Thursday, August 30, 2007


28th August Flowers from Madagascar

On Tuesday a magnificent bouquet arrived for me. Ruth had sent me flowers fromMadagascar. Well, of course she had arranged with a local florist that I should receive them.
They were to wish me a happy birthday.
And I have been so gladdened by her love and kind thoughts this week - with hospital investigations to deal with.
Thank you dear Ruth - you are a half sister to treasure!

You could keep in touch with Ruth's life in Madagascar by clicking on this site...
There are lots of lovely pictures of Felix and all his family in Madagascar. Life looks good there.


9th August Ekatarina at Cap Blanc Nez.

When we got off the boat we drove a few miles to the west of Calais to Cap Blanc Nez (Cape White Nose).
The countryside in this part of France is gentle, with rolling hills and farmland reaching down to the cliff lined sea.
Unsurprisingly, it is remarkably similar to the Kent countryside we had not long left behind.

The view of the column from the track up to Cap Blanc Nez.

Looking East towards Calais. You can see 2 cross channel boats in this picture (just), demonstrating just how frequent is the service between the 2 countries.

Looking West along the cliff tops.

Looking North - how close the White Cliffs of Dover seem to be. The distance is about 25 miles.

A wide shot of the rolling French countryside and the sea.

Ashley and Bill at the foot of the column - shame on me, I forget just what the column commemorates.

Ashley enjoys the view.

Bill and Ashley pose for me.

Ekatarina enjoyed climbing over the old war time defences still to be found on the cliff tops. She also discovered that the chalk on the ground actually is the same chalk that you can write with and she enjoyed writing on the concrete.

Peering down at Dad who was exploring the room below.

Ready to go back to the car to explore a little more of France.
Ten out of ten marks to you if you spotted that Ashley's hair grew a few inches whilst we were on Cap Blanc Nez!
I used one or two pictures taken last October.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


9th August Journeys to and from France with Ekatarina

Early in the morning we arrived in Dover and waited to board the boat.

It is always hard to believe that so many cars, lorries and trucks could possibly fit onto one boat.
But our trusty red Berlingo was soon safely aboard.

Our boat, The Pride of Kent, glided smoothly out of the harbour.
We enjoyed views of the white cliffs with Dover Castle at the top.

Looking back to the harbour wall.

Goodbye England!

Ekatarina and I explored the boat together. We found a corner that I had never noticed before - a children's art corner. Ekatarina visited this corner twice on the journey and coloured some lovely pictures.

Au Revoir France!

This picture was taken from the boat at the start of our journey back home. We could see the cliffs of Cap Blanc Nez where we had walked earlier in the day. There will be pictures of Cap Blanc Nez on the next blog posting.

It was almost dark as we arrived back in Dover.

Ekatarina enjoyed the fresh open air on the stern of the boat.
Sunset over the white cliffs of Dover.

Monday, August 27, 2007


8th August Miscellaneous scenes Brighton

Ekatarina loved this statue of a mermaid, directing people to Mermaid Walk to shop or eat at The Marina.

The Palace Pier

The sad remains of The West Pier.

And now 2 typical beach scenes.

The next blog posting will be about our journey to France.

Friday, August 24, 2007


8th August Ekatarina on Brighton Pier

We took a stroll on Brighton Pier in the sunshine.

The pier is brash and noisy full of kiosks selling all manner of nicknacks and foodstuffs, bars, amusement halls with penny in the slot machines (except these days it is probably more like 10p in the slot) and fair ground rides on the end of the pier.

In younger days we would have called this pier The Palace Pier for there used to be 2 piers at Brighton. The West Pier fell into disrepair many years ago, but pier lovers raised money to renovate it. And then more recently there was a bad fire and only a shell remains.

It can be a good place to sit and read the paper or your book or even to have a snooze, whilst enjoying the fresh sea air and the view.

The carousels in fairgrounds are normally traditional with gaudy painted horses which rise and fall as the roundabout turns. I was looking forward to a ride with Ekatarina - and she thought she was looking forward to it too.

