Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Non-skid, Non Chic

This is the best way to ensure not to slip in the icy conditions - wear your socks! The temperatures have been down to minus 13C and yesterday it snowed again. We braved the roads all the way to the supermarket - admittedly I had my hat over my eyes - oh no, I was not the driver by the way!

Sadly my trusty socks were not man enough to get me down to the pub quiz for the special Christmas edition.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

We woke up to minus 11.4C

A view over the fields behind our house. I could hardly believe the thermometer this morning registering minus 11.4C. I have been recording the weather for over 30 years and only once have I recorded minus 12C in this neck of the woods and that was about 25 years ago.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Snowed In!

I was right to be a "Scaredy Cat" (see yesterday's post), overnight we have had a large dumping of snow! These pictures are taken through our upstairs windows and as I write it is still snowing hard. When it has finished tipping down I will enjoy myself outdoors in the field behind our garden. I love tramping through virgin snow on my crutches as I am relatively safe from slipping. My brother, safely back in Australia, rang through, over-excited about the cricket - he turned "native" as soon as he emigrated and wholeheartely supports "Down-Under"!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Scaredy Cat!

There was just a slight dusting of snow here overnight in North Wiltshire but quite icy roads. I decided to go swimming (this is a 20 minute drive along narrow lanes for part of the way). I was chugging away through my usual 30 lengths when I noticed a few people leaving the pool in a hurry. I looked up and found the snow was chucking it down outside. Well . . . . . . . I am nervous of driving in snow so I hurtled out of the pool, dragged on shoes, sweater and coat without stopping to dry myself or put on underwear or have the usual shower. The road was white until I reached the other side of Tetbury where it had not been snowing at all! I arrived home with sodden clothes and dripping hair - my husband was amazed at the bedraggled sight!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

And I Won The Money!

I am a member of Calcot Spa where I regularly swim and today 22 of us sat down to lunch in the hotel section. Instead of "Secret Santa" we decided that each of us should put a £1 in the kitty and our names were entered into the draw. A very nice waiter who had gamely served us raucous ladies pulled my name out of the hat! The money nicely paid for my meal so I was well pleased!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Flight Plans

My brother flies back to Australia today so we took him up to Kemble Airfield to select a plane best suited for the job! Bye bye James hope to see you again some day!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Consolation Prize

It was that time of the month again - The Pub Quiz. My brother, who lives in Australia joined the ranks of our team "The Street Walkers". Nine teams fronted up for a very raucous evening - Aidan, the Quizmaster, was at his very best. We came a creditable 5th (I think) due to Aidan getting his knickers in a twist. However we did win a prize of some mince pies (thanks Aidan) for two reasons - we attended each quiz over the past year and also, I am sad to say, that last night were the oldest team by a country mile!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Toughening Up

My brother flew in from Australia, where he lives, ten days ago, leaving behind temperatures of 32C. Since then we have not experienced temperatures above freezing. I took him out on a walk when it was -5C just to toughen him up. Adding insult to injury England are doing pretty well at the Ashes cricket!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Labradoodle Do!

My son and family spent the day with us and here is my granddaughter showing off the new addition to the family who is just 9 weeks old!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

A Jumble of Jets

Today has been fantastic weather = clear blue sky all day. We took advantage and sat in the sun eating lunch at AV8 cafe next to the control tower at Kemble Airfield. There was plenty to watch. We met a friend from the nearby village in which we used to live, he is nuts about aircraft, he was a fount of knowledge. A large four engined jet landed and our friend knew all about it! It had belonged to British Airways and had arrived at Kemble to be stripped, apparently it would then be flown in stages to Australia where it would be refitted and sold off to kangeroo hop around about Down Under.

A large convoy of enormous trucks was seen trundling off apparently carrying the recycled bits of the many aircraft being salvaged at Kemble. We witnessed two more small passenger jets zoom in - just visiting. Of course there were loads of small planes making use of the window of good weather.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Another Happy Snappy Snap!

See previous post. Today it was Husband's turn to cram himself in the photo booth. The Passport Office rang today rejecting his passport photos because he was wearing glasses. (We had previously had a discussion about his glasses - so I could say "I told you so"!).

The trouble is Husband really cannot see very much without his glasses so I was called upon to push the green button and quickly remove my hand from sight! All this was achieved quite satisfactorily. Upon seeing the resulting photo I let out a very loud laugh which definitely unsettled the man behind us waiting his turn! I fear the Passport Office may reject this new photograph to be nothing like the photo (with glasses) they have already on file! Oh well - we will wait and see.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Photo Booth for Midgets

I am not that tall, really I am not, about 5ft 11inches and I must admit my feet are huge for a member of the female species. I did not expect to have difficulties in having my photo taken in one of the Post Office photo booths in order to renew my Blue Badge parking disc.

