Thursday, September 29, 2016


Yet another quite well known king from "The Kings and Queens of England and Scotland":

HAROLD II  ....Known as Harold Godwinson

Born:  ?1022

Brother-in-law to his successor Edward.

Married: 1.  Eadwyth Swan-neck;  2.  Ealdgyth, widow of Gruffydd; ap Llywelyn

Children:  of Eadgyth:  Godwine, Eadmund. Magnus, Ulf, Gytha, Gunhld; of Ealdgyth: Harold.

Died:  In battle in Hastings on 14 October, 1066, aged 44, having reigned ten months.

Buried: at Pevensey, later in Waltham Abbey.

Harold Godwinson, son and successor to the ambitious Godwin, Earl of Wessex, and brother of Edward's widowed queen, had been commander-in-chief of the forces and 'under-king' - in practice, regent - during Edward's last years.  The Witangemmot did not hesitate to by-pass the claim of the 15-year-old Edgar Atheling and ignore William of Normandy by promptly proclaiming Harold as king.  And Harold underlined the urgency by having himself crowned in Westminster Abbey on the day following Edward's death.  He was a man of great vigour, confidence (perhaps over-confidcnce) and experience; and one of the most intriguing of all theories is the reconstruction of how England would have developed if -as so easily might have been the case- he had not died at Hastings and lost the battle.

Harold's marriage, two years previously, to the widow of Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, Ruler of all Wales, was a rare dynastic connection between the English and the British, though Ealdgyth was not born a Celt.

Harold's immediate task on his accession was to defend England from the consequences of two anticipated invasions, from Norway and Normandy - he had not the resources to meet these problems by destroying invasion forces before they sailed or landed.  Harold Hardrada, King of Norway, had inherited the pretensions of his predecessor Magnus to the throne of England, and was supported by Harold Godwinsons' dissident brother Tostig, exiled Earl of Northumbria.  After months of suspense the Norwegians invaded first.  King Harold brushed them out of English history by defeating them at Stamford Bridge in Yorkshire, where both Hardrada and Tostig were killed on 23 September, 1066.

While celebrating the victory at York, Harold learned that William of Normandy had landed in Sussex.  He force-marched south and met thw enemy forces, who had had a fortnight to consolidate their order of battle, on the ridge above Hastings where Battle Abbey now stands.  Through the long day of 14 October the fateful struggle proceeded.  It was a story-book battle, hard-fought, with changing fortunes, and even included sensational single combat;  King Harold and his two brothers against Duke William and his two half-brothers   At sunset Harold, who had seen his brothers die but still retaining a reasonable chance of victory, was the target of a concentrated "blunderbuss" discharge of arrows.  He sustained a head wound and was immediately pounced upon and killed.

Phil has often said he wonders how different England would have been had Harold Godwinson lived and defeated William of Normandy.  His knowledge of British history never fails to amaze me.  There is mention of that in paragraph 1 (above).

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Feeling happy as daughter and her hubby are having a wonderful time in New Jersey (and surrounds).  Only complaint in message to me via Facebook.....the traffic is dreadful!!!  Although Halloween is still some time away this is a house already decorated that K saw on her travels.  Unbelievable!!!   Imagine spiderwebs like that......I'd rather not!!!

Feeling sad as had a call from a 66 year old niece last week telling me she has only a short time to live.  I found it hard to believe as she is still so young but apparently her specialist broke the news to her that very day.  Wendy's husband died 7 years back of mesothelioma contracted, it is believed, when he was working with a friend on old houses; obviously asbestos was involved.  Wendy was being checked yearly following Sandy's death and it seems she has picked up a secondary infection following Sandy's illness.  I don't fully understand how or why it happened.  She had surgery 4 weeks ago with the idea of removing a mid section of lung (fortunately keyhole surgery) but they then found it was more advanced that at first thought.  She is unable to have an oral type of treatment available (after testing) and she refuses to have full on chemotherapy with so many dreadful side effects.  It is her life and her choice and I can fully understand her decision.

I am so glad she had her son and daughter with her when she visited the specialist but I imagine, after losing their dad, it is so hard for them to now face up to the prospect of only having their mum with them for another 12-18 months.

