Thursday, 23 August 2012

village happenings, Box Rocks Circus, Thomas Tank Engine

Hello Friends,

Once again it is past time for me to be doing a blog....sorry....

This past couple of weeks we have had some celebrations in the village that I think some of you may be interested in so here goes...

I am not sure if the stories of Thomas The Tank Engine is read in the USA where I know many of my friends who read his blog of mine live..but over here every little boy and probably girl has read the Thomas Stories...There was even a TV programme for a long time all abut Thomas the tank engine and his friends the other trains...Well it may come as news to some that the Rev. Audrey who wrote the books was inspired to do so for his Son when they lived in the village of Box quite near the famous Box Tunnel (just where I live also)...and two weeks ago the house where they lived ( now a B&B) has had a plaque unveiled on the wall commemorating the fact...Rev Audrey's Son and Daughter and grandchildren came to do the unveiling. I am not sure where I put the photographs but when I find it I will post it for you all to see.

The next big event was the official opening of

“ Box Rocks Circus”

The Rock Circus is an installation of rocks and sculptures that has been built so that the ancient and modern stories told by rocks, fossils and minerals can be more widely known.

The circular area on Box recreation ground is intended to be a space for everyone – to meet, learn and play or simply enjoy.

The four huge quarried blocks document Britain's slow movement over the last 400 million years from the southern hemisphere to our present position.

The obelisk is built from Box Stone, and illustrates the importance of this famous building stone, upon which the origins of this village are based.

Children are encouraged to climb and explore the two sculpted blocks, which are packed with different minerals and fossils, or they can make rubbings from a wide variety of fossils that have been set into a Box Stone table.

Imaginations, young and old, can run wild making-up stories to explain the two sets of dinosaur footprints that run through the circle!

A team of skilled craftsmen has built the circus under the leadership of stone mason Marcus Mitchell.

The project is the brainchild of Box-resident Elizabeth Devon, who is a geologist and Earth Science educator.

I wish you could all see and admire this wonderful work of art and imagination. I for one could never have thought that we had such a rich supply of stones just a few feet underneath our feet.

Within the stones and rocks there are many fasinating fossils that the childern are encouraged to rub and to wonder at what they see.... such as an Ammonite dating back 190 million years,a Dragon fly 140 million years, a Pterdactyl 150 million years, the complete skeleton shows all the individual bones including the skull with teeth !! there is a Spade fish 50 million years, you can even see eggs in the body cavity of this female specimen..there are many more that can be seen and I can just imagine the fun and learning that is going to come to children and adults who wish to learn more are going to get from this marvelous new exhibit in Box. We are becoming quite a famous little village.. I will try to make the "Box Rocks Circus" my header photo...
I have never yet discovered try as I might to get my pictures embedded in the script !!
 So although Mary and I have not been doing a great deal we have certainly "seen" a lot going on...
I had hoped to be able to tell you all about my new car which was due to be delivered last Friday, but unfortunately it has been delayed watch this space...
Masy is getting ever stronger and just loves the long walks Lynn my dear neighbour takes her on, she loves to meet everyone and of course most folks just love her she is so cute today she is 4 months old...She does not like the rain..or high winds..but as we keep telling her here in England we have more wet and windy days than other days so she had better quick get used to it !!!
I do hope that you are all having a good week and enjoying life...
never for get to love yourself and that way you can pass that love on to all who you meet...

