Monday, July 29, 2013

A last resting place.

It was a glorious day- blue skies, hot sunshine and a blustering, cooling wind.  Accompanied by my # 1 son I wondered if we could find the exact spot MTL and I had chosen – years ago – for our ashes to be scattered.  It was the custom for his side of the family to be scattered in the sea at Port Mahomak on the NE coast of Scotland, but we both realised this would be putting a lot of pressure on both sides of the family;  I remember a mammoth trip one February, on freezing icy roads to dispose of my MIL’s  ashes some years ago.

We knew we wanted to be together in eternity, so chose a spot on beautiful North Hill where a fissure appears with a path to Porlock on the left. 
A and I drove to the far end of North Hill – to the car park, and then planned our route.  I wished I had thought to bring my walking pole and to wear boots instead of sturdy sandals – but I wasn’t thinking too clearly.  The hill was deserted except for a bare-torsoed elderly man with the ability to convert Centigrade to Fahrenheit. After a brief chat, when he related how the present cloud formation had come about, we chose a route- at times overlapping the coastal path.

Finally A spotted a grassy knoll with a large bush as a marker. The important thing, after all, is that my son would be able to recognise the same spot when I pop my clogs.  The view was heavenly and after a few minutes quiet contemplation I chose to do the deed myself and skirted the knoll with the open casket.  It was most dramatic the way the wind rolled and swirled the cloud of ashes along the edge of the knoll.  In spite of the forceful wind I was enveloped with MTL and my heart rejoiced.
I felt at peace – A wanted a hug – all was well.

On the way back we met an elderly couple with a dog.  The man noticed the smart, dark green carton A was carrying and asked if it were a bottle of whisky, whereupon my son said no we had been carrying his step- father’s ashes.

I’m happy that when the time comes A will have no difficulty in finding the exact spot and once more we will be reunited
Rest in peace my dearest dear. A bientot.

See photos below.

A Last Resting Place

The wild ponies of Exmoor

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Saturday, July 20, 2013

I’m all behind!

Well not literally I hope but I still haven’t packed and A wants to be off by 9am tomorrow.  Fortunately it’s no hardship to be up and about by 6am but I did mean to do a proper post – that will have to wait till I get back now.  It’s been a big day today.

I’m going to Hertfordshire – not to be confused with Hereford  and Hampshire where hurricanes hardly ever happen and shall see Tom – my grandson – fresh from a Buck Pal visit, and my granddaughter Alice who I haven’t seen since her year in Florida.

So KTF, avoid the sun and I look forward to seeing you all quite soon.xoxoxoxoxox

Monday, July 15, 2013

Panic stations!

Panic stations!

There’s something to be said for the enervating heat.  It caused me to leave some bedroom doors open and as I wandered past Lottie’s room about 7.30 this am something made me go inside and there was the hot water tap gushing forth – unstoppable.

  The bad news is I changed to a water meter a month ago.  The good news is I have a lovely new plumber just ten minutes away.  Totally unaware of what time it was I phoned his mobile and eureka – he arrived with a nice hint of after shave.

 As before it was the rotted rubber washer - probably been there since the twenties and at least I now know how to turn the cold water into the hot boiler off now.  MTL had left labels in the airing cupboard, but I hadn’t noticed them.

 An extra bonus my plumber has been having problems with a new computer and Vista and gave me the number of his excellent computer wiz kid.

 Here’s hoping for a peaceful rest of Monday – for all of us.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Cuckolding in the Cotswolds contd.

When M&M told me we were going to Kelmscott it meant nothing to me.  It is a pretty village in the Upper Thames Valley and the village of Kelmscott was described by William Morris as ‘an earthly paradise’  When his name was mentioned my ears pricked up; I have always admired his designs but didn’t know much about him.

He was born in 1834 and was an artist, philosopher, political theorist and one of the most outstanding designers of the Arts and Crafts Movement.  I remember using one of his designs for curtains in # 1 son’s bedroom.
At the age of 37 William opened the garden gate of Kelmscott Manor and fell in love with this ’old house by the Thames’ and lived there until he died in 1896.

‘Manor’ was a courtesy title – it is a modest16/17 century farmhouse of local rubble stone set back from the river by lush water meadows.  In the lanes he collected reeds, grasses, roots, flowers and willow twigs for making dyes and studied the plants and birds which were favourite designs for his textiles.

