Saturday, November 29, 2014


I received my bank statement this week and enclosed was an envelope asking for donations to the Smith Family.  While Phil and I have always donated to various charities over the years it is not always easy when one is on an aged pension, much as we'd love to continue to do so.  As this organisation does such a wonderful job though, I just may try to find a few dollars this year if I can.

That though is not my point in this instance.   It reminded me of a story told to me many years ago by the wife of an uncle of my first husband (Aubrey) (have you worked that out OK?)  She had been Minnie Smith before her marriage and the story goes like this.

Uncle Bert and Auntie Min had travelled to Melbourne (Victoria) from Perth, Western Australia, by train (a journey of a couple of thousand miles) and upon leaving the station in Melbourne what should confront them but a big sign on an adjacent building 'THE SMITH FAMILY".

Bert turned to Min and said "and now I know where you all came from!"   Min always loved telling that story and now you too know where all the Smiths came from.

Min and I remained friends after my divorce to Aubrey and the last time we visited her in her unit in a retirement home in Mount Lawley she would have been in her mid-nineties.   She passed away in her sleep on 21st November, 2001 at the ripe old of age of 97.  Bert had pre-deceased her in 1985 when he was 81.

Monday, November 24, 2014


As you know after P.R. said he no longer wanted them with him, my grandmother had moved on with my mum and her sister Amy, and were now living in North Street, Hornchurch.  Here we have the story of their life during that time as described in mum's book.  This would be in ca1907, over one hundred years ago and it IS mum's story and not mine.

Excerpt from "THE CLOCK OF TIME" by Gertrude Ruston.  (published in 1983).

"Hornchurch was a charming old country place.  There were no cars or public vehicles at that time, and most people either walked short distances, rode horses, bicycles, tandems or tricycles.  We often saw the Anglican and Non-Conformist ministers riding their tricycles side by side down North Street, and chatting away very amicably. There was never any question of bad feeling between them and everybody went to one church or the other.  I never saw a Catholic nun or priest as far as I can remember.   I recollect crossing fields and climbing stiles while the bells were ringing for church, and memory brings back how beautifully clear and delightful they sounded across the English countryside.

I went to school at Hornchurch, it may have been for the first time, and while very young I started to sing and recite, and was often selected by my teachers to take part in concerts and eisteddfods.  I was put forward to complete at the Crystal Palace as a soloist and, to my surprise, I took first prize and a certificate in my grade.  I also obtained gold medals for elocution.  (Note: my mum always had a wonderfully clear speaking voice with what is often called an "Oxford acccent".)   One particular poem that comes to mine is the "Cry of the Children" by Elizabeth Browning, applicable in some countries even today.  It was one of my successes.  It was here in Hornchurch I also learned maypole dancing, the Irish Jig, Scottish reels, and many country dances.  One of the latter was called 'dibbing', and I have since remembered that it represented making holes for the planting of potatoes.  Little did I think at that time that it would be my fact in Australia to plant hundreds of acres of potatoes.

It was at this time in my life that I felt the need for music and started to play the piano.  Amy had the good fortune to have been given seven years first class tuition on the piano, and although she was never an inspired or really good pianist, she played accurately and had a good contralto voice.  My father would not pay for me to be taught as Amy had failed to shine, but mother managed to give me a little tuition and, as I thoroughly enjoyed playing, I leaned to sight read anything, and often spent hours playing to relieve tension.  For years I played accompaniments for people and this gave me a great deal of pleasure.  (Note: We had a piano in our home and my brother Len had a wonderful baritone voice.  Our family would gather around the piano and mum would play the accompaniments while the rest of us sang so many wonderful songs.  With Len being such a good singer it seemed to inspire the rest of us to sing our best as well.  Mum also had a lovely contralto voice.  I remember those 'sing songs' with so much happiness).

