Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Shot Of The Month: June


~ Coconut bread ~
This was my first ever attempt at coconut bread and I'm really pleased with how its turned out. Thanks go to Robyn, who posted the recipe on her blog.

Sunday, 27 June 2010


~ Deserted ~
Today is the hottest day of the year; a very hot 31C here in West London. So why is the Common empty, when you could rightly expect it to be packed with families and sun worshippers?
England v Germany on the BBC.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Three Lions

We don't follow football in this house, so I hadn't planned on mentioning the FIFA World Cup in any shape or form. However, given that my FIL is staying with us this week, I now know obscure facts like these: mighty Italy were held to a 1-1 draw by lowly New Zealand and Portugal thrashed North Korea 7-0 (which makes me think they might just be shot when they return to Pyongyang! And another obscure fact, the North Korean Embassy is around the corner from our house.)DH snapped this shot on his phone late last week when we were coming home from our evening walk on the Common. No doubts at all where the driver of this van's allegiance lies. (And how cute are those lions?) For those of you who don't know (or care) about English football (soccer), the team shirts bear the emblem of three lions. (I think all our national teams have 3 lions on them.)
So. Today, 3pm. Pride and passion, I hope. England versus Slovenia in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. And for a little light relief, check out the Baddiel & Skinner video, "Three Lions".


~ A fait accompli ~
Flyers began appearing in our only Post Office a few weeks ago informing the customers that the Post Office was considering relocating to a branch of a High Street chain of stationers. There would, the Post Office stated, be a consultation period and no immediate decision would be taken. Then, early last week, I noticed that the shop element of the branch (cards, envelopes, packaging, etc.) had literally disappeared overnight. And then, this morning, I see this in the window of the High Street stationers. So much for consultation.

Sunday, 20 June 2010


~ Father's Day presents from DS ~
Daddy (DH) ~ tea, white, none.
Grandad (FIL) ~ tea, black, stewed as long as possible, 2 sweeteners, drunk when virtually cold.
Each to their own, I suppose.

Friday, 18 June 2010

All Things Pink

As you already know, I've been delving into my family history again, of late. This time I've been looking at a line on my dad's side ~ the Pink family. My great-great-grandfather was one George Pink. He was one of nine, with eight managing to survive childhood. However, he died early, at just 28, from Typhoid in 1877. He left a wife, Elizabeth, with four small children. One daughter, Jane, pre-deceased him in 1876, aged three-and-a-half. She died from Tabes Mesenterica, something I'd never heard heard of ~ Tuberculosis of lymph glands inside the abdomen. It was an illness of children caused by drinking milk from cows infected with tuberculosis. How tragic.
George's 4th child was Emily (1876-1964) and she was my great-grandmother. She was raised in the Church of England but became a Roman Catholic when she married John in 1905. Apparently she embraced Catholicism wholeheartedly and was thrilled when one of her sons became a priest in the mid 1930s. This is her in the photo below. The very stylish lady in the photo below is Emily's daughter Gloria (1907-1988), George's grand-daughter and my grandmother. This photo was taken in 1949 at Emily's other daughter Ivy's wedding. I have strong memories of my grandmother, she was very much a part of our lives when we were all small and, if asked, I would use the word elegant to describe her.
George's great-grandson is my dad (1942-1995), Gloria's only child. We all miss him still. Today would have been his 68th birthday. I was talking with my mum last week and we agreed that my dad's legacy is not only his two much loved grandsons, but also the impact he made on the lives of hundreds of young people through his long involvement with the Air Training Corps.There's a lot more still to discover about the Pink line, they were a prolific lot! George lost a nephew and a grandson in the First World War: his grandson John Ford Pink (the son of Emily's brother William) died in 1917 and is buried in the Bailleul Military Cemetery in France. By a bizarre twist of fate, the above photo came from the War Graves Photographic Project, on which both my sister and I are volunteers. She has photographed most of her bit of NE Scotland and I have photographed West London and Hong Kong (on honeymoon!). You should check them out if you ever want a photo of a British or Commonwealth Military grave.

