Tuesday, 30 August 2016

A Long Day At Notting Hill Carnival


  Tom and my eldest son had a very long day driving at Notting Hill Carnival yesterday. Tom didn't get in until after 11pm and had left before 6 am. Driving a big heavy bus with no power steering at 5 miles and hour all day had been very tiring and they are both really aching today. The day went well though and the people who hired the bus were lovely and made the day very enjoyable for them.

    On the news today people are calling for it to be scrapped as it has got so big and I know my eldest daughter and her boyfriend dread policing it every year but it does seem a shame when you see how much fun the majority of people have.

    I went to my Mum and Dad's house today and popped down to the shops to pick up a prescription. It was going to be a while so instead of just standing staring a chemist shelves I said I would come back in ten minutes. I went for a little walk in the lanes behind the shops I hadn't been down for quite a while. Some of the cottages there are beautiful and I have some more ideas for our front path and doorway. I would just love a front door and gateway like this.

    Thank you very much to people who came up with ideas for dealing with our tree problem. My Dad has let the council know and they are coming to see the damage. Apparently damaging or cutting down a tree with a protection order on can lead of a fine up to £80.000.  I was really shocked at that! 

Monday, 29 August 2016

Problems With Neighbours And Autumn Is Coming

    Tom and my eldest son are not back from the Notting Hill Carnival yet this evening so it has been a very long day for both of them as they left before 6 this morning. I have no idea how it all went and even though I have been scrutinising the London news I haven't spotted either of them!  It has been a very uneventful Bank Holiday today except for one bit of news that has really upset me. Last year a new person bought the house at the end of my Mum and Dad's garden and proceeded to cut every tree in their garden down, including a lovely old cedar tree that has been part of the road for over a hundred years I'm sure. We all commented how sad it was to see them all go.
    This spring a very aggressive women turned up at their door demanding the trees at the end of my Mum and Dad's garden were cut down as the branches are keeping light from their garden. My Dad is nice to everyone (I would have told her were to shove her branches!) and although he was very taken aback by her manner he agreed to cut down one, cut back a few others but said the lovely old Yew tree which is several hundred years old could not go as it so beautiful and it also has a preservation order on it, put on many years ago, by previous residents,  as it is so old. Aggressive woman was not happy with this at all and really upset my poor old Dad with her rudeness,
    As this year has gone on whether aggressive woman is upset has come no where in our list of concerns and although my Dad arranged to get the trees lopped and one cut down we had just about forgotten about it all. While my Mum was in hospital my Dad commented that the old Yew tree had a large dead branch on it. Thats a shame I replied maybe it's because we have had a lot of dry weather. Then last week when I was there the whole tree is dead, completely brown. "You don't think it's been poisoned," I said not really believing anyone would actually do it. Well today my Dad phoned me up almost too upset to talk. He had been down to the end of the garden and someone has drilled into the tree and injected engine oil into it. It has left a mark all down the tree and stain at the bottom. You can even smell the engine oil. How could anyone treat an old couple who love their garden so much like that. You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to work out who the culprit is!   We are still deciding what our next plan of action is.
   On a happier note my younger daughter and I took the dogs out for a lovely walk this evening and there was a distinct feel of autumn in the air. I just love autumn, long walks with the dogs through beautiful autumn colours and settling down in the evening by the fire. The sun was setting as we walked home and I'm going to try not to let anything spoil the evening.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Sunday Car Boot Sale

   We set off early to a car boot sale in Epsom today. I love that moment when you arrive at a big car boot sale, it's that feeling of anticipation not knowing what you may find! I always start off with such enthusiasm. I just love people and nearly always have a little chat on the way round, you can meet the most interesting people if you just take the trouble to pass the time of day.

     I have to be honest I was starting to flag by the end, it was beginning to rain which is never good and searching through One Direction duvet covers and books was taking it's toll. I am quite pleased with my buys though and only spent £12 so should be able to make a bit of profit on that. 

    Our eldest daughter came round for dinner today as her boyfriend is policing at the Notting Hill Carnival today and tomorrow.  She is not there this year as she has had a knee injury she has not fully recovered from. Tom and our eldest son are driving an old London bus in the Carnival Parade tomorrow so look out for them on the telly! I hope everyone in the UK has a great Bank Holiday tomorrow and the sun shines on you wherever you are.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Think Retro. Think Life On Mars....