When Amy left college she obtained a position as Secretary/Linguist in a solicitor's office in London and travelled up and down each day.  The local conveyance known as 'Drake's bus', drawn by one horse, and which held about four people, stopped at the door to pick her up each morning and brought her home from the station each night.  If we needed the bus, unless previously arranged, we had to put up a small flag by the gate.  As far as I remember the station was about 1 mile away, and the church, standing in what was called the Dell, also about 1 mile distant.

As a child I was very intrigued by the old church and its bull's horns, after which the town was named.  Nobody seemed to know their significance.  I later discovered that the church had been a priory and the horns were said to have been placed on the church by a whore in expiation of her sins.  (Note:  That sounded a little far-fetched to me so I have endeavoured to find the history of those horns and the only explanation I could find was this:  "At the east end of the roof is a bull's head statue, which is a unique feature to find on a church.  However, in 1222 the first written reference to the church refers to the monasterium cornutum or horned church at Havering.  There are numerous legends and theories to explain the existence of the horns, but the truth remains obscure.  This is an extract from "The history of St Andrew's Church."  It goes on to say "In 1610 the horns were thought to have been made of lead but when they were repaired in 1824 they were found to be made of copper.  In 1999 the copper horns were stolen from the bull's head.  They were never recovered and new horns replaced them in 2001.")

I must have been about 10 years old and Amy 17 when mother decided to have a photograph taken of us.  As was the fashion, Amy was wearing long skirts and had her hair up with a ridiculous hat perched on top, and was sitting on a chair.  I stood alongside in a short white frock, my fair curly hair almost covered by a mushroom shaped hat, and with a most silly look on my face.  Mother was very proud of this photo and brought it out for exhibition on every possible occasion until, all of a sudden, it could not be found.  Amy and I had seen to it that it had disappeared.  I feel rather guilty now, but it was not flattering of either of us.

Infectious diseases were much more common than they are today, and we had none of the protective needles now obtainable to prevent measles, diptheria, scarlet fever or whooping couch.  At that time the poor victim of scarlet fever had to spend six weeks in an infectious diseases hospital, whereas it can now be stopped in twenty-four hours.

I fell victim to diptheria and was very ill.  My mother nursed me at home.  The house was a double storey with four bedrooms, one being quite isolated which was my abode.  Mother came in and out wearing a long white gown similar to that worn by the doctor, and there was a sheet hung outside the door which was dipped in disinfectant each day to prevent infection.

Mother must have been very weary because she could not have the usual help with the cleaning and washing owing to the risk of infection, and, as I was very ill indeed and my life was despaired of, she had to give me had constant attention.  As always, she was wonderful and we never heard a grumble from her.  Neither mother nor Amy caught the illness due, no doubt, to her very great care,  Mother was very popular with the neighbours and church people, and many folks sent me in flowers and delicacies as soon as I was able to have them.  One I very much enjoyed was pure orange jelly served in the orange peel; not too sweet and wonderful for my throat.  Strange how one remembers such a thing from so long ago.  I can visualise the woman who made it but her name eludes me.  It took me a while to pick up from the illness and I still have some slight disability from it.  (Note:  Mum had what is called a 'diptheric heart' and doctors, when checking her pulse, would make note of an irregular heart beat.  That heart managed to be there for mum until her demise in 1985 and was not the cause of her death.)

I will leave mum there and in the next chapter she is off to college and then find a suitable position of work. 

Friday, November 21, 2014


Have you ever had something completely disappear?  Completely vanish?  I've occasionally mislaid an item only to remember shortly afterwards where I last saw it.  In this instance I have entirely lost a size 4.00 crochet hook.

How did it happen you ask?   Latish Wednesday afternoon I asked Phil to pop up to Godfreys re our vacuum cleaner.   As Candy was out in the garden I asked Phil to close the gate after he'd driven out.  I was sitting in the living room crocheting

and noticed he had driven off without shutting the gate.  I had bare feet so quickly popped my crochet on to the table next to my chair and went into the bedroom to put on a pair of shoes.

