Saturday, 30 June 2012


Yesterday I had the priviledge to attend the Celebration of Life and Burial service for Malachi Kwabena Thornhill Bonsu.  Malachi died on the 5th June 2012 having spent the last six months of his short life at Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital - he died from leukaemia age eight years old.  It was an honour to attend not just to 'Give Thanks' for Malachi's life but also to support his mum and dad (Yvonne and Kennedy) and his younger brother (Isaiah). It was wonderful to see so many people attending the service and that must have been so encouraging for the family.

I sat behind the Headteacher and staff for Eastbury Primary school, where Malachi was once a pupil, and his class teacher gave a very touching tribute.  The school has been closed for the day in memory of Malachi - how very moving and thoughtful.

My heart also went out to Pastor Carlton Smith, who was leading the service and who is also the Pastor to the family, because last year we were all in the same place supporting him at the Celebration of Life and Burial service for his wonderful wife, Janet Smith. Pastor Carlton said that Yvonne had said to him she was not worried about Malachi because Janet would be looking after him :)) 

As I looked at Pastor Carlton - my mind went back to the day of his wife's burial and I remember Yvonne and I sitting in the garden of Eastbury Manor (where the buffet was held after the burial service) and Yvonne phoned the 'After school club' at Barking New Testatment Assembly Church to let them know that Kennedy would be coming to pick the children up and I can remember her surprise as Pastor Carlton answered the phone and said it was OK he would inform the staff.  Pastor Carlton had gone straight from the burial of his wife to his church to make sure all the children and staff were OK at the After-school club before coming to Eastbury Manor for the buffet.  What a wonderful man of God :)) even at a time of his deepest sorrow he was putting the needs of others first.

(a prayer station in one of the classrooms at George Carey School)

When the Geroge Carey School first opened (last September) I used to get in quite early to make sure the teachers and staff were OK and in order to get to the school I have to drive down Marine Drive - now I would see Yvonne, Kennedy, Malachi and Isaiah all standing at the bus-stop and they would wave as I tooted and drove past going the other way.  My car is bright orange so you can't miss it and you can see it coming from a long way off - my lasting memory is one morning, in December, seeing them all standing to attention and saluting as I drove past :)))  When I got back from holiday in January - they were no longer at the bus-stop as Malachi, by then, was in hospital. I do so miss seeing them as it was such a lovely start to the day...

(our house backs onto the playground/playing field of a school)

When I got home - after a cuppa - I went up to my office and opened the window and all I could hear were the voices of the children from Manor in Longbridge School as they had a sports afternoon.

A gentle reminder that life goes on.....

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Ripple Nature Reserve

This morning I joined Francesca, Janet and Holly on the Butterfly Transect count around the Ripple Nature Reserve and over on the Barking Riverside land by the River Thames.  My word it was a hot and humid morning even though the day started with showers - I should have stayed in Lidl next to the freezer compartment!!

(down by the River Thames - Janet, Francesca and Holly)

It was such a beautiful morning and I wanted to stop and watch the boats and tugs as they made their way up and down the river.  In fact when one tug went by I thought of Les Redfearne, one of my golden oldies from Thames View Lodge Residential Complex,  who - as a young boy and man - worked on the tugs and barge boats as a Lighterman.  Les died a couple of weeks ago and Nigel was leading the funeral service at the City of London Crematorium at 3.30pm.

Everytime I stopped to take a photo then I kept losing the other ladies! especially as the grass was so tall - in some places I gave up looking for butterflies and concentrated on not falling over anything :))

Francesca explained that for certain months of the year - a record was kept of the different types of butterflies that were habitating in the area.  We saw white (or cabbage butterflies as I know them) a red admiral, common blues and lots of various brown ones but I can't remember what they were called. Francesca also went on to say that because of the heavy rainfall there were few butterflies than were last year.  All in all it was a good and interesting morning - even thought I look like a red tomatoe at the end of our walk :))

(Broom Bush)

By the time we had finished the walk it was 1pm and I had to be at the school by 4pm for various committees - so from the Nature Reserve I went to Sainsburys then home - grapped something to eat and back out to George Carey School.

