Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fabulous Dorset

Hi everyone, here are a few pics from our holiday in Dorset
~ Thomas Hardy country ….


Here’s the house where he was born (in Upper Bockhampton) …


…and here’s the lovely harbour at Weymouth … it's a picture-postcard scene.


I’ve put more photos on my Flickr site (a link to which is in my sidebar).

Mrs C and I have had a busy time with our grandchildren … we had Mini
and Little D staying with us during nursery school half-term, along with
their mum, and their cousins A and JJ came over to see them from time
to time. It’s been lovely seeing them all, but we’ve both felt very
tired at the end of each day … we’re not as energetic as we used to be.
Mrs C did most of the child care while our four girls were growing up
(and for a time she also looked after two of our nieces as well)… I don’t
know how she did it, and managed to do a lot of farm animal care,
gardening and home-decorating as well. Amazing.

We’ve been watching a fair amount of drama on the TV … Downton Abbey
and The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett), Whitechapel, The Event and
Mad Men … most of it on “catch-up” thanks to BBC and ITV Player, and
all of high quality. We heard recently that future series of Mad Men
will be shown on Sky TV, which is unfortunate, as neither of us wishes
to subscribe to it … we prefer to stay with Virgin Media for the time

To end on, here’s a funny story about our 4 year old granddaughter A.
She and her mum were walking past a David Lloyd Sports Centre in
Nottingham, when she spotted a children’s playground within it. She
asked if she could go and play there. “I’m sorry, darling, but it’s
too expensive,” said her mum. Whereupon, A said excitedly: “Don’t worry,
Mummy, … I can pay!” … while waving her purse in the air (which had
toy money inside it).

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm 21 again

Yes, I'm 21 years old again ... well, multiplied by 3. :)

I celebrated my birthday a few days ago, while we were in Dorset. Here's a
colourful photo of all the cards I received ... you might just be able to read
the funny captions, especially of the centre photo, if you enlarge it (via


The footballer in the red shirt looks remarkably like me.

I've got dozens of photos from my holiday that I've yet to process, so I'll
be doing that in the next few days.

Friday, October 15, 2010


We're setting off for a long weekend in Dorset, in an hour or so,
for our annual meet-up with Mrs C's cousins. The weather looks
promising ~ mainly sunny but cold.
Hope you all have a great weekend yourselves ~ talk to you soon.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A walk in Derbyshire

Mrs C and I went a walk yesterday afternoon in the Ashbourne area of
Derbyshire. It was a lovely warm sunny day (about 24 deg.C). We walked
through woodland and open countryside, along a public footpath linking
two villages: Shirley and Osmaston.

Here's one of the photos I took (with my new camera) ... there are more
pics on my Flickr site ...


We had a fab lunch before we set off on the walk at a gastropub: The
Saracen's Head in Shirley.

Here's a link to an Ordnance Survey map (I found on searching Bing/Multimap),
for those of you who like a bit of map reading ...

Monday, October 04, 2010

The past ten days

Friday (10 days ago): Mrs C went to a training day for counsellors all about
Asperger's Syndrome, which is a pretty hot topic. Once you've read about this
condition, you start to wonder how many of your family and friends have
got Asperger's … have I got it mildly myself, or am I just an oddball? :)
I spent the day pottering around the house, mainly on this computer actually.
No grandchildren today, fortunately. :) Well, we did miss them a bit.

Saturday, Sunday and Monday were spent visiting our daughter L. and her family
in South Wimbledon. There were bad delays on the M25 on Saturday morning, so
our journey time was about 40 minutes longer than usual. We brought down with
us a large climbing frame (fully dismantled) and a 182cm slide with us in the
car, which Mrs C and L put together in the afternoon. L. had bought the
climbing frame on eBay,and we offered to fetch it for her from Chesterfield
(which we did earlier).
We visited Wimbledon Village, a posher area of London, where houses cost around
£1-6 million. However the main shopping streets weren't anything special, and
Wimbledon Common (where the Wombles live) looked drab … a waste-land edged
with posh homes. We also re-visited a very good children's playground in W.
Park, next to the golf course. We drove home Monday evening (A3, M25 and M1)
with no traffic hold-ups.

Tuesday was spent jamming with a couple of friends (playing Electric Blues
mainly), followed by lunch at a local pub … I had a buttie and a pot of tea,
as I'm almost TT at present, owing to my stomach problems which are easing
up, I'm pleased to say.

