Friday, August 29, 2008


Last night before I went to bed I put the following posts in draft and this morning – most carefully, published them in the correct order. However Blogger insists on doing it their way and I can’t fiddle around any longer. So Finalmente should be at the top –here – followed by Porlock pictures, and then the rest. Sorry to be so inept.

A glimpse of the Bristol Channel

Some early heather

Almost there.
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Thursday, August 28, 2008

We left from Porlock passing the church below with it's funny spire. The church above is Culbone - a tiny church in the woods and said to have pinched the top of Porlock's spire for their own church. Anything's possible in the Wild West.

The main street Porlock
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The way they were then ...

The way they are now.

Confusing going backwards.

Not that way!
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Two teenagers on the bridge

Ah - the horses!

A favourite tea place of my mother's - Horner.
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We finished up at Porlock Weir and had lunch at The Ship Inn.

Unfortunately by the time we returned to Porlock the Visitor Centre was closed but we met the artist in residence - see earlier post 'The Artist, the Apple and Ada.' Certificate to be collected at a later date
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I love it in the opera Tosca, when the wicked Scarpia proclaims 'Finalmente!' just before he has his wicked way with her - but Tosca knifes him in the gizzard, spitting venom at him. Marvellous! Anyway finalmente, the Coleridge Way is finished. At last! And thank you to the sons, DILs and grand children who have kept me company. The last bit between Wheddons Cross and Porlock we did backwards, to avoid the steep, rocky downhills on my damaged tootsies. On steep rocky up hills I'm OK. Following the map backwards can get tricky but my suggestion that # 1 son should stand on his head was dismissed as a silly idea. The nice ladies in th Visitor Centre assured me I would still get a certificate - in spite of the unorthodox way of completing the walk.
And you want me to believe that Coleridge et al did this walk of an evening? I don't think so.
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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Bud
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A Pink Flower


This pink flower is now blooming in the garden as it has done since we came in '85. For a while I thought - hopefully - it was an Amaryllis. It is similar to one in John.g's garden (sidebar) and he wrote about it on August 6th naming it a Crinum. The big difference is that John's is nestled in lots of leaves whereas these have long iris type leaves during the summer - and no flower. Then the leaves start to droop and as they look so untidy I pull them out. The plant looks dead; then suddenly in August these Phallic like buds shoot up and finally bloom into the flower. Another feature - it smells of pear drops. Is it a Nerine?

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Monday, August 25, 2008

The Artist, the Apple and Ada.


As we were in Porlock I decide to call in at the excellent Visitor Centre to collect the certificate for completing the Coleridge Way. It was closed but there was a notice saying the artist in residence was working in the garden. There we found a tall man under a tree eating an apple. Perhaps he was a performance artist but no, he explained in excellent English (he was German) he was eating the apple as it had fallen from the tree. What he was really doing was painting numbers on the apples.

Naturally – being nosey – I asked him why - and he kindly gave me an explanation which became more and more complicated and just when my eyes were beginning to glaze over he mentioned Byron’s daughter when I literally pricked up my ears. Probably most of you, when he mentioned Sadie Plant, ‘Zeros and Ones’, and Babbage would have thought ‘Ah yes – of course!’ I had to resort to Google.

Byron’s daughter was Ada Lovelace (yes I know you have all heard of Linda but it’s a different family)

‘She was buried next to the father she never knew at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Hucknall, Nottingham. Over one hundred years after her death, in 1953, Lovelace's notes on Babbage's Analytical Engine were republished after being forgotten. The engine has now been recognized as an early model for a computer and Lovelace's notes as a description of a computer and software.[14]

The computer language Ada, created by the U.S. Defense Department, was named after Lovelace.'

Sadie Plant has something to do with the Apple but this is where I get a bit lost although I believe she championed Ada. Below is what she said in an interview with Rosie X

‘The word cyberfeminism I started using quite independently of any other use I'd come across. I'd never seen the word used before. This is one of the reasons I was delighted when I came across the work of VNS Matrix here in Australia. Cyberfeminism to me implies an alliance is being developed between women/machinery and the new technology that women are using. It seemed to me a lot of women really love this type of technology and because of the "toys for boys" complex it was curious that they did. I thought women should be encouraged to go with their desire. To start with I simply used the word "cyberfeminism" to indicate an alliance. A connection. Then I started research on the history of feminism and the history of technology. It occurred to me a long standing relationship was evident between information technology and women's liberation. You can almost map them onto each other in the whole history of modernity. Just as machines get more intelligent so do women get more liberated. (link to history of this particular lie industrial revolution, witchcraft, loss of "women's knowledge")

So there you have it. I love that Byron’s daughter wrote the first computer programme. Sadly I lost the bit of paper with the artist’s name but he is on the left of the photo below.

