Thursday, April 17, 2014

Pouring it all out

My favourite all time view

Sometimes I come away from Beverley after a good visit to my Mother in Lindum House feeling upbeat and thankful . 
She is very well cared for with kindness . The House has a positive atmosphere, the Carers , although run off their feet with too much to do, are dedicated and positive. Yesterday we managed to persuade Mother to take a turn around the garden in her wheelchair. Whoever did the planting did a good job. I am a Gardener  and appreciate the variety of shrubs and perennials , bulbs and small trees around the Cross Shaped house. I wanted to pull out some of the weeds, and maybe can  be of some help when I am fully in the routine of visiting. Imogen and I took Zak with us yesterday. He engaged with his great grandmother and she with him. 
We had our picnic lunch in the Children's Playground conveniently 2 mins from Lindum. Its right on the boundary of Beverley so the views are across fields to trees  or a glimpse of the Minster from the Public footpath around the estate. Zak did the Zip wire and munched his lunch . Imogen and I had a sit down and a chat about trampolines and weeds and GGrandma. 

Note to health care professionals here: For 10 years I have been making purees and Beef Tea for my Mother. I have taken her Adrians (my Filey Butcher) cottage pies . M is the expert on Baxters soup, scrambled egg and bread and milk  and (horror of all) Tripe. Wherever she has gone in the last years -Iona, Harwood Dale or the months with her children during the Beverley Flood of 07 the diet of my aged parent has been her constant topic, and her reason for not taking meals with any one else in Abbeyfield or anyone else. My sisters and I knew she was afraid of choking or a 'DO' with her throat condition, we occasionally caught her out with unspeakably hard to chew things in her fridge, we have been surprised as she wolfed down sausage rolls and chips. Yesterday I left her as a beautifully set tray of Lunch arrived for her to her room. Beef Pie,and  3 types of veg (of the sort she doesn't usually eat-inc courgettes and red cabbage). I returned to her room 40 mins later from the Park to find everything had gone except the soft potato. I realise that diet can be a bargaining tool and a raison d'ĂȘtre. I realise too that for the Frail Aged it can be the Highlight of the day and a real pleasure. Mother is always saying how lovely the food is at Lindum , and how she mustnt be late for lunch . Institutionalised or not I am really thankful .

I didnt have to drive yesterday as Imogen took her car. She obligingly suggested we took my usual route home across the Wolds using the Kilham to Rudston. The Blackthorn was at it hockney best, and when I got home I had to go through the pictures again.

I  am looking forward to taking my  Grandsons to Hull soon to see the mosaics from the Roman Villa . Its remains were discovered just west of Rudston. The Romans always knew a good place for a Villa. They would have seen the same views that Hockney and I see now, with more trees of course, especially Ash Trees. 
This morning the cauliflowers were only 50p each in Angela's . Colin found a great recipe for Roman Cauliflower (with anchovies , chillies and rosemary ) in todays paper. Lindsey Bareham assures her readers everyone will be converted to cauliflower when they've tried this one .(Note to self. Colins uncle lived in Rome for many years and when we visited we were always encouraged to bring cauliflowers ).
It hit me very hard just then , I must ring Mother up and ask if she wants me to bring her a cheap cauliflower, then it dawned on me
  •  she hasn't got a phone
  •  she wouldn't hear it if she had
  •  she might not know who I was
  • she doesn't cook and has no kitchen

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Filey has done Prayer Spaces in Schools

Cant take pics -just feet then!

I used to think that we were well behind the times in Filey. 
I used to think that no one but me did Twitter, that no one had heard of proper coffee, that one couldn't buy Tahini Paste or Preserved lemons here and that only the retired of Selby and Bradford moved  here.
I was wrong of course, except for the Preserved lemons. The retired of all over the known world come here, not just from the West Riding. If that is true for those who are the retired in  the order of Melchizedek , but still priests for ever, it is also true for those retired from the Teaching Profession , for 6 of them were at Filey Junior School for the day on Friday. 

