Wednesday, April 30

Bella the Westie

Here is a rare 'action shot' of Bella - who lives with SueC. She's a very friendly little beast (Bella that is, but then, hey, so's SueC...).

Tuesday, April 29

Happy Birthday Lorna!

Happy Birthday - to my good friend Lorna. Here she is with her granddaughter Courtney, working on an artistic project. Would that more people were as honest and honourable as Lorna.

Thursday, April 24

Girls and Guns....

This afternoon I went on a BCS trip to the Shrivenham Defence Academy. I have rather complex and conflicted thoughts about the military, and here is not really the place to discuss it. However, I've always found military chaps to be extremely good eggs, and our hosts today were no exceptions.

We got to see (and scramble over) lots of tanks and movable guns (and if you buy me a pint, I can tell you the difference). This is an Italian mountain gun, which was designed to be disassembled and carried about by pack mule. Apparently, the mules that had to carry it got better rations. And there's a photo of some loaded mules in a plane hold with parachutes (not Britsh forces) - I do HOPE it was a joke!

This tank was cut in half for training purposes. I found the shop dummies rather unnerving!

It's no coincidence that this looks like a tough X-Box control. They're designed this way, because this is what the kids are used to.

The highlight was a trip to the armoury, where we had a chance to handle lots of small arms. The worst group they've had to date were the Brownies. The girls ran and grabbed lots of really big pieces from the top shelves, then fell over under the weight! I'm looking happy as I've worked out how to hold it!

However, Jenny was a natural - watch out Development Team!

This min-uzi is more like it. A girl could pop it in her handbag, well it fitted in mine!

And finally, here is Jenny with today's standard army issue. Despite it's plastic 'Toys R Us' look - it's damn heavy.

Sadly, I didn't get a pic, but at one point, our party was joined by some veterans, there for an Army Pensions Conference. It was very moving to see and hear a guy explain how he was dropped by glider into Arnhem, and how the model of rifle he was holding had saved his life.

Wednesday, April 23

Intruder Alert!

Here is a sighting of a British Big Cat - the Eynsham Panther.

He is also known as Pepper Youens-Dudley. His close associate is Coco, but she is seldom seen.

Moreton-in-the-Marsh - for Virginia

These 'double' pillar boxes speak of time when people sent letters, rather than txts wth n vwls!

More Zoe piccies...

Also in the camera, were some pics from my trip to see Zoe. With expert tuition, I was able to play the 'proud Auntie' (BTW - my green, purple and white badge is a reproduction of a suffragette poster, which was rather apt really).

I LOVED her little hands...

...babies are rather nice when they're asleep :-).

Joe and his charming companion - another evening at the Queen's Head

The Boy has kindly shown me how to download photos from my mobile 'phone. The flash seems to have made it rather grainy. Still, you can CLEARLY see Joe finding solace with 'Dalek babe'.

Tuesday, April 22

Because I am a girl...

We've recently started sponsoring a child with Plan UK. The charity was founded in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War and has no religious or political affiliations.

Please read about their Because I am a girl campaign, and sign their on-line petition. In many cultures girls are not valued as much as boys and this can only be changed by helping communities to see the jewels that girls are. Plan UK puts it better than me:
  • Girls deserve the best in life – the right to education, the chance to be healthy and the opportunity to succeed
  • Investing in girls bears fruit – help a girl and you help an entire community to help themselves
  • We are all responsible and need to do something now to help the world’s girls.

Sunday, April 20

Weekend Excursion

On a whim we went to Hereford on Saturday to see the Mappa Mundi. It's quite astonishing - to be so close to minds from 1300. The chained library is quite something too.

We stopped in Ledbury and chanced upon Cafe Sez - French Tearoom and Patisserie - with a genuine French patissier, M Pascal Clarenne (yum, yum, yum).

And yes, I forgot my camera - grrr.

Thursday, April 17

One for Dr Bones...!?!

I've been going through the various CDs scattered around the techogarret. I found one that contained photos from my bro's time in Australia - including this one. It looks like the museum service there is slightly more laid back :-) (or maybe I'm the only one that thinks they look like they're 'having congress').

Wednesday, April 16

Dad's boat

Come's a floating caravan...He plans to sail up to Scotland with my Uncle Paul this summer. It looks awfully small to carry all their booze...

Spring has sprung!

The Boy loves the Spring - as do I. he always gets VERY excited and sows every seed in the packet very early!

