Thursday, 8 June 2017


I am not sure whether we have adopted him or whether he has adopted us but we have a delightful white pigeon (or dove?) that visits our garden regularly. His left foot is badly damaged, which is why we affectionately named him Hop-a-long. Sadly he is bullied by the other pigeons at the feeding stations. Of an evening when the other pigeons have flown to roost, Hop-a-long still remains in the garden often perched on a window ledge or on the roof of the glass lean-to. 

Dave has taken to feeding Hop-a-long at this time of night, being given his own dish full of goodies. Dave keeps guard to keep any other pigeons away. This has resulted in Hop-a-long following Dave closely around the garden and his not being afraid to come to the lean-to when we are in there. 

We feel very privileged to have Hop-a-long in our garden. We might not be able to do anything about his foot but we can show him some kindness and maybe prevent his starvation. Life is life and all life deserves compassion and respect. 

Monday, 29 May 2017

Our Garden Today - Monday 29th May 2017

So much going on in the garden today. 

Back Garden 


Foxgloves and brambles


Hedgehog Holly  (Ilex aquifolium).
There are prickles on the top side of the leaves.

Aquiligia (Columbine)

"Policeman's Buttons"

Yellow Irises

Name unknown

"Snow in Summer"



Apple tree

Pear tree

Pear tree 

Cherry tree 

Prickleless Holly 


Front Garden

Fuchsia at the back, Lavender at the front. 

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Mystery Day Trip - Norwich 9th May 2017

Our Mystery Day Trip with North Star Travel on Tuesday 9th May 2017 took us to Norwich.. The coach dropped us outside John Lewis. With such a temptation, this just had to be our first port of call so that we could visit our favourite departments. After the Electrical Department to see what was new we went to the Haberdashery Department - the biggest John Lewis Haberdashery Department I have ever seen.

Posting this 'find' on Facebook, one of my long ago knitting pals commented that the same Tuesday at John Lewis was her knitting club day and I could have joined them. It would have been good to have seen her again.

Dave and I decided to visit the shops, including the famous market, rather than the castle, cathedral and other places of interest which we has seen on previous visits to the city. Dave was looking for new polo shirts and trousers while I was looking for a birthday gift having had no inspiration after weeks of searching. Finding clothes in Dave's size was impossible. However, Dave did find the perfect gift in the form of a bookmark in St Gregory's Antiques & Collectables, a silken cord with a pewter owl at one end and a pewter Tudor rose at the other. The recipient is an avid reader and is also very fond of owls.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Pear trees ready to harvest, 8th October 2016

Our pear tree, together with a cherry tree and another fruit tree that didn't make it, were given as a present more than 25 years ago. The trees were described as miniature but it seems that nobody told them that. Both remaining trees are many feet high.

And the pear tree has encroached into the cherry tree's space.

This year there is a bumper pear harvest. We do not use pesticides in our garden meaning that the pears each have to be inspected and and bad areas removed when the fruit is peeled. The remaining good parts of the fruit are cut into pieces, washed then microwaved with a small amount of water. Just as well that stewed pears are a favourite of ours. The cooked fruit can be easily frozen for future use. At the moment we are eating windfalls but it won't be long until we can remove the pears from the tree easily.

Some of the branches are so heavy that they have reached the ground and some branches have snapped. In the first of the following two pictures the string preventing the branch from drooping further can be seen at the top left. The plant on the extreme left with the yellowy leaves is an apple tree. Plenty of blossom early in the year but no fruit.

Some of the branches are now so low that we cannot walk easily on the footpath under the pear tree but have to walk around it on the lawn. The picture, taken from the back door, shows the garden path.

The final picture shows the view from under the pear tree looking towards the bird and hedgehog feeding stations and the hedgehog house.

After this year's harvest both the pear tree and the cherry tree will be cut back.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Eileen and Trevor's Wedding, Saturday 18th June 2016

Both Dave and I were delighted to receive an invitation to Eileen and Trevor's wedding on Saturday 18th June 2016. The ceremony and the reception were held at The George Hotel, Huntingdon. We don't usually attend weddings but this one (and another - a family wedding - held in July) was an exception. Having shared Eileen's excitement about her wedding, I was looking forward to the Big Day.

Having no previous idea about the wedding dress, Eileen looked so beautiful as she walked into the room in a purple and diamante creation. The two matrons of honour wore similar flattering dresses and the young bridesmaids were a joy to behold in their white dresses, white socks, silver shoes and fluffy white boleros.  Trevor wore a purple tie, whether by design or accident I don't know.

The room for the ceremony and the room for the reception looked stunning decorated in white and purple. Unfortunately we had to leave hurriedly after the wedding breakfast so did not join in the evening celebrations.

To our friends Eileen and Trevor: Wishing you every health and happiness as you undertake life's journey together. Congratulations!!

