Thursday, 20 October 2016

Today was the funeral.

I am so proud of my cousins and my children. Not one of them was afraid to cry. This man has been a shining star in all our lives so it was hard to have to let go of him.

His brother wrote a poem about the two of them that softened everyone up and then the music while the curtains closed around his coffin made sure that everyone wept.

Even the UPS driver that collects the parcels they send out for their business was there.

I salute you Lord Admiral, you are locked in my memory forever.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Me on Monday - Kitchen designer

See all this kitchen? well it will soon be gone. We spent four hours on Saturday with the help of a marvellous designer-man called Babek putting together my nearly dream kitchen. Everyone who has listened to me knows that my dream kitchen is all stainless steel with catering range appliances and a floor that slopes slightly to a drain so it can be hosed down with a pressure hose.

Because I am 70 and not likely to need that standard of appliance unless I have a full time cook in my future I am having the other dream - an Edwardian style, arsenic green kitchen that has only two cupboards as all the rest of the units are drawers.

My knees are reluctant to bend too far now AND kneeling is out of the question so if I need something from the back of a cupboard I have to text Miss Boo to come up to our house and get it for me. She doesn't need that responsibility at age 11 and usually I need something after she has gone to school or bed. So all drawers. The larder will be two pull out shelf units. The colour is called sage these days but is the same as the victorian kitchens had and in those days the pigment used was arsenic - I know, it's a wonder the human race survived eh?

We are keeping our sink because we like it, we are keeping our microwave because we like it the dishwasher could have been kept right up to the moment its on/off button fell inside the door and the compartment that holds the tablet refused to shut. The fridge will be replaced by a fridge freezer and I will have an oven that I don't have to bend down to see in and it has what they call a slide and hide door! apparently this is what they use on on Bakeoff. As I don't watch it I can only pass on what Mr M says.

OH, oh talking of my best beloved, he is now saying that out of the whole kitchen he only chose the wine cooler - you remember that we don't drink, right? Yes he did choose the wine cooler. He also made a lot of other positive contributions to the layout, but a wine cooler for a non drinker?

"Well," he said, "I can keep my bottles of pop and water in there and that takes them out of the fridge"

And he's right. At least a quarter of the fridge is taken up with bottles of water and cans and bottles of pop and squash so I think he is brilliant!

Lady Bluefunnel is coping. I am hoping that when she pauses for breath I will be able to support her but I realise that she has to do things in her own time. I just want to help where I can. Funeral this week

My thanks to Sian at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this meme and drawing me back every week to keep writing

Monday, 10 October 2016

Me on Monday - still reeling

It's been a shocking week. The Lord Admiral Bluefunnel died on Thursday. A bloodclot took him from us and left us all with a huge hole in our lives.

He was my cousin and he was the closest I had to a brother, me being an only child. We went on holiday together, My Dad sold us castles for threepence - we jointly owned Cardiff Castle because it was big. We shared a tent and I was sick in his wellies and now he has gone.

We had dinner with them on the previous Sunday and we laughed so much. I will carry that image in my mind forever.

My thanks to Sian for inventing this meme and keeping me writing.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Memorandum Monday - back from the Northern hills

The Tyne Bridge in the heart of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Roman road, no! really! Roman road
 We went to Northumberland for my birthday treat.
"Where do you want to go" asked Mr M after saying no to Ireland because I wasn't definite about exactly where to go.
"OOH I said, what about Morcambe, I would love to see the sculpture of Eric Morcambe that's there."
"Hmmmm," he said, clicking the mouse and staring at maps and stuff.
Several hours later he turned and said "We are booked into a log cabin in the same place we went to before."
"In Morcambe? We've never been to Morcambe before" There was a momentary silence and then he said
"AH, I got a bit side tracked, we are going to Northumberland now."
Oh that's great," I said, "We can go to Alnwick Castle and back to Cragside." Suddenly I was excited and really eager to be there.
The Satnav lady got a bit stroppy with us because we kept ignoring her advice. She never once shouted at us but you could hear the frustration in her voice when she told us to "take the second exit in this roundabout" and we took the first one because we were stopping for a loo break.
Top o' the world, Ma - ooh hidden dips!
We had a lovely time. We went to Wallington on my actual birthday. Fabulous house and lovely people there.
because we were in that bit of country between Hadrian's Wall and the Antonine Wall there were lots of very straight roads and lots of hidden dips where the road ahead looked totally flat and straight but suddenly a car pops out of the ground.
I discovered that even though the satnav lady is very nice I like my book of maps and I feel kind of lost without it. I like following the roads across the pages and telling Mr M what number road he has to look for and what the name of the town is likely to be. I am a good Nagavator (as my cousin once called me)

