Wednesday, 28 November 2012


For the life of me, I cannot remember where I read the Anne Tyler quote: Turning our ordered life topsy-turvey. It is, however, so appropriate for our family at present. 

All my grandchildren are ill with a nasty virus my granddaughter 'picked up' at school. She has been off school for over a week now; so unusual as she rarely gets sick. My grandson has a milder form of it, and there is hope that he may be able to go to nursery tomorrow. It rather looks like my daughter and son-in-law have the virus, and our baby (who has been back at the hospital for a tummy problem) is presently at the doctor's surgery as it is feared she too may have succumbed to the bug. If my dear daughter was feeling sleep deprived a couple of weeks ago, she now senses that was a holiday in comparison to the past two weeks. 

You may be wondering why I am mentioning this? It is my way of explaining an absence here on the blog but also to offer an apology for not visiting you, of late, dear readers to leave a comment. My mind has been elsewhere and my hands full as I have been at my daughter's house most days. How glad am I that we live in the same village and no transport is therefore required to pop round at a moment's notice.

On a very positive note, our baby is gaining weight. When she was at the hospital, they weighed her in at 8 lbs ... and here she is

She loves her Skip hop alphabet zoo activity gym from John Lewis

As topsy-turvey as life is, this little girl makes us all smile.

I am hoping to be back at the weekend and joining in with Storytelling Sunday over here. The theme for December is Coming Home for Christmas. I am sure there will be some fabulous homecoming tales to be read and and that the happy band of Sian's followers would love you to participate. We all love a story.

Until then, keep well!

Saturday, 17 November 2012

November Simply a Moment


Joining in once more with Alexa's Simply a Moment. You can read other Moments here and there is still plenty of time to record a moment of your own. I enjoy the process of jotting down my thoughts on the 15th of each month, and maybe you will too.

The digital papers are from Paislee Press

Since recording the above, we have been to the hospital and now await the results of those tests. The Doctors were very happy with her progress. I will be sure to let you know the outcome. 

In the meantime, enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

What's in a Name?

As you are driving around, do you find yourself looking out for unusual street names? 

Car drawing kindly provided by my granddaughter

On my travels, I usually find a name or something that amuses. Take the couple of names below. 

They were across the road from each other. Wouldn't we like to know how they got their names? What stories they might tell. Did Mrs Mouthey stand accused of gossiping and telling untruths and forevermore have to look across the road for punishment? Or, is it to do with the fact that lye is the smoke created by puffing marijuana. Oh, the things you can find by a quick internet search. 

When I lived in Hong Kong, I also collected street names along with interesting names of companies. My all time favourite was the Lo SLung Bra Company. That missing full stop after the S made all the difference! 

As my granddaughter was on a drawing bonanza, here's one of the family

and an upgraded people carrier now they are five!

I will be back later in the week when I will be joining in Simply a Moment, details of which can be found here over at simply alexa of trimming the sails. 

Hope your week is a happy one. 

Sunday, 11 November 2012

In Remembrance

Today is one for Remembering those who gave their lives, and the sacrifices made by many, in service of their Country during wars and in peacetime. 

You can read about the many ways to remember here.

In an area of The National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, 2535 Sessile or Durmast oak trees have been planted to represent every British flagged merchant vessel lost to enemy action during the Second World War. Tree reference 19/109 is in honour of all those who served on board HMS Li Wo and my Great Uncle, Thomas Wilkinson, VC, who I wrote about here. The Arboretum is a unique place, peaceful and spiritual, a year-round centre of Remembrance. Do visit if you have the opportunity.

We will remember them.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

A time to be thankful

This November I have so much to be thankful for and to celebrate. During the month, my banner will highlight our baby. She definitely deserves to take centre stage. Her struggle into this world is one we will never forget or take for granted. There were many hands through which she passed and, although I  prefer not to name them here, to each and every one I am so very grateful.

The family are all getting used to having our baby home. My grandchildren are so loving towards their baby sister and give her lots of kisses. My daughter and son-in-law have been enjoying some quiet time with her too now that my granddaughter is back at school, and my grandson in nursery for a couple of days. 

 Granny has a cuddle before she even takes her coat off!

Love that smile

My 3 year old grandson showing me the finer points of 'Angry Birds'. I have to admire him. At age 3, I was playing with a spinner and a wooden top.

Hope you are all having a great week. 

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Storm in a teacup?

The story I am about to tell you took place several years ago when we lived in a different house to where we now call home, though it's in the same area by the sea. At the time, my eldest daughter was about to go off to University, and my younger daughter would commence College that September. We had spent the summer at home, enjoying some gorgeous weather.

Both girls had vacation jobs at our local pub and, on this particular day, had just returned from their evening shift. During that very fine, dry day, I had observed that a neighbour had lit a bonfire to burn his garden rubbish. When my younger daughter went up to bed, she shouted down to us that the neighbour's hedge appeared to be on fire. My elder daughter and I looked out and saw that flames from the bonfire had, indeed, reached out to the hedge and were fast approaching my near neighbours' garden and our own. 

We immediately contacted the fire brigade, and woke up our elderly near neighbours, who had already retired for the night. My elder daughter ran to the neighbour's house where the fire was, but no-one was home. While we were waiting for the firemen to arrive, we decided to make up a human chain with buckets of water to try and stop the fire encroaching into our houses and gardens. The fire was really crackling by now. Everything was incredibly dry, and the fire moved like lightening along the hedge. We asked another neighbour for help as my elderly neighbours were unable to lift the buckets. It was very dark and as our houses were off the beaten track, we sent one of our elderly neighbours off in her dressing gown, carrying a torch, to guide the firemen towards our homes.

While the four of us were racing around with the buckets of water, we heard the fire engine approaching. The fire engine arrived in our neighbours' driveway and as it pulled in, the firemen were already jumping out. However, in their haste, the driver hadn't pulled on the handbrake and the engine rolled slowly forward towards the flames. There were several screams (mainly from my throat) and one of the firemen climbed quickly back on board and brought the engine to a halt. After that slight hiatus, the fire was quickly put out. We looked a very bedraggled bunch; we were wet, tired and smelt heavily of burning rubbish. My elder daughter's legs were shred to pieces from running through the field with the water buckets. Into this scene came the neighbour and his wife, returning from a night out, rather tiddly, wearing finery for a Ball. They couldn't believe their eyes. He had thought that he had dampened down the fire sufficiently to leave it. He was covered in embarrassment.

After clearing up the hose pipe and buckets, we said goodnight to all our neighbours and once indoors, my younger daughter went off to bed and my elder daughter and I made ourselves a drink and, as it was a warm night, went to sit out on our balcony that overlooked the scene of the crime fire. Just then, there was a crack of thunder and the heavens opened up with the heaviest downfall of rain we had seen for weeks. We both laughed loudly. 

If only it had rained a couple of hours earlier, maybe I wouldn't have had this story to tell and be able to join in with Sian's Storytelling Sunday. The theme this month is 'a dark and stormy night'. Well, it was certainly dark and the storm clouds brewed for a long time between my elderly neighbours and the one's where the fire started but, maybe, that's a story for another time...