Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday Blog Hop:Celebrate the Small Things:King John is Dead

Good morning bloggers and surfers. It's Friday again and thanks are due to Alexa Cain and her trusty aides for maintaining the Friday Blog Hop. Click the link on the right of this page if you want to find out how to join the gang.

 I'm usually casting around desperately to tell you something interesting about life in a small English market town. But not today. It's been an action-packed week.

Sunday saw me up at the crack of dawn for the dash to Bury St. Edmunds, where family members were converging (well, a few family members were getting together) to celebrate number one son's fortieth birthday. I know. I barely look older than forty myself (in my dreams) but there you have it. I was a child bride. Also, I have no compunction about telling an occasional white lie.

St. Edmundsbury Cathedral
The location of our celebratory lunch - Ben's Restaurant, Bury St Edmunds
A traditional Sunday lunch of roast beef with Yorkshire pudding always tastes better when cooked by someone else.
Find the two people on the pic who aren't suffering from hangovers!

The Canadian cousins, who serendipity had landed on our shores in time for the celebrations, then followed me back up the M11 to my home. At least, that was the plan. My driver, who shall be nameless, took a wrong turn within a few hundred yards of my sister's house and lost the Canadians. Who were then left to follow their instincts - turning up chez Moi forty-five minutes after I had got home. They barely had time to demolish the delicious pasta dish that I whipped up in five minutes or so before they crashed out on account of jet lag, a boozy wedding anniversary celebration on the previous evening, and the stress of getting lost in middle England.

 Thank you God for Gino D'Acampo (and for his recipes)

The following day we wandered around yet another historic small town, made nuisances of ourselves in various dress shops, and had a lovely lunch - even managing to eat out of doors. In England. In October.

Here's the big finale to my rambling account - King John is Dead. Well, actually, he died on the 19th October 800 years ago - in Newark Castle. And, never the kind of people to miss an opportunity for a bit of a do, the residents have put on a series of events to mark the occasion. So on Monday evening I was in the Town Hall ballroom for a talk by Professor Stephen Church, who has even gone so far as to involve himself in a BBC Television programme, The Last Journey of the Magna Carta King  Don't believe everything you have heard about Bad King John and the Sheriff of Nottingham versus Robin Hood. It turns out that he wasn't so bad after all.

Newark Castle. The room where King John is said to have died is up the stairs

I enjoyed the talk/lecture so bought Professor Church's book - and there's no harm done by giving it a plug ( I haven't read it yet, so can't offer a recommendation) -

What else? I enjoy researching so I'm still delving into records relating to the wartime Royal Navy and incorporating more information into chapters of Dad's memoirs. Here's the latest - click the link to bring joy to an old lady's heart.

I'm now about to make my Christmas cake - it needs time to mature

P.S. I managed to revive the injured blanket box and spent Saturday spray-painting it. Result! 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Friday Blog Hop: Celebrate the Small Things; Here we are again

Can it be Friday already? Yes, it can. So here I am again with tales of a humdrum week. So, what has been happening in the land of Robin Hood, real ale and really bad weather? Well .... last Saturday I and three girlfriends (possibly a misnomer as I am a pensioner and was youngest in the group) went to a matinee screening of The Girl on the Train, after a substantial lunch of Tuscan Bean Salad washed down with a cheeky glass of Merlot. (It was good wine, but why do they only have French wine on offer in an Italian establishment?). I digress.
The film was gripping, edge-of-the-seat viewing.  I didn't manage to suss out who the murderer was - don't know if that is a good or a bad thing. Perhaps the Merlot was affecting my powers of reasoning.

After that things went a bit pear-shaped. I have been hunting online for a replacement for the blanket box that was the victim of my clumsy episode of DIY. Wasn't holding on to much hope as it is a vintage item. But it had personality, if you know what I mean, and what was on offer for the money that I received from the insurers just wasn't going to cut it. Here's the good news! I eventually found a renovated, shabby chic equivalent on eBay. And what was even better - the top was upholstered in Laura Ashley fabric . Yeah! (No, in case you are beginning to wonder, I don't hold shares in Laura Ashley - just love the patterns).  Unfortunately, in my eagerness to open the packaging with the  lethal blade of a Stanley knife I made a slit in the upholstery. S***! But - I happened to have fray stop liquid in my sewing box so was able to carry out emergency surgery. Can hardly see the repair job- so there's something positive to be said about failing eyesight.

After this, I sort of lost the plot. I was so impressed by the replacement box that I thought that I would attempt to revive my old terminally sick one.  I spent hours and hours picking out dried paint from the wickerwork with this -

Yes, bloggers, it's a meat skewer. There are reasons why this Blogspot is called Crazy Old Lady.

Sanity eventually prevailed. I abandoned my efforts and managed to write two more articles for Hub Pages. 

 Memoirs of a Nonagenarian: Small Town Boy to South Atlantic Seaman:Chapter 4

On Sunday my eldest son will be forty years old. I can hardly believe it. We will be driving down to Bury St. Edmunds for a celebratory lunch with the members of the family who haven't fled the country and then the visiting Canadian cousins, who will have driven up from London, will come back to my house for an overnight stay.

Thanks to Lexa Cain and her co-hosts for maintaining and sustaining the Friday Blog Hop. If you would like to join in please click the link to the right to be redirected to Lexa's blog.