Tuesday, October 30

The Other Lucy Traves

One of the nice things about having a distinctive surname, is there aren't too many other people out there with the same name. However, I've always found it very ironic, given that I'm a staunch republican (not to be confused with Republican), that the other Lucy Traves is an active member of The Monachist League of Canada.

BTW - this isn't the Traves coat of arms, you can find that here.

Reasons (for me) to be cheerful

As The Boy has commented, it's a horrible time of year, and we have had some bad news of late. In the spirit of following my own advice - here a few little things that have been pleasing me lately. Feel free to add some of your own.

  • I've planted lots of bulbs, it's going to be lovely in the Spring
  • My Christmas cake is baked, and ready to be 'fed' under the stairs
  • The inclement weather means that I'm wearing my boot collection, most of which have heels, and I can tower of my colleagues
  • My sister's birthday, my Uncle John's birthday, the Welshman's birthday, Cari's birthday, my birthday, Fr Rattue's birthday, Dr Bones' birthday, my brother's birthday and my name-day are all coming up
  • It's a new academic year, which means it's a new business year at work, and so there are lots of new projects coming up
  • Lorna is cracking on with my portrait
  • The Archers is now available as a podcast
  • A kind friend picked up some Assam tea for me from Cardrews yesterday. After a week drinking Earl Grey I was in sore need of it. I'll drink any old tea (well not quite ANY OLD Lorna) when I'm out, but when I'm home 'proper' tea is important to my wellbeing
  • I’ve picked up a pile of books from a colleague at work for next to nothing
  • Vince Cable has shown some backbone by refusing to meet King Faud

Saturday, October 27

Poor Maisie....

We didn't leave her out by the rubbish...she CHOOSE to sleep there...oh dear.

Wednesday, October 17

A wee bit of advice...

Here is a sign from Brittany with a rather good graphic I think...

It was led me to thinking about other advice I've been given...that works...

From my Mother:
  • Never trust a dog with ginger eyebrows
  • Never trust a man who wears a cravat (Jimmy Muir proves the rule!)
  • Never agree to date a man you've only ever seen in black tie

From my Grandpa

  • There's always time for a cup of tea
  • Scrimp on the food but never on the wine
  • Cheap shoes are a false economy

And my advice to you

  • Never leave a hamster with your contact lenses

Tuesday, October 16

Scottish Thoughts...

I need a dose of sea and sky every so often and it's been TOO LONG! Still, it's raining at the moment, so I could almost be in Scotland...

Sunday, October 14

Another caption competion!

Now what are they saying? "Shall we put the helipad here?"

Rudding Park - in God's own county

For our wedding anniversay (our pottery one, if you're interested) we went to stay at Rudding Park, just outside Harrogate, where The Boy had golf business. The grounds were landscaped by Repton, so all very Jane Austen, except the orginal house was pulled down and rebuilt by some mill owner from Huddersfield (dodgey people these Huddersfield types!).

Peter and his staff (especially the laconic Felipe in the bar) made us feel really welcome. The chocolate, toffees and little ladybird massage thing were all nice touches, but sybarite that I am I think I'll recall 'The Cheese Experience' for some time to come.

"Come and see the long course" they said..."it's really pretty" beseeched Peter. And yes, it was. But being me, I was interested in everything apart from the 'cracking golf holes' - this floating bridge for instance.

Or these mushrooms...

When was it decided that posh lawns (sorry greens) have stripes? Has someone written the history of the lawn? I'm sure they have.
The half-way house...saviour of many a golfer.

Saturday, October 13

Tuesday, October 9

More Memories...

I had a really nice time with weekend, looking through some family photo albums with my Dad. As you liked the last picture of 'lil Lucy' - here is one we found of the three of us. I guess I'd be about 18 months or so. As you can see, Jerry didn't really have eyebrows until he was somewhat older 8-).

Chatham Historic Dockyard

On Sunday, The Boy, The APs and I went to Chatham Historic Dockyard. It's an interesting mixed use site with a working boatyard, rope works, offices and part of the University of Kent as well as the museum.