Friday, 3 August 2012

Hello Friends,  at long last I am sitting down to try and get my blog done.  I have actually started umpteen times but got interrupted and as I didn't get back I started fingers crossed all will be quiet this evening.   Thank you first of all for mostly being better than me and writing such interesting blogs, that I do manage to read !! what with my blog friends and facebook not to mention Masy no wonder my days seem t pass much to quickly.    Mary did indeed return from her annual holiday to Edinburgh mid July, she had had a nice time visiting lots of friends despite the almost continual rain The day she returned the weather was nice in Edinburgh...on arriving at Bristol guess what  Rain torrential rain, in fact I don't think I have ever driven over and back from the airport in such bad weather.  We certainly have not had a good far....we keep saying that perhaps we will have an Indian summer !!!  It has not been really cold at least not for us here I suppose with the exception of a few hot days the temp has been in the mid 60s most days...when it doed rise to 70s we all almost faint with the heat LOL...     Mary was delighted to see how much Masy had grown and although she still gets a bit concerned that she (Mary) can't move quick enough to catch her when she is up to something !!   Our lives seem to revolve round  "DOG" she is such a lovely wee thing I had forgotten how much time a puppy takes up.  She has now had all her jabs and so can go out into the wide world and meet people and other dogs.  The vet organises "a puppy party" to get the puppies socialised. The first one Masy went to she was barely 11 weeks and so tiny, everyone laughed when they saw her ! and she certainly did not like the other boisterous pups...and quickly tried to hide behind Peter or me !! then last Wed. we went again...well she was like a different dog. She is much bigger and only wanted to play with all the pups there of all sizes and there were one or two who were not at all sure of her  !! next step will be puppy training and perhaps we will start that next week.   Last Saturday we had a lovely afternoon out. There is a nursing home nearby in the hamlet of Shockerwick and they have an annual Dog show and Fete
we had never been before but thought it would be a good first outing for Masy..It was, it was much bigger than I had imagined but once Masy gt used to the crowds she was ever so good. especially as everyone wanted to hold her and indeed run away with her  LOL    Other than our day out to the Dog Show we really have not been going very far. I am still TRYING to house train her !!!!  there was me hoping that a couple of weeks we would have  it cracked...I get really quite tired jumping up and down grabbing her and making her go outside, Mary gets a bit cross but I know it is because she feels sorry she can't jump up and down as quickly as me.   I am very thankful that a neighbour Lynne has offered to take Masy out for walks. She started about 2 weeks ago and took to the lead with no trouble at all. Lynne's dog died just about a week after my wee Dee so Masy is helping her as she says...Yesterday she was away for over 3/4 hour and when she got back she was still full of energy....wish she could infect me with some of it  LOL
I have had a few church meetings this last month and something very wonderful has happened that is a real answer to prayers.  We have been given a very very good anonymous donation that will enable us as a church to employ part time aprox 25 hours a week for 3 years a church worker...we have still to give him/her a title We envisage that he/she will be able to visit a lot in the village and also all the organisations that use our church premises and find out just what is needed to enable us to grow.  At the moment our minster who is wonderful just has not got the time to do much pastoral visiting etc.  we share her with 5 other churches...
Anyway it will take us a few months to get everything into motion but hope that by January everything will be in place for us to take the leap into the unknown future... I still can hardly believe it is all happening...
I hope that you have all been able to look in on the Olympic games from London. Mary is nt into the games very much but I love most of them so I have to share stations with her, but once she goes home after 6pm I can enjoy all evening.  There have been some great competitions and wonderful gold silver and bronze awards...At the moment I am half watching the start of the pentathlon.
Well friends...if I have any still out there !!  I leave you as always with God Bless    and

Saturday, 30 June 2012

masy's first week

I must thank you all for having had the patience to wait for me to return to my blog. It is such an age sinse I wrote almost a month...However although it seems to have been a busy month it has actually been a very quiet month and I can't believe how fast the days have gone. I don;t usual update my blog unless I have some real news to share but the news was onlt that as a  household as we were awaiting the arrival of our new puppy Masy.( great news  for me but not sure about everyone else!!)  Well the happy day arrived on Sunday 17th. Peter Mary and I went to collect her from the lady who we bought her from. There had been 5 puppies 3 dogs and 2 bitches  we had Masy and by the time we went to collect her 3 others had gone and only one brother remained and he wa soon to be on his way to Guernsey. a long way for a wee pup to go.. Masy was luckier she had only to be popped in a basket we had taken with us and driven about 15 miles here/ She was so good never seemed to mind at all.  (she was so very tiny.only 8 weeks In fact I thought she was a bit young to be away from her Mum but the breeder seemd to think it was ok.).the first night I had expected lots of whines etc. but I was so surprised that she settled in so well. I took her through  to my bedroom in her wee bed said to her to go to sleep and put out the light. and that was her until I got up about 6am that first morning. I have what are called puppy pads (rather like our old newspaper system for training !) and had put two down and she had at one time got up and then put herself back to bed..  Mary left to go to Edinurgh on Thurs. 21st. and sinse then I have had Masy on my own.  Thankfully Peter has been very good and comes every day to play with her...and boy does she love to play. especially pulling things and playing ball..She is still not house trained and I think that might take longer than I would have liked  but it will come she is only almost 10 weeks. now.  She went to the vet the first Monday we had her and had the fisrt injection and I take her again on Monday for the second.  She loves the car I have a carry bag for her and just pop her in and she sits or lies there quite the thing..making no sounds at all..
As this has been all about Masy I have to ask you to forgive.  I have not been out anywhere since she arrived as she is a bit small to leave. However tomorrow I am leaving her for 3/4 hr then Peter will come in play with her then we will leave her again whilst we go out for fingers crossed that she will be ok.  She has met most of the neighbours all who have fallen in love with her and is very well socialised which is a good start.  Mary send evryone her love from Edinburgh. she will be back 12th.July and hopefully by then I will have done something that I can share with you all.
Love and keep well.....................Remember to always LOVE ONE ANOTHER.  xx

Monday, 4 June 2012

exciting days..

