Tuesday 31 March 2009

Sunday roast and coffee with Florence

Sunday,Tania and Robert called round today and we had a Sunday Roast at Stanmore for a change. We had a lot to talk about, and the lunch was delicious. As it was Robert's busy weekend they did not come home, apart from dropping us off. Later I went for a walk

Monday, I walked down to the doctor's for a routine appointment, and later walked around the shops picking up a few items. Mas and I seem to be caught up doing all manner of boring household things which need doing today.

On Tuesday afternoon I walked down towards Edgware. As I was waiting to cross the road Wynford from next door passed me, and said 'Hello Margaret' and leaned out of the car window and waved; a huge truck was following him, and the driver hailed me in the same way which made me laugh. I met Florence and a friend in Starbucks, and we had a drink and piece of cake each while chatting for a long time. Although I talk to Florence on the phone quite often, we had not met up for at least a couple of years.

Friday 27 March 2009

Painless and painful injections

Thursday. I got up early, and after we had breakfast I took the tube to Euston, and walked to the Hale clinic. The nice doctor who I see, showed me how to do an injection into my abdomen, and then I had to do one to make sure I had got it right. I was so surprised as it did not hurt at all, although it is a bit tricky breaking open the ampule and filling the hypodermic without contaminating the needle.

Later in the afternoon I phoned Tania and Robert; they had taken Mas out for a meal while I was away which was good of them.

On Friday Mas took me to the dentist where I had my tooth prepared for a crown after a painful injection, and impressions were taken. We then went to The Man in the Moon for lunch. Florence phoned and chatted, and Toby did as well.

In the evening we watched one of the old X Files and NCIS before going to bed.

Wednesday 25 March 2009

Leaving Guernsey and arriving home

Pete and I had a last breakfast together before the taxi arrived to take me to the airport. I hardly had time to wave goodbye before the taxi driver quizzed me about what I might have left behind; we had to go through an inventory.

The flight home was very quick. All the passengers left the plane in a group, and as a group we lost our way and eventually came to an emergency exit. The leading man, without a second thought broke the emergency alarm to open the door, and he sped through, ignoring the alarm bell. The rest of us waited like lost sheep until we were escorted into the airport.

Eventually I bought a train ticket to Mill Hill Broadway, which mysteriously was more expensive than the one I had bought to take me to the airport; I was assured that this was correct! Mas met me at Mill Hill as planned, and we went home. Salty was coolly pleased to see me, and after a few welcoming bites nonchalantly strolled off into the garden. Mas and I snuck off to have a pub lunch together.

Pete called in the evening to see if I had got home safely.

Tuesday 24 March 2009

Last day of holiday

As It was my last day we walked down to Moulin Huet valley, looking in the pottery shop on the way, there were lots of interesting things to look at. We walked about on the beach looking in the rock pools and sea. It was lovely to be there again!

On the way back we saw some small wrens.
We met up with Betty in the evening, and had another night at the Captains
before taking her home and so back to the hotel.

The Captain's

Monday 23 March 2009

Family news and dinner at La Bella Luce

I arranged to meet Roy at lunch time, but went for a walk with Pete earlier. We went to the St. Martin's cemetery and paid our respects to relatives and friends, and noted where Sadie had been buried. It seems rather friendly that so many people who knew each other in life are buried together in the same garden.

I was to meet Roy at La Croix Guerrin cafe, skirting round the community centre, and looking through the window I saw a couple doing formal ballroom dancing in an otherwise empty room. Once at the Croix Guerrin I waited for half an hour amid the other people dining, and then had a tasty bowl of home made soup and hot bread before leaving, knowing that something unforeseen must have detained Roy.

I walked back to the hotel for Pete and we walked to the Old Post and walked down behind the church and eventually found ourselves on the Colburn Road, having passed a house that had this lovely flowering bush in the front garden.

Once we reached town we had a quick coffee at Les Pieds de la Reine. The market has been converted; the inside has a cafe in it, with shops around the edges. It seems such a shame that this historic building has changed so much, it used to be very colourful to see all the fruit, vegetables, fish and meat on display in earlier times.

I did a bit of shopping in town, then we went into a small cafe beside the bus terminus and had a baked potato each, while two ladies at a table near us were speaking patois, which is unusual these days. Afterwards we walked along the pier towards the castle, while looking at the boats in the harbour. We tried also tried to find Pete's poem on the bus without success, and eventually got the bus back to St.Martins.

