Friday, September 30, 2016


I thought, with every thing that is going on in the world right now, it may be good to sing a happy song.  We're all thoroughly fed up with the presidential elections in the US, poor people in South Australia were without power in the entire state with flooding and damage from two tornadoes plus other events we often try to put behind us.

So sing along with It's a Hap Hap Happy Day.  I found it on good old reliable YouTube and it is from Gulliver's Travels made in 1939 (when I was just 7 years old).

Thursday, September 29, 2016


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

HAROLD II  ....Known as Harold Godwinson

Born:  ?1022

Brother-in-law to his successor Edward.

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

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

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

Buried: at Pevensey, later in Waltham Abbey.

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, September 26, 2016


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

I guess it had to happen in these modern times!

Sunday, September 25, 2016


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

Saturday, September 24, 2016


Lots of mixed thoughts these past few days:

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, September 23, 2016


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

Thursday, September 22, 2016


"King and Queens of England and Scotland" continued.

HAROLD I .... 1035-1040

Born:  1017.

Succeeded as regent, later King of England 12 November, 1035 at the age of 18.

Son of his predecessor Cnut through Cnut's first wife Elfgifu.

Marriage: None recorded.

Children:  None recorded.

Died at Oxford on 17 March 1040 aged 23 years having reigned five years.

Buried at Westminster, and later in St Clement Danes, London, the body having been disinterred from the Abbey by Harthacnut, thrown into a ditch, and recovered from the River Thames by a fisherman.

Cnut's failing was that he could not prevent the resurgence of internal faction after his death.  Since in a nebulous situation of legitimacy, Emma was his official wife in England, his logical heir was their son Harthacnut.  Harthacnut, already King of Denmark, was engaged in a power struggle with Magnus, King of Norway, which had established independence.  He claimed the English throne, backed by Emma and Earl Godwin, but could not immediately secure it.

Earl Leofric and his political supporters sponsored Harold, the son of Cnut and Elfgifu.  A claim of strong standing lay with Alfred and Edward, the sons of Emma by her first husband King Ethelred, but when Alfred came over from Normandy he was murdered on the orders of Earl Godwin.  Harold was accepted, first as regent, then as king.

HARTHACNUT  ...  1040-1042  (Hardecnut)  Meas literally Deadly Cnut

Born:  1018

Succeeded as King of Denmark 1035, as King of England 17 March, 1040, aged 22.

Half-brother of his predecessor Harold through their father Cnut, Harold's predecessor.

Marriage:  None recorded.

Children:  None recorded.

Died: drunk at Lambeth 8th June, 1042, aged 24, having reigned two years.

Buried at Winchester.

In a treaty with Magnus, King of Norway, Harthacnut, while King of Denmark, had agreed that if either of them died without an heir the survivor should inherit his rival's dominion.  Once Harthacnut was King of England, and Magnus indicated that this land, too, was part of his legacy, Harthacnut changed his mind.  He brought out of exile in Normandy King Ethelred's only surviving and un-murdered son, Edward. who was his half-brother, being the son of Emma.  Having designated Edward as his heir, Harthacnut collapsed in is cups at a wedding banquet, and died immediately in convulsions.

I feel most of you would know of this next king:

EDWARD ... 1042-1066 (Known later as Saint Edward the Confessor)

Born:  ? 1004

Succeeded as King of England 8th June 1042, aged about 38.

Half-brother to his predecessor Harthacnut through their mother Emma.  Son of Ethelred II, his fifth predecessor.

Married:  Eadgyth (Edith) daughter of Earl Godwin of Wessex and Kent.

Children:  None

Died:  At Westminster 5th January, 1066 aged 62, having reigned 24 years.

Buried at Westminster.

Profile:  Even in middle age. when he ascended the throne Edward resembled a sort of Saxon Father Christmas, with pale yellow hair and beard (not white) and a notably pink complexion.  He was a courtly comfort-loving man and should not be thought of as the gaunt ascetic with the wizard's beard - the image which was later wished on him.