As you can see the conservatory is chock full! My Dad was VERY jealous, and kept mumbling on about heated greenhouses making all the difference :-). Tomorrow, the Boy is going to take a few of his babies in for the folks at Tudor Rose - which will give him enough room to prick out some MORE seedlings!

Another caption competion...!

This is one of my Dad's photos. He's caught my Ma at her fave!

Sunday, April 13

Mo2u1-=- (this title was typed by Maisie walking over the keyboard))

I've been trying to sort out a trip to Moulins to visit Christopher and André. This is their lovely courtyard garden. You can see one of our bedroom windows at the back. The room is above what was André's family's saddlery workshop. Behind is the river - it's lovely to lie in bed and see the ripples reflected on the ceiling. It's a wonderfully peaceful place, and we have fantastic hosts. I can't wait to be there.

I wonder if the swallow will try and raise another family this year?

Artsweeks are coming!

It's not long 'til May now....SueC may have even started painting for her is a very poor snap of last year.

Saturday, April 12

Gertie Thoughts

My folks are here this weekend and we went up to Alveston to see Gert and Dord (my Grandmother and Uncle). I always find these visits very sad. When I was a kid, trips to 'Valhalla' - trips to my my Grandmother's house were treats indeed. We'd play all day; either by the water or in the water; make reed boats; row (as it boat...) ; and have picnics - all very Famous Five.

And now all the energy has gone - Gertie is 99 and half - living in a nursing home down the road, and my Uncle and the wallpaper are growing old together (although he's far more active than most people half his age). It's just that Gertie was always so ALIVE - full of fire and spirit. I feel as if part of me has gone - has withered on the vine.

Memento mori? Or rather 'what will survive of us is love'?

Wednesday, April 9

Cautionary Tale!

If you have to use your spare tyre...have it replaced. Ce moment - The Boy is somewhere near Silverstone, in the cold and dark.

He had to change out a tyre for the spare a few weeks back. This evening he had a puncture so he's stuck!

Now...I can't be too used my spare the other week...and I haven't replaced it yet...first thing tomorrow morning though!

Images of me...

As I've mentioned before, my friend Annie made this necklace for me. It's full of little jokes about me, her and us.

This is me as seen by The Boy - in the hills, slightly windswept.

As seen by Lorna - playful, sexy (!?!) and smiley.

And as seen by me...I'm not sure why my stripey socks has become such an icon for me. A safe image? A sexless image? I like to think it's's certainly me...

Tuesday, April 8

Linden Lady

It's my mother-in-law Lin's birthday tomorrow. She doesn't like having her photo taken, so these ones, taken at Holly's 5th birthday party, are quite rare.

I love this one of Katie and Lin - mother and daughter.

Sunday, April 6


I write a lot of letters, and I like to decorate the envelopes with stickers. I was rather touched, last time I was at Rose View - that my Ma had removed some of them to keep.

April Snow in Eynsham

We woke up this morning to SNOW! As you can see, Mr Jones was a good chap and cleared the pavement outside the pub.

Here is 29 QS with a light blanket of snow.

I loved the way the magnolia flower acted as a cup for the snow.

The grape hyacinths look very brave, don't they?

And the tulips were undaunted...

Saturday, April 5

Friday, April 4

Madeira Day 6 - WHALES!

On our last day, we went for a cruise on the yacht Gavião.

Here's those scary cliffs form the sea...

As well as lolling about pretending to be beautiful people, we wanted to encounter some sea mammals. Here is one of the crew (Luis or is it the other one...?) on the lookout.

What's this? Oh, oh, oh - there were three sperm whales, just having a boogie on the surface. The whale pics were taking by The Boy, as I was squealing with joy and jigging about.

None of the whales dived, so we didn't have a chance to take the fluke 'money shot'. But at one point, a whale swam under the boat. It was amazing to see that big, dark shape in the water.

Wednesday, April 2

Madeira Day 5 - Jeep Tour (Part 5 Odds & Sods)

I took LOTS and LOTS of photos, so here are a few to give you a flavour of the rest of the day.

The Boy doing his George Formby impression.

This was a rum distillery - doesn't it look like a little Highland one? A couple in our group, Lesley and David, used to live in Jamaica, and Lesley became VERY excited at the tought of rum tasting. Sadly, the distillery was closed in order to sort out the plant prior to the sugar cane season. However, we did manage to buy some, poncha anyone?

All you really need is a sign saying "Don't be stupid!"

"I see no ships...."

Got to go home soon...

The end of the world.