Saturday, December 31, 2016


Not a lot of thinking going on but just a quick post to wish you all A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR.  As the old year leaves us I hope you have a new year full of love, happiness and peace.

Friday, December 30, 2016


I have always enjoyed the music of Hoagy Carmichael and Old Buttermilk Sky is one of my favourites.  I hope you will enjoy it along with me.

As usual I found it while browsing through YouTube and am so glad someone had taken the time to download it.

Thursday, December 29, 2016


Last week in the story of Welsh royalty we finished where Henry III had confirmed Llywelyn the Last and his heirs the title of Prince of Wales.  Today we conclude the facts about Wales and next week we will continue with the royals of England and Scotland. 

Edward I succeeded to the English throne in 1272, and was content to wait for internal Welsh disunity to topple Llywelyn.  His policy was sound.  Welsh lords - accustomed by their ancient laws to titular independence - would not maintain the loyalty of feudal vassalage to a Welsh Prince of Wales, and Llywelyn the Last could not frame a centralised administration which would hold the principality together.  There were even Welsh conspiracies to assassinate him.  Llywelyn, losing his touch on statesmanship, allowed himself to be manouvered into a further military struggle against King Edward I.  When Edward moved against him half of Wales supported the English overlord, and by 1277 the so-called Prince of Wales could control only Gwynedd.  Edward then intensified a systematic destruction of Welsh liberties, and provoked a wide revolt in 1282.

By this time Llywelyn could not organise the Welsh even when they were fighting for their existence as a separate people.   He himself was killed by an English scout during s skirmish in the south.  His head was taken for display in Anglesey and later in London.  Wales had lost more than a titular head.  Her independence was gone forever.  Apart from the feudal estates of the Marches - which constitute a part of modern, but not old, Wales - she was annexed to the English crown.  It was in Pembrokeshire, a traditionally crown-dominated region, that Henry Tudor was born in 1457, and landed 28 years later to march up the steps of the English throne.  However, since he had been born and brought up in wales, Henry was passionate in his constant assertion of his Welsh heritage

Please excuse any typing errors....the ring finger of my left hand is having difficulty in keeping up with the other fingers....I put it down to old age and not inaccurate typing.  😋

Wednesday, December 28, 2016


A little bit of feline wisdom.  I love this picture.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


Now, where to start?  Firstly, I got my 2016 teddy bear and he now sits with us in the living room and later he will join the other teddy bears on top of our 3 bookcases.   Phil has been buying them each year for a while now and with others teddies I already had I have a collection of about a dozen or more.   The family will have to decide what to do with them when I am gone; maybe to a children's hospital or similar,

 Next......Christmas Day which was really wonderful this year.  There were/was 11 of us altogether and of course the two little girls were the centre of attention as children usually are and we all enjoyed the excitement as they opened their gifts.  Far too many really and my daughter made the comment that she felt she had perhaps bought to many this year for the two littlies.  I agreed that she had but then when I was working and could afford it often bought too many gifts for my 6 grandies.  Here two little girls are enjoying their many gifts watched by their mother and grandmother (my photos didn't come out very well perhaps caused by the fact I was facing a large window through which the sun shone).

Not long after we reached our granddaughter's home (that airconditioning was working well so very pleased I had my nephew repair it in time for Christmas) they managed to reach our #3 granddaughter in New Jersey.   At first they couldn't manage it on K's laptop nor her iPad but then C got through on her iPhone.   With them nearing bedtime in NJ, B and her partner were able to watch people opening their presents here in Perth, including those sent by them from the US.  I sometimes fall out with modern technology but when it brings a family together like this at special times then it can only be good.

We had a delicious cold lunch and then a rest to watch more present opening and then a chocolate 'trifle' made by #2 granddaughter.   Not sure why it was called a trifle as no jelly or custard but it's always good to try something new and it was very nice.  A said she made it to a recipe but had left the Baileys out as, of course, the little girls would be enjoying it as well as the adults.  Even though I enjoyed it I found it a little too rich and being old fashioned, still prefer the traditional trifle.

As we were leaving C came out with 3 containers of left over food which were gratefully accepted.  We were too tired and full up to eat much on Christmas night but it was very much appreciated last night with some home made salad. We slept very late yesterday and rested most of the day.  Seems we are getting a little old for all this excitement but wouldn't miss it for the world.

While skyping yesterday B surprised all of us when she told the family that she and her partner had just make the booking and would be flying to Perth in late June to stay for a couple of weeks.  You can imagine how excited everyone was to hear this.   K is going to take some time off work although the end of June is a very busy time for her.  I think the two girls (or should I say young women as they are both well and truly in their 30s) are as excited as we in Perth all area.  C suggested we have Christmas in July party while they are here which I thought an excellent idea.  Many restaurants and hotels hold that celebration in July to make up for our Christmases being so very hot.  Phil and I are really looking forward to meeting Kam and she seems a truly delightful person.

I had another surprise that came with the Christmas card my daughter-in-law sent us.  She added a little sticky note to say their daughter is expecting a baby in just a few days.  Of course I am delighted with the news but it is news I have always dreaded in a way.  With my son having written us off as far as he and his family are concerned it means, while I am delighted for all of them, I am saddened that I will not be able to take part in the celebrations when the baby is born.   It is awful to have such mixed emotions but I certainly hope that all goes well and that Jess has a healthy baby.  Wouldn't it be ironic if that baby arrived on 2nd birthday.   I know Di will let me know if it is a boy or girl and also send pictures but it's not quite the same as being part of it all.

I do hope everyone had a happy, peaceful and safe Christmas as we did.   All drivers seemed to be obeying the road rules which was good to see and I am sure double demerit points during the holiday season does slow them down a little.  Pity they can't drive like that all year round as W.A.s road toll i dreadful this year and with still so many days of holidays left one can only hope there will be no more between now and new year.

P.S.  and of course I decorated our Norfolk Island pine (the one that resides on our front verandah) again this year.  This was the photo I took last year and the tree was of manageable size for me to reach the top.  The photo I took this year wasn't good as the decorations were blowing wildly in the breeze so too much movement which made it look out of focus.  Our house just isn't suitable to have a large tree indoors and I can see this one so well at night with the verandah light on and it looks so lovely when the breeze sets all the decorations  moving and glittering.  The poor tree is now about 10' tall ( about 3 yards) and is going through the top of the pergola.  How long we will be able to keep it there I am not sure as I am sure it has already outgrown its pot and would be one huge job to pot on.....maybe it will have to go in the garden but I have no idea if the tree roots could be a nuisance to anyone

and one more thing, the first flower has made its appearance on my traditional white frangipani; the only flower out so far.  Everyone is complaining how late they are this year owing to Perth's very mild spring.  I have lots of buds on mine but they are certainly taking their time in blooming.

Monday, December 26, 2016


Hope everyone survived Christmas OK and this hopefully will keep you smiling all week.

Sunday, December 25, 2016


No silly poetry today but a song I felt appropriate for everyone sung by the one and only Frank Sinatra.  Wishing you all lots of Christmas cheer.   Be happy and stay safe.

Saturday, December 24, 2016


I am currently thinking what I think at this time of year, every year.  My daughter and I have a dream....we have both wished to have a white Christmas.  Of course in this city of ours that is most unlikely as the temperature on Christmas Day averages out at 32C (89F) but we still wish the same each year.   She is more than likely to experience a white Christmas in her lifetime as her daughter Beth now lives in New Jersey and in future years K and B could possibly decide to visit there in December.

Anyway, this song says it all for both of us.

Even though Phil has been in Australia for 57 years I feel there are times he would once again like to be able to celebrate the festive season where the weather is cool with a chance of snow.  I envy him a little as he had 30 of those years to remember cold Christmases whereas I have none.