Edward, in the direct hereditary line of Alfred, Edgar and Ethelred, had been brought up as a Young Pretender, a prince in exile from the age of 12 who had no serious expectations of the English throne.  He was an idle, sporting, cultured aristocrat who only in later years turned to the piety with which he is now credited.  His culture, and indeed his language, was Norman French, which is why Westminster Abbey was built (before the Conquest) in the Norman style.  From the beginning of his reign Edward had to submit to the arrogance of his father-in-law Earl Godwin, knowing that Godwin had murdered his brother Alfred.  But any idea Godwin may have had that a grandson of his would inherit the throne collapsed when Eadgyth failed to bear children.  In the later holy cult of Edward as Confessor (Confessor is a rank in the progression towards sainthood and designates a person who was persecuted for his faith but not martyred), the circumstances of Eadgyth's sterility was advanced as a proof of Edward's chastity, but there is no evidcnce of this at all.

In 1051, when it was rumoured that Godwin might seek to have a son of his, rather than a grandson, succeed to Edward's throne - a project which actually came to fruition with the accession of Eadgyth's brother, Harold Godwinson - Edward unexpectedly banished Queen Eadgyth, exiled Godwin, and proclaimed his natural cousin William of Normandy as his heir.  The stroke was premature. It was soon reversed, and Williliam's designation to the succession was virtually cancelled.

Godwin died, and Edward adopted a working friendship with Harold Godwinson, who was conveniently relieving him of many of his duties.  But, still anxious over the succession, Edward recalled from Hungary Edward the Exile, son of King Edmund Ironside, whom Cnut had banished 40 years previously  But Edward the Exile died in suspicious circumstances before the interview with his uncle could take place.  His young son Edgard Etheling had a strong hereditary claim to the throne on the death of Edward the Confessor, whose master-work of Westminster Abbey was dedicated a week before he died, and whose canonization was effected a century later.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Words from a very wise woman.  No further words needed here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


I rang my daughter on Sunday afternoon to wish her and her hubby a safe flight, happy holiday and a safe return home in October.  She said their two cats. Max and Monty, had been taken to board at what Karen described as a very desirable place although rather expensive.  She actually wouldn't tell me the cost but the way they love those two moggies I am sure they just wanted the best for them.

They flew out on Monday morning on an Emirates 'plane via Dubai to the US.  They will land at the airport in New York where they will be met and driven to New Jersey.  Usually they fly Qantas so it will be interesting to hear what K thinks of the service on Emirates vs Qantas. 

This will be an entirely different visit to the one three years ago when they flew from Sydney to the US and then to Alaska (yes, I know Alaska is part of the US but there's no direct flight there).  I guess it means they will have almost flown all round the world so quite exciting for them.  It was while there they flew to Seattle for their daughter's wedding.

They are of course going to stay with their #3 daughter and her partner and the partner's daughter.  It has apparently has been very hot and humid in New Jersey but with autumn on its way there I am hoping for K's sake it will have cooled down a little.

I will miss her while she is away and apparently her Sim card in her mobile won't work in the US and she will have to wait to use her laptop (or iPad) until she sets it up.  I fear they will be suffering some type of jet lag for a day or two as it is a long journey and I think they arrive in the middle of the night.

I told her 'no news is good news' and when she can, I know she will pop a few words on Facebook to let her family in Australia know all is well with them both and the family they are visiting.  It is a well timed visit as their daughter will celebrate her 38th birthday on 3 October.  Nice to have mum and dad there at that special time.

P.S.  The 'no news if good news' harks back to years ago when my son (then about 19) was driving down from South Hedland in our north.  I heard on the radio that there had been a fatal accident on the road he would was travelling on.  I had a friend who was able to find out that my son had not been involved in the accident which was a relief although I felt so sad for the others involved.  When Steve arrived home and I told him what had happened it was then he said "always remember Mum, no news is good news".

Monday, September 19, 2016


Smile now and try and carry that smile through the week with you.

Sunday, September 18, 2016


This one certainly is a little different and it quite intrigued me, enough to share it with you.

ODE TO SPOT by Commander Data - United Federation of Planets

Felix Catus, is your taxonomic nomenclature.
an endothermic quadruped carnivorous by nature?
Your visual, olfactory and auditory senses
contribute to your hunting skills, and natural defences.

