Monday, October 31, 2016


No further instructions needed:

Hope a smile on your face today will stay with you all week long.

Sunday, October 30, 2016


Still endeavouring to get my blog mojo back so, until I do, this Sunday it's the other little poem I learned when doing correspondence classes down on the farm.   There may have been others but the one last week and this one are the only ones I remember, apart from the usual nursery rhymes.


Hullo Mr Moonface, up there in the sky
I love to see you shining whilst in bed I lie.
I'm not the least bit frightened, you only have to peep,
But don't go Mr Moonface until I'm fast asleep.

Saturday, October 29, 2016


Thinking about ads that appear on TV some of which I find completely ridiculous and most of which get muted very quickly.  I am usually crocheting when watching TV so concentrate on that while the ads are on.  Sometimes I feel there is a lot of false advertising and I remember years ago an ad that showed a child in a high chair eating an apple.  When her mother offered her some kind of 'health' bar the child threw the apple on the floor and grabbed the bar.  I reported that to the 'powers that be' who replied that the child could be seen eating a health bar which would be good for her.  I am sure that same health bar would be full of fat and sugar....but that's modern times for you.  I prefer an apple every time.
The one that really gets my goat these days is for Panadol Osteo.   Now I have suffered arthritis in one place or another since I was about 22 and it wasn't until it got really bad perhaps 10-15 years back that I even considered taking anything in the way of pain killers.   I can't use NSAIDs as not only do they upset my stomach, and I was told when I telephoned the manufacturers of Voltaren that, if possible, they should never be taken and, if they were, then never for more than a week (two at the most) at any one time.  The gentleman I spoke to also told me they can also cause heart problems.

Long story a little shorter.   Several years ago I decided I would take Panadol Osteo regularly. Recently I had seen health warnings about not taking too much paracetamol for adults or children so  I thought perhaps it would be a good idea to have a break from them which is what I did.  That was about 5 weeks ago and do you know I have no more pain now than when I was taking 6 tablets a day and, in fact, it's almost as though the pain is a little less!!   Except for my back!!!  This really does have me thinking. 

Strangely enough, should Phil need a pain killer, he can take my panadol and it works for him.  My only thought is my body had become so used to them they had become useless.

Fortunately our family all seem to be on the road to recovery.   K's dizzy turns are almost over and B has stopped flying all over the countryside so they are both a little more settled.  Granddaughter C has been home from hospital for a week and is on the mend and is thankful she has put that scary few days behind her.  Great for her that there will be no more gall bladder attacks.

Our weather is still on the coolish side which is fine by me.  I had to laugh the other day though.  Our rain gauge had fallen over a few years ago and was put to one side.  From time to time I mentioned to Phil it would be good to set it up again and the other day he said to come and look in the back garden and there it was....the rain gauge set up again.  Only took about 4 years but I feel he may have upset the weather gods as we've not had a drop of rain since and there is little on the horizon from what I can see on the forecast.  Oh dear!!  What has he done?

Hope your weekend goes well for you.  (*:*)

Friday, October 28, 2016


I had been scrolling through YouTube listen to some of Liberace's music when I found this one.  It quite delighted me and shows that the master showman can not only make the piano talk but is also capable of dancing the light fantastic.  I hope you will enjoy this pretty little film with me.

Thursday, October 27, 2016


STEPHEN 1135 - 1154  (More from the Kings and Queens of England and Scotland).

Born:  1097

Succeeded as King of England (not Duke of Normandy) 1 December, 1135, aged about 38.

Nephew of his predecessor Henry, being the third son (and not eldest surviving son) of Adela, daughter of William the Conqueror.

Married:  Matilda of Boulogne, granddaughter of Malcolm III of Scotland.

Children:  Baldwin,  Matilda, Eustace Count of Boulounge (died 1153), Mary, William Count of Boulougne (died 1160).

Died:  Of dysentry, intestinal obstruction and haemorrhoids at Canterbury on 25 Ocober, 1154, aged about 57, having reigned 19 years.

Buried: At Faversham Abbey.

Stephen lunged for the throne on the death of Henry almost as purposefully as Henry had done on the death of Rufus, and he had himself crowned by Christmas, before the Empress Matilda could rally the many English nobles who supported her claim, or that of her two-year-old son Henry.  (Stephen had been the first to swear future allegiance to Matilda when Henry I demanded this of his barons).