Friday, December 23, 2016


There is definitely a feeling in the air....I wonder just what it can be?

Hope you are all getting that festive Christmas feeling.

Thursday, December 22, 2016


Having come more to terms with the Welsh royalty I've decide to push on with it so here goes:

When Owain Gwynedd died in 1180, strong leadership in Wales passed to the south to Rhys Ap Gruffyedd in Deheubarth.  Henry 11, who was in international ecclesiastical trouble over the murder of Beckett, was glad to confirm the suzerainty of Rhys over all those territories which a generation earlier, had been under Norman sway.  The king actually appointed the Welshman as his regent (Justiciar) in south Wales (including Ceredigion and Dyfed - Cardiganshire and Pembrokeshire), making all lesser chieftains vassals of Rhys, who was called The Lord Rhys from this time.  This high status lasted for 17 years, until the death of Henry II in 1189 but the Anglo-Welsh understanding faded in the reign of Richard I, and with the death of Rhys another period of fragmentation seemed imminent.

Rescue came from Gwynedd, where LLYWELYN AP IORWERTH 1194-1240, later known as Llywelyn the Great, was reasserting a central control of the territory after the fratricidal chaos that followed the death of his grandfather Owain Gwynedd.  By 1201 he had established his own position as lord of West Gwynedd, and he had status enough for King John to propose a treaty with him.  By 1204 he was controlling far more territory and, in return for homage to the English king, had taken John's illegitimate daughter Joan in marriage.  He then took over Powys (which had slipped away from Gwynedd in the years of anarchy), and even Credigion.  By 1210 John was finding his son-in-law far too powerful for a feudal vassal, and moved against him with military force.  His total achievement, however, was that he united all Wales against himself.  In 1215, the year of Magna Carta - which restored, even to the Welsh, many privileges that had been taken from them during the years of war - Llywelyn moved against the royal castles in South Wales and took every garrison-point except Pembroke and Haverfordwest.  Even Glamorgan was held by an English ally, the rebelling Earl of Essex.  Llywelyn became in strict truth Ruler of All Wales.

There were later adjustments, disagreements, and the incessant private battles of ambitious English barons and jealous Welsh lords.  A peace was patched up, and was maintained for 15 years, under which Llywelyn was  recognised a Ruler of Wales by the mystic title Prince of Aberffraw and Lord of Snowdon.

He died in 1240 and was briefly succeeded by his second son DAVID 1240-1246.   David's successor was his nephew LLYWELYN AP GRUFFYDD 1246-1281, later to be known as Llywelyn the Last.  The death of Llywelyn the Great had caused the partition of his hereditary territories in Gwynedd.  Llywlyn the Last gradually built them up again.  Then, by active military measures against King Henry III and combined military diplomatic action against the Welsh chiefs, he reasserted his authority over the rest of Wales so successfully that in 1258, with only one Welsh lord not paying homage to him, he declared himself Prince of Wales with the utmost justification.  By the Treaty of Pipton, 19 July, 1265, this title was recognised by Simon de Monfort in the name of King Henry III (whom he was holding prisoner at this time of civil war).  In addition, Simon agreed that his daughter Eleanor should be married to Llywelyn (she was 13 years old at the time ad Llywelyn was about 40.  The marriage was celebrated by proxy ten years later in 1275, and consummated only in 1278.  Eleanor died in childbirth in 1282.

Almost immediately after the pact at Pipton, de Montfort was killed at the battle of Evesham.  Llywelyn fought on, and finally concluded the Treaty of Montgomery, 26 September, 1278, wehreby King Henry III, in return for homage, granted Llywelyn fresh lands, and confirmed in him and his heirs the title of Prince of Wales.

A small section next week will see us finished with the Welsh royalty and in the new year we will be back with English royalty which, to me anyway, is a wee bit easier to follow especially now are getting to the kings with whom most of us are vaguely familiar.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


Obviously a very wise, experienced police officer.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


I'm not sure I'm up to much chatting right now.   We are well advanced towards Christmas with Secret Santa presents bought and wrapped and some presents for the two little girls but have been hunting for some books and puzzles suggested by their mum to no avail.  I find BigW's website worse than useless and by the the time I received the list it was too late to order online.  Today Phil went searching for a special toy that K-Mart were supposed to have but couldn't find it.  He said there was just nobody he could see that he could ask.   These huge stores have so few assistants to help shoppers these days which I feel is not catering to their customers requirements at all.  Never mind, we still have a few days left to hopefully find what we are after.

Another reason I am just a wee bit gob smacked is our weather.....we knew it was going to be hot tomorrow but now it has been increased to an expected maximum of 41C (105F) but at least Christmas Day has been downgraded from 35C (95F) to 33C (91F) which is something to feel a wee bit pleased about.   No wonder we now nearly all have cold Christmas dinners here in Perth.  I see our eastern states cousins will also have quite high temps on 25th which can be unusual for them.  I am sure they will cope quite well as they've already had some quite hot days this summer.

I trust you are all well advanced in your preparations for the festive season and all your efforts will be worthwhile.  Sometimes I wonder if we let ourselves worry too much about special occasions or is it just me.   I keep wondering if I have forgotten something or if I a doing what I need to do properly.  I guess old age makes me ask these questions of myself.  Self doubt does creep in as you become less able to do things which once you took in your stride.  Please don't take that as a complaint....just thinking aloud as I often do these days.

Monday, December 19, 2016


Ah!  Now I understand what cookies are all about.  Hope this begins the week with a smile for you.

Sunday, December 18, 2016


With all the rush (not me...I never rush...just feel as though I am) leading up to Christmas I've not had time to find another little poem so here's a bit more rubbish from years ago.....I think, once again, this came form Philip.


To add to the Christmas you know what a MUGWUMP is?  It's a creature that sits on the fence with its mug on one side and its wump on the other.

If I suddenly find I have no blogger friends left I'll understand why.  Cheers.

Saturday, December 17, 2016


Jumbled thoughts in this old head....have I remembered all the gifts I had to buy?  Of course there are still a couple I have to try and find.   I dread going to the shops as I am having so much trouble walking more than 100 yards without my stupid back playing up.  Nevertheless, with my trusty walker (the one with the seat) I will venture out next week in an endeavour to tie up loose ends.  I rather liked the look of this suggestion of free gifts for Christmas.  We can all give these gifts without monetary cost as they are gifts of goodwill to others; gifts we should give readily without a second thought.

I also have a few more cards to write and post.  What do you do?  Do you write and send cards from your list or do you wait until you receive cards and then send one in return?  I am sure people have different ways of handling the Christmas card thingie.   Going through my address book the other day I was saddened as there were a few names I had to cross off...people no longer with us, in particular two penfriends I've not heard of for a year or more.  It's times like Christmas that we stop and think of loved ones, both family and friends, with whom we once shared the holiday season.   Some still feel so close at times, almost as though they never left.

One of the Secret Santa wants was for a book store voucher.  I thought to make it simpler for Phil to carry out this wish by ordering said voucher on line but no.  I logged on to Dymock's website and where you order vouchers you can either send it by email to the recipient or have it delivered to their door.  The other alternative is to order one for oneself.  Fat lot of good that is if you actually want to place the voucher as a gift in a card.   Fortunately Phil said not to worry as he had to go to Garden City with a Medicare claim so two birds with one stone taken care of.

The other voucher I wanted was for our two little great-granddaughters so they could go with their parents to Aqwa.  On their website I was able to pay for the voucher with PayPal (which method of payment I prefer) and download the voucher as a PDF.  Done so easily.

I don't know if I mentioned it or not but recently I bought a new printer and although it is a Canon (I always buy that brand) some of the settings were different this time.   I didn't want to print out a lot of colour but couldn't find a way of changing the setting.  I messed around for several minutes without any luck and just as I was about to give up when there at the bottom of the little window was the word 'greyscale'.  Wonderful....clicked on that and get a perfect black and white print.  Shows I am not always a dodo with computers or was this just sheer luck?