Wendy and I were very close when she was a young teenager.  She used to come and stay with me when my first hubby was away fishing and shooting etc and she, along with my two kiddies, used to have a lot of lots of fun.   She even joined us on one of our holidays on Rottnest Island.

Over the years we've seen little of each other but have always kept in touch.  She fortunately has a very supportive family and many friends as well but it must be so hard for her, and them, to face this bleak, and short, future together.  There is not a lot I can do to help as they live in the far northern suburbs and I'm not much use to anyone these days anyway.   All I can do is tell her I love her and give her all the moral support I can.  I will ask Phil to take me to see her when she feels she would like a visit and I can sincerely hope she doesn't suffer too much pain from this dreadful disease.

Feeling pleased that Phil's mouth is healing nicely, even though the stitch came out, and it appears the 'lump' is going down.  Although we are both diabetics we still seem to heal reasonably well for which we both must be very thankful.

I hope you've all had a good week and the coming week will treat you kindly.

Monday, September 26, 2016


They say smiling is easier than frowning as you use less facial muscles so smile away here and keep it up through the week if you can.

I guess it had to happen in these modern times!

Sunday, September 25, 2016


I loved this little poem by Robert Frost who, incidentally, is one of Phil's favourite poets.

Saturday, September 24, 2016


Lots of mixed thoughts these past few days:

Thinking of daughter and her hubby visiting B K and K in New Jersey.  After hearing about the bombing in New York and New Jersey I was so pleased to know they arrived safely and they appear to be having a wonderful time.  I miss them but with pics of them appearing on Facebook it still keeps them close.  This is a picture K posted of where they had lunch at the Reading Terminal Market in Philly.   Their meals sounded delicious: crab cakes for Karen and scallops on quinoa for her hubby.  (one day I will find out what all these new 'wonder' foods are).

Yesterday was my son's 59th birthday.  I sent him a nice birthday card but whether or not he will even bother opening it I have no idea.   It's hard to believe that the last time I saw him he was only 44.  I am ever grateful to his wife for keeping in touch via email and recently sending me a photo of the four of them taken on her birthday in July.   Steve hasn't changed all that much over the years and still has his beard and moustache....they suit him.   I put in the card "One day....perhaps....ever hoping."  Who knows what goes on in that head of his.....certainly not me.  Will we ever find out his reason for cutting all contact with everyone except his immediate family?

Also yesterday Phil paid an early visit to the dental clinic.   A few days ago he discovered a small lump on his top gum.   It didn't ache but was a little sore when he pressed on it.  A couple of months back he had a part tooth removed in the same area and the remaining tooth sort of patched know how they do that type of thing these days don't you?   Thursday night I got on to him to make a decision to do something about the lump and so I set the alarm for 7.30am so he could arrive at the clinic at 8.15am and join the queue.  They are good like that...if you need emergency dental treatment you arrive at 8.15am and as soon as a dentist in available then it's your turn.  Cost him $200 all told with $150 of it being subsidised by our state government and the other $50 will be covered by private health insurance so no cost at all to Phil.  This has been available in Western Australia for some years now and pensioners and others with health cards can take advantage of this service.

This time Phil had an older Chinese dentist attend to him who promptly decided to take out the patched up tooth as it had a crack in it.   Reading in his notes that Phil does suffer mild osteoporosis the dentist stitched the hole in the gum, where the tooth had been.  Apparently if you are inclined to osteoporosis the jawbone can become thin after a tooth is removed.  I applaud that dentist for being so up to date on how to care for people, particularly the elderly.  He also gave Phil a script for antibiotics which hopefully will cure 'the lump'.  Hopefully, in a few days, his gum will heal nicely and he will have no further problems.

It is still unseasonably cool in Perth (not one day this week has been above 20C (68F) andI am still enjoying it so much, although it is doubtful if the poor old joints are.   Problem is, once the hot weather arrives we will feel it so much more.  They say August was the hottest ever on record...worldwide that is...but it certainly wasn't hot in Perth so it must have been very hot somewhere and I don't envy them one little bit.

Friday, September 23, 2016


As you know I get a lot of enjoyment scrolling through YouTube and the other day I came across this one which used to be a real favourite of mine.  It is 'Donkey Serenade' sung by Alan Jones who was  a favourite years ago.   I remember seeing the film (I think it was called "Firefly") when he sang this song.