I find myself intrigued by your sub-vocal oscillations,
a singular development of cat communications
that obviates your basic hedonistic predilection
for a rhythmic stroking of your fur, to demonstrate affection.

A tail is quite essential for your acrobatic talents;
you would not be so agile if you lacked its counterbalance.
And when not being utilised to aide in locomotion,
it often services to illustrate the state of your emotion.

O Spot, the complex levels of behaviour you display
connote a fairly well-developed cognitive array.
And although you are not sentient, Spot, and do not comprehend
I nonetheless consider you a true and valued friend.

Saturday, September 17, 2016


I've been thinking seriously about Phil and myself, how we met. fell in love and got married.  Why now? you ask.   Yesterday it was out 49th wedding anniversary which is not bad going for two people who married in their latish thirties.

I'd not been out so couldn't buy Phil a card but he bought this one for me and I thought it hilarious.  It says "To my Wife on our said I DO! I said I DO! so WE DID!"

I liked it much more than one of those lovey dovey flowery ones (although I've had lots of those too over the years and loved them) but this to me just said it all.

We didn't do anything special.  Spent more time than usual together during the day and went out and had an enjoyable afternoon tea.  While I was out and Phil was in another part of the shopping centre I managed to buy him a really nice anniversary card.  Late in the day but still well meant.

One more year, if we last that long, and we will be celebrating our Golden Wedding Anniversary.  When we married way back in 1967 we never dreamed we'd see the 21st century and yet here we are hoping to celebrate 50 years in 2017.

P.S.  I had also wished Phil a happy anniversary on my Facebook page and was thrilled by how many people sent their best wishes to us both on our special day.  You can honestly find so many lovely people on Facebook, people you will never get to meet and yet you become very close friends with some.  It keeps me in touch with the outside world.

Friday, September 16, 2016


I have always enjoyed the singing of Roy Orbison and some years ago my daughter taped some for me.  I realised I no longer have those tapes so decided to do a search on YouTube.  I came up with this one which was always a favourite of mine.  Hope you will enjoy it too.

Thursday, September 15, 2016


We continue to pursue the "Kings and Queens of England and Scotland."   Gradually getting to those we may actually have heard of.

CNUT 1016-1035

Born:  ?995

Succeeded as King of Denmark and Norway in 1014, as King of England 30th November, 1016, aged about 21.

No relationship to predecessor Edmund save that he married Edmund's step-mother, Ethelred's widow.

Married:  1.  Elfgifu of Northampton, whom he did not divorce, but he continued to live with her when in Denmark (where she was acknowledged queen) after he married Emma f Normandy, widos of his predecessor /ethetred.

Childrenof Elfgifu:  Svegn, HAROLD;  of Emma:  HARTHACNUTm Gunhild.

Died:  at Shaftesbury on 12th November, 1035, aged 0, having reigned 18 years.

Buried at Wincheter.

Cnut was a second-generation Christian and by no means meek and mild.  After the murder of Edmund Ironside, which cannot be positively ascribed to him, he disposed of further heirs of the Saxon line by having Edmund's younger brother Eadwig murdered and by sending Edmund's young sons Edward and Edmund into exile in Hungary.

Since he had determined to marry Ethelred's widow Emma to retain some of the magic of connection with the previous reigning house (Ethelbald, 858-860, did the same for less obvious reasons) Cnut could hardly murder Edmund's stepbrothers, the sons of Emma, and they were sent to Normandy.  One of them, Alfred, was later murdered - not by Cnut- in further skirmishing for the throne in 1036.  The survivor, Edward, eventually reigned after Cnut and his two sons, as Edward the Confesssor.  The long exile in Normandy, which virtually made Edward a Norman, is some epxplanation of why the line of royal claimants to the throne in England veered away from Scandinavia towards Normandy. 

After his initial liquidation and exile of positive claimants to the throne, Cnut went on to conduct a purge of Englishmen in his entourage through half a dozen selected assassinations.  He then ostentatiously married Emma, leaving the position of his previous wife Elgifu and her children in considerable legal uncertainty, though that did not prevent one of them succeeding him.  From this point Cnut settled down to govern England with outstanding efficiency,  If ever the argument that the means justify the end was admissable, Cnut seems to have demonstrated that a few shrewd murders coupled with sanctified adultery, all tidily performed before one's 21st birthday, should not for ever bar a man from the reputation of having a heart of gold. 