It is hotting up here and we have a forecast for next Wednesday of 39C (102F).  That will be on the 21st and I am hoping it will gradually cool down before the 25th.  Fingers crossed that will be so.  I've often noticed if we have a cool Christmas then we will have a hot new year which usually means a hot birthday for me.   Oh well, can't do a darned thing about it but just hope.  Finger, needless to say, are crossed!!

P.S.  Have you noticed there is no mention of Christmas on our special Australian Christmas stamps this year.    As you know, I am not a religious person but it is at this time of year that we celebrate the birth of a very special man.  I do hope our government has not decided to omit the word Christmas on our stamps for fear of insulting or annoying anyone.  Does anyone have an opinion on this?  I have emailed both MP Peter Dutton (who has complained about many schools not having carols and other Christmas celebrations) and also the Prime Minister pointing out that this has the appearance of backing down because of the opinion of some minority groups.

Friday, December 16, 2016


I wonder how many of you remember this from way back in 1968?  Another lovely song sung my The Seekers.   Their harmony was just delightful.

Thursday, December 15, 2016


The story of Welsh royalty didn't get a big audience last week but I've decided to persevere with them in the hope it may all become easier to understand but some of those Welsh names are a little difficult to deal with.

We had got up to where Hywel's son OWAIN had been defeated by Iago and Ieuaf.

They then all fought amongst themselves, and Ieuf's son HYWELL 979-985 (known as Hywell the Bad) emerged as Lord of Gwynedd.  He was succeeded by his brother CADWALLON 985-986, but Hyywed Dda's grandson, MAREDUDD AP OWAIN 986-989 drove up from the south and reunited Gwynedd and Deheubarth.

On the death of Marededd in 999 Gwynedd reverted to Hywel the Bad's son CYNAN 999-1005, but Deheubarth lapsed into 20 years of anarchy during which no clear leader emerged.

Maredudd's son-in-law LLYWELYN AP SEISYLL 1018-1023 briefly rose from chaose and rued Gwynedd as well as Deheubarth, but it was his son GRUFFYDD AP LLYWELYN 1039-1063 who, from his base in Gwynedd (for the territories were split again) fought a notable two-handed was against England and Deheubarth.  He made extensive conquests along the Hereford border, ravaged Ceredigion, and finally secured Deheubarth.    For a time Gruffydd was undisputed Ruler of All Wales, and in addition held extensive territory in Mercia, for which he nonchalantly swore loyalty to Edward the Confessor in return for recognition as under-king of Wales.  His status was confirmed by his marriage to Ealdgyth daughter of the Earl of Mercia.  In 1063 Earl Harold of Wessex, soon to be King Harold of England, attacked Wales by land and sea, fomented treachery within Wales, and was finally gratified by news of the death of Gruffydd at the hands of his own men.  The troubled land immediately disintegrated into fragments once more.

At the same time, England was reeling under the Norman Conquest.  William reckoned to keep the Welsh in check, if not in order, by creating three great feudal counties along the border, and passing the responsibility on to their holders, the Earls of Chester, Shrewsbury and Hereford, who were entitled to keep any land or property which they could forage in Wales.  The system worked well for some time, while the intimidated Welsh resorted to making war on each other.  In 1073 a remarkable blend of patriot and pirate arose in the person of GRUFFYDD AP CYNAN (ruled 1081-1137).  He sprang from Gwynedd's royal line, the dynasty of Idwal Foel, but he was born in Ireland, where his exiled father had married the daughter of the Scandinavian King Olaf of Dublin.

In 1073 Gryffydd, aged 22, invaded Anglesey with an army of Irish and Norse mercenaries. and made an unsuccessful attempt to take over Gwynedd.  He repeated the effort two years later, and again failed.  In 1081 he landed in the south-west and fought his way north to claim his title as Lord of Gwynedd.  Then the Normans captured him and imprisoned him in Chester.

After some years he escaped, gathered enough forces in Gwynedd for a successful plundering foray against nearby Norman property, and then retired to the Orkneys, where he fitted out a fleet of ships and made piratical lunges at Norman territory as far apart as Monmouth and Anglesey. Then he settled down in the north and systematically conquered Gwynedd by force of arms.  He was considered so serious  menace to Norman stability that King William Rufus himself commanded two expeditions against him.  Gruffydd merely withdrew his forces into the security of the mountains and waited until the king went home again.  He continued these tactics against King Henry I, though he did consent to meet the English monarch and pay homage to Gwynedd, reasoning that the act gave him a recognised right to hold his territories against the incursions of the Nroman earls of the Marches.

Meanwhile in the south, a chief named RHYS AP TEWDWR 1081-1093 had been recognised by William the Conqueror as lord of Deheubarth on paymet of £40 a year, a rent which is recorded in the Domesday Book.  Rhys was killed in a skirmish with the Normans and the security of Deheubarth grew rapidly uncertain.  By 1125 when Gruffydd Ap Cynan was still ruling in Gwynedd, the south was virtually under total Norman rule.

On the death of King Henry I of England there was a general uprising in South Wales under GRYFFYDD AP RHYS 1135-1137 the son of Rhys Ap Tewdwr.  Althugh he was eventually defeated and he died, the firht within Deheubarth was taken up by his three sons Cadell, Maredudd, and RHYS AP GRUFFYDD 1170-1197.  In the north, the three sons of Gruffydd Ap Cynan - Cadwallon, OWAIN GWYNEDD 1137-1170 and Cadwaladr - were parallel nuisances within Gwynedd, and in turn their work was carried on my Owain's sons DAFYDD  1170-1194 and RHODRI AP OWAIN 1175-1195.  In 1164-5 a north-south combination of Rhys Ap Gruffydd and other allies so completely countered a would-be punitive campaign by Henry II that the English king abandoned any attempt to conquer Wales in his lifetime.

It seems this is becoming a somewhat easier to follow although the Welsh names still do my head in a little.  I will continue more of the Welsh history next week and, hopefully, even finish it all in a few weeks.


Wednesday, December 14, 2016


Now that explains everything!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Well, is everyone ready for Christmas?  I think I am getting there and Secret Santa certainly helps a lot.  Still have to think of something for Phil who doesn't really need anything but you do have to have something to wrap and hand to them don't you? We are scheduled to spend Christmas day with the family at Christie and Mathew's home but their airconditioning is once again on the blink.  I had my nephew repair it last year in time for Christmas last year and suggested I do the same this year.  He called at their place yesterday and let me know he'd fixed it and it only cost $150 to do so.  Not sure how long it will last but I'm sure I'll here all about it soon.  It is an evaporative airconditioner but when it is working it is very efficient.  I am always spoiled (or should that be spoilt?) as they position my chair in the living room right under one of the ducts in the ceiling.  Am so looking forward to watching the two little girls open their parcels on Christmas day and spend time with the family of course.

Do you ever stop and think how many pieces of advice are conflicting these days?  Coffee is is bad......a glass of wine each day will do you good......even a drink each week can cause all types of horrible diseases.......diabetics should avoid sugar....diabetics can have some sugar but should avoid fatty food.   And so it goes on and on and on.   I still think if everyone ate what they like in moderation and in smaller quantities, avoiding too much sugar and fat we should be healthy.  Then of course, there is advice re exercise.  That is so variable it's ridiculous.  I can barely exercise except when sitting down it really doesn't concern me anyway.  I do what I can when I can.

