Wednesday, August 31, 2016


A lot of words but so much truth contained in them:

Monday, August 29, 2016


I try to start Monday with a smile and hope this will do it for you too.

What a disappointment that must have been.

Sunday, August 28, 2016


I have been searching for a poem that we would all enjoy and I think I've found it.  I hope you will appreciate it as much as I did.

THE BALLAD OF RUM by Peter Wolveridge

A dog wandered into our garden one day,
A friendly old mutt, didn't look like a stray.
We never discovered from whence he had come.
But we brushed him and fed him and the kids called him Rum.

Now as family members, even dogs must work hard,
Se we put Rum on duty next door in our yard,
Bright eyed and watchful by night and by day,
But not much of a guard dog, I'm sorry to say.

He barked at the cats and he'd bark at a toad,
He barked at the cattle outside on the road,
He barked at the horses - so where did he fail?
You see, Rum liked people, and he just wagged his tail.

He liked the yard labour, an amiable bunch,
They fed our dog tidbits and scraps from their lunch.
Rum wolfed it all down, but to our dismay
He seemed to get fatter with each passing day.

Then one night when Rum was laid at his ease,
A burglar crept in just as quiet as you please.
He saw no alarms, heard no siren howling,
No guard dog for sure, there'd be barking and growling.

But Rum was awake and he'd seen him alright.
Delighted with company at this time of night.
He flew through the yard, his new friend to greet,
And his weight bowled the burglar right off his feet.

The intruder got up and ran off with a wail
And Rum right behind him still wagging his tail.
He departed the yard he'd come into burgle,
Like a champion athlete clearing a hurdle.

But Rum couldn't jump gates, so sadly instead
He picked up the thief's wallet and want back to bed.
Next morning the evidence everyone viewed,
When Rum bought it to us, (just a little bit chewed).

Once given the wallet, the police didn't fail
To capture the burglar and put him in jail.
His confession like wildfire spread through the town,
How a big vicious guard dog had knocked the thief down.

We all howled with laughter when we heard the story,
And Rum was our hero, he was basking in glory.
There's been no attempts since to burgle our yard,
For everyone now knows that Rum is on guard,

Friday, August 26, 2016


The day I posted this it was pouring with rain in Perth and weren't we enjoying it?  Well I was anyway but then I am a winter person.  It reminded me of this song which I've always enjoyed.  Listen now to BJ Thomas singing Raindrops Keep Falling..............

Thursday, August 25, 2016


Lesson #5 in Kings and Queens of England and Scotland.  The stories are becoming longer as we travel through the years so it will probably only be one king to a page from now on.

EDGAR 959-975)  (Eadgar)

Born:  ? 943

Succeeded as King of the English in 959 at the age of about 16 having already been proclaimed King of Mercia in 957.

Younger brother of predecessor Edwy and younger son of King Edmund I.

Married:  1.  Ethelflaed;   2.  Wulfryth;  3.  Elfthryth.

Children:  of Ethelflaed:  EDWARD; of Wulfryth: Eadgyth of Elfthryth: (Elfrida), Eadmund, ETHELRED.

Died:  8 July 975 aged about 32, having reigned for 16 years.   Buried at Glastonbury.

Young Edgar had been in rebellion against his brother and had taken over Mercia at the age of 14, two years before he officially occupied the English throne.  This was an age when some young men could work off their frustration in satisfyingly positive ways.  Edgar was also said to have abducted his second wife from a nunnery and only to have married her after she had served a term as his mistress.  Making some recompense for this affront to the Church, he gave his royal backing to a notable monastic revival in England- he himself founded forty religious houses - which was important for its cultural overtones.  Scholarship and architecture owed much to the new institutions for their blossoming at this period.

Edgar was fortunate in having the energetic advice of no less than three English saints who were living at the time.  They were Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, Oswald, Archbishop of York, and Ethelwold, Bishop of Winchester who were all later canonised - a fact which in itself pays a remarkable tribute to the prestige of Edgar's reign.  Edgar was the last of the strong line of Saxon kings fathered by Alfred, who broadened Alfred's laws and propagated Alfred's culture.

