Saturday, 4 August 2012

Condolence Book

The main task today was to be at The Salvation Army Hall between 1-4pm for anyone who wished to pop in and sign the Condolence Book in memory of Joyce Watkinson. The book will be presented to Joyce's family during the funeral service on the 15th August.

About fourteen people signed the book during that period- many of them youngsters like the two in photograph.

I was quite in awe of them and touched by the messages they had penned for the family to read.  In awe! because, even now, if a card of any description is thrust in front of me and I am asked to write a few words - then it is literally a 'few words' as my mind goes completely blank and I cannot think of anything to write - so, yes, I was in awe as they penned their heartfelt messages with apparent ease.

The Condolence Book will be in the Church tomorrow for the congregation to sign and will be also be available at The Friendship Club on Wednesday for Club members to add their contributions.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

1st August

Oh my where has the year gone?  I seem to recall saying the same thing about 2011, 2010, 2009!!!

So today is today is the 1st August :)

Karl is off to the Edinburgh Fringe for the month - he has a venue to himself this year. I took this photo yesterday evening as he was just popping into London to see the final draft for his flyers, which he will be getting printed in Edinburgh.  Poor fella is rather tired already - he is just back from a weekend gig then up until all hours of this morning packing his suitcase and rucksac but he has youth + energy on his side..

I shall miss him but the upside is that the house will be tidy for a month!!   Have a great time Karl :))

Just dropped Karl off at Barking Station - Edinburgh look out here he comes!!

Monday, 30 July 2012

new camera - double click to enlarge photos

Photos taken with my new camera - Green Fingers Gardening Club this evening - Guest Speaker: Geoff Hodge

Richard showing Andrew his holiday photos before club began :)

Trying out the zoom features on Karmen!!  who looked up at me in bewilderment as I hung out of the lounge window (middle floor).

Then to try some close up work - a pansy in the garden.

I do like to remind Nigel, most days, how little I cost him - I don't do clothes shopping, make-up or jewellery BUT I am partial to mobile phones and cameras :))  My new camera cost £109 and is a Samsung WB750 and, most importantly, is handbag size..

Monday, 23 July 2012

Scout Hut

This morning's Creekmouth Preservation Society's meeting was held in the 1st Barking & Dagenham Scout hut - just look at that blue sky!!!

The purpose of this morning's meeting was to help Amy, Catherine and Tom (Make:Good) to collect stories about Creekmouth Village and to help identify landmarks on the map.  Make:Good have made a large map of Thames Ward and are now collecting stories and memories from various groups/societies and residents of the Ward.  In this picture - Mike, Avril and Maria are helping Amy with the location of the village and some of the landmarks around it..

Amy brought with her an old Adana Printing Press and some of the members of the Creekmouth Preservation Society had fun in printing up stencils for the Thames Ward map.  This is Joyce having a go :))

For me, though, the highlight was to wander around the grounds - look at these beautiful lilies in the pond.

and these delightful tyres, which are going to be used to grow vegetables in :))

I just so love these Everlasting Pea which grows wild everywhere.

I have spent the evening, in between writing application proposal for funding etc, swatting mosquitoes and I am now very tired - so time for a final cuppa and then bed ..zzzzzzz

Sunday, 22 July 2012

St. Cedd's and the Olympic Torch

A lot of things have happened since my last entry (Wednesday) some of the main events have been :-

Knit and Knatter - here is Catherine and Bowa busy knitting away.. there were 14 ladies who attended and their children!!!

Janine and Holey Moley read the children a story - after the first book there was soon quite a crowd of children engrossed in listening to Holey Moley reading to them..

Friday was also the last day of term and the Year 6 Leavers Assembly was held in the Church - it was so good to see so many parents in attendance and quite an emotional event too as this was the last day of the 1st year of the George Carey Church of England Primary School and also our 1st year 6 pupils to leave :))

But back to today - I strolled along to St. Cedd's church on Lodge Avenue (road next to me) to join in their activities and watch the Olympic Torch go by..

My word what a fabulous morning of entertainment, refreshments and ministry that Ruth and her team put together.  I took this photo of Ruth with the new Vicar for St. Cedd's - Rev. Tony. There was a brass band, dancers, Molly Rainford (semi-finalist from BGT) tea, coffee and The Gideons were presenting everyone with a Bible.  Absolutely fabulous - WELL DONE ST. CEDD's

And, at last, here she is - I must apologize because I do not know who she is!!!  I've tried googling but it just mentions the famous people who will be running with the torch.. but whoever she I am sure she is worthy of carrying the Torch for us down Lodge avenue... Well Done Love :))

There is always time for a cuppa :))

One of the guest performers - Molly Rainford - who was a semi-finalist on BGT

Now I am patiently waiting for Nigel and then we are off to The Town Show in Dagenham where some youngsters from The Salvation Army are performing..

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Evening stroll

When we were first married (31 years ago) and lived in Leytonstone/Wanstead - Nigel and I would quite often, late in the evening, go for a drive and then walk around different parts of London.  We even drove to Heathrow airport at 2am had a drink of orange juice and then came home again!! in the days, I might add, when it was quite easy to get to Heathrow and park..