Once back at La Barberie I found that Roy had left a message, so I called him and found he had been taken ill when we were supposed to meet so we had a chat and I spoke to Nora too. I called in to see Betty briefly to arrange to meet tomorrow.

Pete and I walked to the Bella Luce and had a drink at the bar before having a nice meal there. They have altered the bar and have called part of it Lucifer's bar quite inappropriately as it is done in fresh light colours. Many years ago there was a Lucifer's Bar, but it could only be entered from the outside and had a flooring of coloured glass squares providing the light, and booths to sit in and was very glamorous and exotic.

After we left the Bella Luce we walked off to Icart as it was a nice evening. Once at the point I showed Pete the spot where Toby and I had seen a wraith like ghost rising from the ground like a white flame; it was very weird at the time.

Sunday 22 March 2009

Walking before Sunday lunch with Betty

Today Pete and I walked to Forest; at the airport changing direction to walk down towards Petit Bôt.

We walked down lanes that we had never seen before and it was very peaceful. We came upon a field that had unusual sheep in it with white lambs with black patches around their shoulders, we found out later that they were Jacob's sheep and further on another field containing sheep, rabbits and a lama.

We had been invited to lunch by Betty, so we went round to their house and had a nice meal with her and Mavis with time to catch up on all their news and conversations, a relaxing time. Betty gave me a book to read which she had enjoyed, called 'Labyrinth' by Kate Mosse, which looks very interesting.

Saturday 21 March 2009

Marathon walks and new friends

Today we walked to the Old Post and then went to St. Martin's church, and looked inside too.

After this detour we walked to Jerbourg after making a wish at the wishing well.

From Jerbourg we walked up and down a million stairs and along the cliffs to Fermaine, and then on to town. At this point feeling I could not walk another step we got on a bus back to St. Martin's and got some wine, donuts and a bizarre scotch egg and went back to the hotel.

We had been invited to dinner by Pete's poet friends, and before long Richard collected us from La Barbarie and we headed up north to his and Jane's lovely home. They have two attractive honey coloured dogs who are so well behaved that they ignored all overtures from me in case they should be impolite.
We had some wine and chatted. Jane had made a wonderful meal for us which was decorative as well as delicious with a starter that included figs that I have committed to memory, but I will not attempt to make the dessert!
We talked a lot about a wide range of interesting things, and I heard some of their poetry which was fascinating. In the spirit of the moment I began declaiming the only Shakespeare sonnet that I know by heart, only to find that my mind went blank before the punch line ( I blame the red wine), and thinking of this the next day, caused me to cringe more than somewhat.
Sadly the taxi driver arrived on time, and we had to return to the hotel.
This was such a nice evening, and good company that I will not forget it.

Friday 20 March 2009

Moulin Huet to Jerbourg before dinner with Betty

Dining room

After breakfast Pete and I walked to Saints Bay and then along the cliff paths to Jerbourg. We sat overlooking the Pea Stacks and Pete did a quick painting, and I a quick sketch. Wild flowers were everywhere including lots of daffodils, white and red Campions and wild garlic know locally as Stinking Onions.

Fermain Bay.

When we reached Jerboug we had a drink at a kiosk there, and walked back to the Old Mill past some friendly looking horses, and then I took the bus to town where I bought a Tshirt after walking up past Elizabeth College and Cambridge Park, then I bussed back to St. Martin's where I had a look at my favourite cottage. Many years ago when this house was for sale I looked inside, and it had no floor boards, just hardened earth. Now of course it has been completely modernised.

Later I went round to Betty's, talked to Mavis while she got ready, and played with the dogs. We walked to the Captain's which was busy, and Betty, Pete and I had a nice dinner together, and lots of chat.

After we walked home with Betty, we looked at the stars which were very clear, and at Pete's computer which showed a star map, and we could identify some of them!

Thursday 19 March 2009

Walking and talking and chats with the cat

After breakfast Pete and I went to town where we got a little shopping, then walked through streets that we usually do not just for a change.

We walked down Burnt Lane and went into the church, Notre Dame du Rosiare, which was filled with the sounds of children playing from the school next door. This is a lovely church with rather modern stained glass windows, a granite altar, and a vaulted ceiling shaped like an upturned ship in warm coloured wood.We had some bean jar for lunch at Les Poids de la Reine before catching the bus back to St. Martins.