We survived two very hot days quite well and yesterday were rewarded with RAIN!!  6mm in our gauge which for December is quite a downpour as we get very little rain during our summer months.  I now see we've sent our hot weather eastwards and hopefully some rainfall will follow for them too. We had a very cool and quite wet spring in Perth and the Parks and Wildlife people have been busy trying to complete as many prescribed burns as they can.  The rain will have brought with it lots of weeds which will be drying out now so as much litter as possible has to be removed or burnt.  We can only hope we don't have a horrid bushfire season as we had last year with lives lost and so many homes destroyed, in fact a whole township gone just like that.  I was pleased to learn the other day that the little school in that town will be re-opened as soon as possible.  It was first thought the government wasn't going to bother rebuilding the school but it seems public opinion really mattered.

I have noticed the print here has suddenly become smaller and I don't know how to enlarge it.  I must see if I can find a way to do it.  I can see it quite well but would prefer it to be a little larger.

Having problems with Firefox.  I run Facebook in two different names (it's do with a game I play) but all of a sudden I've found I am unable to delete the history so it's not allowing me to change from one name to another.  I have checked on their help page and done what I was instructed to do but it's still not working.  Unfortunately, these days, everything written to do with computers is done so taking it for granted that everyone needing help is a computer geek.   I get by but will never fully master all its intricacies.  Patience I guess is a virtue when it comes to dealing with computers and lots of other modern technology.

Monday, December 12, 2016


My endeavour to bring a smile to your face to begin the week with.  I've always been so pleased that none of my moggies have ever done this. 

Sunday, December 11, 2016


and a little late....just didn't have time to find a little poem for today so here's a silly ditty from years ago which I am sure you will all remember.


Just a bit of craziness I had to share as I recover from 2 very hot days.  Hope I can do better next Sunday and that you will all have a good week.

Saturday, December 10, 2016


I am thinking we really should get out more but perhaps on a cooler day than it was yesterday.  A dear Facebook friend of mine had flown over from New South Wales last week to attend her son's wedding down near Albany on our south coast.   She contacted me before leaving NSW saying she would love to meet with Phil and myself while she is in WA.  I suggested a restaurant in King's Park as it is quite central to the city and Anita booked us in for lunch at 1pm.   Normally I don't venture out when the temperature is much above 30C (86F) but Anita and I have become quite close over the years and I so really wanted to meet her.   This is the restaurant where we met.  It's quite impressive having been renovated a number of years ago and so are it's prices but for special occasions one forgets about that and just enjoys the event.

It was wonderful to meet Anita and also another Facebook friend of hers.   We sat and chatted for a while before ordering our meal and I must say I was somewhat disappointed with the beer battered schnapper and chips I salad unless you paid dollars for it and I wasn't at all impressed at $32 a serve.    A little cafe Phil and I often go to in a nearby shopping centre has $15 specials of all their fish dishes on Fridays.   You get served a large piece of grilled fish with chips (the best I've ever had) and a lovely garden salad included.   I never mind paying for a meal when it is worth the money but
'posher' places that charge just because they can don't impress me one little bit.  I thought Phil was wonderful when he whispered to me that he'd like to shout us all our lunch and I know it was much appreciated by Anita and Cheryl.

Anyway it was great Phil was able to join in with our chatter and I thought the four of us got on exceedingly well, so well in fact I am sorry Anita lives over 2,000 miles away.  I doubt we will ever meet again but I know we will keep in touch through Facebook.   She has always said I am her second mum as when times have been a little tough for her I've tried hard to smooth the way and she told me today that she had even told her own mother that she was going to meet her second  mum.

Phil and I came home via a long drive through Kings Park where you could see some of the devastation caused by the dreadful bushfires there a few years back.  Our Australian bush does regenerate so well after bushfires but I noticed some trees that hadn't survived which was sad.  Neither Phil nor I are people that enjoy driving on busy freeways and are patient enough to use the older main roads with their traffic lights every few streets.  We actually had a wonderful run through until we got to the Stirling Bridge which crosses the Swan River near Fremantle and there is always as bottleneck there as the huge container trucks come in from the Fremantle wharf on to the main road.

We both sat and put our feet up, after I'd turned on the airconditioning, when we got home and then Phil was busy doing the watering, moving the sprinklers every 10 minutes.    I'd left the blinds down when we went out and although the temp did reach 36C in our living room it was only 26C so cooled down quite quickly.  P.S.  Phil did have a reticulation system set up years ago but with now only being allowed to use sprinklers two days a week it wasn't worth maintaining it.  At least I guess he get a little exercise on watering days.

Friday, December 9, 2016


Once again scrolling through YouTube I came across this song by Engelbert Humperdenck.  This version was in 1989 and it has always been a favourite of mine.  I hope you will enjoy it too and perhaps it will bring back some happy memories.

Thursday, December 8, 2016


As said last week I am giving the Kings and Queens of England and Scotland a little rest and concentrating on Welsh royalty.  It is something I know nothing about so maybe we will all learn a little history here.


King Henry VII, born in Pembroke, had marched 200 miles into battle beneath the standard of the Red Dragon of Wales, and he was the first English monarch to incorporate that emblem into the Royal Standard.  It is fitting that, at this point, the tally of the rulers of Wales should be recounted.

The Celts, or Britons, were Christians by the year 200 A.D., and never abandoned this formal faith nor their ancient tribal ways when they were driven by the Anglo-Saxon invaders into Cornwall, Cumberland and Wales.  In Wales the rulers (who in this account will mainly be referred to as 'lords' for convenience) were recognised as kings, princes or chieftains according to the size of their territory, but were mutually independent.  None were vassals to any other lord.  Sometimes a powerful leader would consolidate the Welsh into unity but all too swiftly, any potential national cohesion fell apart, mainly between the belligerent Welsh lords were fighting each other for self=aggrandisement with little sense of nationhood.

Gradually, however, there areas began to be recognised as the hotbeds of mature development, even if they still seethed with expression of lesser local loyalties and rivalries.  They were the north, the south and the east, Gwynedd, Deheubarth and Powys.   Deheubarth did not include Morgannwg (Glamorgan) in the south, but did sometimes comprise Ceredigion (modern Cardiganshire) in the west.  Powys (roughly from the river Dee to the river Wye) had temporarily become absorbed into Gwynedd by the middle of the 9th century when this chronicle begins.  This came about under the rule of MERFYN FRYCH 825-844 (Merfyn the Freckled), the lord of Gwynedd who married the daughter of the lord of Powys, and whose son RHODRI MAWS 844-878 (Rhodri the Great) was the first, after the old Cadwallon, to unite most of the land of Wales.  He did this through military skill and political expediency.  His spirited resistance against Norse invasions inspired many other lords to unite to keep the Norsemen out of Wales; and he married Angharad, the daughter of the lord of Greater Ceredigion.  He was not a storybook conqueror, always successful.  In 878 he had to flee to Ireland to escape the menace of the Northmen, and in 878 he was lilled in battle with the English.
Rhodri left six sons and, according to ancient (and ill-starred) Welsh custom, they divided the 'kingdom' of Wales between them.  Those who emerged with power were Anarawd in Gwynedd and Cadell in Ceredigion.

ANARAWD 878-916 first made an alliance with the Danish King of York, but later accepted the protection of King Alfred of England.  He visited Alfred's Court to pay homage (the first instance of Welsh agreement to pay homage to the English) and accepted English help against his aggressive brother Cadell.  He was succeeded by his son IDWAL FOEL 916-942 (Idwal  the Bald). who was eventually killed in rebellion against the English king Edmund I.  His son IAGO 950-979 did not immediately inherit the territory, since he was run out of Dwynedd by the impetus of an invasion from the south led by Cadell's son, Rhodri's grandson, HYWEL DDA 909-979 (Hywed the Good).
Hywel. lord of Deheubarth, had in 918 tactfully submitted to Edward the Elder of England and had been confirmed in his dominion.  A sincere admirer of the English, he had copied the experience of his idol, King Alfred, and visited Rome,  Later he led his chieftains in submission to King Athelstan but he was no habitual submitter.  He expelled from Gwynedd and old Powys Iago and Ieuaf, the sons of Idwal Foel, and consolidated all Wales except M and Gwent.  After the deathof Hywel Dda in 950,Iago and Ieuaf fought their way back into Gwynedd, defeating Hywel's son OWAIN 945-986.