I was rather taken with the figurehead on HMS Gannet...(esp. the feet)
...and its copper bottom.

The Boy was very excited by the sub HMS Ocelot. When my Dad took a school party here in the late '60s, when it was still a working dockyard, he saw a similar sub being built.

This is one of the last WW2 destroyers (in service till the early '70s) HMS Cavalier. My knowledge of the arctic convoys is all garnered from 'The Cruel Sea' - it was a very hard life.

I found it very weird to see colours and typefaces I associate with domestic goods from the '40s on these missiles.
The wheel wasn't on the bridge but down below.

I don't think Dad belongs here....
...this is more like it!

Moore at Kew

On Friday, a glorious autumn day, we went to Kew Gardens to see a Henry Moore exhibition.

As you'd expect on such a beautiful day the place was packed with toddlers (falling around like human skittles, as The Boy said) and photographers. If you want to see what the latter got up to, Kew have put up a special online gallery.

It was great to see the kids play with the sculptures and just enjoy them. I misread the signs and thought that you weren't supposed to touch the sculptures. In fact, you weren't supposed to climb on them, touching was OK. I'm a bit miffed as I'd have loved to run my hands over them.

So why do I love Henry Moore so much? I don't have the 'arts bollocks' vocabulary...but I guess it's something to do with the organic nature of the shapes. It touches me in a very primal way.

Although I do think the child here looks rather too much like a baby penguin!

There's always one isn't there?

He did take this excellent picture of this amazingly textured wall though.

These interlocking forms changed and seemed to ripple as you walked round them.

This pierced oval was inspired by an elephant's skull. I was intrigued by this tree which seemed to be wearing Elizabethan hose.

The Lily House is wonderful. Round the walls they have a fantastic collection of pepper plants.

Hey look...it's Kew, I have to have a flower photo!

Now, I've read enough Victorian (or set in Victorian times) novels to know that you have assignations in the Palm House. It's so hot and humid in there, you can see why the heroines swooned down like ninepins. The plants are great, but I think that the structure is the real star here.

I loved these dank little steps which were out of bounds.

Kew must take a lot of upkeep.

This lion was having a wash and brush up.

Check out the inscription!

Our mad climate - crocuses at this time of year!

Monday, October 8

Happy Birthday Adam!

It's The Boy's birthday today!
We are both on holiday and determined to have a day full of fun and frolics - so we are going to go and see a film about Ian Curtis.
I have been a good wife and delivered breakfast in bed, fresh from Sandy's and didn't say a word about the fact he was checking his work email in bed!

Monday, October 1

Another Traves on the way...!

Don't panic - I'm not about to make a 'special announcement'. And I'd like to think I'd have more class than to do it on my blog in any case 8-). So, here is a pic of my role model Aunt Lucy.

No, my big bro Jerry and his long suffering spouse Sarah are due to have a visit from the stork in March. Their daughter Rachel is 'rather good for a first attempt' (as an Oz pal of theirs told them), so I'm looking forward to another babe to buy noisy toys for (and teach him/her/it* his/her/its* catechism etc. etc.)

And here is a pic of said first attempt when she was quite mini, along with the sainted spouse.

* attempt to avoid i) ugly use of inclusive plural ** ii) sexist male singular
** yes this was subbed by Adam 'I am always an editor, it is my nature' Lawrence

Swinford Toll Bridge


OK - everyone who moves into Eynsham has to learn to live with the delays that the toll bridge causes. We've all written to our MP (nowadays the fragrant David Cameron); signed the petition; raised a prayer of thanks that the pensioner with the sharp nails no longer collects tolls; and contemplated sharpening our 5ps.

This morning I was in a beatific mood. The sun was shining, the birds were coughing - I even languidly waved through someone who cut me up. Then I saw THE SIGN...it stated:

Help reduce queues - have 5p ready!

The red mist descended! Help reduce queues, stop collecting the sodding tolls! I don't care about the money , I lose 40 minutes of my life every day nudging to get over this anachronistic relic. As a life long republican it adds insult to injury that the bridge was built to suck up to a monach!

./rant off