Our Space!
It was a privilege to take a Prayer Spaces in Schools workshop into our local school when the organization and preparation by Sarah Prentice (SU intern) was so good, the material from the Prayer Spaces movement perfectly fit for purpose. Of course I applaud Pam Roberts for her care of the volunteers, with kettle, waste bin, space for us to sit for breaks and her unflappable nature.
In the days when I was BRIDTEACHER, when I started this blog, I knew how to interact with Year 6, how to remember to drink plenty of water, to talk quietly to children and to listen and to be unshockable. Its 7 years since I retired , BUT I was very nervous to go back into school, especially to an unfamiliar school. I hardly slept on Thursday night. 

For the school day the classes came in to the hall for their 25 mins to browse the 'spaces'. Sarah gave a 2min welcoming intro to each group and an explanation including all the PC phrases for the children who did not have any faith.She was not demeaning, and smiled a lot. A 19yr old teaching us a thing or two.

There were 10 Prayer Spaces, each with a different activity. write your Prayer here" space was well used every time. I know as I had to change the paper over so each class got a clean sheet. 

 I was amazed at the Questions the children wrote on the "ask God a Question Space", and surprized that some children had had no teaching on Prayer at all and did not even know what it was. Spouse manned the Light a candle Space, where children were encouraged to pray a prayer in their head just for God to hear. Many of us were humbled by the delight and engagement of the cohorts with  the different activities. Sugar dissolving away in a cup of tea to explain our sins given to God were gone Might not have been scientifically accurate but the point was simply made. 

I thought the exciting one like the Plasma Ball would  have been the most popular, but I was wrong. Children did not look for novelty or the visual. All learning styles came into play. How I remember all the courses on VAK (Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic (VAK learning styles ) that were buzzing around 10 years ago. Nothing new under the sun in my book .

Sarah Prentice and the Assistant Head at Filey Junior School Mr Grice
Thanks Filey School ! You gave me a great day 


Monday, January 27, 2014

A quiet Lull for the Graeae

 Zak is spending the day with us. He has a temperature and feels sick. I have set up a space for him, a bowl, some pencil and  paper games, and have covered the furniture. He is very happy as he is snuggled with the hudl too. We are rationing his time on Minecraft. Here I offer all a sample. My small boys build their own animations on this miracle of online lego with action and gamelike procedures. They have been building it using their programming app Raspberry Pi.

Here I appeal to all the unitiated to LEARN THE WORDS Raspberry pi. Small children all over the UK are using it to learn computer programming. We sure have come a long way from Floor Turtles and LOGO. I have one . Its the most basic of computers where you programme it yourself to do what you want. Mine is set up to run  BBC iplayer and ITVplayer. It looks like a small box with lights and doing stuff. Just know the words! Thats all I do. MY grandchildren have already told me that all I know about computers I have got from their Dad. Cheeky boys indeed!
I'm so glad its pouring with rain here, as we can't go out anyway as we look after Zak. Colin has just played Scrabble with him. I'm supposed to be doing e mails about my aged Mother to Healthcare Professionals, Social Services  and her hairdresser. However the quiet LULL of having Zak is a godsend. 

I am becoming BORING as much of my thinking life seems to be taken up with thoughts of AGED PARENT. My sisters both say the same. In some ways it would be easy if there was just one of us, like all the months I did for Aunty Jean in 2102. I of course, have splendid and long suffering but not showing it husband ,to help and support me, to talk things over with . We three sisters have to share together. Sometimes I feel we are like the Graeae with one eye between us. Our phones are hot, our minds on autopilot, and our brains feel on stop. We all have different priorities for our AGED ONE. WE all live in not the rhubarb triangle but the Mother One, Cheshire, Sutton and Filey. WE are as different from each others as sisters can be. 

So this is a welcome brief lull . Its sandwiched amongst the most difficult months of my life as a daughter.

