Monday 31 December 2018

Goodbye 2018; a short review of the year

Reading and Writing
Joined a book club and, whilst not inspired by all recommended, I did enjoy Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult and The Blood Of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani.  At the moment I am loving Life after Life by Kate Atkinson and look forward to reading the follow up, A god in Ruins.

My writing hasn’t been wonderful this year, both in output and content but I joined an online writing group and the challenges and feedback has provided the motivation needed.  I did co-write at radio play for the local Writing on Air festival.
Having exchanged our RHS membership for National Trust, we have visited some new places of interest.  Details of these and other destinations visited have been described in earlier blog posts.  
 The glorious summer enhanced the time we spent at the Yorkshire coast and in my capacity of judge for Yorkshire in Bloom allowed me to discover some beautiful, hidden spots.



Family and Friends
We’ve celebrated many milestones from 1st to 99th birthdays and many big ones in between, my grandson’s Bar Mitzvah and a couple of Golden Weddings plus we managed a whole family holiday in the summer.
Having an extensive family and many close friends is a blessing but the downside is that we have lost quite a few this year.
My nephew presented a programme on BBC about my maternal grandmother’s journey from Vashilishok with yours truly having a small speaking role.  Entitled A Very British History; The Jews of Leeds aired on BBC1 Yorkshire and will be shown on BBC4 in early 2019.

 Also, saw James Taylor live.

 Looking forward to hearing what you’ve been up to this year and wishing you good health and happiness in 2019

Saturday 22 December 2018

Ghost story which ended up a fairy tale

Taking up Loren's challenge to compost a 100 word ghost story, I came up with this hardly scary piece!

The Gift

Jade pursued her dog through the woods.  Dusk was falling so time to get home, not that anyone would even care. 
Suddenly, she came across an illuminated Christmas tree with coloured baubles, a star atop and a wrapped present beneath; the kind of tree she always wished for.
 “To Jade: for being a good and polite child”, said the gift label.  Evidently not this Jade whose mother called her selfish and a nuisance.  Sighing, she hurried home with her dog.  
Imagine Jade’s joy on Christmas morning finding that present.  Neither Jade nor her mother knew who had put it there.

If ghost stories are what you want, check out Loren's blog at

Six on Saturday

No, I can’t claim that these are in my garden but, last week, two members of our gardening club brought in these beauties from their gardens.  Impressive for this time of year, I think.
So these are my six:
1.       Winter jasmine which graces the wall next to my front door from late October to the end of March.
2 .      Viburnum tinus Eve an evergreen which seems to flower most of the year and has glossy green leaves and is useful for flower arranging.

3.  Rosa Flower Carpet White, actually quite upright and a prolific, continuous flowerer

4.  Euphorbia Tasmanian Tiger, a good looker in any season.

5. Hebe; small with purple leaves.  Not sure of its name as there are several similar ones but very easy to take cuttings from.

6.  Abelia which did nothing last year but flowered its socks off this year and makes a nice addition to a cut flowers because of its perfume.

Although Spring is still a long way off, I was delighted to see buds and bulbs peeping out.
Do visit others who have submitted their Six on Saturday courtesy of our host at
Season's greetings to you all.

Monday 19 November 2018

Visit to Beningbrough Hall

Having recently joined the National Trust and, taking into account the weather and winter opening hours, we decided to visit Beningbrough Hall. 
We started off in the gardens, but the rain drove us inside where we browsed the portraits, played with the interactive exhibitions and dressing up clothes and enjoyed the paintings on loan from the National  Portrait Gallery - Making Her Mark: celebrating creative women.  The latter included Judi Dench, Helen Mirren, Iris Murdoch and the like with descriptions of how they have contributed to the arts.  Most impressive.
By this time the weather had improved and we were able to stroll through the gardens and marvel at the autumnal colours.  In various areas in the gardens were sound installations created by Yorkshire sound artist Rachel Sedman.  One of these soundscapes included The Last Post, particularly poignant as the date was 11/11, and as we walked by, the trees were shedding leaves.  It was most atmospheric, as was the exhibition in one of the rooms with memorabilia from the two world wars and the records of the high number of fatalities from the region.

 The architecture and history is fascinating

 Colours of autumn.  Even the asparagus is golden in the sunlight

 Interesting features in the gardens
A return visit to the gardens in other seasons is definitely on the cards.

“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...