The obligatory hat picture - actually I took three because
there were three different hats

We went to Cragside again. The first private house to be lit with electricity in this country. Mr M posed for the now compulsory hat pictures. It is such a fabulous house and they have a minibus for those of us who can no longer walk far. The restaurant was lovely and we spent ages in the shop. I got my National Trust passport stamped so I have nearly completed my second one.  So that's me on Monday. Back to the routine, well not really because I still have plumbers needing to come back and ... plumb and then I shall nee to get someone to do the floor and then I shall prepare for disruption with my plans for the stairs to the cellar................. more of that anon

My thanks to Sian at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this meme and keeping me writing.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Me on Monday - Still aching

It has been a plubers on Friday, Dragondaze on Saturday and ache all day Sunday kind of a weekend. There are tiles on that wall now but I forgot the camera and my legs wouldn't do the stairs twice in ten minutes. The rest of the walls will be painted a lovely duck-egg blue/green and it will look lovely when it's finished - honest. Getting there is just so awful.
We have plumbers putting in a shower instead of a bath
*sigh* so stressful
 Saturday was the annual Games, War Games, Role Playing and board games , and comic convention known as Dragondaze. The first one was held 32 years ago and I was involved in writing the competition and organising the event. It was held through the 1980s and into the 1990s and then real life interfered and people who were involved had kids, got jobs that required lots of time and it kind of hibernated until 2014 when a friend came to me and asked if he could use the name for a charity event he was planning. We talk and it was so exciting I got involved. Here we are three years later raising thousands for Barnardo's and a local children's charity and already talking about next year.
Dragondaze, the annual games and wargames and comics convention
 It was a long day and the Murder Mystery game I hoped to run didn't happen because not enough people signed up. Disappointing but not that upsetting as Mr M didn't feel too good and I felt so tired and stressed from plumbers.
Sunday we went out for breakfast and to do the shopping. We had breakfast in the HUngry Horse and then decided to go for a little ride. Mr M likes to drive. It is his hobby. Not driving fast, not driving big cars. Just driving and stopping at small cafes or garden centres for a cuppa and a Loo break.
We ended up at Clive's Fruit Farm. Not saying much because we are taking the Bluefunnels there soon -ish and I want them to be excited about it.
Clive's Fruit Farm where this hadnsome chap was putting
on the style
Came home about 5pm after stopping for dinner at Labels, Ross on Wye and I settled into my chair to crochet another flower - photograph when I get them right.

My thanks once again to Sian for inventing this meme and keeping me writing.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Me on Monday - The icing on the cake

You all know that I have been researching my ancestors for nearly thirty years, yes? You know I have "actors" in the line-up and that those actors had children, travelled all over the world and could tell lies to gold medal standard.


