Friday, December 30, 2011


The sad 9th day of Christmas

I still don't understand funerals. How quickly the solemnity, the tears, the immense philosophical thoughts going through each person's head all become smiles and laughter and joy.
I wouldn't want it different.
Better by far you should forget and smile

Than that you should remember and be sad.
Christina Rosetti ends her wonderful poem Remember Me with those lines.
But Peter has not been forgotten, of course. He can be remembered with love and joy.
There have been tears - and will be again, for Jo and other close family. But the overwhelming emotions now are of the love within a family and social life which will endure through generations.
Jo and Peter's family is big. For both it was a second marriage and they skilfully combined their 7 children, who have grown to provide grandchildren and now some great grandchildren.
At the funeral there were prayers and bible readings, music, a poem - even an 11 year old grandson got up to read the poem he had written, good memories from people left behind  and an ouline of Peter's life.
Outside the chapel were hugs and kisses of greeting.
And then a chance to relax with food and drink.
The reception was held at the football stadium - the Redz Bar. I guessed it would be there - for it is managed by Jo's daughter, Rhona.
We met up with Joy and Peter - of Rocking Horse Antiques. That was lovely.
The children were just happy to be with all the cousins. The older ones chatting and gossiping over drinks.
I was glad to meet Jo's sister from Dorset.
Most of all I was glad to be talking with Jo. She is coping very well; she now realises just how much Peter couldn't take any more of living with a failing heart and how regrets and sadness must be balanced by the peace of knowing that he was ready for his death.
He had been organising and planning financial affairs for weeks. No detail had been forgotten.
He was such a kind and gentle man, with a twinkle in his eye, ready to listen to his vast extended family and many friends.

Now its my turn to give a little back to this lovely couple.
We will be in the shop tomorrow and on Monday and Tuesday. I need to know that Jo can relax and not worry about her duties there.
She had thought she might be in on Tuesday, but now has a date with the solicitor instead.


Brighton Christmas treat.

I like memorable days; I like to create occasions that add something to life - Wednesday was just such a day - a Christmas treat not to be forgotten.
We met up with 6 of Bill's family at Brighton Marina. Sorry we were late everybody!
We had lunch at The West Quay at the marina - a Wetherspoons pub.

Most of us chose the gammon and eggs and pineapple with various accompaniments.
The price includes the drink - so, yes....I enjoyed a pint of Guinness again!

Three of Bill's sisters featured here and 2 brothers in law.

After our meal we caught the bus to the pier. This is the cheapest way to get to Brighton centre. Free parking at the marina and most of us had bus passes, so a free ride.

Pam looks calm and happy. Julie looks pensive and Jane seems to be wondering just what she has agreed to!
"Did I say I would go up on that?"

There had been torrential rain in the morning.
But look how lucky we were with the weather - blue skies and soon to be sunset.

We had four times round the wheel and each time there was more of the setting sun over the pier.
Pictures of the view have turned out well, considering it is through a window and it is getting darker.

Looking west.
Telephoto lens has brought the ruined west pier and beyond closer than they really are.

Memories of a summer day with Ashley and Ecky.
We had fish and chips on the beach from there. We played that crazy golf and then went on Volks Railway (station just beyond crazy golf) back to the marina.

Domes and minarets of The Royal Pavillion and the large dome of the Dome Theatre beyond.

Looking over the slopes of the town to the race course on the top of The Downs.

Looking east to the marina. My eye could just make out Rottingdean windmill.

Brother in law, Roger.
Julie asked me not to use the one of her on the wheel!

The pods take six people. So we split into 2 fours.
Jane and Geoff, Pam and Antony pose by their pod when the ride had finished.

We returned to the pier in the fading light.

Having fun by the sea side.

Dark at half past four.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011


Our 8th day of Christmas - batteries charging.

On our 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me.....8 batteries a charging.
I guess my true love had recognised that my energy levels were fading fast and needed a boost.
The form of the boost has been a day of doing almost nothing.
We have been out doing things, seeing people, in the shop and so on for 10 days. It has been really good - but need to have those batteries recharged to continue on with life.
We did see Frieda for a while this morning - oh dear, another tin of biscuits has come our way.
And I have done the December accounts.
We didn't quite make £2000 during 2011......but that's enough for our holiday.
And my aim of the game is to make that bit of profit and above all have fun and feel like a somebody in the world I know and love.
I have played games - too much.
And now I am going to join Bill and watch Shrek - one of my favourite films of all time.
It can be appreciated on many levels.
I also put photos on this blog of Boxing Day people. Scroll down, if you think that that these people might be of interest to you.