Territorially he extended the sphere of influence of the English throne, hastened the integration of the Danes with the English and stage-managed the publicised recognition of English majesty.  The last was notably achieved at a deliberately delayed coronation service at Bath at Whitsuntide in 973, 14 years after Edgar's accession, where the king was solemnly anointed and crowned to receive the blessing of the future Saints.  In the same year he received the homage of seven Welsh and Scottish kings, in the picturesque public-relations function (or invented non-event) when they were said to have rowed him on the river Dee at Exeter.

St Ethwold and St Dunstan were by this time proclaiming Edgar as "King of the English and of the other people living within Britain".  The combination of the activities of an able young king with three strong-minded prelates who wanted to exalt the office of king for what they saw as the advantage of the Church was very powerful.  It contributed towards the emasculation of a vigorous and meddling aristocracy and did much (through ecclesiastical propaganda) to advance the philosophy of the divine right of approved kings, who were the channel of all God's blessings except the Holy Mass.  It was an English doctrine which was to bear long-term rather than immediate fruit - but it was in writing which could be quoted later.

It never fails to amaze me how young some of these men were when they became king and although many died at quite a young age, they managed to do so much to further the cause of England.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


These words are just so wise:

Monday, August 22, 2016


This made me smile and hope it does you too.  Keep smiling no matter what the coming week throws at you.

There must be many in the States feeling just like this right now.

Sunday, August 21, 2016


Looking for some fun poems and I thought this one filled the bill.  Everyone who does or has held a job will enjoy this one...I know I did.

I hope you are able to enlarge this and read the words cos they are rather good.

Friday, August 19, 2016


Another forgotten song I found on YouTube was Johnny Horton singing "Comanche".  Brought back memories so I thought it a good one to share with you.  Does anyone remember Johnny Horton and his songs?

Thursday, August 18, 2016


Lesson #4 on Kings and Queens of England and Scotland.  After learning all about Alfred the Great these fellow may seem more tame but they are all part of what made Britain what it is today.

EDWARD 899-925  (Eadward)  Also known as EDWARD THE ELDER

Born:  ?875

Succeeded 899 as King of Wessex, died as "King of the English" though he ruled only Wessex and Mercia.

Elder son of predecessor Alfred.

Married:  1.  Ecgwyn; 2. Eflaed; 3 Eadgifu.

Children of Ecgwyn: ETHELSTAN, Editha; of Eflaed: Ekfweard, Eadflaed, Eadgifu Ethelhild, Eadgyth, Elgifu, Elsfeda, Eadwine and two unnamed daughters; of Eadgidu:  EADMUND, EADRED,  Elfred, Elfred, Eadgifu, Eadburgh.

Died:  925, aged about 50, having reigned 25 years.  Buried at Winchester.  (No reason given for his death).

Edward was the first of three able hereditary rulers from Alfred's stock who gave England 75 years of strength and steady growth, so that its 'national' characteristics were not entirely swamped during the century of turmoil,  His elder sister, Alfred's daughter Ethelflaed, had been joined in dynastic marriage to Etheldred of Mercia.. and, using her aid and position as Lady of Mercia, Edward reconquered the midlands and southeast of England.  Edward and his son exploited the institution of dynastic marriage much more thoroughly than his father, and, with 18 children had more offshoots to graft.  Daughters of Edward married kings of France, Burgundy, Provence and York and one, Eadgyth married Otto the Great, The Holy Roman Emporer.  None of the customary truculent claims to foreign thrones resulted from these unions, but they illustrate the international prestige to which Alfred, Edward and Edward's son Ethelstan raised England.


Born:  995

Succeeded as King of the English in 926 at the age of 30 and by his conquests justified that title and his later claim as Emperor of Britian.

Eldest son of his predecessor EDWARD.

Marriage:  none recorded    Children: none recorded

Died: 27 October, 940 aged 45, having reigned 15 years.  Buried at Malmesbury. (No reason given for his death).

Ethelstan held immediate sway over all England south of the Trent, and moved swiftly to sovereignty over Northumbria, which still included the south of modern Scotland.  With three Welsh princes and an impressive tally of Danish earls supporting him he later moved further north for an invasion of Scotland proper.   Subsequently, in the crucial battle of Brunanburh in 937 he defeated a retaliatory invasion by the kings of Scotland and Strathclyde, driving south in alliance with an Irish general.  Ethelstan's brother and successor, Edmund, was his second-in-command and two of his nephews died in the battle.