Hello friends, when I finished my last blog I said I had some more exciting news to share with you and that is certainly true...Indeed since I said that there has actually been quite a few exciting things happening in the Wilson household....I will go backwards...and try to remember everything !! I am sure it has not passed anyone's attention that here in the UK as in many many places in the world we have been celebrating our Queens diamond Jubilee. It really has caught us all celebrating in our own way. In Box we have been trying to organize a weekend of fun for last few months. As a village the three churches St.Thomas a Becket in the village, St Christopher's in Ditteridge and ourselves the Methodist church had said that we would all have flowers festivals for the long weekend...In our Methodist church we decided to ask all the organizations who use our church throughout the week to donate a floral arrangement. We were delighted when all but 3 agreed and those three gave us a donation towards flowers. We are very fortunate to have a friend of the church who is a professional flower arranger and she offered to do all the main arrangements. Oh how I wish I could show you all the wonderful arrangements. Every window sill and doorway was bedecked as well as various tables even the tiny tot's got involved with their Mum's and made a ginger bread house with window boxes and little people all with their flags flying and even some with crowns !!( I have taken lots of photo's and at some time I will put them on a smilebox for anyone who might like to see them.) The outside of our church was also decorated with flowers and as we are right in the centre of the village on the main street we were very prominently positioned. We were having strawberry cream teas on the afternoon of Sat. and Sun. and we had around 70 people in to view and enjoy their tea, I have heard that the other churches were equally well supported. I did not have time to attend any of the others. Last night we had a united songs of praise on the recreation park in a huge marque that we had all contributed to and it had been in use all weekend by various groups doing other celebratory things !! I have not said a lot about the celebration that went on in London itself for the Queens Jubilee as I am sure you must have seen the wonderful scenes from the Thames it was such a pity that it was so wet but that's nothing unusual for a holiday weekend !! ( we were lucky in Box as we had a lovely day Sat and only a few showers Sun)

Another exciting day although perhaps exciting may not be the right word relaxing day would be better was last Wednesday when Peter Mary and I went to the Royal Bath and West Agricultural Show. I have always for as long almost as I can remember been responsible for organizing “things” outings, holidays etc. and I have to admit enjoy doing it but Wednesday Peter took over the driving and that was the start of a great day. He knew where he was going so I was able just to sit and watch the countryside roll by, at the show ground we had organized a scooter for Mary which we picked up just at the gate..we had arranged that Peter would go his way and Mary and I ours. Having obtained the programme and a map of we set..First stop was the pigs !! then the sheep. Next my fav. The poultry especially anxious to see if there were many or indeed any Slikies bantams on show. I was pleased to see there were 5 as a child I grew up with my Farther breeding and showing Silkies and I can just imagine his disgust at the condition of these show hens..they really were quite tattie looking...It is a good job the owner was nowhere to be seen or I might have had words with im !! ( I did speak to one of judges who just nodded !!)At lunch time Peter met up with us and again he took control and we were soon tucking into filled rolls and strawberries and cream and home made lemonade..during the afternoon we again went our way and Mary and I did a bit of shopping and looking at the flower tent ( where I lost Mary more about that perhaps another time) we had left home around 8am. And arrived back home around 5.30 after a perfect day. I said to Peter that it was as good as a holiday for me not having to make any decision etc.

Now for perhaps the most exciting thing to be happening.....soon.... I am going to have a new little puppy. I know..I had vowed never again after my wee Dee died....but....a few weeks ago I started to look for an other daxi but was unfortunately unable to find one within a reasonable distance of us here, however I did find a breeder of Yorkshire Terriers who lives very near us here and so we went off to...just look at them...daft thing to do, as soon as I saw the 5 wee pups my heart was won over to a little bitch. They were only 3 weeks old and so tiny...we went back again last week and she has already grown a little and was trying to walk all over me and her wee tiny tail was wagging and she was making little m m m sounds, her Mum came up beside us ...just to make sure nothing was happening to her pup !! and so in less than two weeks now on Sunday 17th. Mary and I will be bringing home out latest edition her name is Masy (maisie) Ma = Mary sy = sybil hence masy !!

Now I really must go and get my day started. I have typed this in Office so that if it did disappear on me I would at least not have to retype !!

Remember always to Love One Another.

Monday, 14 May 2012


Hello Friends,

After another lovely day here in Box we are just having a wee shower of rain, this will help Peter as he thought he might water the potato plants tonight !!

Now I better get the last part of the cruise story down before it all becomes a distant memory !!

The island of Lanzarote certainly was different from any other I have visited in many ways and certainly in the way that they grow the vines that make the lovely Spanish wines. On our way down from the top of the Volcano (one of only about 10 on the island) we stopped at a vine yard where we were all given a glass of was very nice !! pity it was only one LOL. All around was the vine growing area which stretched up the side of a hill. The “earth” of course is volcanic and so a very dark colour almost black actually and the vines are not grown in the normal “lines” but are enclosed in quite small horse shoe shaped walls built from the volcanic rocks. There is an indent in the middle where the vine is planted and where they grow protected from the dry winds, any moisture is retained within the hollow...I have put on a picture but they are not exactly as clear as I had hoped. Anyway Lanzerote was good so good were our guides that they did not realise the time we had taken and we were supposed to be back on board our hip by was 1.30 when we rolled up !! we were rushed aboard and almost before we were on they were bringing up the gang plank !!!

Our last stop on the trip was Vigo which if you look on a map is in the top left hand of Spain. We stopped there last year. We did not organise a tour as we knew just where we were going and knew that we could get around the town fairly easily. It is only a short stroll from the ship and although once again it was not as warm as one would have expected at this time of the year in Spain it was ok for getting around. The town is actually in two parts the lower area and much higher part. To get up to the top part one can take a lift (elevator) in a shopping complex up to the 3rd. Floor and exit from there take a walk across a bridge and there you are at the top of town..once up there we were met by a Spanish band ?....well they seemed to be enjoying themselves !!! then we headed back into the shopping mall for the usual coffee...and back on board our ship....