We then went for a cliff walk as the weather was so beautiful, and Pete pointed out a bench overlooking the sea that had been placed there in memory of my aunt.

Back at La Barbarie Hotel I was called to the small Reception to answer the phone; it was Mas on the line, and he wanted me to speak to the cat, who I could hear meowing in the background. I did speak to the cat, despite the startled and wary looks from other guests who were passing.

Later Pete and I collected Betty, who I had visited earlier, and we went off to the Captain's for chats and a drink.

Wednesday 18 March 2009

Guernsey getaway

Mas and I had breakfast and did our usual things until it was time to leave. Mas drove me to Mill Hill Broadway station, then I bought my ticket to Gatwick and got on the train which soon arrived. There were many delays and hold ups, but I eventually arrived at Gatwick and Pete was there soon afterwards, and we checked in. We had a G & T, and full of bonhomie found we had to run up long corridors to our gate number.

We had a pleasant trip over, and leaving the plane found that the weather was mild and sunny and the air smelled familiar and clean. We got a taxi to the Barbarie hotel where the red Camelia bushes were in full flower. We were shown to our rooms, mine being next to the bar, and very nice.

Before long Pete and I went off for a walk down all our familiar lanes, listening to the rather evocative sound of the foghorn as it was also rather misty. I remembered that when Toby was born in June so long ago the fog horns were sounding for at least a week day and night. On the way to Icârt we noticed lots of rabbits, all of them looked very healthy and large. The cliffs were bright with gold gorse, white blackthorne flowers on bushes, celandine and primroses and we also saw a peacock butterfly.
We had a drink in the bar before dinner where this familiar sign is displayed.

We had a wonderful diner in the restaurant at La Barbarie; towards the end of the meal the lights failed and candles were placed on all the tables which added to the atmosphere.

Tuesday 17 March 2009

Last minute preparations

Yesterday morning I rearranged my dental appointment. Spoke to Diane and Florence, saw Barry over the fence; they will soon have another grandchild which is expected any time now.
I spent time thinking about what to pack to take to Guernsey, rather ineffectually.
In the evening we watched an old 'X file' story and a 'Ghost Whisperer' which Mas likes before going off to bed to a restless nights sleep.

Today I met Diane, after she had an appointment, at the Royal Free Hospital. We walked to The George, Diane having fruit juice and I had ginger beer. We caught up with each other's news, and then we went home; Diane planning to go out on her cycle and me to pack.

Sunday 15 March 2009

spring and well behaved deceptive computer

Sunday was a lovely day and seemed like the first real day of spring, and Mas spent time in the garden; by the time summer arrives everything should be properly ship shape, or at least garden shape.

Unexpectedly Maheena called round to say Satish could look at my computer for me. An hour later they came back and Satish gave it a thorough going over. True to form the computer was on its best behaviour and seemed to be perfect. Satish thought that the hard drive may have a problem. The children, in the meantime were having fun with Salty.

Later Mas and I watched another episode of the No 1 Ladies Detective agency which was good.

Saturday 14 March 2009

Found friends and the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency

When I got up this morning I looked out of the window and saw Salty running dutifully along fence tops after a squirrel, into the middle distance. After breakfast I headed off to Edgware, took back my music CDs to the library and walked home by a circuitous route. Later, looking at my emails, I discovered that a long lost friend, (one of the good guys,) had tracked us down through my website, so he and Mas spent time catching up with each others' news which was the high point of the day.

In the evening we watched the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency that was shown once before, and this series will continue tomorrow. The stories were written by Alexander McCall Smith and are the antithesis of most detective stories as they have a very strong feel good factor and are very entertaining too. After that we watched a good episode of Frost, before taking ourselves off to bed.

Friday 13 March 2009

The Affordable Art exhibition

I went to see my dentist who put in a temporary filling until I come back from my holiday.
Mas and I then went back to Edgware, had a sandwich and coffee at the small cafe near the station and then tubed it to Sloan Square where we followed our own tradition of having a glass of white wine in the downstairs bar of the Oriel which is one of our favourite places.

We were waiting for the shuttle bus and we noticed this thin building, and imagined that the room inside must have an end of about four feet wide, but when we moved the view changed.

The bus arrived, and we were taken into Battersea Park to the Affordable Art show.
The art on display was interesting, and some seemed very good. I had a chance to talk to Linda Blackstone who has been having a busy and eventful time with her family. She was wearing red like me, but I noticed how many people were dressed in sober black and white while looking at the art.