Athelstan was an important international personality, and as had been mentioned five of his sisters married European monarchs.  He acquired great wealth which he largely used to forward a cultural and religious revival, and in pursuit of these interests he acquired a mammoth collection of jewels and contemporary art, and of holy relics.  When he died he was buried in his own monastery of Malmesbury Abbey, to which he bequeathed a part of the True Cross and the Crown of Thorns.  He enlarged the conception of monarchy within Britian - he was the first English King to be portrayed on coins and in paintings wearing a crown - and he styled himself Emperor of the English and Ruler of Britain.

EDMUND I 940-946  (Called Edmund the Elder)

Born:  ? 922

Succeeded as King of the English in 940 aged about 18.  (This makes him a general at Brunanburh at the age of 15, which is not totally impossible).

Eldest surviving brother (by a different mother) of his predecessor Ethelstan.

Married:  1.  Elgifu, who died in 944; 2. Ethelflaed.

Children of Elgifu, EDWY, EDGAR.

Died:  26 May, 946, assassinated for non-political motives, at Pucklechurch Gloucester, aged about 24, having reigned six years.

Buried: at Glastonbury.

Edmund began his career of state as a very young commanding general, some 27 years junior to his brother, King Ethelstan.  His short reign was ended during an affray in his hall when he was stabbed by a robber whom he had previously banished.

EADRED 946-955 (EDRED)

BORN:  ? 920

Succeeded as King of the English in 946, aged about 16.

Eldest surviving brother of his predecessor Edmund.

Marriage:  none recorded.   Children:  none recorded.

Died:  23 November, 955 at Frome aged about 25 years having reigned nine years.  (No reason given for his death).

Buried: at Winchester.

Eadred was almost completely preoccupied during his reign with the retention of Northumbria which after swearing allegiance to him after his accession, swiftly transferred allegiance to Eric (Bloodaxe) of Norway. The issue was decided only in 954 when Eric was killed in battle.

EDWY 955-959 (Known as Edwy the Fair)

Born: ? 941

Secceeded as King of the English in 955 at the age of about 14.

Elder nephew of his predecessor Eadred and elder son of King Edmund I.

Married:  Elgifu.

Children:  none recorded.

Died: 959 aged about 18 having reigned four years.  (no reason given for his death)

Buried: at Winchester..

Edwy, a generally sickly youth, profited by the vigour of his late uncle, so that at his coronation as King of the English he received the submission of the Northmbrians, the Danes, the Welsh, and the Scots, but the weakness of his government might well have resulted in the break-up of England had he survived.  His younger brother Edgar, was already challenging him when died.

I have included five kings here as their stories were not very long.  We still have another three kings before we reach the year 1000.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


We are all much stronger than we realise we are so don't doubt yourself.

Monday, August 15, 2016


Let's start the week with a smile and hopefully finish it with a grin.

Sunday, August 14, 2016


I was looking for cheerful little poems and I came across this one.  I just had to share it with you as this kitty reminded me so much of our Precious when she was little.  She too was very timid and would vanish if anyone other than Phil or myself was in the house.  I hope you will enjoy this poem with me today and I know many of you will understand the sentiment contained in it and how it relates to Precious.  It is 2 years now since she left this mortal coil and although Candy has filled our lives with so much happiness, Precious is still very much missed.

Saturday, August 13, 2016


Actually I have been thinking back rather a number of years to the time when a simple phone call would be answered by a switchboard operator who would connect you with the appropriate person who would deal with the matter you were ringing about.  No computers at all back then, usually everything was written by hand or typed and it would be filed under the relevant subject matter.  If the person was unavailable the telephonist would give them a message and you'd be rung back as soon as the person was available.  It seldom failed.

Are you with me so far or have I gone too far back in time for you?  The reason I am mentioning this is because of what happened last Wednesday week.  Each year I am interviewed by Silver Chain and last year they were running so late with their appointments I didn't see anyone till March this year.  At that time the lovely lady I saw said my next appointment was due in September this year.  In order to bring it all up to date she gave me a number to ring and said to ask them if I could either have a home visit or a telephone interview some time in September.   She obviously realised I don't get around too well and she was trying to really be helpful.