You may be interested in some facts about the independence of the Seas..

it is 1,112ft long, 185ft wide, has 15 passenger decks,14 elevators,aprox 3,634 guests, 1,360 crew. The Alhambra Theare holds 1,320, 3 main dining rooms hold between them 1,885 guests, of cousre there are another 4 eating places a self service area that holds 774 a cafe with 74 and two smaller dining rooms as I have never been there don't know how many they hold !! so it is all in all a pretty large ship. It amazes me that especially when the sun is shining most of the areas look fairly empty !! oh I forgot there is also a British style pub and a champagne bar !!!

and so the story ends...where it started back in Southampton where Peter was waiting to bring us home.

Next time I come back I will tell you what we have been up sinse we came home which has been equally exciting !!

Love One Another .

Sunday, 13 May 2012

cruise update 2

Good evening again. What a lovely sunny day we have had here it has even been quite warm !! forecast says back to rain tomorrow !! Have made most of the day though, after church and lunch Peter and I visited a Nat. Trust property near here in the village of Lacock where they were having a “hawk” experience day...more about that sometime. But before I forget I will get on and try to get the next episode of cruise        Lol

I finished episode one just as the worst of the storm left us and the Captain decided to that we would not stop at our first scheduled Island .... Madeira...We were all rather disappointed as we had been looking forward to seeing the many spring flowers there. However as we had ..lost...7 hours sailing time it was the best way to just go on to our next stopping place which was the largest ( I think) Canary Island...Gran Canaria..We were fortunate to have been able to book wheelchair friendly transport for each island that we stopped at, as soon as the ship docked we were were I think most people, probably glad to be on tera firma after the storm !! Our coach took us first to a town called Maspolamas where we had an hour to look around, to be honest there was not a lot to see but we did have a stroll round a shopping centre, back on the coach and along pretty roads the eventually took us down and round many corners to a pretty village called Magan. I could have stayed there quite easily it was so pretty, the houses all led down to a small harbour full of yachts etc.the streets were all narrow lined with white and pink painted houses festooned in beautiful flowers the bougainvillea was particularly gorgeous. We managed to have a bite to eat in a little cafe in a square whilst being serenaded by a lady playing pan pipes..just perfect..All to soon it was back on the coach and back to the ship. Our next stop was the island of Tenerife, Our coach took us high up into the Canadas national Park it has a rather bleak barren volcanic rocky terrain. We stopped for coffee one point and the ..rain came down !! we were informed that it had only rained twice this winter!! this was the second time, Thankfully our driver drove on to another very nice cafe where we were served lovely coffee and biscuits...and even better, was that the owner would not take any money from us !!

Next day found us at Lanzarote. This island is different from the other canary Islands, in fact different from anywhere on the planet. It has an unusually striking appearance, often descibed as Lunar or Martian like. The landscape the result of the islands volcanic origins.As the climate is very dry and there is little erosion the terrain looks much as it did right after the last major eruptions in the 18th and 19th centuries.We really enjoyed this island and found it fascinating..we were driven into the Timanfaya National Park and when we reached nearly the top we stopped at a restaurant for coffee and were able to see just how close the the surface the volcano still is as it was only about 2 feet down the we were able to gaze in wonder at the still hot lava...A guide gave us a handful of gravel like stones and they were to hot to hold in ones hand I had to throw them from hand to hand till cool enough...this after the last eruption in I think she said 1802 or thereabouts. On our way back down it was great to be able to take photo's of the lava flow etc. and near the bottom to stop at a vineyard, where we were given a lovely of wine !! I will leave to next time the description of how the vines are grown quite unique to Lanzerote.
So there we are part two...I will try to get the final part written tomorrow!!
God bless  and remember to

Saturday, 12 May 2012

cruise part 1

Good Evening Friends.

How are you all, it seems an age since I was last here giving you any news but time just seems to fly when you are having fun...and fun I sure have had these past three weeks or so. As you know it was cruise time for Sybil and Mary again and so on Sunday 22nd. April we were whisked down to Southampton, Peter driving us down in my car ( it is easiest using ,my car to transport the wheelchair) Soon we were aboard the independence of the Seas. The same cruise ship that we were on last Sept. It was great to be aboard and knowing where everything was, made it all the easier to get around. Our cabin was not quite ready so we made our way to one of the cafe's and had some lunch before making our way to the 10th “floor” where our cabin was, it was identical to the one we had last time but one level up. Before we left port we had the mandatory safety drill, was it my imagination or were there many more attending the drill....maybe the grounding of the cruise ship recently had something to do with it !!

6pm was dinner where we met 4 very nice table companions an elderly couple (who came from Trowbridge a village only about 7 miles from us here in Box) and two ladies from near Manchester. After dinner we went along to the theatre for a Welcome Aboard Showtime, it was very good and from there it was, for Mary and me, bed time!! ( I have to say that it would appear that the ship wakes up after about 10.30pm but that is not for me !!!)

