and how fortunate am I to witness the commencement of her journey taken through a camera lens held by one of the family.

The third Royal occasion concerns my elder daughter, who at the time was working for itv. She had been involved with the organisation of a Party for John Thaw, the actor, when he retired after Inspector Morse. How well I remember her telling me what a lovely man he was. When he tragically died, aged 60 in 2002, she was asked to organise his Remembrance Service. Prince Charles was to attend the Service but had said that he did not wish his presence to overshadow the occasion. Arrangements were made for him to arrive and leave by a side entrance of St Martin-in-the-Fields. As you can imagine, my daughter was busy rushing around making sure that everything was in place and then at the allotted time, went to greet Prince Charles. As he arrived, she looked down at her feet and realised she was still wearing her trainers, having meant to change into her heeled shoes. Shocked, she blurted this out, much to Prince Charles and the Vicar's amusement. The itv camera man captured it all and when she got back to her office, there she was on her computer screen.

Just to wrap up this rather lengthy post, my elder daughter is presently the General Manager of the Portsmouth FestivitiesGreat Expectations, and at the launch in April, Sheila Hancock, the actress and John Thaw's widow, read an extract from Nicholas Nickleby. My daughter had previously known Sheila because of the events listed above. When Sheila was handed a beautiful bouquet of flowers at the end of the evening, she immediately handed them over to my daughter and said 'You deserve these so much more than I do'. Wasn't that the loveliest thing to do?
If you are in or around the Portsmouth area between 22 June to 1 July 2012, there's a Dickens of a lot going on. Just visit the website and see what is on offer, or add it to Facebook or give it a tweet. Thanks for your support!

Wherever you are, whatever you are involved in this weekend, have a fabulous time.