As we walked along the enchanting country lane we passed the Memorial Cottages designed as a memorial to Morris in 1902 which encompasses a carving of Morris by George Jack,(see below) given to the village by Jane, Morris’s wife.  Thanks to the Japanese photographer or we would have missed this.

It seem Morris took the house on a joint lease with Dante Gabriel Rossetti and the house has many of his paintings with the iconic face of Morris’s wife Jane (or Hot Lips as I call her.)  My suspicions aroused – the stewards in each room are most helpful - it seems Rossetti was a bounder as far as Jane was concerned (hence my title).  He went on living there till 1874 so presumably William was a complaisant husband.

In the room with the tile fireplace William and Jane embroidered the hangings in the early days of their marriage.  They were discovered during the 1960’s restoration project, lining a dog basket.  Both Jane and her younger daughter May were gifted needle women.

The elder daughter had a serious boating accident and, as a result became epileptic.  In those days sufferers were shunned and usually packed off to an asylum but William – bless him –wasn’t having it and employed a full time carer.

One of the stewards most kindly told me to look out – in one of the bedrooms - for a photo of Jane aged 70 where she is still truly beautiful.  As she said “Photographs don’t lie.”  I’m not sure I agree with that.  I wonder what Kim thinks?

Wandering round the garden we came upon a sweet little building which Malcolm told me was a three seater loo.  The imagination boggles.
We decided to walk to the village Inn for lunch before tackling our next bit of culture in the afternoon.

There is so much more to Kelmscott - do visit if you get the chance and well done the Society of Antiquaries who rescued the house from a state of dilapidation in 1962

NB See below 2 sets of photos.  Sorry but this is the only way I can do it just now.



Cuckolding in the Cotswolds contd.

The tapestry room

The hangings found in the dog basket
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Cuckolding in the Cotswolds contd.

Love at first sight

NOT the loo.

The 3 seater.

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Monday, July 08, 2013

Cuckolding in the Cotswolds.

Don’t worry –it wasn’t me and it was all a long time ago, of which more later.
The taxi arrived in plenty of time – as we thought – but we crawled to Taunton and Taunton itself was virtually at a standstill.  Chris – the taxi diver helped me to the station and I thanked Heaven I had my many tickets in my hot little hand.

Whilst chatting to Chris I said I had seen two garden gnomes in Minehead.  One wears a bright striped jersey, a snowy white beard, and his white locks covered with a woolly hat.  The other one is like a black and grey version whose clothes look as if they have a life of their own.   I was told they reside at The Mayfair which is for disadvantaged people and there have been complaints about Verne’s disreputable appearance.  The Proprietors take great care to keep their resident clean and tidy but -
“Verne won’ ‘ave it!”

 My new el cheapo trolley case was quite manageable but I decided to take the lift.  Help!
All I wanted was a #5 – for platform 5 but there were just weird symbols – all Greek to me, and I didn’t want to press an alarm button – so I mounted the stairs.
Hooray there was an info desk and he told me helpfully that the last coach was the one I wanted.  Next time I would know which end of the coach I wanted, but there was time to find my seat – albeit already occupied.

Did I want him to move?  Er – yes please.  The carriage – a quiet one was fairly full.

Day dreaming my way to Cheltenham it was great to see Margaret waving - with a huge smile on her face.  A quick spin in the car and we arrived chez M&M with Malcolm offering drinks before a delicious lunch.  With such good old friends it was pure pleasure from beginning to end and it was great to be able to talk about MTL without any awkwardness or embarrassment.

M&M have always been gifted gardeners; now they have a tiny garden but it is a treasure trove of colour, fragrance and beauty.  Behind the garden is a hill so the eye carries on and makes the garden more spacious.  The weather was fine but not a lot of sun and a constant wind.  All the photos below are their garden.  Malcolm has done wonders with the actual earth which was just Severn mud.  Under that was old field earth and then thick heavy clay.  Malcolm worked on it – a square foot at a time breaking it up with his hands and then spreading good healthy compost.  You can see those plants are living the life of Riley and revel in their constant care.

More later.  See below.

Cuckolding in the Cotswolds

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Cuckolding in the Cotswoldsd

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