I grabbed my stick and walked up and closed the gate.  I've been feeling a tad livelier since my op and decided I'd sweep the front verandah.  This usually means a few sweeps of the broom, a sit down and a few more sweeps but I eventually get it done.   I then decided one of the chairs needed hosing down so did that as well and moved an old broken chair ready to be taken down the back yard.   While still out there Phil arrived back so I opened the gate for him to drive in and closed it again as Candy was still outside. 

Then I decided I'd hose part of the verandah down where I couldn't reach with the broom (no waste of water as the water runs into the garden) and we went into the house, had a cuppa and biscuit or two.

So, feeling proud of myself for having been able to do much more than usual, the day proceeded pretty much as usual until watching TV after dinner.   I grabbed for my crochet but NO HOOK!!  I searched through the box that held the finished squares, under the table and all round the area.  I checked in the bedroom in case I'd had the hook in my hand when I went for my shoes.  No sign of it.  Yesterday Jenny (our cleaning lady) came and when I told her she also looked as she was cleaning but still no hook.  Phil has moved both our chairs to no avail.  That hook is obviously is in that wonderful place 'somewhere".  ...and yes, I've searched down both sides of my armchair.

I knew I had a spare size 4.00 hook but as I'd not used it for many months (possibly years) it took me a full 24 hours to visually remember where I'd last seen it and lo and behold there it was.  I resumed crocheting last night and can now continue to make the rugs I give to Vinnys each year to do with as they please.  I don't mind if they give them to nursing homes or make a few dollars selling them.  It's a very small contribution on my part but it makes me feel I'm doing a tiny bit of good.  We also donate all unwanted clothing in good condition as well as a few household items we no longer need.

I know what I did outside has nothing to do with the lost hook but I just feel so pleased to have the energy to do a little more as for so long I seem to have been so weary.  It will be a slow progress but not feeling so tired is a big bonus even if there are no other improvements for a while.  I have no regrets about having had the parathyroid operation and it has healed so well and hardly any scar to speak of.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


We left mum with her mother and sister on a seaside holiday with mum enjoying having a sail with her father (P.R.).  We now come to the sadder part of the story but one that has to be told as it was such a large part of mum's life as a child:

Excerpt from 'THE CLOCK OF TIME" by Gertrude Ruston:

"My Mother's Heartbreak

My next recollection is of a time, some years later, when we were living in a very luxurious home in the London area.  It was a two storey house and had a beautiful curved staircase leading to a balcony over which one could look down into the hall.  (NOTE:  I imagine it to have been something like this):

Amy and I, on this occasion, were looking over the balcony realising that something of importance was taking place in the hall below, as my mother was in tears and she had her guardian, the Rev. Varco Williams, with her.   Later my mother came up to us, still in tears, and advised that my father no longer wanted us and that we were going away.  No explanation was given to us then or at any other time.

It is to this day a matter of great sadness and regret that I was too young at that time to have had a hand in arranging the terms according to which the separation was finalised.

In due course we learned that:-

a.  The furniture was to be divided.
b.  Mother was to receive a certain sum of money to cover her needs and ours, and she was to take on
     the full responsibility for our care and education.
c.  Should he desire to see us, mother was at any time to make it possible for this to happen.
d.  She was not to apply for a divorce at any time or she would lose her allowance.

We gathered these details as we grew older, but my mother never mentioned his name.  At no time did one parent criticise the other over all the years.  Later Amy and I presumed the split was caused by another woman, as there were several over the years whose identities were made known to us by people who had known my mother, and probably thought we would carry the information home to her so that she could do something about it.  Amy and I never repeated anything, nor did mother ask any questions.

We were required to be present about once a year at the 'Christmas Shareout' of one of his organisations, so that he look us over and that people could see he had a well cared for family.