Stephen's great prop  in the early years was his powerful and wealthy younger brother, Henry of Blois, Bishop of Winchester and Abbot of Glastonbury.  But Henry I had successfully weakened the power of the prelates, so that the authority of the Bishop of Winchester, even as Papal Legate, was not enough to fill the vacuum created by an incompetent king.  Stephen failed to measure up to the standards of strength and ruthlessness demanded of a twelfth-century monarch,  He reigned, but did not rule.  In his weakness he allowed barons and parvenus to increase their privileges and military power at the expense of the old royal prerogative - where comparative despotism at least spelt out basic law and order - but not to such an extent that an effective real sovereignty emerged.  The result was anarchy, and misery amid the collapse of central power in the land.

Stephen briefly reoccupied a recalcitrant Normandy in 1037, but abandoned it for ever when Empress Matilda's husband Count Geoffrey of Anjou, took it as his share of the intended partition of English territories.  At the same time Matilda invaded England itself.  With a safe base within the western strongholds of Robert, Earl of Gloucester, Henry I's able illegitimate son, Matilda skirmished around the country for nine years, during part of which she held Stephen himself a prisoner.  His episcopal brother said that the capture represented God's judgement that the king's cause was, after all, was not just, and Matilda was now the true sovereign.  But Matilda quarrelled with the bishop so tactlessly that he soon took a fresh consultation, and declared that God was backing Stephen after all.   In 1149 Empress Matilda's son, Henry, then 16, was handed the Dukedom of Normandy by his victorious father, and prepared to launch his third invasion of England.  At the height of the turmoil Stephen's heir, Eustace. died, and an agreement was reached that Henry should succeed to the throne on Stephen's death.  This occurred in the following year, and the likeable young man who had been miscast as king through 19 cold winters of English misery was buried in Faversham Abbey, which he had built to supplant his predecessor Henry's monastery at Reading.

Several years ago there was a documentary on TV about the lives of Stephen, Matilda etc and the all the intrigue really amazed me.  It was good to recall it all as I typed this.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


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

Did you notice the spelling error in this one?

Monday, October 24, 2016


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

"It is a bit freaky with this wireless technology"

Sunday, October 23, 2016


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


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

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

Saturday, October 22, 2016


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 20, 2016


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

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

Born:  1068

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buried: Reading Abbey.

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

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

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

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

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

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






Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Monday, October 17, 2016


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

Sunday, October 16, 2016


I've heard of many things that can be recycled but this is a new one to me and I thought what a wonderful idea it is.

Friday, October 14, 2016


This is one of my favourite songs and I may have posted it on here before but today I found Perry Como sang it and when I listened to his rendition I decided to share it with you.  Here now is Perry Como with The Way We Were.

That picture doesn't look quite right so hopefully the right song will appear here when you click on it.  It did for me!!

Thursday, October 13, 2016


With William the Conquerer well established as King of England we now have his son and heir in that position.  More history from "Kings and Queens of England and Scotland".

WILLIAM II  1087-1100  Known as William Rufus

Born : ?1056

Succeeded as King of England 6 September, 1087, aged about 31.

Second surviving son of his predecesesor William,

Marriage:  None recorded.

Children:  None recorded.

Died:  2 August, 1100 from an arrow wound received in mysterious circumstances in the New Forest. aged about 44, having reigned 13 years. 

Buried:  Winchester Cathedral.

Profile:  Penetrating eyes, medium height,  thick build, red face, a lively man, wilfully unconventional in his deliberate blasphemy and colourful oaths, with which he often began a remark to cover an incipient stammer; extravagant with a particularly flamboyant taste in clothes.

William the Conqueror's eldest son, Robert, had rebelled against his father and had tried to seize Normandy.  There was a reconciliation, though the disloyalty grieved William even on his deathbed.  The Conqueror barred Robert from succession to the English throne, but bequeathed Normandy to him.  The next son, Richard, had died seven years earlier - ominously, in a hunting accident in the New Forest - and the Conqueror designated his next son, William, to sovereignty over England.

There was a fourth son, Henry, born after a succession of five daughters, and born after the Conqueror was crowned as King of England - "born in the purple" as the phrase was used.  Henry was convinced that this fact gave him a stronger claim to immediate accession than any of his elder brothers, and this conviction of his has been used to shed a sinister light on the events of his actual succession.