....these were the instructions I gave Tom this morning as we set off to out local charity saleroom. I have restarted my ebay selling in the last week, since my Mum came out of hospital as I have realised my income has dropped by just over a third since the end of March. I have always supplemented my photograph selling business income with selling collectables on ebay but it is constant work to find the items to sell and I just haven't had time. Now things are a little bit more settled I am back to the buying and need to build up my stock. We are very lucky to have a very big charity saleroom near us and have found some fantastic finds there over the years but it is not easy, there is so much stuff to search through!

      And this is just a fraction of it. I managed to buy a small box full as I know exactly what sells well and for a reasonable profit. It was enjoyable having a rummage about all morning though.

    I have decided the whole neighbourhood is becoming as vintage car obsessed as me, as when I am walking the dogs I keep finding lovely old vintage cars.

Citroën H Van 1966

    Have you ever seen anything as fantastic as this old  Citroën H Van with a 1966 number plate.

1967 Morris Minor

1967 Morris Minor

     Our local garage had these two classic cars at the front of their showrooms. They are not for sale so they must be just enthusiasts. One day I will persuade Tom this is the way to go!

Friday, 26 August 2016

Keeping Original Features

     When I am out walking I always see interesting little things. I'm always coming home and saying "Guess what I saw when I was walking the dogs!" I have decided I really should try and record these little things as before I know it they will be gone and I will be struggling to remember what they looked like. I often walk past two pretty Victorian houses that are close to us when I am out and about. I look at them and cannot believe the good luck that has befallen them. They are perfect little time capsules. Somehow in their history they have never been owned by people who want to rip out every all the character of a house.

   They have original sash windows and even the original fences. But incredibly they have much more than that. (Sorry about the sunset reflecting on the house next door.)

     They have the same original front doors, gates, stained glass inserts, door knockers, door knobs and letter boxes. If you could only see the paths they both have tiled Victorian paths and incredibly the same old porch lights. I am always amazed this preservation has somehow happened and I think the area owes thanks to the people who have lived in these houses past and present.

        As I carried on with the walk I found this fabulous (Sorry that is a bit of a 1970s word) 1974 Porsche 914. Known as the forgotten Porsche I couldn't resist it as I love vintage and retro cars.

Penfold Post Box Carshalton Beeches

    And finally I have been meaning to photograph this for a long time. It is a Penfold Victorian Post Box in Beeches Avenue, Carshalton Beeches, They are apparently becoming very rare and as I love old post boxes I didn't want it to go unrecorded. 

Thursday, 25 August 2016

A Walk In Carshalton

   I took Bud out tonight after tea to Grove Park. This year has been such a strange year I realised I haven't walked down to this park at all. Everything looked very different and it was such a pleasure to revisit an area so near that I haven't visited for a while. It was a lovely evening and the park was full of people enjoying the evening. Bud is very scared of Canadian Geese so we had a few detours around trees and hedges to avoid them but other than that things went well.
   After the walk around the park I walked back past the ponds. They looked lovely and lots of young people were out playing Pokemon. All enjoying their summer holidays.

    We cut through the churchyard towards home. Last time I walked through the graveyard the old wall was covered with thick ivy but sometime recently the wall has been cleared. After all the ivy has gone several babies and very young children's graves have been revealed. Totally hidden for years. I know my emotions are very close to the surface at the moment but I could feel my eyes filling with tears just looking at them. I'm so glad they are visible to be remembered. What an emotional walk!

Sunday, 21 August 2016

A Good Day For Trying Out Windchimes

   It has been quite wet and windy this weekend and it seemed like the perfect time to try out our new windchimes. We bought them at the Smallholders Fair in July but with one thing and another hadn't got round to putting them up. I am very pleased with them and they have a lovely mystic sort of sound.

   I showed this video to our younger son and he said "So that's what that sound is! I spent all last night peering out into the dark of the garden wondering what that eerie noise was."

   Talking of youngest son, he and our elder son have travelled to Bristol today to buy something for a new business venture they are embarking on. They phoned me on the way home both telling me all the news on loudspeaker. I could barely make it all out they were laughing so much about funny tales that had happened. It had all gone so well, I was really lifted by their enthusiasm. I think there are some fun days ahead for them!

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Ideas For Our Front Door Way

   I am trying to think of some new ideas to brighten up our doorway. We don't know whether to open up the front garden or go more with the little path to the front door. We want it to look in keeping with our small Edwardian house. I have been looking around for inspiration whilst out walking Bud. I took him this evening to a road that has lots of large Edwardian houses which I love. Lots of them still have their original doorways.