OK you've got that?   So, on Wednesday 4th I telephoned the 1300 number (35 cents a pop these days) and gave my relevant details to the lady who answered the phone with my request (as above).   She said she would have to speak to one of their liaison officers who would ring me.   Sure enough I got a call from (I'll call her Lisa) to say she was dealing with my request and would send a note to the original officer I'd spoken to if I would ring them back in about 15 minutes.  Before I had time to do this I had yet another call from a liaison officer who didn't know I'd already been called by Lisa.  After telling her the matter had been dealt with I again phoned the main office (another 35 cents) and the lady there had had no message about it from Lisa even though I'd given them about 30 minutes to get it sorted.

I then went on to ask about a telephone interview and she asked me to hold on a few minutes.  She eventually came back and told me they only make phone calls to north of the river!!!  I said that made no sense as it would cost them only a local call north or south but she said that was their ruling.  I persisted that I felt a phone interview should be possible and she said she would get back to Lisa who by that time had gone home and ask Lisa to ring me in the morning.  I asked that she phone me after 10am (we are late risers) and next morning I was up at about 9am but no phone call from Lisa.  No call on Friday, Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday either!!!!

I decided I would wait till lunchtime Thursday and then ring them again but before I had a chance to do that I did receive a call from Silver Chain from an entirely different lady to the other four I'd spoken to last week.   She said they'd make an exception and I could expect a call at 8.30am on a date in September.   "Whoah"  said I, "I'm barely out of bed at that time and really not compos mentis enough to do a long interview on the telephone".  She said she was sorry but that was the only time of the day they made telephone calls.  She suggested perhaps a home interview would be best so I am expecting a lady to call in October at a reasonable hour of 10.30am.  I do also have to consider Phil as he tends, like me, to be a late riser, especially in the cooler weather.  After all, he is from England and they, poor souls, do tend to feel the cold more than many of us Aussies do.

Phil went to his monthly poetry meeting this morning (I like some poetry but not enough to talk about it) and when he arrived home he handed me a a lovely bunch of daffodils.  I couldn't help laughing when he said "They were really quite cheap."  I told him that wasn't really an appropriate thing to say when handing a lady flowers but I realised he was telling me he'd not wasted a lot of money.  Now, I ask you, would any lady think a gentleman was wasting money if he handed her a simple bunch of flowers?  I think not but the sentiment was not lost and I appreciated them as the bunch of flowers he gave me last week had just been thrown out.

Friday, August 12, 2016


I can't say I was ever a fan of The Cascades but I do remember this song of their as being quite a favourite.  I am so enjoying finding music from 'way back then' on YouTube.

Thursday, August 11, 2016


Lesson 3 on Kings and Queens of England and Scotland.  This is rather a long one so please bear with it as it is very interesting.  The first king that I actually know anything about and then come a few more that I've not heard of before.  I truly belief that this king really was great.

ALFRED (also spelt with an AE dipthong)  Known as ALFRED THE GREAT

Born: 849 at Wantage.

Succeeded as King of Wessex 871 at the age of 22.  Was declared King of the Saxons and King of the English.  Recognised as overlord of Wales in 893.

Younger brother of his predecessor Ethelred, being the fifth son of King Ethelwulf and the grandson of King Egbert.

Married:  868 to Ealswyth who survived him and died about 902.

Children:  Ethelflaed, EADWARD, Ethelgeofu, Elfthryth, Ethelweard.

Died:  28 October 899 aged 50, having reigned 28 years.  Buried at Winchester.

Profile:  A clean chaven, barrel chinned, deeply lined perhaps almost tortured facem neither senile nor conventionally "wise' or great.  He was never called Alfred the Great in his lifetime, and the bearded statue of him in Wantage, Berkshire, has the face of a local Victorian.

Alfred's brother and brother-in-arms Ethelred, had two surviving children when he died but it was a time for active, experienced leadership, and they were not even considered as possible successors.  It is interesting, however to see how powerful connections had their advantages even so many years ago.  One of the boys, Ethelhelm, became Archbishop o Canterbury, and the other, Ethelwald, was King of York and indeed tried to take Alfred's throne. However their uncle's immediate problem was to beat off the Danes from their assault on Wessex.  His ultimate achievement, which followed in part from the weakened position of the Mercians and Northumbrians against the Danes, was that when the fragmented English kingdoms collapsed before the foreign assault, Alfred had something to put in its place.  The concept of England as a nation hardened into a reality, for under assault it had developed an identity of its own.  Alfred was never crowned King of all England, a title which he has sometimes been given retrospectively.  That would have been a presumptuous claim, although he well earned his title King of the Saxons, and did style himself on some of his coins as King of the English.  His son and successor, Edward the Elder took the title King ot the English but the realm was limited, and only Alfred's grandson Ethelstan brought in Northumbria.