William Rufus has been generally described as avaricious, an oppressor of the Church, and in his private life totally immoral.  His avarice, which governed his attitude to the Church, may in part be explained by his realisation that his father, the Conqueror, had been too generous in his gifts of English land and had not reserved sufficient revenue for the extensive military operations which were still necessary to define and hold the borders of England.  Admittedly, he had a passion for personal pleasure and adornment, but he had to spend much more on a series of camaigns against the Scots and the Welsh - as a result of which he built Carlisle Castle and a chain of forts along the Welsh marches - as well as accepting the necessity of facing up to fairly continuous threats from his brother Robert of Normandy.  One of the means by which he raised his money was by not filling vacancies in abbeys and bishoprics, and letting the revenues accrue to his treasury.

In such circumstances, since it was the monks who were at that time the historians of England, it is understandable that he did not get favourable notices.  The gossip extended to his private life.  The fact that he did not marry is nowadays somewhat facilely interpreted as showing that he was homosexual.  This is not impossible, but what evidence there is m thought it is vague, is to the contrary.  His obscure death from an arrow-wound received in the New Forest has caused much later speculation, including a modern theory that it was the culmination of a ritual of ancient, pre-Christian, magic using the old formula of 'The King must die'  Walter Tyrell, the man said to have shot him by accident, always denied that he was there at all.  A recent theory that the act was murder at the instigation of Henry, who believed he had been lawful king since 1087, has the circumstantial backing that Henry was a member of the fatal hunting party and, as soon as he heard of his brother's death, he rode post-haste to Winchester to commandeer the royal treasury.  He took it immediately to London, while bearers more slowly brought Rufus's body to the cathedral.  It was buried with little ceremony, beneath the flagstones under the tower, and in the following year the tower fell down.  But even the propagandist monk who recorded this could not ascribe the fact to William's godlessness  'It would have fallen down in any case'. he conceded, 'because it was so badly built'.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


How many of you feel as I do that it will be wonderful when the presidential election in the US is well and truly over although I am sure there will be repercussions following on from it.  My daughter as you know has just returned from two and a half weeks in New Jersey and she said she couldn't believe the hate talk that goes on over there when politics rears its ugly head.

I know feelings run high in Australia, particularly when we have a Federal election, and some nasty words are thrown back and forth (particularly on some Facebook pages) but I don't think I've ever seen it tear friends or families apart as it seems to do in America.   I know what my thoughts are on how our country should be run and others differ but it is their right to do so.  I wouldn't fall out with anyone over their choice of candidate or party even when I think they are wrong.  (*:*)

Talking of our daughter .... she and her hubby arrived home safely but both of them are feeling the effects of the long flight and are suffering exceptionally bad jet lag which I don't think affected them so much on their outward journey.  K decided to take a few extra days off before returning to work on Thursday but B was back at work today only to find he has to fly to *Adelaide on Tuesday (back here Wednesday) and then fly to *Sydney on Sunday (back here on Tuesday).   For someone already rather out of whack with all the other flying, K is concerned for his welfare, as am I.  He does have a very good job but sometimes it is not always good for one's health.  We can only hope he comes out the other side OK and may be has a chance of a rest in a week or so.

Not a lot has happened to either of us.  We both got out in the garden a couple of times to check out the weeds!!  I began to pull up a few (I have great difficulty bending down now) and lo and behold Phil began to look or the Dutch hoe.  Nowhere to be found until we both realised it was hidden in plain sight, leaning up against a small table down the yard.  I think I will employ similar tactics in future and maybe a few more weeds will go the way all weeds should go.  Won't be doing much on Wednesday as they are promising it will be 32C (89F) on Wednesday

We have had such cold weather in Perth that my frangipani are barely showing signs of leaves although there are a few very tiny shoots appearing on most of the plants.  The nasturtiums on the other hand are taking over a lot of the back garden and their beautiful yellow and orange blooms bring the yard to life, and for a few moment you forget those damned weeds.    Pink and white daisies and red bottlebrush are bringing a springtime look to our front garden.

I just realised that is the wrong bottlebrush....that is C. citrinus (not yet in flower) whereas the one covered with blooms is Kings Park Special and already the black cockatoes have been and bitten several of the blossoms off.   These cockies are an endangered species but there's still enough of them to do pop in and be cheeky with the garden plants.  Used to be large flocks of them arrive but now sadly we only see a few of them at a time which I guess if good for the bottlebrushes in Perth but not good for the black cockies.   I did however read somewhere they may be making a comeback so hopefully, and seriously, there will be more of them to be seen in future.

Monday, October 10, 2016


That special pleading look they get on their faces!!!

