14 April 2021

L Plates

My 17 year old grandson had his first driving lesson today. Last year his parents took him for a few lessons on private land and he did quite well. I bought some lessons for his birthday last October but he wasn't able to use them until now. His driving instructor was very pleased with him.

I'm happy for him, and terrified!

∼ Be safe and well ∼ 
Polly x

13 April 2021

A Splendid Appendage


This lovely gentleman was happy to let me take a photo of him sporting this magnificent moustache.
He has maintained it for over 30 years! We met him and his wife in a café in Lyndhurst whilst on a day out in the New Forest area a couple of years ago. It was a coach trip through some lovely countryside and villages stopping only once for lunch so I didn't take any photos except this one below taken from the coach.

I don't know what it is, it's inland, some kind of lookout tower maybe, or a water tower. 
If you know please tell. I thought it was a nice structure.

∼ Be safe and well ∼ 
Polly x


9 April 2021

A Life Well Lived

The Duke of Edinburgh, the longest-serving royal consort in British history, has been at the Queen's side for seven decades.

They met and married before I was born, and, along with the queen he has been part of my life, almost like family.  

He has been the subject of much criticism of his early history. But through no fault of his own two of his sisters were married to Germans and therefore could not deny the German connection. His childhood was almost nomadic, born in Greece, exiled from there and grew up in France, then with family tragedy and his mother's health problems he was moved around from Germany to England to live with his Mountbatten relatives. He attended Gordonstoun where he was a hard worker and excelled at sport. 

He served and loved the Royal Navy and planned to make it his career. The early death of King George VI changed all that. He suddenly found himself thrust into becoming The Queen's consort. He had to re-direct the focus of his life to the  devotion and responsibility to his wife and Queen.

When he joined the Royal firm the footmen were still wearing powdered wigs!! He was considered an outsider, but that helped him to see beyond the life of royals. He was very down to earth, comfortable with, and could communicate with people from all walks of life. He became a reformer, steering the royal family to move with the times. In 1961 he was the first member of the royal family to be interviewed on television. He was instrumental in the documentary about the royal family. He encouraged Her Majesty to write her own Christmas messages, and to use autocue. He encouraged palace garden parties to include and honour members of the public. He launched the royal family into the modern age, encouraging them to be more visible, more in touch.

He wasn't afraid to speak out on issues that are commonplace now, such as climate change and the environment, but were considered controversial 40 years ago.

He was controversial and sometimes rude, but he had strong beliefs and sometimes it's hard to remain silent in the face of stupidity.

He was by the Queen's side for 251 overseas tours and carried out more than 22,000 solo engagements and gave more than 5,400 speeches, as well as taking part in thousands of other engagements with the Queen. Always by her side, always supporting her.

But he found time to follow his favourite pursuits - polo for many years, cricket, and when he retired he took up horse drawn carriage driving, which involves racing carriages at breakneck speeds through courses and over obstacles. He was the main driving force in establishing the official rules for the sport and, after "smashing up" a carriage he was involved in creating an "indestructible" one made for him by the workshops at Sandringham.

He has a huge portfolio of charities. Worldwide more than 6 million people have taken part in the The Duke of Edinburgh's Awards scheme. He attended over 500 gold award ceremonies for the scheme, shaking thousands of hands, on his feet for hours. His work is an outstanding example of a life dedicated to public service. His legacy will live on.

He was loved, admired and respected. A very sad loss for the nation, but especially for Her Majesty.

At The Queen's coronation Prince Philip paid homage to his wife and promised to be her "liege man of life and limb". He fulfilled that promise to his sweetheart to the end, being by her side for 72 years. Her majesty has lost a beloved husband, friend and rock.

R.I.P. Your Royal Highness



6 April 2021

Beauty Amongst the Garbage

Beauty and grace, qualities attributed to swans


This beauty has made her nest amongst all this garbage.


What is wrong with people who just toss their rubbish away
without any thought or concern about where it ends up.


Thankfully she doesn't know how badly some people behave, her only concern is incubating her eggs. I think this is part of the river Cam that runs through the town. Swans breed here every year and previous babies have grown into healthy adults so the rubbish doesn't hinder them. I have a feeling that there might be a working party of volunteers who clear it up now and again.


Daddy swan was just a few feet away


keeping a very watchful eye on some ducks

 
There was also a family of moorhens


But daddy wasn't bothered about the moorhens


he didn't give up until the ducks flew away,maybe the ducks steal their eggs. 


How cute is this little family


following mum back to the nest. Cuteness overload


Her other babies were underneath her and I'm sure that lone one eventually joined them.

∼ Be safe and well ∼ 
Polly x


3 April 2021

Easter

 Happy Easter


Historically we don't get good weather at Easter, it's usually
chilly and overcast, and this year is shaping up to be no different.

 However you celebrate I hope Easter will be a happy/sunny/fun/peaceful time for you

Polly x


30 March 2021

Oaklands Park

What a glorious day it has been here in my part of the UK. My car registered a high of 26 deg sitting in the sunshine! My friend M and I visited Oaklands park. 