Looking back I realise my parents were not really compatible.  He was a gifted, ambitious, successful, a leading Freemason and a trendy dresser.  One wall of his office was a built-in wardrobe containing changes of clothes for various occasions.  He needed to take his place in social life and brought home beautiful pieces of material for mother to have made up so that she could accompany him, but she did not like his choice of colours and refused to have them made up.  The materials disappeared and he possibly found a substitute partner to wear them.  (NOTE: Maybe something similar to these):

Had the separation taken place today, my legal mind tells me that mother could have obtained a divorce at any time, and put pressure on him for a much greater allowance because his earnings increased considerably over the years.  Mother was to proud to let anyone know anything about her private affairs, and would certainly never have contemplated a law case, although I believe had she bluffed she could have obtained a far better deal.  I personally fought him on several occasions and won additional educational privileges which I considered my due.

All records have gone and I have no knowledge of the date on which their separation took place, but I do know that we moved to a nice house in North Street, Hornchurch, Essex, probably selected by the guardian or lawyer, and sufficiently far away to make a complete break.

It was a very great pity that a divorce was not possible, as it would have enabled mother to enjoy pleasant company and security during the latter years of her life, had she been so inclined.  We had a widower neighbour at one time who tried hard to be friendly with her, but she showed very clearly that she was not interested.  His name was William Bird so of course Amy and I called him "Dicky Bird".   (The girls would not have known at that time that many years later there would be a well known English cricket umpire also called "Dicky" Bird)."

NOTE:  Please bear in mind that all the above took place during the very early part of the 20th century and this type of occurrence would be handled very differently today.   One thing though that I discovered through genealogy and which of course my mother was unaware, was that P.R.'s sister (a well known singer) did obtain a divorce from her husband.  I wonder what P.R. thought about that?  Did he feel his sister was perhaps a disgrace to the family?  We will never know the answer that that question.

I will leave mum's story there and in the next 'episode' tell you about their life in Hornchurch, that's if you want to hear more about life 100 or so years ago.

Saturday, November 15, 2014


I decided a while back, before I had my throat cut, that I would do a series about vegetables.  I had this one in draft form so thought it time I posted it.  I am not sure whether the correct date will come out or not but hope it does.

There is such a large variety of bean, many of which I know about and also enjoy.

BEANS:  Bean is a common name for large plant seeds used for human food or animal feed of several genera of the family Fabaceae (alternately Leguminosae).

Runner beans, scarlet runner beans or multiflora beans are plants grown both as food plants or ornamental plants.   We currently have beans planted but they are dwarf beans as runner beans take up too much room.  I am particularly fond of green beans, cooked or tinned.

We have tried scarlet runners but the weather in Perth is too hot for them.   I was disappointed as they are so colourful with their bright red flowers and the red beans.  Multiflora is a new one on me but I would I imagine it relates to the flowers or even the seeds being of assorted colours.  Apparently runner beans contain traces of the poisonous lectin, found in common beans.  Runner beans for sale on a market stall:

Broad beans.    Vicia faba, also known as broad beans, fava beans, faba beans, field beans, bell beans or tic beans.  They are native to North Africa, southwest and south Asia, and are extensively cultivated in many parts of the world.

We currently have these growing and they are showing flowers so hopefully not too long before we are picking and eating broad beans.  We both really enjoy them but we try not to eat too many as they can be quite fattening and contain a large amount of carbohydrate, so smallish servings a couple of times a week.   They can be served hot or cold as a salad dish.  I prefer them hot.

Mung beans are used a lot in Asian cooking and can also be made into a paste.  I've used them in stir fries in the past and also eaten them as bean sprouts which are enjoyable with salads and are said to be very good for us. 

Kidney beans are used in many chilli dishes, parricularly in chilli con carne. These are a bean that are very poisonous when raw as they contain lectin phytohaimagglutinin that must be removed before cooking.  It is recommended that these beans be boiled for at least ten minutes.   Cooking them in a slow cooker cannot guarantee all the toxin will be removed.

It is said that as kidney beans are loaded with potassium and magnesium, they help keep blood pressure in check, while their high fiber content helps reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, fighting off heart disease.  They are also rich in iron and protein, which makes them a great meat substitute for vegetarians.  According to Janet Bond Brill they also contain disease-fighting antioxidants.  Half a cup of these beans cooked contains 112 calories.