Personally, that is all I can take in right now.  I find it rather more confusing than the English royalty and with the names being so unusual (no they are not typing errors but Welsh names) it takes a lot of concentration to work out who is who.  Shall I continue with Welsh royalty?  Not sure.  I am interested but I am certainly not going to remember who was who and when.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


Once again saying thank you so much to my blogging friends....just for being who you are.  Don't you just love sunflowers?

Monday, December 5, 2016


I loved this one...reminded me of when Precious and Henry would play.  Loved those two cats.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Saturday, December 3, 2016


As you know yesterday was Phil's birthday and we were going out to dinner.  Aimee picked us up on schedule and we had an uneventful trip until about 5 minutes from the restaurant.  K rang on her mobile to tell us there had been a crash on the main road just before where we were due to turn off.  All drivers behaved quite well and merged into the one lane.  It appeared a ute and a very old bus had collided but I don't think anyone was seriously injured, at least I hope not. 

I would plead with everyone, if you are driving, do please be extra careful as I feel as Christmas approaches people have more than usual on their minds and maybe are not quite as careful as they usually are.

We all enjoyed our dinner....I had Atlantic salmon with mash and asparagus (delicious) and Phil had steak fillet with chips and a garden salad.   Those who had pork belly found it a tad overcooked but decided not to complain and still seemed to enjoy their meal.   We were wondering if the restaurant had new owners as there were various changes and new waitresses.  Am trying to decide if I want to go there or perhaps somewhere else for my birthday next month. It becomes very crowded and the acoustics are not Phil said it's a little like being in a chook run when all the hens get disturbed!!

We now have our Secret Santa of which is very straightforward...the other a long list from which to choose.  I still think it a great idea where one person buys for just one person with a monetary limit.    Lots of folk decide not to bother buying for the adults in a family but, even at my age (perhaps even more so in a way) I still love to receive a parcel to unwrap at Christmas.  Doing Secret Santa ensures we all receive something we want.

Friday, December 2, 2016


Today my husband Phil is 87.  He told me last night he was born at 11am GMT so it's not really his birthday until 7pm Perth time.   I told him we'd go by GMT so we could celebrate his birthday all day.

We are having a very quiet day and #2 granddaughter will pick us up at 5.15pm to go to Steel Tree in Baldivis for dinner with our little family.   Phil has his VIP voucher so his meal will be free which is a terrific birthday gift from Steel Tree.  With Aimee giving us a ride it also means that Phil can have a couple of glasses of wine should he choose to do so.

Our family is of course much smaller than it once was.   With son cancelling all communication with us nearly 16 years ago we don't see him, his wife or his two children (who are now adults).  #3 granddaughter lives in New Jersey with her partner and #1 grandson works on Friday nights and weekends.

Nevertheless, the remaining 9 of us will make Phil feel special this evening.  I told him just now that I am so glad he turned 87 today as it means we are still together and he seconded that.   I am now looking forward to being 85 in a month's time so we can have another family celebration.  With these 2 birthdays and Christmas, December and January become real family times that continue on with #1 granddaughter having a birthday on 31st January, her oldest daughter in February and her youngest in April.  My only regret is that it all happens during hot weather but then I guess we can't have everything we want.


I wonder how many people remember Patti Page?  Here she is singing that beautiful song "The Tennessee Waltz".  This rendition is from 1950. It amazes me how you can here every word she sings so unlike so many of the modern artists.

Thursday, December 1, 2016


I feel people are a little tired of Kings and Queens of England and Scotland so decided to have a little time I will give some information (from the same book) about Welsh royalty.   This is something I know absolutely nothing about so it will be educational for me as well.  This. by the way, is the front cover of the book from which I am quoting all the royal stories.

I remember a story my mum told me years ago about her father and his sister.  This may have happened at the end of the 19th century or early in the 20th.  The story, as told by mum, was that her aunt had decided to do some genealogy of the Rockliff family and apparently she discovered that they may have been descended from King Llewlyn of Wales.   When she told her brother (my grandfather) of this discovery he told her she shouldn't be too proud of that fact as, if it were true, he was a dreadful old blaggard!!  Now I'm hoping to find out something about this king of the Welsh whom my grandfather obviously did not approve.

Keep watching this space on Thursdays and thanks to those of you who have been interested enough to have followed so far.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


I feel many of us may have had this regret over the years.   Why is it so hard to say "I love you" to a friend or family member.   K and I often end our phone chats with those three words before we hang up.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Table for 10 booked for 6pm next Friday night to celebrate Phil's 87th birthday.  The weather will be reasonably mild with a forecast temp of 29C (about 85F) which is not too bad.  Family all accepted so look forward to a pleasant evening.

I did ask about a free meal for people if they were dining on their actual birthday (we have taken advantage of this wonderful offer previously) but was told we now have to belong to their VIP Club.  This was new to me but I found a form on their internet page and I filled in one each for Phil and myself and also let other family members know about this new innovation.  I am now hoping the VIP voucher will arrive in plenty of time to use it next Friday.

I am wondering if anyone else in Australia has been receiving phone calls asking if anyone at your telephone number has been involved in a road accident in the previous two years.  Surely if someone at that number had had an accident they would know the person's name instead of taking a stab in the dark.  Obviously it is a nasty scam where they are hoping you will give them vital information such as your bank account details or similar.    They make it sound as though they represent a legal firm who will help you receive compensation for the alleged accident.  I hear of people losing money through all types of scams these days and as the number they call from says "private" or "overseas" you cannot trace the call.  I now either hang up immediately or tell they I know it is a scam and will report them if they continue being a nuisance.

A year or so back I was told by an employee of Telstra that if you notice the call is from a private or overseas number it is a good idea not to speak but just leave the phone "off the hook" for 5 minutes and Telstra will trace the call.  Not sure how they would do that but when one has friends with a private number or who live overseas it is difficult to know if it is a nuisance call or not.  I guess it's just one more nuisance we have to put up in this modern technological world.

I hope everyone is having a good week, or as good as can be hoped for.  Well all have our ups and downs but as long as we are up much more than we are down we should be happy.

Monday, November 28, 2016


I guess it had to happen one day!!

Sunday, November 27, 2016


I found this little poem and to me the words were so beautiful....showing the trust of a child,

Saturday, November 26, 2016


Not been doing a lot of thinking....aloud or otherwise....'cos it's been bleedin' hot in Perth....36C yesterday and forecast 37C today.  It will cool down a little during the week but I'd hoped next Friday would be cool as it's Phil's birthday and we are taking the family to dinner to celebrate.  Hopefully the airconditioning will be working at Steel Trees.  I remember one very warm day last year when it had failed and we were fortunate to be sitting next to one of those 'on the wall' aircons.  The rest of the restaurant was very warm indeed.

Phil has been taking the Crestor (for his cholesterol) for a while now and I've not heard any complaints at all so obviously it suits him.  People do complain that cholesterol lowering drugs can cause muscle aches and pains and my doctor swapped me over the Crestor a few years back.  My only muscle problem is the one caused by the arthritis in my back and neck so hopefully Phil won't have any side effects.  I guess, as with most medications only time will tell.