The house, a beautiful surburban residence, was built in 1865 for local industrialist Frederick Wells, a director of the Chelmsford Brewery, on land purchased from the estate of the influential Mildmay family.
The house was used as a hospital in World War I, and when it came up for sale in 1930 Chelmsford Borough Council bought it for use as Chelmsford Museum and Essex Regiment Museum.
The additional wing at the side is quite modern but blends in with the original building.
In 2019, the museum had a full refurbishment, with a new cafe, interactive displays and new artefacts.


The grounds are lovely with wooded areas, flower beds and two adventure play areas. 


This group of trees is very popular with children, it's like a den inside.

The Hive cafe has an extensive menu offering delicious home made sandwiches, breakfast and brunch, afternoon tea, and a host of gorgeous mains and desserts. They have a restricted take-away menu at the moment so M and I had coffee and cake sitting on a bench in the shade. Next time we go we are going to take a picnic.
∼ Be safe and well ∼ 
Polly x

24 March 2021

A Good Read

The Uncommon Reader by the wonderful treasure that is Alan Bennett
An absolutely charming, witty, (and a little cheeky) novella celebrating the pleasure of reading. Our protagonist is none other than HRH Queen Elizabeth.
One day whilst Her Majesty is  walking with her corgis in the grounds of Buckingham Palace the dogs wander off. In pursuit of them she sees the Westminster travelling library parked just  outside the Palace gates, and feels duty bound to borrow a book. Her first choice, a novel by Ivy Compton-Burnett isn’t exactly a page turner but on her next visit she meets Norman, a young man who works in the palace kitchen and frequents the library.
Aided by Norman Her Majesty soon develops a passion for reading. Devouring work from Hardy to Brookner, from Proust to Beckett, she is never without a book in her hand or her handbag, and as a consequence her public duties begin to suffer. Her equerries decide the reading has gone too far and conspire to bring the Queen’s literary journey to a close. 

Some favourite quotes:
"Read ma'am?"
"Books"
"When I get a chance, ma'am. I never seem to find the time”.
"That's what a lot of people say. One must make the time. Take this morning. You're going to be sitting outside the town hall waiting for me. You could read then."
------------
What she was finding also was how one book led to another, doors kept opening wherever she turned and the days weren't long enough for the reading she wanted to do.
------------ 
"Books are not about passing the time. They are about other lives. Other Worlds. One reads for pleasure," said the Queen."It is not a public duty."
------------ 
"You don't put your life into your books. You find it there."
------------ 
As it was, with this one she soon became engrossed, and passing her bedroom that night clutching his hot-water bottle, the Duke heard her laugh out loud. He put his head around the door
"All right, old girl?''
"Of course, I'm reading."

I love the idea of Prince Phillip taking a hot water bottle to bed!

I do hope Her Majesty has read this book, and laughed out loud. It is a gem.

∼ Happy Reading ∼
Polly x

20 March 2021

Waiting

I've cut my hair!! nothing drastic, not the layers just the back bit, about an inch, I couldn't stand it any longer. My daughter tidied up a few bits I couldn't see very well and it actually looks good, almost a new style.

My walk in wardrobe is getting awkward to walk into. On the floor are four bags of clothes and stuff waiting to go to a charity shop and three bags of quilts waiting to be collected by the Project Linus co-ordinator. There isn't anywhere else to put them without them getting in the way all the time. 

Lockdown has provided us with an opportunity to have a good sort out of things we no longer need. 
My daughter gives me items for charity shops, even my grandson has sorted out his clothes!

I finished the last quilt just before Christmas. Most of them were made using material and fleece left over from previous quilts. I did buy some new fleece for some of them. 

I'm a bit OCD about colours matching and co-ordinating, and themes, but a lot of the left over material was small amounts that wouldn't do this so I just had to go with what I had, but once they were sewn together I was pleased with the results.

This one above is just ok

I like this one

I just about had enough for this nautical/fish/shell theme with a few neutral whites to fill in.


I love this one, it's Mostly Disney characters - 101 Dalmations, Jungle Book, Bambi, Mickey Mouse and Dumbo, with a few Peter Rabbits. I spent a lot of time looking for more material to make quilts of each character, to no avail. But I think it's lovely and I'm sure there is a little girl or boy somewhere who will be happy to own it.

After making a Christmas quilt for my Aussie daughter I had some material left over but not enough
for another quilt so I bought some more, then I had too much! so I made this slightly larger one, it
has 7 squares across and 8 down instead of 7 x 7, and a small border on the top and bottom.

This is a favourite

And this one

This is number one favourite.
Made from strips, it's time consuming but very rewarding. After making this quilt I vowed I would never do a multiple backing again - that note to self didn't last long! This backing was much easier though.

It isn't a true square, it went a bit wonky. It started out well, I made a template from
a finished quilt and sewed the strips onto quilting paper starting with pinks 

then mauve, orange, green, yellow and blue, finishing with reds and a few left over pinks. It started going wonky about 3/4 of the way through but I just couldn't work out how to correct it.

This one reminds me of rhubarb and custard!

This is very pretty

Hopefully we will soon be out of lockdown and I can reclaim my walk in wardrobe! 

Be safe and well ~
Polly x
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