What also happened to day - Diane gave birth to a little girl 'Maddison'.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Home Alone

Nigel's at Rotary, Karl's out on a date and Karmen's out wandering around the school playing field behind our house - so that leaves me Home Alone *YAY*

It has been another day where, once again, I have had so many enjoyable, interesting and challening conversations with various people - that to come home to empty house is relaxing and allows me to unwind and mull over the day.  I appreciate evenings, such as this, where I have the house to myself with no one to cook for and I can wander around in my own world talking to myself; however, I was reminded this afternoon that I can feel this way because I know that, eventually, Nigel, Karl and Karmen will be coming home.  

This afternoon I visited Gwen and Bonnie and, in case you are wondering, it is a green tennis ball that Bonnie has in her mouth. Gwen is such a delightful lady - she is a Barking girl and has lived, in her current house, since 1975 before that in a flat on Thames View.  This afternoon I sat and looked at Gwen's wedding photos (I love going through people's photo albums) trying to recognize locations and smiling at the various outfits!!.

Gwen married at the age of 45 and was a widow by the time she reached 50 (my age) so she has no children of her own but two delightful nieces.  Gwen's main company, these days, is her dog, Bonnie, who is a most lively little thing but I becamed conscious, as we chatted, that I was probably the first person she had spoken to today or even in the last couple of days and I wondered how many other elderly people in Barking and Dagenham, who can't get out of there homes as easily as they once did - also find themselves in the same situation.  Maybe we should all adopt a granny or grandad.

I have to point out here that Gwen was not complaining in anyway but after all the interaction I haved had today with the children at school,  plus the conversations in the Rivergate Community Foyer, with the mums attending the parenting course and with staff and teachers - maybe I was more conscious of her situation.

I can enjoy being 'Home Alone' this evening because those I love dearly will be coming back home at some point and, in return, they know that a cup of tea will be waiting for them as soon as they step through the front door :)

Now let me introduce...

Janine, my co-partner in crime, with her puppet 'Holy Moley' - Holy Moley had a lot of conversations too, today, with the children in the nursery and the children of the mums attending the parenting course. The little ones loved Holy Moley's visit and what was more amusing is to see adults talking to a hand puppet!!!

Now for a cuppa and a read...

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

An Interesting Day

Holiday what Holiday?  ha-ha seems ages ago already :))  It has been another varied but enjoyable day.

(prayer space outside of the Reception Classes)

I started my day at school by attending the assembly organized by Penguin Class - it was very apt as it was all about Noah and the ark..the children did so well :))  Then Coffee & Chat outside in the foyer of the Rivergate Centre - not many attended today but Janine (Church of England Pioneer Missioner) and I had an interesting conversations with the mums who were present. The other week it was all about contraception! this week it was about not being able to have children and the affect it has on women and their relationships.

I received an invitation from The Creekmouth Preservation Society to attend a presentation by The Frederick Handley-Page Association. It was certainly a very interesting talk, especially as Frederick Handley-Page, world-renowed aeronautical engineer, had his aircraft factory and hangars at Creekmouth.  I like to attend these events as I learn more about the area, the people who have lived, worked and raised their families - also it gives me a chance to network and meet new people as well as catching up with folk I have met over the eight years that I have been on the scene.

As the presentation had been organized by the members of The Creekmouth Preservation Society - it was a chance to meet up folk I have met over the years.  This is a photo of me with Iris and behind us the River Thames.  It was a beautiful day and I could have spent all afternoon sitting on the deck area outside the Barking Riverside Office looking out down the Thames; however, after the presentation I decided to go have my lunch by the Barking Flood Barrier before my next engagement at 2pm.

I love this area - it is where the Creekmouth Village once stood; however, the village was destroyed in the 1953 floods - now it is home to the Barking Flood Barrier and The Creekmouth Preservation Society have worked hard to have benches, information points, as well as planting many flowers and shrubs. I come and sit here, when I have time in between engagements, mainly because I am normally the only person and have the whole place to myself - just to sit and enjoy some quiet time in the middle of, what is now, an Industrial Estate.

Today, however, Charlie, Iris and Joyce joined me and, for a brief while, we enjoyed the sunshine, chatted about the presentation and Iris and I took photos of the wild flowers and enjoyed the view towards London. Charlie told me that as a young boy he used to sit on the wall and watch London being bombed during the war.