Boxing Day family gathering.

This is a blog posting to entertain only a few.
On Boxing Day I took photographs of the people we were with - my cousins and their families.
I took the pictures, portraits, as we sat and talked.
Bill took the first one.....
Me and my cousin Alison.

My cousin, Chris. Chris has 3 children from his first marriage. He was widowed whilst still a young father.

My cousin Rod and his new puppy, Boo.
Rod has one son.

My information now is that the offspring of my cousins are first cousins, once removed.

Chris's 2 sons, Robert on the left and David on the right.
David is holding his son Oscar - 1st cousin twice removed.
Robert will become a father in 2012.

Chris's daughter, Caroline.
She finished university last summer.
Now working, but waiting for the dream job to come along.

These three get their colouring from their mother, who came from The Phillipines.

Alex, son of cousin Rod.
He has been in the navy. Now works for a boat chandlery and is a lifeboat man.
No wonder I have developed a soft spot for the lifeboat charity!

I do hope Caroline will not be cross with her first cousin once removed in law (that's Bill) for enjoying this picture!

Now we move to the wives of Robert and David.

Lucy, wife of  David. Mother of Oscar.               Jenna, wife of Robert.  She
                                                                                announced her pregancy on
                                                                                that day.

Now we come to people only very tenuously linked with my family tree.
Chris has a new partner.

Beverley was originally from Sierra Leone.
She has 2 sons, Ivor and Julian.
Beverley is a primary school teacher, so we had lots in common.

Julian and  his wife, Miranda.

I came home and realised I had not got a photograph of Ivor. Tall, dark and elegant! Shame I missed him.

Now, at least, some other family members may be able to put all these people into place.
By the way family, Alison would love to be on facebook with you and I know she will contact you, where appropriate, when time allows.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Our 7th Day of Christmas - in Brighton.

Lovely day!
I'll catch up with photos of the day later - not sure how much later.
We have been to Brighton with 6 of Bill's family.
We had lunch at The Marina.
Been on the Brighton Eye.
 OK - one picture for now.

We went on at sunset time.
Then we walked on the pier.
Caught the bus back to The Marina.
Our brother in law was allowed the special treat of dinging the bell to tell the driver that we wanted the next stop.
He hasn't been on  a bus in years..... and tomorrow is his birthday.

It's nearly eleven o'clock. Time for bed I think.


Christmas Day 2011

Back to Christmas Day.....lots of photographs taken. Here is a selection.
Photo taken before we arrived.
My brother is a bell ringer at the village church.

We turned our nephew and nephew in law from being city slickers (well sort of) into country gentleman!
I must add that the majority of presents cost a minimal amount of money, found at car boot sales, bazaars, charity shops etc.
My brother is a games player - how wonderful that games were found that matched the occasion!
He shows us his Smart Ass and ponders on his Rubbish!
Christmas is for children, so they say. Fathers love it too - looking forward to playing with the toys.

Christmas Dinner is almost ready. Niece in law peers through the hatch from the kitchen.
Plates are laden with turkey and all the trimmings and many vegetables and sauces.

Christmas pudding. This one was made to a Victorian recipe donated to the village museum. My brother is the museum curator.
It was an exceedingly good pudding......with lashings of rum butter!

Rag dolls made by my sister in law. The new one she made this year for our great nephew. The old one was made over 30 years ago for our nephew.

Brother and sister in law open a present from their daughter.
Note the wrapping paper which was hand decorated by the giver with some help from little C.

Wonderful picture of C. Taken by our nephew - not me.

I thought it wouldn't be long before Daddy was playing with that Duplo Lego.

The new milk jug.

Young C opens presents with his auntie (our niece in law).

It's tea time.....anybody hungry?

Christmas cake.

Ooh! Is that bit for me?

Time for bed.

We enjoyed a lovely Christmas Day with family. The emphasis is on people rather than things.


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