Wednesday, October 26, 2016


I guess the majority of us have had big dreams and then the realisation hits that we were perhaps aiming a little too high.   We then learn to be content with what we do have rather than what may have been.

Did you notice the spelling error in this one?

Monday, October 24, 2016


I'd never considered it from the birds' point of view.

"It is a bit freaky with this wireless technology"

Sunday, October 23, 2016


Trying to get back into the swing of things but too tired to look about for a suitable poem for today so thought I'd share with you a poem I learned when I was doing correspondence lessons down on the farm when I was 4 or 5.


Mr Sunflower, big and yellow
Said "I'm such a lucky fellow.
To be small must be so queer
I get a splendid view up here."

There is another one about the moon from the same time which I may share with you one day if you are lucky. (*:*)

Saturday, October 22, 2016


I am thinking I've been terribly slack visiting friends' blogs and even attending to my own.  I feel it's part of getting older when things can accumulate in one's mind and finally you don't want to think any more for a while.  This flower look so peaceful it made me feel more settled.

Firstly I had the sad news about my 66 year old niece.   I am glad to report that she and her sister are off on a holiday together.  Not sure where to but I sincerely hope they manage to enjoy it.

Secondly, K and B arrived home after a wonderful holiday with their #3 daughter in the US but Karen's ear was affected on the flight home and she ended up with labrynthitis so was unable to return to work as scheduled.   She's doing OK now and back at work since Thursday but I was worried about her.  I was concerned for her as B had to fly to Adelaide for a couple of nights and then to Sydney for a couple of days.  She managed OK on her own thank goodness.  They live about 20 miles from us so not easy to just pop in for a minute or two.

Thirdly our eldest granddaughter who has known for a year or more she has gallstones finally ended up in emergency last Friday as she had suddenly gone yellow.   She rang the health line who of course told her to get to the hospital ASAP if she couldn't get an appt with her doctor within an hour or so.  It was decided she had a gallstone stuck in her bile duct and needed immediate surgery to remove it.  She had gone to a public hospital and they said they'd have to send her to large new public hospital who would be unable to attend to her before the following Wednesday.  On top of that they couldn't say for certain when they would be able to do the gall bladder op.  Possibly a few weeks further on.   She then decided she had better go private and the hospital arranged for an ambulance to collect her and take her to St John's Murdoch (not far from our place and where I have been on several occasions).  They arranged to have a doctor available at 8pm that night but it took three hours before the ambulance turned up to collect her.

She eventually arrived at the hospital at late for an op that night so it was scheduled for Saturday morning.  When they did the endoscopy they found TWO gallstones wedged in the bile duct.   She rested in hospital on the Sunday and on the Monday afternoon she had her gallbladder removed.  She spent another day in hospital and then was more than ready to go home on the Wednesday.  I kept in touch with her by phone and Phil and I popped up and spent some time with her on the Sunday afternoon.

The say our public hospitals are doing well but from things I've heard of late that is definitely not always the case and I am only so glad that Phil and I decided to keep up paying for our private health insurance.  It probably stops us from having a holiday each year but we are so settled in our home right now I am not sure that matters and when I think of the thousands of dollars we've received over the past 10 years or so HBF owe us nothing and we are well ahead and have been able to have any treatment required just when it is needed.

Fortunately, although Karen wasn't quite well enough for work she was able to help out with C's two little girls which took some of the load off C's husband.  We are too old to do much in the way of caring for youngsters but I promised to help out perhaps financially with hospital bills etc.  It is the least I can do.  We are not that well off but I can never see family go without and that's the way I was brought up.   Karen fortunately has the same feeling about family so we support each other when we can.

I think most of you know I can't walk very far and always use a walker when out and about.  Well, when we arrived at the hospital to visit C we found a huge crane and very large truck blocking the road where Phil would normally drive to drop me off at the front door or, hopefully, find a disabled bay near the front door.  We managed to find a disabled bay not too far from the hospital and off I set.  As we neared the road the large truck drove off and a very nice workman showed us a way to get to the front door and then proceeded to walk with us to make sure we were safe.   He was just so great and warned us it would be the same next Sunday.   We told him that hopefully we wouldn't need to visit again the following week.

I must apologise for my neglect of your blogs and promise I am going to try and catch up during the next week or so.  I need to say thanks to those folk who have still been following my nonsense and I will try to get back on board there as well.  In the meantime, I hope everyone has a good weekend.

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Another of the Conqueror's sons becomes King of England and we have our very first Henry.  From "The Kings and Queens of England and Scotland".

HENRY I  1100-1135  Known as Henry Beauclerk because he was the first king since Alfred who could read fluently.  Also known as the Lion of Justice.

Born:  1068

Succeeded as King of England 2 August, 1100 aged32, as de facto Duke of Normandy 1106.'

Younger brother of his predecessor William, and fourth son of William the Conqueror.