And then there is the Infant Mortality Rate to consider. The Pinks produced lots of offspring, but, as I'm discovering, an awful lot of them died extremely young: Eleanor Margaret at 15 from Scarlatina (the only sibling of John Ford Pink, a double tragedy for their parents), little Hector John at 1 year from Acute Bronchitis, and 2 year old Wilfred from Measles. I am so grateful for the high standard of childcare and medicines available today. But that's the thing about family history, you have to take the rough with the smooth. For every family with a Victoria Cross winner or an inventor of something amazing, there are more families like mine. And the really odd thing is that I'm very proud of my Pink line: hard working, working-class and poorly educated, but still attempting to do right by their loved ones. And, after all, that's what it's all about, isn't it?


~ A publican with an eye for business ~

Tuesday, 15 June 2010


~ Patriotic crafting at Nursery ~
No doubt inspired by this. Not the best shot ever, I know, but he was so proud of his artwork and it wasn't easy to get him to stand still!
It's the flag of England (the red cross of St. George), in case you were unsure!

Monday, 14 June 2010

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Oh, Such A Perfect Day

We have spent today with the InLaws in Maidenhead and had such a perfect day. The weather was kind, so we were able to spend a lot of time outside; DS behaved beautifully, no tantrums because of a missed nap and no accidents on Auntie L's floors.Yours truly was asked to be in charge of the camera. I took this to mean that I could construct the shots I wanted and no-one seemed to mind being told, "No, stand here, not there!" When I was setting up the shot above, I realised that DS has a direct bloodline or familial DNA to everyone in the shot, bar one. And that's quite something.


~ Perfect day ~

Scrap Weekly 2010: Challenge 24

Margie has set this week's challenge over on the Scrap Weekly 2010 blog, and she's given you plenty to think about. Here's a wee peek at what she has come up with ...

Saturday, 12 June 2010


~ Peculiar tree 'fluff', seen in the park this morning ~

Trooping The Colour

This morning, Her Majesty the Queen marked her 84th official birthday at the Trooping the Colour parade in central London. More than 1,400 soldiers took part in the annual display of military pomp and pageantry on London's Horse Guards Parade. She was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, her grandson Prince William and other members of the royal family.The 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards were parading their flag colour this year. Many of the battalion's soldiers returned from Afghanistan two months ago. After the Queen took the salute on Horse Guards, the royal family headed back to Buckingham Palace where they watched a 30-aircraft strong RAF flypast. Trooping the Colour has marked the official birthday of the sovereign since the 18th century but no monarch has attended as many birthday parades as Queen Elizabeth. On Horse Guards the colour being trooped this year was that of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards - the senior regiment of infantry in the British Army. Two months ago they were serving in Afghanistan. During the six month tour of duty they lost five members of the regiment, including their Regimental Sergeant Major Darren Chant. So amid all the ceremony on Horse Guards today, there was also an element of remembrance for comrades who gave their lives on the battlefield. The flypast was led by The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight - one of the events staged to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the battle. A Hurricane and Spitfire were the first aircraft to fly over the members of the Royal Family as they gathered on the Buckingham Palace balcony. They were followed by Typhoons, Tornadoes, a Nimrod R1 and the Red Arrows - the RAF's aerobatic display team.
The Colonel of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, the Duke of Edinburgh, paid tribute to the armed forces. He said: "One of the great things that the services can do is that they take ordinary people and turn them into extraordinary people. “I think that's what happens, and once they're given the proper training and motivation that interests them, that really turns them around completely and they become very remarkable people."
The tradition of two birthdays dates back to the time when, if monarchs were born in winter, the weather was deemed unsuitable for outdoor events. Traditionally before battle, colours - or flags - were carried, or "trooped", along the rank of soldiers so they could be seen and recognised. In 1748, it was decided the trooping would also be used to honour the sovereign's birthday. The Queen first took the royal salute in 1951 when she deputised for her father King George VI when he was sick. She has attended every ceremony bar one in 1955 when there was a national rail strike.
Her Majesty's actual birthday is 21 April.

