Wednesday, 30 March 2011

My Images

Phe red hatbutt

Serious Phoebe


Amazing what you find in Tulips.

collage kids 1

Photos of all the kids at roughly the same ages.

collage kids 2_edited-1


A Very Large Fish Bowl.

KIDS 2010

Spare A Bob Sir?

L&B Floods

It Rains in Oz.

paul wast_edited-1

Paul Likes a glass of wine.

phe poppy

Find even stranger things in Poppies.

Just a random selection of my manipulated photos.


Sunday, 20 March 2011


Once upon a time Mummy and Daddy Pig lived very happily in their little house on the hill.
That was until the house next door was sold to Mr & Mrs Rat, who had no regard for their neighbours whatsoever.
The house and garden were in a dreadful state , in fact it was a complete and utter disgrace.
For over four years Mummy and Daddy Pig put up with the constant noise and disruption from the building work next door although they did become very cross at times. ( Well, you would, wouldn’t you?)
Then, one lovely Spring day when the sun was shining Daddy Pig spent all morning cleaning the windows and paintwork until it shone. Mummy Pig was delighted and she opened all the windows to let in the fresh air which was lovely after the cold damp winter.
After lunch, whilst Daddy Pig rested, Mummy Pig hung out the washing.’So nice to let it dry in the fresh air,’ she thought.
After dinner Mummy Pig said – “ Can you smell burning?” “ Umm, I can smell something”  said Daddy Pig.
Mummy went into the kitchen, the smell was worse but nothing was burning. She opened the back door to be met by a big cloud of smoke!
The inconsiderate neighbours had lit a bonfire. A VERY smoky bonfire and it was blowing all over the washing and in the house.
Part 2.
Mummy Piggy was very, very cross. so cross that she flipped. She shouted over the fence -
"You can’t stop me having a bonfire and in any case the neighbour across the road has them." cried the little rat.
Mummy pig, realising that this stupid animal would never do the right thing as he had no consideration for others,  went and got the garden hose and doused the bonfire!
Game set and match to Mummy pig.
dancing pig

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Spring in Torquay

One of those perfect spring days today, clear blue skies and warm sunshine made even me want to get out and about.
We headed for Torquay harbour . Here is the new boardwalk with the “Ring of confidence” . Not sure what it is supposed to represent -  lets go Google it. Nothing!

In this photo you can just see, behind The Harvester Pub,  the netting covering The Living Coasts Exhibits which are part of Paignton Zoo. It contains many penguins living “ wild” and other wildlife from around the world’s coastlines. The netting I assume is to stop the other birds escaping.
Here is the new bridge which crosses the harbour and which I think is an attractive addition. It can be raised to allow bigger boats to pass and is part of the project to make the harbour always full, no longer tidal.
I’m not sure what this pile of nets is doing. It looks a mess and there are very few (if any) fishing boats in the harbour. Perhaps it adds some authenticity to the area? Nope.

People enjoying lunch al Fresco whilst they can despite the cold wind.
The clock tower has been given a makeover as has the Art Deco Queens Hotel behind – now apartments.
Here  are some well known landmarks especially for Mary and Denise
MACARI’s Coffee Shop where we used to meet and play the Juke Box in the late 50’s.
The Old 400 Club where all the sailors used to go and I was not allowed. ( But I went anyway!)
The Tudor Rose Cafe
Finally, the Georgian terrace known as Beacon Terrace with beautiful iron balconies .058

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Home Sweet Home

The return voyage through the Bay of Biscay was as calm as the voyage out had been rough. Thank goodness.

It was quite obvious that we were nearing home as the outlook became very grey. Grey sea, grey skies , grey everything. However, there is a lot to be said FOR the British climate, we do not experience the extremes such as the recent fatal earthquake in New Zealand and horrendous floods in Australia.

The ship docked gently at Southampton before it was light; how do they do that in the dark?  She is 1,112 feet (339m) long, Amazing!

We were due to leave at 8.15 so we had ample time to get our final breakfast which was in stark contrast to the first. After 18 days of being confronted by so much food, Mike had toast and marmalade and I had a banana and roll. No more egg & bacon for us although many around us were still tucking into plates piled dangerously high.

We returned to our room to pick up the overnight case etc. and said goodbye to our attendant. We slipped him an extra $20 on top of the”suggested” gratuities paid out the night before as he was such a nice guy, from St. Vincent, and our room was immaculate. He is due to go home in two weeks time after 6 months on board and he was desperate to see his kids. It certainly puts a strain on families if you are working on a cruise liner. They also work 7 days a week and it can be very long hours each day. No picnic that’s for sure.

We had to await disembarkation in one of the dining rooms which was pretty crowded when we got there. Needless to say, it was nearer nine by the time we were called and we made our way to the gangway . My God, it was absolutely freezing – such a shock but we knew we were home.