After I had made my arranged visit at 2pm to Thames View Lodge - I took Janine to Valence House to show her where Linda Rhodes work and, hopefully, find her there for a guide around the archive department.  We met Linda this morning, although I have met her before, a very interesting lady who has written three novels based on true crimes that have happened in Barking & Dagenham. Yep Linda was there and we had a very interesting time looking at old maps of Barking and Dagenham and being shown around the archives. Janine and I finished off our day together with an ice-cream in Valence Park..

To conclude my blog - some favourite photos of the day..

Charlie and Iris (they are cousins) who are members of The Creekmouth Preservation Society

A tug boat with his cargo coming down the Thames

and favourite sweet pea called everlasting pea, which grows wild on Creekmouth.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Q. Theme for today is?

A - Gardens

This morning I made my way to Thames View Community Garden to volunteer - to do what? I did not know...until I got there :)  The garden is a piece of waste land behind the Sue Bramley Centre and next to Thames View Infants school and I wasn't too sure what too expect as I haven't been there since it was turned over to the community for a garden.  I was quite amazed at all the raised beds made with railway sleepers - there must have been at least ten.  Each bed has been given to a different group of the community so I helped Hazel and six members of Panda class from Thames View Infants plant out their raised bed.   I took this photo after all the children had left - there were children from the Infants and Junior school and Sue Bramley Children Centre as well as Police Cadets and also some gentleman from the council plus a young man from Home Base.  Home Base had donated quite a lot of flowers and this young man was busy planting them out into various raised beds.

Our finished bed with elephant watering cans..  As I helped to dig and plant it gave me an opportunity to chat to the youngesters (age 7) and I discovered that they all lived in flats and none had access to a garden.  One little boy held up his flower and said to me 'Miss this is the first time I've planted anything' and the smile on his face said it all.  As they left the garden another chappie said to Joyce (organizer of the community garden) 'Thank you for having us I've had such a wonderful time'.  After they had left Joyce and I looked at each with tears in our eyes - no words were needed.

When I got home I had a cuppa with Nigel then went for a stroll in Mayesbrook Park - before most of it is closed for the Olympics.  This is the new sports centre, which has recently been built and of which Karl is a member; however, during July and August no member of the public will be able to use as it will be used by the athletics training for the Olympics.

Large areas of the park have been turned into natural habitat areas to encourage 'Flora & 'Fauna' and on a sunny day, as today, it does look quite pretty with long grass in various areas next to running streams and lakes.

It appears to be working and it was lovely to see wild poppies and other wild flowers being allowed to grow undisturbed and there were also alot of butterflies.  I snapped this little cabbage butterfly as he came down for a rest.

This evening I shall be attending the Green-Finger Gardening Club in Dagenham and the guest speaker is Lawrence Hobbs and his topic is 'Knowing Your Orchids'. If you read my post yesterday you will know that this very applicable to me at the moment as I endeavour to keep my one Orchid plant alive..

Also I have been invited on to the steering group for 'Revamp the Ripple', which is a nature reserve near George Carey Primary School (for which I am a Governor and Chaplain) plus on Thursday I will be meeting Francesca (London Wildlife) for a Butterfly Transect Walk and this is taking place at the Nature Reserve.

So today really has been a day about Gardens,  a park and a nature reserve. I am always amazed as to how my days vary so much - tomorrow it is Coffee and Chat, then off to Barking Riverside Office for a presentation from The Frederick Handley-Page Association followed by a pastoral visit in the afternoon - the evening is still available to anyone?

Sunday, 24 June 2012

In a state of shock

for three reasons...

Firstly, yesterday evening Karmen came and jumped onto my lap, curled up and went to sleep :)  She has never done that before - even as a kitten she was not a 'lap' cat and preferred to sleep in her box with her cuddly toys.  Karl, my son, walked past the lounge and came back for a double-take because he couldn't believe his eyes.  I am not sure what prompted her to do that but I am not complaining..

Secondly, my birthday plants are still alive and going strong!!  I am not 'good' with plants as I tend to forget to water them, put in the wrong places etc etc and within a few days they are either dead or looking extremely sorry for themselves.