The Artist on the left

The Apple
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Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Frolic


If you are of an age where heart, strokes and BP problems loom, do read Kenju’s post (Side bar) ‘It was August 17th 2007 . It is the post on Sunday August 17th 2008. I have just been reading it aloud to MTL and I think men particularly should read it.

Granddaughters A and F have both done well in O levels, or whatever they are nowadays, so they can relax and enjoy the rest of the summer; we glimpsed it briefly on Tuesday in Watchet.

Whilst browsing I came across the following quotes: all from the same writer. Guess who?

‘Before the war, and especially before the Boer War, it was summer all year round.’

‘If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – for ever.’

‘It is brought home to you…that it is only because miners sweat their guts out that superior persons can remain superior.’

‘Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise.’

‘At 50, everyone has the face he deserves.’

‘As with the Christian religion, the worst advertisement for Socialism is its adherents’

‘Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play…’

No this is just too sour and embittered, especially, whilst the Olympics are taking place. I have only a hazy knowledge of this writer and his/ her work. I’d like to know what caused this dyspeptic outlook on life. Or were they born disillusioned? With three books lined up to be read - feel free to enlighten me.

No it isn’t VirginiaWoolf – she wrote :

My own brain is to me the most unaccountable of machinery - always buzzing, humming, soaring roaring diving, and then buried in mud. And why? What's this passion for?’

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

All good things…


The Darlings have just left and the silence is deafening. On a cheery note (for Shane and Dolly Parton) I’m uplifted by some new music. It was grandson T who introduced me to The New Radicals and now it’s a group called Panic at the Disco; the song: a segueing of ‘ We’re so starving’ and ‘Nine in the Afternoon’ from the album ‘Pretty , Odd’. Awesome!

I have been awarded three gongs – the bottom three on my side bar which my granddaughter has placed there for me. It is very kind of my blogging friends and I think I have been spoilt long enough, so no more awards for yours truly – I shall treasure the ones I have.

The gold cup is from Belleek (sidebar) and in turn I award it to Kim, John G, Eryl, and Randall and Spanish Goth – all good eggs. The ‘Sharing the love’ from SHER-endipity I award to Sablonneuse, Z, the Apprentice, Zinnia and Kenju because they do, and the Super Commenter award from LOM I award to Shane, Hoss, Daphne,Tan Lucy Pez and Doctor Maroon as their comments are usually pungent and make me laugh.

Back to reality and put the coffee on- I’m coming round.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday Snippet


It is unlikely I’ll be able to visit before Wednesday, when the Darlings depart. I know lots of you are in the same boat and will understand. Bliss is: having grandchildren who love to cook – I’m happy being kitchen maid. The elder – he of ‘Nothing but Super Heroes Band’ (presently resting) has just heard he has got what he needs for his preferred university so joy all around.

In spite of lowering weather –ooooh the sun has just popped out – we are finishing off the Coleridge Way today DV - but backwards. The last bit down into Porlock is very steep and our last walk was over very rocky terrain which resulted in my losing big toe nails – so we’ll go backwards uphill. This makes map reading and instructions quite hard to follow but fortunately # 1 son doesn’t take after his Ma in this respect.

Hope all is well with all of you.xoxo

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A beautiful present from my visitors - roses, lilies, carnations aand marguerites - they smell divine
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Lovely Day


…if you discount the weather that is. They did a 350 mile round trip and miraculously arrived shortly after I did. We had arranged to meet at noon, in a nearby village inn and MTL sweetly dropped me there so I could imbibe. I had booked a table in what they call their restaurant which is four tables, three steps up from the bar. It’s friendly, informal and the food is good and I’m happy to say the visitors approved.

She has blue eyes and a smile that starts deep inside and warms the cockles. She’s old enough to be my daughter and if ever I had been lucky enough to have one she would have filled the bill. He has blue eyes and – like his blog – is laid back, with a wit which makes me laugh. I have become slightly obsessed with shoulders of late – what with the swimming and all; his are great and in fact neither of them would look out of place in Beijing.

We dove straight in with questions, observations and general chat – no holds barred. Incidentally they are old friends and both have partners. She and I drank wine and water – modestly, and he – the driver, drank water and tea. We ate cheesy red pepper omelette. Ratatouille, Tortellini - and I had chips - for the first time for years and was so enamoured I didn’t notice what they had. We all had puds- one lemon brulee, two chocolate puddings one with cream – one with custard.