Married:  1.  On his accession, Matilda (Eadgyth) daughter of King Malcolm III of Scotland and his Queen, (Saint) Margaret, who was a sister of Edgar Atheling and granddaughter of Edmund Ironside; died 1118;  2.  Adela of Brabant and Louvain in 1120.

Children:  all of Matilda:  a son who died young; William was drowned in the wreck of the White Ship, 1120, and Matilda (Maud) who after a short-lived marriage to the Emperor Henry V married Geoffrey, Count of Anjou (the Angevin, nicknamed Plantagenet).

Mistresses:  the most notable of many is Nesta, daughter of Rhys ap Tewdr (Tudor) ruling prince of South Wales.

Bastards:  Henry generously acknowledged 20 illegitimate children, which is presumed to be only a selection of his offspring.  The most notable is the learned Robert, Earl of Gloucester, whom he dearly loved and who voluntarily renounced the disputed succession on the ground of his illegitimacy, notwithstanding the success of his grandfather, the Conqueror.

Died:  at Lyons-la-Foret, Normandy, on 1 December, 1135, of dysentry after over-eating lampreys, an uncharacteristic happening since he was generally abstemious and lampreys (vertebrates looking like eels, yet not strictly fishes) were his only indulgence.  He was aged 67 and had reigned 35 years.  (I remember reading somewhere that this king had died of a "a surfeit of lampreys".)

Buried: Reading Abbey.

Profile:  Dark hair, like all his family, but with a tendency to a receding hairline marked by combing it into a Roman fringe over his forehead; a thick-set figure accentuated by the family paunch.  (Isn't  it amazing that modern men also comb their hair forward to disguise receding hairlines.)

Henry was credited by his most flattering chronicler with the vices of avarice, cruelty and lust.  In this respect, therefore, he does not seem to have differed from his brother Rufus, yet most contemporary comparisons of the two appear to agree that Henry was more ruthless in his extortion of money and more barbaric in his savagery against the subject - particularly the conspirator, the criminal or the tax-dodger.  But there was a correspondingly harder streak in his efficiency of government, particularly in the spheres of defence,  finance and justice.

Henry had, almost literally, seized the crown - staging a coronation service three days after Rufus' death - before his elder brother Robert, who had many supporters in England, completed the last lap of his return from a crusade.  Henry immediately negotiated marriage with Matilda of Scotland. which not only pumped back the blood of Alfred into his heirs but offered some promise of security on his northern border.  The King of the Scots had done homage to him on his accession and later recognised his daughter.  His brother Robert of Normandy did not give up his ambitions for England, and kept Henry ruefully aware that, in the days of Rufus, Henry and Robert had plotted jointly to secure the throne, ostensibly for Robert.  The climax came when Henry defeated Robert in a battle at Tinchebrai in 1106, and imprisoned him for life (a further 28 years) in Cardiff Castle taking over Normandy virtually from that date.  Henry then had space and time to improve affairs at home.

Part of the price of his accession had been to offer the people of England a Charter of Liberties which, as far as individual freedoms went, was a scrap of paper with the only merit that it could be thrust at King John a century later as a significant archive to demonstrate the virtues of the good old days.  Administratively, however, Henry's reorganisation of the judiciary and of finance (he appointed the first Chancellor of the Exchequer) did introduce new liberties of law and order, paid for by heavy taxes imposed impartially on Normans and Saxons.  Moreover, by forcing a compromise with the Pope, whereby the king retained the baronial (not spiritual) homage of bishops, and had positive influence in appointing them, Henry preserved certain liberties of pride and conscience for his peasants as well as his peers, and undoubtedly prevented the land from becoming priest ridden.

With the death of Henry's heir in 1120 - his wife Matilda having died two years previously - Henry was once more excessively worried about the succession.  He married again, but produced no legitimate heir.  He required his barons to swear allegiance to his daughter Matilda 'The Empress', widow of Emperor Henry of Germany and wife of Count Geoffrey of Anjou.  Yet, confusing the issue even if he was keeping his options open, he cultivated his favourite nephew, Stephen, and nurtured him as a possible heir.  He gave him vast estates in Lancashire and Normandy, and married him back into the ancient royal Saxon bloodstock, to a Saxon-Scot, Matilda of Boulogne wh also owned very extensive property in what was then known as Flanders.  The marriage brings a triple confusion of names.  Stephen married Matilda, niece of Henry's first wife Matilda (or Eadgyth, or Edith) of Scotland.  Henry I and Matilda of Scotland had a daughter, the Empress Matilda, who is historically the most important of the three and challenged Stephen in the next reign.  All the Matildas were descended from Alfred the Great.   Henry had a longer life and a longer reign than any of his predecessors, but, later three kings to a century was quite an ordinary score.  In religion he was conformist-pious, and he built Reading Abbey as a Benedictine house to receive his corpse.

This king did not sound a particularly nice person and yet I found him a quite interesting monarch for many reasons, particularly the confusion of all the names (as in the final para).






Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Monday, October 17, 2016


I just knew there was another name for dog hair and now I've found out what it is.