The family has decided to do Secret Santa again this year but they've reduced the amount to $50 per person.  It is quite a good idea as you receive a list from one of the family members and then buy something of their choice to a total of $50.   You wrap them items up and supposedly the receiver is not supposed to know who bought the gift/s.   It does save a lot of thought about 'what shall I buy so and so?"   Last year we didn't do Secret Santa and just gave gifts to the 3 youngsters.   This year I thought maybe they'd decide to do that but no, Secret Santa it is going to be.  Trouble is Phil and I can't think of anything we want.  I guess at our age there's very little we need but I am hoping we can think of something as K needs the lists this weekend so she can email them out.

Friday, November 25, 2016


Strolling or scrolling through YouTube I was trying to find some of the music of my youth and I came across this one;  Sing, Sing, Sing with Benny Goodman and his orchestra.   This is the music we loved to dance to back in the day.....wonderful music from the 1940s.

Thursday, November 24, 2016


I feel we are now getting to some of the British monarchs most of us have heard of, either through history or perhaps some of the plays by Shakespeare.  Once again from "Kings and Queens of England and Scotland" and this time we have:

 HENRY III   1216-1272

Born at Winchester on 1st Ocober, 1207.

Eldest son of his predecessor John.

Married in 1236 to Eleanor of Provence then aged 14, sho survived him and died in 1291.

ChildrenEDWARD, Margaret, Beatrice, Edmund, who all survived him, and Richard, John, Katherine, William and Henry, who all died young.

Died naturally at Westminster on 6th November, 1272, aged 65, having reigned 56 years.

Buried at Westminster Abbey.

Profile:  Short stature; always plump; bobbed hair and beard which went prematurely grey; a kindly face and a gaze taking in only a short perspective in every sense; the left eyelid was noticeably drooping.

Henry had a domestic character and artistic interests.  Statesmanship was beyond him, and drove him to a desperation of error.  He would have excelled as a cultured country gentleman, interested in the lives of everyone on the estate but flummoxed by an agrarian dispute with another country gentleman,
and impelled into extravagant intrigues to forestall the innocent ambitions of a parish council.  In this sense he was a bad king. In another sense he was good for the country.  His genuine passion for the arts and his ability as Royal Patron to foster them was great.  His debts were huge, as he said, "By God's head I owe 300,000 marks!"  He endowed the land with public munificence and a richening influx of artists and craftsmen who basked in the fashionable appreciation that royalty sponsored.  It also gave us a Westminster Abbey rebuilt as we largely know it today.  This is Henry's masterpiece, and the building can be well judged from the interior.  Later accretions rob its distant impact of the airy vitality with which the Early English style replaced the stolidity of the Norman, and which is best seen now in the contemporary Salisbury Cathedral.

Politically, Henry was a failure, and may therefore be cited as the illustrative personality, condemning hereditary monarchy.  But morals are part of politics, and Henry - son of that John who had demanded the flesh of the wives of his nobility with a brutal insistence unparalleled since the decadent Roman Empire - was himself a model husband and father, ecstatically wrapped up in his family.  He was, too, the grandson of Henry II and the father of Edward I, politically two of the most capable monarchs in English history.  Perhaps Henry's trouble was that he had inadequate training.
He was king at the age of nine, and from that time on he was long in the hands of priests who gave no instruction in kingship, though at the same time the country was very adequately governed by a regent.  Trouble intensified when Henry declared himself of age to rule.

It fell to Henry to confirm formally the decline of English possessions in France.  In 1268 he resigned Normandy (which he had never controlled) in return for a subsidy from the King of France.  Anjou had been lost by his father, King John, and in the course of his reign Henry had to do homage to the King of France for Guienne, the major part of the Duchy of Aquitaine.  This diminution of the responsibilities of the English throne - virtually the extinction of the Angevin Empire - has been generally welcomed by English historians as concentrating the interests of the king and the activities of the better type of English barons on the development of England as country of individual character and customs.  Yet the English continued to expend much warlike energy on attempting to retain the old imperialism.  And, if they had succeeded. a Franco-British Empire - which was the logical development of the Angevin Empire -might have been a strong pacifying influence in Europe for centuries to come.  It would have avoided the culturally destructive and financially horrendous distraction of the Hundred Years War and the 50 later years, ending in Waterloo, when England was at war with France.

Henry, though English born and bred (and early deserted by his mother), had a remarkably European orientation.  His brother, Richard of Cornwall, became King of the Romans, and his son Edmund was given the emptier title of King of Sicily (which Henry's Angevin brother-in-law later exploited far more fully).   His sister Isabella married the Emperor Frederick II.  His sister Joan and his daughter Margaret married successive kings of the Scots. while his half-sister Joan married Llywelyn the Great.  His daughter Beatrice married the Duke of Brittany, who also held the English earldom of Richmond.  His wife Eleanor was one of four sisters who became queens - of France, England, Rome and Sicily.  (The kings of France and Sicily were brothers. as were the kings of England and Rome - a remarkable consanguinity with four sister queens).

Henry certainly did not accept the loss of empire, and spent much time and money fighting, or negotiating, and sometimes just artistically dawdling, with his brother-in-law Louis IX of France.  As an absentee tax gatherer, and moreover a taxing-master regulating the collection of dues for the Pope, he did not increase his popularity at home.  His expensive administration stuck the more sharply in English throats when it was seen to be increasingly carried out by the Italians from Rome, Provencals from his wife's family, and even the young Frenchmen from Poitou who were Henry's half-brothers. The recalcitrant nobility, excluded by foreigners from government. and resisting high taxes for foreign indulgences as well as ecclesiastical foundations, were led in revolt ironically, by another foreigner, Simon de Montfort, who had inherited his earldom of Leicester and subsequently married the King's sister Eleanor.  Montfort engineered the convention at Oxford called The Mad Parliament, where armed barons intimidated the king into governing by a representative Council of State balancing the royal needs and the national interests.

In subsequent sparring Henry himself, not Montfort, called the knights of the shire to Windsor.  The two sides were preparing for battle, and two years of civil was ensued.  They ended with Montfort's capture of Henry and his heir, Edward, and the calling of the first true embryo Parliament in London in 1265, where bishops, barons, knights and - at last - the burghers of the towns all met.  Later that year Edward escaped from imprisonment, and Simon de Mountfort was defeated and killed in the subsequent battle of Evesham.  Edward exploited his victory with an effective military campaign against the suddenly unorganised rebel barons.  Surprisingly, in a man who had been pictured as an effete, yet dangerous, tyrant, Henry revised his attitude after the shock of the civil war.  He trimmed his demand and saw his reign end in unaccustomed stability.  He attended the completion of Westminster Abbey, re-interred the body of Edward the Confessor in a new shrine, and was himself buried in the Confessor's former coffin in Westminster, where his bronze effigy now stands.

Please forgive any typing errors.  My hands are painful at times and I fear my accuracy may not be as good as it once was.  I can proof read but one seldom sees one's own typing errors as we tend to read what we know should be there and miss the mistakes.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


I have always found these words so special.   I know Phil and I feel that way about each other, even after nearly 50 years.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Beginning with my choice of pretty flowers for the week.   Love the colour of these.

Not a lot to report at all.   Gee, it was cold yesterday!!!   As I sat at my desk I had a rug over my lap and ended up putting on a woolly jacket as well.   This up and down weather I am sure is not good for one.  Now our week is quickly warming up to the high 30s next weekend.   Wondering if it will go back down again or will this be the actual beginning of an early summer.   Hope not although we've been promised a hot one.

I think I've told you before about the son of a lifetime friend of mine.  He came home from New South Wales when his mum was ill with Parkinsons and then cancer and became her carer for several years.  He remained in WA but has a lady friend in NSW and they visit with each other every year or so.  He drove across months ago and I thought maybe he would stay but no, today he rang to say he is back in WA and continuing to clear out his possessions from a friend's garage.  Richard is now in his 50s and I begin to think perhaps he never will settle down completely.  It was great to hear from him and we'll meet up with him soon for a meal and a good chin wag.  Strange thing is that I only mentioned Richard to Phil about 20 minutes before he rang.  That has happened before with Richard ringing within a short time of me mentioning him.  It's not as though he telephones that often either.  Quite uncanny!!