I rather liked these animal pictures, and thought a dog sculpture rather fun and clever as it was constructed using soft toys stitched together on a wooden frame.

I admired some ceramics by Clare Wakefield which looked very organic and some as if found on a beach, the vases had some movable parts. http://clarewakefield.co.uk/
We had a soft drink before coming back home on the tube. We were both feeling really tired after spending the whole day looking at art. We dragged ourselves into the car, only to find it would not start! After trying for a while I was about to give up the ghost, but Mas persisted, and it eventually started and we drove thankfully home.

Thursday 12 March 2009

Red nose and black cloths

Today we did our usual things. I went for a walk, and as I was going down the road an elegant lady stepped out of her house wearing an enormous pair of silver rabbit ears which were somewhat at odds with the rest of her outfit. Walking round the corner I saw a lady pirate striding along. Things whirred and clicked in my brain and eventually I came up with the idea that they were doing something funny for Red Nose Day, to collect for charity.

Mas, in the meantime had got ready to go down to London to meet someone in connection with his web site. Taking the opportunity I vacuumed the house and set things to rights (it is odd how often this needs to be done!)

I spoke to Diane who is going ahead with her Red Nose escapade tomorrow, but has to have a meeting with the Health and Safety people first. I also managed to do some mending and put fresh elastic into various essential items of clothing in between hectic play and fight sessions with Salty.

Mas returned rather late and tired having lost his way at one point. When he eventually arrived the doorman asked if he had come for The Wake, and Mas thought he was in the wrong place again, and he was too tired to understand the humour then ( Mas was dressed from head to foot in black), but we were laughing about it in bed that night. It is odd how often we end the day laughing.

Wednesday 11 March 2009

Lunchtime fun and deficient teeth

Today we drove to St. Albans and met Tania and Robert in the Waterend Barn, and they bought their friend Bill too. We had a great deal of talking, and Bill who lives in the Czech republic is charming and very amusing too. Tania and I did manage to catch up with our news too and we both thought a TV programme about using plants for drugs, face creams, potions and other things, has been interesting, and we are planning on buying the book later. Running out of time we all left so that we would have time for shopping.

When we were home again Mas passed me a single piece of organic chocolate, and the filling I had on Monday came out! (It is enough to make you grind your teeth... if only I had the equipment!)

Toby called briefly to say that the medical test he had today showed that he is well; this made up for all the annoyance over the tooth incident.

Tuesday 10 March 2009

Fiddley medical things and cat menace

I phoned the dentist and got an appointment, but my usual dentist was not in today. The dentist said that he would put in a filling, but I may need to have it crowned. In less than ten minutes it was done, but felt uncomfortable, but I paid for the work done. Mason's appointment at the hospital was cancelled today.
On Tuesday I went to the surgery for a blood test, got there in time, but forgot to take the form with me, so had to leave with all my blood! In the afternoon it began to rain which seemed very dreary. I noticed a strange thing...wherever I am, in the garden, walking about the house, going out to the shed, Salty's triangle face is always pointed at me, even if I only see him peripherally, you would think he had better things to do!

Sunday 8 March 2009

A day for the birds!

Yesterday was bright and sunny so I took pitures of Salty climbing a yew tree in the garden, he spends hours in this tree studying ornithology. Later in the day a tooth collapsed while I was eating one piece of chocolate! That will be expensive chocolate!

Saturday 7 March 2009

Routines and surprises

Friday was bright and sunny, and Mas and I walked to Stanmore, had lunch (organic tomato soup for me,) at the Man in the Moon, then went for some shopping.

Mas took the bus back, and I walked. As it happened I arrived home before he did as there was some kind of delay, and received a warm welcome from Salty (this sounds nice, but is extremely bitey). Here is the mean kitty song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?hl=en-GB&v=Qit3ALTelOo&NR=1&gl=GB

I talked to Diane for a while, and we planned to meet when she next visits the Royal Free. In the evening we watched one of our films called The Edge (featuring Bart the bear) and Anthony Hopkins; we have seen this before, and interrupted it to watch an NCIS. I had a hard time sleeping and only managed about three hours all night.

This morning the postman called before breakfast so I scooped up the cat before I opened the door to stop him running out. The postman thought Salty was lovely, and luckily was stroking him so much he did not look at me which was just as well; I had not combed my hair or put my face on and so he avoided a shock.

