Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Easter . . .

Seems an awfully long time ago now.

I spent it, as usual, in Sandhurst with my parents, and SD#s 2 and 3 and the dog came too. And we enjoyed a relaxing but unremarkable time, at least weatherwise - there was no Easter snow this year!

Easter egg hunt. The children are far too old for this now, but the tradition persists.
The tall circular basket was made by my grandmother's cousin George, who was partially sighted and had learned basket-making at school as an alternative to the only other trade then deemed suited to the visually impaired - piano tuning.
I used to fill this and a couple of his other child-sized baskets with primroses and violets, gathered in the woods around my ancestral homes of Odiham (see also here) and Greywell. This was long before the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 outlawed the picking of many species, which led to a change in attitudes to the picking of wild flowers in general - what was once a simple country pleasure came to be regarded as an act of vandalism, so we desisted forever. Sad to say, however, the fragrant copses in which my sister and I spent many a happy hour with our mother, gathering choice blooms as Easter offerings for our grandmothers, have long been lost to housing developments and bypasses anyway, so our new-found conservationist spirit was in vain on that front at least.

Looking across the (other) River Blackwater) from Berkshire into Hampshire.

The Easter bunny gets lost in the woods (sad or what?!)

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Catching up IV - TBTAs

Building sandcastles the Big Boys' way ...

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Catching up III - TBTEs

I may have been avoiding the blogosphere, but that doesn't mean that the dog and I haven't been trudging TBTM/A/E in our customary fashion, and sometimes I have taken the camera with me for good measure. Here's a selection of TBTEs from March:

Catching up II

Having emptied my camera for the first time for ages last night, I came across some pics taken at my lovely father's 80th birthday celebrations at the end of February. How quickly time has flown. My parents are now both 80, and as lively, energetic and astute as ever (far more so than I am, I often feel). They rejoice in good physical and mental health and have certainly enjoyed for the last twenty years the fruits of a lifetime's hard work and fiscal prudence, constantly adding to their in-depth exploration of their native shores, as well as travelling widely abroad - my sister and I never know where the next postcard will be coming from! - and long may it continue, say I.

Father's big day was marked in a modest fashion, with lunch out for close family at a pleasant local eatery, and tea and cakes at home later.

Oh, and luckily, I am blessed with some of the most attractive children on the planet . . . . and they never let me down in public. Ever.

Catching up I


It's been a while - nearly a month, in fact - since I last posted anything here. Work often overtakes my life in March, and this year it has done so with more of a vengeance than usual. So, mindful of the enormously distracting influence of the blogosphere, I have given it up for Lent, to be on the safe side. Apologies, therefore, to all my favourite bloggers whose words and pictures I have not visited, and also to the very kind readers of Musings who have been enquiring after my well-being. All is well, I can assure you - I've simply needed to concentrate my entire attention on the less entertaining business of meeting deadlines and earning a living.

There is still much to be done but, having accidentally found myself taking much of the day off in order to do some essential shopping, entertain some essential visitors, and run some essential errands, I thought . . . oh what the, er, 'heck', I'll end this less than work-productive day by catching up with the old blog before the Easter break.

Today, my elder daughter's only non-ripped, non-paint-spattered jeans were declared unwearable, the zip having 'gone'. We are visiting Grannie and Grandpa tomorrow. Grannie and Grandpa don't really 'understand' ripped jeans (in fact, they don't really understand jeans per se and have never been seen anywhere near, let alone IN, anything made of denim themselves). A trip into Colchester was thus urgently called for, and a pair of 'respectable' jeans purchased (together, I regret to say, in a manner which reveals my Great Antiquity, with a pair of 'ready-ripped' jeans . . . I can't believe I've spent good money on such an item, but ho hum, that's progress and the Modern Age, I suppose, grump grump).

The time-consuming and spiritually exhausting process of finding exactly the right size, length, fit, shape, colour and label of said jeans successfully completed, a trip to the Colchester branch of James and Maggie's Art Cafe was more than called for.

And a cup of their highly recommended Hot Chocolate with Chilli was duly consumed. Here's a horribly out-of-focus snap:

A few errands later, and supper (cooked by SD#1, who's becoming very competent and useful on the catering front) consumed, My Boy and I set off with the dog for our evening's dog-walk. This started well, with a Nice Cup of Tea and Sit Down on the old jetty to watch the sun go down and listen to the birds settling for the night. But our peaceful companionship was disturbed by a party of people for whom quiet musing was clearly not on the agenda, so we retired gracefully to walk the sea wall until darkness fell.