Sunday, October 9, 2016


Just a few words but to me they told a lovely story.

Saturday, October 8, 2016


Feeling nostalgic as today is the anniversary of my dad's birth.  He was born in 1885 which I worked out was 131years ago.  That just doesn't seem possible but when you realise he was 46 when I arrived on the scene I guess it makes sense.   He was a wonderful dad although rather Victorian in his outlook about various things but I loved him to bits.  It is now 45 years since he left this mortal coil and yet he still seems very close and even to this day I miss him very much.  This was my dad taken in our back garden way back in about 1948 when he would have been 63 (I think he always wore braces).

Feeling happy as my daughter and her hubby are on their way home from New Jersey.  I hope they will have a safe and comfortable flight.  On the outward journey I believe it took them 36 hours house to house which I couldn't imagine doing.  I found flights to and from New Zealand long enough and I was 30+ years younger then.  Will be wonderful to have them both home again.

 Feeling amazed at how men can sometimes be very dogmatic and once they make up their minds about something it is hard to shift them.  Instance in question:  Phil's Visa card expired last month and a new card arrived giving him another 4 years of use (one feels quite optimistic at 86 when you look at 2020 on the card and hope you will be here to use it).  He had a letter from HBF (our private health insurer) reminding him about the expiry date of his Visa card and requesting he ring them when the new card arrived so they could update their records.

"OK" you say "so what?"  Apart from HBF, Phil has four other payments deducted regularly from his Visa card (which, by the way, he pays in full each month); car insurance, house insurance and two small donations he's been making for some time.  I said to him that he would have to notify these organisations as well and he said there was no reason why he should as they would automatically know the card had been renewed.  I asked him why then did HBF write to him!!  He didn't really have a valid answer to that.  You can imagine the toing and froing that went on and he, in fact, got quite hostile (Phil when hostile is never frightening but just damned annoying).  "All right"he said "I'll ring the bank".  He rang the bank and of course was told "Yes, you must notify everyone where regular payments go to from your Visa account".  I didn't even tell him "I told you so" but rang all but one of the places to advise them of new expiry date.  Phil rang the university as it was difficult to tell to whom we had to speak but he found someone so all was done.

I of course had to smile to myself because I had been right and pondering on it afterwards it rather reminded me of the opening words in a wonderful children's book I read years ago and thoroughly enjoyed "Katy did"  "Katy didn't"  "Katy did" "Katy didn't"    Did you also read that book when you were a youngster?  I am sure you did.

Feeling disappointed we couldn't spend time with our grandson-in-law on his birthday last Tuesday.  We'd offered to take them out to dinner or go to their place and buy take-away but on the Monday our granddaughter messaged me to say she had come down with a really sore throat and a head cold.  Phil rang him and wished him happy birthday and said we'd catch up with him soon which I am sure we will when K and B return home from the US.

Feeling apprehensive as our weather appears to be heating up quite quickly with a 29C (85F) forecast in a few days.  It's really beginning to feel like summer to me and you know how I detest the hot weather.  I must not wish my life away as there may not be a lot of it left but in the next 5 or 6 months I will be outside my comfort zone....thank goodness for a decent airconditioning system now!!

Friday, October 7, 2016


Once again scrolling through YouTube I came across this song sung by Frank Sinatra.....For many years when I was young we used to have sing songs around the piano when my brother and his wife visited.   One of the songs we had the sheet music for was "Always" (mum used to play the accompaniment on the piano) and I remember us all singing it.  My brother Len had a beautiful baritone voice (he used to take part in shows such as The Midado) so we could all sing along with him.

I hope you will enjoy this lovely old song with me.

Thursday, October 6, 2016


After poor Harold Godwinson lost his life while battling the Normans it gave room for this fellow to take over and take over he well and truly did.  More from "King and Queens of England and Scotland".

WILLIAM I 1066-1087  (Known as William the Bastard, and later, William the Conquerer).

Born:  1027

Succeeded as Duke of Normandy 1035 aged eight, crowned King of England 25 December, 1066 at the age of 39.

No relation to his predecessor Harold.  Second cousin to King Edward the Confessor, William's father being the nephew of Emma, mother of Edward, (i.e, Edward's mother was William's great-aunt).

Married:  Matilda of Flanders, a descendant of King Alfred through his daughter AElfthryth, who married Baldwin II, Count of Flanders.