This is what we, as a Nation, do best. Trooping The Colour, Beating Retreat, The Festival of Remembrance, Remembrance Sunday ~ all were a regular part of my childhood, and one that I intend to share with my son.
(Images and info obtained from the BBC.)

Friday, 11 June 2010


~ Cross checking ~
I've been dipping into my family history again of late and have found that, since I appear to have 3 different notebooks on the go, there is a serious need for some cross checking. I'd be really struggling without access to this website and this one, as well.

Fresh Air Friday

A Bored DH

DH just sent me these images via his mobile phone. His plane appears to be a little delayed and I think he's bored.No prizes for guessing where he has been!

Thursday, 10 June 2010

A Post About My Mum ...

... because I can.
DH is away abroad again this week with work, so my mum very kindly offered to come and help out with her beloved grandson. (I don't think she finds helping out with either of her beloved grandsons a chore!) And this is directly after completing 2 weeks of Jury Service, which, to quote mum, she found to be an education.
Every night, before going to bed, I always thank her for all her help that day. She always says the same thing, "Oh, I didn't do anything". And that is just not true.
Here's what she has done this week, in no particular order: cleaned toilets, washed the kitchen floor, read countless stories to DS, helped to bath him, helped me carry the shopping, eaten breakfast at Carluccio's, come with me when I've walked the dog, looked through my family history box and labelled old photos if she could (see photo), made countless cups of tea, hung the washing out, fed the dog, played with DS, done the ironing, bought some new clothes ready for our trip away (more about that soon), supervised DS at teatime while I've nipped out with the pooch, stayed in while I took DS to nursery in case the UPS man came (he didn't) ... I'm sure I've missed a few things.

"A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavour by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts."
~ Washington Irving


~ Some pre-holiday planning ~
They didn't have the one I wanted. Mum and I are having 3 nights away next month; we're leaving DH and DS at home! More about our destination nearer the time.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Monday, 7 June 2010

Sunday, 6 June 2010

The Power Of A Power Nap

Normal service is resumed.Never underestimate the power of a power nap. Although, in this case, it was more like a three hour nap!

Week In The Life: Finished Project

So. It's finally done. A mere six weeks after I began the Week In The Life project. I neither love it or hate it. It's okay. And that's good enough for me right now. What did I learn from this project?

  • Do the journaling at the end of each day!
  • Use cream or white cardstock
  • Consider the purchase of pre-divided page protectors
  • Take a lot more photos each day
  • Choose a week that has variety to the days. Otherwise, you will be bored with the whole thing


~ Over tired and over wrought ~
The afternoon nap began at 11am! My boy does not cope very well with over tiredness at all.

Saturday, 5 June 2010


~ DS was delighted to discover Jess the cat helping Postman Pat on his round this morning! ~

Friday, 4 June 2010

Thursday, 3 June 2010

What Are You Reading?

I was at my Book Group this morning, where we discussed The Elegance of the Hedgehog by the French author Muriel Barbery. I have to confess that I ran out of time this last month and only got half way through it. However, the general consensus of opinion was that it was a good read and worth recommending. Our new book is Aldous Huxley's Island, which I'm hoping I will enjoy. I've already learnt two things this morning: Aldous Huxley was British, not American (he was born in Surrey in 1894 (I think) and didn't go to the US until 1937), and that the novel we're about to read is called 'Island', not 'The Island'. Other books waiting patiently on my bedside table are the 2 Patrick Leigh Fermor books from last month and The Help by Kathryn Stockett, which is pretty good: Jackson, Mississippi, 1962, the time of Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King.


~ Information point in the local library ~
Remember when a library was all about the books?

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Scrap Weekly 2010: Challenge #22

Over on the Scrap Weekly 2010 blog this week, Jo has posted challenge #22. She's kept it very simple: use punched butterflies on your LO.


~ These are the hands that hold the camera that captures my everyday life ~
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