Mon. dawned nice and sunny but a bit breezy...The Captain's voice then came over the tannoy welcoming us aboard for the second time ! And to inform us that we were going to hit some stormy weather going through the Bay of Biscay and that there were anti sickness pills available for anyone who might need them ...mmmmmmmm.....Mary and I decided we would be ok, probably woudn't be too bad anyway..famous last the day went on the seas did get a bit rougher and by mid afternoon the Captain once more informed us that he was locking all the outer doors as a preventive measure as he didn't want anyone swept overboard....laughs galore !! by now the people wandering around seemed to drift away ( to their beds/cabins? Perhaps ?) Mary and I found our fav. Cafe on the promanade and a front seat so that we could watch the antics of various people as they tried to stay upright...then we heard crashing sounds as glasses went flying from a table nearby, next the shops closed as the wine and spirt bottles were in danger of flying through the air etc etc etc... At dinner that night we were two down as our friends from Manchester were in their cabin ! I wonder why ? I admit that mary and I did have an earlier night than usual that night....well there was not a lot going on. The storm grew ever wilder, we had a TV in our cabin where we could watch the forecast and see the wind speeds etc. also the ships speed which had dropped from aprox 19 knots to 7knots. I have to say that both Mary and I found it all quite exciting especially later when the Captain informed us that at one point the wind had reached hurricane speed, and it had been the worst spring storm he had ever had in the Bay...just think we survived it all.    If you are interested, Mary, when the ship started to roll a bit just stood stock still and anchored her two crutches and feet as firmly as she could and waited till it leveled out again...only a couple of time she found herself grabbing the wall !! Because of the delay in getting through the storm we were unable to visit the island of Maderia which was a pity as I especially would have liked to see the spring flowers that it is famous for at this time of the year.

This has gone on long episode  tomorrow.

Good night God Bless.....
.Love One Another

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Tonight rather than tell you what we have been up to this past week.....not a lot !!....I thought I woudl tell you the story about a famous wee dog that everyone in and around Edinburgh seems to know.  He was certainly my favourite dog when I was young and we did not have a "real" dog.    This dogs name is
Grayfriars Bobby,  He belonged to a policeman in Edinburgh called John Gray and this is what happened to him once his owner John Gray died.

John Gray's faithful dog Bobby mourned his master for 14 years, until his own death in 1872.
James Brown the keeper and gardener of the burial ground remembered John Gray's funeral and he said the Skye terrier was one of the most conspicuous of the mourners.
The grave was closed and the next morning James Brown the curator found the Skye terrier lying on the newly made mound of earth. Old James could not permit this, for there was an order at the gate stating that dogs were not admitted into the Kirkyard. Accordingly...Bobby was driven out.

Next morning the same thing happened again, Bobby was lying on the grave. The third morning was wet and cold; James Brown took pity on the faithful animal and gave him some food.
Bobby made the Kirkyard his home. Often in very bad weather, attempts were made to encourage him indoors, but he was not having any of that.

At almost any time during the day, he would be seen in or around the Kirkyard. He had made many friends.
A weekly treat of steak given by Sergeant Scott of the Royal Engineers from Edinburgh Castle. Punctually at the sound of the One O'clock time gun, Bobby would appear at the Coffee House for his dinner.

The stone where Bobby sheltered had been there for many years. The higher one was put up in the year of the battle of Waterloo to commemorate a woman called Jean Grant and it is inscribed with a text from the Bible - which may well equally apply to Bobby. ‘With such sacrifice God is well pleased.

There is a lovely bronze statue of Bobby near the churchyard throughtout the many many yeras he has sat there thousands of children and adults have stopped to give him a pat....including me !!

I hadn't thought if Bobby for a long time until a photograph appeared in an Edinburgh Paper the other week and it is this  that I will put at the top of this entry.

As Bobby loved his master all his life may you also be able to

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

missing days...

Oh my goodness I have never been away from my blog for quite so long...I am sorry if you have missed me...Mind you I sometimes wonder if I write this to a few friends and invisible number of folks  and wonder if I should keep it up...But then I get the odd e.mail asking if all is well  and that....well...starts me off again  LOL
So here goes... March has been an up and down  month.  My sister Margaret was in hospital and I spent most days going back and forth into Bath.  However I have also been renewing friendships with friends who I am in contact with only occasionally. Early in the month my friend Margaret and her friend Clive (who I had not met) came down to Bath for a few days and so we all met up for a coffee which soon extended to a late lunch after a wonderful walk..or in my case a trundle...along the Kennet and Avon Canal that runs by a very old Inn called the George where we had had our coffee..and then lunch. As it was at least 10 years since we met you can imagine the chat and news we had to exchange. Poor Clive...mind you he could chat as well and he and Mary got on well whilst Margaret and I chatted away...It was a lovely early spring day and some of the canal boat owners were busy getting their boats ready for the season so there was quite a lot of activity going on.     A little later in the month Julie (an adopted sister really more than a friend) arrived to spend the weekend. It is always lovely when she is here.  As Margaret was still in hospital Julie joined me in visiting her so that was nice and we also had dinner out at the George..again...on the Sunday we met up with Beth and Max at Dyrham Park and had a lovely walk in the early spring gardens and a nice lunch in the National Trust Cafe...all to soon it was time for Julie to leave us once again and catch the train back to London....
Thankfully around the 13th of the month Margaret got home and although she is still very weak we are glad she is home and we have been able to get carers to come in 4 days a week and with Barbara my niece and I filling in the other days she will hopefully gain some strength....
You may remember that last year I was really lucky getting some new dresses....Well this morning when Helen came to do Mary's feet what did she bring ?   you guessed...another dress !  it is a real beauty a lovely burnt amber colour in pure shot silk (the materiel is over 50 years old and was bought in Singapore apparently !!) it fits beautifully. I am so lucky...I will hopefully have a photo taken wearing it soon....probably on the cruise...and will let you all see it, I do know though that no photograph will do it justice....
The last 10 days of the month we have had the most amazing weather certainly borrowed days from summer I think we will have to remind ourselves when we we will...when we get wet days in July !! Mary and I have been able to sit out most days in between doing our usual daily things !!we have visited a couple of Nat. Trust gardens, and it is so nice to see the blossom on the trees etc etc Our fav, garden The Courts is very near us and I plan to TRY to remember to take a photograph from the same spot each time we go to show the changes in the year... TODAY though we had a bit of a fright !! winter has returned....cold wind and frosty morning. in Aberdeenshire there is a small that last week had the highest recorded temps for any March on record around 80deg I think....this morning they had 6ins. of snow !!!  I don't think we will have snow here but certainly a few really cold from nice cotton dresses back to jeans and jumpers !!
Well friends please once again forgive me for my absence but remember that I appreciate you all
never forget to       LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