Into the baggage claim to find our cases – this was a nightmare as it had been last time. We had put purple tags on our cases so made our way to the purple sign. There were cases everywhere, not in rows as they had been moved by people checking for theirs, just an untidy mess. I decided to leave it to Mike as I had all the hand luggage and stepped out of the way. Thank goodness he is tall as I could watch him going up and down looking every which way and occasionally stopping to check labels. After about 10 minutes he found one case and the other about 5 minutes later and we left the confusion behind and made our way to the car.

Our holiday was over, just the car journey left – no hurry, we should be home in less than 3 hours.

The mobile rang, it was Emma, obviously very upset. Mum, I was on the way to dentist as I’ve had an abscess for several days and in agony. This girl pulled out of a side turning and drove straight into me and the car is trashed! Poor kid, I felt so sorry for her but thank goodness we would soon be home and able to help.

We pulled up on her drive just as her friend had driven her back from the dentists. Good timing an we were able to give her a cuddle and support.

Well, that is the end of another holiday. I hope you enjoyed my ramblings but sorry that there are no photos to illustrate things. Seems too late now to insert them here. Maybe I will just upload them separately after I finish the washing and the ironing!



Friday, 4 March 2011

28 February 2011

We’re Coming home ! Awoke to blue skies and sunshine and a wicked Northeast wind and as the morning progressed more and more white horses appeared. At one time we were along side a boat dipping and diving into the waves but apart from a slight motion, we felt nothing.
There are always loads to do  on board and today we went to a lecture about the Death of Princess Diana given by a guy called Julian Bray. I expected him to hedge his bets and give the pros and cons of the way she died but right from the off he presented a convincing argument for her having been assassinated, probably by the English establishment or possibly the Americans who were upset by her Land mine campaign.Very Interesting indeed.
We then looked in on a quiz entitled Battle of the Sexes. Two teams had been competing daily during the voyage and the men were just in the lead. The quizmaster – Justin is very funny, a dry sense of humour and the occasional “not too bad” swearword made for a humorous contest between men and women. That session ended with the women in the lead. I got the feeling Justin was deliberately engineering the scores to keep it a tight contest.
imageUpstairs in the Pyramid Lounge there were classes on Rock & Roll dancing. The teachers were past their sell by date and when the guy appeared with the shape of two feet on poles to demonstrate the positions I collapsed laughing. Absolutely ridiculous and how anyone learnt anything I don’t know. The tiny dance floor was packed with overspill onto the carpet and without a doubt everyone there had never ever danced before. I suppose I shouldn't laugh but it was funnier than most of the entertainment on stage.
Formal dinner tonight and black & white suggested. Easy for Mike in hid dinner jacket but I had to be a bit creative. In the end I wore my long black skirt with a pleated black top and my favourite white shirt as a jacket.
The show was a tribute band – Bee Gees. No thanks, could not stand all that screeching so we went for a drink in the Olive & Twist bar on deck 14 and then to bed. On the way we saw the street party going on in the Royal Parade – looked hectic but obviously popular with many.
Two more days to go …………………….

27th February 2011 - Cadiz

A beautiful city surrounded by the sea on 3 sides and joined to the mainland by a narrow isthmus.

After Gibraltar neither of us felt very energetic and at first thought a trip to Seville would be good as we have been to Cadiz before. We did wonder why our stay was such a long one and then discovered to get to Seville was a an hour and three quarters each way so allowing for the inevitable queuing and loading it was likely to be a couple of hours each way. Too long and too far.

So, we got on an open top tour bus and were happy to sit inside even though it was sunny as, judging by Barcelona, it gets very chilly upstairs. We were driven mainly around the outskirts as the medieval streets in the centre hardly accommodate cars let alone double decker buses.

There are two very long pristine beaches along the Atlantic coast where all the Spaniards were strutting their stuff along the prom  in their Sunday best. They would probably meet up with family  and friends in the afternoon for a long leisurely lunch. What with siestas I reckon the Spanish have got it about right. A great lifestyle.We enjoyed it so much and it only took an hour that we went around twice but did not hop off as there few buses that day and we might have a lengthy wait.

Back to the boat for lunch in the Windjammer, a nap for me ( another bloody migraine) and Mike went to the library to read.

only four of us for dinner tonight the other six did not show. The fruit starter was dreadful  and we told Oddjob ( the head waiter lookalike) and he was a bit miffed but thanked us for our “feedback”. The food in the restaurant is not as good as when we started and there are obvious signs of cutting back. Not surprising when the trip was so cheap.

After dinner Mike went to the Big Band show in the theatre but, post migraine, I gave it a miss. He said it was really very good.

Another day gone and one nearer getting home.