While Cnut lived, there was none of the internal manoueuvring for power which Ethelred had had to balance.  However he tolerated potentially dangerous threats from his three extremely powerful earls (the new title, of Danish origin replaced the Saxon ealdorman); Siward of Northumbria, Leofric of Mercia and Godwin of Wessex.  Cnut had new ideals concerning kingship.  He ruled from strength or fear, but he strove to incorporate two strong traditions, wider justice based on pragmatic law-making and aimed at righting perceived wrongs, in the spirit of the great Alfred and Edgar; and the application of Christian principles to monarchy as a trust from God as interpreted in a somewhat naive and authoritarian manner by this parvenu Christian.

As a ruler not only of England, but of Denmark and Norway and, for a time, a part of Sweden Cnut's prestige and temporal power within Europe- which he toured on a long state visit ending in Rome - was second only to the Holy Roman Emperor's.  The story that such a capable king could be fooled by flattering courtiers to sit by the sea and order the retreat of the incoming tide must be dismissed as a myth of propaganda and popular folklore.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016


Our son-in-law has a pierced ear but it was done after his marriage to our daughter.   Now I wonder what that tells us?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016


We have had several letters from Telstra over past months telling us our 2G phone will be obsolete after 1st December this year.  We'd not bothered doing anything about it and intended to go to JBHiFi to buy a new one before the old one expired.  We bought our dear little mobile there last year when the old one died.  The one we have now is so simple to use and does not have a camera but a torch if needed and an FM radio which we don't use.   We will miss our little Nokia phone for its simplicity.

Out of the goodness of their heart Telstra has sent us a new mobile phone with all the trimmings along with a platinum card so we can go to their shop and have the new phone set up, free of charge, including our current number which we don't want changed   There was letter instructing us to call a 1800 number to set up an appointment to do the above.

I telephoned and told a young man what I wanted to do.  This seemed a little difficult for him to understand so I was then transferred to a young lady (both of them Asian) who was as helpful as could be but who couldn't actually set up an appointment time.  I eventually suggested an appointment after 11am today.   She confirmed that and I asked for set time but for some reason she was unable to do this.  Later I received an email from this young lady confirming out conversation.

Today Phil has set off to visit the Telstra shop in the hope (vain possibly) that he won't have to wait for hours.  Our son-in-law tried to take back their landline phone for about 3 years before they would accept it from him even though he had appointments at a Telstra shop.  He had been paying rental on their phone all that time and eventually, on his last visit to a Telstra shop he declared he would not leave the shop until the phone could be handed in and the service cancelled.  They use a landline phone purchased privately.

I am hoping Phil will fare better today and not have to wait for hours.  Will keep you posted on how it all goes.  Fingers crossed!!

 As it appears no-one has seen this post I am delighted to say Phil didn't have to wait all that long and a lovely young lady (his description) did all the right things and Phil came home with our new phone and the old one to be carefully disposed of in the envelope provided.  I find the new phone has smaller keys but as I don't use it much it should be OK.  Phil seems able to manage it and that's the main thing.   Incidentally, I suggested Phil use my walking stick (it is always in our car) as he had a bit of walking to do and he said it was particularly handy when waiting in the queue and when he arrived home he said he didn't feel quite as tired as he usually did.  He is not too proud to use a stick which pleases me no end.

P.S.  We only have a mobile phone so Phil can take it with him when he goes out (in case I should need to contact him or vice versa) and when we both go out in case of an emergency of any kind, car break down etc.  Otherwise it sits next to our landline phone and is never switched on when we are at home.

Monday, September 12, 2016


That say laugh and the world laughs with you so how about sharing a little laugh with me?

I am sure lots of Mums do that at times.

Sunday, September 11, 2016


As you may have guessed I am very fond of cats and often go searching for stories or poems about cats.   I found this one today and thought it just a wee bit different.