Children:  Robert, Richard, Cecily, WILLIAM, Adeliza, Constance, Adela, Agatha Matilda, HENRY.

Died: In action against the French, from a riding mishap which ruptured intestines already weakened by dysentery, at Rouen on 6 September, 1087, aged 60, having reigned for 21 years.

Buried:  At Caen.

Profile:  In 1085, when the Domesday Book was planned, he was tallish, thick, regal, stern, and very imposing in spite of a notably protuberant belly and a balding head.

When Harold fell at Hastings, William did not immediately succeed as king.  The English had not surrendered, and their leaders considered proclaiming young Edgar Atheling.  But William conducted a vengeful war of attrition, laying waste the shires around London. Under pressure the generals capitulated, and the Witanagemot, in the last official function of this historic institution accepted William and attended his coronation in Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day 1066.

William was the only son of the Duke of Normandy, Robert the Devil, the offspring of an intense and undying love-affair with Herleva (Herleve), the daughter of a burgher of Falaise known as William the Tanner.   The conventions of the time forbade a marriage between Robert and Herleva, since the marriages of nobility were reserved for political purposes - such as a claim on territory of the bride's father or some other substantial dowry - rather than for romantic reasons.  Nevertheless, Robert seems to have remained, through his short life, monumentally faithful to Herleva although she in her turn had to be married off for the usual materialist reasons to a Norman baron.  From this marriage she had two sons, Robert and Odo.  William's half-brothers who supported him in the spectacular single combat at Hastings.  Odo, Bishop of Bayeaux, was an old-style bishop, a fighting and administrative feudal lord rather than a devout cleric; his priceless legacy to history was the commissioning of the Bayeux Tapestry.

William's father died on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1035.  Yet the boy, then aged eight, managed, as Robert's only child, however irregular his birth, to find enough support to retain the Dukedom of Normandy against continuous campaigns of intrigue, assassination and foreign invasion, particularly by the King of France.  Through 20 turbulent years he developed his general-ship, his political skill, and a genuine interest in the reform of the Church.

The invasion of England was a complete success.  It was a carefully planned campaign, not only on the part of William himself but also by many who supported him.  Barons and knights from Flanders and Brittany, who owed William no feudal service, made a shrewd calculation of his chances of victory and invested in the prospect of his success by joining his army and - what was absolutely essential - contributing the capital necessary to build a fleet of invasion barges.  Their judgement proved sound, and the collected their dividends.  In this instance the profit was colossal.  It amounted eventually to no less than three-quarters of the whole territory of England, shared out piecemeal among about 5000 adventurers - either warriors or ecclesiastics - with the other quarter of the land being retained by William.  The property owning democracy (which did exist among English freemen to a certain extent) and the old, almost independent aristocracy of the Saxon-Danish land owners were entirely expropriated.

William first used the tremendous wastage of the English nobility at Hastings to transfer the land once held by the defeated owners to his Norman followers and speculators from Flanders and Brittany.  he then extended expropriation to cover the land of all who had once acknowledged Harold as king.  He completed the transfer by using every one of the many subsequent rebellions against the Conquest as an occasion for the take-over of property.  He was able to crush every rebellion, even when the Welsh and fresh contingents of Danes burst in to challenge him, because of the fragmentation which England had suffered in the preceding century with the loss of any corporate and united resolution to survive.  The revolts were desperate, but uncoordinated and sporadic, rather than organised.  William settled them one by one, like a terrier killing rats.

This stern conqueror seized the opportunity of the later rebellions to apply unprecedented sanctions of massacre and devastation, stabilising his domination through terror.  In old Mercia and Northumbria his bloody suppression depopulated whole areas, so that hundreds of gutted villages were still only empty names by the time that his catalogue of property was compiled in the Domesday Book.  In many areas these smoking graveyards were replaced by the stone Norman castles - which were not the havens of the fortified towns which Alfred had instituted, but war-centres deliberately constructed as bases of aggression to ensure the perpetual domination of the invaders.  (The Tower of London was built high, outside the city walls).  This was the most rigorous, swift and revolutionary military occupation in history.

