Saturday, 14 July 2018

We Sang It Loud We Sang It Clear

Donald Trump's Not Welcome Here

That was one of the themes of the wonderful anti-Trump demonstration we joined in London yesterday. The crowd was phenomenal, good humoured and extremely well behaved. 

We caught the train from Ipswich along with many others. It was a glorious day so we walked the four miles from Liverpool St and enjoyed many of London's sights and a quick snack in a lovely Waterstone's cafe before meeting up with the marchers in Portman Square.


Although I (not Marion I hasten to add) am a paid up member of the Lib Dems, we can in no way be described as political activists but we both felt sufficiently motivated to show that we hate everything that Trump stands for and ,hopefully, make him aware that we won't stand for his ugly and divisive politics by attending our first demo ever. 

I've seen reports putting the crowd at 75,000. I've been in football crowds of 100,000 and I'm absolutely certain that the numbers were almost double that.

Here are a few photos from the day and some of the banners and placards that caught my eye.

One of the many fart references

Donning my Suffolk League Of Angry Women T-Shirt 

Donald Lookalike

Yoda's view

Short and to the point

My view entirely

Pussy messages aplenty

A very English and polite message
My personal favourite

A rare selfie

She really isn't nasty you know

Not an official placard but it made me smile

Short but sweet

Sure there were only 75,000

A memorable day. Our first demo but, in the current political climate, unlikely to be our last.
And we wake up today to be branded by the Mail as part of a "rent-a-Leftie mob." I'm no fan of Corbyn and am more of a centrist than left wing. To call this a "mob" is a disgrace. I know at least one Antiques Roadshow expert was there (one of the most genteel and polite people you could meet). To describe them as rent-a-leftie beggars belief. No wonder the country's in a mess when rags like this pedal their bile.

In other news we were saddened to see England lose in the World Cup

But at least we had this wonderful view at half time to compensate.

I said in a recent blog that Marion's been hard at work in the garden. On days like today you can see the fruits of her labour.

Writers don't often mention their three star reviews but I was rather touched by this one. 

We've got an early start tomorrow as we're driving to Southport to bring my mum back to Suffolk for a few days break. The forecast is for 30 degree plus temperatures. Perfect for driving a 92 year old for four hours.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Some Lazy Hazy Days Of Summer

It's been absolutely roasting since we got back from St Andrews and we've enjoyed a couple of fairly lazy weeks in the sunshine getting back on top of the garden and mostly pottering about, reading and managing to find time to finish the crosswords (me) and Sudoku (Marion) in The Times.

We have managed to get out of the house a couple of times. Marion's car was due to be serviced so we spent an enjoyable morning basking in the sunshine on the much underrated Ipswich waterfront.

Last week we were invited to London by Cumberland Place Financial Management (who manage our money) for their summer party. They've had some great venues for these parties over the years and this one was no exception. 

Arriving early in Liverpool St, we decided to walk to Trafalgar Square via St Paul's. It was a good walk with plenty of sights to take in and it passed an hour or so before we were due at The National Portrait Gallery.

Here we were treated to a fabulous array of nibbles and canap├ęs plus a wonderful assortment of cocktails and fine wines (sadly driving prevented me from taking advantage of this).

We were given a private viewing of the gallery's Michael Jackson On The Wall exhibition.

Off the wall would have suited better.

Jackson actually commissioned this portrait before he died. I think Freud would have had a field day working this one out. It was a very interesting event even if the art was somewhat strange.

I said we've been doing some reading and must mention this book, The Seed Collectors by Scarlett Thomas. It's not particularly highly rated on Goodreads but I loved its filthily anarchic style and look forward to reading more by this author. At the moment I'm almost through reading Matt Haig's How To Stop Time - an interesting idea and an easy read.

We had to turn to Twitter and Instagram for help when this mysterious bloom arrived in the garden. We hadn't planted it and didn't know what it was but thanks to the wonders of social media we knew a few minutes later that it is a Yucca. Not sure what we're going to do with it yet. 