WE had to talk to Mother on Friday about how she couldn't go home. We had to talk to mother about could she remain in the Beverley Care/nursing Home. We had to talk to each other about the redispersing our mothers possessions. It all went well ! DG. We had to talk to each other about finances, podiatrics, diabetes, commodes and deed boxes. We have found all the short stories our father wrote in the 50s  never finding a publisher . We have found pictures of our mother in her WAF uniform, an cards sent to her on her 90th birthday.
Our mother is not dead, so we need to ask her all the right questions now, and make sure we carry out her wishes as much as we are able to. Yesterday was the first time in 2 months she asked for her handbag. What progress! Do we keep the Church Times coming to her, do we buy her lots more clothes now that she has lost so much weight? 

The upside of all this is that there are many people working in Care Homes and Nursing homes who are truly good at it, devoted, kind and professional in all they do. I didnt really know this so well. Aunty  Jean was bedridden the whole time and made no effort to co-operate with anyone , and was cared for well for the few weeks in Whitgift House. We sit outside Mothers bright room and as the door is shut know that she is being attended to . The Carers do not know we are outside waiting. We hear the gentle and loving way she is spoken to , we are grateful . We will tell them , having passed the eye between us, we have all seen the same thing .

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A trip to town

At long last there is semblance of order as one enters the Capital from the comfort of the Flying Scotsman. It certainly looks better now the hoardings have been removed ,and all the misleading signs telling one to go this way .
I love walking into the Euston Road, re-acclimatizing myself with its sense of the Tower of Babel and Hull Fair mixed with a football crowd.
The new Concourse at Kings Cross

I walked to Gower Street to get the 14 bus direct to Putney and the familiar  home ground from my barefoot and beads days, when Laura Ashley and Biba were fresh and new and just a tube ride from home. I rarely take the tube these days, when my Old Lady Bus pass lets me ride around London enjoying all the latest fashions and trends from the top of the bus. The latest trend is SCOOTERS, Toddlers , infants, schoolchildren and their parents travel on the bus with them , get off and ride them.

Tribes of Israel encamped at Mount Sinai by Alan Sorrell 

I have long treasured my RSV with Alan Sorrell illustrations. It's dropping to bits now , but I love the reconstructions of Biblical Places. I have other books illustrated by him too, from my days of teaching Prehistory. The exhibition of Sorrell's Art at the quirky Sir John Soane Museum  was a real didactic pleasure. Those who love woodcuts, Eric Ravilous and the work of Mark Heald would have loved the draughtsman's skill in the work of Alan Sorrell. I've got the book now so can make my lovely visit last and last.

I had forgotten too just how interesting was Rumpole of the Bailey land. 
I enjoyed brunch with the boys at the Fleet River Bakery  then walked with them to be shown Persephone Books in Lamb's Conduit Street, yet another feast , and subject of a blog post  penned by my son in law . I don't know whether I dare tell him that Persephone books features too in the Middle Class Handbook

Before tripping back to Putney with the Bus Pass I said farewell to the boys and went in the back door of the British Museum to have a quick look at the Starr Carr exhibits, then exit through the glorious front door. (NB Vikings Exhibition coming up v soon). 
Oh there's nothing so good as a bit of Bloomsbury for me .

Friday, January 17, 2014

Good to be back

Well I've  stopped doing new posts on the Filey Parish I am only re-posting the most popular posted items from the last 6 years  .I am updating the diary of course , but just waiting until Hazel  takes over as webmistress for Filey Parish with a smart newlook website. I can get back to being me . Here I am not having to answer to anyone but God and my discerning husband ,and thus can say what I like about Filey Parish and Filey  without the loyalty that defines a job for an organisation.
 I am hanging on by a thread to the C of E .  @ABCJustin came just in time for me and I will stick it out a little longer with a leader I trust.
You all know that for 2 years now I have been made into an expert  of sorts on Geriatrica, Gall stones and grumbling . I am making a real effort now to recapture the rest of my life.

