Sunday 31 March 2013

A slow start to Spring

It has been a miserable March, what with the weather, poor health and hospital visiting, but here a few highlights:


We were delighted to welcome our family from Sweden, who were not expecting similar weather to theirs.  When they visited last year at the same time, the weather was glorious.

 Drinking Yorkshire tea

 Grandad made us all a veggie fry up

A visit to Tropical World warmed us up a bit:


As an East wind has brought temperatures which have been less than average for the time of year and the garden has been under snow on and off for weeks, everything is very late and it has been impossible to do any jobs.  In fact, Spring judging for Yorkshire in Bloom has been cancelled for the first time ever.

Pictorial Meadows

Mike Evans of Ashworth Nurseries/Green Estate talked to our gardening club on the pictorial meadows and green wall his company supplies.  A social enterprise, which started out to deal with unsightly, inner-city, wasteland areas, the company is based in the Manor Lodge, Sheffield, where Mary Queen of Scots used to stay. It looks like an interesting place for a visit; see for more details.  The seeds supplied for the pictorial meadows are non-native to give a longer season and exclude grasses in the mixture.  In fact, the ground needs to be cleared before sowing. The range includes various mixes from Pastel to Volvanic and both annual and perennial mixes.  The colours of the meadows alter as the seasons progress and the flowers are a magnet for birds, bees and butterflies.  This is a change from the norm; wildlife is no longer attracted to the fields in the countryside where pesticides are used.  You probably saw the results of the pictorial meadow seeds at the Olympic Park in East London.  For more information and photos, see  
Hyde Park Picture House, Leeds
 Photo from FB page of Leeds Back in the Day
This independent cinema is 100 years old this year and has seen huge changes over that period; sound, colour, non-smoking, digital.  Although it has been refurbished, it still sports the old gas lights and a tour of the building revealed vintage telephones and Victorian sinks.  Run mainly by volunteers, it is one of the few independent cinemas in the area, which means that it shows some really good films rather than the commercial blockbusters   
Our writing group had the opportunity of a tour of the building and we produced some pieces inspired by what we saw and learnt.  We were shown two short films, one of which wasthe entertaining Conversation Piece



Enjoyed having the family for Pesach/Passover; reminiscing, debating, singing and catching up across the generations.

 Helping to lay the Seder table with personalised name cards.  This has become their tradition.
We had to find indoor activities to amuse the grandchildren during the school holidays, so we painted these.  I’m not putting names to paintings!  


Although the season opened two weeks ago, the weather has prevented us from going to the coast.  We took the usual paraphernalia needed to observe Pesach and went for the day to open up the caravan.  Half way there, all traces of snow had disappeared and the temperature rose a degree or two.  We saw daisies in the grass,baby lambs and, whilst not a sign of Spring, a pair of peacocks strutting across the road near the children's playground. It was like a real holiday!

 Blue sky!


 Helter Skelter at Far Grange


Hanging on in there with the weekly challenge.  Managed a factual piece for local radio and a fictional piece inspired by my picture house visit.

Some exciting news!   I have been matched up with a fellow writer through The Matchelor on Falling for fiction blog to critique each other’s work.

Read:  Ice and Slice by Della Galton. I can highly recommend it; try it and you’ll see what I mean.

Seen:  Not worth a subheading this post.

And ditto The Healthy Writers Club (with apologies to Shallee McArthur) although I'm not quitting!

Looking forward to Good Health, good weather, good gardening and good writing.



Sunday 10 March 2013

Spring hasn't yet sprung

Spring almost arrived briefly and then went, leaving behind a few signs in the garden in the shape of shoots and sprouting bulbs. The lawn has never been so waterlogged but the Gypsy Girl crocuses I bought last Autumn in Sweden are now out.

My nephew, Simon Glass, showed his filmThe Tribe about the Jewish population who immigrated to our town both during the Pogroms and also the Nazi regime.  It runs like a documentary with interviews interspersed with old photos and footage.  The audience was made up of first, second or third generation immigrants or survivors of the Holocaust and Simon's commentary was followed by a good, interactive discussion.

Another nephew became a QC which means he gets a new wig and gown; sounds good to me!
Had my fair share of doctors and hospitals lately.  Wishing everyone good health.

Written:  A third article in the series Are We Nearly There Yet?  at  plus a  travelogue for local radio.  Hanging on in there (just) with the challenge Write 1 Submit 1 weekly.

Watched:Lady in Red, a powerful and thought-provoking presentation by the Certain Curtain company put on by a local branch of a national group who run a helpline, a refuge and counselling service and raise awareness of abuse being endured by women; assaulted, bullied or controlled in support of International Women's Day

Read:   A Plate of Bits by Avis Hickman-Gibb.  The title says it all; little bites of everything, some sweet and others savoury.  I can heartily recommend it.

This month's flower arrangement was Pot et fleurs so see if you can spot the two potted plants amongs the flowers.

“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...