England passed through the fire to be forged into a nation, helplessly subject but more united through subjection than it had ever been before.  Yet the land was still individual.  The feudal system, based on the tenancy of multiple small parcels of land rather than on European-style provinces or Saxon-Danish earldoms, had an entirely different character from elsewhere, and was much more autocratically dominated by the king.  There was still, however, an English heritage.  William had sworn to observe the old Saxon laws, and he kept this promise because it was convenient to him.  He set up specifically ecclesiastical courts for spiritual and matrimonial matters, banishing the local bishop from the criminal and civil business of the shire court, which administered the King's Justice within the king's own administrative unit (the shire, or county) - effectively reducing any independent despotism on the part of the largest land owner in the county.  It was a countermeasure of regal power to check the frequently rebellious aspirations of the immigrant barons, who had cheerfully accepted a vested interest in the new status quo with William's extensive grants of land - and realised too late that conditions were not going to be as favourable for them as they would have been under the feudalism of the continental mainland.  At the same time, William introduced a clerical bureaucracy (i.e., a civil service in priestly orders) answerable to him and not to the Church, to shape the new establishment.

William the Conqueror was a king of iron, ruthlessly crushing opposition to his policies and his pleasures - which centred on hunting, not women - by violence and mutilation.  Strangely, he relied on blinding and maiming rather than hanging, so it has therefore been claimed that capital punishment for crime was non-existent during his reign - a statement which must surely be received with cynicism when one considers the scores of hundreds of noncombatants who were slain by his orders during his 'pacification'.  William died as a man of war, defending his Normandy inheritance from the attacks of the King of France.  He had become, through the chances of war, England's first total conqueror, and his successors used their interest in his original inheritance to shape England's first imperialism.  This eventually led to the acquisition of the Angevin Empire.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Monday, October 3, 2016


Just trying so hard to please her 'mum'

Sunday, October 2, 2016


This one really had me intrigued so I decided to share it and see if you enjoy it as much as I did.  I certainly thought it extremely clever.  Have typed the verse below in case you have trouble reading the original.

Some are unable as you know
To tell the Crocus from the Crow;
The reason why is just because
They are not versed in Nature's laws;
The noisy, cawing Crows all come.
Obedient to the Cro-custom,
A large Crow Caw-cus to convoke.
You never hear the Crocus croak!

Saturday, October 1, 2016


I am really beginning to wonder what is going on with the world's weather.  They say it is all caused by climate change and I accept that mankind is responsible for much of the global warming but is there more to it I wonder.  We have had an exceptionally cold September in WA and particularly in Perth and down south.  Even had a light snowfall down south on the Stirling Ranges which very seldom happens even in winter.  We have had few days about 20C (68F) although next week one day is forecast to be 23C (73F).  I am not complaining as I enjoy the winter but it won't be good for sales of summer clothing and these days shops need customers more than ever before.

Some dreadful weather travelled over to South Australia and the entire state was without power as a powerful tornado wrecked part of the power system and their was damage to houses with trees down and roads flooded.   I can't image what it must have been like trying to drive home from work with water everywhere and no street lights or traffic lights working.  Fortunately it seems no lives were lost.   River will have told you all about on her post so will say no more about that.

This afternoon Phil and I are travelling down to Kwinana to watch our 8-year-old dancing.  It is a concert of ballet and although I did go to a concert with my daughter last year, Phil has not seen the youngster dance.  It means leaving home early afternoon but I am sure it will be worth doing so.  K would probably be going if she were not in the US so the great-grandparents will be in the audience for a change this time.  This is a group Immy was dancing in recently and they won second prize.

Phil visited the dentist yesterday and his mouth has healed nicely, even though the stitch fell out on the second day after the tooth was extracted and the lump on his gum has almost disappeared.  I feel the time may have come when Phil will have to seriously think about a partial top plate but I am sure the dentist will pursue that option eventually.  He has an appointment in a month for them to check the gum is healing OK.   I can't remember them being concerned about osteoporosis before but they apparently want to keep checking that all is OK.  I guess one should never be sorry that care is being shown a patient.

K and her hubby still appear to be enjoying themselves in New Jersey and seeing lots of different places.  They will help Beth celebrate her birthday on Monday which will be very special for all of them.  I gave K a card with a little something enclosed so she can give it to Beth from us on the day.  It is so difficult to buy for or send anything to the US that I usually only settle for sending an E-card but this time she will get something personal from us.

Phil was very good for 3 or 4 days and did the cooking and some of the cleaning up.  I think it has been good for my back to have a rest as it really does hurt when I stand for any length of time and for the life of my I just can't seem to prepare meals, vegies etc. sitting down.  I guess I will have to learn to do so before too long but our kitchen isn't really suited to using a stool and I find it difficult when sitting at the table.  Seems this old dog may soon have to learn new tricks though.