Friday, 31 October 2008

Visiting Bristol.........

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

People either love Bristol or they hate it. You can shop till you drop and this is the newly built shopping precinct that we recently visited, called Cabot Circus. Noted for the glass domed roof. It is a huge shopping area and this photo doesn't really do it justice.

If you like posh shops then this one came from London. I always think that Bristol comes second to London, but I guess many people will disagree.

Bristol is steeped in history and this is the theatre on Bristol City Centre. It is very old. Many of the top ballets, plays and musicals come to this theatre.

Bristol has a history of the sea. There are many walks along the waterfront and the old buildings have been modernized. The bridge has been named Pero's Bridge, after a slave who had that name, when Bristol had a part in the slave trade.

There are many tranquil parts of Bristol, lots of parks and open green places to rest a while. Just like in London.
Harry and I love to visit all the lovely places in Bristol, when we can.

For those of you who might be confused.......... we are at present staying with our daughter on the east coast, nearer to London! 

These photos were taken by me for Photostory Friday, hosted by Cecily & MamaGeek.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Moving On.

Harry and I seem to be travelling to Victoria Coach Station and beyond rather frequently, these days. We are going again to our daughter's and will spend the whole of the half term there.

Many people are kindly asking how she and the boys are getting on, since the death of the knight. Judging from my last visit and from my phone calls, Deb seems to be strong. She has her good days and her bad days, which I should imagine, is normal under the circumstances.
When one loses a husband, there is a whole mound of complicated paperwork to fill in. There are bills coming in and delays in the payments and concessions that are due. Well I won't go into details because that is too personal, but believe me, it all adds to the stress and I am very proud of the way she is handling things, so far.

The youngest boy, aged ten, who we call the brown haired boy, seems to be coping very well. However, I feel he is shelving his feelings and shrugs off any hurt. He seems to be getting on with his life.
The fair haired boy is angry, very angry and kicks at everything as he walks outside. This twelve year old is the one most like his father in looks and personality.
While I was staying last time, he had developed school phobia, choking on his breakfast in the mornings and being reluctant to leave the house, even though Harry went with him to the bus stop.
This boy prefers to sit outside the school office than to go in to his various classes, though things have calmed down a bit since we were there last. However there are still difficulties.
He is waiting for a test for autism. His appointment is for some time next month. It will be good to know how best we can help him whatever the tests reveal.

I think I first suspected that he might have a tendency to Asperger's syndrome when he was about three years old as he always played by himself in his own little world, rather than with his playmates who were totally ignored. He was not a cuddly sort and he avoided eye contact. He did not always respond to questions, though clearly this was not out of rudeness. He always talked for hours about trivia, whether anyone else was listening or not.
However, some things do not fit in with the expected pattern, as he has always played well with his brother and he does make eye contact when asked to.
School started to notice that he was 'switching off ' rather a lot during lessons and going into a little reverie. It is more noticeable now that he is at secondary school and his work is falling behind. He has one or two friends and on the whole, people are very kind to him.

When we left the last time, the fair haired boy clung to me and I said, "We do love each other, don't we?"
He looked at me and nodded and I told him we were coming back soon at half term.
So I'm not sure that he does fit the Asperger's pattern completely, but there seems to be a tendency there. However, it is not extreme like the boys I have worked with in the special school.
Maybe every one is on the spectrum somewhere.

The day of the funeral was warm and dry, which helped to make it less terrible.
The church was packed, not only with Deb's friends and acquaintances, but also with many supporters of the Knight. There was no doubt that he was a very clever man and he was very respected at work, so it was not surprising that many stood up and gave a verbal tribute to him. It turned out to be a celebration of good things and nothing negative was said at all, which was only fitting at a funeral. However, some of us secretly wondered if it was the same person that we had known.
All the family put individual flowers on top of the coffin, before it was lowered into the ground. The boys were very, very brave, but I shall never forget the look on their faces when this was done. It really got to me and the impression of it will stay with me forever.

The opening in the ground was extremely deep and the vicar was nervy because my two small grand daughters kept running towards the edge, to search for the flowers that they had placed there earlier and now seemed have to disappeared forever. Sam had to grab their clothes to stop them falling in as they didn't seem to be aware of any danger.

It was good to meet up with long lost family and friends afterwards and to catch up with the new people as well. Soon the day was over and most people left, a few at a time, some to travel many miles home.
Thank Goodness we didn't have to go till some time later in the following week. There was a slight feeling of desolation, but it didn't last long. There were things to do.
The garden is very large, the lawns too big. Shrubs needed to be cut back. Harry and I got to work in the garden over the next few days, clipping and cutting. We cut all the available lavender, bundled it up and wrapped the long stems with cord and took the harvest to the grave. The Knight would have appreciated that as he loved his lavender.

I will miss the blog while I am away and wish I could take my laptop with me. We already have too much weight to carry, so will have to make do with books.
I will try and borrow my daughter's computer if I can get the boys away from the games they have on there.
However there will be plenty of chopping and cutting to do.
Back in eight days! 

Friday, 24 October 2008

The Jane Austen Season

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

This lady granted me permission to take her photo on my recent excursion to Bath. As you can see she was dressed up in a Jane Austen costume!
However, she wasn't the only one! There were several young ladies dressed up in costumes, one of them Japanese, but she went scuffling off before I could ask her for a photo.

Well, its not surprising that so many Jane Austens are about in Bath, as there is a Jane Austen Centre there. 
I have added a link in case any one would like to find out more about this wonderful authoress and her connections to Bath. Press here .