My heart sank when my father-in-law presented me with the Orchid as my first thought was 'Oh my word how am I going to keep this alive?' But it's nearly nine weeks since my 50th birthday and it is still flowering beautifully :))

The other plant the girls in the school office presented me with - it is a Bromelia Brigada - now the instructions which came with the plant were not in English so I had to phone my mother who informed me that I needed to water the plant from the tip of flower and the water will cascade down through the leaves.  This I have done and it is fascinating to watch.  My mother also informed me that the flower lasts about six weeks - well, well, well, nine weeks later and it still in flower!! So whose a clever girl?  The cupcake stake is there to hold the flower up.

Thirdly, at last a visitor to the bird-table which Nigel made about four months ago.  I had given up all hope of any bird using the table and eating the delights I places upon it and, due to the rain, the table itself started to fall to pieces.  Then the miracle happened yesterday - Nigel placed his unfinished bacon sarnie on it and low and behold our first visitor arrived!!  this morning he was there again (the pigeon not Nigel) so I rushed out and put bird seed on it and as you can see he had a feast.  The photo has been cropped and enlarged about four times!!

(I took this photo outside The Tower Hotel, London a few weeks ago)

I can laugh about being in a state of shock regarding Karmen, my plants and the pigeon but I am acutely aware that there are many people in our world today 'in a state of shock' for a variety of reasons. 

This morning I visited a lady who had been informed that her leukaemia had returned and given a life expectancy of 3-6 months.  It was a pleasure to share a short service with her within her home, just the two of us, and to read the Bible, listen to music and share a time of prayer. I thank the Lord, too, for the many wonderful friends/neighbours she has who are so supportive and caring - just at a time when she needs it.

(Covent Gardens - took this photo about two weeks ago)

Karl went out to join his friends at a pub in Whitechapel, London to watch the football  - Nigel is in the lounge watching it and I'm here there and anywhere where the footie is not being shown!! So I think my next job is to get the bird seed ready for Archie (the pigeon) for tomorrow...

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Back to earth with a bump!

Oh I didn't want to get up this bed was so warm and cosy and the thought of going down two flights of stairs (we live in a town house) to make a cup of tea was not at all appealing :(  But we had a lot of things to achieve today as tomorrow it's back to work/ministry/vocation/calling - take your pick! after our lovely few days away.  We (hubby aka Nigel) had set ourselves the goal of being out of the house by 8.30am so that we could get across London, whilst the roads were quiet, to The Salvation Army's shop (S.P. & S. or Trade - as we know it ) to purchase new uniforms etc.. We successfully achieved our goal and task - on arrival we were the only customers in the shop so were served straight away - result :))

The other enjoyable aspect of the journey is that we travel across Tower Bridge. This photo was take on our way home.

And past The Tower of London.  We were here a few weeks ago for the 'Ceremony of the Keys', which you can read about here.

We only had one slight delay - due to road works - and we stood still for a while outside this beautiful church.  Well it is now a Day Care Centre for children. I wondered if there was any 'church' presence in the building at all - whether one of the conditions had been that a Chaplain was still available and maybe a service or two but there was nothing outside to indicate that the 'church' had any role in the building anymore.  My mind went to a Salvation Song written by Albert Orsborn in 1957 (he later became General of The Salvation Army). Albert was thinking about the number of derelict churches and the thousands of Londoners living in the area ..and he said

"They were an immense challenge to my spirit; what were we doing to reach and save them?  Did we care enough? I thought of the One who 'wept over Jerusalem'.

The Saviour of men came to seek and to save
The souls who were lost to the good;
His Spirit was moved for the world which he loved
With the boundless compassion of God.
And still there are fields where the labourers are few,
And still there are souls without bread,
And still eyes that weep where the darkness is deep,
And still straying sheep to be led

Except I am moved with compassion,
How dwelleth thy Spirit in me?
In word and in deed
Burning love is my need;
I know I can find this in thee.
(This is the 1st verse and chorus)

Karmen has now forgiven me for going away :)) and has stopped following me around the house. This afternoon she napped on the lounge windowsill enjoying the sun on her fur.