The parcel sent by Toby and Romy contained some soft rainbow coloured knitting wool, some bamboo needles, a knitting pattern from Joan and a mobile of humming birds. Some of the birds had lost wings and tails, but Barry next door gave me some glue and before long it was fixed.
We are planning to put it in the conservatory, but where the cat will not be able to reach it! I spoke to Toby later, and caught up with his news.
We watched a Rosemary and Tyme episode in the evening, and went early to bed.

Thursday 5 March 2009

A 'normal' house with interesting music

The long walk I was going to do with Monika is actually taking place next Wednesday, so Mas and I went to Borehamwood to get another sack of cat food today which came with a free toy which has catnip in it. We went to our fish and chip cafe and had lunch. Our friend with the ferret said she had recently bought a better harness and extending lead as she takes Bute, the ferret, out for walks and now he has more freedom when walking with her.

Later I went for a walk, just to keep up the exercise, and we watched The Bill in the evening.

Today Mas had to go for physiotherapy for his arm again. I walked down to the doctors and changed my appointment day, then went into the library and borrowed CDs of Jacques Lousier and Jan Garbarek music. Then I went home, vacuumed and tidied up. Our home looks almost back to normal now. The crooked pictures, knocked over lamp, sooty footprints and cat toys have all been put to rights again.

We watched New Tricks in the evening, then I washed the dishes and had a brief but intense fight with the cat on the bed (Salty purring loudly throughout), before I started doing mending and listening to the radio. Listening to Late Junction, I heard Nigel Kennedy and the Kroke band playing Lullaby for Kamila.

Tuesday 3 March 2009

Travelling hedgehogs and other friends

Years ago Mas bought me some Valentine chocolates and two toy hedgehogs cuddling; this is now Salty's favourite toy. When we woke up I drew the bedroom curtains and saw the hedgehogs sitting on the lawn, moments later Salty ran out of the bushes, collected them, and bought them indoors, placing them near his bowl. Salty carries these around the house in his mouth, but obviously he takes them out to play during the night as well.

Marion phoned and Mas and I talked to her for a long time; we are hoping to get together soon, but just now she is feeling ill with a bug. Margaret called round too, bringing some photos that she took during her special lunch, and had some tea. Someone else called round to talk to Mas, and Pete phoned as well. He is going to Guernsey, and I am going as well, but not for as long as he is, but he is making the arrangements for it.

In the evening we saw The Witches of Eastwick as once again there was nothing interesting to watch on TV.

Monday 2 March 2009

Loosing the will to live but saved by chocolate

Today I phoned the police as we had reported the damage to our car, when it had been snowing, a month ago, and had heard nothing since. After going from department to department I was told that they had no idea where accidents reported on line went to, so could not help and suggested that I go to my not very local police station to fill out a report form ( which I had a copy of, having done this on line already), and start again. Talking to Mas about it, we decided that we could not be bothered as the damage to the car was only cosmetic and did not affect the driving in any way.

Our neighbour, the one with garden gnomes, called over the fence to Mas and gave us six bars of exotic organic dark chocolate, which is the second time he has done this! No doubt it helps to restore the karmic balance. Also it tastes lovely! In the evening we watched the film First Wives Club as there was nothing worth watching on TV.

Sunday 1 March 2009

Tea party

On Friday I was feeling very tired, but we went to Stanmore, and while waiting for Mas I met Susie in the bank, looking very smart dressed in black and white. Mas and I had lunch at The Man in the Moon which was nice and then and got a little shopping.

Saturday was similarly uneventful. Monika phoned trying to arrange that we do a six mile walk around St. Albans next Wednesday. Both her boys have had Chicken Pox recently, luckily Olga is staying and can help. I walked to the library and returned my CD and books, but unluckily I had forgotten my library ticket so could not get any new ones out.

On Sunday morning we got a phone call saying that they had found our cat's collar in their garden, as they were only five houses away the little girl brought it back for us, and she came in to see who it belonged to, and met a sleepy Salty.

Later we drove off to Christiane and Eddie's home as we had been invited to tea as it will soon be Christiane's birthday. We had a really nice time chatting to everyone, and met more of their family and friends which we enjoyed as well. They had prepared a lovely buffet, and Christian had also made some sushi which was really tasty.

The view from their front door shows the lit up arch of Wembley Stadium.