Introducing Mr and Mrs Trevor Smith:

After signing the register.

Bride, Matrons of Honour and Bridesmaids.

The wedding VIPs. 

From left to right: Patr (friend of the Bride and Groom), Eileen (Bride), self (friend of the Bride and Groom). 

Monday, 13 October 2014

Bletchley Park, 23rd May 2014

We had been to Bletchley Park some years before. As we had enjoyed that visit so much we went on a day coach trip as a wedding anniversary treat. My personal opinion is that it should now be called Botch-Up Park. Where on our previous visit there had seemed to be many collections, societies and re-enactment/living history groups now there were seemingly sterile buildings with far too much of the atmosphere gone. What I found incredulous was that the National Museum of Computing is not part of the Trust so that visitors need to leave the Trust property through the entrance and walk to the Museum which is at the opposite end of the Trust's boundary. When we visited last time, when we saw the computers ~ as far as we can remember ~ they had been part of the overall site. In the Trust's favour, the map handed to visitors was extremely useful in finding our way around and gave suggestions as to what to see in a visitor's time available. Multimedia guides were also available.

During the Second World War Bletchley Park was the home of the Government Code and Cypher School. Here enemy codes were broken, eventually with the use of the Turing/Welchman Bombe and the Colossus, the world's first electronic computer.

Much of what we saw was of more interest to Dave than to me but then much of what I wanted to see was of little interest to him. So we compromised.

The first thing that caught my eye in the Visitor Centre was the poster for knitted socks. This was at the entrance into Introductory Exhibition. There was much to see and absorb in this exhibition, and I found it helpful to go back and look at it again at the end of our visit. 


From the Visitor Centre we visited the National Radio Centre ~ operated by the Radio Society of Great Britain ~ where Dave was in his element. In fact we visited the Radio Centre quite a few times on that day.

As we wended our way round we found many of the buildings occupied but not open to visitors and a few other buildings marked on the map as open to visitors but were actually closed. To give Bletchley Park its due, it is undergoing restoration funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Following my interest in the Home Front I was content to come across a reconstruction of a bedroom in which a female operator who lived in digs would have slept. The blankets folded over the back of the green wicker chair are knitted.

And the reconstruction of a living room, complete with knitting and knitting patterns. The knitting pattern shown in the top of the following two pictures is Bestway 877 for Sailor, Soldier and Airman Dolls. The embroidery is a just about my level ~ lazy daisy stitches. See also the socks, the rag or latch hook rug and other haberdashery items. Apologies for the reflections from the glass.

These two rooms were along a wall of a space set out as a classroom. The desks took me back to my primary school days. I spent quite some time in this area while Dave spent some time in the "business" part of the exhibitions in this block. For what is where at Bletchley Park see the What to See section of their website.

After more exploring and after lunch we started to make our way to the Mansion. The Garage had some impressive vehicles and there was also an exhibition by the Leighton Buzzard Model Boat Club.

1940 Pickard Six cylinder Touring Sedan.

1943 Norton WD16H. 500cc single cylinder.

1938 Austin 18 Ambulance. Six cylinders.

The Mansion was not as we remembered it. There were some furnished rooms and the library but the Churchill exhibition had gone. With the chairs set out as they were, the inside of the building looked like a conference centre rather than reflecting the important building that it is. I asked one of the staff in the Mansion shop if she knew what had happened to the Churchill collection and she said that only that day she had heard that it was going to the Stratford Armouries. See the Stratford Armouries Facebook Page entry dated 9th June 2014.

Tucked away behind the Mansion are two gems. The first is the Bletchley Park Post Office which sells first day covers and will send them all over the world. The second is the Holley-Cornelius Toy Collection. This is a small space jam packed with not only toys but also bygone household items including knitting tools, patterns and beautifully knitted garments. All the time visitors could be heard saying phrases like: "I/We had one of those", "I remember them", "I've not seem one of those for years". I bought a Bellmans pattern originally costing one shilling (5p).

There were many yarncraft tools and haberdashery, some of which I recognised and some which I didn't. What I did see and know about were the wrist yarn holders. The ball goes into the holder with the working end coming out through the hole at the top and the holder is held on the wrist. I used to have one of these years ago and found it extremely useful.

Wrist yarn holders.

When I got home I donated a knitting pattern for a Coronation set to the Collection. The pattern had been used so some lucky boy or girl got to wear one of these in 1953.

In the early afternoon we visited the National Museum of Computing to see the the Colossus Gallery and the Tunny Gallery. We were fortunate to be with a group of students and we were allowed to stay to listen to the talk they were given. When we returned to Bletchley Park we retraced our steps to make sure that we had seen everything.

Enigma Cypher Machine.

Lorenz Cypher Machine.

There was time for sustenance before visiting the gift shop and returning home.

There would be more pictures but the memory card from my camera has become lost.