Alfred, as a warrior king with an urgent objective, fought nine battles against the Danes in the first year of his reign and won himself a breathing space.  He did not, however, reorganise the defense of Wessex with conspicuous brilliance.  Though a mature 22 years of age and a hardened commander , he was a late developer intellectually and a most tortured man psychologically.  He was troubled by what are nowadays interpreted as psychosomatic illnesses - afflictions reflecting mental unease - and on his wedding day he became mysteriously and incapably sick, a circumstance which modern psychiatrists inevitably seize with glee.  Alfred is one of the most fascinating characters in history and a dramatist of perception could do him the justice of resurrection in the same sense that we now know Sir Thomas More, as "a man for all seasons'.

A quick impression presents Alfred as a combination of the pious imperial dreamer with the shrewd. long term strategy, defensive general.  A deeper analysis suggests a man intolerably teased by ambition and humility, with many of his actions being little more than compulsive reactions to the desperate pressure of events.  Yet he was also a man able to give practical shape to a serene vision of a new land, advancing under thoughtful laws, adequate security, and a new concept of philosophy and education and culture to meet and appreciate a wider world.

Alfred dissolved the insularity of Saxon England in a secular and cultural sense which was far more influential than the formal concept of the universality of the Christian Church.  Two youthful sojourns in Rome, where the Pope robed the boy as a consul and sponsored him as a future leader, and a further stay at the court of the King of the Franks, gave him a lasting vision of the spaciousness of the world and the richness of life that arose from contact with it.  Yet he was always afflicted by a self-doubt that physically incapacitated him at many crises, and by self-depreciation based on the fact that, like every king's son of his time, was was illiterate - until he conquered this disadvantage towards the end of his life.

For the first seven years of his reign Alfred continued his undistinguished skirmishing with the Danes to try to hold his territory as he had established during his initial year of vigorous campaigning.  In January 878 the Danes made an unconventional winter blitzkreig, and Wessex was completely over-run.  Over the next four months Alfred deployed his underground resistance from his base in the Somerset marches, and by superb organisation welded the men of Somerset. Wiltshire and Hampshire into an army which decisively defeated the Danes in the pitched battle at Edington, Wiltshire.

With impressive statesmanship he consolidated this victory.  He insisted that the defeated King Guthrum of the Danes should receive baptism into Christianity - probably with less consideration for the welfare of Guthrum's soul than for the well-being of the inhabitants of Danish-occupied Mercia and Northumbria who would undergo less harassment in their nature culture if Christianity was a recognised religion.  He then drastically conscripted the manpower of Wessex, so that it was efficiently organised as a defense arm and an agricultural workforce, the men taking turns at these complementary duties.  He built a chain of fortified towns which would remain as urban strongholds in future invasions, so that Wessex could never be entirely blotted out as it had been in 878,  also he built a navy as a new reserve against the sea-power of the Danes.

In the uneasy, but generally effective, conditions of peace which followed these imaginative defense measures, Alfred established a much needed judicial system by introducing a new code of laws  painstakingly worked out from the best contemporary foreign practice.  Then, having learned to read at the age of 38, and having much that he wanted to say to his people in the old English language, Alfred began a cult of broad education which aimed at giving the English a soul, and a sense of corporate history.  This resulted in shaping for them an identity which has its hold today.  His reign was an example of how a sense of vision could be used by a monarch

Please excuse any typing errors I may have made.  I have to wear one pair of specs to read from the book and a second pair to read what I've typed on here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


Definitely not a good idea to live too much in the past.  Once water has run under the bridge it will never return.

Monday, August 8, 2016


Hope the smile this brings to your face today lasts you through the week.

If only all socks were this intelligent!!

Sunday, August 7, 2016


I found this little poem and thought you might enjoy it too.  As with our Candy cat I often wonder who chose who!

Saturday, August 6, 2016


I have been thinking rather more lately of the 'other' part of my little family.