Do most of you still have landline telephones?   I prefer ours to using the mobile and yet if we call local and STD number using our mobile the calls are free.  Phil often does that and he seems to be quite au fait with the little mobile Telstra donated to us free of charge.   I am wondering when people are connected to the NBN if they will still have their landline.  We keep hearing about how expensive it is and it's behind schedule etc but no actual information about how it will work if the facility runs past one's home.  Government are funny that way....lots of talk but little important information.  The NBN is so far away from our area I doubt we will ever have to worry about it anyway and I am quite happy with my internet provider at $30/month.  I find the internet quite quick and I seldom have a problem.  Should there be one the IT geeks have never let me down and my computer is usually up and running again within minutes.  NBN?  Who needs it, except perhaps people in country areas and for them I feel it is really important.

That's enough silly chat for now.   Hope your week is going the way you want it to go...quickly if you are looking forward to the weekend or something special.

P.S.  Can anyone enlighten me about this European thingie that keeps appearing when I open my blog?  Am I supposed to do something about it or with it?   No idea what it's all about so hopefully all will continue as is.


Monday, November 21, 2016


No extra words needed here!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2016


Just a very short poem today... hope you enjoy it.

Saturday, November 19, 2016


Phil had his visit with our GP on Thursday and came home feeling it had been a very good visit.  Dr Ken has started Phil on Crestor to bring his cholesterol down and he has to return in 2 months, I guess for another blood test to make sure the medication is working.  I take Crestor and it doesn't seem to have bad side effects for me so hopefully Phil will have no problems with it.   One interesting thing Dr Ken did say about we diabetics.  The Professor had also told me similar but perhaps not put as plainly as this:  For some time now it has been considered if a person with type 2 diabetes is in their 70s then the sevens should be OK and if a person is in their 80s then the eights are OK.  What this relates to is the HbA1c which is a blood test that shows what has been happening in one's body over the past 3 months.  We were both getting sixes when younger which crept up into the sevens several years ago but are now in the low 8s.  Phil had a reading of 8.2% the same as I had back in September.  The reason they do this is red blood cells have a viable life of about 3 months.  We are tested 6 monthly.  The most important thing Dr Ken said was "Phil, you are doing remarkably well for a man nearing 87 years old."  I feel this cheered the old fellow up quite a bit.

I always like to add some pretty flowers to brighten up what is quite often quite a dull page.  I thought these rather lovely.

After two extremely hot days on Monday and Tuesday the temperature dropped like a stone and we had some wonderful rain...7mm in our gauge which in November is very acceptable.  Friend further down the coast said they had thunderstorms which thankfully missed us completely.  The weather is warming up slightly but still cool enough for yours truly to feel comfortable.

There's been a lot of talk in the media about the US election held over a week ago and nobody really seems to know what to expect when Mr Trump becomes President in January.  I feel it is going to be a case of wait and see because from what I can see confusion seems to reign supreme right now.  What is it they say?  "Hope for the best but fear the worst."  I hope that doesn't come to pass.  We really must hope for the best and that the new President will have sensible advisers, if such people exist these days.

Here's hoping your weekend is a happy one.  Ours will be quiet as usual but at our age it suits us.

Friday, November 18, 2016


I am sure all Australians would remember the Don Lane know the fellow we called the Lanky Yankee?  He came to mind the other day so I searched YouTube and found him doing this rendition of Seventy Six Trombones.  I thought he did extremely well and it was good to see Bert Newton and his wife Pattie and a couple of other well known faces from 'back in the day'   This takes a while but I am hoping you will be patient and enjoy it with me.

Thursday, November 17, 2016


Last week we learned about Richard I and this week it is his brother John.   The one portrayed as so wicked in the stories of Robin Hood.  More from "Kings and Queens of England and Scotland."

JOHN 1199-1216  Known as Lackland, and also Sword-of-Lath.

Born in Oxford on 24th December, 1167.

Succeeded on 7th April, 1199 at the age of 32 as King of England, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, Count of Anjou, having been appointed Lord of Ireland by Henry II in 1185.  William of Scotland (William the Lion) did homage making John his overlord in 1207.

Younger brother of his predecessor Richard and youngest son of King Henry II.

Married:  1.  Hadwiss (Isabella) of Gloucester (divorced 1200);   2.  Isabella of Angouleme, who survived him.

Children:  all from the second marriage:  HENRY, Richard, Joan, Isabella, Eleanor.

Bastards include another Joan, who married Llewelyn the Great, Ruler of all Wales.

Died at Newark of dysentery aggravated by over-indulgence in peaches and new cider, on 18th October, 1216, aged 49, having reigned 17 years.

Buried at Worcester Cathedral.

Profile:  Medium height (5ft 6in), plump, in middle age with a bald head inside a ring of curly black hair; a broad-lipped, bland, self-concerned face; a voice menacing not through harshness but theatrically amused superiority.

All kings are spoilt children, but John was the spoilt child of a family of kings.  The youngest of the nine offspring of Henry II and Eleanor, he let his father down by a brief and ridiculous rule in Ireland, joined Richard in revolt when Henry was almost on his deathbed, let Richard down when his brother became king and finally treacherously conspired with the King of France in revolt against him.  He seems never to have been punished for anything, only excuse as silly young John, but his people were harder than his family.  His father had called him Lackland affectionately as a boy, ruefully emphasising that the private inheritable estates of the family had already been fully divided among his brothers before John was unexpectedly born at to a 45-year-old queen. By standards of evolution today she would have ranked as aged 60.  She lived to the actual age of 82, dominated her children like a matriarch, and besides arranging Richard's semi-forced marriage acted as Regent of England for him, at the age of 75, during his absences.

John managed to justify his nickname more obviously by losing - first through conspiracy and connivance and then through incompetence - the whole of Normandy.  Anjou and Maine had already defected on the death of Richard.  They chose Arthur of Brittany as their lord.  John had Arthur murdered, but could not reclaim the territory.  France retaliated by occupying Normandy, Anjou and Maine, and threatening Aquitaine.  The Pope threatened to make the territorial situation legal and lasting by declaring John deposed and his lands forfeit to the King of France.

The Pope, using this diplomatic blockbuster as a tactical weapon, intended to win an entirely different victory in a struggle between the English King and the Pope over the right to appoint the Archbishop of Canterbury.   A consequent military defeat in Flanders so weakened John's position that his English barons themselves called in the forces of the Dauphin of France.  It was in the desultory civil war that followed - after bungling John really had lost his crown and all his treassure through not reading the tide-tables of the Wash accurately - that this ill-chosen monarch died.

He had signed Magna Carta under pressure.  It is a document with a reputation as inflated as its signatory's body.  The recalcitrant barons principally objected to demands for extra dues on the lands they held from the king which is understandable.  They also objected to he king's pracice of issuing writs at law which withdrew cases from the trial in the baronial courts and sent them before the King's Justices, which was a self-serving and reactionary objection.  But Magna Carta is an historically important document, and its signing a major event, because of the significance of the occasion of an alliance between burghers and barons against the king, and because of the significance (accorded much later) of phrases enshrining general principles of justice which the king carelessly signed.