I hope that this finds you all well and happy.  It has been a lovely few days here weatherwise with above normal temps. We really have been so lucky this past winter it has been the mildest for a number of years. The only complaint is from water boards as there has been so little rain that it is feared that come summer they will be forced to bring in water restrictions, I think wessex water who provide our water has said that our area is not one that is in a critical situation but one can never tell.
Last week Mary and I seemed to be making good use of each and every day. Mondays as always we have Pam my friend over and then we all go to guild our speaker last week was explaining all about submerines ! not somthing I thought would be very interesting but it turned out to be better than I expected...Tuesday as we did not have bible study ( it being school mid term holiday and our minster tries to have the holiday with her son)  we went to a place called Radstock. I had read that the museum there was having a display of over 200 patchwork quilts..normally it is about a 40 min drive to Radstock...however we hit road works and it took us over an hour to get  there....never mind...lets get parked I said ,and we can have coffee before we start in the cafe, ( I had read up all about the museum!!) we got to the door and I response..Mary had a go...same... now sensible people would have checked the opening time !! as you know by now I can occasionally LOL be not very sensible....the place did not open till 2.30pm we were there banging on the doors at mid day !! Now I do not really know Radstock very well at all so did not know where we could go so decided just to continue on the road that we had parked in hopeing to perhaps find somewhere....after about 1/2 mile Mary remarked that the road was getting a bit rough..I said worries it's a back road...and drove on...another 1/2 mile on...and we came to a dead end !!! it certainly was not the best trip ever !!!  but we plan to go again hopefully one day this coming the afternoon this time LOL............  Thurs. found us up bright and early as we were going into Bath to see a recording of one of our fav. TV shows called "Flog It" people bring their antiques etc to be valued and if interestng will be filmed for the show...Peter took a day of work to take Mary and we had to be there real early Mitch my BIL said if we parked by the house he would take us down town in his car as there was very little parking around the Assembley Rooms in Bath...This all went smoothly and we had a lovely few hours. I had taken a few limited edition paper weights to be valued but as they are comparativly new they were not of much value ! the autograph of Princess Diana that she signed in our visitors book when she visited Mum and I would have been more valuable if it had been on a page on it's own  (when we asked her to sign we said it would be in the visitors book amongs others) it might bring £30 if I had wanted to sell...which I didn't.  Peter took some old 78 records only one was of any value and that was an Elvis one which might get £70. !! but as we hadn't gone to really have valuations it was just nice to watch how the programme was made...another enjoyable day...
Sunday I had a day of rest  so to speak and did not go to church !  We had arranged to go to Bristol.  Mary Peter and I to see the of Wildlife of the Year Photographic exhibition.  I won't drive in Bristol so Peter was the volounteer !!!  we met Beth and Max there and we all agreed that it was a great exhibition there were about 100 pictures taken by all sorts of people down to ages 10 !!  Afterwards Beth and Max took us out to a very nice pub for lunch....another lovely day..
This past week Mary and I were at the theatre in Bath again, this week to see the play The Kings Speech..The production was a coup for Bath as it is one of only 5 places before it goes on to take London West End by storm. after that it heads for Broadway... It is certainly one of the top must see plays of the year. I hope that perhaps you have seen the film and but please if you ever get the chance to see the stage version do go . It is wonderful and there was a standing ovation at the end...
Just before I came on here tonight I was looking at an article on the web site of the National Trust they were descibing some names of places for a walk and they struck me as so funny I thought that I should share them with you to give you a laugh as well....... so get your walking boots on and we can stroll through
Scrubby Bottoms  in Wales,   Booby's Bay in Cornwall,  Windy Gap in Surrey, Slappers Rock in Cornwall, Kiss me Arse Steps again in Cornwall.  Scratch Arse Ware in dorset,  Cock up Bridge in Cambridge   Pisser Clough in Yorkshire and our last one will take us over to the Isle of Wight where we stroll along
The Nostrals  !!!!
Good Night Friends and remember always  to LOVE ONE ANOTHER....