This is a first . I am scribing this post on the train going to London. A first because I'm using my supermarket Tablet. I cannot find the way to highlight the text and justify it. Please excuse the alignment, its not what I like or learned to do on the courses on Text Processing I struggled through 12 years ago .Now I have become a Grumpy Old Woman. I look at other peoples websites,posts and paper articles and want to edit them ,update them ,make them look more attractive. So giving you this less than perfect post in the visual sense  is made bearable by my having to explain  its faults  to you be cause of my insecurity.

I'm alone in my travels today ,and just using prebooked tickets  when the circumstances  for the journey have altered. Beloved will celebrate my 2 day absence by cooking just what he likes. The poor man has had a diet of no fat since May and is probably craving pastry and buttered toast. I notice that a Fray Bentos pie in a tin has moved forward on the pantry shelf. I've just had an East Coast Mainline complimentary Jacket Potato with chilli ,welcome ,delicious and with out the butter was fine .
Tomorrow I am going to an exhibition of one of my all time ,long time,favourite artists - Alan Sorrell. I'll tell you what I think tomorrow.
best  i can do  for PIC till I get the hang of this tablet 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Enjoying a bad time

Daydreamer  once told me not to blog during insomnia, but its nearly true morning. The first car doors have slammed outside as neighbours go to work, and wheelie bins have been clattered out to the street for the last hour as the recyclers of Filey forward plan the next week.
Ive not given up this work of love formerly called Bridteacher, but have been doing Fileydaughter for the last 8 weeks or so . 
Daily trips to the Hull Royal Infirmary to see aged parent, and now to Castle Hill hospital Beverley to see most aged and failing parent have actually had much joy in them.
Three weeks ago eldest daughter and I took my mother to see her Plastic Surgeon  . He duly signed her off and we celebrated with  a trip to the nearby Waitrose at Willerby. She loved it and the bowl of chips in the cafe. Her poignant remark as she trolleyed past the vegetable aisle with its pristine boxes of green things she had never seen before was 
"well I dont need this aisle, I'm doing any cooking now" 
True , but it was the first admission of progression to the idea of ready meals, and all guilt of bringing them to her flat and suggesting she tried this one looks nice and you like chicken casserole and a dumpling don't you ,Mummy! were dispelled  in an affirmation of good practice and common sense.

The children are p****d off with me for sharing all my concern about Mother on Facebook, and tagging them . They are embarrassed that I have had to share my daily trips on the train to Hull with them , their friends and my friends. I am sorry children. I normally blog , but have not had the time , and my smartphone is great but too small for  my thumbs and not fast enough for the data.  

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Use it

 Everyone through the automatic doors triggers a counter in Filey Library. NYCC can then tell just how many people are using the facility. I do not want Filey (6500pop) Library to close. I do not know how nearby Hunmanby (3100pop) manages without theirs now . So I am urging everyone to use their local Public Library and Information Centre, your feet make the stats. Filey Library and I C is responsible for all I do online. For in 2000 I was helped by librarian  Chris Robinson to do the BBC WEBWISE course on How to e mail , that got me started. Our local library runs my Reading Group, and  is a place of real calm even when really busy. Its where one goes for 
  • Bus Timetables
  • Maps
  • Which online
  • Books
  • use of the Printer
  • Computer courses
  • a coffee after the Doctors or Tescos
  • local information 
I just cant imagine not having access to my local library so I am going to make sure I trip the censor as often as possible.
Beverley has some something which needs using too . Visiting aged parent on Friday , and walking from the Station to M and S for her Small Farmhouse White I found pounds of Cooking Apples that had just fallen from a tree in an open space. Thank you !Beverley!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

My Alternative Pilgrimage day 10

Not exactly a wall of separation day, in the sense that the real thing is quite upsetting, and unforgetable. Today  I was reminded briefly of the aparteid wall which separates the West bank from Israel. Rather, a wall keeping the Palestinians behind a vast managed ghetto like fence, manned every so often by armed soldiers. I willnever forget when our tourist coach was held up for an hour , our Palestinian Christian guide kept for hours, as we tried to get into Bethlehem.