There are so many bean varieties used in cooking or in salads and I would imagine most people are familiar with cannellini beans, borlotti beans, chick peas, lima beans, haricot beans, pinto beans, and black eyed peas.  The list goes on and on and I am sure there are plenty more that could be added to this list.

I feel perhaps it best to make this part B(a) and include others in part B(b) as I have at least another six "B" vegies I'd like to talk about.

Friday, November 14, 2014


This continues on from the previous post where mum had said she had recognised there were many of her father's (P.R.'s genes in her make up.  Do remember this is very early on in the 20th century

From "The Clock of Time" by Gertrude Ruston:

"Discipline in the home was very strict, and no alcohol ever came into it.  My paternal grandfather wore a blue ribbon in his buttonhole to show his temperance beliefs but, unfortunately for him, he had a large red nose (probably due to indigestion) which people thought did not quite tie in with his blue ribbon.  Neither my mother nor father ever drank alcohol and my sister Amy and I were brought up as teetotallers.  I can remember belonging to the Band of Hope and signing the pledge promising not to use strong drink as a beverage.  (This is the medallion worn by members of the Band of Hopoe in the early 20th century):

I had my meals in the kitchen with the maid (as did Amy when she was home from school) except Sunday lunch times when, unless there were visitors, we were allowed to join the august presence.

When asking for anything at table Amy and I were obliged to speak in either French or German so that we had early knowledge of languages and, if we could not think of the correct word, or something like it, we had to sit until inspiration came or go without.  Amy, being so much older and learning the languages at boarding school, managed quite well, and I used to sit hopefully waiting for her to ask for something I too wanted. when I would also pipe up, having learned from her what it was called.  Perhaps it was due to this early training that Amy and I both became proficient in French and German.  My father spoke several languages.  Those were the days of "speak when you are spoken to" and we did not dare enter into conversation unless invited to do so.

When holidays were on Mother, Amy and I went to one of the seaside resorts for several weeks and my father went sailing, calling into the pier to see us occasionally.  My mother did not like small boats, but she came with us sometimes on the large steamers which travelled to Southend, Margate or Lowestoft.  I was the only one who followed P.R. and had his same love for the sea, which has remained with me through all the years.   I alone went on the yacht as a special treat for a short sail."

(This is a picture of Margate in 1897 (the year mum was born) and I imagine it would have been much like this still when she was a child in the early 1900s):

Note:  I can remember mum telling me about those special meals with her parents and how frustrating it was a times when she couldn't remember the correct word in either French or German for the item she wanted passed to her.  She often used to laugh about it with me.

Another thing about mum and sailing.  I mentioned it before in an earlier blog about when I was 15 and down at Mandurah on holiday I was asked to go for a sail but was afraid to do so.  Mum said she'd go and I am sure she would have done so too.  I realised it Mum thought it safe then it should be OK and it was then I found my own love of sailing.

Monday, November 10, 2014


I've read where other bloggers (and facebookers too) have problems with their cats demanding attention when their owners are using their computers.   Candy has now found a way to get my attention as well.

Hops up on desk with a little trilling sound:

Stands in front of the computer screen willing me to take notice of her:

and when that fails she lays/lies on the keyboard and just stares at me as if to say "Take notice of ME and stop what you're doing.....NOW".

Strangely enough, it always works and I do her bidding.  Well, isn't that what I'm here for?

Candy has now been with us for just over 3 months and it's as if she's been here forever.  Apart from her little habit of 'pooting' unexpectedly, she is all one could look for in a feline friend.   She's affectionate, quite obedient, eats most of what she is served, and just loves to be with us.  Even when she goes outdoors she is back every little while seeking out one of us as if to say "oh, you're still there" and off she goes again.   

Phil is still wishing she wouldn't bring garden lizards/legless lizards inside as they are difficult to catch but he forgives her every time as he scoops up the poor little (now tail-less) creature with the dustpan and brush and pops it back out in the garden.

