Monday, June 29

Kai - A Working Dog

In Oxford today, I met Kai and his lovely owner Sarah. Sarah is profoundly deaf, and Kai is her 'hearing dog'.

It's only recently that I've realised what a huge difference hearing dogs can make to someone's life (and there are hypo-allergenic ones :-)).

You can find out more about hearing dogs here:

And read Kai and Sarah's story:

Robin's Rose

A few years ago, when my Mum was 'Gertie sitting', my Dad came up to visit and brought us each a mini rose bush. I never seem to have much success with them, but this one survived. After a few years in a pot, we planted it out.

It never has many flowers, but they compensate for that by being a glorious peach.

That's the lovely thing about gardens, they're full of memories.

Someone didn't like their treatment!!!

I've rather lost my photography Mojo of late - but I could resist this amended sign!

Wednesday, June 24


“ If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one "

"Now I am become Shiva, the destroyer of worlds."

[The thoughts that came to mind when I saw the reflection in the windows]

Sunday, June 21

Pass the Bromide!

This is me on a huge high, after seeing my beloved Patrick Stewart, in 'Waiting for Godot'. It was quite an experience.

Number One, London

Today Lovely Lindsay, Prof. Peter and I toddled of for a day of culture in London. First stop was Apsley House, home of Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington.

It was known as Number One, London because it was the first house encountered from the countryside after passing the tollgates at the top of Knightsbridge.

As well as various Wellington artefacts (no boots, you have to go to Walmer Castle for that), there's a fantastic art collection, including Velázquez portrait of Pope Innocent I (as found in Joseph Bonaparte's baggage when he was fleeing after Waterloo).

The most impressive is this Canova sculpture of Napoleon.

Interestingly, Napoleon didn't want the statue when it was finished. One wonders if Wellington was chuffed when he had it presented to him. Apart from anything else, he had to have the hall floor reinforced!

As, this is the closest weekend to Waterloo Day (June 18th) - there were various 'special events'. Will we regret avoiding:

The Battle of Waterloo with Vegetables - every move of the battle with nothing but as basket of whatever comes to hand.

It was all a bit too much for some!

Tuesday, June 16

Flora and Fauna of Queen Street

In the garden of The Queen's Head - one of Jackie's cats tries to hide in the daisies...

...Kipper eats some grass.

In the garden at 29 neither The Boy or Maisie are looking their best!

Friday, June 12

The Pitt Rivers with the Revd

Today the Revd Rattue and I (aka The Weeping Cross) went to see the newly reopened Pitt Rivers Museum. As all it fans will be pleased to see, it still retains its character as the 'university's attic' (to quote my friend Annie).

While waiting for me (the refurbishment means that the museum has toilets - hurrah)...Revd Rattue stationed himself under a totem pole...

...and looked like one of the exhibits.

I was very taken with the creature on the left - which is called 'Lady Burrows' apparently.

And this little juxtoposition in a temporary exhibition.

I'm already looking forward to my next trip, which I hope will be next week with the lovely Lindsay.

Monday, June 8

Coffee Culture

I treated myself to a mocha pot the other week - I've no idea what happened to our old one.

I've been trying to take pictures of the tiny holes that the steam drives through the coffee - but I don't have a good enough macro lens (...hmm must rectify that).

Entirely by accident I took this lovely moody shot. I love the swirlyness of it.

Saturday, June 6

Race for Life 2009 - The Power of Pink

This soggy morning, I was off to the University Parks to take part in Race for Life.

It's an all women event... raise money for cancer research.

As you can see people really get into the spirit of the event - in costumes one normally associates with medical students, or rugby players in drag.

Everyone got rather wet...

As I'd had a bug of some kind this week, I'd decided to walk. However, the Traves bloody mindedness kicked in, and I jogged the whole way (and managed a mad dash for the line!). Sadly, my triumph picture (above) makes me look like a character from Little Britain!

The main thing is that I raised £280 in sponsorship. Thank you all very much!

Alium Envy

This lovely brute is in Marmaladekiss' front garden. Lovely, isn't it?

Friday, June 5

France 2009 - Landfall at Portsmouth

Nearly home, and stuck in a boat jam!

It gave us a chance to enjoy the Spinnaker Tower...

...posing against the sunset...

...and the Victory.
Lots of history in a very small space!

France 2009 - Pont de Normandie

These aren't great pics...

...but the bridge does look like it's made from giant tuning forks.

France 2009 - The Journey Home

Also taking the ferry from Le Havre...(when pronounced in French it sounds rather like a gargle crossed with a death rattle)

...were a number of classic cars...

...taking part in a rally.

France 2009 - A Shop for Ma?

Attrill's a Natural!

A few weeks or so ago, I sent the talented Toby Attrill (Natural Attrill) some charms, and beads that had belonged to Grandma Gertie.

He's made me two wonderful pieces, which are very ME. I almost cried when I opened the parcel.

I think that Toby has a great future ahead of him.

[Annie may recognise the sea otters :-)]

France 2009 - A Shop for Lorna?

France 2009 - Dijon

We spent a day in Dijon which was lovely. This is the Duke's Palace, which houses a very fine art museum. Sadly we were there on a Tuesday, and the museum is fermé le mardi...merde.

Still, the outside is very fine...

...with interesting drain pipes.

As you can see...
...the city is very bonny too.

We really enjoyed just wandering around (and finding a Cybercafe and checking email in Adam's case!).

In the past, Burgundy had a lot of trade with the Low Countries - as is demonstrated by these coloured Flemish tiles on the cathedral.

Not sure who these chaps were, but I liked them... I did this frog.

The gargoyles on the front of Notre Dame made us feel at home.

La chouette, this little owl carving on the side of Notre Dame, is a traditional good luck charm. Sadly, the original was destroyed by vandals in 2001.

Be still my beating heart! What's this up ahead?

It's my beloved bear by Pompon!

The Boy, took this shot of the noble beast.

It was have been a good day anyway, but the bear made it really special.