I know I've mentioned before that my one and only son wrote me and the rest of the family on my 70th birthday which was fourteen and a half years ago.  Since then none of us have heard a peep out of him but I am fortunate in that his wife has kept in touch via email and also sent photos every now and again.   I am ever grateful to Dianne for doing this for me and last month when she celebrated her 56th birthday she sent me a photo of the family taken that day.   Not having seen my son for so long I of course noticed a difference in him (less hair for one thing) and it is amazing now how much like his dad (my first husband) he is.  Not entirely, but there is definitely a strong likeness.  His dad though has more hair and has never had a beard.  Last time I saw that beard it was quite dark.

Their daughter Jessica (she apparently prefers Jess these days) looks very much like her mother and I think their son James takes after his mum too. Quite a handsome young man and much taller than both his parents.   Jess is now married to Ryan and it was probably he that took this photograph.  I'm so glad that someone did anyway and Di thought to email it to me.

Steve and Di had purchased a property in Tasmania several years ago and had several holidays there.  Steve actually found work and stayed there on his own a couple of times.   Di says it is now becoming too much work and too expensive keeping two largish properties going so the Tassie house has been sold.  The home they have here is on 5 acres so a lot of work to keep it up to scratch and it has always looked beautiful.  A quite large house with a really beautiful garden.  Di has a real green thumb when it comes to growing thing.  They are over in Tassie now to fetch the things they want to bring home; the rest will be sold over there.

Whatever Di's motive is for keeping in touch doesn't worry me.  I am just so grateful that she has chosen to do so and I have been able to follow the two youngsters growing up, hearing about them going to university and now about their working lives.   Jess turned 30 in May and James will be 28 this coming December.  It is sad that I've not seen either of them since they were still at school and I often wonder if ever will see them again while I am still here.  One never entirely gives up hope.  Jess actually did write to me a few years ago but that was a one off

There, now you know about the 'other' family I have. Hope you don't mind me sharing this with you but sometimes I just have to 'let it all out".

Friday, August 5, 2016


Do you remember the Everly Brothers?  Were you a fan of theirs?   I've enjoyed so much of their music in the past and this was one of my favourites...."All I have to do is Dream"  I am so enjoying strolling along through YouTube and finding so much music I've loved over the years.

Thursday, August 4, 2016


Lesson #2 on Kings and Queens of England and Scotland.  I've noticed that the early king's names actually all started with AE dipthong which of course I can't type on here so will show their names beginning with E as they have done in the book.


Born:  ?800-810
Succeeded as King of Kent 828, King of Wessex 839.
Elder son of his predecesssor Egbert.
Married:  1.  Osburgh who died 846 (or was perhaps 'put away' to allow a dynastic marriage with a younger bride);
 2.  Judith, daughter of Charles II, King of France, (Charles the Bald).
Children:  Ethelstan, Ethelbald, Ethelbert, Ethelred, Elfred, Ethelswyth, all the children of Osburgh.
Died:  858, probably in his fifties.

Upon his succession, Ethelwulf gave the sub-kingdom of Kent to his younger brother Ethelstan.  After a vigorous beginning to his reign his health declined and he took his fifth son Alfred to Rome; where he stayed a year.  He returned in 856, married Judith of France on the journey, and found his eldest surviving son Ethelbald in revolt.  (Ethelstan had died in 850).  The administration was shared between father and son until Ethelwulf died two years later.


Born: ?834
Succeeded as King of Wessex 858 after sharing power from 856.
Second son of his predecessor Ethelwulf.
Married his stepmother Judith, his father's widow, who after his speedy death married Baldwin I, Count of Flanders.   Their son, Baldwin II, married Elfthrythm daughter of King Afred and when William the Conqueror married a descendant of this line, Matilda, daghter of Baldwin V, he secured for his sons a renewed affiliation to the direct royal kine of Alfred.
Children:  None.
Died: 860, after abaout 26 having been the sole ruler of Wessex for two years.  Buried at Sherborne.


Born: ?836
Succeeded as King of Kent 853, King of Wessex 860.
Younger brther of his predecessor Ethelbad,
Marriage: None recorded.
Children: None recorded.
Died: 856 aged about 30, having reigned six yars.  Buried at Sherborne

ETHELRED I  (Known as Saint Ethelred)

Born: ?840
Secceeded as King of Wessex (henceforth including Kent, Sussex, Essex) 866.
Younger brther of his predecessor Ethelbert.
Wife not known.
Children:  Ethelhelm, Ethelwald.
Died: 871 aged about 31, of wounds received during the battle of Merton, having reigned five years.  Buried at Wimborne.

