Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bonfire Night

Doom Hamster and I took the little ones to see the public display of fireworks at the beach on Bonfire Night, whilst DH stayed home to keep the Dog of Doom company, as he really doesn't like the noise of fireworks.

As usual, I forgot my camera in the rush to get there on time, but I did have my Blackberry which DD2 very kindly gave me when she bought her brand new iPhone, so I was able to take a few pictures with that....

                                We stood on the beach, as the tide was out, and had a great view.

What wasn't so great was the behaviour of a  large number of people in their teens and early twenties, whose language was obscene and their  general demeanour appalling; it was not nice for those of us with young children, and for the elderly folk, to have to listen to such vile language and constant sexual references.

It might have been better if part of the viewing area had been designated for families only , which would then have solved the problem to a large extent. It wasn't just me objecting to having my children exposed to this, there were quite a few other parents expressing their dismay and concern......we quickly decamped onto the beach, where the general behaviour was much better.

We stopped off at the fish and chip shop on the way home, which was also fun :-)
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It's A Dog's Life....

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Fiction Fun

Some of the work I have been doing for NaNoWriMo 2011 is now up on my writing blog:


Feedback will be welcomed :-)
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Recently Read

I did enjoy A Thousand Days in Venice  a great deal; it gives a very different picture from the normal rose-tinted view many people have of Venice, but still an affectionate and loving account of starting a new life in this wonderful city.

I so loved Katherine Swift's first book and was thrilled to find that she had published a second book about the garden she created at Morville. This volume is profusely illustrated in colour. Well worth getting the hardback edition if you can !

I disliked this book. I disliked the arrogance and foolishness of the couple concerned, their disdain for the French way of doing things and their expectation that the guests who were paying good money to stay at the Chateau should just have to put up with the chaos of extensive renovations and often malfunctioning amenities around them without complaint. My 2 cents worth, at any rate.
 I was glad I borrowed this from the library.

A good read if you like SAS fiction - which I do :-)

I have a great fondness for the writings of Lady Winifred Fortescue, capturing the Provencal way of life between the two World Wars, and this was a welcome addition to my collection. Perhaps not her best book, but enjoyable, nonetheless.

Fascinating, poignant and heartbreaking. It was good to read a factual account of one group of soldiers' experience of war in this troubled land.

I don't really know what to say about this book. It made for fascinating, if at times rather irritating reading but provided an insight into the British education system which was all too woefully familiar to me. It purports to be an absolutely true account of her time teaching, but has been criticised for being far too fictionalised. Borrow it, don't buy it.....

I waited a long time for this to be released, and read it twice in quick succession.
 It is a much better book than some of his more recent offerings, but there is still a very dark undercurrent running through it at times. There is much "laugh out loud" humour, and it is a delight to get a glimpse into the lives of Sir Samuel and Lady Sybil's life together, especially as young Sam is growing up to be a delightful hybrid of his parents' characteristics. Wherever Sir Samuel goes, he discovers crime, and this book is no exception to the rule.
Great fun, and I did love it.

It was interesting to see how socialist and  atheistic Winifred Foley's book detailing her life during the last century was. Quite how characteristic this was of the areas in London where she lived, and then back in her beloved Forest of Dean area, I really cannot say without doing further research, but the poverty and deprivation was really quite staggering. Despite her disdain for God, it is interesting the number of times she sees fit to drag Him into the conversation.....

Mallowan's Memoirs was a truly fascinating account of the travels and experiuences Sir Max Mallowan had as an archaeologist in the Middle East, particularly when he took his wife, Agatha Christie, with him on so many of his "digs". A little technical in places, but really interesting for those who like history.
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Sunday, November 20, 2011

On The Go !

DH has sorted out my Blackberry issues and this message is being
brought to you by phone. :-)
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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Baby Bertie :-)

Can't resist the pom-poms !

Sleepy Bertie

And it's been hard work, having to put up with all the love and attention of the whole family.........

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I am still alive, honestly !
Real life has been both very hectic and very difficult for the last month, and I have been struggling to cope or to  motivate myself to do anything more than the absolute essentials.

Mum - well, she continues to get worse, day by day. It is heartbreaking to sit with her, heartbreaking to hear her struggle to have a meaningful conversation. She has started to develop some pressure areas as she has now been bedbound since August. Fortunately the lovely district nurses quickly arranged for her to have an electric air-flow mattress fitted onto her hospital-type bed, which seems to be making a big difference to the pressure areas and providing Mum with much more comfort.

Last week, Mum manage to wedge her arm through the cot-side bars fitted to the bed at some point during the night; her carers arrived just before I did , disentangled her and showed me the very marked areas of bruising which resulted. I contacted the GP and the district nurse, who came up, dressed the wound and immediately ordered padded cot sides to attach to the cot-side rails to prevent that happening again.

My Mum's favourite cousin, my Uncle Bob, passed away unexpectedly in his sleep last week. It was a blessing in some ways as he had  a peaceful end in his own home with no pain, despite his cancer. Breaking that news to Mum was dreadful, and she was absolutely distraught.........
Bob's body will be received into the local Anglican church on Sunday afternoon, in readiness for the funeral service on Monday afternoon and I will be going to both services.
On Friday I attended the funeral of one of the oldest members of our Latin class, Meinwen. She was a bubbly, outgoing, feisty, fiercely independent and extremely intelligent lady, who will be very greatly missed by her friends as well as her loving family. Her funeral was held in a local Welsh-speaking chapel, and was one of the most spiritually profound and nourishing funerals which I have ever attended outside an Orthodox church. It was a privilege to be there.
Memory eternal.....

DH  has been given notice that his job contract will definitely be ending at the end of December this year, which is causing much stress.

On a happier note, DD2 has bought a darling little pug puppy named Bertie. He is coming down to visit us today - and DD2 and RobRob will be visiting too, of course - so hopefully I will have photos to post over the weekend !

My act of escapism from Real Life at the moment is the fact that I am taking part in NaNoWriMo for the third year running. The widget on the blog page which says 2011 is actually reflecting the current word count for this year; I just haven't got round to changing it yet , LOL.

Although I haven't been blogging much, be assured that you are all very much in my thoughts and prayers, and I thank God daily for the privilege and blessing of knowing you !

I will try to blog a bit more regularly from now on, even if it is only a few lines at a time.......
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