The family life of this alleged lecherous and rapacious demon John has rarely been noticed.  He wilfully divorced his first wife, Hadwisa, or Isabella, of Gloucester, the grand-daughter of Robert Earl of Gloucester who was Henry I's most competent, if illegitimate, son.  A year after his succession he merely chanced to see, in the course of a military campaign in France, the 12-year-old Isabella of Angouleme who was then betrothed to Hugh de Lusignan.  John had enough personal charm to persuade Isabella to break the engagement, and Isabella had enough personal magnetism to keep him in bed till noon for long after their speedy marriage, which culminated in the crowning in Westminster Abbey of the 12-year-old as Queen of England.  It was seven years before they had their firs child, but it interesting to see the positions of state which their offspring took up in the world. John was not such an international ogre that kings did not want to marry his daughters  His son Henry became Henry III,  The next son, Richard, was Earl of Cornwall and King of the Romans.  John's daughter Joan married Alexander II, King of the Scots.  His daughter Isabella married Frederick II of Hohenstaufen and Sicily Holy Roman Emperor.  His youngest daughter Eleanor married Simon de Montfort.  An illegitimate daughter, Joan, married Llwelyn the Great, Ruler of All Wales.  As for Isabella of Agouleme she finally betrayed John politically before he died.  She want to France, and as soon as her husband was dead she married her first love Hugh de Lusignan.  Later she took the veil.  Her son Henry was to be England's next monarch, and he was only nine when he succeeded to the throne.  In his minority, the country was well governed by a regent, and the young boy was educated by priests until he was old enough to take the throne.

I am trying to make sense of a sentence in line seven in the final paragraph.  I wonder if you can pick it out and explain to me exactly what is meant by it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


My friends on here are so special to me....many times they have lifted me up when I have felt down and I thank them for that.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


I found this picture of some pretty cosmos and as my dad nearly always grew them I thought it a good introduction to today's chat.

Not a lot to report.  Yesterday was a real stinker and last night so hot.  Today is not likely to be much better and then on Wednesday the temperature drops way down and we are to have rain and perhaps a thunderstorm.   Fortunately, although there was a bushfire threatening houses in one of our northern suburbs, it was put under control within a few hours but the bad thing is they believe it was deliberately lit.  Hope they find the scoundrel responsible.

It was K and B's 39th wedding anniversary on Saturday and they went away for two nights to their special place down in Margaret River.  They are both so busy at work now and neither has 100% good health so it was great they managed to escape for a short time.  I know they had the trip to the US but with the thousands of miles in the air they were both worn out when they arrived home. This is the main street in M.River and the other the coast down that way.

I have made an appointment for Phil to see Dr Ken on Thursday afternoon.  Thought it a little too hot to be going out yesterday and today and the doctor won't be there on Wednesday so Thursday had to be it.  Will let you know what transpires.  I feel perhaps Phil will be put on Crestor which is the medication I take to keep my cholesterol in check.  No really bad side effects.

Was saddened to hear about the 7.8 earthquake that hit New Zealand in the early hours of Monday and two lives lost made it even worse.  Fortunately it was in a more rural area but several homes were destroyed or badly damaged and one historic building is no more.  The area of Kaikoura which suffered the worse damage, and a small tsunami,  I remember from when we visited New Zealand back in 1981.   We drove on that coastal road that was so badly damaged in this quake.  We had been on a bus tour of the south island and when we arrived in Picton (top of the south island) we had intended to catch public transport back to Christchurch.   The bus driver's fiancee had been waiting for him in Picton and he asked her if she would give us a lift to CH-CH.  He also asked her to stop at the caravan on the side of the road so we could buy a crayfish (lobster) which we did.  That was possibly the road that yesterday was partly demolished by the quake.  A very beautiful part of a beautiful country.

Did you happen to see the SUPER MOON last night.  Ours is not a good place to see the moon rise but not long after there it was up in the sky, so large and SO bright.  Had to make sure we saw it as it won't do that again until 2034 so we were told.  My granddaughter Aimee and I both have an infinity with the moon.  It began when she was quite tiny.  The family were at our place and the moon was full.  I said 'there's my moon' and she said "no, it's my moon".  I then explained the one she saw when she was home was her moon but the one we saw at my home was my moon.  Honestly, one should not do that with a small child.  We've often laughed about it over the years.

I hope you week is going well for you as it is for us, apart from the heat.  Phew!!!

Monday, November 14, 2016


I have seen actual films where polar bears have played with huskies.  It was wonderful to watch and this reminded me.

Sunday, November 13, 2016


I am always trying to find something a little different for Sundays and came across this little poem which I thought rather sweet.

Saturday, November 12, 2016


Reason for the flowers...just wanted to begin this post with something beautiful to offset what is to come although it's not really all bad.

I in no way want to upset any of my American friends but Phil and I were both disappointed with the results of the presidential election this week.   We realise that the workers of America were promised plenty of jobs but unfortunately there is no way we can see anyone being able to start up huge industries again in the near future and bringing back work that had gone overseas?  It would be a miracle.  Enough said on that topic.

 It is understand the new President does look on Australia favourably but not other countries in our neighbourhood so it is somewhat worrying just how our friendship with the Asian nations may be compromised.  Time alone will tell.  After all, we are the ones who have to get on with OUR neighbours, or else.

Phil's blood test results arrived and all was well except for his cholesterol!!  We had recently begun to eat butter (the softened type) and also use full cream milk and are wondering if that could be enough to cause the rises shown in the report.   We had been thinking "here we are in our mid-80s so what the heck?.  The reasoning behind was many extra days or perhaps months could we expect to live if we ate an absolutely strict diet?  It is rather a miserable life when you can't indulge in all the lovely things like chocolate, fruit cake, ice cream etc. etc. so we decided to kick over the traces a little.  Some serious discussion needed here between the two of us.   My cholesterol was fine last time I had it checked but maybe now....who knows?  Not easy to keep up these things when you are aged.  Notice I didn't say OLD!!  Letter in the post yesterday....the doctor wants to see Phil about the results which is rather what we expected.

Daughter K told me recently that her father (my first hubby) is not doing too well.  He and I have remained friends over the years and I am saddened that he is having health problems.  He was a man who always prided himself on his vitality so it must be hurtful to him to know his health is failing him.  He was to see a specialist a while back and I'm hoping to hear how that went.  He is very fortunate to have a wife some 10 years younger than he is but she at 75 is not finding it easy as he can sometimes be a little difficult.

Phil went to his poetry group Friday morning and they had chosen lyrics by Bob Dylan as he had been given the Literature Nobel Prize.  A few months back my printer decided to call it a day and we'd not bothered replacing it as I don't print or copy much these days.  This week I began researching Bob Dylan's lyrics and found some great ones but suddenly I couldn't print them out.  Panic stations on Thursday....rang Office Works and told them the type of printer I was replacing and could they recommend one.   The young man said yes he could so I asked him to send it up to the front desk so Phil could pick it up in a short while.   This printer is better than my precious Canon printer but so different it took us some time to work it all out.  In other printers I have had the black ink always is on the left of the coloured ink so we couldn't understand why the alarm light kept flashing telling us the ink hadn't been installed correctly.  Back to the instructions went I only to find that in the new printer the coloured ink goes on the LEFT of the  black ink.  I often wonder why this type of change is made when there seemed no reason to change it.   Lots of lyrics copied out so another challenge accepted and won.  Incidentally, both the ladies had computer or printer trouble so were unable to bring along anything so Phil was pleased we had managed to find half a dozen to share with them.   They agreed the lyrics were somewhat sombre but then most of Bob  Dylan's are.

When Phil arrived home I suggested we pop down to Phoenix (our nearest shopping centre) to have lunch,  We both had grilled fish with *chips and a side salad.   Their fish dishes on Friday only cost $15 so it's good to have an enjoyable meal and save a little money at the same time.  My main reason for going there was to visit Big W as Lee Child's latest book "Night School" is out.  We also bought a couple of DVDs as TV is atrocious these days (at least for us) and we've watched nearly all our DVDs several times.   *Tut tut tut.

I hope everyone out there in blogging land has a great weekend and that next week will treat you well.