My knees do not bend happily over about 75 degrees but even if they had, my feet would hardly have crammed between the seat and the wall - I can tell you it was no joke. In the end after many contortions I skewed my body around and stuck my legs and feet beyond the curtain into the main passage of the Post Office hoping that nobody in the queue for stamps would trip over me!

The resulting photo is decidedly weird, my head looks square! Oh well, I hope the Blue Badge people are not as strict as the Passport Office!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Cobwebs in the wrong place

The first foggy morning of the autumn - lovely for photographing cobwebs. When I came to use the car I found the windscreen on the inside dripping with condensation which showed up several large cobwebs draped over the dashboard and seats. I don't think I have ever cleaned the inside of my car, let alone the outside!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010


Autumn is my favourite time of year especially with the sun shining on the new plough. I have never seen this herringbone pattern before - have you?

Friday, 17 September 2010

One Must Laugh At Oneself

We have just come back from a holiday in Sidmouth. We had great difficulty in reaching our hotel due to road closures to enable The Round Britain Cycle Race to whizz through. However we made it to the hotel and immediately ventured out to view the great race.

There seemed to be an enormous number of people using sticks, zimmers etc - Husband looked very out of place!

We stationed ourselves at a tight bend in the road which we hoped was a tricky place for the cyclists to negotiate at speed. The actual cyclists were bunched together and flashed past in an instant - it was the police and race officials that provided the spectacle. For every cyclist there must have been three or four uniformed motor cycle riders, vans advertising the charity which the race was supporting, officious officials in high viz jackets and a spagetti of cars with spare cycles on roof racks - it was a bit of a let down!

For the rest of the holiday we enjoyed good weather. I followed Husband around Axcliffe golf course on my crutches - a bad move really. The cliffs were precipitous - I could climb up but had great difficulty on the down slopes. We spent an afternoon with a good friend of mine who lives fairly near Sidmouth which was very enjoyable.

We are home now - immediately in work mode - I am just about to peg up the washing!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

A Slight Improvement

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . but not much! We came second last at the monthly village pub quiz. As is the custom the Quizmaster handed out the 'booby prize' to the team that came last - drat we just missed it - what bad luck! At the end of the proceedings the Quizmaster asked our team whether we had enjoyed the film DVD's (those which come free within newspapers) which we had won as the 'booby prize' the time before - we had to confess we had not looked at one of them! This is one of the reasons we often come last in the quiz - we do not look at many films on TV and there are many questions on films, tv soaps, cartoons and pop music. Us oldies are hopeless at those kind of questions! The Quizmaster upon hearing of our lack of uptake of the films suggested we gave them back to him so that he could use them again as a future 'booby prize'. The trouble is (yes, you might have guessed it already) we might be lumbered with them back again!! Never mind, Quizmaster, we love your quiz and always have a fun evening!

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Nice To See You . . . . . . . To See You Nice!

I have finally got myself organised and downloaded Skype to my computer - very good for viewing family "Down Under" and other close friends in this country.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Iron Horses

Kemble Steam Rally is in full throttle . The engine pictured above is powering a circular saw which is cutting up a huge log into planks.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Bottom of the Class!

Monday night was the pub quiz night but we could only muster three of our team. (Husband is useless at film and pop music questions so drowned his sorrows in a large glass of red wine). The really good thing about coming last is that there is a booby prize and this month it was a large collection of film dvds - the freebie ones that arrive in the newspapers. So next month we will have no excuse - we should be able to answer some of the film questions. (I doubt it!)

Wednesday, 9 June 2010


I have been neglecting this blog lately - I seem to be suffering from General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) - which is pretty horrible! My GP banned me from going abroad to Austria this week so instead we are having a few outings from home.
Today we visited Hidcote Manor which is truly beautiful (except for the tourists of course!)

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Courageous Clematis

Three years ago we planted a small single stranded clematis either side of our front gate - this is the result!

Friday, 7 May 2010

Aldeburgh Revisited

Husband's family used to own a seaside flat at Aldeburgh where he had happy childhood memories. We decided to visit. After a meander through The Chilterns we arrived at Aldeburgh where we met up with some old friends who live in Colchester. We walked along the sea front and came across the flat - it looked sad and forlorn and needed a bit of renovation. Our spirits were soon revived with very good fresh fish and chips on the verandah at the nearby Brudenel Hotel. The weather was kind enough for us to sit outside and breathe in the sea air. We continued our journey visiting Snape Maltings and Orford Castle before returning to our friends' house in Colchester where we spent a happy evening.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Scrum Down!

Today we drove to the outskirts of London to the London Irish Rugby ground to watch Son and Grandson perform at the Mini Rugby Tournament. Son is a referee and also the Head Coach of Blackheath Under 9's team with our grandson being one of the playing members. The spectators look suitably impressed?

