Saturday 23 June 2012

Flaming June

Another flower arrangement:  this one is meant to portray an icecream sundae.  Amazingly, the night scented stocks emitted their fragrance in the evening although they were indoors.

I have been invigilating  at a local comp, envisaging what I can purchase with my gains.

 My son came from Sweden for the weekend which called for laying on a scrumptious afternoon tea for the extended family.  I baked my own birthday cake and made everyone sing happy birthday.  Someone’s got to.  Unfortunately, my son returned to find his car, possibly the oldest vehicle on the residents’ car park, had been stolen by ramming a huge boulder to exit the car park

The Olympic Torch

On Monday 18 June, as we were at the coast, we decided to watch the Olympic torch pass by in Bridlington.  

Crowds lined the streets of the route waving the flags of St George and the Union Jack and wearing other patriotic apparel, which I suspect were bought for other occasions.  Children had been given the afternoon off school and many sported homemade replica torches.  No matter, it all added to the atmosphere including the weather, a break in an otherwise bad spell.  It was a real holiday atmosphere.  Residents of the streets on route brought out picnic blankets, garden chairs and sun loungers (and their cups of tea) and sat on the verges in front of their homes in extended family groups. 

The trucks of the official sponsors (Samsung, Coca Cola and Lloyds TSB­) headed the procession with music blaring and carrying brightly dressed young people, smiling widely, danced and waved.  The police on motor bikes and in jeeps joined in the festivities, even high fiving the children who lined the route.

Young men and ladies wearing T-shirts bearing the Olympic logo flanked the worthy torchbearer, Sophie McMullen, an inspirational 18 year old, displayed the torch from her powered wheelchair.  Despite having severe athetoid cerebral palsy, she acts as host and co-ordinator for children who use communication aids from four schools who attend sessions at the speech therapy department at her college.  Sophie’s condition affects all four limbs and her speech and uses a single head switch to operate her electric wheelchair, her communication aid, mobile phone, and to access a computer.

 After all the hype, the torch itself was underwhelming.  Was it worth it; priceless.  I may never again witness the torch in my lifetime and it’s a leveller – not everyone can afford the price of a ticket to watch the Games but anyone can have the opportunity to watch the flame which started off in Athens making its way to the current venue, London.

On our way to our usual cafe, we noticed this tiny park; a wildflower haven


We took advantage of the fine weather to take a walk previously undertaken some weeks ago but, after the heavy rains, we could hardly make out the path as the vegetation was so overgrown.

Radio Presentation on my birthday

The monthly writing group, of which I am a new member, presented its work, on local, community, radio.  The programme went out live and I read my poem and short story, which was based on the farm at Temple Newsam, without getting tongue tied.

I really appreciated the thoughtful and personal good wishes, cards and prezzies I received for my birthday and the meal out in the evening.

Reading, writing, watching

I am presently reading A.B Yehoushuah’s  The Lover.  This was the author’s first novel and follows   a husband’s obsessive search for his wife’s lover amid the turbulence of the Yom Kippur War. Perhaps being a playwright enabled him to allow the reader to visualise the settings so clearly.  It is excellently translated from hebrew by Philip Simpson.Show More

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I read Anita Shreve’s Testimony  which examines the lives of the characters who were involved in a scandal and other people who were effective by it.  

 I completed two written pieces for the radio (see earlier in the blog) and resubmitted an earlier piece which was returned from the publisher for editing which has now been accepted.  

Apart from the European Cup which has dominated the TV, I watched a documentary on Nina Conti, ventriloquist/comedienne and daughter of actor Tom, as she attended a conference for her profession.   

Also watched or caught up with:  The Killing (American series 2), True Love (5 episodes which were separate stories but interlinked by the characters).  Not enamoured of the series but the shots of Margate, where it was filmed, looked stunning.

The Weather

The title of this post was a touch sarcastic as we have had torrential rain and strong winds which have caused havoc in my garden.  It was only last month when the drought status was lifted and now many homes have been ruined by flooding and 350 sheep had to be rescued from the Yorkshire Dales.  Puts my crushed poppies and tilted garden arch in perspective.    

Saturday 9 June 2012

June: Jubilations and jollies

Congratulations Her Majesty

I found the Diamond Jubilee flotilla absolutely fascinating.  The royal barge was decked out in red and gold, festooned with swathes of flowers and even a knot garden.  The assortment of boats included gondolas, coal tugs, fire boats and the Dunkirk little ships (so worthy of their presence) manned by sea cadets to Olympic rowers.  Crowds lined the River Thames waving flags, cheering and singing from apartment balconies, bridges and banks as the boats made their way past all the famous landmarks of old and new London.   One boat carried bellringers, another a choir and a third an orchestra which all added to the atmosphere as well as the blowing of foghorns and whistles.  Further entertainment was provided by the War Horse going through its paces at the National Theatre, a display of semaphore and the costumes and salutes of the sailors as the sailed by the Queen.

Our Jubilee Celebrations

Join us on Jubilee Monday 4 June 2012
celebrate at the seaside
Lunch will be served at 12.30 pm
Afternoon Tea at 4.00 pm

We had a good attendance of friends and family to celebrate the jubilee and the weather didn't let us down.  I hope our guests enjoyed themselves as much as we did.

 all decked out
 A bouquet of red, white and (just) blue wild flowers


 Afternoon Tea
 the moon shining on the sea

“The sea is their grave but this Memorial sculpture is, in many ways, a headstone for the lost trawlermen”

I have always been impressed by the architecture in the centre of the maritime city of Hull, especially the old buildings with their carving...