Conversation was relaxed and easy and we touched on life, death, family, writing, getting published, other bloggers and who we would like still to meet, marriage, drugs, religion but drew the line at politics. She readily agreed to read my 4 page synopsis and I know she will give me an honest opinion which I shall value as she has been a regular reader, is an accomplished writer herself and is responsible for my blogging in the first place.

I wish I could convey how delightful it was – you had to have been there, but MTL took one look at my face and could tell without my uttering a word. I’d be rubbish at poker.

Oooh I nearly forgot; she is Zinnia Cyclamen and he is Shane – both on my side –bar and if you haven’t already, click on and enjoy.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Busy busy.


Today I am meeting two blog friends who I know but have never met - very exciting. I won’t say who in case they wish to remain incognito. Meanwhile the house is in chaos as MTL has removed all pictures and china on walls and in cupboards; he is convinced they will be damaged otherwise, when the men come to stuff the walls and lag the loft on Thursday. I have yet to empty the best china cabinets. On Saturday family arrive which I am really looking forward to, and I know they won’t give a hoot at the state of the house - just as well because there is no way I can get it back together in one day and I shan’t even try.

In addition our long lost handyman (he is so popular) has returned and is doing brilliant work round the outside of the house so the garden is also chaotic. It will all be worthwhile eventually but meanwhile you’ll have to forgive me if I seem distant and preoccupied. I was going to tell the few of you, who are as untechie as I am, a new trick I’ve learned: how to reach page 200 on one’s MS without endless scrolling. It worked this afternoon with my son on the phone but I seem to have lost the knack again. It’s really last night so I’m off to bed. Night night!

Morning:weather wet and windy. Drat!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Nature Study


A match made in Heaven? Obelisks and rampant sweet pea. Below is a creature I have just found under the dining room table. Is it a moth or a butterfly? Inadvertantly I left the dining room window open all night; the middle one is too close but nearer to the colour.

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Nicole Cooke- Gold Medallist.
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A Golden girl


Jean- Luc (sidebar) reminded me how gripping the Olympic Games can be. We love watching rowing – MTL’s brother was an Oxford blue and his father was an athlete who trained with Eric Liddle, so running appeals to us. I was thrilled today when 25 year old Nicole Cooke from the Vale of Glamorgan won our first gold medal, cycling in treacherous rain, which living in Wales no doubt prepared her for. Her motto is something like – Pain is temporary – Glory is forever. There speaks a true Olympian

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Memory


When I first started modelling – in the mid fifties – my husband took me to meet his cousin Barbara. She had given us some beautiful Bristol blue glass liqueur glasses; alas only one survives. She was a very popular member of the family and I soon realised why. She was vibrant, witty, full of life and wonderful company.

. She had three sons and the middle one – just about to leave school – was there. He was like a gentle shaggy bear – not unlike the young Alan Bates who later acted in many of his plays.

Barbara told me that she and Simon would go to the theatre as often as possible – sitting in the gods, so it was no surprise to me, when he became a successful playwright.

Barbara suggested I might like to go as Simon’s partner to a Ball but I knew my husband wouldn’t approve so had to refuse

Over the years I went to see many of his plays but it was his dairies which really fired my enthusiasm. I am sad that he has written his last one

Simon Gray 1936-2008


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Friday, August 08, 2008

O bel isk


I have a rampant everlasting sweet pea (doesn’t everybody) which is swallowing up one of the beds. Karen thinks I should get an obelisk but two, as one would look silly, and drape the RSP over it. I did think with two statues, a bird bath, a fountain, a stone seat, four frogs and an arbour, so say nothing of chairs and tables, that probably there was enough hard ware for a not very big garden but K says they are a good price at the nursery as long as one avoids the wooden ones at £100. I think I shall manage to do that.

Naomi (side-bar) was worried that I had been dormant for a while. In fact I have had my head down trying to finish yet another edit before printing the whole MS ( I have already done 10,000) and then I can feel at least I have one copy which can’t be lost in any crash. Kim came up with the brilliant idea of storing it on G-mail but I will have to do this in two parts as the whole is too large. Hopefully the family – when they come soon will help me with this. Today – after brekkers I am determined to visit my cyber friends and then get back on the job.

Come to think of it - I’m not absolutely sure what an obelisk is.

Including the grasses there are three lovley bronzey plants - can you name them?

What aould I do without Japanese anenome?

This is an annual sweet pea whichis growing up my Stellata

This is the rampant everlasting sweet pea in foreground.
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Guess what?

This is new so I know it is a coreopsis - Creme Brulee

This is a Hibiscus with lots of buds so I'm hoping for a good show
This is a sweet smelling stock. white flowers seem to smell more
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