Saturday, November 8, 2014


I have written rather a lot about my mum (my adoptive mum) and on scanning through her book today I found what may be of interest to modern day people.  Mum was born in London in 1897 during the reign of Queen Victoria, and on reading this expert from the book I realised just how different life was back then.  Please allow me to share some of her story with you.  I trust you will find it interesting.

(extract from "The Clock of Time" by Gertrude Ruston) (I have added pictures to the story)

"Very Early Memories

My earliest recollection is of a two storey house in Woodford, Essex, attached to an office for my father.  The piece of land on which it stood was a triangle, the garden going to a point between two streets.

I can still visualise that garden which was very large and full of the most beautiful roses of all colours, kept in order by a gardener who came in several times a week.  He was particularly fond of my mother's caraway seed cake, which he called "lousy bread", and he was always delighted when he received some for morning of afternoon tea.

At that time, when I would not have been more than two or three years old, I would be up in the garden in the very early morning helping my father catch snails, my job being to put them into a large earthernware jar filled with common salt.  Poor things!  I can still remember them frothing. This early morning gardening was quite a tradition between my father and me and we both enjoyed it.

Our gardener was a nice old boy and I spent a great deal of time with him as well as the early mornings with P.R., which probably accounts for my love of gardening today.

There was a patch of lily of the valley in a corner near the house which was most precious, guarded carefully by the gardener and my father, and definitely not to be touched by the rest of the family.  As was the custom in those days P.R. had a buttonhole each morning and the lilies of the valley, when in season, were always selected for that purpose.

As a small child of about three I attended a type of pre-school, child minding centre or kindergarten - I don't now what they were called at that time, but I remember we had to pay fees for the privilege.   Roses were always plentiful and the gardener used to give me bunches to take to the teacher, which probably accounts for the fact that I was quite popular with her.

Returning to the garden and the lilies of the valley, I expect the very fact that we were forbidden to pick those flowers made it all the more tempting to do so.  I found the temptation too great, picked some for my teacher, my sin was discovered, and I was forbidden the freedom of the garden for several days, a truly terrible punishment!

We always had a maid and a charwoman, but I never remember seeing washing or ironing about the house.  One of the drawers of my bedroom was always full of beautiful white starched pinafores with gophered frills, and I wore a clean one each day.  I was a fussy child and could not bear dirty hands or a dirty pinafore, so I must have soiled more than one a day on many occasions.  Times have changed; pinafores are out of date, and no housewife would tackle gophered frills today.

I cannot remember much of my sister at that time.  She was almost seven years older than me and was probably away at school.  My father was a great believer in a good education and that fact played an important part in the lives of both my sister and myself.

Due to my age I was still at home and spent considerable time in the kitchen with the maid.  On one occasion, when there was to be a very large dinner party, the maid had the best china on the kitchen table (one of those old fashioned ones with rather wobbly side extensions) and I leaned on the table and there was a terrific crash.  I cannot remember if there was enough china left for the guests, but I can recall very clearly being sent up to my bedroom by my mother, and told to remain there as a punishment.  When my father came home he was very angry as I had been warned several times not to lean on the table (a new one was on order).  He turned me over his knee and I was chastised. I can recall that I did not cry, but told him he was very rude.  As he left the room, after telling me to go to bed, I can distinctly remember seeing a smile on his face.

Two birthdays come to mind at this time.  On the first my father brought me home a beautiful doll's pram - unexpected  and truly wonderful.  The second occasion was one on which my father had forgotten the day and I reminded him of it when were were doing our early morning snail catching.  He apologised for forgetting and said he had some money on his dressing table and I could take some of that.  There was rather a lot, but he had not said how much I could have so I to it all.  Although I think he was rather staggered, and my mother was aghast, I got away with it.   Unlike my sister, I was never afraid of him, and although he bitterly resented the fact that I was not the son he had desired, I think he recognised that there was many of his genes in my makeup."

If you are interested I can add more of mum's memories of her youth.  Times were so different way back then.