Well, late Tuesday evening when Nigel arrived home - he suggested that we went out for a drive and for walk, as we used too :)) so we did.  We ended up at Waterside Gardens, which over looks the Thames and we went for a walk around the surrounding streets then a bit further down the road to near Tower Bridge..

This is the memorial gardens for the Civilians who died during WW2 and from the gardens you can see Tower Bridge and The Shard.  The memorial, I am pleased to see, is now fenced off and has also been refurbished - the last time Nigel and I were here - the memorial had grafitti all over it..

It was a lovely evening, even though it was drizzling, and it was good to 'get out' and wander around London; however, we were exhausted when we arrived home at about 11.30pm - sometimes we forget that we are not as young as we once were!!!!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

lunch time visit

Oh what a difference a day makes - after a four injections yesterday at the dentist whilst having fillings replaced and unable to smile without frightening everyone!!! today I feel great -no pain or discomfort, which was a great relief as I was able to chat and drink tea/coffee with everyone this morning at Coffee and Chat.

The highlight for me today was meeting Olive, Gladys, Harriot, Kate,Ginger and I can't remember what number six was called!! but here I am with Harriot.   Tracy, who is the receptionist for The Rivergate Centre, invited me back to her home for lunch so that I could meet her five week old chickens - I was delighted to accept the offer and had a wonderful half hour in their company..

Tracy and her partner, Darren, have created a wonderful living space and run for them and when I arrived at Tracy's home - her nephew, Craig, was busy cleaning them out :)) how exciting

Well done Tracy, Darren and Craig..

Monday, 16 July 2012

The Dentist

But first let me go back to 11pm last evening.  I was leaning out of my lounge window, which is on the middle floor of a town house, calling 'Karmen, Karmen' and then realized that my next door neighbour was out in her garden.  I apologized to her if I was making too much noise and she laughed and said 'I have never known anyone like you who calls their cat every evening and the cat responds' and just at that moment Karmen jumped up on to the fence and then scrambled down our side and made her way through the open patio doors.  Margaret continued to laugh and carried on saying 'I have spent the last four hours trying to get my lot to go to bed and your cat just does as she is told'....

Nigel says I've gone from being the Mad cat woman of Barking (where we lived before) to the Mad cat woman of Dagenham!!!

Now back to the Dentist...

Returned to the Dentist to have two fillings replaced - the top one was no problem just needed one injection to numb the area; however, the lower tooth filling was quite extensive and it was touch and go whether a filling would be adequate or it would need to come out.  For this filling I required three injections before my mouth was numb enough to proceed with all the drilling!!  I do so wish they would invent silent drills!!!  job done, tooth saved (for the time being) one side of face completely numb (is this what botox feels like?) Then came the instructions - only soft food, nothing cold, buy a soft toothbrush and sensodyne toothpaste and be careful when brushing the area, will be in pain/discomfort maybe for a week...

And on that happy note (after paying for this privilege) went to Asda in Barking to do some shopping conscious that half my face had a life of it's own!! and desperately hoping that no-one stopped me for a conversation.  Arrived home, took above photo didn't even attempt to smile,  two paracetamols and slept for two hours.  It is now 7.30pm and I am home alone - Karl has gone to London to perform a gig, Nigel is down the hall painting something and I am feeling fine, so far, just a slight ache..

Nothing cold to drink was the order so a nice cuppa it is :))

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Is it raining?

Yesterday was a miserable day (weather wise) as I joined a group of conservationists (if there is such a word!!) to dig holes for new benches to be placed in the Ripple Nature Reserve. It rained and rained and rained and then rained a little bit more - we were all soaked - even those who were covered from head to toe in the 'proper' waterproofs soon discovered that they were not going to escape the feeling of water running down their skin under all the layers of protective clothing. I gave up wearing the hood on my raincoat because the rain trickled from it on to my face into my eyes and I couldn't see a thing..

This was a first for me - making tea outside in the pouring rain! no sooner had I put a cup out it was full of rain water mixed with hot water from the flask, a soggy teabag and milk :)) but we had fun, laughed and had some very interesting conversations whilst digging and drinking.

This young man hadn't planned to help when he started out on his morning jog: however, when stopped in his tracks by Francesca who asked if he would like to help? true to his word he came back after his jog and we were extremely grateful for his help as he dug through bricks to make a hole for one of the legs of the bench...

We got talking and I discovered that he is a Christian and attends Holy Trinity Brompton in London but was looking forward to the new church opening on the estate.  I told him that I was part of an Ecumenical group and we would be holding monthly services in the new church from September.  He was so thrilled and said he would attend with friends..  WOW music, as well as rain water, to my ears :))

The added bonus for me on such days like today - is the opportunity for so many conversations, the chance to get know people in depth and the reverse happens too :) folk start questioning me about the church etc because we are on neutral ground and involved in an activity.

