Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Update 34 + Inspiration 7

A picture of Stratford's unique glockenspiel clock-tower leads off the latest update (dad asked about it and here it is - on Stratford's main road with the mountain in the background).

The inspirations are, of course, my sons and daughters. They may in fact be shocked by this news but they inspire me in a variety of ways - none of which I'll bore you with here (and embarrass them with as someone in Wichita Kansas may be reading this). I actually wanted to frame them on the right hand side a la Beatles 'Let It Be' cover but I lack the skill - they are four parts of a whole and they inspire me!

The second week of the term break has come and gone - and the place seems empty compared to last week. Jacky has started her new job - a specialist cosmetic nurse for a company called Skinforme - so it's been me and Jade for most of the week. She's been doing some study and I've been in the garden hacking through the undergrowth. Having Samantha, Adam and Jenna (et al) was great. Apparently the boys were looking forward to their photos playing with the stones - they are on Jade's camera so I'll need to get organised.

Adam's tea drinking prowess is legendary and he'd love the article I just read in the new Guardian Weekly; seems younger Brits are changing from coffee houses to embrace the old-fashioned high tea. I loved the quote from a lady who owns the High Down Tearooms in Worthing, East Sussex, where business is booming. She says, "We are finding that a lot of people are getting fed up with national chains of coffee houses. They realise that a pot of tea and a scone the size of a dinner plate is better value for money". Excellent news!! I took Jacky and the girls to a tea house in Dundar, near Edinburgh, - the teas were excellent and the range of pastries came on a three tiered platter. Heaven!!

It's heroic unlifting tale time: We had a torrential downpour during the second week of the break and, of course, the remaining pregnant sheep dropped their bundles. I decided to move the whole kit'n'kaboodle into a more sheltered paddock and as I did so I noticed a ewe standing fixed to the spot by the banks of the river that runs through our place. With the downpour the river had swollen in size and pace. When I investigated I saw that a new lamb (hours old) had fallen down the bank and nearly been carried away by the flood water. Luckily the bracken and toi-toi had broken its fall. Jade and I then moved the new lamb and ewe to safety. Without the ewe refusing to budge from her spot I never would have found the lamb. So she's a hero in my book!

What have the rest of you been up to lately? Well Annette sent me some photos recently of her 60th birthday and news that they have returned for summer in Mapua, Roger and Deirdre have returned from their UK trip, Adam and Jenna are busy planning their big academic adventure to Japan, Samantha got an A on her recent film synopsis, Keegan has some great photos on this site, other travellers returning to NZ safe n sound have been Denene and husband, Greg owned up to supporting Spurs (he has no shame!), Pete has an exciting web project underway that will make him millions, Sallie has sent her brood mare to the stallion, dad is working on DJing the jazz hour at the Maygrove complex (it's hardly a retirement village - people there are more active than me!), Ross and crew are catching 'possums and reworking their aquatic complex (its hardly a swimming pool....), Tom is preparing the album for world wide exposure and global domination, and Michelle and Gavin have been over to participate in a bonfire! And that's only about half of you.

More photos of recent times. These are from various trips to Scotland while we lived in the UK. Oldies but goldies.
We stopped at the border on a wet, windy, smudgy day and took it in turns to pose with either side of the rock - on one side 'England', on t'other 'Scotland'. Jade, Jacky and me photo by Samantha. My turn to take the photo of Samantha, Jade, Jacky and Adam. Driving around the Scottish Borders region we came across this suddenly!

Third part of the catch up will have some Leigh-on-sea pics. Take care until next time - Love and Peace - W

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