I recently mentioned my English grandfather Percy Rockiff (PR), my mother's dad.  I found this on google recently.  I am unable to 'steal' the item from Pathe News but have been able to show the title and also a picture of PR as he heads out to distribute the annual shares.

The title reads:  "His Proud Record.  Mr Rockliff retiring after 40 years' service, presides for the last time, at New Tabernacle's Annual Share Out of £30,000 to 22,000 people - and he has never had to use that revolver once!"

These are still pictures showing Mr Rockliff coming our of Barclays Bank and this is one of them.

"He can be seen holding a small pistol.  With him are two men carrying sacks, presumably full of money.  Several policemen and others carry bags down the side of a building."

In the film itself you see my grandfather unloading the pistol for the last time and saying he has never had to fire it once.  Here you can clearly see PR with the pistol in his hand and one of the men carrying a sack of money."

If anyone should be interested in actually watching the film then check it you can check it out on  As I watched it I couldn't believe I was actually seeing my grandfather and listening to his voice.  Incidentally this occurred in 1932, the year I was born.  Just how historic can you get?  I'd recommend by daughter watch the news item to see the man that was her Grandma Win's dad.  I am sure she would remember his being spoken about.

P.S.  I find it difficult that $30.000 would be divided between 22,000 people which would be less than £2.00 each but when you consider the average wage was about £3.00 a week then, it would be like receiving nearly a week's salary now.  If you check out the website I quoted above it definitely says, 22,000 people.


Phil and I both really enjoy the Inspector Lynley Mysteries on TV so recently I bought a Elizabeth
George book secondhand just to see what the stories were like in print. 

Firstly, I found it rather longwinded with too many characters in the first few chapters with no apparent connection to each other.   I got through that OK but then as I progressed I found the book almost too difficult for my hands to handle.  They are out of shape with osteo arthritis and very tender at times so holding a book with 729 (seven hundred and twenty nine) pages can be a problem.  I mainly enjoy reading in bed which in itself presents a problem as I can only get comfortable on my right side, but can usually manage with a normal size book.

I did take the book to hospital and managed to read some of it there but by the time I was home and was into the middle of the book I was ready to give it away until I had a brilliant idea.....I had Phil go get our large cooking knife and cut the book in half!!

Worked perfectly and I now only have about 350 pages to contend with.  As the book was secondhand anyway I didn't feel we were desecrating it and it can be bound together again with a strong see through tape on the outside and inside as well.

I still think 729 pages far too many to tell a murder story but I will perservere to the end as I've not seen this story as an episode of "Lynley".  I am somewhat surprised to find the Lynley character has blonde hair in the novel and yet on screen he is depicted as tall, DARK and handsome.  I think on screen they are somewhat kinder with the Havers character than Elizabeth George is in her novel.  Havers is a character I really enjoy very much.    She's feisty and nobody is going to get the better of her.

We have series 1-3 of the Lynley stories on DVD and series 4-6 are on order so we will enjoy them at our leisure minus commercials.

Have you ever done anything to make your life/days easier that surprised you when you did it?

Thursday, November 6, 2014


Yes, I am well and truly on the road to recovery but my writing brain seems asleep still.  I think it is the effects of the anaesthetic (seems I may have had a fair bit as the op took longer than originally anticipated) and being a rather largish person it takes a decent amount to keep me 'under'.

I found this quote and it made me realise how much I miss my blogging companions so I just had to make this effort to say hi!  I have been thinking of all of you and during the next few days will try to catch up with your recent posts which I've missed so much.

I want to say a big thank you to everyone for all their lovely comments and and good wishes and to Karen for keeping you in touch with where I was at.  I will go through your comments and reply ASAP, even though I know you are not holding your breath waiting.

P.S.  I may even try to explain exactly what happened last Thursday morning.  Nothing gruesome but the report my surgeon kindly supplied me with.  Never had that happen before but nice to know just what he did.   Be back soon, I promise.   Hope you and yours are all keeping well.