First she checked that she was tall enough for the ride. In fact she is just tall enough to ride alone.

So I helped her onto the horse and climbed on, full of excitement. But then Ecky panicked - it felt so high up. She just had to climb down. I was all for getting our money back and finding a more suitable ride, but Ecky saw the wooden seats on the carousel and sat down there, so I joined her.

We waved cheerily to Grandad.

The ride proved to be an expensive jolly sit down. We each had to pay £3 each and it lasted hardly more than 2 minutes.

Then we moved onto some free laughs.

In days past visitors to the pier would have paid a photographer to snap them in funny poses. Now we all have our own cameras.

Here is Ekatarina the mermaid and a slightly odd looking diver!

Ekatarina spied a couple celebrating their marriage - the bride looks radiant doesn't she?

This bride seems to have been left at the altar.

This was one ride that none of us considered taking.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


8th August Brighton. Volk's Railway with Ekatarina.

On a lovely sunny day Ekatarina, Bill and I went to Brighton.

We parked at The Marina and went on the old novelty train, known as Volk's railway after its founder, to the pier.

With free parking at The Marina it is probably the cheapest way to get into central Brighton and it is fun.

Brighton is our nearest seaside town and has been a favourite place for Londoners to visit since the days when George IV, as the Prince Regent built his Royal Pavillion.

Keen eyed folk might spot that I have used a few of the pictures that we took last August to illustrate the railway.

The train arrives, full of passengers ready to explore The Marina.

We climbed aboard and felt pleased that we could sit at the front of the train for the ride towards the pier.
Of course the driver sat just in front of us.

As we neared the pier we could pick out more details.

Volk's railway was established in 1883, making it 124 years old.

Volk had very grand designs for his railway and it used to be much longer and ran on rails supported on pylons over the water. But a mighty storm forced adaptations after less than a month.

Bill took a few pictures of Ecky and me without our knowledge! We were just studying the view on the return journey, when we sat right at the back of the train.
Here I am enjoying a birthday ride last year.

We got off the train at Halfway Station where there is a children's playground.

Before we got off the train Bill took an interesting picture of the train in a magnifying mirror, used by the driver to check the view of the station platform.
Next time I will sort out some pictures of us on the pier.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


22nd August. New displays in Rocking Horse.

Today I created a new display in the shop. I decided to divide it into sections.
I apologise now to people who will not completely approve of the way I describe the areas - believe me, I do know that the interests of men and women merge and overlap.
I have put what I could call mostly women's things in pride of place to attract the eyes of customers as they walk down the shop.
I have a children's section and a mostly for men section and in the cabinet, and on top of it, I have mostly pretty things.

This is how a customer first sees my area.

I bought the spice drawers in the wooden wall rack at the Edenbridge boot sale last Saturday. Shop people who have seen them feel that this item will not stay long.

These shelves hold things I have described as being mostly for men - transport related, maps, postcards, souvenir china, old bottles from local places, books about local places etc.
Of course it is silly to say these things are mostly for men - after all I have a collection of postcards and souvenir china and I love maps.

The 1950's china is tucked away just a little. I think that will be fine, because an enthusiast will certainly seek it out.

Here we have more blue kitchen ware and beyond some of the shelves with juvenile items.

This shows the whole area. It is very small - just enough room for a couple of people to stand and chat about the items they see.

I was very pleased with my new display after a couple of hours of hard work.

Bill was also busy during the morning. He had taken down some narrow shelves from home and now they are in the shop with model cars on.

At the far end of this tiny area in the middle of the shop, Bill has a locked cabinet with all sorts of small things - good model cars, model soldiers, toy farm items etc.

And here I am with my good friend Jo. We share a common interest - and a birthday. Of course I can't resist reminding her that my year of birth comes a little after hers!
Happy birthday to the both of us!

◄  Older Posts      Top of the Page  ▲