When we moved into our new house last October - one of the rules, which we both agreed upon, was to try and keep the house and garden simple and uncluttered! in the hope that it would be easier to keep clean and tidy.  It is actually, I have discovered, more hard work to try and live minimalistic - things still keep creeping into the house..  The main reason being that both of us are out all day and then I am currently also taking an MA in Mission - so when assignments are due in plus the normal day to day activities - then literally the house and the garden go to pot!!! until such times, as now, I have an opportunity to restore 'order' once again :))

Our new garden is not even a quarter of the size of our previous garden but it is enough for us to maintain.  I decided that I just wanted a small flower bed at the back of the garden that would be easy for me to keep an eye on and weed etc. Nigel dug a corner over for me and I have planted - a salix caprea ', a red hibiscus, a choicya 'Brica' (this was given to me) and for the border primroses and pancies.  I have joined a gardening club, which meets once a month and I am enjoying that plus I also help to make the tea/coffee that way I get a chance to speak to people too.

This morning, whilst at Trade, I bought a book called 'Finding God in other Christians' by Lorraine Cavanagh so now that I have written my blog and Karl and Nigel are watching the football - I shall bring a cup of tea up to my office (on the top floor) and enjoy a read...

Friday, 22 June 2012

Here endth

Another holiday :)) and, despite the weather, it has been a great few days of relaxation..

Woke this morning, thankful, that the caravan had remained secured in its location and that we hadn't been transported to another world during the gale last night :))  Nigel drove back to Colchester and had the screen on his iPhone repaired and was extremely pleased that it only cost him £40 - compared to the £120 - he had been quoted from other companies.  When he returned we made our way back to the Carvery for lunch, this time the outlook outside was entirely different with the waves crashing against the seawall and beach.  We decided, during lunch, that we would return home this afternoon rather than later this evening as orginally planned.

This winding country lane is my favourite part of the journey home and to the caravan - I love the way the trees bend over the road forming a tunnel. The yellow reflection is the freesia I saved yesterday from the battering it was receiving from the wind and rain.

So I am now home :))  I do so love going away and visiting other places and meeting new people BUT, equally, these days I enjoying coming home more :))  Karmen was pleased to see me and has followed me everywhere - Karl disappeared off to the gym and I soon fell into my old routine of cooking his dinner for him so that it will be ready for when he returns (as he's working this evening) and the first load of washing is in the machine.  Time to blog, catch up on the post and emails and then relax for the rest of the evening.

If you have read this post then I would be grateful if you could pray for Yvonne, Kenny and Isaiah - it doesn't matter that you do not know them personally. Yvonne and Kenny's eldest son (age 9) died at the beginning of the month and she has kindly invited me to the Celebration of Malachi's life and then burial service on the 28th June.  This morning Yvonne wrote these words on her facebook..

I wish that I could hold you now
I wish that I could touch you now
I wish that I could talk to you
Be with you somehow

I know you're in a better place
Even though I can't see your face
I know you're smiling down on me
Saying every thing's okay

Remember them in your prayers - thank you.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Rain, Rain, Rain

It started to rain during the night and came down quite heavily - the noise on the roof of the caravan was actually quite soothing and sounded like nursery children playing with home made drums of yogurt pots and rice :))

I rescued my solitary freesia growing outside which had been battered by the rain and it's new home is now on the mantelpiece.

We decided to visit Colchester shopping centre when the rain had finally died down and, I have to admit, I found the experience rather an anti-climax especially after such a brilliant day at Beth Chatto Gardens and then Maldon. I am not a 'shopper' when the sun is out so why I thought I would enjoy the experience when the weather was so miserable? is beyond me!! We decided to come home and enjoy a cuppa in the warmth of the caravan.

Whilst enjoying our cuppa we listened to the truly inspirational speech given to both houses of Parliament by Aung San Suu Kyi - what an incredible lady. Her experiences during her life-time puts me to shame for whinging about the weather and Colchester Shopping centre.

The only purchase we made was bucket for £2.99 :) because Nigel has been desperate to clean the caravan and, whilst it was raining, this he did.  Now the photo is at an angle because I was leaning out of the bedroom window to catch him in action..

Colchester does have its good points - one of them being that my parents live there so, after we had our evening meal, we popped in for a cuppa and a chat.

We are now back at the caravan and it is extremely windy outside - so windy that the caravan does occasionally rock from side to side - so I am hoping that we are still here in one piece in the morning and not, like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, find ourselves blown into orbit!! or another land completely :)) ha-ha.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Maldon, Essex

Today we made our way to Maldon, which is a about 3/4hr drive from the caravan down long winding country roads - in fact you feel as though you're driving to the end of the earth :))

The weather was fabulous, the sky was blue (mostly) and I was surprised as to how many people had the same idea as us to visit Maldon!!  Thankfully, we found parking (the last space in the car park) before the coaches arrived and the multitude of pensioners who swarmed the coffee/tea/ice-cream/ shops and every available bench and seat.  Bless them all - so pleased that they had such wonderful weather for their trip.