Here is the coach imparting his words of wisdom - I hope the scrum-capped one is listening!

Friday, 16 April 2010

Volcanic Sunset

My usual sunset pictures have some aircraft contrails to make the picture interesting - nothing this evening!

Monday, 12 April 2010

Another Sign of Spring

This afternoon my ears detected excited hooting and bellowing- yes - the cows are out of their winter indoor quarters and excitedly prancing around the distant fields hardly stopping for a snatch of the delicious new grass. We love to see the cows outside our windows - they have a sophorific effect with their swinging, flicking tails and steady munch munching.

Friday, 2 April 2010

This golfing lark . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

why do I do it I ask myself. After the clocks change to summer time Husband and three friends play golf two evenings a week and I accompany them on my crutches (good knee exercise). Well - the weather has been atrocious and I still go out with them - I must be mad. We have experienced every type of weather in the two outings so far - lots and lots of rain, strong winds, sleet and a tiny peep of the gold orb for about 5 minutes which enabled us to view a lovely double rainbow! Hats and gloves are an essential item of clothing and spectacles need windscreen wipers. The reward . . . . . . . a nice stiff drink in the bar afterwards!

Sunday, 28 March 2010

A Traditionally Laid Hedge

It took the craftsman six days to lay this hedge - you don't often see this skill being put to use nowadays.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

The Good and The Bad about Spring

The good are the spring bulbs which are now shooting up in our pots and in the garden due to the warm weather.
The bad thing about spring is the infestation of cluster flies - they are everywhere. The sleepy flies were pouring through our roof void hatch into the spare bedroom - Husband dampened their spirits with a smoke bomb. This caused another problem - some of the dying flies in their effort to get out of the smoky atmosphere fell into the downlighter wells in the two bathrooms. Our morning and evening ablutions are somewhat darkened by a mass of flies in the lights! Help is at hand - a local odd-job man is coming around to unscrew the lights and also to crawl through the roof void and cover the lights with pots. We find unscrewing the lights rather a task - my knees are too wobbly to stand on chairs or ladders, especially in the bath and shower and Husband has no head for heights, even three inches off the ground!!!

Friday, 12 March 2010

Argghh - The Dentist

Today I had to have a tooth out - I have never had the experience before but nevertheless all went well and I returned home to Husband. After about an hour I remarked to Husband that there was still a lot of blood swishing around. Husband is very experienced with tooth extractions and told me "not to fuss" and off he went for a walk. I decided that all was not well and after a phone call I was summoned back to the dentist and there I received two more injections and five stitches - arghhhhh - I am now really hurting and refusing to eat anything which will not do me any harm at all!!

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Catastrophic Carrots - Urghhh!

As it was a nice sunny day, albeit very cold with a keen north-east wind, Husband suggested we made a start on the veg plot we help with in another villager's garden. When we arrived Husband divided the labour - I was given the nastiest job on god's earth. Whilst Husband gently planted out some broad beans I had to dig up and clear the remaining row of carrots (we had grown far too many). I started digging and picking up the carrots only to find a lot of them exploded into an orange mush - it was like handling sloppy cold mashed potato - it was truly awful - I shall not be eating carrots for a little while - I have been thoroughly put off!

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Something to Share

It is my birthday today and I was very amused with this card I received, so I thought I would share it with you!

Friday, 26 February 2010

Happiness is aged 74!

It has been in the news recently that the height of happiness in one's life is reached at the age of 74. Husband is aged 73. Husband is a quiet man, a very quiet man.

We enjoy, on a regular basis, "afternoon tea" with some old friends of ours. We visited them yesterday and had a jolly good "grumpy" afternoon. We have good fun putting the world to rights - I don't know who is the grumpiest. If you get Husband on to the subjects of global warming, green energy such as wind farms and space exploration he blows a fuse! But as Husband says one can be happy being grumpy!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Shooting Sunsets

This is my first shot of a sunset for the season. The sun is now setting over the field behind our house. At the moment there are no cattle in the fields so I do not have to dodge the pancakes!

Friday, 19 February 2010

Up, Up and Away!

This morning one of my close friends rang up from Colchester to alert us that her husband and son, both pilots, were arriving at Kemble Airfield, to pick up their plane which they had had to leave mid journey due to bad weather earlier in the week.

We arrived just in time at the "AV8" cafe next to the control tower where we had a chinwag whilst the condensation that had built up in the plane was dispersed.
All ready to set off - a bit of map reading in progress.

A stop on the way to the main runway to fill up with fuel.

A quick taxi down the runway.