FIVE LITTLE EYES ... by Walter (John) De La Mare (1873-1956)

In Han's old mill his three black cats
Watch his bins for the thieving rats.
Whisker and claw, they crouch in the night
Their five eyes smouldering, green and bright.
Squeaks from the flour sacks, squeaks from where
The cold wind stirs the empty stair,
Squeaking and scampering, everywhere.

Then down they pounce, now in, now out.
At whisking tail, and sniffing snout.
While lean old Hans he snores away
Till peep of light at break of day.
Then up he climbs to his creaking mill.
Out come his cats, all grey with meal;
Jekkel and Jessup, and one-eyed Jill.

Saturday, September 10, 2016


I have been thinking about the lost car keys and lost house keys.  I had suggested to Phil the house keys may have fallen out of his pocket when he went to inspect his raised garden beds but he said he's looked and couldn't find them.  A few days ago he came in triumphantly holding his house keys.....he found them next to his garden bed (among some weeds which, if pulled, wouldn't have hidden the keys) so that ended well and through it we gained a couple of spare keys which are always handy.
 I wasn't cross with him about any of it and had a similar, if different, experience myself on Thursday night.   I always keep a small torch under my pillow in case I need to get up in the night.  On Thursday morning when making my bed I remembered feeling my torch fall on my foot but couldn't find it.  Too much of a hurry to look further at that time and not able to get down on my hands and knees, or even bend down very far, I left it till later.

When we were going to bed that night I mentioned the torch to Phil who carefully got down on his hands and knees (not so easy for him now either, but he manages it quite well) and using his torch, he searched under my bed. torch.   We decided he would leave his torch between the two of us should one of us need to use it and we hopped into bed and began reading.  Phil usually reads a little longer than I do and after I'd put my book and specs in the drawer I snuggled down to sleep.  As I put my hand under my pillow I discovered this hard lump!!!  "Oh, my goodness" said I, "I've found my torch".  It had somehow got inside the pillowslip and when I stood the pillow up against my wardrobe when making the bed it had fallen to the other end of the pillowcase.

As I remarked to Phil next morning "It just shows we can all do silly things at times" and we certainly can.   We still can't fathom out how the car keys fell out of Phil's deep pocket but there you go and of course I (silently) still think losing the keys sillier than losing the torch.  That though I only my private opinion.  (*:*)

Friday, September 9, 2016


I love the song, I enjoyed the film.,I like the singer and of course I do like Robert Redford.  Once again scrolling through YouTube I came across this beautiful song sung by Barbra Streisand.  I think it is an all time favourite.  What do you think?

Thursday, September 8, 2016


Some big changes are being made in the monarchy with the Danes coming into power.  More from "Kings and Queens of England and Scotland".

SWEYN 1013-1014  (Svegn)  Known as Forkbeard

Born:  ?965

Succeeded as King of Denmark in 986, as King of Norway in 995, as de facto King of England (Ethelred having fled abroad) in the winter of 1013 aged about 48.

Married:  1.  Gunhilda who died 992;  2.  Sigrid who died 995.

Children all of Gunhilda:  Gytha, Harald, CNUT, Thyra, Estrith.

Died:  at Gainsborough 3 February, 1014 from a fall from his horse, aged 48, having reigned little more than a month.

Buried first in London, later in Denmark.

Sweyn had sent his earls to harass England by invasion with increasing attrition from the year 1009.  In 1012, after receiving an enormous sum in Dane-geld, the earls murdered Elfeah, Archbishop of Canterbury (St Alphege).  In 1013 Sweyn, commanding his naval forces in person, occupied England.  He died after a fall from his horse during an army advance - traditionally struck down in the course of an hallucination that the sainted martyr King Edward, whom he had obsessionally hated, rode towards him in full armour to challenge him in single combat.  Sweyn's youngest daughter, Estrith possibly married Robert, Duke of Normandy, but she was not the mother of William the Conqueror.

EDMUND II 1016  (Eadmund)  Known as Edmund Ironside

Born:  ?990

Succeeded as King of England 23rd April, 1016 aged about 26.

Eldest surviving son of his predecessor Ethelred II.

Married: Ealdgyth

Children:  Edward, Edmund.