Today I found a different separation barrier as my A to Z made it seem easy to get from King Street, Hammersmith down Weltje Road.There was no way we could get across the Great North Road , as a huge barrier ran across it.

I had planned a stroll down to the river , a bite to eat at the oldest pub in Hammersmith, and watching sunset on the Thames. We walked slowly back to King Street , and had supper at a Polish restaurant.  I had Gherkin Soup  and Colin had Spinach stuffed pancakes with a dill sauce  and salad followed by a pastry of Poppy seeds , honey and cinnamon, and we both had the best coffee weve had for ages. 

Our tour group will be on their way home to Heathrow now. I am sitting on the bed  here listening to all the planes flying in, and have prayed for a safe journey home for all and I am pondering on how to get easily to the river bank .

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My Alternative Pilgrimage Day 9

I am hoist on my own petard.
For the last 25 years when my children reached the age of choice, I have  served food for a variety of dietary requirements.

  • I have cooked vegetarian , avoiding all traces of animal fat, and every hint of cow heel in the jellies
  • I did dairy free for some years , soya milk, soya everything including icecream, sunflower oil and proficiency in label reading
  • Gluten free was my next triumph,  I was trained that even oats contained the stuff, and that most of the pasta was awful, but spelt was ok
  • I am presently doing  Sugar Free for diabetic spouse and am finding this the hardest as the poor man has been forbidden many fruits that have been staple for him , like grapes
My food producing for the masses has always had a Margaret Protocol: We all eat the same food. 

So now I am at the crossroads of my culinary adventures, my dining out and my reputation as a non fussy visitor.

On part 2 of our progresses North to South, and South to North, I have got us Ist class tickets on East Coast Mainline , cashing in on my Rewards Points. The food is all complimentary. I cant even eat the sandwiches. I am having a Cup a Soup , brought from home, and 3 Jamaican Water (0fat)biscuits. I have joined those I have railed against ,behind my hand ,for years. 

Simply Not true

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My Alternative Pilgrimage day 8

Today is the day I am not going to be eaten by the Lake Galilee midges. I have packed for our return trip down south. 
The 3 packs of insect repellent wipes, 2 tubes of extra strength Jungle formula Mosquito cream , and my antihistamine cream are consigned to the history of the loft storage, along with the box of bunting from 2012, and 20 reels of florist tape and wires from the days when brides did not have hand tied bouquets.

Burgess Hill Premier Inn  via St Pancras is first stop, then 3 days in the Hammersmith one. I am looking forward to getting to know this Polish Suburb of Greater London, and the place where William Morris and the Pre-Raphaelites hung out and designed gothic nostalgia and revelled in Medieval Revival . I am going to lead spouse past and maybe into an historic pub, The Dove, and and stroll along the river path. The River Cafe is already fully booked, so we will do Polish, already a favourite cuisine from 40 years of going to Daquise. I will have to be careful as I nurse my fat intake , but Polish food  is gentle on the digestion.(IMO).

King Street Hammersmith

And My day today, my pilgrimage to the Surgery for the result of my scan. I prayed that anything and everything wrong would show up, I had already spotted the gallstone on the Screen 10days ago. Nothing more thank God. So I will manage it and say goodbye to chips.

Monday, September 09, 2013

My Alternative pilgrimage days 6 and 7

Incognito days waiting for a diagnosis are bittersweet. I had the joy of a morning alone in  the kitchen yesterday and I mean it. The Archers omnibus(radio4)  and Private Passions (radio 3) are perfect for a morning cooking Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding and Bramble Crumble . The mornings pleasure was not as It would have been 6 months ago as there was no Desert Island Discs seamlessly completing the time. I did not miss going to church , as Songs of Praise was really good. 
And so today.