Away they went! It was good to be back on the airfield after these long winter months. We stocked up with fish and chips before heading home. One has to wind one's way through the ever increasing steel birds which have come to their final roost before being demolished on site.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Fingers and Thumbs

I have never got dressed so quickly in my life! Early this morning I swum my usual 30 lengths keeping an eye on the weather as we were expecting snow later in the day. I took a good long time in the shower but when I came out about 10 minutes later the ground was white and I have never seen such large snowflakes thudding down. The drive home takes 20 minutes so I thought I had better get a move on but the more I hurried to get dressed, dragging clothes over my still wet body, the more I got in a tangle!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Loose Connections

Today our local regular plumber arrived to change the water descaling filter. He was all excited. His boss's ex-wife is the person who has won the £56 euromillions!!! Do you think we can expect a gold-plated water filter cartridge next change-over time? Oh no I think not!

Saturday, 13 February 2010


Oh no, what a horrible thought that has just come into my head whilst posting this - this tree looks as if it has varicose veins!!!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Schooldays Remembered

Husband and I, after shopping in Waitrose, usually have a lemon yum yum and a cup of coffee and read their free newspapers! Yesterday, displayed on the counter were these buns - I think their usual name is finger buns. Well - not in our household! I attended a boarding school in the long distant days of my youth and every Tuesday and Thursday we were given these buns and a up of cocoa at break time. These buns were everyone's favourite at school, as you can imagine, us schoolgirls affectionally called them "greased rats"

Monday, 8 February 2010

A Fanfare of Fieldfares

A flock of Redwings and Fieldfares have been swooping about recently over the field behind our house. I managed to creep up on these birds when they were having a rest in the ash tree!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

What A Get Up!

Monday Night is "Quiz Night" at our local pub. The pub is a five minute walk away which is a really nice feature of where we live. During the afternoon it rained and just about the time we were due at the pub the temperate dipped below freezing. Husband and the other member of "The Street Walkers" team actually did walk but I chickened out due the slippery conditions and pressed my trusty bike into operation. I have the extra light on my head to charge up my brain whilst weaving my merry way to the pub! The extra brain boost, alas, did not do the trick and our team came fourth out of seven - but who cares - we really enjoy ourselves - thanks to the Quizmaster! Better luck next time!

Friday, 29 January 2010

I Can Never Win!

Here are some of my friends participating in an aqua class. I swim madly in the far lane against the swooshing current the "mermaids"? create! For some time now my arms have been giving me trouble - but I think slowly getting better due to physiotherapy. To vary my swimming I have recently added in breast stroke with a dolphin kick (being unable to utilise the proper leg movement due to my horrible wonky knees). I am now hobbling! My knees have decided to object to an unfamiliar movement - this weekend I shall have to walk with the beastly crutches most of the time to give them a rest. My brother calls me "bigfoot" for obvious reasons - I expect I shall be able to propel myself along with just my feet - I shall give it a try next week!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Little Things Please Little Minds?

This little top spun out of one of our Christmas crackers! We love it! It is such a simple thing but beautifully balanced and it really spins well on the granite in the kitchen. Husband and I have competitions as to who can spin it the longest. Sad to say Husband holds the record - it keeps us amused while waiting for the kettle to boil!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Husband is One Up (er. . . . . . actually 36 Up)

Today is our 37th wedding anniversary - there was a card from Husband on my breakfast plate. I have to admit I have never remembered! I did manage to turn up to the wedding itself though! Husband is so pleased with himself each year that he has remembered and I have not . . . . . . . . . . .I think I shall keep it that way because he likes being "one up"

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Colourful Compost

The heavy rain overnight melted almost all the snow and left the landscape looking rather drab and bedraggled - all except for the compost heap which is a riot of colour!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Sorry I'm Late !

These are the words the paperboy said to us this morning! The time was 7.50am - normally he delivers the papers between 7am-7.30am. There has been another snowfall overnight and the snow is still throwing it down - the paperboy in his high viz jacket is the only person making tracks at the moment. Three cheers for the paperboy!

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Hello There!

The neighbour's snowman is determined to watch what we are doing!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Crunchy Crunchy!

Last night the temperature dropped to minus 8.8C and another day below freezing is forecast. In compensation we have a chocolate box blue sky and sunshine. I took a walk in the fields listening to the sound of the snow crunching beneath my (large) feet - I love that sound! My second best sound is of horses contentedly munching hay!

We have introduced a bird ground feeder tray and the blackbirds love it! Today it is filled with the remains of the apple crumble we shared with our neighbours yesterday.

These two photos are taken through the kitchen window so are not the best!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Calm Before The Storm

Yesterday I managed to walk around the field behind our house - good for taking photos. Today however we have such a heavy blanket of snow that the landscape seems to be blotted out. I would simply love to reach an alternative area to photograph but transport by crutches restricts me. Very few villagers ventured out by car. We received a cheery call from the neighbours and we joined forces and pooled our resources for lunch - we hastily baked an apple crumble!