By the time that the third of Ethelwulf's sons came to the throne, the Danish invasions of Northumbria, Mercia and East Anglia were a serious threat to the survival of Wessex, and Ethelred was leading his armies over the border into Mercia in order to preserve his kingdom.  His second-in-command was his 19-year old brother Alfred.  (Their only known sister, Ethelswyth, was then consort to Burghred, King of Mercia).  By 871 the West Saxons had had to retreat into their own territory and after the punishing battle of Merton in that year, Ethelred died, and Alfred took over the task of ensuring the survival of the Anglo-Saxons.

Ethelred was popularly canonised because of his piety.  At the vital battle of Ashdown, though Alfred was being pressed hard, Ethelred was kneeling in his tent hearing Mass, and said he would not stir until the Mass was ended and would not serve man before God

The next history lesson will be about King Alfred (Alfred the Great) which is a very long story so be prepared.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


There have been many strong women in our family and I always hope I may be included as one of them.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


The week began very well for us.  It was daughter's birthday Wednesday and I'd asked her if she would like us to take her out for lunch.  She had replied she would love to come and visit but not go to an hotel or cafe.  That was fine with us so Phil went and fetched take away Chinese which we all enjoyed very much.  K has been busy at work, has her own health issues and a family about whom she worries a lot.  It was wonderful to have her with us for about 5 hours and we could just chat about anything that came to mind.  We don't see her as much as we like and we accept that in this busy, busy world.  I, in turn, worry about her as I think she is in need of a restful holiday.  She and her hubby are off to New Jersey end of September to visit their #3 daughter and her partner. I am hoping a change will be good for them both and they will come home feeling they can face the world once again.  No, we didn't have a cake as K didn't want one but I thought this would make the page look prettier.

Now...did I tell you I'd sent away a saliva sample to have my DNA ethnicity checked?  It came back last week.  I had anticipated most of it but not all. It turned out I have 32% Great Britain; 31% Ireland (where on earth that comes from I don't know); 18% Scandinavia (I expected that as my two great-grandparents on my mother's side were from Denmark); 15% West Europe (which also makes sense to me).  There was a possibility of 2% Iberian Peninsula which could be right depending on how far back it goes, and 1% Finland/Northwest Russia which could also fit in perhaps with the Scandinavian part.  They explain the last two tiny results as probably not absolutely positive.

I know my maternal great-great-grandparents emigrated from Scotland in the 1800s and I wonder if perhaps their ancestors came across from Ireland.  GG-granddad was a shepherd and took up land where Werribee now stands when he arrived in Victoria.  Poor man died of gunshot wounds as he had accidentally shot himself as he climbed through a fence on his property.

I have a grandfather who supposedly was born in Bath, England in 1800 and he emigrated first to Tasmania and then to Werribee via Sydney.  He was well known and in fact named the town Wyndham after a commanding officer he knew in the British army and who he admired greatly.  After his death the town was renamed Werribee but the surrounding area is still known as Wyndham Vale.

I also know my birth father was born in London and my ancestors on his side seem to be very much from the south of England.  I have traced that family back to the 1600s and also the female side too which seems very much belonging to the south of England.

Phil has not decided he would like to have his DNA checked as he has a reasonably rare blood group (B) and see if he can find where that comes from.   I've traced much of his family tree and they seem very English but one never knows what happened centuries ago.

The rest of the week has been very quiet. We had some rain but badly need more but I wish the damned weeds didn't pop up after the first good shower.   They really do grow so well at our place...wish we could sell them.

Tomorrow I visit my endocrinologist and am waiting for my blood test results to arrive.  Hopefully they will be in my mail box today before I go see him.  I always like to know in advance what they are so I am prepared if he is not happy.  My blood glucose has been a bit up and down of late and I've been changing the amount of insulin I inject at night.  Personally I think it depends on how bad my arthritis is as they say stress can cause your BG to rise (as well as your blood pressure apparently).  Maybe I should make a note of when the aches are at their worst and compare it with BG readings?  No, too much thinking about self all the time is not a good idea so I think I'll just go with the flow, as long as the flow is not too high!

I hope the coming week treats all of you with kindness....keep well and keep happy.

Monday, August 1, 2016


And we humans thought the sun rose for us each day.   I am sure this will bring a smile to your face.  Do try and keep that smile with you as much as you can through the week ahead.