I have booked a play for Colins Birthday , at the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith , when we are back on our royal progress of the Premier Inns. The play will be a surprise to us both . I dont know its name , only its starting time of 7.30pm. I have already clocked that the Lyric does food and wine, and for back up we may have his birthday lunch at the Polish restaurant across from our  Hammersmith hostelry. 

Saturday, September 07, 2013

My Alternative Pilgrimage day 5

This is not a forward journey completely. Today I have been backward. I have just listened to' Lark Ascending ' played  by Nigel Kennedy at the last Night of the Proms. I had barely time to get over the sublime voice of the counter tenor in the wonderful Chichester Psalms  when on strolls Nigel Kennedy looking like a tramp. So I had to close my eyes to listen to the music. I was back in the 1950s and 60s walking every Sunday after lunch up East Carr Lane from our  house in Saltshouse Road ,Sutton on Hull to the Holderness Drain and back. We often stopped and listened to the lark ascending , real time , big time.

Friday, September 06, 2013

My Alternative Pilgrimage day 4

This has day has had some unexpected pleasures.

220  to Kings Cross from Hammersmith 8.30am

In the height of what I imagined was RUSH hour, our  bus to Kings Cross took 15mins less than  transport for London Journey Planner said. I could be the Margaret on the buses equivalent of all the trainspotters at Doncaster station. I update my collection of bus maps every year, I know all the symbols of the bus map, I know where all the termini are, and I always try to start a journey with a husband and a suitcase from one. The fact that we were so early for the 11:08 from Kings Cross to York was neither here nor there we had so much enjoyment from watching people from the mezzanine.

So unique are we that apart from the occasional identical twin sightings (and Scarborough is good for those), that time passes very quickly when used wisely by people watching.

Todays best Group Spot, and I make no apologies for this pic, they were asking to be noticed, was this group of men off for a pre wedding get together with their friend the bridegroom in the onesie. He looked so much more respectable and stupid than the bridegroom in a Mankini we saw in York last year.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

My Alternative Pilgrimage Day 3

TODAY was to have been our free day in JERUSALEM .I had planned that we would go to the Burnt House. So Colin and I went to a house which had had a large fire instead;OR RATHER to its gardens.In the still sweltering heat of the metropolis we took the cool travel option,  the river Thames.(Richmond to Hampton Court)

I have been around the surrounds of Hampton Court Palace dozens of times. I have escorted elderly aunts, pushed prams,treated foreign visitors and in desperation tried to interest teenagers.I have been in springtime to see the daffs, walked dogs along the path from Kingston Bridge and prepared endless sessions for teaching the Tudors. I dont like the Tudors but its Colins favourite historical period, and he reads every book going, from Terry Deary to Hilary Mantel. Today he also wanted to see the restored William and Mary gardens.
All I can show you are some hot photos, of red flowers , desert flowers, and acres of boring formal gardens which had to be viewed but not enjoyed as the aesthetics of them would have been ruined if a seat had been placed near enough to view the vistas. The one seat I did find was so hot I could hardly stay there. The fountain looked cool but wasnt , and there was no way from straying from the gravel paths on to cooler grass borders. Not complaining really,I am glad that all the Italian and Spanish tourists felt at home.


Hampton Court, resored South Wing

I have been praying every day for David Cloake the vicar of St Phillip and St James Whitton, so said a special one today as we sailed past Strawberry Hill and into Teddington  Lock.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

My Alternative Pilgrimage Day 2

Nothing about this photo gives a hint of how bittersweet was the afternoon. And it so reminds me of our visit to Masada .I dont like heat, I like sun, I like fresh British Summer sun in Yorkshire, with the bracing air. I have never been as hot or uncomfortable as we were by the Dead Sea on that Herodian Palace Fortress, until TODAY that is. 
The sun poured down relentlessly on us in the Middle Tier of Sam Wanamaker's Globe watching HenryVI. The groundlings were in the shade. I thanked God that I had remembered my hat, my fan, my complete cover up in Linen and 2 bottles of water. I was about to walk out when the interval came, and I stood in the air near a glassless window frame  and watched the scene below. Spouse appeared beside me with a glass of homemade lemonade, cost a fortune, worth every penny. 