My aim was to visit the church, which is St. Mary's Church and so, once we had had a stroll up and down the Maldon Promenade and ate our packed lunched on the green, I left Nigel to relax in his deckchair and I went for a wander..

Unfortunately, for me, the church had an event on so I couldn't go inside but that's good news for the church - good to see people using it :))  However, I would have liked to have gone in and lit a candle for so many people, that I know this month, who are mourning the loss of loved ones and also to lite a candle for my friend, Sharon, who will be ordained on the 1st July as a Church of England minister. So, instead, I wander around the grounds and thought of them all - I do love strolling church grave yards and cemeteries.

On the way back to meet Nigel, before our parking time ran out, I came across a maze with this stone erected in the middle of it - apparently it is called The Singing Stone!  Sorry I didn't have time to read the explanation as to why it was called the The Singing Stone - next time.  But as I turned around I thought this was a brilliant photo opportunity.

Nigel is watching the James Bond film on TV so I shall now go and sit in the bedroom with a cuppa and my book :))

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The Beth Chatto Gardens

We decided that this holiday we wouldn't be out gallivanting all over the place, as we normally do and then need another holiday to recover, but would just choose two places that we wanted to visit and take it easy the rest of the time. 

I first choice was to visit The Beth Chatto Gardens and so off we set this morning - the gardens are only about four miles away from the caravan park and the weather was suburb.

The Beth Chatto Gardens began in 1960. From an overgrown wasteland with poor gravel soil and boggy hollows, it has been transformed into an informal garden harmonising with the surrounding countryside (taken from the front of the guide book)

We bought a season ticket for the year at £25 for two people, which is brilliant as I will certainly be visiting the gardens again and again when we are at the caravan - it will be interesting to see how it changes through the year.

Nigel enjoyed taking loads of photos in the hope that he managed to get a 'good one' for this year's photo competition at Barking Salvation Army.

The internet around the caravan is site is s-l-o-w so I cannot upload any more photos - I actually only had one more but it has been a good day.  Plus it was also just wonderful to have the time to write cards/letters to friends and family and post them all off *YAY*

Roll on Maldon tomorrow...

Monday, 18 June 2012


We are fortunate to own a caravan , which is located only just over an hours drive from home.  The site and caravan were purposely chosen so that we could reach it easily on a day-off and it is also situated near my parents. We have had the caravan for a year now and this is our first full week's holiday in it!! although Nigel, more than me, does try to come down most Sunday evenings returning home Monday afternoon.  We have had other weeks booked in it but for varying reasons those holidays have had to be cancelled - so I am going to enjoy my first week here.

We started our holiday with a visit from my parents and my youngest brother and his family plus their new puppy called Frankie.  The photo is of my niece and Frankie.

The visit was to celebrate Nigel's birthday, which was yesterday :))  We did eventually manage to get him to smile whilst his firework candle blazed away :)) ha ha  Once everyone had left - us two oldies then went for a walk around the caravan site and were tucked up and a sleep by 10pm.

Today we went into Clacton - did a bit of shopping had lunch at the carvery and then went for a walk along the beach.  It was whilst having lunch that I received a text from a lady I know to say that her son had died and she was inviting me to a 'celebration' of his life and burial service.  Malachi was nine years old and had spent the last six months of his short life in Great Ormond Street Hospital with Leukaemia.  I was grateful for a quiet walk along an empty beach.

Whilst Nigel had a snoozed after mowing the lawn around our caravan, our next door neighbours and the lady's caravan across the way to us - followed by a cycle around the park and lake - I sat in my favourite chair and read my book -  'Listening for the soul' by Jean Stairs

Actually, I think his plan is to sleep for a couple of hours now in the hope that I will be in bed and reading by 10pm so that he can stay up and start watching the DVD set that my brother bought him for his birthday :)) 

Time now for a cuppa using the delightful mugs that we purchased in one of the charity shops this morning and then for a walk around the park and then the lake, where the posh caravans/people are!! I took this photo a few weeks ago..