Died;  30 November, 1016 in London, probably murdered, at the age of 26 having reigned seven months.

Buried at Glastonbury.

After the sudden death of Sweyn of Denmark there were three candidates for the throne.  Sweyn's eldest son Cnut had possession of the throne, with command of his late father''s forces and with control of the royal treasury, such as it was in an uncertain time of war and lapsed taxes.  But Cnut, then aged about 19, decided to defer his claim and he went  back to Denmark to consolidate his forces having first mutilated, with Viking ruthlessness, the English hostages whom has father had taken from London and all the shires.  The throne therefore fell by default to its original occupant Ethlred, who had never formally abdicated.  But Ethelred's eldest surviving son Edmund (called Ironside because of his physical strength), disputed his father's capacity to rule with sufficient virility to protect England from the Danes.

This problem was resolved by Ethelred's death in April of 1016.  However, Cnut had already returned with strong forces in 1015, and a slight majority of the English ealdormen (the nobility of the shires) saw more chance of achieving swift law and order with Cnut as king rather than Edmund.  If there had been a full meeting of the English magnates at that time it is probable that Cnut would have obtained a narrow vote of confidence.  He did not bother with this formality, but proclaimed himself king and conspired against the lives of Edmund and others in the Saxon succession.

Edmund therefore virtually manipulated his own accession  He summoned in London a meeting of the king-making council, the Witanagemot.  Only those members who lived near London or were there at the time on business were able to attend.   Sincerely pursuing their own advantage, the 'Rump of the Witan', the equivalent of powerful money-men of today, named Edmund as king (i.e. they 'elected' him), and immediately the citizens of London acclaimed him,

The rival kings began to  for initial advantages in a military trial of strength which culminated in victory for Cnut at the battle of Ashingdon in October 1016.  Next month Edmund died suddenly, reputedly assassinated by being stabbed.

(After reading about the dreadful deeds of the Danes I'm not so sure about claiming my Danish heritage!!!)

Wednesday, September 7, 2016


Good hint for any landlord or landlady!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


Checking out the garden yesterday to see what may be of interest and even though the frangipani section is still quite dormant with just a few new leaves showing and the large camellia bush has only about half a dozen blooms remaining I discovered our two potted azaleas doing remarkably well.  The self-sown daisies are popping up everywhere so lots of pretty daisy flowers brightening up the front garden and nasturtiums popping up all over the back garden.   Seems spring is on its way.  (Woops....sorry I forgot to take a pic of the pretty narturtiurms.  Perhaps another time).

These two potted azaleas are years old and this year they are putting on their best show ever.  Incidentally, we were told (about 10+ years ago) by one of those know everything people that the larger of the two would be dead soon.   It has certainly made nonsense of that remark.  These are the two plants side by side and you will notice at the lower right of the picture a large bunch of dark pink flowers.  This azalea has always thrown multiple colours and yet it has never been grafted.

This is the large bunch of dark pink flowers taken separately which gives an idea of how dark the flowers are compared with the paler ones on the bush.

This is the smaller of the two bushes which has variegated flowers but they are always all the same colour.    Some just show a little lighter colour in the sunlight.

The two wattle bushes in Gwen's garden next door are in full blooms and on Sunday when on our way to daughter's home for father's day afternoon tea I noticed the dandelions are also blooming.  I need look no further to find out why hay fever has struck....definitely the sneezing season but really, do I have to sneeze up to 20 times?   It can be quite tiring for an elderly person like me.

By the way it was our eldest great-granddaughter's 20th birthday on Sunday so a double celebration....a lovely cake for Caitlyn (it was delicious) and a gathering of the clan (all 10 of us) to say happy birthday to Caitlyn (along with gifts of course)  and happy father's day (no gifts was the order of the day so just cards for the men).

Monday, September 5, 2016


Sometimes you just have to laugh....and that's always better than doing the other thing isn't it?

Unfortunately allergies are not something to laugh about!

Sunday, September 4, 2016


I am sure I've posted this poem before but it is one of my favourites and at this time of year many of my friends have these beautiful flowers gracing their gardens.  This if specially for them and of course daffodils are one of my favourites as mostly they are yellow.