This is my story and this is my photo for Photostory Friday. Hosted by Cicely and MamaGeek.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Wordless Wednesday

I ran into this Roman Soldier the other day! Looks a bit effeminate though!

Monday, 20 October 2008

Too Late For The Hats

I feel so annoyed that there were a good few of you who wanted to knit baby hats for Save The Children and now I have to tell you not to start knitting.

Sorry folks that there was a deadline for the baby hats that has turned out to be tomorrow. 21st October.
I am sure that this dead line was not there last week.
I have five more hats to send & will put them in the post tomorrow morning. There will surely be an overlap but I can understand people not wanting to start knitting now.

Its my fault, I should have posted this sooner. It was in my draft box for a few weeks!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Knit One, Save One!

For the past few months I have been knitting small hats for new babies in Nepal and Africa. You might wonder what has been going on and why babies in Africa would need woolly hats in the first place.
Apparently, new born babies who are not housed in the best of places, lose a lot of heat out of their heads and then succumb to pneumonia and many die. So Save The Children have asked all knitters to make a woolly hat to send over there and help to save a baby's life. Nepal is obviously colder and it does not take much imagination to realize that babies can cool down there. However at night time it is also cold in Africa.

I have made about 50 hats up to date. I like to knit while I watch television. I can knit one in an hour.
So if any British readers would like to contribute to this venture, you can get the pattern from

Then send them on to the address that is given.
I am sure there are knitters out there!

I would like to apologize to all those who have notified me that I have an award waiting for me on their blogs. Sometimes I have taken the awards and have done nothing about giving any out. Other times, I have not even picked them up. I am truly sorry about this and hope that I haven't offended any one. 
It's not that I am not grateful. In fact I am really honoured that anyone thinks that I am worth an award. I know my mind has been on other things lately, but now I can't remember who gave which award, so all I can do is say sorry. Another thing is that since Sam kindly put all my awards in a fancy slide show, I am not at all sure how to go about getting to them and he is not here for any length of time now. Hope you all understand.

Friday, 17 October 2008

The City Of Bath

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

The City of Bath is one of my most favourite places to visit. A city famous for the hot springs that the Romans used and they are still there today! (The springs, that is, not the Romans!) It is a city steeped in Roman history and beautiful buildings. People come from all over the world to be there, and it is quite usual to see official guides taking parties of visitors to the famous sights. As well as visitors from Continental Europe, the Americans and Japanese just love Bath.
The square near the Abbey is where the buskers go and these are usually of a high standard and worth listening to. The pigeons roam about hoping the many picnickers will spare some crumbs. A small version of Trafalgar Square!

This is the weir at Bath, where boat trips take people almost to the edge of it. A place of beauty and tranquility. However it is a dangerous place to be in a small boat as people have been drowned in the weir, sucked down under the waterfalls.

Although Bath is a place of beauty, parts of it are under reconstruction, as are many other places in the South West right now. When it is finished, it will blend in with the  older architecture. Until then, there is the inconvenience of dust and noise around certain parts of Bath. 
The beautiful weir is not far from all this chaos, but you'd never guess looking at the tranquil pictures, would you?
Yes, I will definitely be coming back to Bath to take more pictures!

This is my story and these are my photos for Photostory Friday. 
Hosted by Cicely and Mama Geek

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Wordless Wednesday

I know its meant to be wordless, but have we been invaded?

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Strange Haunting Beauty?

Is there a strange, haunting beauty in the burnt out tangled mass of metal, that is all that remains of Weston Super Mare's Pavillion? The remnants of a white building, packed with rides and all the usual things that attracted thousands of people to walk down the pier and spend their money?

We recently visited Weston and walked down the pier until we got to the barriers that stopped us from walking any further, where the twisted metal stands and the big hole in the pier planks look straight down into the murky sea below.
It was a sad sight when we first got there. No one knows quite what happened or how the fire started during the early hours of one Monday morning. At least I think it was a Monday. The whole of England must have seen it on the news. Flames and black smoke shooting up into the sky and seen for miles around.
The town seems as busy as it has ever been, despite the gloomy forecast that Weston would be finished after the fire, as no one would come if the pavillion was not there. Well I don't believe that for a minute!
Here we were, seeing it for our selves. A strange, sad feeling wafting over all who had come to pay their respects.
One day it will rise again. No doubt looking even better than it was before.

Friday, 10 October 2008


PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

I have messed about all summer trying to get a photo of a butterfly! They are so fast.
Some days I haven't got a camera handy and by the time I run in and get it, the pesky thing has flown away.
Other times I have the camera handy and there doesn't seem to be one anywhere in sight.
This time I managed to get a snap of one, but it is not very good. The butterfly is a skipper that seems to thrive for a while around my garden and surrounding neighbour's gardens. It landed on a bamboo plant.
I am not at all happy with the contrast on this photo but as I set out to photograph a butterfly on a plant, earlier this year, I don't think I will have many more visitors of this kind as the weather is on the turn, so it will have to do! Surely no self respecting butterfly is going to venture out in the cold!
Next year there will be a great picture of one!

This is my story and my photo for Photostory Friday, hosted by Cicely and MamaGeek

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

The Knight's Garden


The lord is my shepherd. I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside the still waters.

He restores my soul.
He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his names sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
Your rod and your staff they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil, my cup over flows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life and dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. N.I.V.