On Sunday it was time for our grandchildren Catherine and Teddy to have their birthday party. It's not their birthdays yet but with school breaking up and friends due to go away they wanted to hold it when their friends could make it. The theme was "Glow In The Dark" and a local club was chosen for the venue. 

The children's talented granny made costumes from material that glows under UV

And great fun was had by about thirty kids aged from two to about seven

Some of the older kids loved it too.

It was a great theme, the entertainer who provided the disco and bubbles/snow machine was brilliant and the food provided by Paul and Josephine was amazing.

Even the cake fitted in with the scheme.

We're off to London again on Friday to join the protest rally against Trump. I'm wearing the Suffolk League Of Angry Women T-shirt in support of a friend who can't make it. Should be an interesting day.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Phew Not A Scorcher

As I write, the sun is high in the sky and the temperature has soared to close to 25 degrees. There's not a cloud to be seen.

If only that had been the case in St Andrews for the last fortnight. 

We had a great time staying in our caravan and seeing the family but this was how the BBC weather app looked for much of the stay. I know I shouldn't grumble but the winds kept us from getting out on our bikes and, whilst much of the country was dining al fresco in the evenings, we were sitting in front of the fire and switching the electric blankets on.

But, as I said, we saw plenty of the family and that was great and that was the reason we bought the caravan in the first place.

Little Melody is almost five now and put on school uniform for the first time to have a look around the school she's starting at in the Autumn term.

She and Rose joined us at the caravan site and stayed the night - their first ever night away from their mum and dad. They loved playing football even though we didn't have a ball!

And after a bit of fun before bedtime, they managed to sleep right through the night.

The weather can't take away the splendour of St Andrews. It really is a beautiful place.

While the girls were at school we enjoyed a few visits to The Old Course Hotel for coffee. It's a great place to go and well worth spending the extra few quid for the comfort.

And the location.
While we were there, Rose lost her first tooth. She's almost seven now and, as a lot of her friends are going to be on holiday on her birthday, her mum and dad brought her birthday party forward to last Saturday.

Sarah, pictured here with Marion, put in  a huge effort converting the garden to a flower fairy land and a dozen little girls had a wonderful time playing and making things.
 The garden was alive with fairies.

The party girl with her cake and dress (all made by her mum).

It was Fathers' Day while we were away and I bought these from the bookshop with the voucher that Sarah gave me. I loved Less (a humorous gay romance). I wasn't so keen on History Of Wolves and am just about to start The Lie Of The Land.

Mr Prendergast's Fantastic Find continues to be well received and I loved this recent GOOD review. The only critical review on Amazon is not so bad either is it?

I had a morning out with the detector while we were away. I had to laugh after digging a two foot deep hole and unearthing this! (There was no skeleton detectorist clutching it).

As we prepared to leave the caravan the weather finally improved and on Sunday we went for a picnic in the super new playground behind the museum.
Walking into town from the museum I noticed this memorial to a Polish war hero. A reminder of how grateful we all should be to the Poles who helped us win the war.

No visit to St Andrews on a sunny day is complete without a detour to the famous Moretti's Ice Cream parlour. The queue was out into the street andalong the road and the shop staff were handing out free samples to keep the crowd cool.But the wait was worth it and we enjoyed some delicious ices.

Our day out ended with a walk to the wonderful ruined cathedral. 

I'm going to miss this couple of live-wires.

And their mum and dad.

I showed them what you can do with the panorama mode on the iPhone.
It kept them entertained for ages.

In other news we were busy getting on top of the garden before we left for St Andrews. After five years of hard work it's finally beginning to look established. It looks a bit neglected after the heatwave that's been going on here while we've been away but Marion has been working away and I'll post some more photos in a week or two.

Lobsters have come down a bit in price so it's back to one each now.

I don't like the Star but I really had to laugh at this headline. It's up there with "Book Lack In Ongar" when the Ongar librarians went on strike.

And finally, a sign of the increasing population here in Framlingham or maybe Brexit is just turning everybody to drink.