"I WANDERED LONELY AS A CLOUD" by William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills.
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees.
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay;
Ten thouand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparking waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company;
I gazed - and gazed - but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

Saturday, September 3, 2016


I've been thinking during the week that one must love one's other half very much when you don't get cross when they do something which is really quite annoying.   "What has Phil done now?", you ask.
Give me a minute or two and I'll explain it as best I can.

Last Saturday he went to a reasonably nearby shopping centre. It was a cold and windy day here in Perth so he didn't want to be out too long.  Well, that didn't turn out as he had hoped.   About 30 minutes after he left home he 'phoned me (I've said before we only use our mobile for emergency calls) to tell me he'd lost the car keys!!!  He had asked at several places had any keys been handed in and also retraced his steps but to no avail.
There used to be a taxi rank at that shopping centre but seems it is long gone so I suggested he call a cab, come home and collect my key and return to the car.  It's amazing how in hind sight you think of a simpler way of doing something isn't it?  Why didn't I call a cab and take my keys with me?  Neither of us thought of that for some reason.

Some time went by and I then 'phoned Phil to see what was happening.  He'd rung the taxi firm a second time and they said it wouldn't be long before a cab would arrive.   He had unfortunately parked in an up top car park, where he was now waiting near our car, and it's as well he was rugged up as he said it was freezing up there.

I rang again some time later and still no taxi in sight.   He said he'd ring them again but he still didn't arrive home.   I finally rang again and he said he was nearly at our front gate so I stood by the front door (he had to come in as he had a few groceries with him) to give him my keys.  It had taken an hour for a cab to arrive and in the end it was one of those large vans that takes luggage or wheelchairs etc.  When he arrived back he was quite exhausted but fortunately not too cold.  He told me the taxi driver couldn't find him but when told where he was parked Phil found him straight away.

On the Monday morning he rang the shopping centre manager's office but no keys had been handed in nor at Woolworths either (where he'd been on Saturday).  OK the keys were lost, possibly swept up with other rubbish during the clean up on Saturday afternoon.

Rang a locksmith at the local markets who quoted $60 for a new key.  You see car keys have a chip in them that has to be replaced as well as the key being cut.  I suggested, for fun, he ring an Hyundai dealer near us and ask them the price.  Gob smacked at the result!!!  $80 to cut the key but another $120 as they'd have to take the key around the corner to a locksmith to have the chip inserted so a total of $200.  Needless to say the lockmith got the job.

The other key with the one he lost was the post office key so no real problem there as the PO box key can be replaced.

Now you are thinking all is well as a new PO box key can soon be had but no, it doesn't end there.  Phil then discovered he's 'mislaid' the other set of keys which includes the house keys (front and back door), the shed key and the key to the padlock on the front gate (which we don't use but may want to one day).  Searched high and low in the house (even tipped his armchair up just in case) and in the garden but no sign of them at all.

Fortunately I have keys to the front door and the other two little keys and a post office box key so he was able to get duplicate of front door keys.

I feel that the poor fellow almost made himself ill with self-recrimination of why this had happened.  In everyday life he operates OK and still drives well and it is unlike him to lose things very often but this double effort has really upset him.  I didn't go mad about any of it as we are all human and make mistakes at times but losing keys is a bad one but it CAN happen to anyone.

Still no idea how it happened as car key was in deep top pocket of his large coat and house keys....well they could be anywhere.  He will have to ask as he goes to different places if he'd left them behind but I doubt it.  It is fortunate there were was no identification (address etc) with the keys.

Do I still love him?  Of course I do.  He is nearly 87 so it is expected there will be some hiccoughs during coming years and we will weather the storms together.  We are both so fortunate that our minds/memories still function quite well and hopefully will continue to do so.

Once again I have used my blog to get something off my chest and I know none of you will mind in the least that I've done so.

I've always envied men with the number of pockets they have in their clothing while quite often womens' clothing has none.  Handbags can be a nuisance and of course you have to keep them safe but at least keys and other bit and pieces stay put and are still there when you need them.  I am beginning to understand why many gentleman carry 'man bags' instead of relying on pockets.