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

My Alternative Pilgrimage Day 1

Well, the rest of our Holy land group are in the air right now. We have prayed  that they have a good flight. That is the only part of my missed trip that would have been no joy for me. 

We have not travelled far , just from leafy Hammersmith to leafy Putney. Hammersmith Bus station is fantastic. I thought Croydon last year was good, and Hull is good, Leeds is awful, Doncaster worse, but the atmosphere at Hammersmith is seriously calm and hopeful. People smile, the station is clean, and the electronic displays accurate. 
So today started with an appreciation and thanks for London Transport.
Staff at Premier Inns have been trained well . The customer does indeed know they are going to have a good sleep guaranteed and the service personnel make them feel genuinely welcome . So today I am grateful to the receptionist who encouraged spouse that we walk  to the London Wetland Centre. I had already planned the 2 buses, and was delighted that my not the walking sort of husband decided that the stroll along the towpath from here would be worth doing .And so it was. I lived for12 years not 2 miles from the Thames at Putney and yet had never walked along the towpath towards Hammersmith Bridge. The London Wetlands Centre for Day 1 of my Alternative Pilgrimage taught me that in the middle of the chaos and bustle, dirt and noise, colour and friction here is a place for reflection and quiet.

Even so, this is not always,so I am  going to be trite.
“Happiness isn't something that depends on our surroundings...It's something we make inside ourselves.” ― Corrie ten Boom

Monday, September 02, 2013

Not far south bound

Today was the day that I started my journey as far south as I normally go , not being much of a flyer. We booked our return trip to Israel over a year ago,OUR THIRD TIME THERE.  I have bought enough fly repellent for our hotel by Lake Galilee, and enough new summer tops for evening formal dinners to keep even a seasoned traveller happy. We dont usually go as far. We are happy having urban break: But Israel is such a special place to visit for me.
We enjoyed our first trip to Birmingham very much in June. I am the mistress of the free bus maps, and my spirit of adventure has been so enabled by the use of the  instant internet on my smartphone.

  •  I am able to look up birds and wildflowers I don't recognize
  •  Check opening times of interesting museums,gardens and shops spotted from the front seat of the top of a double decker
  • Check the weather forecast on rhe wonderful BBC weather app
  • send photos direct to Facebook with an accurate GPS so my children can check that we are having a good time, and know we are where we say we are
I love being surprized by new places. We are on our way to Hammersmith now via Kings Cross on East Coast Mainline. Even though I lived in London for my years, just over the bridge in Wandsworth, I dont really know Hammersmith. I know Shepherds Bush, Barnes and Putney, and even the White City Estate of 40 years ago is a fond memory.  I can no longer find on a map the White City Stadium, where the father  of  my college roomate lost his money on the dogs every single week, and his wife pawned her engagement ring every Monday to redeem on Pay Day.
Spouse and I have had to cancel our trip with Baptists and the retired principal of Spurgeons Bible Collegeto the Holy Land. We cancelled yesterday , as my insurance was withdrawn.  I have already read all the Psalms of Ascent , and got Dr Constables Bible notes on the Psalms ready downloaded.. We have just done the whole of  the book of Exodus in EDWJ.
BUT I doing what a friend in our homegroup calls being positive.
 So, watch this space . I am on holiday in this country, using our existing train bookings , and hotels well placed for Heathrow , Terminal  1. We have added 3 nights in Putney, a  night with daughter In Burgess Hill, and 3 more nights in Hammersmith . We will go home for 6 nights, so will be able to watch Last Night of the Proms. I have booked extra  train train journeys creatively , and First class using my saved up Reward Points  with East Coast Mainline. Funny really, I have been trying to spend them for 3 years, but not , UNTIL this morning worked out how to do it.