Friday, 10 February 2012

Africa revisited...

I am glad that you enjoyed the trip to the Game reserve when we were in South Africa.   Mary and I do enjoy South Africa very much and another holiday we had was one when we stayed in Cape Town. This really is a lovely city which is dominated by the famous Table Mountain, take the cable car to the top,  where there are stunning 360degree views across Table Bay, the Cape Flats and back across the chain of mountains making up Table Mountain. We then descended and drove through city, the tour guide pointing sites of historical and architectural significance, including the oldest building in South Africa, built in 1666, the Castle of Good Hope. We then continue to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens which are famous for winning flower shows around the world. These gardens are especially lovely and they also had a very good place to eat....most important !!.... as usual there was a very tempting shop as well  !
Later we head down to Hout Bay for a boat trip to view Cape Fur seals on Duiker Island. The seals I must say are a rather smelly bunch !!  we had an opportunity to visit Robin Island where Nelson Mandela was help prisoner for so many years but we decided to give that a miss.

No visit to Cape Town is complete without a visit to the Cape of Good Hope Reserve down the Peninsula, which the famous navigator Drake said it was "the most beautiful Cape in whole circumference of the world", stopping at the Penguin colony in False Bay and also at Cape Point in the reserve, where we take a funicular ride to the Old Lighthouse, built in 1860. We return via the famous Chapman's Peak Drive,  which curves around the edge of the mountain carved out where granite and sandstone meet. This is a breathtaking experience of mountain and sea-scape's. There are many wild goats, sheep etc in the reserve as well as the baboons...they are a real pest if anyone gives them half a chance they are off with your handbag, wallet, whatever ...I did not stop long enough to be accosted by them !!!.

Another day a visit to the winelands area of Stellenbosch which is synonymous with South African wine industry, was on our "to do list"   Franschhoek and Paarl were the first two areas we stopped at for a wine taste then it was on to. Stellenbosch it houses the largest Uni. in the Cape being the second area to be established after Cape Town, back in 1679. It has saved most of its original architecture and we visit the Period House museum with antiques of each period and style of house dating from 1690 - 1850's. We stopped again for wine tastings as well in each town/village... It was a VERY MERRY trip !!! 

So there you have it two different views of South Africa...

We have had a good week here in Box. The snow came last weekend and although it kept us in over the weekend by Monday it had all gone and my pal Pam was able to get over for her usual weekly visit. and in the afternoon we had our Wesley Guild meeting and despite the cold we had a good many members turn up. This week we had an elderly couple come to give us an update on charity work that their daughter does on the small island of Dominica (not to be confused with the other Dominica the large island in the Caribbean)
with the help of some of our guild members and many more people they are able to send much needed things over there by ship. The gueest Banana boat company have been very good at transporting things for us for many years now..
Wednesday Mary and I went into Bath to the theatre we had vouchers and money gifts at Xmas and we used them to book a few shows. This week it was  The Calender Girls...perhaps my US friends might not know of the Calender Girls they were a group of ladies belonging to an organisation called The Woman's Institute who had to think up ways of raising money for charity,,,they came up with the ...for them...shocking idea of doing a nude calender. Of course it had to be all done with the utmost discretion...and despite a great deal of opposition they did it.  Having written that down it gives no real clue to the hilarious play that it was, the acting was wonderful I had tears running down my cheeks with laughter !!!  (The actual Calender Girls has been made into a film as well as the stage play if you ever get the chance to see it please do)
Now this morning we awoke to another fall of snow, again it is not lying to thickly indeed by this afternoon it has almost gone and certainly the roads are clear, our only fear now is if we get the hard frost forecast any wet on the roads will freeze so it will be icy in the morning.  We will wait and see...
So there we are friends another glance at what Mary and I get up to both here and abroad !!
Remember  to  LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

New Year, old Holiday thoughts..

Hello Friends,
I am so sorry to have kept you all so long awaiting news from this end.  Thank you for the various e mails asking that all was well.    It has been  it just seems that 2012 has already started to rush along at breakneck speed.  Perhaps also I should blame FB.  I just knew I should never have become involved with it....( I soon may not as there are things going on that I do not like...we will see)  Then I began to think about what I could actually write and tell you that might be new and fresh for a fresh new year and my old brain was blank..I could say my excuse is down to being another year older !!  Mary and I have had quite a few meals out with various friends celebrating said birthday...nothing new about that... I have been visiting my sister MMargaret who unfortunetly is still very very poorly...nothing new about that...then tonight I have been tryng to clear out some documents etc. and started to read some of the diaries I have kept from our various holidays and thought....well that might be "new news" to some of my friends so that is what I am going to do so you can stop right here if you now know that I am alive and kicking...or you can read on about the first day of a holiday in South Africa...