Friday, September 2, 2016


I have always loved this 'dreamy' song and it has been sung by so many singers but I well remember this version by Bing Crosby (he is one of Phil's favourites).   Do stay and enjoy it with me.

Thursday, September 1, 2016


Lesson #7 on Kings and Queens of England and Scotland.  I hope you are not becoming bored.  I will keep adding each week as I find by 'writing' it I retain more in my memory although not as much as I'd like to.  I am putting two kings here as their stories are rather interwoven as you will see.

EDWARD 975-978 (Eadward)  Known as Edward the Martyr.

Born: ? 963

Succeeded as King of the English in 975 aged about 12.

Eldest son of his predecessor Edgar.

Died:  18 March, 978, assassinated at Corfe Castle aged about 15, having reigned three years.  Buried at Wareham, later at Shaftesbury.

Edward, Edgar's eldest son, was entering his teens when his father died, and he had a party backing his claim to the throne, formed in opposition to the rival party backing Ethelred.  Edward was the son of Edgar's first wife. Ethelred the son of the third wife.  (The nun Wudfryth bore a daughter who became an abbess).  Ethelred was about seven years old and could not be considered a politically responsible person at the time, so he must be acquitted of any moral guilt for his brother's murder, which occurred soon enough.  In 978  young Edward rode to visit Ethelred at Corfe in Dorset.  Ethelred's retainers crowded around him in a mock welcome and stabbed him.   The body was swiftly buried at Wareham but a year later the Ealdorman (chief noble) of Mercia - the title is a reminder that Mercia accepted the dynastically West Saxon King of the English without any dispute involving a Mercian pretender - dug up the corpse and had it re-interred in the royal mausoleum at Shaftesbury.  There were inspired whispers that the king's body had not bot been corrupted by decay, though paradoxically, some parts of the skeleton were piously filched as holy relics.  The new king, the unfortunate Ethelred, was ready enough to compound some of his guilt-by-implication in a brother's murder by acknowledging him as a Saint, (canonisation being then a less rigorously filtered process), and the dead youth became King Edward the Martyr.

ETHELRED II  978-1013  1014-1016  (known as Ethelred the Unready)

Born:  ? 968

Succeeded as King of the English in 978 when aged about 10.

Younger brother of his murdered predecessor Edward, and younger son of King Edgar.

Married:  1.  Elgifu of Mercia; 2. Emma of Normandy.

Children: of Elfgifu: Ethelstan, Ecgbert, EADMUND, Eadred, Eadwig. Eadar. Wulfhild, Eadgyth, Elfgifu and two other daughers;  of Emma: EDWARD, Alfred, Goda.

Died: 23 April, 2016 in London, aged 48 having reigned 37 years.  Buried in St Paul's Cathedral.

Ethelred was brought to the throne at the age of ten by the crude hatchetmen who had killed his elder brother  All through his life this hapless king was to be a pawn in the power game, and in view of his eaa position he showed a certain political shrewdness and considerable powers of survival.   His name Ethelred Unraed which has no reference to being 'unready' is best understood as  skint on his name.  This spelt in its older Saxon farm, is Ethelraed, meaning "noble policy'.  The adjective Unraed means with no reputable policy', and carried a hint of dirty business, which could refer to the murder of King Edward.  The nickname is therefore not affectionately tolerant but a positive denigration, and has much more affinity with double dealing than simple weakness.

Ethelred's permanent disadvantage was that he could not count on reliable support from his political generals at a time when national unity and forceful military leadership was the only combination which could have saved England from the increasingly menacing attacks of the ambitious Danes.  For many years Ethelred using much the same sincere reasoning which is still advanced to justify the Munich capitulation of 1938, bought off the Danes with inflationary payments of protection money.  But:
'If once you have paid him the Dane-geld, you never get rid of the Dane and in 1009 Sweyn, King of the Danes, who had been actively nibbling away at Ethelred's territory, produced his 'last territorial demand', which was nothing less than England itself.  By 1013 he had over-run the country, and Ethelred fled to Normandy, where his second wife Emma had already retreated to join her brother Richard the Good, Duke of Normandy, father of Robert the Devil, father of William the bastard.