On Saturday Mr M and I went to the home of a fellow researcher as she was going to help me look through the British Library Archives for any newspaper reviews of my actors when they were in South Africa. We found several good things and duly saved them to a memory stick for me to transcribe later. She also found information about a totally different branch of my tree and I saved that too.
Mr M was with her husband and deeply engrossed in model railway stuff when we finally peeled ourselves away from the computer. We said our thank yous and goodbyes and headed off for a quick lunch.
My friend didn't stop looking. She kept putting the names I told her into various search engines and sending me the results! Now I have images of the application of my great-aunt to follow her husband to the USA in 1918. It even has a picture of her with their first-born son. Apart from being able to see what she looked like when she was 22 it has also confirmed that this is a picture of her in later life. This really is the icing on my family cake.
Also this weekend I have had an article accepted for an online magazine (genealogy based of course) and a request for more. That made me feel good.
We have sold the tent, finally admitting openly that we will never be able to go camping anymore. Not with his knees and my back. We could easily get into/onto the airbed at night but would need a crane to get us off the floor in the morning.
The last thing we arranged this weekend was for the plumber to come this week to fix a few small things and to remove the bath and put in a new shower upstairs. Now that will be new!

My thanks to Sian at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this here meme and keeping me writing

Monday, 5 September 2016

Memorandum Monday - Down Memory Lane

 It started with a phone call on Friday evening. "What are you doing tomorrow?" asked the Lord Admiral, "Not a lot" I replied. Lady B's voice came down the line "You are now, we'll pick you up at 8 o'clock."

And they did.

The sky was grey and threatening rain but that didn't matter.
"We are going to Swansea," said the Admiral as he put the postcode into the satnav. "We have never really done Swansea before, we keep saying we'll go and then putting it off so we thought if we asked you to come we would have to go."

The rain began as we passed Cardiff and by the time we had reached our first destination and driven around the block three times to find a parking space it was coming down in stair-rods! We got soaked crossing the road but the Uplands Diner was welcoming and their breakfast looked and tasted delicious. I pick up my camera and they all hide their faces - fed up with the fearless photographer snapping them.

We then moved on to the Cathedral of St Joseph which was really lovely. The Parish Priest, Father Dominic, greeted us together with two sisters from the same order as Mother Teresa. They were putting up pictures in the entrance to the cathedral and explained that on Sunday Mother Teresa would be made a saint and as St Joseph's Cathedral was the last place she visited when she came to the UK they would be celebrating a Mass for the event on Monday. Lady B and I agreed that we thought it was very quick for her to be made a saint and we wondered about what miracles had happened.

We then went to the indoor market, apparently the best and biggest indoor market in the country. Not sure if that country is the UK or just Wales and we feel that Newport Market is actually bigger, but whose counting eh?

Then we thought about lunch. We headed for The Mumbles but didn't stop. Admiral B remembered that the last time he had been to Port Eynon was when he went on holiday with his cousin when he was seven (this was me, and was the holiday when I was sick in his wellington boot, a whole other story) so we headed there, pausing at a rather posh restaurant in Langland Bay but as we hadn't made a reservation we couldn't stay. The view from their veranda was quite nice - if it hadn't been closed down by the mist.

We went to Port Eynon, it was shut. No really, the cafe and everything was shut tight and most of the car-park was closed off too so we carried on and headed for Rhossili. I had never been there before, always going to the other end of the bay but we found the Bay cafe and had a delicious Pannini lunch before the gentlemen went back to the car and Lady B and I fought against the wind and rain to get to the National Trust shop. It had to be done if only because they stamp NT passports there and I needed to get mine stamped. I took one quick picture of the beautiful beach before scurrying back to the car.

We were back home by 5pm and snuggled warmly into our chairs, drinking a warm and welcoming cuppa.

There are always moments in our days out when something happens that really makes us all laugh. Usually I forget to write them down but Lady B gave me a new notebook for scoring the legs game so I used it to write down the daft things.
Talking about the traffic and the tourists (remembering that Lord Admiral is a little hard of hearing)
"Too many grockles about these days" says Mr M
"Too many Brothels?" asks Lord Admiral, looking quickly around us
"Ha! that got your interest!" said her Ladyship and we all dissolved into laughter

Once again a day with lots of laughter, lots of conversation and quite a few memories of good times.

My thanks to Sian at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this meme and keeping me writing