Cant write any more as the sun is in my eyes, and there is no way Im going to draw the curtains on my fellow travellers. 


Saturday, July 20, 2013


Broad Beans , Chard  and Garlic
I cannot keep up with the Chard ,it comes and comes ,but is easily cooked and frozen. Aged Parent can eat it as she cant get much down (so she says) , and it slides down. It was a good job I watched  Gardeners World  last night, as today I realised my Garlic has the same fungus  spots as Monty's did, so I lifted the lot and left to dry. We however have been eating potatoes for 3 weeks, as the First earlies were ready then.
Arran Pilot

I only have an eighth of an allotment. It is enough for us, we have not bought any veg for 2 weeks. The secret is to grow what u cant buy or is expensive in Filey. I am trialing a row of Florentine Fennel round at Kiaora, and they  are going to be fine, now I realise how to grow them that is! Next year  I will put them on my Allotment plot.
One of the joys of having a small piece of allotment is the pleasure for me in solitude. I have a chair, a stash of fig rolls, I take a flask, and no watch. Except when it is really hot, and then it becomes a chore , I can potter . This week I filled all 4 baths with water from the hose. It took me ages to work out how to connect all the bits of piping across the plot , without knocking Bernards Cabbages over , or treading on one of his pieces of Perspex glass for the greenhouse he is reconstructing. I think  my Great grandfather ,the water engineer would be proud of me. I learn by doing , and by making mistakes and putting them right, a kineasthetic learner ,I  never read manuals, or watch others. 

The walk to my plot takes 10 mins from home. I have perfected the shortest route. It is my thinking time. Soon I will have to re do my walk for Plantlife, I have already noted all the wildflowers in my linear path, but will go again and add to the database as it has been an odd year and plants  have flowered very late this year, and  I have more to record.I realise that the allotment is actually on my Square. My walk is from the roundabout to Filey Field. However some of the wildflowers south of the railway line , and near the station have been really  good this year.

Allotment Goosegrass 

Mullein , Allotment drive

Bird foot trefoil-railway side

Allotment Sow thistle
lovely mix at Tescos
Tescos  Dock

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Death in the afternoon

Spouse and I have just been to visit  friends in Osgodby, just south of Scarborough and  less than a quarter of a mile inland. We are 4miles south of them and 200yards inland . Spouse sat in the garden with P and I was indoors with D, and as we drove off home my beloved remarked,

  • not that they had a gorgeous garden
  • not that they had a huge garden room with all mod cons including TV
  • not that everywhere was so clean and tidy,which it was
BUT that one couldn't hear a single seagull.

Here in Filey Old Town all the neighbours have started speaking to one another in a new and confidential way, a gentle probing sort of a way, a testing the waters sort of way. WE all seem to want to know what we think about the plague (my word ) of Herring Gulls that this year have ingratiated themselves on our roofs, or dormer windows, our chimneys and even our flower beds. The cacophony is unbearable. We cannot ring our Community Police Officer as we do when  few neighbours are brawling and screaming outside our dwellings when high on skunk. These neighbours have been as quiet as mice this year, or else have grown up . No,not  only are the gulls high on something  over our heads, but are divebombing our cars, our lines of clean laundry and our roofs. C and I and all our immediate neighbours would like a CULL . 

The  reason we are probing and testing in our inter locutions is because we have to be very careful. We  have friends in Filey who think the Gulls are lovely, are wonderful parents(which they are) and are fascinating to watch all day (if they are so inclined). Not in my backyard. I would be very happy if they went back to where they have come from, Bempton or Filey Cliffs. 

Side of Union Street, Filey

This last picture was literally the last. One of them strayed  into the road , as when I passed their flower bed 10 mins later , there was  grey roadkill  2 yards away.