I wouldn't say by any means say that I was the greatest of help!! but I hope my tea making skills under all conditions proved to be useful - well I certainly did not received any complaints :))

Now this is the scene outside my house today.. blue sky and the sun is shinning but somehow the rain yesterday made the day memoriable and, today, those who will be walking in the nature reserve can enjoy the sun and the views over the nature reserve whilst sitting, for the first time, on new benches placed there for them :))

I am also pleased to report that I don't ache that much at all.......


Up until January of this year I had two cats called Prince and Karmen - I now only have one - Karmen.  Prince disappeared whilst Nigel and I were away on holiday and even thought I have done everything to find Prince - he has not returned home or been seen by anyone. This post; however, is about the changes I have noticed in Karmen and her behaviour.

Prince and Karmen have grown up together with Karmen being a few months older (she will be 4 in September) and so I assumed that traits like her timidness etc were part of her character. Yes, when Prince disappeared she pined and lost weight, which resulted in me taking her to the vets for a check up because she wouldn't eat and was losing a lot of her fur.  The Vet assured me she not underweight and that she was probably missing Prince and just to give her time and if I was still worried then to bring her back again.

When putting her food out I discovered that if I sat with her then she would eat - gradually I started to move further away from her eating area until she no longer required me to be present.  Karmen and Prince both had their own eating bowls but Karmen would wait for Prince to eat first then start on her food and, so, I guess she was still waiting for Prince to eat!!

Prince would be the one who loved visitors coming and enjoyed all the fuss that he received and Karmen would run into another room and hide - now she welcomes guests and allows people to stroke her, although she still does not like being picked up.

Karmen has never gone to Nigel BUT  a few weeks ago she jumped on to the garden bench and sat with him whilst he was enjoying a cuppa.  I went and got her brush and she allowed him to brush her - another first.  Going one stage further last week she climbed on to my lap curled up and went to sleep - another first.

It was Prince who would chase balls, wool, paper in fact anything around the floor and jump all over the furniture and Karmen would watch from the sidelines - not anymore, she has developed a playful nature. Karmen can now be seen and heard running up and down the stairs, jumping around and on the furniture, diving into the dirty washing bin, running around in circles chasing her tail on our bed - it would appear she has become a kitten once again.

This evening, though, she really did stop us in our tracks. Nigel and I were in the lounge watching the TV and Nigel was eating his chicken curry - he placed his plate on the coffee table whilst he sipped his drink - at this point Karmen walked in very casually and pinched a piece of chicken from the plate and devoured it - never in four years as she ever done that!!!  I am beginning to wonder if this cat is really Karmen after all :)) or whether she had some involvement in Prince's disappearance!!

Whatever!!!! she is certainly a lovable character and I am enjoying watching her as she becomes more and more confident and wondering what she will do next :))

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Friday, 13th July

What a day :))  First of all my sister-in-law (Valerie Mylchreest) ran with the Olympic Torch through Corfe Castle.. here are some photos to prove it :))

Whilst Val was busy running :)) at The Rivergate Centre we were holding our first 'Knit and Knatter', which was also a great success... and here are some photos to prove it :))

What a day :))

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

If a picture paints....

Yesterday (Sunday 8th) Nigel & I and quite a few members of the Schultz and Mylchreest family attended a delicious meal served at Cliff House and then supported Val & Peter in the evening at their farewell meeting and retirement service for Peter, this was held at Boscombe Salvation Army.  Peter has completed 44 years and two months as a Salvation Army Officer and now enters retirement, whilst Val (like me) has a few more years to go and  so she will be taking up another appointment.

Simon (Nigel's brother) Nigel and Me

We sat upstairs in the gallery so that we had a good view of the whole proceeding.  Nigel wasn't too sure about this as he's not good with heights!!!  but he coped :))  The service was emotional, for many different reasons, but it was also filled with laughter and it was a pleasure to be there in a supporting role.

After lunch I went for a walk as everyone else watched the tennis and considering that we had driven through torrential rain this morning here, in Southbourne, the sun was out and so I enjoyed a pleasant walk along the cliff top.  I stood by some railings and looked out to sea with the sun on my face and, every now and then, taking a few photos. I soon became aware that VERY elderly looking couple had arrived and silently sat on the bench behind me - they didn't speak to each other but just sat there...

They appeared to be lost in their own little worlds.. I walked past them (intrigued) and strolled further along the cliff and found another fence to lean against.  When I looked back I could see that they were still there, frozen in time, the little a lady appeared not to have moved at all and the gentleman was still gazing out to sea.  The song says 'If a picture paints a 1000 words'  oh how I would have loved to have gone back and chatted to them just to find out their story, what they were thinking, why they had come out to sit on the bench... but time, unfortunately, was not on my side.. 

July 9th is my Dad's 74th birthday and this photo was taken a couple of weeks ago when Nigel and I visited my parents - mainly to drop off my Dad's birthday present - we bought him an annual pass for The Beth Chatto Gardens.  Today (July 9th) my Mum, Dad and my brother, Jeff, have travelled to visit The National Memorial Arboretum, which is what Dad wanted to do for his birthday.  I received a text from them both saying how much they were enjoying the visit and tomorrow, on their way home, will be visiting Lichfield Catherdral.

Happy Birthday Dad xx