Tuesday, December 30, 2008

betty's back

Bettys in Harrogate, Yorkshire.


Well, that turned out to be a rather longer blog break than I intended.

So, what's been happening while I've been doing other things?

Eddy has grown up and is now cat sized.

Letty is still posting really cool stuff.

And Steve has stopped blogging! (sad face)

Lots of catching up with other peoples' blogs to follow over the next few days .....

Last week it was Christmas: family, turkey, sprouts, crackers, more sprouts, walking in the crisp, winter sunshine on Boxing Day after a pub lunch.

This week it's New Year: just the two of us (plus cats, of course) lots of yummy nibbles, mulled wine, whisky, crap TV.

Next week? Who knows?

Happy Holidays to all!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Life has been a tad busy of late.
I've been distracted by a couple of momentous events and a horrid cold and haven't had much time for writing or visiting my favourite blogs.

So, what was so momentous? Well, last week I turned 50. I had rather expected to feel a little down, a little quiet. Perhaps, even, a little sad.
After all, as people seemed keen to remind me, I'm now halfway to a hundred!
But it was ok. I had a fabulous day with my family. People I love sent me beautiful cards and gave me wonderful, thoughtful gifts. So, all in all, being 50 seems pretty good.

But, despite all that, today I do feel sad.
Yesterday our younger daughter started her first term at university.
And the house feels very, very quiet.

On the plus side, there will be no cups or dishes left in various spots around the place. I won't be woken at 3am by a text letting me know that she's staying at a friend's after going to a club. (At least she lets me know!) And we won't have to cope with her hormonal mood swings.

But I'll miss the conversations about politics, religion, fashion and music. I'll miss the smell of her perfume, Coco Mademoiselle, the witty observations, the dark blue eyes, so carefully made-up, flashing with humour behind the long fringe.

I'm glad she's gone. It was time for her to fly the nest.
But I miss her.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Other Half & I both have An Important Birthday™ coming up soon (too soon!)
To celebrate (or commiserate) we are planning a trip.

A Road Trip.

This will involve driving from Los Angeles to Savannah, with some very interesting stops on the way (not least for sleep, gas & food.)

Watch this space.

Monday, September 22, 2008

in an english country garden

From the buzz and the busyness of the city to the peace and calm of
Polesden Lacey. A perfect example of late Georgian grace and grandeur, it's been a favourite of mine since I first visited as a child.

Earlier this year Mr A's father was staying with us for a few days, so we took him there for a surprise day out. And what a surprise! He'd been evacuated to Surrey during the war and had been the paper boy for 'the big house!'

A day of happy memories (and the sun shone, too.)


walled garden

shaded walk

red ball

Saturday, September 20, 2008


It was warm and sunny on Friday and I was totally over-dressed when going into the city to meet up with Mr A for lunch. But, by 4pm, when the shadows were lengthening, there was a chill in the air.

When the cats come in from the garden their paws are wet, although there's been no rain this week.
Garden spiders, tiger-striped in black and brown, have hung their webs from the eaves and on the rotary clothes drier.
Autumn is here.
She crept in quietly while I wasn't looking and has touched the garden. The pinks, yellows and blues of summer are fading. Although the hydrangea is still in flower, its leaves are tinged with bronze. The grass needs cutting less.
Everything is slower.
And quieter.

Best I love September's yellow
Morns of dew strung gossamer,
Thoughtful days without a stir;
Rooky clamours, brazen leaves,
Stubble dotted o'er with sheaves-
More than Spring's bright uncontrol
Suit the Autumn of my soul.

~Alexander Smith

Thursday, September 18, 2008

a day by the thames

On Saturday Mr A & I took ourselves off to the Thames Festival.
It was a beautiful day.
There were stalls selling food and crafts, and entertainments, which ranged from Morris Dancing, through Country & Western to Korean theatre!

And the Thames has a beach.
Who knew!

Down on the beach we found ourselves in the midde of a party.

Some people came dressed for the occasion.

Others were a little less formal.

At the end of the day the setting sun gilded the bridges and the trains

and we made our way home.

Monday, September 15, 2008

richard wright

So sad to read in the news today of the death of
Richard Wright

I'm sitting listening to Pink Floyd at the moment and am somehow lost for words ....

ghent revisited

Wherever you look there is something to see.

In the air

On walls

On the ground

And in surprising places

Friday, September 12, 2008


Time I introduced you to one of my favourite places in the world ...

Belgium and, specifically, Ghent. Located in Dutch-speaking Flanders in the north of Belgium, Ghent has a charm all its own.

Canals wind between buildings old and new.

Thanks to living in London and being not a million miles away from a Eurostar terminal, it's relatively easy for us to hop onto a train and, a couple of hours later, hop off into a different world.

Late mediaeval house.

My Dutch (Flemish) is limited to the usual courtesies and being able to navigate through a menu.

Well, sort of navigate. I have eaten some interesting things. Last summer we were over there for a few days and found a lovely little cafe for lunch. I thought the bread & cheese with salad and radishes sounded just the thing.

There was bread. Good, hearty, stoneground wholemeal bread. And cheese. Copious quantities of fromage blanc, making the bread soggy. Not quite so good.

And there were radishes. Numerous radishes. Neatly sliced and laid in overlapping layers, making pretty patterns on the cheese.

It was interesting. Mr A made little snorting noises into his fish soup. I took a picture.

(There are more radishes hiding under the salad!)

But what's a bit of indigestion between friends when you can take a romantic stroll by the canal at night?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

more greenbelt

It was a sunny day at the festival

But the clouds came

people looked for their wellies

and put them on

but then the sun broke through the clouds

and the people were happy.

Sunday, August 31, 2008


Aren't you getting a little too old for this?
(My friend's comment when I told her that we had just got back from Greenbelt Festival.)

Too old for live music, stand-up comedy, poetry readings, talks and meeting (and listening) to interesting people?
If I'm ever too old for that, then shoot me!

The sun shone (sometimes.)

Pretty parasols.


Outside, looking in.


great escapes

Great escapes in New York City.

Perspectives from a recent trip

Thursday, August 28, 2008

theme thursday - wheels

I drive a car. I like the security of having 4 wheels under me in constant contact with the road.
Bicycles scare me.
I tried to learn to ride when I was a child, but could never get the hang of the whole balance thing.
A brief attempt as an adult convinced me (very quickly) that I Am Not Designed To Ride A Bike.™

But I saw this one in Greenwich Village earlier this year.

And I thought it was cute.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

weekend away

Off to a festival for the holiday weekend.

Hope the weather's as good as last year!

A bientot!


Theme Thursday: winged things or just wings ...

angel on Mull

dragon in Ghent, Belgium

young herring gull on the shore in Oban, Scotland

Children's voices in the orchard
Between the blossom- and the fruit-time:
Golden head, crimson head,
Between the green tip and the root.
Black wing, brown wing, hover over;
Twenty years and the spring is over;
To-day grieves and to-morrow grieves,
Cover me over, light-in-leaves;
Golden head, black wing,
Cling, swing,
Spring, sing,
Swing up into the apple-tree.

New Hampshire by T S Eliot

chaffinches on the Isle of Mull, Scotland