After landing in South Africa there followed a 3 hour coach drive up to Bushlands Lodge Game Reserve, where the first 5 nights of our holiday was spent. We were a great group only 8 of us and we all got on so well. We were all very like-minded and so that was a bonus. Bushlands Lodge was WONDERFUL It is centrally situated in Zululand and surrounded by over 300,000 acres of national park that is rich in wildlife. It had it's own viewing hide close to a waterhole where we could go at any time The comfortable wooden lodges are set on stilts and connected by elevated walkways above a sand forest .This was the only thing that had worried me about the holiday as I hadn't a clue as to how the wheelchair could be got "up there" !!  Never fear Saga here..the walkway leading to our room instead of being up steps was actually ramped the first little bit was on the steep side but only for a yard or so and I hopped out of the chair and then jumped in again and drove it up the rest of the way. I can't adequately describe Bushlands it was in such a wonderful spot. We were surrounded by bush..lots of monkeys, deer, other animals to many to mention. We had only a short walk/trundle to the restaurant and the bar.  The Chef prepared succulent meals every day, the bar GREAT...prices fantastic a martini and lemonade for £1  !!   The bar was further enhanced when the fire was lit beneath the starry sky and drinks were served by the boma (bonfire)

On the way up from Durban Charmaine our young guide (who was lovely nothing was ever any trouble to her) had said she had good news and bad news for us...we asked for the good news first  she said our first Safari had been organised for next day...GREAT WE ALL SAID...bad news...we had to start at 5.30AM !!!!  we all groaned and she said..... well...we could make it 5.45am !!  we voted for the 5.45am start !!  We slept like logs that first night but all were up and ready for our early safari. We met our guide a great guy called Anton. He insisted that Mary got in the front up by him ( it was easier for her to get in the jeep that way) I was right behind, higher up and all the others were behind me, we all had a side took aprox. 35mins. to arrive at the Hluhuwe National Park....there the fun started. Anton had told us that sometimes nothing is seen other times a few animals all depended so we were not to be too disappointed if we didn't see much.   We were in the park about 5mins and turned a corner and we were confronted by a whole herd of GIRAFFE  (Mary's fav.) and ZEBRA (my fav.) words cannot describe the feelings at being so near to these magnificent creatures it was AWESOME as you can imagine the camera was hard at work..oh I do hope I can share some of them with you...after a wee while we went on and passed many many animals deer of all sorts/ I am afraid I will never remember which was which !! buffalo's Eland, Duiker, Impala, kudu and Nyala then around another corner...and...What should be right in front of us.... a HUGE bull elephant.  He got quite a we did...started taking photo's at once the suddenly this big beast started to swing his trunk wave his ears and paw the ground...our driver Anton very quickly got into reverse and we reversed back round the corner by which time the elephant had started to walk rather quickly towards us !!! he rounded the corner..Anton reversed again...the Whew...old Nellie, or maybe as it was a male he should be called old Bill !!! decided we were not a threat and he shook his trunk at us, turned into the bush grabbing a branch on his way and disappeared into the an animal that size can disappear so quickly is a mystery.  but disappear he did.    Shortly afterwards Anton stopped and served us all tea/coffee and biscuits  before we eventually after about 3 hours  returned back to the lodge for breakfast.  What a start to the holiday... The food at the lodge was wonderful, well cooked, plain and plentiful. At breakfast we could help ourselves to all kinds of juices, cereals, yogurt (best we have ever tasted!) the waiters produced whatever cooked food we might want. Even cheese sausages !! yes cheese sausages we just had to try them they were ok. but a bit on the salty side as indeed was the ordinary sausages, eggs of any description, bacon etc. etc.  plenty tea/coffee.    It was a very lazy breakfast no hurry so it was almost lunch time by the time we were finished !!  the afternoon was spent unpacking and getting our breath back. Mary and I had a wander along the walkways to get the lay of the land, and arrived at the viewing hide. As it was mid afternoon there wasn't much to be seen. It is best there early morning or evening.   We had all arranged to meet up in the bar at 6.45.  Again it was easy for us to get there it was just behind the restaurant really and to get there we crossed an open area where the Boma (bonfire) was lit under the starry skies, it had the most wonderful atmosphere...and smoke !! (by the end of our 5 days visiting the bar! we were almost pickled !! by SMOKE !!!!)  The drinks were great and so cheap it was almost ridicules only a £1 for Martini and fact all the drinks I think were £1 and the glasses of wine were huge..No fiddling about with measures in that bar.  When our dinner was ready we all trooped round and first three of nights sat outside (4th 5th nights the Germans arrived and grabbed OUR table !!!)  Dinner was again delicious at least 4/ 5 starters, Then as many different kinds of salads as you could imagine. Also every night there was a roast, beef, pork, ham, chicken, with all the hot vegetables.  We never managed to get to the puds. but the others did and said they were great again a huge variety.  So we certainly never went hungry.    After dinner some of our party went back to the bar and watched the TV there as the rugby matches were on. We usually didn't. As we were actually quite tired by that time. So strolled back to our cabin surrounded by all the sounds of the bush. During the night we could hear squabbling monkeys sometimes !! And the sound of the bullfrogs went on and on. Thankfully I am a bit deaf so didn't bother me...occasionally Mary threatened to do them an mischief .....
So there you are something different to read as a start to my new year....
Again thank you for your letters, e cards phone calls, etc.  You are all the bestest friends one could ask for and I thank God for you all each and every night.
Remember to thank God for your friends as well and to tell them that YOU LOVE THEM