    I think I'm being a bit ambitious as these houses are ten times the size of ours. Infact some of their garages are bigger than our whole house! As you can see from our house when it was decorated for the Queen's Jubilee I think maybe I better go and look for inspiration in some smaller style Edwardian homes.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

A Day Out At Chartwell

   It was our 34th wedding anniversary today so we decided we would have a day out at Chartwell, Winston Churchill's house. We took two of our dogs as they have been on their own so much lately we didn't want to leave them again. We couldn't go into the house because of this, but we have been there several times before so didn't mind. Chartwell is one of the most dog friendly National Trust properties near us as dogs can go everywhere but the house and the kitchen garden. Our youngest daughter came and we took a packed lunch and sat by the lake to eat it. After that we set off for a walk right round the estate.

 Bud Waiting By The Lake to Set Off.

Looking Towards Chartwell Which Is Covered In Scaffolding As It Is Having Work Done.

There Are Some Lovely Views Across The Downs.

We walked right round the estate and back to the lake again.

In Chartwell's Garden Looking Towards Winston Churchill's Studio.

A Lovely Walk With Flowers To Attract Bees And Butterflies.

A Painted Lady Butterfly.

Picking Apples In The Orchard.

The View From The Terrace Of The House.

The Waterfalls.

    One of the conditions of Winston Churchill leaving Chartwell to the National Trust was that a ginger cat must always be in residence just like his ginger cat Jock. The present Jock who is Jock VI was a rescue cat from Croydon Animal Samaritans. He certainly landed on his paws as apparently he spends his days taking afternoon naps on the Persian rugs and eating tuna, We looked out for him but didn't see him. It must have been his nap time! After a really enjoyable day we decided on cake and coffee in the restaurant before we left and Cassie our Yorkie quite clearly agreed.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Travelling In Style!

    My eldest son was driving an old London bus for a wedding today that was taking place quite near where my Mum and Dad live so he took me over there. I really enjoyed the journey as so many people stared with obvious joy on their faces and lots of people waved. I felt like I was going back in time although the road hurtling by through the open door seemed ever so near and dangerous which I had never thought when I used to ride on them around London when I worked there in the 1970s!
    He dropped me off at my Mum and Dad's house and drove slowly past the living room window with a wave and a toot. My Mum was thrilled. I think it really made her day.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Eco Travelling And Some Pretty Cottages

   My Mum is out of hospital again but they still need me to go and visit most days. Unfortunately there is no direct train route from our station to theirs and I usually have to change twice. It means that there is always a lot of waiting around but to be honest I don't really mind. It gives me time to read the paper and gather my thoughts which there never seems to be time at home for! I can also indulge in a bit of people watching which I love doing. I build up little scenarios in my mind of where they are going and why. I'm sure nine times out of ten I'm wrong but I always do it, I can't help myself. Today I watched this Mum with her lovely little daughter waiting for the train. The little girl was happily ringing her bicycle bell as they waited. What a fantastic eco friendly Mum she must be. Instilling all the right values on her daughter I'm sure. Just seeing them made me smile for the rest of my journey.

    I also just had to share these photos of pretty cottages I took on the way. I love little cottages and always have to stop and admire them. I like to think how the area around them must have changed over the years. I bet their early residents wouldn't recognise how it all looked.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Keeping Positive No Matter What

  Well my Mum is back in hospital. Only one week at home and and an ambulance had to be called as she was so unwell. The stress and upset of the last few days has been so bad I almost can't remember it. It is as if my brain is blocking it out. The young casualty doctor warned us how very sick she was.
   What do you think Mum asked my elder daughter as we sat in a state of shock in the relatives room in the casualty department. I think they don't know Grandma I replied. Sure enough this morning my Mum was sitting up in bed telling us stories about all the things the nurses and doctors on her new ward had been saying and we were having our usual laugh as our family do in every situation.
   I am not ready to let negative thoughts into my mind any time soon. They go to the same place as sad thoughts behind that wall in my brain where I put things that I am determined not to dwell on. I know it wouldn't work for everyone but it has always worked for me. I always try to pick out the positive of the day and think about that and today it feels that there are quite a few. Despite all that has happened to her, I watched my Mum smiling so kindly at the young new doctors trying to take blood from her today and I thought life really is just what you make of it.

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