Wednesday ~ a long day for me with Little JJ … an eleven hour stint plus 40
minutes travelling time by car. It rained heavily all day, so apart from a
very short trip to Asda, we spent the time together indoors, playing with
his toys, reading books, singing songs and watching CBBies. A bit of male
bonding going on here, as whenever Mrs C and I get to see him, he runs to me
first for a hug or a carry, which I find very touching.

Thursday … a bit of time together with Mrs C. We walked into town to look at
roller blinds for our dining area in John Lewis, and had complimentary coffee
and pastries there … really lovely. On the way back we picked up more
ingredients for Mrs C's muesli … rabbit food basically. I spent the rest of
the daytime pottering about.

Friday … we had a full day with our two grandchildren, Little A and JJ.
It rained heavily all day, which deterred us from taking them out of the house,
apart from a very short trip to the local shops. We both went to bed early
(about 9pm), feeling exhausted. :) How did we manage bringing up 4 girls?
Well, Mrs C did most of the work, (and in later years when most of the children
were of school age, she looked after 2 nieces as well.

Saturday and Sunday
: We saw 2 films: In Bruges on DVD … an excellent black
comedy set … in Bruges. It was great to re-visit the place. The second film was
Made In Dagenham, which we saw at The Broadway Cinema in Nottm … an
excellent film, all about a small group of female car workers who fight for equal
pay for women. I think it's a must-see film … it will become a classic.
The other main event last weekend was a joint birthday party for A and J, round
at their house. I've just put photos of this up on my Flickr site … their mum's
chocolate cake was very popular with all the children, as was Mrs C's brown rice

It's Monday today … nothing special planned.

Friday, October 01, 2010

The past week

Well, here we are … at the beginning of October. September whizzed by for me
in a flash. I find it strange that the busier I am, the faster time whizzes

One of my daughters moved house with her family 2-3 weeks ago, and owing to
her difficulty getting proper child-minding arrangements, we are helping out a
bit more … on Wednesdays, the occasional Thursday and Fridays as well. I’m now
going round to their house in West Bridgford every Wednesday, and will do so
until Xmas. So this last Wednesday for example, I arrived at their house at
7am and left after 6pm. (I spent the day looking after my grandson, Little J.)

Today Mrs C and I had both J and his older sister all day with us.
Unfortunately we had heavy rain on both days, which deterred us from going out
with the children. Mrs C has slept for half an hour this evening in front of
the TV (well I have to admit that had a little snooze also), and then she went
to bed early at 9.20pm, feeling shattered. I’ve perked up a bit, and am now
typing this post to you all.

Tomorrow we’re round at their house again, for some more fun, as it’s a joint birthday party for the two children, now aged 2 and 4.

Mrs C has often wondered how she managed to raise 4 daughters (and look after
2 nieces as well for some of those years) … but then she says she was a lot

We spent last Saturday, Sunday and all day Monday in London, with another
daughter and her family, as you’ll see on my Flickr site. We had a fairly
relaxing time there, putting up a climbing frame and slide (which we brought
down in our car for them on the Saturday), doing a little shopping in
Wimbledon (& having a coffee at Costa’s) plus a short walk on Wimbledon
Common (which I thought looked drab), playing with the girls at a children’s playground not far from the Lawn Tennis Courts, and pottering around their
house and garden.

I spent a good part of Tuesday with a couple of mates, playing electric guitar and singing a lot of the golden oldies (mainly Electric Blues) … so a bit of me-time there. We went for lunch as usual, at a pub nearby (I had a bread roll and a small pot of tea … I’m almost tee-total at present). I spent the afternoon looking online at Ryanair flights to Tenerife for 6 months ahead, and looking through my latest photos from our weekend in London.

Yesterday morning, Mrs C and I walked into town and back, for a bit of light shopping, and for complimentary coffee and pastries at John Lewis (a lovely
treat, I thought). I spent the afternoon doing some simple admin on the
computer, including a bit more on sorting out my late mother’s estate. She
died back in 2003, and it’s going to take me a few more months to complete the
work … it’s a long story as why it’s taken this long, but basically I’ve been
messed about by other relatives. I’ll be very pleased when it’s all finished,
as I’m feeling sick and tired of it all.